How you got into the game
I got into the game after school once in 1998, a friend had bought it and was telling us what a great game it was. He only lived a couple of minutes down the road so me and a mate (Jon) went to see this game in action, it turned out to be a _little_ bit good. The graphics were amazing, the guns looked and sounded great. One thing that really hit me was the sound of the game, seemed very impressive to me at the time, not sure why I remember that, but I always will. Anyway, I played the demo and then ended up buying the game at the shop Electronic Boutique (sp) in Harrow (near where I live). I remember the place was actually closing when I approached, so I had to do a James Bond stunt to get into the place (rolled under the closing gate thing haha). After buying it and taking it home I realised my PC wasn’t so hot and so the game didn’t sound so great, but it did still look pretty damn good.
A few weeks later me and Jon (ex- [BHG], -[IK]-, [CWD], [DM]-V-, kkfM etc.) decided to try the game online, the only way we had to communicate was through our parents mobiles. We refreshed the steam servers in game and told eachother to “enter the top one”, which ofcourse were competely different servers. About 30 mins later we finally got into a server together, the first map we played? Frenzy, and what a map it is! This was very early into the whole HL thing, before any patches and we both had 300+ pings. To be fair, it felt really “delayed” but we still both loved it. We played more and more on many differnet servers before we finally joined a French clan called [LMTZ]. They were a new clan and we played in a few different French league, in fact, I found the whole French scene to be really nice and friendly (how that changed over the years :P) and we played a few clan matches with them. My memory of this period is not so great, I can’t remember if I joined a clan called [KTS] before or after that, but it was a clan solely for FFA servers and so was not a real clan.
The reason I bring it up however is there was one guy in that clan (all those years ago) that I met again a couple of years later in HLCCL, his name? Tazzieduude, the guy who still plays now and again today (for PMERS afaik). 🙂 He had an awesome connection back then with very low pings, why I will always remember him :), we still chat on MSN and play Pro Evo online against eachother. I then went on to meet Aphex_Twin and Windowlicker in a FFA server one night, natrually we argued a hell of a lot (me and jon vs them two) and arranged a big 2on2 show down. This was the first time I entered a Wireplay server. I had heard of them before, but was never really inclined to take a closer look, I was more interested in playing football etc. at school then trying out wireplay :P. It was that fateful night however, that started my “addiction” to HL, from there I joined [SA] and/or [BHG] and many a clan match being threatened with bannage etc. began. [SA] were a clan I joined in HLCCL, can’t remember if that was before or after [BHG], something tells me before but I can’t really remember).
From there I have played for many many top clans, including cold. (my first div1 clan), Ikan-No-Kazua (or sth:P) -[IK]- who were a very good German clan at the time, countless stupid leet clans such as -VX- with tracid, lem, mass, shao, kararakan, me etc. that lasted 2 weeks (the same kinda people in each clan, argueing and splitting up etc.), kkfM/ (won HLCCL cup beating KIA in final to really piss off EddZ :/ as well as HLCCL div2 a couple of times), [DM] (the dreadmen, considered one of the best clans ever), -[D]- (dedication, again considered one of the best clans ever), I also had two or three stints in storm^ but never really settled. I also played for other clans at different times, even had a stint at [KIA], BRUV, EP, [SA], [TBUK], [CWD], and many others I have forgotten. I had a rep as a clan hopper :/
Why you still play it
I don’t really play AG much at all nowadays, in fact I installed it for the first time last Christmas in three years. At the end of college (early 2003) I really stopped playing and ended up stopping altogether when I went to uni in October. After reinstalling I found it difficult to get back to anywhere near as good as I was, I was also confronted by a lot of “new” people who thoguht they were amazing that I had never met :P, now I play the occasional game, maybe once every two months, if that. It is the only FPS I play though, I don’t really like any other FPS I have ever tried, not sure why but none of them appealed to me.
Favourite moments in AG
I have many favourite moments in AG I guess, the countless HLCCL Div 1 league wins with DM/D are nice, as well as the HLCCL Cup I won with kkfM/ to knock KIA out and ensure they continued their horrendous run of never winning anything ever (at the time, think they have won something now?). Also the other Cups I won, the numerous Euro vs USA games I took part in and won (all of them) with various other top Euro players. The many matches vs pmers that I played with all sorts of different clans, it is incredible to think that the most consistent clan in the whole of HLDM is probably PMERS really, the fact they were there right from the start to the end, missing very few seasons is quite incredible.
My worst memory might well be the CBCup final with DM vs PC in whch we lost, a two hour wait for our 4th member started the proceedings. Then, just as I was about to quit (I was knackered waiting that long and was supposed to be going out that night), Ekan (I think) joined the server. He hadn’t played in 8 months and had no real idea what to do with the team, we ended up losing the final 3-1, I was quite bitter about it. Was an unfortunate way to lose, if Lax was available I’m sure it would have been very very different, or if Ekan had played a bit more over the last few months. I always remember this as the worst moment in AG for me, spending 4-5 hours in a server on a Friday night only to lose under such circumstances was hard to take. PC were a great clan though, they deserved it over that particular match. I always remmeber this moment as the worst.
Best clans and players
I remember seeing KR at the start and especially Chop in a video vs Acidtrip (an american), that seemed like an amazing thing to me, having only played in FFA servers and the like before. KR seemed good, but most of the games I saw with them in were vs PMERS and always very close games. KR also weren’t around for _that_ long compared to someone like [PMERS], so I would put [PMERS] up ahead of KR, they lasted longer and were extremely consistent throughout the years. It is always hard to pick best clans and players really, it is an impossible task. Everyone says Garpy was the best player, but then he didn’t even make the England team towards the beginning. Why? Probably because he hadn’t played as much, but who is to say he would be the best now if others continued to play on, who is to say other players who haven’t played for so long (remember someone like Vortex has played a couple of years less than someone like Garpy) who are good now wouldn’t have been the best ever if they started in ’98?
I would put most of [DM] and -[D]- in my list of greatest players, as well as Vortex, Garpy, aro, chop, tracid, erasor/erazer (however he spelt it, stalkyard bloke). I respected the players who went out there and hit people though, actually went for their throats in clan matches/1on1s, not players who stood around and occupied one space, I guess I just prefer watching the “rush” kinda style, players like Stasiz is the style I enjoyed watching most.
Fondiest memories of the past
Probably the first releases of AG were nice, the “TFC” patch was also a big turning point. Those things really, being a noob was alwyas fun looking back. Being amazed by what people can do now, that never happens once you get into div1 really. Those were good memories, seeing someone WG for the first time, seeing someone GJ for the first time etc. 🙂 🙂
Watching players rise through the ranks was also amusing, seeing them play in Div9 of the HLCCL and then suddenly join pmers a year or so later. That kinda adds to the whole “who was the best player” debate too, you have to remember that everyone starts off completely new and everyone loses interest at some point.