Introduction to the World of Demos

Categories: history, Oldskool, Scene-Videos
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Published on: July 18, 2007

The demoscene is huge. The demoscene is international. The demoscene spans across all computer platforms, including game consols.

However, the existence of something like the demoscene is unknown to most people.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Let me introduce this vast scene to you via a few hand picked examples of the releases produced by the demoscene during its early days and prime.

The demoscene is active to this day and produces exciting entertainment even on platforms that are not available today anymore. Most current productions are nowadays for the IBM PC and run on any standard Windows XP machine with DirectX and Direct3D compatible Graphics Cards with 3D Accelleation and DirectSound compatible Soundcard.

The Demos presented here are for much older platforms and can not be replayed without special software and some special computer knowledge on modern PCs; but thanks to Google Video and YouTube is that not a big problem today, because it enables me to show you the Video recordings of those old productions as if you were running it on those old machines yourself.

The Videos were created by other Demosceners and are available on DVD for purchase. The Commodore 64 production was taken from the “Digital Memories” DVD, the Commodore Amiga productions were taken from the Mindcandy DVD Volume 2 and the oldschool PC Demos were taken from the Mindcandy DVD Volume 1.

Enjoy!


1. The Commodore 64

The following C64 Demo and more can be found on the DVD titled “Digital Memories”, which can be purchased at Amazon.com. There is no need to get an original Commodore 64 computer with Floppy Drive and original Demo Diskettes.

For people who want to learn more about C64 Demo releases, the Groups that created them and more, visit the CSDB – The Commodore 64 Release Database created by C64.org.

Tower Power by Camelot

Release Year: 1994
More Information: CSDB entry
Download original demo: Zip archive
Watch Video: YouTube

The 1994 Commodore 64 Demo Tower Power by Camelot, who are legendary in the C-64 demoscene. The Demo was first presented at The Party 4 in Herning Denmark. Slammer of Camelot was the coder of this great The Party release. The Demo won first place in the C64 Demo Competition.

Credits
Coder: Slammer
Music: Jeff
Graphics, Charset: Kring
Graphics, Charset: Neptune
Graphics, Charset: Rob
Graphics: Vic
Loader: Glasnost


2. The Commodore Amiga 500

The following Amiga 500 demos were taken from the Mindcandy DVD Volume 2 – Amiga Demos. The DVD contains a lot more Amiga Demos and can be purchased at Amazon.com without the need to get an old Amiga 500 computer and floppy discs to enjoy the best demos from this platform.

For people who want to learn more about the Amiga demoscene and its releases, check out Amigascene.org, the Amiga Demoscene Archive (ADA) or the Amiga Demos Podcast.

Hardwired by The Silents & Crionics

Release Year: 1991
More Information: Pouet.net entry
Download original demo: Disk 1 & Disk 2
Watch Video: YouTube, part 2

Legendary Commodore Amiga 500 demo from the year 1991. Silents and Crionics created the demo Hardwired in a joint partnership project and presented it at The Party 1 in 1991 in the Amiga demo competition. It won 2nd place, right behind the demo “Odyssey” from Alcatraz. The Alcatraz demo might have won the competition, but most people do like Hardwired much more than they do Odysey. The reason for that is simple: While Odyssey was a 45 minutes long curiosity (which is very repetitive), is Hardwired an well designed piece of hard-core coding and pleasant entertainment.

Credits
Coder: The Spy
Coder: Deftronics
Coder: Guzzler
Coder: Murphy
Coder: Saxs
Graphics: Mikael Bale
Graphics: Sionic
Graphics: Zycho
Music: Jesper Kyd

State of the Art by Spaceballs

Release Year: 1992
More Information: Pouet.net entry
Download original demo (DMS File): Amigascene.org
Watch Video: YouTube

The demoscene newcomers Spaceballs surprised the visitors of The Party 2 at Aars, Denmark in 1992 with their music video like looking techno track demo for the Commodore Amiga 500 and won the first place in the Amiga demo competition. The Demo became even that popular outside the realm of the Demoscene that it was shown on the popular Music TV Channel MTV.

Credits
Coder: Lone Star
Coder: Major Asshole
Graphics: TBM Designs
Music: Travolta

Desert Dream by Kefrens

Release Year: 1993
More Information: Pouet.net entry
Download original demo (DMS files): Disk 1 & Disk 2
Watch Video: YouTube, part 2

Desert Dream by the demo grouup Krefrens, the legendary demo for the Commodore Amiga 500 computer from 1993. It is considered by many to be one of the best demos ever made for the Amiga 500. Better Amiga demos followed, but those were created on the more powerful Amiga 1200 and compatible.

Credits
Coder, Musician, Gfx: Laxity
Graphics: Airwalk
Graphics: R.W.O.


3. The Old School IBM PC (MS DOS)

Without 3D Accelleration!

The PC Demo videos were taken from the Mindcandy DVD Volume 1 – PC Demos 2 DVD Discs Set, which is available for purchase at Amazon.com.

