History of GSHI
This is a work-in-progress, and everyone is encouraged to contribute their piece(s) of the puzzle. _______________________________________________________________________________________
In early 1999, there was a thriving community centered around a handful of people that created codes to modify video games at the RAM level, via peripheral devices such as the GameShark, Pro Action Replay, and GameBuster. Dubbed 'hackers', these people provided codes to their pseudo-underground society, who depended on them for everything from cheats to the downright bizarre; the means of entertainment that just might get them through the work - or school - week. Infinite lives, unlimited ammo, and the ability to skip levels were just the beginning.
[08.06.99] Intrepid GameShark hackers discover a code to access a series of debug rooms in Final Fantasy VII. Screens included. "Almost two years after the US release of Final Fantasy VII, two GameShark hackers known as RPGod and CzarDragon have discovered a code which allows players to access a previously hidden -- and quite bizarre -- debug room in Final Fantasy VII. From the initial room, one can enter various areas which were presumably originally designed to allow programmers to easily test and debug the game." - Gaming Intelligence Agency
It was imaginative, skillful work like this that opened the door to a world of endless possibility, and the 'Golden Age' of video game hacking. During this period of time, there was a growing number of skilled hackers (many of whom were willing to teach others aspiring to join the ranks). There were a few major sites supporting this hacking movement, hosting collections of codes by game (with a small caption of credit at the bottom per page) and a bulletin board and chat room, but many felt there was a need to give credit where it was due.
Shortly after the discovery of the Final Fantasy VII Debug Room code, several video game hackers (including Lazy Bastard, RPGod, CzarDragon, KingEdgar0, and others) were having a discussion at the current center of the video game hacking scene - GSCCC. They were essentially deploring the current situation in the hacking scene, in which hackers were not given proper credit for codes (or sometimes not given credit at all), were overrun by greedy, rude newbies who just wanted the quick fix, and were generally misunderstood and unrecognized for their efforts. In the midst of this conversation, within about three minutes of each other, both Lazy Bastard and RPGod posted roughly the same thing: the solution; an idea that would soon after become the GSHI. Lazy Bastard began to create the site, and RPGod and Ace (then War~Nerve, soon to be Magus, and eventually to become Ace, heh) continued to provide ideas, insight, and the perspective of outside minds as the project took shape, and became the first GSHI administrators (aside from Lazy Bastard). Lazy Bastard went 'door-to-door' as it were, speaking with individual hackers and getting proper permission to add their codes to the new site, until the codes of thirty or forty hackers were up and ready for browsing, in an index by hacker (the index was a list of hackers, each of which could be clicked on to view his/her codes, and there was a guide at the bottom of the list that listed games hacked per hacker). The index was initially only concerned with GameShark codes for the Playstation (PSX), and so it was named the GameShark Hackers Index. It was never meant to serve as a community, but as a record of the feats and endeavors of hackers, to showcase them in a way fitting for someone who put forth such effort for no personal gain (except, perhaps, an ego boost, heh).
Upon completion of the first, crude incarnation of GSHI (hosted free on FortuneCity, badly built using an HTML editor called TrellixWeb, and using a CJB.net address), Lazy Bastard released it to the public, and spread the word to other hackers, who rallied to the cause. GSHI was shown quite a bit of support for its ideals and goals, even if it was still lacking in proper functionality and visual elegance. RPGod created an EZBoard forum for GSHI, and surprisingly, people showed up in decent numbers. Several accomplished hackers from GSCCC and the famed GS School of Hacking (a forum run by XKillingAngelX, which was basically a hide-out for some of the most skilled hackers in the scene, where they could hang out without the hassle of seething throngs of newbies and 'lamers' to hound them) joined GSHI, to include CzarDragon, KingEdgar0, ZoMBiE343, LiquidManZero (then LiquidMan, followed by LiquidMan0, and finally LiquidManZero, heh), RainSphere, HAcKen (who was known as Osiris from time to time, but I believe switched back to HAcKen near the end), and several others.
Due to a rapid exchange of ideas, the release of several hacking FAQs, lots and lots of hacking, general word of mouth, and the support of some of the scene's most prominent members, GSHI began to grow exponentially in size, number of members, activity, and the collection of codes that were rapidly accruing. This is not to say that it rivaled the major sites of the time (GSCCC, GSC, GS.com, etc), but it was quickly the largest of the "specialized" scene sites, and was, at the least, well-known across the scene.
