WHEREVER YOU GO, GO TEX'N'CO
A VISIT TO THE PLACE WHERE DREAMS ARE MADE
ORGASMIC EXPERIENCES IN A PEUGEOT 305
GERMANY, HERE WE COME!!
GERMANY, HERE WE GO AGAIN!!
KNUCKLES CHAINED AND BUSTED
THE EXCEPTIONS DO IT WITH PLANTIAC
BEING INTERVIEWED FOR A CHANGE
HOW TO MAKE AN INDOOR SWIMMING POOL CEILING WET
THE LETHAL FIVE MINUTES AFTER AN EDITOR'S WAKING UP
EXHAUSTING TIMES IN A SMALL TOWN
WHAT AM I DOING HERE?! WHO CARES ABOUT ALL THESE SUBTITLES?!
PART II - MARCH 5TH 1989
A lot of things seem to go wrong with the music Jochen made for
ST NEWS just now. The "Alloyrun" music just now crashed:
Terrible! But I am sure that Jochen will find a way to get it all
working soon. It is now very dark and people here are either
programming or looking at the television. You will never
understand the atmosphere here unless you've been here. It's
unique. And we're part of it!
"Aller guten Dinge sind fünfzehn"
(All good things come in fifteen times)
You can write a whole book about different packing methods for
games programs. For example for this aforementioned role-playing
game, as Udo explained to me.
When do they switch off that bloody laser?! They start to giggle
in a very strange way while using the 'red point shock'.
I'm soooo tired. Damn this Dutch liquid. Michael started some
calculations about the planet sequences of our vector graphics
game. He tried to explain me some of the details and I kept on
nodding and saying 'Yes, ah, hm-m, of course' and some other
things that you say if you don't want to confess that you didn't
get a single word into the alcohol flooded bunch of synapses
which was a brain before Richard and Stefan came over us (I
believe that this sentence sounded like one of good ol' Richie's,
but it isn't).
I'll continue with our watery adventures tomorrow morning!
Sounds promising? I can tell you: It will be surely chaotic!
Erik the liar... he is still running and tries to catch Richard,
who made very negative comments about our 'Riesling' (that's a
very good wine)...
The environment is really inspiring. I just found an unused ST
and did some programming until Erik kicked me out of the office
because he wanted to get some sleep. Better let him go. He was
babbling about waking us all up at seven o'clock because we have
to go swimming. Sure!
I think I will try and find some place to rest my weary self.
Sleep sounds really interesting now, after a long day filled with
unforgettable experiences. See ya all tomorrow!
Sleep?! Yeah... it does sound quite interesting. I do not have
my pillow nor my sleeping bag, but the enormous amount of alcohol
will probably help me to get to sleep really soon....
Erik's threat was convincing: Everyone is busy getting into
'bed' or finding a free corner in one of the rooms, anticipating
a very early getting-up because of this strange swimming-
expedition Erik has in mind.
Expected countdown ends in 6 hours and a half. Unexpectedly I am
one of the tired ones. Erik is asleep, Richard and Stefan are
ready to crawl off. Although I'm not used of getting to bed
before 2 in the morning, my subconsciousness demands some hours
of rest to avoid a stack-overflow of all the impressions. Jochen,
Gunter, Michael and Thorsten still watch the video about teenage-
relationships. Ah no; the Video has just finished. Jochen opens
another bottle of beer and puts 'Little Shop of Horror' into the
video-machine. The others seem to be enthusiastic about this
film. This is too much for me. Good night...
Tarik made a mistake. They are now going to watch 'Labyrinth'.
And I cannot decide if I should go to bed or not.....
My first and last(?) text: Good night!
O.K. I give up. There are now only three people remaining:
Thorsten, Jochen and Udo (Watching the rest of the film).
Ahhh! That was really a fantastic film.... I could see it every
day... but now the remaining three guys will also go to bed and
Waaaarrgh. I just found out that I (again) cannot sleep here.
Something inside me just makes me refuse to go to sleep. I can't!
