"First we were big lamers...now we are only lamers!"
Silvers (in their Transbeauce II disk 2 demo)
DEMO REVIEW: THE TRANSBEAUCE DEMO (LABOUR DAY) BY THE ST
by Richard Karsmakers
I was getting really tired of reviewing megademos when I got the
fourth one in my mailbox that had to be reviewed for this ish of
ST NEWS. I swear if it hadn't been sent by those awfully
sympathetic people of the ST Connexion I would just have used the
disks to backup my harddisk contents on. I guess I was also lucky
that it didn't contain any of those fancy-having-to-search-for-
them-blasted-screens-for-hours main menus. So I sat down
objectively and did it anyway.
Unfortunately, it started off bad. Of the two disks that the
demo comes on, the first one didn't work. As I got the demo sent
to me by ST CNX Public Relations person Klaus Berg (Vantage) I
sent a letter back to him with the request to send it anew. After
waiting for about a week I received another copy that didn't
work. As his explanation told me it was tested and found to work
fine, I immediately drew the only conclusion possible: Disk 1
didn't work on my ST (a 1990 German MEGA ST with 4 Mb). Too bad,
really, as that disk was said to have the best (award winning)
screens on it.
So that is why, alas, I will only be able to review the second
disk here. This disk is subtitled "The Lesser Demos" and I guess
it's pretty much descriptive for the demos present on it.
Let's get the thing going.
The second disk is a separate demo that only has its name in
common with the first disk. It works all on its own, including a
presentation title picture and its own bootsector booter (a trend
I tend to like).
This particular bootsector is quite impressive, by the way: It
features a many-colour raster scroller in both horizontal
directions with the text "TRANSBEAUCE DEMO II". A lot better than
the "Enchanted Land" booter, on which' concept it is clearly
The Main Menu
The main menu is one of the first programming efforts of
infamous Mr. De Mauve of the Overlanders. The award winning
graphics artist (see this ST NEWS' picture!) has made the first
steps into the world of assembler programming, and it has to be
said that he is doing nicely. Although the main menu cannot be
described as anything staggering, I have to say that it's
incredible what Doguy can do after such a short time of learning
As I already said, the main menu is no game-like thing. Instead,
it's a pic with tracking sprites on top of it and a scroll in the
lower part. At the top of the screen there's a slot where one
name of a demo screen fits in. Pressing the cursor up/down keys
scrolls other names in that slot. Pressing the space bar selects
the screen of which the name is currently in the slot.
The music, like just about all music in this demo (at least disk
two) was made by Mad Max. Graphics by Babar, Speedlight and The
Sergeant (the latter being the guy behind the Transbeauce II
Party that boasted 250 people and 100 ST's!). The demo as a
whole, by the way, was put together by M-Coder.
Let's now have a look at the individual screens (all 15 screens
of which 1 didn't work, plus the reset screen).
This starts off with an intro picture of a wizard. It is drawn
quite well, but unfortunately it is removed from the screen quite
quickly. Next time please have it disappear only after someone
pressing a key, chaps!
The graphics in the actual demo are bad. And I mean really bad.
I really can't do much myself. I can't code, I can't compose and
I can't do graphics. But I could have done better than the
graphics artists here, really.
Anyway, the screen consists of a grey graphics frame around a
smaller part of the screen where the more interesting bits
happen. Below that, in the lower border, is the scroll that
belong to the screen.
The interesting bits I hinted at just now consist of a part of
the screen that can be divided in up to four parts (of different
size and shape) that can scroll individually in any direction.
The graphics are 4-plane, and it's all smooth. Not too bad, I
The graphic artists responsible for this are Scorp and Zeus, the
coder is called The Shadow (have they never heard of The Shadow
of the Dynamic Duo?!) and the music is off "Wings of Death".
Art of Code 1
The Art of Code has two screens on the second disk of this
megademo. This first one is called "Knuckle Buster II". This
aroused me considerably, as I was the person who liked that piece
of music in the first place and got Mad Max to do it on the ST
(be it without tempo changes). The only thing that this demo has
in common with the TEX "Knuckle Buster" demo (wasn't that is
"Cuddly" or something?) is the fact that you hear music while you
can see (a) musician(s) on the screen. The graphics are not very
good, but the music (a TCB Tracker piece) is very adequate.
The screen consists of a drawn mixing panel, a loudpspeaker and
a TV screen. The lower bit of the screen features a scroll text.
Pressing CONTROL flicks the on/off switch on the mixer and on it
goes. On the TV you now see three musicians playing the music. It
made me think of the Commodore 64 "Thrust Rock Concert" I really
liked. A nice screen, thus.
