Nordic Scene Review 02

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NSR #02 - A Midsummer Night's Dream

NSR #02 - A Midsummer Night's Dream     
You thought we'd fuck up this issue     
didn't you? Noone should be able to     
make enough decent reviews with the     
puny amount of releases surfacing since 
the last issue, right? Dear audience,   
you're not mistaken. Looking back on    
the second quarter of this godforsaken  
year have left us shallow, empty and    
easy to mislead. As a consequence of    
this, we have decided to add some       
traditional C64-mag bloattext like      
demodiscussions and interviews (yes,    
we decided to skip the Formula One      
section right before deadline) and      
to hang out with women as cheap and     
easily mislead as ourselves. Fact is    
that we even considered to fill out     
the mag with cut'n paste text from      
CSDb and, but after some heavy   
consideration we dropped that idea since
that really would be ripping the concept

from the rest of the C64 magazines out  
there. Just being a blatant copy of Game
Over(view) is enough for the moment.    
In the real world much things have      
happened during these months though,    
and I guess noone of you has missed     
that Turkiye was elected (with one      
vote in the council tipping over to     
Turkiyes advantage!) into the nordic    
community during a recent meeting       
with the primeministers of Denmark,     
Finland, Sweden and Norway. Thus,       
the nordic countries are now Sweden,    
Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Finland and   
Turkiye - and as a consequence we have  
decided to add a turkish editor to our  
staff. With these words, we like to     
welcome Nightlord to the crew. Welcome  
to NSR, Nightlord! Welcome to the nordic
community, Turkiye!                     
Since we recieved a lot of criticism,   
both positive and negative, on our      
first issue we decided to overlook them,
hoping that they will equal eachother   

out.  If you still are in doubt about   
how this magazine works, we'd like to   
clarify one or two things. First of     
all, you should all be aware that we    
are equipped with a complete set of     
rules which render us fault-proof,      
much in the fashion of the swedish      
unemployment offices or the swedish     
social security. So, before you decide  
to criticise this issue, take a note    
in your mind about this. Every piece of 
criticism will be carefully considered  
and bounced towards this brilliant set  
of rules, and answers to your queries   
will be overlooked for ages until our   
negative reply finally will reach you.  
Okay, so here's the second issue, a     
bit later than I had hoped, but I guess 
we'll figure out how to do this properly
sooner or later.  The people who whined 

about the font will have to live with   
it this time too.  The people who       
whined about other stuff...  Wait, the  
font was apparently the only negative   
thing about the first issue.  Okay,     
so we'll just keep trying to deliver    
the same thing over and over, and       
everyone will be happy.  Including us,  
as we'll probably turn into robots by   
doing that, then we'll probably turn    
evil and try to destroy mankind, which  
will make the rest of the creatures on  
this planet really happy...  Until we   
destroy them too!                       
Right, now that you know what to expect 
from upcoming issues, I'll move on to   
the next topic: Demo of the Year 2004.  
Or well, I was planning to comment on   
that, but then I found that I just      
wasn't interested in it at all, and     
when I tried to write about it anyway,  
everything I wrote turned out to be     
speculations about the IQ level of the  
guy who organized it.  So we'll just    

leave it as it is, those of you who are 
interested should check the discussion  
at CSDb, it's long, but it's filled with
involuntary humour.                     
And as I really don't have anything more
to say, let's hear what mr. Nightlord   
has to say...                           
Hi everyone. We all know how boring     
it gets to read the hello messages of   
new staff members in diskmags. Poor     
guy starts telling in great detail      
how and why he joined the mag, what he  
will be writing about in this issue or  
the next.  Like anybody cares... The    
catch is that people will see your      
articles in this and the next issues    
anyway and there is not much point in   
trying to provide an introduction and   
contents information. So I will talk    

about something else but related.       
Yes the demoscene coverage of today's   
diskmags just sucks. I believe there    
are two really critical points. First   
of all, most mags are not dependably    
periodical and second of all those few  
mags that do review demos tend to review
the same set of releases, usually from  
the popular brand crews and a few fake  
ones from their friends. The spectrum of
releases today range from a number of   
fake and pointless releases to serious  
but not popular demos and to the big    
winner demos from the brand teams.      
We are going through very strange times 
with respect to demo making. There seems
to be ever less criticism and feedback  
to the demo creators, usually limited to
a few one-liners in Pouet or CSDB. This 
very much reflects the patterns of      
the very fast consuming audience of     
today. The ease of downloading and      
watching a demo in an emulator in       
the warp mode, has the side effects     

of ignorance and isolation between      
the audience and the authors. Less      
people vote and even less people seem   
to care. This is a loop that needs to   
be broken somewhere.                    
Therefore I wanted to start a diskmag   
for demo reviews a few months ago,      
around the time the first issue of NSR  
hit the market. In a few days Puterman  
contacted me and I was instantly        
convinced that I could contribute more  
to the scene by being a part of NSR than
starting my mag on my own. So here I am.
When I am choosing demos to review      
I will try to favor the serious         
but unpopular demos in my choice of     
reviewing. The reason behind this is    
that I believe the lack of recognition  
these demo attempts get is one of       
the main problems of the C64 scene      
today. The spectrum of the demos has    
gone to the extremes, leaving this mid  
part empty. That means there are very   

few mid demos, which in turn means      
there is a big gap in the quality of    
winner demos and the fake or beginner   
releases. No one can easily overcome    
this kind of a gap.                     
This situation resembles the economic   
health of societies. The healthiest     
societies are those with most of their  
population in the mid income range.     
There will be a few poor and a few      
rich. When a society loses the mid range
population, what usually happens is that
the number of poor greatly increase and 
the rich get richer and fewer. This goes
on until the society collapses one way  
or the other.                           
So using the same analogy, having less  
and less mid range demos is causing     
an increase in the amount of fake       
or beginner releases and fewer high     
quality releases whose quality keeps    
increasing. Take a look at the party    

compos. You will see a few quality      
releases and an increasing number of    
fake releases.  Usually the quality     
difference between the top one or two   
spots and the rest of the positions is  
so high. You get my point.              
Always keep in mind that anything I     
write is strictly subjective and you    
are more than welcome to disagree and   
discuss with me. Go ahead and write to  
me in these cases and correct me.       
Credits for this issue:                 

