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folder_smallfirstlove_TEMPEST.rar upped by 9atrik
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Sinking feeling you had when they told you they already had somebody. They just wanted to be a friend. Tuesday in their lounge room with their parents right there. Everybody knew about it except you. You walked home slowly and stared at the ground. For MacOSX.

Comments: (3) Windows version?

folder_smallpuppy_CORE.rar upped by 9atrik
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When he got really old he couldn’t even jump on the couch any more. He would just piss wherever he stood and no one wanted to pet him because of the stench. You came home from school one day and your dad said he had run away. But you knew he’d taken him to the vet. This is version 2 with all the plug ins.

Comments: (12) Can’t get this to run what am I doin…

folder_smallduodenal_ulcer_SKISM.rar upped by w0rmh0l
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folder_smallbad_news_HOMEBOYZ.rar upped by GILLigan
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Sharing needles was a really bad idea. You are going to have to avoid anything that will harm your liver; alcohol, paracetamol. We will try a course of Interferon, which can reduce your symptoms but there’s no known cure. Runs on OSX10.5 Leopard or OSX10.6 Snow Leopard.

folder_smallwet_wet_HARVEST.rar upped by Mirco$0ft
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Greatest collection of dreary wet grey days stuck at home. Weekends, Monday mornings, Thursday nights some have pouring rain but there is drizzle included. Boring and depressing, many include phone calls from people enjoying themselves in sunshine without you. You need to read the .NFO carefully before installing. Tested on Vista.

Comments: (15) Does anybody have the humiliation pac…

folder_smallabjectmisery4iphone_CORE.zip upped by Doria
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folder_smallmortality_W00TGROOP.rar upped by 9atrik
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Last Wednesday you realised dying is the complete end of all existence. There is no afterlife and all your actions and achievements throughout your life are utterly worthless. Complete negation of life that is inevitable no matter your station. Comes with scan of manual and keygen this is a repack of last weeks scene release which was nuked.



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Most on was 245 on December 25 2009.

Creepy Children’s Television.

Right now my workplace is being such a shit that come the evening I can’t think of anything much intelligent to say. But that’s why you keep coming here isn’t it? For the stupid?

Isn’t it?

I’ll cheat – Tim sent this link.

I don’t get this actually. Why is this scary? That’s not saying it’s not, but asking – why so? Maybe it’s just loud colour and sound. One commenter said about the Viacom logo that was like it was going to come flying out of the TV. But I’d really be curious if there was a more empathic reason for the distress.

One comparison is with the ‘fortification’ visual distortion in migraines. I’ve had this a few times and it certainly seems like some part of your brain is frying like a TV set on full blast. Harsh geometrical shapes that twist around your peripheral vision and you feel like you’re million kilometres long.

Reminds me of  a ‘true ghost story’ I read on Something Awful which I’m sadly unable to find at the moment – the writer recalls being a small child and turning on the TV set to unexpectedly see the introduction for a TV show called something like ‘R.A.V.E.’, weirdly animated with bright red 90’s style vector graphics and for some reason intensely frightening. There was never such a  show and he thinks it might have been a waking dream. So a hallucinated ‘scary logo’. That could mean scary logos can be designed –  RESEARCH GOLD!

(Oh, and the Muppet story although that’s in a class of it’s own.)

I’ve already said I love TV graphics and my first childhood memory is this guy: Dollar Bill

He introduced decimal currency on television in 1965. Which means I can date my first memory to age 3. Perhaps Dollar Bill wasn’t loud enough or the TV being black and white means some resonant frequencies were missing from the psycho-radiation. I can also remember an advertisement for a political party called the DLP. It had animated olive leaves that grew around the logo. Obviously when you are three years old, TV is a lot of brightly moving shapes. I think those two advertisements must have been repeated endlessly in late 1965. “Better a gramme than a damn.”


Seeing as I don’t get the vibe I have to rely on simulations made by sufferers:

That’s a famous spoof of the ‘worst children’s TV show’ that I think started on 4Chan. It sums up pretty much everything that makes a child run screaming from the TV set and off a cliff. But we’re drifting away from pure TV graphics as scary. One thing that seems to be common to scary logos is they were made on a Scanimate…

… which was a bloody big machine that used magnets to bend and stretch the image on a black and white monitor. Another camera would reshoot that and colour it, you’d have to run the tape again and again to build up the colours. The web site claims there was only 8 machines built. Hell, there were more than one in Australia. We got offered one once from a commercial station in Canberra that was throwing out their 2 inch video gear. No room for it unfortunately. Think of all the kids we could have traumatised.

Theory – the scanimate was actually an experimental mind control device. The evidence is compelling. Please tell everyone you know THE SCANIMATE WAS AN EXPERIMENTAL MIND CONTROL DEVICE.

The Golden Age of Adventure Games

Conventional wisdom has it that adventure gaming started in 1975 with Crowther’s ADVENTURE, reached a literary peak with the Zork series and a golden age around the Lucas Arts point-and-click period. Myst gets a tick for huge sales figures and then all is seen as a steady decline of the kind that hit the Byzantine Empire. If you want that standard account go to Wikipedia and read the consensus. I’ll wait here.

