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Pentagram
Not Known
1993
Scene Demo
English
ZX Spectrum 128K
Undetermined

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42
Jonathan Nash
Chris Bourne

Branch Of Mind is a sort of goodbye to Pentagram (the chaps responsible for the LSD megademo) written by ace musician and irritatingly good programmer (well, he keeps saying things like 'I'm crap' just to annoy people) Agent-X. It's a megademo, a sort of melting pot of ideas, with no theme or story but loads of really groovy effects. Starting off with a pic of the Pentagram logo exploding (sniff), it drifts into a massive diagonal attribute scrolly which gets bored with itself and zips off to make way for a very fast, very smooth, very large Branch logo sliding across the screen. Tasty.

Next up the screen pans across a gigantic vector graphic (wa-hey!) and a lightbulb moves around a globe, casting really crap shadows (erk), followed closely by 128 tiny scrollies (hurrah) and a raytraced graphic which goes to prove that raytracing really doesn't work in monochrome (yikes). Thus ends the first part of the megademo. 'But,' says the screen, 'don't walk away yet.'

The second act opens with a splendid pretend-hard drive interface with a moving arrow selecting various sub-directories to reach the demo itself. Things start moving with a ring of individually-animated stars which turn and twist and twiddle (Twiddle? Andy) all over the place in an impressive manner while funny things happen to the background. Then some squares bounce around a bit, and more stars appear, and the background goes wibbly again, and then the screen says, 'Now for something to blow your socks off,'' but it doesn't, because the next bit's another raytracing, and then the demo ends. Well, actually, that's not quite true. The credit bit is ace - while they're scrolling, if you tap a key, footprints start traipsing across the screen. What a fab ending. Almost makes up for the couple of crap bits in the demo itself, really. (But not enough, he said ruthlessly.)

70%

Screenshot Text

'There are more stars in MGM than there are in heaven!' the studio used to boast. But this didn't take into account the galaxy being several hundred million light years wide. It was an honest mistake.