- Magsys by Iopop.                      
- Text by Nightlord, Puterman and       
- Music by Maktone.                     


The Maximum Overdose party was arranged 
in Lubeck, Germany towards the end of   
April.  It's a small party, so I didn't 
exactly expect any great releases, so   
I was positively surprised that four    
small demos were released.              
Stuttgart from Judas (famous for their  
"Dansa med Achmed" demo) got the fourth 
place.  I guess the most positive thing 
about it is that it's evidence that some
Swedes bothered to go to a small German 
party.  This definitely shows some      
scene spirit.  Petscii isn't exactly my 
cup of tea, but the main screen looks   
quite okay, at least for a fake demo.   
I will not mention the music, but I     
will mention the great English in the   
(jerky) scroller.                       
The third place was taken by the        

first release by someone called Engine  
of Gnumpf-Posse (great name there!).    
A scroller and an (ugly) logo might not 
make anyone very excited, but it's a    
first release, so we'll just wish them  
good luck with their next release,      
instead of wasting too much text on     
this one.                               
The second place was taken by the small 
Habemos demo from K2.  This one is      
quite nice, although K2 give you exactly
what you've come to expect from them.   
The picture looks good enough, and the  
fact that it was originally done on     
an Archimedes for the GBA appeals to    
my sense of humour.  For some reason    
they decided to release a fixed version 
after the party, where they've added    
some colour changes to the main effect, 
with the net result that the whole demo 
looks more ugly.                        
B0rje's tune is in his usual style.     
I don't really know what he's trying to 

accomplish with his composing efforts,  
but he seems to have set up his own     
set of dogma rules.  This one seems     
to consist of a drum beat, using only   
one of the three available channels.    
I wouldn't call it minimalism at its    
best, but rather minimalism at its most 
minimal, and leave it at that.          
I was worried "Am I missing a hidden    
part or something?". I had to check     
through pouet and CSDB and saw that it  
really was this short. I do not want    
to sound too harsh, but I absolutely    
see nothing in this demo that I find    
remotely interesting other than the     
picture. And you can hardly see it. The 
fading upscroller in the final version  
is nice but instead of increasing my    
appreciation of the demo, it simply     
further bothers me by making this       
production more disproportionate. It is 
hard to explain but I find this demo    
very unbalanced and possibly stripped   

to meet a deadline.                     
The surprise winner of the compo was    
Streetuff's "Mini" demo, featuring      
something as amazing as another one     
of those really exciting 8x8 plasmas.   
I don't know what's up with the C-64    
and 8x8 plasmas, but it seems you can't 
arrange a demo compo without getting at 
least one demo using this very, very,   
very outdated effect.  The minimal      
tune in this demo actually works for    
me, though.                             
Summing it up, it seems the votes were  
cast more or less at random.  The only  
demo which shows some quality is K2's   
one.  They must be really impopular     
or something, I have no other way of    
explaining why it didn't win this compo.
Now let's move on to some other demos...
The HVSC-intros                         

These two intros, for update #41 and    
#42 of the High Voltage Sid Collection  
respectivly, was something of a surprise
to me. Eventhough they're kind of nice  
in their own way, they're equipped with 
exclusive soundtracks - by Agemixer in  
the #41 and a quadraspeeder by Jeff in  
the #42 - two tunes extraordinaire which
qualitywise are way above the rest of   
the intros. In a way I find it a waste -
two very good tunes used in intros most 
won't even will bother to check? These  
two dittys would easily have been       
the perfect soundtracks of any new      
demoproduction. But on the other hand - 
sidmusic isn't really what the scene    
currently is short of, so why not? For  
you who are starved of scrollers, these 
two won't let you down (Tip from the    
editors: for better reviews, use more   
scrolls. For optimal reviews - DYCP. For
a perfect 10? DXYCP!). Curiously enough,
the most interesting thing about the    
releases isn't what they consist of,    

but rather the fact that the intros     
emits a vibe of sub-scene. You clearly  
get the feeling that sidcollecting is a 
sub-scene of it's own, and that these   
releases are aimed towards the people   
involved in it.  You can't even find    
intro #42 on CSDb when this is written. 
Security Camera by Falcon Soft          
This is a quite interesting             
concept. Again an animation in three    
colors, in the style which Falcon Soft  
are known to favor. Before starting a   
Falcon Soft demo up, you can more or    
less guess the colors (blueish?) and    
the concept (animation?) before         
you even look at the name of the        
file. Surprisingly, this demo has quite 
an interesting concept which could      
have been developed into something      
far nicer. Now it consists mainly       
of noise (which Upstars made better     
this time) and an animation of a room   
in perspective. This combo wakes no     

