SuiCyco leaves AVA Ladder at #1
The following is the final installment of SuiCyco's chronicle of adventures
in ladder dueling...
Bozzer threw the challenge mail envelope on the table. "Looks like more
Empire challenges, Sui". Yes, it was.. I finished eating my breakfast and
opened up the notice. "Well?" Bozzer asked. "Well, I am going down to the
repair bay to finish working on Nikki", I replied. "What division is the
match?" He called out as I walked down the steps. "Division 5" I told him
absent mindedly as I entered the garage.
And there she was. White, pure, except for the rear mortar mount and the
50 caliber turret atop the roof. An angel of mercy.
"Division 5? How are you going to fit the Z in division 5?" He asked bewieldered.
I turned around and spoke in a flat tone. "I am not." And with that, I walked
back to Nikki, popped the hood and finished up on changing the plugs and
wires. As I buried my hand inside the engine, working quickly with the ratchet,
Bozzer asked the question,
I let out a deep breath and began... "When I started on the path, I was
the underdog. People rooted for me, and I was on a quest to defeat the self
proclaimed Masters of dueling. Now I have returned backto the IRD Facility
time and again in success, and the tables have turned. I am no longer the
Underdog, I am the Tyrant, I am the Oppressor. And it is time for me to
leave." I shut the hood down fiercely, the spark plug change complete. Stepping
back into the cockpit, with a turn of the key, Nikki jumped to life. The
supercharger breathed in air, as if with renewed vigor. "Well, she's in
fine shape now, just like the day I found her..." My words trailed off,
and I shut her down, closed the driver side door, and tossed the keys to
a stunned Bozzer.
My hand glided over the soft white bonnet one last time, as I said my final
piece. "And when you get to the top, don't let them tell you how it is to
be there, because only the Masters of Funk will ever know..."
Team Intercept holding no less than half of the upper
See SuiCyco's final standing on the AVA Combat Ladder at www.auto-vigilante.com...
From Beginning to End - Sui's I76 autobiography/interview
Whoops, this isn't an interview, because it would be a bit strange to interview
myself (as suggested by our resident foriegn autos specialist, Toxy), so
instead, I have decided to write a short history, an autobiography if you
will, of SuiCyco and his experiences with Interstate 76, that great game
we have all have so much fun playing. Some people will make a case that
this is some vauge tool to enhance my ego, but whatever. Those people will
say those things no matter what I do, or say, or do not do. At any rate,
I hope you like it.
In The beginning...
I think it all started the day I bought Need For Speed II. I was really
dissatisfied by the game quality and the lack of complexity, so I returned
it. My ladyfriend came with me to the store on my return of the game, and
she wandered off to the games section while I waited in the exchange line.
She found this game, I'76, and urged me to exchange for it. I was hesitant-
the game looked too original to be any good, but I agreed, after all, I
could always return it if the game wasn't going to cut the mustard.
The game ROCKED. A musician myself, I was switching the scenario CD from
my car Disc Changer, to hear the guitar rifs and sticky bass lines, to my
4XCD ROM to blow up creepers, on a regular basis. Awesome game, awesome
music, what more could you ask for? And, I don't care what some others have
said, these graphics are AWESOME! You want to see lousy graphics? Let me
show you my old copy of JET. But the best thing of all was car configuration.
Brake types, suspension systems, engines, weapons, rims, all customizable!
I've never worked out the numbers, but I'm sure there are several hundred
thousand different combinations of cars and their components. (Could someone
work out the numbers? I'm curious...) Each car, with it's own special quirk,
each player, with their own personalized design... This was a large reason
I would end up being so entranced by this game on the internet, much unlike
my experience with quake and others.
Well, I played the trip and defeated it. It was alot of fun, but now what?
I had never really played an 'on-line' game before, so it was interesting...
After a few weeks I started noticing cars that seemed invincible! They were
hacked, of course, and once I learned this I decided that it would be good
to know how to hack, so, I downloaded a hex editor, went to the 'how-to'
pages, and began. I won't say I broke any new ground as a hacker; I didn't,
but due in part to previous experience with hexidecimal I was able to make
an 'invincible' car, instead of the code given for a car with 800 armor,
things like that. So for the next few weeks I drove around in a car with
4 turrets, a hades cannon, all this and the car only weighed a few hundred
pounds! But, as a 'hacker' there weren't many nice players to play with.
Most people hated you, and most other hackers were more concerned with getting
new hacks than making new friends. It really wasn't for me. And although
I met some nice players, like Deadman, they were too busy hacking, and I
still wanted to play!
