Remembering the Amiga’s glory days

Eight years ago, PC’s were boring beige business boxes, and many computing enthusiasts got their kicks out of funny little “home computers”, generally one-piece systems hooked up to televisions or cheap monitors, from companies like Atari and Acorn. The king of ’em all was a colorful little computer from Commodore called the Amiga. With a custom chipset at its core and a Unix-like multitasking OS, the Amiga delivered stereo sound, smooth animation, and high-color displays.

It was, we Amiga faithful were convinced, poised to take over the world.

In the fall of 1992, I was studying abroad in Oxford, England, and I had the chance to attend London’s big Amiga trade show. Commodore was finally set to unveil the first major revision to the Amiga’s custom chips. By then, Macs and PCs were catching up to the Amiga’s graphics, and game consoles threatened to eat away at sales. Nevertheless, enthusiasm was high…

The A1200

WELL, IT’S TUESDAY EVENING, November 10th, and I finally found time to sit down and write a bit about the Future Entertainment Show that I attended in London last Friday. I rode the 9:15 train from Oxford to London, then travelled in the London underground to the show.
This meant getting up before noon, which was a real bummer. However, I was able to rest
some on the train into London, and once I hit the show floor I was able to keep going most of the day on pure adrenaline, supplemented periodically by shots of caffeine. No problem.

Since Future Publishing has
recently branched out into making some successful console-oriented games magazines, last
year’s World of Commodore-Amiga/London became this year’s Future Entertainment Show.

The show was held at Earl’s Court, a giant expo center kinda thing that makes my hometown Kansas City’s Bartle Hall look like, well, Bartle Hall—pathetic. Upon arriving I quickly figured out the scam. The “Future” Entertainment Show is sponsored, organized, and run by Future Publishing, Inc., the guys who produce the killer Brit magazines like Amiga Format, ST Format, Amiga Power, Amiga Shopper, and some other, PC and console-oriented drivel. Since Future Publishing has
recently branched out into making some successful console-oriented games magazines, last
year’s World of Commodore-Amiga/London became this year’s Future Entertainment Show.

Which basically meant that this became a chance for Commodore to display just how incredibly huge they are over here compared to little names like Sega and Nintendo, and to demonstrate just how much vision and excitement the Amiga community contains.

As I first walked into the show, I had only one goal in mind: I would see an Amiga
4000 and a 262,144-color animation. Soon. Making my way past the swarm of 6-year-olds at
the Sega and Nintendo booths, I noticed a giant, yellow structure stretched across the back of the hall, with big banners all around the top trim: “Commodore Amiga 600”, “Commodore Amiga CDTV”, and my favorite: “Commodore Amiga 1200.”

The AA chipset debuts

Desperate to get my first glance at an AA chipset-based Amiga, I stepped up to one of the 20 or so A1200 kiosks. Most all of them were playing one or other of the latest games around, complete with a Bart Simpson joystick or somesuch, and looking for all the world like nothing special, or at least like an A600, if you still think that’s special. “Well, at least it’s compatible” was about all I could manage to think. The A1200 I had occupied was running Zool, which didn’t bother me too much since I hadn’t played it for a while, and any game that got consistent 97%-ratings in the magazines here can’t be all bad, right?

I started off on level one, and played one of the fastest, smoothest, and most exhilirating rounds of Zool I’d ever played. Not bad, I thought, for not having played for a month. By the time I got done I found myself thinking three things: 1) Geez, I think Sonic had better run and hide, he’s about to get his spiky little blue rear kicked, 2) Boy, there sure is a lot of sweat on my hands. Pretty darn intense. And, 3) Now wait a minute here, that’s one heck of a lot better than I remember my copy of Zool. Did I get gyped?

The scrolling was ultra-smooth, fast, and effortless. The sprite animations, especially the frame rates when things blew apart, were smoother than any Amiga game I’d ever seen. No question, this
was the mythical version of Zool that had been especially developed for the AA chipset.

Taking a second look, I noticed a few other things.. There were multiple playfields onscreen, with a LOT of colors. The copper-switched gradient fills in the background sure had a lot of shades of blue. The scrolling was ultra-smooth, fast, and effortless. The sprite animations, especially the frame rates when things blew apart, were smoother than any Amiga game I’d ever seen. No question, this was the mythical version of Zool that had been especially developed for the AA chipset. A first,
and I got to be one of the first people ever to play it and know what it was. Later I checked
with a Commodore rep and he confirmed my suspicions, and told me that the game had only
been completed a few days before the show. Total coup.

Moving along, there were more A1200s, these running the Workbench or DPaint
IV-AGA (“Paint and Animation in 262,000 colours,” the flyer read). I waited my turn and got
a hold of one of the A1200s running Workbench 3.0. As I called up the screen mode prefs, I
noticed that this A1200, like all of them, was connected to a 1084 monitor. Too bad. I
couldn’t call up “Double NTSC” or anything fun like that. Happily, I was able to put it into
“NTSC hi-res-interlace” in 256 colors. Once it popped into the right screenmode, I opened
some windows and moved some icons around. Then I had to double-check. Was I sure this
was running in 8-bitplanes? It was. And it was as fast as my A3000/16Mhz in 8-color
hi-res-interlace. No joke.

