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Alive 14
Enterprise Demos
The Enterprise 64/128 was an unknown machine to most during the golden years
of the oldschool demo scene. You might think that nothing happened with this
machine,  but  as with the other topics I discussed previously you might  be
wrong!  The  Enty  had a smallish but active demoscene in parallel with  the
better known C64,  Amiga and Atari scenes.  I get the impression it modelled
itself  closely  on  the Amiga scene.  Like most other things made  for  the
Enterprise  after 1986,  it seems to be almost exclusively  Hungarian-grown.
This local scene was most active in the oldschool golden years from 1988  to
1994.  With  the  rise of the PeeCee compatibles in the period after,  there
have been very few productions since.

Anyway, here is a representative random selection that I grabbed.


I  started  with  the 'Coca Cola' demo.  This presented a  big  red  screen,
complete  with  Coca Cola logo,  and a large (english) scrolltext.  Pressing
space  stops  the  scroller for a while.  Not a lot else happens and  I  was
confused, but pressing the spacebar may trigger a digisound sample which was
not heard on the emulator?

The  'Eye'  demolooked more promising.  The screengrab I  saw  promised  a
monochrome  eye on a colourful raster background,  which looks good in  that
screenshot,  but  when  it came to run that demo,  nothing happened.  It also
presented me with a 'file not found' message on the second attempt, so there
may have been a problem with that piece of data?

I was overdue some success,  so I tried the 'Jarre Demo'next.  This started
with  a  wobbly  derogatory scroller,  "Welcome Lamer boy!" and  gives  some
credits.  I  then  press the emulated F1 function key to load the next  bit,
which uses a speed type depacker, then the  scrolly resumes, so I'm guessing
it is a sample demo with missing sound again.

The  'Mad-Ork demo'was next,  this featured another scrolly going through a
raster bar, with a chequerboard which was depth-cued. There were some static
bars at the front of the screen casting a shadow. In the background a static
television screen was showing a street scene.  There were some sound effects
at  the  beginning,  but  no apparent music.  Then you press space and  this
little  demo  comes  alive,  and one of the buildings explodes  and  a  tune
starts,  the static bars are sound channel indicator bars,  and a tune plays
as  the flames flicker onscreen.  This intro shows off mixed screen modes on
the Enterprise.

Next,  a  prosaically titled 'Music'demo from Alphingwood.This was one of
the  very  few non-Hungarian demos.  It was also one of the very early  ones
made  whilst Enterprise were still in business.  It featured extremely basic
presentation and sound.  I saw this for myself at one of the PCW shows where
Enterprise was represented. It starts with a plain text menu, and you select
from three popular tunes,  Eleanor Rigby, Liberation (by Wham!) and Only You
from Yazoo.  The eighties bias is apparent here,  but this is fair enough as
this  was when this early demo was made!  The demo is extremely "basic",  as
the  group name draws itself onto the screen,  line by line like an early ZX
Basic demo.  The tune is early soundchip, with no special features used. You
have  also  got  to  remember this was made  pretty  much  before  the  word
"Demoscene" had even been thought of!

I selected a few 'Nasa Guy'demos. He was very prolific author. 'Nasa Guy 2'
features  a complex wireframe object,  actually a spinning and probably pre-
rendered  animation.  This  is very quick and impressive,  the tune is a cut
above the mundane too,  and recognisable from early ST days as one of the ST
Sample disk tunes.

Nasa Guy 7,went a bit further, with a raytraced animation of green bubbles
in  a Newton cradle using the Enty lo-res 256 colour mode.  There is also  a
short  repeating sampled extract from Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene.  A  short
but impressive screen.

Nasa Guy 9, throws in some 16-bit looking solid 3-D polygons, these are pre-
rendered  again,  you  can even see them load in frame by frame.  It is very
similar  to  the '2' and '7' demos.  There is another short repeating  digi-
sample. These little demos are cheating a little bit, but they are very nice
to look at.

