miércoles, 18 de febrero de 2015

20 years of Onslaught

The pirates of the seven seas!
We will dominate and make ourselves known!


February 1st, 1995 started the move of Onslaught in the Commodore 64 scenery and now we celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the most fertile and constant group and take it to where it simply deserves to be. And as we don't only live on and for the games, at ONS we always bet on giving to the users of our platform the máximum, always offering the best variety of products. One of our strongest points is without doubt, the cracks (sometimes polemics), taking a classical or modern game, repairing it, training and adding documents and instructions. Without a constant regularity we offer the famous 'Vandalism News' magazine, which keeps us informed about the news of the scene. Also, utilities to simplify the use of our C64, new demos, graphics, SIDs and the previews of games which were never finished, deserves a place of honour in all which is done.





At Onslaught we are currently 16 members, some more active than others but always ready to help in any task in which we can contribute . The group was created in 1994 by several members of extinct groups wanting to do something new, bigger and above all, to keep the Commodore 64 flame alive, show that it will never die and, over the years, it's still more alive than ever.


David Jazzcat, one of the Onslaught founders, explains us the story, past, present and future: 

It all started in late 1994, Jazzcat/Legend, Vengeance/Success and Majesty/Talent had discussions on creating a new group. The planning took several months and finally on the 1st of February 1995 a new group was born called “ONSLAUGHT”. The original members at the beginning were: Jazzcat (ex-LEGEND), Vengeance (ex-SUCCESS & THE RULING COMPANY), Majesty (ex-TALENT), DeeKay (CREST), Chrysagon (ex-TALENT), The Ignorance (ex-DYTEC), Bizarre (ex-TRANCE), Chotaire (ex-CHROMANCE), Promethus (ex- Phreedom), Xentor (ex-Phreedom), Shades (ex-SHAZAM), Morbid (ex-SUCCESS & THE RULING COMPANY), Insane (ex-HAZAM), Upbeat (EX-SHAZAM), Heavy Head (CAMELOT), SMD (ex-ATLANTIS), The Eliminator (ex-DOD), Insomniac, Morrissey (ex-TALENT) and Deathlok (ex-PADUA). The group was launched with a disk-note called ‘Violent Birth’ and a preview of the full price game ‘Misfortune’ (which was made by our own members also). These two releases were uploaded onto our three boards (Bulletin Board Systems) which were ‘Down By Law’, ‘The Pirate Island’ and ‘Westpoint’. Automatically falling under the Onslaught banner was the famous disk magazine ‘Vandalism News’, this was released quite regularly in 1995 (7 issues in 12 months) together with a bombardment of cracks (including the occasional full-price title); making it a significant year in our groups history and stirring activity in other groups competing with us as a result. Also during this year, the group lost Majesty who went to jail for drug related charges resulting in Bizarre taking over the German leadership. We went into a "cracking cooperation" with a new German group called Hardcore. This group was promising and because our group was also new on the scene we were both walking the same path so why not join up and have some fun? The cooperation was quite successful, however at times it felt like Onslaught was doing most of the work and after 7 months or so we broke the ties on a positive note (eventually Hardcore folded and most of its promising members joined us anyhow). 

The first issue of Vandalism News (VN)
Delivering a strong competitive nature was bound to attract trouble, typical of any successful cracking group. Our main disagreement was with the guys in Avantgarde, who were our closest competitor. I have to admit that it was mainly my fault that we had disagreements, at least that is what I believe today. I had problems with them when I was in Alpha Flight 1970, Deff had called me and asked if I wanted to join a new group (AVT), I said no as I had just received an offer from Westbam/Legend to join 'The Will of God'. He didn't like this too much as he wasn't friendly with the guys in Legend, so when Onslaught was created I had dragged this bitterness between us into a group confrontation (mainly having debates with Deff and his sidekick Peter/ex-Enigma). Deff was the main instrument behind the federation against Onslaught, a small group of disgruntled semi-retired sceners who didn't like the 'new kid on the block' (AVT, AFL, Hitmen and RRR). This didn't last long as we kept releasing big title fixes that other groups couldn't (for example, Fred's In Trouble). After several more weeks of BBS ragging and disputes in magazines the playing field became level, the groups could see that we were not going anywhere, we were here to stay.

