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Alive 7

            A Collaboration between DHS Evolution and New Beat

    Here comes the only Falcon 96Kb  intro presented  AND  mostly coded live at
Error In Line 3. We were all  waiting for the first CT060 demos to kick our old
asses but how can you hope to present a demo  on a piece of hardware that isn't
available yet ? Indeed as I write this (having no internet access for some days 
I have to add), CT060 is being  under  heavy  and   -close- examinations ! Beta
testing will  hopefully bring us a  fully working CT060 in the next weeks (more
probably months tho).

    Since I only have a bare Falcon (laaamer!) I had to  test this intro with
this limited hardware while it was meant for accelerated Falcons... But I may
say more about that later in this review.

    The demo starts with  plain white logo giving the names of the three crews
involved in the demo  while a first cool tune starts ringing to our ears. Then
we are offered a sort of galaxy  made of blurred  partycles. It looks cool but
definitely sloooooooooow on a non accelerated Falcon (hey you were warned from
the start). Next is a nice ghotic pic showing a  strange face with a snakelike
tongue flanks the  right part of the screen. It was painted like all other gfx
by mighty hyper active C-rem of MJJ Prod. An environment mapped thornball goes
spinning in the left part, but very slowly again for the same reasons.

    It is replaced by a yellow  something, some kind of twisted shape that comes
with partycles (or blobs?). Looks cool  again tho turtle slow on a basic Falcon.
We suddenly move to a happier gfx showing a manga  like cat wearing some sort of
superhero suit :) Looks nice  but a bit out  of the intro  mood imho. No time to
complain as a wide range of blue and yellow cubes cover it, forming a 3D Swedish
flag that goes waving up and down. Nice again  but I wish the cubes offered more
than plain colors :(

    Woh ! What the hell is that ? Some sort of twisted star with sparks (as
described in the credits) understand  glowing blobs attached  to every edge.
Very nice indeed but... You already know what I mean...

    We meet again  with our  blurred  galaxy this time  only using a different
palette hence not requiring any more comments. Let's move to 3D world instead.
This part was really disappointing though it ran  quite smoothly on my Falcon.
Indeed much older demos like  stuff from EKO or EXA have shown  much better 3D
routines I think. This scenery only shows a rotating cube  surrounded by 2 cut
rings on a blue  rastered  background, like a soccer  ball trapped between two
goals, could be an adaptation of Speedball on the wrong machine ? :)

    Another picture  fades in, showing the earth seemingly exploding  with lava
here and there. A cool  picture for sure  but one that  would have fitted an ST
demo more than a Falcon prod since it's clearly 16 colors only. Worse, the next
effect shows ugly 1 plan logos made of blue letters zooming in, as if they were
coming out of the earth. Urgh, bad bad color and not a stunning effect at all !

    Anyway this is already the  endpart with another nice gfx showing some sort
of Victorian Lady (or a Vampire queen ?) displayed on the left while interlaced
credits come scrolling up on the  right side. After  some time reading the info
offered, the screen finally fades to black and you get back to GEM.

Last words :

    Sure the whole intro is  really slow on a standard  Falcon but  you cannot
blame the guys for it since it was designed for accelerated machines as stated
from the start. Since surely it's much  MORE  enjoyable ! Fx are fine tho some
parts would need more polishing (3D flag, 3D scene) or design (zooming logos).
Above all, tho all gfx are cool, it's  very sad to  see that most Falcon demos
only use 16color gfx :( Hey where are TC painters ?? I dunno  myself and would
rather enjoy  these  nice gfx than *NO* gfx  at all but  it doesn't answer the

    I liked the fact that the intro was mostly done at EIL3 and then debugged
and released two weeks later while we're still waiting for other EIL entries.
There's still a problem with the ACE player though as  it adds  a cracking or
buzzing background sound that tends to spoil the whole thing a bit :(

    What impressed me more was  the use of ACE  Tracker msx  for the very first
time in a  demo ! No need to keep it a secret, both tunes  offered are not only
cool but also so small  once packed ! As the credits unveil later on, each tune
(without  samples) are only 3Kb  big ! I also have to  add that Thomas/New Beat
had to code a decent  player on EIL3 + 2 weeks (extended  dealine). The authors
apologize for the slow fx but they also say that this first replayer eats about
half the Falcon CPU time :( But I hope this is going to be fixed soon.

To put it in a  nuthsell this  intro  is  no sky  rocket, especially if you 
don't have an accelerated  Falcon but it shows  what ACE can offer us in a near 
future (love these tunes btw !) once it swallows less  CPU time  of course. The 
challenge faced by the ppl involved in this  intro deserves clapping as the end 
result is quite nice tho far from perfect. But I'm sure this is  only the first 
steps of ACE tunes and I also know that CT060 should bring us astounding demos, 
that is if you're one the of 100 owners of this collectible.

    Keep going guys !

Since Paranoid also wrote a review, you can find it here !

Alive 7