It's  time for some bigger multipart productions now,  and first off is  the
'Bamsoft Big demo'. It started up with a hi- res greenscale picture of a big
cat.  After a couple of false starts,  I discover you need to press 'esc' to
go on. The first full screen is made of sineous dots like an old Omega demo,
which are user-controllable,  there is also a bottom bouncing colour cycling
scroller.  The  second  part features an explosion in a raster bar  factory!
There are lots and lots of colour onscreen, a traditional scroller, and very

Part 3 shows off a bouncing yellowchrome hi-res male interest picture, and a
bottom screen scroller,  nothing too exciting there, so time to move on. The
next  part  has more rasters and scrolling.  After that are three  different
sideways scrolltexts with different fonts and speeds, and a distorting 'BIG'
logo  in  the top part of the screen.  A nice looking screen,  even if I was
waiting for more to happen.

Following on is a static screen,  a hi-res alien head is shown,  and a short
repeating drum pattern that describes itself as "4 channel Amiga  music!!!",
which is a bit of a disappointment,  or maybe a couple of sound channels got
lost?  To maintain the audiophile interest, there is a slightly ho-hum music
box  screen,  with  a  low-spec animated tape deck,  and a selection of  two
average tunes.

We're at the end part now,  a slow 3-D wireframe animation of a computer and
monitor screen floating around a blue screen.  This is not a depiction of an
Enterprise,  as  the  curved  lines might be a bit beyond this  3-D  engine?
Instead,  we see something boxier, like an Acorn Electron. The whole is held
up by better than average soundchip music.

The 'Ork Megademo 2'is next.  From static screengrabs, it looks like it has
a  style  of its own,  with beautiful hand-drawn graphics being  shown  off.
There is a nice little 256 colour splash screen to start, then a window with
inevitable  scrolly text,  then loads of weird abstract colour cycling stuff
in  the window,  some raster-like effects,  and a reasonable tune to go with
it. The second part kicks off with a strange animation of a chattering skull
which crumbles to dust, then a plant grows out of it, then the screen proper
starts,  which  is  a blue looking heavily oldschool 'computer art'  screen,
with another Hungarian scrolly.

Part  3 features a heavily 256 colour based piece of work.  The top part has
raster bars,  and a neat logo which has a water ripple going through it. The
bottom half is made up of more raster bars, almost a colourshock screen. All
screens in this demo have their own soundchip music.

Part  4  goes a bit further on from the last screen,  as you now get a  full
screen  rippler which does its stuff over a fantasy 256 colour piccy,  there
is  a bouncing bottom raster bar for a small text.  Pressing the 'Enter' key
gets  you  another equally impressive picture,  created with the  'Paintbox'
program,  this part of the demo is a showcase for that.  The picture 'tears'
off the screen when the next one is selected.

Part  5  is a quietly impressive screen,  It starts as a very  large  single
sprite demo,  a bouncing ball.  This starts by bouncing in one place,  this
going  around  the  screen,  which changes colour as it goes.  Patterns  and
raster  bars  appear in the previously blank  background.  Eventually  these
start to move, back and forth, this is an impressive slow building screen.

Part  6,  is  effectively  a re-run of part 4.  There are another couple  of
beautiful and abstract pictures, one of a fantasy bird in flight. The ripple
effect is fullscreen once again,  there is a little bouncing bar, with a bit
of a barrel-scroll effect on it for the info-text. There is also a choice of
a second picture from the 'enter' key.

Part  7,  looks a bit like a title screen for a platform game.  There is the
small issue of a triple vertical scrolltext, with a bit of a wobble, merging
into  a central point near the bottom of the screen,  into the dimple of  an
apple! Exiting this, you get a digisound crashing sample.

