If They Were... (often referred to as ITW) is an ongoing series of topics on GameFAQs's Super Smash Bros. Melee Social Board (formerly the Super Smash Bros. Social Board, and often known as the SSBSB) in which users (Players) send characters from various sources (always including Super Smash Bros., but ranging from gaming to politics to even real life) to a location to complete an objective, outlined by the Host at the start of the topic. It is then the Host's job to determine wether the sendee succeeds or fails, and write out their fate. More often than not, the players, and oftentimes the host, will be roleplaying a storyline within the topic, as well. In late February 2011, the decision was made to move ITW as it was over to a new Invisionfree board, with the move being made official on February 22, 2011.
Back in late 2001/early 2002, when Super Smash Bros. Melee was released on the Nintendo Gamecube, a couple users made character survivor topics. Often, at the end of a round, the eliminated character(s) would be killed in some fashion or another. Eventually, users partaking in the topics would act out their save's path to survival. This concept would be spun off into other objectives, and ITW was born.
The Golden Age (2002-2006)Edit
As SSBM slowly aged, more users would come to the SSBSB. ITW's popularity grew alongside the SSBSB's population. At the peak of SSBM's (and thus ITW's) life, any single ITW topic would often hit 500 (the post limit for any topic on GameFAQs before it would automatically be locked) would often fill within 4 weeks, at the very least. There were also a large abundance of topics to choose from; usually at least two at any given time.
The Cataclysm (2006-2010)Edit
Unfortunately, the peace would not last. In 2006, one topic, KDRio v1's "If They Were Stealing From Me Again" would have a special focus within it- trying to gain all the Chaos Emeralds and later all the shards of the Master Emerald. However, too much focus was put onto these events; users eventually began to fight amongst themselves for the emeralds... and not just in-game, either. Combined with the presence of at least one persistient troll, the strain was just too much, and when the last extension of the topic hit 500, ITW was, for lack of better terms, dead. While an occasional topic would still pop up, no one really bothered with any major stories or anything...
The Ressurection (2010-2011)Edit
...Until Derek H made plans to restore ITW's glory. After letting ITW veterans KDRio v1, Mikey Lenetia, and Smash Master all know it was coming, Derek created a new large scale topic, "If They Were Treasure Hunting on Eclipse Island!" Soon enough, many of the main ITW players from before the Cataclysm had been roped in and were playing. ITW had been born again. However, this time a new problem would emerge... as users had taken up elaborate plots solo, with one another, and some even intertwining with the game's own plot itself. Because of that, post limits on the GameFAQs boards, and a 500 post limit... on February 15, 2011, it was decided that the continuation of Eclipse Island and all subsequent ITW contests would be hosted at a new site: an Invisionfree forum that had initially been set up in August 2010 by Smash Master. After Round 12 of Eclipse Island was completed at GameFAQs, the move was finalized and made official with the opening of the second act of Ecipse at the new forum... thus, ending the GameFAQs era of ITW.
The Invisionfree EraEdit
The Rechristening (Feb. 2011- Nov. 2011)Edit
On February 20, 2011, at the Invisionfree forum, Derek H restarted Eclipse Island, commencing Round 13, officially unveiling the next era of ITW. With the post limits and character limits eliminated, it is reasonably presumed that the games will continue to improve as they always have. Furthermore, the addition of alternate universal side games and battle arena will further permit extra incentive to drop in and have a good time... or even to enter the main games. To that end, ITW Roommates on Avalon Island! was opened to allow for more of a relaxed setting. Although the community is not a large one, it is believed that it will increase in size as time progresses.
On October 30, 2011, KD Rio Version 1 began the Non-Canon contest, If They Were Escaping from the Yeti!, his first contest since the Cataclysm. With KD Rio and Shina as commentators, the plot follows the Super Smash Bros. as try to get off of Yeti Mountain. This topic is bringing back an old topic series from the GameFAQ days. However, it was one day later that darkness would descend on the board...
