Whos Best (Hidden Page #2)

A Description of what is going on

Ok, I finally revised this page. For those that never got the hint about the old page, this is the Who's Best in Kart hidden page #2! Basically it was the 2nd hidden page project I finished along with the several that I never finished. Originally I had like 10 gold players, quite a few silvers, and many broze persons of honor. Since this time, alot has changed, and we now have more persons deserving of the gold status.

You may ask what we are looking for. It is pretty simple really. First of all, you most likely have to be around a long time, so a history of being a part of kart is the first qualification. Being consistent for the many months, and what is that... YEARS of playing kart, and doing what it takes to earn that honor. Also, it doesn't hurt to be one of the top players of an era. That is pretty much what we are looking for in a nut shell.

Through Kart history, a select group of players have really made us proud, and will be up there for others to look up to, as they attempt to elevate their game to this insane level. The first Paragraph in a different color will be why they deserve to be here. After that, the story of the players career is displayed as they have earned to be here. With no further adue, it's time to honor these players.

The Old Skoolers

1. Jonathan Bernier (11/97)

Jonathan Bernier won this honor after he went from Star Fox 64 to Mario Kart 64. He started out with top times almost from the get go, and between 8/97 and 10/97, he went from top 5 to become the world champion. The King Ranking was created because of Jonathan Bernier, and cause of this, he is the first person that did what it took to be recognized as who's best. Throughtout the years, he maintained a top 15 rating and is still among the bests.

Jonathan Bernier had a backround of great gaming. He was a high scorer and achiever at almost any game he picked up. He even played kart a bit early, but the game just didn't hold an interest to him at first. He did things in many other N64 games that compare to the best. Games like Star Wars, and Star Fox were some of his games that he was good at. It wasn't until the Nintendo BBS, and the presence of a recruiter, did he realize that Kart 64 Time Trials was something he should put his energy into.

Kevin Booth got a good look at his times and was instantly excited. He was a Professional right off the bat. He had several times that could place on Andy's page. He got his times up, but was instantly under suspicion for some of his records. His Rainbow and Mario Raceway times just seemed too good. He supplied proof, and from then on, Bernier made a run at stardom. He started at a time where Engel was out, Whalls was hitting hard, and Kevin saw his ace in the hole. Bernier was trying to gain recognition with consistant play, but Booth was just hitting the game just a little harder each time. However, Bernier did get the best of Booth in several locations.

SC's were beginning to be his trademark and he had records in several of them. He even beat Booth's Legendary 3'55 in Rainbow with a statment. He was dominant in Turnpike SC, and built a good standing there. He fought off Huntsman and Booth in DK Jungle and many other SC's. Bernier became Elite in late August.

However one thing eluded Bernier, the #1 rank. He was good and even great in some places, but he was missing something from his game. He first passed retired Whalls and made his way to the top. He then passed Andy Launspach after a bit, but that was even a good battle. Kevin got his tape and completed his game. Bernier was overlooked forever for #1, and kept getting even more consistant. Bernier then got Booth's Tape, and started killing everyone.

Bernier started doing the first combined SC and Non-SC dominance to date. He placed in about every track, and set several WR's on both fields. He built up a pretty big lead. He was challenged by Horwitz's New Non-SC times, but his SC stuff was just too good. Booth was starting to struggle a bit, but was still in good spirits. He took a good lead into December. He then went into Diddy Kong Racing with Booth and beat him there too. He then got back to Kart, and let the world feel his fury.

He built a 100+ Combined LAUNDA POINT lead, and kinda relaxed on this lead after his final karting efforts for the month of January. He then watched Dave Hines have a great month, however Booth was nowhere to be seen in the Kart World. He was so busy with Diddy, he had no time for kart. Booth was a hasbeen, and Bernier had a #1 rock that was unclimbable.. or was it?

In Late January, Booth announces a new WR out of the blue in Choco SC Lap. After that, Booth got motivated and was chopping the lead off. Bernier wasn't worried at first, but after awhile, his 100+ went down to 80-70-60-40-30.... and so on.

Late February, Booth was closing out his weakpoints, and even took the lead in Non-SC from Bernier. However Bernier still had SC, though. Bernier came back and defended nicely. Booth still had a bit more in him, and just fell short of taking Bernier. Andy refered to this as Booth's final hill to climb before greatness. A PAL-VERSION Champion, by the name of Peter Elsaesser came on the NTSC scene and set some WR's that killed Booth's efforts. Booth then took one back, and disappeared out of site. Bernier now had no reason to play, and wouldn't until Booth once again did a number on him.

