Interviews



Interview with Sauron

Published in Vandalism News #32
Performed by Jazzcat



J)
Welcome to the Vandalism News magazine! Please introduce yourself to the readers.

S)
Hi.. My name is Ole, and I am 29 years old. After I stopped cracking 64 stuff around 92, I went to university and took a Master of Science degree in computer science. I have worked as a programmer for about four years now in a company in Norway. Finally earning big bucks!!



J)
Could you tell us a bit about your C-64 history. When did you start in the scene? What groups have you been in? What are the main events and highlights of your scene career?

S)
I got my C64 Xmas 1984 after asking my parents for one for a long time. In the beginning I just copied a lot of turbo tape games, but after that I started to trade games and inspired from Lord of the Rings, the group The Lords were founded I started to call myself Sauron. Around 1986 I started to work in a shop where they sold computer games. I didnít take long before I started to copy the games and release them. As I started to trade with other groups a groups called "The Last Science" wanted us to crack games for them and supply them with games. We tried that for some time, but it didnít work out. 8/8-1988 (easy date to remember) I formed a new group with only myself from The Lords together with 3 others, Garfield(cracker/coder), The Arc(coder), Hawkeye(supplier) called Future. We started to release demos and cracks. Sometime in 1989 (there was a copy party in Trondheim) we named the group Illusion which became the last group I was a real member of. I remember playing "Just an Illusion" over and over again till people got really sick of that tune from Imagination... :) With Illusion more members joined, amongst others my good friend over the years Gene which got me introduced to the US scene and Hero and Fist. We started to do many first releases and started to send games to the US where Exodus was the first import group. I still think Stormbringer is the best NTSC fixer till date. Later we made cooperation with ATC where Pudwerx became a very good friend. (Jason if you read this or anyone else who know about Jason/Pudwerx address please let me know) But the search for first releases went on. Our friends Dean and Richie in London helped out with grabbing them. And I donít have the number on how many calls Ritchie and me had on how to rip those tape games and send them to me. Then some more members joined NME, Derbyshire Ram(Hi Barry, I am starting to feel old now, wonder how old you are now!!) and many more. Sorry if I canít remember you all, but I canít remember you all after 8 -9 years...


J)
What were the days of Illusion like for you? And in which group did you feel the happiest?

S)
Illusion has been the group which I liked the most, but it had its ups and downs. In the beginning we had a lot of games to crack, and some weeks, there were games nearly every day so we managed to release a lot. Garfield and Fist also helped out. I also preferred quality cracks, meaning good level packer(thanks Fist) and many trainers. I always tried to play through each game to see if it worked all right. Then it was exporting them to the US so they could get NTSC fixed. Luckily blue boxing and CC could be used at that time, which became very unsafe in 1991-92, Hero and Gene guess you were kinda lucky... One problem was the calling at night. My parents didnít like the phone ringing so on every release night I had to sneak out and disconnect the phone close to their bedroom. Didnít get much sleep at those times......But the times back then was something I will recall as fun..



J)
What are your all-time favourites:

S)
Hmm.. As time has gone by I donít recall so many specific demos/persons, but these pop into my mind.

Demo Group: The Shadow/Panoramic Design, Beyond Force and some Swedish group and cant remember(perhaps it was Horizon)
Demo: I liked the Pimple Squeezer demos
Programmer: Olav Morkrid(he had good talent and served good pizza!!) Musician: I had many favourites, Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway, Jeroen Tel, and that guy who did Ghost n ghouls(Fred Gray?)
Graphician: I just remember some local names, but Moonray / The Shadows/Panoramic Designs was quite good
Game: As a cracker I got kinda tired of games, but I liked the Creatures(lots of blood) series, Paradroid/Uridium, most System 3 games like Last Ninja etc
Cracker: Antitrack , Doc / Ikari, Mr Z/ Triad , Goldfish/Legend (even though we had our fights...)
Cracker Group: Ikari/Talent, Legend, Fairlight, Triad, Dominators


J)
What's your view on the internet and how it has affected the way computer scenes and people communicate and produce?

S)
Since I have seen whatís been happening from simple mail to modem to internet trading/contact I must say that "the old way was better". But perhaps this is just due to me not being a hardcore scener anymore and that I donít spend so much time on it as I did.... Before there were only a few people, but with the internet "everyone" is connected and there is so much information. Today I communicate mostly with people on IRC (my handle is Sauron1 of EFNET), but they have no relation to the old C64 scene. As I work a lot I donít have time to follow up on C64 stuff which I left many years ago.



J)
Are you in contact with any one from the scene still?

S)
I still have contact with the Norwegian members of Illusion. Some contact with Ritchie(Xmas cards!), I have met Mason/Motiv8 and Dogfriend on the net. I used to hang out in the C64 channel some years back but not anymore. But I have met some old C64 people in the PC scene.


J)
What is the hardest game you have worked on? And what crack by any other past or present cracker have you seen that has been the most impressive?

S)
The hardest game I worked on was Flimbo's Quest I think. It had some stupid protection in it, and I was afraid we couldnít get it out as first release. I remember a German game which was packed on the disc in a very special way which I was kinda impressed on how the cracker did. Canít remember the title or the cracker now.. I donít think I have come across a game that I could crack, I know Antitrack talked about a utility which was hard to crack and I believe him, but I never tried it myself..



J)
Which group in your opinion gave Illusion the most competition?

S)
The group which gave us most competition was Ikari/Talent and Legend.


J)
Ever call any boards in the old times of the C64 era?

S)
I called some boards in the past. I called our HQ, The Forum quite often. I was also on the Talent and NEC board. I didnít have time to call the boards that much really. I left that to Hero and Gene.....



J)
Been to many scene parties? Which ones did you attend?

S)
Oh yeah, quite a lot. The first I went to was in Sweden around 86/87. I travelled with a group called Network(creator of the famous cruncher, Matcham was the man). Then some parties here in Norway, and three or four parties in Denmark. I remember especially one party in Denmark. In a scout cabin... I guess there was only space for about 20-30 people, but we squeezed in like 60-70 people. People were lying in their tent connected with a power cable from within the scout cabins hut. Luckily the party was moved to a Gym hall of some sort. It was an Ikari party, Excel and Fletch ... Very cool guys... I also remember some other Danish party which was very cool. Met a lot of people from England(Just Ice etc) and Germany. Also Dogfriend / Dominators was there who became a good friend of our group(especially with Garfield)


J)
What are you currently doing these days, still in the scene? If so, any new projects?

S)
Well, as I stated earlier I work a lot in a small Norwegian company, doing java, c++ and Delphi stuff. (Hopefully an IT millionaire soon !!! hehe ) As when it comes to the scene, I am still in the around. Now it is more the PC ISO/apps scene, but I am not in any group (not yet)


J)
What do you say when I tell you the C64 scene is still alive, people you used to know such as Derbyshire Ram are still around?

S)
Well, I am quote surprised. I thought the C64 scene died looooong time ago, but since I was mostly a cracker the scene died for me when I stopped cracking. At around 91/92 when I was in the army there was not many games coming out perhaps once a month and after the army I continued on my education. I have seen some emulators and stuff, but not any new demos etc after I quit. Reading the news section on Domination is quite stunning, people are actually releasing C64 stuff in the year 2000... I guess people were more addicted than I was !!


J)
Ever had any wars or disliking towards some group or person in the scene?

S)
Of course there were small fights. I remember Legend as one of the groups. Personally I didnít like talking bad things about another person/group, (thatís why we had Hero and Gene the two warriors , hehehe). I did some mistakes , I can still hear Bod/Talent nagging about Last Ninja in which I got some complaints about, but I see myself as a peaceful person and tried to get liked by most people. But some people did not understand irony....



J)
The magazine industry on the C64 has developed over the years, what are your views on C64 disk magazines and their purposes in the scene?

S)
At the time where I cracked there were many disk mags. They had some nice things as charts (as I always looked at :) ), news etc... Interviews were another cool thing. As the scene grows its good to have someone that collects the info so one gets updated on what is happening.


J)
Who do you think is the biggest lamer to walk the face of the C64 scene?

S)
Hmmm... I totally forgot his name now, but I think he was some French kid with a rich father who would buy himself into the scene. The group was Genesis Project I think. Damn, his handle was 7 or 8 letters, oh well...


J)
Please feel free to send any greetings to anyone you know...

S)
Okay, Greetings in no special order to (Dťjŗ vu feeling) : Rocky/Abnormal the man the myth hehehe the funniest man in the scene, Excel/Fletch/Bod from Ikari, Dogfriend/Dominators, Antitrack, the guys in Fairlight, Pudwerx , Joel(US guy in Exodus), Stormbringer, Omega Supreme and all the members who was in Illusion, Ritchie, Derbyshire Ram, Fist, Hero, Gene, Garfield, Hawkeye and the rest.....


J)
Thanks for your time Ole, do you have some last comments for the readers?

S)
Well, keep the C64 living.... And if anyone want to contact me you can reach me at : olegr@nospam.pvv.org

Sauron / Illusion signing off.

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