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TruKuu
Oct 18, 2021
In Player Legacies
With Retro Racing Rush! right around the corner, I have been reflecting on my time with many of the games that the lovely public nominated. Those that know me already are well-aware of my affinity for CTR: Crash Team Racing, as I make little (no) effort to hide it. My entire history of playing CTR is a lil' large for a single forum thread, as is an explanation of everything I love about the game itself. That being said, I deduce much of both topics can be summed up with a single track, N. Gin Labs. I remember it so vividly, 15 year-old True_Kuu sitting in a dark dining room. It was illuminated by the calm, blue glow of a small CRT on a Wednesday night. As expected, he was playing Crash Team Racing! Wow! What a great story! However, there's more. I had been intensely grinding at N. Gin Labs all night, I thought I had something truly special on my hands. I had been familiarizing myself with the track's Super Turbo Pad, and working overtime to avoid crashes with this new sense of speed. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it! After many, many hours the effect of my Mountain Dews (I am a gamer, after all) had long worn off, and the sun would be rising soon. Through the grogginess, repeated heartbreaks from barely nudging a wall once again, and the feeling of my calloused thumbs returning after years, I marched on. At that moment, nothing was going to stop me from finishing this race, and it was going to be PERFECT! Finally, the screen flashes white as I cross the finish line! My efforts, oh my countless efforts, had finally paid off... I sat in awe for several minutes, just admiring the screen with my scores, a flashing new ornament atop them. This had to be a pretty high ranking time, dude. Quickly, I roll my chair over to the home desktop and start searching up ctr4.ever, the premiere website for CTR Time Trial records. It took a bit, and then a bit longer, we were still on dial-up! (You're allowed to laugh) I rubbed my hands together, Mr. Burns-style, in anticipation. Oh baby, I'll be the cock of the walk! Okay, so maybe my expectations were a bit lofty. (sorry the screenshot isn't 2013-accurate) I wasn't expecting a World Record, mind you. I had already come to terms that a Crash player would not take the top seat from a Penta or Tiny Tiger, but I'd at least have the highest ranking Well-Rounded time. Right? No, I was beat in that regard too by DPPLay in 2009. The thing about it though, was that I wasn't upset. Actually, I was still quite proud of what I achieved, and was filled with excitement at the idea of there being yet another level I could pursue. Most of my track PB's lower gradually whenever I decide to focus on them, but N. Gin Labs crumbling down was always going to be a significant event in my eyes. This time stood there, menacingly, for 2 years on my memory cards. Till one day... I had unmistakably improved as a player, tech-wise and general driving ability. I was in a new chapter of my life. I mean, we had "High-Speed" internet believe it or not! My CTR-Mojo® had been risin' from the prior year of bringing my setup to school. It was quite a hoot, and approximately 2/3rds of a holler, when we dodged those pesky pep-rallies to play CTR's 4-Player! Still, N. Gin Labs was demanding more of me than any other track I had improved thus far. Turd Baby, his cousin and myself had been having a legendary 2-Week gaming session, finally one night we'd all gathered in the living room. My hands were sweating, this was crazy. I had finally improved enough to stare down N. Gin Labs, the track had demanded I grow to accomplish this... 2:16:82, 2:16:78, 2:16:66, 2:16:61! I remember telling my Cuzzos that personal record had stood for years proceeding its defeat, and I like to imagine I at least got some golf claps. Inevitably my strength played out, but TruKuu was becoming a man! CTR Esports tries to become a thing ( My quote about video games as an art-form is incorrectly credited to someone else :) ) Sidenote: When I made the times in the prior paragraph, I was playing on another memory card that had a copy of my save, but not enough room to record a new ghost. I switched back to the card with the ghost for the videos' time, thus explaining the time discrepancy in the high-scores. I had been doing well for myself in the game lately, and Ole Miss Esports had taken quite well to CTR! Ah, Poverty Gaming at its finest! Player 4, Turd Baby, is taking the photo! Unfortunately, as of this time of writing, I only have one video of me playing N. Gin Labs in Time Trial mode. This era is when it happened. I mainly cleaned up my Froggy to accomplish this time, but watching back on it I can see the lack of mid-airs, some sloppy slide-resumes, me being unaware that froggying didn't help maintain active USF, and so much more holding me back. Obviously, N. Gin Labs wasn't pleased, but it was the best I could do at the time... As always, it was a multi-hour affair. To break the 2:16:xx barrier was special for me, even more than when I recorded the (now former) top times for well-rounded characters in Papu's Pyramid, and Mystery Caves! Regrettably, my Papu time was beaten before I could upload it. I never got that glistening gold. "Man! I can't believe how terrible my (driving) lines are!" - TruKuu (2021) I play a ton of different games, honest! In fact, I often feel it's detrimental to my skill in the games I want to hone, but as a TO and general retro-enthusiast