Interview with Bacchus

Published in Domination #1
Performed by Jazzcat

Welcome to the interview section. In this first issue I have a selected bunch of sceners I have decided to torture for these chapters, maybe some mag-firsts as well! I hope you will find some of them to your liking.

I'd also like to interview a few guys from the gaming scene, like Matt Gray or the Cale brothers from System 3. What do you think? Anyway let's start with a famous dude most would know!!

Okay, please tell us about yourself!!!

My name is Pontus. I'm 25. Living in a three room flat with my fiancé in the very centre of Stockholm. I'm still in the university. I'm to produce two major papers to get a "master of law" diploma. I'm currently studying a few other things. This is my first term in Stockholm, so I'm still not fully used to the place. I'm also a part time journalist on a computer mag (a real one that is!).

I lead and am the main cracker for Fairlight C64, which is a section of Fairlight. We also have sections on IBM, Amiga and SNES. I have about 7 years of cracking experience, so I guess I'm rather good!

Well isn't Domination a real mag??! :) Anyway Bacchus, please tell us about your scene life, when you started etc...

It all started out in 1985 when I bought my first C64 and a 1541 ("Vic 20-white" one). The very same machine I use today, even if lots of its contents are changed! I bought it from the shop "diskett" where I saw some guys hanging around (I much later got to know them as wasp members (now I know them all!), and one of them was "No.1", who later grew to be Strider/Fairlight).

I played games and had a good time. I lived through restrictions like "only one hour per day, after homework", a tight phone line shared with the family and so on. The friend from whom I got all the cool kewl games, had a classmate who new how to code machine language, so we formed a group - LCT (Lunds Cracking Team) - the three of us. This classmate was The Scarlet Pimpernel (TSP). I considered him a whiz coder at the time (I now know he wasn't!), but recently I had to help his finishing Skychart V, which I guess you have seen. Coding seemed too much work, so I decided to become like one of my idols who cracked games. The first idol was Lancelot (Jimmy blushed when I told him in 1989). My handle was Playboy.

TSP was the leader, but I brought in new members to get some action. Mr. Lead (now Grayhawk/FLT), Mr. Wedge (now Wedge/FLT "hall of fame") and Ade (who became Phred/FLT) and I wanted to change the name of CPU (Crackers and Programmers Unlimited). TSP was no leader type, but didn't let me do it, as this was his group... it was all a mess! I wrote a letter to Playboy (the mag) to ask for permission to use Playboy as a handle, which naturally was turned down. So I took the name Gaston for some weeks until I realised that someone in Thundercats had the name (now one of my best friends!). So it became Bacchus - the god of wine and fertility.

During this time I did 13.5 month military service. Upon getting back I started out strong again. To clean out the mess I founded Oneway (yes the same Oneway that lives today) together with Galleon (Cruelcrunch), Questor (swapper), Razor (swapper, painter - lamer!) and Mr. Lead. We took Ade and Mr. Wedge with us. Only one week later Mr. Lead got the offer for us to join Fairlight.

He had been swapping with Strider all along, and they needed some fresh blood. Originally I think we should be a demo section. Gollum was pissing mad, but he soon learned to live with it!

Again we brought guys from CPU, who now, on order from Strider, changed handles. This happened 13/12-88. My first crack for Fairlight was "Batman - The Caped Crusader". Since then I've been faithful to the group. When Strider went 100% for the Amiga, I took over the C64 section and this was as early as 1989. Our peak under my domain was the end of 1989 when I worked in a computer shop. Boy, did we release!

Wow!! That's some history!! A lot of old names and groups mentioned there! But now comes the mental bit, the brainstorm!!
Please tell me what comes to your head upon the mentioning of these names:

Scene: Too much crawling for the Americans!
Real life music: Pink Floyd!
Cracking scene: Too many lamers claiming skills by showing versions of SEUCK and one-filers. Even worse, they are believed!!!
Food: All food with meat that I cannot buy as a student!
Movies: The Wall, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Dead Poets Society (yes, I cried!) and the recent favourite "The Snapper"
Women: I am engaged since 3 years! (Gunilla)
Demos: Dutch Breeze, the HZ demos and The Judges demos!
Sex: Straight and often!
Sexual position: Sorry, no good names on them!
Drugs: Narcotics suck major donkey dick. A pint of Guinness on the local pub or a splash of whisky to sip on is good enough for me. I have no need to escape from real life. I don't even smoke!
Hacking scene: K12 (Patrik), the only hacker I know!
Game scene: C64 games suck! I have SNES and an Amiga to play on! Pinball Mania! (ED. what about Last Ninja's and Turrican's and the rest?!!)
IBM: The pc has a huge market base enabling production of lots of software. I envy PC users for this, but they have to live with the crappiest piece of hardware ever constructed!
Amiga: All C64'ers throwing junk on the Amiga are doing it, as they know that it steals sceners from us. It's a jolly good machine and its good fun using it! Had one since 1988!

