Just Ice / Ikari
Added on August 11th, 2005 (10103 views)

Tell us something about yourself.
Mark, 36, UK, I own a Computer Shop and Internet/Lan Gaming Cafe.

What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
Just Ice. Back then rap music was in my blood! I chose this name upon joining Ikari, and I liked the rapper with the same name so the name just stuck!

What group(s) were you in?
First major group was Ikari in 1987.

What roles have you fulfilled?
I was a Cracker, Original Supplier, Swapper, and I later became Co-Organizer.

How long were you active for?
I became active on the C64 back in 1984/85. Firstly I used to swap with some guys in the UK and overseas, then in early 1987 I began to crack my first games. I quit the scene in 1991.

Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
I've always been into computers from my first computers being a Sinclair ZX81 and a Spectrum. The C64 was a progressional move. Nik approached me around the middle of 1987 and asked if I wanted to join Ikari. I was only cracking a few games on my own then so I decided to jump onboard with Ikari, and the rest they say is history!

Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
Erk! Getting through a stack of originals that all needed to be cracked and trained, lots of late nights, and Americans hassling me at three in the morning. If I was lucky, I would travel to Nik's (2 hours away!) and we would share the workload. Between 1987-88, we cracked and trained alot of shit man!

Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
Not myself, but we had several tools especially made for us when the Jewels guys came on board, excellent level-crunchers etc., but there was the still time consuming matter of cracking the original and making sure the trainer worked. I played pretty much every game to the end when I had time!

When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
Proudest moment when Ikari were voted World's Best Cracking Group in History! Illegal #38 Judgement Day... This put a stamp down on what we had been doing for the past few years and this meant a lot to myself personally, and it shut up a lot of critics! We also had a co-op with Talent - the legandary Ikari+Talent (I+T) co-op. This was probably the most active cracking group ever.

Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
Several names, my main heroes/friends were like Jeff Smart. Jeff was a really funny guy, he would write me some long letters (which I still have!) and we had some funny and long conference calls. The Illegal was a great magazine and summed up the C64 scene for what it was. The Hobbit of Fairlight, Brian was also a good friend who did some excellent drawings and graphics for us. My closest friends were Nik, Bod (Darren), Thargoid (Mick), TG (Paul), Ian and Mic, Fletch and Excell.

What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
I think as many people have said before me, it had to be side-border sprites and some of the cool raster routines that were soon to appear. I always loved demos from The Judges and 1001 Crew, always original.

Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Who didn't. I attended Venlo at least twice which was always an entertaining journey. (Read the scrolltext in my demos for the details!!) The trade shows in London were cool, many guys travelled from all over Europe to attend such events. Many new releases were 'obtained' at these events, especially by our guys!!

In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
Taking a home computer to the furthest heights ever seen, a total underground link of like-minded users from literally all over the world. From cracking the latest release to making history with a new machine code routine. A scene where you made your own name.

What were the particular highlights for you?
Venlo for the first time, travelling to Belgium and spending time with Allan (CFR), the Danish parties.

Any cool stories to share with us?
Where do I start! From travelling to local copy parties were we had to carry our 64's, drives and TV's! There would always be some fights, drinking and trashing of someone's house! Also the time when we travelled to Holland on the way to Venlo, Tri-Dos got drunk on the boat so we locked him out of the cabin naked! The time we slept on a railway station bench in Holland overnight coz there were no trains! Sitting in a TV studio in Germany not understanding a word of it! Being in a car driven by Mr. Zeropage and going to a nightclub. Thanks to the guy who gave us a lift back to Venlo train station!

Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
No, not really. I talked to Nik and Darren a few months ago. I did try and make contact with Fletch/Excell but no luck. It's almost 20 years ago now and we have all moved on. I'm on the C64 database and for a while updated and uploaded some of our stuff.

When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
I got it in 1984/85 with two 1541's and two tape decks. My C64 was modded with Dolphin Dos which was one hell of fast loader!! I still have a box with all my C64 memoribilla in but it just sits in the loft gathering dust. I would never part with it though!

Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
The C64 was more special than I can care to remember. It took my life over for at least 4-5 years, talk to any one in the scene and they will always have a story to tell.

When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
No further products planned, the C64 is history for me! Just good memories.

Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Hope everyone is well and their lives weren't too fucked up!! I always trawl through the 64 sites from time to time and also check the C64 database occasionally. Past friends can contact me there if they wish. Let me know you are still alive!

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