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nate: 2011-03-05 04:28:12 pm
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nate: 2007-11-24 02:11:54 pm
history of metroid 2002 speed demos archive

- part 1 (june 2003 - 11 november 2003)
- part 2 (11 november 2003 - 30 june 2004)
- part 3 (30 june 2004 - 15 july 2004)

part 1
metroid twentyohtwo turns two today, but perhaps because so much has changed in the last two years, it seems more like it should be turning ten. i'd like to take this moment to finally tell the story of how this site came into being. i guarantee that no matter how old or new you are to this community, there will be something in here you didn't know.

when i first arrived in this community in june of 2003, i saw something of a much smaller scale than newbs see today. i was browsing the gamefaqs message board for metroid prime when i started to notice the term "sequence breaking" being thrown around. slowly it dawned on me that this "sequence breaking" was coming from something called the "sequence breaking topic," which seemed to be just another topic on the message board.

in that topic were these mysterious people called "sequence breakers" under names like amasawa, banks, devilbit, kip, sesshoumaru and treborselbon. they posted their discoveries about metroid prime for others in the topic. because gamefaqs locks topics that reach 500 posts, the topic i found was actually the third of the "modern" sequence breaking topics, called "V3.0". these topics had evolved prior to my arrival from the best times ranking topics and separate, sequence breaking-only topics. (i keep backups of some of the gamefaqs topics here at m2k2, so you can see what i saw if you'd like.)

this topic was a refuge for the metroid prime elite on gamefaqs. it apparently had some kind of aura around it that stopped noobs in their tracks. speed runner calfoolio had just been notified that his name had been printed in egm (a popular american video game magazine) for his recent any percent run in prime -- 1:46. this time would not have been conceivable even a few months earlier. in addition, space jump first and a 23% game (skipping the spider ball) had both just been discovered a month or so before, and so discoveries were still happening at a pretty good pace. it felt like something huge could be found at any moment.

browsing the topic, i eventually hit on a link to a site called "metroid prime discoveries," and i realized that the sequence breakers had an entire site separate from gamefaqs. (you can see a backup of this old site hosted here at m2k2.) it was a beautiful site, obviously designed by someone talented. however, it did not contain all of the information that was known about the game, and kip, a particularly helpful sequence breaker, was forced to link to two or three different isp user directories of videos when he wanted to show how something was done (rather than link to the metroid prime discoveries site). because one of these video directories was on a french isp, i thought for a long time that kip himself was french.

most of the videos available had been recorded by kip, and all of them were encoded using divx. i had only heard of divx years earlier when it was a format competing with dvd, so i was surprised to see it again as a video codec. i was relieved to find that there was a mac version. i asked questions in the sequence breaking topic, kip answered them with helpful hints and links to videos, and i quickly learned how one sequence broke the game called metroid prime.

finally, on 1 july, i discovered the strange omega pirate power bomb glitch while attempting to skip the x-ray visor and was invited to the #metroid-online irc channel by banks. i was embarrassed to find out that the channel was on espernet, the irc network i was connected to 24 hours a day. indeed, i was an oper on that network. all i had to do to join the sequence breakers in live chat was to type /join #metroid-online and hit return, and yet i went probably three weeks stuck on gamefaqs before someone let me in on the fact that the sequence breaking irc channel existed right under my nose.

here's what it looked like when i joined the channel that day:

Log file opened at: 07/01/03 08:58:22 PM
08:58:22 PM: Topic for #metroid-online: Welcome to #BOO for anything tomb raider! yay for Castlevania: SOTN! | http://metroid.retrofaction.com <-- NEED NEW DAMN LAYOUT! | Forums: http://metroid.retrofaction.com/forum/  | rage and para gone for about a week or more starting june 29 <--<_Tim_> I knew the two of them were dating...
08:58:22 PM: Topic for #metroid-online set by Rage on Monday, June 30, 2003 12:13:17 PM
08:58:22 PM: #Metroid-Online: Nate Matt| Ptx UnrealLoky|FFT @Banks @Tooz|Away Ultima ParuNexus @CALFoolio
08:59:15 PM: Channel Mode is +tnr
08:59:15 PM: Channel created at Thursday, June 05, 2003 01:35:28 PM
08:59:17 PM: Nate: Yo :P
08:59:23 PM: Nate: I feel like a moron :P
08:59:32 PM: Nate: I am on this network pretty much 24/7 :P
09:02:41 PM: Banks: hi
09:02:53 PM: Banks: you're the guy trying to do all that skip boost / x-ray shit?
09:03:11 PM: Nate: Yep

at first i didn't understand what this "metroid online" thing was. i had never heard of it before. but i was in awe of these people and i felt like asking questions not directly related to sequence breaking would be a crime against humanity in a sense, because i would be wasting the time of those who had done so much for me.