I am yawning all the time but something....well.....something
takes care that I cannot actually physically close my eyes and
wander off to the beautiful lands of make belief. But I will try
again. I might go and sleep again. You will read more in a sec...
The first birds can already be heard singing as Thorsten and
myself are the only two people left awake; everybody else is fast
asleep. We have just now talked extensively about programming and
him taking the chance of also starting to work here for this
software company, and he's momentarily reading some ST NEWS
vintage material (TEX in Holland article). I don't feel sleepy
any more (I think).
There is a serene silence here. Only the ticking of a clock can
be heard, and the frantic typing of me on the keyboard. At short
intervals, some additional key clicks can be heard made by
Thorsten who is still reading ST NEWS vintage stuff. He seems to
be quite impressed, I must admit. But he will probably not be
impressed as much as Stefan and me were when we saw some of his
pics. They are great...
Isn't it strange? Just now I suddenly felt like I have had
enough sleep! I feel quite comfortable and not even tired.
Thorsten just finished reading ST NEWS and is now trying to grab
some sleep himself. I am terribly glad I am not intoxicated by
alcohol now any more - now I can at least type without producing
the craziest spelling mistakes all the time. So, again, the time
has arrived that I am the only one awake. In about two hours we
will all be having fun in a swimming pool as far as I understand.
To be quite frank, it has been over two years since I swam for
the last time, and I never swam with these guys before - in a
German swimming pool!
My intoxication by a certain organic compound, by the way, has
been replaced by a slight hint of ache in my tummy. A small
hangover that might get bigger within the next few hours.
Unfortunately, I do not have the H.O.D. with me (the Hangover
Obliteration Device - my Aiwa walkman!) so I'll have to get rid
of it in the swimming pool. Poor me!
The problem now is that I have to keep myself amused for two
more whole hours. Everybody is asleep and everybody is lying in
miscellaneous places of the office - under desks, behind
computers, between piled up furniture and probably even in the
kitchen! What to do now? My brain gives signs that suggest
throwing a shiny silvery disk in the CD player with some tummy-
ache-obliterating Sodom trash metal, but I think they will then
lock me into chains again - and never release me, this time!!
I have spent the last half hour looking through various
animation work disks, demo screens and some hot games here. I was
flabbergasted (as usual). Thorsten is having problems actually
getting to sleep - maybe because I am typing here?!
I think I'll try to get some sleep myself after all.
I think I managed to get some sleep after all! But I was just
now woken up by sounds arising from a strange device here in the
room that the people here presumably use as a clock to wake up
on. Grrmmbbll. Thorsten yawns and can't really believe that he's
awake already after such a short nap.
The sound still continues.
The sound has stopped. Everybody has been awoken by Erik, who is
walking clumsily round the office wearing the most enormously
sized pyjama suit ever seen. Andreas and Thorsten are already
dressed and ready (probably because they slept with their clothes
on, just like me). Life is returning here. It's light. Many birds
sing outside. Inside, most people look like zombies with busted
voices through excessive alcohol abuse and they look very tired,
too. I understand that we'll go swimming RIGHT NOW?!
This is incredible. Some Kind of Grizzly Bear woke me up. It
took me some time to realise where I was and that it was 'only'
I don't believe it. Some of the faces that I happen (?) to see
here are really X-rated! Andreas (L16) doesn't even manage to go
straight, although he hadn't a single drop of the Dutch stuff.
Thorsten falls asleep SITTING in the front of a computer at this
very moment. Just don't talk about Jochen, Udo and Gunter. I
tried to wake them up, but I think they're dead! Who will finish
all the games now? I will try to resurrect them at the swimming-
I just met a Zombie! It was truly horrible! It moved and looked
a bit like Jochen before he died...
Thorsten is momentarily sitting tucked away in a silent corner.
He looks like he has just been dumped by his girlfriend. We will
go and swim. Now!
Restful darkness. Serene peace and quiet. Sleep. Sweet dreams
about the smile of a certain girl who is known to create the
Divine Dessert. Sleep. Rest. Quiet. No maniac programmers. No
crazy sounds. No STs being driven to limits they were never meant
to be driven to.
Soft beeping noises.
