Vector / Zzap,
Added on June 20th, 2007 (5698 views)
Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Eddy Scholten, 32 years of age, born in Zwolle (the Netherlands) on 11th of December 1974. I still live in Zwolle with my wife and two children. After a few jobs here and there, I finally found my place at UWV (a company that deals with social benefits) where I work as a fraud investigator. I am, just like I was in my C64 years, interested in computers, football (soccer for the Americans amongst us), movies and music.
What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
I called myself Turtle Crackings 2000 (TTC) in the beginning when I formed my own group. I changed it quite soon into Knight Hawk Crackings (KHC) because I thought that my first handle sounded a bit silly. I think a lot of people will agree with me on that. Later on I changed it into Vector, the name most people in the scene know me by. At the end of my C64 time I changed my name briefly into Toutatis because I felt like a change, but I also quit the scene shortly after that.
What group(s) were you in?
CSDb has got it nearly right I think. I was in Zzap, NDC, Silence, Eternal, Arcon, Varsity & Sunrise. I was never in Proxyon. I am sorry, but I really don’t know when I joined and left these groups anymore. I know for sure that I joined Silence at the Silicon LTD party in the summer of 1991. Together with Trash and Fly, I also formed a legal group called Exclusive Designs to produce a few games.
What roles have you fulfilled?
I was a cracker and coder mainly, but I also did some swapping. I did some graphics every now and then, but only charsets and logos. I wasn’t much of an artist to be honest. In Eternal, I did some co-leadership but that didn’t work out that well. I don’t think I clicked that well with the leader.
How long were you active for?
Gosh, it must have been between 1987 and 1994. I know for sure I left the scene in 1994 when I was in Sunrise. Back then I wanted to move onto the Amiga and Super Nintendo but that never turned into anything.
Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
It started when my dad bought a VIC 20, and then later a C64. I was playing games on it mainly, and eventually my parents bought me a C64 as well. I think my dad didn’t like it that I was using his all the time. I still played games on it, but was intriqued by the cracktro's. I started using my Final Cartridge III to depack the cracktro's and look at the code to see how it was done. I learned machine-code more or less by looking how others were doing it. Later on, I also used a book.
At that time I had already founded my group called Zzap (named after the magazine), and I started going to the Venlo meetings. I read about the Venlo meetings in several cracktro’s, and that’s where I found out what the scene was really about. At Venlo, I released our one and only decent Zzap demo called Extasy. Our other two demos are really not worth mentioning because they were crap. At Venlo, I also met a few people from Silence who asked me to join. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that at that moment. I felt like I was abandoning my mates in Zzap, but eventually we kind of merged with NDC. At the Silicon LTD party in the summer of 1991, I finally joined Silence. I think Proxyon died that day as well because Chris (Scarface) joined Silence as well. The diskmag Egypt moved from Proxyon to Silence too. Silence didn’t last that long, and I joined Eternal. I didn’t like it in Eternal because the leader and I weren’t getting along that well. A few others were having the same problems. Then a guy named Pacific, who I met in Malsen (near Nijmegen), asked me to join a coop; Arcon & Legacy. Things went really weird from there, aparently there wasn’t a coop, and for a while I thought I was a member of Legacy. I even made some frigging cracktro’s! I still don’t know whether I was or not. Together with some others we joined Varsity. I think Pacific joined Varsity as well, but left again later on to join Triad. I think he came with me to Sunrise for a while. I don’t know exactly the reason anymore why I left Varsity to join Sunrise, but it must have been after Charlie’s death. Things were going a bit downhill and a few friends in Sunrise asked me to join, so I did. I stayed in Sunrise until I left the scene at the end of 1994.
Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
I would get up around 7 am to get ready to go to school until about 4 pm. When I got home, I would look for my mail. As every scener, there were parcels from all around the globe with fresh content on the disks. A lot of days I quickly finished my homework, and then sat behind my C64 until or after midnight going through all the disks and doing some coding.
Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
No, not really. Compared to some of the coders during my time I considered myself a mediocre coder. There were some really clever people out there, and I have had the pleasure of meeting several of them. I’ve learned a lot from them, and I knew I couldn’t compete. I focused on coding cracktro’s and cracking games for the groups I was in instead. I also did freelance cracktro coding for other groups.
