The Golden Years - 1989

written by Jazzcat
Originally published in Vandalism News #67 - November 2017

What is the golden age? The best times of the C64 scene. But when? People have different views and there is perfect solution, but I tend to put the age between 1987 and 1990.

Vandalism News will take you on a journey through each year, revisiting scene news, major game releases and other bits and pieces along the way...

Disclaimer: ignore spelling, grammar, punctuation and the overly using capitalisation - these oversights were the norm back then... anyway, let's turn the clock back a bit and spin you around...

1989 - what a year. When Batman and Back to the future 2 were fresh at the cinema and Michael Jackson's "Bad" (including singles from the previous year such as 'Smooth Criminal') were banging our eardrums and finally, the fall of the Berlin wall. This glorious year had it all - big games (big cracks), demo scene starting to explode, disk mag concept had finally grown wings... we were on fire! If you were still cradling your mother's breast - read on!

Morpheus/Flash Inc: "I think from my perspective everything went really quick in 1989. I went from a small group to Flash Inc. which I help built to one of the larger demo groups in the scene. I remember the competition was high, good and healthy for your creativity. The demo that really impressed me in 1989 was The Larch III by Bones. What a bloody great production that was! Mixer from Upfront and So-Phisticated 3 from Black Mail were sick too."

So, what were the demos to watch from this year? So many to choose from that my head hurts, with some research and help from the scene collective, I finally narrowed it down...

Vandalism News demo picks of 1989

The Larch 3
Released by Bones on the 30th of December 1989

- Winner of the The Dominators/Upfront/Trilogy Party
- 32 sprite multiplexed DYSP
- Realtime starfield (with controllable ship)
- Cool 3D/line vectors

Look Sharp
Released by Contex on the 6th of August 1989

- #2 at the Crazy + Stardom Copy-Party
- Outstanding music syncing
- Gorgeous samples

Youth Quake
Released by Contex on the 29th of June 1989

- #2 at the 2000 A.D. Party
- Outstanding music syncing
- Gorgeous samples
- Cycleburner/Contex: "My 'coding philosophy' is that I don't care much about tricks that are hard to code. Design is everything. But if you can incorporate some clever coding tricks into a great looking demo, then that's ideal."

Sign o' Times
Released by Weird Science 2662 on the 26th of February 1989

- #1 at the Rawhead, Bros, Suppliers Party
- Outstanding music syncing
- Gorgeous samples

Double Density
Released by Double Density/X-Ample

- Slick presentation
- Awesome music

Released by Upfront on the 29th of June 1989

- #1 at the 2000 A.D. Party
- Elite music
- Rasterbar madness
- Tech/Upfront: "I think the highlight was when I presented Mixer at the demo compo in Esbjerg in 1989. We won first place. My group mates Einstein and Zoro had an amazing talent in terms of coming up with disruptive ways of accomplishing new and ground-breaking demo parts. Einstein had a spirit and determination that just couldn't be crushed no matter what. Zoro was really amazing in terms of math and logic, and the main reason I have become the coder I am is largely due to the many sessions in Zoro's basement burning the midnight oil."

So-Phisticated III
Released by Black Mail, 20CC & Inorix on the 15th of July 1989

- Best music by 20CC (EVS rest in peace!)
- Design!
- Introducing: FLI mode in upscroller! (not introduced firstly by Dolphins but by ASP/BLACK MAIL!)
- Inspired much of the demo scene as things went up a notch!
- Review by Bagder/Horizon: "showed the best side of Blackmail so far... it contains a lot of splendid graphix, advanced coding (one very good-looking hires scroll e.g.) and new musix! (Made for this demo by a guy in 20CC). They became the first group (I think) to release a demo where they use a pic which can have 16 colours on every cursor..."

Breeze of Diogenes
Released by X-Ample in October 1989

- Thumping soundtrack! (Markus Schneider & Thomas Detert)
- Polished pixels

Pieces of Light
Released by Cheyens on the 25th of March 1989

- Released at the infamous Ikari & Zargon Party 1989 (unsure on real placing as "Federation Against Ikari" was founded after the demo-compo, because of how the it was organised!)
- Unusual sinus madness and weirdly refreshing design by Amenophis!

Einstein IV
Released by Cosmos

- Beautiful parts by Hermes (and not by Icon for a change!)
- Cool shoot'em up game inside the demo whilst reading the scroller.

Game picks of 1989

Grand Prix Circuit (C) Accolade
Zzap!64 #48 - 79%

Reviewed by Atx: "This game is arguably the best racing game ever made for the Commodore-64. Plenty of game options to ensure a challenging yet fun gaming experience. Great graphics and sound coupled with intense action and gameplay makes Grand Prix Circuit impossible to resist. The first thing you'll notice about this racing simulation is no vector graphics! The graphics are large and clear especially when you have a rabid driver hot on your heels in your rear-view mirrors! The tracks are to scale with real world circuit tracks and the dash is simple and clear much like its Test Drive cousin. Once you hop in, you're instantly caught up with the heat of the race. Just don't get too carried away or you'll spin out on that last turn in the twisty roads of Japan! Car damaged? It's O.K., you can always pull into pits and let your pitstop crew speed you on your way to victory but wait too long to get repairs and you'll be posted DNF! Once in tournament mode you gain points for respective place finishes just like the pros! All in the hopes of becoming champion and to hold the trophy aloft as your fellow drivers shower you in champagne... ah the sweet taste of victory."

