Legend Spotlight – IOnEI_Falcon
From those very first days on the seas through to launch and beyond, this sailor has seen everything the seas have to offer – and carefully documented every release, painstakingly working to help new sailors out as part of his work on Rare Thief. He also happens to be the subject of our first ever Community Spotlight way back in 2016, so who better to now formally dub a Legend among Sea of Thieves players?
With so many nautical miles under his belt, we thought it was time to see what dedicated Deckhand Amir, known to many as IOnEI_Falcon, has been up to since we last spoke…
[Q]: Can you tell us a little about what got you into gaming?
[A]: It was you all that got me into gaming! However, I didn’t know it at the time. One of my friends had just bought a newly released game and invited me to play it with him at his house. It was Donkey Kong Country. It had it all! Incredible graphics, a killer soundtrack and dozens of secrets to discover.
We played it every chance we got until Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest came out. Luckily, I had my own console by then and could play it even more than the first one!
Not only were those two games cemented into my childhood memories, so was the Rareware logo that preceded each gaming session. I’ve followed that logo ever since – through the past five generations of games.
[Q]: Were you a Rare fan before Sea of Thieves? Do you have any favourite Rare games?
[A]: While Donkey Kong Country was my gateway into the world of Rare, Perfect Dark would have to be my favorite Rare game. Even after immersing myself in every Rare Replay game, Perfect Dark remains my number one. I spent an absurd amount of time playing both the single-player and multiplayer in the Nintendo 64 and Xbox Live Arcade versions.
Both the single-player and multiplayer still have features that most first-person shooters don’t have today! The single-player had multiple objectives per level, enemies that could run out of ammo or surrender and fun cheats! Then the multiplayer had dozens of stages, challenges to complete and bots with unique AI. And, of course, what other game lets you run around punching people to steal their weapons?
[Q]: What other games are you currently playing? Any favourites?
[A]: I am currently playing Return to Monkey Island and having a blast with it! I was just a tad too young to catch the first wave of Monkey Island hype, and by the time I could play, I was too busy playing your catalog of games! When I take a break from finding the Secret of Monkey Island, I also have fun with Halo Infinite, Apex Legends and Fall Guys.
Amir was among the first to sail the Sea of Thieves, way back before our Technical Alpha.
[Q]: When did you first set sail on the Sea of Thieves, and what was it that attracted you to the pirate life?
[A]: I was one of the very lucky pirates who played Sea of Thieves during the Play It First contest in May of 2016! Back then, we didn’t know much other than it was a pirate game, so the main attraction was Rare being the developer.
However, after getting my hands on the game, the big hook for me was sailing a Galleon as a crew. While many games require teamwork, none bring together a group of players like Sea of Thieves.
There's a sense of excitement unmatched for me during an intense chase in a Galleon when all three sails are perfectly catching the wind, the helmsman’s turning is on point and every cannoneer is nailing their shots! Just that goal of successfully sailing your ship as a team is so much fun for me, let alone all the other crazy pirate activities you can do together!
[Q]: How did you go about becoming a Pirate Legend? What were the main challenges and highlights of your journey?
[A]: My crew hit the grind for Pirate Legend hard! With no Barrels of Plenty, Treasure Vaults or Sea Forts to take advantage of back at release, we focused primarily on Skeleton Forts. As they were the only World Event then, leaving a Fort with its precious loot was our biggest recurring challenge. But with that challenge came some of my best memories! Countless hour-long battles against every ship on the server created joyous, hilarious and heartbreaking moments.
When it was all said and done, we reached Pirate Legend two months after the game launched.
[Q]: Can you remember the moment when you became a Pirate Legend and how you celebrated?
[A]: I do remember hitting Pirate Legend! The Merchant Alliance was the last of the three Trading Companies we leveled up to 50. It was the last of many all-night sessions – typically ending around 8am – in which our sole focus was catching golden chickens and snakes at The Crooked Masts.
Unfortunately, someone in the crew accidentally dropped a snake in our pile of several hundred chickens! While we were on the island catching more, that one snake wiped them all out!
After recovering from that terrible blunder, we finally turned in one last gold chicken to reach the requirements for Pirate Legend. I talked to the Mysterious Stranger, received the Shanty of Legends and celebrated by finally going to sleep!
After a blissful slumber, knowing I was a Pirate Legend, I woke up and started working on my Athena reputation!
Play It First contest winner, Forum Deckhand, guide writer, lifelong fan… Legend material.
[Q]: You originally starred in one of Sea of Thieves’ earliest Community Spotlights – what is it that’s kept you sailing the seas for so long?
[A]: This incredible community has kept me sailing the seas since the beginning. From social media to Discord, I am constantly impressed by the astonishing amount of talented, clever, helpful and hilarious pirates. Just when I think I have seen it all, someone invents a new custom game mode or creative competition. Thanks to them, there is never a dull moment in the world of Sea of Thieves.