eventually i gleaned that someone called tim was trying to create a new site called metroid online, replacing metroid prime discoveries. this new site would encompass more than just metroid prime sequence breaking, covering all aspects of all the games in the metroid series (which at that time consisted of metroid 1-4 and metroid prime). unfortunately, it soon became clear that preparations for the new site were moving at a snail's pace. though, as toozin said, they were doing pretty damn good considering all of them combined had entry-level knowledge of web development.

by contrast, my website, tph (short for "the protoman homepage"), was almost seven years old and was served from a dedicated machine that cost my partner and me $99 a month to run. it had been a dream of mine since i was 12 to make the ultimate mega man website, covering all aspects of all the series, but over the years of working on tph i realized how ridiculous of an idea that was. i scaled down the site until only the content unique to tph was left. as a direct result of the downsizing, the remaining content was treated a lot better and became truly a spectacular sight.

i had learned that the only way to finish anything involving a website was to set realistic goals and then to follow through on them, no matter what else came up in the interim. in other words, the easiest way to handle a large amount of work was to cut down how much work there was before i even started. covering all aspects of a game series was, i felt, too much work.

the second thing i had learned from tph was that unpaid workers seldom do much of anything. i had only one, maybe two truly dedicated people out of a staff that grew to around thirty people, and even then i still did 90% of the work. it felt as if the people i was "hiring" weren't even worth the time it took me to hire them, so i scaled back the tph team, as well, until only one other guy and i were left on it.

tph didn't even come close to using all of my server's resources, and so i began to consider how i could help the sequence breakers help others like me. i thought about how kip had taught me the ropes: he had explained the theory behind the sequence breaking trick in question using as few words as possible, then linked to a video that i was to emulate. i was strongly attracted to the theory that if i reproduced the video exactly, there was no way i would not succeed in doing the trick (there was only one north american version of metroid prime at that time). i knew that if i were going to try to teach other people to sequence break, i should do it using videos.

i recalled that quicktime could be used to "embed" a video, or actually have the video play right in the browser when clicked (rather than forcing people to download it and open it in a media player). i had used this technique with limited success on tph to play mega man cartoons i had captured from my old vhs collection. i say the success was limited because there was really little reason to have the videos embedded into tph itself -- for something as long as a tv show, most people would probably prefer to watch it in an external media player.

however, for my concept of "metroid x", or the ultimate way to teach sequence breaking, quicktime embedding was perfect. the only hurdle was asking people to download quicktime to use the site when all of the sequence breaking videos up to now had been encoded using divx.

i knew that if i could pull it off, "metroid x" could help kip and the others explain things much more quickly, because when someone asked, for example, "how do i get into the furnace without the spider ball" on gamefaqs, someone could answer them with "go here: http://metroidx.com/without_spider_ball_furnace.html", and that would be that: no more typing the trick description out every time, and no more linking to disparate isp directories of videos.

then, to my horror, i realized that the metroid x project put me in direct competition with the very people i was trying to help: they were all supposedly working on more or less the same thing for metroid online.

i carefully considered what i was doing. did i really want to alienate all my new friends? maybe it would be better to work with them, rather than without them.

then i remembered how trying to get others to help with tph hadn't been worth the time it had taken to ask them. surely i was capable of making the entire metroid x site, encompassing all metroid prime sequence breaking knowledge, on my own, and then passing out links to needy newbs when such situations arose on gamefaqs. i could make a difference on my own. after all, this was exactly what another aspiring webmaster, andrew mills, had been doing with his perpetually under construction "samus.co.uk" site, and it seemed to be working well enough for him.

