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After Hours

State of the art gaming circa 1979

Thirty years ago, graphics such as this were astounding on a home computer. My how times have changed. Check out what gaming looked like at the end of the 1970's.

Thirty years ago, graphics such as this were astounding on a home computer. My how times have changed. Check out what gaming looked like at the end of the 1970s.

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Recently, I pointed out the TRS-80 Model I Basic Emulator site where you can relive what it was like to program a computer with only 4Kb of RAM. Forget .NET, object-oriented programming, or Visual Anything.

Here's a video showing just what you could do with all that power. You could create a gaming masterpiece like Dancing Demon! Although it might look rather ridiculous by today's standards, it was actually pretty astounding for the time and... people actually paid money for this.

Follow the Dancing Demon

The concept behind the game is pretty simple. Actually, what you see is pretty much it.  The computer-generated demon does a little jig across your machine. You could create your own dance routine if you wanted by using some built-in coding. You could also generate your own "music" for the demon to dance to as well.

Naturally all you get is a series of beeps. The program allowed you to create two "octaves" of notes. They were basically a high note and a low note. No life-like reproductions here.

From the manual, the story line goes as follows:

Deep in the confines of Pluto's vast and terrible underworld lies a great hall for feasting and merry-making...

Once a millenium, however, the guardians of this foul dwelling place take pity on their woeful guests... The celebration begins with a week of continual eating. The excitement mounts as the big moment draws near — the real entertainment.

For months the Chief Guardian Committee has been auditioning acts, in hopes of finding just one creature with a minimal degree of talent. Most of the demons and beasts could barely say their own names, let alone sing or dance. Yet, one had been selected. And he was rumored to be something special.

"Minimal degree of talent" indeed.

You can find out more about Dancing Demon by going to the Dancing Demon Web site. There you can find out more information about it and download a copy of the game. I've left the Related Videos from YouTube in the video stream so you can check out other TRS-80 games from the 70s.

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