It's 30 years since the last demo and the crew split up, but now Honcho and the almighty Public Enemies are back for a retro tour ;)

The History

As the co-founder and the person who came up with the name "Public Enemies" back in the late 1980s I will take the liberty to write the history as I remember it 30 years on. Actually, I'm going to start even further back when I, as a 9-year-old, met "Chuck C" in the early 1980s out in the countryside north of Stockholm, Sweden, where our parents had summerhouses in the same area.

It was our BMX bikes that brought us together, but we also shared another intererst, computers, where I started out on a ZX81 before moving on to the C64 while Chuck C rocked on his ZX Spectrum 48K. It was a lot of gaming back then, but I do remember sitting in his loft bedroom (was litteraly a crawl-in as the ceiling height wasn't more than 1m so standing wasn't an option) learning the basics - no, not that BASIC - of programming from him as he had been at it for a little longer than myself.

The real passion for programming didn't start until we both got an Amiga in 1987, with Chuck C having "pitched" the idea of the Amiga to my dad who was very sceptical given the pretty hefty price tag. Luckily for me, Chuck C's strong sell managed to convince my dad, and I do belive Chuck C then used this to convince his mum by saying "Look, he's getting one so can't I have one too?". Armed with our Amigas we set out to master the Motorola 68000, and more importantly the Blitter and Copper that put the Amiga a head above the rivalling Atari ST.

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Forming the Crew

Having been impressed by the early demo groups on the C64 we decided to form our own in 1988, the challenge was to come up with a cool name, which took some debating. Eventually we landed on Public Enemies, a plural version of the legendary Public Enemy hip-hop group. Personally I was already using Honcho, a name I picked from an Agent X9 comics magazine years earlier, but with the new name for the group it isn't hard to see where Chuck C comes from, with the C picked so it would come before Chuck D alphabetically ;)

Around this time we also had a couple of computer-loving friends joining the crew, Psychomaniac and Seargent Pepper. I was also traiding games and had started to exchange floppy disks containing games and some early code snippets with Zeus (an absolutely brilliant coder) and I eventually managed to convince him and some of his friends to join the crew in 1989. Chuck C's main passion was music while I was spending loads of time tinkering with graphics alongside my coding. Looking back it was really Zeus that brought in the deep coding expertise and I learned a lot from him during this period. There is no doubt that without Zeus we would never have released half the things we did.

Back then copy parties were the main place to make new friends and swap coding tricks, as well as showing off your latest demo creations. We did attend a handful of copy parties across Sweden, but unfortunately my memory fails me so can't remember exactly which ones. The one I do remember is the Phenomena and Censor party in Arboga in 1990 where we released a couple of demos as well as one of Chuck C's best every tunes (at least if you ask me). However, the best copy party I ever attended wasn't for the Amiga, but one organised by a close friend of mine, the Atari legend AN Cool, and his TCB crew. It was an epic party held in Haninge, Sweden, in 1991 with over 250 visitors and I must admit that I got some stares when I plugged in the sole Amiga amongst the many Atari machines, but there were never any harsh words and we all got along just fine!

Unfortunately things didn't last for Public Enemies and in 1990 the group split up as some of us decided to form a new group, Adept, together with members from Top Swap. During this time I shifted my focus towards cracking games and releasing trainers as the ex-Top Swap guys could get their hands on hot and brand new games coming out of the US. Looking back I regret the split and wish we'd stuck together as I lost contact with some great guys. This is why it has been quite exciting to release a new demo under our old name 30 years after the split, although I decided to write the intro on the C64 rather than the Amiga, a first for me :)

The Demos

...or at least the ones I could find as there were a couple more!

30 Years

The odd one out, the retro intro I recently made, and on the C64 rather than the Amiga 500! ;)


Zeus showing off his blitter skills in this vector demo. One of two demos released at the Phenomena copy party in 1990.

Megaplots 3000

The Doz rocks in this second demo released at the Phenomena party. Simple, yet a popular demo, which was voted number 4 in Cracker Journal 19.

Hey Look

Another demo from Zeus, which unfortnately got more attention for its "flickering" blue rasterbar, which looked OK on TVs but less so on monitors.

The Lens

Can't recall which copy party, but another competition entry from Zeus. Original music was too fast for the zoom so Chuck C pulled together the tune quickly before the deadline.


Back then a record breaker with its dozen sinus scrollers.

21 Sprites

Also a copy party entry, and remember Sensei from Top Swap calling out the animated scroller as lame, but was pretty cool if you ask me. Think it was after this party we got to know the Top Swap crew before forming Adept together.

The Retro Intro

I've been playing around with WinUAE a bit getting back into assembler on the Amiga. I do have an old Amiga 500 (v1.2 so, yes, that old) but it's a little easier to do the coding on my laptop before porting it across to the real thing.

I also tried out WinVICE to try out some of my old C64 games like The Way of the Exploding Fist and Last Ninja, which brought back some good memories and I thought I give assembler coding another go on this little machine :)

The result, my first ever C64 intro called 30 Years (to reflect on the fact it is 30 years since our last Public Enemies demo).

Ghost'n Goblins

We all had our favourite Arcade game back in the day, and mine was Ghost'n Goblins. I don't know how many coins I popped into that machine, but it was a few. Never managed to complete it fully, was challenging as we had a principle of not using "Continue", which was mainly driven by the fact that we couldn't afford it rather than a pride to complete it on 1 credit.

Given the love for this old game I recently got myself a Ghost'n Goblins PCB. It's a bootleg as the originals go for 4x the price, but due to age most boards have replacement ICs so not that "original" anyway and I just wanted one to play around with. I got more than I bargained for as the board quickly broke down and I spent many, many hours getting it back to working order. At the end I managed, but not before I had replaced the main CPU (a Motorola 68B09 the little brother to the Amiga's 68000), several RAMs, one of the ROMs and a number of the basic ICs. Painful, but also a lot of fun and perhaps I'll write more about this later.

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