From ExoticA

UnExoticA is a large archive of Amiga computer music, ripped from Amiga games and demos.

Archive organisation

The collection is organised as Amiga LhA archives, stored in a hierarchical directory structure:

The format description file.
Music ripped from Amiga demos and intros
Music ripped from Amiga games and demos of Amiga games
Game/Updates/ and Demo/Updates/
Update description files with the format "YYYY_MM_DD_name.txt", where YYYY/MM/DD is the date of the update and name is the name of the person who did the update - currently one of "XtC", "buzz", "kyz" or "ronaldvd".
Game/Composers/ and Demo/Composers/
Composer description files for non-notable composers, with the format "Forename_Surname.txt" or "Onlyname.txt". There can also be a matching .jpg, .png or .gif file (see the "composer.jpg, .png or .gif" description below).
Other directories in Game/ and Demo/
One directory for each notable composer, with the format "Surname_Forename/" or "Onlyname/"
Diacritical Marks
These should not be used for folder names.
Umlauted characters such as ä, ö and ü should be replaced by ae, oe and ue respectively, e.g. Chris Hülsbeck would become Huelsbeck_Chris.
Characters with a cedilla such as ç and ş should be replaced by c and s respectively.
All characters with acute and grave accents such as á and é and à and è should be replaced by a and e respectively.

Within a composer's directory, there will be files of this type:

This is the archive file for a particular game or demo.
This is the archive description file for a particular game or demo.
Demo_or_Game_Name.jpg, .png or .gif
This is a screenshot of the demo or game in JPEG, PNG or GIF image format. PNG format is preferential. The image should not be arbitrarily scaled, but the image should be sized to 640x512 (or equivalent), by doubling the width or height of pixels, or both. (e.g. 320x200 screenshot -> 640x400. 640x256 screenshot -> 640x512. 320x400 screenshot -> 640x400)
The same Demo_or_Game_Name.lha or Demo_or_Game_Name.txt in more than one composer's directory
This is permitted.
The same Demo_or_Game_Name.jpg, .png or .gif in more than one composer's directory
This is not permitted. Only one copy of the screenshot is allowed per title, and it will automatically be copied to all other archive files.
Demo_or_Game_Name_CDDA.lha and Demo_or_Game_Name_CDDA.txt
Archives whose name has the suffix "_CDDA" are considered the same as archives without that suffix. So Game_Name.lha and Game_Name_CDDA.lha are from the same game. As per the above item, this is permitted in the same way that having more than one archive with the same name in two or more composers' directories is permitted.
A composer description file for this composer.
composer.jpg, .png or .gif
This is a photograph or image of the composer in the JPEG, PNG or GIF image format. This should preferentially be a JPEG file, as large as is available.


formats.txt                                    - the formats.txt file

Demo/                                          - music ripped from demos, not games
Demo/Akesson_Linus/                            - surname first, then forename
Demo/Akesson_Linus/A_Bit_More.lha              - archive name is "A_Bit_More"
Demo/Akesson_Linus/A_Bit_More.txt              - matching .txt file to describe it
Demo/Akesson_Linus/composer.txt                - a composer.txt for Linus Akesson

Demo/Composers/                                - for minor composers without their own dir
Demo/Composers/Flemming_Sondergaard.txt        - "Flemming Sondergaard"'s composer.txt
Demo/Composers/Abstract.txt                    - "Abstract"'s composer.txt


Demo/Serkul/                                   - this guy only has one name

Demo/Simmonds_Matthew/In_the_Kitchen.lha       - also seen in Jochen Feldkoetter's dir
Demo/Simmonds_Matthew/In_the_Kitchen.txt       - also seen in Jochen Feldkoetter's dir

Demo/Updates/2005_09_05_XtC.txt                - update file by XtC on 05 September 2005

