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Destructoid Community Interviews: Kerrik52

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Take a hike!

Howdy ho, Orochileona here, crawling out of the dark space to bring you another Community Interview. This week has been a bit of a downer for some folk, but we can at least take comfort in each other and our wonderful community of like-minded miscreants. My sincerest wishes to anyone struggling right now. You'll get through it, friend.

I thought this time I'd throw in a C-C-Combo Breaker and chat with one of the newest members to our sorority house of no return. So put on your best hiking boots and throw up the devil horns for Kerrik52!

OL: Welcome to the Community Interview hotseat, pay no attention to the wrist straps. Let's ask the inevitable: Who the fuck is Kerrik52?

K52: A beautiful, thoroughly prudent and fit enough man in his best years. Born and raised in the northern reaches of Sweden. I'm 21 years old (last time I checked) and I'm doing everything in my power to master the art of computer science.

OL: So young! I remember when I was 21 and I was your age. What is "Kerrik52?" Is that a reference?

K52: It's a two-fold personal reference. Kerrik was my wolfcub name in the Scouts and it roughly means, "The clever rat." I've used it ever since as an online handle.

The "52" part is sorta my lucky number and refers to a deck of cards. I remember reading a really psychedelic, philosophical book about a deck of cards coming to life through perception and a weird purple drink that tasted of all existence. I can't recall much else, but the imagery stuck with me. This is why one reason why I like American McGee's Alice so much.

OL: That was a good brand. It was a shame we didn't see more from it, an animated movie or some such would've been interesting.

K52: I think he is trying to get another game of the ground. They did actually release some rough concept animation, I think was about Alice traveling with Jules Verne, or something similar.

OL: Well, it's been about a year since you took a trip down the rabbit hole yourself, landing in the equally bizarre Destructoid community. This makes you the "newest" member to receive a community interview where we can probe you for info. What led you to posting in the blogs and Qposts section of our humble home?

K52: Why, it was our very own weslikestacos that urged me to join in the back alley fun. I believe it was on his first No Man's Sky blog, where he named the fearful fauna of Planet Destructoid after community members. As fate would have it, I was featured as the name of a tanning salon.

OL: Another weslikestacos success story. He's so good at luring folk backstage. Most people I've interviewed have been around for a few years, so it'd be unique to get a newer perspective. What do you think of Dtoid? What works for you, does anything turn you off?

K52: Well, I can't remember exactly how I got here, I believe it was thanks to numerous namedrops by Jim Sterling. After that I just read the articles and enjoyed all the silliness that happened in the comment sections. I love the openness the staff has, the immaturity coupled with serenity of the users and the way it all hangs together. That was a penis joke.

OL: *Bonus point applied for penis joke*

K52: See? I couldn't do that on (Insert Gaming Website you despise with the radiance of 837 flashlights) - those people are lame.

As for things that turn me off: The vast amount of foot fetishism this place houses. Maybe my lewdness has yet to develop, but I can't see the appeal. Also, not having a notification on the site for PMs suck. Do you hear me, almighty Papa Niero!

OL: #Feetfriday was my doing. So sling your arrows my way. I regret nothing. You don't have to see the appeal, nor will you likely develop one. That's how fetishes work, I don't see the appeal in giant boobs, or...Nah, actually I like everything.

K52: Eh, it's fine, I've seen worse. Things I dare not mention here out concern for everyone's mental well-being. The internet is scary, man. Like, tongue stuck on a frozen road sign while someone is stealing your identity and using it to buy possessed garden gnomes scary.

OL: That must have been a rough day for you. Besides me, for bombarding you with pictures of luscious soles, is there anyone in particular you'd like to shout out?

K52: "Luscious Souls" is the name of a Castlevania DS prog-rock band if ever I heard one.

I'd have to start with weslikestacos for being such a jolly ball of tacos. I half suspect that he steals smiles from children in order to keep up appearances.

