[Subatomic particles and demoscene........]
Don't worry, I'm just reading another Penrose book


A promised before I am obliged very happy to present you the 2nd part in our decennal review of 4k intros.
(Wow, it seemed more the statement of some retirement club...)

This time I won't reveal you how many 4ks could fit your 1.44Mb disk, but, to make you understand 4ks, I would just use an easy concept: as someone said, "4k intros are like 4096 1-byte intros glued together".

Anyway. I have mixed thoughts about this second span of 4k history. I'm quite confident we exited from the "wobbly raymarched thingie" or "infinite fractal" trend we've seen starting around 2010, but the general feeling is that the way to find a new direction is still long and painful, and that new ideas are just starting to emerge.

Also, looking over this new decade, some black spots, or "black years" like 2014 come up, years that seem to show a general emptiness in terms of ideas and new releases. In general, we also saw a massive increment of 4ks that use the same synth (4klang), unfortunately often with the same presets, flattening the soundscape variety.
But, regardless of that, and confident that the scene is NOT dead, let's dive in.

2008 - Texas by keyboarders

The best 4k of 2008 couldn't be anything different from 'the best 4k intro so far', by definition.

I've seen people on Youtube asking if this intro really plays that music.
Yes, it does. On Windows Vista, at least. Understanding how (even if everybody in the scene knows that) is left as an exercise to the reader in the long, winter days.


By the way, I personally like the visuals more than the music in this one.

2009 - Elevated by Rgba

And, by definition, the best 4k intro of 2009 couldn't be different from Elevated.


2010 - Cdak by Quite & Orange

The music and the atmosphere in this one is spacey.
If you read the comments on Pouet, people even like this 4k's music more than the one in "Texas".


Historically, this intro places itself at the dawn of the "infinite fractal" trend that plagued pervaded the demoscene in the early 2010s. But come on, this is *the* infinite fractal demo.

2011 - D-Four by Ctrl-Alt-Test

The best 4k of 2011, according to pouet's "top of the trumpets" is "Code is my pron", but I consider that one, as the title says, just coder's porn. Even if I'm I've been a coder too.


Instead, Ctrl-Alt-Test manages to create something really unique/rare in the scene with this one: an intro based on a flow of words, with a solid and catchy tune. By the way, it's funny reading the source code and the names of the background colours in French (Fondu noir de début, Nuit, Jour, etc.).

2012 - Reionization by mfx

The best 4k from 2012 is this one. Not this one. Not even this one.
Why? Because it's from mfx, because muzik rules and because Youtube can't compress it and you have to run it on real hardware.
(Youtube screenshot follows)


2013 - HBC-00013: Highway 4k by HBC and Tekotuotanto

The clear winner for 2013 is "Highway".


I bet anyone likes camera-distorted tron-esque motorbikes with pumping music in the background.
Interestingly enough, this 4k is written in javascript and then compressed. It's one of the few 4ks using this approach (maybe the only one? there are 55 according to pouet.net, there was even a dedicated party, called DemoJS, seems everybody forgot about this).

2014 - Dismantlement by BluFlame

As said, 2014 was a pretty poor year.
BluFlame, experts in 4k, come to us and save the princess with their "dental mirrors".


In general, the techniques used in this intro are not so new, but the "torus factory" scene is enjoyable, at least.
Nobody knows, still, why some toruses are missing.

2015 - hydrokinetics by Prismbeings

Prismbeings debut at an already very high level with their first 4k.


Some nice touches make this intro stand from the other "normal" raymarched productions: the moody music, that has nice and trippy echoes, the camera distorsions, the dust effect, the *hexagonal* *lens* *flares*.
Wait a sec, they don't have hexagonal lens flares...

2016 - 2nd stage boss by 0x4015 and YET11

What Gargaj said. Really.
If you sum up a size limited intro, a story, spaceships, lasers and explosions, you won't find a demoscener unpleased by this.
Since Lithium by Vista.


2017 - Unprogress by Fairlight

And we end this walkthrough with one of my favourite (to say the less) groups, that seem to have passed through all the ages of demoscene and still being able to be great, even if now they have probably 389 years each one.


This 4k could easily be mismatched for a movie trailer. And it's the first 4k with "statues", I think, or the first 4k with scene titles. But I may be wrong. Disprove me in the comments.

P.S.: by definition, this list should include "the best intro ever" by Razor 1911, but it doesn't. Sorry about that.


posted by friol at 9/07/2018 10:29:00 PM - under: , , , , - comments? here (0)

the Tunnel - demoscene blog(c) friol 2o18