Tales from South Jutland written by Zarch of Triflex and Addonic. It’s been decades since I’ve written an article for a diskmag.
Tales from South Jutland of Denmark
written by Zarch/Triflex+Addonic
It’s been decades since I’ve written an article for a diskmag, so when Ghandy reached out asking if felt like writing something for JP, I decided to give it a shot.
I am going to write a bit about the local scene in the southern part of Denmark named South Jutland / Soenderjylland, which is geographically close to the Danish / German border. I will focus on groups I was related to and which were founded there, as some of the early groups never got much attention as their stuff was mainly spread locally. It is not an important part of our scene history, but never the less it is a part of the Amiga demoscene history which is not written anywhere until now. It’s a story like so many others, but I hope you will still enjoy the little journey in the virtual time machine with me to our little local city, Rødekro, back then with a population of less than 6.000 people and how it all begin here…
Tales from South Jutland started in 1989
The year is 1989, and I had just got my hands on my sparkling new Amiga 500 for my confirmation money. I had been quite active on the C64 scene, so it was very natural for me to try and get into the growing Amiga scene as well. A few of my fellow classmates at school also just had their confirmation money so they could buy the ruling Amiga 500. It was around the time when the original Soundtracker was still quite new, and we started to learn how to use that, combined with finding our way around in Dpaint, where our graphics was clearly inspired (mostly not in any positive way) by the simple use of colors as we had been doing on the C64 before that.
I was the one who had been most active on the C64 scene in my group Danish Science, so I quickly decided to create a new group name purely for the Amigascene, and Triflex was born. I instantly had members co-joining from my C64 group, mainly swappers and gfx guys. My classmates were not a part of Triflex, as I still felt they were more into games and not did not seem to be too eager on getting into the demo scene.
The 3 of us had absolutely no coding skills on the Amiga, and although we were trying to borrow books at the local library introducing C, Modula-2 and SEKA we didn’t quite get it. We tried making some small stuff in Amiga Basic, but it was of course horrible. One of the guys, Exerox, turned out to be quite techy though and he managed to mount a small motor on his window blinds and at his door lock, which he somehow connected to the Amiga, and via a small Amiga Basic program he were able to lock his door and open/close his window blinds. It worked most of the time! His last work in Amiga Basic was a drink-mixing machine, I don’t recall how the hardware exactly looked like, but he had 4 bottles of soda and alcohol turned upside down in this „device“ he had built out of a combo of wood and LEGO, and then he had programmed how much of each bottle should be poured into a glass. He had to stir manually, but we were blown away by his accomplishment.
After a few months, there was a small computer gathering one evening in a nearby larger city, Aabenraa, co-organized by the local computer store where most of us had bought our Commodore gear. We decided to go and check it out. While most of the crowd were all gamers (aka always lamers back then :-)) there was one single guy hacking intensively on the keyboard… in SEKA… HE WAS CODING… ASSEMBLER! The 3 of us were instantly flocking around him, eager to let him introduce us to coding. His handle was Wiz.
It turned out, that Wiz was a one-man army without a group, and he was lacking graphics and music skills. Naturally I wanted him to join Triflex, but Wiz was keen on creating a new group on his own – and I was invited to join, but I was stubborn and wanted to continue my Triflex adventure. My 2 classmates joined him and „B.A.D. – Business After Dark“ was born. My classmates suddenly had handles; Destro (gfx) and the guy with the drink machine and the automatic window blinds, Exerox (music).
B.A.D. was pretty productive at their early beginning, and released some quite nice (for that period) megademos. (scenes.at/cr7x8h) Exerox had a natural talent for composing music, as he was already playing instruments and playing in a local rock band, which clearly influenced his music too. More local guys joined them, but pretty quickly it became clear that Triflex was delivering most of the graphics and soon also music, so productions started to turn into B.A.D. + Triflex co-op demos. In the end, Wiz had enough. Destro, Exerox and the rest of the bunch was extremely lazy and never could meet any deadlines. As a result B.A.D. was shut down and Wiz joined Triflex. Wiz and I started to spend almost every weekend together working on stuff, both on the C64 where he had joined Danish Science but also on the Amiga, now under the Triflex label.
Another local computer event happened in the city of Haderslev, where they had already setup a more organized user group for C64, Amiga and PC named „Haderslev Computer Club“ (HCC). I went to see them one evening, and met some cool people there. I quickly told Wiz about them and suddenly we had more people joining Triflex. One of them being New Style (later known as Triton/Curacy) as a very solid composer, and some (lazy) brothers who were coders, named BeamTeam. At this point Triflex had members in several countries, based in Denmark but with members in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany and South Africa. Most of them were swappers though.. but.. We were ready to rock!
Then we started setting up meetings, where it was mainly Wiz, New Style, Beamteam and myself who joined – and we were working on a demo („Detrax„) which was going to be our first real big and a much better and better looking demo. We had just got another new member, a very talented graphics artist, Dune, who were formerly a member of Dual Crew among others (today he is known as SnC of Resistance). We had arranged a weekend to work on the demo all together (except for Dune, he did not join that meeting).
I arrived late to the party, and when I arrived, it turned out that Newstyle, BeamTeam and Wiz had decided to create a new group overnight – Vendetta. They also wanted me to join, but they wanted to clear up Triflex for all the members with a less high standard, to create a new group only with elite people. I was stubborn as usual and refused to join, since most of the guys in Triflex were my old C64 group members and considered them as my good old friends… So the meeting ended up with Vendetta working on their thing, and I was trying to figure out how to get a demo out without a coder.. because Wiz was gone!
