Interview with Tristan

Published in Domination #7
Performed by Jazzcat

Welcome to the third ever American interview to appear in Domination. An experienced scener who has enjoyed a long c64 career in the NTSC scene and former H/P activity.

Hi and welcome to the interview section, firstly as a usual introduction I ask of you to describe yourself and a basic outline on what you do in the scene.

My first name is Scott. I am 21 years young, Irish-American, and live in southern Virginia, USA.  I have blonde hair and blue eyes. I am about 5feet 7inchs tall and  weigh about 145 pounds. I have been on the c64 scene since 1986. 11 years!!  I'm not afraid to admit that I love my 64.  I am a 64 Historian/Die-hard nostalgic. My skills are organizing, hacking, importing, composing, mail swap etc. I've gone from 64 games to financial terrorism and back.

Over the years NTSC fixing on the c64 has obviously changed, compared to say 1990, what changes have you experienced in the fixing scene compared to today?  What do you think of today's fixers..?

There is only Euro guys doing the NTSC/PAL fixing now. This all started with Rockstar in 1992. Before 1989 it really was no such thing as fixing. Americans would release games even with the screen flickering crazy and eventually locking up. These days I think it’s great to see people like Elwix/Style fixing Euro demos!

What was your reason to return to the c64 scene, you have even started swapping via mail, worldwide! Have you any other plans? how do you think you will serve the scene this time around?

This time around I plan to really focus myself on having fun. If there is always a scene, I'm surely to stay in it. Also EMPIRE is not dead yet, just inactive. Very soon we ARE going to be active again. Doing quality fixing and such. YES, I am trading WORLDWIDE now. I decided to do this because it’s something I've never done 100%. Besides, it's mainly a method to exchange old wares and make new friends. And no better way but thru TRC*SCS!

From the past, who are the top four American NTSC fixers that you admire, and give some examples of say each one's peak releases/accomplishments.

Booze/Empire... Fixed Creatures! BTTF 3 fix+ one side!!!
Stormbringer/Exodus... very constant.
Horizon/NEC+NEI... great cracker turned great fixer.
Pudwerx/ATC/Random/Illusion... quality.

Your scene history is substantially long, and you must have experienced several different eras in the scene and shifting in the mainstream. Please try to give the readers some details of your scene career, from the very beginning to the end. Also try to name some major highlights or personal accomplishments...

In the beginning God created the heaven, earth and the commodore 64. Around 1986 TRISTAN entered the pirate scene. No other people in Virginia were elites. Only a few pirate releases made it to my area. I can remember loading up games put out by ESI, NEPA, 1001 Crew, New Stars, Bencor Bros, Dynamic Duo, ABC, etc. And wanting to be like these guys I built a huge respect for. I started calling old BBS numbers in intros and somehow found my way into the underground. Talking to guys like Devastator/TOP(raster blaster was in this group),  Agent X (ex-Abyss member), and The Dictator… (eventually an NFI member). During 1987 there was so fucking much activity in the states it was mind blowing! There were probably more than 30 USA groups!! And importing had become a very serious function. I can remember using 9501033 when they were 5 digits, called overseas, got one every 10 tries, and lasted for about 2 months. I used them to call over and import euro games for various USA groups. Around Sept.1989 I joined my first elite group. Reign of Terror(ROT). Members were me, Task Master, Swansong, and The Executioner. We were the first group to Import LEGEND wares. Then ROT turned into a demo group. I was asked in Nov1989 to join Excalibur. I turned it down and joined FANTASY. We did quite a lot on the import scene. Most 90 I was mainly hacking and joined NAPALM with ToxicR0adkill and Shamus (Handy Term maker). Jan1991 I joined a little known group called EMPIRE. By April91 we took the scene by storm! Even cracking 1 of the last USA games! When I look back on all the old releases, scroll text, boards, and conferences, and memories.. I can feel justified that I reached my goal... I gained my respect as a 64 pirate and made my mark in c64 history that will live longer than the 64.

It is now the time to storm your brain! Please give your first answers to the following;

Raggings: Fun Fun Fun!
Internet: Useful but kind of lame.
Virtual Fighter II: Who cares.
Karate Champ still kicks!
Scene: Comfortable but needs more activity.
Drugs: Alcohol, Xanax and Prozac!
Violence: When necessary.
The female form: makes the world go around.
Thor: Diarrhoea mouth.
Lame: People who talk the talk, but can't walk the walk.
Elite: Rare breed.
Bruce Lee: I used to play that game a lot!
Interviews (!): yea.. you got it!

What would you say would be your greatest personal challenge in the scene that you have overcome and defeated?
In 1991-1993... Keeping EMPIRE #1. NEI was a very strong competition, but we always remained high in the charts and 90% of the time #1. Also it’s been very hard to maintain a real life and keep EMP motivated, strong & steady.

From past history you were going to edit the mag "Propaganda" with OMG. What happened here? And will you start to write in C64 media again?

Back in 92 when Empire shared H.Q. (Mystic Caverns) with G*P, OMG/ANTICHRIST asked me if I would like to report USA news for Propaganda.  The magazine was much respected here in the states and also viewed as the main source for accurate charts.  Of course I agreed!   If I remember correctly, that was in March. Well, half way through editing the mag and the end of April approaching I got locked up for some local bullshit.  And yes.. I have joined the VANDALISM NEWS staff!