further interest at all. Adding some    
details and events wouldn't have hurt   
a bit, and would have pushed this demo  
from 'pointless' to 'nice'. Too much    
Bayliss-factor. I'm out of here.        
Scamster by The New Dimension           
Talking about the Bayliss-factor,       
here's a production from the man        
himself. To make the story short:       
Richard got scammed by the ringtone     
company called Jamster (they stole his  
credits!) and he sets together a devious
revengeplan - he uses his demomaker to  
get even! Very interesting concept. Why 
he positions the crazy frog in a 90     
degree position beats me? I can cope    
with the black bulletholes in the frog, 
but a 90 degrees angled frog rendered   
in three colors (blueish?) + background 
is too much at this point, even for me. 
Now this is something we could call     

a concept demo for sure. Richard has    
a clear motive and a message to give    
with this production. I am sure we,     
the target audiance, will appreciate    
the message with our heads tilted to    
the side trying to figure out what the  
creature in the background is and unable
to read whatever is there in the middle 
rotating with mind blowing speed.       
Songs for Summer by Civitas             
Richard managed to make another release 
just in time for this issue of NSR.     
Songs for Summer is a very typical      
Bayliss release: sloppy coding, ugly 1x1
font, colour-cycling and an uninspired  
logo by JSL.  But this is a music       
collection, so I'm willing to ignore    
those things.  Unfortunately the tunes  
are also very typical of his style.     
It's not like they're bad or anything,  
but a bit more variation would be nice. 
What I like the most about this demo    

is that he actually bothers to put      
together another music collection,      
instead of doing what everybody else    
seem to be doing these days: release    
.sid files instead.  So while the       
latest Goattracker compo might result   
in tunes with more variation and higher 
quality, Songs for Summer is still way  
more interesting to me, as it's a real  
C-64 release.                           
Petscii ate my Tinysid by Chrome        
And while we're on the subject of       
online music compos, the Tinysid tunes  
were wrapped up and released in this    
excellent little piece of data soul.    
I don't know what to write about it,    
except that it makes me feel good and   
that it makes me think of robots.       
15 Years After by Wanderer              
This 4K intro is quite nice. It has     
an appropriate level of old skool       

feel to it. It is interesting to see    
Wanderer productive. After many forum   
fights involving lots of classic scene  
discussion ground coverage and yet      
another revelation of the much repeated 
"old scener finding today's scene in the
internet" behavioral patterns, Wanderer 
seems to be on the productive track now,
with a nice intro which always says more
than a million forum posts.  Apart from 
this fact I do not have much to comment 
about the intro itself.                 
Something Fishy by Wanderer             
Wanderer also managed to release a demo,
consisting of a couple of odd looking   
parts.  It's certainly not going to     
become a classic, but it has a fresh    
feel to it.  It's obvious that Wanderer 
has done exactly what I want coders     
to do: trying to create something that  
they think might look cool, instead of  
re-using the same old ideas over and    

over.  My favorite part is the hidden   
one, which is typical for this demo:    
a cool idea, a decent implementation and
horrible graphics.  I sure hope Wanderer
will keep up his coding, because this   
is really promising.                    
Dungeon Horror by Jumalauta             
Another nice surprise though a bit      
short. It has got a nice textureless    
dungeon engine and another OK           
effect. Definitely worth looking at. I  
can not tell whether the dungeon is     
real-time but it is smooth enough for   
my taste.  Ruuvari is definitely able   
to code and productive coders are what  
this scene needs most dearly now. I     
must say I really liked was the music   
as well. I did not see the credits of   
the music anywhere though. What I do not
understand is why ruuvari would release 
something under Jumalauta label. I would
probably overlook this just because of  

that label, had I not been desperately  
looking for stuff to review.            
Corto Maltese Side 2 by Tukka           
This is pretty much what I've come      
to expect from Tukka: basically crap,   
but with a pretty good tune.  This is   
just another one of those releases that 
seem like a lot of fun at the party,    
but which loses its point when the      
party visitors are starting to get sober
again.  Or maybe it doesn't, if they're 
heavy drinkers who never sober up.      
(I'm really glad I thought of that      
exception, because we're trying to make 
everyone happy here, and quite a lot of 
people have alcohol problems, you know.)
Crazed 2 by Retro64                     

A small NTSC demo which once again      
carries more value with the hope of some
activity in North America than it does  
in its own being. Nevertheless, this is 
a simple little oldskooler with nice    
fonts and logos, and some promising     
first time coding performance. Also     
in the note two new demos rebirth       
and arcana are bing mentioned by the    
crew. I am going to be eagerly waiting  
for those.                              
Chessboard Zoomer 256b by Noname        
This was a real surprise to me. I find  
it truly impressive and delicious.      
Although it is hard to write a review   
to a 256 byter in a diskmag, I could    
not help but voice my appreciation of   
this piece of code by Cyberbrain.       
Vertical Smiley by Asymptote            

Very oldschool, very much standard      
stuff.  It seems my expectations        
have reached a new low recently, as     
I actually thought it was a bit cool    
that they managed to code a sideborder  
Resident Evil etc. by JSL               
I really don't feel like saying much    
about this one, as I'm really not       
interested in either BASIC demos or     
petscii.  I guess a bit of work goes    
into making these animations, but I     
really don't understand who's supposed  
to appreciate this stuff.  I guess at   
least JSL himself does...  He also      
released some other similar things,     
like a few collections with "jokes".    
I could rant and rave a bit about how   
stupid those jokes are, but I'm just    
not in the mood.  Just avoid that stuff.
The same goes for the Grand Theft Auto  
"demo" by someone called Finchy.        

