Obviously looks a lot better in motion. Alphablending is wicked. It took me a long time to accept I had to dump DirectDraw and move on, but I'm finally actually glad that I did.
Need to dig out my DirectSound notes and get WAV files working next. I wish I didn't also have to work full-time as I really need to go to bed now. It's really nice to be up and running with a project again though.