Second reality was the first demo I every viewed; quite by accident, too; I thought it was a differnt program then what it was. It took me 2 1/2 hours to download on my 2400 back in the day.

I ran it.

I watched it

I was enlightened.

...and completely blown away.

It was, and still is, the most amazing piece of coding I have every seen. Amazing morphing, great music and even Dolby Digital sound (where available). After that, I aspired to be a demo programmer.. and I would have become one, too, except that I sucked.

Yeah, sure, they had others, like the venerable Fishtro, Mental Surgery, Unreal and Soupa, but Second Reality has the number one place in my heart.

Second Reality, by the Future Crew, changed the face of the demo scene forever. The continuity and fluidity of its design along with beautiful visuals and music placed it head and shoulders above anything written before it.

A short description:

  • Blank screen. Skaven's orchestral score swells and groans softly as the opening titles are displayed across a slowly panning starlit moonscape.
  • Star Wars-esque spacecraft fly overhead and converge on a single point at which there is an explosion that forces a cloud of dust to race towards the camera.
  • Purple Motion's dramatic techno track begins as the title graphic, featuring a weird lizard-man creature, is displayed.
  • The graphic collapses into a 3D chess board, over which a light-shaded, transparent geometric shape spins and bounces.
  • Another transparent, but red, shape appears in the background and the pair gyrate around the screen for a few moments, quite clearly demonstrating Psi's brilliant 3D engine. Fadeout.
  • A pretty standard but slickly-executed wormhole effect.
  • Some cool but hard to describe purple swirly-effects spin around for a bit. (if anyone has a better description for this, /msg me)
  • A picture of a demonic face that forms the backdrop for a lens effect and then a rotozoomer.
  • A monkey-man illustration flickers like an old TV being switched off.
  • Trug's superb purple-writing-on-clouds-looking-through-trees scroller.
  • A firey sword emerges from a 3D-rendered blue pool, it reflects off three spheres quite impressively.
  • Wildfire's wonderful smoke effect writhes to the more dreamy segment of Purple Motion's piece.
  • A beautiful blue voxel effect that looks like rolling waves.
  • A cube texture-mapped with separate plasma effects spins around.
  • A fountain/washing machine effect occurs.
  • This fades out to an image depicting a buxom blonde perched upon some saddled Arctic beast, which bounces into the screen and distorts as it does so. It then falls out of the screen to blackness.
  • This fades to white and the portrait shape morphs to letterbox. This forms the white wall of a building in the 3D flythrough that follows. Part two of Skaven's orchestral score begins as a nifty-looking spacecraft flies through a city. Eventually the craft emerges from the city and the camera shifts upward to reveal lettering reading 'Future Crew'.
  • A pair of nuts (of the nuts and bolts variety) appear with this words 'Future Crew' inscribed upon them.
  • This fades out to a clever credits screen which displays a screenshot of each effect along with the name of the person responsible for graphics, music, and code.
  • The final scroller (in high-res) with a long list of greets and thanks from each of the crew members.
Sadly, this demo will not run on my computer as it is desigend to run on a 486DX at 33mhz, whereas I have a 1533mhz Athlon processor. Not to mention that my sound card is addressed in a completely different way as the sound cards were back then.

If you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, read this.

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