"You should know that I did this demo just for your pleasure."
Flix (of DF)
(In a text in his "Best part of Creation" sub-demo)
DEMO REVIEW: PUNISH YOUR MACHINE BY THE DELTA FORCE
by Richard Karsmakers
The latter half of the year 1991 will enter history with two
very decent mega-demos to its credit. The first to appear was
"Ooh Crikey Wot A Scorcher" (reviewed elsewhere in this issue)
and the second, with a release dat of November 13th 1991, is
"Punish Your Machine" by the Delta Force.
Yes. It is the long overdue Party Demo that resulted more or
less from excertions during the Delta Force International Coding
Conference that was held in an ultimately tiny, little village by
the name of Leutenbach, near Stuttgart, Germany, from August 1st
to August 4th 1991, and about which you could have read
everything in ST NEWS Volume 6 Issue 2's real-time article that
happened to cover that event (What about this somewhat neat
demonstration of the use of commas in a long sentence?).
As it is a fairly large demo, supplied on two double sided disks
with 82 tracks of 10 sectors per track, I will not chat too long
and get down to it right away - otherwise I'll be running out of
space to write before I know it!
Thank God that the awfully nice chappies at the Delta Force once
again elected to opt for the non-game-like-menu. We've seen all
too much of that ever since "Cuddly" and, with the exception of
the highly original one contained in "Ooh Crikey", they all were
somewhat of a bore (not to say a bleedin' nuisance).
The demo as a whole has been very well designed. You can boot
with any of the two disks - no problem. The main menu remains in
memory at all times, as does the reset screen. Well, I had not
expected anything other than this. With the exception of
"Sowatt" (there may be more though) most party demos I've seen
were well designed.
What can one do with a demo? One can sit down and look at each
screen, followed with a description of these screens. This is
exactly what I will do.
Intro, by the Delta Force
Code: New Mode
Music: Big Alec
In this screen, we get to hear the first of a long row of music
done by Big Alec, one of the (many) new members of the Delta
Force. I suppose we'll be hearing more of him in future demos -
something which I fervently hope, as I am getting slightly fed up
with hearing every demo using ripped Mad Max music. The only
reminder of Mad Max in Big Alec's music is the typical bass-drum
- well, you can't do anything about that, can you?
Anyway. The intro screen features a 2-plane bouncing credit text
that informs us of various things pertaining the demo, including
a new Delta Force membership list. Shall I recite that list here?
Yes, why not. They did this demo anyway. Their current member
list is Big Alec (musician), Chaos Inc. (coder), Daniel (coder),
Earthlight (painter), Flix (coder), Mascot (girlie, and I suspect
she's a paintress), Questlord (painter - thank God he got his
hair cut), New Mode (coder), Ray (coder), Sammy Joe (who is a
'Maggie'), Slime (painter) and Thor (ex-BMT, painter).
Yep. There's a whole lot of them Germans in there now. They
surely are the fastest growing crew to date.
Before I forget: The demo also features a screen-sized
distorting "Punish Your Machine" logo (1 plane) and another plane
filled with something that probably has to do with Front 242 (a
band, in case you didn't know).
Loading and Disk Changing Screens
These are not actual demo screens, but without them the whole
demo wouldn't be as 'finished' as it is now. I will therefore
describe them together, and very briefly (even though I've known
people that can review a game in as many lines.
The 'loading' screen is displayed whenever (yes! yes!) a demo is
loading. It features a rather nice background on top of which
texts are 'typed'. The usual, really. Music by Big Alec, the rest
by New Mode (including the graphics...).
The 'Disk Changing' screen features a piccy of a disk with "A"
or "B" underneath it (according to the switch you're requested to
perform). Graphics by one of the least productive graphics men
ever: Questlord. Coding by New Mode, music by Big A.
Main Menu, by the Delta Force
Code: New Mode
Graphics: Slime and other artists for the individual demo logos
Music: B. Alec
Another screen that is not a separate demo as such, but a rather
nice non-demo to say the least.
What we have here in a background that is literally colour-
ridden. I am talking about zillions of colours in awesome
brightness here - this screen is to your eyes what Carcass is to
vegetarians, what Sore Throat is to ears and what Gwar is to neat
Anyway, on top of all this colour brilliance there is a (3
plane?) vertical scroller that displays the user manual (cursor
keys, space, the works) and some greets'n'credits. Some of the
more striking greetings were to Lord HackBear, Karl-Anders and
yours truly. They even greeted The Nutty Snake (ex-Aenigmatica,
now member of the fabled Quartermass Experiment).
