What are your personal top X demoscene productions?

category: general [glöplog]
Among all years since the beginning of the scene (70s something I would say), what would be your favorite top X demoscene productions?

Would also be nice to hear why they have made such a great impression to become your favorites :)
added on the 2021-04-09 14:54:26 by deepr deepr
Top 1 demo: Dying Stars by Orange
added on the 2021-04-09 15:11:54 by rc55 rc55
Top 1 demo: Enigma by Phenomena

It's the first demo I have seen, it was (and still is) an awesome technical achievement, the design and graphics were awesome (the intro picture by Uno is a masterpiece and was an example for a lot ~if not all~ of graphicians) and of course the music by Firefox & Tip is probably the best music ever made on Amiga. This demo is one of the most iconic of the Amiga demoscene, and of the whole demoscene too.
added on the 2021-04-09 15:49:58 by rez rez
Top 1 demo: Intrinsic Gravity by Still

Still the most stylish demo I've ever seen. I wasn't impressed with anything more than that.
added on the 2021-04-09 16:41:30 by 100bit 100bit
Wtf i just copied.
Of course this one.
added on the 2021-04-09 16:42:26 by 100bit 100bit
According to my heart-list ... these are five prods I really like (among hundreds of others):

Rupture by ASD
Megalactic by Schengen Allstars
Number One/Another One by CNCD & Fairlight
La vie opportuniste by Razor 1911
There by Still
added on the 2021-04-09 17:04:10 by gaspode gaspode
Most of my favorites are already as CDCs on my profile, but here's a more rounded out list of 10 of my favorites (in no particular order except release year) with a short blurb for each.

Caero (Plant & Electromotive Force, 1995)
One of the earlier conceptual demos. The grand story of evolution in an alien world, with a mood akin to Jon Hassell's 4th world aesthetic. The visual design right down to the textures and colors is wonderfully consistent and organic, and the delicate chords penned by dune underline the mystery and brittleness of all life.

73 Million Seconds (Pulse, 1998)
A Future Sound of Londonian exploration into depressing, oppressive dark ambiance. A dive into the murky depths of an ominous mechanism. One of the beautiful highlights signaling the end of the software rendering era, a swan song.

My Bird-cage (Jamm, 1998)
Just utterly mental. Stream of consciousness poetry oscillating between profound ruminations and superficial non-sequiturs about birds, or (by my estimation anyway), the relationship with humans and animals. I haven't been able look at birds the same way again after this. Gives my anxiety in an extremely good sense.

Fetish (Ozone, 1999)
Pornographic tropes divorced from their context, instead becoming something profoundly horrific. The black creatures made of void towards the end are some of the most terrifying visualizations I've ever seen, anywhere.

{ (Downtown, 2001)
What does an "effect" mean anyway? This is not a demo as such, but rather a deconstruction of one, the bare essentials, about as far removed from any accepted conventions of design as possible. It doesn't need to be interpreted, it just is, and there is a strange, inherent beauty to it.

We Cook People (tb2, 2005)
An abstract show of cooking ingredients, deceptively simple, but strangely calming and utterly fascinating. Instead of vulgar photorealism we're treated with a much more minimal approach that leaves room for imagination, and music that's nothing but harmonies as warm as the subject matter (reminiscent of one of my favorite Boards of Canada tracks, Zoetrope). It's difficult to walk the line between one of a kind low fidelity aesthetic and something the audience will just judge as primitive or incompetent, but nobody does it better than tb2, with their other masterpiece being "mush ca".

hello:FRIEND (Fairlight, 2005)
A cathartic demo about guilt, forgiveness and empathy. Goto80's anxiety inducing soundtrack drives home the point how difficult all of these topics are. One of the most brilliant moments is when the demo seemingly becomes self-aware and realizes the whole thing was a stupid endeavour and chastises the author and protagonist. Hollowman is one of the true auteurs in the scene, and to me this is their masterpiece.

Core (Wamma & PWP, 2007)
Welcome to hell, also known as the real world. We have mostly grey with occasional dreary and toxic shades of color. The soundtrack to your life is monotonous and dissonant, but it fills your auditory perception at all times. The human condition in modernity.

