Reply 100 of 102, by liqmat
As someone who obsesses over the historical preservation of demos, tech demos and files that are lost to time I want to thank you all for forcing me down this rabbit hole (I say this in a loving way 😉). Anyway, another old NVidia style demo I completely forgot about and never really paid much attention to back in the "before GPUs were more scarce than Bigfoot" times was the SpeedTree: Trees of Pangaea Demo. Just grab the top file as it has all the different forests. You can control helicopters and I am sure a host of other things to do and change which I haven't explored yet.
Extra rambling wall of text:
Crytek's X-Isle tech demos:
I also pursued every early pre Far Cry tech demo with nothing to show for it except the NVidia X-Isle demos which were publicly available. There were a few variants and some official and unofficial patches you could try out which I go through here. To unknowing minds this was the tech demo NVidia asked Crytek for from their E3 2000 demo CD. This eventually turned into Far Cry. Luckily the demos have survived Internet rot and thankfully are still downloadable in various places as I listed in that link. It's pretty cool to explore those islands knowing this was to be Far Cry eventually. Too bad the dinosaurs didn't stick around in the final game. Make sure to download v1.02 with the v1.03 patch and then install the "hidden settings" fan patches after that. Should work in Windows 10 once that is all installed. It's the earliest version of X-Isle and looks quite different than the final 2001 X-Isle: Dinosaur Island tech demo which works fine in Windows 10. The 2001 tech demo has better GeForce 3 enabled graphics and a soundtrack.
Crytek's Engalus tech demo:
Oh what a rabbit hole this is. A hole I've explored often and thoroughly. You can read more about it here. Unfortunately, the tech demo files are lost to time as all links are dead minus the doc files on this site. Even the Deus Ex mod that recreates and expands on the original Engalus tech demo, for what was to be, is also lost. There is an original Crytek E3 2000 demo CD at a video game museum in Italy which holds some of those digital treasures sealed away in a framed prison. Engalus was another early Crytek CryEngine tech demo that was put out to pasture when Far Cry became the focus. One of the original programmers did find a very early build of the tech demo, but unfortunately that was also never released for public consumption.