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Alive 8

Almost day-to-day one year after delivering his huge DELTA demo, Earx and 
his folks are back with a smaller tho technically flawless demo simply called 
OUT. I wonder if next demo will be called LINE or something else then :)

    More  seriously  this short  demo runs on  all standard Falcons and is also
supposedly happy with accelerated birds as no one has  seemed to complain about
compatability  issues. If you  still own  and use  a bare 4Mb Falcon, you'll be
happy to see it's not useless yet, dunno if FPU is even required here. The demo
also runs either  with  RGB or  VGA as  the usual  config panel  offers various

    Being a lamer who has connected  his Falcon to a 70cm tele, I went  for RGB
and  didn't have to wait  long before a  very  colorful LINEOUT  logo  by hyper
active gfxman C-rem popped up. Can't tell if it's 256 colors or TC but it fully
uses the wide  range  of  colors  offered  mixing a  purple dithering logo on a
golden  texture background. Then weird  teknoing sound  by D-Force  is launched
beating up to the fx appearance.

    It all really starts with a flight  over a wireframe city, not looking bad
at all though it's mostly  made of  white lines  with darker  shades  to bring
depth to  the whole set. Our short  trip ends facing a  wireframe OUT logo and
soon enough an heavily antialized rotozoomer gives us credits, a bit confusing
at first  as I tended to  read "credits"  instead of C-rem as the  first name.
It uses a nicely designed greenish texture.

    Screen goes black for very little time before separate parts of skyscrapers
suddenly flank the screen. Then we go for the first "woh!" effect, namely a big
envmapped object, the shape of  a cross but  with irregular sticks, all of this
spinning around in total smoothness. It even grows  bigger or smaller with some
beats of the  music, call it the HMM inspiration :) First time I think  that we
can enjoy such wonder with a 256c (or TC again ?) bg picture !

    Next are coming two  green  envmapped (or  simply textured)  rubber bars,
twisting in a spiral wave while a bunch of white particles make  their way in
between. Really nice and somehow makes me think of simplified DNA branch. Not
quite new tho as similar screen could be seen in DELTA if I'm not wrong :)

    The following rotozoom is of a new gender too as it seems to zoom on a
never ending motive that remains quite unclear due to heavy blurring layer.
Looks great but to be honest I preferred the not-so-blurred version of the
preview Earx had sent me weeks earlier.

    Earx calls the next fx "3D kaleidoscope" and  though I'm not too sure why,
coders out there will  surely understand his  point. All I see  is a  field of
great looking  envmapped  stars, moving around  in extreme  smoothness too and
merging when they  come in contact with  each others. Indeed there seems to be
some mirror effect in this screen, maybe what he calls kaleidoscope ? Still it
shows -if needed- that Earx is a wiz coder who  managed to get the guts of our
bird over heated with greatly optimized code !

    We turn back to our greenish  texture from the credits for a last spin and
the show ends on an #Atariscne logo with light coming from the bg and creating
rays here and there (raycaster  thing is the right name I guess). Nice looking
but I'm pretty sure such logo  was already  seen in one of their latest prods,
can't be sure if it was DELTA tho. With a  clashing, it's all over and you get
back to GEM, a bit less than 2 minutes and 30 seconds after it started.

Last words :       

If some people  were not  quite convinced  by DELTA (what seems nonsense to 
me since it's so huge and nice looking) then I am pretty sure that they now are 
convinced that Earx has walked another step forward and can now pretend to be a 
top coder, the  way No or Charon are. The  overall feeling is a bit mixed tho : 
the msx isn't bad but  a bit harsh, remembering of DELTA's part two soundtrack. 
The demo also combines  greyish  screens like the  city and very colorful stuff 
but it's no problem indeed. As I still have the preview on my harddrive I could 
complain a bit about  the storyline as  I tend to prefer  the preview where the 
city flight is much shorter for a start but  reappears here and  there later in 
the show. Then again, it's a  matter or personal taste and won't lower the many 
qualities of  this production. Compared to DELTA this is of course a very short 
trip and I hope that  next time LINEOUT can  find the right  balance between 20 
minutes and 2 minutes of demonstration as you surely want to see more of this ! 
In case you haven't understood my  point yet, you * MUST * get it as there's no 
hardware  special requirement needed to enjoy this piece of art. Well done Earx 
and fellows ! Now I  cannot wait to see if the guys of Escape are ready to face 
the challenge, but answers may  await us at the next Easter  party organized by 

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Alive 8