charts_oldschool.jpg[In the latest of an occasional series of demoscene-related posts on GameSetWatch, AteBit's Paul 'EvilPaul' Grenfell presents a multi-part retrospective on 2009's best demos - continuing with the best demos made for older video game and computer systems, but released last year. Previously: best demos and best 64kb/4kb intros.]

Next up in my look back at the 2009 demoscene is one of my favourite categories - oldschool. Oldschool sceners are some of the most dedicated in the business, working night and day to squeeze ever more out of computers that are decades old.

This isn't like the PC scene, where effects that we can only imagine doing in realtime today may be possible tomorrow with the release of better and faster hardware. The oldschool scene moves forwards as its devotees delve further into undocumented hardware and coerce it into performing tricks that were unimaginable when their machines were first released.

Unlike demos on modern computers, if an effect is too slow they can't simply run it on more powerful hardware or pre-calcuate the required data - they must use arcane hardware and software tricks to squeeze every once of power out of their chosen hardware.

As a result, every year astonishing new techniques and effects are discovered and presented, and the whole scene continues to evolve. We're presenting YouTube and other videos of the demos here, but obviously, you get the best effect if you run the real-time versions on your classic hardware (C64, MSX, ZX Spectrum, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST...) Here are some of the highlights:

1st: Jesus Christ Motocross by Nature & Traktor

This fast paced Commodore Amiga computer AGA demo with an awesome soundtrack easily stands out from the crowd with its unique style.

2nd: Luminagia by Loonies

Another memorable soundtrack in this 4k Amiga AGA intro.

3rd: Mescaline Synesthesia by deMarche

A good example of how the oldschool scene is still pushing machines like the ZX Spectrum to new heights.

4th: Lightshaft by Elude

Amiga AGA demos continue to impress, and this demo again shows why a computer released back in 1992 still deserves much respect.

5th: Andropolis by Booze Design & Instinct

A Commodore 64 demo packed full of great effects and graphics.

6th: Bold by Dvik & Joyrex

Neat design wraps up the great effects in this MSX computer demo.

7th: Ahh.. The Tape loading Era! by Ate Bit

Yo dawg, I heard you like demos so I put a demo in your demos so you can watch a demo while you load your demos. [Disclaimer: I designed and coded this ZX Spectrum demo.]

8th: From Scratch by Vanity

Great music, vibrant colours and a couple of lovely effects in this demo running on the Amstrad CPC computer.

9th: Roboty by Tulou

Another 4k Amiga AGA demo. Not the most technically advanced 4k maybe, but I love the fresh design.

10th: Suretrip II - Dopecode by Checkpoint

An epic megademo on the Atari ST, showcasing some amazing code tricks on this 25 year old, 8mhz home computer.