Smash King is one of the most important individuals that spearheaded the post-Rentz development of the game. He joined the community about a year after its infancy (late 2010) and departed for personal reasons during 2015. Besides being an ex-administrator and an ex-developer, Smash King was most of all a friend and someone we really enjoyed having around!Slissith:
But what makes Smash King… SMASH KING? Let’s find out!
How and where did you grow up? How has that influenced who you are today?
I grew up in the northeastern part of New Jersey, right across the river from New York City. Being surrounded by metropolitan cities, there is a large diversity of people. Some good and some bad people, but you can tell who you should affiliate yourself with. Being raised on low income by Hispanic parents taught me to appreciate the little things in life and take advantage of all opportunities that benefit my goals.
My work in Crusade when I was still active will speak for itself. I survived many bad situations in my lifetime because I am always determined to escape from the bottom of the ladder to the top.What is your average day like?
Today, ever since I left Crusade a year and a half later, my average life consists of never-ending responsibilities. I wake up at 4am to go to work 5 days a week. I come home and spend the remainder of the day with my girlfriend and son. I'm also expecting a second child come May 2017.What games did you play in contrast to the games you play now?
Prior to leaving Crusade and starting a family of my own, I use to play a variety of games. I would primarily play Smash Bros., both console and Crusade versions. I would also play Assassin's Creed, Ace Attorney, Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, and Fire Emblem. Today, I rarely ever have the time to play games.
When I actually have the time to play, it's always Smash Bros Wii U. My son would occasionally grab the Gamepad and duplicate what I was doing in-game. As of today, he has a record of 11 kills in Endless multi man smash and he is only a year old. Lol.Do you have any hobbies? What do you in your free time?
I have no hobbies aside from video games on rare occasions due to my commitment to my wifey and son and my job. I wouldn't change it for the world though I see myself getting more into my personal interest as my kids age.Could you elaborate on what you mean by saying "personal interest"?
Pretty much getting more into video games like I used to or finding other hobbies that suit my interest once I have more available time for myself.I guess that, the less time you have to yourself, the better you use it, so to speak?
Yes, pretty much that.Do you listen to music? If so what kind? What kind of music did you use to listen to in contrast to the music you listen to nowadays?
Back then, I use to listen to strictly rap, hip hop, and r&b. Guys like Biggie, 2Pac, Nas, Jay-Z, etc. I used to be an independent rapper myself during the later part of my high school years. Those same artists I mentioned above were some of my biggest influences.
My semi career didn't last long because of shady associates at the time, plus the rap industry was becoming watered down and too commercial friendly compared to the explicit style I once enjoyed. Now, I still listen to old school rap while trying to adapt to what is commercially popular today in music in general.What other genres of music have you managed to adapt to?
Pop, rock, anything. It varies.What’s your relationship with Smash in general?
My relationship with Smash in general. Well, I still play the Wii U version whenever I get the opportunity. I think it is the best Smash game of all time. Though I think it would've been better if they had added Snake, Wolf, and the Ice Climbers. Also Banjo-Kazooie. Plus have Smash Run on the Wii U version. Hopefully, the rumors are true concerning the port to the Switch. If my above request would be added, then it would be the perfect game for me.
I still follow up on what is going on in Crusade as well. I visit the forum despite difficulties logging in. I also follow the Youtuber formerly known as “muah” for updates. I visit the Smashboards site on rare occasions and I daydream at work on what I would like to see in SSB5. That is my relationship with Smash.How did you get involved with Crusade in the first place? What were the circumstances and what drew you to the community?
Quite a long story how I made my way to Crusade. Let's see. During the post-Brawl time period where everyone was making speculation videos for SSB4, I was an active follower of this YouTube user by the name of pizzadudemanguy. I made a roster video for the purpose of it getting critiqued by him as well as others. My controversial addition to my roster was the Duck Hunt Dog.
A user by the name of GoldenYuitusin, those of you who are veteran forum members know him well, got into a debate with me concerning my choice of character. At some point in the debate, he showed me a video gameplay of Crusade that featured Toad and Mach Rider in the match. I was blown away cause I had never seen a Smash fangame prior to this and I always wanted to see those two playable. I downloaded the game and joined the Smashboards and Crusade forum (the very first forum) to keep up to date on the game as well as rally supporters to get Duck Hunt Dog playable.
As you can see it all worked out. Lol. This was in the end of 2010. My first demo was 0.5 and had joined the community in time for 0.6, in which Saki debuted. I was also pleased to join a small community that shared the same passion for Smash as I did compared to Smashboards where you are a small fish in an ocean.What do you miss from these days? What DON’T you miss?
I miss being in a creative and productive role for the project. I also miss the friends I made within the community. Best people I had ever met without meeting them in person.
I don't miss the limited workforce within development and having to push the selective lazy workers to do their job. Nor do I miss the trolls. I remember there was a user by the name of Corey who I had to ban numerous times due to multiple accounts and posting carelessly. Funny story, but I remember he had a username in an alternate account named "Gaylord Steambath". Lmao.Do you have any interesting stories to share, pertaining to Crusade, either the community or the development itself?
