Interview with Marek Roth

1. in which year did you play boulder dash for the first
time?? what was your age in this year?

I was 11 when I played Boulder Dash the first time. Boulder Dash 3 was
just released. I started with Boulder Dash 2 and 3. It was around 1986.

2. why are you fascinated from boulder dash??

There are only a few elements in Boulder Dash, but the game is so
variable that some people still have new ideas for new levels. This is the reason why it still means much fun today to play Boulder Dash

3. which boulder dash-game or clone do you prefer??

I still play all the various C64-versions and of course my own-made
PC-version. I programmed my own PC-version the way I like it most.
Of course there are still elements in some of the C64-games which I
didn't created in "The new Dash Dimension". That's because they were
not very important for Boulder Dash I didn't wanted them included in my
own game. The priority was the comptability to the "original" Boulder
Dash, and I guess the result is very well done. There are some Boulder
Dash-clones which are done very horrible, for example the Gameboy-
and the Amiga-version. In one version the butterflies are exploding to
high when touching an amoebia, in another version they are exploding to
low. Or you can collect diamonds while they are falling down. That's
not what I call Boulder Dash. Furthermore I don't like it when the char-
sets are changed in a way that it's difficult to recognize the elements. I
like to play Boulder Dash in the original-charset.

4. Marek, you're the author of one of the best Boulder Dash-Editors
ever made (Deluxe-Kit 1.3 + 1.31) What was the motivation for you to
program such kits?

First of all I studied Assembler and the C64 with it's hardware in general.
I always had Boulder Dash ready to try things out. It's well known that
the original construction kit was bad work, and other freaks before me
tried to fix this. The crashing-reason in the game was found in the level-
build-up-routine, which filled the screen randomly with titan-walls. No-
body before me was able to locate this error. This is why this nice effect
has not been used in No One-Packer 5.3. Since I found the mistake I
was able to use this routine again in my own version. Furthermore I
made the cave-choice better, you can go forward or backward with
choosing the start-level. And the sound of the magic-wall I included, too.
Then No One changed the movement-sound, and mostly of the people
agreed with this changement. But now there are some people who don't
like this changement, that's why I included the original sound in my version
My real first program was the "Marek's de Luxe Construction Kit". It has
been created after the first Boulder Dash-series. Prof. Knibble programed
some new elements and Posocopi designed the caves. The announced
level-editor has never been released. Prof. Knibble turned to the game
Giana Sisters and programed a level-editor for this game. Since this time
I've never heard from him again. I anyway never had contact to him. All
of his work has been spread by the german Boulder Dash-club called
Posocopi Waldkirch. I always greeted Prof. Knibble in my own games,
because I used his work to make my own level-editor. Then I decided
to program an own level-editor, with which you can create all that has
been used in the first Boulder Dash-games, and which is more comfor-
table to use than the original one. Guess I did good work. My own
editor contains many special functions like filling-functions, undo-functions.
There could be some troubles with the level-packer. I recommend the
CCS64 v2.0 with installed Dophindos to prevent problems. The original
CBM-Dos of the 1541 is ful with errors. With Dolphindos all of the prob-
lems can be eliminated. The end of my c64-programing was "Crazy
Dream 7". To make a new level-editor for the c64 I had no more me-
mory available, so I didn't decided to create a new one. If somebody
likes to know how to make one on PC - I used to place all of my
work in the "Boulder Dash Inside Faq".
Well, after I didn't heared anyting new from the club Posocopi there was
Alex Zop who founded a new Boulder Dash-club. With his club he hel-
ped me to spread my new editor all around the world. But nowadays
this club doesn't exist anymore, too. B.t.w. there's a test about my editor
in the magazine called "64'er". This magazine was only availble in an
abonnement and I didn't saw an original until now. If somebody like to
have this test signed be me, he would be the first one.

5. which other c64-games do you like most??

I played a lot of c64 games. But many times the amiga-version were
much better, except of Boulder Dash. This game is not well animated
on amiga. The graphic for "The new Das Dimension" I made with the
amiga, because this game was planned for this system. But since the
PC-systems has been so sucessful I decided to program a DOS-version.

6. what were the most fascinating things or programs
for you to play or work on the c64??

I used the c64 for text-documents. And I also liked the scene-demos
very much. On amiga there were very much demos, too, but on PC-
systems they are very rare.

7. do you still work with the c64?

No I don't, but I still have my 130 Boulder Dash-discs.

8. which actual games do you prefer (2001)??

I like the Lucas Arts Adventures. I also play 3D-action games like
Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem 3D or Unreal. First Star Software should
take a look at ID-Software. The freaks are really very pleased with
Doom. The game is expandable with freely extras. And that's not
enough, ID-Software released the sourcecode under GPL. So the
game can be configurated with the newest hardware. Unfortunately
Boulder Dash-freaks can only dream from what has been released
at I also like Crash Bandicoot-games, but they do
exist only for playstation.