Game/                                          - music ripped from games, not demos
Game/Deenen_Charles/composer.jpg               - jpeg image of composer
Game/Deenen_Charles/composer.txt               - composer.txt for Charles Deenen
Game/Deenen_Charles/Castles_2.png              - PNG image of Castles 2
Game/Deenen_Charles/Castles_2_CDDA.lha         - also part of the Castles_2 archives

Guidelines for archiving

  • Music should preferably be disk-ripped, i.e. ripped directly from the disk, without executing the game or demo code to load it into memory. If it can't be disk ripped for whatever reason, it should be ripped direct from memory while it's playing.
  • If a game or demo's music has more than one composer, consider creating several archives; one for each significant piece of work. UnExoticA is not exacting, so you don't need to have only one composer per LhA archive, but often people want to collect a single composer's work, and don't want the others. For example, Agony features music principally by Tim Wright and Jeroen Tel, with additional music by Martin Wall, Robert Ling, Matthew Simmonds and Martin Iveson. We created Game/Tel_Jeroen/Agony.lha with Jeroen Tel's music (all ingame music), and Game/Wright_Tim/Agony.lha with Tim Wright's music (the title music), plus the additional music from the other musicians.
  • Always attempt to get a composer's real name, where that's possible. You can research this at the Amiga Music Preservation project. If their real name is not known, but you know their handle, use that. Use their most up to date known handle, even if the game or demo credits them with their older handle. Don't use their group name. Old handles and group names can be mentioned in the composer file.
  • Turning a game or demo name into an archive name:
    • Games or demos which begin with "the" should have the "the" removed. For example "The Speris Legacy" becomes Speris_Legacy.lha.
    • Games or demos with roman numerals should become arabic numerals, e.g. Turrican II becomes Turrican_2.
    • Try to keep the filename under 30 characters, including the .lha file extension.

Format description file

This file, "formats.txt" in the top level of the UnExoticA archive, contains text descriptions of all known music file formats.

The list does not have to be ordered. For each entry, first there is the filename prefix/extension. In this example, "smus" and "jt". Then there is whitespace, preferably one tab character. Then there is the format's name, in the example "Sonix Music Driver" and "Jeroen Tel". Then there is a newline and a description of the format. As many lines may be used as desired. A blank line indicates the end of the entry, and the next entry begins. The list should end with an extra blank line, or the last entry is missed out.


smus    Sonix Music Driver
Also known as IFF-SMUS, its Another Electronic Arts standardised music format, created
along with 8SVX, ILBM and FTXT as the EA IFF 1984 specification.  Other than the
archaic Aegis Sonix and EA's own Deluxe Music Construction Set (DMCS), almost no
software uses this format.

jt      Jeroen Tel
Also known as 'Maniacs Of Noise Old', this music format was created by Charles Deenen
and Jeroen Tel, used by the Maniacs of Noise.

Archive files

UnExoticA archives are Amiga LhA format archives with the file extension ".lha". Each archive should unpack into a directory with the same name as the archive, so Agony.lha should unpack contain the files "Agony/mod.agony_end of game", etc. Each music file should have an Amiga file comment in the format "Composer(s) of this file | Game name | Year of release | Team / Publisher" for games, or "Composer(s) | Demo name | Year of release | Group / Party" for demos.

Archive description files

These files describe what's in the corresponding archive - they have the same filename as the archive, except for the extension ".txt" instead of ".lha".

The file breaks down into pairs of lines; a fixed header line and the data going under that header. This data line can be blank if desired.

The only exception to the "pairs of lines" rule is the "comments" header, where all remaining lines in the file are considered as comment data.

The first two headers in the file must be "composer 1" and "composer 1 comment". If there are several composers for this archive, there should then be "composer 2" and "composer 2 comments", and so on. The composer headers must appear in that order.

Then, any of the following headers and data can appear. The "comments" header will always be last, because all following lines after it are considered as comment data.