As far as interesting stories, God there are so many. One story I can tell off the top of my head is how Project Crusade became a thing. Back when the Rentz Bros ( the original developers) were running the project, myself, Dettadeus, and GoldenYuiitusin had character suggestions that were shut down by two of the devs. Those characters being Duck Hunt Dog (me), Ancient Minister (Det), and Agumon (Golden).
They were rejected for non-logical reasons despite the devs claiming at the time that their roster is based on logical choices. Us 3 formed a community group called the Alliance with matching signatures on our profiles. It was us against the devs for a period of time. We even formed our own forum dedicated to our group and added several members as time passes. Eventually the Rentz gave up on the project and Det was given the project kit. From there, we started project crusade and the rest is history.
If you look at my profile you will notice that I am the 4th registered member to the community.How did being a moderator / developer influence you? Would you say you got anything out of it?
Being a moderator and administrator influenced me to be creative and organized for the benefit of others. Honestly, it was the easiest part of my role in the project. As a moderator and administrator, I revived the news feed, created the Audio Team and Dev Lobby. I was also involved in the process of eliminating the never ending, never happening Crusade DLC in favor for a series of suggestion boards where fans can suggest content in detail in an organized manner.
I updated the forum rules and hosted the dev discussions relating to character and stage content. Few other things I am proud of is introducing the forum's first private chat box since Xat, though it didn't last. The Award Ceremony was also an original content of mine. Most importantly, myself and a cast of other dev team members went to great lengths to locate the source of all the sprites that were not properly credited for the past 5 years.
Everyone deserves to be acknowledged if their work is put in the game.Agreed. A lesson learnt back in the day with the Mewtwo sprites, although maybe that’s mostly relevant with permission, not crediting.
That is true. Why Dr. Mario X, why?Well, he was young, like all of us were at some point
I was old from the start You were! Speaking of which, if you don't mind, how old are you right now?
28.So back then, you were about 22. When you first got involved. Correct?
Yes. I wish I had discovered the project sooner, but even then I think the project was only a year or two old when I joined.It's funny because most of us are or are approaching the age you had when you first joined. So we can kind of see what you could have felt like around that time or perceived yourself, being "relatively old” for associating with a Smash Fangame. But as far as I can tell, these standards are changing fast
Also despite your upbringing and harsh environment, you are a surprisingly sensitive and understanding person, Why do you think that is?
I think I am the way I am because I can relate to others based on past experience. If my previous situation is different from what the others had gone through, I would look at things as a "what if that was me" and how would I feel about it. I guess basically keep an open mind.What did you most enjoy working the most? What DIDN’T you enjoy working on?
I enjoyed working on Duck Hunt Dog. He was the main reason I joined the spriting team. District Court is another one. I also had fun making layouts for specific stages. I didn't enjoy redoing the item points for the character roster. Lol. Very tedious work, but rewarding in the end.You won the “Most Inspiring Individual” and the “Most Notable Absence” awards. Why do you think that is?
I believe that I won the most inspirational individual award because of all the work I had done despite how limited I was skill-wise. I wasn't the most talented spriter, coder, or even an administrator, but I made the best out of it. I also brought in so much to both the project and the community.
As a spriter, I made Duck Hunt Dog, animated Shadow, made Olimar's ship, Beast Ganon, District court, and even the Smash 64 intro stage when it was still on the roster. I helped with Distortion World and Luigi Mansion stages. I also sprited the new Ultra Hand item.
As a coder, I was much limited and prepped the character files for the coders when there was enough sprites to work on. I already mentioned my contribution as an administrator aside from introducing a music player a long time ago. I think what made me such an inspiration is that I pushed myself and others the best I could.
I believe I am the most missed person because I was the granddaddy of the community. No. Literally I was the oldest active forum member at the time. I joined the community when I was 22 and left when I was 27. I gave advice to those curious about girl and relationship issues. Overall being a friend. My harsh humor probably played a part as well. Lol.Where do you see yourself in the future?
Years from now I see myself with a family of 4, a decent home, and a rewarding job. I'm on the right track so far. I see myself going bald over the stress of parenthood. Lol. It would be a shame to lose my hair. Ask Giga and he will tell you how sexy my hair looks. Lmao.Final Question: Is there any sort of message you would like to convey to old and new faces alike of the Project Crusade Forums?
If I had a message for those within the community, I can only say this. Enjoy your youth, take advantage of it. If you don't have kids and the only responsibility you have is paying a phone bill, then you have a whole world to discover. Don't sit in front of the computer all day and limit your social life to exclusively a bunch of avatars on the screen like past forum members.
There is someone out there for everyone if no matter who you are. Be it looking for a significant other or just a friend, there is someone out there for everyone. To the developers, keep up the good work, but don't let this project be the only thing you got going. Don't feel restricted and sometimes less is enough.
Overall, I hope the fans appreciate all the work these developers put into this project. It is very time consuming and they don't even get paid for it. Everyone deserves to have fun and enjoy their youth. Once you finally settle down, those windows of opportunities close on you cause you now have dependents. Don't get me wrong, being a family man is a blessing, but you only live once and your youth is the shortest phase of your life. Enjoy it.Holy shit SK, that last answer was so moving...
Thank you.SK, your answers have been very comprehensive. You are the first person I ever interview, and you've been very helpful and accommodating.