"We came, we saw, we left."
TLB, 1991 "Ooh Crikey Wot A Scorcher" demo
DEMO REVIEW: OOH CRIKEY WOT A SCORCHER BY THE LOST BOYS
by Richard Karsmakers
It was about 3 PM and I needed stamps.
The weather seemed to agree with me leaving home and heading for
the post office. The sun was shining a bit, dark clouds refrained
from showing up between the light grey of their relatives. It was
not particularly hot or cold. It was just a rather plain, none
too bad autumn day.
Even the wind supported me, blowing briskly at my back, helping
me to cycle to the city.
The large wooden doors of the post office stood comfortably
open, as though inviting me in to deposit some money, buy some
stamps, take away a free leaflet, or even substract some money
from my account.
It was quite busy inside, quite unexpectedly.
There was a long queue and a short one, the latter being
occupied by three youths and an old woman. As the youths were
only having minor monetary matters taken care of, it progressed
quickly. A third counter was closed.
I joined the queue of counter 1, behind the old woman.
She turned around and smiled a benign smile - the kind of smile
a grandma gives you when you visit her and bring flowers, or
chocolates, or some more wool for her knitting.
From the corner of my eye I saw the other queue at counter 2
hardly progressing. I couldn't help but smile as I saw I had
already gained considerable space on the person who had joined
the other queue just after I'd come in.
I wouldn't take long now. The old woman progressed to the
counter. She mumbled something in the typical, barely
understandable way that very old women mumble, after which the
post office clerk went to fetch something.
She looked around at me as if slightly uncomfortable, smiling
another smile that was at least twice as benign as the previous
one, with a hint of embarrassment. Using a couple of facial
muscles, I succeeded in signalling her there was nothing at all
to be uncomfortable about.
Absent mindedly, I started studying one of the pillars that held
up the vaulted roof of the post office. This particular pillar
was shaped like a strong yet amazingly slim elephant.
Some people joined the queue behind me.
The post office clerk returned and started to speak to the old
"No," she spoke with a voice broken with age, "I do not have a
passport with me."
The post office clerk asked for something else.
"Do I look like someone," the old lady said, pausing, "who
drives a car?"
I could hear the clerk muttering some kind of excuse.
"Do you think I'm too old to drive a car?" the lady retorted.
The desk clerk muttered something that sounded like another
"I do have a post ID card, however," the lady now said.
She put her handbag on the counter and started to unload it.
From it came several make-up utensils, a comb, some hankies
(including some used ones), a passport, a fountain pen, a pair of
scissors, a set of car keys, some kind of old-age pensioner's
discount card, some photos and the required post ID card. Last
but not least, she retrieved from it a large wallet.
Slowly, shaking and slightly panting after this exercise, she
handed the ID card to the clerk.
With a befuddled look, the clerk handed back the ID card while
"You mean," the old lady stammered, "you want a newer picture on
I could see the clerk nod his head complacently.
The woman fingered through her belongings until she finally got
her hands on the pair of scissors and a photo that, as far as I
could see, seemed to contain a recent picture of herself. She
applied the scissors with painstaking slowness, compensating the
shaking of her hands with deliberate accuracy.
From the corner of my eye I could see the other queue gaining on
I started to tap my foot.
Biting on her tongue in what concentration she could muster,
she cut out her head from the larger photograph. Upon having done
this, she sighed and handed the picture to the clerk.
The clerk left his seat.
When he came back, after a while, he turned out to have been
searching for a stapler. With it he attached the picture to the
post ID card.
"The old picture," the woman mused more to herself as to anyone
else in particular, "was taken some years after my husband died,
The desk clerk now started to leaf through various papers that
the woman had put there earlier but that he obviously had not
been able to process then due to the old lady's lack of ID.
He seemed to copy down numbers on something, took off his
glasses, cleaned them, put them on again, and continued copying
down numbers on something.
I tapped my foot a bit more vigorously, studying another pillar
that was shaped like an incredibly elongated, huge deer.
