When VGW Man took control of SSS in 1998, giving it its name shortly thereafter, neither he nor Kyle Orland had any idea how it would grow and evolve. In this section, we continue the story of the development of SSS, and its Staff Members. Mash Toady brings us the inside story. Once again, please note that these interviews really did take place, with the real people, and Mash is hiding their screen names in respect of their privacy.
Mash Toady: How did you come to meet Prince Lemmy Koopa, and bring him on board as an SP?
VGW Man: We started chatting on AIM, and he also made a match or two...he was also better with the fans that were out there than I was. So, I brought him in.
Mash Toady: What were his contributions upon acceptance?
VGW Man: Matches, ideas, and a few other things...he was a good Superpower.
Patrick V: As I recall, he posted several Reactions before he met up with VGW. He joined before I did. He was a lively guy; a lot of good ideas were his. A lot of bad ones, too, but most of them were good. He invented what he called "True Color Commentary". That is, scripted matches, with commentators speaking in lines, the format now used most commonly at this site. I think he had put up two of these matches before I joined the site.
Mash Toady: How did you meet Pat, and bring him to the staff?
VGW Man: If I remember correctly, he asked to join, and mentioned that he was a good picture maker. I asked him to show me, and he did. To this day, he still makes excellent pics.
Mash Toady: How did you come across SSS?
Patrick V: Well, I was really "introduced" to SSS twice. I had come there once in '97 or early '98, when I was the closest thing to an internet "wanderer". I was traveling through web-rings, links, and search engines, looking for Yoshi-related websites. Of course, SMBHQ made it into the pool. I did some exploring, and wandered into the SSB Grudge Matches... but Kyle was still in charge back then, and the general format of the section didn't interest me much, so I continued wandering. Eventually, certainly in '98, my path led me back to SMBHQ. By this time, VGW had taken over and Lemmy had joined, so the site was a good deal more interesting. I stuck around, wrote some reactions, the usual.
Mash Toady: How did you come to join the staff?
Patrick V: For some time before that, I had made a hobby of doing my own "sprite comics". These were really mostly Star Wars-based pictures done by an 8-year-old boy. I was re-coloring Mario sprites, in Paint, and pasting them into backgrounds I made, in Paint. Looking back, I wouldn't venture to say they were any good, but they showed a prerequisite for the Sprite Art I do now. In any case, that work was long since discontinued, but my urge to do that work was still strong. So when I read the Post-matches to Lemmy's match, I thought to myself, "Hmm, these would look great with pictures." So I emailed VGW Man, who I didn't know the name of at the time. Not expecting any real response, I was surprised to learn that he was actually interested in my offer. Per his request, I quickly made up sprites of the existing staff of SSS (Lemmy, Kyle, Lakitu, Mash, and VGW himself). I kick myself to this day for making VGW a simple Toad sprite, heh. Anyway, he seemed to think I was good. He convinced me to get AIM, and I became part of the staff.
Mash Toady: What can you tell us about meeting and hiring Zeratul, known then as Lugia?
VGW Man: He was a good help with making some matches and arenas...the main problem with him was one beyond his control. He didn't always have access to the internet, even on a dialup. While he's a good guy, it's sometimes hard to get in touch with him.
Mash Toady: What were the reactions of the staff to each other?
VGW Man: There was some conflict, but it was basically a strange second family, almost. Anytime we needed to help each other on stuff, be it for the site or for Science, we were there. Of course, there were some conflicts...I do remember Pat and Lugia sometimes had a few.....discussions. I wasn't trying to replace Pat at all... Lugia was more jack-of-all-trades that was hampered by not always being around.
Mash Toady: How did you first come across SSS?
Zeratul: Not even looking for it.... I was at VGF looking for a Zelda site, but I got to SMBHQ by mistake. I took a look at the site and found the SSS... and I liked it.
Mash Toady: How did you first meet VGW, and come to join the SSS ranks?
Zeratul: I simply started talking to VG and Lemmy on AIM, and one day VG offered me a job if I could find some stuff needed for the Castle Raid for him.
Mash Toady: What were your experiences joining the staff?
Zeratul: Well, I started making some pics (which I certainly don't like thanks to their awful quality but it was all I could do back then), then I became the "utility SP" and I started writing matches, HTMLizing them, added some stuff to the site, and overall fixed some stuff in the older SSS....
Mash Toady: I hear there was some conflict between you and another staff member. What is your take on it?
Zeratul: Well, since I started my job doing pics, he felt like I was taking his job, and he was partly right.... but I've never had anything against him.
Patrick V: I probably was a lot more aggressive with the whole thing than was necessary. Lemmy I could handle, and was even best friends with most of the time. But Lugia... I never really liked him.
Mash Toady: Why was your relationship with Lugia so tense?
Patrick V: To be fair, I probably didn't give the overgrown pigeon the chance I should have, but you need to understand my state of mind. The first I heard about him was VGW saying that someone would come to help with HTML. Suddenly, this guy named after a Pokémon was doing most of what I'd done before: Making pics, HTMLizing matches... pretty much all he left alone was my brainstorming activity. It took me a good, long time to forgive him for that, but things are cool between us now.
With the SSB Superpowers, as they were to be known, now in their first incarnation, it is time to see the stories behind Season One....