On October 31, 2011, Derek Barona announced that ITW Treasure Hunting on Eclipse Island was officially closed and that he would be on an indefinite hiatus from ITW due to personal issues. He also mentioned some expressed unhappiness with Eclipse Island and how he was running it that contributed to the topic being closed. Though the loss of the first major game of The Ressurection is sad in itself, it inadvertantly led to the second major topic in ITW Canon in a row to remain unresolved, leaving the current continuity a big mess. After discussion by KD, Derek, and Mikey, it was determined that there was only one solution: a continuity reboot.
The Reboot (Nov. 2011 - Present)Edit
On November 6, 2011, KD Rio Version 1 announced the plan to reboot the continuity, asking for community input. In the discussion with Derek Barona and Mikey Lenetia, they had come up with three choices: turn the current AU (featured in ITW Roomates on Avalon Island!) into the main canon, eliminating the Estate Incident and Eclipse Island, but not much else; a complete universal reboot, setting everything back to Square One; a situational universal reboot, eliminating KD's "If They Were Stealing From Me Again" and everything after it at the very least, allowing the users to determine their own level of rebooting. For two weeks, the community discussed the pros and cons of the options, eliminating the AU option early on, and continuing to discuss which reboot works for everyone.
On November 19, 2011, KD Rio announced the decision. Everything from If They Were Hijacking the Ryaga onward will be officially struck out of the continuity. From there, they left it up to the users to decide whether to perform a complete restart or a situational one. However, they advised not to make the decision likely as they must stick with their decision from there on out, giving everyone some time to figure out what they want to do.
The reboot occured on November 21, 2011, but there was still one unresolved issue: what the first game of the new continuity would be. A few days later, the majority of the ITW players gathered to discuss potential ideas and who would run it. Jumpman84 would eventually volunteer to take the plunge with an ITW game he had planned since before Eclipse. Receiving positive feedback for the game idea, it was made official and on November 27, 2011, If They Were Trying to Stop NE debuted and kickstarted the new continuity of the ITWverse.
The ITWverse itself is the world in which the storylines of ITWs take place. It is a fictional Earth, in which characters from many different sources (primarily games, but movies, books, and even real life people are a part of it) all coexist. Of further note is that the laws of physics are more or less standard, although there are logical and illogical extremes in terms of pain, slapstick, humor, and agony. One could properly define the ITWverse as an entire universe which is run by Garry's Mod rules with more than enough deviations to make for an interesting world for anyone that takes the time to notice. The tales of this world are the basis of the storylines, and the objectives of each topic more often than not are involved with the host's cast.
The ITW GamesEdit
The core of ITW, the many games are the bread and butter of ITW itself, with the stories alongside the contests themselves serving as a supplement and usually serving to further the plot of the contest itself. These contests are numerous and vary in a multitude of ways, including but not limited to the type of game, the legal participants accepted, and the objective of the game. Beyond those rules, the games may carry either a hilarious feel or a serious one, depending on the topic creator and the type of game being played.
Types of ITW GamesEdit
The list of ITW games run as follows...
- If They Were Trying to Wake Me Up! series - The series best handled by Mad Steve, where Smashers only take up the task of waking up the topic creator, and hoping to survive doing do.
- If They Were Trying to Kill Me! series - A defunct series, the characters permitted would attempt to kill the target character that the topic creator designated for assassination. Usually, it was the creator's avatar character, though in all cases, any death was merely temporary and not permanent to the player.
- If They Were Trying to Hijack the Ryaga! - The first ITW run by Derek H, it featured players running inside the Ryaga to take control of the ship from the bridge.
- If They Were Escaping... series - Not as often used anymore, the Escape series of games would have eligible players escaping from a location or a certain character, usually the feared Yeti.
- If They Were Stealing... series - This series sends eligible players on a mission to steal things from the topic creator that are up for grabs. Usually the actual items aren't taken, but prizes are awarded for each success and added to a cumulative total.
- If They Were Treasure Hunting on Eclipse Island! - The second ITW by Derek H, this game has players rushing to Eclipse Island to search for treasures and other priceless artifacts for profit before the island becomes official Blue Wings territory.
