There has been several implementations of Forth that were running on, and targeting, the C64. Were there any commercial software releases (not throw-away hobby projects or in-house utilities) that were implemented in such a Forth system? The more widespread the better; my favorite would be if there was a released game.

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    There were apparently commercial releases made with the White Lightning FORTH high-level toolkit.
    – Alan B
    Aug 15, 2019 at 7:34
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    'Elite' was written in Forth, I believe.
    – Brian H
    Aug 15, 2019 at 14:08
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    @BrianH whoa really? Talk about a household name... You got a source for that?
    – Cactus
    Aug 15, 2019 at 15:09
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    @BrianH elitehomepage.org/faq.htm shows Elite was written in assembler. I do remember reading about another space game that was written in a Forth dialect, but can't remember the name.
    – UncleBod
    Aug 15, 2019 at 15:58
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    @BrianH Starflight was written in Forth, at least for DOS. I'm not sure if other versions were in Forth but I believe it is unlikely as they were written 3 or 4 years later.
    – Tim Locke
    Aug 15, 2019 at 17:59

3 Answers 3


Amnesia (Electronic Arts) is probably the most famous one. The King Edward Adventure Game system was just a wrapper.

Hard Hat Mack (Electronic Arts) copy-protection was written partially in Forth.

Among educational titles, Davidson and Associates published a few, like Alge-Blaster and Read 'N Roll.


I wrote C64-Forth way back in the early 80's (we sold it to Commodore but they disbanded their software products group shortly thereafter and it never made it out of the loading dock). Had some interesting users of it, including Lawrence Livermore Labs.

Portions of it were in assembler. All the math was implemented by calling the C64's internal ROM math code, so it's fast. I did one unusual thing - I stuck with C64's normal file structure. This meant you didn't need Forth-formatted floppy disks - in Forth, you could read and write normal data files, and you could read/write C64-Forth data from Basic or assembler.

Should anyone come across a copy of it, I still have a manual for it. I'd consider scanning it in or photocopying it. Gregg

Update: Following advice below, I have scanned in the manual (to two PDF files) and uploaded them to: https://archive.org/details/c64forthmainmanual. I will occasionally monitor this thread and would like to hear from anyone who actually runs it (I don't know if the version available at the site named below has copy-protection defeated. It may not be runable as is). If someone wishes to have a more extensive discussion of their experience with it, leave a message here, I'll create a temporary email address and post it here, and we can keep in touch.

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    Scanning in the manual would be much appreciated, regardless of whether a copy can be found – you can post it on the Internet Archive so it'll stick around for decades, if not centuries.
    – wizzwizz4
    Oct 16, 2019 at 16:43
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    Am I correct thinking that you are referring to this one: csdb.dk/release/?id=159141 ?
    – introspec
    Oct 16, 2019 at 19:42
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    Introspec - yes, that’s it. I’ll investigate if local shop can scan manual in. It was something like 120+ pages. Had full floating point math, sprite manipulation, and more.
    – gh86
    Oct 17, 2019 at 20:19
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    Almost more important than the Manual would be any kind of surviving development docs, notes, and alike. At least for historic research that is.
    – Raffzahn
    Oct 18, 2019 at 9:59
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    @gh86 Hello, several years I was wondering, why your C64-Forth has 79-STANDARD word present, while in fact it is fig-Forth implementation, just with some exceptions (for example: CREATE works Forth-79 way). What was the reason for that? Was it your aim during designing your Forth - or simply that copy, which can be downloaded from Internet today, is halfway-done "development version", and in fact there was(?) fully Forth-79 compliant final version of your Forth in existence? BTW: could you, please, publish that temporary e-mail address? Jul 25, 2020 at 11:29

I worked for a company called ibidinc in the 80s. We released an adventure game called THE ALPINE ENCOUNTER in 1985. It was written in Forth, so we were able to release simultaneously on the Apple II, Commodore 64, and IBM PC. There were plans for a sequel but they never came to fruition.

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