Project Firestart (C) Electronic Arts
Zzap!64 #51 - 91%

Review by Retrogamer: "Many games claim to have pioneered the survival-horror genre but, while others came before it, Project Firestart is one of the very best and is still supremely enjoyable today. Your task is to dock with a research vessel in space and find out why there's been no communication. From the start, when you see the body of a dead crewmember who has written the word “danger” in their own blood, you know it's going to be an incredibly tense mission with plenty of twists and turns. Throughout the ship are mutilated bodies, log reports, even a survivor; then you encounter the terrifying invisible enemies, which randomly appear. Multiple endings guarantee regular returns to that hellish place."

MYTH: History in the Making (C) System 3
Zzap!64 #56 - 94%

Yet another classic game from the System 3 vaults comes in the form of this ground-breaking adventure game that takes you through the ages of time! You'll be taken far, far back to an era when the evil God Dameron has taken control of the other Gods and is changing them all from good to evil. Your adventure will take you through the major mythological eras of time to stop the spread of evil and go up against the very Gods themselves. Travel to locations such as Hades, Egypt and Greece as you attempt to thwart the likes of Medusa, Thor and Hydra in one of the greatest adventure games of the 80s! (Note: The sequel, Dawn of Steel did not get finished, a damn shame!)

Turbo Outrun (C) Sega
Zzap!64 #56 - 97%

Reviewed in ZZAP! Christmas Special 1989: "While Power Drift offers the ultimate in single-load arcade racing. Turbo has gone for a multi-load extravaganza that more than justifies itself with masses of variety and high-quality presentation. The basic coin-op has so many good details, like the snowstorms, the aggressive police cars and the burning oil that only a multi-load could hope to capture. And as the great intro title indicates they've worked overtime (lots of it) to cram each load with detail. From the prancing horses and snappy flicking needles on the speedometer, to the overwhelming speed of the graphics in Turbo mode, this is one classy product."

X-Out (C) Rainbow Arts
Zzap!64 #61 - 82%

Logan: "X-Out was the first real good shooter that I had on the C64. It should not be missing in a good game collection! P.S.: If you like winding your tape you should go for the tape version."

Darkstar: "Quite the best shooter on the C64 (next to Katakis). Brilliant music by F.A.M.E., great graphics, and the idea with the shop was also rather innovative for that time and has added a certain tactical element to all the shooting ('should I rather buy only one ship and equip it well? Or maybe a small substitute ship?')."

Fuck the police

Now, back then, shit hit the fan. Everybody had a "secret area" where they kept their address book! The scene was at a peak but another group wearing a uniform wanted to crash the party. Many guys got busted in 1989, many guys were also narcs, informing on fellow sceners in a teenage rage.

They dropped like flies:

- The police visited Techno/Lazer. They found 30 disks!!! One of the disks was a code disk with a new game for Magic-Disk 64!

- Mr. Cursor was caught by the police!

- The cops visited Atomic/Savage but they found only 8 disks with PD software !! Also caught is a guy from Lazer. This is the second time for him !!! So good bye !! (I write not who!! It's too dangerous!)

- Viper/Fairlight was visited by the police for credit card fraud. Viper: "I was accused by Elric/Agile, freed of all charges and released two days later. He succeeded quite well, the phone rang off the hook for weeks with angry people accusing me for whatever lies and stuff. :D Until everyone found out that Elric just blabbed his head off to the police. My involvement in the program 'Credacalc' and cracking the credit card algorithm was purely for fun. Then I was visited by the police again, they seized all my equipment for all kinds of fun accusations, all I got back so far was my phonebook. I was accused for doing computer stuff for "the mafia", very funny!" During this period, Karl XII/Agile made an appearance on Swedish national television selling out the Hacking/Phreaking scene. He explained the easiness of cracking the credit card algorithm and showed the incredible lack of security in the general use of credit cards. As a result, the police hit the scene hard, not only taking down Viper, but also busting Injun Inc., The Alchemist and Bacchus amongst others. Bacchus was one of the only guys not getting a sentence, he recalls: "K12 is a strange guy so he did it to show off I guess. Elric was talking a lot and gave the list of names to save his own ass". Pernod recalls those times as well: "At the time when phreaking and stuff were most popular, some people in the scene were caught and put on trial. Bacchus was 'kinda' involved so I went over to his apartment and pushed the button to the door-phone (he couldn't see me there) and after he answered I said, with a very mature voice:
"Hello, I am Lt. John Doe from the county fraud squad. I believe we have to talk!". Bacchus said "yes of course, come on up!" when I had walked the stairs up to Bacchus' place he opened the door, and boy was he upset!!!! He bought it all."