Fred In trouble. One of [O] first cracks.
After our big debut year had ended and a new year had begun we had really established ourselves. 1996 saw the group parting company with Chotaire and his BBS ‘The Pirate Island’ so we needed a new European HQ. We discovered Holy Moses and his BBS ‘Sanitarium’. We also adopted another USA BBS, namely ‘The Deadzone’ and sysop Trouble. Not only did we expand board-wise but we also signed up the 'Gangsta's Paradise' FTP in cooperation with our Hungarian friends in Chromance. The internet was just starting to blossom as a C64 medium so we needed to the FTP as a doorway to a different audience of computer users. Onslaught released some more big titles including the NTSC version of ‘Sword of Honour’ (released as PAL only by AFL). Also released was NTSC-fixed versions of ‘Centric’ (PAL only by AFL) and ‘Speedy Slug’ (PAL only by SCS&TRC). Our very own game ‘Misfortune’ also made it out this year; largely inspired by Steve & John Rowlands' Creatures 1 & 2 and Mayhem in Monsterland. Up until now Onslaught was mainly a cracking group, even though our original intention was to be a group that had both legal and illegal sections, we were mainly involved in first releasing games and the hack/phreak scene. This changed a bit when we released our first demo (coded by Carlos with graphics by B-Wyze) called ‘Party-Demo’ at The Party 1996. Our brilliant new outfit further proved our plans for ‘Vandalism News’. The 27th edition was the first issue featuring an outfit that set us on a different level from all other publications at that time; the main reason was the graphic-display ability throughout the chapter pages (single colour hires, 16 colour hires and multi-colour formats together with proportional font). It was coded by Jolz and designed by Jolz and the main editor Vengeance. 

The Deadzone. One of our first BBS.
1997 started pretty much like the year before. At the start of the year we finally launched our first group webpage, which had been long-delayed; it was given the lovely title ‘The Slaughterhouse’. A lot of groups were starting to get their homepages organised around 1995 and 1996, so we were a bit late (not easily letting go of our focus on the BBS scene). The internet opened up other opportunities. I got in contact with quite a few guys I would normally have never spoken to. One of these was Metal/Vibrants who composed some music for my own magazine ‘Domination’. We got talking about making a large music collection under the banner of both Vibrants & Onslaught, a package containing all the music composed by Metal on C64. Sure enough, a few months later, ‘Past and Present’ became a reality as a 2-sided production coded by Jolz. The collection inspired our own musicians to release an Onslaught production championed by Morbid (DJB) called ‘Eardrum Massacre’ containing tracks by all of our musicians. During this year Onslaught founded its own fake label for "pissing" on other groups, it was called ‘Urine’. ‘Urine’ still exists today and has released quite a few fixes and first releases. During this year we lost our World HQ BBS ‘Down By Law’ as the sysop went inactive, so we used our other USA BBS ‘The Deadzone’ as our new WHQ state-side.

Domination 
We moved into 1998 at a much slower pace. Our German BBS 'Sanitarium' went offline (the longest running C64 German BBS) leaving 'The Deadzone' as our only remaining BBS. We had more success on the demo-front thanks to the signing on of Polish member Naphalm who joined as a coder. He proved his good intentions by releasing ‘Velocity’, a one-file demo at the Scenery'98 party and then later in the year released a one-sided demo called ‘Rage’ at the Satellite'98 event where it achieved first place! This was a great time for us legally as the focus seemed to shift a bit for the first time. 1998 also meant the engine of Vandalism News was starting to wind down. We only released one edition (#30). ‘Vandalism’ had experienced a huge slump in quality during issues 28 and 29 but with issue 30 we again picked up the standard expected of us. 

RAGE. Satellite 1998 winner !!
1999 was a bit better, some more cracks than the previous year but for the entire year Vandalism News was not released once. On a positive note we continued our movement in the legal circles with the release of ‘Dope’, a one-file demo coded by Naphalm, which achieved number one in the demo competition at North Party V4 in Poland. One of my solo projects was released this year; this was ‘Album of the Year’, a mammoth music collection independently released. Despite it being independent it was largely affiliated with Onslaught due to the heavy involvement from our members. The collection contained 76 exclusive and unreleased SID compositions and was inspired by the Demo of the Year almost a decade earlier. Apart from 'AOTY' I also released ‘Domination Paper Edition’, a 70+ page magazine with exclusive artwork by Duce and Junkie of Extend-fame.
Entering the new millennium, the year 2000; it was at the beginning of this year that Morbid and I launched the new group homepage called 'Forbidden Depths'. Some more collections were just around the corner, Vodka had joined us the year before and now it was time to release his graphic collection in cooperation with Fairlight. It was called ‘VodkART’. Morbid and I were chatting one day and came up with the concept of ‘Speed’, a music collection featuring only multi-speed and digitised music. This was in the organisational-stages and was to come out much later due to the massive amount of work required. 