But all this invincible armor and turrets were making me a poor player,
so, I put a hold on hex-editing. Early on, I had seen an orginizations web
page called the 'AVA', I had seen some of their players, and noticed they
were a cut above all us non-affiliated newbies.. They were like an elite
guard of I'76, and I made them my primary targets when we were in the same
I started to get fairly skilled with the game, but hadn't figured out what
the heck to do with that rear hardpoint. Most people were using cannons,
rockets, or missles. I decided to try something else, a clusterbomb. I remember
the first few times I used them in games like the way I do now, although
much more crudely... People would say to me "A REAR clusterbomb? That's
crazy!" I didn't realize it then, and I don't think anyone else did either,
that this would turn out to be such a dangerous tool in combat.
Eventually, I took a more serious look at the AVA price list and ideals,
and they seemed pretty cool. So I began to play with these AVA rules.. this
was a long time ago, back when you could buy a WP mortar for something like
1200 dollars.... But this was also when people didn't realize the lethal
killing power of those types of weapons.
This was a time when the AVA players absolutely abhored hacking of any type.
The game was still new, people were very passionate about it and all that...
So, when I went looking for a 'gang' to join, I couldn't find any AVA 'gangs'
that didn't have 'Hacks suck!' on their page somewhere... And I thought
that was kind of silly... I considered joining EMPIRE, they seemed cool,
but all their players went to bed 3 hours before me, or even more, so that
wasn't a viable option. The Hollow Points, lead by HP Thibor, offered to
take me in, (ironically, they were later absorbed by Team Intercept!), but
Thibor, at the time, really, really hated anything that even smelled of
hacking. I just couldn't agree with that mentality, so I said thanks, but
no thanks. It was a bummer, because, at the time, The Hollow Points were
the strongest AVA chapter of all, and I really wanted to be a part of that.
So I played late, and late in PST is REALLY late for the rest of the U.S.,
but there was one man... One man who played as late as I, and that man was
JOLT!MAN. Jolt was one of the craziest, honest, and good natured players
I ever played. He was also very skilled. The AVA chapters list stated that,
to form a new AVA chapter requires 2 players. So why not? I aked JOLT!MAN
if he would like to start a new group with me. Not a gang, we weren't selling
drugs on the corner, or doing drive by shootings... But a team, like a racing
team.. Although much more deadly.. Team Intercept!
So starting with 2 Interceptors, we slowly built upon our foundations and
ideals: Speak the truth, play with skill, help the team. There were some
mistakes made along the way, but overall, things were going well. I learned
HTML during this time to create the original Team Intercept website. Nothing
like the professional piece you see now, but hey, it was my first attempt
at HTML! I think Team Intercept really began to change when Madhatter joined.
Madhatter is a very skilled pilot, and an excellent web page designer. The
blade had been beaten into a focused shape before he came along, but it
still required the polishing of a delicate hand. And Madhatter brought along
the polishing of the blade in a big way. From there, alot of idea synergy
between the group members made Team Intercept more than a bunch of people
with letters in their online handles, but more like an seperate entity of
it's own. As I had always hoped it would become. I am proud to be part of
Team Intercept, and even more so to be associated with fellow INT drivers.
They are all an important facet to the ace skill Team Intercept now posseses.
Another interesting turn of events was the INT-HP merger, which further
bolstered the ranks of skilled Interceptors with their own sense of self.
Chest thumping is all over I'76, but where it all comes down is on the AVA
combat ladder. A very competitive, no holds barred show of the best players
of I'76, and with some reluctance, I ended up joining. At the time, I think
it was on a suggestion from JOLT!MAN, because, if I did well on the ladder,
that would promote the INT name. And since we wanted to promote the INT
name, we also decided to set in place the first 'intequette', which basically
stated: "Interceptor's do not fight amongst themselves on the ladder." An
ideal still in place today. I can remember telling people back then, that
I was gunning for #1, but I really thought I would only be able to place
in the top 10. But once I was ranked around 4th place I realized that I
may have underestimated my abilities, and overestimated that of others.
So up, up, up the ladder I marched, unstoppable! And then I got that attitude
that I didn't need a decent car or car design, my sheer SKILL would carry
me through a battle... And that is when I suffered my first -and only- loss
on the AVA ladder. It was a close match but in the end I lost, fair is fair,
and I had no one to blame but myself. After that, however, I began with
renewed vigor my acension to the top of the ladder, and then I challenged
that guy that everyone said was 'the best', the guy I had never fought,
And he drops from the ladder while him and I have an open challenge!
