=> alt.sys.amiga.demos frequently asked questions (FAQ) <=
=> V1.07, March 1996. <=
Written by h0llyw00d/ax!$ (
WWW-section researched by I-GO/TBL (

  1. What are demos?
  2. Why are they made?
  3. Who makes them?
  4. What are the different kinds of demos?
  5. What are the different functions of scene guys?
  6. How can I learn how to do music/gfx/code?
  7. What software/hardware is used to create demos, and where can I get this software from?
  8. Where can I get demos from? (including ftp sites)
  9. What Amiga demo-scene WWW pages are there?
  10. How can I get started in the scene?
  11. What are the best demos on the Amiga?
  12. When did the scene begin?
  13. Who are the best groups on the scene?
  14. What kind of questions can I post here?
  15. Are there any questions should I not post here?
  16. Where is this FAQ available?
  17. Who made this FAQ?

1. What are demos?

Demos, (short for 'demonstrations'), are executable programs created (in the case of this FAQ, on the Commodore Amiga computer), purely for art's sake, featuring impressive or spectacular audiovisuals. Demos are not actually functional or interactive, in the main, but then nor are portraits, or CDs. Perhaps you can think of a demo as a music video on a computer, but with equal emphasis on the visuals, the music, and the code. It's something to watch, enjoy, and marvel at the creativity of. Demos can be beautiful. :)

2. Why are they made?

Demos are made because people want to construct something that looks good. There's no financial reward (except the prize if your demo wins at a demo party), so the profit motive isn't really an issue. People make demos because they want to make something that will be spread worldwide, seen by a lot of people, and appreciated by them for being skilfully designed. Demos are made for art's sake, and for prestige.

3. Who makes them?

Demos are made by various Amiga users, generally organised into groups. These groups have names, such as Virtual Dreams, Spaceballs, Complex, etc, and these groups comprise a number of (more or less) talented members. Please note that almost all demo-makers credit themselves under a pseudonym, rather than their real name, e.g. Chaos, Fairfax, Moby...

4. What are the different kinds of demos?

The word 'demo' is the general term for a demonstration. Demos can look very much like a dance-music-video (Spaceballs "State Of The Art" and "9 Fingers"), very much like a collection of computerised effects sequenced together (Andromeda "Nexus7"), or very much like nothing on this Earth (Melon Design!)

5. What are the different functions of scene guys?

Generally made up of the following:
(Design is also important in demos. It's often handled by the graphics artist and/or coder.)
(With the advent of the Internet and FTP sites, the three previous functions may be getting less important, but it's important to note that the Internet is still significantly slower at getting new demos than many BBSes.)
Thus groups not only have the creative members, but means to spread their productions.

6. How can I learn how to do music/gfx/code?

Practise a lot. :) For musicians and graphics artists, there really aren't that many ways to 'learn`, except to keep trying, look at other people's work for inspiration, and to learn your trade slowly and carefully. For coders, the "HowToCode" tutorial series, available at the Papa ftp site, directory /pub/useful/howtocode7.lha could be useful. Also articles in disc magazines and so forth, may help aspiring Dr.Skulls. :)

7. What software/hardware is used to create demos, and where can I get it from?

Coders use assemblers such as ASM-One, or Devpac, both commercial packages. (go to your local computer store and ask!) Graphics artists use commercial paint programs, often Deluxe Paint, but also Brilliance. (ditto!)
Musicians use a `tracker` program, almost always Protracker (a PD program, see the alt.binaries.sounds.mods FAQ for more information... one of the best trackers for the Amiga is available at Aminet and all its mirrors in mus/edit/pt23a.lha...)

8. Where can I get demos from? (including ftp sites)

(Demos are available from PD (public domain) companies, and their adverts are displayed prominently in all Amiga papermagazines. You will be paying more for someone to copy demos for you, though, so, as you seem to have access to the Internet, why not use it to get demos?)

[CD-ROMs are becoming increasingly good value if you want to pick up large amounts of demos (although the quality will be variable, obviously..)

The Aminet CDs are especially well-known, and now number 1-9, with Aminet 6 being specifically targeted towards demos.

However, probably the best demo-scene orientated CD series is the "Euroscene" series by Almathera. Volume 1 contains about 540meg of demos, mods, graphics and the like.. music modules and graphics are listed by authors, too. "Euroscene2", released very recently, is even better, containing a whole CD worth of well-ordered mods, graphics and demos..

(please note, if you see the CDs "Demo1" and "Demo2" for sale, they are much older versions of Almathera compilations, and anything decent from them is allegedly on "Euroscene".)

There's also a CD coming out real soon now called "Scene Storm", which I believe has a lot of recent demo stuff on it, and is compiled from the files on the DCS bulletin board in the UK, Digital Candy. It _should_ be very good, so watch out for it.. they seem to be linking it to Spaceballs, although I'm not sure why.

