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Scene Countries
by Cactus/Oxyron

C-64 scene is represented in many countries all over the world. Few weeks ago I asked myself, which ones are considered as the most active, the most productive, simply the best scene countries. I've asked some people for their opinion on this topic and decided to create a little chart of the top scene countries. A few people tried to discredit this idea by asking is it really what the scene wants to know. But I think that every kind of such comparison can be somehow interesting, especially because most of persons in conversation with me motivated their choice with some reasons that can be find in this article. I'm pretty sure that some of you will have fun reading this text...

Look below at the TOP 10 scene countries:

1. GERMANY 70 pts. 26 votes
2. POLAND 26 pts. 15 votes
3. SWEDEN 23 pts. 11 votes
4. Holland 12 pts. 7 votes
5. Hungary 6 pts. 4 votes
6. Finland 5 pts. 5 votes
7. Australia 3 pts. 2 votes
7. Denmark 3 pts. 2 votes
7. Latvia 3 pts. 1 vote
7. Norway 3 pts. 2 votes

This chart was prepared on the ground of 28 votes by people from different scene countries (I won't list them here, I don't think it's the most important thing now). You can realize that this statistic does not contain all the scene countries that are still producing some C-64 releases and that have some active sceners. Of course we know it very well that C-64 scene exists also in such countries like Belgium, Turkey, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Greece, Italy, England, Yugoslavia, France, Spain, USA, Canada and more... But in these countries C-64 scene doesn't seem to be as strong as in the TOP 10 countries, which deserved your votes.

The second position of Poland is very surprising to me (I can say it as a Pole), as I don't think that today's C-64 scene in Poland is better than for example a Swedish one. That's true there are still some active people and serious releases, but it is just the shadow of what Polish scene presented a few years ago. It's true I'm somehow proud of living in a country that is making a good impression in the scene world, but like I said it's not quite true.

OK. Now I'd like to present you some opinions of most people who answered my opinion poll concerning this topic. Sorted in alphabetical order. :) I've decided not to include those opinions, which don't bring anything and which are only short statements without deeper explanations.

Have fun reading this article and feel free to send me any reactions concerning the topic...

CACTUS/OXYRON

COMMANDER/ROLE:

Well, Germany was and is still the best C-64 scene country with the most sceners, the most groups, the most active groups, the best coding groups and especially the country, where the most C-64 parties have been held! Don't forget parties like Willow, Vision, Mekka/Symposium... Also don't forget the coding groups: Crest, Oxyron, Smash Designs, Civitas, Padua... And don't forget the best cracking groups: Excess, Laxity, Remember...

On second place I chose for two countries, both are as good. Sweden has very good coding groups and also still many old groups/sceners who are active. But also the cracking scene is not unknown for Sweden, look at Triad which made a lot of first releases with a good quality! Finland also has very loyal old sceners who stay active. Most Finnish parties have compos for C-64, because there are always C-64 groups which want to compete. There are a lot of groups in Finland, even new groups were born in the last years. Remember Triad as a good cracking group and a good demo group, remember Hack'n'Trade from the old days, which are still active... Also remember Extend as one of the oldest and still active groups in Finland, remember the group Dekadence which is also active on VIC-20, remember Scallop which makes a lot of releases.

As third I took Poland. There have been years that Poland was even bigger scene country than Germany, but nowadays many groups died. They still keep the third place in the scene thanks to several good coding groups and the quantity of the products they are producing. You have also a big amount of C-64 parties in Poland which make the scene survive! Have a look at Samar, Elysium, Tropyx, Voodoo (made shortly a comeback)...

CREDO/RESOURCE:

Well, I don't follow the scene happenings that closely these days in my mind, of course I download the new C-64 demos & watch'em (mostly from c64.sk), but don't remember to anything where this and that came from. No doubt Germany is still ruling the C-64 scene with groups like Crest, Oxyron, Padua. On the other front nowadays I mostly saw releases (and more activity on c64.sk) from Mermaid (Norway) and Heatbeat (Finland), that's why I listed them too, they're active. Somehow most of the other countries seem to sleep now more or less. Once Sweden was the ruler, but in the past 1-2 months I've seen only one Booze Design demo. There were years when Poland and Hungary (my country) were extremely active, but now have taken back a lot and releasing something really rarely. Also Holland was really good in the old times, but I can't name any release what I have seen nowadays from there (only Sander pic long ago).