Honolulu by Hujowa                      
Best demoe in year: 10/10..  Yees I     
know these guys real good from before   
with verry good demoe like demoe        
return of the iceman or maby demoe      
plottkiform their latest masters peace..
This groundbraking rlz have intiresting 
concept some sort of gay demoe..        
But also bannanna is alive!!!!!  Hes    
even dances to greate tune Honolulu..   
Hes happy bannanna!!!  Old dirty badger 
verry good musicman but now also greate 
ass coder..  Keep coding keep fucking!  
The "forgotten and resurfaced" stuff    
Emulated by Upstars                     
At first I thought this to be a         
fake demo until I recalled the demo     
"Risperdal Dreams" from the same group, 
released at ASM-02. Gladly facing my    
mistake, I transferred it and checked   

it out. To begin with, this demo got a  
very finnish vibe reminding me of other 
oldschool demos made by the finns, like 
"Roots" by PU239 and Upstars earlier    
demo "Risperdal Dreams". Looking at the 
details, most of this demo is pretty    
standard - LDA#$00, STA$D020/D021,      
add effect, logo, loader, etc. The      
first part which is something out of    
the ordinary is the one in the middle,  
a part which whips around effects in    
a way which reminds me of some old      
Bonzai stuff. The second gem in this    
demo is the brilliant final part -      
I don't understand why chareffects      
haven't been used with noise in this    
fashion before. Ok, so Dekadense might  
have been kind of into it, and ok,      
perhaps WD and ourselves have aswell -  
but still. This refreshing bit of code, 
suprisingly released at ASM'04, was     
completely unspread until now, save     
for the videoversion which Hollowman    
introduced me to last year.             

I just have to chime in and praise      
this sexy chunk of data.  The last      
part is the one that really stands out, 
but most of the stuff has its' points,  
and I appreciate the dirtiness of it.   
The Sun by Shape                        
The last officially released work of    
Kjell Nordbo remains something of an    
enigma to me. This demo, ment to be     
released on (or some short time after)  
last LCP, wasn't spread by reasons      
unknown. The only two which got copies  
of this demo were me and Zyron (which   
was asleep when it happened). As it     
turns out, Zyron can't find his finished
version, and thus - my version is the   
only one left. It feels kind of strange 
to be the only one beeing in possession 
of a demo which I haven't even been part
of. With this review, i've decided to   
change that.                            

Without spilling too much beans on what 
this demo is about, I can tell you that 
it is on the serene kind which you see  
too few of on this scene. It's the kind 
of a demo which demands your direct     
attention for a couple of minutes.      
The only demo which I feel is somewhat  
related to it is the final part of the  
Panoramic Design masterpiece "That's    
The Wave It Is". Slowly correlating     
with Zyrons music, the demo builds up   
a crescendo and leave you somewhere     
else. Try it. You'll like it.           
The demo gets it's official release     
together with this magazine and will    
be found on this disk along with the    
magazine you are reading and Kjells last
official note, "Silvergate".            

More Demos

More Demos                              
Death or Glory by Covenant              
Another demo I nearly overlooked        
because of the label. But this time it  
is no basic slideshow story with bad    
humor. This is a serious two sided      
demo with a few nice parts. Above       
all I sincerely congratulate the        
Covenant crew for undertaking such an   
ambitious project and finishing it. It  
is something one rarely witnesses these 
days. Anyway let us try to break this   
down to its components                  
Throughout the demo, I liked the        
soundtrack in general. Especially the   
part with the Pirate ship picture and   
the unlinked last part are my soundtrack

I have to agree here, I often find      
Richard's compo tunes a bit boring and  
predictable these days, but his style   
fits perfectly in this kind of demo.    
I think graphics were also nice. The    
highlight being the full screen         
pirateship, the logos were decent       
as well.                                
Codewise the demo had a few interesting 
effects and some ugly ones. My favorites
were the chessboard zoomer and the 3D   
rotating dots pyramid. The lighted cubes
were nice codewise but I think cube     
is a bad choice when you are not using  
perspective projection. Any shape with  
parallel edges look annoying without    
the perspective. But I must say I liked 
the general attitude I sensed from      
Honesty. I felt he thought like "OK here
are a few effects that I have done. Yes 
they have been done before but this is  
the first time I am doing that so I will

release them". Also I know it is not    
wise to try to put words into someone   
else's mouth but I am trying to make a  
point here. I think people sometimes act
overcritical towards coders that release
effects that were done before. I feel it
is correct that one should search for   
originality, but also some routines     
are nice to practice when you are       
growing to be a better coder.  And only 
after working with the fundamentals a   
bit one can come to an optimum point    
where he/she can start to think about   
the never before undone stuff. For      
this reason I would like to voice my    
appreciation to Honesty with regard to  
his diving into fundamental effects.    
The fact that Honesty is quite obviously
getting better at coding is what        
makes me most happy.  I have a feeling  
that most people are just too lazy to   
actually try to reach new levels, but   
Honesty is working hard to improve his  

abilities.  Besides that I also see some
development of his tendencies to make   
original looking parts, despite the fact
that he's working within the confines   
of a quite dogmatic oldskoolism.  If he 
keeps developing in this way, upcoming  
Covenant demos could be really nice.    
Overall I think this is absolutely the  
best thing that Covenant ever did and I 
hope they will keep on this track. If   
they can not live without bad humor     
(killing birds with farts and shooting  
cannons out of pirate buts) I will need 
to keep ignoring those parts in the hope
that they will release serious stuff    
like this every now and then.           
Let's get this straight, shall we. Know 
that I - to be able to give the         
reviews as fair judgement as possible - 
refused to prematurly watch the reviewed