Small amounts of photons entering the room I sleep in.
Even more, this time even louder beeping noises.
One of them grows louder and louder...
HUH? WHERE? WHAT?
I wake up.
Richard is standing in the room, telling me about the fact that
we are going swimming. A quick glance at my watch tells me that
...WHAT? A quarter past seven?! RAAH! Violent thoughts
concerning the mutilation of Richard race through my mind. But
they are quickly replaced by amazement as we REALLY are going
swimming. After about ten minutes of collecting myself I put on
some clothes and follow the gang of sleepy computerfreaks towards
In the car to the swimming pool in Herzebrock. Stefan's car
closely follows the two Audis the other people drive in. Udo and
Tarik are also in this car.
We just entered a village called PIXEL (NO joke!).
Yeah! We're now in the village of Herzebrock.
Some time passed as I sat in the bar of the swimming pool.
Swimming is not one of my favourite things to do, even if it
means I can do things like keeping Erik's head under water for a
few minutes so the earth will be freed from a man that dares to
wake people at insane hours (this was all his idea, you know).
Peering into the swimming area, I see some figures running
around, chasing each other and throwing each other into the pool.
There is also a large slide and it seems to me that this is the
favourite object of the TEX guys here.
I just witnessed Jochen (or somebody else with exceptionally
long hair) racing down the slide, impacting the water with an
Somewhere in the back of my mind I feel regret for not joining
them. But I did not bring any swimming gear as I did not know
about this until I was in Utrecht and Richard called TEX. Erik
offered me a swimming-trunk which was big enough for both Richard
and myself so I kindly refused it, picturing me in the water,
frantically looking for a large piece of cloth while some vital
parts of my body were exposed to the gaze of a lot of innocent
dwellers of these surroundings. Besides, I cannot stand swimming-
pool water (it does the craziest things to my breathing
apparatus) so it wouldn't have been such a great idea after all.
Enormous splashes are erupting from the water at the point where
the slide ends. A large number of people are coming out of it at
once and the water is splashed all over the place.
Is that a swimming instructor there, that is speaking to this
bunch of guys menacingly, obviously complaining about safety
precautions and the fact that this particular bunch of guys
doesn't heed them (crashing on one another at the bottom of the
This is the first time I have been in a peaceful environment
since 7 o'clock yesterday morning and I am enjoying it while it
lasts. Maybe a good time to look back on the hours that have
When you see what these people have achieved on the ST and when
you see what they are still achieving, there is nothing else left
but awe. If you see the artwork being done by some of these guys.
If you see the programming skills of some of the others. If you
taste the ambience. I do some programming myself, but I see I
have a lot to learn. Now I'm not going to say that 'I am just a
mere mortal and my mind is just a shrivelled walnut compared to
their unimaginable intellect' because it is not. I mean they're
all normal humans (well, normal...) and they just have some
enormous talent and feeling for handling computers. And I think
everybody else who has any talent should try and exploit it to
the fullest. If you see how these guys operate and how they work:
It is like a big family having a great time. They sort of live
here, between the coke bottles and the computers. Personally, I
think it would be great working like this (but I am totally happy
with the job I have right now).
But like I said, everybody with enough talent can get this far.
Don't be put off by the things these people make. I am truly
enthusiastic by the things I make on the ST (check out the
scrolling message demo in this very issue) and I am not bothered
by the fact that they are obsolete compared with the stuff they
do. But everybody has to start somewhere and no way you just buy
an ST and create a "Union Demo". Thousands of hours of puzzling
and figuring out have passed before the "Union Demo" was actually
In spite of Richard's unlimited adoration of these guys and
ruthless criticism on anything that does not equal their skills,
I think there is still hope for anybody else out there who cares
to program things like this (or at least tries to).
You might spot a slight self-encouragement in the above, but I
think it applies to more people....
I believe I just saw Erik hit the water in such a way that
various other pool-users were completely drowned in large tidal
waves or even hurtled out of the water by the violent impact.
Some pool-attendants are rushing to the aid of the victims while
Erik is preparing for another dive...