Maybe the “4x bandwidth” modes, like 256-color DblNTSC are
different, but the modes I was able to test were lightning-fast. Part of this comes from the fact,
I’ve read, that the blitter is actually faster in the AA chips, even though it hasn’t been changed
much from the ECS. (It’s still only 16-bits wide.) Because of all the extra bandwidth in the AA
chips, the blitter gets to do its thing three times as often as it did in the ECS. Not bad.

By this time I was kind of dazed by my first glances at the new machine, so I stepped
back and looked around. There were probably 30 or 40 A600s and A600HDs running the
latest games, and looking really sharp–all mobbed by 8 to 28-year-olds. Quite a contrast from
the yard-ape-infested console display areas. There were also quite a few “Amiga CDTVs,” as
the marketing people are smart enough to call ’em over here, running the latest titles. The
most popular one was the Psygnosis demo disk, which spooled minute after minute of
full-screen animation off CD, including the now-famous NewMissile and Bipper anims in full.

Hall of the Amigas

Determined to find an A4000, I moved further back into the Commodore display area,
and realized that I was in a corridor that led to another room. Lining the walls were TVs
showing the latest Amiga television ad, featuring “better graphics,” “better music,” and scenes
from the game Out of this World interposed with shots of a cyborg kinda guy hunting down a
kid who is sitting in his room playing the game. Predictably, as the guy smashes through the
door, the kid zaps some heavies in the video game, and the cyborg dude disintegrates. Still, it
was a slick, powerful ad, closing with the slogan “Over 3000 titles,” and asking “Have you got
what it takes?”

Between the televisions were big posters, also highlighting the Amiga’s
strengths: “Better Graphics,” “Better Music,” “More Games, over 3000 titles,” and “Amiga
1200, 16.8 million colours.” Coming down the corridor from wherever I was going were lots
of happy people, most of them holding big boxes marked “A1200” under their arms. I don’t
know why they were smiling so much.

When I got into the next room, I saw that it was another full-size convention hall, much
like the other one. The difference here, of course, was the fact that this was the Amiga room.
Companies like GVP and Digita had booths here, along with about 67 million different
mail-order houses. Stacked floor to ceiling in most of the sales outfit booths were more of
those funny boxes marked “A1200.” Attached to them were signs with prices around
£359-399. This was for a basic machine with 2Mb RAM and a single, 880K floppy. By
contrast, I had just paid about £299 for my 1Mb, single-floppy A600, and about £40 for another 1Mb
of RAM.

By the end of the day, the stacks and stacks of A1200 boxes were gone, all carried
away by smiling British people. I learned that over 2000 machines had been sold the day
before, and that they had to re-supply the show for the day I was there. Naturally, I was happy to see Commodore get something so amazingly right. Of course, their timing could still use a little help.

Commodore’s booth

To console myself, I found my way to the Commodore booth in this room, knowing
that I’d find an A4000 there. Squeezing my way in, I found an A4000 running a killer slide
show under Scala MM200. This slide show looked for all the world like a Toaster-based
presentation, with the high-quality pictures and the flashy transitions between screens.
“NewTek who?” Waiting impatiently, I watched the Commodore gent load up a morphing
animation, where Ronald McDonald turns into a Big Mac and back. Nice, of course, but an
anticlimax to say the least. Still, from the little I saw, the AA chipset’s display is practically
photo-real, and once it’s used properly 24-bit displays should be put to shame by real-time
animations in HAM8.

The show’s A4000 exhibition was really kind of a disappointment, since
there were only two 4000s, both hooked to 1084 monitors and running only Scala, and both
under close guard from the nasty general public by tweed-clothed Commodore reps.

But there is definitely one lasting impression that these machines made on me: these are Amigas, only more so. Looking at the screen, the heritage is clear.

Needless to say, this “serious” booth was seriously influenced by marketing people from Commodore
U.S. Not a good thing. I did see, however, two A3000s with GVP IV24 cards. One was
hooked to a killer 19-inch color monitor, running a Madonna video in a 24-bit full-motion,
picture-in-picture window on the Workbench. Bad video, very nice video system.

The only other real wonder in the Commodore booth was hidden inside the A4000
which was continuously morphing Ronald to a burger and back. Thankfully, the Commodore
rep stopped Scala long enough to demo SunRize’s AD012 card with its Studio 16 software.
The sound was nice, but it’s odd listening to CD-quality sound from a computer; it’s hard to be
too impressed when I listen to CDs every day. What did impress me were the real-time effects
produced by the Studio 16 software. Echo, flange, etc., all came out sounding convincingly
studio-quality. Still, I had an odd urge to slap the Commodore rep over the head for grinning
so smugly about a 12-bit sound card, when his A4000 should have had built-in 16-bit sound.
Oh, well.

