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Alive 4

--------------------------- 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...

AWAKEN preview

   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.


Alive 4