if the sequence breakers thought that i was duplicating their nonexistant content, then so be it, i thought. i would show them how it was done. and, anyway, i realized i would be kidding myself if i decided not to build the site. i had very few true skills, and building resources like metroid x was one of them.

around this time, i came back to metroid fusion (after having played only prime for a few weeks) and began to look at how to include it in my new site, as well. i loved the game, but there were apparently few others who did. finally i made contact with someone knowledgeable on aim, known here today as gamecube04. he told me that he had been able to achieve a time of 1:03 speed running fusion, and that i could probably do that, as well, if i took heed of his suggestions. i spent a week or so recording myself (using my new game boy player and the same capture device i had used to capture the mega man cartoons for tph) and also achieved a time of 1:03, of which i was proud. now i had the fusion content (the very first downloadable full data video speed run in the history of the web) -- i just had to capture my own videos of all the known metroid prime sequence breaking tricks for the site's metroid prime content.

i decided to release the site to the public on 2 august, because that was also tph's birthday, and i thought it would make it easy only having to remember one special date that was associated with all of my sites. that gave me just over a week to gather my own footage of every trick i'd ever heard of in metroid prime.

i spent literally every waking moment recording myself; the bomb jump over the bars in great tree hall alone took me most of one day to do. however, even with difficulties such as the bars, i was able to get probably 90% of the tricks i was familiar with recorded in the time i allotted myself (the rest would follow two days after the launch of the site). i made sure to keep the fusion suit on while i was recording in order to distinguish my videos from those of samus.co.uk or metroid online (if a miracle happened and they finished it).

while i was recording, i thought about what i was going to call my site. i thought that the word "metroid" should probably appear in the name, but i ran into a similar problem the metroid online crew had had when i tried to come up with the rest of the title: everything i thought of seemed too generic ("metroid resource", "metroid speed running and sequence breaking", "metroid data", "metroid videos"). finally it hit me to use something that the two games i was covering -- metroid prime and metroid fusion -- had in common.

my enthusiasm quickly died down as i realized that fusion and prime have little in common. the only thing i could come up with was their year of release -- 2002. there were two metroid sequels in 2002, 2 2's in 2002, the 2 1/2's of 2002 each have a 2 in them ... perhaps the elegance and symmetry of the number would make up for my lack of creativity, i thought. i tentatively decided to name the site metroid 2002, knowing full well that it was no longer 2002, and that that might confuse people. finally, though, my desire to limit the site to the two 2002 games won out (because i would never be able to expand the site beyond those games if i called it "metroid 2002"!).

with three days to go before my 2 august deadline, it was time to build the site itself. i spent an entire night photoshopping a large metroid prime logo i had gotten on a nintendo promotional dvd, replacing its "prime" with "2002". then i spent the next day designing the appearance of the site, something that the metroid online people had been doing long before i arrived in the irc channel and continued to do long after i released my site. at first i wanted the sidebar items to be fusion blue, but changed my mind when i experimented with changing them to red and liked them better that way. some gold for a sidebar link color (from the prime logo i had photoshopped) finished the job and i was ready to put all the content in place.

if memory serves, i had around 40 pages of metroid prime videos, as well as the eight segments of my 1:03 fusion run (with the data select sequences cut off because i didn't think they would be important!). very little automation was used in building the original site: each and every page was duplicated from a template and edited by hand. at the time, though, i was quite pleased with myself -- i had learned enough css to make a presentable site in a single day, and my use of javascript to write static content such as the sidebar and my contact email link seemed lightyears ahead of the competition.

i decided at the last moment (i only had two days left now) to yank the image gallery i had been preparing, even though i had painstakingly captured every single image from the metroid prime bonus galleries at full size, blending together four full screen captures for each image. the work i did for this section can still be seen today at http://www.metroid2002.com/image_gallery/ (though be advised that higher quality versions of these images probably exist elsewhere by now). i felt as though any deviation from what i was really interested in -- sequence breaking and speed running -- would be a harmful distraction on my site.

i made the decision to use only lower case letters entirely out of respect for the one who had taught me everything: kip. his characteristic lower case writing had been my guide through sequence breaking since i had arrived at the sequence breaking topic on gamefaqs almost two months before. i simply did not know any other way to treat the material than how he had presented it, and i felt as though he had done a superb job. my only hope in making the site was that it would be as helpful to future generations of sequence breakers as kip had been to me.

