I've never had the chance to talk with eXcavator, but he's always been a familiar face somehow - he's one of those regular, long-time members I'd often see online/posting and ended up recognizing as part of the community, so reading this is very upsetting. My thoughts and wishes go to everybody who was close to him, and to SMWCentral as a whole.
This... is shocking. This was honestly the last thing I would have thought I've ever seen. eXcavator is someone I never really known, except for maybe running into one of his posts from time to time. I feel sorry for those who really knew him. I guess there is no escaping reality, even though most are blind to it. eXcavator, I hope wherever you end up in, is truly a better place for you.
I realized that I hadn't been to the site in a while and coming back to this just made me speechless. I rarely agreed with him and occasionally avoided him because of his argumentative nature but I never really imagined a day when he'd no longer be around. I don't know what my last words to ex where but I suspect they weren't that nice. I regret not expressing my gratitude for his contributions more often.
I don't like posting too often, but given that I knew eXcavator to some level I feel like I should my word in - especially now that some more details have been revealed and the shock of the scenario has worn off a tad.
Me and him always would joke-argue about emulators, and would constantly make subtle jabs at each other about it; me about him and ZSNES, him about me and SNES9X/bsnes. Me and other IRC-goers would make jokes at his expense, and he'd always put up with it and even would laugh with us; he was a really good sport about everything.
That being said, what happened to him is a terrible thing, and he obviously didn't deserve it. I feel awful for what happened to him, but I feel even worse for his family; no parent should have to bury their child.
With this in mind, here's a small back-and-forth between me and eXcavator in #smwc some months back:
<Sonikku> i mean if im wrong i want somebody to correct me
<Sonikku> unless it's about zsnes because i am always correct about zsnes and nobody can say otherwise
<eXcavator> sonikku you
<eXcavator> holy fuck
<eXcavator> that was a good preemptive counter there
<eXcavator> i respect that
<eXcavator> i was just about to say "you don't like being corrected about zsnes : )"
This whole thing is a good reminder that life is short, but it's the longest thing we'll ever experience. Some get to experience it more and longer, but others get theirs tragically cut short. Despite this, cherish everyone and everything that has a meaningful impact to your life, but don't dwell on the inevitable.
I'm posting here for the first time in ages. That says a lot about how important this is.
I don't really interact much in this community, all things considered. And, considering I've never really known eXcavator personally nor interacted with him, I'm posting my thoughts from an "outside looking in" perspective.
Nobody deserves the death he had. Especially not one at an age of 20. The average age expectancy is 78.7 years, so he wasn't even a 1/3 of the way there. This is catastrophic in every way shape or fashion, and I wouldn't ever wish something like this even on my gravest of mortal enemies.
That being said, it says a lot about how much this man meant to this community if everyone pretty much posted similar thoughts. And, I can kind of see why, judging from logs that have been posted here, and some of his past posts. He is, indeed, a class act, and he seems like the type of person that it won't take long to be friends with, given the nature he's been described, and from what little I've seen from him.
A memorium built into VLDC9 is perfectly justifiable. If I can play VLDC9 levels just to see it, I'd do so with no issues whatsoever.
I've never personally met him, and if you want my honest opinion, I kind of wish I did. This is just life's grave reminder that, even though everyone is behind internet anonymity, each and every single one of those individuals are all human beings too. And all of them, myself included, are already stuck with a timer on their lifespan. And there's no telling what the timer actually is until it counts down to the final second. I've had tragic deaths to people close to me before, so this is just a reminder to cherish those that you remain close to. Even if it's too late to talk to eXcavator, it's not too late to talk with friends you have on here, on Skype, on Discord, on IRC, on YouTube, on Twitch, or even on email, and let them know you appreciate them more than ever.
My only hope out of all of this, was that eX was happy with what he had to the end, and he lived his life with no regrets.
I've never known or interacted with eX and even I'm staggered by this.
Yeah, yeah, I know I officially took an indefinite break from here, and yeah I know this is a little late, but this was just too big a news story to ignore.
I recently rejoined the SMWC Discord mostly because people were hyping me up about the new VLDC and I kinda wanted to chat with some old friends, and one day I saw people talking about this. At first I was in complete denial. Upon seeing the news post it only took a gasp and a combination of about sixty "What the,"s "What the heck,"s, and "Are you serious?"s for the shocker news to finally sink in. Then, recalling the similar event of a disgusting attention-whoring brute called Yanama bamboozling the innocent hearts of the SMW Centrealites, I wanted to make sure this was truly real before I offered any condolences. With all due respect for Mr. Arts and all of Nicholas Arts' family, I will not publically link any proof, but for anyone who may be skeptical, it's absolutely, factually true.