there's always something old to play. I realized when I started to play CTR with the mighty G-Zone one day, years after CTR's U of M tenure, that I was bad outta shape! I mean in the way that actually matters, too! The unthinkable had happened, my Bandicoot driving skills were on the fritz! I wasn't making the right arches for my turns. I was jumpin' like a scared grasshopper at all the wrong times... No, no, this simply wouldn't do. That very moment, Crash took top-priority. I stayed up that whole night, long after my buddy had bolted to rest up. I practiced all the tracks, just working on fundamental techniques. Familiarizing myself with my previous skills, while daring to venture into the scary unknown. It was for science! Slowly I started chiseling my new Team Racing Bod (TRB) and would regain my confidence as a driver. Man card: redeemed!?!? There was a test that I still had to pass, and you should know what I mean if you've been paying attention. A few weeks later... I found myself at G-Zone's crib, and he'd decided to catch some Z's as it was starting to get late. I felt a beckoning, an opportunity to go back again... Geez, there I was, in a dark room illuminated by a CRT's warm glow on a weeknight, grinding out N. Gin Labs. My training had paid off it seemed. Heck, the track was practically giving PB's away! I kept losing reserves at obvious, suboptimal points though, and that was driving me a little coocoo... After grinding down the time little by little, I was painfully aware that the track wouldn't let me go until I remedied this mistake. It couldn't be so treacherous as it had been historically. I had made these PB's in roughly 2 hours, and still had buckos of energy left. It'll be just fine! N. Gin Labs proceeded to punish me. I should've known better. I wanted to break the 2:13:xx personal barrier, and I just knew if I could fix these mistakes I was seeing I'd be there. Minutes turned into hours, about 6 of them to elaborate. What was this feeling? Wow... my calloused thumb, it feels again, but N. Gin Labs demands I continue. I play through the pain, the reminder of my mortality. Finally, as the sun is rising, this is it. I can feel it in my thumb, this is gonna be the run, baby! My best efforts go into maintaining calm as I am wrapping the final corners of the last lap at breakneck pace... a flash of white... the track is finished! I had done it!!! I... I only knocked off 8 milliseconds. "Does anyone remember laughter?" - Robert Plant The only reaction I could find was laughter. What a splendid, crushing time I had that night. My power was exerted, and the gloomy laboratory had defeated me yet again... The cathode-ray-tube exhibiting the fruits of my labor, and my epic failure. Never change, Mr. Labs. What IS N. Gin Labs? N. Gin Labs, I believe, in many ways embodies CTR. The Super Turbo Pad may be the talk of the town, but what of the road trip there? There's an excellent balance between the optimal line of travel, and maintaining your momentum (boost reserves). This, to some extent, is true for every track, but it's the elements in harmony making N. Gin Labs special. To create a truly excellent result, you have to utilize mid-air turbos, up-hill froggies, the STP and the kitchen sink while still keeping the tightest, cleanest driving lines you can. CTR has always been noteworthy for its sense of speed. The blistering pace players take as they perform their finger-gymnastics is not commonly matched within the games' genre, and the theme of building oneself parallels Crash Team Racings' mechanics. Constantly building your reserves, your sense of speed, for a chance to thread that needle. The Super Turbo Pad is what defines this track, but everything else makes it so. If you dream to harness the STP's power, you must be willing to satisfy the track's strict demands. Are you ready to get the strongest, latest boost from each powerslide? Are you trained to uphill froggy into a mid-air powerslide at the perfect angle? Are you prepared to hop the pitted turns of elevation leading to that sweet, sweet pad of power? You better be, because N. Gin Labs expects, no, it DEMANDS it! So... you get the Super-Duper™ boost finally, and you've done everything correct up to this point. Congratulations, the hard part begins. Be sure to drift those corners, pixel tight at light speed! If you froggy your jump incorrectly on the turbo pads you've blown it, pause and restart. N. Gin Labs laughs at you! This track never stops being about fine-driving, buddy. The reward you reap increases your likelihood of failure. If you are the chosen one, however, N. Gin Labs will bless your sick skill with the experience that is chaining the STP into itself! Amazing, you are amazing. Now do it again to finish the course. Various tracks in CTR have massive shortcuts, such as Papu's Pyramid, Oxide Station, Hot Air Skyway etc. These routes ultimately define those tracks, and regardless of driving ability, require their mastery to achieve the greatest times. Players have developed N. Gin Labs strictly through superior driving, and only when I developed my own core-driving abilities would my times improve. The spectacle of the track draws attention, but CTR's greatness resides in its balance of power with technique. Breaking my time in N. Gin Labs is a sign of personal and skillful transformation, not a "secret recipe" route or RNG manipulation. The track beckons me; it demands all of my skills, my dedication, my heart. I always lose, but I smile because I have grown.