- Jeff Smart is caught by the cops!
This small poem was all he was able to send out of his prison:

"Sunset in hell!
All dressed in uniforms - so fine.
They drank and killed to pass the time!
They broke my legs and my right hand,
Sent me away to a strange land.
Good memory I'll have inside:
events of shame - events of pride!
Please take this plain apologise
and watch Sunrise in Paradise."

The case was dropped due to lack of evidence but his equipment was destroyed and he was told never to publish a cracker magazine again.

- The brains behind Fantasy were caught by the bloody cops, pity guys!

- Goblin, Dawsy, Scrap, and Antichrist met at a big computer expo at London's Earl's Court. Goblin was arrested by the British police for publicly smoking pot on the top stairs of the Trafalgar Square monument. I guess he was used to more liberal laws in Switzerland. He was released a short while later, and the next day, they were able to snatch a copy of the yet to be released game Midnight Express. They actually had to dismantle a display desk at the expo to get into the computer, which had been locked away, so none could take and copy the game that wasn't going to be released in stores for another few months.

- FAKE NEWS! - The Norwegian post is starting a real war now! If you use taped stamps, they open the letter and if they find an address, they send the letter to the police in that country. Do not use taped stamps on the sending or you might get busted!

- Swan Song is back! (remember: he got busted becoz he used a backdoor of a bank to start conferences). He got visited by the cops, but he was lucky and he needn't pay anything. He'll put his board back soon.

- Sky of amplifier was caught by the cops. They found all addresses.

- Dirk of Alpha Flight was caught by the police! no addys were found (only) 250 disks!

- Are we really safe ?? by Nosah/DCS:
Over the past few months there have been a number of European hackers (and Americans) who have been busted by the police. The laws under which they were prosecuted are not known to me, but it still raises the question of just how safe are the hackers in the U.K. The British police seem to have a more relaxed attitude to us, but this could be because they are busy sorting out the odd football hooligan etc. There is very little activity by the bodies which have been set up to combat software theft. So, are we safe to carry on, or is the net closing in on the major groups in the U.K. who judging by the quantity of programmes they crack must be at least known by their crack names, if not by true name (and address etc.). It would be naive of us to believe that we are not known, particularly since the aim of most hackers is to achieve fame amongst the very market which they are working against. I believe the British law enforcement will probably never come down heavy on the hackers as other European forces have, however what is the opinion of others who are reading this...

- A dangerous country???
It would seem at the moment Germany is a very dangerous place to live in if you are a cracker, coz the police seem to be having a field day busting all those individuals, in the past couple of months the following people have been paid a visit: Spitfire/Xades Society, Conan & Drago/Strike Force, Pershy & Creator/Across, MOC/Drive, Mr.Zeropage/Red Sector Inc, Romrunner/Shining 8 and there are probably more !!! I mean shit, this is serious, when the German police get you, they really GET you, normally confiscating everything in sight, computer, disk drive, disks, etc., and it's difficult to get them back. But the question is why? why are the police so successful and so keen? Well I have heard quite a few stories now about people on the German network who are selling their cracks, and not just a few copies, but on a substantial basis. Could it not just be that it is this very thing that is making life so hard for the German crackers? I believe it is and that the German scene now has a big problem on its hands... where is it all gonna end?


Say what?

Yes, federations were built up against different groups and 1989 was in the middle of it all. Defamation, ousting or just gang-bashing - call it what you will, the concept of federations against an individual or a group had taken full flight and no one was safe, not even the so called or self-proclaimed "elite"...

- Some groups have built a federation against Amok !!! (Beastie Boys, Cosmos, Crypt, Gallon, Paramount, Sharks, X-Rated) Now, I wait for the new issue of Sex'n'Crime, but where is it? They weren't the only ones either. Separate federations were also formed against the lame OMG/Amok by Moskwa TV as well as Excell from Ikari+Talent. FAO includes members such as Illusion, Legend, Rebels, Fairlight, Alpha Flight, Oneway, Dynamix, Paramount, S451, 20CC, Class, Lotus, Sharks, NATO, Bonzai, The Dominators, Extasy, Atrix and Ikari+Talent.

- Federation Against Abnormal is born. Reason: Fist of Abnormal should have ripped a DYSP routine from Andy's Revenge/LACC. Some of the members of FAA: SHAPE, Shadows, Oneway, Shockway and Riffs!

- There was a little war among Browbeat and Axion of Crazy. After both sides made a few war-demos against each other, Browbeat founded the Federation against Axion.

- Some groups have made a Federation against Quizkid/Vision so he's dropped out! The federation was between 8-10 groups against not only Quizkid (now Faith) but also Vector (now Exory) they will also soon release an anti-demo, named "Hunting Quizkid".

Headline News of 1989

- Dust ripped a scroll-routine from TMC/Scoop !!! (LAAAAAAAMMMMMMEEEE!!!)

- XXX and Bod of Hotline founded TALENT !!! They split from Hotline because of the choice of the importing group. The English members XXX & Bod wanted INC and the Dutch section preferred another group.

- Galleon/Oneway wants to sell his cool Cruelcruncher to Ocean Software.