ITW Game MechanicsEdit
While each game has its own unique set of rules, most rules are similar enough to allow for familiarity between different ITW Game series. To that end, among such rules are ones for respect, send limits, item limits, and other odds and ends. Other rules are more series-specific, such as with Escape From The Yeti, where the idea is to either escape or get as far as one can before their demise. But the one important rule is that once a send is made, the final decision rests with the topic creator alone on success or failure.
The Rounds of PlayEdit
During an active game, gameplay is divided into two set sequences -- the player phase of sending characters, and the topic creator phase of updating the game status and determining the fate of sent characters. These two phases together make up a Round of Play, of which many happen during the course of a game.
The Players' ActionsEdit
Once the round is declared open to sends, participating players make character sends with eligible characters to partake in the task given. Along with the send may be items to help the sent character complete the task... or if the player making the send is feeling cruel, to actually HARM the character being sent. Once the send is made, no further action to help the send can be made unless it is declared legitimate in the rules. Depending on the rules, each send may either be independant of one another, or they may meet and coexist in the same space at the same time.
Once enough sends are made, the topic creator then makes the decisions regarding the fates of each attempt. Once decisions are made, the creator then gives a status update on the game, by revealing the fates in a sequence called an Update. Depending on the game, some updates cover every send all at once, while other updates cover sends on a more individual basis. These updates show if a character either succeeded in their mission, failed and lived, were injured, or were terminated either by misfortune or violation of the set game's rules. Sometimes, during an update, new points of interest or new characters for the topic creator may make themselves known, and are properly introduced at the end of the update. This information is always vital to follow and is kept track of just like everything else.
Sometimes based on circumstances regarding character sends or unforeseen circumstances, special updates happen that are called Events. During events, huge things tends to happen, be they mass slaughters of sends or a massive section of update, or even enemy showdowns. The odds of a success in such an update is always slim to none, though successes can happen, as noted recently by Prince Marth successfully completing a mission during one such event during ITW Treasure Hunting on Eclipse Island. In either case of update, once all characters and new reveals are properly handled and the game status updated completely, the update ends and the next round of play begins, alternating between player phase and update phase until the topic creator declares a final round, after which the next update is the final update of the game.
End of Game and Post-GameEdit
Once a topic creator declares a final round and the update for the round is complete, the game ends with final tallies being made. Once the tally is complete, the topic creator starts the post-game phase as he reveals the final tally for the game as well as post-game awards. Such tallies and awards vary somewhat from game to game -- for instance, survival, injury, and death tallies are kept for a Wake Up game, but prize tallies are kept for theft games. Once all awards and tallies are handled, the topic creator usually declares the game officially over, but permits for players to wrap up any plot points they may have before the game topic is closed.
There are often considered 4 types of characters in the ITWverse. Avatar Characters are the representations of the users (player and host alike) within the ITWverse. Main Characters are characters affiliated with Avatar Characters, and are major characters to the storyline. Supporting Characters, like Main Characters, are often (but in this case not always) affiliated with Avatar Characters. Unlike Mains Characters, Supporting Characters may not necessarily appear in every topic, and are generally not quite as major as Main or Avatar Characters. Finally, theres Random Characters. These characters are, more often than not, nothing more than sends for the main game part of the topic. They exist in the world, but aren't major characters in any sense of the word.
Naturally, due to the nature of ITW, there are a number of message board users who play out these storylines. The following is a list of users; to learn more about them, click on the user's name.
GameFAQs Era VeteransEdit
(Please note: This list is shown in format of "GameFAQs Name (IF Forum Name)", if the user changed their name during the course of the Rechristening)
- KDRio v1 (KD Rio Version 1)
- Smash Master
- MikeyLenetia (Mikey Lenetia)
- Derek H (Derek Barona)
- John_Verideo (John Verideo)
- ZDRich (ThatZachGuy)
- Metalkirby777 (MK Kilmarnock)
- AscendedPikachuZero (Cerotech Omega)
- Mad Steve