That other queue was definitely gaining.
The third counter had opened as well, to which all people behind
me had retreated. I had obviously missed the event due to my
attention to what the desk clerk and the old woman were doing.
I tapped my other foot a bit and studied my wallet while the
woman was putting back her things in her hand bag. Was it worth
my while to join the third queue? Or even the second? This woman
couldn't possibly take that long now? I was not going to join a
queue behind people that had come in later than me!
It was getting a bit dark.
The clerk handed something back to the old woman, asking her
something. Obviously, she'd forgotten to sign one of the papers
that needed signing.
"Have you a pen?" she inquired.
The clerk shook his head affirmatively.
She took out all the possessions in her handbag again, obviously
looking for a pen. Of course, it came out last - just after the
huge wallet under which it had seemed to be hidden in a rather
She started to sign the paper.
It seemed not to work, for she carefully studied the pen,
breathed on it, and tried again.
The paper tore as she tried to sign it, shaking.
The post office clerk looked up from the other papers from which
he seemed still to be copying down numbers.
He handed her a new sheet of paper from a pile he had located
in a drawer, which was ready to be (but not yet) filled in.
The old woman took the old paper and carefully scribbled down
the contents of the torn piece of paper on the new one - very
careful not as to tear that new sheet as well.
The clerk had finished and started to whistle a rather
irritating little tune while looking at the woman, waiting for
her to finish. He seemed to see something particular amongst her
belongings and inquired.
"That's my great-granddaughter," the old woman said, forgetting
all about the sheet of paper, "a rather delightful little girl,
don't you agree?"
The desk clerk nodded, convincingly feigning interest.
If it were up to me, that would be the last thing he'd ever do
with that neck of his. I tapped both feet, starting playing with
my wallet, spilling part of its contents all over the floor.
Why did coins have to be shaped like wheels?
After a while I had regained most of my change. The old woman
was busy copying the sheet again, leaving the desk clerk gazing
at a picture of her late husband.
"Ah," the woman uttered in triumph when she had finished the
copying process, handing the new sheet to the clerk.
The desk clerk said something, sticking up his index finger to
indicate she'd forgotten something.
She took back the piece of paper and signed it, carefully. She
then gave it back again.
The clerk seemed to study it, then took something with which to
write and copied down some number. After that, he left his seat
to get something.
I heard rain coming down on the post office's roof. It was
pretty dark. I toyed a bit with my credit card, folded a small
paper airplane from the ten guilder note.
The clerk came back and talked to her. He put something on the
"Thank you," the old woman said, "I would now like to get about
300 Joegoslavian dinari."
The clerk smiled politely, pointing to a notice hanging above
"Joegoslavian money sold out," it read.
The woman had trouble tilting her neck that far. A sickening
sound like that of cracking bones penetrated my ears.
Lucky enough this was only caused by a youth wearing a leather
Motörhead jacket eating crisps, standing in another queue. I
surely couldn't remember him standing there before I came in.
That queue had gained tremendously.
"But I need the money," the old woman said, her voice filled
with rejection, fear and deep emotion.
The man said something, after which he went to another desk
clerk. A rather overly long dialogue followed.
The rain was gaining strength with its beating on the roof.
It took a while before the first clerk came back. In his hand he
held some foreign money. He asked something to the old woman.
"Of course I want to go to Joegoslavia," the old woman croaked,
"my grandson lives in Dublin!"
The man smiled politely, then said something that caused the old
woman to virtually stagger on her swollen, haemorrhoid-ridden
She recovered her wits quickly and adopted an attitude as if she
had meant it right all along, as if the post office clerk had
been in the wrong all the time.
"Of course," the woman said rather tartly, "I wanted 300 Irish
The man smiled somewhat less politely, then said something.
"Pounds," the woman replied quickly, "of course, pounds, that's
what I meant."
The clerk left his chair - again.
The rain was now battering the roof, as if attempting to bring
it down, letting everyone inside know that it was there, that it
was ready to soak them if they dared go outside.
