From Sonic Retro
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<forumuser name="Vague Rant" /> Surprise Oldbie from 2003. I used to post on Simon Wai's board as a lame teenager called baka-sama, a name I abandoned for the clever witticism Vague Rant immediately upon realising what a loser I was being. After signing up at Sonic Retro in late 2009, I realised I might technically qualify as an Oldbie, although I really wasn't very active way back when. I asked around in the IRC channel and Tweaker was surprised to discover that I was one of the people on his list of lost users, who he had been unable to identify (probably helped by my disdain for my former name).
Constitutionally incapable of any decent hacking, the extent of my abilities is an options screen translation for an old Astro Boy game nobody gave a shit about. Beyond that I'm about as proficient at messing around in a hex editor as the next chump, which is to say I can read ASCII text quite capably. While I occasionally endeavour to become less technically useless, I invariably realise that I'm not any good at hacking and leave it to the pros.
Sonic the Hedgehog
My first exposure to Sonic was playing Sonic 1 at a relative's house when I was four or so, and apparently before I had quite come to grips with the unreality of video games, because a popular family anecdote involves my pleading encouragements to "Sonno", as I had imaginatively nicknamed him. I grew up as a Nintendo kid though, so while playing the first game had cemented my love of the series, I didn't really get to have any further contact with it until a friend gave me a copy of Sonic & Knuckles Collection, out of which the hell I happily played. I also picked up a budget copy of Sonic CD on PC around this time, but had to return it due to a fatal lockup on my machine which made the game unplayable.
Since then the only other Sonic "game" I've owned is Sonic Mega Collection on the GameCube, although I've played most of the major pre-Adventure titles including Knuckles' Chaotix and the majority of the Game Gear/SMS installations and spin-offs, as well as the later handheld games like Sonic Pocket Adventure, the Sonic Advance series, and the Sonic Rush series to varying degrees. In short, however, I have almost no interest in anything released after 1995.
I'm interested both in the (older) Sonic games for their own sake and for the number of interesting pre-release binaries strewn around the Internet, as I'm intrigued by pre-release and unreleased games in general. I try to keep up to date with news from the unreleased game scene with subscriptions to Hidden Palace, The Lost Levels, and Unseen64, among others. Besides the Sonic games, I've always been a dedicated follower of the EarthBound, Tetris Attack, Mario, Star Fox (before the furries got to it) and F-Zero series. And yes, I'm aware that those are all Nintendo titles, my Sega experience outside Sonic is admittedly lacking.
Living in Australia, I have access to a few lesser known Sonic-related books (technically UK publications, but they were also released here, and nobody else has scanned them) such as Ladybird's series of picture and game books. Thus far I've started articles for Sonic the Hedgehog: The Invisible Robotnik and Sonic the Hedgehog: Robotnik's Oil, with full scans of each title, and have been gradually working through my collection, which includes three of the four Ladybird "adventure gamebooks" (Sonic the Hedgehog Adventure Gamebook 1, 3 and 4; these are entirely unrelated to Puffin's series), and Where's Sonic Now? (a Where's Wally?—or Waldo for those in the US—rip-off).