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The following is my own personal list of "favorite" demos, and why I like them. If you haven't seen all of these, then don't call yourself an oldschooler. If you have, or think I'm missing a few good ones, then send me some email.

Classic Demos

(If you find you don't have the utility needed to unpack an archive (ZIP is common, but ARJ and LZH aren't) then feel free to get them from Hornet's utility directory.)

Title Group Year Sound cards: Requires: Reason:
Unreal Future Crew 1992 SB,GUS,LPT 386 A classic. Also, some parts of the demo adjust their effects to match the power of your CPU.
Panic Future Crew 1992 SB 386 A classic. A good example of a trackmo.
Second Reality Future Crew 1993 SB/GUS 386 A classic. Probably the best demo of all time; flows wonderfully. Newbies: Keep in mind this was written in 1993 and widely imitated.
Crystal Dreams Triton 1992 SB,LPT,PCSPKR 286 A classic. Runs on a 286, even with 4-channel MOD mixing; has a great VBLINT starfield routine.
Crystal Dreams ][ Triton 1993 SB,GUS,LPT,PCSPKR 386 A classic. Has a full-framerate "VR" scene. Easily the best Fractal Zoomer ever.
Amnesia Renaissance 1992 SB/SBPro 386 Excellent effects on even a 386-16. And 13-channel digital+fm "CDFM" music on a normal Sound Blaster! If you can get this demo to work, the music is a technological treat.
Vectdemo Ultraforce 1991 SB/LPT/PCSPKR 286 For 1991, an excellent fake of environment mapping, before we all knew what environment mapping was (we called it "metal shading"). This demo was really great to look at.
Inconexia Iguana 1993 SB 386 The birth of the classic "fire" algorithm, plus a neat mirrored ball, and some physical stuff.
Chronologia Cascada 1991 SB,LPT,PCSPKR 286 A classic. Has Yoghurt Man! Also had some innovative stuff for the time, like Mode X, a moving lightsource--and it all runs on a 286, including MOD mixing. Incredible for 1991.
Megademo The Space Pigs 1990 LPT,PCSPKR 286 A classic. Was first official "demo" to have 4-channel mixed music (Future Crew's "Slideshow" was the first, but it wasn't a demo).

Featured Demos

This section holds demos that I feel deserve special appreciation for one reason or another; they are unique in one or several ways, and should be viewed at least once. You may retrieve any item on the following list simply by clicking or selecting its highlight.