Then there's triggerpigking. If you have checked out my outstanding writing, then you are bound to find some of our epic correspondence below it. We treat the comment system more like the postal system. It's great to converse that way. He was awesome enough to draw me a picture of Hibiki from Symphogear:

Beyond those two, I feel like I interact with many of the other regulars evenly. Shout-outs to Jiraya and Inquisitive Ravenclaw for all the great reaction images they've blessed my hard drive with. It grows more anime by the day and might start downloading weeb stuff on it's own if I'm not vigilant.

OL: You seem to have settled in with the community quickly and with ease. Do you mind sharing a little about your reel lyfe with us?

K52: Well, as I cleverly foreshadowed before, I used to be a scout in my younger years. It's fun to be out in the wild up here since our laws permit hiking everywhere, except for backyards. You don't even have to fear people shooting you! I have some fun memories.

There was that time on a Jamboree where they managed to get rock band Europe to perform. I haven't been to a proper concert before, so that was a magical moment. My group left me at camp momentarily on that trip and I made their portion of the food myself. Chicken soup tastes great when you've slaved over it for hours.

I also want to mention a grueling hike I did in Austria. It was a day long and our lunches got lost, so we had to eat leftover canned meat that reminded me of cat food. That day I learned how it felt to go hungry. I could probably still play mean trumpet though!

OL: You play "mean trumpet?"

K52: I did, but that was mostly my parents making me take up an instrument. I forsook practice in lieu of video games (I regret nothing!). I like listening to music more that playing it, and you can't really play power ballads on a trumpet anyhow. I do owe my love of the one true god, Ronnie James Dio, to cover a version of "Rainbow in the Dark" played at a school event.

OL: That keyboard riff...

K52: And the singing, the lyrics, the guitar, the power...I should stop there.

OL: You sound like a regular survivalist. If any of our community have wolves that need fighting, you're the man to go to! I'm only good at tying knots, but I don't think you get a badge for Shibari. Dtoid has a lot of adventurous personalities, which it sounds like you have in spades.

K52: Well, kinda. As the years have gone by, my internet addiction has grown stronger and my Longing For the Woods has grown weaker. It's very stimulating to have access to the majority of human knowledge and entertainment all at once. If needed, I can wield an ax and prepare food on an open fire. I'm not that keen on fighting wild animals though. I swear that I ran into a bear cub once, but that was before I got my glasses, I couldn't confirm it, so let's just hope that it was a brown rock.

OL: Your adventurous spirit recently took you to the delightful mystery that is Thailand. Looking back, how did you find it? Any culture shocks? And did you, at any time, fight M. Bison?

K52: It was more a well-meant kidnapping than a vacation. We hadn't ever gone on a proper big family vacation and my parents really wanted it. It was hot in the "Your puny Nordic blood shall boil before the might of the sun god" kind of hot. The fact that you couldn't drink tap water was a bit of a culture shock as well. 

I wrestled something fierce with the shabby hotel wi-fi in order to post about the trip and the mystifying world of in-flight video games. The people were nice in an almost unreal way. It's a bit of a joke that people of my ilk care little for manners. But in Thailand? Everyone was nice, except for the drivers, who gave no shits. It was like GTA Online.

During my time there, the king passed away and the whole country responded. The TV got taken over by a broadcast in his honour, there were images of him everywhere. It was really impressive. Whilst I didn't fight Bison (the dude respects vacation days), I did fight some frightful things, with a large spider (worth five smaller spiders) just resting on a wall for a whole day, waiting for any sign of weakness. I did have some fun taking care of a pair of teenage non-ninja elephants.

OL: Sounds fascinating. I haven't been to Asia for a little over 15 years now, and I miss its surreal wonder so much. You also visited an adorable anime store in Bangkok, your write-up of which received front page promotion on Dtoid, where it was seen by many green-with-envy eyes.

K52: I suppose so! The Animate store was a wondrous place, filled to the brim with Idolmaster merch and much more. It was surreal to see so much weeb crap in a single place, even if their stock couldn't possibly meet my expectations. Were there any of my wondrous photos that caught you by surprise? The mini boob-pad with mom written on it, or the husbando keyrings perhaps?