releases in Vice. Know that I, for this 
issue, wanted the firsthand experience  
of viewing the fresh demos on my        
standard C64 setting since I found my   
last reviews a little uninspiring. The  
single event which almost made          
me give up the entire plan was the      
transferring and watching this double   
diskside demo using kernal-routines     
and a MMC-64. God knows this takes      
time, but I felt dedicated and had no   
other option at that time. I really     
looked forward to a somewhat polished   
doublesided demo. To get the ideas of   
what the demo is all about, you can     
read Nightlords notes on it, but I still
like to add some details. First of all, 
it's really oldskool in a way, but not  
entirely. This demo circles around the  
concept of "The Hungarian Gambit",      
which Iopop introduced me to. The       
Hungarian Gambit is the technique used  
by scrollerwise describing the different
changes of the screen ('s little   
empty on screen, but now... LOGO!) and  

since that isn't something i've seen in 
a long time, i'm quite amused. Another  
thing which you will find plenty of     
is the "Holy Trinity of Oxyron" (logo,  
effect, scroller + swap internal order  
of these three now and then) aswell as  
the classic black background. Still,    
this can't really be stated true        
oldskool - there are far too many       
separate parts outside of the loader,   
it sort of got a concept (an anal pirate
concept, but ok) and most important of  
all, the music uses introductions. I    
agree that I kind of enjoyed seeing it  
in some strange way - but to be frank,  
I wouldn't have bother to transfer it   
if I had seen it forehand.              

Axis of Evil by Fairlight               
I was expecting very little from this   
demo, judging from the sneak comments   
i've got from Puterman and Hollowman. As
I got the impression that this was to be
an invitro, I expected even less. Well, 
surprise, surprise - this was far more  
than expected. Black and white colored  
graphics and effects (very nice) and    
unnecessary loaderscreens (less nice)   
makes this demo a nice, although classic
one. Much of the hires-fx really rocks, 
the pinnen-effect in the middle is      
very good looking and the circles       
are downright outstanding. The hires    
graphics, especially the pic on the     
glassed guy with glasses, serves its    
purpose and adds a nice vibe to the     
overall impression. Even the blippy     

tune in this demo serves its purpose    
nicely, eventhough it isn't really my   
kind of music.                          
What doesn't serve its purpose, on      
the other hand, is the fucking loader.  
This isn't the first time a Fairlight   
demo fucked up completely for me after  
transferring (and don't blame my drive -
i've got seven of them!). I'm not really
sure who to blame, Hollowman for using  
an old experimental revision of Krills  
loader, or Krill for providing it to    
Hollowman - perhaps they aren't even    
using Krills loader, but fact still     
remains. This demo freezes. It freezes  
over like a friggin' scandinavian       
lake in december. It might have to      
do with my ways of transferring it      
(MMC64 and 1581-copy), but I doubt it.  
Three separete downloads and three      
different transfers using different     
techniques and disks later, i'm kind of 
sick of seeing it crash.                

It's the same loader as in Loaded and   
Postcards from Stockholm, and I don't   
know if anyone's complained about those.
I can't really understand why they are  
throwing some marvelously looking stuff 
into an invitro, it's completly beyond  
my understanding, but I can agree that  
it's a funny and nice idea? After all,  
why should all the nice stuff be saved  
for large productions which already are 
overloaded with eyecandy? To sum it all 
up; this is a nice little demo with a   
loader that sucks. If you've been able  
to watch this all the way through on the
real thing, you are probably a happier  
guy than me, and you probably don't have
a 1541-II either. Or atleast you might  
have a better way of transferring.      
This probably is the best invitro       
ever. I got a weird feeling about       

putting lots of effects in an invitro   
like Twoflower says. I mean the effects 
were nice, new or improved. The linking 
was obviously thrown together quickly   
like the oxyron demos from the mid      
nineties. But every negative thing that 
comes to my mind quickly vanishes as    
soon as I remember that this is only    
an invitro.                             
Right, so we'll call all our demos      
invitros from now on, just to get       
positive reviews in our favorite mag.   
I liked the rotating sphere effect      
really much. It probably reuses some    
code from the multicolor version from   
the rotating planet 1000000 miles       
away. My other favorite effect is       
the rotating arcs. It does not look     
incredible, but it feels so fresh       
and original to me. I do not like the   
rotating around y-axis effects in the   

middle and at the end so much. They are 
very clean implementations but I do not 
think they look too good in hires.      
The graphics are nice and no            
surprise. It is hard to express my      
impression about them though. They sure 
are nice and artsy and very Fairlight,  
but I think I am yearning for a         
different graphical style in Fairlight  
demos for about a year now. It started  
to feel a little predictable to me.     
The music is completely unattractive to 
me. The lead sound and the melody kind  
of annoys me. The drum and baseline     
feels so unoriginal. I simply hope      
they had used something else for the    
music. But than, I can picture Puterman 
dancing to this tune in my head, and    
suddenly the music does not feel so out 
of place.                               
All in all, it is a production          
containing nice elements and in the last

few months unfortunately it is one of   
the few better things that was worth the
electricity and internet bills you paid 
while downloading and watching. And     
that says more about the demoscene      
gap I talked about in the editorial.    
Something that Fairlighters do with     
about 2% of their potential is more     
eyecandy than loads of fake crap in the 
scene. I probably will not transfer it  
to a disk though and therefore never    
get hit by the problems about loader    
that Twoflower told about.              