The most original thing about this screen, however, is the
graphics of the scroll - i.e. the font. It is made of seemingly
random characters cut out of a newspaper - different styles of
characters on a piece of paper each. Very original, and
The code in this screen was done by a chap called Philip,
graphics by Franiz and composition by Equalizer.
Art of Code 2
This screen is less appealing to the beholder than the other Art
of Code screen. It is basically a 3D vector graphics screen (line
figures, with no hidden faces) with a vertical text sentence
scroll in the background during the less complex shapes. Ever so
often, the text scroll vanishes and more complex 3D shapes appear
on the screen (which also move in more than 1 vbl).
Code by Doodah. Font and music ripped from TEX (well, at least
they get the credit).
This screen didn't work with me. For a flash of a couple of
milliseconds, I saw a large "Transbeauce II" logo and then the
whole system reset. Well, this eventually lead me to discover...
The Reset Screen
Like all reset screens nowadays do, this screen features texts
that thank all people who contributed to the demo (at least to
the second disk). It seems to have been done by our good friend
M-Coder, the best non-OVR programmer in France.
It's a kind of colour shock screen with text appearing on top of
it, screen by screen. The colour effects are good and get better
and better, but transformations between the effects are not
smooth. Tut tut, Mr. Coder!
The font was off Algernon, the music by Mad Max (sigh).
It looks as if the names of crews are getting stranger and
stranger by the day...
Another virgin screen here - i.e. the first more or less decent
screen done by yet another new French crew. It seems that France
is crawling with demo crews at the moment, which probably account
for most of the success of Parties such as Transbeauce that
nobody outside France ever gets to hear off until they are
finished and the party demos are distributed.
This Defcon screen is rather OK, I guess. It looks good at
least. The screen is divided in two parts. The lower border has
the shape of a train moving very fast to the left, coming back at
the right, moving to the left, etc. This train is the French TGV
(Train Grand Vitesse), the fastest European train. On top of that
train a scroll text runs - thank God is runs a lot slower than
that train. Most of this scroll text is in French. I am not sure
whether this is good, but it might not be too bad as the French
are usually bad at English...
The rest of the screen (i.e. the normal screen size) is occupied
by a rather large D4 logo drawn on stone that is bouncing up and
down. It looks cool, and I guess it's 4 planes as well. Five
tracking sprites spelling T, R, A, N, S and II are moving around
that large shape, sometimes in front of it and sometimes behind
Looks OK to me, this screen.
This screen consists of two parts. The first part is quite lame,
and consists only of text sentences scrolling up, a Transbeauce
logo at the top and an Equinox logo at the bottom. Nothing much
goes on here. So press space...
And you're in the second part of this demo coded by Al Cool and
Checksum. This consists of so-called bobs - a text scroll where
each character is made up of balls. There's a starfield behind it
all, and the scroll text eventually starts rotating and flipping,
effectively making it totally unintelligible.
This screen is, oddly enough, called "Original Demo". Let's hope
they meant this in jest.
The music is certainly original. It is one of the tunes that
virtually nobody has ever used in a demo, probably for obvious
reasons: Mad Max' mediaeval "Dragonflight" music.
The rest of this screen, I'm afraid, is less original. There's a
lower border with VU-metres in it. These VU-metres actually
indicate volume by scrolling a whole line of the screen in both
horizontal directions. Further, there is a disting "HC" logo at
the upper part of the screen, a scroll text in the middle and 12
tracking sprites (2 planes?) on top of it all.
I still don't know what the name "MCS" stands for, but all I
know is that this screen is called "WALLS". This is actually an
acronym for "What A Lame Little Screen". Well, it's not too bad
First of all there are Starballs. These are exactly like the
TNT-Crew's starball screen in the "Union Demo", with the least
amount of balls. On top of that, M.C.S. put 4-layer parallax
scrolling 'grass', rasters, a screen-wide-bouncing-distorting
Transbeauce II logo, and a text that types itself. Both side
borders are completely removed as well.
All code by The Hooligan. Music by Mad M...no. I am not going to
say that name again.
Quite an orignal screen, this one. You'll love it if you're into
making love, flowers, and dope. Well, let's not exaggerate here.
You'll probably like it if you're into flowers.
This screen is divided in two parts. The lower bit is occupied
by a scroll with a rather eye-piercing font. It is made of normal
characters covered with flowers. This is quite difficult to read,
actually. The rest of the screen consists of a piece of graphics
around which balls start to me. First there's 10, then 20, and
then you loose count. It's one of these screens where the balls
just keep on coming and coming (the oldest ball is never removed
though, so we all know it's a trick with multiple screens). The
added effect here, however, is that these balls increase and
decrease in size and move behind and in front of the mentioned
bit of graphics.
Code by Djaydee (or something like that), grrrr by Grizzo. You
can guess yourself who the music is made by.
