Just bought this game, soooo good, smooth, great graphics, amazing sound and music, works perfect on my C64 (Maxie). A++
Zeta Wing (C64)
A downloadable game
Zeta Wing is a fun vertical shoot-em-up for the Commodore 64, inspired by the arcade game Gemini Wing, and winner of both the RGN Gamers' Choice Award 2020 for the Commodore 64, and Indie Retro News Budget Game Of The Year 2020.
Strange mutant creatures have appeared across the surface of planet Earth!
Earth needs a hero to stop them... one like you!
So strap into your fighter and blast off to end this infestation for good!
- 7 challenging stages, each with their own graphic style.
- 3 difficulty settings: Easy, Normal, Hard.
- Lots of parallax scrolling.
- 10 player weapon upgrades.
- 7 end of stage bosses.
- PAL and NTSC compatible.
- Simultaneous music and sound effects.
Joystick in port 2, or Keyboard:
- S - Up.
- X - Down.
- < - Left.
- > - Right.
- SPACE - Fire!
NB: pause key can now be configured in the options screen.
UPDATES FOR v1.2.2:
- Fixed an issue with auto-loading of settings from disk on start-up (disk/prg).
- Game can now be booted from device 8 or 9.
UPDATES FOR v1.2.1:
- Added new PAUSE option so that the pause key can be configured to be one of the following keys:
UPDATES FOR v1.2:
- Added save for settings (remembers auto-fire and difficulty level, plus high-scores).
- Can save settings (including high scores) to either device 8 or 9.
- Cartridge version is now Easy Flash and will auto-save settings to cartridge.
- Destroy entire enemy attack waves to drop a "P" symbol.
- Collect 12 "P" symbols to power up your weapons.
- A bar above the lives display shows your power-up progress.
- Losing a life degrades your weapons by one level, but doesn't reset the power-up bar.
- Shoot the "Z" and "W" symbols for extra points.
- Extra life awarded every 50,000 points scored.
All programming, graphics, and sound by Sarah Jane Avory.
Cover art and disk loading screen by Paolo Rathjen.
(C) 2020 Witchsoft.
OST is available on You Tube:
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In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $3.99 USD. You will get access to the following files:
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The game is great, no doubt about it. Played it alot and always have alot of fun with this shooter. But if some of the changes in the diskversion of v1.2 really make sense, i have my doubts. Pause button makes sense and the possibility to save settings too, but the handling with this, is a little bit strange in my opinion. Let me explain why.
Now, after reloading the game, both, the highscore already achieved by the player and also his saved settings are no longer automatically loaded directly into the game. For this, the player now has to press "load settings" first, every time again. To be honest, i find this a pointless change. Suddenly, when the game is newly loaded, the highscore is gone every time and you are totally surprised about this, before you remember, that you have to load it in manually, every time again.
And it doesn't make much sense with the settings either. The option, of being able to save the settings, should actually have the advantage, that players don't have to set things like the difficulty-level and the Autofire every time again, when they wants to play the game. They choose the settings they like here, save them and that's it. Then they think, i must do nothing in the future again, to always have my saved settings again. This is, how it should be. But now you have to click the Load-Settings function every time again, only that your saved settings are here again. Where is the time-advantage then, in comparison, to readjust these two settings (Autofire/Difficulty) each time again manually?
Therefore both, the highscore and the saved-settings should be loaded automatically, every time the player loads and starts the game newly. In older versions of Zeta Wing the highscore also was loaded automatically and that this has changed now in V1.2, is a disadvantage, al least for my friends and for me. Also in all other games, such things were loaded-in automatically. Only in "Freaky Fish DX" i can remember a version, where you also had to manually reload your score each time, but that has changed again and in the latest version of this game, it was automated again. I guess, the programmers probably recognised, that the handling was not ideal when the player must do this manually.
Therefore i hope, that it will change again in a future version of "Zeta Wing". The possibility, that the player can save his settings is a good idea of course, but they must be loaded-in automatically, when the game is loaded and started again. I also spoke with some friends about this and they told me exactly the same thing, that they wondered alot, that after a restart, all of a sudden, their highscore and their saved-settings were no longer visible and active. Nobody had the idea, that these must be loaded in again, because this is really not intuitive.
Sorry for the long text, but i wanted to explain what i mean and that takes a few sentences. :-) The game itself is a fantastic shooter, of course, like many of your other games.
Well, I'd better fix that!
Okay, v.1.2.2 should fix it.
Looks like I commented out a line of code by mistake on the disk version (sorry about that).