Tsunami (100%) by Booze Design

Tsunami (100%) by Booze Design          
Asian styles are very much in           
fashion right now, so why shouldn't     
an asian-styled demo surface on the     
C-64? Well, at Floppy'05 "Tsunami"      
hit us, and we who watched it on the    
big-screen eagerly awaited its final    
release.  Comparing with the earlier    
prodcuctions from Booze Designs, this   
demo isn't as code-dependant as "Cycle",
and not as heavily relying on graphics  
as "Royal Arte". Both well performed,   
well balanced and consistant in style;  
this demo is in a way the perfect blend 
of both.                                
Eventhough you cannot argue much about  
the technical aspects, save for the     
vectorpart which feels both quite       
unnecessary and unnecessary long,       
you might or might not like the style   
and theme of the demo. Personally,      

I experience the cold and laidback      
expressions of Vogue-style models       
and the zombiefied Sneaker Pimps as     
quite unpersonal, the same vibe I got   
from Dane's "Phases" some years ago. I  
would request a more personal choice of 
motives and that HCL and Dane relaxed a 
little in their perfect democreations - 
they're obviously capable as I have seen
wonderful evidences of such earlier     
on. Good looking and well timed, this   
demo got it all, save that it doesn't   
transmit anything to me, it just leaves 
me empty in the long run. It might      
be the lack of text, it might be the    
minimalistic graphics and the asian     
symbols - I can't really spot it.       
Yeah, I can relate to that, the visuals 
feel pretty empty.  The Chinese (or     
whatever) characters don't exactly make 
me excited, and the same goes for the   
faces.  This is compensated for by the  
excellent music and the original ways   
in which some standard demo components  

are used.                               
What I really like with this demo       
is the overall style, painted as a      
laidback drama in red and white, and    
the fact that every single part of it   
feels worked through. Everything from   
the note, Dane's competition-entries to 
the demo itself feels like it got equal 
attention from the creators. As a demo, 
it's worth to view several times as it  
got fantastic graphical effects (like   
the wave-effect!) aswell as very nice   
graphics from Dane, graphics which are  
well welded into eachother with asian   
pictograms and the white and red colors.
I actually don't care much at all for   
the design elements.  It's all very well
implemented and smooth, but if it wasn't
for the actual effects and the music I  
wouldn't be very enthusiastic about this
demo at all.  And that's exactly what   

I think about Cycle as well.  The glue  
between the effects is too well made    
and coherent.  I guess both these demos 
represent what most C-64 demo coders    
wish they could achieve, but never have 
the energy or the skills to realize.    
So even if I'm not 100% happy about     
it, I suspect that most people don't    
understand what I'm ranting about.      
Viewing this demo is a little like      
taking a boattrip down a river of your  
choice; somewhat expected but very      
beautiful and enjoyable. The grand      
finale of this trip, complete with      
a japanese war-flag sunset and the      
wellknown wave from Hokusais "39 views  
of Fuji", is the final destination on   
this journey through a red and white    
asian landscape. I'll leave you there.  
I have to add that I just don't like    
HCL's loader.  Or, well, my drives      
don't.  This demo is the second one     

ever that doesn't work on my Oceanic.   
The first one was the first version of  
Royal Arte...                           
It was really impressive to watch this  
on the big screen like the other two    
marvels at floppy party making top      
three. I think it was the color scheme  
that made me really like the demo. It   
is a very consistent demo in certain    
aspects, although I agree with Twoflower
about some of the graphics feeling out  
of place. Effectwise, I found this demo 
very subtle and interesting. The wave   
effect got better in the 100% version   
and the xy scrolling xfli pictures      
is quite harder to do than it catches   
the eye. The japanese transparent text  
upscroll was also very nice.            
On the graphics front, I must also      
add my appreciation for the piece       
with three blended girl faces in 3      
directions. Somehow it touched me and I 

think it is very original for C64 demo  
making. Obviously the overall looks of  
the demo, the consistency in colors,    
the design of several effect scenes,    
the use of transparency are all very    
well implemented.                       
I have an awkward feeling about         
the music. Alone in itself, it is a     
nice piece for sure with cool sounds    
and flow. In synchronisation with       
the effects it is quite nice. But       
overall, in this demo it feels a        
little weird. Maybe it is the same      
reason that the fashion mag cover boys  
and girls seem cold and unpersonal as   
Twoflower puts it. For a demo being     
named Tsunami in the year 2005, I can   
not help but feel those graphics and    
this music feels too much "clubbers     
partying in beer commercial". If you can
just forget about the name of the demo  
and the disaster that name refers to,   
you will be fine probably. I did not    
realize I felt like this until I saw    

the notefile. There is a slower, more   
sensitive incarnation of the tune in    
there with the wave effect in blue. And 
when I saw that I instantly felt like   
"this is really the way this demo should
have felt like".                        


