Back in the early 90's I remember downloading a graphics demo called, I think, "Unreal". This was on DOS on a standard PC and probably downloaded from a BBS.

Identifying information:

It ran for several minutes at least and contained multiple segments of animations & music / sound effects.

Some segments were somewhat screen-saver like, others had more the appearance of a video game. But it was not interactive. Combinations of 2D and 3D rendering effects, etc.

At one point in the demo it showed the text "apparently this can be done", presumably referring to a particular effect.

From that text and other clues I got the impression this was some kind of portfolio of work on the part of the programmers who put it together. Maybe intended for a conference, convention, or competition. Seems like the work was pushing the limits of what was possible with A/V effects given the hardware of the day.

Periodically since then I've searched around for another copy of this, but no luck. Maybe the term "unreal" is too vague. Finding a video recording would definitely be fine, I wouldn't necessarily expect it to even run on a modern PC.

Note -- I think there is a video game called "Unreal" which AFAIK is unrelated to the software I have in mind.

  • 11
    Unreal won the Assembly '92 demo competition. It should under DosBox.
    – Justme
    Commented Sep 30, 2019 at 18:06
  • 5
    Notice that Unreal is the first google hit for "unreal demo 1990s", or indeed "early 90's graphics demo called unreal". I'd like to see "identify-this-software" questions limited to questions that can't be answered simply by googling the first line of the post. Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 14:47
  • 2
    @Quuxplusone it wasn't in the top results when I attempted to find it that way. Google results change over time, and now this very question ends up in those search results; I think that fact itself may alter the set of results, according to however Google's algorithm works. Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 14:59
  • 3
    "Demoscene" is a good keyword for this type of thing that I haven't seen anyone use yet.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 17:38
  • 9
    Do keep in mind when declaring something "An easy google..." that results are region and user based. What google may quickly return for you may not reflect the sort of returns another user would see, which may have a major impact on how visible something is. Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 18:13

2 Answers 2


Unreal Megademo, Future Crew, 1992 possibly? Certainly has all the elements you mention.

  • 3
    Also featured (with audio commentary!) on MindCandy volume 1 (which is now available for download, legally, from its web site). Commented Sep 30, 2019 at 12:37
  • 6
    Apparently this is possible (at 4:28).
    – fadden
    Commented Sep 30, 2019 at 14:29
  • You nailed it! Thanks. That is very close to what I remember (the Youtube recording youtube.com/watch?v=pLJhtefcoPE, I mean.) Maybe some slight differences, possibly there was more than one version. Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 0:33
  • 1
    Future Crew (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_Crew) did another one, "Second Reality", in 1993. Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 10:23
  • 1
    It certainly is. I used it as a demo to show off my 486 system to friends using a SoundBlaster Pro connected to a valve driven sound system. The sound was impressive too. Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 10:42

You can find it at https://files.scene.org/search/?q=unreal

The file you want is /demos/groups/future_crew/demos/unreal11.zip - the latest version.

There are many other fantastic demos worth checking out, available there as well! It is an official archive. If you like Unreal, then you'll love its sequel, Second Reality!

You can also find recordings of these demos on YouTube, rendered on decent hardware.

Here's another more descriptive source, which also includes the other contestants' entries from that particular competition (Assembly '92): https://demozoo.org/parties/70/ (you'll find Unreal at the bottom, in the PC Demo section)


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .