Nikki Car!
SuiCyco's Stuff
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 ladder spots...

See SuiCyco's final standing on the AVA Combat Ladder at

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 games.

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.

Team Intercept...

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.

The Ladder...

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, HP THIBOR!

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 level..!

Two Minds...

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.

The Schism...

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 it.

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!