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Old 30 December 2004, 10:53   #10
Thalion Webshrine
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oxford
Posts: 12,047
The first time I ever saw SOTB was in the local computer shop (which was quite a famous UK Amiga retailer called Ladbrooke Computers in Preston Lancashire). They had a glass cabinet containing the Amiga and a 1084s monitor... right next to it was an Atari ST also displaying a game.

It was the SOTB demo disk (which I've dumped as a CAPS disk and Psygore has turned into an WHDLoad slave). It's a rolling demo perhaps five or ten minutes long.... a sample of all the sections interspersed with captions. (If you've never seen it before, take a look).

I remember looking at it and thinking it was something very special.

The ST cabinet was running Dungeon Master (could have been CSB) which is a great game.... but NO-ONE was watching it.

All my mates all had Atari ST's and were playing Dungeon Master, I actually went in the shop that day with the intention of getting an Atari STe.

The beast demo changed everything.... I had to wait almost six months before I could save enough to afford the price difference between the Atari STe Discovery Pack and the Amiga Flight of Fantasy pack.

I think that beast is technically brilliant... the only thing that struck me was how few frames of animation the sprites have. When you look at how smooth the backgrounds scroll.... listen to how cool the music and samples are... there must be a technical reason they couldnt have more frames of animation on the sprites.... if only the main sprite?

SOTB 1 was also the first crack I every came across. Given it in the school yard a week or two before Beast was released (I still didnt have an Amiga at the time) it was done by Paranomia and had a 3d wire vector intro....

Weeks of playing it at a friends house was great... but by the time I had my own Amiga the experience had been spoilt by learning that if you hold down left mouse during the startup you got infinite lives So I started playing Amiga Dungeon Master which had just been released.

I bought SOTB 2 when it came out I've still got it (dumped for CAPS) and the T-Shirt. I also bought SOTB 3. Neither came close to "touching the spot" for me like the first one did. The next game to do that for me was Amberstar by Thalion... and that wasnt because of the graphics but the compelling gameplay and brilliant story (complete opposite of Beast).

Beast sold the Amiga to me
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