N. Gin Labs - A Personal History content media
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TruKuu
Apr 11, 2020
In Retro-Gaming Events
Friday Night Fights is a bi-weekly fighting game meetup featuring many of the finest titles to ever be controlled by a joystick! Hosted with Bad Eddy's Hobbies and Collectibles in Oxford, MS, the event takes place every other Friday. Basic information can be found for the event here. The event is currently closed due to COVID-19, but is planned to return. The primary purpose of this thread is to have an additional area where video releases related to the event can be posted, where players can ask questions about the event, and information about the setups themselves can be found such as new equipment additions. When a new video or news is uploaded, I'll post a reply notifying, so just follow the thread. GamePlay Videos Mortal Kombat Trilogy (PSX) - January 2020 NEW ~ Street Fighter 2: Special Champion Edition - February 2019 NEW ~ Setup Information/Photos Modded/Special Attachments Ultimate MK3 Arcade 1UP - IL EuroStick Installed & Happ Competition Buttons. Riser is custom-made woodwork. Additional speakers added. Original Arcade1Up PCB still installed. PlayStation 1 - SCPH-1001 with MM3 installed. Custom Paint scheme and writing. KSM-440BAM Laser installed. GameShark Pro Version 3.2 available. Sega Saturn - Model 2 Saturn with Psuedo Saturn Kai Cart & Model 2 Saturn with Action Replay 4 in 1 Cart Stock Hardware Nintendo 64 - Fire Orange Variant Sega Genesis - Model 2 Nintendo Wii - Original Model PlayStation 2 - Slim Silver Additional Equipment (Controllers, Console Group Shots, etc.) PS1, PS2, Sticks, Games, Recording Equipment Some of the CRT stash Genesis, Saturn, Sticks, Recording Equipment Some of the Controller stash
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TruKuu
Apr 07, 2020
In Artist's Corner
The April 2019 rendition of Retro Royale was originally set to house three tournaments, but due to unfavorable weather conditions "Street Fighter 2: Special Champion Edition" was not able to be hosted. Regardless, Mario Bros. was a surprise hit with the crowd and participants, and Crash Team Racing remained competitive despite not garnering enough players for a 2v2 format as originally planned. After a long day of constant Retro Gaming, free Pizza/Cookies and drinks, the dust finally settled and the participants returned to their daily lives... Each warrior carrying a part of their ferocious battles with them in search of greater challenges. More info about this event can be found on the Old Events page. Mario Bros. Results 1st. TruKuu 2nd. Rizzy 3rd. Grand/Howly (TIE) 4th. Dr. Earthworm/Cherry (TIE) Crash Team Racing Battle Mode Results 1st. TruKuu 2nd. Dr. Earthworm 3rd. Grand 4th. Rizzy Mario Bros. Tournament Footage Crash Team Racing Tournament Footage Mario Bros Rules/Bracket CTR Rules/Bracket As always, thanks to Grand and Ria for coming out and supporting each installment of Retro Royale. These brothers run the YouTube Let's Play channel together TwinFusion Gaming! Be sure to check 'em out! Shout outs to Dr. Earthworm and his FGC crew for some fun CvS2 casuals at the event. Those "Ken money matches" were on-point! Special Thanks to Rizzy for feedback on the video borders and graphics!
