Over the years Rare has seen a network of fans grow into a strong and close-knit community, creating forums, fansites, podcasts and YouTube channels, all out of unadulterated enthusiasm for Rare's three decade portfolio. With Sea of Thieves it's no different and even though the game is yet to release, Rare fans haven't been shy about letting us know how excited they are. To celebrate this awesome community who've supported us over the years, we thought it'd be great to find out more about some of them. So today, we'd like to introduce Rare superfan Amir, otherwise known as IOnEI_Falcon, who is also a veteran contributor to longtime Rare fansite, RareFanDaBase. He's here to tell us more about himself in our first community spotlight!

Great T-shirt choice!

Q: Tell us a little bit about what got you into gaming.
A: Actually, Rare got me into gaming, although I didn’t know it was Rare at the time. A friend of mine had just gotten a brand new video game and he invited me over to play it. It was Donkey Kong Country. I was blown away by the graphics, the music, the co-op and all the secrets. I had played video games before but nothing really hooked me like this. My friend and I played Donkey Kong Country every chance we got until Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest came out. Along with Diddy’s Kong Quest I began to seek out video games branded with the famous Rare logo—a symbol that promised that same captivating experience.

Q: What is your favourite Rare game and why?
A: My favourite Rare game would have to be Perfect Dark. When I first played it on launch day for the Nintendo 64 I became totally engrossed in its single player and multiplayer. I mean the game has everything you could want in a First Person Shooter, and more. Some shooters today don’t come close to offering what Perfect Dark did all those years ago. Just take the enemy AI for example. They could roundhouse kick you, surrender after using all their ammo, pull out a secondary weapon and mourn the loss of a fallen comrade! And what other game lets you run around punching people while stealing their weapons?

Amir's stash of Rare treasures looks to be the envy of many a pirate in the Sea Of Thieves community.

Q: If you had to pick a pirate name, what would it be and why?
A: Well I can’t pick Captain Falcon for obvious reasons…so if I can’t have that name I will go the way of One Eye Jack and Peg Leg Joe and pick One Lung Falcon. Long story short, I have a lung that repeatedly collapses. A while back I had surgery where they removed a huge chunk of that lung leaving me with about a lung and a quarter left. And there you have the abridged version of One Lung Falcon!

Q: What games are you playing currently? Any favourites?
A: Killer Instinct Season 3! Rash is a blast to play and it’s really neat to see him brought to life in 2016. I also just wrapped up getting all the achievements in The Division. Completing the Challenge Mode missions with friends is very fun and rewarding. The Dark Zone is a punishing place though…*shudders*…

I am just now taking a break from Rainbow Six Siege. The tension created by the mechanics in the multiplayer are very unique. You are constantly thinking of ways to outsmart your opponent and the destructible environments makes each round new and unpredictable.

Favourites? Well, Rare Replay of course. It is always a great go to for some relaxing gaming. Unless you boot up Underwurlde. The jumping in that game got the best of me! Seriously though, it is great getting to boot up Perfect Dark and then switch over to Battletoads in less than a minute.

Battletoads - A Rare fan favourite, originally released in 1991.

Q: How are you involved with the Rare community?
A: My involvement with the Rare community first started with my memorabilia collection. I uploaded pictures of some favorite pieces on Twitter, and I had some great feedback. I built a small site—Rare Minion—that had some of the first Kinect Sports impressions as well as achievement guides for Perfect Dark andBanjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts and some beta footage. It was so exciting having direct communication with the people behind the games that had enchanted me, and I wouldn’t have met so many great people if it were not for the retweets from Rare and answers to my crazy fanboy questions from Rare employees.

Later, Killer Instinct for the Xbox One at E3 in 2013 led to my good friend Daniel and I founding Killer Instinct Central. I would later join up with Daniel on his Rare fan site RareFanDaBase. I have also been fortunate enough to participate in the activities of other Rare fans—for instance, getting to participate in a Pirate Port Radio podcast.

I love all the passion that comes with the Rare community and this past year in particular we have seen a lot of it. From all the new fan sites and the unprecedented amount of amazing content from Rare it is a great time to be a Rare fan!

Q: What sort of hobbies do you enjoy outside of gaming?
A: I enjoy bringing new ideas to life—whether it be a DIY project with my wife or developing a new website with my friends. Although it is often hard work, with every ounce of work I get to see the idea take shape. To me, that is incredibly rewarding. My wife and I just got done building customizable lamps for the house and I have been coding an app with a good friend of mine that should be releasing soon.

Another hobby of mine is Canyoneering. Living in one of the Mountain States means we have lots of breath taking canyons to hike and rappel down into. It is quite thrilling dangling over a 150 foot drop from a rope that’s tied around a rock for an anchor. And if I’m not building or climbing something I am hunting for more Rare memorabilia to add to the collection!

Amir's collection looks ripe for plunder, but we're not sure we could dig a hole big enough to bury it all!

Q: What do you hope to do the most in Sea of Thieves?
A: Ooh! What do I hope to do most in Sea of Thieves? I want to do something mischievous to my friends when they least expect it. Maybe commandeer their ship when they are not looking or pickpocket them in the middle of a fight against skeletons.

Aside from being mischievous I am most excited to explore. Rare is great at world building and they create the most fun and beautiful places to poke around in.

Q: Share a fun fact about yourself. Anything is fair game!
A: I married my high school sweetheart. We officially met in middle school, but we actually attended the same the same preschool and elementary school, too. Perhaps the real fun fact is we think she beat me up in elementary school for allegedly cutting in line for the drinking fountain. My mother remembers me getting beat up by a little girl, and my wife’s mother remembers my wife beating up a little boy who cut someone in line. We’ll never know if they connect, but the dots are right there!

Oh, and here’s a little bonus fun fact: I can form the perfect curl at the top of a soft serve ice-cream cone!

And that's all she wrote.....

A big thanks to Amir from the team here at Rare for taking the time to answer these questions and for being so supportive over the years! We hope you enjoyed our first community spotlight and be sure to look out for more in the future.