SEGA Nerds

Our favorite SN memories

While we’ve been spending much of the day reminiscing and talking about how excited we are about the new site, we thought it’d be great to remember our favorite moments of the old SEGA Nerds.

There were so many great times that we had running the site and covering SEGA that we couldn’t list them all here, but I think we came up with some pretty good entries. I’m sure some of our longtime readers will remember them too.

1) Winning the Sonic Chronicles contest

ZoahWe were just as surprised as everyone else when, in 2009, SEGA announced they were partnering with role playing game powerhouse Bioware on an RPG called Sonic Chronicles. That surprise turned to excitement when SEGA of America and SEGA Europe’s community teams held a contest where many of the popular SEGA fan sites would pick a name for an alien race that would play a prominent role in Bioware’s Sonic Chronicles.

After a lot of internal discussion between the staff, we settled on “The Zoah,” for our name (named after the forest in Panzer Dragoon Saga). A huge campaign went underway where we lobbied our readers to vote for the name on the SEGA blog.

Surprisingly, we ended up winning! BioWare even added our site’s name in the game’s credits. This achievement wasn’t our doing. No way. It was made possible by our amazing readers who voted and told their friends to vote for The Zoah. Not too many fan sites can say their name is in a video game, and we thank all of you for making it a reality.

2) Graham set loose in Japan

Here’s a funny story not too many people know about. In 2007, Graham flew to Japan to attend the Tokyo Game Show. I was supposed to be there with our English friend, but a passport snafu prevented me from going [read: Chris didn’t have a smegging passport! – G], so it meant poor Graham had to handle the mean streets of Tokyo by himself.

Oh yeah, he also didn’t bother registering for the show … HE DIDN’T BOTHER REGISTERING!!!

He literally flew across planet Earth to a foreign land that he had never been to before to attend a video game convention by himself that he didn’t even have approval to attend. Now, take a moment and let that sink in. But huzzah! What would an international man of video game journalism, like Graham, do in his position? How about concocting a fascinating disguise and stealthily sneaking by security. We even have video to prove it.

3) The SEGA Nerdcast

sega-nerds-original-design-2 Hey, I’ll be the first to admit that when we started our audio podcast that none of us knew what we were doing. It was still fairly early in the days of podcasting, and there wasn’t a lot of information on the Internet to teach you how to do it like there is today. So we pretty much did things ass backwards, and it was amazing enough that we were able to piece together a somewhat audible mp3 file that had all our voices contained within.

However, that rinky dink first episode turned into more than 20 great shows that featured SEGA developers, community members, and guest spots from the staff.

Unfortunately, the episodes are no longer available on the Internet, but if any of our original listeners happen to have them stored away on some old, dusty hard drive, we’d be eternally indebted to you if you could make them available to us.

4) Captain S

captainSGrowing up, we loved the original Captain N cartoon. As SEGA Nerds back then, we couldn’t help but feel a little left out in the cartoon department. Sure, we eventually had a Sonic cartoon, but there was nothing like the Captain N show.

That is until Captain S came to save the day. True, it wasn’t exactly a cartoon like Captain N, but it did capture the same great, corny dialogue that made TV shows like Saved By the Bell and Hey Dude so awesome.

Sadly, it only lasted one season, but it was around long enough to capture all of our imagination and left us thoroughly enjoyed. We even had the cast on one of the old Nerdcasts, which was quite a treat. We still hold out hope he’ll return one day.

5) The redesign

sega-nerds-original-designWhile I’ve always maintained that excellent stories are vastly more important than a fancy design, it’s tough to look back at the original design of SEGA Nerds. It was simple … and very ugly.

Actually, it was pretty much the default WordPress theme with our own header image, so it wasn’t necessarily our fault it was so ugly. After a few years, though, we were finally able to get a custom design of our own, it looked great! From a functional standpoint, it didn’t really do a lot different than what we had before, but it sure looked a helluva lot better.

Sure, it’s outdated by today’s standards, but we were really proud of it back then.

6) Our “rivalry” with Old Wizard

old-wizardThis one came out of nowhere, kind of like the time Graham admitted he wipes his ass standing up right before we were set to record a Nerdcast episode. One day, a website at www.oldwizard.com attempted to start a feud with SEGA Nerds by bashing the site and our loyal readers.

Up to that point, we had never heard of their site, but they were apparently some pro-Nintendo site that posted a crap ton of “Top 10” lists. In fact, they seem to still be doing that to this day, hopelessly trying to get page views with cheaply thought out articles. Our “rivalry” reached its apex when they voted our website as the one of the worst sites on the Internet.

Here’s an excerpt from their expertly written piece: “Seganerds is the last vestige of anyone who wants something to believe in that has no force. One must wonder who would be a Seganerd. How could anyone prefer Sonic over Super Mario World? Who in their right mind would defend Sega over Nintendo after playing games like Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy 3? Maybe they haven’t played these games, or maybe they just have bad taste in video games.”

We actually got a laugh out of the whole thing, and rather than giving them free advertising, we chose to take the high ground and not issue any public reactions. That didn’t stop our readers from inundating their stories with comments letting them know how silly they were. Since it’s been about five years, I think it’d be OK to finally give them what they wanted and link to one of their articles. Here ya go, Old Wizard. Free advertising – click here for fun.

