No one ever looks at these, at least in my case that is. It would probably be because I'm a washed up zombie slayer whose seen one too many sleepless nights spent in what seems to be a server ran through the basement of some kid's house. The kid being some semi-popular BYOND ne'er do well, who thinks it would be cool to have their own 'zombie slaying server'. Whoever was the host, boy or girl, back then I had probably dumped an average of 40 hours of game play into their server alone.
Why so much time you say? Well, at one point in our lives, or at least in mine. Videogames where the top priority, and when it came to videogames; trash talk, outrageous violence, and high scores did the trick. Pre-BYOND gaming consisted of multiplayer Halo and Crash Bandicoot, and many other old name brand videogames that everyone has played--the classics. Wouldn't you know, Resident Evil happen to be among them. If you were like me, and you just adored the sight of zombies being annihilated, you'd stick together because you'd know how key it was to surviving a REAL zombie attack. And if you were like me, you had a real suspicion the zombie apocalypse in the near-near future. The fact was... was that I didn't know any other zombie slayers at the time.
So one day, I sat down and searched to my wits end for a zombie game on the internet. But, the fruits of my research spoiled. I was stuck with side scrolling click-shooters that had a definite end. It wasn't until the 5th page of a meaningless Google search I found a particular combination of words that gave me a stroke of hope, it read "BYOND-Resident Evil Online Forums."
The first thing that stuck out was ONLINE, had I really found a multiplayer zombie killer, better yet, THE multiplayer zombie killer? I say this because, yes, the second thing that stood out was that Resident Evil happened to be included in the title. I click, squirming in excitement only to be struck with some reading. I find out that 'Resident Evil Online' is ran through a cool little software named with the acronym BYOND--Build Your Own Net Dream. And for the record, let me say that once I figured out the acronym, there wasn't going to be any turning back. It had me hooked. At the time, I was sporting an ancient internet ritual called dial-up, the bottom feeder of all the internet connections. So it had taken me a week or so to download the software, that's an exaggeration of course. It was more along the lines of 45 minutes. Not counting the extra 30 to get to my email site, log in, and register. Once the BYOND blacksmith had given me a key, he had little idea of who he had let into the doors of 'BYOND'.
First loaded server I could find, I frantically joined, only to be schtupped by another 25 dreadful minutes of waiting through resource downloads. Once I was in, I was faced with the title screen, to the right was a particular section of the game that after all my years of playing on BYOND, not one noob can manage to ever find; the browser help. I happily skimmed it and scoped out the controls.
"F to shoot."
Those were the exact and only words that came out of my mouth. Underneath the window, another thing caught my eye; the chat box. (Let me say, for those of you who haven't noticed, every chat box you see. 75% of the names that talk are from popular anime.) Awesome colors coated the text of fellow players. I didn't want to be rude, so I had greeted myself only to find my bland dark text. Before I could say another word, I had to change it. So, the trademark green and gold came to surface.
Another 5 minutes, I was drooling over the thought of tons of upgradable weapons, but half-way through the thought, the round rudely started. The level, if you have to know, was Ambush. Ambush is what started it all. After arming myself with a pump shotgun and the most green shells I could shove in my pockets, I meandered over to a group of fellow players and proceeded to mash F like my life were ending, probably because I had been nibbled down to a mere 2 out of 20 before I had even got accustomed to the lag. Knowing I had dial-up, you must share some sympathy with me, and maybe even some envy. Months of 'lag-fighting' conditioned me into a certain game play that today still distinguishes me from the average zombie slayer. Not only was I trying to combat waves of undead, I was also surviving the pockets of lag.
All the while this was going on; I was getting to know the community. You might not think that Resident Evil Online has much of a learning curb... or one at all, but I found that following certain server rules was a little challenging. Certainly I straightened up after a while. I started typing complete sentences, eventually adding complete grammar. I role-modeled myself as a benevolent person, handed away countless weapons, communicated and interacted with many teammates, participated in rivialistic kill offs with other prestigious names. Best of all, made awesome friends that you swear you would get along with in real life.
