Kain

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Kainz00r.jpg
Kainz00r
Saber Single
Style Hybrid
Affiliation(s) The Jedi Academy, The Jedi Academy Aurochs, CJO
Gender Male
Location UK
Padawans None

Kain is a former competitive player of Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. From close to the beginning of his lengthy career he focused near exclusively on using the single saber, with a particular focus on the heavy stance. He frequented both European and American servers and was a regular guest of public duel servers. Duelling was his favourite activity within the game, ranked higher than the very popular "tffa" mode in his books. He is the founder of the z00r dynasty, of which members have historically been silently acknowledged. Although Kain briefly amused a time within an American clan (CJO), his loyalty was and remains with his martial brethren of the Aurochs.

Biography

At fifteen years old and freshly introduced into the world of online pc gaming via Diablo II, it was during a curious browse of his local Electronics Boutique store that young Kain stumbled upon the box of Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. The date was December 26th 2003 and he was looking for something worthy of his new found fortune, or what constitutes as such for someone his age at the time. Sitting on the highest shelf, almost beyond his visible reach, it glowed with the unquestionable aura of destiny. Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. Boldly the young warrior reached out to inspect the case and lo and behold, it promised him exactly what he was looking for - glorious combat with lightsabers... and it had multiplayer. Perfect.

Not to be inconvenienced by the awkward and uncompromising nature of a keyboard, Kain also picked up a pc gaming pad on his way to the check out. He was a seasoned console veteran, and was not about to enter the fast paced nature of a 3rd person action game on the PC unprepared. Excusing himself early from his family's post-Christmas affairs he swiftly returned to his seat of power (although it was still a barely touched throne at this point) to test the perceived merits of this new treasure.

Kain was not disappointed.

After a quick install of his new gamepad and new game, Kain quickly set to assigning the relevant controls. A brief stint in single player and it was time to jump online. After applying the latest patch, he double-checked that his controls were still set for use in multiplayer and he was off. Brimming with confidence, he did not hesitate to join the first server he saw on the list, which as it happened was a Free For All server.

Humble Beginnings

As it was his Christmas holiday time, Kain had no worries about school and due work. Mock exams were nothing compared to the thrill of his online experience in Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. Social excursions were cancelled in his attempt to quell his spark-lust. The game awakened his desire for combat and the glory that comes with victory. Still wielding his staff and now-trusty game pad, he began the slow process of turning himself into the perfect courier of death. Of course, it would be a week or two before he realised that as the sensitivity of his game pad was non-adjustable in game and at it's standard sensitivity it took him two real life seconds to do a 360 turn, he was at a colossal disadvantage (which would soon be realised).

After a day or two of play, he also realised that the handle 'Padawan' simply would not suffice if he was to carve out a legacy on this battlefield. And so, it was with natural logic that he eventually polished his new handle down to 'Deathstouch' - for he was so swift a foe, and such a mighty force that it was clear those who came into contact with him would meet death's inevitable embrace.

Fiercely roaming from server to server (FFA exclusively, as Kain had not really bothered to expand the server browser settings), it was mid way through his first week of play that Kain met his match. The implacable foe wielded dual sabers, and danced around Kain like a leaf in the wind - his movements seemed wild, unpredictable and at times impossible. "Are you turning that slow on purpose...?" the sinister phantom asked Kain. Realising the fight was impossible, Kain admitted that he was not, but rather he was limited to such a speed. His assailant then also lowered his weapons, and began to broker a friendship. The man was named Wraithe, and he introduced Kain to his band of soldiers - all upstarts like Kain. As Kain was obviously new to the JKA scene he was assigned a master, whom was named Demonique. As it happened however, Demonique never actually entered combat and treated the game as a chat platform and thus was able to offer Kain nothing in the way of training.