My impressions of the AA chipset are difficult to sort out, mainly because I wanted to
see the non-interlaced VGA-style display modes that the feeble 1084s at the show couldn’t

But there is definitely one lasting impression that these machines made on me:
these are Amigas, only more so. Looking at the screen, the heritage is clear. There’s more
color, more speed, and more detail, but that same fluid motion, those same bright highlights
and subtle shades, and that same multiprocessing magic is undeniably Amiga. And now that
I’ve seen the new machines, though we can all breathe a sigh of relief that they’re finally here,
I’ve got to say that it’s sure been a long time coming.

Diving into the bargain bins

The atmosphere at a show like this is amazing. The energy and excitement in the Amiga
community here is beyond anything I’ve seen–at any time, for any computer–in the States.
The Amiga is BIG, and everyone knows why it’s so exciting. Mail-order houses were
promoting all the latest and best stuff, including, for the first time in the U.K., Final Copy II,
which looks to have a fight on its hands from the latest version of Digita’s Wordworth, currently
top dog over here. (For the record, I, of course, am using Final Copy II to write this.)

The deals are amazing, as you might imagine, when you can buy from mail-order and software
houses direct. The exchange rate right now is about $1.54 to £1, and I bought a 290-DPI
mouse for £9. It’s not only a great deal, and easily a great deal better than the standard
A500/600 mouse.. it’s a real contender for the best darn mouse I’ve ever had the pleasure of

They then sent the lil’ munchkins up to bounce off an oversized air cushion, flip over in mid-air, and stick
upside-down to a velcro wall—a la David Letterman.

To address an earnest need here, I also picked up a copy of Lemmings from the
Psygnosis booth for 10 quid. Along with hocking all their latest games, Psygnosis was offering
some of the porch-monkeys who wandered away from the Sega booth the opportunity to dress
up like lemmings, complete with makeup, and slide into a velcro suit. They then sent the lil’
munchkins up to bounce off an oversized air cushion, flip over in mid-air, and stick
upside-down to a velcro wall—a la David Letterman. Really—I’ve got pictures.

To better round out my collection of joysticks (now at seven and counting), I picked up
a QuickShot Python I for £8. This is the digital version of the analog flight joystick my buddy Dave Kirby
had for his Pee Cee. It feels MUCH better than its analog counterpart, (naturally) and still has
that same killer handle grip, dual trigger and fire buttons, stabilizing suction cups on the base,
and an autofire switch. Alongside it here I have one of my trusty Wico “Super Three-Way”
joysticks with its handle grip. The verdict is still out on which is best, but after enough
screaming, tail-wagging, two-player head-to-head sessions of Lotus Turbo Challenge 2, (along
with a shamelessly large number of hours of Biplane Duel) I should be able to deliver an
informed judgment. We’ll see.

The most impressive non-Amiga vendor there, in my opinion, was Philips, who was
pushing CD-I for all it’s worth. They had full-motion video on display, playing a James Bond
movie at a much higher quality than VHS. Rumor has it that they can fit 72 minutes of video
onto one CD, making CD-I a real contender as a digital “two disc” movie-rental format, and
opening the door to such beasts as “interactive” choose-your-own-adventure movies.
Commodore can still win this battle, but only by putting an A1200’s guts inside the next
generation of CDTV, and giving it an FMV chip to rival CD-I. Super-hi-res HAM8 should
work fine as a display mode. But they’d better do it, and soon.

An 030 A4000 on the horizon?

The most interesting and useful piece of dirt I was able to scrape up at the show came
from a British lad who worked at the “serious” Commodore booth. I was sitting along a wall
having a Coke beside the guy, and I thought, “Heck, why not?” So I just up and told the guy
that I have an A3000/16, I realize I have to get a new machine to get the AA chipset, but I
can’t afford an A4000 and don’t want an A1200. Then I asked, “Will there be anything coming
out to fill the gap between the two machines?” He smiled, quickly told me not to tell anyone
like you, and said that Commodore will be offering an A4000/030 at 25Mhz some time after
the first of the year, for around £1300.

Considering the fact that the A4000 sells for around
£2000 here, the 4000/030 looks to be a real bargain. At last, I think, we’re going to have a
real enthusiast’s machine at a realistic price. Done right, this little box could take the American
market by storm.

At last, I think, we’re going to have a
real enthusiast’s machine at a realistic price. Done right, this little box could take the American
market by storm.

So, to all you A3000 owners I offer the following advice: “ABANDON SHIP
A.S.A.P.!! SELL! SELL! SELL!!” Enclosed with this report should be a slick color spec sheet
on the A4000. Note the footnote at the bottom of the page, which does indeed mention the
4000/030. You’ve got it in writing from Commodore. I figure that after getting a SCSI-2
card and some extra RAM, an 030 machine is the only way I can afford to go. I can always add
an 040 processor module later, perhaps at a higher clock speed and a lower price. Of course,
that’s what I said about the 16Mhz A3000.