Sometimes you make friends with the wrong person... who maybe isn't really a friend at all! Sometimes you make friends with people who stab you in the back later; sometimes you make friends with someone who was supposed to be the enemy the whole time. And sometimes you meet an enemy who was supposed to be a friend. I had made some of those friends. With rising recognition comes magnetization of negativity, not just from other people, but with yourself.
One big part of my time spent on BYOND is the part where I had to 'deal' with other people. By deal, I mean tolerate. Teenagers and toleration don't mix. At the time, I took all resistance as betrayal and insult. And if you had posed as a friend and brought us both to this point, there were was no possible way of forgiveness.
Another part is the part is when I got some responsibility. A few times I was bestowed as an Enforcer of the server, just a player who reinforces the rules. But sometimes, people get too much responsibility, or it gets to be just too much for them, and it might change the way they see themselves. They're not 'just a player' who enforces the rules. They are the ones who make them; they are the ones who bend them. They're the judge, the jury, and the executioner.
A dark and dirty path was the one I eventually took, and I had somehow got mixed up in it all. It seemed like it was inevitable for me to end the one holding the gavel at the rate I was going. I'm sure the ones who experienced it firsthand are the last people to ever visit this page, and for that I am sorry. No one ever gets a chance to really say they're sorry for cheating, or for stabbing them in the back, or for hurting others' feelings, or for being a less than sub-par friend. For example, my only chance is that they see this post, and you already know the odds. The worst thing you can do to a human is put it in an environment that promotes fairness and turn around and insult it, mistreat it, and judge it unjustly--all the while treating the others equally. I admit I'm guilty of this.
My up and coming has a happy part, and it's probably the best part. Aside from my abusive stroke, I was able to influence a handful of people. Just yesterday, in a conversation with an old friend, I had realized how much of an influence I really had. They had mentioned that I had always seemed to have a following wherever I went, whatever I did. For this I put the name iSexy at fault.
Before any of the clan business had started, a new version of Resident Evil Online was to be released by Darker Emerald. Since it was released, I had transferred my domain over to Resident Evil Online 2. A more team-work based version. After getting used to it, I had come to a cross roads. I needed people who I could work with, people who actually could take orders and work together effectively. By myself I knew I was guaranteed to survive for a while, but I also knew that if there were 2 or 3 other people just like me, we could survive anything.
The story is, at of the start of summer 2006. The clan CSNRA was born; The Civilian Search N' Rescue Armada, a perquisite to the late clan. But my armada consisted of only me and one other. Another who had made a name for themselves, the interesting part is that this person had made their 'name' along with mine. At the head of the Civilian Search n' Rescue Armada sat the twin Fires; HeartPhyreII and SoulPhyreII.
The 2 or 3 others that were to be just like me; became just ONE other like me. Another that was basically me, a twin. For the first time since I joined BYOND I felt that I had found one of the other 'zombie slayer'. For that, I thank my twin sister, whose stood by my side while millions of zombies fell. And trust me, we weren't the only ones who were standing there while they fell. Many people came to recognize us, if you saw one; you were eventually going to see the other. (Present day might not be the case, but that is one of the reasons I'm doing this. So nobody has to be forgotten, which will come later in the blog.) Dubbed too hot for the zombies, CSNRA was changed to match the term. My teal prefix on that day officially changed from teal to pink; from CSNRA to iHawt. As the clan grew into what seemed to be a plateau, it was changed to iSexy.