In addition, there are the CDs compiled by LSD, called "Compendium Deluxe" volumes one and two. Very much demo-based, and with stuff unavailable elsewhere.

Finally, there are sometimes official CDs containing all the releases from parties: for example, the one from Assembly 94. This kind of thing is very useful if you want to check out _all_ the pictures from a certain party. Can anyone else give me any info on other CDs available?]

Using ftp sites is the most sensible way to get Amiga demos through the Internet. The following are the best (only?) Amiga demo sites:

(log on as 'anonymous', give your email address as your password!) Papa -

(in pub/ : was the ftp mirror of the IRC `bot` Papa, now Papa isn't on IRC anymore, is simply a ftp site. And easily the best demo ftp site, too, although access can sometime be slow from some areas of the globe. It has a very good selection of demos, and is generally the first to get new demos. It got almost all of the Party 5 demos when Aminet had none of them. Thanks to Milano for this invaluable resource!)

Aminet -,,,,, and many more.. see the readme file in the root aminet directory.

(in the pub/aminet/demo/ directory, also check pub/aminet generally for related files such as modules, graphics, utilities..)

This is the massive, infamous resource, which doesn't actually get that many new demos nowadays (Papa gets a lot more), but is at least universally accessable and fast.

You can also ftp by email through Aminet.. check it out by sending a message with HELP in the body to or, or, or others..

Always use your local Aminet site, to save time!

Funet -

(in the pub/amiga/demos/ directory, demos arranged according to group names. Not the newest stuff, but useful, tho a lot of it is mirrored on Aminet nowadays.)

(pub/amiga/demo/ :has a good selection from some big, older demoparties (mainly contained elsewhere, tho.))

(Also houses a very good Amiga graphics archive, with a lot of excellent pictures, logos, etc. from various demos and competitions, in pub/amiga/gfx. An under-rated resource, but getting out of date nowadays. a lot of classic older stuff, though.)

Some major demo-parties have claimed or are claiming to feature ftp sites with new demos available `live` from the party, as they're released. Watch out for information about this on the newsgroup. The Gathering 95 ftp site was hijacked by hackers, though, so the organisers obviously have to be careful.

[If you also have a PC, then try grabbing some of the increasingly good PC demos at, or another decent archive at]

If you're on IRC, try joining channel #amigascne, which is the channel with all the demo-freaks on it, and join us for a chat about the demo scene and various other suspect subjects. Sadly, Papa is no longer available to dcc demos from. :(

But, Aminet is accessible on IRC through Mama. (/dcc chat Mama, etc..) ( is Mama's homepage!)

9. What Amiga demo-scene WWW pages are there?

An html version of this FAQ, with direct links to all these listed WWW pages, is available at: (Hollywood's homepage!) (R.A.W. ON-LINE.)

[Please note, I (Hollywood) have attempted to rate the homepages, so people don't have to spend ages wading through all the boring ones to get to the cool ones.These ratings are as fair as possible, and based on the design, information, and pure entertainment value of the pages. (*) means it's pretty bad, (*****) means you need to look at it 24 hours a day for the next 100 years. Anything (***) or more is definitely worth checking out for people interested in the scene. complaints about ratings should be addressed to :) ]


[It's difficult to know what to include, since there's a lot of people who are in the scene but don't have much relevant scene-stuff on their pages. Here's a selection of the very best personal pages, and the ones which have resources unavailable elsewhere.]

Ken-stories - Remember them ? From the OLD Eurocharts'n'Crusaders demos ???
Eric Schwartz
Scene Online
The Amiga WEB directory - Very big Amiga WWW-index, the Amiga Net index!.

10. How can I get started in the scene?

Just find some like-minded friends and start making demos. There's no limit to who can make demos and who can't. Contact some scene-groups through the addresses you see on demos. Turn up to demo-parties. Start trading demos by mail/modem. Post to this newsgroup. Tune in, turn on, get wired. :)

11. What are the best demos on the Amiga?

The controversy begins here, since there's always argument about this kind of subject, especially as the two main charts programs, "The Charts" and the "Eurocharts" seem to be dead, but here we go..

Please note: OCS denotes the original chip-set Amigas (A500/1000/1500) ECS means the demo will run on the A500+/A600/A3000. (+some new 2000s) AGA means the demo will only run on the A1200/4000. (+CD32?!)

Please help me with compatibility questions by telling me which machines certain demos will/won't run on! The `meg` figure is the minimum number of megabytes required to run the demo, and is pretty inaccurate right now.

If you find a certain demo won't run straight away, especially on high-end machines, a sensible thing to do is to run some kind of degrader: an excellent allround one is located at Aminet,pub/aminet/util/misc/TUDE.lha

It's also a good idea to try some of the options in the bootselector you get when you push both mouse buttons down after resetting on ECS/AGA machines. Putting original chipset on or turning off CPU cache can work well.

