by Jon Barber
The Godfather of The Elite. Derek Kisman is one of the most incredible human beings on the face of the planet. That's really all there is to it.
...ok, ok, there's a little more to it than that. To be fair, not even a full-page writeup such as this one will be able to do justice to this man's lifetime of accomplishments... but I shall attempt it nevertheless. To begin, Snap's title of "Godfather of the Elite" was well-earned; to reduce the matter to its simplest terms, if not for Kisman, the Elite as we know it would not exist. SD was the one who pulled the community out of the fire after the un(?)fortunate collapse of pdark.com, birthing and nurturing to adulthood the PD rankings during his college years, using webspace provided on the University of Waterloo server. In addition to being PDE's first Updater, he was one of the league's best players in its early years. Derek was the first-ever Perfect Dark Champion, a title he would return to defend twice more during his career. He was also the first player to pull off the highly-impressive feat of holding every Agent World Record at one time (in 5+ years of competition, only Karl Jobst has managed to equal this achievement).
Impressive though his PD career may have been, it was only the tip of the iceberg. In the years since going inactive on PD, Snap has dominated the world scene on so many different titles across so many different platforms that it literally boggles the mind. Let's see here... Snap was the long-time Champ of Tetris Attack, and is arguably still tops at its semi-sequel, Pokemon Puzzle League. He was the original trailblazer of Pikmin, setting what seemed like godly WRs that it would take months for anyone else to even approach. Snap did the same in the world of Super Monkey Ball, becoming the first player in the world to discover the hidden Master levels, even receiving a note of congratulations from the creators of SMB upon doing so. Derek then moved on to F-Zero for the GBA, surging out to a dominating Championship lead before retiring. He did much the same thing for the GBA's Mario Kart. To this day, Snap remains nearly untouchable at Yoshi's Story, a game in which he has held every World Record at one point or another. Many of his amazing Majora's Mask records have stood the test of time, but when it comes to MM, Kisman will best be remembered for inventing (and being the first to complete, naturally) the ultra-difficult "Three Day Challenge." No one has come anywhere near equaling his Perfect run though that other late-life N64 classic, Conker's Bad Fur Day. As if that weren't enough, Snap still holds the proven speed run World Records for both Donkey Kong Country and DKC2. In more recent years, Snap has been concentrating his considerable skill on such games as DDR, Zelda: 4 Swords Adventures, Prince of Persia, and most notably Ninja Gaiden, where his having won Microsoft's official North American tournament earned himself a free trip to Japan, where he finished second place in the World Championship, and got to meet NG creator and gaming legend Tomonobu Itagak [watch the full video!]. My personal favorite Snap accomplishment, though, would have to be how he laid Atari's official Ikaruga world rankings to Snapination two years back, on the way to a bronze statue and the title of third-best on the planet (and would have been second, if not for a Japanese score-whoarder).
Despite all of these incredible feats, we still haven't touched on the true source of Snap's Elite legacy. And no, it's not that he has one of North America's most brilliant minds, as his Putnam fellowship attests to. Or that he's earned free trips to Croatia, the Netherlands, Finland, and the Czech Republic thanks to his anchoring the Canadian World Puzzle Championship team for six years running. Nope, his Elite reputation most likely revolves around his being the best poster the Elite has ever been graced with. In the most recent edition of General Chat's yearly awards show, the "Actual Intelligent Topics" category was given a subtitle of "AKA The 'Get Pwned By Snap' Topics." It has been rumored that no one has ever defeated Derek Kisman in a debate of any kind... if you've ever seen one of his topics, you realize that in this case, the myth isn't too far from the truth. Always managing to sound as if he has a team of experts working nonstop to construct his message board postings, for five years of the Elite's board history you have either been on Snap's side, or the wrong side. Yes, Snap sure is an icon in The Elite, and very worthy of his place in the Hall of Fame.
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