> Last night I was struck by sadness when a long time PSO player, Siggy/Sugar-Chan
(HUmar/HUnewearl), announced his departure from the PSO realm for at least
until Christmas, and maybe longer (possibly 3 months). As a result
of this sobering news, I felt compelled to reminisce about some of the
good times and people I've come to know and cherish. It brought to
mind all the 100's of hours I've spent on Sonic Team's ubergame.
I have made many new friends over the last 10 months, and solidified many
old relationships. PSO is yet another example of Sega being at the
forefront of technology, and me being there to savor it...
> My first character was Necromancer (FOnewm), who was initially dressed
in the the black outfit with red spikey hair, and later changed to the
standard red attire. The first two people I got to know in PSO were
Lucero (RAmar) and Akuto (RAmar). At the time, I was mostly playing
on weekends, and these two guys always seemed to be on at the same time
as me. We met and played on Ariel 10-01, which eventually became
our guild headquarters. Another friend I played a lot with early
on was Temptress, a very cool FOnewearl. She became part of the inspiration
for my first female character, Seductress (HUnewearl). All three
of us were completely immersed in the wonders of PSO, and we had no idea
what lay before us. I can remember going into the Mines for the first
few times (on normal difficulty) and thinking this is so hard! The
Sinow Beats were amazingly tough at first, but teamwork and perseverance
paid off. Then one day Akuto and I finally got to Dark Falz.
I can remember being nervous -- even more so after finding out he could
kill me at will. We finally did beat him, and we found our first
rare -- a PHOTON CLAW. Temptress played through early Spring, Akuto
continued on until late Spring, and Lucero played through early October,
when he was no longer able to regularly connect with his ISP.
> The next two major players I met were Abdiel (HUmar) and Squall (HUmar).
To be honest, I never considered Abdiel to be a good friend until much
later. As for Squall, we hit it right from the git-go. We had
a lot of good times. If I recall correctly, I met Squall when he
was around level 22 and I was around 32. It seemed as though he always
remained about 10 levels behind me. For the record, the Squall I'm
talking about was surely one of the first ones on PSO (if not the first),
as copy cat characters popped up like weeds soon thereafter. Abdiel
kind of faded from the my scene until some time in the Summer, while Squall
went through a period of absence, since he had no dial-up ISP.
> About this time, mid Spring, Lucero and I decided to make an official
PSO Guild, otherwise known as a clan. Lucero already had his own
guild, called "Gleaming the Cube" (GTC). I had a selection
of friends I always played with when Lucero wasn't around, so we essentially
decided that GTC wasn't big enough for both of us. I came up with
the idea that we could form a single guild with two wings. Lucero
would lead the GTC wing, and I could lead my own wing, which became the
Shin Force Guild. He loved the idea and said, "I like the way you
think". That solidified our friendship and we were rarely seen in
separate games for too long. Also, the quest for new members had
> Sephiroth (HUmar), Neifirst (HUnewearl), and Ash Soprano/King Mob (RAmar/HUmar)
were the next major friends I made. I met Sephiroth and Ash through
Lucero, as he always seemed to have more friends than me. We enjoyed
PSO through level 100 together, and they became GTC members. I was
on my third Lv100 with Seductress being #2 and Synbios (RAmar) being #3.
Sephiroth faded away around May, as his sister basically took over PSO
in their house, and his enthusiasm for the game dropped off. Ash,
who eventually became a GTC Guild member, provided us with many hours of
friendship on PSO up until as recently as a few weeks ago. It was
reported to me that King Mob was NOL'ed, and I haven't seen him since.
For the record, NOL'ed in his case meant that his character was converted
to a Lv155 HUnewearl named "NOL". Neifirst was a great looking HUnewearl
who inspired me to create Mieu (HUnewearl), another Phantasy Star character.
He played mostly late at night or early mornings because of his weird hours
at work. He eventually created his own clan which consisted of characters
relating to the Phantasy Star realm. I haven't seen him lately, but
I know he doesn't plan to get v2 until the Gamecube version arrives.
> Next I met three ladies, one of which I became great friends with.
Shadow (FOmarl) and Katrianna (HUnewearl) were introduced to me via Ash.