At some point during our meeting, Wiz came to me when nobody else was around. And we found a private room at the meeting place to talk. He said that he still wanted to be in Triflex, but more like „under cover“ – but he would still help to code, we should still have our great weekends working on stuff. All good then… or so I thought! A few weeks later the Vendetta guys found out that Wiz was working on Detrax with me. And they were pissed off. He was told to make a choice… either me or them… so he chose Vendetta. Or so they thought…
Because it turned out Wiz had become schizophrenia overnight – hence, a „new“ member suddenly joined Triflex, and his name was Schizor… aka Wiz. He was a double member under 2 handles, before that was really a thing yet. The work on Detrax continued. In the meantime Vendetta renewed themselves again, and kicked out lazy guys people again, such as the coder-brothers BeamTeam. Their new group name was Curacy, and that group ended up becoming rather well known with some quite good members onboard too. Wiz left Vendetta, and he joined Vixen, where he found a bunch of cool guys he had fun with and he enjoyed being in Vixen for many years until the end of his scene career. He was still a secret double member of Triflex all the time, under his Schizor handle… and finally Detrax was released!
When Detrax was released it contained some pretty awesome routines by Wiz (…well, Schizor) but for some routines he had to release them first in Vixen, or maybe make the Triflex routine a bit better or worse than the Vixen released routine. Graphics wise Detrax was mostly nice for some of the work done by Dune, and the music by me was liked by people around me (we were into heavy rock and metal at that time) but looking back it doesn’t fit the demo at all.. I was just never meant to be the next Tip&Mantronix :-)
Detrax was sadly never spread enough as it should have been, so it was not really known to the world until I uploaded it on Pouet decades later. A small funny trivia is that Wiz came to visit me almost more than 10 years after the release of Detrax, and we somehow got to talk about the demo. Some of the routines he had coded was truly state of the art at that time… for instance the vector circle part, where he beat the amount of vector circles as seen in one of the demos by Anarchy. But now he revealed with a big smile that the truth was that he never made any vector circles.. they were just sprites. It would have been a big „no no“ back when it was released, but I just thought it was really funny to know that truth so many years later.
Wiz was a really skillful coder, and he taught quite a few coders their first baby-steps on the Amiga. Trap of Dual Disaster/Curacy (and legendary Bonzai on the C64) and Boogeyman of Passion, (later Scoopex) learned their first steps of Amiga coding from Wiz. Both Trap and Boogeyman are natural born coding-talents, but Wiz was really friendly and helped them to get started much faster.
After the release of Detrax Wiz/Schizor started to get really busy for his studies and exams. And it was hard for him to keep up producing for 2 groups simultaneously and also living a student life. Vixen got a bit more attention, as they also often had meetings. Suddenly I got a letter from my long time contact from Switzerland, Darkcave of Addonic. Darkcave was the founder and main coder of Addonic, and we decided to join forces as a Triflex+Addonic co-op – finally we had a new and good coder on the united team!
Darkcave was focused on releasing the diskmag „Message Center“ so some of those issues were the first co-ops between Triflex and Addonic. He also started coding on a never released music disk, „Digital Obsession“ (I do have a preview around somewhere on my Amiga harddrive) and some other intros and demoparts. Unfortunately Darkcaves Amiga 1200 suddenly died… and he couldn’t afford to repair or to buy a new computer. He ended up snail mailing me all his sourcecode he had been working on, declaring that he was forced to leave scene as he no longer had a working Amiga.
We were now in the year of 1993/1994, and work life started to take over a lot of my time. Dune had left Triflex and he joined Tech. Most members disappeared one by one as real life and more adult duties took over. The last years of Triflex+Addonic were mainly some heavy modem scene activity, were I had teamed up with my old childhood friend Xman, and we teamed up as the dynamic trading- duo Zarch&Xman of Triflex+Addonic. We were very active trading warez on all major boards in Denmark, topping the Euro Charts once in a while as such and being co-sysops on several elite boards in Denmark. And we shut down Triflex+Addonic silently and for good when we were asked to join Passion. And later also became double-members as traders of Royal and Hellfire.
We worked a lot with Webster of Passion, the sysop of Electronic Confusion. Yes, that’s the same Webster who later on programmed „Ruby on Rails“ and became a multi-millionaire overnight. Another small trivia about Webster is that he used to pay for a leech account at the Prestige HQ Sky Tower Kingdom BBS, so that Xman and I could download all the new releases and upload them to his Electronic Confusion board. What Webster didn’t know was that one of my local (6km away from me) and good friends was Enzo of Prestige (RIP, as he passed away in a sad car accident almost 20 years ago) – Enzo was the SysOP of Sky Tower Kingdom… and I had a free leech account already. :-)
Today only myself and Dune (SnC/Resistance) are left to still follow the scene a bit from our couch from the remains of Triflex. Although we never made it to become the next Anarchy, Silents, Rebels etc. we still had a lot of fun, and the Amiga definitely made a huge impact on our careers in so many ways. Most of us work either in creative jobs or in the IT industry today, shaped by the creativity the Amiga offered us – and the challenging vibrant demoscene. If there was a real time machine I would go back and relive it all over again!
The Tales from South Jutland – photos and golden memories written by Zarch of Triflex and Addonic. Thanks a lot!