The Misfits should actually be called CILWVUM (this is not
Welsh, but means "Crew In Love With VU-Metres"). You'll see why
in the next paragraph.
First there's a short, rather OK intro picture. 'Short' means
that it disappears (too) quickly. Then the actual screen starts.
The music is "Comic Bakery" by M(SENSORED)X. On top of the screen
there's a logo with rasters. In the middle there are two strange
creatures at each side with a text scrolling up between them. On
the lower part of the screen (though not the lower border)
there's the hottest bit of this screen (you're right: VU metres)
with a "TMF" logo scroll with standing mountains in the
background between them.
Coding by Joker, graphics by O-Bewan.
This is technically possibly the worst screen on the second
disk, now I come to think of it. All it has is a rotating 3D
starfield, a distorting (heavily distorting) "The Outlaws" logo
and a scroll. No borders open or anything. A chap called JPP is
responsible for this - he has a lot to learn, I am afraid.
The scroll text contents deserves the award of "Worst English
Ever In A 1991 Scrolltext".
This screen starts off with a tiny scroll line and music (the
"Prehistoric Tale" game-over tune). Then this is replaced by
more, i.e. the real demo screen.
On that screen there's a top border scroll with rasters (16
shades of grey) in the background. These flicker quite awfully,
unfortunately. Below that, there's a vertical scroll of what
first seem to be abstract signs but that later turn out to be
characters. This is very hard to read, and contains all the
'greetings'. All code by Cram, and all graphics and the scroll
text by Dr. C. I guess these guys must be English, as their
scroll text is pretty damn brilliant. Apart from that, the
scrolltext writer likes Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth -
guarenteerd symptoms of high sanity that are but seldomly found
T.B.C. (The Black Cats)
This demo consists of two screens, the latter of which is very
funny indeed. But let's not spoil the fun yet and first do the
This consists of a screen built up of three parts. The top part
has a top-and- side-border-scroll with a Robocob font. Looks
good. The lower border contains a barrel scroll with greetings
and the like. The rest of the screen (most of the normal size) is
taken of by a large Transbeauce II logo, on top of which a 3D
line vector shape (hidden face) moves. There is only one shape
there, which does not change.
All code by Sharpman, graphics by Emulator and music by that
silly German with the long hair and the tendency to drink shampoo
("Enchanted Land" level 1 music).
The second part of this demo is quite funny, and is based on
some scanned pics taken from the famous cartoonist Marcel Gotlib
(Dutch: Koos Voos, German: Peter Pervers, etc.). Funny, and a tad
naughty. The sound effects accompanying the effects are brilliant
and well fitting. More of this next time!
Coder Disk Zapper and graphics artist Judge Dredd put together
this one. It looks quite hectic, but I'll try to put it down here
for you to form a picture of it anyway.
There are 3 large VU-metres in the background (yawn). There's a
bigscroll (1 plane) going horizontally on top of that, mirrored
in the load of rasters below. Those rasters function as a kind of
landscape (doesn't scroll, though), from behind which also
appears a giant vertical scroll (one plane). As the characters
are more than a screen in height and only part of the screen is
visible this is impossibly difficult to read. From what I was
able to read of it, it consisted more of a list of members of
T.S.B., of which most had the remark "(SWAPPER)" behind their
The music in this screen, I'm positive, was not made by that odd
German with the even odder hairdo - it is very short and does not
wrap. So most of the time spent looking at this demo is spent in
divine silence (you can listen to your own music on the stereo,
Many of the screens on this disk has VU-metres. Thus, this
screen could hardly be an exception to this rule and therefore
isn't. But at least these guys have done something quite original
with it. Basically, it has three small blocks that emulate little
screens with scrolling backgrounds and a scrolling text through
them. These move up and down according to the music volume. The
music, now I'm at it, is not made by Mad Max and is very good!
There's six different pieces of music, as a matter of fact, which
can be selected by pressing F1-F6.
The bit of the screen above the VU metres alternately displays a
"Transbeauce" and a "Voyager" logo. Below the VU metres you can
see an Enigma logo, well drawn, that wobbles and dists.
Below that, there is a text that types itself. This happens too
slowly so that even I didn't read all text (this is quite an
achievement for them as I nornmally read all scroll texts and the
like). It uses a good font that looked familiar, though.
The best bit about this screen was the music.
I really hope that the first disk of this demo is a lot better,
for otherwise I am afraid that this demo will even rank lower
than the "Lightning Demo" (the Pendragons may be uninspired and
freaky, but their programming talents are more evident). I hope
to be able to offer the review of the first disk in the next ST
NEWS issue, when I will have had time to visit someone who has an
ST on which it works.
I am sure all contributors meant well, but I am afraid that they
do not have the class of the Overlanders or the demos compiled by
the Delta Force and The Lost Boys...
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.