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The Dark Court special: Floppy 2003

by The Dark Judge

When it comes to demos the Floppy parties really have a name to uphold. Two years ago it was „Feedback“ by Triad beating „A quoi ca sert?“ by Wrath Design, and last year „Pretending To See The Light“ by Fairlight won the competition. This year it was Booze Design?s „Industrial Breakdown“ gathering the most votes. Here are the reviews of the top 5.

1.„Industrial Breakdown“ by Booze Design

The demoscene goes punk.

Industrial Breakdown - demo screenshotNow this is a very pleasant surprise indeed: a demo by a mainstream coder who, for once, dares to be different. HCL was never a favorite of mine, even though I do appreciate his previous work: there?s no question the man can code. However, like Crossbow & WVL, he only seemed to be using his talent to create pretty-looking run-of-the-mill demos that to me always lacked that certain ?something? I?m so desperately looking for these past years. Industrial Breakdown however, has that something. First of all there is actually a concept: nothing too deep, but kept up throughout the demo using late 20th century themed pictures of factories & highways. More interesting though is the presentation: ugly chunky graphics and lots of little bugs that normally mean your c64 can?t handle the stress. This has been done before but never in such a way as HCL does it here, as an integral part of the demo. In his note he himself calls it a ?trashmo?, which is actually a pretty good name for it. Unfortunately he also mentions that his next demo will be ?normal? again. I wish he would keep following the road into the unknown though, for it will lead to more interesting productions such as this one.

Rating: 81 pts. (great)

2.„Loaded“ by Fairlight

Even a wunderkind can fail.

Loaded - collage of screenshotsHollowman, the main creator of this production, was also responsible for both winners of the 2 previous Editions of Floppy. This, his first ?real? demo since last year?s brilliant „Pretending To See The Light“ (not counting a demo he did for Mainframe) is a bit of a dissapointment though. Instead of being concept-based it?s more of a generic effects show, and none of them very impressive. Hollowman told me he just had a few parts laying around, added some new ones and considered it worthy to be released. Unfortunately it makes for a somewhat dull demo with only a few highlights (such as the end-screen). Don?t get me wrong: this isn?t really bad, it?s just that I expected more, much more. Let?s just hope that his next demo will see him return to form then, and forget about this one.

Rating: 69 pts. (above average)

3. „Phases“ by Crest

It?s just another face he?s going through.

Phases - collage of screenshots„Phases“ is the work of just one man, Dane, and features a lot of faces (the title is a pun, see?) presented in several ways: as pictures in funky resolution modes, being mapped on a cube, twisted in several ways possible. All very well coded I?m sure but also quite boring. The demo gets saved somewhat by the excellent music & well-timed transitions, and there?s a nice picture of Sophie Ellis Baxtor to drool over at the end, if that?s your cup of tea.

Rating: 57 pts. (average)

4.„WE/LASER“ by Fairlight

Their pipe is smoking again.

WE/Lase - demo screenshotTalk about a resurrection: a few years ago Fairlight was as good as dead. An attempt by new leader Duke to revive the group failed and apart from a few graphical contributions by Vodka, nothing happened. Until Hollowman joined and put the group back on the map. And now Puterman has become a part of the team as well: appearantly the cooperation between the ex Civitas coder & Hollowman on last year?s „Doc Bacardi Meets Doc Sportdryck“ was well to the liking of both. Still, it?s an interesting move by Puterman, to say the least. After all, in Civitas he could do whatever he bloody wanted, but Fairlight is a legendary group. And with that status the scene expects a certain level when it comes to their releases. So, in that light, how did Puterman do? The answer: he did okay. No groundbreaking stuff here, or anything as offbeat as his 2 years old „Thief“ but a short demo with some nice stuff in there, like the intro & the isometric picture with the smoke coming out of the pipe. However, like „Loaded“ it also seems to be shy of an actual concept, and that makes for a somewhat uneven piece of work. Still, a decent big-group debut.

Rating: 63 pts. (above average)

5.„Harmonious“ by Triad

The king is back.

Harmonious - demo screenshotApart from Hollowman?s contributions, Triad has only been releasing small onefile demos the last few years. In fact, the last big demo that Hollowman wasn?t involved in was „Refugee“ by one of Triad?s most legendary coders, King Fisher. And it is the same King Fisher who makes his welcome return here after almost 5 years, with, ofcourse, a small onefile demo. Still, what it there is pretty nice: the intro is intentionally bugging, an effect even more clear than in „Industrial Breakdown“ by Booze Design. The main part features a combination of machine language & eurodance lyrics with some late 80?s graphic effects thrown in randomly. Nothing special, but fun while it lasts.

Rating: 54 pts. (average)

Written by The Dark Judge of Focus on March 3rd, 2003
Previous articles by TDJ: Royal Arte – review, The Dark Court 3/2001
This article has been displayed for 1425 times, since publishing.
Discussion: 81 reactions


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