About Ecco the Dolphin Online
 
about ecco the dolphin online

About Ecco the Dolphin Online

arkonviox meeting ed annunziata

On November 2019 I had the honor of meeting Ecco's creator Ed Annunziata at a meet in greet for the event Video Games Live.

On November 10th 2019 I made the decision to begin a new Ecco the Dolphin community. That isn’t to say the Ecco community didn’t already exist. There are legions of Ecco fans out there with little to no knowledge of a community. New developments by fans seemed to only pop up once every 4-5 years. While the official sources have been silent for nearly two decades. What was once a thriving community of people under a single banner had now scattered about. Fans had been creating new works almost frequently yet no one was really talking about them. Alot of resources that once were available had long become lost. The Ecco the Dolphin franchise had many great games that deserved to be cataloged and preserved. Yet no one had interest in taking up this task.

I asked myself many times “Do I really want to be doing this again?...Do I really want to start a new Ecco the Dolphin community?” Twenty years ago I was Arkonviox, I ran what was at the time a successful Ecco the Dolphin website that faded into obscurity. It was one of the first communities dedicated to Ecco the Dolphin. My community focused on works by fans: artwork, remixes and stories. The problem with that kind of community was it relied on fan’s contributions. As the internet grew many artists featured their content on their own space. This caused many people to lose interest in smaller fan driven communities like mine. What once made my community special was now lost. I worked very hard to build that community and now it was all gone in an instant.

This new community would be different. I was already working on reverse engineering the Mega Drive versions of Ecco the Dolphin. I would be producing alot of my own material. Content that I hoped to provide to others so that they can use it toward their own projects. I wanted to build a community that not only focused on preserving the resources, but documenting and researching them. I wanted to reverse engineer the game’s secrets and share them with the world! Taking apart these old games and seeing how they clicked was part of a bigger project I been trying to do my entire life. A project I had dreamed about as a kid. I wanted to build my own game engine!

arkonviox vs ecco the dolphin

The name Arkonviox comes from a character my brother had created when we were children. He was one of the many antagonists from our Ecco the Dolphin story.

A big reason I decided to return to all of this was simple. Twenty years ago I gave up on my old website and was never happy with leaving it unfinished. In 2014 I nearly brought my dream into a reality and built a functional Ecco the Dolphin like game engine. I gave up on that as well. I spent most of my life putting alot of work into developing these things only to leave them unfinished. In the old days I talked big but never delivered, I felt now was a better time than any to finally put up or shut up!

So it began...I would name this new community Ecco the Dolphin Online. The name symbolized a foreshadowing of things to come. The goal of Ecco Online was to breathe new life into the community and take it to the next level. I wanted to do something no one else in any community has ever done. I imagined Ecco Online raising the bar to what all fan communities built around a franchise should strive for. Our focus is to preserve all resources from the games and provide them online through a digital repository. In addition we want to produce a collection of research materials from our reverse engineering efforts. Over time I want Ecco Online to become a community driven website that focuses on all aspects of the Ecco universe! With that said we are always looking for people willing to contribute!

~ Johnny "Arkonviox" de Alba