Classic Amiga demos in HTML5

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 2, 2012
Updated • Feb 19, 2014
Music and Video

After discovering this HTML5/JavaScript demo by Alcratraz a few days ago I have started to look closely at the technology and what it makes possible. When I bought my first Amiga 500 back in the days I quickly started to follow the demo scene, and there especially the music that talented musicians like Dezecrator,  4-Mat, Romeo Knight or Jester produced.

A big part of the demo scene were intros, not only crack intros that were displayed before the actual game as some form of credit and advertisement for a group's bulletin boards, but also intros that were released on their own or as part of disks. Yes, trading back then was not limited to games and apps, but also pure demo-scene productions.

I just stumbled upon We Are Back (WAB), a website that is brining back classic Amiga intros in form of HTML5 and JavaScript conversions. The creators suggest you load the intros in Chrome as it is providing better performance than other browsers. While that is certainly true, I did not experience any issues watching those intros in Firefox.

The website displays a list of 50 or so intros that various authors have converted from their original Amiga format to HTML5 and JavaScript. The majority of intros feature visuals and sounds, while some unfortunately only visuals. Back then, intros did not need to have sound necessarily, especially if space was very limited on a disk. Disk? Yes, games were released on disks back which were limited to 880 Kilobytes.

All available intros are listed on the main page from where you can make your selection. It would have been nice if the original groups were listed on the page. Intros start to play right after you have clicked on one .

You can't change the volume of audio on the page or pause an intro which is definitely something that the operators of the page should consider adding to it to make it a more comfortable experience. It is a trip down nostalgia lane for those of use who experienced the scene back then first hand, and an opportunity for people who missed it all to get a glimpse. Then again, it is likely that the majority will be shocked by the audio-visual quality.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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