Starcraft II is getting closer to release. and it would be an understatement to say that I'm excited. In this blog post I will tell you a tale of kings, legends, love, and hate... ugh, I really need to cut on that cheesy crap. Anyway, here it goes!
When I was a kid, I used to go over to my neighbour's house and play PC games... well, watch him play PC games at least. But there was a game in particular that he would play that really interested me, and even got me interested in its genre; and that game was Warcraft II. It was just something about the satisfaction of watching a kingdom expand, armies grow, and the clever use of strategy that really intrigued me. This fascination of the genre would grow as I watched him play Command & Conquer: Red Alert. Then one day, my cousin would tell me of Starcraft, wich would be the sci-fi equivelant of Warcraft series. And my jaw dropped...
"Warcraft II... in space!? With aliens and stuff!? AWESOME! "
In pure excitement I purchased a PC game magazine, and found an article about the game. Apparently the game was released the same year (another reason why 1998 is the greatest year in gaming ever). However, my old-fashioned (but not in the least poor) family only had a crappy old pre-Windows 95 computer, so there was no way I could play this game yet. But my excitement for this game would never diminish, and we would eventually get a Windows 98 computer, wich was much more appropriate for the time. However, as I grew up in a gaming dystopia
, there still wasn't any way that I could get my sausage fingers on this masterpiece. But I was still adamant that I would get this game some day.
Then in 2001, while watching television, a commercial for a documentary appeared.
It was 'Alias: Slayer', a documentary about 16 year old Starcraft player Fredrik ōstervold (aka. [GG99]Slayer) who in 2000 travelled to South-Korea, and became the first non-Korean to win a Korean Starcraft tournament.
I remember asking my mom to record this documentary on a VHS so that I could watch it after my guitar lessons where done. When I finally came home and watched through the recording, I was mesmerized by his amazing skills. And I later thought to myself; "I need this game now!". And by a stroke of luck, it turned out one of my friends had this game burned on CD, and let me borrow it for a while.
"This... game... is... fucking... incredible!".
It had the most simplistic and intuitive gameplay I've ever experienced in an RTS game before. And it had a massive epic storyline, supported by memorable characters, that where voiced by truly professional voice actors. Not to mentioned the most heart-wrenching plot twist I've ever encountered in a videogame.
I managed to play through the entire single player campaign before I had to return the disc to my friend again. I finally managed to get my hands on a retail copy a little later though, and became addicted to Battle.net. And was exposed to the n00b and 1337 community for the first time in my life. The most memorable online moments came from the "User Map Settings" maps. There you could find maps of various selections, such as: Tower Defence, Lord of the Rings, Dragonball Z, and even a "Rainor has sex with Kerrigan" map (don't ask)!
It appears that I wasn't the only one affected by this documentary. It turns out that Starcraft experienced its second golden age in Norway after this was broadcast. The number of Norwegians registered on Battle.net multiplied several times the week after - truly demonstrating the effect it had on people.
[GG99]Slayer retired from pro-gaming shortly after, and it was said that he joined the military. He's also a professional poker player today. The documentary received a nomination for 'documentary of the year' during the 2001 Amanda awards (Norwegian Oscars). read