Thanks for the fast response and also for fixing the problem so quickly. Works good now in V1.2.2.
Sarah, i found two things more, i wanted to mention.
First one is this. Wouldn't it be better, to decouple the Highscore from the other settings ? Because at the moment, the score is only saved, if the player manually clicks on "save settings" after his game. If the player forget to do this, his or her Highscore then is lost, which annoyingly happened to me yesterday *lol*. There is actually no reason I can think of, why the score should not always save itself, even without the user having to do this manually. What do you think about it?
And the second thing is - a friend of me also has the game and tried V1.2.2 and he told me, that his floppy has the DolphinDOS board included and that he only very rarely has a problem with this speeder in a software on the C64. Sadly, here in "Zeta Wing", however, now there is a little problem. Saving the settings seems to work normally for him, but loading them back in does not. The game then always reports "Load Error", which means, that both, the Highscore and the other saved settings are no longer there, after a Reset of the game. This wouldn't be so bad with the settings, because the player can set them again quite quickly, but it's bad with the Highscore who is lost then. Would it be possible, to adjust this, because DolphinDOS is actually very compatible, but here in this case, the speeder seems to have a problem with the saved little "ZW1SET.dat" settings-file. Saving works but loading-in then not, strangly. You can also recreate this problem in the Denise emulator, if you insert DolphinDOS there, I found out.
I just thought, i would ask, if this maybe can be adjusted? If not, his DolphinDOS needs to be turned off, before the game is loaded. But maybe also other speeders have problems with loading the settings in, that's why I am bringing this up. It works with JiffyDOS by the way, because this i tested by myself. Maybe when the first point is changed, this second point is already taken care of, when the Highscore is saved differently and completely decoupled from the other settings?
just got it - very nice shootem up ! :)
Great ! This game is amazing ! very nice work !
LOVE IT! Thanks sooo much :-)
Was just curious on when will the 1.2 update come out with the pause button?
Actually, been working on this recently.
Released v1.2 that has a pause button.
Hi Sarah! Awesome game, I love it!
After my purchase I've tried and tested v1.1 Ocean .CRT on my EasyFlash3 and the 1.1 .PRG on my SD2IEC and it works equally well except that on both devices I cannot save my High Score unless I have the ol' 1571 turned on with a floppy in it. I suppose saving to EasyFlash or to SDIEC (set to device ID 9) is not supported yet and it only saves to device ID 8?
Sarah Jane Avory takes her previous NEUTRON and stuffs it with all possible tricks with the commodore64. Multilayer parallax on graphically differentiated levels, more musical modules, more playability. Zeta Wing is also more difficult to deal with proportionally to a shorter duration, seven levels in total unlike the nine present in NEUTRON. An instant classic piece of software that highlights the abilities of this programmer who, a few months later, would be further surpassed ...
Congratulations on the no.1 spot. Deservedly won against some great competition. Thank-you for a great game...
Great game. Love the whole package but is brutally hard but the gorgeous graphics and silky smooth scrolling make me keep having "just one more go". Good look and I voted for this in rgn gamers choice 2020.
Hey Sarah, what are your plans for your new game? Are you going to put it on here eventually?
From a 100% Atari guy... this is awesome, and also the first C64 game I've bought!
The MiSTer runs it like a champ!
The graphics are nice, but get muddy in later levels, and enemies are hard to spot. The enemy movements are enjoyable and challenging, but become unfair in level 4.
The weapon upgrade system is pointless, since every weapon seems to have the same fire power.
The scoring system is useless. Harder enemies don't get you more points than easy enemies. The further you progress the less points you collect, which is the opposite of what it should be.
Level 4 introduces obstacles on screen you can't touch, but still uses copies of the same enemy formations as before, and the 2 aren't compatible. It's sometimes simply impossible to shoot all the enemies in time to stop them from firing. Even if you have upgraded weapons, they can't shoot "through" enemy formations to get rid of more than one per shot, so the upgraded weapons seem pointless, since every enemy still needs exactly one shot. So it happens way too often that you have no room to manoeuvre and loads of bullets flying towards you, while your own bullets don't even seem to make a dent.
The obstacles in the level design in level 4 will absorb both "bullets" your ship shoots simultaneously, even if just one of them has the obstacle in the way, so it becomes even harder to find corners to get rid of stationary enemies.
All in all I do like motivational challenges, but sloppy level design, and a game engine not fit for the levels create challenges that don't motivate but annoy.
Hey, just wanted to post to say - I played a LOT of games like this back on the C64 when it was contemporary (and other platforms too) and this looks absolutely wonderful. Definitely seems to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best I can recall on the platform.
