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Alive 12
Atari Demo Crews  revisited
on the Web
  (Part 1)
        When I started to have a look at Atari Crew sites on the web I 
        thought it was a good idea, later it turned out that most sites 
        look very similar, not in design but the contents is always the 
        same (News, Members, Products, History, ...) which is a bit 
        boring for a single review with tons of websites. Not that I 
        have a better idea to design a demo crew website, but I guess 
        the result is probably best served in small doses, so I decided 
        to split up the big review and here comes part 1 of the big 
        Atari Crew Web Review.

        The Avena website adds another case to the category of sites
        that haven't been updated for quite some time. At least we get a
        nice welcome screen with a sine sprite scroller. The other parts
        of the well designed page are a bit sparse. For example there is
        only one news entry, a link to wikipedia, a short description of
        the group and a member list. Wow! Well, again the best thing
        about the site beside the design is the "files" page which
        contains screenshots, descriptions and download possibilities
        for the Avena demos. Even the unfinished "Binliner" screens and
        their latest PC product "0010 1010" are available.


        Now let's see how checkpoint presents the remains of their
        glorious work of the past. It seems checkpoint has also chosen
        frames and the site is splitted into three vertical frames. The
        left frame contains the navigation bar, the right one a famous
        graphic by modmate and a logo and the centre frame contains the
        actual content.

        The last real update to the "news" page was in 2004, so it seems
        checkpoints activities have come to a halt atm. Well let's check
        the other 3 pages then. The "members" page shows a photograph of
        all Checkpoint members and some information about their function
        and contact data. It also offers links to their own homepages if

        The "releases" page contains screenshots and download-links for
        a lot of Checkpoint demos, it also mentions the system
        requirements and credits. This is for sure the most interesting
        page of the Checkpoint site. Last not least Checkpoint offers
        some links to other crews, magazines and the usual Atari stuff.
        If you want some information about the Checkpoint members or
        miss any of their releases a visit of the site might be a good


Cream Headquarter
        The cream hq appears as a cleanly designed website which
        contains of two frames. The top frame contains the site logo and
        the navigation bar. The big lower frame holds the actual content
        of each page. The navigation and orientation work like a charm
        so let's see what we find here. Besides the common start page
        with news, you can enter a page called "inside", it contains a
        biography of cream and their products. I guess it's not
        necessary to mention that the "stuff" section contains
        screenshots, details and download links for the cream products.

        The "jam" page contains TOS and Windows compatible versions of
        the JAM player including various plugins and song packages. Well
        there is another page called "misc" it contains links to
        external websites, recent songs by Tao in different file formats
        (mp3, sndh, sc68) as well.

        In addition you can find a page with an email form, a diary and
        a forum which hasn't been used so much yet, perhaps you want to
        add a few words there?

        All in all a nicely designed and very serious looking website.
        If you miss any of creams releases or want to get in touch with
        them, it might be worth a visit.


        The Cybernetics site starts off with a nicely designed splash
        screen. After clicking onto the Cybernetics logo you get into a
        framed homepage consisting of three parts, a logo frame at the
        top, a navigation frame on the left and a content page using the
        biggest part of the screen. A real classic setup. Let's throw an
        eye onto the navigation.

        The homepage contains a list of members and some news for the
        website, besides some of the members left their email-addresses
        so you can easily get in touch once you remove the word NOSPAM
        from the address :).

        The bio link teleports you onto a page that contains the whole
        history of the cybernetics from 1988 to 1999, if you are
        interested in that sort of things make sure you pay them a

        Another interesting page is called products and contains lots of
        download links to perhaps all Cybernetics demos and

        The Headline Demos contains lots of screenshots and detailed
        descriptions of the most important Cybernetics demos. A lot of
        pages cover their Relapse demo, where every screen is described
        in detail. A similar grade of details has been used on their
        Tools section which is surely interesting because of the famous
        Synthetic Arts. You can also find descriptions and screenshots
        for prototype products, like 90s arts, a collection of
        soundtracks in MOD and MP3 format. Last not least you get some
        nice GFA punchs and other goodies in the Bonus section and the
        mandatory link page.

        All in all a nicely designed site which is worth a visit or two
        for sure, I am pretty sure you will find something nice there.


Delta Force
        This is a great site with very cool design. I guess everybody
        knows that site already so I will keep the description short.
        The site contains the fantastic "Atari ST DEMO HISTORY" which
        covers major demos from 1987 to 1999 and an archive containing
        most of these demos. There is also a page showing screenshots of
        all demos which were done by Flix, a skin for Winamp - hmm, not
        that great - and some nice documents about coding techniques
        (some in German, others in English). Make sure you visit it at
        least once if you have never been there.


        Well what can you write about a website that hardly exists? Ok
        they acquired a domain and MIC did a nice logo, but that's all.
        Hopefully we will see some content here before dune goes
        completely inactive...


Replicants Memorial Site
        The Replicants memorial site is still under construction, what
        can we expect there?

        The site is nicely presented with lots of different Replicants
        logos on top of the site, what I personally don?t like is the
        fact that it has been created for a fixed resolution.