After another while, the clerk came back with some other foreign
currency in his hands. He spoke to the old woman.
"But I haven't got that much Dutch money for the exchange," the
woman uttered, disconcerted, "what must I do now?"
The clerk replied, not showing as much as a sign of losing his
"Well," the woman muttered, "in that case give me 4 Irish
dina...Pounds, I mean, pounds."
They exchanged currencies. The old woman inserted the money into
her big wallet, loaded it together with all her belongings into
the hand bag, turned around and waggled towards the exit.
"Bloody desk clerks," she muttered at nobody in particular but
most at me, "bloody bureaucracy!"
I advanced towards the desk, exchanging meaningful looks with
"One 80 cents stamp, please," I asked.
The clerk smiled politely - actually seemed to radiate
immaculate politeness. He pointed to the number of his counter,
then to another one.
"This is counter 6. We only sell stamps at counter 7. Thank
Looking at "Ooh Crikey Wot A Scorcher" wasn't at all an
experience like the one above.
"Ooh Crikey" (for that is how I will henceforth call it) is the
first MegaDemo of The Lost Boys since "Mindbomb", not counting
the "Life's A Bitch" 1990 Atari Messe Demo. "Ooh Crikey" was also
released at the Atari Messe in Duüsseldorf, but this time in 1991
- on August 23rd to be more precise. It comes on one double sided
disk with 80 tracks, and runs on all ST's (even half meg)
provided, of course, they've got a double sided disk drive.
The Lost Boys have learned a lot in the year that has passed
since we last heard of them - not only with regard to the actual
coding, but also with regard to presentation. So there are no
blank screens, and all pictures fade and out when they change.
It's a very well designed, well thought out demo that any demo
freak should be proud to have in his collection. Every demo
screen even has its own title picture (some of which are more
But let me not bore you to death with lectures like these. Let's
get down to describing the individual screens of the picture,
starting at the beginning.
Immediately after loading (really within a second or two, three)
the loading screen appears - with a somewhat gorgeous font, by
the way. This screen will appear every time something is loaded,
counting down to when loading has finished.
Then the title picture appears: An island on which the
individual members of the Lost Boys lie bathing in the sun (or in
the water). This pic was done by Spaz, and is good but nowhere
near to some of the stuff you'll be witnessing further in the
The members of the Lost Boys, in case you don't know and happen
to be interested, were: Manikin (Tim, coder), Spaz (Dave,
graphics), Digital Insanity (Stefan, coder), and Sammy Joe
(Michael, "Maggie" - who has in the mean time left TLB and joined
the Delta Force, probably 'coz he moved to Germany). In the mean
time, Sprog (Mark, coder) recently rejoined after having left TLB
for about a year to pursue a musical career.
Code: Manikin and Oxygene
After hitting the space bar on the above title picture, the real
demo starts with the intro. A starfield comes out towards the
beholder, with zooming/shrinking texts coming towards him as
well. Basically, this screen tells you when it was made and who
Code: Manikin ("Life" by Digital Insanity)
Graphics: Spaz (font by Dire of Animi Dux)
Music: Mad 'Nipple' Max
When the intro has been seen, the menu is loaded. This is one of
the most original aspects of the demo: The entire menu is a
fractal landscape over which the user flies a spaceship that has
to be landed on several patches that represent the individual
demo screens. So no standard 'sync scrolling, full screen, game-
like' menus here that require ages to find all screens. There's a
cheat code that allows you to select the screens with function
keys, but I am not at liberty to reveal it here and it isn't
particularly hard to find anyway.
Spaceship controls are quite OK, but thank God it ain't no full
game that really requires deft joystick handling and dexterity.
It's pilot control with velocity control by pressing the joystick
up or down with the firebutton pressed (+ or - on the keypad are
aso allowed). An extensive user manual for the rather
unintelligent among us is included on the HELP key. This help
screen has a rather fast "Life" ("Well, I had to slow it down,
actually", Stefan quote) in the background.