It was during his time with this small band of new players that Kain met someone under the name of 'Skye'. Neither of the young gentlemen were aware, but this was to be the beginnings of a long lasting friendship. It was Skye who suggested that Kain "stop using the game pad on a pc gaming, that's for noobs - look, I can dance behind you and back again before you even turn halfway. If you seriously want to be competitive in this game, you're going to have to adjust to playing with a keyboard and mouse." And so he did. Not only this, but he also abandoned the staff saber and began to dedicated himself to the way of the single saber, as his most impressive opponents had utilised this weapon. It was awful at first, utterly horrendous - for about two weeks of daily playing, Kain failed time and time again in almost every battle against his friend Skye. And the others who would care to challenge him, until they got bored. It would have been humiliating, had Kain maintained any expectations of himself at the time - but this was the humble beginnings, and things were much simpler then. After the two weeks of humbling defeats, he began to feel familiar with the keyboard and mouse input and was not just holding his own in his battles, but winning too.

Two weeks again and he was finding that his opponents were not much challenge at all. He needed more, and it was at this point he discovered the public duel servers.

First steps

'Deathstouch' was far too pretentious, it had to go. But how to identify himself? By what name would he want to be known? Easy. Kain, as per the 'Legacy of Kain' series. A vampire and a badass, a personality with enough will to challenge both fate and the gods themselves. Yes, that would do just fine. And so it was with his new handle, that Kain truly began his JKA career.

It was a slow start, players on the likes of BWN and the popular European duel servers did not play around like those Kain had met on his FFA servers. Forces of disciplined efficiency and brutality met him daily, refined users of the 'poking' technique as well as relentless staffers. Most talented in the art of duelling, and almost all Kain's superior... but this did not deter him from his goal, instead offering him great inspiration. It solidified Kain's goal to become a renowned duellist, someone that others would respect the skill and experience of. This became and remained Kain's ultimate goal in JKA.

In attempt to match the arsenal of his foes, Kain had an attempt at poking. He felt silly, especially when he won with it, as he had no idea what was going on via the screen during each of his poked attacks. And the victories felt ridiculous, killing his foes in a single, wild swing. There was no discipline, there was no timing - there was simply brute force. It was ugly, careless and decidedly not for him. Strong in the opinion that this was not how the sabering system was intended to work, Kain lowered his sensitivity and mouse acceleration to sensible figures and resorted to refining a more controlled style.

It wasn't long before Kain realised that looking stylish was one way to stand out. And it felt awesome. He would watch in awe as experienced duellists would catch their opponents off guard mid air and sever them into pieces. That was the essence he knew he would have to capture in his own style if he were to be successful and well known in his JKA journey, and slowly it became his way of playing. He would lose a fight quite happily if he were able to swoop in between his foes attacks at unusual timings and catch them off guard, knowing he was progressing in his own way. And above all he would cherish the moments he was successfully able to predict and intercept his opponents mid air, crashing into them relentlessly for massive damage and often duel ending strikes.

Several weeks passed and Kain was becoming a very confident duellist. He had no trouble holding his own vs a lot of the players he met on the duel servers, and when he would visit Wraithe, Demonique, Skye and co he found that they weren't much challenge at all in a duel (excepting Demonique, whom Kain never actually saw in combat). Eager to test the hierarchy of this society, Kain openly challenged his master to combat, curious to see if this character was truly worth respect in battle. Unfortunately Demonique declined the challenge, as per usual, claiming that he had no need to be physically involved. And so it came to be that Kain relinquished his relationship of master and padawan with the non-combatant, and began his next chapter in JKA.

The Jedi Academy

Bing. BingBingBing. The relentless sounds of MSN acknowledging Skye's relentless messages. Skye never did quite manage to master the art of thinking before sending a message, and so to this day we still receive his messages not unlike the rate an automatic weapon unloads it's inventory of bullets.

To cut a long paraphrased conversation short, it was this day that Skye recommended Kain visit a website named thejediacademy.net(TJA).