Title Group Sound cards: Requires: Reason:
Dope Complex GUS 486 This demo, while slightly mis-stating its effects (it states 7800 polys at one time when there's only about 1000; also, environment maps are used instead of light sources), is a jaw-dropper when it you first see it. The music is quite good.
Verses EMF SB,GUS 386 Overall, has nice design, as well as the warping face of Bill Gates. ASM'94 winner.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly S!P GUS 386 This demo not only uses the VGA hardware to run at the full framerate in most effects, but has excellent design as well. This demo is nearly the ultimate in copper effects
Legend Impact Studios GUS 286 This demo, while not having original effects, is so well optimized that it runs in the full framerate on a 286! The art and music are very good.
Show Majic 12 GUS 386 A surprising newcomer (at the time), Show performs most of its effects in the full framerate on a 386-40, borrowing many tricks the coder learned on the Amiga. The graphics are good, and the music is reminiscent of Amiga demos with good design.
The Real Thing Capacala GUS 386 The beginning of this demo is very fast and hard--you either love it or hate it. It's included in this roundup because it has a good middle part where they display a rotating cube that is rendered with all the common effects, from light-sourced shading, to transparant Gouraud shading.
Dimension Realtech SB,GUS 386 Great sound setup and demo options: You can run the demo in either high or low res, with or without aliasing. Texture-mapping is shaded and very fast.
No! Nooon SB,GUS 386 Very good coding; has great shaded texturemapped objects.
Opticron Craw Productions SB,GUS 386 Opticron has a very nice theme: Optical illusions. Several are brought to life in this NAID'95 first place winning demo.
Project XYZ Orange GUS 386 The first demo to incorporate truly fluid motion-blur.
X14 Orange GUS 386 The first demo to use a "true" 262,144 color mode, on standard VGA; this is still widely imitated. This demo, like X-Y-Z, has a very ambient style to it--and the frame rate is very smooth
Stars Nooon SB,GUS 486 The winner of ASM'95, a fantastic demo with several CPU-crunching effects and clever speed optimizations. Europeans love the graphically ambient style, Americans love the hard core effects; but all agree it's on everyone's top ten list.
Mighty Xtacy GUS 486 This is one of the best demos to come out in a long time, as this group hasn't forgotten what design is! Not one section is missing a transition; this is a must for any demo library.
DX Project Realtech SB,GUS 486 A trend-setter for the demo scene, this demo was the first to run in SuperVGA 640x480x256 throughout the entire demo.
Countdown Realtech SB,GUS 486 Once again, Realtech presents us with a demo that can run in higher resolutions; this one can go as high as 1280x1024, and has extra support for both S3 chipsets and VESA 2.0 extensions. This really shows off that new Pentium.
Project Angel Impact Studios GUS 486 Very fast vectors, an actual story/plot, and a virtual fighter "remix" more than a year before the VF game was actually developed for the PC. Slight problem with Diamond Stealth video cards; make sure you use the alternate configuration.
Reanimator Rage SB,GUS 486 (use "/o" switch) Code, code, and more code. Achieves things that requires a pentium, but worth it. Ignore the end vector scene; it's a comedy of (rounding) errors.
XTAL Complex SB,GUS 486 Runs very fast, in a 50Hz video mode. Shows what you can do with about 3 well-optimized routines (it's mainly animations, but they're combined very well).
Karma Halcyon GUS 486 Now THIS is an example of demos = art.
State of Hate Dubius SB,GUS 486 Not too well programmed (this was an earlier demo of theirs), but supposedly lets you run it from 160x100 to 1024x768. Makes good use of shadows.
Cocoon S!P GUS 486 A mixture of code and animation; worth watching for the incredible pieces of art midway through and at the end, and also for some nice ideas (although not fully executed well).
Caero Plant SB,GUS 486 Did it deserve to win 1st place at The party 5? Debateable... But whether or not they intended it, it's got the best design of any demo of 1995--a theme of nature and evolution.
Reve Pulse GUS 486 Realtime anti-aliasing, funky textures, and a Cool Little Surfer Dude. Whack. Cool. 'Nuff said.
Confusion Noice GUS 486 Got 25th out of 30 at TP5, and deserved it, except for the really cool water part at the end. I expected a bit more from a great C64 group.
Money Hyperopia GUS 486 This yugoslavian team shows promise. This demo shows the beginnings of some very nice ideas and code.
Dream Jamm SB,GUS 486 Jamm's first demo after a series of intros, which showcases fast code and a non-common style.