        Downloads of cracked games? Surely not, you have to look
        somewhere else for that. The start page contains the latest news
        and update information about the site. Another page contains a
        very brief history from the beginning in 1988, where Hofa, A-
        Team and Shogun joined their forces to create a major cracking
        crew. The name Replicants was found by the only member of
        Shogun, who called himself Ninja. As you know the Replicants
        became members of the Union later and I guess some of the former
        Union members won?t be too happy to find the Union called a
        ?cracking association?.

        The next page contains just a list of the member of the
        Replicants and the crews which fusioned to become the
        Replicants. It would be more interesting to get a bit more
        information about the different guys and their roles in the

        The most interesting part for oldskool fans is for sure the
        Cracktros page, it offers you a small collection of 5 intros on
        2 subpages, which isn?t really what I would call stunning, but
        on top of the page you find a small link called the ?intros
        browser? if you follow this link you will find another 83
        intros, nice. Surely a cool possibility to have a look at all
        these prehistoric raster and scroller screens. And again sorry
        for all the retro-gamers, the intros have been separated from
        the games, so you can only download the intros.

        As you can guess from the notes above, the link called ?cracked
        games? doesn?t contain any download links but a huge list of
        games that have been cracked by the Replicants. I think you
        won't be astonished by the fact that the Replicants didn't crack
        a single game made by Thalion or Eclipse, respect for that.

        Two other sections are available from the site, but only one of
        them is yet functional. The Links section isn?t yet build it
        seems, and also the guestbook seems to be a bit thin yet.

        Overall you have to be a Replicants fan or an oldskool fanatic
        to find something really interesting on the site. The
        information on the site is a bit sparse, but the site claims to
        be still under construction so perhaps there is more to come.


The Watchmen
        WTF are the watchmen? Never heard of? Well you are in good
        company then. Anyway let's take a closer look at their website
        and prods. On their frontpage they state that TWM (The Watchmen)
        were active between 1989 and 1992, the site is presented with a
        yellow font on black ground and a watchmen logo in the top right
        corner. The whole site is offered in two flavours "frames" and
        "no frames", the only difference seems to be the navigation bar
        at the top which doesn't scroll out of the window in the frames

        You find some information about the names of the crew members
        and two links to their current homepages. Below that there are a
        few links to their demos. Like the "New Order Demo" which
        features a noisy sample and two one plane scrollers or the
        DefCon1 demo which never loads completely, but crashes right in
        the loading screen - a simple byte bending scroller. The Big
        STOS demo surprises you with flickering rasters and five
        screens, none of them is really impressive but it's not bad for
        BASIC. Another demo is called "Things that made us go hmmm...",
        hmmm a palette animation FX with some text on it? Ok, press
        space to get some more gfx and a sort of main menu, which gives
        access to a few more mediocre screens, however you can see an
        improvement here. It also seems that TLB helped them a bit with
        the demo, at least you can find comments in one demo that allow
        to draw that conclusion. The last two pages cover an intro for a
        sample disk and an early demo of a game using 4 way sync-
        scrolling, a running hero and NO enemies :). Perhaps the most
        advanced piece of code you find on the Watchmen site. Overall
        the site describes all the watchmen prods in a proper way and
        has also a decent amount of screenshots to give you an
        impression about all the screens. What it lacks is a description
        on which system you can actually run those screens. Most
        watchmen demos seem to be really touchy about the machine and
        TOS specs. One of the screens didn't work at all (I gave up
        after three tries with different configurations). Who might want
        to browse this site? Friends of TWM and their fans, as well as
        anyone interested in the not so famous branches of the tree of
        demo history :).


Unlimited Matricks
        When you remember the most important demo of ULM called ?Dark
        Side of the Spoon? you probably think about very technical and
        polished stuff with nice sounds. The frontpage of  the ULM site
        however is very simple. It contains a few links, one leads to
        the history of ULM with lots of details about the demos and why
        they where created, a really nice read. It also contains a few
        statistics and a list of all ULM releases. It would be nice to
        have some disk images for download here too.

        Most of the other links are dead, which is proof of the fact
        that the page isn?t that well maintained.

        Apart from that, the most stunning part is a javascript/html
        remake of the ?Dark Side of the Spoon?. Well done Gunstick. This
        part of the site is worth a visit on its own. If you have ST-
        Sound and Modplug installed it also plays the original music
        from the demos. The main menu of the demo can be operated with
        the mouse, while most other screens are just screenshots.

        Intro - fully functional / sample
        Loader - fully functional / YM
        Main Menu - fully functional (without parallax background) / mod
        Playfield Screen - screenshot / YM
        Ball Projection Demo - screenshot / YM
        Lost Boys / Twiddle Screen - screenshot / YM
        Respectables / A little Bit of Everything - screenshot / YM
        Parallax Distorter - screenshot / sample
        Lost Boys / Caniballistic Deforgy - screenshot
        Overscan 3D - screenshot / YM
        Wrong Door - screenshot / sample
        Unlimited Sprites Demo (behind the door with the different 
                                pattern) - screenshot /YM

Cyclone / X-Troll for Alive, 2005-12-15
Alive 12