AMIGA DEMOS ON
Being a teacher in English and above all in computing, I had to buy a PC to
keep writing my lessons about word, excel, the internet, that kind of stuff...
But you can trust me : whenever the occasion pops up, I tell my students about
alternative systems, the survival of good old machines and I _never_ waste the
opportunity to give them a xerox about Micro$oft latest evil deed ! Well back
to my PC : it's a basic 700 Mhz Celeron with 128Mb of ram (tho the specs stated
that it only had 64 Mb :). As for games I only played Half Life after learning
that the Dreamcast version was cancelled less than a week before its release.
Since I have 20 Gb on my harddrive I started wondering about how I could use
First, I downloaded PC demos as I was curious to see what was going on the
lame platform. Out of 8 demos, only two accepted to run and except for speedy
framerate, they had nothing else to offer : no soul, few gfx and the purest
lack of originality. Soon after I deleted all this crap.
Then I thought of emulation : that's surely the best (and only ?) thing
about "fast" PCs. Use them to get back to old memories! Of course emulation is
at the core of a large discussion I don't want to enter tonight... Just let me
tell you that I'd rather use the original machine than an emulator if I could !
I didn't try any ATARI emulator since I have my Ste, Falcon and Lynx at hand. I
also have a (damaged? :( C64 as well as an Apple 2C which I used before I had
my Ste back in 1990.
Remembering the hot Amiga VS ST war of the golden times, I thought it would
be nice to enjoy _real_ demos (as opposed to PC's) on my machine. I soon found
out that two emulators were mainly sharing the cake : UAE and Fellow. I started
with the DOS version of Fellow which just refused to run, surely because of
that crappy-son-of-a-bitch WindowsMillenium that reduces good old DOS to almost
nothing! So that I had to download Windows friendly versions of the emulators.
I soon gave up with UAE since most demos images just refused to load and
run :( Instead I moved back to WinFellow and also took some time to get all
Amiga Roms from 1.3 to 3.1 (the former is said to be more stable with Amiga
games). First I wanted to get AGA (A1200) demos esp since some ATARI crews like
Oxygen made some wonders on that machine. The result was quite a disappointment
since my PC was too slow to replay demos... Better call them slide shows!!
So I had no choice but reduce my expectations to old A500 (aka ECS) demos.
This time I was luckier ! Once the ROM loaded and a few demos downloaded you
only have to select the file(s) to load and click on 'start emulation'. Anytime
you can press 'F11' and get back to the config panel from which you can change
resolution for instance and instantly get back to your demo by clicking on
'start emulation' again.
Running games is another thing I had to give up :( First most games images
are still copyrighted and therefore removed from emulation sites (hey suckerZ
don't you realise that this is the only way to keep a game vivid in people's
mind ??? Fucking business!!!). Also my PC joypad refused to work properly so
that playing with a keyboard was a real pain in the ass :(
But if you have a PC (erm) and like good demos, then get WinFellow plus all
needed roms and of course nice demos images. Urls are just coming up :
* Winfellow can be found at http://fellow.sourceforge.net
* Games Images can be downloaded from http://amigamania.free.fr
* Demos Images : lots of AFD files are at http://www.back2roots.org
I m p o r t a n t n o t e s :
On the latest url you can get about 300 demos and sort them out by crew,
name or ranking, the latter caught me interested (better download the best
demos don't you think? :).
I naturally ended up with downloading many demos including the following
ones that I recommend you get as soon as possible :
* ARTE by Sanity : in my opinion the best A500 demo ever and not a surprise
to see it rank actually first on the emulation site ! Too many effects to be
described but you know most of them : mapped floor and objects, rotozoomers,
plasmas, 3D objects (esp in the end part) and so on. The following snaps show
a nice flower shaped tunnel which is another view of the sooooo dull and seen a
thousand times before (dots) tunnel and a great zooming distorting plasma with
blobs motives. Note that these fx are originally separate screens just gathered
here to afford me to add another snapshot a few lines below.
* State of the Art and Nine Fingers by Spaceballs : Two very good democlips
with great tekno tracks plus the usual motion captured dancers set up a dozen
different ways. Design is not only flawless but very inovative too. On the low
side, they tend to be a bit boring after 5 minutes. You can also get 242 by
Farenheit which is a video clip with fast tekno. Looks a lot like Vision by
Zeal on the STe (tho Zeal copied the former :) except that it's about 4 minutes
* Odyssey by Alcatraz : this demo is far from being the best but I was
higly impressed by the huge amount of work put into this 5 disk big production.
It's a real movie with bitmap backgrounds, 3D objets, sampled sfx and a twisted
storyline. Except for that there isn't that much to say : the demo is about 30
minutes long (boooring), the story itself is very hard to follow and many typos
induce that the makers are not natural English speakers. Nice effort but quite
misses the point in the end... Up to you.
* Desert Dream by Kefrens. Once again too many fx to be listed so let's just
say that it starts with a long and well scenarized 3D movie featuring pyramids
and spaceship fighting (each of the two parties vessels representing Amiga
crews fighting for fame (or maybe just for fun :). Really nice looking, great
msx that gives the whole thing a very dynamic impression. Here's another snap :
Last words : well if you have a PC please use it in a creative and smart way
and discover oldschool Amiga demos. Also please mail me if you manage to run
AGA demos and tell me how on earth you managed to make them work. In the
meantime stay cool and use your imagination to create nice demos whatever the
platform is (as long as it's not another brainless PC demo !)
--STS-------------------------------------------------- [ firstname.lastname@example.org ]