as i spewed page after html page of paltry "notes" below embedded videos, i could tell that i was easily going to make the deadline. i had kept my friends, even kip, completely in the dark up to this point: they knew nothing of metroid 2002 or all the work i had been doing on it. i guess i figured i had better get the site up first before they found out about it and tried to assassinate me or something. i recall repeatedly asking them "who discovered this," "who discovered that," though, and it probably became pretty suspicious after a while.

they found out what i had been doing on 2 august, 2003, at 12:38:06 am american central daylight time:

12:38:06 AM: Nate: i would like to announce the release of my new site, metroid2002.com
12:39:44 AM: _Tim_: wanna call it Metroid Network, lol?
12:40:00 AM: Nate: nah, i like metroid 2002
12:40:02 AM: Toozin: hahaha
12:40:22 AM: Toozin: it's not 2002 anymore though B-)
12:40:49 AM: Paratroopa1: and in about six months, it won't be 2003 either :P
12:40:57 AM: Toozin: I like how you have the movies set up
12:41:03 AM: Toozin: although it glitches something fierce when you play 2 at once
12:41:07 AM: Nate: it's still 2002 as far as we're concerned...
12:41:12 AM: Nate: haha, lol
12:41:23 AM: Nate: yeah, that's not recommended :X
12:41:50 AM: Toozin: heheh
12:42:49 AM: Toozin: hey, who was it that discovered the thardus bomb trick?
12:43:12 AM: _Tim_: Umm
12:43:13 AM: Paratroopa1: It was one of those wandering posters, I think
12:43:14 AM: CALFoolio (wildgordit@adsl-67-123-161-12.dsl.sntc01.pacbell.net) has joined channel #metroid
12:43:17 AM: Paratroopa1: I don't think he had another discovery
12:43:18 AM: _Tim_: I believe so
12:43:20 AM: Paratroopa1: thus, I have no idea
12:43:27 AM: Toozin: yeah. he was a bit of a lamer
12:43:34 AM: Toozin: I think he AIMed me a bit
12:43:48 AM: Paratroopa1: omfg
12:43:54 AM: Paratroopa1: god forbid he should AIM YOU
12:43:55 AM: Toozin: but it kinda sucks that everyone's forgotten, because it would be nice to give proper credit
12:44:09 AM: Nate: i know what you mean. :P
12:44:15 AM: Toozin: I don't mind when people do that. it's just when they're stupid that I hate it B-)
12:44:24 AM: Paratroopa1: ah.
12:44:29 AM: Paratroopa1: You didn't mention THAT part.
12:44:30 AM: Toozin: and most people from gamefaqs are stupid, so I didn't leave it on my profile for very long
12:44:36 AM: Paratroopa1: Anyway, yeah it sucks that everyone's forgotten :\
12:44:51 AM: Paratroopa1: heh, I hate it when random people AIM me
12:44:55 AM: Paratroopa1: because I'm like "oh, hi"
12:45:02 AM: Paratroopa1: but I can't start a conversation very easily
12:45:12 AM: Paratroopa1: and deep down inside, I'm like "who the fuck is this?"
12:45:36 AM: Paratroopa1: probably why I don't give my AIM address to people I don't plan on talking to :P
12:46:13 AM: Toozin: well, people who AIM people they don't know tend to be pretty good at keeping up a conversation
12:46:17 AM: _Tim_: Heh
12:46:19 AM: Toozin: granted, it's usually about stuff you could care less about
12:46:20 AM: _Tim_: I just don't use AIM
12:46:23 AM: Toozin: but they manage to keep talking
12:46:30 AM: _Tim_: Makes it very simple to avoid IMs
12:46:50 AM: Toozin: I use aim. I just don't give out my name to people I don't want to talk to
12:50:22 AM: Nate: so any feedback on the site?
12:50:30 AM: Nate: i guess i was kind of afraid you were going to run me out of the channel
12:51:30 AM: Toozin: nah, there's nothing to be mad about. you didn't rip off any descriptions, and you give proper credit
12:51:33 AM: _Tim_: GO! NOW!!
12:51:35 AM: _Tim_: Hee hee
12:51:47 AM: Nate: awesome, i did something right...
12:52:51 AM: Toozin: and I seriously love the movies
12:53:57 AM: Nate: i'm planning on adding some stuff pretty soon
12:54:09 AM: Nate: like i didn't have time to do the skip thermal stuff by the august 2 deadline
12:54:34 AM: Nate: i figured some people might want to skip just thermal you know, and they would need to know where the power conduits are
12:54:34 AM: Toozin: why'd you have a deadline?
12:54:57 AM: Nate: august 2 is a special day, my other site turns seven today
12:55:17 AM: Nate: also i'm going to record a 1% fusion speed run
12:55:26 AM: Nate: talking to kip and sess about that and i think i can get a pretty good time
12:55:46 AM: _Tim_: I have a deadline for this site
12:55:50 AM: _Tim_: August 2, 2004
12:55:55 AM: Nate: heh, good luck :P

