'The Matrix' Digital Rain Effect in C and ASM

Simulating the Iconic Digital Rain Effect from "The Matrix" in C and Assembly

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Welcome to an exploration of the iconic digital rain effect, inspired by the mesmerizing visuals from the renowned movie "The Matrix." In this program dives into the realm of C and Assembly programming to recreate the enigmatic cascade of characters that captured the imagination of audiences worldwide.

The digital rain, a cascade of green characters raining down the screen, has become an emblematic symbol synonymous with futuristic aesthetics. Recreating this effect in C and Assembly allows us to not only pay homage to a cinematic marvel but also delve into the artistry of programming. Through careful manipulation of terminal output, we simulate the immersive and captivating visual experience reminiscent of the Matrix's iconic scenes.

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In the C version, the absence of libraries like ncurses means the code manages the raindrop animation logic at a lower, but still simple level, interacting more directly with the terminal's output. Despite this, diving into Z80 assembly for the MSX goes even further by sidestepping any operating system or libraries, enabling direct manipulation of the hardware registers and memory addresses that control the MSX's Video Display Processor (VDP) responsible for rendering graphics.

Creating the effect in Z80 assembly language for the MSX entails:

  1. Hardware Interaction: Directly addressing the VDP registers to control screen memory, character rendering, and display output.
  2. Memory Management: Allocating and managing memory for screen buffers, characters, and other essential data structures needed for animation.
  3. Precise Timing: Ensuring precise timing for screen updates and character movements to maintain a smooth and captivating animation.
  4. Input/Output Handling: If necessary, managing input devices and handling interrupts at a more intricate level than in higher-level languages.
  5. Optimizations: Crafting highly optimized code to maximize performance within the constraints and capabilities of the MSX hardware.

Working in Z80 assembly for the MSX delves deep into the hardware specifics of the system, offering unparalleled control over its functionalities. This level of programming requires an intimate understanding of the MSX architecture, Z80 assembly language, and the intricacies of the Video Display Processor unique to the MSX platform.

Overall, the leap from the C implementation to Z80 assembly for the MSX represents a significant shift toward a lower level of programming, allowing for an intricate and precise control over the system's hardware, ultimately resulting in a more optimized and customized digital rain effect.


The C program boasts versatile compatibility, seamlessly running on a multitude of operating systems including macOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi OS and Windows. Its design is tailored to function effortlessly with nearly every standard C99 compiler available across these platforms. Whether compiling on macOS, Linux distributions, or Windows environments, this program ensures a consistent and reliable execution across diverse systems without compromise.

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    Step 1

    Go to the Github project page for detailed build instructions.

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Ale o co chodzi wrote 11/30/2023 at 14:31 point

we waiting about rust and perl version ;-)

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