"Yeah, I joined during jk2 and there was some impressive duellists there, you would probably find quite a few to give you a run for your money, it's your sort of place, they even hold classes etc". Kain didn't need much more encouragement, and in no time at all found himself registering to the site. Accepted very quickly by the never sleeping administration of TJA, he was swiftly browsing the website for classes, people of note (read: renowned duellists) and ways in which to test his skills. It wasn't very long before he signed up for Kueller's interstance tourney, which he won rather convincingly. He was also offering modest training to fellow players who appreciated his prowess, and received several compliments on his sabering competence from players such as Janus, 3th and Masta. His victory in Kueller's tournaments was so convincing that Kueller was clearly compelled to offer Kain a padawan position, which Kain accepted without hesitation - after all, Kueller was a JAK which obviously meant he would be a worthy force in a duel, and Kain relished this opportunity to secure 1on1 training as well as a potential rival to rise above in the art of the saber. Unfortunately, due to time zone difference amongst other things, it was incredibly rare that Kain would see Kueller in game and the relationship was not as prosperous as Kain might have hoped for and within around 6-7 months he requested to no longer be Kueller's padawan.

Things began very well for Kain generally however when he joined TJA, with his skill in combat going noticed. It was during these months that Kain began to appreciate that, unlike the European duel servers he so often frequented, he was going to have to adapt his style to use the medium stance a lot more. He mostly picked up a lot of this experience in Virtue and Wolfwood's lessons, the latter of which he really enjoyed, as Wolfwood incorporated a lot of actual activity beyond discussion in his classes. Wolfwood was also an active player, and a JAK who reflected the skill the position impressed upon Kain at the time, and so when the two met in one of the many tournaments that took place at TJA back then Kain was very nervous. It was a close affair, however Kain's duelling experience paid off and he was able to best Wolfwood and continue successfully on his way. This would be his first personal milestone at the academy, amongst many.

He was remarked upon as an honourable and good natured individual, obviously making every effort to impress his new peers. He made such an impression that esteemed characters such as 3th praised him with very generous comments, such as "people like you are the future of this place, glad to see good people around with very impressive skills continuing to appear around here. you proved a point quickly in your first tourney. hope you don't blow everyone away too fast and get bored with us. would be nice to see the likes of you where i just made it to someday". Janus also highlighted Kain for his honourable nature, which was very humbling. This was within four months of joining the community, and Kain felt he was settling in very well. His style was improving, adapting to a more hybrid nature, using a varied mix of both heavy and medium stance to aggressively overcome his opponents. He was also beginning to understand how important movement was, outside of the academy in his continued battles on the duel servers, where fierce pokers met him daily. A missed step was instant death in such battles, and it was obvious that mastery of movement was the key to outplaying such players.

Kinship of Battle, Unity of Purpose

It is paramount to note, and should be considered the most character defining incident, that during the first few weeks within the academy the most important event occured - Kain met Masta. The two youths were of a twin nature, and instantly found a convenient and mutually benefiting companionship between themselves. Out of all the students to attend the academy, it is safe to say that none aspired for glory more than Kain and Masta. More to the point, they did not fail to deliver, in terms of proving how capable they could be. They trained together on a daily basis, and monitored each other's progress very closely and quickly became friendly rivals. Unlike the majority of the academy, and likely due to their experience beyond the haven of the academy's servers, the pair were not afraid to incorporate heavy stance in their single saber styles. Consequently, their hybrid approach became a unique affair amongst the tyranny of medium stance dominance within the academy that Kain and Masta so often argued was both limited and boring. Furthermore, the pair found that they were more than happy to tackle players who employed the poking technique head on in the battlefield, as opposed to the majority of the academy whom refrained to engage with such individuals on any combat level in the game - indeed, this stance was so severe that the technique of poking was banned on the academy servers. This style was harshly viewed as cowardly and backwards by Kain, who argued that poking was not likely to be removed as an aspect of the game any time soon, and that the academy players should be more eager to evolve to better themselves. Whilst Masta mostly agreed, he was a lot more humble and understanding in his expression of his views which was to become very characteristic of himself, unlike Kain.

