Mnemonic (1996, 16.11, AGA 4MB Multifile)
Review by Glenn Lunder
By no means exceptional, "Mnemonic" does show some promise for the future of this young Norwegian group. Slow effects mean that the coders need to do some work on their routines, but after all I guess this is true for most coders :). Also the design of the demo leaves a little to be desired, but it will come with time and experience. The best effect here - for its originality alone - is a shadebob-like caleidoscope effect which is truly psychedelic. Frequent's music is nothing exceptional. It's been two minutes since I exited the demo, and I can't even remember the melody :( Bad news for any composer.
The exit routine crashed in the competition since it was crunched with StoneCracker.
tested A1200/030-50/2mb chip, 16mb fast/3.0.
J (2000, 28.12, AGA HD Multifile Demo)
Review by Glenn Lunder
"J" opens darkly and atmospherically, without really coming to life anyway in the opening titles... The design seems good, and there's a little mood coming over you, but then it closes down and starts to load and decrunch again before you can really settle in, and it all takes a little too long, so much of the initial mood is lost. Ephidrena could have benefitted greatly from creating their own loader, and thereby loading part-by-part, making the demo come together more fluently.
But we wait and then, SUDDENLY, sparks of light, a kicking techno tune and a tunnel with light particles inside... wow! The demo continues with just superior design, and the is actually quite good, especially during that slow break during the 'dark skies over the desert' part. Ephidrena seem to use a lot of digitized or retouched graphics, but as long as it's done to good effect and for the sake of design - such as in this demo - I do not have many complaints about this approach. The effect that looks almost like smoke or fog being puffed around, which appears under their credits, is just amazing. Then the demo shows one last spark of life with a 'bird' it seems animated by LOTS of vectorlines, before we seemingly travel backwards outside the demo world, through the tunnel we entered and finally with a glimpse of the structure from the intro in the distance...
There is no question that "J" is a good demo, but there are a few things that make it less than a GREAT demo. For one, a question needs asking: Why does this demo JERK on my machine, as if sometimes the processor can't quite keep up, while at other times it can? On other demos, effects either move fast or they move slow - never a little of this, a little of that... Explanations, Ephidrena? Hmmm... But the biggest drawback of all is the lack of FLOW created by the long pause between the two parts. This is still a significant production in an otherwise stagnant amiga demo market, but with just a little more polish (like making a proper loader), this could have been just a little better... A nice plus for the music, which is above average for amiga demo-techno =) Personally, I'm more of a rock'n'roll guy, me, but I recognise good work when I hear it.
tested A1200/030-50/2mb chip, 16mb fast/3.1.
Adam Malysz (2000, .04, AGA HD Multifile Demo)
Review by Glenn Lunder
"Adam Malysz" is a very bleak, dark and industrial demo. It's more about its ambience and atmosphere than about its effects, we feel. At times it seems a little split in perspective though, with one part being the dark, dirty cyberpunky style and the next still dark and dirty, but with more of an... eastern bloc feel to it, if anyone understands that. From neo-tech to old and sad. A lot of effort has obviously gone into the design of the backdrops in other graphics in this demo, much more than has gone into the coding and music. It feels like the coder's reusing the same routines several times here, with minor variations. Most effects are in shades of grey too, which doesn't help much. The music is not good either, I can get a feel for what they were going for, but not quite get there. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I feel this demo is not all it could be. It just didn't get me excited. Well, at least it worked on my old workhorse, which is more than I can say for Floppy's demo at this party =]
The demo requires setpatch before it will run. No exact credits appear anywhere in the demo or in the archive. Naturally this requires some fast, but how much is anyone's guess.
tested A1200/030-50/2mb chip, 32mb fast/3.1.