I think that’s bullshit.

In developing a time line for my new game design class at Kunst Kamp I started by following the mainstream opinion. Start in 1975, then place Scott Adams, Zork etc. etc. and sure enough there’s a nasty gap at the point first person shooters became plausible, roughly the time the first PlayStation goes on sale. OK, sure, shooters started to pick up narrative structures with Half Life as the accepted exemplar.

But then I started to place games I thought were notable. They might not have sold, they might be flawed, but they had something that made me pay attenti0n. Myst for sure 1993. Bad Mojo 1996. Sanitarium 1998. Bad Day On The Midway 1995. Zork Nemesis 1996. Gadget 1994, The Dark Eye 1995 – I’ll even include The 7th Guest from 1992 … although it’s not a favourite. If you are a game historian you can keep piling them on – but already it’s pretty clear: if you are looking at the game and not the sales, this was a great period for adventures.

Adventure games in the 90’s were mean. Bad Mojo had you survive as a cockroach, in Sanitarium there’s one point you need to dig up a child’s corpse to win at Hide and Seek, even 7th Guest starts with a bludgeon murder and has a virus killing children via spooky dolls. The best thing that happened to adventure games was that LucasArts got the hell away from it and did nothing but Star Wars for the next decade. OK they did Grim Fandango 1998. I will let them live.

Examine the difference between Return To Zork and Zork Nemesis. One of these has a decapitation followed by an impalement. 1993 to 96 … even at Activision things got gruesome and fast.*

Adventure games started to look pretty sweet. If by sweet you mean evil.


This still from Bad Mojo (you can click on it) uses the kind of 3D that the best game engines can only do in hardware now – depth of field, soft shadows, refraction. Hey, I didn’t care if it moved, I was busy trying to figure out how to survive. And look what 3D was like at the time:


Be still my beating heart.

First Person Shooters were mindless. These days we’re spoiled by games like Bioshock which have a plot. You can complain about the plot – but at least it’s not another frigging space marine trapped behind crates while creatures from hell blah blah. (Actually DOOM 3 was still like that). The whole time you were running around a thousand metal corridors looking for a red pass to get through some lame airlock you could have been shifting souls at a funfair to get into the fat lady’s tent! You can see the point.

Real ‘Hybrid Arts’ – look I don’t care much for Thomas Dolby or William Burroughs but I swear to god they were a lot better choices for music and narration on The Dark Eye than who the hell that was that did that horrible MIDI music that went with the DOOM series. Hang on, let me look that up.

“The id Software development team originally wanted me to do nothing but metal songs for DOOM. I did not think that this type of music would be appropriate throughout the game, but I roughed out several original songs and also created MIDI sequences of some cover material.”

Bobby Prince, I take that back – under the circumstances I guess you did your best. This is your best.

The Point Is – that the indie adventure game scene has grown out of this period and games such as Samorost are not really throwbacks to the late 80’s as implied, but a flow on from a design period that hasn’t been properly recognized by people outside of the ‘brass lantern’ set. The history has been distorted to fit into a simple rise and fall storyline. That’s something that needs to be redressed.

I’ll put that on my list of things to do.


* Thank you thank you I’m here all week.


I’d just like to comment on first person shooters….  i think you’ve missed the point – or devalued the point so much that you haven’t mentioned it.

yes, it’s true, they’re mindless, but that’s not to say they weren’t (aren’t?) extremely powerful.  Doom 1, 2, Quake and Descent were a massive thing for me in a shortish period sometime around 1995, as a young electrical engineering student (very soon to be subscribed to cliffords list and devour sevcom), when the early 16 bit sound cards were available to someone of my means, and were quickly hooked up to powerful, bassy home built hifi speakers for full effect, and Fasttrack2 and granulab started raising my awareness to making strange electronic sounds on my computer…

at around this time, there were a few of us who sought late-access computer labs with PCs capable of running these games on a network.   these games, networked were incredible!  we would play for way too long, until we started having tunnel vision and forgot how to walk properly, and then i would sometimes find myself dreaming these games all night, like an adrenalised automaton.

aside from that, the non-networked games – doom 2 i particularly remember, could keep you on edge as you ascended levels and encountered new monsters….

in short, these games were very powerful (in a new way) as highly-immersive, sensational audiovisual environments, – doing one thing very well – keeping the player on edge, reacting as quickly as possible, and adrenalised.

two other things
– for music, nobody listened to the midi tracks – you would load your own CD and play that instead.
– another part of the immersive aspect was the control options – doom 2 or quake (and very much descent) were one of the first games i played with a mouse – you would use keyboard for fire, run, backwards etc, and the trick with the mouse was to invert the mouse action, use it only for look-direction – and pretend you held the head of the avatar so that mouse-forward would look down, etc…

these games were very powerful.
having not played many games since, i would understand if their legacy is strong.

at the same time, i appreciate the literary aspects of many more interesting games available now, but i don’t have time to play them.  while i was also quite a reader, these first-person shooters provided quite a different role – a physically immersive escape, and a real thrill, unlike anything achieved in games to that point.

thanks for listening!

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