Dope, winner at the North Party V 4.0
The year 2000 saw ‘Vandalism News’ regaining its standard, and even improving upon it. Two issues were released in 2000, these were Vandalism News #31 (the first issue in 21 months) and #32 - ‘Olympic Special Edition’ released in September. ‘Vandalism News #32’ was our biggest to date, spanning over three disk sides with some nice touches by Jolz. I fondly remember this release as we had put quite some work into it and Vengeance was really inspired. 

Every disc cover is a piece of art.
Inspired by the recent releases of ‘Vandalism News’, we journeyed into 2001 with some high expectations. Despite the fact that the C64 scene was ageing we were undeterred. Something special happened when we started work on ‘Vandalism News #33’ - we were interviewing Ed/Wrath Designs and the communication between us for this interview was the start of something bigger than what we first imagined. The interview was done and not only that, Ed and Joe supplied us with an intro for the magazine and an exclusive music. In late February we got the mag out to the waiting public with another three sides of juicy scene gossip. Things worked well, so much so that Onslaught and Wrath Designs had decided to release ‘Vandalism’ as a cooperative-effort! Vengeance was so happy with issue #33 that he approached the guys in Wrath with the idea of releasing a magazine, they accepted the proposal as it was something they really wanted to do and it gave them an opportunity to express themselves in a way that demonstrations could not. The relationship rewarded the magazine also, as we had an increased 'legal' representation allowing us to deliver a more balanced package (of demo and crack scene information). 
During 2001 we released four issues with my favourites being issue #34 and #36. On the cracking front we were still going strong including releasing the long lost ‘Armalyte 2’ Preview.
Towards the end of the year we signed up another BBS in the states to create some more activity. Scratcher was the sysop with the board ‘The Bass Planet’. It may seem strange to some that the BBS scene was still alive in 2001, with the internet usage at fever pitch, but just like the C64 itself, we were holding on to old times and making them a living memory.

Wrath Designs worked together with Osnlaught on VN
2002 was knocking on our door. This year we participated in the ‘Singles Collection Volume 1’, which was a multi-group effort similar to Demo of the Year. We also participated at three competitions this year and had some good placing's at North Party 7, Role Party, Mekka Symposium and Forever 3. Another three issues of ‘Vandalism’ were released, all still under the strong cooperation of Wrath and Onslaught Designs. The combined effort was magic with both groups enjoying a new lease of life through the magazine and its readership.

Singles Collection, Volume 1. A multi-group effort.
In 2003 we released ‘Vandalism News #40 - The Ruby Edition’. It was our biggest issue yet and the largest scene publication ever released. It contained 45 chapters with 15 exclusive tunes released on 4 packed disk sides and also included 2 disk covers by Duce and Junkie of Extend and 2 disk sides of bonus exclusive goodies. I managed to release another solo project this year, called ‘The Ultimate Scene Mag Archive’. This was a project discovered by Vengeance and myself some years earlier and finally realised in 2003. It is the most extensive online archive of C64 magazines, containing over thousands of entries (disk and paper) wrapped in a lovely outfit by Cupid/Padua. Our largely delayed music collection ‘Speed’ was finally released this year (in cooperation with Creators and Shape). The collection was our best yet, containing amazing graphics by Mermaid, code by Stryyker and theme-design by myself. The unique thing about ‘Speed’ was that it was the first music collection containing only multi-speed music (46 exclusive tunes). It also contained some bonus material such as ‘Creators 5 year Demo’ and some unreleased music demo by Geoff Follin. This year also saw the group involved in the ‘Singles Collection Volume 2’. On the cracking front we only released a few games, one of these was the long lost ‘Deadlock’ Preview which was destined to be released by Cyberdyne Systems via English software power-house System 3.

The Speed music collection
The next year for Onslaught was another big one. In 2004 the cracking activity had increased dramatically, the more memorable of our first releases was our big cooperation release together with Triad called "Tyger Tyger". The author of Armalyte made that game and we had to basically recode everything from a cross-development PDS source. We also cooperated with Triad in another venture - the telnet C*Base C64 BBS ‘Antidote’, which resurrected the BBS scene of old (people could connect to the BBS via telnet and emulate the old experience!). My magazine ‘Domination’ had reached the end of its life on C64, I decided to end it in August, quite proud of the fact that 20 strong issues had been released. Inspiration was gone for it and I felt like I was repeating things twice together with ’Vandalism News’. 