Then the actual menu is on top of all that again.
Every demo screen has a 1 plane logo that is one screen in size,
and you scroll through that list with the cursor keys. Pressing
space or return selects the screen of which the logo is
Thank God that there's an alternative menu screen (enterable
with HELP) that allows you to select the demos by pressing F1-F10
or 1-5. Good thought!
Sickest so Far, by the Delta Force
Code: Big A.
Graphics: B. Alec, Tanis and Slime
After having seen the rather juicy screen in "Ooh Crikey" where
a Spaz-tic shreds a Carebear to pieces with a chainsaw, I grabbed
hold of my chair, expected the worst. Blood and gore. Gallons of
it. Pouring out of the monitor. Torturing my ears and eyes.
None of it turned out to be the case, however.
The bit about 'sickest' actually refers to one of the scrollers
that this demo has. This particular scroll line is 'hard to read'
to say the least. It kindof sinuses and rotates and wobbles and
does some more stuff that I would have to leave up to a
mathmatician to describe.
Needless to say, I read it through. I felt dizzy afterwards.
Further, the screen boasts very good music. Big Alec did a
modernised version of Mike Oldfield's classic "Tubular Bells",
and it really sounds gorgeous (if such can be said of music).
Screen-wise, there's more going on. The top of the screen is
occupied by a large Delta Force logo that rotates around a
horizontally placed cilinder. This logo is quite capably done by
Tanis (you have to be careful with him; use the word 'good' and
he won't believe you). Around this cilinder there's a small
scroll and a mirrored version of that same scroll. There are also
stars that come bouncing towards you, scroll greetings to QX
(!YES! FINALLY!), some extra greetings texts on top of everything
that are placed on/removed from the screen in a rather creative
The thing I will forever remember of this demo is the fact that
the scroll text mentions the ICC #2 to be "the biggest thing
since the STNICCC!". Wow. Thanks, Mr. Alec.
Coast, by the Black Monolith Team
Code: Ford Perfect
Music: Lap of Next
Sorry, Mr. Perfect, but I didn't like this screen. It has one
severe disadvantage, which is the fact that it only appeals to
people who know how hard it is to program it. I don't, so it
What we have here is a screen that shows off amazingly fast
routines for the calculation of fractals. The upper and lower
border have vanished, and they are filled with fractals 20 times
faster than any other calculation (sez the scroll). There is a
clock in the screen as well, which can be placed in the upper
border by pressing the HELP key in case the lower border is not
entirely visible. Good design there.
The music is very good, aptly demonstrating different speeds.
The bad thing about it is that it is ripped by Jacky of the Alien
It's brilliantly fast, smart, well designed...but not appealing.
Copper - Kaaah - Baaah - Naaah, by the Delta Force
Code: New Mode
Graphics: Tanis and Slime
Music: Big Alec
The subtitle to this screen is "Colourshock XXII" - for logical
reasons. Most of the screen is filled with the by now familiar
colour shock effect - i.e. as many colours as possible in a
somewhat easthetically pleasing combination. In this screen, it
looks brilliant as could be expected. There's a particularly
beautiful sawtooth effect diagonally across the middle that
defies description (so go and see it).
But there's more in this screen than only lots of colours. For
starters the lower border has been busted, to be filled with a
wobbling Delta Force logo with some more (and equally pleasing)
colour effects. On top of the whole colour thing there's a
vertical scroller with credits and stuff.
Before I forget: There's some rather spiffin' music in this
screen as well. With his deft handling of actual sound effects he
makes it possible to forget Rob Hubbard - if only the ST's sound
chip were closer in quality to that of the Commodore 64...
Ishido, Way of the Stones, by Cy
Graphics: Ronny and Spaz
Music: Large Alec
Continuing the tradition of intellectually stimulating games in
demos that was started with "Syntax Terror", "Punish Your
Machine" also contains such a game. Unfortunately, I am not
familiar with the rules of this particular game so I will not get
down even to something as basic as its description. All I can
tell is that is saves hiscores, that the music to it is nicely
fitting and that the lower border contains a large scroll with
Spaz' infamous Arista font (i.e. the font off the Anderson,
Bruford, Wakeman and Howe album, which is the only good thing
about this particular album).
When Colours are going Bang Bang, by the Delta Force
Code: New Mode
Graphics: Tanis and Questlord
Music: Big Alexander
Yep - another Delta Force screen. Slowly but surely, we're all
getting the impression that "Punish Your Machine" is much more a
Delta Force Mega Demo rather than a Party Demo. But this
observation is trivial and may therefore be ignored.