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TruKuu
Mar 26, 2020
In Artist's Corner
For 2 years it was a guarantee that every semester there would be a "Retro Royale™" at Mississippi State University. "Retro Royale" was the brainchild of "RizzyDizz" and I, and we diligently worked to make each event everything that it could be. Printed fliers, social media pages/campaigns, and even free-entry tournaments with cash payouts were used to promote the event over the years (Much of the promotional material for previous Retro Royale events can be found on the Old Events page). We always wanted to bring the true, classic-gaming experience to the public by utilizing original console hardware and CRTs, just like The Pioneers played on. Now on the anniversary of the very first Retro Royale we proudly present the tournaments from the final installment of our beloved event. With the help of "Bupe", "Koozbane" and "Dabba" the final "Retro Royale" was indeed the biggest and baddest. The combination of our game collections meant we could promise and provide more than ever before, and it was truly remarkable to see everything arranged together... glowing tubes and all! There were three tournaments at the final Retro Royale Mario Bros Results 1st. Grand 2nd. TruKuu 3rd. Ria 4th. Koozbane/Turd Baby 5th. Rizzy & Dabba (Tie) Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Results 1st. TruKuu 2nd. Rizzy 3rd. Grand 4th. Koozbane/Turd Baby 5th. Michal 6th. Bupe & Ria (Tie) Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 Results 1st. TruKuu 2nd. Kendall 3rd. Ria 4th. Bupe 5th. Grand & Dabba 6th. Rose & Koozbane/Turd Baby (tie) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 tournament - https://youtu.be/SOFT4Z67vXY Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 tournament - https://youtu.be/rf9HoEGreE4 (Unfortunately we could not record the Mario Bros. tournament at this event. Just believe us when we say it was hype.) A huge thanks to everyone that came out and all those that have visited and supported Retro Royale throughout the years. Grand and Ria in particular have been there every time, and I'll always enjoy the matches we played and discussions had. These two run a Let's Play channel called TwinFusion Gaming where you can follow their brotherly escapades. Thanks guys! Be sure to also check out Bupe's channel where he uploads competitive gaming and music, it's a hoot!
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TruKuu
Mar 24, 2020
In General Discussion
"I Gotta Believe!" that it's time to acknowledge the unsung heroes of our time. There's no need to guess who, because everyone reading already knows that I am talking about Parappa The Rapper™ freestylers. Yes, I have diligently combed through the deep, dark trenches of the internet to uncover these rhythmic wizards, and now I present to YOU (yes, YOU!) the historic footage! Before I begin... I should mention that THIS PLAYLIST contains one song per player, barring the last surprise video featured at the end. For multiple players it was a difficult decision as to which freestyle to feature. Ultimately, I chose using significant factors such as: view count, video author's preference, a noteworthy display of skill, etc. To get the most out of this thread, I suggest following the topic along as you watch through the playlist. Read the player's entry, and then watch their respective video. Each player has been separated into sections to make this easier. (Provided is a short message about each player and the specific performance I have chosen) 1. Raisuke Fukaga - Oct. 6, 2006 The OG. Before there was light, there was Raisuke Fukaga's Parappa™ videos. With 1.8 million views, it sits as the most-viewed video on this playlist, and the only video where the player is not in "COOL". His videos have since been unlisted, and were tough to track down. Considering it's the first freestyler, it seemed appropriate to choose Chop Chop's chopping grounds as the setting-stage. As far as Parappa freestyles go there are more tenacious, complex examples available these days, but Fukaga's sense of Rhythm is undeniable. 2. Zashxq - June 6, 2007 After all these years, few have ever come close to the skill or notoriety of Zashxq. Carrying a recognizable style and technique, Zashxq's videos remain for many the definitive example of high-level play in PTR2™. His technique is simple, yet effective. Utilizing an always-slightly-shifting algorithm, Zashxq holds the right direction to hang on specific lyrics as he makes the contents of one line stretch over several. Boasting an understanding of vocal sample length, Zashxq frequently purposely places the longer words and pronunciations for the spaces needed in his rhythmic structures. His Food Court™ performance is his most viewed, and keen listeners will realize that he actually matches the master's lines with their respective bgm! The comments also leaves one reason to be excited: We're waiting! 