Tyger, Tyger !
During 2004 Vengeance and I decided to have a big adventure and travel to Europe staying at different sceners’ places. We planned our trip to coincide with X’2004 in October. The trip eventuated and we visited Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, England and Singapore. This event really moved the group closer together, as we met up with many members of the group as well as the guys in Wrath Designs. At the X'2004 party we had a blast - meeting people we had known for up to 15+ years for the first time. We managed to release some productions at the party, such as the live 42nd edition of ‘Vandalism News’, ‘Creepshow 2’ (cooperation graphic collection with Dual Crew), ‘By the Way’ (graphic collection by Shapie), ‘Autumn Clouds’ by Macx and Ed as well as the general compo entries. We did well at the competition, Deev achieved number one place in graphics You can read more about our adventures in ‘Vandalism News #42’ and ‘Vandalism News #43’ (the "on-tour" special edition).
The Creepshow 2 Graphic Collection
We moved into 2005 on a very high note, fully inspired and buzzing from the year before. Three issues of ‘Vandalism News’ were released; the tempo lifted by the support of our best staff ever: Wrath Designs, Macx, Duke and other guests.

Vandalism News 44
2006 was another decent year. Membership movement was minimal now, as with most other scene-groups; things seemed to be frozen in time. We were as active this year as the year before, again releasing some fine first releases. We released some big titles like ‘Devious Designs’ Preview, ‘Bugs Bunny ‘ and ‘Fungus II’. This year also included our demo coded by SounDemon called ‘Tense Years’. This demo contained some world records and had been in the making for a few years (originally it was our ten year birth demo, hence the name TENse Years). After a couple of years of focusing only on ‘Vandalism News’, I decided it was time to do something independently again. After getting a kick of inspiration from Deadbeat/The Sharks I released my new magazine, ‘Recollection’, which is kind of a follow-up to my old magazine ‘Domination’. Two issues were released in 2006. The magazine focused on the old days and tries to show the glory of the past to the faces of the present (scene newbies appear lost when it comes to our roots and oldies want to revel in their past mischief). Check the online or disk issues at http://recollection.c64.org

TENse Years: Celebrating, a bit late, our 10th aniversary.
2007 kicked off with plenty of releases including the magnificent first release of 'Armalyte Competition Edition' together with special intro made by Hein Holt. Another of our great releases was the long lost game 'Bobby Bounceback'. Another important event this year was when our Swedish and long-time member Macx travelled from Sweden to Australia to stay at my house for around 5 weeks and work at our local hospital. Together we launched the 'Jazzmacx Tas Takeover' - this event launched unreleased productions (Old unreleased things, rotting on your disks, don't let them die, they have feelings too!), the event generated 46 releases!

Armalyte Competition Edition. Another great crack !
The following year witnessed our group releasing an IRQ tape loading demo - a genius concept by enthusi called 'A load of Tap'. He also followed up in 2008 with another game by Onslaught called ‘Not Even Human’, released on both tape and cartridge and released at the Dutch mega event X’2008!

A Load Of Tap. ¿Una demo multicarga en cinta?
In 2009 we celebrated the 50th edition of Vandalism News. Also known as ‘The Gold Edition’, the issue celebrated with 33 chapters, 11 exclusive soundtracks, on 4 disk sides, with two bonus disk sides of exclusive content and two disk covers by Duce and Junkie of Extend! On the game-front we also released the game of the year (as first) which was the highly anticipated 'Knight'n'Grail'. Another highlight was ‘Maniac Mansion Gold’ for the NeoRAM cartridge, the first bug free version ever released of this classic game.
An important highlight was our demo release of 'Syntax Party Scroller', released at the Syntax Party in Melbourne, Australia. This quality released together with other releases at Syntax, marked the renaissance of the Australia scene as well as the beginning of the group’s general shift towards the demo scene and away from the cracking scene.
In the group’s 15th year, we released 4th placing ‘Zak Is Back’ at Breakpoint in Germany. This modern take on the original game ‘Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders’ was so realistically performed that many people still considered our parody a serious release and are asking when our version of the game will be finished. This was followed up with ‘Maniac Mansion Mercury’ for the rising EasyFlash cartridge and the long sought after Last Ninja 3 Editor called ‘Integrator’. 

Zak Is Back !!!!
In 2010, I travelled to Europe once again, this time with my good friend ALiH (from WOW and Unreal). Our primary mission was to attend the X’2010 event in Someren, The Netherlands. At the party, Onslaught showed off our next game that we were working on, ‘Hawkeye 2 Teaser’. This is the sequel to the famous Boys Without Brains game, it also contained the original unreleased sequel to the game that was never finished. Other releases at X’2010 was a music collection called 'The Richard Joseph Tribute' and a demo we entered into the competition called 'The Year We Make Contact'.

