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Interview With Fungus
by Cactus/Oxyron

This interview has been done in the early October, 2002. It's a little bit different to my other interviews I was doing in the past and publishing in "Attitude". I've tried not to ask only standard questions but to ask Fungus also about his opinions on different subjects. Feel free to leave me a message if you like this style of interviewing or just blame me for that...

This is also the first ever interview in "Attitude" disk magazine with an NTSC scener, who lives in USA (till now we've interviewed only PAL sceners).

Legend: C - "Cactus/Oxyron", F - "Fungus/Nostalgia"

C: Hello Fungus! How are you?

F: Hiya Cactus! I'm great.

C: At first say something about yourself...

F: Hmm, well I guess I've been using C-64 since 88 or so. Joined the scene in 95 I think when I joined Chromance. I left them shortly there after for F4CG. Where I stayed for many years... 4 I think. I've also been a member of the oldies group Cyberpunx, Remember, and now I reside in Nostalgia. :)

I've also belong to a couple of demos groups, and that is in NTSC and not worth to talk about much. Carcass Creation Service wuz some good fun for me though. :)

In my other life (daily routine) I'm a technician at a musical instrument store. I fix amps and guitars and such. I also play in a punk band, called Shik Shadle, grab our stuff if you like. :)

C: Sounds interesting. I'm also sometimes playing guitar, not in any band though. Would you like to say something more about your band?

F: Yeah, Shik Shadle has existed in one form or another for 4 years. Myself, and former members of several other bands in the area. It's hardcore, in your face, honest punk.

C: OK. What about your current C-64 activities? What are you doing now in the scene? Any projects you're involved in?

F: I guess I'm busy cracking and coding as usual. Nothing I can really speak of publicly at the moment. I've rejoined Onslaught on my return to the scene. And I've also joined Nostalgia, as I didn't like certain things about Remember. But I cannot say much bad, Derbyshire Ram is the best supplyer ever (thanks for tapes, bud!). But I can tell when someone has been freezing... (Hi Rob!) So I had to move to Nostalgia... :)

C: When can we expect some new releases from you? Is there any chance you could unveil a secret?

F: Many many releases from us coming on all fronts, and done by me. More work goes into the IFFL system presently, it will be the best ever and supporting all kinda drives etc. It will rock for sure!

Guess were working on many Electronic Arts games, which aren't cracked properly to disk, as no one has really fully cracked any game with Kris Hatlelid's Pirate Busters protection. :))) (Hi Antitrack!)

Just wait, history is in the making. :)

C: What's your opinion about today's C-64 cracking scene?

F: Hmm, my opinion is people need to concentrate on properly cracking the oldies. And not wasting time on this new crap (with a few exceptions) that is mostly coded in group and released only for points.

Most crackers these days have NO skills at all, they need to learn before calling themselves "cracker". :) If they cannot handle a simple protection, or any protection at all, then they should be called "releaser" hehehe. Being able to depack/train/repack/intro link doesn't make you a cracker. :)

I really enjoy a lot of works done by the oldie groups, the quality is approaching that of the golden years of "Gamer's Guide". It's nice to see. I also think the competition is good for the scene, so every good cracker joining ONE group is not so cool... I hear Onslaught Antiques will be releasing some fine versions the next months. Guess REM will have a hard time beating them. :))) Not to mention Nostalgia is picking up speed. And GRG is a fine cracker, I'm impressed. :)

C: What's the difference between today's cracking scene comparing to the scene of the middle 90s?

F: Pressure, lots and lots of pressure. People were good then, more groups, more crackers, it was a real rush to get something done. It all was protected too, which made it even harder. You sink or swim in the scene those days, and no lamer could ever survive such rough conditions.

C: Do you think there are more lamers on the scene nowadays? Any examples?

F: Yes, and no I won't name names, but that's just because a lot of the elite crackers and of the day have moved on to PSX or PSX2, Game Boy etc... As for the demos scene, it's quite strong, and I wouldn't change it. :)

C: Talking about C-64 scene... Do you have any favourite groups?

F: Oh yes, cracking groups or demo? I'll start with cracking groups... Triad, ale time favourite cracking group for me, quality is the rullar. :) Also 711 is a favourite group... and UCF of old school times. :) I learned a lot from JJ The Breaker, wonder where he disappeared too!? If you're reading this Joe, e-mail me please! :)

My favourite demos groups... Hmm, Crest is all time favourite, Maduplec and XBow are the most inspiring to me, they just simply make the C-64 do the impossible! :))) Oxyron of coz is my next favourite group. Judges would have to be third, cause they invented a lot, and their demos gave me the feeling. :)

C: Do you know any Polish based groups? ;)

F: Not really no, just Samar? Never really paid a lot of attention to the Polish scene. Forgive me. :)

C: I'm surprised you only know Samar. What about Taboo? Never heard about it? Agony? Nipson? Those were really great Polish demo groups in the past.

F: Ahh yes, Taboo, nice demos. I use "Level Crusher" once in a while... It depends on what I'm doing. I just never really watched a lot of demos. A lot more into tools and warez. :)

C: We know your favourite groups. What about your favourite demos? Do you have any?

F: Oh yes, "Krestology" is my favourite demo. XBow simply slays me... (Hi Roland!) :) I am amazed every time at his demos. My second favourite is "Dawnfall", best single filer ever in my honest opinion. Graham is in league all his own. :) Why I like demos from Crest is another favourite, Maduplec slays aswell. So many demos... I can't think of any other specific at the moment. :)

C: What causes the demo being remembered for long time by many people? What kind of demos do you prefer: a concept ones or maybe technical side is more important to you?