OL: Perhaps not me, I'm lucky enough to have frequented such stores on my own travels. But I missed a trick by not filling up on tat and storing it away. I could open a shop today and sell it now that weeb-kitsch is chic. I did really like the Not-Lego Pokemon and the Witch-gal figurine.

K52: Yeah those were cool. I want so many of those high quality figures that people showcase in Qtoid. There is a $500, 21" Artorias the Abysswalker statue available that I want bad. But that's just too much money, I couldn't possibly rationalize buying that. I wonder how many wallets I've just killed by revealing its existence.

OL: Anime is quite a passion for you. I seem to write that almost every interview, as the Dtoid community is very anime friendly. How long have you been watching? What are your favourite shows?

K52: I've been watching since '99 when the Pokémon craze laid siege upon us. I quickly switched to Digimon and Beyblade, as they are superior shows. You see people joke about Beyblade for being stupid but I don't agree. It's a shonen show about spinning tops that goes well beyond the call of duty. The drama is nice and exaggerated (not drawn out, like Yu-Gi-Oh!) and the blader-of-the week shtick never becomes boring. There's a guy who moves his Bey in rhythm with his rapping, some Universal monster inspired bladers and one episode takes place in another dimension. What's not to love? Thank you Japan.

JoJo's is consistently engaging and innovative in the "bizarrest" of ways. I can think of dozens of fights, but I can't do them justice here. Just look up a random stand and you'll see what I mean. (Unless you choose King Crimson, then you'll just get cross-eyed.)

Symphogear, which is my favourite, deserves some words. It's more or less a magical girl show standing between the classic childish style and the Madoka Magica style. It has some really heavy drama coupled with the most adorable yuri subtext. Every main character expresses themselves through song when they fight in amazing technicolor explosions of awesomeness. But it's nothing without its main character, Hibiki Tachibana. First of all look at that smile!

Not only is she the most adorable thing to ever be animated by man, she is also an unbeatable ass-kicker. She doesn't even need weapons! She just punches stuff with an unbreakable will to protect her loved ones. Motherfucker suplexed a space-shuttle into K2. I rest my case.

OL: I was considering asking who was Best Girl, but I think I just got an answer to that.

K52: Yeah, pretty much. She even surpassed my bias over red hair, which is very impressive.

OL: I have reason to believe you might be interested in video games. How long have you been playing for?

K52: Since 1998 I think, the old memory bank is a bit shifty going that far back. I think my first game was PP Hammer for the Amiga. It's a weird little platformer that I recall only playing the first few levels of with a proper old fashioned joystick. The end of level dance is what I remember most.

Spyro the Dragon was the first game I really played. Finally getting 100% completion was a great feeling and I've been a half-baked Sony fanboy since. Funny note about the demo discs; I had many and it was a nightmare to find the good ones when I couldn't read, so I identified each disc by its swirly background instead. Looking back, I missed some cool demos by chance, like Soul Reaver.

OL: Ah, the Amiga.. Good days.

OL: Speaking of Souls, you have a sadomasochistic relationship with the Souls series, as scribed in your Let's Bitch About.. series. What do those games mean to you, and what is it about getting your ass whooped that you find so deliciously addictive?

K52: I think that segway was a six on the Richter Scale. The Souls games are very precious to me. It's like they've always been with me. There are three things I like most about them:

The first is that they understand respect goes both ways. They are only hard if you're not being respectful, like by stabbing NPCs or ignoring visual cues. The game in turn respects your abilities as a player and gives just enough information to work with, instead of going full Ubisoft and splattering the screen with prompts. It's this nice balance between Nintendo-hard and modern fairness.

Secondly, the voice acting is amazing. The people of Frognation do wonders with casting and translation. Characters usually have distinct accents coupled with some really fancy words. It's a joy just to listen to.

Thirdly, it's the one series of western RPGs where the combat system isn't a complete pile of utter turds that should be jettisoned into the mesosphere. It's good, is what I'm saying. My passion for these game is what got me to start my epic multi-part From Software Firstperson Retrospective.

OL: Tsk.. calls bullshit on my 'SEGUE', then builds the shakiest rope bridge to his own..

