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                          EAT MY BALLS!

While real ST intros got quite seldom after the big releases over the last years
the humble ST users have to fight with a  new epidemic, that  made a unsuspected
comeback from the old and dark days of ST demo coding... SPRITE RECORDS!

In fact  the ST demo lovers  were tormented  again  with  such intros, that were
build up around the same topic, to  show up as much  sprites as  possible in the
same  way, with  the  same  music, same  surroundings  on the  screen  and  same
technical rules. I didn't loved those screens  that much already in the past, as
the most  released megademos  contained such  a screen with  limited sprites and
every coder who thought to belong to the elite guys, tried to  beat the  records
set by other bands... Beat this... do you remember this slogan?!

Somehow with the dead of big  parts of the old ST demo scene in  the middle 9o's
also sprite  record screens seemed  to belong to the past as well and over years
not one  single "I kick your balls" screen was  released anymore... if... yes if
Leonard of Oxygene wouldn't have  re-invented that  record run again, and, if he
hadn't  found a wave of willing coders  to try to beat  his records... and so we
got flooded again, with always the  same looking screens, some  times changing a
colour and the scrolltext...

LEONARD of OXYGENE - 268 balls (512k)

released - o7/2k4

Leonard did it again... what?! Starting  the challenge  for new  sprite records!
Ok, his screen is a bit funny at the moment as you have to type in a password to
watch  the screen, if you  did so, a  sampled tune  is replayed  while  the real
screen is loading. This intro screen features  the usual blabla  about the techs
that  have to be  included for  record  hunters... The  screen  itself, well, it
brings 268 2plane sprites in 16 x 16 pixels, some 2 plane background logos and a
5 pixels  horizontal one  plane scrolly  with the  usual blabla... Not to forget
Count Zero's nerve eating beeping chip tune... Erm... tell me, do we really need
that stuff again?!

PHANTOM - 25o balls (1meg only)

released - 1o/2k4

After a black screen saying "code by Phantom" we get yellow/orange Phantom logos
in the background, 25o blue balls  and a text  displayer, not the usual scroller
and so  it surely  matches  into this  competition, but... tell  me, does really
someone care about this?! Not to forget the Count Zero  beeeping tune... Arf! So
this screen not kicked the record and doesn't matches to the rules...

PHANTOM - 221 balls (512k)

released - 11/2k4

Arf... Phantom  did it  again, he brings  us 221 blue balls  now with grey-green
Phantom logos in the background, Count Zero chips and the usual scrolly with the
how  to  do of this  record... Boring, boring, boring... At  least he  is in the
compo again... even though Leonard is far far away...

UNLIMITED MATRICKS - 238 balls (512k)

released - 11/2k4

Hu? What? The Unlimited Matricks striking back over 10 years after they suddenly
disappeared  fronm  the  scene?! Hum, it  seems so, self  procedure  as in every
record screen, balls, logos, chip tune... scrolly... but, this one features some
light sign as they at least announced to finish a vanished demo from 1993... Ok,
we all know, words are easy to give, but bytes are are hard to follow... but for
this one, I wouldn't say I believe every scrolltext, but it made me, let me say,
a bit more happy... Erm...

SCUM OF THE EARTH - 269 balls (512k)

released - o2/2k5

Ok, here we go for another  comeback... Scum Of The Earth, shortly, S.O.T.E. did
it, kicking  finally Leonards  record with one  glorious sprite... S.O.T.E.? you
might ask... yes, an old  swedish band that  appeared in the very early nineties
here and there with a screen, if I remember right also in a Delta Force demo...
In fact  this new appearance isn't  that kicking  as it looks, smells and sounds
like the screens before... Yurk...

PHANTOM - 27o balls (512k)

released - o3/2k5

And then Phantom striked back, with even one sprite more and... wow... a similar
intro as  Leonard did before, sampled  music in  the loader/intro screen.... The
rest... aaah.. I won't loose much more words here...

PHANTOM - 28o balls (512k)

released - o3/2k5

This screen by Phantom comes  again with a fast looped  sample tune in the intro
screen, not that bad but I wait for more ideas ;) Ofcourse the rest of the thing
is the usual crap and  I can tell  you, my  ears are  quite tormented  after all
those beeping screens as well as my eyes are bored to death...

LEONARD of OXGENE - 312 balls (512k)

released - o3/2k5

This one was the last in the wave of  sprite record screens that overflooded the
Atari scene within the last months.

And this  one is a  special one as it  features a nice  small intro with sampled
rocking sound  and a  big  flying  rastered Atari bee sprite, the record  screen
itself offers a  load of  the usual  balls in  brown (shitty) colours, the usual
scroller, the usual  chip tune  by Count Zero  and a  nice Oxygene  logo in  the
background... Hey, it works! Hu? What?

To make  those boring  screens a bit more digestible  for normal  demo consumers
that want to have their eyes teased as well. Well done, Leonard!


Conclusion... At last, those Sprite record screens  seem to lose  a bit of their
             boring  attitude and it  is really time  for this as  the constant
             bombing with new  records is only interesting  for hardcore coders
             but not for the "normal" demo  consumers. Those "Try to beat this"
             things were over and belong  to the past, and  honestly at least I
             see no sense in reanimating this boring tradition again as this is
             a big step backwards  in the  Atari demo culture  that happily has
             left all that oldschool boringness already over 13 years ago... So
             please, lovely record  breakers, add a few bits to your screens to
             take away their  boringness! A little intro  would be always nice,
             and is, as Leonards latest attempt shows, always possible...


Alive 10