STOS Wiz-Coders


In a last ditch attempt to forget my past I thought I'd write a page about STOS. STOS was a BASIC programming language for the Atari ST. Between 1990 and 1993 me and my chums wrote graphics demos and games in this language.

STOS was written by Francois Lionet and Constantin Sotiropoulos. It was a line number based BASIC programming language, but extensions could be written for it in assembly language for the interpreter and compiler. This overcame limitations in the language such as the fact that sprites were so slow.

Francois later developed AMOS for the Amiga, which was syntactically better but STOS was really the best high level games programming language option for the Atari ST.

Why was it so good? We learned how to program on these machines and Wheee The Fibble landed a plum job at ST Format.
If anyone remembers or cares about these programs I can email disk images if required.


Missing Link - Games making extension by Top Notch.
Missing Link included a map editor, mapping drawing functions and Joeys. A Joey was a one bitplane sprite, as opposed to Bobs (Blitter objects),

Misty - Demo programming functions
Misty was written by Top Notch (Wheee The Fibble and A Clockwork Orange) with additional help from Neil W. Stewart and Michael Lynn.

I made some useful suggestions such as a better specification for skopy over the old bitcopy and functions such as hertz, reboot and mostly_harmless. It was one of those things that required loads of testing. Our STs didn't have hard disks so compilation times were slow.

And just incase I forget:
load "compiler.acb"

Compile the test program, reboot, test the executable and then repeat until the program works perfectly!

MBK extensions

MBKs could be loaded into one of 16 memory banks. They were 68000 assembly functions with a few restrictions that could be loaded and called directly from STOS.

Music player(s) - Wheee The Fibble (Multiple formats) and Michael Lynn (David Whittaker),
Whizzcat STFM and STe player combination - Michael Lynn,
OverSTOS (Overscan extension) - Neil W. Stewart,
Raster - Neil W. Stewart.

Demo groups

A Clockwork Orange

Colin A. Watt,

The Gap\Flair

Neil W. Stewart,
Red Five.

The Phenominal Shorts Company

Wheee The Fibble,
Schizoid Man.

Dimension Zero

Michael Lynn,
Mark McMillan,
Derek Adam.

These folk wrote the extensions and some example demos. Other STOS programmers that later used the extensions were The Pixel Twins, Cyberpunk, Supreme, Storm, Zogg, The Skunk and Hedgehogs.


The Misty Demo (1993)

The finest STOS Demo ever to exist.

For the first time ever play a maze game for a main menu or select from a full screen distorting menu. Includes A Globe Called Alice and On The Mule Train To Yokohama.

Razrez Music Player (1992)

Razrez: an accessory to play chip-tunes.

A malenky disk full of warbles.

The Cunning Demos (1992)

After a long, long time. It was finally released.

A 2 disk Mega Demo featuring crazy animations, a car driving main menu and zest.

Pandora's Box (1992)

Released at the first Scottish Computer Show in 1992.
Waldo got an Acorn Archimedes.

3 hidden screens were added 5 days after the show.

Better Than Life (1991)

This demo is so advanced that the intro doesn't work on SainT! 10 screen mega demo. Copy 82 tracks, 11 sectors, 2 sides.

This is the fullscreen scroller by WTF, with a picture of Spiderman behind it. Who said big scrollers couldn't be done in STOS?

Cunning Demos Preview Disk (1991)

5 screen preview demo.

The Metropolis screen was further enhanced using Misty to include a 16 pixel high scroller and digi-drums.

Prisoner Demo (1990)

A 2 disk nice sample and graphics demo.

Probably due for a revival using new technology.

My solo demos

Superdisk 8 intro (1993)

Rasters, chequerboard, layered mountains, vertical scrolling options, horizontal text scroller.

On The Mule Train To Yokohama (1993)

Rasters, Moire pattern dots, 2 vertical scrollers, 8 layer parallax and digi-drums.

Beware Of Traps (1992)

Unreleased due to memory and audio playback limitations. Part of the Mr Cargill demo. Rewritten for the PC in DOS mode. Should redo the 19 crazy pictures in full colour in DirectX.

On The Bog (STe Only) (1992)

Intro with rasters, exploding toilet, picture of a hippo and groovy tune while loading, song by Victor Lewis Smith, graphics with Frank Hovis from Absolutely and a full screen credit scroller at the end! This demo is STe only so it doesn't work as yet on SainT.

Evie (1990)

Not so much a STOS demo but a demo compilation.

My demo screens were:
BRYL-Creem demo, Manky Full Screen Distortion, Big Thumb, ST Connections.

Others were: Lost Boys Cebit '90, Demo Club Advert, Replicants Intro, The Young Ones Sample Demo, Mega Scroller.

Unreleased demos were Danny Boon, TechTron style, Word Bender, Conrad Poohs and his dancing teeth, Sweet Face and the Legalise It conversion from the Amiga. Some of these demos were too ambitious for STOS. No time to rewrite them on the PC unfortunately.

STOS Demos by others

Supreme Demo (1993)

Retinal Burn (1993)

Pure As Water (1992)

Gnoogunogumbar (1991)

Cyberpunk Demo (1990)

Cor Blimey Demo (1990)

The Pixel Twin's Christmas Demo (1990)

Big STOS Demo (1990)


Violent Death (1992)

Nemesis style shoot 'em up by Colin A. Watt.

Frank and The Lost Aubergine (1992)

Maze game by Wheee The Fibble.

A Highly Suspicious Aquarium (1990)

Still a brilliant adventure game from The PSC.

Did this one involve geese? I think it did!

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