What are your views on the new Commodore 65?

Haven't heard these rumours in years, and I can just say: too late! I want a C64 card for my Amiga instead! After listening to more on the latest conference, I'd say it's nice and that I'd want one, but this is not the future! but who says retrospectives are wrong?

If you started a new group who would you have in your group??

First of all - Fairlight is me and we will be together as long as I have the slightest interest in computing on this level! ok >if<, well Tron would be the first one, and then Ogami. then I'd want the best supplier around, but they seem to be anonymous. And then I'd like Mr. Z. that would be sufficient! oh, and someone who could card me an Amiga 4000 (ED. yes I put you through and you will get one soon!! no lie!!!)

Over the years you must have collected a lot of equipment, please tell us what you own!

Phew. I guess the insurance company wouldn't want me to tell, but ok:

2 x C64 (one of 'em up)
1 x 128d (up)
3 x 1541 (one up)
1 x 1581 (lacks power unit)
1 x Oceanic drive
1 x monitor Philips 8833 (for 128d+a2000)
1 x monitor CBM 1085s (for C64+SNES)
1 x 1764 x-mem (512 KB)
1 x Amiga 2000 (5MB RAM, 170 MB HDJ)
1 x Super Nintendo
1 x Star LC24-20 printer

EPROM burner, mouses (mice??), joysticks, most carts ever released, loads of books and a trusty parallel loading system (disk demon). That's most of it, anyway and which I have on my desk! see why I want a C64 as a card in the Amiga now??

I heard on IBM they have a perfect C64 emulator? Ok, what could happen to improve this scene?

We can only hope that the eastern block sets off to buy C64's in great numbers, as there is no hope of revival in the western Europe. I guess that's it. I won't be waiting around for the Africans to buy them!

Okay tell us about your handle, why you have it and what does it mean?

I was desperately seeking for a new handle as the old one, Gaston, was taken. I had a majestic one in mind, and looking in the old mythology (Greek and Roman) I found the god Bacchus that suited me, as it rang "sex" and "boozing". It's odd that I have a gods name as I hate religious fanatics (especially Muslims!).

What do you think about the rebuilding of a legendary group?

If one of the countries in old Yugoslavia called their "tribe" Romans, people would laugh their arses off and the same thing with resurrected groups. Dead groups should be remembered only and left to rest in peace. I can see a point in raising your old group again, if there is a majority of old members, or at least a strong old member starting up a group that died when they/he left the scene. What happens today is that name theft is okay if one of the new members lived next door to the guy who biked the swapper’s mail to the mailbox. By the way, we see some pathetic returns of people who come back 'cos they didn't have what it took on the other machines. Boy, they are real losers!

Have you been in many wars or have many enemies in this scene? Tell us.

A big mouth breeds enemies. I hated the guys in Censor for quite some time, but that is looong gone! Boy that was fun. They released crap under our name, and I made a Censor-intro-maker and spread it. Was I surprised to see that they actually used it themselves as it was so good? I'd like another juicy war with someone big enough to be a challenge!

Well maybe things might happen!! Tell us what your future plans are.

I intend to get married on March 5th 1994, and all that goes along with it. I hope to finish university soon now, and get myself a stinking well paid job. I'll get my SNES copier, so I'll code a bit on that machine as well. I guess I'll stick around on the C64 scene as long as the Gamers Guide is around, as it is only this to give me motivation to go on wasting my time over disgusting excuses for games on the C64.

Check out the game section Bacchus and see how your cracks went there!! any greets you wanna give out?

Starting out, greets were a list of people you'd want to know. Over the years it has grown into a list of people the swappers get fast replies from. In my 9th year I can say that I made a lot of good friends, where computers were what brought us together, but not what kept the friendship alive. Quite a few of them are long gone from the scene like Spitfire/Action, Kaktus/Defiers/Northstar (the CP demos and Noicetracker on Amiga). But some remain active like Jerry/Triad, Rowdy/Fairlight, Harlekin/Fairlight, The Alchemist/Fairlight, Gaston, Celebrandil/Phenomena and a bunch of others. It's so hard to draw the line to those who are friends and to those I know, so I leave it be here.

Any last words for us?

I said too much for you to handle it already, but I want to add something. I have been on this scene so long, and yet I learn new things about the C64 almost every day. Friends leaving for other interests, without being able to keep contact, as the missing link is gone; it's close to the death of someone you know. I have grown into understanding how old people see their friends die off, leaving them. It is sad, but this is your future too, remember. So, to all you youngsters out there: seize the day!

Clear and true! Never leave this scene, stay and make friends and have fun!!

Thanks Pontus for this long interview. I hope you enjoy the mag (and the Amiga and C65!! haha!!)

Incidentally I would like to wish Pontus a happy marriage after his recent bondage to a fine young Swedish dame!