Mind, Body, Soul Omicron GUS 386 An object show, but has some well-optimized routines. If you've got a 386-33 and want to see bump mapping, this is probably your chance.
Circuit Analogue GUS 486 The first 15-bit color (32768 colors) demos. While not very original, it's got fantastic hand-drawn art at the end--the people look so incredible that at first you think they're scanned images, but they're not.
6th Sense Realtech SB,GUS 486 The first 16-bit color (65536 colors) demo. Rather ordinary except for the excellent multi-color toruses in the middle that really show off the video mode. You can easily see thousands of colors in that section.
Paimen Coma GUS 486 Another demo that stresses the effect that demos can have on you. This is a perfect example of how some creative coding and video images can deliver a message.
Disgust Camorra SB,GUS 386 Great design and good code; some of the transitions are smoother than butter. A very promising group--definitely watch out for these guys.
Lasse Reinbong Final Version Cubic Team SB,GUS 486 Except for the extra samples, this was a 64K intro that won TP5. (The 64K version is in below, in the 64K intro section). Coders will love this one; this demo has parts that are well optimized. There's also a demo lover's joke at the end.
Stuff Xtacy GUS 486 While many of the effects are not new here, this demo is a coder's dream. And, as always, Xtacy proves again that the art of the transition is not dead. There are some neat surprises in this one.
Innuendo Halcyon GUS 486 Once again, Halcyon shows us why they're different. Maybe not your particular preference, but definitely a step towards an art form.
Planet Groove Fudge GUS 486 This demo is nicely coded; the greets section is especially well done. These guys really know how to have fun! The entire demo just feels squeaky clean--even the gratuitous nude shots in the middle are clean.
Inside CNCD SB,GUS Pentium Want to know what happens when Amiga sceners cross over to the PC? Watch this. Style city.
Ninja 2 Scoopex and Melon Dezign SB,GUS 486 Want to know what happens when Amiga sceners cross over to the PC? Watch this. Hilarious.
Fashion Logic Design GUS 486 The art by Danny is simply the best in any demo I've ever seen.
Contrast Oxygene SB,GUS 486 Nice virtual worlds, and a return to vectorballs (z-buffered, even). This demo is better than you think it is.
Indigo Purple GUS 486 Continuing the tradition of clean, consistent effects and feel. This demo is particularly tasty.
Magic View Dubius SB,GUS 486 Best metal shading (environment + bump mapping) and shadows I've ever seen--and this is a BBS advertisement! Some advertisement. :-)
Bomb Impact Studios SB,GUS 486 Fast and delicious Gouraud texture mapping with moving light sources. This is really good.
Super Television Orange SB,GUS 486 Although all it seems that Orange can do is imitate themselves again, only Orange does it so cleanly. There are some routines in this demo that I'm still figuring out.
Machines of Madness Dubius SB,GUS 486 These guys have really grown in the last two years. And it was only a matter of time before somebody did reflection, even though it's trivial to do. The glass bowl is truly impressive. Assembly '96 winner.
Megablast Orange SB,GUS 486 These guys have gotten so good that coding is almost not an issue with them anymore; they can concentrate on their style. But make no mistake--the code is incredible.
Compost Orange SB,GUS 486 Everybody can do what Orange does. Everybody. Then why do they always end up doing it first? Because they're too creative for us mortal democoders, that's why.
Solex Oxygene GUS 486 Oxygene's last demo ends with a nice use of wireframes.
Hypnotic Exobit GUS Pentium If you like 3D women and excellent fireworks, this demo is for you.
Den Onde Corporation Purple GUS 486 Their style is clean. Their code is good. The music is always nice. I'm a sucker for Purple demos.
Nutz Hyperopia GUS Pentium Filters and warping galore, and some very nice alpha blending for 256 colors. Requires a P166 or higher to truly enjoy it, however (due to the nature of the effects).
Despair Iguana SB,GUS 486 A nice return for some oldskool boys. The truecolor dithering at the end is particularly nice.
Flirt Igloo GUS 486 Cute graphics and fast code are always a winner. Watch for the bunny relfected in the stone.
Hard Rox Skal SB,GUS Pentium This demo is a groundbreaker: Not only are the effects very well coded (realtime dithering, simple particle systems, texture warping, and color bump mapping, to name a few), but it also runs under Linux! Relies on the FPU heavily, so use a Pentium.
Ich Kann Euch Sehen Purge GUS Pentium Haunting images with nice transitions, all at 640x480.
Explora Oxygene SB,GUS 486 Fast, pretty perspective-corrected 3D and a neat transition. Not much else, but really shows off a Pentium.
Dawn TEI GUS 386 An old demo by the guys who became DCB. A great old-school feel.