Needless to say, you should try not to hit the fractal
mountains. You are assisted in this feat of flying by the status
bar that occupied the lowest bit of the screen. It contains a
top-view map, a 'messages' area, indivators of velocity and
altitude, and indicators of 'distance to next screen' and
'direction of next screen'. Pressing 'Escape' equals suicide.
There are some gags built in this screen, the most prominent of
which has to do with taking a leak.
The 'messages' area is clearly (at least partly) written by
Spaz. If I quote "Find yourself a demo screen to pull your middle
leg over" I guess this is obvious.
Each time when entering the main menu (e.g. after leaving a
screen), you get to see a stunning bit of Spaz artwork, based on
Rodney Matthews. Really brilliant. He's getting better every time
he does something.
Before I continue with describing the separate demo screens, I'd
like to make a remark about the music. Mad Max is well known to
be a lazy git of the most extreme sort. That's one of the
reasons why we (e.g. ST NEWS) have had to resort to an
alternative sound programmer, and why virtually all demo crews
have to resort to using ripped music from His Hairiness. Somehow,
however, Tim seems to get him to put down his laziness
occasionally. This means that, no matter how incredible this may
sound, all Mad Max songs in "Ooh Crikey" are original ones.
Go Ahead Make My Bed (The Lost Boys Chainsaw Massacre)
Title pic: Tanis
This screen was inspired by the TCB-TLB fax war that was
commenced during the time that Dave and Tim stayed over at
Thalion to code "A Prehistoric Tale", summer 1990. We even got
into some slight trouble with Thalion's managing director after
he found out that we had been faxing to Sweden all the time. This
fax war mainly consisted of hypothetical newspaper clippings of
TCB being slaughtered by TLB, TLB being locked in jail for said
offense, some rather rude artwork and more like that. It was lots
of fun, and beat hell out of trying to sleep in the damp hotness
Anyway. So far the background drivel.
The title picture is one of Tanis - a kind of dragon-man-lion-
eagle-thing standing poised on a rocky surface. After pressing
space, you get to see a horizontally scrolling dungeon through
which someone not unlike Spaz walks. There's 6 or 7 layers of
parallax scrolling there, by the way. The background is filled
with sound effects that vary from music that creates some
suspense to the sound of feet being put down repeatedly in wet
Then, after a while, in one of the cells you see a digustingly
cute Carebear hanging. Needless to say, the Spaz-clone takes out
an inflatible chainsaw and starts to chop it in two. The sounf
effects are worse than gross, but oddly fitting. One or two
things are actually said by means of digitized speech, but these
are completely unintelligible if you don't already know what is
being said - unfortunately.
This screen, unlike the others, is automatically exited.
Brief History of Time
Music: Mad the Max
Title pic: Spaz
This screen comprises, like its name implies, a brief history
through the times of demo writing. This penultimate goal is
achieved by actually having four demo screens next to and on top
of each other, all of which are alternately (and partly or wholly
simultaneously) displayed on the visible part of the screen - as
the whole 'screen' as such is four screens in size, they will
never all be fully present, but what the heck.
To make this all slightly better, on top of the whole thing you
get a large one-plane graphic scroller with rasters in it, and
tracking sprites proclaiming something like "the lost boys" (I
seem to recall).
The four demo screens are: A starball screen, a large whole-
screen-dist-scroller-wobbler-thing, a multi-scroller-sinus-orgy
and large balls that track each other in pseudo-mathe-sinoicidal
ways. On their own these would not have caused much of a stir,
but all of them in one screen do. A clever screen. Not too bad
for someone like Tim, actually.
Komische Sackratten von der Höhle
Title pic: Spaz
An excellent title pic of a hand writhing in agony on a
background of hot lava. Then...
Oh God! No! An Aciiiiid screen!
Thank God! Yes! It's not like any of the other Acid screens a
certain Carebear used to flood us all with!