after i announced the new site on gamefaqs, devilbit emailed me (he never came to the irc channel) and congratulated me for "keeping things going." he said he liked how i had used quicktime to combine the videos with the text. i'm sorry to say that i no longer have this email, and it's such a shame, because it's probably the best email i've ever received. i was so happy that someone who was outside of the metroid online group (yet who was still very important to sequence breaking) understood what i was trying to do. sometimes i wonder if i would have kept going with the site had it not been for that email. (it was very hard, because there was virtually no recognition of my site from inside of the "clique" i belonged to.)

my friend becky took this screenshot of the site on 5 august:

almost three months later, on 30 october, sesshoumaru, banks and toozin asked me to take all of metroid online (now known as "metroid hq")'s sequence breaking content (along with its forum, sesshoumaru's 1% fusion run and maru mari) and relaunch metroid 2002 as "the one resource for metroid prime sequence breaking info." this relaunch happened less than two weeks later, on 11 november (the forum proved to be more difficult to port; it was fully m2k2ized by 22 november). the first use of the abbreviation "m2k2" also occurred that same night (30 october), so i sometimes refer to my experimental site that was to teach sequence breaking as "metroid 2002" and to the giant, series-encompassing video documentation resource it became as "m2k2."

looking back at the irc log of that day, i can identify two reasons why they picked me at that time. first, sequence breaking veteran amasawa had checked in earlier that day after a long absence, and i had introduced myself to him and given him a tour of my site (which he had never seen before). he was impressed, and that must have made an impression on his former colleagues.

second, mhq had a serious hosting problem. in order to download any content outside of the actual web pages (i.e. to see any videos), one had to wait in line at a third party content hosting service called 3dd and be subjected to ads until his or her turn came up to download the desired file -- and even then it often refused to work entirely.

radix and i were just finishing our 100% runs of prime at that time (in october of 2003), and i mentioned in the irc channel in passing that evening that i had offered to host kip's 1:23 any percent run as well as my 1:03 fusion run and my 100% prime run on metroid 2002 (radix planned to host his 100% run at his site, speed demos archive). my ability to link directly to not one but three full speed runs probably pushed them over the edge. (of course, we sometimes see "three full speed runs" added to sda in one day's time now, but back in 2003, linking directly to a full data video speed run was unheard of. you either got it by dcc from a sympathetic party, or you didn't get it at all.)

and so metroid 2002 became m2k2. there's much more to this story, but i'd better leave it for next time. thanks, kudos and apologies go to everyone who's been there with me as the site developed. it is your site as much as it is mine.

here's to another two years!
Thread title: 
I('d) like to watch (some MP3 runs)
*spanks site twice*


Happy bday.

Now the terrible twos!

Very nice read..learned quite a bit of new things, and it's making me want to read through the SB topics.
everybody knows it's true
I guess it's time for another odd MS paint job by Mr. Aran.

Here ya go:

And it's not officially M2K2's Birthday. It's 11:00 PM

Quote from the next poster will:
Ya. this'll really be the terrible twos. The only release planned is Metroid Prime Hunters.
A great post for a great site.  Happy birthday m2k2.

