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Classic (Legacy) Computers
PC Demos 1987-1998
Here are 20 demos spanning the period 1990-1998, captured into video form by some rather creative software and hardware hacking by the MindCandy crew at Fusecon. In my opinion they are excellent examples of the demo artform. Unfortunately, streaming video isn't quite up to the task of preserving the detail of some scenes, to properly experience these you really should buy the DVD MindCandy Volume 1: PC Demos, not only does the DVD format preserve much more detail than streaming video, you also get 22 "modern" (1998-2001) PC demos in addition to the 20 classics. Also worth a look is MindCandy Volume 2: Amiga Demos, the Amiga is where a lot of this started, arguably the PC demo scene wouldn't exist (or wouldn't be recognizable anyway) without the Amiga demo scene.
1986 first PC "cracktro" is a hint of things to come
1988 Future Crew and Sorcerers jump-start PC demo scene
| || ||Space Pigs - Megademo|
Released in 1990, the first full-length demo for the PC, featuring EGA graphics (only 320x200 @ 16 colours!), PC speaker and parallel-port DAC music, and giant scrollers - very oldschool
1991 VGA (320x200 @ 256 colours) and the original SoundBlaster (8-bit 22KHz mono) are released
1992 First PC demo competitions are held, software wave-table synthesis (typically only 4 channels) becomes popular
| || ||Future Crew - Unreal|
1st Place at Assembly 1992, Future Crew's first full-length demo, a large assortment of effects borrowed from other platforms but with their own twist, including some early 3D effects
| || ||Renaissance - Amnesia|
Released in 1992, a rare American demo with a very compelling soundtrack (in my opinion anyway), using both wave-table and FM synthesis, and good examples of early 3D effects
| || ||Future Crew - Panic|
2nd Place at The Party 1992, featuring many unusual effects for the PC demo scene at the time, and synchronized effects to a single tune, common on the Amiga, became the norm for PC demos in the following years
1993 Gravis UltraSound released (the first hardware wave-table synthesizer for the PC)
| || ||Triton - Crystal Dream 2|
1st Place at The Computer Crossroads 1993, a legendary PC demo featuring many vector effects and on-the-fly raytracing, was quite a drain on CPUs at the time
| || ||Future Crew - Second Reality|
1st Place at Assembly 1993, this is the quintessential PC demo, it ushered in a new era of demos and set the standard for years, and attracted many new young people to the scene
1994 Music trackers start using up to 32 channels
| || ||Majic 12 - Show|
1st Place at Hammering 1994, heavily inspired by the Amiga demo scene, provided a fresh breath of design for the PC demo scene, includes a rare rock-style soundtrack (which in my opinion is a liability, but nevermind)
1995 First hi-colour (32,768 colours or more) and hi-res (640x480 or more) demos appear
| || ||Complex - Dope|
1st Place at The Gathering 1995, this demo was made with one purpose, to win a demo competition, and it did - a dramatic build-up and flashy new names for existing effects wooed many a scener
| || ||Orange - X14|
1st Place at Juhla 2 1995. This one used some nifty hardware tricks to create an experimental style that was unique and trend setting at the time.
| || ||NoooN - Stars: Wonders of the World|
1st Place at Assembly 1995. A cool fast-paced rock soundtrack plays over mindbending 2D and 3D effects that are still unique by today's standards.
| || ||Pulse - Reve|
5th Place at The Party 1995. A silver surfer flies through surreal 3D worlds, with music and graphics that are uniquely Pulse. You either love it or hate it. ;-)
1996 3D scenes come into their own, Amiga groups start moving to the PC
| || ||COMA - Paimen|
2nd Place at Juhla Pi 1996. Paimen (Finnish for shepherd) by COMA (Community Of Moral Advancement). A religious message delivered with industrial music and visuals. Something of an interesting experiment...
| || ||CNCD - Inside|
1st Place at The Gathering 1996. This former Amiga group brought attitude to the PC, the unique visuals were created in one week, the music in two nights - authentic 4-channel Amiga MOD music at that.
| || ||Orange - Megablast|
2nd Place at The Party 1996. Possibly the most unique demo ever, Orange pushed their artistic concepts to the limit, this one is either considered way ahead of its time or confusing.
1997 First Windows demos appear
| || ||Acme - 303|
1st Place at X/Takeover 1997. Bizarre colours combine with ground-breaking effects. One of the few demos to include vocals in the soundtrack.
| || ||Halcyon & Da Jormas - Saint|
Screened at Assembly 1997. A party delight, Amiga rave music is mixed with precisely synchronized fast 3D worlds.
| || ||Pulse - Square|
5th Place at The Party 1997. An international collaboration worked on this demo, featuring electro-punk music and artistic visuals.
1998 The last days of the DOS demos, Windows demos start taking advantage of 3D accelerator video cards
| || ||Exceed - Riprap|
1st Place at AntIQ 1998. A light-hearted demo, it pokes fun at "ripping" material from other sources.