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North Party 7 Demo Reviews
by HCL/Booze Design

This review will focus on the four best-voted demos from the North Party 7 in Poland. Now, I don't hate Polish demos by default like some other sceners seem to do, so you can still go on reading this and take my words seriously. Meanwhile writing these reviews, a new issue of "Domination" is released reviewing some of these demos. There were not less than two reviews of "Biba 2", having completely different opinions about it, which is quite fun. Here you'll get my fresh thought.

While watching all of these demos, I have been aware of indications of being developed on emulator (some even admits it in the note). This is nothing wrong, I do it myself, but I feel the urge to address this anyway. TEST YOUR DEMOS ON A REAL C-64 BEFORE RELEASING!!! This should be obvious, but it's such a pity watching really good demos and you see things that most likely weren't intended to be there.


This is a rather cool demo, and among these four it deserves the first place well. Open sideborders are commonly used and the screens are often well designed with nice fade-in and out effects. Most of the graphics in this demo is also made with a great effort by Katon and Bimber. If I try to find something that doesn't fit that well in this demo then it would be the music, which apparently was added in a hurry. Personally I don't like it.

Even though some effects are using open sideborders, only about four chars are used in several cases. I don't know if this is of some practical reason or if it's just because most emulators only show four chars. If it's the latter, it's a bad sign. :( The many vector parts in this demo are mostly good looking, but not so impressing if you think of speed and performance. The "walking worm" for example, is a very cool idea, but also quite slow (and the chessboard looks buggy). The shadow vector is really nice, and the last multi-cube really makes me think of some Amiga500 demo. Cool!

The demo has a good flow. except for some places where the loader seems to be very unoptimized. On the other hand, if you think of loading and linking, I'm really impressed about some other occassions where you would expect some loader delay, but there are none! Despite the great effort that was probably put to design this demo, there is no uniform design through the show. Now, who am I to mention such a thing? I am not known to be even on average level when it comes to designing demos, but even if I'm not able to evoke the feeling of a uniform design I can still detect it.

Some effects worth mentioning: the picture distorter looks really cool, though a bit slow. I have not seen this kind of effect before but it's probably made with the same theory as Graham's good old distorter. The galaxy looks fine to me, but the "metal twister" is perhaps too easy even though it is in the sideborder. The starting floffy screen fader is also good looking.

All in all a great demo from Arise. With some other music, and perhaps some minor changes of graphics and design, this would be a real kicker! ...and I do feel nasty slugging down like this, so I end this one by saying: go get this demo and watch it! It really deserves it, and possibly you deserve it as well. :)


This demo starts with an excuse, a very bad way to start a demo. In fact I *hate* that way of starting demos, it makes me not want to see it at all. Mean, if not even the makers of the demo are proud of what they have done, who would they ever impress?! Or is it just that they are afraid of being blamed later on? Even worse are those who write stupid things like "this whole demo was made during five minutes of extreme hurry and drunkness at the party... don't blame us for being lame..." I remember the loser-demo at X'98 (yes, the second place was a really bad loser) which contained some message like the quoted above. That made me even more proud of being the winner. ;)

OK, to the Elysium demo now. This demo is presented as the leftover parts, which were supposed to be in "Altered States", the Elysium-Taboo coop-demo. Taboo released their parts in "Altered States 50%" some years ago, and now finally Elysium manages to release their parts as well. The intended "Altered States" (which never became reality) would have been a real groundshaker if those guys just would have managed to put it all together. "Late Ejaculation" is also a good demo, with great design and some really nice parts, however the quality is not carried out through the whole production.

Over all, this demo doesn't really impress me if I look technically into the effects, but on most aspects it is put together very neatly. The vector-plotter is very fine and even though the amount of plots is not that impressing, it's well designed and looks cool (in fact I have a similar part myself which is late to release now, hmm...). The 4-color rot-zoomer is well designed even though some of the pictures are hard to figure, just to mention some effects. It is quite obvious that these effects belong to a different era of C-64 demos, somehow this demo already feels older than "Illmatic".

