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Forever Cinque

written by Jason Wotnau

Forever Five? Success! Definitely a big success!

For those of you who haven?t got the time to browse through this mammoth party report, here is a short summary of Forever 5:

  • Traditionally decent number of visitors from 3 major 8-bit scenes
  • New and old fun events, such as diskette throw or the traditional football match Atari vs. Commodore.
  • Bug-ridden but lotsa-fun compos (bug-ridden on all platforms but C=64, that is).
  • Better organization than ever (this time we didn?t even blow a single fuse in the whole building :D).
  • Quality presentations.

… and, finally and most important, perfect audience! Thank you!

The Forever5 audience

Was it the best Forever so far? Most probably, at least on the C=64.
I think I?ll always compare Forevers with the first edition in 2000. That party was marked by the interest in the other platforms. We all were really interested in how the Spectrum has been all over the years and what?s new on Atari. At the first Forever I saw SAM Coupe for the first time etc. None of the following Forevers carried this general curiosity as we mostly got to know each other and now we focus on our own platforms again. Personally, I miss that approach. Nonetheless this is the only area where Forever lagged behind the other editions!

Conference room - in front of entrance XI - somwhere around the Trenè?n castle

Once I had a nice chat with CreaMD about party reports. He said he hated those egotistically written reports of the kind ?We went there, had a lot of fun going there, made these jokes, drank like mad, got drunken, vomited, went home ? and ah yes, there were some interesting people and compos?. I?ll try not to do that here. However, mind you, my party reports will always have a personal touch. But to make it easier for you who are interested only in the main events and compos, ignore the headlines starting with Friday and jump to Saturday when the real buzz started.

Trenè?n Castle Inside the Trenè?n castle

Friday morning ? or There…

The older I get, the more respect I have for the visitors who come long ways to the party, like the guys from the Netherlands. My regular trip is significantly short. I just get up at 4:30, hurry to catch the first bus, am afraid of that the bus from Brno to Trencin will be full and I?ll have to wait for three hours for the next one ? and then I get on the bus and if everything goes smoothly on the borders, I?m in Trencin at 11:45. Except that I nearly missed the first bus, everything went the above mentioned way this year.

Concerning navigation, the party took place in the same place for the third time in a row, so only newcomers might get into trouble trying to find the party place. The official website of the party is traditionally anything but intuitively organized ? but once you find the map, you?re saved. As well as last year, I just printed out the map and followed the suggested way from the main train/bus station to the party place. I know it?s possible to use the public transport system to get to the party but I always go a pied. With the volume on my discman set to max I walk towards the party place, slowly closing the door of this so-called reality behind myself.

Oswald and Lion Soci (Coder of Worms C64)

This year it seemed to me that the springtime must have given up and made room for the summer right away, as when I arrived the temperatures were around 20 C with the sun shining happily all around. Great change after a long and tiresome winter, unless you?re walking through half of the town with a 15 kg bag in one hand (the shoulder belt broke down on the way). :)

Friday Afternoon – or It?s always a thriller

I wanted to get to the party place around 12:30 and I made it. The first persons I saw in the hall after my eyes accommodated were the Speccy organizers CVM and MikeZT. We shook hands, exchanged some friendly words and then I started settling at the C=64 org HQ. We all already have our traditional places where our section tables are set every year, so all I had to do was just to put my baggage to the table which CVM and MikeZT were already kind to put there for us. Then it was time to wash away the dust and sweat and change my clothing to the party outfit. OK, now I am going to be honest. I was thinking of leaving my teplaky at home this time ? but as you?ll see later, now I have reasons to be happy not to have done so.

PCH trying to repair his Stereo SID hack Lord Hypnos, Visac, Sad and Cactus toasting with Absinth (Factor 6 and Drake on the very right)

You know, co-organizing a party is like raising a child. That?s why, even though I?m mostly the man with(out) a microphone for whom there?s usually the need since Saturday morning on, I enjoy arriving to the event so early. You see it being born, you experience its first steps, see it growing, getting mature, and, dammit, pass away…

So we set up the audio equipment and checked the sound for ZX and C=64. Both worked well. Xi/Satantronic, the main guy for Atari, was scheduled to arrive around 9 PM, including the beamer, so there was no need to hurry ? until CVM told me that MikeZT was going to borrow a beamer, too! Yes, Forever Five featured two beamers, which would have made the party, especially the compos, extremely fluent, if… but we?ll get to that later!