First, let's describe some of the things in this screen except
for the main effect (which deserves a paragraph all on its own).
At the top there's the Delta Force logo (the rather OK one by
Tanis that we also saw in the "Sickest" demo, above), with a
starfield flying horizontally by in the background. In the lower
border there's a scroller with a text written by Bilbo of Ripped
Off (yes, the very same one that promised to send us loads of
stuff for use in ST NEWS but hasn't!). I was somewhat interested
to read in that text that there was supposed to be a hidden
screen in this demo featuring members of the Delta Force doing
'clean and healthy' (this is Ripped-Offian for 'filthy and
perverted) things. It was only a joke. What a shame. I was
interested to see New Mode doing things with a Cow. Alas.
The prominent feature of this demo is a colour scroll that takes
up the middle part of the screen. Everybody knows the trick by
now where colours are switched at various locations, cleverly
enabling the use of 'colour-raster-graphics' for scroll messages
(see ST NEWS Volume 6 Issue 2's bootdemo by Mr. Bee). Well, New
Mode obviously considered these to be somewhat crude to say the
least. What he did was add more colours to them, and then add
bulging effects, 3D effects and a whole host of other things.
This really looks nice - a bit of a colourshock effect mixed with
characters in a scroll.
I'd hereby like to extend my sincerest compliments to Steffen
(i.e. Mr. Mode) for the idea and its realisation. Really great.
Leif Rullar, by Electra (with a 'c'!)
Code: Kasper, Icaruz and Abel
Music: Scavenger of Synergy
The members of Electra have recently (i.e. in August 1991)
joined The Union (no, not that crap Yes-band) and they're proud
of it. Well, please allow me to extend some congratulations to
you (I hope you get to read this in the first place). Good luck
Their entry for "Punish Your Machine" is a what can be called a
slideshow of demos. Excluding the intro, I counted five screens
that are presented in sequence. This makes it one of the most
impressive screens with regard to quantity. A worthy virgin
screen, if I may put it like that.
It starts of with the intro that I already hinted at: A rather
atmospheric thing with digi sound effects a some good pics that
did not last long enough for me to make any decent notes on it.
After that the sequence of five demo screens follows, that
rotates until someone has the guts to press the space bar.
OK. Sub-sub-demo part 1.
The very top part of this screen consists of texts that appear,
replacing each other after they're supposed to have been read.
Credits, addresses and greetings appear here. But the more
interesting bits happen below this. There, you will find 1400
dots being formed into various objects that bounce from left to
right across the screen: Earths, rotating globes, very strange
other shapes and a lot more. Again, assistance of a mathmatician
would have to be sought to describe the various tomes, domes and
globes that pass by. It all looks very nice - and it's all in one
vbl of course (1 vbl, in case you don't know, is 1/50th of a
second - something 'in 1 vlb' is as smooth as you can possibly
Right. Sub-sub-demo part 2.
This features what Electra call a "2D spline". It is a line made
up of separate pixels that is tugged and sinussed and God-knows-
what. It moves over the screen with only one side attached to
something. Pressing F1-F5 invokes some pre-defined patterns.
Looks OK, but I hope you don't mind that I don't consider this to
be one of the most impressive bits of "Punish Your Machine".
Well. Sub-sub-demo part 3.
We're looking at 110 masked 7*7 pixel vector balls here, already
known from earlier effort by people such as The Lost Boys
("Spider Demo", "Mindbomb"...). It looks very neat, and the
figures all move in one vbl. Also, they just look very well. Good
figures. I like this screen.
Yes, yes. Ermmm..... Sub-sub-demo part 4.
This is globe made of 964 dots that bounces up and down the
screen. I really honestly don't know what's impressive about
this. I mean I would not be able to do it but, hey, all I can do
is print a message on the screen using Gemdos calls.
OK then. The last sub-sub-demo.
This is a starfield consisting of 1720 stars that moves in
various directions in 1 vbl. Nothing much to it. It is probably
quite impressive from a programmer's point of view, but not all
too much appealing to look at for more than 10 seconds. So I
There are many sheep-s- in outer China, by the Overlanders
Code: Mr. Bee
Graphics: Furyo (the big Metallica fan)
Music: Mad Max
Before I start to say anything about this screen (or, rather,
again a collection of smaller sub-demos), let me first express my
hopes of the Overlanders quickly finding a productive musician of
their own. That way, they won't have to resort to using Mad Max
music anymore - for Mad Max music in demos is just like Roger
Dean covers on Yes albums: OK but boring if you hear it or look
at it too much.