Richard just appeared in front of the glass making wild gestures
towards me. He looks very wet. Now he races towards the water and
enters it just an inch from Tarik who was evidently not prepared
for such a thing as he is now showing signs of asphyxication and
is trying really hard to get out of the water. More and more
people are arriving at the pool. It is amazing to see how the
Germans are motivated to go swimming at 9 o'clock on a Sunday
Uh Oh, Erik just climbed the jumping board and is preparing
himself for some areal extravaganza so it seems. The poor board
is bending vigorously and seconds later he sails through thin
air, heading straight for a cluster of TEX people who do not know
what is going to hit them; subsonic shockwaves reach me as the
pool explodes. Several things that look like very wet and very
battered computer freaks are thrown around the pool. Some of them
are submerged while several others are trying really hard to drag
themselves out of the still boiling waters. Erik appears now and
he looks around himself. Suddenly he seems to reach into the
water and seconds later he produces a limb figure that turns out
to be Jochen. After shouting the names of some soundchip
registers in his ears, the figure seems to regain consciousness
and dives into the pool like nothing has happened.
They are all gathered around the jumping board, possibly
preparing for another one of Erik's bomb-dives. Udo just dived in
and he is frantically scrambling out of the water as Erik has
followed him to the board. Another violent boom but this time
they were prepared and nobody was in need of artificial
respiration. Well, I want to play with this Z88 a bit more so I
will stop describing the adventures of TEX in the pool.
Mayhem has returned at the slide. A lot of persons is coming
down it at once and at the bottom of it, a pile of wet
computerfreaks is forming. Arms, legs, heads and various other
parts of the human body are hopelessly intermingled in one large,
moving pile. The mess is instantaneously solved when Erik comes
down the slide. As he crashes into the heap of people, it is
scattered all over the pool, upsetting some old ladies who were
doing their six laps they have been told to perform every morning
by their doctors.
I wonder what the plans are for today. I do know that we are
going to have breakfast and that we don't have to leave too late
because I have to bring Richard back to Utrecht, copy some of the
incredible demo stuff, port the article from this Z88 to his ST,
say hello to Alida, drive home, dump my stuff, drive to Eindhoven
to bring back the car and take a train home. Since I want to be
in bed by 10, we probably have to leave about two or three.
Rags of boredom are drifting into my mind. The bar-attendants
just arrived and they are now busy preparing for a long day of
serving hungry and thirsty swimmers. I wonder how much longer TEX
is going to fool around in the water. On the other hand, I
haven't spotted any of them for some time now. Also, I haven't
seen any giant explosions and no flying bodies for some time now.
Maybe they are in the dressing rooms right now, putting on their
various items of cloth..&^^&!
I was somewhat startled by a sudden outburst of music ripping
apart the silence. They turned on some kind of radio. Boy, I hope
it doesn't take them much longer because I am yearning for some
Richard is coming! Also, the nice woman just brought me some
coke. Richard is now urging me to write some stuff....
Yes, here I am again! I have just had some of the funniest
couple of hours in my life: Swimming with some of the freakiest
freaks around. There is a truly magnificent slide with an
astounding length of 83 metres. But please excuse me for not
being able to type too much, because I'm DEAD-TIRED (or maybe
Roechel, blubber, schnauf...
Everyone seems to be quite exhausted right now while we are
utterly occupied with our Lagnese ice creams. Michael couldn't
resist and ordered a pizza! We discuss about our next project
called 'having some lunch at the nearest Chinese restaurant'. I
hope it will be successful.
Back at the office, be it only after some involuntary wandering
through the infra-structure of Gütersloh.
I have just heard the music from "Comic Bakery" on the ST! It is
yet another extremely good achievement by Jochen - he never
ceases to amaze me!
Alright! A large amount of the extremely heavy and solid bread
is now in my stomach and I have taken care of myself (washing,
Ready for anything!
That darned Jochen is still not programming, but....asleep!!
Blast that crazy music magician!
The major part of the crew just went out to have diner at the
Greek restaurant. Some of us had already eaten some breakfast and
didn't want to go (also because we're VERY tired).
It's video-time again!
