History of TE: 2004

Did you know that June 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Mega Man Battle Network 4? Well I did. Or at least, I had a hunch, since for whatever reason my brain has been laser-focused on memories of playing that particular game – despite the fact that I didn’t really like it.

But I’m not here to type a retrospective about MMBN4. No, sir. I already did that almost a decade ago, and haven’t revisited the game since.

Today I want to just rattle off a few interesting points about 2004. It was a big year for me! Lots happened! Firstly, there was the MMBN4 release. That was big, but not for the reason you think! See, I played the Japanese ROM for a while before the NA version came out (there was a six-month delay), and because it’s an RPG, the fact that I couldn’t read Japanese was kind of a big deal. So I started trying to tech myself katakana. It obviously didn’t really take, but I was able to learn enough to read some text in the game, and I still remember a handful of the characters to this day! I don’t think that it’s a stretch to say that the best part of MMBN4 is that it made me engage in self-improvement, in some tiny way.

I also remember the day that I (and my brother) bought our copies of MMNB4 (he Red Sun version, and I Blue Moon version). My whole family was out for dinner, which was kind of a rare occasion back then, and the two of us left the table to venture from store to store to find copies of the game. Future Shop (remember Future Shop?) didn’t have it. Best Buy didn’t have it. Superstore didn’t have it. But Wal-Mart did! I don’t know why this evening is one of my core memories, but it is.

But there were many other milestones for me in 2004. Firstly: it was the year that I graduated high school. And by extension of that, it was also my last “real” summer vacations, and also the year that I got my first “real” job. Remember back when I worked at Tim Horton’s? Those days seem so long ago now… But I don’t look back on them that fondly. Yes, there are a few moments that I hold dear to my heart, but overall it was a crappy job and I would never, ever go back there.

Some other things that happened that year that I don’t feel the need to go into a great deal of detail on:

  • My family got dogs!
  • I watched Trailer Park Boys for the first time!
  • Nintendo DS!
  • One of my favourite blogs died!
  • Shaun of the Dead!
  • I stopped ending posts with “~Ryan out.”

I suppose that 2004 was also the year that I turned 18. Yay, adulthood! It seemed so much more frightening back then. Having been an adult for more than half of my lifetime now, I can confirm that it’s really not all that frightening. It’s mostly just tiring. Honestly, though, I can barely remember by eighteenth birthday. What did I do? What gifts did I receive? What kind of cake was provided? I don’t know! Perhaps a trip through my parents’ photo albums would shed some light on this mystery. Because taking photos with a not-phone was still a normal thing at the time.

Speaking of cameras, several months before I turned 18, my family took a trip to Walt Disney World. To date, it’s still the most elaborate trip that we’ve ever been on together. It was a hell of a great time, and I would love nothing more than for the eight (our ranks have grown by two since then) of us to all go down there together again. It was such a big trip that I wrote not one, but seven articles about it. Only three are currently available to anyone who doesn’t have access to my hard drive, but one day I’ll upload the rest. One day…

Now that I’m looking back at the Articles page, I wrote a whopping 23 of them in 2004! That’s a lot! Just about two per month! I also published two guest articles that year. That’s… a thing that I haven’t done at all since then. Only this one is available on this version of Torrential Equilibrium at this time. The other is still up for your consumption on the old Angelfire website. Yuck. I really ought to finish uploading all those old articles someday.

Do you remember back when I used to do the Band of the Month feature? Yeah, that was something I really enjoyed. But I only ever got negative feedback on it, so I killed it dead. I wouldn’t cave to peer pressure like that these days, but that doesn’t mean I have any intent on bringing it back. I still have no idea how to write about music in any meaningful way. Fun Facts: The first BOTM featured My Chemical Romance. I still like them to this day, probably even more than I did back then, though there was a point where I didn’t like them because I thought they’d sold out. I was wrong!

Also I wrote 3 mini-reviews in 2004. RIP mini-reviews. They have long since been demoted to pedestrian, boring-ass blog posts.

Also also, most of the Steve Articles were posted in 2004. I don’t think all of them were, but none of them are actually dated, so we’ll never know for sure. All in all, it was a pretty busy year for TE! Or, I guess it was still called Mr. Hotshot 64’s Page of Death at that point in time. I am admittedly not good at naming things.

2004 was the year I discovered Dick Turtle. If you know anything about this website, you know that Dick Turtle and I have a long history together. I just didn’t realize that said history begin in oh-four. I think that Dick Turtle may also be the main source of inbound traffic to TE. If nothing else, it’s far and away the thing that I’ve gotten the most emails from strangers about (two).

I could honestly keep going on and on for any length of time, all recollecting and nostalging and whatnot. But I’ve got to cut this off somewhere, and I’ll do that with a short list of my top five articles of 2004. Though actually they’re pretty much just the rest of the 2004 articles that have been published on WordPress and aren’t linked in one of the paragraphs above. So “top five” may have been a bad descriptor, but I’m not going back to change it now. Deal with it.

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