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Alive 6
Undercover Magascene #23
by .tSCc.

Another issue of Undercover Magascene, the magazine with the moving past and
a moving future. It's been a Poets of Decay production once with Moondog
and MC Laser as main editors, now it's a tSCc- production with Moondog
and MC Laser as the main editors. How times change.

But let's have a look at this production. Delightfully, this time it also
contains an intro by Dune and Sector One, including a very funky
circle-overlay effect along with a rubber-filled vector-cube that also has
a star pasted on one side. Like they say in the intro of the intro, 1 frame 
is the only way, everything moves fantastically, the around design with a
shaky logo and very nice graphics also fits together very very well. Then also,
EdO strikes again producing excellent title graphics for this issue - and i
do not only mean the motive but also the technical aspect - he's getting better
all the time. Then we also have tunes by Tao, Nemo and 505 in the main
magazine shell - once again, Tao produces top quality with the Nemo and
505 tunes being very nice as well.

Most important part of a magazine is of course the content. The main part of
this content has been written by Moondog, covering roughly 95% of all the
text in this issue, with a few guest articles by mOd, Mikro, Mad Butscher
and others.

What's there to read ? For example, interviews with Chuck of Dune, Jess
of Overlanders and Stratagem of Reservoir Gods. Also, we have of course
reviews of current demos and intros, for example of the EIL #3 invitro, the
MJJ productions and UMD by The PHF. Moondog also browsed the web a
little for Atari content on it today, and gives his opinions on the german
election or whether PD Libraries were the doom of the german ST game community
or not.

Some more information has been gathered on games that will most probably not be
finished along with a view on currently Lynx and Jaguar developments. Also,
some party reports are given.

Having browsed through the magazine for a while it's not easy to sum it all up
and describe the taste it leaves in the reader's mouth. First, it is kind of
distracting to read Moondog's - and only Moondog's opinion everywhere.
Sure, he's supposed to broadcast his opinion with his diskmag but having none
other than Moondog's view on anything sure makes the magazine very

As far as the reviews go, i have never ever read such a balanced view of
Moondog yet, but that doesn't cure the main problem - it's still Moondog's
view on everything. The interviews are kind of lengthy and do not carry too
much information though. Same goes for the review on german Atari-crews on the
web - once again we have to read that Absence is dead - Whoa, as if we hadn't
learned that before from other sources. The FTP-review or the thoughts on the
PD Libraries are nice, but certainly not the main attraction of the magazine.
We do find rare gems such as a very  detailed review of NetHack on the ST or
a short glimpse at DGem, a Dungeon Master for GEM.

And that kind of sums up this issue of UCM. You get to read Moondog
everywhere and even though he's in a pretty good mood currently and tries to
have a balanced approach to everything, he can not - and does not want to -
disguise. Opinions of other authors or editors is badly needed here.

This makes, as sad as this is for me to write, this issue of UCM a bit dull.
Certainly not a bad issue, but for a magazine that is by now down to about 1
issue per year, it's neither the bang some people claim it to be not as bad as
some personally insulted people from France try to make it. It's just another
issue of UCM - Nothing more, but also nothing less.

The Paranoid / Paranoia

P.S.: Oh, and some personal remark. It's nice to be missed - The name Paranoia
      keeps popping up here and there in the issue - but to automatically be
      connected with "inactivity" is not so nice either. Paranoia is definetly
      not the only crew not having released anything within a year, but the
      fact we announced to  take a break seems to have caused that Moondog
      now awaits even more productions from us. Not to mention that within this
      year we released both a little utility to convert Degas to Chunky-format
      and an STE-coding FAQ.

Alive 6