Also listed is the place on the Internet this demo can be found, with Am = Aminet (pub/aminet/demo/ directory already presumed!) Fu = Funet, (pub/amiga/demos/ directory!) Pa = Papa. (pub/ directory!)

Since Aminet is the biggest demo archive, with the most mirrors, I've selected the Aminet source for the demo, where possible, but many demos are probably available elsewhere.

I've been unable to locate some demos on the Net. Could someone post them up, if they still have a copy, and inform me?

Also T for trackloading, and H for hard disc installable (for all you hard disc freaks!)

Finally, if there's a message in square brackets regarding a file, eg if it's listed as ThePrey1[+2].lha, that means there are two files there, ThePrey1.lha, and ThePrey2.lha. :)

The very best demos:

Other all-time greats:
If you've missed any of these demos, I grieve for you. :)
The very best 40k-intros (all HD-installable, obviously!):

The very best musicdiscs:
(all OCS/ECS/AGA, and trackloading, unless specifically mentioned)
The very best slideshows:
(all OCS/ECS/AGA, and trackloading, unless specifically mentioned)
And finally, leading disc-magazines:
(the two main charts/news/info productions are Static Bytes "Eurocharts", and RamJam "The Charts", available on Papa, dirs diskmags/eurocharts and diskmags/thecharts respectively. "The Charts" is also available from RamJam's WWW site. But both are dormant/dead at the moment.)

12. When did the scene begin?

The 'scene' began in the mid-1980s on the Amiga, when the computer was first produced. People moved across from the Commodore 64 scene, and started making 'intros' to fit on the front of discs, and it evolved from there. It would be unfair not to mention some of the groundbreaking demos which led to the scene evolving to where it is now. We honour: Wild Copper, Subway, Demons "DOC", Level42, the Red Sector Megademo, Rebels "Coma", RSI "Cebit '90", Phenomena "Enigma", the "Trip To Mars" demo, Mahoney and Kaktus music-discs, and many, many more.. comments?

13. Who are the best groups on the scene?

No doubt there will be controversy about this, also, but, taking all the names voted for in the recent issue of the major chart magazines, the `best` groups are:

Sanity, Virtual Dreams/Fairlight, Complex, Andromeda, Polka Brothers, Spaceballs, Kefrens, Rebels, Melon Dezign, Movement, Stellar, Essence, Pygmy Projects, Lego, TRSI, Razor 1911, The Silents, Scoopex, Parallax, CNCD... and many more.

14. What countries have people involved in the scene?

The scene is worldwide, but based in Europe. Scandinavia is one of the biggest sources of demos, but Germany. France, and Holland also produce a lot of demos. Eastern Europe (Hungary, and especially Poland) are an increasing source of demos, and other European countries such as Austria, Switzerland, England, Italy, Spain, Belgium.. also have a demo-'scene'. Outside Europe, countries like Australia and Turkey have some kind of scene, and America has knowledge of the scene, but, tho traditionally the BBS-base of groups, is not really involved in the scene(there are no major American demo-crews.)

15. What kind of questions can I post here?

Questions regarding the compatibility of demos, the whereabouts of demos (if you've looked briefly and can't locate them on the Net.) Opinions on demos, information about forthcoming releases, scene-news, information or queries regarding parties and conferences.. Generally, all manner of discussion regarding all aspects of Amiga demos.

16. Are there anything I should not post here?

Any questions covered in the FAQ. Also, binaries should NOT be posted here, because many people have to grab newsgroups by modem, and binaries would add megabytes to their download, and megabucks to their phonebill. :) Please note the existence of other newsgroups, such as or, if your question/comment has a greater relevance to those newsgroups.

17. Where is this FAQ available?
This FAQ is an (almost) monthly posting to the alt.sys.amiga.demos and alt.amiga.demos newsgroup.
It is also viewable from the WWW at: (Hollywood's homepage!) (R.A.W. ON-LINE)

18. Who made this FAQ?

h0llyw00d (Simon Carless, []), made this FAQ, with invaluable help regarding WWW sites from I-GO/TBL.

Thanks to: Rik, Urban Mueller, Sumaleth, Jack, Intruder, SuperNao, Yolk, Astro, Mub, Maxime, and everyone on the scene....

$VER: alt.sys.amiga.demos FAQ V1.07 (01.03.96)

Changes V1.02 => V1.03: more WWW pages located..
Changes V1.03 => V1.04: best-demos + WWW pages changed.
Changes V1.04 => V1.05: lots more WWW pages, ftp site+CDinfo changed, updates to best demos, favoured WWW sites changed.
Changes V1.05 => V1.06: WWW pages changed+rated, lots of small changes!
Changes V1.06 => V1.06: WWW pages updated, changed!
V1.00 released 1st June 1995, V1.04 October 1st 1995,
V1.05 November 10th 1995, V1.06 February 1st 1996, V1.07 March 1st 1996.

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