Part  8 features a Union demo style parallax scroller with a large  infotext
appearing at the top. There is an Orksoft logo and graphics in the bottom of
the screen.  Pressing space clears everything except the scroller, and a box
draws  around  the screen.  Then increasing numbers of coloured dots  bounce
around  inside  the box.  The effect is a little bit  reminscent of  a  Jeff
Minter  colourspace style.  The box area is redrawn and there are  different
patterns of the dots.

There's  still  more to come.  Here's a music selector box,  and it is using
digisound.  What you hear is not quite a modfile, but a selection of samples
and tune patterns, where you can mix and choose from the samples available.
The end is here to this epic!  There are various credits and infotexts, with
contact info and greetings.  This was a high quality effort, from the people
who made some of the best games for the Enterprise.

It's  time to ease the pace,  for a nice calming slideshow,  and we get this
with  the  'PD Demo'.  This starts with a jerky sounding "welcome to the  PD
demo" sample. The jerkiness may be due to the not quite 100 percent speed of
my old PeeCee running the Enterprise 128 emulation.  This first part reveals
that 'PD demo' actually stands for "Physical Destruction Demo", as the title
picture, bouncing around the screen shows. There is an Enterprise version of
a  well known C64 tune playing,  which I can't put my finger on what it  is,
but it sounds like Hubbard.  Hitting space gets a four option menu, which is
also bouncing around the screen.  This part is smart and well done, like the
title screen.

So you get;

1.  Picture mix:- A mixture of fantasy themes,  heavy emphasis on monochrome
or silhoutted graphics against a colour graduated sky

2. Horrow Show:- A trio of monochrome monsters, the weakest gallery.

3.  Comic  Show  1:- Shows off various famous cartoon characters  against  a
graduated  coloured  sky.  These  are much more colourful and  of  a  higher
standard than before.

4.  Comic  Show  2:- Using a combination of hi-res mono techniques and  more
graduated background colours.  This secton is notable for some neat Garfield
picturess, and a stunning 'Batman in London' screen.

There  is an endpart,  with a starfield and vector triangle at the top,  and
vertically progressing big scroller with some demo information.

The 'Small Demo'is most ironically named,  as at 648k, it needed a disk all
to itself!

It  starts  with a smart text menu to select various parts.  they  all  have
their own titles too!  Every time a section is completed, you return to that

1.  'Preface',  is  an  oldschool building-up screen of many parts.  A small
scrolltext  going right around the borders,  there are raster bars equal  to
anything  done on a 16 bit machine.  There is a moving central 'Small  demo'
logo, and distorting credits text at the bottom.

2.  'Bounce!'You get a bouncing Amiga style chequered ball, two scrolltexts
at  different  speeds at the bottom of the screen,  but only a  plain  black
background.  Then  press  space  for the second part,  which is  colourshock
madness  and a bouncing big font scroller.  A Rob Hubbard tune is nicked for
the occasion.

3.  'Mushroom'.'Mushroom' logo,  text appears and disappears, as a sampled
song "I'm a mushroom" plays on.

4.  'Functions',  There  is  some  more digi-music,  with buggerall  showing
onscreen.  But this is only the appetiser to the second part,  which is more
visually impressive.  Various 3-D wireframe patterns draw onscreen, there is
a top of screen multi-layered raster bar with more scrolltexts on it.

5.  'Mirage'. Features another sample loop, then a spinning Mirage wireframe
logo and credits. There is a starfield with further credits and information.
Then  we're  into the main part.  A smart 'Nihil Software' logo sits atop  a
screen  window,  where  all  the vector line based action is  taking  place.
Vector  patterns collide into each other,  in a mysterious tron-ballet.  The
Next  bit is a proper 3-D demo,  with a huge sixties-looking chrome 'Mirage'
logo  in  the  midscreen,  but some very nice vector line  3-D  objects  and
transformations going on above it. To close this multi-parted 'demo within a
demo',  there  is a Chequerboard rolling towards the viewer from the endless
horizon,  and  bouncing  3-D  doc balls coming towards you  in  an  infinite
stream, until you press space.

