BY HILARY GOLDSTEIN -> The unheralded heroes of the gaming world, FAQ writers trade their late nights for bragging rights simply to say that their walkthroughs, their secrets, their perfect paths through what seem like impossible missions work best. And what rewards do these slaves to countless pixels and polygons seek or receive? The knowledge that their sleepless nights detailing every last hidden item help gamers in desperate need of completing 100% of every game.
But here at IGN, we say enough with the gushy feelings and e-mail “thank you’s” being all these tireless and sometimes tortured gaming souls receive. That’s why we started the FAQ Writer of the Week. Every week IGN will pick the person we see as the best FAQ writer going and reward them with two games off of his or her wish list. But that’s not all. We also feel that it’s important for gamers to get to know these writers, the very ones that have helped them out of so many jams in the past. That’s why every week we’ll also sit down and talk to the Writer of the Week so you can get to know the person, and not just their moves.
Obsession. It’s an epidemic among geeks like you and me. Video game addicts often become obsessed about a particular character (Oh, Luigi is so handsome!), or a system (I only play teh PlayStation One!), or a movie franchise (One day, I too will be Dark Lord of the Sith). This week’s honorary FAQ writer is obsessed with a TV show – The Simpsons. In fact, he’s so obsessed, he’s written FAQs for every Simpson’s game out there! Check out this interview with TrueSubSane and get your fill of Simpsons gab.
IGN: You write yourself an endless amount of Simpsons FAQs. Do you play every Simpson game that’s released?
TrueSubSane: I wouldn’t be much a Simpsons game fanatic if I didn’t. Yea, I’ve played ‘em all.
IGN: What would you say is the best?
TrueSubSane: Heh, the best? That narrows it down quite a bit.
IGN: How about, which one sucked the least?
TrueSubSane: Ah, got ya. Road Rage and Simpsons Arcade are the top two, and I’m sure most people would agree. But I’ll go with Simpsons Arcade.
IGN: If most of the Simpsons games suck, why do you not only play them all, but write FAQs for them?
TrueSubSane: It’s a niche kinda thing. Everything has a fan no matter what, ya know? Crappy bands, films, etc. But I noticed no one pays mind to the Simpsons video games. I’m a huge fan of the show, and frankly I was appalled.
IGN: So writing FAQs is your way of drawing attention to the games?
TrueSubSane: In a way, yes. Though it didn’t start that way.
IGN: How did it start?
TrueSubSane: Oh, with Bartman Meets Radioactive Man. The game needed a FAQ, and I had just purchased the game the week before. Bingo bango, my FAQing career begins.
IGN: Are you gonna keep doing Simpson FAQs until you’re old and gray?
TrueSubSane: My man, I’ll keep writing FAQs for Simpsons games as long as greedy ol’ FOX keeps making them. No reason or logic behind it. I just will.
IGN: What about the Futurama game? Are you Simpsons exclusive, or do you plan on branching out to all Groening projects?
TrueSubSane: That’s a tough one. I think Hit and Run comes out around the same time, and I do have other, non-Simpsons projects. If life allows it, maybe.
IGN: Favorite Simpsons character?
TrueSubSane: Dude. Any fat, bald guy that can be as popular (and funny) as Homer gets my respect. So, Homer.
IGN: Do you aspire to be him? Not fat and bald, but as far as his life philosophy, do you try to be Homer?
TrueSubSane: Aspire? I am Homer! I’ve coasted through a lot of stuff in life, and had a great time doing it. Though my girlfriend says I am getting a bit too chubby. Need to work on that.
IGN: Favorite Homer moment?
TrueSubSane: Favorite Homer moment? Man… I guess in the episode where he hates gay people. Not a moment, just the whole episode was hilarious. I mean I could list who knows how many favorite moments.
IGN: Does your girlfriend aspire to be a simpson’s character?
TrueSubSane: I’m not sure. Though she is a dead-on Lisa. Always complaining, vegetarian, telling people they’re doing the wrong thing.
IGN: But not 8 years old, right?
TrueSubSane: Nice direction you took that. Nah, not that young. No, she acts just as mature and nosy as Lisa.
IGN: There’s been a few big changes to characters over the past few years, the biggest being that Maude Flanders died and that Barney quit drinking. Are you down with those kind of changes that resonate through the rest of the series or do you wish Maude was back and Barney was a lush from start to finish?
TrueSubSane: Yea, what was up with all that? Anyway, it’s tough with a show like The Simpsons. They’re going into season 15, and things change after that much time. I know the woman who does Maude’s voice left, as have other people. As for Barney’s sobriety… I can’t dig that. They basically killed what made him funny.
IGN: Exactly. He’s sort of useless now.
TrueSubSane: They should have him fall off the wagon (or is it get on the wagon?), for the last season. A finale sort of deal.
IGN: The show’s been on for a long, long time. It’s the longest running sitcom of all time and they plan on doing a couple more years. Where do you think the show stands now? Is it as funny as it ever was? Funnier? Not so good?
TrueSubSane: No, it’s definitely not as good as those middle years. Yes, there are still jokes. But that’s the thing. They’ll have one or two funny jokes in an episode, while back in the day the whole episode had you cracking up. I mean there are good episodes, just not as many great episodes as there used to be. But I am only one fan, and I’m certain there are tons of people who have different opinions.
IGN: What would make for the perfect Simpsons game?
TrueSubSane: I’ve actually thought about that to an unhealthy degree. A completely interactive 3-D Springfield is the main thing. Virtual Springfield had the right idea, but it was all on rails. They could make playable episodes, an FPS game, whatever.
IGN: Maybe like a Sims Simpsons?
TrueSubSane: Is The Sims like that? Never played it. Just the concept of being able to walk around freely, from Evergreen Terrace to Moe’s Tavern to the SNPP. I really am surprised they haven’t done it yet, but I have to check out Hit and Run first. You know, Hit and Run is on my wish list… *wink*
IGN: There’s been talk that once the series if over, Groening wants to make a Simpsons movie. Do you think that’s a good idea, or do you think the Simpsons can’t make it on the big screen?
TrueSubSane: Well, it will make it. Believe me. Is it a good idea? I’d say it is.
TrueSubSane: Simpsons fans have been waiting for a Simpsons movie for along time, and Groening and FOX know it. It will be the swan song for the series. They have some great writers over there, and I trust they can write a good film.
A special thanks for the good words from TrueSubSane. Check out his work here and read all about the many Simpsons games waiting for you.