In no time at all the duo became quite notorious amongst their academy peers, for a number of reasons. Primarily they were amongst the best the academy had to offer in terms of sabering ability, with few in the academy able to consistently offering them a satisfying challenge. Secondly they were incredibly active, attending almost all the sabering combat classes, as well as often to be found fooling around on the servers outside of class time. On top of these observations, they also expressed a very successful friendship and it was not unusual for them to be seen enjoying their game time together.

It was during this time that Kain jokingly appended 'z00r' to his nickname. It was nothing short of hilarious when new students would, in all seriousness, refer to Kain as Kainz00r to the pair. As a result Kain found he rather enjoyed the name, and he was often seen in game to apply it as his standard.

It was also around this time that the duo entered the Electronic Sports League, JKA division for the 2v2 league. Inspired by many sources, but most of all a sense of irony the pair named their team [Hacker]. Most notably, they would defeat the incredibly famous Ðureal and his obligatory partner Sadrior in a 2v2, whom at the time were aXiom's flagship 2v2 team. Without a doubt, this was the most elevating conquest Kain would ever take part in throughout any moment he experienced in JKA. This is directly due to the reputation of Ðureal, whom was unarguably the strongest single saber duellist in the EU. As Kain regrettably never bothered to sign up for the 1v1 league on the ESL (as he found they frequented the duel servers for the most part, and thus this was unnecessary) he was not able to challenge Ðureal to an exclusive 1v1, as Ðureal only accepted challenges from those in the top 20 of the 1v1 ESL league. Fortunately however, as Masta and Kain had successfully progressed to the high end of the 2v2 league, aXiom's team were forced to accept the challenge and Kain was given the opportunity to experience Ðureal on the battlefield. Suffice to say, Ðureal was everything Kain had hoped he would be, which made the victory Kain's most treasured, even though it was just for one round and not the entire match.

Concerning matters inside the walls of the academy again however, Kain and Masta enjoyed a long and successful period of enjoyment. They partook of many classes, a lot of training, and ultimately improved themselves on several levels by the time circumstance dictated change.

Student Life

As it was, Kain spent the majority of his time at TJA as a student - it would not be until May 2009 that he would ultimately ascend to the status of Jedi Knight, for several reasons, none of which being his willingness to be privileged with the status. Too many classes to list were enjoyed, most often with Masta by his side. Like many of the other Academy students back in the youth of JKA, Kain was incredibly active and enjoyed a very healthy experience in the game, particularly with TJA for a long time. It wouldn't be until World of Warcraft lured a curious Kain in that his activity would take any notable hit.

Many shenanigans and personal challenges were enjoyed by Kain during his student time - duelling other students, fooling around in the gun fort for something completely different, and occasionally labouring to construct ridiculous trip mine courses that were to be traversed with elegant grace, to avoid destroying in 2 seconds what probably took 10 minutes to build. Every time.

Duelling remained Kain's greatest pursuit, and he would continue his positive start at TJA from his tournament victory to refine his duelling technique. To his benefit, Kain did not exclusively play on TJA's servers but also frequently ventured beyond into the public duel and FFA servers. It was particularly the European duel servers that assisted in shaping Kain into the warrior he would ultimately become, where fierce competition was never hard to find. Not only were the opponents often skilled, but they almost always recklessly employed the very potent poking technique that was abhorred, and consequently forbidden, within TJA's walls. As a direct result Kain was forced to adapt his style on a 'if you're hit, you're dead' basis, not to mention the specifics of timings when attempting to manoeuvre around swings that remained dangerous longer than non-poke swings, reducing the openings and vulnerabilities of a lot of his opponents.

Whilst Kain never approved of the poking exploit that became commonplace in competitive JKA he understood that no fix, be it official or unofficial, would offer a satisfying solution and therefore accepted it as part of the game. As more time passed Kain's attitude paid off, whilst he found a lot of TJA students who preferred the familiarity of TJA's walls and rules faced him in the arena with very limited duelling styles and techniques. Most prevalent of all was a medium stance focused style, championed at the time by Virtue and Jaiko and spread mostly through their teaching and Virtue's very popular class on the stance. Kain and Masta naturally attended this class pretty much every time it was held, as for the most part it was good fun. Unfortunately however, Virtue tended to lead such lessons through dialogue of theory, as opposed to literal practice of the techniques. Whilst Kain didn't fully agree with this approach, he still enjoyed himself and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere.