Sorry. A bit of a Slayer quote there. I will proceed with the
regular bit of this review promptly.
For some reason, the Overlanders' demo starts off with a picture
of something that has to do with the Olympic Games of 1992. It
removes itself after a few seconds, too quick to be admired more
extensively. The reason for the picture being there, by the way,
is not wholly clear to me.
Not unlike the Electra contribution to this Party Demo, the
Overlanders' bit consists of three parts. OK, not quite as much
as the other crew's demo, but impressive nonetheless.
The first bit.
This consists of the middle of the screen (about one third in
total) being a starfield on top of which characters in line
vector graphics are being rotated. These form a long sequence of
words that can be read as a scroll text. Especially the way the
characters appear (and disappear) is really smoothly done.
The second bit.
This screen has a tiny scroll text at the very top and an
"Overlanders" logo in the lower border. All the rest is kept free
from some impressive 3D line graphics to be displayed. All in one
vbl, of course - for it's Mr. Bee that we're talking about here
and he ain't just any coder! Some of the shapes that are put here
are quite complex - some of the really complex ones move in
several vbl's, but that's understandable. Announcement messages
at times replace the blackness of the 3D vector screen, with
balls rotato-scrolling behind them.
The third bit.
Quite a beautiful font here, which is used to put messages on a
giant full-screen with 4-voice digi music. Four rasters indicate
VU-values of the individual digital music channels - which can be
turned off by pressing using F1 as a toggle key. It seems that ST
NEWS is getting pretty well known throughout the demo world, for
this screen even bothers to greet "the ST-News team". Thanks,
Now on to disk B...
The Best Part of Creation, by the Delta Force
Music: Huge Alec and Deranged Max
"And on the eighth day God created the Delta Force..."
Digital sound effects and speech are hurled at the beholder in
order to get him/her know the above fact. Flix is probably the
most modest person inside the Delta Force, but we all knew that
After this, we get onto a screen that contains nothing but one
(excellently drawn) Delta Force logo by Thor, and a meagre
scrolling message at the bottom. It has to be said, however, that
this is only the intro to the actual screen and that the scroller
is 42 Kb in length. Most of the scroller is filled by Flix, of
course, but at the Conference he also had several other
attendants type in some stuff. Some of these people are Big Alec,
Electra, Fury, Fate of ULM, Spaz of TLB (with a non-suppressed
guest appearance of Toxic Foetus Eater), Tanis and yours truly. I
had already forgotten all about it. What a nice surprise.
I was kinda garbled after reading through most of these 42 Kb of
text, hit the space bar and checked out the second bit of this
Do you know "Speedwriter" (a humble programming effort of mine)?
Well, the second bit of this demo is a bit like this. Characters
are typed onto the screen by a moving cursor, as if someone
invisible was typing the message on your very computer.
"After God blessed the Delta Force he created the ultimate
being. And he called if Flix."
That's how it starts - or something along the same lines. As I
said, Flix is one of the more modest people you're likely to come
along in the world of demo writing.
The texts you will see on the screen contain, among other
things, an almost complete attendance list of the ICC #2. There's
loads of colours in the background as well. It's a full-screen
thingy, and it gets down to 100x35 characters...
From Space to Leutenbach, by NAOS
Code: Nuclear and Ric
Music: Dam Xam
This kicks off with a really gorgeous font consisting of four
characters that tracks across the screen for a much too limited
time - spelling out the word N, A, O, S: Naos. Really great.
This removes itself all too quickly, to be replaced by something
almost like a commercial game whilst listening to the music of
the Thalion intro. A space dude sits in his cabin. Writing is
typed on top of him, describing time and location of him. Then he
waked up. Part of his face is enlarged. "Wake up!" His eyes are
enlarged. Incredibly atmospheric, all this!
And that's the intro.
The actual screen consists of a pixel-sinussed scroller on top
of a starball screen that wobbling off into every possible
direction. Sometimes, chauvisims prevails. This then causes the
scroller to be replaced by a French flag made of dots. I suppose
that's why the word 'chauvinism' is actually derived from French.
Them froggies did it again!
I.C.C. 2 Screen, by Future Minds
Graphics: Babar, Beetlejuice and others
Never heard of this bunch before, and yet they are a quite
capable demo crew.
It starts off with two really nice pictures that, unfortunately,
remove themselves far too quickly. Whoever did them has a good
future ahead of him (if he chooses to continue doing graphics,
When the third picture (Eddie, off the cover of Iron Maiden's
"Stranger in a Strange Land") vanishes, the actual demo starts.
