nexus 7, Andromeda
nexus 7, Andromeda

Golden Memories I – Nexus 7 by Andromeda

Golden memories part 1: The moment when the Amiga demo "Nexus 7" by Andromeda was shown on the big screen at The Party 1994.

Lars „Ghandy“ Sobiraj of Nukleus remembers when Nexus 7 came out.

In my little series of articles called golden memories, I try to capture events from the past that I can’t forget.

The background

I was also a member of the group Rebels during The Party 4 (TP4). Well, not as a mailswapper actually, just as a modem trader. Nevertheless, I later became known in the demoscene for some articles and my active time, when I had up to 300 mail contacts at the same time. Rebels was a door opener for me, but the leader Exciter was only interested in someone supporting the Swedes for him, who were one of the few links to the real old Rebels. Their mailbox (BBS) desperately needed some fresh warez, and I was just the person to do the lousy job.

As a mailswapper and editor I had a lot of contacts and met or got to know a lot of people in The Party in Denmark. Already on the first day there was a rumour that the members of Andromeda would be there. This could only mean one thing: if they were there, which was not often, they had something planned. The rumour spread through the ranks. Everyone asked me: „Have you heard about Andromeda? What do they plan? Will there be a new demo?“ In fact, no one had seen them. Not even the people who knew what they were looking like, which didn’t include me.

To my surprise Lord Helmet is a nice guy

Andromeda, Nexus 7

Frode (Zerox of Gods) introduced me to Lord Helmet from Spaceballs. RAW was THE magazine of magazines back then. What was written there was considered as the only truth. Everybody knew that because everybody read RAW as soon as it came out. It was a bit like the tabloids „The Sun“ in Great Britain or the „BILD-Zeitung“ in Germany.

Since Lord Helmet was very arrogant in his articles, I figured that the person behind it must be very arrogant too. To my surprise, the opposite was true. A very tired, reserved and polite young man obediently shook my hand to greet me. He had never heard of me, of course! And probably not of the new Rebels either. As Zerox is also a Norwegian, they knew each other. Astro, who later took over RAW, was more in the character of what he wrote in the scene. He was self-confident, full of himself, a bit elitist, but after all not unfriendly. And so were his articles.

Andromeda wanted revenge

I mention Lord Helmet because of the mega famous raytraced fuckings in the last third of the demo. Lord Helmet had written badly about Hydra, the Andromeda leader, portraying him as a sort of Stalin, a reckless dictator, if I remember correctly. Actually, Andromeda wanted revenge and also to set the record straight, but in the end they in fact did RAW and its main editor a big favour. Lord Helmet was suddenly part of one of the most brilliant demos in the history of the Amiga demo scene. What the fuck!

We all couldn’t wait for the demo competition at TP4. Rebels was represented with its own production „Whammer Slammer„, but it was clear that we would not make it into the top three. The competition was far too strong. And Andromeda was already considered the winner days befor the competition took place. And yes, it was the winner. The best demo comes at the very end of the compo at most parties. I don’t remember exactly, but it was probably the same there. The organisers use it to build up the suspense of what might be good to come. And indeed, „Nexus 7“ was in fact from out of this world.

Nexus 7 was a revelation

I still have tears in my eyes when I hear that organ and think that the vortex in space could pull me right into the afterlife. Or maybe into another world. After this mystical, almost meditative beginning, the main part almost gives you a heart attack of shock. The effects were and are incredible. And they were all new! They didn’t reuse or optimise a single effect. Honestly, no one had ever done what Andromeda did with an Amiga with AGA chipset.

Standing in front of the big screen, we were glued to the floor and everyone celebrated this entry frenetically at the end. What a spectacle, what a show, unbelievable! For example I also love this homage to the animation studio Pixar with the animated lamp, just incredible. Those crazy Norwegians holed up in a hotel room during the whole party to work on „Nexus 7“ until just before the deadline. When we heard that, it was clear why no one had seen them at the party place in Herning.

I don’t know how many times my contacts sent me this demo in the weeks that followed. Countless times. I, on the other hand, was busy sending out our mid-range demo „Whammer Slammer“, an indirect successor to „Switchback“. And that on 3 floppy discs, of which I only ever got two back. So naturally I’ve lost countless disks. On top of that came the higher postage charges, but well, it was my self-imposed task to get our demo out to the people. The people behind this production were almost the same as for „Switchback“, but it’s rarely a good idea to try a sequel.

No chance to compete for other groups

I won’t say we have failed totally, but the result was sort of predictable. Our well talented raytracer Excess had conjured up something good again, but nothing like the rollercoaster ride in „Switchback“. The music was also not even close as hypnotic as that of The Prodigy, which Chromag had interpreted very cleverly. But above all, Teevaan’s graphics were once again outstanding. Honestly spoken, we could be more than satisfied with the fifth place. In addition, our leader had managed to convince the talented coder Fresh Prince to join us. His 40K intro „Lola (McIntro)“ was in fact a great entry at TP4.

What happened after Nexus 7 came out

And Andromeda? Hyde programmed all the effects himself. What, one person only? Yes, it was incredible! The graphics were all done by Archmage and the very different music parts were done by Interface. Three men in their hotel rooms getting very little, if anything, out of the computer party happening only a few miles away. How frustrating this must have been. But they have without doubt left a mark that no one could replicate. And also it was the beginning of an extremely long break. It was until 2007 that they returned, strengthened by programmer Andersson. But unfortunately with a Windows demo, albeit a really great one called „Noumenon„, which took the second place at Breakpoint in 2007 (!!!). We had to wait until July 2021 for the next Amiga production called „Rule 30„. And it’s really cool they are still around somehow.

For sure I will never forget the first time I saw the demo „Nexus 7“. That was burned in my brain. We had almost infinite expectations and they were by far exceeded. Yes, honestly.

By the way: From what I have heard, the members of this group are similarly reserved and not arrogant as Lord Helmet is himself. So, in the end, they had probably more in common than they might have liked to admit? Well, who knows?

Lars Sobiraj


Lars Sobiraj fing im Jahr 2000 an, als Quereinsteiger für verschiedene Computerzeitschriften tätig zu sein. 2006 kamen neben noch zahlreiche andere Online-Magazine dazu. Er ist der Gründer von Außerdem brachte Ghandy, wie er sich in der Szene nennt, seit 2014 an verschiedenen Hochschulen und Fortbildungseinrichtungen den Teilnehmern bei, wie das Internet funktioniert.