64K intros

This section holds intros that I feel deserve special appreciation, either due to the staggering number of effects involved, or the overall design. Remember, these have a total size of 64K. You may retrieve any item on the following list simply by clicking or selecting its highlight.

Title Group Sound cards: Requires: Reason:
Symbology Admire SB,GUS 386 This 64K intro has excellent design, as well as good coding. A bouncing plasma-cube on a 3d landscape; and one of the best tunnels in the scene.
Airframe Prime GUS 386 A neat voxel scene at the beginning, good music in the middle, and a nice vector city at the end.
Poison GUS 486 This is the type of thing you'd see at a rave. Heck, this intro is a rave.
Sea Robot of Love Orange GUS 486 A fine example of the art form. There's some really good code here, and Orange delivers a mellow message that both salutes and mocks the art form.
No Comment GUS 486 This is the only other production that I know of (other than Ambience and Luminati by Tran) that uses Tran's "21-bit color" mode. Requires a montior capable of 100Hz refresh rates.
Magic 64 Keen Like Frogs SB,GUS 486 A darn good simulation of the Bullfrog game Magic Carpet -- in 64K!
Intro Cascada GUS 486 Excellent camera movement and shadows--shadows are really underrated! Who cares if it's flat shaded?
Transgression 2 MFX GUS Pentium REAL-TIME RAY-TRACING. Enough said! If you have a Pentium, you have to see this to believe it.
Obez Kloon GUS 486 The text at the end made me laugh, and the music is pretty good for an intro, if quick. The vectors are really slow, however, so don't expect more than 12 fps.
Jade Eclipse GUS 386 Very good design for a 64K intro, and runs in the full framerate on a 386/40 (and a decent framerate on a 386-25 :)
Teddybear's Revenge Eclipse SB,GUS 386,MathCo This is funny to those familiar with the demoscene, and has cool hard-hitting music for such a small space.
Xcursion Vista Software SB 486 I have no idea how they packed all that code into 50K. The voxels are some of the nicest I've ever seen. And here's a cool trick that's underused: Need more colors than 256? Dither!
Interrupt Internet Fyoozhen GUS 386 Speech synthesis in an intro.
Essence Funk GUS 486 Descent in 64K.
GU-Star Camorra GUS 486 Excellent transparency in part I and multple colored lightsources in part ][. Good music.
Cartoon Mist GUS 386 The 1890's! What a cool theme.
Genia Remal GUS 486 Good design and good code! This is a mini demo, and a very good one. I don't know why they say they're from Advanced Gravis, though...
BBS Mindflux Reality SB 386 Good code, and great Adlib music.
Aboriginal Remix Paragon GUS 486 Another halcyon knockoff, but done better than average. Maybe it's because they "remixed" it (I can't stand the practice of "remixing" demos--it's lazy). Full framerate on a pentium.
Water Spirit New Style SB,GUS 486 Hi Hugo! But seriously, the 2D bump mapping at the end of this intro is pretty fast.
We Go Complex GUS Pentium Finally, a new effect (360+360 degrees) and true artistic vision.
Palikka Moottori GUS 486 uses standard 80x25 and 80x50 text mode with no palette changes and only the five shaded characters. Cool. :)
Blind Eufrosyne SB,GUS 486 Has a 3D object moving in and out of water that is just incredible. We all know how it's done, but it's never been done before this intro.
X-Mess Sin GUS 386 This is easily the funniest intro I've ever seen in my life. The demoscene needs more unique ideas like this!
X Nocturnal GUS 486 A delicious black texture.
The Astonishing Trive Yodel GUS 486 A demo with a unique outlook on life. Great snake. The realtime color embossing effect is quite nice.
Paper Psychic Link GUS 486 Quite possible the perfect intro. Not only does it have one of the most unique ideas I've ever seen, but it also has some of the fastest code I've ever seen. Simply friggin' incredible. True talent.
White Essence Funk GUS 486 The keyframing is nothing to write home about; however, they did manage to pack some really nice music and textures into this 64K intro.
What? Cubic Team GUS 486 Some of the best texture warping I've seen in a while.
Orbital Kloon GUS 486 I don't know why I like this, but I just do. Maybe it's the music, or the cute old-school joke at the beginning.
Deesbab Orange GUS Pentium Tons of 3D rotations and color clipping. And yet why do I feel these guys are holding back?
Adrift Wild Light GUS 486 It's nice to know that people haven't forgotten about style. Just like their ASM winner Drift, this one's a winner as well.
Back To The Roots Vacuum SB 486 A neat tribute to the C64, with a real SIDplayer!
Daze Urinate GUS 486 Is it me, or is the code in this intro faster than all hell? The music is quite nice, too.

4K intros

This section holds intros that I feel deserve special appreciation, due to the staggering quality of number effects. Remember, these have a total size of 4K--yes, 4096 bytes. Most email messages are larger than that!. You may retrieve any item on the following list simply by clicking or selecting its highlight.

Title Group Sound cards: Requires: Reason:
Fractal Dreams Mental Design 386 FANTASTIC Fractals. Get this.
Animate Schwartz 386 A ton of design as well as good code is in the 4k intro, the winner of ASM'95's 4k intro compo.
Soft Valhalla GUS 386 Good effects and GUS music in 3.5 K. Cool. :-)
Maximum Reality Unique PC 486 Nice-looking 3D, background, and a bit of humor in 4K.
World 4K Furball SB,ADLIB 386 Adlib music and some fine 3D in 4K. Music is becoming a cool trend in 4K intros.
Mobilization Jani Honkanen 386 Some effects we've seen before, but they're done quite well here.
Life Urinate 386 1024 bytes, and four different effects.
Methodology Byteam 386 Short and funny.
MC Palca Abaddon 386 Also short, and also funny, and only 1024 bytes.
Little Big Demo 2 Sanction 486 Over 6 well-coded effects; definitely worth seeing. Read the info file as well--it's funny to coders. ;)
Desert Enlightenment GUS 486 A story and (simple) GUS music and sound effects in a 4K intro. Not bad.
Chrome 2 Abaddon Pentium Realtime raytracing, this time in full 24-bit color--and yes, this is a 4K intro!
1000 Byte Intro Frenzy 386 3 effects in 1000 bytes. 1000-byte .nfo file as well. :-)

Miscellaneous Demoscene stuff.

This section holds miscellaneous demoscene stuff that you should see for some reason. :-)

Title Group Sound cards: Requires: Reason:
Assembly'96 Intro Sonic Clique SB,GUS 486 Possibly the very best party invite ever created. The style is 110% professional.
Sun Pulse SB,GUS 386 Excellent artdisk; coded well (except for the MOUSE DRIVER! ;-) ;-) and the art is just incredible.
Wild Pulse SB,GUS 386 Another excellent artdisk; check this out after you check out Sun.
Sqrt(2) Reality Future Screw SB,GUS 486 A fairly funny parody of Second Reality.

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