My other impressions of the A4000 are somewhat mixed. For starters, the machine’s
looks aren’t as bad as you’ve heard, once you see it in person. I sure wouldn’t complain about
having one on my desk, for instance. It’s not quite as sexy as the A3000, but it is a nice, bright
shade of ivory-white like the A600 and A1200, and the indented AMIGA logo on the front
looks pretty nifty. Still, the 4000 has a kind of bread-and-butter, “pure and innocent” look to
it that doesn’t seem to fit the character of a computer that will trounce a NeXTstation, Quadra,
486/66 or SPARCstation without stopping to catch its breath.

On a positive note,
Commodore has apparently replaced the tired old “butt-ugly-wedge”-style mouse that’s
plagued Amiga users seemingly from day one. All the 1200s and 4000s at the show had a
smaller, sculpted mouse—kind of like a Microsoft mouse, only better—made of decent-quality
plastic in that ivory-white color. (It’s pictured on the A4000 spec sheet.) The mouse feels solid
and sturdy, with nice feedback from the buttons. By the feel of it, it’s probably about a
290-DPI mechanism, and it’s very smooth and precise. I don’t know whether or not I’d say I
like it as much as the “pregnant”-style mouse that shipped with some A3000s, but this new
mouse should fit smaller hands quite a bit better than the “pregnant” mouse, and it didn’t seem
to be in short supply, which is real progress.

Multisync madness

The bummer news of the day for prospective
A4000 owners is for those of us who own “multisync” monitors which won’t sync to a 15 KHz
vertical scan rate: sell your beloved Trinitrons with your A3000s, they won’t work with an
A4000. Since there is no de-interlacer, when you run a bootable game from floppy, for
instance, the ECS-compatible modes will scan at 15 KHz, giving you fits. In fact, even
“software error” (guru) messages will come up at 15 KHz scan rates. At the end of the day, it’s
probably just not worth the trouble.

In fact, I may even have to bite the bullet here and
recommend buying Commodore’s own (heinously expensive) 1960 monitor.

Of course, it was a smug Commodore rep
who pointed this fact out to me, with a 12-bit sound card blaring annoying music from the
A4000 in the background.

Though you
could buy other decent monitors that will scan down to 15KHz, you never know for sure
whether or not there will be an annoying black border around the screen in some video modes
(as I learned with my Mitsubishi Diamond Scan). Of course, it was a smug Commodore rep
who pointed this fact out to me, with a 12-bit sound card blaring annoying music from the
A4000 in the background.

Short of buying a killer-whizzo programmable monitor, the 1960,
with its .28mm dot-pitch, is probably your best bet. Still, all is not lost. With the 1960 you get
to see the glorious super-high-res-interlaced HAM8 mode, with 262,144 colors in 1500×480
resolution and a perfect HAM aspect ratio (pixels taller than they are wide, which kills fringing).
On top of that, I plan to buy a VCR eventually, so I can watch TV and movies on it when I’m not
using my computer. Besides, the 4000 shouldn’t need a single-frame controller to put
animations on videotape, since it can do everything in real-time. Toast that.

Star of the show: Amiga 1200

Though the 4000 was interesting to me, the real star of the show here was
unquestionably the A1200. With its 68020 processor at 14Mhz, 32-bit data paths and
instruction cache, Commodore claims that this Amiga’s raw processing power should be about
5 times that of the A600. Having used the machine, I believe them. Add the AA chipset to the
equation and this A3000/16Mhz owner will hang his head in shame. With 2Mb of chip RAM
standard, the 1200 brings the Amiga range into a new era, where productivity software and
even games can push these new custom chips far beyond the original Amigas. The machine’s
880Kb floppy drive is viewed as unimportant by most game developers simply because they see
CD as the wave of the future. Thus, Commodore chose to add an extra meg of RAM as
standard and skimp on the floppy drive.

Given the low price the 1200 has started out at, and
some of the CD stuff I saw from both Commodore and Philips, I have a hard time finding fault.
With the new standards for speed and graphic power, the A1200 easily rivals 386DX/25Mhz
Pee Cee systems–at least until you price them, then Commodore leaves the Asian cloners
scrambling to compete. Add the fabulous AmigaDOS Release 3 and that slick new mouse, and
the 1200 looks like it’s in it for the long haul. With its IDE interface, cheap 2.5″ hard drives
should find their way into most 1200s eventually, maybe even right off the bat. The rumored
A670 CD-ROM drive for the 600’s PCMCIA slot should probably work just fine with the
1200, as well. Commodore seems to have hit one out of the park here, if that’s possible in a
country deprived of baseball.