3. CrackCrackMaster - April 4, 2009 Definitely one of the most niche additions to this list, but one that I believe deserves recognition. I believe that CrackCrackMaster was ahead of their time. In the small snippet of footage available, the viewer can hear the Master express mastery of timing with the right direction during each series of double-taps. There is also increased emphasis on sentence-branching "Put the cake in the Cr-Crack, Crack Crack! All we gotta do is Cr-Crack, Crack Crack!". Master creates a flow that follows the bgm while remaining lyrically transformative, and combines D-Pad tech (both LEFT and RIGHT!) with "Sea Food Cake" to create a makeshift chorus! The biggest tragedy is that the song isn't complete... 4. ひでやん - Jan 10, 2010 One of two players from Japan featured on this list. The true beauty of this freestyle is the ability of the rapper to maintain a flow and direction with the skimpy offerings of the stage's soundboard. The algorithms remain similar enough to create a steady flow, but mutate just enough to avoid becoming too repetitive for the song's duration. A noteworthy feat considering the constraints of the level-design. 5. SunFireHyena (Formerly DaParappa) - April 15, 2011 Despite using savestates and a different bgm then what's found in the game, I still believe this freestyle deserves to be among "The Great Ones™". This freestyle by DaParappa is possibly the most popular Parappa freestyle of all time, and remains one of the best examples of sentence-branching. Honestly, I feel this performance pretty well killed Fleaswallow Freestyling... with various brand new lines that utilize almost every voice sample available, and a flow that only occasionally fails to give individual words their proper time to breathe. Freestyles made from this stage will likely struggle to simultaneously be lyrically transformative from the game's source lines AND avoid treading SunFireHyena's rhythmically beaten path. As a side note, SunFire has been an active member of the PTR community on and off for ages and even has his own fan-game-projects! 6. Poetdaina - October 30, 2013 The first entry featuring Gameplay of everyone's favorite jamming lamb is also the second Japanese player on the list. Another niche addition to the list, Poetdaina's showdown with Level 4 Rammy stands out to me thanks to the player's ability to play off the pre-programmed inputs of the AI while still creating a unique flow. From my experience, players typically avoid "R" due to the relatively excessive length of the guitar sample, but Poetdaina integrates it almost seamlessly with only the occasional slip-up. Considering how well each rift flows together, showing great understanding of each sample length and pitch, it's a shame that point scaling wasn't handled slightly better. This fight could've rode out even longer! 7. Tamatou (BLBridged/BLB Show/Sirtaki Master) - November 29, 2015 Years ago Tamatou and I were among those that were trying to break down the scoring engine for UJL, and boy was it fun! While I had reached 243 points in one line on video w/o fever, it was he that presented the first footage of 246. There was no way I could make this list and not feature his Stage 3 freestyle. It's rare to see a player able to make effective use of the effectors, and he manages to do so with Fever mode, to boot! Catchy rifts fill the song's duration, with sparing, yet effective use of the directions cleverly breaking up what could otherwise become a monotonous set of algorithms. As far as I am concerned, the "Wah Wah" will always belong to Tamatou in UJL! As a side note, he's created various types of interesting PTR content over the years including this retrospective. 8. Sonic Hedgehog - February 10, 2016 For all that Sonic's videos may lack in recording quality they more than make up for in gameplay quality. Typically fever is avoided, or is utilized as a small accessory to a freestyle. Sonic Hedgehog, however, made entire sets revolving around fever inputs. There's a nice, beatdown-thumping aggression to this performance. The shifts in tempo display the player's mastery over each of the "sample sets" in each fever input. Seamlessly, Sonic transfers from a rapid-multi-tap based algorithm commonly found in the use of fever Circle to perfectly-spaced triangle sets. These maneuvers are performed so naturally that they sound like fever isn't even utilized! 9. TruKuu (Gamersof Glory/DaBargainBin) - March 14, 2016 I feel a little narcissistic for putting myself on this list, but it is the will of the people (You know who you are). If I were to be on the list though, there's no doubt this would be the song to accompany my entry. Thanks to oddMLan, Masaya Matsuura caught wind of this freestyle, and I'm proud that he watched and enjoyed it. The performance itself was a result of learning various algorithms, sentence branches, and improvisational skills. Thanks to individual sample study, a steady flow of "Mama, didn't you know? I'm gonna start a trick. Mama, didn't you know? Somebody hold me tight!" could sound like it was actually the original lyrics. Thanks for a wonderful game Matsuura! 