The Kefrens Desert Dream Mega Demo

Desert Dream

One of the many reasons that I loved my Amiga back in 1993 was the prevalence of the MEGA DEMO. These were not demo’s of new games or other software, but a demonstration of the skills of coders who were able to make the machine do some quite amazing things.

These demos were essentially just presentations consisting of amazing music, incredible graphics and special effects that were crammed into the confines of a floppy disk (or two) and distributed at demo scene gatherings and other similar events. To me, these coders were like rock stars and their names and work will be forever etched into my brain.

In my opinion, the best of these demos is Desert Dream from a group called Kefrens. This demo had it all, a soundtrack that was brilliant and perfectly in sync with everything on screen, visuals that were not only fun to watch but technically impressive too, and above all that, a fun little story at the beginning that has a space ship firing a melon at an Egyptian pyramid!

If you’re still reading this after watching the 13 minutes of footage above, what did you think? The saw cutting into the screen in time with the audio is my favourite part. That all this fit into less than 1.6Mb, spread over two disks still astounds me to this day, especially when you learn that disk 2 has a hidden mini demo that can be accessed by inserting disk 2 first!

This demo has had quite an impact since it’s release 20 years ago and has inspired a number of remakes. I’ve included several of those below including a new CGI opener, a complete Commodore C64 remake which is just incredible and a parody remake from 2010.