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Alive 7
                               By Reservoir Gods

        Nope. I have absolutely no idea how to open up this review. No jokes, no
comments, nothing on my mind. So, let's get to it.

        Grimey. 1MB STEs and upwards.  Demo.  Demonstration.  Some piece of code
tied together with a piece of music and bits of graphics to show what a computer
is capable of.

        The demo (by Damo!) begins pretty violently! The screen gets cleared and
then wham! some monochrome text-mode  plasma  (of  course that should read text-
mode emulation, replicating the style of C64 demos mainly) and the words Lets go
a few minutes after that.

        Before I proceed any fruther, I should make a few comments that apply to
the whole demo. For starters the  music  (which  is  what hits you first): It is
utterly and totally weird! The STE's  DMA  gets  used just for playing some drum
loops (and sometimes shouting  a  Smurf-like  Grimey!),  and,  I  quote from the
readme, "teamed with a bugged out  ym  replay  rout". Now, some people will find
this music a brave artistic attempt to  bring  out the emotions and anxieties of
the modern man, who tries to gasp for  a  breath of air in this asphyxiating and
gloomy world, but can't do anything  more  than  that because of the irrevocably
fixed obligations that today's  society  inherits  him  (!).  On the other hand,
others will find it pure shit, or at  its best, a bugged music rout! Personally,
I find it weird!

        Another thing worth mentioning is  that  at unsuspected (but not random)
points the current effect freezes. This  happens (mostly) precisely at the snare
drum, but not in every beat, so  it's  a  bit unpredictable (well, if you go and
watch it 15 times in a row it won't, but will you do that? ;). This makes up for
a screwy effect for your  eyes,  as  they  follow  motion and suddendly it stops
(think about it a bit: as a  kid,  didn't  you try to do something like spinning
around constantly for 10-15 seconds, and  then stopping immediately? Didn't your
perception go bonkers at  that  time?).  Anyway,  this  effect  adds more to the

        Anyway, to proceed with the description  of the demo, the plasma effects
come and go, which unfortunately I can't  describe  here (it would need a bigger
text than the demo itself :),  but  they  are pretty nevertheless. While this is
happening, some text  informs  us  about  what  life  sometimes  isn't.  Then it
concludes that some times it's Grimey with a big logo.

        And then we get another  effect:  a  texture mapped trapezoid (2 planes,
read 4 colors) whos texture  is  something  that  reminds  of barb wire (not the
movie! -what? :) which displays a bit of the monochroms character plasma at some
points (see 2 paragraphs above).

        Then the screen clears up and  the  credits are displayed. And, frankly,
it's the bit I personally didn't like.  I  mean, boing, Grafix: SH3 and then the
screen is cleared with 4 80x200  rectangles.  Come on, a little imagination here
and it could have been a killer effect  with  dead cool gfx. The only thing that
saves this bit is that after  the  1st  credits  screen, the barbed wire texture
gets another appearance, but it's spinning around this time.

        And finally, the last effect is beamed to our monitors: a first person
3-D texture mapped raycasted  maze  (notice  how  I  subtletly  avoided the word
W***enstein here! It's not like it  was  the  first  game  with a 3-D maze! Take
Alternate Reality on 8-bit machines for  example!).  It  is a bit low-rez, about
half the screen in height, and  then  every  second line is being displayed. But
never mind, it's pleasant anyway. Actually  the  raycasting is done by some sort
of dithering, which brings back the first plasma effects shown. Which is how the
demo ends, actually. Some more plasma, and the big Grimey logo appearing again.

        So, that concludes the effects  we  experienced  in this demo. Now comes
the difficult part: Verdict.

        For starters, and this goes for  all  releases  as far as I'm concerned,
top marks for the release! Whatever  (well,  almost!) is released gets top marks
by  me,  simply   because   no   matter   what   people   might   think   of  it
(good/nice/bad/awful/sucks/indifferent etc.) some  person(s)  got  down,  took a
computer, and did something creative  with  it.  Think  of your average computer
user: he(she) usually knows very  little  stuff  about computers and all he(she)
can do is boot Window$, open up Word  and write a report or something like that.
Or play a game or two. Not a single one of them takes the computer for something
else than just a machine to ease his/her  work. There are actually quite a small
percentage of people that do something  creative, and an even smaller percentage
does this on Atari machines these days.  And  this (for me) is commendable. With
every new thing I download for my  Atari,  I always have the same enthusiasm and
impatience as I had when (back in 87-88) I unpacked my Atari 800XL.

        Now, to get more specific for the  demo  at hand. We have a few effects,
running fast, with a  overall  nice  presentation,  smart  gfx  and a dead weird
music! It's a very nice demo indeed. My  only  criticism is that it may be a bit
too small in duration. Perhaps it would  be  better  if we could have a bit more
time to study the plasma effects? Or,  any  effect, for that matter? Mabye a few
more effects?

        No matter, a very pretty demo, with its own, unique style! Thanks, RG!

GGN/KÜA software procutions/Alive Team

P.S.  I  don't  rate  demos  or  games.   If  you  want  ratings,  read  a  more
"professional" review! (no pun intended, here)

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

Alive 7