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Scene Demo
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Jon Pillar
Chris Bourne

The Polish programmers' Speccy swansong, Shock is an eight part megademo that knocks spots off everything else around, including NMI 3. Incidentally, did you know there's supposed to be a NMI 4 on the way? Gosh, eh? But enough of this idle banter. Shock's eight parts feature the obligatory raster line effects, the equally obligatory scrollies and the entirely unsurprising greetings. But! It also spins a twist or two on established techniques as well as coming up with a few entirely new 'uns. The scene is set from the Intro - there's a madly bouncing and rather funny scrolly with a reflection that insists on going off the point, accompanied by a gurt big logo whanging smoothly about the screen. Part Two (May A Little Challenge) boasts full-screen single line rasters (in other words, loads of very thin colour bars) and a scrolly, as well as a challenge to other programmers to top it.

Parts Three (We Are The Champions Of The World) and Four (If You Stay Better Sit Down - The Cyclone Is Coming) feature a huge sine-wave scrolly and a bunch of circular scrollies respectively, while Part Five (Greetings!) has a wonderfully chunky sine-wave scrolly the speed of which you can adjust from nicely stately to blindingly fast. Part Six (Do You Play Chess?) is my favourite - two chessboards scroll out of the screen while the world's smallest scrolly teeters along the middle. But! If you prod experimentally at the keyboard, you'll find you can actually control the direction and speed of the scrolling. It's actually darn addictive travelling around inside the imaginary 3D world - it's a bit like Battlezone, but on a chessboard, and with another one in the sky, and without any tanks. (Erin, I think Jon's been playing with this demo for far too long. Ed)

Part Seven, the Mat Guest Screen, is a spot-on conversion of his Coupe Surprise demo. A counter ticks away how many little balls are rattling around on screen while the marbles themselves form some queasily organic patterns. Apparently it's all a cunning trick, but it still looks amazing. Just don't eat any sandwiches while you're watching. Ulp. (Interesting point: since the Speccy conversion is exactly like the SAM demo, it goes to show that ESl weren't exactly stretching the Coupe in the first place, were they? But I digress.) The finale of the megademo is a bit of an anticlimax. A Shock logo flips up and down the screen over a parallax starfield while a standard sine-wave scrolly wibbles away at the bottom. Still, that doesn't lessen the snazziness of the preceding parts. It's a total stonker, and I'd advise you to get it. One word of warning - sadly, as with so many other demos, the scrollies occasionally throw out what can only be described as 15-Certificate Rude Words. Pah. The brutal times we live in, eh?


Screenshot Text

The trouble with completely self-explanatory screenshots like this one is that you're left with a lot of caption space to full up as best you can - it's tricky, but I'm confident I can pull it off.

Eeerghh. And you should see it moving. It's like a vast pulsating organism clinging damply to the roof, ready to drop on passers-by and suck out their brains. Hworp!

What indeed? I have to admit that I didn't really notice. I was having far too much fun driving my magic dodgem car through Chessboard Land. Wheee! Toot toot! (There there. Ed)