10. Posesix - Feb 10, 2017 Another contender for the most famous Parappa player of all time, Posesix was as great a freestyler as he was a modder. In the small amount of contact I had with him I learned that he had dissected each game's engine and broken down the scoring to a science. There are various livestreams displaying his gameplay, and I recommend checking them out. Seemingly out of nowhere he vanished, and while there are allegations as to how and why he left, I have yet to see anything concrete. All mods and mystery aside, February Freestyle is original, catchy, transformative and skillful. This is the best use of PTR2's lyric mechanics I've seen. The utilization of PTR2's ability to leave specific-button lyric sets combined with the right direction means that brilliant lines such as "You carry a single camera for all your single adventures!" are possible, but only if you're good enough to make it happen! 11. The Future - 2020 - Onwards If you've read this far then thanks, and I hope you've enjoyed the provided freestyles. I will refrain from saying much as I want it to have time to speak for itself. Just know that there will be even more, and I believe that freestyles will only continue to develop and improve in these games. I'm aware that there are several high-scoring players out there I did not place on this list, and that's because to me a high-score alone is not an important enough factor to warrant being a great freestyler. Scoring can be manipulated quite easily once someone learns the algorithms, but a great freestyle develops, has direction, and as I have mentioned several times, is lyrically transformative. The players I have highlighted understand the rules of the game, but also understand lyrically and audibly the components required to make a performance greater than the sum of its parts. Do you know any other great freestylers for the PTR games that I didn't mention here? Link 'em here. Don't hesitate to share your thoughts about the thread/players mentioned, either!
The PTR Freestyle RetroSpective 2006-2020 content media
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TruKuu
Mar 04, 2020
In Player Legacies
The Syphon Filter League 2016-2017 Written by TruKuu. The year was 2016-ish, and the world was enduring the worst possible scenario for humanity: Syphon Filter had fallen off the face of the Earth. Barring myself and a small NetPlay community in Russia, Syphon Filter seemed to have never existed, like a strange, bullet-riddled dream. The franchise had laid dormant for the better part of a decade, and the “famous”, nostalgic entries that graced Sony’s original console were almost ready to buy their own cigarettes. I was still a fanatic, however. I scoured and pillaged the desert (internet) for everything classic Syphon Filter I could. That Japanese Geocities site where most of the discussion is about how members can’t obtain a copy of the game from their local shops? I read the whole message board. That satirical “Syphon Filter 2 Turbo” review? Yeah, I’ve seen that, too. (The toilet item looks kinda crappy!) I even took it upon myself to read every entry for Syphon Filter on fanfiction.net. (Eat your heart out, Ian Fleming!) I Still Believed in Gabe Logan. As such, I was very invested into what little of a community existed for the Action-Espionage franchise. It wasn’t exactly difficult to keep up to date, as the community was (and still is) quite inactive. There was a player that piqued my interest, Ninjas11. Mr.Ninjas was (and seems to still be) a Russian Syphon Filter 2 NetPlayer and Tournament Organizer. Sadly his videos typically contained audio glitches, music replacements, and an unsatisfying amount of footage cuts. In spite of this, the footage contained what I craved: Mono on Mono, seasoned Syphon Filter 2 throw downs, and I will always respect his hustle to bring the community together. Often, I envisioned a world where I successfully brought together a scene for Eidetic's underrated 3rd-Person Shooters, and inevitably it became my goal to develop a player base for Syphon Filter 2 despite all odds. The game’s obscurity was wearing full-armor, I couldn’t hit it, and yes, that’s bad. 8/2015 Enter Community College. Immediately upon being enrolled at NEMCC (Northeast Mississippi Communty College) I began chasing the important and exquisite tastes of college academics. Of course this meant I was considering creating and heading an activity club for Video Games. Lo and behold, such a club was already being formed! Unfortunately, the sailing wasn't too smooth, and the club would almost instantly devolve into the stereotypes/cliques I've come to know all too well. The dude that brings a huge TV just to play Call of Duty by himself? Check! The loud group that plays Cards Against Humanity and steals all the chairs? OH YEAH! The Smash Bros/Mario Kart group? Well, duh. The fella with the CRT & Retro Consoles attempting (yet failing) to get players? Hold on, that was me. Of course like most college gaming clubs of this nature, the meetings would cease after roughly three weeks. The diamond in the rough was a player "Koozbane" and I began talking to at the meetings. This was the “Unholy Grenadier”, better known on DaBargainBin's YouTube channel as “Black Satan”. 