Home Comedy Atari ST Captain Blood Pilsbry Photos Livejournal blog RSI + Voice Strain Twitter YouTube


ARGnet

ARGanoid's ST Scene page

Stuff about ST games and demos (almost all written in 1998 or earlier)

(For those who don't know, the Atari ST was a computer which was popular in the late 80s and early 90s)

Links to the rest of this page


Downloads

Downloadable thingSizeDescription
The A.R.G. Megademo711KbThis was my own attempt at a megademo, written in STOS and released in 1995. It's even worse than I remember, although there are very few funny bits in the scroll texts, such as "I suppose I'm getting short on processor time now. I don't know because I'm just writing this scrolltext to the moment and I haven't actually done anything apart from the scroll text", "As usual, this screen contains no advanced coding techniques" (intro screen for Megascroller 1) and "Do you like this effect? I don't." (part 2 of Megascroller 2). Requires a 1Mb ST, but runs better with more memory.
ARG-ST804KbMy disk magazine, originally released in 1995.
The Commons147KbA very early version of the game which I was working on before my ST died. Basically, it's a Virtua Fighter style beat 'em up... Yes, that's right, on an ST. Written in BASIC. The frame rate is quite low, admittedly, but it's impressive nevertheless. This version is so early that there is pretty much no gameplay (you can kick, but it won't affect your opponent), but download it to marvel at the fact that the ST can actually do this kind of game... Read the text file on the disk image to find out what the controls are.
The Skyfighter Trilogy792KbThree very early games from Pilsbry - Skyfighter, Skyfighter Fighter and Airfighter. These were the only games I ever released on the ST. They all possess varying degrees of crapness.
The Union Demo756KbThe second megademo made on the ST, and a timeless classic. Of course, all the TCB screens beat the pants off the rest, especially the stunning Beat 'Dis screen (see below).
The SOWATT demo by TCB784KbA nice (but old) megademo from the kings of ST demo coding.
Things Not To Do642KbAn excellent joke demo by Electronic Images.
The Snork Demo by Future Minds1.57MbOne of the best demos on the ST, especially the excellent intro and hidden screens.
Hangabout9KbOne of the best and smallest games ever made for the ST! The object is to climb three mountains. You get one Super Jump per game, so use it wisely. It is very hard to complete, but mind-numbingly addictive...
Chip music238KbA disk image containing some of the best chip music made for the ST. Includes two versions of Billy Allan's excellent RazRez player. (Although it's more convenient to use ST SOUND on the PC these days)

Note - you can download the superb music from the Beat 'Dis screen of the Union demo by going to Leonard's Homepage. Don't forget to also get the latest version of ST-SOUND.


Links to other ST pages


ST demo people


The latest ST scene news...

Saturday 27th January 2001...
A new emulator has recently been making a big impact on the ST emulation scene - Steem. Steem runs a far greater number of programs that never used to work with Pacifist and Winston - including lots of demos and also the uncracked version of Captain Blood (see the Captain Blood page for more info). Among the demos I can now run on my PC are M-DEMOs 3 and 4, two of my favourites. There are several more which I haven't tested yet.
There is one major bug in the current version of Steem (1.4) - the sound is muffled on many PC configurations. However, this is due to be fixed very soon.

Saturday 15th July 2000...
Amazingly, a new version of the ST emulator WinSTon has been released. It has improved support for samples, and is more configurable. I can't really compare it properly to the previous version as I can't remember exactly how many things worked with it. This new version runs a fair few things, including The ARG Megademo and ARG-ST. It still doesn't run some of my favourite demos, such as M-Demo 4. The sample quality is sometimes excellent, and sometimes poor. WinSTon is still not quite as powerful as Pacifist yet, but it is a lot easier to use, and more reliable.

Friday 9th March 2000...
So much for latest news, eh? Unfortunately, Pacifist hasn't been updated for nearly two years. Its creator seems to have vanished, and the future of ST emulation seems nonexistent. Which is a shame.

Sunday 16th August 1998...
WinSTon 0.1 has been released, and for the first time, PaCifiST has real competition. Winston is able run many games, and it also managed some of the ARG Megademo. Unfortunately, it runs everything slowly, and the sound emulation is primitive at the moment. And it can't run Captain Blood.
Also, more than a month on from the beta version, there is no sign of PaCifiST 0.49 final...

Sunday 7th June 1998...
Pacifist 0.49 beta and LGD III are here! The latter rules, the former is disappointing. It had problems running a whole ton of stuff which worked under 0.48. And it still can't run Captain Blood...

Friday 5th June 1998...
Yawn. Not much is happening, is it? New LGD and Pacifist still not here after five days. I'm sure they'll be along soon. Then there'll definately be something to talk about.