File format of the music. Several formats can be written, separated by " / "
source type
What kind of production the music was ripped from. This can be one of "Game", "Demo", "Dentro", "Intro", "Musicdisk" or "Slideshow". Note that "Game" marks the archive as game-type and any other choice marks the archive as demo-type.
source title
The full title of the production. If the production has a sub-title, then use a hyphen between two spaces to separate it, e.g "Game Title - Sub Title Of Game". Games without sub-titles should avoid using " - " in them, as this is what triggers the sub-title recognition. "-" is OK, however.
alternative titles
Alternative titles for the production. This should not include just the main title without its subtitle, or the title with accented characters removed, as these alternatives are automatically created. Separate multiple titles with ",".
The year of the production's release.
The team who developed this game. Separate multiple teams with " / ". This header can only be used on game-type archives.
The team who developed this game. Separate multiple publishers with " / ". This header can only be used on game-type archives.
box scan
The name of an ExoticA box scan for this game. This header can only be used on game-type archives.
hol id
This is the Hall Of Light database ID. Separate multiple IDs with ",". This header can only be used on game-type archives.
lemon id
This is the Lemon Amiga database ID. Separate multiple IDs with ",". This header can only be used on game-type archives.
The demo group who created this production. Separate multiple groups with " / ". This header can only be used on demo-type archives.
The demo party which this production was released at. This header can only be used on demo-type archives.
ripped by
A list of people who ripped or provided the music. Separate multiple people with ",".
rip type
The type of ripping method used. Must be one of "Disk", "Memory" or "Both".
Comments about the title, or specific files in this archive.

Update description files

These describe the changes the maintainers have made to the archive. The filename contains the date and the name of the maintainer, e.g. "2006_04_02_XtC.txt", where the date is 02 April 2006 and the maintainer is XtC.

The file is split into three sections: ADDED, AMENDED and DELETED. These words need to start at the beginning of the line and there should be nothing else on the line. Then follows a list of filenames, ended with a blank line. The filenames are local to the Game/ or Demo/ directory, it's automatically presumed that an update in Demo/Updates/ only has changes to Demo/ and likewise for Game/Updates/. If there is any further text on a filename line, it's considered as a comment.



Brimble_Allister/Full_Contact.lha  Added missing ingame music.
Cuomo_Jim/Defender_of_the_Crown.lha  Replaced with a more accurate custom.
Ouwehand_Reyn/Last_Ninja_3.lha  Added missing game completion music.
Williams_Glyn/Warhead.lha  Replaced with an updated version.

Foster_David/Space_Ace_Demo.lha  Re-added under correct composer name.
Linden_Randy/Dragons_Lair_Demo.lha  Re-added under correct composer name.

Composer description files

This file is either composer.txt in a composer's own directory, or named after the composer in Demo/Composers/ or Game/Composers/.

composer name
The first line must be "composer name". The next line is the composer's name, which should match the name given in the archive description file. The composer's name should also have an underscore in it, to indicate where the composer's surname begins. If a surname has a preposition such as Da Silva, van der Valk, de la Cruze or de Agger then the underscore should be placed after the preposition, i.e. Da _Silva, van der _Valk, de la _Cruze and de _Agger respectively. This rule does not currently apply to prepositions such as MacDonald, Fitzpatrick or O'Connor.
If the composer only has one name, the underscore should be at the start of the line. Where relevant, all diacritical marks can be used here.

There are then four optional sections. The first three can appear in any order, but the "comments" section always extends to the end of the file, thus it must always be last.

First "handle" on its own line, then the composer's handle(s), including past handles, on one line. Multiple handles should be separated by ",", and ordered from most recent to oldest.
First "homepage" on its own line, then the URL of the composer's homepage, on one line.
photo comment
First "photo comment" on its own line, then a comment about the composer's photo.
First "comments" on its own line, then the remaining lines in the file are taken as comments about the composer.


composer name
Allister _Brimble
The Demon
photo comment
Photo courtesy of Jan Zottmann
Allister's handle of The Demon is not to be confused with Demon on the C64.