7) Nathan attends the Universe at War media event

Let me put this bluntly: I was 22 years old, I had a really bad haircut, I was a huge dumbass, and I’d never been to Las Vegas. Now, I’m pretty much still all of those things, but I’m way older and I have been to Las Vegas, thanks to the fine fellas at Petroglyph Games and SEGA.

The game was Universe at War, a real-time strategy game with influences from Command & Conquer, the series that a large number of Petroglyph Games members cut their teeth on, and StarCraft. I got to hang out with the super nice folks from SEGA and Petroglyph, including Frank Klepacki, met some cool guys from other websites like Destructoid, and had my first experience with gambling.

Not bad for my first Vegas experience. The next time I returned to the city, it was for a bachelor party. I’m under blood oath to never divulge the events that transpired on that visit. –Nathan

8) SEGA Nerds mentioned in Games Master Magazine

SN in Games Master Back in 2009 (I think… it could have been 2008) SEGA Nerds was mentioned in one of the longest running and best selling UK gaming magazines, Games Master Magazine. It might not have been a big slot, but we were the ‘Fansite of the Month’ and received some very kind words from the guys at Games Master.

I also (this is G right now btw, not Chris) received a free copy of the issue, which I definitely have somewhere, but can’t seem to find right now. So, for proof, here’s a crappy picture I took my old phone at the time. Bloody marvellous.

9) Graham being the first to ride on Sonic Spinball at Alton Towers

G here again. Definitely one of my favourite experiences with SEGA Nerds was when SEGA Europe whisked several UK journalists and Sonic/SEGA enthusiasts (any SEGA Nerds out there will hopefully recognise DiGi and TRiPPY from NiD.com in one of the pics below) up to the Alton Towers theme park.

SEGA had just announced they would be sponsoring a ride at the theme park, which was an old ride, but it had been redesigned and spruced up to feature Sonic the Hedgehog. Aptly named Sonic Spinball, the ride featured round carriages (two seats facing one way and two the other), which would spin around as it went up, down and around the track. It was awesome fun and I was in the very first carriage out of the group – and (apparently) we were the first public group to use the ride in its Sonic Spinball incarnation. Great stuff. Also, while I didn’t get to stay in the room for the night, we were shown the SEGA/Sonic-themed room at the Alton Towers hotel.

Any true Sonic fan would have wet themselves with excitement at the awesome décor and (even more awesome) the room came with a Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 – allowing guests to freely play their favourite Sonic games. I haven’t been back to Alton Towers since, but I sincerely hope the ride and room are still there. Because they were both awesome. And I must give a BIG thank you to SEGA for the trip, it was probably the best one we did (and SEGA trips are always excellent fun).

10) The original live ‘Summer of Sonic’

G here again. Way back in, ooh 2008 (I think), Kevin Eva from Sonic Wrecks (and SEGA Europe) and Svend Jocelyene from The Sonic Stadium put together a small, but awesome day of Sonic fun and shenanigans in London.

Featuring different attractions, such as a Sonic speed run on the Mega Drive (with Guinness World Record people in attendance to watch the times), artists corner for all the Deviant Art enthusiasts, a DJ playing Sonic music throughout the day (there’s a shockingly large number of tracks – that managed to happily fill up the day), there were competitions on stage and there was a demo version of Sonic Chronicles (which we get a credit) on display, before the game’s official release – which was pretty awesome.

But the main attractions came in the form of three top musical professionals, who had worked on various Sonic/SEGA soundtracks; Richard Jacques, Bentley Jones and TJ Davies. It was fantastic.

Now, since this first live event, there has been a Summer of Sonic held in the UK every year and SEGA America even started its own ‘Sonic Boom’ in the US, but (in my opinion) the original SOS is still by far the best. Not to discredit the efforts of the team behind the event – each year its got bigger and bolder, with more ‘SEGA stars’ coming along (such as the legendary Yuji Naka and Takeshi Iizuka) and Crush 40 – I completely applaud them for all the work that goes into it all, it’s amazing.

The reason I loved the original so much was because it felt more ‘intimate’. The camaraderie between the fans was absolutely amazing. I might be a SEGA Nerd, but the knowledge and obsession shown by the people at the show was amazing to me, I never knew I knew so little about our favourite blue hedgehog.

As the events got bigger, it felt harder to go around and talk to people – and there is always so much happening on-stage in recent years, that you feel like if you aren’t playing attention you will miss it. But as I say, all Summer of Sonic events are brilliant, just (for me) the original was the best.


Watch Summer of Sonic – Highlights.wmv in Pop | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

~Before YouTube allowed for videos longer than 10 minutes, we had to upload our long videos to VEOH. Here’s the original ‘highlights’ montage I put together~

So those are just a few of our favorite memories, and we’re incredibly excited to make a whole lot more with all of you. We hope you’ll share some of your own in the comments below!

Chris

Chris is the editor-in-chief of Mega Visions Magazine and the co-creator of SEGA Nerds. Over the years, he's written for publications like Joystiq, PSP Fanboy, RETRO magazine, among others. He's also an avid pro wrestling fan, and it's still real to him, dammit.

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