Who are you?
A thirty-something person who has a strong passion for games. Most people around the net call me Cally which is a very affectionate name based off an old character of mine. Many people from the days of yesteryear on The Undercaves would know me as Whitefin. Adore games, always have, always will. Lover of both old-school and new consoles.
What is Origin Beach?
Origin Beach is a rather infamous level in Ecco The Dolphin where two glyphs are hidden inside the walls. If you use your sonar on them, there are the following messages:
We hear song in the ocean! We hear our kind in the sea! Never have we heard songs in the sea!
You sing our song under the waves. Who are you? Could we sing in the sea? Could we live in the sea? Perhaps we will try!
Back in 1998 I emailed Ed Annunziata and I asked him multiple questions including why this was still included/accessible in the game. He responded that it was the first time anyone had asked him about it which was also why he wished to write back to me, and that it was in relation to the question "Why do dolphins live in the sea?" from earlier in the game. He also elaborated by explaining to me that those messages were originally tied to ancestors of Ecco (rather than just glyphs) that we would've seen and talked to, but were ultimately scrapped from the game.
This has stuck with me for 20+ years, much like the games themselves have, which is why I thought Origin Beach would be a good setting for housing my collection on the internet.
I also still have this excerpt from that very same email, including my 10 y/o self's awful spelling:
>5.What dose the secret password do in Ecco the dolphin 2, i tried it and it
>just rejected me, please reply to my e-mail if you have the time.
If we were to make Ecco 3 I was going to make is so that if you entered that
password you'd get something special. I really wanted to connect parts 2
and 3. but I never got a chance to make part 3
I did the same thing in Warriors of the Eternal sun - The D&D game for the
Genesis. but I never got a chance to make a sequel to that one either.
Thank you for writing to me! Good luck with all that you do!
Kinda awesome and mind-blowing for little me! Ed and I follow each other on Twitter nowadays too. It's so awesome when a series creator is so down to earth and always happy to talk with his fans. But yeah, it's why Origin Beach is just such a strong level and name for me. I have a lot of investment in it.
What started your collection?
The games, of course. There's only a tiny handful of merch when it comes to Ecco, but I'd like to one day have it all, even if it means tracking down old magazines for ads and articles to archive.
I started out with Ecco 1 on the MD, and picked up Ecco 2 back when a video store was closing down locally and they were selling all their games out -- I'd pretty much hired that cartridge so many times that the game might as well of been mine in the first place, so it was befitting to just buy it! When I was older, and the internet much broader when it came to importing and shopping, I picked up the Japanese MD games, along with the gorgeous Mega-CD set, and started amassing everything.
Because Ecco only has a small number of releases, I'd like to one day have at least one major release from at least three regions: PAL (Aus/Europe), NTSC (US), and NTSC-J (JP), and then begin filling in gaps with special editions/other region releases that have interesting quirks, the works. The bonus to this too is that there are different box arts and styles between them all usually.
How long have you been collecting Ecco items?
I guess since 1992 would be the official start, so for over 25 years as of the time of writing. It's an impactful series that has only a small amount of merch going for it, so I hope to one day have a major collection of all things pertaining to it so I can preserve and archive all the materials. We, the Ecco community, are currently in the middle of a translation and preservation project for the Japanese materials of the game as well, in addition to archival scans of manuals, inserts, the works. We don't ever want to lose any of this magic for such a beloved series, and if my collection can help that in any way it's a good thing.
Why are your catalogue names for the games in both English and Japanese?
It's partially a habit from my dual-language tagging on Viperhazard, but additionally Ecco actually has a pretty awesome Japanese fanbase, along with SEGA fans being prolific in Japan. Some of my rarer collection items are from Japan itself! Providing dual names for things allows them to find things for their own catalogues and identifiers that may make it easier for them to search for.
If you have any questions you'd like to ask me, about either myself, the collection as a whole, or any specific items, please feel free to contact me. You can either leave a comment here with your question, contact me on twitter (@cacodemum), or email me (viper.fox[at]me.com). I will do my best to either personally answer them, or if I feel it's interesting enough, add it to the official FAQ.