Because sharing personal experience with the deceased may help others to cope, I will share my story with Nick, even though it's not much.
I met Nicholas "eXcavator" arts very soon after joining the SMW Central IRC channel #smwc, very shortly after joining the Zelda Oracles Hacking IRC channel #zole on the same server, very shortly after getting into ROMHacking in general, which was late 2013. Because I tend to not join conversations when the topic is not of something of interest to me (mainly due to me therefore not having much to say about the topic), and because Nick often talked about things that didn't interest me much, I never really got to know him. Also because when we did talk there were times when we didn't really agree on things. I won't really go into detail on what about or how often we didn't agree, but let's just say it was probably enough that he wouldn't be able to become one of my top online friends, as much as I feel really bad to say that. I remember him most from the #minecraft channel, when I just got Minecraft and was all excited about playing on SMWC's server. There, he was a fun guy to talk to. He always made sure the server was running up to par as admin of the server, except when he was barely active because he had college stuff to do. From that and because of his many works, I can tell that he puts the utmost effort into anything he does, and that is something anyone should be proud of. The last I remember of him was him stepping down from the administrator position of the Minecraft server to make way for a new team that some people wanted, and not soon after I started this indefinite break mainly due to my own life busyness where I shut off most connections with SMWC and its community except for my really close friends I made here.
Originally posted by eXcavator
What you have so far looks very good. Also, on the offhand chance that you didn't decide on the name for the level, try "Vestal Hollow." It pretty much means the same thing, but without the possible negative connotations. (Thesaurus.com is a wonderful thing.)
-eXcavator's First Post on SMW Central, May 21, 2011
Mr. Arts, if you're reading this, what a wonderful person you are, and your son was, and the rest of your family is. I read your eulogy on Facebook, and I will say that I am so proud of you and your son, but I'm so happy for you that it ended on a good note and his last words were "Goodnight Dad, I love you." This must have been such a shock to you and your family, and coping must not be easy. Your son has impacted the lives of all the people who have set foot in this site in a way that cannot be duplicated by another, and I'm sure he has touched many more lives outside of here. He has helped so many improve their custom SMW games and has given so many great joy and fond memories from doing something as simple as sitting behind a computer screen, typing on a keyboard and moving a mouse. I hope your son will find new life in a better place, and I pray for you that you will find comfort in this tragedy. May God bless you all.
Originally posted by eXcavator
“…goodnight dad, I love you.”
-eXcavator's Last Words, November 2016
And to everyone else, remember that life can be a d*ck. It can turn on you instantly, with no warning, no matter how successful or lucky you may be. It can even take the life of a completely innocent, wonderful, loving, caring, irreplaceable person like Nicholas Arts. Please cherish every moment you spend with friends, and remember every day that the online ones are real humans just like you, sitting behind a monitor typing on a keyboard and moving a mouse. They may be perfectly fine or they may have complications, whether it's disease, mental illness, depression, disability, or some other abnormality. Please be extremely careful what you say to them and try not to hold grudges, because they may not be there next time you get online, or next time, or any time thereafter.
Originally posted by eXcavator
Disco and me were great friends, before he literally vanished off the face of the earth (in the middle of a conversation, no less!).
Other than him, I also really miss:
probably other people i've forgotten, may edit to expand the list later
-eXcavator's Last Post on SMW Central, October 9, 2016
"RIP" is so overused as a joke meme these days that it's almost at the point where it's insulting to use it in such a serious context, so I'll stretch it out to "Rest in Peace, Nicholas 'eXcavator' Arts; you will forever be missed."
Originally posted by eXcavator
I often root for the characters I like the most and get upset when they don't end up getting a happy ending. In particular, I find that the ending where two people who love each other are forced to be apart because of fate is one that really frustrates me.
20 seems like an extremely young age for dying of that (or even in general). It's impossible to deserve that.
Indeed. It's easiest to think about it in this way. He didn't deserve that, but that just happened. This world is unjust, and I don't think there is any other world for us. Try to enjoy this world as much as possible and always remember those who are not with us anymore.
I this I didn't say that before so rest in peace eXcavator. If there is a world after this one for you, I hope it's the best world that can be.