Booth shows up again, and goes on another tear. This time he hits all his weak points and turns them to strengths. He even beat him out in June on many vital stats. Bernier was no longer #1, so Bernier came back with a vengance and got it back with hardly any trouble. He built his SC Points to a record 181/200! Andy had his 298/320, so this is Bernier's answer to that. Bernier has been no higher than 288. However, the SC competition wasn't as fierce in comparison to NonSC.

Bernier then hit Non-SC, cause he cleaned everyone in SC. Him, Elsaesser, and Booth battled on every track. The 3 Kings set very hard times everywhere. Booth was struggling and fell to 3rd place overall. Peter was strong, and he took Bernier there. Bernier fought back one last time, but Peter was dominant.

Slowly but surely Bernier looses his records in Non-SC, however his SC stuff still stands, and that will keep him afloat as Booth and Elsaesser battle it out. Elsaesser is getting the best of it however.

Later on Elsa takes all the NTSCers for a bit, and Bernier officially retires! Bernier does briefely come back in a big way with several new SC WR's and Great times on LR and 2 WR's on Moo Moo Farm... After that, he hasn't shared any news on times... Bernier's greatness for almost a year is a great determinant on why he should be concidered the best ever. His success was more spread out than Andy's and reached through more eras. Plus he had SC too. However, you must remember, he did dominate when Kart was weak, and the greats were either retired or struggling. So the question remains unanswered.

UPDATE:

Yes, on the first Gold Players, I have already typed these things up, and you have already read them, but quite a few times, stuff happened after the update of whos best. Bernier came back many times and stayed with the best players. Although he'd never be #1 again, he went up there with the Legends, and closed out his career at Legend A. Even if none of Berniers world records remain, he always will be concidered among the best to ever pick up the controller.

2. Kevin Booth (2/98)

Well Kevin Booth has been around from the start. He has logged more time trials hours than anyone in the world, and holds many other unique honors that other players may never accomplish. Anyhow, it was clear Booth deserved to be a part of the gold bunch after a strong 3rd comeback into kart, where he nearly catches and passes Jonathan Bernier for the top spot in the world. He actually did do so later in year, but it was what he did with a year of kart under the belt that put him among the best ever.

Anyhow, Kevin Booth used his proflie last time instead of an entry to whos best, so instead, one will now be written out.

Kevin Booth started his career in GP on 2/13/97 and started time trials at 2/19/97. He first only focused on getting the best Luigi Raceway 3lap and fastlap times he could. He used DK at first, until his brother advised him to use a different character. He beat his opposition, Salam Salhani for the world record, so he set his sights on other courses.

He pretty much had his way early, as he dominated the game, until Gregg Gorczowski ripped him a new hole. Booth had a new challege at this point, but he stepped up to the plate and beat him back within a month with his consistent game.

April was a very good month for him, as he dominated the field again, and was learning how to do the shortcuts, so he could increase his domination even further. Booth was the first person to figure out how to use Choco Mountain Shortcut to get a sub 1'30 time. He mastered the technique of sliding and using the grey wall to get the SC to work. He of course didn't discover this shortcut, cause it was already hinted on many sites that this area is suspect for a shortcut, but never the less, that was that. The best memorys of april have to include the 3'55"00 on rainbow road, and crushing the field on Toad's Turnpike.

May was sorta different though. Andy Launspach came on the scene, and pretty much dominated him til the end of summer. Jason Engel was clearly better, and Jason Whalls even was ahead of him on and off during this time. Still though, the summer was very special to Booth, and he learned alot from the competition here. Although not his strongest era, it was very memorable. Plus this is where Booth got motivated to start Kart 64 Players, and well, that is why any of you care about this now :)

The years last months had Booth #1 for awhile, til Bernier got experienced, and crushed him. Booth still held many world records during this time period, and was still playing a level of kart anyone would be proud of. He did go to DKR for awhile, and during that time, he wasn't sure if he was going to ever play kart again.

The 3rd comeback hit, and he got is CM lap of 22"19*, and from that, he went on an insane run, where he ended up nearly passing Bernier before it was all said and done.

