Entry for the Nordlicht 2019 Graphics Competition (Old School).
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Crossing the Border

Unfortunately I was not able to attend Nordlicht 2019 Nordlicht 2019 Website. But... There are the remote entries!

This entry was made for the “GFX Compo (Oldschool)” competition, the entry must run on oldschool hardware (in this case a C64), and an executable is allowed (or even mandatory). I chose to use a 100% BASIC program to display a very nice image. At the same time I am exploring the competition rules. Where, exactly is the border and how far “Crossing the Border” is allowed.

The image shows two realms with a common border. Is there an army waiting or an uneasy truce? Maybe they are friends. In all cases for further development “Crossing the Border” is a mandatory step.

Tools used

Basic DATA generator

The convert.hs script is a Haskell program to generate the Basic DATA statements which store the image and the colour information of the image. The tool will take any binary file and it will convert it to a valid Basic program. This Basic program can be loaded directly by a C64 as the linked list of statements is correctly generated.


Grafx2 graphics program for pixel artists. It has the possibility to save the image in the C64 format which ensures that the image and colour data is saved in a C64 compatible format. And, of course, that no more than two colors per 8*8 cell are allowed as we use the HiRes mode.


Mtpaint is another graphics program for the pixel artist. It has some nice features which Grafx2 is lacking so I use both programs alternately.


  • Step 00
  • Step 01
  • Step 02
  • Step 03
  • Step 04
  • Step 05
  • Step 06
  • Step 07


For further information see the Crossing the Borders homepage. For greetings have a look at the Basic code. The basic code can be found in the crossingborder.bas file.