It looks and plays very well. Lovely! I only need to get.. better. :)
Hi Sarah, great game! I have 3 questions:
1) Did you consider upping health on the enemies to make them scale with the power up?
2) Why is the dual bullet power up so late? And why is it not spreading more and more as it powers up?
3) Do you really need to punish the player with power down on death?
It would be really cool if you could add settings where we can play with these settings and tune them to balance the game to our ability?
Edit: what are the probability of open-sourcing the game after some time? I'm having issues with the collision detection (understandable if you use the hardware collision as it was not intended to use multiplexing) but I would really like to give it a shot!
Dear Sarah Jane, I have already purchased this game. Wonderful! A very addictive game! I also very much appreciated Neutron and Santron and I hope that in the future you can give us many other beautiful masterpieces of this type. See you soon.
I had to race out and buy this game after listening to the review by "Sprite Castle". Great game very talented game dev.
I have already purchased this game. Do I have to purchase again for the Ocean CRT download?
This is a great game. Maybe the best shoot em up for C64. Very good work Sarah! Graphics is great, movement smoth, sound effects and music is good. Co-up 2-player mode is the only thing I can think of that would improve the game at the moment.
Da hat die gute Sarah wieder ein tolles Shoot’em up Game rausgebracht. Und wie immer hat sie dabei alles selbst gemacht. Respekt! Ein richtig tolles Spiel :)
Auf meinem YouTube Kanal habe ich es im Rahmen der C64 Spielzeit vorgestellt. Schaut doch mal vorbei:
Amazing game, love it to bits! Another winner!
can't wait to play it. :)
What about te PAUSE function ?
thanks for 1.1, wanted to save my scores
Yay, high score table save :) Thanks Sarah.
No problem. I managed to grab an extra 256 bytes of memory back, so had enough space to add the feature. It's perhaps a bit basic, but it works.
Thanks for the Cart version! Will use it in my EasyFlash3 :)
Unfortunately Commodore Game System cartridge layout is not compatible with EasyFlash3... I've spent some time figuring out how to convert between formats and it seems there's no straightforward way to do so without recoding some bits.
Oh, okay. I'll see if I can make a version that'll run on EasyFlash3. Shouldn't be hard.
Edit: Yes, this won't be a problem, so expect an EasyFlash3 compatible (basically a 128k Ocean cartridge image) version later today.
Ocean format cartridge image just added, one that should work with EasyFlash3.
Hi...will there be a physical edition? Thanks
Very likely, but first I need to get Soul Force and Briley Witch Chronicles finished.
oh I do hope so...that's awesome thanks for the reply. Can't wait to play it. Hope to do a youtube video if that's ok for my channel.
Amazing game Sarah! Thank you!
What a fantastic achievement! Great job!
Great game with nice atmosphere, well done!
Great achievement for a single person. This is a real fun shmup! I got that it's inspired by Gemini Wing, but stage 4 looks very much like stage 3 of MUSHA (Aleste). Awesome!
High-Score saver is much appreciated, thanks for the update! Only the pause function is still missing, like in Neutron as well. Would be cool to have that too. Anyway, very cool game this is!
Good fun. Starts quite easy, but will provide a real challenge from level 2 on. It's a proper shoot-em-up, also for the standards of today. Great music too.
ciao Sara, i miei complimenti per questo gioco, fantastico è dire poco!!!
Hi Sarah. A big ask, but I was wondering if you would consider releasing an official version with a disk high-score saver? Thanks again for the amazing game!
Great game that's fun to play. Only nitpick is that it doesn't save your high scores in the hall of heroes, and it goes back to the stock high scores.
What a fantastic game, even better than Neutron! This shoot 'em up looks, sounds and plays perfect. A very slick and complete package.
Really a top shooter and also the very smooth scrolling is really great here. Superb new game, good work to the programmer!
And about this scrolling, i have a question to Sarah Jane Avory, maybe she can give a short reply.
Is there a chance, that your game Neutron gets an updated version (would be V1.4 then, if i remember correctly), in which the user can turn off this little jerkiness of the battleships, over which the player flies? There is a strange jerking in some objects in the background, when the user moves his own ship left or right. This is the only thing, which i don't like in Neutron, the rest of the game is very good and having a feature, to turn this jerking-thing On or Off, would be really great.
A short reply would be nice. Best regards and congratulations on Zeta Wing.
It works perfectly on the Ultimate64, and it's actually an awesome game !
Congrats Sarah !