Driven #30                              
Sometimes you load a production. Be     
it a demo or a diskmag you instantly    
get the sense of a certain quality      
to it. That is what I felt when I       
loaded this issue. The logo, the text   
immediately put me in the mood for some 
serious mag reading which is something  
I used to get out of Domination and     
something I can not get out of VN       
anymore. Although this mag is clearly   
more American in its content and feels  
a bit more disconnected from the rest   
of the scene, it still covers quite an  
interesting ground.                     
Driven also means more to me since I am 
about to move to the U.S. I am trying   
to get an idea about the feel of the    
scene over there. Especially the text   

they provide about the expos over there 
is kind of interesting to me.           
In this issue the one of the focal      
points, the DTV discussions and         
information presents a nice overall     
picture. I think the hardware scene     
is going to be one of the areas         
where driven will continue to have the  
strongest coverage. Being close to a lot
of garage hackers and big legacy names  
like Jim Butterfield, hw scene seems to 
be also one of the biggest focuses of   
gatherings in U.S.                      
One of the most interesting texts for   
me was the H.O. interview. It is nice   
to read how one can never really get    
his hands off the breadbox.             
There also is text covering the tiny    
SID stuff and the Crazed 2 demo by      
Retro64. The interesting thing is       
that it is more like an HBO making-of   
documentary with comments from makers   

and narrative by the editors.           
If you still haven't read this mag,     
you are loosing time. Go read it.       
Eventually, the legend returned. One    
day, it suddenly surfaced and soon      
thereafter the 30:th issue reached      
us. The legend was back on its feet and 
ready to fight. Unfortunatly, like with 
most returns (like, f.ex Mike Tyson's)  
it wasn't too well equipped to handle   
todays scene. Driven is back in the same
style it left us, although a bit weaker 
and a bit older. Perhaps even with a    
little less spark than before. Don't    
get me wrong here. It's obvious that    
Coolhand and Dokken put down quite some 
energy on both of the last two issues of
this magazine, and the return of Driven 
in 2005 was surely more than I had hoped
for. But some more time is needed before
the editors are back in their old shape.

The first issue simply didn't have      
enough content. No PAL-report and       
some quite well-known rumours was       
the overall impression. Ok, that i'm    
not really fair here. Driven was a      
load better than most of the existing   
C-64 magazines out there, it's just     
that I remember the old, fantastic      
issues from the last years of the       
nineties. What I feel need some change  
is not only the content, but also the   
approach. First of all, i'd love the    
magazine a little more relaxed. Ok,     
not Game Over(view)-relaxed, but        
still. The americans got their sort of  
dry, technical style, and that's ok     
for most of the content, but not for    
coverage of the european scene. The     
american scene is surprisingly small,   
consisting of scattered retrosceners,   
conventions, hardware fanatics, old     
crackers and so on. But the european    
scene is a completely different story,  
and need a different approach. Need     

I say I stopped reading the european    
"party"-article when I reached the word 
Vandalism News #44                      
Vandalism News #44 was released, two    
and a half months after issue #43, so   
it seems they almost managed to keep    
their release schedule.  This might     
not be altogether positive, though,     
as this issue feels a bit rushed.       
The absence of charts was a let-down    
for me, but it's still kind of nice     
that the decision to not publish them   
because of too few votes was taken.     

This shows some serious ambition.       
However, if Vandalism aren't able to    
draw enough votes, despite Jazzcat's    
valiant efforts, which mag is?          
Allright... VN needs to be carefully    
analyzed. There are positive things from
my perspective that really needs to go  
on. Like the two month schedule thing,  
and a very nice disk maggy approach     
to the news chapter. And there are my   
complaints. But let us go one by one.   
Right the schedule. Apperantly the 2    
month release schedule is too much I    
feel. Much like Duke's analogy of VN    
to a TV network, VN needs to be big in  
scale. I believe it can not and should  
not decrease content in favor of a tight
release schedule. It could be increased 
to 3 or 4 months maybe. Of course that  
is my suggestion.                       

Quite opposite to Nightlord's views on  
this mag, I don't find it too small,    
having too little content. In my        
opinion, a magazine of today should     
consist of the bare necessities. With   
the current flow of information from    
the net, with the mindnumbing forums    
and the silence of a bot-ridden #C-64,  
magazines need a slightly different     
approach. Intelligent, moderated        
discussion; in-depth articles;          
topics which need more to be stated     
than discussed is what I foresee will   
dominate the few magazines left. In a   
way Vandalism News already got this.    
Second point... VN can not and should   
not have any copy and paste chapters    
whatever its motive. The reason is      
same. VN is just too big a legacy. The  
disappointment that I felt with seing   
the demos chapter was huge. I hope that 

never ever happens again.               
The same goes for the reactions: they're
also ripped from the web, and to add    
insult to injury, the stuff taken from  
pouet isn't even correctly credited.    
For example the news chapter is a famous
discussion. If the newspapers and       
monthly magazines have news chapters    
even in this day and age of TV and      
internet, why can't diskmags. The trick 
is on providing oppinions and insights  
on the news. Just like VN has achieved  
here. So a big thumb up to that.        
The news chapter is better than in other
mags, not only because some of the stuff
reported was actually news to me, but   
also because it's commented, both by    
the editor and by the people involved.  
Some of the stuff, like member status   
of groups and who's idling the most on  

#c-64, just isn't interesting though.   
Bringing up the age old "is the         
scene dead?" topic again doesn't        
exactly excite me.  Should this just    
be considered a filler, or was it       
seriously meant?                        
And all the effort trying to keep the   
cracking scene alive... All the coverage
the related stuff gets in VN. It just   
makes me wonder "why". Respecting the   
cracking scene, the very roots of this  
entire subculture, is something. Not    
objectively realizing the input output  
relations of the environment that       
nurtures that scene and not reallocating
resources and coverage to other areas   
in need is something else. I am not     
,repeat, not disrespecting crackers     
here.  But a sack of demos do not even  
get proper review coverage and people   
spend chapters and forums of text space 
discussing how to revive the cracking   

And to end the complaints section,      
Duke's advertising his own articles at  
the end of each one he's written doesn't
exactly add to the reading experience.  
It makes me wonder if he feels that his 
articles are more worth reading than    
the rest of the mag.                    
Another thing I really did not enjoy    
in VN is the Scene Show chapter.        
Offcourse this like every other thing   
I said is highly subjective. However    
I really think humor is a natural       
gift. You either have it or not. All of 
us sometimes end up in funny situations,
but being able to unleash humor at      
will is a gift. You can not learn it    
or push it. And does VN really need a   
humor chapter.                          