Friday 1st May 1998...
I am becoming slightly disillusioned with the ST scene. Now that the novelty of speaking with all the old ST legends has worn off, and almost all demos still don't work under Pacifist, there is not a lot here for me. Let's face it, the PC and Windows 95 have been criticised heavily by, well, everyone - but really, using a PC is a thousand times better. Sure, it was crap a few years ago, but the times have changed. The only things on the ST I am still interested in are all those demos that I can't run. Everything else the PC does better. Of course it does. It's literally thousands of times faster. And it's a total godsend for programmers.

A lot of my annoyance comes from something I tried to do about two hours ago.

I decided to write a NEW ST game. My first ST game for four years.

I ran Pacifist. I loaded STOS. I went to the sprite designer.

My game idea was 'Footix Massacre'. The idea of the game would be that 'Footix', the stupid World Cup 98 mascot, would move around on the screen, and the player would shoot him with the mouse pointer. Then it would say: 'You Won!!!'. (I didn't want to spend too much time on this game...)

I used my terrible artistic abilities to draw the Footix sprite. This took about half an hour. Then I exited the sprite designer using the QUIT AND GRAB option. This was supposed to grab the sprite into my program.

I then wrote the program. Quite difficult seeing how STOS is a terrible language which I haven't used in three years.

I ran the program. Nothing appeared on the screen. I tried to display the sprite manually. Nothing. I went to the sprite designer. The sprite was not there. I had forgotten that I had to put the sprite into the memory bank before I had quitted the sprite designer. My hard work was gone.

I knocked up another (inferior, if that's possible) sprite. I ran the game. It showed three sprites, moving around the screen very badly. The frame rate was about ten frames per second.

I wrote the collision detection. It didn't work. It should have worked, but it didn't. I wrote a thing on the start of the program, saying that the game didn't actually work...

I tried to compile it. I got a 'Disk Error'. I typed 'dir'. The disk had been wiped...

I re-imaged the disk and swore NEVER to use STOS again....

The end.

Saturday 18th April 1998...
I come back online, and nothing seems to have happened on the ST scene at all. Not even a new version of Pacifist.

You might notice that this page, and indeed this whole site, has undergone a few improvements. There is now tons of stuff to download, including some of my old productions on the ST.

Friday 20th February 1998...
I'm leaving you for a while now.

But being on-line has been a great thing for me, because it has allowed me to see again all those ST legends, who are still alive and well (and often still using their STs). The other day I e-mailed Nick of The Carebears. THE ACTUAL Nick of TCB! Yes! And Flix of Delta Force, who wrote the scrolltext which changed my life... And Jeff Minter, the most famous sheep-shagger in the world! Legends, all of them. One day, people will sit down and sing folk songs about how the valiant Sir Nick of TCB rode into the village and blew everyone's mind with the Grodan and Kvack Kvack demo.

I never achieved my dream of being a proper part of the ST scene, years ago. Being on-line has gone a long way to rectifying this. The A.R.G. Megademo was released in 1995, but never got anywhere. Now that it is here, thousands of people have access to it. Feedback, please...

Nowgue, laugha, greh brooghund. Mumgugue blasch illab. Nowgue levee elliote brooghund brooghund. Nowge.

Monday 9th February 1998...
With the help of Brume, I have collected together most of the music from M-Demos 3 and 4. Talk about a blast from the past. The big problem is that AN-COOL, creator of these demos, always felt the need to make modules in TCB Tracker format. I mean, okay, so he was the person who actually wrote TCB Tracker, but it makes it incredibly difficult to convert the modules into standard MOD format.
The method of converting TCB mods is this: Load them into Protracker (found on Maggie 11), and then save them out. This deals with the file conversion.
Load the module into FastTracker 2. If the original TCB module was in 'Amiga mode', go to the Transpose menu, and click three times on the button which transposes all the instruments up for entire song.
Most of AN COOL's modules require use of the 'D' parameter. This parameter causes the player to immediately move forward to the next track. For example, on the music for the Change Disk screen, I had to insert this parameter at position 2A for most patterns.
Finally, you have to hope that there are no 'special effects' being used in the module, because these were all lost in the translation. Which is a bit annoying, because some of the modules (such as the Pong music) DEPEND on these special effect parameters... Damn.

Of course, at the end of the day, there is no substitute for running the demos themselves on a real ST. But I haven't been able to do this for three years - it is so long since I saw them, I have almost forgotten...

Tuesday 6th January 1998...
I have just tried out the beta version of PaCifiST 0.48. Hardly any demos work with it. What more is there to be said? Also, the improvement in 0.47 which allowed music to play properly during loading is not present in this version.

