Last Updated on January 2, 2024
The C64 demoscene is something we don’t feature on Retro Gamer Base, but this example is something everyone should check out.
A 16-minute hardware workout for the Commodore 64 (or emulators), it features stunning visuals and music and in 2023 won the Siggraph Asia 2023 award for 8-bit demo.
The video below takes you on a huge journey through space and beyond, with accompanying music and a nice touch of humour. It’s remarkable to see even now, 30 yearsa fter the last C64 was shipped from the factory.
What is the demoscene?
The demoscene is an international computer art subculture that emerged in the early 1980s with the rise of home computers. It’s all about creating demos, which are self-contained, often very small, computer programs that showcase the creative and technical abilities of their creators through audiovisual presentations.
These demos typically push the limits of the hardware they run on, producing impressive graphics, music, and effects that wouldn’t be possible with regular software. They’re like miniature masterpieces of digital art and programming, often packed into just a few kilobytes of data.
Back in the 80s and 90s, demos often appeared as loaders on pirated games, but could also be the entire content of a floppy disc. They were typically distributed over the BBS system, the forerunner to the world wide web, before being sharedvia mass disc copying.
Wonderland XIV by Censor Design
Here’s the full video:
You can download Wonderland XIV from Demozoo.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine, TechRadar.com, and other publications.