- Mike/TNF'77 has stolen Moskwa TV's PLK, Moskwa said he will call the police so that he forces Mike to give the PLK back !!!

- Oh dear oh dear. Maniacs of Noise have been charged for releasing the Outrun music. Black times for MON. Hope they are allowed to make music in Jail!

- A new German group is born: SUCCESS !!!

- Zack/Duplex recracked lots of games and after some groups asked him why he said: "I wanted to become famous !! Sorry !!!"

- Pigeon/Heaven 17 said that his group is one of the best demo programmers in the world! But, they make only 7th place from 8 places at the Baboons party !!! (LAME, LAME and LAME !!)

- Triad is nearly dead !!! Because, most of the members build a new group, called: CENSOR !!!

- Censor is making trouble with Jerry of Triad. Oh by the way Jerry, finally you worked back to the number 1 spot in my swapping ranx. Good to see your super sendings and letters back to the style of the past when you were my number one contact for over 12 months. It will be a lot harder to stay number one now as there are about 20 guys capable of the no.1 ranking that I am in contact with. Look out !!!

- Buccaneer writes: "As most of you guys have seen there are some cool magazines made by both legal and illegal groups. The ones I am impressed with are Sex'n'Crime by Amok and Magnetic Dreams. Of the paper format, the best are Iguana and Pirates. After months of experiencing cool phone talk with many guys overseas, my system has been foiled by Australian telecom! The unwashed arseholes have now woken up and fixed the phone boxes I had worked from. I will be back in action I hope. At least it will give me more time on the computer instead of marathon chats at the phone boxes. (FUCK TELECOM) Great demos have been released in the past 6 weeks or so. I think the 64 has had its coolest time lately, it is no wonder a lot of guys are putting their amiga's in the background and pulling their 64's out of the cupboard."

- A new Australian group was born: TOUR DE FUTURE and REFLEX merged their groups. Their new name is TERA. Their Australian rankings look like this:

- Invasion from the east! It's Quality and I think you know their high standard demos (e.g. The Cat!) I think they are the no.1 in Hungary and also the best coders there (keep these guys!). Another fact in Hungary are those many lamers! e.g. FBI-Crew. If you swap with 'em you always get games with their intros in front ("Imported into Hungary....") Pah! I think they are more stupid than Americans!!!

- May 1989 saw the Fairlight travelling to the Horizon and Equinoxe party in Eskilstuna where Seagull and Smirnoff from Absolut Vodka Team (AVT) were recruited. FairLight came third at the demo compo with Pernod and Judge's "Algot's Revenge" and later in the same month they came second with the demo "Megabmxninja" at the Defiers Party. Bacchus tells us: "MegaBMX Ninja is driving a joke to the extreme. Judge invented this bird of chars and we had a brutally fun weekend with some 15 people in my 27 M2 flat in Lund. Then that little char-bird was taken into a full demo part. Released on its own I guess."

- In the month of June, cool demos from groups such as No Booze from Triad, Algots Meeting from Fairlight and One Year from Beyond Force. The only good game to see the light of day was 'Speedball', which had a very nifty bit of protection which beat nearly every cracking group! AndyJ/Excess were one of the very few to get a 100% crack out!). I have it on good authority that the following group's versions do not work: Agile, Triad, FLT and 711. Most crash while playing or at the end of a level, it would seem that the loader sets up some timer values which are checked at the end of each level.

- Charles Deenen writes: Thanks to all those who spreaded Outrun Europa. We had to go to court and we lost money. The next one who will ever steal or spread a piece from us will get some police-men over their floor. You're warned!! Stupid idiots !!!!

- The talk of the hacker elite: Phiber Optik got into an argument with Erik Bloodaxe, and to hear Erik Bloodaxe tell it, Phiber Optik lost!

- Real programmers don't comment their code. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand and harder to modify.

- Lotus is a new group formed by Yeti-Factor, some Matrix members, Axion ex-BB and some members of Crazy !!

- Zagor of Horizon writes: Some Swedish doctors have found a working cure for AIDS, it's called "FLT" (true !!!).

- GP asked Action for a cooperation like they had with Fire Eagle but Action said NO !!

- Gollum from the legendary Fairlight contacted the German group ELITE and asked if he could join them. He was turned down because "he isn't German, and we want to keep the group 100% German".

- Has the Amiga version of Dragon's Lair finally been 100% cracked?? Well the Australian group ACU claim to have done it. Also, seems that the version of Kick Off that was released on disk in Germany has had a few groups tearing their hair out. The protection was written by Mr.Cursor and this had everyone reaching for their cassette units!!!

- Some news from The Party in Denmark: A lamer tried to climb on the "POTBT" (platform of the best together), Strider said: "How dare you meet us?" and kicked the lamer's ass of the platform. Chris of X-Ray sets fire by spilling Cherry on the floor and lighting it everybody just watched without trying to stop it. Jeff Smart, you were lucky, coz it burnt 20 cm away from you while you were sleeping! Conan of Elite threw some chairs and woke everybody up!

- UCBBS released in late 1989 (started in November 1988) and is set to take over the Ivory market! Coded by Pudwerx/ATC and tested by Colormage/NEC.

