The Def Guide to Zzap!64

Why was it always joystick port 2?
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Author:  Holywhippet [ Sat Jun 25, 2005 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Why was it always joystick port 2?

Something that's been bothering me for years - why did just about every game ask for the joystick to be plugged into port 2? Was there a significant difference between the two ports? Generally only port one was used when playing something that allowed two players like Gauntlet, Druid, Wizball etc.

Author:  Lloyd Mangram [ Sat Jun 25, 2005 2:21 pm ]
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Joysticks plugged into port 1 interfered with the c64 itself, someway.
I recall waggling the joystick in port 1 and getting all kinds of weird characters on the screen.
But I'm totally a-technical, so what's actually behind it: no clue.

Author:  Fiery Phoenix [ Sat Jun 25, 2005 4:08 pm ]
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The strange thing was that most of the old games were Port 1 - only after a certain time were all the games than Port 2. No clue why

Author:  Mayhem [ Sat Jun 25, 2005 6:41 pm ]
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The lines for reading parts of joystick port 1 crossed those from the keyboard (one of Commodore's penny pinching design ideas) hence the interference.

Author:  Holywhippet [ Sat Jun 25, 2005 10:51 pm ]
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I remeber that the first joystick tended to "type" characters when you used it. But even games that were joystick only were still joystick 2. I'm guessing that at some point someone needed to use the keyboard keys as well as the joystick for a game so they wrote their controller code to use joystick port 2. From then they just kept reusing the same code. It might also be that the port 1 joystick throws some kind of extra interrupts because it looks like keypresses.

Author:  Nightfaery [ Thu Jul 19, 2007 2:46 pm ]
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Considering port one is practically in the keyboard hardware anyway I'm not surprised. Bit of a daft idea but if you moved it further up it would interfere with the game hardware so imagine what that would have done. Still it wasn't a major inconveninece I remember. *^_^* lml

Author:  hungry_hog [ Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:02 pm ]
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Yes I seem to recall pressing fire on port 1 = space

This was handy for games which used the space bar as an extra joystick could be used. e.g. special weapon in green beret

why we had to wait for the NES/master system to get 2 button joysticks is still a mystery...

Author:  Professor Brian Strain [ Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:47 am ]
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Not strictly true. The C64 could handle more than one button - the Annihilator joystick for the C64GS and the Commodore 1351 mouse both had two buttons - and the Cheetah 125 Plus had a second re-programmable fire button (which could be used as the secondary fire button)

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