Halfway through iSexy's existence, I began to question the goal of the clan. Though I had many prestigious members, only one person was still up to par with me in my clan. And that was my twin. Around the time iSexy had started, other clans had also started. A clear trend that reoccurred time after time, was that a clan was only as strong as it's leader. But, in retrospect, I've come to see that it's the clan that makes the leader great. Just when I had thought I was close to being one of the top players, I had started a clan that in turn made me better. I saw that this didn't just apply to me, but to others to a certain extent. Clan leaders grew into the type of players that I had looked up to in the beginning, and I soon realized that it wasn't just my job to run a clan, it was my job to find future clan leaders and to help them, and to make them great. Many grew into great players, but some of them used clan leader as a sort of excuse to be disrespectful. Just as my goal had become clear, it took a turn for the better and fine-tuned it into the simple fact that I needed to find more people that are like me; a 'zombie slayer' with (a) heart.
Through regular clan recruiting, I searched. The only thing that resulted was a larger following and more recognition. The slayer I was looking for was still MIA, but deep in my mind, kept from everyone else, I looked for that player. I knew that with the growing influence, they would one day show up.
It came in the form of a more-than-formal interview of a recruit who I had heard had been seeking me out, specifically. Within the first 30 minutes of playing with this recruit I had learned more about them than most people in my clan. Like me, they were another down to earth, like-humored person (though they've got to be the most perverted person I've met in my life). I related to them on a certain level that compared to that of my twin. Sporting black and red text, I played alongside this person. I put in my all, more than I had ever into excelling the clan and my members, it was clear that just when I thought the clan was peaking, it was being rocketed to higher levels everyday. Clan leaders arranged official meetings to consult possible treaties and terms, eventually some proposed the idea of doing mergers. Initially, I wanted iSexy to be an exclusive clan; members only. But, what if a clan were so influential it could just take members of other clans? What if they could do this in one big merge? Along the way, many miscellaneous clans were sucked into the gravity of iSexy.
Those clans who didn't take kindly to iSexy became a virus. I had made one mistake in my time running iSexy. We're a fully dedicated clan, dedicated to members and servers, dedicated to playing the game. I didn't calculate how big we would become, and I certainly didn't calculate the chances of other clans trying to take my clan down.
At one point, something gets too recognized or too popular. This point or era in this case, was the true test of iSexy and all that I had worked for.
Eventually the wrong people had gotten foot into iSexy. And with that, they trampled the very name I had brought up. Soon iSexy was known for housing less-than-par players with uncontrollable behaviors, all based on an easy recruitment requirement. This wasn't the type of attention that I welcomed, especially when it came down to either the bandwagon or iSexy.
One day, a final solution had to be put into place, a complete disband. Through the forums and ingame announcements, I brought down the walls of iSexy. All there was left was a simple good riddance that echoed through every chat sever. For a few weeks I ghosted by, trying my best to avoid and ignore any topics that lead to or had anything to do with the clan. At the time, after the disband and the wasted week, I left BYOND for vacation. In my absence, I meniacally planned the revival of iSexy. The return revolved around a single recruiter spectrum--me. Friends were the first to return, after them followed loyal members, and with the birth of Clan Wars, the old iSexy name was polished to it's former within a month of undefeated matches.
I watched clans come and go within the lifespan of iSexy, somewhere great, some weren't so. But I'd have the say my most favorite clan I've watched grow and change is iSexy. First hand, I've seen members log in as noobs, and log out semi-pros. I may of not housed any legendary keys, but I'm proud of the little improvements that I've been responsible for. And hopefully those people are thankful in return, because my 'welcomes' were always unconditional when it came down to it.
Eventually, every kid on BYOND goes through maturity stage. And we all know that during this time, videogames may not mean as much as they did when you were a child. At least in my case, that was the deal. Soon enough, I left BYOND and iSexy in the hands of fate, and took a break. The only clear outcome that I see today is... that iSexy doesn't mean as much as it did long ago. The name has faded into something of a keepsake for the older players who still play homage. Today, there's no real organization behind iSexy, just a bunch of wayward friends who have drifted into retirement. When the clan is mentioned, my name rarely follows. The key name I used faded faster than iSexy itself; off-encounters with people prove so. I've found that some people deny my name ever being affiliated to iSexy, proclaiming that such a clan could never of been ran by a girl.