Incidentally, The Maiden in Black was nominated in the great Destructoid Waifu War 2016. You know why? Her bare feet. (Probably.)

K52: Ok, but did she win the Miss KFUniverse competition? No, that was Rurufon from Shadow Tower Abyss. Horns and Scythe > Feet and Candlestick.

OL: Your From Software Retrospective has run for quite sometime now. What inspired you to start it?

K52: Weslikestacos was the one who got me going. I just wanted to blog about something and a long form retrospective seemed like the right thing to do. It's almost like a Let's Play without the boring parts. It's especially fun to do because I'm writing about games where there is so little information available.

I think I might be the only one to have written about some of the fun quirks in King's Field 3 and Shadow Tower. That's a strong feeling, to do what no one else has bothered to do. All in service of the dozens of King's Field fans that I have convinced myself exist.

OL: When you finish this labour of love, do you think you might start another series? Or is From Software a particular passion deserving of such effort?

K52: The foundation of another one has been creeping up on me. I'm thinking that I can do a blog series worthy of Legacy of Kain. It's a superb franchise. Just untangling the multi-layered timeline would be an accomplishment. As complex as it is, it still makes sense. What other story about time-traveling vampires can claim such an honour? The Kain fans aren't proactive, but as soon as it is mentioned, they appear from nowhere to talk your ear off about it.

OL: It will be cool to see what you blog about next.

I generally push for positivity in these interviews, but before we head into the Final Five, why not tell me a game/series that you absolutely cant stand, or whose popularity baffles you.

K52: Your fate is sealed, prepare yourself. There are so many to choose from, but I have to choose the modern Bethesda RPG. I must preface this by saying that I'm completely unfair since I've only played Fallout: New Vegas and that was made by Obsidian. But I could still feel the Bethesda gunk on it. 

The animations are shit, the environmental design is ugly, as are the characters, with their soulless eyes. The combat does nothing to provide a sense of mastery. My feelings on New Vegas made me question the hype for Fallout 4 and I think those thoughts were well founded. Why do people give Bethesda money? Give it to Xseed instead, so that they can localize more games!

OL: Boom! You certainly picked a fan favourite there, so we better throw a coat over your head and run you out the backdoor. Whilst we make the mad dash to my backseat, you can answer the Final Five:

OL: What would be your first purchase, if money was no object?
K52: I would buy and renovate our old summer home that we rented when I was a wee lad. I have so many memories from that place and would love to see it and its barn and Pizza cottage returned to their former glory.

OL: What was the last thing you got exceptionally angry about?
K52: I haven't been "murder angry" in a very long while. I got really mad fighting some of the beefed-up chalice bosses in Bloodborne. The Loran Darkbeast in particular. A thousands deaths to that skinny insta-killing piece of poo poo.

OL: What's the most important lesson you learned from the Scouts?
K52: Be prepared and be accepting of others.
OL: Ah, The eternal motto.

OL: How would you like others to see you?
K52: As someone trustworthy and passionate.

OL: So if feet aren't your thing, then what is?
K52: I am not saying anything beyond red hair and a great smile. The rest shall elude your mind forevermore.

OL: And the ability to shorten K2 with a space-shuttle suplex.

K52: That isn't sexy, but it's not a bad skill to have. You could get attacked by a ghost train or something.

OL: We've reached the end of month one of 2017. There is a bold and trepidatious new year ahead. What are your hopes and dreams going forward?

K52: That I finish the FromSoft retrospective, that I do something productive during summer, and that international relations do not bring the world to its end.

OL: Amen to that.

Nice to see you on board with us clawing deviants of the Destructoid Community. You slid in so easily that I was genuinely surprised that you've only been in Qposts since September. You're proving a passionate individual who is happy to be sailing the good ship Dtoid. It's always great to have new blood in the community and I look forward to further shenanigans with you, Kerrik.

The final words are yours, so grasp the mic:

K52: I would like to ask all Dtoiders to continue to be excellent to each other, play God Hand, raise the metal horns, git gud, widen their horizons and, finally, watch Senki Zesshou Symphogear.

Peace.

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