In addition to this ever-amazing community fueling my excitement for the game, it helps that my partner in crime, KerfuffleHustle, also has an unhealthy obsession with Sea of Thieves. It has made playing Sea of Thieves a go-to household pastime!
[Q]: You’ve become a legend among Sea of Thieves players, but how would you personally describe your role in the community and how it’s evolved over time?
[A]: I think my role in the community has always been that of a trusty deckhand. Initially, I fell into that role by answering questions and giving directions to new arrivals on the Sea of Thieves Forums. After a while of lending a hand there, I was lucky enough to be chosen as an official Deckhand, which allowed me to continue to help my fellow pirates and help Rare keep the Forums ship-shape.
But there was still so much more to explore, document and talk about – even if these things weren’t being brought up in the Forums. That’s part of what makes this world so incredible. There is so much lore everywhere you turn. You never know what rock painting might just be a doodle by a bored Ancient, and which might mark the entrance to an as-yet-undiscovered lair.
KerfuffleHustle and I created Rare Thief as a place for us to document and discuss all of our incredible findings throughout the seas! It started with the interactive Sea of Thieves map, but it soon led to articles, videos, calendars and more.
IOnEI_Falcon and KerfuffleHustle work hard to update Rare Thief and keep sailors on course.
[Q]: What would you say are your favourite recent additions to Sea of Thieves?
[A]: My favorite recent additions are the harpoon upgrade and the Chest of Fortune. The harpoon upgrade makes me think about how we ever lived without it! It’s been such a fantastic quality of life enhancement of turning a two-person job of gathering loot into a one-person job.
And the Chest of Fortune lets me revisit those days back at launch when there was one Skeleton Fort every four hours that the entire server would fight over. It generates that same energy and legendary encounters at the Fort of Fortune! The other day, I was in a five-ship battle for the Chest. I can’t wait to see where the Chest of Fortune moves next!
[Q]: Legend status aside, what are your greatest achievements in a game, Sea of Thieves or otherwise?
[A]: My greatest achievement in Sea of Thieves would be earning a player immortalization. Attaining all the Curses and reaching max Athena’s Fortune reputation is also noteworthy, but the player immortalization has to be my top choice. It was unexpected – and for what might seem like an embarrassing reason – but I am super-proud of those skeleton feet sticking out of the sand on Shipwreck Bay. The part that brings me the most joy from the player immortalization is the never-ending messages from random pirates taking hilarious pictures near it and sending them to me!
Outside of Sea of Thieves, some of my greatest gaming accomplishments would have to be unlocking the LASO Master achievement in Halo: The Master Chief Collection, acquiring the Seriously achievements in the first four Gears of War games and, of course, earning the Stampers Forever achievement in Rare Replay!
Best foot forward: Amir’s greatest achievement is his Shipwreck Bay immortalisation.
[Q]: What other hobbies do you enjoy outside gaming?
[A]: For those who knew me in the Rare community before Sea of Thieves, this won’t come as a surprise: I still find time to hunt down collectibles for my collection of Rare memorabilia. It is the most extensive collection of Rare memorabilia in the world (Guinness World Record verification pending) and has taken me over 20 years to collect!
While getting the item is the goal, I get more enjoyment out of the hunt. It is a lot of fun tracking down a particular item. Some less common pieces can take a lot of legwork, from scouring the internet for clues to investigating old printing or toy companies no longer in business! Along the way, I also meet some wonderful people in the industry who have fascinating stories about the collectible or the game it’s for.
There really isn’t much time for hobbies outside of gaming and all things Rare. However, a year ago, Rare Thief welcomed a new little pirate to the crew. Since then, I have happily found the time for the most rewarding hobby of my life: playing with our adorable and ever-amazing one-year-old.
[Q]: Share a fun fact about yourself. Anything is fair game!
[A]: I once won a Guitar Hero competition at a local laser tag center. There were many fierce competitors, but after winning several brackets, I was able to clinch the final showdown! The grand prize was supposed to be a brand new Xbox 360. Unfortunately, one of the employees took the Xbox home for themselves. The consolation prize was a coupon to throw a free birthday party there, which I later put to good use.
Thank you so much to Amir for taking the time to talk with us, and to the team at Rare Thief for all the work they put into helping our players. Long may their quest for knowledge (and of course Rare memorabilia) continue!
We'll be back in a couple of weeks with another Spotlight, but until then you can check out the whole collection of previous Community, Creator and Legend Spotlights, or see some recent player creations over on our Community Hub. Make sure you stay up to date with everything else going on in Sea of Thieves by keeping an eye on one of our many social channels, and we’ll see you next time!