Get your old-school demo fix with D-Fend Reloaded
Ah, the demo scene. I got hooked into the scene back when my parents bought me my first Amiga 500. While I started to play games 24/7 more or less in the first weeks after getting the new system, I quickly began to explore the exploding demo scene on the Amiga. I even joined a group of my own and contributed a couple of songs to intros and demos the group produced using Soundtracker. When I switched to PC, my interests died away as I did not really like the PC scene back then that much.
D-Fend Reloaded is a graphical environment for DOSBox, an emulator that you can use to run old DOS-based games on new machines. It emulates a DOS environment basically on your system so that programs run on your system that would otherwise not run at all.
What's interesting is that you can load repositories into the program, sources that list dozens or even hundreds of games, demos and other programs so that you do not have to load them individually into it instead. The main advantage of D-Fend Reloaded besides this is that you do not have to configure individual programs by editing config files, at least not for the majority of programs you add this way to the application.
Installation should not be a problem at all. Just follow the installation wizard and run the program in the end. To add the demo scene repository to D-Fend Reloaded, do the following:
- Open the main program window and select File > Import > Download Packages.
- D-Fend Reloaded ships with a few packages included. To download them click on repositories list, and then when you go back to the main import window on update lists.
- This loads a couple of games and demos into the program that you can play right away.
- To add a larger demo scene repository, click on Repositories list again and here on Add source.
- Enter http://dos.rc55.com/scene.xml and click ok.
- The program will download the list of available demos found in that XML file. Note that this takes a couple of seconds before it completes.
You now see a large list of demos under games that you can install. Just select the demos you are interested in with a click on their check box and click on download and install selected games afterwards. Each demo is downloaded individually to the PC and you are presented with an import dialog afterwards. Usually, all you need to do here is to click on ok and repeat the process for all demos you have selected. Use the close button to exit the import window afterwards.
You should now see the demos listed in the main program window. Just double-click any demo here to launch it on your system. The demos will start in full screen by default. You can use Alt-Tab to switch to a window or ESC to exit the window completely.
If you like demos, especially those made ten or twenty years ago, you have come to the right place. While you can watch many of them on YouTube or other video hosting sites, it is often not the same deal depending on how they were recorded by the uploader.