Gotcha / The Hellcats,
Added on November 25th, 2004 (10125 views)
Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Dario Krobath, I was born on January 29th, 1972 in East Berlin. At the age of seven, my mother and I moved to West-Germany and we started a new life in Cologne (Köln) where I still live and work as an Art Director. I work for one of the most popular beer companies in Germany, Brau & Brunnen AG, and my job is to make their beer brands more popular than they already are. I'm interested in illustrating, drawing and composing pictures. In my spare time I do a lot of sports, especially ice hockey and inline hockey. Computer games also take a lot of time. Once I’ve started, I can hardly stop.
What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
I was known as Gotcha, pixeling and clicking the Competition Pro until it started glowing. An old friend of mine, Tyrant, a phreaker from the States somehow got some pictures I’d done in Koala Painter and tried to find out who I was. He found me one day, and I found myself in my first telephone conference with a bunch of guys (The Hellcats). First thing he said to me was "I got ya!" while I heard "Hi Gotcha!" because of my bad English - but I had found my handle! I thought The Hellcats were cool guys and they offered me to join to do graphics for them, and so I did.
What group(s) were you in?
Ouh... A lot I would say. OK, it started out with The Hellcats which joined Crazy when the group split up. I stayed in Crazy for a long time and I also had my best time in that group. We had a lot of fun and I learned a lot about the C64. When Crazy died, I joined Ikari+Talent while the others formed Enigma (I did work for their magazine Mamba though). My C64-life ended with Ikari+Talent.
What roles have you fulfilled?
I have always been an artist. I did a little swapping and organised the magazine we released. One day ex-711 and the Wanderer Group legend Sebastian Broghammer called me and offered me a job as the graphic artist on his game Brubaker. I also did graphics for many of Hannes Sommer’s (McSprite/Cosmos Designs) games. I earned more money in those days than I do now. *Pfffhhh*
How long were you active for?
I guess it all started in 1984/85 and ended in 1991/92. I don't remember the exact dates, sorry.
Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
As I said, I was discovered by Tyrant and some other guys from The Hellcats. One of the members that was from The Netherlands taught me all about phreaking. I designed our logos and created the intros for our suppliers in the States. With Crazy, my work exploded and pixeling became a 24 hour job. Logos, pictures in Amica Paint and FLI, sprites and disk-covers, plus magazine-, game- and demo-graphics for others made my day and I enjoyed it. I got bad grades in school at that time, but I learned a lot and I can use most of it in my job today.
Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
Haha! You mean 8:00 - wake up on the keyboard - transfer successful, take a fast shower, drink coffee to get your eyes open, start Amica Paint and take a look at the scribbling made last night, choose three of the 16 colours to pixel a kick ass logo, forget about time and other disturbing things, pixel until the logo was finished (save often!), time for a beer? What time is it? Second bottle of beer, take a break and look at Aycee's board - damn! She catches me online - gotcha! We chat for some hours - the logo must be done - I promise to call l8r, finish the logo, send it off to Magic Man - oops, almost midnight - turn off the C64, and finally go to bed since the keyboard wasn't that comfortable last night! ;-D
Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
No tools, but I had some techniques that always made it easier for me to create the things I wanted. I left out no graphics program that was available in those days and I would say I handled them quite good. I liked creating pictures on the C64 so I never found it hard to draw or wanted the graphics to be ready faster or done easier.
When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
I'm proud of being a small part of the great C64 history.
Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
My scene heroes? I think that all of us were heroes! Names that always make me think of the good old times though are: JCH, Drax, Bod, Excell, Action Jackson, OMG, Scrap, Gene, Hannes Sommer, Sebastian Broghammer, Flex, Magic Man, Tycoon, Executioner, Aycee, Bob, Antitrax, Jinx, Jihad and Raptile.
What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
FLI. It was a living hell to work with, but the result was always amazing!
Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Yes! I often visited the Venlo meetings. I was also at the Horizon Easter party in 1991 and at the Radwar party two years ago.
In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
The scene was the biggest family one could imagine. I couldn’t have asked for a better youth!
What were the particular highlights for you?
That's Design by Crazy. There was a lot work and we had it ready two years before it came out. No one believed us, but we were so bad at writing scrolltexts. We won a demo competition on TV with this demo and that made us the happiest kids ever!
Any cool stories to share with us?
Not really, but it's cool that people still rock the C64 today.
Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
Yes, a few, but we don't meet that often. There still is Jinx/Hitmen, Bod/Talent, OMG/Genesis*Project, Magic Man/Enigma and that's about it.
When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
I bought my first C64 in 1985 and I still have it lying in the cellar.
Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
The C64 was definitely special. I can't imagine not having it in my life.
When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Never! Today I work on a Macintosh G4 with programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand, etc. I have a C64 emulator on this machine, but I can't imagine finding time to produce C64 art now. However, I'm still curious about what's going on.
Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Hmm... Maybe to Aycee: Pegg's not real, contact me for a deal! Change the last words, even if it hurts!
back to the list of available interviews