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  Although the Gameboy Advance  was released two years ago now, its demoscene
  seems to be still in its infancy,  with few dedicated groups. Actually lots
  of groups have  released one demo for it,  but seem to have  stopped there,
  as  if it  was just  to have  a try and  they  were not convinced  for some
  reasons...  This is now changing,  with groups like  Unique or Matt Current
  becoming productive  and loyal  to Nintendo's  handheld. Hopefully  the new
  GBA SP with  its new front light screen  should make the platform even more

  The vast  majority of sceners active  on GBA did not  come out of the blue,
  but are  rather experienced  guys  wanting  to have a go on  a  new popular
  platform.  What makes  the GBA  attractive is  its "fixed"  specifications,
  even more than the ST and A500 are,  as you won't see demos requiring extra
  RAM anytime soon!  Therefore no time of the  development process  is wasted
  on  compatibility issues.  A specificity of the  GBA demoscene is  also the
  variety  of the background  of the groups involved:  Some persons come from
  the ST (Leonard, Defjam),  some from the Amiga (Potion alias Vivid Design),
  some  from the Acorn -as the  GBA uses an ARM CPU- (Exoticorn from  Icebird
  and Farbrausch),  some from the PC (Unique, Nocturnal). Strangely there are
  no ZX Spectrum sceners at the moment,  whereas they were very active on the
  Gameboy Color... probably  because the new  Gameboy is  not based on  a Z80
  CPU anymore!

  Once  you get the demos ( should provide  you with most  of them),
  you have  two possibilities  to watch them:  if you have a PC,  the easiest
  way is  to use an emulator.  They are really  accurate nowadays,  so 90% of
  the demos  will behave fine, considering  most of them are  developped with
  the  help  of  emulators.   The  best  one  at  the  moment   seems  to  be
VisualBoyAdvance,  which exists in various  flavours (Windows, Linux, BeOS,
  MacOS X). You  can also  go the  genuine way and  secure  yourself  a flash
  cartridge (have a look on my other article for more information).  Not only
  the demos  will be 100% accurate,  but it's also much  more portable than a
  PC with an emulator!

  Amongst  the dozens of  productions available,  here are some  of the  most
  interesting GBA releases at the moment:

- Phloam by Unique, ranked first at Breakpoint 2003.
   The latest major GBA demo released, and the best one today.  It's a massive
   production,  with  more than  10 persons involved  in the  making.  The two
   parts  are  packed  with  high-quality  effects   (texture  mapped  scenes,
   textured tunnels, environment mapped objects, bump, etc.)  and fortunately,
   the  design  wasn't forgotten.  Lots of scenes  have graphics  displayed as
   overlays,  and even if it's really over-exploited  in modern demos, it sure
   looks good. The  two musics are really good too,  and fit  the style of the
   demo. Finally it also offers  some beautiful full-screeen pictures.  If you
   have to watch one GBA demo, it should be Phloam!

ST Sound GBA by Leonard/Oxygene.
   That one is a bit special:  it's a kind of giant music-disk based on ST and
   Amiga   soundchips  emulation,   containing  not   less  than  240  ST-made
   chiptunes,  and 33 Amiga  Future-Composer tunes,  for a total  playtime  of
   nearly 10 hours!  So if you enjoy  old ST tunes,  you should give it a try!
   The ST tunes are  from Jochen Hippel,  LAP and An Cool,  ripped from famous
   games, such as 7th Gates of Jambala, Enchanted Lands,  Turrican or Wings of 
Death, but also from some classic demos of the same period.  A nice plus is
   the shuffle option, which brings a bit of variety.

- Beyonds the Limits by Vivid Design, released at Assembly 2002.
   The guys  from Vivid Design  are no  newbies,  since most of them come from
   the Polish Amiga group Potion,  whose 64kb intros  are amongst the  best on
   any machines  in my  opinion.  Vivid Design  is  actually  the  studio they
   founded to develop games  for handheld devices.  The demo itself use a good
   3d engine to  show different  3d scenes,  some of them,  like  the F1 race,
   could  easily  be seen as  the first  steps of a game.  My favourite  scene
   shows an eagle flying  over arid mountains.  Admittedly one  could complain
   that  looks more  like a portfolio  for  potential publishers  than a  real
   demo, but it's really well done and worth the watch!

  Finally some useful links:

- VisualBoyAdvance homepage:
- (demos database):
- PD ROMS (legal ROMs for GBA and more):

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