For the first time since the Amiga originally burst onto the scene,
Commodore fans can truly say “The future’s so bright we gotta wear shades.” And this time its
not just to cut down on flicker.
Comments closed
    • dirkies
    • 12 years ago

    IMHO, the beginning of the end was when Wordperfect corp decided to leave the platform after disappointing sales of WP 5.0 around 1989. So much for the software side. On the hardware side, the cancellation of the A3000+ around 1992, to be replaced by a cheap cutdown labelled A4000 (no AAA chipset, no SCSI and no 16bit sound with DSP as the sad highlights) was the ultimate death sentence for the Amiga video market interested. Addons with such features became available in the next 2-3 years, but only when the patient was already terminally ill and abandoned by those who could keep its market potential alive.

    And since C= did more marketing and development for the Amiga as a simple gaming machine with some extra productivity bundled, and not a true Mac/PC alternative with same optional gaming possibilities, as they did when the A1000 was launched, they soon were outpaced by the console world, and not taken serious by the Mac/Windows tandem. It is remarkable it struggled still a few years on to survive with outdated hardware, until C= died, and was taken over several times by companies unable to revive its development, with absurd delays and broken promises.

    At least this was the last time a machine made me so thrilled for what it could do, compared with anything else out there. Today seeing Vista or a PS3, it is always like “seen that, been there”, back in those days, it was just a different dimension, something very new, which only makes this story more sad as we all know how it ended.
    Today, my standard A500 I got in 1988, but also my A4000 from 1995 with addons like 24bit gfx, 16bit sfx, SCSI-2 drives, 68060 CPU and HD floppy drives is taking dust in the cupboard, I just can’t sell them, they will remain part of the origins of my IT enthusiasm, something I will definitely not be tended to do with my XBox360, Wii, Windows laptop or Windows workstation.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Jesus ,that were the days ,iv`e missed the days so much that i buyed an amiga recently :)))) ,an A1200 with 68040/33mhz card and whooping 32mb of fast ram :D, and i can now truly say that Amiga Rules! :)) ,Slamtilt <- the best pinball game EVAR ๐Ÿ˜‰ .Its pretty funny but i have my new amiga for 4 weeks now and i didnt played any pc game for that period of time :P, but i have finished few amiga games :)) once again ,Civilization AGA ,The settlers, Pinball Illusions,Slamtilt ,ahhh ;] ,funny thing i`m playin Doom II on my amiga ,never played it on pc though ;].
    Greets to ALL amiga fanatics out there

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    hello there

    Joan of arc – a true amiga classic. Im still trying to get hold of that game now….hard work, who could forget playing such games as “defender of the crown”, or “wings”. Cinemaware were one of the best companies to ever produce games on the Amiga. How ironic that they went bust. do you remember the name of the company that made Joan of arc??? i cant quite remember!!!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I remember getting the ‘Bat Pack’ in 1989 at the Commodore Entertainment Show in London, an Amiga 500 and I purchased the upgrade to 1MB at the time, I think I even got an extra floppy drive too (woohoo df1:). I bought an A1200 at the start of 1994 too and traded the A500 in. I too remember feeling ‘wow’ at the 120MB of hard disk space.. seemed amazing for the time.

    I ended up having an external ‘tower’ for it with an 850MB SCSI HD and a 63030/882 @25mhz with 18MB of RAM.

    I’ve since emigrated to the USA so my old Amiga 1200 is still with my parents and I still wish I could play games like It Came From the Desert, Paradroid 90, Xenon2, Speedball2, Future Wars ๐Ÿ™‚ .. Anyone know if WinUAE runs those?

    How much money did it all cost? .. that’s just too scary..

    • muyuubyou
    • 17 years ago

    Those were the days. I remember how I felf when I upgraded my A500 to a whopping 1Megabyte ๐Ÿ™‚ so I could run “it came from the desert”.

    Man, where has all that imagination gone…

    A1200 was great too, but I guess all that fragmentation of the market finished our beloved Amiga…

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I was at that very show and bought my 1200 there… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Anyone else here ever set up Fighter Duel (from Jaeger) to play head-to-head with the modified parallel cable?

    Man, we would play that game for HOURS.

    Also got Stunt Driver going head-to-head also…another game to completely destroy a relationship ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Amiga 500 + monitor + extra floppy drive = 1,100 USD
    “Processor Accelerator” 68010 @ 14Mhz = 250 USD
    TrumpCard drive/memory bay = 150 USD
    8MB FastRAM exp card (W/8MB) = 500 USD
    48MB Seagate SCSI HD = 600 USD
    ASA 68030 33MHz processor card = 1,000 USD
    ASA 2MB Static Cache ram exp = 300 USD
    ASA 68882 33MHz math coprocessor = 200 USD
    Amiga 2000HD = 1,300 USD
    Video Toaster = FREE yes FREE from a friend ๐Ÿ™‚

    Total = 5,400 USD

    Good lord man, now I know why I never added it all up before…LOL

    And that 68882 math co-pro was actually a 25Mhz chip running at 33, so I’ve been overclocking for a long long time!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I wish I had my old amiga again

    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Anyone remember

    SWIV ?
    & code : NCC1701

    i want SWIV for the PC..