Man, nate, that really brings back memories.  If I could live it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing.
Although I wasn't there when all that happened, I'm glad that it did. Congratulations, Nate.
lol no way
You break my heart, buddy. I wish I could've been there, but I wasn't... I just hope I can be a part of the site's next two years. Thanks so much for everything you've done, although at this point it's... everything everyone's done. We really do rock.
Happy Birthday, m2k2.
Strategy Guide Writer
Happy Birthday Metroid 2002! *sets off party poppers*

I still remember the time Nate told me that he started almost panicking when he heard I got my Gameboy Player and was looking to add Fusion videos to Samus.co.uk! Laughing (which is strngely sometihng I STILL haven't done! Embarassed).

But i'm chuffed to bits M2k2 has stuck around for so long. Every other Metroid site is either fading away, being updated by 5 year olds or isn't being updated practically at all (such as Metroid Galaxy or MDb).

And it's great to see M2k2 and SCU complimenting each others content now as wellm (OMG Liek, a link to SCU from M2k2 exists now! *dies* ;) :P). The SB content I'll have on SCU from now on will just  be the basic "big" SB's and all of the smaller speed tricks etc will be found here. I get your point entirely that it's almost an impossible task to cover the series entirely, so I don't intend to.

And while I may run SCU, I'm glad to be a part of M2k2 as well (even if it IS in a vastily smaller capacity). Keep up the good work everyone (especially you Nate).

May M2k2 live on for a VERY long time!  :D  8)
Too many fangirls to count
Wow, I feel like a baby to the world of metroid now. But I am proud to be a member of these forums like I am now. Congratulations, nate. Ya did good. You did it all right. The forums, the site, everything. Unlike my forums, which I would like to say SUCK in comparison to m2k2. I hope to discover at least one thing in the near future to help the metroid world at least a small bit.
always move fast
very cool, just makes me want to have found that topic earlier so much more.  and if you ever think you've done anything other than an exceptional job, youre deluding yourself.

happy birthday, mr. website.
red chamber dream
Awesome. I definitely learned a lot. I remember that in October of 2003, I hadn't even heard of SBing or m2k2. But I'm glad I discovered both.
Let's have a party, yay!!!
I was shocked too when I heard about sequence breaking, I only heard it from your site though, nate. In 2003 or something.

Happy birhtday !
in the name of justice!
i feel like a noob every time i come here...and i love it.  thanks nate.  maybe, in the far future, i'll have something to contribute to the site.

yeah, right.
red chamber dream
Heh, just by posting your thoughts on the forum, you are contributing to the site. Well, to the community part, at least.
Not impossible
just highly unlikely
Quote from Trebor:
If I could live it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing.

I would have merged, like, a year sooner. But that's just me.

Happy bday2k2.
Beware: off duty ninja
happy b day m2k2!

yeah, I, much like most people, was not aware of just what could be done in metroid prime. I was actually going to sell my ntsc copy of prime due to boredom with it. but when trying to find some info on getting 100% completion for prime I ended up here on total fluke and I am glad I did. in conclusion: yay metroid, and yay m2k2
Am I the only one that finds the attached picture funny? :P

in the name of justice!
uhh, yeah!  you can never have enough gin!  oh wait...it said gun...

Arrow  Arrow  Arrow  Arrow
One shall stand, one shall ball.
Happy b-day to M2K2!

Heh, I remember all those GameFAQs topics, and those other sites. It's pretty funny looking at the old page of the site that was posted it's so much different than it looks now.
Happy B-day to M2k2…

This site has made me slouch so badly, I feel that I should have a back brace.  The many hours I spent typing here…

Edit:  Aah… I should've gotten a chair with a back MUCH sooner…
Samus Lauren
Wow, it feels so much more than just 2 years...I haven't  been around for all of that, but i was darn close. Man, i miss M2k2. But i think i may miss maru mari a bit more. What ever happened to that comic anyway?
Houston has been busy.
Samus Lauren
Ah yes, I've known about that game for a looong time now. Houston's Big Adventure...It makes me wish i had a better internet than dial-up so i could play...*sigh*
Time bomb set get out fast!
Congrats, Nate!  I remember when my site turned two.  It just turned five, and I hope I'll be here when yours does too.

A birthday present of some nature is in order.  Jeeves, fetch my thinking cap!  (No, not that one, you fool.  That one's only for thinking about Lexa Doig.)