Speccy Organisers - Ellvis and MikeZT (brothers) Speccy camp

For me, there are two really significant points about Friday afternoons and evenings at Forever ? generally seeing the party buzz grow and meeting particular people. Once again I wasn?t disappointed. Just a few minutes after I arrived I learned that some of the party visitors were already there, including a strange long-haired person, which, if one would imagine the hair cut, might resemble… ooops, it actually was Gasman, the ZX icon of the party!!! All I was able to say was ?Do I really see what I see?? I guess it wasn?t too nice of me. :) I?ve always been afraid of that my English must sound ridiculous to a native speaker… So, Gasman, if you?re reading this, it meant: ?Hi dude, it?s so nice to see you at Forever again, and that even so early! By the way, an interesting hair(un)cut!?

Another interesting person to meet was Cobra, the C=64 sceneress who usually arrives with her Atari friends. I already know most the party visitors in person but this was the first time Cobra and I had the time to exchange a couple words.

Abs and Drake Complete and functional miniclone PMD 85 - 8080 based Slovak produced 8bit computer. Featuring flash rom for games. Except of BW display mode, PMD was a computer capable of very cool games. It had very original and extremely playable versions of Boulder Dash,  Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy, Flappy, Saboteur etc.

Around 14:00 the visitors started to flow in in a wider stream. I noticed Aragorn, Shrek, Logout and the other hard core Forever visitors from ZX and then the C=64 guys ? Visac, Sad, Lord Hypnos, Drake, Ceti, PCH… It was pretty unusual to see Sad at the party without his girlfriend and for a while I feared the worst. Fortunately, Sad soon told me that Marketa ?only? had problems with her appendix, so she was advised to stay home by the doctors, but Sad was supposed to greet everyone from her, which he did. I had a short-term amnesia, as I couldn?t remember Drake?s nickname. In the end I did and said: ?Yeah, of course, you?re Drake.? And he: ?And you still wear teplaky.? Of course that was what I was waiting for… ?Sure, I couldn?t disappoint my loyal fans!? And I thought this was the end of the story. Haha, how naive of me! :) Another great-to-meet person was of course Cactus, the editor-in-chief of Attitude, a mag I have learnt to like and respect. And Factor 6 and Posion and Cargo and Leon and Hoild and … and of course many many others…

After the first round of hi?s and nice-to-see-you-again?s the ZX guys were through with testing their equipment, so it was my turn to play some C=64 music. At that time I got to learn the only sad news about the equipment: the microphone was out of order. So I waved my vocal chords farewell in my mind and prepared for the worst.

However, there were still some guys I was particularly missing: CreaMD, JTR and Ellvis. CreaMD and I have been the C=64 organizers since the first Forever. And this year, just before the event, CreaMD let me know that he wouldn?t be at the party on Saturday! His fiancee?s sister was getting married and he, as almost a family member now, wasn?t allowed to miss. So we asked JTR to deputy for CreaMD and do the dirty organizing work for our platform this time. CreaMD and JTR were expected to arrive between 14:00 and 16:00, so you can imagine that when they entered the party hall around 5 PM, I was glad to see them! And if you don?t know who?s Ellvis ? he?s the eminence gris of the party, the guy who communicates with the steward of the building and does a lot of other things without which Forever wouldn?t last long (just by the way, he and CVM are the two who invented Forever). … And he was still nowhere to be seen. According to the Speccy guys he?d been having a bad day at work and was expected to arrive late in the evening.

Gasman?s votesheet (rear side) Visac?s C64 equipment (LCD, board, PC keyboard)

Then the number of visitors started to stagnate somewhere around 30. The number of visitors doesn?t only decide about the financial fate of the party but also about the overall atmosphere ? whether it?s going to be a busy event, or just several people whose voices will sound hollow in the big hall. CreaMD, JTR and I went out to dine at a nearby pizza restaurant ? and when we returned an hour later, there were still something like 35 visitors. I decided not to panic, as last year we had the same situation and the second wave of visitors arrived after 9 PM.

