I was messing around with some PAL- and NTSC-based Commodore 64 stuff, and just happened to finally get a chance to test out a Commodore Magic Voice Speech Module with the Commodore cartridge conversion of Bally Midway’s arcade classic, Gorf. Both are fairly early Commodore products and definitely not the best that the Commodore 64 is capable of, but together they make for one of the better home Gorf ports. The speech really does add a lot to it.
The Magic Voice was supported by only a handful of cartridges, so it’s not really worth trying to acquire as anything more than a novelty. Nevertheless, it’s a fairly interesting add-on and can operate both on its own by issuing BASIC programming language speech commands or by inserting a compatible cartridge (like Gorf). You need to send the audio output from your Commodore 64 to the audio input of the Magic Voice, then the audio output of the Magic Voice to your display. Unfortunately, it’s purely a mono transaction on the Magic Voice side, but the sound quality is still good enough. My particular chain went from a Commodore 64 stereo S-VIDEO cable to both the Magic Voice and the XRGB-mini Framemeister, which went to my capture device and monitor. Enjoy the video and be sure to check out the photos that follow (note that for the video, but not the photos, I plugged the other audio channel into the Framemeister, so you should hear stereo (or at least two channels of audio)):
I wrote the C64 conversion… FYI, there’s a hidden title page. My recollection is bit fuzzy (heck this was about 30 years ago!), but you bring it up by inserting paddles and turning the pots all the way clock-wise (I think). Yes, the game is for joysticks, but using paddles is what makes it hidden 🙂 Anyway, my name (and a couple others) will pop up and Magic Voice will say my name.
Awesome, thanks for that. I’ll give it a try when I get a chance and do a new blog post about the results if I’m able to get it to work. Did you work on any other C-64 games? (he asks without getting a chance to Google)
I *think* it also works for Wizard of War. My teammate was working on this game at the same time as I was working Gorf and I think we plotted the hidden title pages together.
Good to know. I recently acquired a Wizard of Wor cartridge as well (for some reason I couldn’t get it to work with emulated cartridges on the hardware), so I can try it there too.
FYI, Gorf and Wizard of Wor (you got it right with the spelling – shame on me!) were the only two MV games we developed in house. Somewhere in my house I have the original art for the Gorf box cover. And the arcade machine I used to help research the development of the C64 version. And I think a roll of the cartridge labels. My basement is a Commodore museum 🙂 Curiously, though, I never got a MV.