Ocean Loaders (C64)

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Ocean Loaders
Platform: Commodore 64
Year: 1985
Developer: Ocean Software Ltd.

Any fan of the Commodore 64 has probably heard a couple, if not all, of the Ocean Loaders. Back in the 1980s it took several minutes to load a Commodore 64 cassette tape. That's a long wait to sit around and do nothing for a kid hopped up on sugar. Ocean Software wisely made use of this downtime by adding a full screen loading graphic to look at and some catchy loading music to listen to. Back in 1985, Martin Galway (the primary composer of Ocean at the time) had intended to write unique loading music for every game released. He wrote a loader tune for Daley Thompson's Decathlon (C64) and another for Hyper Sports. However, Ocean was able to put out games at a faster rate, and frivolous additions like loading music weren't important enough to delay release dates. Because of this, many games use the same loading music.


Wizball - C64 - 1.png

Wizball (C64) was among the games utilizing Ocean Loader 1.


Highlander (C64) serves here as an example of Ocean Loader 2 placement.

Double Take - C64 - Loader.png

Double Take (C64) is yet another game that uses Ocean Loader 2.

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This page needs more screenshots.



Although there are as many as 11 loader tunes created for Ocean games, only five of them are widely accepted as true loader music. These five were used on several games, where the others were only used once or twice.

Ocean Loader 1 was composed by Martin Galway and was first used on Hyper Sports (C64) in 1985. It was not the first Ocean game to feature loading music, but this was the first loader song to become popular. At about 2:03 there is a strange 4 beat gap in one track of the music. Although Galway intended the gap to be there, many listeners of the day assumed that there was a bug in the music, which may be what led Galway to remix the tune.

Ocean Loader 2 is Galway's remix of his Ocean Loader 1 and was first used in the game Comic Bakery (C64) in 1985. It sounds similar to Loader 1, but there are several changes. Most notably is that it's slower and the 4 beat gap has been removed. This loader is the most used of all five loaders being in almost every game that Ocean released from late 1985 to mid-1987.

Ocean Loader 3 was composed by Peter Clarke. It was first used on Slap Fight (C64) in 1987. It cleverly begins the same as the first two loaders and then quickly changes into a completely different sound. Those who were familiar with Galway's loaders were no doubt excited to be tricked by the new one. This music was used for about a year from summer 1987 to spring of 1988.

Ocean Loader 4 was composed by Jonathan Dunn and first used in Target Renegade (C64) in April of 1988. The music style is a quite a bit different from the first loaders and a welcome change.

Ocean Loader 5 is Dunn's remix of Loader 4. It was first used at the end of 1988 in the game Operation Wolf (C64) and is the last loader track to be used by several games.


# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
01 Ocean Loader 1 Martin GalwayMartin Galway 3:31
02 Ocean Loader 2 Martin GalwayMartin Galway 4:23
03 Ocean Loader 3 Martin Galway, Peter ClarkePeter Clarke 2:47
04 Ocean Loader 4 Jonathan DunnJonathan Dunn 3:10
05 Ocean Loader 5 Jonathan DunnJonathan Dunn 3:10


(First known source for musicians 1 and 2: himself to HVSC in late 2001. Source for musician 3: Galway to HVSC in autumn 1997. First known source for musician 4: HVSC. Source for track 5: binary. Source for programmers: code recognition.)


Project: Galway

Project - Galway.jpg


Game Rip






Ripping Commodore music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.

Audio Devices

Every loader uses the computer's built-in SID chip. Galway's sound the same on every one of them. Clarke's sounds different on every single 6581 chip because it uses SID's inconsistent low-pass filter. Dunn's sound rather unnoticeably different between the 6581 and 8580 model because they use combined waves.

An official NTSC release is unlikely, as disk drives were more affordable in that region.


  EU.svg   EU
Title: Operation Wolf
Platform: Commodore 64
Released: 1988-1?-??
Publisher: Ocean Software