Oh well, he had been on the ladder for a long time... He had to quit sooner
or later. So, I chased down the heir to the throne, and then established
myself as #1. Let me tell you, being #1 on the ladder for any length of
time is a real pain in the neck. Some people treat you like you can't do
things you could do BEFORE you were #1 on the ladder, like 'freezing' yourself
for a week or two, or trying to make sure you get to fight a few different
people. Since there are a few people that really want that #1 spot, they
put you under the gun, and pick apart everything you do. At least, that
is what it looks like from being in the #1 spot. And that is no fun at all!
So, after hearing repeated frustrations from opposing gangs, and, well,
killing every one of them on the ladder anyways, there was no point in staying.
My being on the ladder was having a negative effect to it as a whole, so
I felt it was better I just leave it be. But I am glad I played on the ladder,
because that is definitely where you will confront your toughest opponent,
and for me it was EMP Zaphod. I never knew which way our ladder bouts would
turn out until they were over Zaphod, thanks alot, you pushed me to a new
Sometime during all the ladder fighting, I began to build a philosophy behind
it, I was able to maintain two minds at once, the fighting mind and the
strategy mind. The game became a sort of speed chess. You have an opponent,
you give him many options to choose from, and then you narrow them down,
and then narrow them down again, until they only have 2 or 3 options, and
they will all damage their car. They will take the least damaging option,
but you repeat this procedure and repeat it again, until they die. I won't
say that my fighting philosophy was my only tool for battle. Car design
in AVA combat is very important. Whenever I made a car for ladder combat,
I took a long hard look at it and thought to myself: "What would *I* use
to kill this car?" And then, "Is my opponent profecient in using that sort
of design?" If he was, then I simply would not use that car in combat against
him. Another important part of battle is terrain, and knowing which engines,
suspensions, accessories, and chassis work on which maps is always valuable.
Being able to adapt is an important part of being good at ANYTHING. Look
at it like Darwin theory in action.. Evolve, or die! As you get better with
the game, you can bring your mind to concentrate on multiple levels at once.
When are you really good? When you're in the middle of a heated fight and
you instinctively move the less damaged side of your car to face the enemy's
fire as you and he entwine in a circle of death... For me, that was when
I realized how in tune with the game dynamics I had become. And had become
a deadly opponent for my friends to play. It is not uncommon to end a duel
in success with a car that has completely yellow armor on all sides, but
no armor breaches, when a player aquires this strange skill.
Enter the AVA Honor Guard, a collection of AVA chapters that supposedly
did not hack, never HAD hacked, and never WOULD hack. Obvioulsy, some of
the members HAD hacked in the past, as would later be proven by their own
admission, after the Honor Guard disolved and it wasn't a big deal, but
at the time the HG was a big deal. Eventually, most of the AVA mellowed
out about hacking, and hackers, etc. Some others did not. And then the bombshell
hit. Activision has included a code word to use the helicopter and tank,
and when this was realized, the AVA allowed the use of the helicopter and
tank. Some of the more militant HG members didn't like that. So they went
and formed the DMV. My opinion on the DMV? All I know is that it was formed
by a group of people that didn't like me very much, and that I'll get over
it. As for the Honor Guard, the only interaction I had was posting on their
message board. And that's all the interaction I ever really wanted with
The Maps, the Speed Shop, Tangents...
Over the course of playing I'76 I also became interested in making maps.
Ax-L lead me through my first few frustrating days in the land of I'76 map
editing, and I thank him TONS for it! I think it's a good idea to learn
the basics of the map editor, because you will better understand maps and
the terrain structure you fight in. The Speed Shop was an idea I had in
my mind for awhile, and after discussing it with the Dali Madson, I decided
to make a go of it, with him as the right hand man. But it didn't turn out
quite that way. I went into turbo-mode and did most of the site by myself,
which upset Dali, understandably, and for that I still feel bad. Whether
Dali knows it or not, I probably would not have begun this site at all without
his starting help and encouragement.
So in closing, I'd like to say hi to all my I'76 comrades (you know who
you are!), nothing to my enemies, and something to those of you I have never
met. Before you get stuck in a protracted argument with someone over the
internet, rememeber there is a real person behind that handle, sometimes
good, sometimes bad, but remember that just because you see alot of of others
engaged in nasty name calling, and just because you're anonymous, doesn't
make that right. Try to remember to treat others with the same respect you
wish to be treated with, and not to shun others simply because they are
different. The internet is comprised of a massive network of unequal computers
working together, and there is no reason people can't follow suit.
Interceptum Infidus Prorsus!