Sadly, nine was also the time when CreaMD was to depart for the wedding, which he did, wishing us good luck. JTR and I were left on our then, hoping we?d manage the C=64 section even without him. Fortunately, the history really repeated itself and when the number of people at the party place exceeded 50, I stopped worrying. The newly arrived people included Xi with the second beamer and half an hour later also, finally, Ellvis. The crew was complete.

Talking about visitors, there are some whom I really missed at the party, like Bugjam, Hood, Hellboy and MacGyver. Guys, where were (are) you?

Meanwhile the Speccy guys showed some demos, followed by Atari. The platform rivalry truly stood out when we were approached by some C=64 guys to do some C=64 show, too, as there?s been too much of the other platforms already. L:-) So we did. I?ve never been a demo freak but, fortunately, JTR is one and he and CreaMD prepared a bunch of demos for that occasion. We ran the demos continuously until there was almost no one left watching the bigscreen and then we decided to get some sleep. Right at that moment we were approached by BeWu and some other Atari visitors from Poland. They asked to be allowed to show some more Atari demos. It was already late at night and I really was reluctant about the whole thing, as previous Forevers already saw night incidents with Polish guys involved. In the end I decided to do away with my prejudices and just asked BeWu to be regardful to the people who decided to sleep in the main hall and went to my table to try to work on my compo music. I want to point out right here and now that my prejudices about Polish sceners got shattered into pieces. These guys were just great and by the way I enjoyed watching the demos they showed.

Factor6 Empty partyplace

Around 3 AM they turned in and I re-started trying to work on a music. I went through the painful process of creating the bass line and was just thinking of the way I?d arrange the drums when PCH joined me. He?s one of the most helpful sceners I know. He asked about how I was proceeding, I complained about that it?s always a pain in the neck for me to create instruments, especially drums now when one channel is already filled with my filtered bass. He just said that I shouldn?t worry, that it?s not that hard to create a nice full sound. Within some two minutes he constructed a non-filtered drum, added some nice harmonic chord as the leading instrument and tested it on a pattern which sounded better than anything I was going to get in around the next two hours. ?So this is it,? I thought to myself. ?Now you see a real musician at work. Wotnau, what are you trying to pretend you?re doing here?? And that was it about my compo music. I switched off the computer and collected some 3 hours of sleep.

Party place sleeper Oswald, Visac and Top Secret

Saturday morning and afternoon ? or Everything that has a beginning…

There?s one thing sure at Forever parties ? it?s always an Atari that wakes you up. At Forever 1–4 I believe it was Xi who always played some horrible techno at the top volume to wake up everyone. This time, to have some change, it was, for a reason unknown to me, the infamous sound of Atari loading, which repeated so many times that it finally made me get up. Anyway, it was about time to start the official program.

During the previous year we were asked to add more events by several parties, so we decided to follow the idea. Ellvis, I and Xi cross-checked our plans and made the final version of the schedule. We had often been talking about that Forever should have an anthem and a jingle. Sometimes we thought of that it might be one of the better mp3 remixes of some renown 8-bit theme, sometimes we thought of some original melody (but what platform to choose than?) etc. Of course we were overlooking the most obvious answer all the time… If the tune was something closely connected to Forever, no one would care about the platform. So when we made the final version of the schedule, we decided to wake up everyone with some music so that no one would miss the official beginning of Forever Five. It was supposed to be something nice but energetic, and MikeZT and Ellvis immediately reached for Gasman?s Atari Self-test. The tune started playing and I started laughing ? we found our anthem, finally!!! There are two tunes by this guy which symbolize Forever for me ? this one and Arkanoid?s Revenge, the fantastic music which won the ZX music compo at the first Forever, and so far still the best ZX music I know.

PCH and Orcan Brainstorm, Thunderblade and Womana

The party started with announcing the real-time compo, the mixed compo which is one of the Forever trademarks. This time the compo was simply-themed: Forever. Forever jingle long up to 20 seconds, Forever logo, or an intro featuring a Forever logo.

