From Sonic Retro
<forumuser name="Tweaker" /> Tweaker was a rather controversial member of the Sonic scene. Former Administrator on Sonic Retro as well as a frequenter of other popular sites within the scene, Tweaker was an experienced reverse-engineer of the Sonic the Hedgehog games for the Sega Mega Drive. A former member of Team Megamix and once an extremely active member of the scene, he was known to sometimes have very vocal opinions regarding certain manners, striving to encourage a positive attitude amongst the scene at the same time.
Before his departure, one of his many claims to fame was increasing the understanding of music code in Sonic games, including the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 2, Sonic 3, Knuckles' Chaotix, the prototype Sonic Crackers, and any other Mega Drive game that utilized the SMPS music engine.
Tweaker first joined the Sonic Community in November of 2003 as a lurker and newbie at the age of 13. He was introduced to the "Sonic secrets" aspect of the Sonic fandom through a rather generic, but comprehensive website called Sonic United. From there, he learned about the Hidden Palace Zone and other scrapped Sonic 2 levels, which instantly triggered his interest in the scene. The mere idea of leftover content existing in the Sonic games he had been playing for years was amazing, Tweaker wanting to learn as much as he possibly could.
Tweaker's first introduction to a Sonic scene message board was on Sonic CulT in February of 2004, under the username supershadow342. He had initially only posted once or twice at the CulT to gain validation; once he did, he spent the majority of his time reading the forums and trying to get a feel of the board. It was not until July of 2004 that he decided to get involved in the scene at large, where he posted his first ever ROM hacking attempt at the CulT, getting a resounding total of zero replies.
Deciding that it was time to branch out, Tweaker registered onto Simon Wai's Sonic 2 Beta, where he made completely useless, horribly laid out posts that did little more than interrupt legitimate conversation around him. Once his 20 trial posts were used up, the future admin was forced into the purgatory of Pending Approval. No longer able to post, he joined the Sonic Stuff Research Group in August of 2004. Occasionally commenting, Tweaker primary absorbed the plethora of hacking knowledge exchanged amongst various forum members. Sceners like Rika Chou, Sonic Kid, and StephenUK would collaborate with him and help him obtain vital knowledge of the Sonic engine that would help him in the future.
In September of 2004, he would join Sonic Classic and the Invision Power Board incarnation of Area 51. This would be his first introduction to the "fluff" portion of the scene. However, Tweaker had foolishly come in contact with someone who claimed to have a "Sonic 2 Alpha" over AOL Instant Messenger, and enthusiastically posted the resulting log on both boards. Although it damaged his credibility, sceners like Nayr T'nargh sympathized, recalling their own similar experiences and providing him with encouragement. He would occasionally post on both boards, though not frequently, from then on.
Back to SWS2B
In January of 2005, Tweaker took it upon himself to re-register on SWS2B with his new alias, Tweaker. He acquired the name from Sonic Tweaker, a ROM-editing program by drx which was on his desktop at the time. At this point, he was very careful not to make any ties to his former identity, constantly using a proxy and making smart use of his posts. It was around this time when scener ICEknight had discovered that the desert level mockup in a magazine article related to Sonic 2 did not use the "Dust Hill Zone" as many people had thought, but instead "Sabaku" or Desert Zone. He used many of his trial posts participating in this conversation, as well as to post the earliest version of Sonic 2 Megamix, called "Sonic 2 Remix" at the time. He became a full member within a few days' time, sealing his place as an accepted member of the scene.
While it was eventually revealed that Tweaker was a PA dodger, Simon Wai decided to grant an exception. Tweaker would then spend his time on SWS2B participating in the board as a whole, and making various breakthroughs in the SMPS engine, thanks in part to saxman for initially helping him understand the engine. At this time, however, Tweaker appeared as a jackass to many people, incorporating various obnoxious memes into his posts in order to gain acceptance by fellow members. As a result, he got into conflicts with many members such as Stealth, who Tweaker had betrayed on more than one occasion for the sake of public acceptance.
During this time, Tweaker also had a short stint as a staff member on Sonic CulT. This did not last very long, however, as inexperience with the board culture lead to conflict among many of the established members of the website. This forever marred his reputation amongst members such as Sazpaimon and Borisz, leading to jokes such as "tweaker pinned a gay topic" and various joke bans.
In September of 2006, Tweaker was chosen as one of the new co-admins for The Sonic 2 Beta Page by LocalH, following Simon's departure. This decision was met with massive controversy, Tweaker's ideas as to what the board should be like conflicting with how many people felt the board should be run. Various bouts of drama ensued following his inception as an admin, including tension which eventually lead to the creation of The Glowing Bridge and S2B Topic 9093.
Following these incidents and the board split, Tweaker stayed on as admin, slowly shaping the board culture to accommodate ROM hackers and technical discussion, rather than the off-topic and meme-centric culture which had plagued the board beforehand. This was met with mixed views, and eventually lead to a second board cleanout, but it seemed that the level of board drama went down significantly afterwards. Also during this time, Tweaker became a staff member on The Sonic Stadium and SSRG; he would later resign from both positions.
In September of 2007, Tweaker and Scarred Sun would have various conversations over AIM about the parallels between S2Beta and Sonic Retro; this eventually lead to the merging of the two sites into one, with the established board complementing the established wiki. This decision, along with many others, brings the site to its present day state.
For the next few years, Tweaker would continue focusing on Sonic Retro and related endeavors, including contributing music towards the fanhack Sonic Boom, being featured in early episodes of the Sonic Retro Podcast, and continuing work on the joint-project Sonic Megamix.
In January of 2012, due to pending legal matters, Tweaker was removed as an admin from Sonic Retro, effectively ending his time as a member of the community.
Former Technical Projects
- Sonic Megamix (ROM hack)
- Sonic 2 Megamix (ROM hack)
- Sonic 3 & Knuckles Megamix (ROM hack)
- Sonic 2 Release Candidate (ROM hack; canceled)
- Unnamed Sonic 2 hack (ROM hack circa-2004; canceled)
- The Sonic Music Hacking Guide (Hacking guide)
- Administrator at Sonic Retro (Jul 2004-Jan 2012)
- Pro User/Former Staff at SSRG (Aug 2004-Jan 2012)
- Member/Former Staff at The Sonic Stadium (Aug 2004-Jan 2012)
- CulT Family at Sonic CulT (Feb 2004-Dec 2008)
- Hax0r at Hacking CulT (forums now defunct) (Aug 2004-???)
- Member/Sea Genius at Sonic Classic (Sept 2004-July 2008)
- Member of Area 51 (now defunct) (Sept 2004-???)
- Tech Member at The Glowing Bridge (now defunct) (Mar 2007-Sept 2007)
- Family at RetroHack (defunct) (Feb 2008-October 2009)
Tweaker has been known by many names over the years. Such names include the following:
- DJ Tweakster
- Dirty Justice