DERBYSHIRE RAM/REMEMBER:

Well, I choose Germany mainly because there seem to be more C-64 sceners there than anywhere else, particularly crackers and ex crackers, Poland second because there is a big demo following there, and considering that back in the 80's no real C-64 scene seemed to exist there, since then there has been a big Polish influx to the C-64.

HCL/BOOZE DESIGN:

First Sweden, because in my opinion Sweden was really the best country in the old days, lead by Horizon from 1988 until their death 1992. They were a few years beyond all other competitors at that time. Other Swedish top groups were Light, Flash Inc. and Censor Design. So it might be a historical vote, because all those groups are dead now, but what about Booze Design then? ;)

Germany has always had a large bunch of people and groups active on the C-64. Many sceners also consider certain German groups to be the best at certain times. They deserve a second place.

Hungary third, because they were kind of the first country fighting against the wind, blowing from the west. Groups like Graffity etc. has really showed off some great talents, but has always been blamed to be lame, perhaps only because they were from Hungary. A political vote!? ;)

HOILD/ENHANCED NEWCOMER CREW:

My 1st choice is Germany - it is a strong C-64 country in at least three ways: largest (PAL) non-scene C-64 community, and very very strong support about it (everything is relative, in comparison with other countries it IS the strongest, I guess, just watch how many people visit those 8-bit expos!); still several active C-64 projects being developed there, and what is the most important to me about it, the most C-64 game projects are taking place there; Germany is perhaps not the leader as far as regarding the C-64 scene presence - the "Nordsmen" still are the leaders in this regard. Still it has a strong scene presence, within the first five I guess?

The 2nd-in-command is Sweden, demoscene and parties sez it all. The 3rd one is Denmark, see above.

JAZZCAT/ONSLAUGHT:

The amount of active sceners in Germany simply out-numbers any other C-64 scene country. Not only do they have the most amount of active sceners, they also have some skilled ones too. You have Graham, Crossbow, Krill coding for example. Also others worth mentioning are Slator, Jack Alien, Rough, Anonym (and the whole of Padua), Fanta and the list could go on. I would have chosen Sweden, because I also like their demo talents (Booze, Wrath, Triad), but the Germans make the best beer. :)

JUCKE/GENESIS*PROJECT:

Sweden, because we still have two yearly copy parties in classic C-64 style: LCP and Floppy. You know, true copy parties put a lot of energy and motivation into people, and that's why we've seen an unusual amount of good Swedish demos the past 2-3 years. Anyone can create a good C-64 party. Find a steady environment, don't rip anyone off, skip all stupid rules and just let man and machine go bananas. Bringing data people together is the key.

LUCA/FIRE:

The Hungarian C-64 scene had never got dark times, constantly supporting a large variety of machines, e.g. almost the whole Plus/4 scene is Hungarian. Probably this was caused by the Magyar school's institutional system, where many of the most famous coders had begun their careers.

NAFCOM/PEOPLE OF LIBERTY:

It's just easy to explain: Holland, Poland and Germany has the most sceners (still). And it seems that all these countries will stay to survive. I am happy that in Germany there are still mail traders for original games and hardware (okay, in the 80s you bought in shops, but mail traders are also okay in my eyes!).

RAVER/PHANTASY:

Country #1 is Latvia, because there were even one importing group and C-64 is so rare it's like forbidden religion and we are the tribe.

SKATE/BRONX:

USA doesn't have a lot of elite scene people as much as Europe has. As an European country, Germany has a great scene with elite sceners and quality products. Same for the Dutch sceners, but not as much as Germans in my opinion.