Besides my coding and cracking activities, I also made some tools (nothing spectacular), and two games called Catch and Catch II. I always worked on them together with Trash and Fly of Sunrise. Trash did all the graphics and Fly the music/sound effects. I also released a playable demo of another game called Escape from Mars, but that project was never finished. The playable demo is actually downloadable here on C64.COM. Another project called Ruby Bumpes (a kind of space squash) was also playble for two players, but wasn’t released and, of course, never finished. Trash also made some graphics for a project called Imp and Another World (we wanted to bring the Amiga game to the C64), but we never started on them. I guess the reason for not finishing those games was that we or I didn’t see much future in the C64 anymore. Maybe we should have finished those games anyway. Oh well, it is a bit late for that now, although I still have all the project disks here, hehe.
When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
Working my way up in the scene, having met all the people I did, and became friends with and being part of that unique community. I can also tell you what I am less proud of now. My interest in the C64 caused me to turn down the option to play football in the youth teams of PEC Zwolle (now FC Zwolle) because I was put off by the amount of training sessions. Not be cause I thought I couldn’t do it, but because I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough time to fiddle with the C64, and going to the meetings and parties. I could have been a professional player if I hadn’t been so stupid. I was a better footballer than a C64 coder. But hey, shit happens. I am a fraud investigator now!
Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
There were quite a few good coders, musicians and graphicians out there and I admired their work, but I can’t say they were my heroes.
What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
I’d say FLI because it enormously improved graphics, but also opening the borders was impressive.
Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Yes of course. I often went to the monthly meetings in Groningen and Venlo, and I attended the Silicon LTD parties in 1991 and 1992.
In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
In my opinion the scene was about cracking games, making friends, and generally having a blast.
What were the particular highlights for you?
So many to be honest, but if I have to name one it would be my visit to Clairvoyant of Faces in Budapest (Hungary). I stayed there for a week and met most of the Faces guys, and of course also some other sceners from different groups. Back then, I was only 16 years old, and it was the first time I was away on holiday without my parents. I really enjoyed that time. If I recall correctly, we also went to a computer party there, or at least something that looked like one. Clairvoyant also visited me here in Holland for about a week. We went on several trips to meet up with scene friends.
Any cool stories to share with us?
I’ve once made an anti-demo against Inceria because I always hated their rather ugly demos. I released that crap at one of the Venlo meetings in 1991 or 1992. At the Silicon LTD party in 1992, Jester or someone else of Inceria confronted me with it because they heard I was responsible for it. I don’t know if it was Jester or another team-member but they made a demo about me as well, and showed it to me. Later on, Jester (or Seal) and I got talking on the train back home, and he seemed a really cool dude. I never had issues with them and making fun of them wasn’t that cool when I think back at it. Martijn, sorry for that demo! Oh, and somebody nicked my Action Replay VI cartridge during the Silicon LTD party in 1992. I am still pretty pissed off about that!
Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
No, not really. I kept in touch with Clairvoyant of Faces, Trash of Sunrise and Slam of Silicon LTD the longest, but even that got less and less. I only know that Trash is doing freelance stuff as a graphics artist, and Clairvoyant is DJ Clairvo in Hungary! What Slam is up to these days, who knows!? Last time I saw him was when he visited me here in Zwolle, and had his neck supported due to some kind of injury. I can’t even remember what happened.
When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
It must have been around 1987, and yes I still have my good old C64 with all the accesories. Every now and then I fire up a disk for nostalgic reasons.
Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
Absolutely. I don’t think there was and will be any other scene on a different platform that will have the same unique atmosphere that the C64 had. Well, at least not in my opinion.
When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Next year, I will release the full versions of Escape from Mars and Ruby Bumpes. Ha, don’t think so! It would mean that I would have to recap on machine language again, but never say never! Stranger things have happened.
Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Yes, it was a pleasure having met all of you, and I hope everyone is doing alright in their private lives. I would like to hear from some of my old contacts. They can drop me a line, if they want, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Other people can mail as well.
back to the list of available interviews