    • Anonymous
    • 18 years ago

    Ahh, I remember the amiga.. still got My 2000HD 030.. took me *yrs* to save up for that thing…cost an arm an a leg trying to get it here in Australia, then sold alot of my games and saved up *every* bit of pocket money i could to fork out for a PicassoII , sweet…. then finally bought a IDE interface for it, so I chucked in a 24x cd drive and an extra 500Meg HD, how good was that… geez… my Amiga flew above all my friends Pee Cee’s…

    I can never forgive C= and they’re hopeless marketing strategies, but thankfully, AmigaDE is going to resurrect all the Amigans sent underground by wealy M$, I can’t wait for it!
    (checkout at: g{

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    Well, I was (and still am, ’till DE comes out) a PC user (BOEEHH, nooo noo let me explain, I am NOT A PC CHOOSER) And I an A500 at work. Xenon 2, Lotus 3 etcetera. WOW aaaargh did I ever hated more CGA It were the days that computers were really new, had really new features, especially Amiga and I was very young, and did not have the money (blame an eight to twelve years old boy for that)

    But now, with the upcoming AmigaDE, which I can run on any (custom) computer, including gameconsoles, I will yes I will CHOOSE this time Amiga, because I am now twenty, and I have the money.

    AmigaDE cannot compete against M$Windows? Well, if a stupid little companie like Microsoft could beat the big IBM, why not (especially with what AmiDE offers: fully cross-platform compatibility, write once run everywhere, a developers’ dream + a brand new home-made computer called AmigaONE with a brand new Matrox G800 chipset, dolby digital support, and I do not know what more)?
    Im really bored with o’days PC’s, maybe always have been.
    It’s that there are so much games and programs on it.

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    The Amiga’s been ‘about to make a comeback!!!’ for the last 5 years… let it rest in peace FFS ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    Anyone remember the Budbrain demo?

    Now that was cool! Remember the old guy trying to take a dump and took off… he he… and the chap breaking into someone’s house just to get a go in the Amiga… now that really sums it all up .. oh I miss it… :*-(

    great days, and thanks to everyone who has posted for reminding me of them.

    I might just take my friend up on his offer of taking his old A500 & A1200 off him… ๐Ÿ™‚

    I feel a game of Kick Off 2 & Speedball 2 coming on!

    Oh, and if anyone ever had the Chain Reaction Utilities disks… that was me!

    … it was quite cool to be a pirate back then, yeah!


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    sidewinder made some badass music on the amiga back in the day….. ah, i recall the glory days of EFNet#amiga well… (and the subsequent moves onto other networks)
    it’s just a damn shame that they (commodore/amiga/etc) didn’t keep up with the changing times..


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    I like the article and all the comments.
    I loved Speedball 2 and Dungeon Master.


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    I was thinking about the Amiga days, how much fun they were. I got into the Amiga scene at the end of 1989, when we (my dad and I) went to the Commodore show somewhere in London, I’m thinking it was a hotel in Hammersmith. Bought an A500 with the 1MB upgrade. Dual disk-drives were the THING to have too, as it made using Amigas that had no hard drive that much easier. Plus with an upgrade to 2.5MB, my A500 rocked.

    At the start of 1994, I got an A1200 with a … wait for it.. 120MB HD! .. WOW ๐Ÿ™‚ .. Hard drives.. my first ever machine with a hard drive, and even though now you can’t hardly FIND a drive that small, it all brings back memories of it.

    It’s amazing I think when people talk of emulators and ‘skins’ for GNOME/KDE or whatever that despite how much I loved the Amiga, I don’t think I could happily use an emulator as it just wouldn’t FEEL like an Amiga.. There was something wonderful and yet intangible about using an Amiga in its heyday. I don’t know what it is… does anyone else know what I mean? Something like that is almost never recaptured .. even with the later Amigas .. it all doesn’t FEEL the same. Maybe it’s now Jay Miner has departed this world.. I don’t know.

    Ah.. a morning of sadness-tinted nostalgia..

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    :), yeah guys. My dad started up a small shop in Australian about 20 years ago, selling the likes of the Atari, VIC 20, C64, NEC APC IV’s etc etc. Its hard to explain I guess why you don’t get that long lost buzz that well all us’t to, but I think is comes down to the fact that, computers have become boring in certain respects. And operating systems that run on them, aside from Unix flavours, are made for idiots. I mean when something new comes out for the PC like the new Geforce GTS cards, yeah ok, they can pump out few more billion pixels per second, but thats about it. Things like that just don’t seem to get my blood going like when games like Shadow of the Beast 1 & 2 came out. The Intro for 2 was something that took me several weeks to get over. Out of this World was another one. I have to admit I was an ST owner aswell as a closit Amiga fan, me and a mate went on for years and years at which one was better. I do miss things like that. I was so desparate to get SOTB2 and addicted to the Intro that I copied the Amiga version and tried to find some sort of emulator to get it running on the ST(I think I was drunk at the time), yeah I know I could have gone and got emself and A500, but that would’nt have looked to good to my faithful ST cheer squad at High School who gave my Amiga buddie a verbal blast every time he came to school ๐Ÿ™‚ I really do hope that someday I can relive all of this, somehow, someplace…………….wishfull thinking says I. *Sniff* All I can say now, is, I was glad I was around when all this happened, its something that future gererations will never experience, ‘the birth of computers’

