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Alternate Reality: The City

DOS - 1987

Also available on: Mac - Amiga - Apple II - Atari 8-bit - Atari ST - Commodore 64

Alt name Alternate Reality: Part One - The City
Year 1987
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Role-Playing (RPG)
Theme Dungeon Crawler, Fantasy, Real-Time, Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Publisher Datasoft, Inc.
Developer Paradise Programming
Perspective 1st-Person
Dosbox support Fully supported on 0.60
4.45 / 5 - 29 votes

Description of Alternate Reality: The City

This is yet another Commodore 64 classic that failed to attract a following among PC crowd. An immensely detailed RPG (with various weather effects!) on an epic scale, Alternate Reality, like Might and Magic, integrate science and fantasy in its plot and gameplay.

A very nice-looking 3D RPG with almost an unlimited number of realistic choices (i.e. you can get a job, practice skills, etc.). I just wish I can control more than one character. Definitely one of the most replayable RPGs ever made, and a must-have for every RPG veteran. Thumbs up!

Note: Alternate Reality was designed and coded by Phillip Price, who has given approval for redistribution of this game. This was not a C64 game per se, but was coded directly for the Atari 800 series computers, then ported to other platforms such as C64 and IBM and Atari ST. Phillip used Atari's Display List Interrupt capability extensively, getting an unheard-of 256 colors onscreen in high-res mode. This color feature was undoubtably lost on the C64 and IBM. The best news to fans is that he's working hard on a remake of this classic :) [thanks to Scott for the info]

Review By HOTUD

External links

Comments and reviews

rafik 2024-03-19 -2 points

i love this game because triclyde is red

david 2023-10-19 0 point

There's a abandoned remake called Alternate Reality X at crpdev dot com in the downloads section. Maybe someone will pick it up and finish it...

Beggs 2023-06-24 0 point DOS version

How do I delete characters from the save disk?

CrazyHorse 2023-03-11 0 point

The C64 version may still be uncracked. The crazy behavior maybe that the character starts the game inebriated as menus change randomly and your direction keeps changing. This may be copy protection that allowed you to see the game, but not be able to play it.

"You are at the Western Gate" isn't an error. Its asking for the diskette for The Forest expansion which was never written. Expansions The Area, The Palace, The Wilderness, Revelation, and Destiny were never released. Only The City and The Dungeon ever made it to the store shelves.

The DOS version of this game was the last one, not the first. The games City and Dungeon were first programmed for the Atari 8-bit and then converted to other platforms. The DOS version of the City is the Atari ST version that the conversion programmer for Datasoft wrote a sloppy emulator for. It didn't convert such features as the game's music and you get downgraded CGA/EGA graphics. You are much better off playing the Atari ST or Amiga versions in an emulator than the DOS version if the City.

The Wiki on the games is here:

Confused dude 2020-09-01 -1 point

Why does it give me three files that are all zips two are the same size one is slightly smaller

KC 2019-11-08 2 points DOS version

I played The City for years on the 64, but never beat it. I don't know if it is even possible to beat the game without all the other scenarios. All I ever was able to purchase were The City and The Dungeon. But by the time I purchased the Dungeon, The City disks were worn out from constantly having to put one disk in the drive, then pull it out and replace it with the other, again and again. I have tried playing the DOS version here, but it is not the same game as the 64 was. And I do not mean just the graphics, which were better on the 64, but the way the game plays is also different. I agree with DAVE above, I had made maps, and also wish they would remake this game. However, if they remake it will it have the real life"feal" it did in the 64 version? Or will it just be a game? It is no wonder, as the review above states, this game never made it big on the PC.

Jerseyj69 2018-10-02 0 point

Played both the city and dungeon and both where exceptional games would love a version on iOS

dfortae 2018-01-12 5 points DOS version

I review Alternate Reality, The City here:

Groo 2017-08-14 -1 point

There is a remake, it's called Alternate Reality: X.

Don't let that stop you from finding and playing the Atari 800 version of this and The Dungeon, though. They're the best original versions by far.

Fyxylplyx 2017-02-08 0 point Commodore 64 version

The Commodore-64 version for download here may not work. The images for Disk2-Side1 and Disk2-Side2 both have a note on them that they have errors when you inspect them.

Used CCS64. I could create character, generate random stats, then upon entering the city (when you insert Disk2-Side1) the game goes crazy. It may still be running, but the time is flying by or something. Menu keeps changing, there's no time to move, etc....

derek lisi 2016-12-13 0 point

loved this game on the Atari 800 - how can I play it on windows 10? I tried each version and so far no go

Stealth 2016-10-19 0 point DOS version

Went thru some doors about 10 minutes into the game and I got an error... "You are at the Western Gate."

"Hit ESC key to cancel."
"Hit any other key to retry."

Searching on startpage gave me zero results.. I got a screenshot but no method to post it... Haven't tried esc yet but any other key don't fix it...

Dave 2016-07-28 2 points

I loved this game, I even drew a full size map on A3 graph paper for the entire city.

I wish someone would revamp it into a modern version using a FPS engine along with the expansions (the Wilderness and the Arena), it was an awesome game.

Fishhawk 2015-05-06 0 point DOS version

Alternate Reality: The Dungeon was definitely better. I did love playing AR: The City though. I went through COUNTLESS characters.

Jeffman 2015-01-20 0 point Mac version

I played AR: The Dungeon. From what I remember about this one is that once you die, your character is deleted, lol. In Dungeon, you just lose a level. Thess games become insanely
difficult real quick.

Groo 2014-08-17 2 points DOS version

@ Matthew - The original version of this, on the Atari 800xl, came out in 1985. I'm not 100% sure which was first, but I saw this first. The Atari 800xl version is without a doubt the best version of it, too, but if I was going for Alternate Reality, I would get AR:The Dungeon, there's MUCH MUCH more to do.

Matthew 2014-07-01 -1 point DOS version

Negative, the original Bard's Tale was 3 years earlier in 85.

JC 2013-06-26 1 point DOS version

Absolutely loved this game.. Always wished they'd made all the expansions they had planned...

Rollie 2011-11-20 1 point DOS version

Best (and probably only) 3-D game of its time!

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