Actually, this was the screen that TLB (or was it Alcoholica)
submitted for the Delta Force I.C.C. #2 compo that got quite
high. Principally, it's a throbbing and driving piece of house
music with various graphic effects fitted in accordance with the
way the music handles itself. You get to see various neat
psychedelic effects, running clocks, huge "ZONK" cries,
exclamation marks and quite some more. A surprisingly original
screen - the kind that might actually start to persuade you to
start to dig house music.
What a Bummer
Code: Duke Allington
Graphics: Tyrem and Hawkmoon
Title pic: Spaz
And what a damn gorgeous title pic this has! I have never ever
seen the bum of a female portrayed on the ST in such a beautiful
way - not even in "Teenage Queen"! Really great. Some of the best
Spaz ever did. The source of this artwork is one of my personal
favourites, Boris Vallejo.
This is the (only) guestscreen in "Ooh Crikey", which happens to
be made by those rather nice chummies of the Respectables (yes,
from now on I'll write your name correctly). After all, Tyrem
allowed TLB and Tanis to stay at his place for a somewhat
prolonged time during last summer so this is the least he
This screen is divided in two bits. The lower 1/3rd is occupied
by a "Respectables" logo that is replaced by various other logos
of TRB members names in time. It has to be said that Tyrem,
although not yet mentioned in any NEXT Charts and stuff, is
getting to be one of the top notch graphics artists as well (I
guess the times of unreadable logos are definitely history now,
The upper 2/3rds of the screen are occupied by either a
starfield or a star balls, that swap their presence regularly. On
top of these, text appears. In the case of the star balls,
zooming/shrinking characters are 'thrown' onto the screen to form
messages. In the case of the starfield, these texts are either
made up of very little balls that zoom in and explode off the
screen (quite spectacular!), or of plain text that fades into and
out of the screen.
At another stage during the demo you get a sort of 3D-ish raster
effect with text on it that looks really staggering -
unfortunately it's virtually impossible to describe so I won't
even attempt it.
The texts that you get to read are mainly occupied with the
usual. However, they also mention name (Mali), age (16) and
measurements (91-62-82) of their female members! This is more
The demo ends with the historic words: "Go forth and multiply!"
(I wonder if that is meant to mean "F.ck off"?).
Your Mind Is My Ashtray
Code: Digital Insanity and Oxygene
Music: Mad Max
Title pic: Spaz
I will leave it up to Stefan to tell you all about this screen
in a more detailed fashion (in his 'tricks' article, elsewhere in
this issue), but I will describe it superficially here.
Its name, of course, was based on the legendary quote Jeff
Minter uttered while we were visiting him during the "LateST NEWS
Quest", summer 1989.
Basically, this screen consists of three things. One of those
things is a rather large 1-plane "Lost Boys" logo that flies to
and fro all over the screen (rout coded by Oxygene). Nothing
impressive, I guess, and mainly used to fill up remaining
processor time. The second thing consists of 40 scrolls that
scroll up in the background. They seem to contain two different
texts, and they scroll to and fro, thus creating a waving effect
(coded by Oxygene, too).
The third bit is the most impressive. I had never actually
watched this screen for a prolonged time until I sat down to
review it, and I have to say I was genuinely stunned that this
could be coded by the same person who spent hours doing previous
issues' scroll text that in the end didn't even wrap!
This third part is a large scroller. I think it's a raster
scroll - either that or a rudely drawn font scroll. It starts off
rather plainly, just scrolling with neat colours in it. But then
it starts tilting. Then it starts sinussing during its tilt. Then
it starts turning around all the way (360°!) - although hard to
read, this is impressive to look at. And that isn't all: Next
each character starts to rotate separately in a tilted scroll,
and next the whole scroll starts to do its 360° again with each
character rotating again! And then there's more...Wow.
I guess this demo proves that microwave food does not affect
your mind in a negative way.