Collektikum (Calodox, 2007)
I'm so glad the "ikum" series exists as a collection, because, for one, I'd never be able to choose just one of them, and secondly the series is so much more than the sum of its parts. None are alike, yet they all share the same aura, different points in time and space within one universe, each strange and beautiful in its own way. One of my biggest inspirations.

Vokawardoai (Satori, 2010)
Digital memories of a false, failed future, corroded away by time beyond recognition. Enjoy it while it lasts. One of the most beautiful visual works to ever come from the Demoscene. It took me 10 years but I can now finally spell the name without having to look it up.

A more complete list also available at cdc.prismbeings.com.
added on the 2021-04-09 17:37:07 by noby noby
The first scene production I remember seeing is Unit A - Interceptor. My friend had an Amiga, we were 8 or 9 years old and we knew, at best, a few words of English. At that age we basically thought the cracktros were made by the people who made the game, as part of the game intro or something. Those sinister, cloaked men, the moody soundtrack, the rotating logo, the starfield and the words "Scandal, scandal" are forever etched into my mind.

The one demo I've seen more times than any other demo is probably Desert Dream by Kefrens. To me, it embodies the essence of what the scene and demos are about. To think that it was made by guys half my current age or younger is... humbling. :)
added on the 2021-04-09 19:41:46 by g r ü p g r ü p
I must be a bit boring and say Desert demo.
Back in the days when it was released it had all, and it's still very good, 28 years later.

Modern prods are much harder to judge...
Crap, bad spelling in the link. It should read "Desert Dream" ;)
The first one that got me hooked was Digital Innovation by Anarchy
added on the 2021-04-09 21:43:42 by Zplex Zplex
I wouldn't be here without Crystal Dream II so that's my call here. A lot of excellent demos came along since, and it seems hard to "keep the heart" for this, but i still do :)
added on the 2021-04-10 01:00:48 by HellMood HellMood
almost impossible question. the most important one is red sectors mega demo.
but this is my personal favorte (and it is new):

added on the 2021-04-10 03:08:22 by xrs xrs
sorry - fucked up the link there. could someone fix that for me AND delete this message? :)
added on the 2021-04-10 03:09:27 by xrs xrs
Killer, Closer, Deep (psilo...)
State of Mind
Fair Play to the Queen
Intrinsic Gravity, Coronoid
Logicoma (anything by...)
Fermi Paradox, On
Friday at Eight
Desert Dream
added on the 2021-04-10 09:06:10 by farfar farfar
There are very many awesome productions but this is probably the demo that made me want to create demos (and not just hang around): DE:TOX by Satori & Aural Planet
added on the 2021-04-10 12:09:30 by waffle waffle
Good thread, it's been too long since I have bothered any of my irl friends with this (their favorite) topic so now I can do it here instead. Here are few of my favorites with quick comments:

Desert Dream by Kefrens:
This is always going to be THE demo.
Yes, yes, let's move on...

Edge of Disgrace by Booze Design:
I mean, who does not like it?
I am just gonna write it here so others don't have to.

fake elektronik lightshow by Ephidrena:
Just a classic with awesome attitude, music and style. This demo has it all.

deadline caught me by Paradox & Threepixels:
Music, platform, atmosphere.
The credits screen music is probably one of the coolest piece of demoscene music.

tao by Satori:
Clever visuals and good music.

Boost by Doomsday:
That transparent dancer is THE SHIT.

Artifact by Bitbendaz:
Just rocks, the color combinations are so delicious.

sink by Pulse:
The music is gold and fits well with the scenes.

godog by Komplex:
Mysterious and stylish with impressive effects. That quick movement at the start of most of the scenes gives this one a very personal and eerie touch. Don't blame me if I copy and use that idea for my next demo!