Now your personal favourites of the following;

Computer game: Too many! Skate or Die/The Goonies.
Scene friends: Rich, The Extremist, Booze, TLD, Burglar.
Crack Group: new: AVANTGARDE. old: Eagle Soft Inc.
Cracker: Burglar+Antitrack. old: Crisp+Powerplant
Demo Group: PAL: Crest, Light, BF, OXYRON! NTSC: Lords, 2D
NTSC Fixer: old: Booze+Stormbringer. new: don't know.
Board: old: The Forum, Channel0, GOE. new: The Dungeon
Scene year: 87-89 was great, but truly.. 1992!
Food: Grilled Shrimp, Bloody Steak, Mangos, Veggies, Garlic
Dream Girl: Raven-Haired, Pale Skin, Gothic Goddess.
Drink: Milk, Tomato Juice, Beer, 7up, Water, Mixed Drinks.
Movies: Excalibur, Jacob's Ladder, War Games, The Crow, Sneakers, Hackers, Kids, Clive Barker movies.
Disk Mags: old: Influx, Mamba, Sex&Crime, Shock.
Authors: Poppy Z. Brite, W.Gibson, B.Sterling, C.Barker
Hobbies: Collecting Erotic Art, EBM/GOTH/CYBER Culture, Money, Travelling, Party, Night Time, Kinky Sex, Wares collecting, Music, Trading and cleaning!

The hack phreak scene is now somewhat inactive compared to former times, what is your opinion on the scene? ever been seriously within it?
These days I could care less of the H/P scene. For all my years on the 64, I also spent equal time within many underground circles. From VMB/CODE groups to the true elite hack underground, I went through the full spectrum of it. Although I had some very serious things result from it, I also acquired some very important skills. Fuck the scene fame, its risky. Hack for reason!

If you had the choice to create the ultimate group in the scene year of your choice, who would be in the group and for what purpose?
The year would 1988 (strong wares flow). My superior mega group would have the following members:
Organize, Importing, Hack: ME (Tristan)
Crack: Antitrack, Powerplant, Crisp, Burglar, Rich.
Fixing: Booze, Stormbringer
BBS: The Forum
Mail Swapper: Derbyshire Ram
Magazine: Mamba
Code: Flamingo, Fuben, Graham, Crossbow
Grafix: Gotcha, Mirage, DeeKay, RRR
Music: Jeroen Tel, Sequencer, EVS, Drax
The group would hold the name... NUMBER 1. With all those guys it wouldn't be hard to live up to it.

The scene now is at an average point with slumps and rises occasionally occurring. Compared to the yesteryears, one would say going down hill. What would be the best way to improve this scene to a degree of more action or the old scene style?

The scene surely needs more steady quality games. We all understand that there are not a lot of people buying software for the 64. If the 64 companies like Ocean, Capcom, Epyx, Konami, EA, Domark, Activision, US Gold, Hewson, Mindscape, Firebird and Data-East were still producing, we would have some good times. And we really need a strong USA piracy scene. Like old days!

Most know you got busted and were sentenced to a jail. Some people are still a little uncertain on what actually occurred. Could you explain what happened and what you experienced in prison?
In 1992 (when I was 17) I got busted for abusing a Telco called TriTel. I was being very careless in my activities and knew it... but I was doing so many things that it was hard to focus on safety. Which I've learned now is the most important thing. Because I was a kid, the US Secret Service placed me under investigation. When I turned 18 they nabbed me for hitting MCI for $220,000 dollars in access device fraud and sale of services. I served 2 years in a medium security federal prison. Quite a trip!!

Over the years you must have quite a few scene friends. Ones that may not even read these very texts, but here is your chance to send some greetings…

To my friends who made my world wonderful:
All in EMPIRE (Rich, Extremist, Booze, Vizz, TLD, Sequencer)
All in TRC&SCS (CBA, Alchemist, Burglar: get well Enno!!!)
Solar (don't choke chickens!), HOK (comeback!), GOTCHA!, EVS/20CC (where are you kut?), Crumbsucker (CH.0  #1), Kid/F4CG (nice times!), Cybernoid (why BC?!?), Moloch... (keep'n the USA alive!), Swansong (are we the last left?), Peacemaker (a lot in common!), Tyron (Draw her!), French Hawk, Vengeance (V.N. ROCKS!), Jihad (BB god!), Joe Cool/Paramount (Bunny!), BOD/HOTLINE/TALENT (WANKER!!!), Spitfire/Action (EMP+ACT #1!), MK/NFI, Mangar/NEC, Problem Child-Villian/Emp/Survivors, Technique/Fan, Asterix/Fan, The Ace/RFO/FBR, Skreemer/INC, Thor, The Shadow, Eclipse/Lords, Necromancer/Havok, Maelstrom/ROT, The Executioner/Exodus, Pudwerx, Krs1/Verdict, Tape/Nuclear, and Candyman/FBR.

Well that closes it now, thanks for your time and welcome back to the commodore scene, are there any last words that would leave a final impression of wisdom on the audience?

No problem Jazzcat... I enjoyed it. I could have gone deeper and explained a lot more, but I'm sure you don't want your WHOLE magazine to be just my interview!!! I do have something I like to say to the entire scene....    

We're the ones who keep it alive... ME, YOU and US!
Live for today, because tomorrow you may die.