Some demo screen highlights of the Atari ST family from 2001 to now..

This is my take on the best of Atari demos of recent years, in the form of a screengrab gallery. It is based on a concept that I did for issue 30 of the Hugi diskmag, but somewhat expanded from that now. - CiH, January 2006.

'Odd Stuff' (ST - 2001)

This is one of the ultimate French oldschool 'design' demos. It is really nicely done and flawlessly put together. The French school happily lives on, still producing some significant works today.

'Don't Break the Oath' (CT2 Falcon - 2001)

Before the CT60, there was the Centurbo 2. The Dead Hackers Society produced this, which will probably remain the best demo to exploit the possibilities of this 50mhz cpu booster, which was widely adopted, but not so much by the Atari scene as the CT60.

'Wait' (Falcon - 2001)

This was unlucky enough to enter into the same demo competitions as 'Hmmm' and 'Don't Break the Oath', and was somewhat overshadowed by them. In almost any other year, this tasty work by the reclusive T.O.Y.S group from Sweden, would have been way out in front. In common with 'Don't', it used MP2 streaming audio, and featured some great PC-style 3-D scenes. It double-lined the screens, so the hardware requirements weren't so heavy. A great demo, crammed a lot in, and possibly over too quickly?

'Hmmm' (Falcon - 2001)

One of the all-time great demo's for the basic unexpanded F030 made by No of Escape. It made brilliant use of the combined cpu and dsp resources of the Falcon. It was also a huge leap, both in the complexity of effects, and overall coolness of design.

'Delta' (Falcon - 2003)

The response to 'Hmmm' demo was a little while forthcoming, but thanks to the patient hands of Earx, it did. 'Delta' was a huge demo, up to fifteen minutes worth, copious DSP powered effects, and an epic in every sense of the word. It only fell down a little bit, design-wise, in comparison to the earlier demo, but it's still a classic.

'Underscore' (Falcon - 2003)

The sequel to 'Hmmm', not quite such a leap forward, you might consider this as "Hmmm v1.5", but it has possibly even faster dsp routines than before, coming courtesy of Charon of Escape.

'Darkness' (ST - 2003)

Even Falcon fanatics like the Dead Hackers Society like to return to their roots now and again. This effort from the Error in Line party shows the ST being comfortable with newschool 3D effects.

'Posh' (ST - 2003)

This was the long-awaited follow-up to the format smashing 1999 epic 'SureTrip' from Checkpoint. 'Posh' attempted to do many things which were only thought possible on the Falcon, including a successful impersonation of a very early sanity rotozoomer, and other screens with a style all of their own. And all of this on a standard ST. How will they follow this?

Out' (Falcon - 2004)

This quick and refreshing dsp killer from Dutch coder Earx appeared last year, he joins the top rank of Falcon coders!

'1.0' (CT60 - 2004)

A new accelerator came along, the seriously powerful CT60. This was based on a 68060 design, and gave new possibilities for the humble Falcon. It was a little while for the first demo to come along, but Deez of Evolution did, with this aptly named '1,0'. This was a quick release intended as a taster, with more in-depth CT60 demos to come along later.

'Trall' (CT60 - 2004)

Easter 2004 brought this combined Dead Hackers, Ephidrena release to the Outline '04 party. A definite wintry style came off well here, but again it was a little bit too short and over too quickly.

'Deeztort' (CT60 - 2004)

This came as a surprise, another Evolution intro for the CT60, released as part of the goodies pack for Chosneck diskmag. More advanced effects than '1.0' are featured, but at heart, it is still a taster for the proper demo to come.

'Moai' (Falcon - 2004)

Misting is a relatively rare effect, only done twice before on the Falcon '030. We have been promised more from this particular dsp-powered 3D engine in the not too distant future! A combined team of Mystic Bytes and Satantronic were implicated.

'Dazed' (CT60 - 2004)

It's Deez again, with a quick throw-together code for the end of the year competition. Certainly dark, but a little bit disconnected in feel?

'Eskimeau Experience' (CT60 - 2004)

This neat CT60 intro shows some nice early steps with the Falcon '060 concept. Our old friends, the Dead Hackers were responsible.

'Beams' (Falcon - 2003/05)

First shown at Error in Line 3 in 2003, but not released until 2005. This awesome production from the Sirius Cybernetics Corp (tSCc) played on Cyberpunk sensibilities. One of the greatest ever demos for a stock Falcon, design-wise.

Miscellaneous Highlights (CT60 - 2005)

No, not the title of a demo, but a couple of quick grabs from Earx's 4ktro 'Scape', and aRt's debut code for the CT60 'Artari'.

'Acid Tear' (CT60 - 2005)

In a slow year in general, this sparkling little 4ktro from the Dead Hackers stands out nicely.

'Pacemaker' (STe - 2005)

Paradox single-handedly tackles some of the deeper secrets of the STe hardware. The Sega homage theme is rather obvious!

Now I've carried out the slogging match to get this to where I want it. I guess it will be fairly easy to update, as and when new releases worthy of inclusion come along. After a sluggish 2005, I'm looking forward to 2006!

By the way, I've not forgotten the 20 year Megademo, I've still got to do a few screencaps for that!

(C) CiH - Jan 2006.