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Byuu / Near has passed away

Started by CO_Andy, June 27, 2021, 01:17:04 PM

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CO_Andy

Game preservationist, rom hacker, emulation author, and lifetime friend of this community has passed away from drug overdose, perpetuated by constant harassment and emotional abuse. Seems Kiwifarms, a troll/doxxing community, played a massive role in the harassment of our departed friend.

https://twitter.com/marcan42/status/1409176583433179137

Near's contributions to the scene can't be overstated. Here's a post from the resetera forum (where Near occasionally posted) detailing a few of them.

Quote from: sir_crocodileHopefully he comes back at some point, but he's done more than enough for the cause of emulation - to be honest I can't think of anyone offhand who's done more, not just in his push for emulator accuracy but his preservation efforts as well, and his role in changing the way people think about emulation. I've been following his work for over 15 years, and if this is the end for byuu, it's certainly a well deserved retirement.

For those who don't know who Byuu is, he is a console emulation author best known for BSNES, a SNES emulator. Before he started work on BSNES in 2004, snes emulation was vastly inaccurate. You can look at SNES9X 1.43 or ZSNES 1.40 if you want to see what they were like (assuming they still run). Byuu decided to make an accuracy focused emulator. That itself was very rare back then, as many emu authors concentrated on getting games working, and you ended up with a lot of black boxes, high level code which kind of worked, but the authors didn't know why because they didn't actually know what the original snes was doing to achieve the end result.

Byuu focused on accuracy, and the result at first was a very slow emulator that only those with high end machines could play. Many people who frequented emulator forums back then were used to emulators that would run on toasters, and disdained bsnes and often slung very rude comments Byuu's way. That state of affairs would continue for many years - the emulation scene was a very different place back then (not that he doesn't still get a lot of mud unfairly slung his way).

But Byuu persevered, and had help from some very talented people along the way. He also managed to find someone willing to decap many of the snes chips at a reduced rate (who amusing called himseld "dr decap"), which was a VERY expensive process. It was expensive even with the mates rates, but byuu got the money together (including a lot of his own), got the chips decapped and with that knowledge made bsnes even better.

Today, Bsnes has a compatibility of 100%, with no known bugs over the ENTIRE snes library. For years he has also helped the snes9x devs port improvements back there, which in some ways takes him back full circle to the days he was asking matthew kendora (then snes9x lead developer) questions on the old snes9x boards before he started bsnes.

He has also been a big proponent of preservation, and bought the entire catalogue of the JP and US snes library so he could dump them himself and make sure we had good dumps for every game. Some he'd buy more then once to find revisions of the same game (devs would sometimes reissue a game if there was a particularly nasty bug etc), and work with others to get to dump the EU library.

He's also done various other things, such as cocreate libsnes, which retroarch was based off, and bps, a much safer to use patching standard than ips.

Byuu has also written articles on both emulation accuracy and preservation, and these combined with his own work on both and passionate opinions has helped to move the emulation scene to a point where accuracy and preservation are considered essential.

FCandChill

#1
While it isn't 100% confirmed Near has passed away yet, no one in personal contact with Near knows where they are. There has to be some miracle to have a fortunate conclusion...

Anyway, they have my condolences and my thanks for all the hard work.

BloodyPicard

Where is this information coming from? If this is for real than that is such a shame. Very sad to see him pass. He's like a local legend around here. I've been following his work for a long time.

I use to have problems with addiction as well so I know what he must have been going through very sad.

Darth Link X

Really hope that karma will catch up with all stupid bullies that harassed him. Rest in peace Near, hope you are at peace, wherever you may be.

Piotyr

#4
It angers me that this can happen and theres nothing we can do. RIP, I never met you but I always respected you.

Chatterine

I feel bad for him, he was such a nice guy

Dzumeister

Near had so much love for the SNES, game preservation, and emulation. They did so much work for our community, and I'll really miss them.
free sluffy

Bonesy

kiwifarms is a doxxing and harassment platform that shouldn't exist and has driven people to suicide

if you can't recognize this, reevaluate your life

Chatterine

Quote from: Bonesy on June 27, 2021, 05:42:29 PM
kiwifarms is a doxxing and harassment platform that shouldn't exist and has driven people to suicide
Somehow, it's even worse than 4chan. It's not just a few rotten eggs, all of the eggs are rotten there.

CO_Andy

Kiwifarms is a straight up dumpster fire and a hive of some of the worst people on the internet. Their idea of "abnormal" is anyone who's a minority.

Viewer

Quote from: Lusofonia on June 27, 2021, 08:22:02 PM
@Viewer

Even so, I found the audience's reaction to their response quite disproportionate. Not defending KiwiFarms and simply trying to calm down, two mistakes don't make a right, and that doesn't mean we have to keep acting that way. If we continue like this, it could be that the topic quickly breaks out into a flame war. I'm sorry, but I think I got really angry about the loss of an acquaintance, so I started acting aggressively. And not wanting to speak for someone else, but these thoughts probably apply to others, too.

No worries - it's only natural to do that. I just wanted to keep things from devolving into a one-sided ranting session, if possible.

Everyone here who knew Byuu has my sympathies, including Byuu himself - he seemed like a man who was very gifted, but struggled under a weight he shouldn't have had to bear.

the real megaman

I didn't learn about Near or their accomplishments in Emulation and the Bahamut Lagoon translation project until recently, the things Near did for the community were amazing and changed the shape of snes emulation. It's really horrible that he was harassed and abused by online harassment. From what I've heard from people online who know near, he was a kind person. Near deserved much better than that, may he Rest in Peace...

