Watching Demons Are Forever (Amiga)

The first demo I remember seeing on Commodore’s wonder machine the Amiga was Doctor Mabuse Orgasm Crackings’ Demons Are Forever, running on a display machine at the local independent computer shop and it was something of a revelation compared to what little I and the shop’s other teenage hangers on had seen from the 16-bit generation to date as well. With the Atari ST for example, the graphics had unsurprisingly improved from what we were used to on 8-bit systems but sound hadn’t noticeably moved on at that point.

Demons Are Forever pushed the quality bar upwards by quite a distance with well drawn, colourful graphics, detailed animations, fluid 50FPS sinusoidal movement and an amazing, bespoke Soundtracker module from composer Frog which matched the on screen action well, something that wasn’t commonplace in demos of the time. There were already loads of demos with sprite sinuses so this wasn’t a first – the same developers’ previous release Spaceship did something similar but far less involved, relying on the Amiga’s hardware sprites rather than blitter objects – but Demons Are Forever stood out for beefing up the presentation, offering lots of potential movement patterns for the objects and by having those beautifully drawn transitions between the balls and titular winged creatures.

Because of all that attention to detail, Demons Are Forever is fondly remembered by demo watchers to this day and its influence on the scene at the time can’t be underestimated either; it spawned a couple of fairly direct clones for the Atari ST and C64 for example and was at least a partial template for many demos which followed.

And just because I can, we’ll finish on a bonus video of the aforementioned Spaceship demo from DOC; it was called that because… well, it’s got a whacking great bias relief spaceship scrolling past with hardware sprites swirling around over the top, Amiga rainbows on some of the playfield colours, a starfield in the background and SLL’s excellent “Hymn To Yezz”, a tune I’ve “covered” a couple of times over the years.

3 thoughts on “Watching Demons Are Forever (Amiga)

  1. Blimey, I remember those demo’s well, Spaceship always reminded me of Insanity Flight the scrolling Goldrunner style shooter (it may have been that it was the other way around and the Demo was first, bad memory.. Uses the same graphic style and funky copper list rainbow effects. (small note, you have bias relief as the graphic style of the ship, isn’t it bas relief?).

    And demons are forever, loved it, to be honest it was the tune that’s the hook but I loved the balls with their shadows etc, was a next step as you say in demo’s of that style. When I got an Action Replay I instantly went mod hunting for the tune :)

    Wished I’d been reading the blog sooner, some great old “good vibe” stuff here, makes me smile and remember the meets in Software city off Tottenham Court Road back then…


  2. Hmm, I was taught “bias relief” at school and haven’t stopped using it since… lets see if I can break the habit in future posts. =-)

    We pulled the Demons soundtrack as well, the copy I have on my media server now was the one I grabbed from Computerworld Canterbury’s display A2000’s hard disk all those years ago… and dear Rassilon I suddenly feel old for some reason!

  3. Well, I saw the demo on a computer exhibition in a House of Military (Dom armády) in Trenčín in then-Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. I must have been around 15-16. The guy has it hooked to a (in my personal estimation) powerful repro system. My background then was ZX Spectrum and the Czechoslovak B/W computer with no sound to speak of called PMD-85, so when I asked the guy what’s the tune and he told me it’s from the computer, my brain went into the deepest Guru meditation the world has ever seen. I was staring at it in complete shock and disbelief.

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