I don't sweat the outcome, never have. The old idols and wayward friends that have come to know me along the way prove more than any other person can deny. But now, everyone I know has long fell from their chairs, and the proof that I used to have is now gone.
There comes a time when people officially put BYOND down for good and say good-bye. I've seen and remembered names that are long and gone; it only would make sense that one day that I would join them.
Whenever someone good leaves that everyone knows, there's some type of teary good-bye ceremony. That's not what I'm asking for. The faster you forget the name, the better for us all. Everyone who leaves knows what will happen after they are gone, a new wave of people move in and take their place and everyone on REO2 will go on with life, and things will go back to be the same before you had even showed your face.
So I guess this is why I've posted this, it's time to do what so many ahead of me have. It's time to fade into the history of REO2 and be forgotten forever, the iSexy name may leave with me, it may not, but never the less the fate will come to be the same.
Update - 12/29/2011
I realize that it's taken forever to finish this, but it's been for good reason. If I have anything to blame, it's the year 2012. I think that I've been subconsciously living my wildest dreams because I fear that soon we'll be out of time, and then, well... f**k, we'll be dead. But no, really, had I been ignoring the gigantic elephant in the room that is adulthood and been paying attention to this game I might have some hope of being around in the future.... I can already tell you think that that is a crock of s**t, because one, if you're reading this, we were probably close friends and now you're creeping on me cause you're wondering what the hell happened to me, and stopped here in search of some type of sign of what I might be up to today. Two, both you and I are now older, pay bills, and have zero free time. And three, if you knew me, you knew I had no real sense of rule and order when it came to the end. So yeah, I can accept the fact that I won't be around anymore.
Now I sit here, perusing the recent forums, and lo and behold another main host is lost for the billionth time. I sometimes wonder exactly how many times this game has went into decline and came back, I wonder how many games like this have come and gone, brought together many facets of the internet alike---had people like me or you.
I wonder if there's some type of formula, like how many waves of new players appear before a great decline. How many new players will become old, and stick around, or leave before the game dies. Or how many 'corrective' updates does it take before a game is over corrected and unappealing to the same audience that it once held.
All I know is that life really got bland, and I that I don't see the same things in the same light as I did when I was younger. In the end, I try not to bawl my eyes out because I miss my old friends who used to rule this game with me. I try not to because I found that the new people who showed up were at the least, sub-par replacements to former people I considered kin. I don't find the contentment I used to when killing zombies, and it's absolutely devastating.
I never imagined that it would all end like this, for a long time I felt like I belonged to something new and important, but now a days it just feels like a big let down. In the end, I have these memories, and I can't really say that I'm having an easy time remembering them all. Plus, there isn't really all that many of you to share my pride and accomplishments with anymore, I look back and would take a guess that some of you would rather not. Narcissism let me down more than I let some of my members down in the end, more so than the new community.
And probably this whole history article.
Good luck to the remaining/returning players, this is where I officially euthanize BYOND and put it to sleep for good. Keep on being the filthy, elitist infested cluster f**k fest that you are, and not for one second do you stop the meaningless anime jargon that spews from your mouth; because if you did, I'm sure someone, somewhere will miss your insultingly low IQ and everything that you stood for---please god no! Hey, sometimes we need to know useless cartoon information, it may save our lives one day, just like playing zombie games gets you ready for the real zombie apocalypse. Except in this case all it managed to do was turn me into a cynical a**hole left with nothing, funny how that turned out, right?
Anyways, I'm being beckoned back to the meshed string of days and nights; the blur, that I call life, and it's not getting anymore exciting the older I get.
Last of the Fire Version 2 twins, checking out...
I will always love you, Angela, even if we never speak again. This memorandum was for you, I feel like you were the only person who ever got really close to me and understood me on some different level, one that not even our clannies could get with. If I had to play favorites, you were it, hence me stealing your name those many years ago, which I never really apologized for.
- Mikayla A.K.A Kayloh