PowerPanda

Rest in peace, Byuu. You will be missed.

Rodimus Primal

This is incredibly sad. The work he did on SNES preservation and emulation was groundbreaking for sure. RIP Byuu/Near. You will be missed.

Kallisto

I'm sorry for this community's loss, I barely got to know a little bit of Byuu over the past few years and always found his work to be amazing. I thought it was odd when he took down some of major works (the emulators I believe) that I thought something was off at first.

As for this harassment, there is a way to deal with this. There was a time in GameFAQs where they had almost similar incidents that led the Legal Hammer onto the site, and this was back when CjayC was the Administrator at the time. This forced the closure of a certain message board, and the closure of several accounts involved with the incidents, though whether the accounts in question had legal action onto them that I'm not entirely sure;however it is possible to get the Administrator of Kiwifarms to comply with the same standard that GameFAQs was forced into.

But this was back in the mid-late 2000s when this happened, I'm not sure how much has changed concerning legal internet issues since then.

Bonk

#15
Kiwi seems like a place that shouldn't be allowed to exist. No one should be willing to host a place who's entire stated purpose is to be malicious assholes.

Bullying is like cancer, you just can't seem to kill it off for good. Having grown up and lived nearly 30 years with an older brother on the Autism spectrum, I have seen first hand all too well the horrors bullying inflicts on people on the spectrum. And how it affects and informs parts of their life literally forever. Enough that it's turned me off from wanting to have kids at all.
The fact that Near was able to make what seemed like remarkable progress at growing as a person and trying to improve themselves continuously. The amount of self introspection was a sight to behold. Thanks to my brother, i've met a lot of people on the spectrum over the years and have made friends with many. This isn't something you see commonly with people on the spectrum.
I knew they had been bullied and harassed several years ago over their behavior and design decisions on Bsnes/Higan/etc. But I don't use twitter regularly(Because it's also a terrible place from all corners. But it wasn't made that way intentionally, unlike Kiwi), so I wasn't aware it had been continuing after they moved to Japan. Here I thought Near was a in a good place, finally following their dreams in the country they adored.
I had only a few brief interactions with near over the years on the old Byuu site forums way back and on reddit here and there. Whenever the was news of something they had done and released was posted on reddit, I always posted words of encouragement and gratitude for the incredible, thankless and selfless work they did.(Like many others)

This has hit me way harder that I would've expected and I can only hope with a slimmer of light that there's a chance they didn't go through with it. It also makes me somewhat angry that Codeine/Guafenissin isn't harder to get a hold of in Japan. In the US this combination is a Class V controlled substance for a reason. Someone let me know otherwise if this combination is in fact restricted in Japan or not.
In the US you rarely ever see doctors prescribe this combo for anything more than a dose as small as possible for just a few days worth of medication. Rarely you will see someone who takes it chronically.
Not that other medication and other substances couldn't have been used or other methods. But still..

RIP Near. I hope others work to preserve your work the way you preserved the SNES for the benefit of everyone for generations to come.

Goi~Yaas~Dinn

Antidepressants claim another victim. Oh, don't get me wrong; Kiwi Farms lit the fuse. But whatever junk they conned byuu into trying provided more than ample powder, I'm sure.

Quote from: Bonk on June 27, 2021, 10:13:17 PM
It also makes me somewhat angry that Codeine/Guafenissin isn't harder to get a hold of in Japan. In the US this combination is a Class V controlled substance for a reason. Someone let me know otherwise if this combination is in fact restricted in Japan or not.
In the US you rarely ever see doctors prescribe this combo for anything more than a dose as small as possible for just a few days worth of medication. Rarely you will see someone who takes it chronically.
Not that other medication and other substances couldn't have been used or other methods. But still..

RIP Near. I hope others work to preserve your work the way you preserved the SNES for the benefit of everyone for generations to come.

Speaking as someone who has been suicidal for over 15 years, yet still never gone through with it, there's always another method of checking out. If they can manage it in prison, it's certainly manageable as a private citizen.

nanashi89

Will BSNES development continue without him? Or is this the end of the emulator?

Goi~Yaas~Dinn

Quote from: nanashi89 on June 27, 2021, 10:41:48 PM
Will BSNES development continue without him? Or is this the end of the emulator?
Last I heard, he had at least attempted to make arrangements. I'm unsure just how successful those were (when I looked, a hell of a lot of code was still just him, working like a maniac, with a couple others able to contribute far less, 'cause it's byuu, waddya expect?), but he at least made a good faith effort to do a hand-off.

Chronosplit

#19
RIP Near.  While emulation on especially the SNES end won't be the same without them, their standards will always survive as a goal for people to achieve, and their work will never fade away.

Quote from: nanashi89 on June 27, 2021, 10:41:48 PM
Will BSNES development continue without him? Or is this the end of the emulator?
The reigns were basically handed down when they changed their name to Near, because the whole thing was about getting away from it in a way.  I've been seeing a lot of people asking the same thing, so I guess that info never really got out as much as they hoped.  To be honest with you though, I'm not really sure what Bsnes itself needs outside of making sure it works on new OSes whenever they appear.  Now Ares, that I'm completely unsure about.

Bsnes-hd and the like are of course still around and going forward.  The magic of open source!