For people who want to learn more about the IBM PC Demoscene visit Scene.org, which has a huge File archive, scene and Demoparty news and much more. Also check out the Demoscene releases database and community at Pouet.net.

Somewhat releated, which is the reason why I mention it here, is the Defacto2.net Scene Archive for the IBM PC Warez Scene, which includes information about the individual Warez scene groups, Cracktros, Artpacks (ANSI and ASCII) as well as NFO files from Game releases.

Further Information about the PC Demoscene

Second Reality by Future Crew

Release Year: 1993
Hardware for Original Demo Presentation: Intel 486 33Mhz, 4 MB Ram, 1 MB Graphics Card (ET400 by Tseng Labs), 1 MB Gravis Ultrasound Soundcard
More Information: Pouet.net entry
Download original demo: File 1 & File 2
Watch Video: YouTube

This is the world famous PC Demo “second Reality” by the Finish Demo group legend “Future Crew”. The Demo won with huge distance to its next competitor the Assembly 1993 demo competition in Finland. The Demo was not available for download right at the party, which caused rumors that Future Crew was cheating by adding extra hardware to the presentation computer (FC was one of the organizers of the demo party). That was of course not true and the rest is history

Credits
Coder: PSI
Coder: Trug
Coder: Wildfire
Graphics: Marvel
Graphics: Pixel
Music: Purple Motion
Music: Skaven

Verses by Electromotive Force

Release Year: 1994
More Information: Pouet.net entry
Download original demo: Scene.org
Watch Video: YouTube

Machine requirements for original demo
– a 386sx CPU; 486 or faster recommended
– a VGA card; VLB or PCI recommended
– a hard disk; RAM disk recommended
– a Gravis Ultrasound card for music
– 400 kB of free base memory
– 1 MB of free high memory

PC Demo “Verses” by the Finish demo group EMF – Electromotive Force, which won the 1994 demo competition at the Assembly 1994 demo party held in Finland. The demo included some funny image manipulations of a picture of Microsofts Co-Founder and Chairman Bill Gates. Everybody but Bill Gates himself had a good laugh. After all, he deserved it, especially after making (in)famous statements like “640 KB (Memory) is enough for everybody”. The last parts of the demo include some of the best phong shading at the time.

Credits
Coder, Graphics: Saracen
Coder, Graphics: The Grim Reaper (TGR)
Coder: Devastator
Coder: Saint
Music, Graphics: Whalebone
Graphics: Shaman & Kerberos
Graphics: Vortex

Dope by Complex

Release Year: 1995
More Information: Pouet.net entry
Download original demo: Scene.org
Watch Video: YouTube

PC Demo by the legendary demogroup Complex from 1995. The Demo won the first place at The Gathering 1995 demo competion. The statement “Complex, World Domination” might have been true when the demo was shown, but that domination was only very short lived. The Demo “Stars” by Noon took over that position only a few months after the release of “Dope” in the Summer of the same year.

Credits
Coder: JMagic
Music: Jugi
Graphics: Reward

Stars: Wonders of the World by Noon

Release Year: 1995
More Information: Pouet.net entry
Download original demo: Scene.org
Watch Video: YouTube

“Stars” by the French demo group with the name “Noon” is a PC demo that was created in 1995. The demo has a weird sound, but the effects were top notch at the time. The demo won 1st place at the Assembly 1995 demo competition in Helsinki, Finland.

Credits
Coder: Karl
Coder: Barti
Graphics: Ra
Music: Groo


4. Remakes

It is said: Plagiarism is the highest form of flattery.

Proof for this statement are the following productions, which are remakes of famous demos from the Amiga 500 and IBM PC (the originals were introduced above). Two of the remakes were done on the much slower and powerless Commodore 64 computer and the other one is a high end and top of the line animation that was just recently done. Each remake tried to remain as close as possible to the look, feel and sound of the original as possible. Those remakes are not attempts of creating a cheap knock-off, they were created because of true and pure appreciation of the original works.

Second Reality

Original Demo by: Future Crew
Original Platform: IBM PC
Original Release Year: 1993

Remake by: Smash Design
Platform: Commodore 64
Remake Release Year: 1997
More Information: CSDB entry
Watch Video: YouTube

Desert Dream

Original Demo by: Kefrens
Original Platform: Amiga 500
Original Release Year: 1993

Remake by: Mat Recardo and Chris Crusher
Platform: ALL (Animation)
Remake Relase Year: 2007
Watch Video: YouTube, part 2

and another remake of Desert Dream

Remake by: Resource and Chorus
Platform: Commodore 64
Remake Release Year: 2007
More Information: CSDB entry

Conclusion
The demoscene produced thousands of releases for all computer platforms that ever existed, including game consols. There is a vast and rich world to explore out there. I tried to provide you with a small glimpse of it and hope that I was able to spark some interest into this hidden world that is unknown to most people. I hope that you were at least entertained by the productions I presented to you today.

Demoscene Resources

Cheers
Carsten aka Roy/SAC

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