Friday 28th November 1997...
I downloaded the Big Demo and the Cuddly Demos about an hour ago. Although I am reasonably knowledgeable regarding the ST demo scene (for someone who wasn't actually a part of it), I never actually got to see either of these two classics. The Big Demo made PaCifiST crash. The Cuddly Demos barely worked, as most of the screens seemed to be fullscreens or using sync-scrolling (including the main menu), so PaCifiST couldn't display them properly. I spent a while flying around on the main menu (I can now see what the menu of the Pandemonium Demo was based on), but after a while I felt ill...

Monday 10th November 1997...
I downloaded PacifiST 0.46 and 0.47, and completely reinstalled both of them. The result? 0.46 works fine, but 0.47 still crashes in exactly the same way. This doesn't make sense - it used to work fine until two weeks ago, and I haven't done anything which should affect it.
I started the thing about ST demos today - take a look at the link at the top of this page.

Friday 7th November 1997...
PacifiST still does not work - maybe there is a problem with PATCH.H68. I also tried STONX for the first time - it doesn't even slightly work.
I've added the first download to this page - The Commons.

Sunday 2nd November 1997...
AAAaaarrrgghhh! PacifiST seems to have suddenly stopped working for no apparent reason! Even a blank disk image crashes the ST!

Sunday 12th October 1997...
I just got PacifiST 0.47 (final). A few things run much better, a few things don't run at all any more... Of particular excellence in this release is the fact that loading graphics/music in demos is no longer destroyed while the disk is being accessed. There's still a bit of distortion, but it's not as bad as before.


ST Demos

Most teenagers, when they are twelve or thirteen, start listening to music all the time and idolising the people who made the music. This didn't happen with me.
One day, in the Earth Year 1992, I ordered some PD software. One of the disks I ordered was this thing called a 'demo'. I had never seen a proper demo before but they sounded interesting. So I put the first disk of the demo - 'Punish Your Machine' - into the drive, switched it on....
I sat for half an hour watching the intro in amazement. Amazing effects and shapes whizzed in front of my eyes. Excellent music flowed through my head. Eventually I decided to move on - I pressed SPACE.
Within a few seconds, there was in front of my eyes the most incredible bit of artwork I had ever seen on an ST. It was a sort of plasma thing which looked like ice. Meanwhile, the demo was loading the main menu off the disk, and some text was appearing on the screen saying who had written it. When it had loaded, the picture in the background suddenly changed. The palette faded from one set of colours to another, so that instead of looking like ice, it now looked like incredible streaks of fire.
At this point I got a bit confused. At the top of the screen, it said 'The Main Menu'. Further down it said that I should use the cursor keys to select a screen, or that I should press HELP for the quick menu. I tried both of these, and nothing happened. Of course, this was because I was still on the loader screen. After a long time I pressed SPACE and the menu started for real. I was confronted by yet more swirling colours and cool music.
The first screen I selected was the one which had been mentioned in ST Format's review of Punish Your Machine - the Magic Rasters screen. And verily, it was excellent. I then went through all the screens in order, and they were all totally stunning to me.
There was one more stage to this new discovery: I ran the screen called 'The Best Part of the Creation', by Flix. This screen starts off with just a Delta Force logo and a text scrolling along the bottom of the screen. The text says a few things, then some cool music starts up. The text goes on for an hour, talking about many things - such as how great life is. This text totally blew my mind - it spoke of things which I, a sad, lonely thirteen year old, had never dreamed of... It completely changed my life - from that night on, I have tried to follow the path of the demo coder, and the path of the scrolltext writer... and only now, five years later, am I getting close.

Glossary of demo terms:

(I'm not the world's leading authority on demos - if anyone thinks I've got this seriously wrong, don't be afraid to say!) There's still a lot more which I haven't mentioned - e-mail me if there's something you think I've left out...

What are the best demos out there?

There are hundreds of demos on the ST, and a lot of them are good. Below is a list containing some of the most important ones. Note that not all of these work with PaCifiST. Some of them only work with patches (check out Leonard's homepage if you want to find out more about these).
If you think I've got any of the stuff below wrong, mail me and I'll sort it out. I'm also going to try and find out which years these demos were released in.
Here goes:

WILL WE?


Some tips on using IMGBUILD to read copy-protected disks

Okay dudes, here are some nice tips for you.

IMGBUILD is often able to read copy-protected disks. Sometimes you have to mess around with the settings, as some games have erroneous information in the bootsector.

Running it from a DOS box in Windows 95 seems to make it go twice as fast for some reason. It's also more reliable when run in this way.

The best way to convert disks is as follows:

I was able to convert about half of my games. Hope these tips help someone. See 'ya later.


Go back to the ARGnet index...

Copyright 1997-2009 Andrew R. Gillett