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    I remember dreaming about the A4000 back in college. It was so far out of my price range. Sucks that by the time I could afford a $5000 computer, the Amiga is long gone. I entered college with a 500 and replaced it with a 2000HD. Summer cash spent on an 030 upgrade, scsi/ram card, pair of used 200MB HDs, and a 2MB 24bit graphics card so I could drive an $800 NEC MultisyncXV. The bulk of my internet days were spent downloading Aminet progs/demos and Mudding. Still in the closet, and I’m sure it would work if I plugged it in.

    Took the plunge in 96 and built a Win95 box. I don’t think it’s ever been quite as exciting as the Amiga, but at least some old favorites are still around. Psygnosis is still making respectible games. Populous 3. =)

    It’s amazing how far graphics have come since the famous HAM mode. Carmack talks of 64bit graphics. Oh, and for linux fans, I’ve seen an Amiga “skin.”

    Nastalgia. I must be getting old now. Dammit! =)

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    Great article. I don’t think the Amiga community will return in *that* way, with kids and adults all trying to get their hands on them, but it will return. I’d imagine it’s going to be more of a lunix style alternate computing affair, there’s just too much competition for it to become mainstream again.

    My two favourite games – The Settlers and Frontier. Ahhhh :o)

    Casparian Aremi

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    Computing was so much more exciting back then, especially gaming, PSX
    2? No thanks. Give me an A1200 and a copy of The Settlers any day!

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    hi all,

    my Pentium II doesn’t allow me to create 14bit modules in 16 channels. It allows me to create 16 or 24bit songs in 64 channels. Well, my pc is better than my Amiga 1200 which delivers 14bit sound, don’t you think ?

    I use in year 2000 my A1200 with the old Paula chip (a kind of very small sound-card without input) and the AHI system to create 14bit modules in 16 channels. That’s all. That’s amiga pleasure. Personal.

    Try the old software Fantavision after a Scala and Lightwave session, and you’ll discover what is a computer, what is *the* computer. My ADSL connection works with my PC (2000) and my little Amiga, too (1992). No problem with such a “killer” config (no tower).

    Be cool with pc users, so almost all users, or workers (since we work with computers now).

    Amiga …very cool name.And very cool users around, no ? :=)

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    I still own Amigas – 13 pieces – :-))
    I will never buy a PC ๐Ÿ™‚
    And I like this article very much – yeah!

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago


    How I miss the old Ami days, wonder of the free world and product of …remember kiddies…..JAY MINOR and the Los Gatos gang. Of course Jay is long gone, along with his beloved custom chips. Hey…who remembers Ami-Express…I do. Used ta run the ORIGINAL Ground Zero BBs with Original Sin. Me..I was Soulcatcher in the scene and we had a lotta connections with the euro guyz…back when Warez really meant something. Also co-sysop’d the Black Hole bbs out in the midwest….wonder how Dr.Chaos is doing. It’s been a LONG time. Talk about the old games….jeez….I need to get a uses AMi at a yard sale or something, I REALLY need to play Defender of the Crown again. And …here’s a blast from the past… TerraPods from Pysgnosis. Still have boxed copies of a few of them too. Wish I had more of em’ now. I saw a cpl of readers mentioned Dir-Opus…NOTHING has ever come close to that it in the windoze world. If that’s true, that a pc version is being released 6 plus years later….kewl. I know I’ll buy it.

    Well, it’s great to reminisce. I almost cried when I started reading about the a4000, AA, the blitter and so on. I defended the Amiga to the bitter end and will never ever forgive C= for their marketing misdeeds. The AMIGA was the best home PC ever ever brought to market. I hope it really does make a comeback and blows away everything else for the next 1000 years.


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    Amiga Still Lives!!! Long Live the Amiga!

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago


    Sorry if this post rambles with no apparent direction, but I had 2 pitchers of Amber Bach.

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    I went Anti-Amiga and had an Atari 1040ST.
    spent way too much time playing Dungeon Master on that thing….but I always was in the flight sim stuff also..
    The original Falcon
    Gunship….Gunship 2000 (Spectrum Holobyte baby!)

    geesh i cant remember too many of the old skool games anymore….I think my friend about 2 hrs away should still have the thing!


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    Stirring up the muddy waters of recollection… DAMN!!

    Alien Breed… Elite 2 – Frontier (and my Cobra MK III)… Cannon Fodder… Lotus Turbo Challenge 1/2/3…
    Superfrog AGA… Beast… Project X… UFO – Enemy Unknown… Worms…

    And, biggest, most impressive game ever: Settlers !