Beam Riders by Haujobb & Ghostown:
Excellent style and execution. The music is massive and fits perfectly on the scene with the balls and the starfield.

apex by Digital Nerds:
This great thing just puzzles me. Can we just appreciate the rare attempt at making a pure Goa Trance soundtrack? At times it sounds almost like a complete 1:1 ripoff of ETNICA - Starship 101, but I love it regardless. DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!
added on the 2021-04-10 15:29:04 by wabe wabe
I my all time top 1 demo is, probably, nowhere by threestate. I like it because of it's super clean design and how it mixes 2D and 3D, and that's something that I want to do better myself. I also really like Human Traffic, for much the same reasons. I'm having a hard time going further down the list, there's just a lot of demos that I like a lot, but these are probably my top 2 on the face of it.
added on the 2021-04-10 15:56:54 by halcy halcy
TOP 10
- State of the Art
- Extension
- Second Reality
- Dope
added on the 2021-04-10 16:08:52 by yzi yzi
From my CDC list

Experimental by Wipe
Not the first demo I saw but surely the non 3d accelerated demo I played the most.
I love the blur, the many metaballs, the mix of 2d /3d and the music.

Inside by Carillon & Cyberiad
Likely the demo that impressed me the most when I had a 486 DX 50.
I love the first gooey transition effect, the tunnel, the flower, the music...

tHe S by Suspend
The S stands for Slap in the face. I love the energy so much. Unsurprisingly, it starts with a metaballs scene. I love the radial blur. But must of all, without even watching it again, I still have vidid memories of the hair effect and the pillars slamming and emitting particles

Staying Pictures by The Planet Of Leather Moomins
If the main character didn't get the girl's heart, he has mine in full. The melody always gives me goose bumps. Tearful.

STS-02: Electric Kool-Aid by Synesthetics
For the neon look and the city scene

Chaos Theory
Chaos Theory is likely my all time favorite among intros and demos. Visually, I just love how the "chaos loop" is mesmerizing. The music of course always remind me Arrakis from Black Sun Empire. And Black Sun Empire always remind me Chaos Theory! When I saw the "chaos theory drop" in FMS_Cat's Condition this year at Revision 2021, it confirmed how close this intro is to my heart!

솥 by Limp Ninja
The music! In particular the rewind effect won my heart. I prefer the original music than the final version though. I lost the hard drive where I stored and I'm forever sad.

Quantum Chaos by ALLien Senses
I can't really explain. I love the aesthetics of the visual.

Chromosphere by SQNY
I prefer it blue. That eye. Again another mesmerizing one. I watch it regularly.

And since you're limited with CDCs, I think I will add

dose 2 by mfx
It's just too funny.

deities by mfx
This could enter my CDC list. I guess when I saw it at BP2006 my CDC list was full and I don't like to remove given CDCs. I have vivid memories of it on the big screen!

Panic Room by Fairlight
For the atmosphere and the guitars!

passing by Still
Every time I drive in a tunnel or on a bridge, I think of it.


There are too many prods I love to list here. And I already feel bad for those I didn't cite. In any case, every production I love ends up eventually being listed on the @planetdnews Twitter account feed. The list is long!
Mental Hangover by Scoopex. This was the real gamechanger for me. I had many favourite demos before MH (both on c64 and Amiga), but somehow it made such a big and lasting impression that nothing has come close since.
See I feel already guilty as I realize I want to add more to the list

Oscar's Chair by Eos
The fire scene impressed me much. The whole composition is different from most 4ks (I know there are other prods doing so).

Atlas by Monad & Macau Exports
The "piano solo" won my earth. In conjunction with the distant ship taking off, it's just beautiful. That and the reference to the Endeavour silhouette picture.

the timeless by Mercury
There are many scenes in this one, but the one I love and remember the most is the black & white water from the prod screenshot. The city scene at the end is also awesome. To this day, I listen to the music on a regular basis. What synth is it btw?
I definitely feel guilty ... 🥺

Stargazer by Orb & Andromeda
Well known as it's in the all-time top. I like the opening scene with the sonar sound. Of course I love the meta-worm makes me thing of the Abyss movie. The black & white tunnel and the statue are really great. Of course the music is ace.

Atrium by TBC and Loonies
For the pink ribbon.

Offscreen Colonies by Conspiracy
The whole trip is unforgettable. My preferred scenes are the Still outpost, the Fairlight habitat and the planet at the end.

to be continued...