Then it was time for the first official competition of the day. In the summer, there will be the summer Olympics in Athens. One of the most traditional athletic events has always been discus throw. But hey, what do you throw at a computer party?! Yeah! So Forever Five saw the first but definitely not the last competition at diskette(us) throw!

Speccy orgs. Ellvis, MikeZT and CVM

At Forever, things usually are a bit bizarre. Diskette throw was no exception. While on Friday afternoon the weather was brilliant, it rained in the night and the grass around the party building turned into a muddy field, so the event was held indoors. We decide to make a real show out of it and it paid off. There were three throws for every competitor. Before the first throw everyone was shortly interviewed, usually being asked about the reason why they are competing. The audience heard many nice answers, out of which I especially remember ?To hit [someone] with the disk!? Many answers collected a bigger applause than the throw itself. We had 16 active throwers and the whole party attended the event. Soci/Singular broke all records with the first-ever throw of a negative length, when he threw the disk behind himself! He immediately became beloved by the crowd, which went wild for him! The second and the third round then followed in order of reversed standings to build some drama. Before the final throws I approached everyone asking for their last words for the compo. PCH said: ?To prove that despite so many throws this reliable C=64 disk will be readable in the end!? We all had a good laugh at it. Patarik, who was on P8 before the final throw, responded ?I am going to win!? ? and he did! His diskette caught the right angle and flew until it hit the opposite wall. We decided to make everyone who?d hit the opposite wall a shared winner ? and at the end we had four of them: Patarik, Brainstorm, Ceti ? and myself! Finally I won a compo at Forever. :) Actually, this compo had one more winner… A while later JTR came to me, almost unable to speak because of laughing ? he put the disk into the drive ? and it was perfectly readable! PCH, you?re a true fortuneteller!!!

Xi - the Atari section organiser C64 organisers. Creamd, Jak-T-Rip and Wotnau of Dmagic

Cactus was keen on organizing a football re-match for the last year when C=64 de-classed Atari. However, the rain at night seemed to prevent the thing, so we decided to make a cross-platform tournament in Microprose Soccer instead. Erm, to be honest, although it might have looked like one, it wasn?t a good idea (and it was my idea). Lord Hypnos and Cargo, who played for C=64, knew the game by heart while Shrek and Logout, who volunteered to play for ZX, saw the game for the first time. They have my deep respect for having the courage to play, while Atari guys cowardly didn?t take part! So in the end C=64 won all 4 matches, ZX got the second place and Atari was the loser. Nonetheless, this ?compo? brought one good idea: next year we will do another cross-platform competition, and this time in a game all the scenes have: Way of the Exploding Fist. I?ll definitely take part, if not for anything else, then to let the ZX guys bust my beak in this game as a revenge!

Atari Team C64 Team

 After the tournament the demoshows took place. All platforms chose 15 demos ? from 1990 to 2004, one for each of these years. Honestly, this was the part when I really was sad that we didn?t have a working microphone at the party. I just imagined the speaker for every platform commenting on the demos, mixed into the music, in a way like: ?OK, this was the demo of the year of 1994. Now we?re going to present XXX by YYY, which we chose for the following year. The main reason for that is the never-before-seen effect in this part, which created a new standard and was later often more or less successfully imitated.? For me, this is something which would have distinguished a great party from just a well-prepared party. And, by the way, it?s something which you can definitely expect at Forever 6.

Footbal Match XI (Atari section organiser) trying to get back to his childhood... 

I believe I told you already that I?m no demofreak, so I took the opportunity to chat with my old friends and later on take a nap before the evening compo marathon. JTR hosted the demoshow for the C=64 instead and he did well.

 Sheep - already a standard Forever atari-demoshow piece. Note the Brainstorm?s lamp on the bottom-right ;-) Forever logo on big screen

Many people already know the classic demos by heart, and as the conditions outside had significantly improved during the day, the football match Atari vs. Commodore took place in the end. To see it from the positive side, it made the football tradition at Forever more interesting, so that both parties are motivated next year again. OK, let?s face it, after last year?s easy win this time our guys lost 1:5.