The epidemic of Virtue's influence became so extreme in fact that Kain and Masta became a novel pair, not only due to their kinship but simply because they employed the strong stance in their single saber styles. It was still good practice within the walls of TJA however, as by this point most students more or less exclusively employed the use of medium stance. This offered Kain many opportunities to refine his air to ground heavy stance attacks, as he worked on minimising any vulnerabilities his attacks offered his opponents - which evolved from 'useful' to 'necessary', as fierce duellists also developed their styles more, now often including poked yellow swings which would often remove at least 50% of their opponents total hit points, or outright slay them.

Jedi Academy Aurochs

To be continued.


As Kain outgrew most of his peers at TJA, he began to focus his attentions on amusing himself elsewhere more often, which brings us to the next chapter.

"We don't go to JA+ servers anymore..."

Bluntly put, JA+ was a plague mod that numbed the skills of any duellists whom spent too much time on the infected server(s). It also unfortunately became the de facto server mod for clans operating FFA servers due to it's flamboyant mod commands that basejka lacked. Most of these benefits were frivolous, and none were worth the loss of the games (admittedly already limited) combat integrity, but that didn't seem to bother most of these clans too much. A lot of these clans happened to be US as well, which in conjunction with the JA+ mod gave Kain a very curious experience when trying to duel - sort of like trying to wield a sword underwater, whilst being forced to blink every few seconds and miss a heartbeat of the action, with a sprinkle of divine intervention at all the wrong moments.

Clan Experience on US JA+ servers - yeah, it happened.

Against competently trained opponents the above would have been a problem, but the JA+ clan dwellers had succumbed deep to the plague and as it were, the restraints placed on Kain whilst he visited their servers only served to make the duels look like a battle as opposed to delayed slaughter. During one of these visits on a particularly fateful eve Kain would cross paths with the Corrupted Jedi Order (CJO), and find them to be relaxed, enjoyable company. Being the night owl that he was, night time became Kain's CJO time for quite a long period (a circumstance that would transfer well to the Aurochs' US matches) and they quickly made him at home. Kain thoroughly enjoyed his time amongst CJO despite having to endure and tolerate an infected server. He steadily ascended the ranks of the clan and was ultimately appointed as one of the 3 leaders of the clan to help administrate business alongside Ghost and Mechanix, particularly the server and warfare side. Kain was also the go to training officer, being the strongest duellist of the clan.

Kain grew to share a strong sense of kinship with his CJO clan members, and he took pride in delivering ruin upon it's foes for them.

It was during his experience with CJO that Kain had his one and only Padawan, a Swedish gentleman by the name of TuX. Kain's Padawan was everything Kain was when he took his first steps into JKA; clumsy, enthusiastic, friendly and active. The tutelage worked both ways too, as this was the first time Kain had really attempted to consistently mentor anyone in the art of duelling, and as he began to break his style and techniques down to basics he was able to evaluate himself from a new perspective. TuX never did develop into a duelling legend, but he certainly gave as good as he got on most servers and that was more than enough for him. Being a more knowledgeable and experienced individual in general compared to Kain outside of JKA, he would often inadvertently remind Kain of humility during their lessons in the art of the saber.

Not all US JA+ clan environments were as positive as CJO however, and Kain often indulged in visiting such servers at random and testing his skill against whatever clan he would meet. Inevitably Kain ran into very confident individuals, who would desperately search for any excuse to plausibly explain their losses for any other reason than 'outplayed'. Whilst these duels were rarely a significant effort for Kain they did provide him with some amusing encounters.

Exhausted tolerance

To be continued.

Journey and Destination, Official Success and Personal View

To be continued.