Turbo Rascal Is The Retro Pascal Compiler We Always Wanted

Pascal is not one of the biggest programming languages these days; it’s fallen into the background as the world moved on to newfangled things like C#, Python and Java. However, the language has its fans, one of whom put together a new compiler which targets retro platforms – and it goes by the name Turbo Rascal.

The list of supported platforms is extensive, with Turbo Rascal able to compile highly-optimized binaries for the C64, Amiga 500, BBC Micro, IBM PC, Atari ST, Game Boy, Amstrad, NES, ZX Spectrum, and more. There’s a usable IDE and even an included graphics editor for getting projects put together quickly. Also known by its full name of Turbo Rascal Syntax Error, or TRSE, it’s the work of one [Nicolaas Groeneboom].

The compiler runs on 64-bit Windows, Linux, and OS X, and there are extensive tutorial videos available on YouTube, too. Thus, there’s no excuse not to start developing a new retro game immediately. Check out the demo video below, and remember – as long as we keep using it, Pascal isn’t dead!

16 thoughts on “Turbo Rascal Is The Retro Pascal Compiler We Always Wanted

  1. That’s very impressive! Given the number of 6502 targets already implemented, any chance of a port to the Apple ][, so that UCSD has a competitor on there (er, 40 years on, but hey sometimes these things can’t be rushed).

    1. It’s not Pascal, but a little Pascal-like (just the type declaration order). The rest of the language is more C-like if not Java-like. It has its own name: Witcher Script.

  2. Neat. Going to try it out.

    In my college days, Pascal was the learning language. What was cool was that Turbo Pascal came out at that time, so I was able to develop projects at home on my DEC Rainbow, and upload via 300baud (then 1200) to the VAX at the school. Wasn’t always jockying for a seat at a terminal at the school. Went on to use all the versions of Turbo Pascal/C and Delphi even in the work area for our GUIs and editors that supported our real-time systems (written in C and assembly). It was quite a run. Still using Free Pascal and Lazarus. Also been kicking the Ultibo wheels lately too. Really have a soft spot for the language. Extending Pascal to Object Pascal really brought it into a very usable modern language … even though it isn’t in vogue right now. People tend to ‘gravitate’ the ‘newest’ thing on the block now-a-days whether cars or programming languages :) .

  3. I’ve been using TRSE for a bit now to make small intros on my C64, some for Twitch transitions and others for TikTok it’s made the system far more approachable for the everyday person. Also put that old highschool turbo pascal course I took to use finally hah

  4. I have written a self compiling Pascal compiler [1]. And find that compiler quite interesting. Pascal is a quite interesting languague, but I like C/C++ a bit more. I tried ADA once but I find Pascal much cleaner. A real objective Pascal would be nice, it’s a shame that Borland got out of buisiness. I think that Delphi deliverd an interesting approach to this. Freepascal is also interesting. A clang frontend for that would be nice.


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