The sad thing about the demo is the lot of bullshit text everywhere, in the end part, the note as well as in the start of the demo you can read that the makers of the demo are not at all proud of it. Another category of bullshit is the vector-plotter part... The demo tells it contains 118 plots (or 180?) and is a record, the note says it's 184. I say it's 178, no more no less, and it would not have been any record, not even in 1992. Origo made a 208-plot vector ball in the demo "Elysium" 1992 (Huh! What a coincidence!?) which on the other hand was mirrored in two colors, and therefore perhaps easier to improve (?) but all plotters are a bit different.

On the other hand you also have very nicely designed parts in this demo, one example is the chessboard zoomer which fades into the title logo (saying "Altered States"). The effect is probably dead old, and not so cool itself, but the use of it is simply brilliant. This is really what you want to see in a demo like this one! The music is also great through the whole demo, almost feels custom made. The fade effects are not as well designed as in "Biba 2", and I also see quite some bugs in the outer borders and so on.

Another annoying thing is that the parts are having a completely different tempo, which makes the demo feel veeerrryyy slow from time to time. This seems to be caused by slow calculations sometimes and slow loading sometimes. Both seem unnecessary to me, considering the effects. Also there is one place in the demo where the music doesn't play every frame (caused by too many CMP $D012?). So there are a few things in this demo that do have an impact on the impression of quality.

Last words: You could have done this better, with the same demoparts and music. The demo would need some fixes here and there, and last but not least a few enthusiastic guys (and preferably also a girl) to do it. At the same time I know myself, getting really tired of my old crappy parts when they're getting just one year old or so. Keep on fighting dudes!


This demo somehow looks a bit unfinished to me. There are many small bugs in it (or perhaps they are features ;)), and some effects just make you wonder "when does the show start!?" The graphic looks like it was painted in an emulator with strange color definitions. Blame me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that those odd color mixes were made on purpose, nor tested on real hardware.

The demo starts with the credits, some large, oldschool graphics on average level. Somewhat boring and, like some other parts later on, seem to be inspired of some demo parts by Reflex. It's not so cool to steal the design of a whole screen, it's too obvious at many times. There is a good flow in the first half of the demo, the screens are flashing up and down quite rapidly, but somewhere in the middle the tempo decreases a lot. There is simply too much waiting and the expected pleasure does not appear. A faster loader should not be hard to find, but I think you can do better with the present one if you put some more effort in it.

There are no really impressing effects in the demo, instead I start wondering how the hell he/she/it managed to make that "plasma" so ugly?!?!?! Let's just make one thing clear: it's NOT a plasma, it's just a techtech of colorful vertical rasterbars in extremely bad resolution. Further there is a bunch of stars, in the end of the demo, dead slowly rotating in a very strange way. The scrolling tiled picture of an eye is a perfect example when I feel "yeah, hitme!" but nothing happens. :(

The music is OK to me, not very impressing but the first one has quite a few tempo variations, which could be used to mark different parts of the demo. Unfortunately it's not used that way. Both tunes are techno-inspired, but not bad of that reason. The second tune is quite cool, but restarts at the end of the demo, why? Also the graphics is over all OK, except for the strange color mixes. It could be a sign of genius, but I doubt that's the case. Over all it looks like the team has really put an effort in the first half of the demo, but lost the energy or time to complete the second half. Again, this could have been better with no extra tricks... It's simply not 100% finished.


This seems to be a fast "party-put together" by a relatively inactive group, however it contains some interesting parts. Roughly spoken, this is a onefile demo with three or four parts unsmoothly linked together with some inbetween pictures and old but stunning music. The demo was coded on the (Swedish) "CCS64" emulator, and doesn't seem to have been tested on a real C-64... I get different results if I watch the demo on my C-128, "CCS64" or "Vice"! Shame on you guys!!! >:

There is a nice looking bob-scroller, but it has some interrupt-bug, which make the music not updated every frame (nor the screen). The final stretcher is also cool, composed with a text screen left of the stretched logo. Perhaps it would work better as a note than as demopart. Finally a sinus-pic-inverter or whatever to call it. :) Nothing special but looks OK.

So briefly this is a small, nice demo but sadly the makers of it screwed it up. With a little more effort in the linking of this demo, plus the mandatory test on hardware, I would have been jealous at these guys for making such a nice demo so easily.


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