--------------------------- b y C o b r a ------------------------------
The first time we heard or better said saw something of AWAKEN was at the
first edition of Error In Line back in 99. Since then not much was heard about
the demo and Vulgar didn't know himself, once telling me COBRA was reactivated
and at our next encounter, he would tell me they were plain dead. I finally
decided they were dead as more than two years later, nothing concret came to
prove I was wrong.
Nothing ? Almost as several months ago these unfinished parts reached DHS. I
still wonder who put them online and whether it was planned or just because he
was tired of holding these files, feeling it somehow pushed him to bring the
demo back to life and having no will to do so. I guess we will never know and
that doesn't matter much in the end.
So here we are, unpacking the archive and finding out that there are more
than a dozen of screen, in other words more than 700Kb of data. Damn that could
have made a real demo after all ! Well, instead we will have to content with
launching all screens separately and (sometimes) reboot the ST as there's no
way out of the screen...
This first prg is actually the preview version shown at EIL : It starts with
a nice looking rendered blue title screen reading COBRA. Next is a black and
white screen showing a huge environment mapped star. In the background an
AWAKEN logo is lying on a texture while some text with poetic - dark - content
is displayed. Technique is impressive with a nice looking object tho it's
really slow (and that goes for most screens described later on).
Another huge env mapped object, with original design, is seen next with
more poetic text. It all fades to black before a picture by Vulgar fades in. It
shows a sort of crucified monk. He he, Polish guys love dark motives, didn't
you know that ? Metal rules :). There's nothing more to see as the intro stops
and returns to GEM.
Burning1.prg A spinning (inverted ?) cross in grey scales is set to fire.
Looks nice but the screen seems a bit empty : gfx would be highly needed here.
Env2.prg shows a huge env mapped twisted ring looking like an '8'. Spinning
env mapped balles surrond him like an asteroid belt. Looks nice and technical
but again all colors are grey, and worse the object is so big that it goes very
slow !! Besides it's bigger than the actual screen. Once reduced and threfore
speeded up (and with colors), this could have been a great screen in spite of
the usual lower resolution (160x100 I guess) !
Env3.prg This time we are given a twisted env mapped torus. The background
is a bumpmapped texture with a COBRA logo. Unfortunately it suffers from the
same troubles as the screen described ealier :(
Env4.prg Same comment for this third env mapped object, being a ball with
sticks that looks like the AIDS virus, only with a smaller body :)
Flip.prg is the first of a series of interlaced pictures showing 4096
colors simultaneously according to Cobra. It shows a woman's face and could be
ok if it wasn't for the eye killing flickering ! Also the low resolution makes
the picture look not so good.
Flip2.prg. The same goes for this second interlaced screen showing our AIDS
virus starlike thing. It seems to be raytraced artwork. Screens Flip3.prg and
Flip_I.prg are only different versions of that same picture, only with
different palettes or with added text reading "Cobra team presents Awaken".
Head.prg. This is one of my favourite screens as it's a raytraced sequence
showing a floating head zooming in and suddenly blowing to pieces ! Looks
really great tho with grey colors as so many others AWAKEN screens.
Landscape.prg is a voxel black and white landscape. It looks nice esp as I
can't remember any other try but Llama's in the STAX demo presented at EIL.
Here our screens looks too empty as the landscape only takes a small portion of
the screen. Some graphics would have been essential here to keep up with the FX
More interlaced screens are coming up with rgb.prg, rgb2.prg, rgb3.prg,
rgb4.prg and rgb5.prg. Most of these screens show women taken from heroic
fantasy paintings, a photo of some guy (probably Cobra's coder ?) or our
starlike object once again. Excessive flickering, crappy colors and low
resolution make these as painful as the other interlaced screens.
Tunnel.prg is the last screen : it features a mapped tunnel in black and
white (don't tell me you didn't think so ? :). The motive looks nice esp as it
gives a twist to the tunnel. I like this one a lot tho it lacks design and gfx.
Bottom line : the real effects, meaning the env mapped objects, fire,
tunnel and landscape really look great ! But many things still needed to be
done to get them really completed. First all these screens use a grey palette,
why ?? Then all objects are TOO big and thus TOO slow ! I don't see the point
coding objects that are bigger than the 320x200 ST window, that makes no sense.
the interlaced screens are really crappy with awful colors, aching flickering
and low resolution. Surely these screens should have been long time deleted.
Last but not least there's of course no music at all and no graphics except for
the only picture seen in the preview. Still I suggest you download this archive
from DHS and just delete the 4096 colors screens.