I thought it was really cool to see women playing games, which most people
think only men are interested in. We played a lot for a few months,
then Shadow and Katrianna faded away for a while. Recently, I spent
some time with Katrianna (just as she converted to v2), but I fear that
she is having trouble connecting. =/ The third was Echidna.
I met her in a open game sometime in April (I think), while I was playing
as my newest character, Mieu. I was around Lv67 while she was around
Lv62. Our characters were almost twins! We played on and off
for a few months, and I even got to be friends with her husband, Zero/-D-
(HUmar/HUcast), who loved to play on the Japanese ships. Then something
happened, which caused us to spend more time together. I can't site
a specific event or reason for this, other than fate. Echidna and
I became great friends and got to know one another pretty well. I
eventually asked her to join our Guild, and she accepted. She was
immediately promoted to second in command and given the rank "Ninjitsu
HUnniwearl", which to this day is hers alone. To date, other than
Lucero, Echidna is the person I've spent the most time with on PSO.
She hasn't been seen by me for about three weeks now, and sources say she
has lost interest in the game. I truly cherish the many good times
we had in the realm...
> Long time Shin Force visitors know the name Metal Gear X (MGX) from the
message board. Through Sega Force and Shin Force, I've known Strider
since 1997. Well, he was the next person to join the PSO realm, and
our guild. His first character was Strider (RAmar), but his eventual
favorite was the v2 HUnewearl known as Seraphy. I was overjoyed when
he decided to join the fun. Unfortunately, he was never able to spend
a lot of time playing, but we still managed to strengthen our friendship
and enjoy Sega online gaming (as it was never supposed to happen).
He recently told me of his lack of interest (in PSO) and time, which has
essentially closed the book on his chapter in PSO. To this day, I
regard him as one of my best friends, even though we have never met face
to face... yet.
> More women were on the horizon as a casual friend of mine, Harlot (HUnewearl),
introduced Lucero and me to Syfte/Larynn (HUnewearl) and Miss Thang (HUnewearl).
We immediately became friends and played a lot for a while. Syfte
was the first person in my circle of friends to get the Japanese PSO v2.
She dogged me for weeks to get my v2 online, but I was in no hurry, as
I knew how difficult it was to obtain a Dricas account. Miss Thang
and I eventually convinced her to do the legwork for me, as she had done
the hard part for herself, and getting me a Dricas account would be relatively
simple for her. I was very thankful to her and made my PSO v2 online
debut on July 3, 2001. Shortly after that, Lucero also made his v2
debut as Candy (HUnewearl), and Squall returned to PSO in v2 form as well.
Squall was then announced to be second in command of GTC -- a title which
he holds dearly. For whatever reason, Syfte, "Missy" and me never
played much after that, but I have fond memories of our times together.
Both of them recently logged off PSO (for Dreamcast) for the last time.
> Somewhere in the same time frame, I met Rydon/Paladin (RAmar/HUmar).
Initially, we never really played that much, but he eventually became a
Shin Force member along with his wife, Bambie (HUnewearl). One of
the funniest stories Paladin told me was when I (as Seductress) once saw
him in a lobby with his wife. He said, "hya Seductress"! As
the story goes, his wife became a little concerned that he was associating
with some one named Seductress, maybe even a tad bit jealous...ROFLMAO.
One of the most interesting things about this couple is that Bambie is
the one that got Paladin into playing PSO. Obviously, this goes against
all conventional wisdom. Anyway, Paladin and Bambie have been very
good friends, and the source of much pleasure in the realm. I still
see them almost every day. =)
> Still around late Spring, early Summer, I ran into two more long time
Shin Force friends, Julian (RAmar; aka Valder) and his wife Jocelyn (HUnewearl).
They make a great tag team as Julian usually takes the early to late evening
hours, while Jocelyn consumes the late night gaming sessions like a pro!
One of my favorite memories with Julian was when I gave him his first HEAVEN
PUNISHER, which allows one to wield "heaven's almighty punishment".
His sheer amazement of its immense power was something I'll never forget
(and is totally understood by all who witness it). One of my favorite
memories with Jocelyn was when I used a chat symbol of a nude woman (that
I got from Echidna) and she told me to "stop showing those baby feeders"!!
That was the first time both Echidna and me had ever heard that reference
to breasts, and we laughed our asses off! =) Both Julian and
Jocelyn are devoted Sega gamers, which makes them people after my own heart.
