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C64 Scene In Israel
by Dr.J/The Force

Hello to all! I was asked to write an article about the Israeli C64 scene. At first I'd like to inform you that I'm trying my best despite my "not super" English.

Most of you when thinking about the Israeli scene in the 80's you probably laugh, because you have never thought that Israel was one of the major players in the scene. Think about the legendary The Force group and none beyond. Actually when you really think about the scene, The Force was an international and the best ever group in Israel, no doubt about it. But in the Israeli local scene there were many good groups, which you have never heard about. I will give it a try to make a short description of every single group.

But first something about the background of the Israeli scene... The very first groups that dealed with C64 in the 80's were: T.I.T. (the Israeli team), TCS (Tape Cracking Service) which were mostly cracking games from tape to tape, because till 1987 almost no one owned a 1541 disk drive (in opposite to the Europe where many people had disk drives before 1987). Games like "Rambo 2", "Green Beret", "Out Run", "Spy vs Spy", "Way of The Exploding Fist" were the hit-games on the tape and were spreaded to almost every C64 owner in The Pirate Market, which wasn't harmed with legal issues and therefore it was "legal" to sell and to buy cracked games.

1987 was important year for C64 people in Israel, that was the year when the 1541 drives became cheap and many people bought them. It raised the level of the C64 in 5 steps. So many new groups entered the scene, including the big The Force group, The Puma, Rage, The Smugglers (which started as tape crackers with a very neat intro, they were quite successful and spreaded their cracks very well). I believe in 1988 more than 20 small groups were "working" in the C64 scene, but most of them were importing games (especially from The Force or Puma, what was quite ironic you must admit) and selling them to young boys being addicted to new C64 games. It was very easy to get C64 games, because youth magazines always had "C64 page", where everybody could put advert there, so be able to sell cracked games. You need to realise that The Force was the only one really active group, it released cool demos, notes, music scores etc. The whole rest was mainly importing games and selling them on the C64 market (cracked games of course).

Now I can continue with more deep description of major groups in Israel.

THE FORCE

The Force was founded in Australia in 1982 by Colwyn and Ziggy. In 1986 some ex-members of Cobra leaded by Adi Zohar founded same-named group: The Force. At that time games were mostly cracked and imported. Most of Isreali groups in that period were unarranged and consisted of only few decent coders and crackers. The most important groups that created Israeli scene were: The Rage, The Israeli Team (T.I.T.), The Force, Thing, Tape Cracking Service (T.C.S.) and The Micro G (T.M.G.). All those groups were more or less equal and they were mostly importing "new" games to Israel, only sometimes cracking lame games. In 1987 guy called Danny Bouzaglo from The Micro G (TMG) joined The Force and members of Thing joined aswell. They all rejoined one group The Force with its founders from Israel.

The memberstatus looked like that (Israel): Danny B. (the leader), Kobi, Nadav, Arie M., Itamar E., Adi Zohar, Hagay Z., Ofer A., Guy S., Guy M. and Nir Pedatzur. The Force (Israel) and The Force (Australia) decided why not joining their forces? So the way of uniting two forces was short. The memberstatus in OZ section (Australia): Colwyn and Ziggy. The Aussie section released some cracks and defined themselves as the number 1 group in Australia of the early 80's. Soon The Force became the number 1 C64 group in Israel and started releasing brilliant demos, nice cracks and of course lots of imported games from Europe. In 1989 they released a demo called "Bigger Than Life", which showed some nice coding and cool tunes from "anonymous" guy called "Guy Shavitt". After some cool products The Force got splitted into two small groups: Twisted Design and Sidchip Scratchers (SCS). In 1990 The Force shocked the entire C64 scene by smashing demo called "Vector Victory", which was the first to show new fast vectors and outstanding music by Guy Shavitt/SCS. That demo broke new limits and since then Nir Pedhazur (the coder) got a hall of a credit for his new routine.