- After SSD/Cosmos quit all computer-activities the group splitted, did you know that Arny, Hannes and Panther built Cosmos Design and gonna write games for software-firms. Their newest product Damned Into Space-Craft (D.I.S.C.), the half-ready version was stolen and given out by some unfair guys...

- Crest is back with a superb demo One Year Crest, but with a shame of a crack, they released the old game 'Rick Dangerous' (cracked by Vision)!!!

- Sampox and Anvil were kicked out of Crazy after they had released a demo called 'Anal-Terror' (bad sound, bad graphix, the coding was okay).

- Goblin/Genesis stole the original of "Cabal" at the Transcom/Fairlight party from Yankees.

- Some bad news for all illusion fans: Gene wants to quit modem-trading, because the last 2 phone bills were too high (1100 and 700 dollars). Illusion still goes on modem trading with Exodus, but Gene will concentrate on mail trading.

- MOSWKA TV released a new "demo" which once more proved all facets of his incredible lameness !! MOSKWA TV is the BIGGEST LAMER IN THE WORLD !!!!!!!!!!!!

RIPPED things in his "demo":
- Loader from ONE YEAR CREST
- Big border-sprite scroller from TRIUMPH's old demo GNARP.
- Routines from several demo-groups
- An old BB intro from AXIOM
...and a lot more ! MTV also ripped the ranking-screen from GAZER/COOLEX and made his own rankings with it.

KILL MOSKWA TV !!!!! he is L-A-M-E !!!! We from AMOK declare war to everyone who swaps with MOSKWA TV. We want MOSKWA TV either to stop computing or to apologise for ripping and stealing ! MOSKWA TV also ripped dozens of routines from SPHINX, D-VISION, GENESIS and many more ! what a LAME PISSER he is !!!!!

- HPH of VISION joined SCOOP DESIGNS and DENSITY (not DOUBLE DENSITY) and has changed his name into HEIN DESIGN.

- TAT is accused to have RIPPED intros by ELITE and HOTLINE. Only the logos have been changed. Also, TAT ripped an intro from Strike Force and changed only the logo!!!

- RRR was KICKED OUT of Paramount!

- Many people in the scene contacted a group called the "First Cracking Girls", but this group never really existed. it was a fake lure created by OMG (Amok) and some of his lamer friends. Many well-known people contacted them... :D

- Flex and Apollyon of Contex built up a new designer-group called 'Artline'. Their main reason is to design graphix for software firms.

- The CFA will release a mag called "Immortal Flash".

- "Old triad, don't worry!! We will take your place in boozing and being party animals, and SWEDENS #1!!! CENSOR!!!"

Pirate, who are you really?

The ultimate poll - what's the most symbolic group from those countries (I mean the legend, dead or alive, like Eagle Soft for the USA or Transcom from France). Here we go:

USA: 80% ESI - 10% ATC - 5% NET - 5% FBR
UK: 65% IKARI - 20% FUSION - 10% SCG - 5% DCS
SWITZERLAND: 85% CRAZY - 10% ??? - 5% SCA
NORWAY: 70% ILLUSION - 20% TDF - 10% ???
ITALY: 85% F4CG - 15% ???
SPAIN: 75% BLASTERS - 25% ???
YUGOSLAVIA: 70% ??? - 25% VICTORY - 5% DEERS

And who is the top pirate in North America?

First: Mitch/Eagle Soft Inc
Second: Infernal
Third: Nomaad

Mentions: Candyman, JJ The Breaker, Prowl, Jimmy Z!, THL, Ninja, Psycho Pirate, Butcher, Depeche Mode, Kid Quick, Blackhawk, Big Man, Oahawhool, Player =1=, Boba Fete.

Newbies and Locals - how to treat them back in 1989!

Are you really nice to your newbies and locals? Do you get REALLY mad when they whine and cry for BBS access? Do you smugly sit in the chair and laugh as you hit F4?

I do, and was just wondering if I was the only one that enjoyed the sport of 'local smashing' or 'newbie bashing'. I don't dislike all of 'em, some of 'em are pretty nice. I even try to help some of 'em, but lemme tell you from experience, the air is pretty thin up on the top of the mountain, and if you let 'em visit too long, they begin to get lightheaded. It's not good for 'em to be around too much, or they begin to act silly. You will find the best bet for newbies/locals is to keep 'em on a strict diet, too many fresh warez and they get drunk like a kid that just found the keys to the liquor cabinet. I have devised a plan for dealing with 'em, and keeping them happy, without getting them too far, and without letting them get dizzy from visiting the mountaintop too much.

The diet is as follows:

Feed them warez, but do it by hand. If you let them into the kitchen to eat alone (the BBS for all you dumb fucks that can't follow a parable), you will find that they feel like they bought the food, and it should be theirs somehow. This is an example of how the rarified air is bad for their little heads. To hand feed them, you need to call them, and send them things.

Always be sure to feed them fresh things, but if they are too fresh, you run into the problem of them attempting to gorge themselves on unripened things all the time. I suggest you let the things you send age for two days before sending it to them. A very fresh one every now and then is good for a treat, for that special occasion when they have been a good little local/newbie, but not too many.