It's a full-screen with two scrolls that go up in the right-and
left-border (both scrolls are identical). The whole background
(filled with rasters) scrolls up all the time. Then the screen
starts to fill with an ever increasing thing I'd like to compare
with a drawing program's zoom mode. When it is fully grown, it
takes up most of the normal screen, and features a gigantic
version of Eddie that scrolls smoothly in all direction. Each
pixel is dozens of times bigger now. A very nice effect.
I would have liked this demo more if the first two pics would
have stayed on longer. They are really nice.
The Magic Rasters, by Mystic
Code: Major Fatal
Music: From the Amiga
Another rather original screen. This time coded by Mystic, who
I suppose are French. I seem to recall that Quicksilver was
member of the Pendragons about a year ago but, hey, I'm flexible.
These youths always make me feel old (said the old man whilst
rubbing his rheumatic knuckles). Well, 'nuff said that has
nothing to do whatever with the actual demo.
After a title pic that leave the screen quickly, one sees a
large vertical scroll with rasters doing subtle things. These
rasters are replaced by a full-screen with a distorting (and at
times bouncing) background. Haven't I see this before in the ULM
"Dark Side of the Spoon" demo? Well, anyway. Next to the large
vertical scroll another thing appears - and this thing is really
nice. I don't know if it's hard to program, but it surely looks
nice. It is something like a sequence of magnifying glasses that
scroll vertically on top of the background pattern, enlarging it
like it should in 'real time' (including a realistic 'bulging'
effect). This really looks extremely neat, and it's probably
jolly original, too!
At times, the subtle rasters replace the background pattern
again. Each time the background reappeared. Sometimes with an
even more complex sequence of smaller and bigger magnifying
glasses. Really, really neat! Well done Mr. Fatal! You can marry
my firstborn any day (although I don't plan to have any kids all
A good screen by all standards (I think).
Twentyfourminute Screen, by Scum Of The Earth
Code: Illegal Exception
Graphics: Raphael (the not-quite-too-sane one)
Music: Count Zero
Those who know the people that hide behind the initials SOTE
will know that these Swedes are quite unlike any demo coders (and
especially graphics men). That's all I'll say on this subject.
This demo, like many before them, consists of an intro screen
and an actual demo screen. The intro screen features two
sinussing scrollers with the same text and the sinus patterns
mirrored in each other. Quite a nice font for someone who uses a
porn mag as a mouse mat, by the by.
Hitting the long one reveals the actual demo screen: A large
picture of an "Alien"-like monster bouncing up and down with four
large, masked, uncheated sprites tracking each other on top of it
all (these sprites, needless to say, spell out "S.O.T.E."). Not
altogether too impressive, actually, but not as bad as the screen
that ACF submitted during the ICC #2 compo.
Return of Medusa Demo, by the Delta Force
Code: Chaos, Inc.
Music: Mad Max
This is actually a somewhat cleverly concealed Starbyte ad for
their game "The Return of Medusa". I suspect it's a bit too late
now as I seem to recall that the game is already out for quite a
The whole thing as such as actually a slideshow of appropriate
parts of the game, giving a good impression of what it is like. A
scroller in the lower border supplies you with additional
information. It actually contains quite a lot of pics - how many
things can one possibly put on a disk?!
Demo-wise, this screen does not amount to much. Ad-wise, it's
The reset demo, by the Delta Force and The Lost Boys
Code: New Mode and Oxygene
Graphics: Slime and Spaz
Music: Xam Dam and Zaps
A Mega Demo would not be a True Mega Demo without a reset screen
- thus, "Punish Your Machine" has one.
Where Electra took the star limit to 1700-odd stars and Flix did
about 2000, this screen increases the record to a whopping 8200,
plus a 4-voice "Quartet" tune on top of that!
This thing requires quite a lot of pre-calculation, however, so
while the demo does that the beholder gets to see some credits
and stuff. This takes, I guess, about a minute.
Then the stars burst towards you. Dozens. Hundreds. Thousands.
Eight-thousand-two-hundred! The sky is the limit, so it seems. To
top this, logos of the Delta Force and TLB come bulging towards
you alternately - which consist solely of stars as well.
Impressive. The "Quartet" music is good, too, in spite of the
fact that it's done by the English person with the worst English
A nice demo to round off the whole "Punish Your Machine" with.
For a moment I thought about setting up a distribution network
for this demo. I decided not to, however, as it would take up too
much work. If you find this demo at your local PD library,
however, you should not refrain from getting it. It's worth your
while just as much as "Ooh Crikey"!
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.