No doubt that demo is still one of the greatest unforgetable demos. In that early 90's DB (Danny B.) formed another section of The Force in Italy. The Force got stronger than ever. Italian section consisted of the following members: Gabriel, Gi909, Ximox, Exat, Zoris and Zagor. The Aussi section got new members like Razor (who took the leading from Colwyn), Vengeance, Bat, Insane and Psycho (who built a new label named Tektronix and released the stuff like "10 Years Gone" or a cool coding magazine called "Code Mag").

The Force group was like a big family. In 1991 it was a group consisting of graphic label Air Design (Zoris, Zagor, Viny and Exat) and music label Sidchip Scratchers (SCS) formed by Guy S. and Danny B. (other members Sivan and Eyal Bar-Tzvi were active for a short time and they left team letting Guy S. to be the only musician). The Force was active and released many cool products (Air Design released "Viny View and "AD Show").

In 1992 Air Design made a boxing game with Guy's tunes under simulendo team (eh... funny!). SCS composed a lot of musics for demos, mags and games. I still can remember cool tunes Guy S. made for the demo "Big Time" for Triumwyrat. The Aussi division supported group with cool mags: "Vandalism News" and "Code Mag". The Force (Israel) kept on cracking and importing a lot of stuff. Then Danny B. freshed the group with new talented members: Mysterio, Micheal S., Ronney, Yariv (one of the last active Israeli sceners today!) and of course me (Dr.J, I joined The Force in the late 90's from my ex-group Hotshot). In 1993 (I think) the Aussi division released the demo "10 Years Gone" to remind the entire scene The Force was the eldest group (even more older then the big legends like Triad, Fairlight, Ikari, Dynamic Duo, Genesis Project).

In 1994 the legend of The Force died peacefully when DB and Dr.J moved to Motivate and Guy S. + Nir P. stopped all their activities. All other members also left the scene...

THE PUMA

A group which was built by Yaniv and Oren Buta from Rishon Lesion (a town in Israel). Intros were being made by Koby Gerasi and Yaniv Buta. Oren Buta (sorry, he hates nicknames...) was buying his games from Hotline and Ikari, and selling tons of them in Israel. He was great in advertising, so almost every kid in Israel who owned C64 knew his number and was buying games from him (or from Daniel from The Force).

THE SIDCHIP SCRATCHERS

A successful label from Guy Shavitt. He composed many cool tunes. He wrote all the music for The Force demos, intros and other issues. Everyone still remember his great tunes for demos: "Big Time", "Viny View", "Vector Victory", "Bigger Than Life", "Hexagon", "Digital Madness" and for games: "Crazy Cars 3" and "3d Boxing Champion". From time to time he was releasing "SCS Music Score" what was very good. Personally I liked his music and I think he was one of the best C64 composers ever. Don't forget he built his own music routine and player!

THE MICRO G

The mother of The Force was built by Guy Marin and Gil in the middle 80's. Danny Bouzaglu joined the group and after that they splitted to built up The Force, together with members of Rage.

HOTSHOT

Was built in Ashqelon (a town in Israel) by ICE+MC (leader and coder), Conex (grapician) and me (Dr.J) for swapping and importing. Nice group with good connections abroad (Fairlight and Triad), but we didn't make the exposure and the success of The Force, which was a giant in terms of Israeli groups.

TAPE CRACKING SERVICE (T.C.S.)

A great group from Hertzeliya (a town from Israel). It was built by Boaz Sivak and Sharon Kockrell. They were mainly cracking games on the tape. Their biggest crack was "Rambo II" which was spreaded like hell to all the people who were tape only (it was a hit-game in Israel at that period).

Here is the list of all small groups which were selling cracked games in Israel: The Star, Wolf, Snakes, Pilots, Big Deal, Apache, The Gold (my first group), The Hero, Team 052, Master, Ufo's, Batman, Mega, Expert, KTI, TTI, Power.

DR.J/THE FORCE

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