-[By Lazy Bastard (circa 2001, in an explanation as to why he gave admin powers to the admins of the time, in the GSHI Secret Room):
RPGod - RPGod thought of the same basic idea as yours truly, at the same time as well, and we both posted on the same board, in the same forum, on the same topic, within about 3 minutes of each other, about the same thing: the idea that has become the GSHI. I was pretty surprised to come back and see what seemed to me like a reply to my post, before it, heh. So I e-mailed him about it, I think we threw some ideas around, and I went off and started the project. Another group of hackers basically tried to steal the idea and use it before I did, but I beat them to finishing mine, which was better anyway since the idea was potent in my mind, posted the link, and they gave up, their attempt fizzling into nothingness.
Magus - When Magus first entered the GS world and saw me at the GSCCC UBB, I was a raging hackaholic, pumpin' out codes and posting'em every day like there was no tomorrow. At a time when most people were too scared to e-mail me personally (when they did, they apologized like seven times in the letter for taking up my valuable time, and explained how they knew I was very busy, heh), for fear that I might post angrily at them or something (which was strange, because I hardly ever got angry at anyone), Magus just dropped me a line and asked me for hacking advice, said "blah blah blah" about this code, asked a question about this or that, requested something, and kept replying whenever he had a question or something to say. The main thing was that he talked to me like you talk to a regular person, not like I was the god of all things who might smite him down if he bothered me too much. What most people didn't know was that I didn't mind at all to get their e-mails. The only ones I did mind were "how do you hack?" or "I've got a challenge for you" or "why haven't you hacked any codes for this game?". The answers to those questions/replies to that comment are: a) Too broad, ask me how to hack a specific thing, or where to find some reference b) Don't challenge hackers: it doesn't help, it just pisses them off and insults their intelligence. Hackers are usually highly intelligent people; you don't insult a beautiful girl's looks, do you? c) I either do not have it, think it sucks, or cannot think of anything to hack for it. Give me a request, and I'll work on it if I have the game. </rant> Anyway, Magus is indispensable. He's my graphics designer, the most active UBB admin, the guy who's found new hosting for the UBB every time the bastards kicked us, an active hacker, a resident of a hick town, and basically my right hand man. These first two will inherit the GSHI throne when I leave.
CzarDragon - CzarDragon suddenly returned from oblivion and his absence of about a year from the scene, and posted one day here. Despite how cocky I am, Czar is probably the greatest GS hacker of all time. One day he just mysteriously disappeared, and when he suddenly returned, I was quite surprised. RPGod and Czar were well acquainted (they hacked the FF7 debug room code together), which is probably why Czar came to the GSHI and posted at the old EZBoard in the first place, and Magus...or perhaps RPGod...I don't remember...made him an admin. When I found out about this, I approved of his adminship, welcomed him, and figured that although he probably wouldn't be of much use as an admin, he would be a great attribute to the GSHI as a hacker. I was far from being correct, as he became one of the most important people working at the GSHI BB, and now the UBB. In any case, if you boil it all down, CzarDragon earned his stay before he even came here.
CCV2K and Munky - I'm putting them as one because they were both made admins at the same time for the same reason. CCV and Munk are the reason we have a UBB today. Because they worked so damn hard on something that was for other people, they deserved something more than a crappy "thank you", and becoming GSHI administrators seemed like the only thing good enough. Afterward, CCV2k hired himself as the UBB tester (heheh) and Ubb scheme...tester...and does a damn good job. He's also one of our most active admins, and is the only admin that's ever online at the same time I am, lol. Munky became the UBB hack guy and did everything else to do with installation of the UBB and fixing bugs and the like. Magus quickly learned pretty much everything to do with UBB's, and was the one who installed ours the last two times we moved, I believe, as Munk isn't around very often anymore.
Alucard - Alucard was the joint owner of RPGod's old site, Gamers Revolt, and, obviously, a friend of RPGod's. He came to the board probably because RPGod was able to successfully brainwash him into it (lol), and was quite an active poster. Being that he was RPGod's friend and could most likely be trusted, and that he seemed intelligently reasonable and reasonably intelligent, Magus made him a mod. After a few days, or weeks, perhaps, his usefulness had him promoted to administrator.