Poke (Speccy) Audience

We all somehow underestimated the length of the demos and by the time the demoshows ended we were already two hours off the schedule. Once again we decided not to panic and just go on with the program, which continued with what we usually call ?scene presentations?. Forever has always encouraged 8-bit developers to present their works at the party to get feedback and additional motivation (and for the audience to see that our platforms really are alive).

 Wotnau (the traditional party ceremonier) in action. Audience

At Forever 2004, the following presentations were scheduled:

Worms on C=64, DigiSid on ZX, StereoSid on C=64 and Hockeymania on C=64. Unfortunately, PCH?s SID stereo broke down just the night before and DigiSid (a new format in which the ZX is said to be able to simulate the sound of SID!) didn?t take place, either. So we ended up with Worms and Hockeymania but boy was it nice! Last year Soci/Singular presented an unplayable first preview of the game. This time we could see Worms in action, already using bazookas. Also, some computer intelligence is already implemented and we could see two nicely designed levels. The audience got really interested in the presentation and asked questions while the levels were loading, which made the whole thing even more fluent. Just a side remark here: Soci was originally a bit unsure about the whole idea of presenting the game, as he didn?t feel good about his spoken English. In the end it was one of the best presentations we?ve had at all the Forevers!!! I wanted to tell him right away but then the compo deadlines came closer and I had to negotiate with the guys who needed just a few more minutes and didn?t get round to that, unfortunately. So I do it here: Soci, thank you very much for the Worms presentation! Then JTR presented Hockeymania, another decent game created by Big User/Protovision, utilizing, as it?s a standard with PTV, the 4-player adapter. The whole game looks similar to the classic hockey game Hat Trick with some new features and the two additional players ? and as every multiplayer is a lot of fun to play. JTR, thank you, too, for a nice show!

Hockey mania - game presentation Worms - preview - show

Saturday night ? or Wake up, Cursor, the Basix has you!

As I said, during the afternoon we got 2 hours off the schedule but as there were 2 scene presentations less and we were not stupid enough not to make any ?time pillow?, at 6 PM we were back on the timetable. But then the most treacherous :) factor of the party came into play: its success! Here?s what happened…

First there was the deadline for all the compos… at 6 PM… Again we had a reserve ? the compos were planned to start at 7. And of course this guy came in to beg for more time to finish the realtime entry, those guys needed more time, here you could hear music being completed, there they needed just a couple minutes to crunch the whole thing… We internally set the deadline for 18:30 but the last entry was delivered around 18:50. Then it was time for the usual ritual ? kicking everyone out of the party hall before the compos and letting people back against either showing their ticket, or buying the ticket, shouldn?t they have it already. Everyone was supposed to get a votesheet on re-entering the party hall. All the time throughout this report I?ve been boasting about how we didn?t panic… Well, now it was time to panic, as we found out we had over 70 paying visitors + ca 10 organizers ? and only 70 votesheets! We simply didn?t expect that the number of people at the place would get over 70. Thank you guys and girls for proving us wrong, we?ll be prepared for more of you next time!!! When there was the last votesheet left, CVM jumped on his bike and cycled away to make additional photocopies, which took some 15 minutes. Then it seemed that we all were ready, until I asked at the Atari org HQ and saw an unhappy Xi, typing entries into his compo presentation system… He just didn?t expect so many entries for the compos! So he asked for five more minutes. When I asked him again after ten minutes, they needed three more minutes etc. :) To cut it short, around 20:30 the compos really started.

Baze / 3SC (well know from pouet.net - as 256 byte demos producer) Forever?s trademarked entrance fee collection before compos

The Commodore platform supplied the only entry in the wild compo ? the very nice small demo Bah! Bah! by 4Mat/Cosine on C= VIC 20. Here our section had the only problem of the day, as the beamer was constantly ignoring the leftmost column of characters in the native Basic mode of VIC 20, which cost us some time when we were (unsuccessfully) trying to fix that. Fortunately, as soon as the demo started in machine language, the picture suddenly went OK. Don?t ask me why, I?m just a C=64 coder. It?s slowly becoming a tradition that our platform has a wild entry from the other C= computers ? and it would be nice to go on with it next year (any C= +4 or VIC 20 volunteers?).

