Throwback Friday: Demo 1


The video says it all, my throwback feature this week is on the Demo1 disc that came with the PlayStation on release. I still remember the day that I brought my PS1 home, unwrapping it eagerly. I’d bought Doom to go with it (which cost £50! and gave me terrible motion sickness) but the real gem was the demo disc that came with the system.

I’d just got off of my Mega Drive and onto SONYs grey box and the 3D modelling blew my young mind. I eagerly set up the console and put the demo disc in for a spin. After browsing the menu I decided to check out two tech demo’s that were contained, a Manta Ray and a T-Rex. By today’s standards these models would look horrible but to me they were amazingly lifelike. Whenever one of my friends would come to visit I would boot up the T-Rex demo and they would go fucking bananas over how it looked. Even my mum was gobsmacked by it’s pointy and jagged beauty.

But it wasn’t just the tech demo’s, there were trial games to lap up too; Abe’s Odyssey, Hercules, Lifeforce Tenka, Porsche Challenge, Ridge Racer, Rapid Racer, Kurushi, Overboard. Each of these games was a gem in the new generation that I would explore over the next few years.

Abe’s Odyssey was a charming side scrolling puzzle game with a cute (but ugly) Mudokon who had to escape Rupture farms meat processing plant. You had to guide fellow Mudokons out with you by talking to them and overcoming obstacles, you had a fart button too, which was great in my adolescent age.
Escape policy

Lifeforce Tenka was a first person shooter that’s set in a futuristic action environment that, upon entering is immediately hostile. You engage in battle with a number of various armed flying robots, stationary turrets and bipedal creatures. Strangely Tenka never triggered my motion sickness. The game is fuzzy in my memory, but I remember the guns feeling “real”


In Kurushi, the player controls a character who must run around a platform made of cubes, capturing certain cubes as they approach. Cubes are captured by marking a spot on the stage, waiting for the cube to roll on top of it, and then capturing it by deactivating the marked spot. This was tough for me, especially having to think in three dimensional space.

Those were my favourite games at the time and thinking about that demo gives me a warm feeling inside, it reminds me of a less stressful time. I would spend hours playing the demos and watching the preview videos, I felt like I was having a sneaky glimpse at the future. I suppose I was.

    • Andy Marsh
    • July 17th, 2009

    I had demo 1 but for the life of me I can’t remember Tenka or what it was like.

    • James Richards
    • July 17th, 2009

    Wow, i completely forgot about demo 1! I loved the demos that came with Playstation games, i was falbbergasted that games companies gave levels of games away for free. I still dont think there are enought free demo discs in the world right now.

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