After watching 15 minutes Indiana Jones Part I, we turned to the
comedy 'Ruthless people' (or the German translation: "Die
unglaubliche Entführung der verrückten Misses Stone"). Udo and
Andreas are waiting and Tarik wants to write on this article
Everyone is busy doing nothing.
Richard would like me to interview these nice editors (sorry,
editor and ex-editor) of ST NEWS. But I am too occupied typing
these lines at the moment. It's a good reason for not working.
It's somewhat strange, but I don't feel too inspired to interview
them, because I already know everything about their history. And
for asking all those boring off-the-shelf question I am simply
There are many strange noises coming from that video (these guys
are too young to watch this kind of movie...).
I'd better go to Richard & Stefan now. We have to be productive!
With a somewhat dry throat from talking to Tarik, I sit here
after quite an interesting interview by him. He even took some
pictures of Richard and myself (with ST NEWS diskettes and a
Metallica CD tucked away neatly in one of my trouser's pockets)
and it is going to be published in "ST Magazin/68000'er" in the
We are going to leave in about an hour and Richard gets restless
already, running around the offices collecting diskettes from the
various people. I am going to do some more programming as I was
interrupted for the interview.
Just like Stefan just now said, we have experienced something
that makes it worth making ST NEWS in the first place: A true
interview for a true magazine! Well, isn't that neat?! I am only
afraid that my ego is now stuck to the ceiling...
Yeah! The film has ended and Andreas has turned to ALF.
Well, busy like the bees everyone's humming around. Richard
convinced Jochen to donate some more music tracks to ST NEWS;
perhaps it's one of them that you listen to right now. The lazy
times for the STs round here are over! Michael is doing some
fractal programming while Stefan sits in front of a screen that
seems to display real source code. The rest of the guys quite
hectically copy something, I can't tell what, I just here them
shouting "Ja ja, das brauch ich auch. Und die neue Backup
Time is running out fast now. As Stefan and Richard intend to
leave in half an hour everyone is trying to fill up his stocks...
Time to go.
In the car; overcome by grief and sudden wet emotions...
We are now at a gas station of the 'Rasthof Gütersloh'. Probably
the last time we will see this name in a long time....(weeeee!)
With 140 kilometres per hour (a bit less than 90 mph) we race
toward Holland now. This has been some weekend, don't you agree?
The things we have seen and the things I have experienced (a demo
written specially for me!) are really too much to handle. In a
couple of days, I will probably realise what I have experienced
and I will then quite spontaneously burst out crying cries of
obliterating emotions, and tears will well up in my eyes. I will
be sad. Sad to know that it will be another long time before we
will meet again. But at least we now have two new musical pieces
for ST NEWS ("Comic Bakery" and "Sanxion Loader") and Jochen will
soon send us the soundchip version of "Knuckle Buster" (a dream
come true!!) and all "Union Demo" songs. And Andreas of Level 16
promised that he would soon send an article about using ALL of
the screen (no borders). He did not want to give his source,
though, because he worked too long for it and it is 54 Kb GfA
Basic that will create a 2 MEGABYTE (!!) machinecode source. But
we understand that.
And then there's the interview: GREAT! This is what I have
worked for for such a long time: International attention to ST
NEWS! I think the editorial staff of a certain disk magazine from
Holland (they know who I mean) will now eat their hearts out (har
We are now in a tiny village called Ahse, near Dortmund, and we
have stopped again at a gas station to refuel the Coke because
Richard only bought two cans at our last stop and that is not
going to be enough.
Stefan is driven to the frayed ends of insanity because of all
those loony Germans that overtake at twice our speed (and WE are
driving at about 130 km/h average). Big fat Mercedes cars and
long, flashy BMWs are constantly whizzing past. We can sometimes
see the frantic looks in the driver's blood-shot eyes.
Oops. Slight panic. I just tried to save this file to EPROM on
the Z88 and it said: "No Room"! Oops. This means that everything
can be lost when power fails (I inserted new batteries several
minutes ago). They should last long enough, although they weren't
recharged for their full time...
Let's just pray...