I have some Finnish scene pals like Jer and I know some ftp-sites, IRC servers and bla bla ending with ".fi". So there might be a smaller scene in Finland, but I can see how they support C-64 scene. That's enough for me to vote them in the third place. One of the largest scenes is Polish scene, as everybody knows. But I don't like this scene at all. Call me racist or whatever you want. I have some good friends from Poland. But some Polish sceners doesn't have the scene spirit. They just want to be the #1 from the wrong ways. I never say they are lamers or something like that. They can be very good in coding, composing, drawing graphics etc., but I still don't want to vote for their country. I'm from Turkey and my country had a good place in C-64 scene in the 80s and beginning of the 90s. But now C-64 scene is almost dead in Turkey. Bronx is the last scene group alive here and we are so slow to release something because of hard working, marriage stuff, etc.

SPIDER/APIDYA:

First Germany, because their scene is one of the biggest Commodore scenes in the world. Also more sceners from Germany own SuperCPU. Polish scene is second, because this scene has a friendly style, which can be seen at Polish parties.

STIRF/SPIDERS-CREW:

Germany is a top C-64 country, many groups and many parties! Poland also seems nice to me as a scene country, I believe there are quite some active sceners there too. With very good software Holland ain't also a bad scene country, one good party and some groups, but even some meetings for CBM machines. Or maybe England is better than Holland, I don't know...

THE ALIEN/WOW:

Well, it's very easy to choose the country yourself live in, but that's not the reason why I've chosen Germany at the top. In my opinion the German scene is the most active one. We still have a lot of sceners inside Germany, under them some of the popularest ones, e.g. Crossbow, Krill, Deekay, Fanta, to call only a few ones... Another thing is that Germany has the best party event once a year called MekkaSymposium. Especially C-64 releasewise the MekkaSymposium party was the hightlight in 1998, 1999, 2000 and probably also in 2001. In 2002 MS hadn't that many good C-64 releases and I don't know the reason... Maybe we all needed some kind of pause, little break to get some new power... Anyway, these are some reasons why I've decided to place Germany on the first place and I hope these were enough proofs for it. :)

VENGEANCE/ONSLAUGHT:

Well, the simple reason is, being Australian, I see more Australian wares and stuff. Too me it seems we are mire active, maybe it's just becoz of the mags. But outside the mags the Germans, the Swedes and the Fins are doing heaps in recent years and cheers to them. Fuck the past. Love the past. Enjoy the future.

VIP/PADUA/ROLE:

Explaining the choice... Well, I grew up on the "64er Magazin" (living close to the German border was quite an advantage) and I'm pretty sure that a lot of German sceners grew up on it as well, explaining the large amount of active people. Some of the finest coders and personalities are Germans (e.g. Graham, Crossbow, Krill, Quiss, Lubber, AEG, Anonym,...), which resulted in the fact that most of the finest demos come from the country. Count to that graphicians such as Deekay, Cyclone, Cupid... and you've got some raw power over there, maintained thanks to their rigorous efficiency. Also MekkaSymposium is the biggest real scene party in the world. Here's to more of the same in the future!

Poland is a close second. I can honestly say that the Polish groups have taken a major turn for the best. Early on they had lots of chunky maths demos, and that became boring pretty fast (except for the beautiful stuff by Taboo at the time). However today, most Polish products are absolute cream. Names such as Samar, Elysium and Arise stand for quality and surprising productions. And don't get me started on guys like Astovel, Praiser, Wacek, Shogoon or Wizard - they make MUSIC, man...

Holland get a definate spot here, because of its great scene mentality and the general hosting of great people. Although the Dutch C-64 groups could be a little more productive after "Dutch Breeze", their personality more than makes up for it. And let's not forget the legendary X parties. It'd be sad to see it go this year - I'll make sure to be there when it surfaces again, though.

On the 4th place, of course, is Belgium, which has been selected here because of reasons closely related to those for Holland and because I'm a proud Belgian scener. We might not be that much known, but we are there and we are friends.

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