Number 55 of VN
2011 brought some sad news with the death of one of members. Intensity, aka Arman, died this year – I still remember him making me a coffee on the final day of the X’2010 party only several months earlier. enthusi took two old titles to the next level by combining them on a single cartridge, both ‘Zak McKracken & Maniac Mansion’ in both English and German were released for the EasyFlash format. Another crack worth mentioned was our release of ‘Blok Copy’, it was the first ever scene crack on the DTV format.

Maniac Mansion + Zak on a cartridge. Can be anything better than this?
The next year saw another game made and released by Onslaught, this was ‘Assembloids’ made for RGCD. In the first release scene we released the best games of 2012 which were ‘Soulless’ and ‘C64anabalt’. On the demo-front we released a one-sider by our new member Algorithm called ‘8-bit Passion’ and enthuse released the new Onslaught disk magazine called ‘Above & Beyond’ which features the same capability as ‘Vandalism News’ but with a different approach to journalism not yet seen in the scene.
Soulless, game of the year.
2013 was one of the big years in the group’s history, marking many releases in terms of cracks, demos and disk magazines. Onslaught is known to be a well-rounded group, not satisfied with just doing one particular thing, this year was further evidence of that. Firstly, the cracking scene was quite busy with the resurgence of groups like Laxity and Genesis Project. We released the best of the bunch with titles like ‘The Vice Squad’, ‘Micro Hexagon’, ‘Monster Buster’, ‘Power Glove’, ‘Vallation’, ‘Star of Africa’, ‘Elidon’, ‘Warriors’, ‘Guns ‘n’ Ghosts’ and ‘Berzerk Redux’ with a plan to release less but try focus on the better games available as first release candidates. In the legal scene new demos from Algorithm such as ‘Channels’ and ‘Demolicious’ burst onto the scene whilst Conjuror coded up a storm and won the Syntax 2013 demo party with our themed demo ‘Soy un Delincuente’. This year ‘Vandalism News’ passed another milestone with the 60th issue of Vandalism News called ‘The Diamond Edition’. As in previous milestone issues of the scenes longest running disk magazine, we did it in style with 43 chapters, 11 exclusive soundtracks and again, exclusive disk covers presented by Duce and Junkie of Extend.
Also, Onslaught joined forces with Defame to cooperate in organising the highly successful Flashback Demo

Channels demo
In 2014, ‘Vandalism News’ had another big year in terms of three big issues but also because Wrath Designs were no longer in cooperation with Onslaught for the production of the magazine. After 13 years and 28 issues together, Wrath Designs have gone their separate ways, mostly due to having no time left to donate the energy required for the production.
Again we released some of the better cracks for the year such as ‘Onslaught Shooter Collection’ for EasyFlash which is a compilation of classic games X-Out, Enforcer, R-Type, Crush, Denaris and Katakis packed with a wonderful game menu selection and over 220 files into an IFFL like file system. In the first release scene we released the only 101% bug free version of the great ‘Bomberland’, ‘Pluff’, ‘Single Extreme Freedom’, ‘Aurum’ and the rather tasty ‘Graham Gooch All Star Cricket Preview’ amongst others. Towards the end of the year we released one of the best games of the RGCD compo called ‘Tiger Claw’.

The better shotters on one easyflash file. Again a great compilation.
On the 22nd of August 1994, the very first issue of the disk magazine Domination was released. To celebrate this great magazine on its 20th anniversary Domination Online was launched at http://atlantis-prophecy.org/domination/. Created and content maintained by myself and adapted for the web by Se7en. At the Flashback 2014 demo event, our group won first place in the Oldschool Demo Comp with their two sided feat ‘Eclectic’. The demo features insane algos by Algorithm, oldschool and clean by Conjuror moody soundtrack by SoNiC with pixels by CONS, Shine, Cupid and more. Algorithm has also been busy with other demos released under the Onslaught flag like ‘Bad Apple 64’, ‘Frodigi 2’, ‘3’, ‘4’, and ‘VOA (Variable Offset Amplitude)’.
Onslaught PC division was officially announced and we went forth and triumphed at the demo competition at Syntax 2014 with our demo ‘Singularity’, whilst we have released some work on the PC before, this was our debut official entry onto the platform and the joining of Drift from Cydonia-fame.
Eclectic, winner at the Flashback 2014 party.
2015 has arrived and the year looks promising with releases like ‘The Eidolon’, ‘Populous Preview’ and the rare demo disk of ‘Maniac Mansion’. In the previous year the group hit the PC platform, in 2015 ‘Amigaluscious’ by Onslaught marked our entry onto the Amiga with the promise of more to come! Later in the year we have planned a very special 64th edition of ‘Vandalism News’ along with several demos. More to come… 



You can go to Onslaught in CSDB at THIS link.
You can go to Onslaught oficial WEB at THIS link.

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