=) The only hitch in our gaming together was the short period of
time when we couldn't see each other move! I eventually corrected
that by using my alternate dial-up ISP. They are both highly valued
Shin Force members that I see on a fairly regular basis...
> At some point this past Summer I met Zack (HUmar), the supreme leader
of the Rabishun Clan. At the time, I had a HUnewearl named Masqurin,
who has since been replaced by Kasumi Ninja (HUnewearl). Anyway,
Zack promised he could get me a sweet DOUBLE SABER, and he surely came
through. He introduced me to many of his members, including Azriel
(FOmarl), Nathaniel (RAmar), and Norrin Radd (HUmar). Zack often
told me of his clan's enjoyment of getting high, which was the source of
many jokes in the interim. Azriel has been offline for a while now,
and Zack has recently logged off for good (well, until PSO Xbox arrives).
I still see Nathaniel occasionally, and Norrin quite often. I also
started playing a lot more with Abdiel (remember him?), and he quickly
became a highly respected Shin Force member. Abdiel and I love to
joke about the fact that he dies a lot, whereas I never die! LOL.
I recently gained much pleasure in giving him a FLAME GARMENT so that he
could shed his PARASITE WEAR forever!! Much to my dismay, I only
see him on weekends these days...
> In late Summer, I hooked up with [www.synbios.net]'s webmaster, known
as Parn (HUmar). He is a diehard gamer like me, and our limited time
together in the realm has been quite enjoyable. I also met his sister,
the "real" Masqurin (HUnewearl) right after him. We have played on
and off for the past few months, which have been highlighted by her uncanny
ability to restart her character as a result of corrupted files.
Through all those restarts, she even managed to gain Shin Force membership.
=) Masqurin also generously provided us with hand-drawn pix of various
PSO people we know. Most unfortunately, I recently found out her
days on PSO are numbered, as her family is switching to DSL. =( Parn
remains online, as he doesn't live at home anymore.
> Within recent months, I ran into a person I've seen quite often on Ariel
10. Her name is Blumchen (HUnewearl), and she is a former member
of a clan (sorry, I don't know its name) which also resided at Ariel 10,
until it was disbanded. We talked and decided that Shin Force membership
was right for her. Siggy, whose PSO departure last night inspired
this article, is a long time friend of Blumchen's. They're both late
night gamers, like me. =) My highlight with her in our relatively
short time, would be the high score of 188% in the "Love Test". I
think I speak for both of us when I say that was FUN! I see her on
a regular basis to this day. =)
> This Fall, before Lucero/Candy started having problems connecting, he
befriended a HUcast named Cloud and added him to the ranks of the GTC.
Cloud has been a good friend to me, and has essentially taken over the
once expansive GTC guild, if for no other reason than default on Candy's
and Squall's part. =/ I sincerely hope to see Candy and Squall
on a regular basis again -- soon. Cloud has even contributed reviews
to Shin Force, as he expands his responsibilities. The Cloudster
also brought in a new member named White Knight (RAmar), who has turned
out to be a very well trained "area clearer". As of this writing,
Cloud and White Knight are the only two active players left in the GTC
> Although we got off to a rocky start, Blue Heaven (HUmar) has persevered
and gained a spot in the Shin Force Guild. He was first introduced
to me by Echidna this past Summer. Initially, I didn't enjoy his
attitude or gameplay manners. In my opinion, Blue has since "seen
the light", and has truly earned his membership. He has been a good
friend, a great teammate, and provided a great sense of humor for all to
enjoy. Finally, Blue has mastered the Code of the Shinobi, and now
wields the Shin Force! =)
> One thing is for sure. PSO is a wonderful experience that only
online participants can truly appreciate. I often think about Sega's
groundbreaking achievement while I'm playing. The scope of the game,
and the magnitude of your interaction are awe inspiring. Anyway,
there is no way I could remember all the people I enjoyed playing with
in one sitting. Therefore, I plan to author additional editorials
on this subject as necessary. I also wanted to have a small log of
this once in a lifetime experience, brought to you and me exclusively by
Sega, utilizing Sega created software AND hardware. I hope you enjoyed
reading this article as much as I did writing it.