My life story (tl;dr I’m old as fuck in net years):
When I was really young, I joined a community called Fire Emblem World. This was way back when I first got a dialup internet connection. I first discovered Fire Emblem when a friend of mine showed me his copy of Blazing Sword in the 5th grade. It was on FEW that I first encountered the ROM hacking scene, as FEW had started it’s own ill-fated community hack. The lead hacker was a user by the name of IcyToast, who later went on to be the first person to sketch out the event code which led to Nintenlord’s development of the Event Assembler. I’d always been a game designer at heart, I used to fill notebooks with different ideas for Legend of Zelda sequels and eventually Fire Emblem sequels. I remember devoting an entire notebook to “Sacred Stones Part II”, so ROM hacking was a vessel for me to implement those ideas.
After FEW fell into obscurity due to an absentee admin who refused to pass the baton (a mistake that I made sure that I would not replicate), users congregated on a shoot-off called Fire Emblem Anthology. That was where I first became a staff member. The main admin Flarebreeze kind of hated my guts (the first of many, lol) because hey I was just a kid and didn’t exercise the best of judgment (I still don’t), but he saw that I was an effective organizer in a budding hacking community. FEA started it’s own ill-fated community hack, which is where IcyToast and I first got to know one another. With FEA in decline, I decided to start my own community. At first, it was called Fire Emblem Legends and was later rebranded to Fire Emblem Universe. This was over a decade ago.
The first FEU saw the development of the original Event Assembler and FEditor, and existed before Serenes Forest even created it’s own forums. As I became more invested in my projects, first FE4A and then EN, I delegated more of the administrative duties to my staff. After SF began to monopolize the FE fandom (when FESS, which was a long-time powerhouse, fell into obscurity), FEU attempted to expand beyond one series to a more general SRPG forum. The move backfired. Eventually I decided to move on and appointed Norodo to be the head admin based on the recommendation of my staff, Norodo then rebranded FEU into Shrine of Seals and the community slowly faded into obscurity as many had done before.
With SF firmly in control of the fandom, I also spent most of my time there in order to promote my own work and continue serving as an organizer in the ROM hacking community. I joined a Skype group that later came to be known as Team OVERTROLL, where I met many of the people who became my colleagues here today. Eventually conflicts with SF’s leadership and userbase inspired me to get back in the community-building game once again. At first, I tried to start up a forum called FE Cafe with the base of people that I’d gotten to know through my involvement with Team OVERTROLL. Unfortunately, it failed to gain traction and I put those ambitions on hold.
On a whim, I decided to give it another shot a little over 3 years ago and revived FEU. And here we are.