512 Byte Brigade

An Amiga intro for Nordlicht 2018 where it won the (newly introduced) 512 byte competition.

How low can you go? Or, rather: how small? It took a lot of different approaches to fit a cute little firetruck and a tune ripped from the party invitation intro for the GameBoy Advance in here: Uncompressed, with graphical output, with text output, compressed with Shrinkler, music packed or sparse, music reversed, different register usages etc.

In the end, Shrinkler + graphics was the best approach, but that came with its own drawbacks. I remember endlessly fiddling around with the single pixels of the fire truck’s flashing lights near the deadline – sometimes it would exceed 512 bytes, and one additional pixel at the right spot would suddenly compress better.

PS: What looks like pixel garbage at the beginning was an ill-adviced attempt to deliberately use random graphics for the buildup…