Metal_Man88 is an oldbie of the Sonic scene and Moderator at Sonic Retro. He originated from The Sonic 2 Beta Page's ezBoard, which he joined in early 2002. Through a quirk of fate he left shortly before it was blown up by PACHUKA, and returned to find Simon Wai's Sonic 2 Beta Board in its place, four years later. He witnessed the end of Simon's reign as well as numerous server moves. He was there during the takeover by Qjimbo, and participated in the movement which stopped it in an ancillary role. Today he works on getting a degree in Informatics, Software Engineering Speciality. He has little time for much else.
He is also the current webmaster of Mobius Roleplay and Super Smash Quest, a dice-based roleplay. Both those and more are located at the domain name of the same name under a number of subdomains. A basic page links to all of the subdomains. He also later obtained control over Super Smash Stadium (a SSB-based fanfic) and controls that too.
Metal_Man88 hailed from the still-operational VGF forums, which he joined in April 22nd, 2000. He was only 11 years old then, but most people couldn't seem to tell the difference. In fact, to this day he fools people as to his true age. Naturally, he needed a nickname for this VGF; so what did he pick? Metal Mario! But there was already a person named that on that board. So he replaced Mario with 'Man', ducking the bullet of unoriginal names. At least, until he discovered to his dismay that Metal Man was ALSO a video game character. He made various images protesting the link between this character and his name. (Note: There was no underscore or 88 on his name back then.)
VGF was where he participated in various poorly done role playing battles. At least until the batty staff there drove him away. This was not the first time he had left that board, for in the past he had tired of the Nintendo-only bias of the board. So he looked... and what did he find?
He found this marvelous page about his favorite game. Apparently, it was even better than he had thought: lost levels and a prototype containing many things. He had found this somewhat before the Beta found by Simon Wai had become big (He had been lurking the internet since some time in 1998) and was all the more excited to play it. Of course, there was a forum. He had made an Ezboard forum for a now-dead forum made by a now-dead VGF member, and it wasn't seeing much use now. He joined somewhere in 2002, under the alias VGFMetal Man, so as to ensure no confusion with the more general 'Metal Man' name.
What he found was a sort of cornucopia for fooling around. Crazy topics he posted in all the time, talking with all the people that are considered legends today. Unlike them, though, he was just a random, unimportant speck. He was a firm believer in SegaSonic over Archie's screwed up story (as at the time only Sonic Adventure 2 had come out; the story was relatively intact). Some of those he remembers: HypershadowDC, Sonic Sue, Ben2k, I liek to scaen my faec man, Aesculpious Piranha, and a few others more vaguely.
His pinnacle of participation was in the Set Ark project, where he aided in the insane feature creep by randomly throwing palette-changed, melded badnik sprites and pictures of stolen Dust Hill Zone art, made to look like it was snow (like it was rumored to have done in Sonic 2 if it had been made.)
The project fell through. He lost interest and vanished. Shortly after, Pachuka blew it all up.
Metal Man was gone for this time, concentrating on building his own IRC role playing empire. He became GM of two RPGs and terrorized some others for no reason. He made websites and tried to get a position on the infamous Mario site named SMBHQ. Eventually he remembered something odd and found his way... back...
Disconnected from his past entirely, even to the extent of forgetting all of it, Metal Man happened upon Sonic 2 Beta again. During this era, he had decried a great raise in idiocy on the internet, so any chance to join a forum with quality control appealed to him. He googled his way to victory on the entry exam and wound up fitting in well. Too well. After a few days, he began to remember things.
He eventually realized he had been to the original Ezboard again, remembering names and events which were mostly surrounded in haze to the others who hadn't been there. This led to him being made an Oldbie, and in this position he sat around, talking about the old days, giving his opinion to everybody, and basically being a casual guy. He had no clue that the people he'd talked to had gone to SClassic, either.
He noticed a lot of memes and stupidity going on the board, and although he didn't make many public criticisms of it, he hated it bitterly. Simon Wai helped keep it in control, but then he had to leave. Tweaker assumed power. He was one of the few who didn't really worry about it. While others thought Tweaker was too strict, he actually felt Tweaker wasn't strict enough. Things deteriorated, and the takeover occurred. This brought Metal Man out of the background. He began attacking the Glowing Bridge people publically, cursing them out for their ideals and telling them they were idiots.
This wasn't good enough, so he wound up somehow finding his way to the 'counter-revolution' headquarters and offered suggestions for how to stop the Glowing Bridge people. He wasn't too useful, though he watched with anticipation until the Glowing Bridge people and their forked site vanished due to the DNS change.
After this, he swore never to forgive QJimbo, or any of the others involved. Naturally. He just hated the whole thing with idiots and chaos...
Time went on. He discovered SClassic, but avoided it due to its apparent lack of strictness. Even though he was basically of the same community. Go figure. Sonic 2 Beta changed a lot during this period, as it began to integrate into Sonic Retro. Metal Man criticized this move heavily, as he saw it in a similar light to the Glowing Bridge movement. He has also been known to resist change in forums for some reason; at about the same time on VGF, he was resisting just about all the changes they made.
The Sonic Retro merger went okay, he disliked the new layout and clung on to the old one as long as possible. He still prefers Polished Copper, but, alas, it is gone. He still held reservations until he saw what ScarredSun did with the site; effectively balancing what had been a Tweaker-only show into a more diverse thing. Partially apathetic, partially bored, he forgot to bother anyone about it when they claimed on this wiki he no longer disliked the change.
Metal Man did a small amount of ASM hacking. He was in the chatroom for a while, but this also seemed too loose for his taste. He hung out in #reporting instead, a rather weird choice. He continued his other projects... and still didn't quite trust QJimbo, even though the man tried quite hard to get his forgiveness.
Right before Tweaker "stepped down" in a social experiment, Metal Man became a moderator. Rules were made for #retro, causing him to return once again. He became a piece of the machinery which operates Sonic Retro more than ever, and in taking this job he assured people that his previous problems with the site were resolved. In the background he occasionally dabbled in ASM, planning some sort of hack he had a tendency to put off.
Tweaker returned and Metal Man recovered from an illness which had caused him to be in a haze while Tweaker was gone. Serious topic work began, but misunderstandings between him and Tweaker made it rough going. As Retro changed its tone slightly, Tweaker and Metal Man would often have trouble understanding one another. The strange way in which Metal Man acted would cause Tweaker to remark "he's a robot" and "he melts my brain", whereas Metal Man would respond with various cryptic ten-foot long paragraphs nobody would bother to read (or really need to). Somehow they continued working together anyway, while some drama mongers were kicked out and abuse of various annoying things like caps lock was stopped.
Realizing that this setup could not continue, Metal left Sonic Retro for three entire years. Nothing happened relevant to the community at this time.
Years later, Metal Man returned, believing the intervening years would deal with the various things which annoyed him. In a matter of speaking, this happened, though in ways he could never have predicted and which still confuse him to this day.
He resumed posting as normal, and watched the disintegration of Sonic 2 HD, having predicted its doom years earlier. Today he mostly hangs out in the background, muttering about the old days and how Dimps is incapable of properly filling their stages with old-school Sonic game gimmicks.
Perhaps if he has time some day, he will pick up ASM and hack some things again...