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Having  got  your Atari 800 emulator to run successfully,  how about  getting
some demos to run on it?  Here, we take a look at a few, plucked seemingly at
random, from the many hundreds out there.

'Drunk Chessboard' by Infinity..

This  is  a true classic,  by any stretch of the imagination,  and is one  of
those  well-coded demos that shows up effectively,  even on a slower emulated
version of an Atari 800.

The  first  part is expanding on variations of that zooming black  and  white
chequerboard  thing  so  popular  in  many  demos  and  acid-sponsored  chess
tournaments.  It goes wildly beyond the majority of tame zoomers, bringing in
many hair-raising screen splitting effects.  There are two,  or four separate
chessboard  funka-delik  activities,  each going on separately in  their  own
portion  of  screen.  Apparently impossible to replicate on a ST,  as it uses
hardware found in the A800 custom chip for the screen splitting!

A  little  later,  some coloured plain-shaded 3-D polygons prance  around  in
front  of  the  chessboard.  Then,  the  most gorgeous plasma  curls  in  the
background,  in  the  space  where  the black bits of  the  chessboard  would
normally go!

Inbetween  those,  are  various 'melt-a-screen' single bitplane  effects,  to
break  up  the  tension,  before a coarse  'motion-blur'  chessboard  waltzes

Repeat,  but make sure the effects get a little bit more involved and complex
each time, just to keep them guessing. And you have a winner on your hands!

Never  has so much been done,  with the concept of alternate black and  white
squares, in such a small amount of diskspace!

'Te.Mod' by Satantronic..

SV2000  attenders,  and  smartly cased CT2 Falcon owners,  Satantronic,  have
quite  a  good  track record on the 8-bitter.  Apart from various  games  and
utilities,  they have dabbled with the odd intro,  but this is (so far) their
biggest and best on the Atari 800.

Again, this is coded pretty well, and makes a decent impression, even running
on my partial speed emulated A800.

A  nice  title screen gives way to graphically cool member  logos,  then  the
first  real  effect,  as squares randomly plonk on the screen,  then dissolve
away.  A  sort  of  alka-seltzer concept headache relief screen?  These  join
together  to trail snakelike around the screen.  Then two,  endlessly chasing
each others tails.

A more slowly building monochrome plasma/fire effect wavers onto the  screen,
then  a  vivid 'FIRE' appears in the centre of the screen!  All burnt up,  as
highly  mobile indicator bars for music I can't hear,  stride swiftly left to
right and back again.

Suddenly,  some  very  fullscreen  and very nice plasma is up  next,  with  a
twisting distorting grid pattern superimposed on top of it.

Next,  some  more  purist blue plasma wavers,  then a streaky yellowy pattern
follows  that.  This  criscrosses  and rejoins in countless  different  ways,
proving  the  8-bitter has really got what it takes for the latest  demos!  A
more rippling reflective almost keftale styled purple screen is next up, then
back to ocean blue.

The  plasma motif continues for quite a while,  with many more variations  on
the  theme.  This really is turning out to be the ultimate plasma demo  work-

A  great  digitised babe concludes the section.  All of the 256  colours  are
used,  I suspect!  Then,  a departure into more conventional territory,  with
dot-spline patterns of increasing complexity against a black background. This
is  one  area where the emulator speed does not show up too well if  you  are
comparing with similar effects on a native ST or Falcon. These are a class of
effects that are technically accomplished,  but running at half-speed,  let's
face it, not too exciting to watch?

This is the conclusion of the demo, and there is an endscreen, which seems to
have gone slightly wrong,  with almost legible text, and a piccy of a classic
figure  clutching a sword ready to chop off the head of the next  impertinent
diskmag reviewer who makes a comment in the wrong place!

Good  clean stuff,  another nice demo to introduce people to the pleasures of
8-Bit demo viewing.

'Carpe Demo' by Heaven..

This  starts  with a  nice colourful series of title  screens  first.  almost
rendered in feel, and a credit to the colourful abilities of the A800.

A further title screen. raster bars, and copying information follows.

Prodding  an assortment of keys likely to provoke further movement brings  up
the first 'real' action part of the demo, a series of shadebobs, reflected in
a blue border 'pool' below. With a fast and furious soundtrack, which I still
can't hear, denoted by the screen flashing in time?

That would seem to be all though,  as a keypress too far, (F5 for soft reset)
kicks you right out, instead of loading the next bit.

A one-screen wonder, this one would seem to be?

'4ktro' by Heaven..

Yes,  they  like  the smaller categories on here too,  although on a ZX80,  4K
would have been a fully expanded machine's worth.

Characters '4096' on screen,  which then dissolve fire-like,  with its sister
letters 'Dentro',  then a bunch of plus signs and credits,  all meet the same
fiery fate!

After  being  told to 'Enjoy',  we get the full-screen burn-em-up  treatment,
which is quite effective,  even on the emulator, and probably running a treat
on a full-speed machine.

Cool, er, hot!

Ever  so  slowly fades away..  Then something altogether more,  green?  snakes
about  onscreen,  gradually  building back up.  Then splotches which splatter
then  fade/dissolve,  in  yet another variation of the fire/feedback  effect.

'Rotate'  is  next,  which  is  the  endpart to  the  demo,  and  a  rotating
scrolltext,  made up of large letters consisting of LED-style blobs.  Not the
most  clear way of delivering your message,  as you can only see two or three
letters at a time! Still, it's the effort that counts!

For a 4Ktro, you certainly get your Euro's worth!

Sometime in the future, maybe we get to look at some more classic Atari 8-Bit
demos,  with the help of a CT060, and an emulator proggy that is able to play
some POKEY without falling over.. Watch this space!

CiH - Alive! Mag, Oct '00..

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