You have to be careful, even in hand feeding, that they don't get too fat and lazy and learn to expect their feedings. The best way to do this is to always stay in contact with at least two of them and to treat one better than the other, but it is advisable to throw the one that is the worst treated the really good release every now and then, to keep him interested. If you starve him totally to death, he won't be there as an incentive to the other one.

Under no circumstances should you feed them warez without first giving them an understanding you will expect him to work for it. This means he should be required to furnish real names and numbers on a moment notice at any time of the day or night. Try to discourage them from chatting too much when you call them, it breeds familiarity, and that will breed contempt.

All they want is games, and for you to pretend to like them in public. It's a small price to pay for all the fun you can have in the meantime. Keep your locals on the diet I have prescribed, and you should have healthy happy actively ass kissing locals and newbies as long as you wish to toy with them.

The Charts - courtesy of the Mamba magazine!

European cracker charts

01. Ikari & Talent
02. Doughnut Cracking Service
03. Illusion
04. Crazy
05. Cosmos
06. Paninaro (last time !)
07. 711
08. Action
09. Genesis Project
10. NATO
11. Contex
12. Paramount
13. The Dominators
14. Falcon
15. Fantastic 4 Cracking Group

North American cracker charts

01. North East Crackers
02. Exodus
03. International Network of Chaos
04. Fucked Beyond Repair
05. A Touch of Class
06. The Wanderer Group
07. The Shaolin Monastery

BBS charts

01. Wild Warez/Exodus - Sysop: Gazoo
02. The Addiction/Talent and Ikari - Sysop: One-Eyed Pirate
03. Warez Galore/Exodus - Sysop: Jimmy Z!
04. The Game Zone/North East Crackers - Sysop: The Gamer
05. The Disk Shoppe/Crazy and North East Crackers - Sysop: Notorious Archmage

BBS review - Wild Warez

Wild Warez is one of the most famous boards in the states. All the well-known cracking and importing groups call this board and upload their latest releases or discuss different things in the sub boards. The message subs are separated intro 'group news', 'board's', 'bullshit' and 'uploads'.

Out of the 110 users, more than 20 are Europeans! and only well-known guyz are accepted on the board, which operates at 1200 - 2400 baud and Gazoo uses the latest version of Pudwerx's UCBBS to run this board!

BBS review - The Addiction

Out of all the boards in the country, this one probably stands out as the headquarters for all the Europeans to call. The board is headquarters for Ikari and Hotline. Sysop One Eyed Pirate (OEP) has transformed the board from an average elite board into one of the hottest around. Out of 72 users, 20 are Europeans. A lot of the bulletin boards in America have One Eyed Pirate's artwork on their logon screens which are some of the best around. The message bases are separated into: "Elite Talk", "Don't U/L", "Bad Boards", "Rad Boards" and "New Codes". The board also contains its own drive only for Hotline and Ikari wares. The Addiction operates at 1200-2400 baud.

BBS review - Wares Galore

This Wares Galore is one of the most famous boards in America. The importing world gathers here to discuss current topics and upload their newest wares. Sysop Jimmy'Z has been in quite a few groups which include: Abyss, The Avengers, Epic, Conquest, New Order, The Super Troopers, Above and Beyond, Mayhem, The Elite Force, etc. etc. When the review was compiled the board has had 80 users. Out of those 80 users, 10 were Europeans. The Wares Galore message bases are the home for some of the biggest wars between groups! It is no wonder that some elites go calling the board 'Wars Galore' as a joke. The message bases are separated into "Bullshit", "BBS #'s", "Groups" and "Sports". The board operates at 1200-2400 baud and only accepted wares from well-known groups.

Demo group charts

01. The Ruling Company
02. Bonzai
03. Cosmos Designs
04. Crest
05. Contex
06. Crazy
07. Buds of NATO
08. Fairlight
09. Genesis Project

Demo charts

01. Rutig Banan/Fairlight (#1 demo at Light Balsta Party)
02. Top Priority/Contex (#3 demo at Shape+TRC Party)
03. Catcher/B.U.D.S./NATO
04. Imagination/The Voice (#1 demo at TAT & Magnetix Copyparty)
05. Blow Job/Crest
06. 4th Dimension/Poltergeist
07. Wonderland II/Censor Design (#1 demo at DatorMagazin Competition)
08. Breeze of Diogenes/X-Ample Architectures
09. The Bat Cave 2/Genesis Project
10. Insanity/Beyond Force
11. Brutal/Light (#2 demo at Light Balsta Party)
12. Die Hard/Axel F. & Sir S.
13. Einstein IV/Cosmos Design (#1 demo at Lazer & Weird Science Copy Party)
14. Attraction/Flash Inc (#3 demo at Light Balsta Party)
15. Phonix/Megastyle

Lamer charts

01. Moskwa TV
03. Aaron/Fairlight
04. Excell/Ikari
05. Spitfire/Action

Spitfire wrote: "I don't care about being number one on any lamer-chart. But, I promise to declare war on you if you don't scratch that word 'Action' of the lamer-charts. Just write 'Spitfire'."