After the wild compo there?s always the mixed realtime compo. All in all there were two entries on the ZX, three entries on the C=64 and four entries on Atari. The third place went to Vincenzo for his Jingle 2, the second place went to Zoom (ZX), again for a jingle. The entry by Padua, driven mainly by Sad, was called Szenzacios! The entry started with a nice logo accompanied by the theme from Neverending Story (Forever, ah?), and then you could see a picture of the Forever place podium, the bigscreen saying Forever 5, and on the podium a … a person definitely wearing the one and only typical teplaky! And a subtitle saying something like ?Wotnau: Dear visitors, welcome to Forever…? Then a cut and a view of the audience sitting quietly, except for one guy… and you could read ?Leon: Szenzacios!? Again a cut: ?Wotnau: We hope you are enjoying the par…? ?Leon: Szenzacios!? ?Wotnau: Leon, please stop interrupting me!? ?Leon: Szenzacios!? You get the point. At that point everyone in the party hall was laughing already and when the show ended with myself blowing my head with a gun, the audience went mad. No need to say who won the compo, right?

Leon (Szenzacios) and Lord Hypnos enjoying themselves Lord Hypnos

Have I told you that I?m no demofreak? OK, this was a bad one, I know. Whether I feel like watching demos or not, there?s one compo I never miss at Forever (next to C=64 compos, that is): the ZX music compo! I fell in love with ZX music at the first party and have maintained the relationship to it until now. In the recent years the ZX and Atari guys have made their compo presentation engines, so I don?t have to host their events anymore and can finally enjoy the compo contributions. I held my thumbs for the English maniac, whose Decadent Stardust became another instant classic for me (and ended up on P4 in the end). There were several other decent entries but one of them outshone them all… When the info screen said ?Factor 6 ? Prazakum je hej?, I knew we had a hot prospect for victory. Factor 6 is famous for his great covers, and he also knows what to choose to create what CreaMD calls a party-killer. For those of you guys who don?t know… Long long time ago when the Czech Republic and Slovakia were still Czechoslovakia, ruled by the commies, there was this band called Prazsky vyber. The regime didn?t like them. They were prosecuted, were not allowed to play (and the more sought were their secret concerts) ? and yes, you guess right, one of their most notorious hits is called Prazakum je hej. Boy, does this Factor 6 guy know how to create massive sound on the ZX!!! He turned the machine into a rock band and I was just sitting there on the floor, moving to the rhythm, trying to catch all of the musical 8-bit geniality I was just having the luck to meet… And when it turned out that he covered (and in what a way!!!) also the mad guitar solo, the whole audience knew we had a winner. With a peek into the results… P3 got 402 points, P2 got 404 points (close, wasn?t it!), and Factor 6: 462 points! All in all 20 tunes and a short break after the compo. Near the end of the ZX music compo we lost the right treble loudspeaker but, fortunately, CreaMD has taken his own set of loudspeakers to the party, just in case, so, after a short break to exchange them, the compo could go on.

From left to right: Lord Hypnos,  ABS, Sad, Drake, Sigi, PCH, Visac, Ceti Jookie trying to get back to his childhood...

The compos went on with Atari music which was once again dominated by the guys from Grayscale. X-Ray won the bronze, BeWu the silver ? and a joined effort by X-Ray and BeWu won the gold among the 7 entries.

The C=64 music compo is always one of the highlights of the party, but somehow it wasn?t the right madness without an entry by CreaMD this year. Among the dozen of competing tunes, there were several really good entries but I didn?t find any of them really outstanding. There was this nice entry by Asterion, called Dance of the Daoinhe Sidhe, with great celtic/Irish (?) motives… But the audience was quite techno-driven this year and this cool piece really underscored. Personally, I also liked Factor 6?s Co ja vim (although it didn?t stood up to what he made with Prazakum je hej on ZX) and my winner was Richard with You Be Mine. You know, that tune is the classical Richard rolling this massive boulder over just everything ? but the whole thing continuously improves and gets even more and more drive. You Be Mine landed only on P6, sniff. Anyway, the winners presented nice pieces indeed. Orcan scored once again and secured the third place with Diffusion, Sad took the second place for In Me and the compo was taken over by Jammer and his Club Style. The latter two presented their well worked out sound abilities again, while Orcan concentrated on the melody and contrast between the melancholic and dynamic parts, as it?s become his trademark in the recent years.