There aren't any sheep in outer Mongolia
Code: Manikin and Oxygene
Music: Mad Max
Title pic: Spaz
Frankly, I consider this to be one of the lesser impressive
screens in the demo. It consists of a very realistic starfield
with texts zooming in towards you (zoom rout coded by Oxygene). I
don't know here, again, whether it's rasters zooming in a a
crudely drawn font. It looks smooth, anyway.
On top of that, we get a landscape-scroller kind of thing that
bounces and flips. Again, all very neat. At times, the landscape
scroller is removed in favour of a lower-half-of-the-screen
landscape scroll made up of star balls. That looks even better.
Things That Go Bump In The Night
Title pic: Spaz
A rather nice picture preceeds this screen - red devils trying
to climb up a wall or something, well drawn.
This demo is another variation on the landscape scroller them
(i.e. rasters and colours being used to create the effect of a
chessboard being scroller towards you, or away from you) - but
with quite some novelties. For starters, there's relief in it
now - depths and heights scroll towards you and away from you. On
top of that, balls come bouncing towards you over that landscape.
Of course, Tim did not consider this to be enough. He then put
the world's most unreadable scroll on top of it - made up of
characters made of little green balls that rotate around two or
three axes individually. Quite a nice feat, but really unreadable
- and I have persevered in my trials!
The Puke-Inducing Reset Credit Screen
What's "Ooh Crikey"? A Megademo.
What does a Megademo need to have? A reset screen.
So this has got one. And quite an impressive one at that. It
consists of awfully subtle (and sometimes blatantly un-suntle)
pseudo-3D raster effects that both deafen the eyes and excite the
On top of that violent orgy of colours, you get to read all the
credits. In other words: Who did what and who did other things
that did not have anything directly to do with the demo. It ends
with a raster tasteful picture of five Lost Boys with their backs
to you, with "THE END" in large characters above it. Amazing: You
can even recognise who's who from the back!
The music, too, fits to the screen and is generally a good
composition. Just like all digital tunes in "Ooh Crikey", it was
composed by Dave with "Quartet" (he swears by it).
The Expansion Disk
There is an 'eighth' demo screen included in "Ooh Crikey". Maybe
I should say 'possibility of a demo screen'. This option was
built in to allow a possible extension of the demo to come out
one day, using a specific format on disk so that the loader
routine knows how to handle it.
They don't know if it will ever be used. God knows. Maybe Stefan
will use it one day to have a neat demo on ST NEWS that can be
read using "Ooh Crikey".
The Hidden Screen
This 'feature' has already lead to fierce discussion on Bulletin
Board Systems. Is there a hidden screen, coded by Nick of TCB?
Well, actually there is one but it isn't coded by Nick and isn't
accessible at all.
Rather, there are some tracks on the disk that contain the
hidden screen. You have to device the DMA loader yourself,
execute it yourself. So it's no matter of just doing something
weird at a weird moment.
With a bit of luck, you should find a little program in the
PROGRAMS folder that will do just that for you (coded by Stefan,
of course). Then again, you may not. (Indeed, ED.)
It is a shame that TLB states that this will probably be their
last megademo. I know for sure that people are always willing to
get their hands on more demos of excellent quality like this one.
As it is, Tim is going to do more games if he gets his way. Even
the Respectables are thinking about quitting, in favour of some
more lucrative waste of time.
For those of you who want more TLB products, I am afraid you are
dependent on ST NEWS and the demos that Stefan may (or may not)
code for it. "Maggie" now belongs to the Delta Force, so ST NEWS
could be seen at the Lost Boys + Quartermass Experiment magazine.
I suggest you write lots of letters to Stefan, requested him to
do a nice demo screen in the next ST NEWS (it helps to write that
you think he's the best coder on earth, better than Nick, Tim and
even better than Relayer, Code-God of Holland).
If you haven't got "Ooh Crikey", I suggest you get it a.s.a.p.
In England, it should be available through Budgie U.K. Try your
local PD library if you don't live in the Land of Hope and Glory.
"Ooh Crikey" is no doubt one of the best demos to appear on the
ST so far.
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.