I've always found that kind of stupid   
jokes completely pointless too, but I   
actually found the part about myself    
pretty funny, so maybe it has a point   
after all.                              
On the positive side the Floppy report  
by macx was fun. I hope to read more    
from him in the later issues.           
Yep, Macx' Floppy report, where he      
speculated about the infamous mystery   
man Jejk, was the highlight of this     
issue.  Of course, this stuff might not 
appeal to people who haven't actually   
seen him in action (or should I say     
"out of action"?), but he's the stuff   
of legends, take my word for it!        
As always, the magsys is pretty slick   
(although I still don't find navigating 
it very enjoyable) and there's a set of 
tunes by famous C-64 musicians included.

Unfortunately no intro this time,       
but the last one was nice enough for    
two issues.                             
All in all, this is one of the weaker   
issues of Vandalism News that I've read,
but I'm sure the next issue will be     
better if they get the new demo reviews 
section going and learn to cope with    
the stress of releasing more frequently.
I am waiting for the next issue with a  
little doubt and worry at the moment.   
Game Over(view), about 15 new issues    
Well, you guessed it, a bunch of        
new issues of Game Over(view) were      
released while we were doing our best   

to complete just one.  They're exactly  
what you'd expect them to be: excellent.
Reading a new issue of Game Over(view)  
is pretty much like good sex: it only   
lasts for a couple of minutes, but it's 
a load of fun.  No need to say more.    
Just read it and laugh, or, if you're   
a mag editor, read it and weep.         

The Loss

The Loss                                
It's very hard to know how to start an  
article about someone who has recently  
passed away, whoever that person might  
be. Whatever the first lines will tell  
you, they are bound to feel wrong,      
lacking and somewhat missing the point  
entirely. This one is dedicated to one  
of the most unique artists we've had the
privilegie to have on this scene. Kjell.
Kjell Nordbo has passed away. He left   
us by his own choice, by his own hand,  
at the place he liked the most and      
resided in - his little cabin in the    
woods, located 15 minutes away from     
the bus-stop, but only 10 minutes away  
from the sea. The exact reasons why     
are unknown, but ridden with a bad      
back and sore neck which led to him     
beeing hospitalized at times, diabetes, 
depressions and a general discontent of 

the world around him, I can understand  
the fundaments of his descision. A      
descision which probably rose over time,
a decision which was planned and set    
to action on the last day of April,     
2005. It's a small comfort to me that   
this decision probably wasn't caused    
by a sudden depression and that he had  
arranged his passing to be as easy as   
possible to his closest relatives. He   
was laid to rest in Sandnes, next to his
grandfather, and during the ceremony one
of his own compositions was performed   
by the organist.                        
Many of you might think that this kind  
of text is unnecessary, and in a way, it
kind of is. In his last musiccollection,
''Ghost Escapes Body'', he spent quite  
some pages on describing his view of    
life, death and the soul. For each part 
of the puzzle which Kjell gave us, we   
were given more and more insight into   
his mind and his thinking. We who once  
and then had the pleasure to talk to    

him recieved some crucial pieces to the 
jigsaw, but the main motive was always  
something of a mystery. He was a unique 
person, a unique artist and one of the  
most brilliant musicians i've ever had  
the chance to get aquainted to.  We at  
NSR like to bring you one piece of this 
jigzaw, the piece which transmits his   
views on life, death and this world. The
text is called ''Silvergate'' and was   
a part of the GEB compilation. You can  
find it accompying this issue of NSR    
along with his last demo, ''The Sun'',  
made by him and Zyron.                  
When I last spoke to him, we discussed  
the fact that he probably was the last  
active scener who made his art in the   
quite unique norwegian style, a style   
where the details and the work mattered 
a lot, a style which you could recall   
in both his music and his demos. He     
was always quite critical of his own    
work, and I'll never forget the fuzz he 
started when he discovered that there   

was a bug in his demo, "Handicraft"     
at LCP 2002. He promised me that he     
would chop the C-64 into little pieces  
with his hatchet and bury it in his     
backyard. At the last time we met,      
I luckily got the chance to copy every  
single release he ever did release, and 
I also got the chance to see unreleased 
stuff meant to be released after his    
next demopart.  When the news of his    
death first reached me, I was afraid    
that he had done what he threatened to  
do - burning his C64 together with all  
his stuff and burying it in the backyard
of his cabin, letting it meet the same  
destiny as his Amiga 1200. Something did
stop him, though. Perhaps the love of   
his creations, finished and unfinished? 
Kjell wouldn't have wanted us to feel   
sorry for him. He himself described     
this place to be a rather harsh one,    
hard to get by in. A place where he     
was as misplaced as Jalla the Spider or 
Spacebeing Dollin. Now Kjell has left,  

Jalla is nowhere to be found, and Dollin
is back at Pangaea, the green planet,   
never to be seen again. Farewell.       

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