The ZX graphics compo cut the delay axe into our schedule even deeper. First it turned out that the presentation engine was set to show the pictures for too short a time and the audience just lacked the time to enjoy and assess them fully. So the ZX guys decided that after the slideshow the compo will be repeated at a slower speed. However, on contribution 11, I think, the engine crashed. The Speccy guys restarted the compo at a slower speed immediately, then. This time everything went OK until #11 again. The problem took some more minutes to fix. I really felt pity for MikeZT who took care of the ZX compos, as he really paid close attention to preparing the compos and everything arranged carefully in advance. Anyway, the compo had an unexpected winner… On Saturday morning I talked to Ellvis, when he leaned towards me and whispered: ?Look! Unbelievable, CVM is drawing! He?s drawing again after a year or two!? And in the end he won the Speccy compo!

Atari had only two pictures ? quite good Laboratorium Dr. Vista by Anj/Tristesse was the better one out of them.

The best GFX compo was indubitably seen on the C=64, where Deev with his The Last 17–2 was able to snatch the silver and so part the strong tandem Poison (Fremen Girl, bronze) ? Leon (Scenetown 2, deserved gold). We had only 8 entries this time, but mostly of high standard.

The more we get into coding stuff, the less I remember the entries from other platforms. Out of the contributions on ZX, I enjoyed Gasman?s joketro Apology. However, it made it only to the second place behind EOY by Weird Science Soft. On Atari, I really enjoyed Vector City by Bob!k, a nice 3D vector animation, but the audience was of a different opinion. Raster took the bronze for his Hellix and Eru and X-Ray/Grayscale took the first two places for their intros EXE (P2) and PLO (P1). During the show the Atari guys had problems with one or two intros, which delayed the compos even more.

On the C=64 we had a funny situation ? we could open the demo compo but until the last moment we had only two 1k intros. Lord Hypnos/Padua, whom we refused to reward with the winner T-shirt last year because he was the only competitor in the category, looked really, ehm, malcontent about the situation. Fortunately, Visac and Top Secret saved our and especially Lord Hypnos?s day with the intro they coded directly at the party. The only problem was that it wasn?t 1024, but some 1040 bytes. After a discussion with the other contributors (Lord Hypnos, Singular Crew), we allowed the intro to compete to open the category and let Lord Hypnos (fanafares!) win the desired T-shirt!!! The entry by Singular got the second place and Visac+Top Secret, to whom I?m hereby sending special thanks (and who called the intro Lord Hypnos Tribute ;)), took the bronze. To cut the crap, the winning intro was a nice piece indeed!

Out of the demo compo on ZX, I don?t remember a single thing either about the winner (Evilpaul ? Get Up), or about the bronze medalist (Cyber Punk Unity ? Path). However, I do remember the silver, taken by MBManiax for their Attrapa. It was a real nice piece of provocation targeted at Atari and C=64 (with such exclamations as: ?Real-time plasma ? try this on a C=64!?). The whole thing concluded with ?This is WAR!? The audience proved the authors wrong with a long-lasting applause but still think, or rather hope, that we can expect a response from Atari and 64 at the next edition of Forever!

Programmers of DIV-IDE (ide card for ZX Spectrum) system Logout (looking into the camera)

OK, Atari demo compo… Originally it all looked like a disaster… The compos were already quite long… the audience rather tired… and at the only competing demo crashed at the first try… the whole compo system had to be exchanged… But you know… the sole competitor in the category was Raster/CPU, already a legend of Forever, and that meant that it should be worth the waiting to see his entry. And it definitely was!!! He delivered a brilliant parody on The Matrix called The Basix, starting with ?Wake up, cursor, the Basix has you?, following with following the white rabbit and peaking with an ultra-fun-tastic parody on the part where Neo, erm, sorry, cursor is taught the virtual kung-fu. However, Raster?s version had what DVD Extras often call ?alternative ending?. :) I won?t tell more, get the demo and see it yourself, either at home, or at next Forever.