9/2016 Some time passed after the aforementioned group silently Ole Yeller'd itself in NEMCC's back yard. Fortune would eventually place me into a class with "Satan" and his close friend “Toxic”. Due to the lax nature of the class, we were able to communicate throughout its duration. Sharing an extended amount of time communicating with me will inevitably lead to discussing Syphon Filter. It’s inevitable. “Have you played Syphon Filter?” “Bro, I think you would love Syphon Filter!” “What’s your favorite shooting game? Mine’s Syphon Filter! What? You haven’t heard of it?” - TruKuu Usually my banter and suggestions lead nowhere, but this time was special. Suddenly, we had decided on a weekly where we could play many different games, together(!), and Syphon Filter was at the forefront! The NEMCC Syphon Filter League was inherently unique in that we didn’t officially exist according to the school. As a result of this, there was no dedicated room to host our gatherings. I preferred it this way, as I was not interested in any external entities intruding upon our passion project. The League's sessions (and ensuing epic battles) would be hosted within the the student-union, and this lent us to some much-needed publicity. I lugged my trusty Panasonic CRT into the Warzone on a weekly basis with a PSX set-up that let people know we were “The Real Deal™”. The available seating was shifted into a style we affectionately dubbed “the circle”, and the players would game several hours for everyone to see and participate in. Friendship bonds were strengthened like iron, and the rivalries were red-hot! During classes Satan and Toxic flung passive-aggressive comments regarding each other’s Syphon Filter skills. It was a great time to be alive. 11/05/2016 The Syphon Filter League's Messenger Chat is created after the 2nd successful meeting. The "Fearsome Foursome®" that had been playing up till this point was joined by a new, consistent member. "Journey" was unfamiliar with Syphon Filter, but he was a diehard fan of the PSX and several franchises within its library. I was a firm believer of “the more the merrier” and just like DaBargainBin of today the Syphon Filter League was always enthusiastic for new players. Journey had taken an interest in the Parappa the Rapper games at this time and we would play them regularly during meetings. (I'll get into my Parappa/Um Jammer Lammy superhero origin story some other time) I had been score-keeping at each event The League hosted, but had not released the documentation prior to the creation of the Messenger Chat. TruKuu W-4 L-0 Koozbane a.k.a. AssMasterRealSlimShady69 W-4 L-2 Toxic W-2 L-4 BlackSatan W-1 L-5 11/10/2016 Due to the absence of "Toxic", "BlackSatan" and "Koozbane" the next League meeting would be smaller than those previously hosted. Fortunately, "Da Squad©" garnered a new member, “Connor” a.k.a. "Chandelier", and the spectator traffic was as strong as ever! It was an engaging experience surprising those walking by and taking trips down memory lane with them. The League's members were informed prior that "Connor" would begin playing the game, and everyone had jokingly placed bets on who the winner would be between him and Journey. I believed in "Connor" just as I did Gabe Logan, and my faith was well placed! The only loss for "Connor" that session came from myself. The rankings were updated accordingly: TruKuu 6-0 Connor 2-1 Journey 0-4 The community by this point has began adopting their own inside jokes and terminology such as “The Perfect Cast” - a grenade aimed with such finesse that it’d make Goofy™ blush. With the community at an all-time high, I was hoping to begin improving the quality of play for The League's members. I began drafting the Guide to Competitive Multi-player, and I would spend hours detailing various aspects of the game that I felt less-hardened players would be unfamiliar with. While the guide served to assist The League’s members, it was also created for anyone desiring to become acquainted with the games nuances. Eventually, I wanted to expand the reach of Syphon Filter 2 Multiplayer and other titles sharing a similar predicament. Enter DaBargainBin. In many ways, Syphon Filter embodies what DaBargainBin is and what it stands for. If Syphon Filter isn’t the whole backbone, it’s at least some very important vertebrae. 