The scandalous Ikari & Zargon Party
held in Slagelse, March 1989

Ikari & Zargon Party 1989 was held at Slagelse Gymnasium, a high school in Slagelse, Denmark, mostly for the c64 scene, but also open for Amiga and Atari ST.

The demo compo resulted in the "Federation Against Ikari" being founded after the compo, because of how the it was organised. The competition jury consisted of members from Ikari and Channel 42 and Ikari won the compo with Channel 42 coming second.

Ikari & Zargon Party results
01) Total Overdrive/Ikari
02) Megablast'89/Channel 42
03) The Larch/Bones
04) Party Desire/Cheyens
05) Noise Parts/Noise (DK)

"There are no acceptable demo competition results. The demos were supposed to be judged by a jury of 10 people from 10 different groups but in fear of not winning the demo compo Ikari decided that a jury of 2 people from Ikari and Channel 42 would suit them better. The result speaks for itself: Ikari and Channel 42 both took the first place, Horizon was disqualified. This whole incident caused a lot of disrespect against Ikari."

"As far as my memory goes, it wasn't that lame a move. Can't remember the group names that was disqualified, but I can sure as hell remember the reason.

All groups had a deadline to work with, and all knew that the demos were to be run at the arranger's compos. When deadline was reached some got wacked coz they hadn't finished. But the most fuzz came when the hot shot group (can't remember the name) (ED: Horizon) was to show their contribution. But the demo crashed (ED: "Lookin' Good"). They tried again and again. They even got to show it on their own heavily modded C64 (the only one I've ever seen connected to an amiga, so the C64 could use the Amiga's 720Kb 3.5" disk drive) but it still crashed. They made a loooot of noise, coz they were expected to win, but got disqualified instead, and we (Cheyens) took 3rd place instead of 4th !"

Trivia: Someone from Starion had to go to the hospital as he got a "Meningitis" and the names of all visitors were taken down in order to know who might be infected.

A report from the Horizon Meeting

by Euzkera of Censor

This was just a little meeting where only the BEST SWEDES were, like: CENSOR DESIGN (OF COURSE!), GEGGIN, LIGHT, Horizon, Fairlight, Paragon and some more the meeting started the Friday 29/9-??? the first day we were at a little place were only HORIZON had room for their computers! The next morning the keeper came and what did she SEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! 20 cans of beer{EMPTY!},1 bottle of vin and a bottle of vodka also EMPTY (AHHH) her EYES looked like they were going to eat PSYCHO (so said DRAGON!). She told the guys in HORIZON to get lost (they were innocent to the COLLECTION on the table!) remember that this about them being thrown out is mostly TRUE, and a bit of lies FROM SHARK!! BOB, I (EUZKERA) and CODEX OF TRIAD were only two hours at the meeting (the first day!!!) and the rest of the time we went to a party in town (FREEZE). It was a PISSY place but when we were QUEING we had FUN!! Talking with a lot of NICE GIRLS!!!!!!! But some other BAD THINGS happened like CODEX WAS KICKED in the head for some reason!! and we had also to WATCH when CODEX WAS PUKING !!! it a NICE EVENING!

Next day they had MOVED to A SCHOOL !!! it was enough place for all nuts who were there! DANKO was showing his latest TUNES (really NICE ones!!). MASTERMIND was trying to FIX his drive with a MATCH (bad luck!). Then when he had fixed it, it LOADED TWO TIMES SLOWER than usual! Then while he was CODING his part, BAGDER and another guy TOOK his chair and they DREW him in to the KITCHEN where he was LOCKED in !! He CAME out after 10 minutes of SCREAMING and FIGHTING. The only RELEASES will be: ALTERED BEAST a crack from CENSOR!!!! and a DEMO from LIGHT and more.

Speed or quality?

by Nosah/DCS

This one has been raised before by the Janitor of Triad, but I think it is worth resurrecting since no one really got the chance to reply. So, the point in question is what do people feel about the current trend in the scene which is to get the crack out in the absolute minimum time. With no frills added to the crack and, in some cases, a corrupted file being sent across the Atlantic etc.

Personally, I feel the good old USA has a lot to blame for this trend. The Americans have a very mercenary attitude to hacking. If you are five minutes behind someone else with a crack then the Americans consider you lame !! Consequently, many 1200 baud modems are in use each night sending the hottest stuff to America, often at the expense of those in Europe, who simply have to wait !!

There was a time when guys took great care and time in doing a crack, adding what could be considered a "personal touch" to each crack. Perhaps those are gone forever? I would like to see them return. But then, I don't crack so who am I to stick my nose in etc. etc.

Concerning demo ripping by Starion

Attention all you who think that ripping has become an art. This is a message to you from the demo group "Starion"....

The attitude of ripping music and graphics from other groups is becoming much too ordinary for most people. If a group doesn't have any graphics designs and/or music composers, it is not qualified to call itself a demo group, simply because, the group isn't able to create a cool demo all by itself!

