Cosmos Logo

The Game

Seven zones to conquer the cosmos.
The ultimate challenge of space.
48 different sectors.

This was written in adverts for the game Cosmos when it was launched in 1981. We have made an arcade conversion for the Commodore 64 of this game, originally made by Century Electronics. We have no idea where the advert got the 48 sectors from. Very confusing. The game contains seven zones and 17 sectors per zone.

The arcade game is sadly impossible. It was never meant to be finished by any player since the sectors take longer to complete for each zone until the point when the fuel runs out regardless of how good you are playing. If you resort to cheat you will notice that the game just continues past the last zone and probably eventually breaks down. In zone 9, the zone meter and the colors are broken.


The conversion has been made by the Hultén Brothers. We are Jonas and Patric Hultén and we made this game on our spare time during a one year period. It all started on christmas 2012 and the game was finished in early 2014. Patric put a fortune into this machine back in the days to see what lay beyond the seventh zone.

The Conversion

The conversion has been made with much love and care for the original. The idea was to make the same game but allow slight modifications to make it better. It does not emulate the original code in any way and the original game has not been disassembled. We made the new game based on our recorded gameplay movies and screen shots of the original game.

The game ends after the seventh zone and it is much easier than the original to allow good players to reach the end. The original has a number of graphical glitches when enemies intersect or pops into the screen and those have been removed in favor of a more smooth experience.

It looks similar but has less colors and reduced horizontal resolution. The UI has been altered to cope with graphic limitations in the border. All speech samples could not fit in memory so some were lost in the conversion.

The original runs in 60 Hz so the game is best played on an NTSC C64 because the movement will be more smooth than on a PAL system. However, the game has been adapted to PAL as well, with the same timing so you should be able to compare high scores between systems.

Cosmos game title screen Ingame screen from sector 1 Ingame screen from refuel sector


The game can be played with joystick or keyboard. Keyboard players use the A and D keys to control the ship and SPACE to fire. Joystick players can use any of the joystick ports.

For a one player game, press fire on the device you want to use to start the game in the title screen. For a two player game, press 2 on the keyboard in the title screen. Each player will have the opportunity to select their input device before playing.

Each ship can trigger a time limited light speed mode where enemies move eight times slower than normally. This is triggered by the COMMA key by default but can be changed to S plus SPACE for keyboard users or joystick DOWN plus FIRE for joystick users. This is done from the settings menu at boot.

Pressing the STOP key at any time will exit the game and return to BASIC. In this process, the high score table will be saved if the game was loaded from a diskette.

High scores are only saved when the game is left by pressing STOP.

Hard mode can be selected in the settings menu at boot. In the hard mode extra lives are only given at 10000 points. In normal mode, extra lives are given at 10000 points and every 100000 points.

Version History

Version 1.0 - Initial release. This contained a high score saving bug which caused the high score table to be saved only once.

Version 1.1 - First patch. This fixes the high score saving bug and adds a boot menu with difficulty and light speed trigger on joystick options.

Version 1.2 - Second patch. This fixes two graphical glitches. High score tables are saved separately for normal and hard difficulty. Light speed can be configured to be triggered with both COMMA key and DOWN plus FIRE, not just one of them. Boot menu can be controlled with joysticks now.


You can download the game either as a standalone program file startable from BASIC or as a D64 disk image with that file inside. It works in emulators and with peripherals like SuperCPU in turbo mode without problems.