11/17-30/2016 By this time The League had become known and was a somewhat popular attraction within the student union. Finally, every member of The League both old and new could attend a meeting, and between the players and spectators, seat capacity had been exceeded! The rugged, tough circle had grown so much, and the crowd anxiously huddled around the one glowing television. Spectators even began to play along themselves and coach their favorite players! At this meeting, “Toxic” leaped ahead of “BlackSatan” in the rankings and made his superior skill and dedication shown. “Journey” just couldn’t catch a break, but he came close so many times. TruKuu 7-0 Koozbane 6-3 Toxic 6-6 Connor 3-2 BlackSatan 1-6 Journey 0-6 The "Sinister Six™" temporarily split ways for fall break, but still kept in touch through the messenger chat. I spent the time away from academics diligently working on the initial versions of the Guide and DaBargainBin website. During this time, I re-introduced Koozbane’s cousin, “FrickFrack” to Syphon Filter. He enjoyed coming back to a game from his childhood, and his stage presence was quite impressive! "Koozbane" had been the undisputed 2nd banana of our player base for quite a while (and I say that with nothing but respect and joy), but as the record currently stands FrickFrack has the higher win-count in their match-up! I recorded the matches between the three of us, and that was the first recordings of Syphon Filter 2 outside of The League’s authority since its inception. (The footage is used in the first and last matches of Syphon Filter Multiplayer Volume 1) Plans were made to incorporate "FrickFrack" into The League, but lack of communication and availability would end the venture. Another player I would re-introduce around this time was “KillScott”, but none of the matches were recorded unfortunately. "KillScott" was an unsung hero of the era as he helped me with proofreading the guide and testing out much of the written information in real-battle applications. In what seemed to be a destined pattern, KillScott could never be brought into The League meetings themselves to make his presence more known. 12/2017 - The End DaBargainBin's Forumotion forum was up and available by this point, and "RizzyDizz" and I were set to host the precursor to Retro Royale. The seasons began to change and so did, too people's interest in our lovely Syphon Filter 2. It was still a good time for a while, with a healthy crowd available, but slowly members became difficult to reach and increasingly busy due to life's cruel circumstances. "Rizzy Dizz" would pickup the game and would actually be quite great at it, but as the story always goes we could never get her involved with The League's meetings. Meetings were less frequent, player development was getting stagnant, and the Video Game offerings of the public Student-Break area next door was putting a dent in our traffic. Despite my attempts at growth I had to acknowledge that sometimes they just ain't that into it. With the writing on the wall, I made one last gesture to all those that had stuck around. On one cold, winter afternoon, "TruKuu" would go into Game X-Change of Tupelo, MS and purchase 6 copies of Syphon Filter 2. Each copy was gifted to a member of The League as a memento, and contained a slip with the URL for the Competitive Guide. I kept the webpage online for several years after I had abandoned the site itself in the off-chance they ever considered looking back at it for any kind of reference. I didn't officially announce at any point that the meetings were over, and I even offered to drag the trusty-tube 'n console out again, but everyone knew that this was the end of an era. NEMCC Syphon Filter League - Time Of Death - 5/12/17, 12:36 AM The Final Public Rankings TruKuu 11-0 Koozbane 8-4 Toxic 7-7 Conner 3-3 BlackSatan 2-7 Journey 0-9 The Present/The Future? The NEMCC Syphon Filter League's spirit and memory lives on through DaBargainBin. Fortunately, players such as "Rizzy Dizz" and "Buprenorphine Kid" have been able to give me challenges surpassing those of The League. I still haven't been "handed the 'L'" quite yet, but I know my days are numbered, and that's something to truly be excited about! The members (or should I say "Da" Members?) always joked that someday, years from now, there would be a reunion. The set-up would be out in the open just like the good ole' days, and our digital marksmen would throw down for everyone to see. I patiently await the day.
The NEMCC Syphon Filter League content media
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TruKuu
Feb 20, 2020
In Artist's Corner
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TruKuu
Feb 20, 2020
In General Discussion
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TruKuu
Feb 20, 2020
In SITE FEEDBACK
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TruKuu
Feb 20, 2020
In Tips n' Tools
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TruKuu
Feb 19, 2020
In Retro-Gaming Events
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TruKuu
Feb 07, 2020
In Player Legacies
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