It's really bugging us when we receive all kinds of "demos" from different shitheads around the world, using parts of our productions to get famous. We don't write this to act like "god", but we are a very exposed group, because we have two composers (Laxity and Zenox) and about four graphic-designers (Mr 3D, Savage, Zenox and Tecon), the worst rip ever made must be the one BCF of NFC-Crew did, when he managed to rip all the coding and graphics from a game preview made by a former 2000 AD member, who has now joined Starion, even though it was written obviously in the scroll that he shouldn't rip it, the asshole stole the entire intro and wrote in his demo that he coded it.

Another thing is all these so called "music-ripps", which almost every lame group (and some big ones too (sad)) produces. Is that because they have no cool stuff to send their contacts, or what ?? Nevertheless, you can't go lower than to the level where you actually think that you have the right and ability to use some music (usually from another group's demo or intro) and sometimes also to "judge" the music by giving it points from 1-10 and then write that you "can't remember" from where you got the music! If you don't know who made a tune, then don't use it!

Okay, we hope that this letter has given you something to think about, and that we can look forward to a future where people are creating all what a demo needs to be cool, by themselves.... coz remember: you learn nothing from ripping other groups creations!!!!

Thanks demo rippers, that was all........ signed: STARION

Triad - old Triad and new Triad

What is that?

Triad is a legend, Triad was the absolute best of crews that there ever was. There seems to be an air of mystique about Triad. When Triad as good as folded during the late summer of 88 it added to the aura and the legend. Some people when they see that Triad never took that final breath, tell us that Triad is dead and should stay peacefully in its grave.

As conditions have changed with the passage of time, there is no chance that Triad or any other crew can reach the level of supremacy we once had. Does that mean that we should grab a rope and head for the nearest beam? In Triad there is a difference in opinion, and it makes me mad as hell that some people expect us to ask their permission to soil their memory of Triad.

This is the story about the 64 section of Triad. In October 1988 some gossip told that Triad was looking for people and that almost anybody would fit the bill. I called 801DC to see what the heck was up. Before the week was over it was decided that I and two of my crew would make a perfect impersonation of the cavalry coming for the rescue with me acting as the new commander. What we had was three veteran members and us three newcomers, none of us stars on the hacker scene. What we also had was the FULL moral support from the real old Triad like Ixion and 3D. After all, Janitor, Mr.Pinge, The Sarge and all the foreign members joined Triad later in life.

When I started looking for new members I had an idea. I wanted the members to live within easy reach so we could meet and become good friends providing the chemistry was right. One other reason for the crackers and spreaders to live near me would be to speed up spreading of extremely hot items. Within a couple of hours, I can collect a crack and distribute it to our spreaders if it would be worth the extra effort.

Seeing how people in this business burn themselves out I deliberately decided to try to keep a reasonable pace. Rather a few extra members than a few furious ones that would eventually crumble under the pressure. If people can take a break when they feel for it and not have to wait until they crash, they are more likely to soon be back with fresh ideas. This is the situation now. We still look for a top-notch artist, and we would accept a good demo coder if he can break loose from old worn ideas.

At this writing we are JERRY, and that is me, 801DC, TWILIGHT, TITAN, SERGEANT PEPPER, GURAN, SONY, KRONOS, THE COOK, EUZKERA, CONTRING, BOB, PSYCHO, SHARK and ACU of Germany. In the Amiga sections are WIZARD, 5011, SKYIE, DEVIL and PORTA.

On the cracker scene we aim to keep up the Triad tradition. Quality as the first priority. Our crackers are well at par with the legends. Our BIG problem is to find material to work on and to get it within reasonable time. Hint, hint! On the demo scene we turn out some good stuff and some nice stuff, but so far nothing to make your heart skip a beat. It's coming though.

It's not easy to live up to a great name. A reporter from a Swedish Norwegian computer magazine overheard a rumour at a party. This piece of bull was treated as the gospel truth. Now everyone really believes that Triad demolished a building and destroyed computers worth 5000 pounds at a party in Denmark. For some reason every little lamer in Norway now hates us. Friendly as we are we still went to the Rawhead-BROS-SPL party. I won't say that our demo was best, but the winning demo and some others were allowed to be entered 6 hours after the deadline. Anything to beat the old Triad eh? One other thing shows that Triad is on the go. Intimidating some folks. Before I was on a famous crew Bam Bam returned my disks. Now when I sent Hotline a disk as a Triad member just for kicks it never came back. Why break an old tradition?

Triad was worth all admiration in the "old days", but that doesn't mean that the present crew is pure manure. Considering the enormous expectations, we have to fight against we do a helluva good job. One reason we don't turn out more is the same as for so many other crews, there are so few new games to work on. Anyone for more rips? Another reason is that few of us really are coders. We will improve and we will get back at charts, but we're not hysterical about it. We just enjoy things and as Triad is so special that makes us strong.

I am also special. I am older than the usual cracker-swapper and I am a rookie at that. I am also nuts about demos. Maybe I am even the best demo collector in the world?


The next article in this series takes on the year that was 1990, famous wars, the birth of famous groups, controversy and moments that make it part 2 of the golden age!