Well, that's it. Now you know a little more about the history of The GS Hackers Index. Oh yeah, I hired myself about two weeks ago, out of pity. My job is to try and sell our new GSHI cereal,
Hexbits - The only cereal with floating marshmallowy hexadecimal goodness in every mouthful. A new GS hacking screenshot on the back of each box---collect them all! Save 400 proofs of purchase, and we'll make you our newest moderator. Sound fair? Happy eating...
About a year after his unexpected return, CzarDragon fell off the face of the scene. A few months later, Munky became relatively inactive, and HAcKen followed soon after. This was probably due to the harsh effects of the 'Dark Age' of the scene setting in (very little activity in general, limited hacking capabilities on new platforms, division of the hacking scene into too many sub-scenes, commercialization of some sectors of the scene, etc). However, soon after losing those admins to atrophy (heh), GSHI gained DarkSerge, who has been an asset to the team ever since.
-[By Lazy Bastard (circa 2001, in an explanation as to why he gave admin powers to DarkSerge, in the GSHI Secret Room):
DarkSerge - DS was gone from the scene for a while, and suddenly came back. He hung around the GSHI and the GSCCC for a while, before becoming part of the GSCCC staff. Besides simple posting at the GSHI UBB, we caught each other in irc every few days for a while, and talked about random crap, occasionally helping each other find some useless, but useful, thing, mostly to do with the emu scene. Being that DS is a pretty good hacker, and that I figure he's trustworthy, I decided it'd be cool for him to be part of the GSHI staff. At some point in the whole ordeal, I accidentally gave him adminship. LOL, just kidding. He's been a decisive factor in getting new hosting for the new GSHI UBB, which will be open within a few days, hopefully, and is usually a damn good adviser, when he's not absent-minded from sleep-deprivation...which doesn't matter, because I'm usually about as tired as he is, so I wouldn't notice anyway, heheh. When you're half passing out on your keyboard trying to IM someone in irc, log what you say. You'd be surprised the next morning, LOL.
Liquid Man - Since...the height of KA's School of Hacking I've known Liquid as a hacking peer. He's been at the GSHI as a PSX hacker longer than anyone outside of staff, and is one of the best GS hackers around. At some point he was modded to run the PSX Hacking forum. I noticed he was one of the longest-running GSHI members ever, and one of the most useful, so I offered him an admin slot, and he accepted. He's been doing a lot of graphics work lately, also.
King Edgar 0 - KE has been around the GSHI since pretty much the beginning. I always intended to offer adminship to him, but never got around to it. During the times I did remember, I decided to hold off as he was busier than even myself with modding at GSCCC, hacking, and life, heh. At some point DS reminded me, and after KE explaining he might not have much time to be around and myself explaining that as long as he contributed every once in a while, it'd be fine, he came aboard. Since that, he's been around more than anyone else, heheh. He's not only a GSHI chat regular, but he's THE GSHI chat regular. He's probably our biggest connection to GSCCC, and is one of our few GBA hackers. And I've known KE longer than I've known Liquid; he was in the scene about two months before I was. He's another of the best around, and his ASM knowledge puts him a cut above most of even the best. He also recently went to the bathroom. OK...just checking if you were reading ;)
TruWizdom - Tru was a mod for like...a really long time, heh. He was one of the most useful mods, so DS suggested we make him like a supermod that can mod all forums. I took it a tenth of a step further and made him an admin, heh. Tru probably answers more questions at the UBB than everyone else put together, which makes him one of the top two or three useful people there. And...he entertains me in chat, heheh.
SephiRon - From the beginning, Ron was really into hacking, and would stop at nothing to get everything he needed and learn from the best. This impressed me, as I see that very rarely in a new guy, so when I got my hands on a spare GSPro, I sent it to him, hoping he'd put it to good use. Soon after, I began adding his codes to the GSHI. He's always been around a lot to help out, but when he set up the Backup Board (which we used for a few weeks, and will keep permanently up as a backup), it was the last straw; he was already...effectively staff - it might as well be official. And so it is. And stuff.