On the C=64 we had five demos in the competition, which hasn?t been seen at Forever for a long time (if ever). No matter that three of them were single-parters (P5: Resurrection by WWE, i.e. The Dark Judge, featuring an exclusive music by CreaMD, P4: Shattered by TMR/Cosine, which I personally liked slightly better than P3: Forever 5 by Resource+Singular). Mist, done by Civitas (mainly by Nightlord), was a plotted demo with a unique, although pretty depressive style, while Pi/Exon presented a remake of the intro sequence of the same-named movie. In the end Pi won over Mist by just 8 points.

And that was it about the compos. They ended around 0:30 in the morning. They were the most bug-ridden compos of all time at Forever, except the problem with the wild entry, none of the problems happened in the C= section. The important thing is that the compos brought quality and a lot of fun.

Raster?s 1k intro on big screen Prize Giving Ceremony

After the compos it was time to sleep for the audience and time to spend the night on counting the record-breaking number of votesheets to make the results until 9 AM for the organizers. JTR and I had a good time with some of the votesheets. The voting is of course confidential but what I can tell you is that some people voted in a way which you wouldn?t expect from the way they usually behave. Then I took a short but the more valuable portion of sleep.

Sunday moring ? or … has an end!

Sunday mornings at Forever are usually somewhat slow. People already lack sleep and they get up with that they?ll attend the prize-giving ceremony and then start packing their stuff. After I got up, I gathered results for ZX and Atari and together with other organizers prepared for the ceremony. It?s last official thing that?s usually done at the party, then most of the visitors start leaving. Just before the prize-giving, CreaMD returned from the wedding ? that?s what I call perfect timing.

Winner takes it all - Raster (Atari)   Gasman receives prize. JTR gratulates.

This year we prepared themed prizes next to the obligatory T-shirts. The winning musicians got a pair of headphones, the graphicians a box of colourful pencils, the 1k winners a small calculator and the demo winners a bigger one. I?d slap myself around for the prize-giving this time as I had to correct myself when announcing C=64 gfx and all in all I think I should have made a better show out of it. Well… next time I?ll do better, sorry! The Atari section had its own prizes for all three winners and the C=64 music compo was additionally sponsored by Top Secret. Just a funny remark ? the diskette throw winners got a pack of diskettes each, which be a good joke on its own already ? but the disks were HD, which for us C=64 guys means they?re perfectly suitable for… throwing them around!

Sunday afternoon ? or … and Back again

After the prize-giving most of the visitors posed for a mass photo in front of the party place and then three guys from Warsaw showed a slideshow from the first Micro music party held in Poland some time before. And that was really the last official thing that happened at Forever Five.

The collective visitors photo - part2

Seeing the party place getting empty is always sad for me. Even some of the organizers have to leave earlier and the rest of us then cleans the hall, returns the keys to the steward of the complex, and we part for… not forever, but for the next year. However, this year something went slightly different. We all were somehow boosted! The success of Forever Five caught us by surprise. We put our heads together and made a conclusion…

The collective visitors photo - part1

… until now we?ve always started some activity some weeks before the party and often had ideas, which we couldn?t bring into practice later because of lack of time. But when you hear just by the way that ?… it?s strange but while other parties are fading away, this event is improving every year?, or when Factor 6 comes to us at the end to shake hands good bye and says ?Thank you for the great party, thank you for everything?, you suddenly start thinking that this whole madness might have a sense. It might make so much sense that this year, in September, the whole organizational committee of Forever 6, including all the platform organizers, will meet and start preparing the party, including a new scheme, additional competitions and quality presentations. Forever 6 will be THE event to remember! Meet us there, we?ll be happy to see you!

Meanwhile have a nice year!

Wotnau of DMagic

Photos by: Baze (Speccy), lewiS (Atari), pch (C64), Sad (C64), Wilson (Atari), Zilog (Speccy), Jookie (Atari), and Gasman (Speccy). 

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