    I didn’t realise I still had these memories. Next time when I visit my parents I’m gonna dig up that
    A4000-030 and start fiddling around with it.

    VistaPro, Dpaint V, Lightwave, ImageFX … oohh, ImageFX my love … I’m going to fire up that
    system again and just awe at what a 2 MB chip / 8 MB Ram machine with a 25 MHz 68030 and
    68888 50 MHz coprocessor could (and still can) do. Did the GFX for my first web pages on you…

    Thank you Dr. Damage, for this excursion to memory lane.

    Geert-Jan (

    • Damage
    • 19 years ago

    #11: If you will remember, the revised Ami chipset was called the AA (Advanced Architecture or Advanced Amiga or somesuch) chipset during development. C= didn’t start calling it the AGA chipset until the product was released and the world found out from C= marketing that it was an “Advanced Graphics Architecture.” Sadly, the sound and other parts weren’t all that advanced–just graphics.

    I think. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    Remember the game/software boxes for the Commodore 64/128 always had kick ass screenshots, in small print under them the screenshots were taken using an Amiga. Arghh the envy it caused!

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    Good article, I remember the Amiga well. I was an Amiga 500 owner and nothing else I’ve ever had has come close to it’s brilliance. Sensible Soccer, Chaos Engine, Speedball 2, Lotus 2, demos like State of the Art that look good even today.

    One thing though, you continuously call it the AA chipset, while I’m sure it was the AGA chipset (Advanced Graphic Architecture). Commodore marketed it as AGA and games were AGA enhanced too, not AA (as you mention for DPaint-AGA).

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    Holy cow, memories! I remember like it was just yesterday. The funny thing is my last computer was the A500 then I stopped computing for many years and return back with my p3450. I sure do miss those days though.

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago


    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    CNET BBS BABY!!! yeah the good old days when floppies ruled and pirates were cool. Now day you just got the big pipes and the little script kiddies hacking into every linux box on the net. When DOS meant “ugh that crappy os for that crappy PC…get it away” today it means Denial Of Service from some little twerp that gets an new cisco exploit and decides to take down the routers. When Psygnosis(sp?) made the best side scrollers around. You see I am 0|_d 5|<0o|_ from the C64 dayz. Where a 5meg Bernulli hard drive cost $800 and you used a paper punch to put notches in your 5.25″ floppies so you could use both sides and get twice as many games on there. ANSI/ASCII ruled the scene not HTML/JAVA/VB/web crapola…where creativity and intelligence made you 3|_337 not how many gigs you got on your 0 day site… that was the PC |_4m3rZ. Blue boxing, the red book, and TTY/VT100 where the secrets of getting online. When ARPA still controlled the net and EMPIRE was the massive online multiplayer game of the day…not Everquest. Quake? noooo we had Hunt the Wumpass(sp?). Then the Amiga came out… Amiga 1000 that was the day… sold the C128 and spent my hard earned cashola from Mickey D’s to go get the best computer around… 512k memory…of course I got the 512k expansion for a wh00ping 1meg! 720k floppy 3.5″ drive! not no whimpy 640k 3.5″ like the stupid PC. And the HUGE screenres of 320×200!!! and the 2 button mouse holy cow…it was better than the smack-n-toss’s. Everyone was jealous. I had all the l33t games of the day. Barbarian, Marble Madness, Dr J vs. Larry Bird (ROCK!), Archon I & II, Settlers, Populous, Magic Pockets, Lemmings, GODS, Fairy Tale Adventure, Defender of the Crown, Civilization, Boulderdash, Arkanoid, Starglider, and the ever popular Elite….all made their fist showning on the ever faithfull Amiga. You wonder why we all loved the Amiga so much? Well…lets just say you had to be there… back in the day.

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    Ahhh…..Xenon 2, Shadow of the Beast, Black Crypt…..

    I used to love the Amiga. It was WAY ahead of its time when it first came out. No normal PC could compare to it in value or performance for games or graphics/sound.

    Nothing saddened me more than when Commodore went belly-up and the Amiga faded into antiquity. ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    One of the most glaring memories was the first time i saw Project X on the original A500.

    nothing comes close to the sheer fun of that game even on my o/c 1GHZ pc with a voodoo3

    double sniff…


    • Sander Pilon
    • 19 years ago

    But, ofcourse, MSX still beats amiga in terms of classic games ๐Ÿ™‚

    Nemesis, Gradius, Metal Gear (original), Kings Valley, and the endless list of Japanese RPG’s ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sander Pilon
    • 19 years ago

    I remember alien breed as one of the most exciting games that I played. The countdown and run for the door when you completed the level was nerve-wrecking. Only a handful games were made after that that beat it, adrenaline-wise.

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago


    • Sander Pilon
    • 19 years ago

    I remember too ๐Ÿ™‚

    God, those good old days. Copy parties. Demo competitions. Alien Breed. /X Door coding.

    • Anonymous
    • 19 years ago

    SNIFF!… I remember… sniff!

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