F: I like a good balance of technical and style. This is what good art is composed of. Leaning to much to one side or the other is going to boor people... I also like some attitude in a demo. And if people are going to use scrollies... For God's sake write something worth a read... Some of them a just plain silly in their blotedness... I also like a good sense of humor in a demo, teasing oneself is great. :)

C: What do you think about C-64 demos being released today?

F: Most of them are damn cool, not a lot of those funky ugly gfx modes being used much anymore. I love the old school style demos, and a lot of the newer ones too. I'm just glad to see 4x4 and ugly 8x8 modes go away finally. I haven't checked any new demos for some weeks, but I will check all party stuff before too long, I hear some nice things have been made over the year or two.

C: How long in your opinion will C-64 demo scene survive?

F: As long as people take an interest in their old hobbies, and want that magic feeling, only C-64 can bring. :)

C: What about you then? How long will you want to feel that magic?

F: I will get that magic feeling as long as I live! :))) I will never give up 64, it's my hobby. I love this little machine, and my Vic-20 too. Lotsa fond memories from my childhood, and still creating new memories with all the great friends I've made, form your own community I guess.

C: The PAL and the NTSC scenes seem to be much separated. What do you think about such recent ideas like "Scene World", the disk magazine that is working on both PAL and NTSC machines?

F: Who cares, NTSC is dead as a doornail. Get pal, enjoy the 64 the way it's meant to be. Stop bother with crapola NTSC, I'm sick of it myself. No one cares for a real scene anyways. Let the demo groupers have it.

C: Many people in Poland say that Polish C-64 scene was dead for years now, while many sceners abroad treat Poland as one of the top scene countries. Don't you think it's very similar to your opinion? Maybe NTSC scene is not completely dead? At least it's how we can see it from beyond the sea.

F: Hmm, I dunno... Pretty dead here at the moment. Mosty just newer guys learning their trade, and a couple old cronies hanging around on EFnet. :)

C: Is the anything you remind from the old good NTSC-scene days with a tear in your eye?

F: Yeah, I miss Waveform (John Kaiser)... He was a good friend, and excellent coder, and a wonderfull person who inspired us all. He is sorely missed... Definately brings a tear! Rest in peace my friend.

C: Why Waveform is such a special person to you?

F: He was a good friend locally, he died of complications of cancer and some nasty flu. At a very young age.

C: Can you say what was your biggest success in the C-64 scene?

F: Hmmz, hard to say, I've had success? Prolly my biggest success is I hope I have inspired people to do their best, and not be lame. :) I am quite lazy most times in past, and this doesn't seem to change, but hey, I've got the rest of my life to play around with this machine... :)

C: Sounds great. Let's hope that other people will have such attitude too. Let's change the topic. Do you play games on the real C-64? Have any favourite new and past titles?

F: I don't use L'emu... Of coz I play games! Favourite games... Long list... Paradroid, Uridium, R-Type, Delta, Archon, Space Taxi, on and on... Love these games. The 64 had the best games, they kept the FEEL of the arcades and the musics always rocked. And there are hundreds of thousands of 64 games, you couldn't crack/play them all if you wanted to. :) Last new game I enjoyed was Cannon Craze by EBP... It took me years to fix it right on NTSC, and I actually like to play it a lot, it's a fun little shoot'em up. Maybe I'll release a special version some day. :)

C: We are waiting for it. :) Do you think there are people able to code a new kicking C-64 game in the future? What do you think about game developing on the C-64 these days?

F: People are certainly capable of making nice games. I think it's whether they want to spend the time on it or not. There isn't much reward these days for coding some nice game... So the incentive for people to do so isn't there. It's got to be for fun.

C: What's your opinion about today's magazine scene? Do you have any favourite diskmag?

F: Vandalism is my fav, and not because I'm in Onslaught, it has always been so. Clear spoken English, interesting topics, nice interviews and a wealth of great info from old schoolers. Not to mention the top notch outfit and all the great musics. :) I don't really read any other mag... Except the Gamers Guide. :)

C: Have you ever seen my own magazine "Attitude"?

F: I think so, but it doesn't work on NTSC, so it's a hard read. :)))

C: Have you ever tried editing some articles for any C-64 scene magazine? If not, why?

F: Not tried, you haven't been reading my English, have you? Hahaha, I speak American, not English, I'd rather bust out with what I want to say real fast, than sit around thinking about exactly how to say it proper... I'm lazy/impatient, heheh!

C: OK. Have you ever been to any copy party?

F: I went to some local copy parties back then, it was cool. I met some nice people, drank some beers, made some friends, and copied tons of disks. :))) Then there were those beans... I miss those beans...

C: The last question belongs to you... Tell readers anything you want. Feel free to greet some friends...

F: Hmm, thumbs up, congratulations on forming your own community, and keep the demos/warez flowing. C-64 will never die as long as we keep it alive. I must thank Jazzcat, Crossbow, Sorex, Graham, Roy Batty, Vengeance, Glenn Rune Gallefoss, Zagon, Groepaz, Count Zero, Antitrack, Zyron, JJ/UCF, Mermaid and all my other friends, for their inspiration and help. The world would be a lot less fun without! :)

C: Thank you very much for this interview.

F: Thank you very much for interviewing me. :) I am flattered, really.

Interview by CACTUS/OXYRON

in the middle of October 2002.

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