Let me tell you the story of a German tradition. Did you know
that, each time when you pass under a bridge on the 'autobahn',
you see a road sign with '80' on it. Everywhere, you can drive as
fast as you can, but when you pass under such a bridge you have
to drive 80 km/h. And the thing that's even stranger: In spite of
the fact that this happens quite often, EVERYBODY does it (even
the people with the blood-shot eyes I mentioned).
Brown filthy substances are being exhausted into the afternoon
air by very long and somewhat threatening symbols of male vanity.
ZOOOOOOOFFFF! A tiny Toyota (GTI, without any doubt) just went
by. We could barely recognize it, for it was visible for but a
few seconds. It was more like a black blur in our visions (and
we're STILL driving 130 km/h).
It won't take a long time and we're back in Holland again; the
country of cows, cheese, wooden shoes, windmills, Hollanditis and
ST NEWS. The border is already in sight. There is a long row of
vehicles here - are the Dutch customs people having some nasty
habits of checking every single car coming from the east?
We have entered the flattest of all countries: Holland. Lucky
for us, we were not checked out by the customs agents - they
might have had some serious doubt about our reason of going back
to Holland when they would have seen all the empty cans of Coke
(fourteen in total), the enormous quantity of empty bags (crisps
as well as liquorice) littered on the floor and the dashboard,
and the 16 Milka Pause chocolate bar wrappers that are stuck in
the cassette recorder, under the windscreen and in the ventilator
openings. And then we're not even talking about the back trunk of
the car: If they would have opened that, a distinct smell of beer
would have cast them down, and they would have gazed with awe at
the 54 empty bottles of Grolsch rolling all over its floor, the
broken bottle of Plantiac Vieux and 8 empty 1.5 litre Cola
bottles, all logically intertwined with an enormous quantity of
miscellaneous small silvery discs, underwear, filthy socks,
swimming trunks, toothpaste and many disks containing some of the
hottest stuff ever conceived.
The delirious customs agents would have reached for their Uzis
and considered us to be members of the Banned Society for the
Spreading of Empty Packaging for Lethal Junkfood (B.S.S.E.P.L.J.
in short). They would have put us against the nearest wall,
searching us for hidden weapons. They would have dropped their
Uzis and dashed for the nearest toilet when they would have taken
out the contents of both our pockets, which consisted mainly of
sticky pieces of soft white paper with green molecular structures
in them (that have a weird tendency to keep on sticking to
custom's agents' hands).
But they didn't, so they couldn't. Lucky guys!
I WILL SOON START WORKING FOR THE SAME COMPANY TEX WORKS FOR!! I
just truly realised that I have been asked to do novel writing
work for this company (this happened last night, when I wasn't
too sober any more)! The first game is a parody of many other
games, a vertically scrolling game with excellent graphics. Erik
made my swear not to tell its name so I won't. I only want to say
that it starts with the letter...I forgot! I will probably also
do the novel-writing for most of their future games. I might
become a professional writer...
Another wish come true!
Home. Stefan just went to do something necessary in a small room
and I will do likewise. Bis bald (translation: See you soon)!
We're back in Richard's little student room. After quite a long
drive which went fine, I am now sitting here just a little tired.
Now we have to do some copying and then I'll go home. Still have
to bring back the car......
AAAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH! What a relief!
Why stop when you're having fun? We are at the moment scanning
through the hot TEX stuff we got and Stefan is deciding what he
can use and what not. He's a bit disappointed because Alida (see
ST NEWS 4.1) is momentarily not here. But worse things have
happened to him. He will survive.
This will probably be the last thing we will write for this real
time article (the third one ever). So I will now say goodbye to
all of you. I hope you enjoyed this method of news reporting -
you can't get it any better! Jason Becker's "Perpetual Burn" CD
is creating some great musical atmosphere.
So far the thrilling story behind a visit of the ST NEWS
editorial staff to some of the best programmers alive today. We
hope you liked it. Soon, there'll be more... Just wait until one
of the upcoming issues (what about Volume 4 Issue 4?)! I shan't
tell you any more about this issue, but it will beat this article
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.