6.  'Sight  and sound vol 1'.   This is the first of a trio of nice screens.
This first effort shows off a combination of digi-sound,   with mad coloured
indicator  bar  going across the screen in time with the sound.  There is  a
back and forth moving logo at the top, the inevitable scrolly at the bottom,
and a neat fantasy themed pic of many colours in the middle.

7. 'Sight and sound vol 2'. This is an impressive screen indeed. You see two
spinning  filled  cubes  at the top,  a side-to-side scrolling logo  in  the
middle,  a very sci-fi based picture below it,  which looks like it is using
some  kind  of super-ZX Spectrum attribute graphics mode.  There is  even  a
decent looking english language scroller at the bottom, and what sounds like
a  modfile player playing one of the Amegas tunes made famous from  the  Tex
Amiga demo! And it is the complete tune too!

8. 'Sight and sound vol 3'. This is a large scale soundchip selector screen,
where  up  to 48 tunes can be selected off different keys on  the  keyboard,
(just   don't  press  space!)  There  is  a  choice  of  three  very   smart
illustrations  borrowed  from game title screens like  Cauldron.  There  are
coloured indicator bars at the bottom, and a sineous scrolltext.

9.  'The End'. A little bit off the pace from the high standards of the rest
of  the demo.  A decidedly home-drawn spaceship piccy,  scrolls up and down,
there  is a very elaborately fonted scrolltext at the bottom of the  screen.
Then  a final farewell plaintext vertical scroller which goes on  until  you
reset the machine.

We're getting near to the end of this randomly selected view into the  world
of  Enterprise demos.  A relative latecomer of a production was the 'Visions

There is a strong cartoon theme here too.  As we see Muttley, of Wacky Races
fame in the intro,  followed by a picture of the mighty z80 chip.  Following
hard on is first the proper effect, showing spinning wireframe cube and huge
'fascination' logo above it. This demo looks a lot more like the second wave
of  Amiga  demos,  where  people stepped back from the  rasters  and  bright
colours  and thought in terms of something easier on the eye.  Various other
3-D  wireframe  objects follow on,  including sledgehammers,  floppy  disks,
space  craft  etc,  all doing their spinny thing onscreen.  There is also  a
colour  banding  effect apparent,  which makes the objects look a  lot  more
attractive than a simple mono wireframe might.  The running speed is good as
well, there are many different objects, and you can cycle through these with
the space-bar.

Pressing  'Esc' to leave,  then there is a second part very similar to  what
came before, but with some filled polygons! There are a smaller selection of
objects.  The  coder  uses a stipple-fill technique similar to that used  on
other 8-bit machines.

Part  3,  is  the  'Tank Engine'screen,  which has an animated train and  a
moving  background.  There  are also some good looking top and bottom  large
sineous  scrollers  and bouncing raster bars,  the scroller is english.  The
train speeds up and slows down in time with the music.

Here's  another animation with 'The Wacky Race'.   Dick Dastardly is in  his
car  going  quickly,  as the moving background shows.  A digi guitar playing
then it speeds up, finally crashes. Muttley is shown sniggering, and this is
digi-sampled as well.

The endpart,  gives a sparse but sophisticated screen, with a large vertical
scroller in a gothic font, and neat little bouncing earth doing its thing as


I enjoyed the selection of Enterprise 128 demos,  and it seems that although
most  of  what  they were doing was imitating the Amiga  scene,  there  were
plenty  of attempts to do as much as possible with the specific hardware  at
their  disposal.  Of  course there hasn't been much recent activity in  this
area,  and  it  might be worth asking the question why there was no  further
continued development after 1994, the odd slideshow aside, and why there was
no  venture into newschool effects,  as other coders managed with the  Atari
800. I think the Enterprise 128 would have been more than capable of putting
up a good show with a newschool demo.
CiH, for Alive Mag,Dec '06.
Alive 14