The 4th comeback was probably the most important of the comebacks. This is not cause he eventually did retake Bernier for world champion, but cause everyone started playing again cause of it, and him getting his site going again. So many great times were hit, but the most shocking was the breaking of the most tied WR in history! FS SC lap of 5"45* (from 5"47). During this comeback, he competed with Bernier and Elsaseser, til he finally was defeated by both of them.

Bernier retired shortly after that, but a silent stalker has now been revealed. Alex Penev has been following Booth's career since 1997, but since there was no way for PAL players to become members of the site, he was not discovered for a very long time. He turned to be Booth's only competition at the end of 1998.

1999 was a difficult year for Booth. He went from #2 in the world, to #9 this year. Many great players and new faces came to be. Brian Gallo, Peter Elsaesser, Jonathan Bernier, Steven Zwartjes, Greg Ihnatenko, Myles Bukrim, Jason Whalls, and Mike Simmons were all at one point passed Booth in the standings. Still, Booth kept playing and bettered his times, and reached most of his goals.

2000 wasn't by any means a breakthrough year, but Booth did do something he was very proud of that year. He hit his goal of 2'29"96 on Toad's Turnpike to beat what some other dude in Oregon Claimed that lied of 2'29"97. There were other more special moments, but nothing quite sticks out like this does. He quietly repassed retired players this year. He even went on an 11 game PR streak as a legend, and only Alex Penev has matched this accomplishment.

2001 wasn't much for karting, til halfway through the year, where he got motivated cause of the twin galaxies competition. He did finish the year hitting some of the harder SC's for the first time. He hit LR myle style, KD SC, and WS SC mylestye, as well as improving most his weaker SC times as well as he could.

In conclusion, Booth definitely has been around for ages, and even though he's not apart of the championship picture anymore, he still has alot of top 5 times, in both Non-sc and SC, and it is very clear that he deserves to be among the golds, after all this time!

3.Peter Elsaesser (8/98)

I think after Peter Elsaesser was the best of the 3 Kings, he proved he was worthy of gold status as eary as mid 1998. later on, as he battled Brian Gallo for #1 overall, it reemphasized why Peter deserves to be here. He did retire after this point, but he had a great career, and he does have a few times that are still the envy of most the kart field.

Peter had a great backround with the PAL system in Super Mario Kart. He held PAL records here and there from time-to-time. When he broke to the 64 version, he was even greater. Him, and a few others dominated PAL! Austria had a strong N64 Organization, and through them, he eventually got a NTSC system, and through Dave, he met the best in the world outside of PAL.

No one knew about the hidden talent of the PAL players before Peter. Many separated or converted the times, but until a player playes both, no one knows or can know. Now it's answered. Peter immediately hit #3 in the world overnight, and earned the King Rating!

He set many WR's and 2nd places in NTSC. After April, he turned the field over to Wonn's SC talents. Most of April was down time for Non-SC racing. Finally, Booth comes back and does damage. Booth was most likely #3 before he did his deed, and snuck back to #2 before Andy's Update. Peter was close, so he knew he could do it.
Even through good runs by Booth and Bernier, Elsaesser remained strong. He passed Booth in Non-SC by placing everywhere. Then he started battling Bernier. Bernier was still stronger forever until Elsaesser set WR's in Moo Moo, Kalimari, Frappe, Choco, Mario and several other courses. Bernier fought back one last time, but Peter remained strong.

The unfortunate part is that his country required military service and he was forced into retirement in October. Peter has slown down as of late, but he still sets killer times and is building his lead up. Will he be caught in Non-SC before retirement? If not, does he deserve best ever via Non-SC greatness? 14 days after his retirement he got caught. This was the exact time it took to get the lead over Booth when he was inactive!

Ok, after I wrote all of this, Peter got back from the military and took back the NTSC championship in a month later....

Gallo and him are still battling strong, but once again, I'm quite a ways behind. So is Elsa really the best ever? He has had some great times. I think the only arguments there are is his SC's for the most part, and his ranking before he broke into the NTSC business. However, he recently set an SC WR on Rainbow SC (which was broken soon after)! So he could do SC's we figure, he just dislikes them, especially the short ones. Well is he the best ever? Definitely one of the best, but Best Ever is yet to be determined...

UPDATE:

Nothing much left. He played for awhile after this battle, for he reached Legend B, along with all the other amazing players, but after awhile of this, he retired and for good. Before he left, he did set a few strong times. The best time to date is what he did on Frappe Snowland 3lap Non-sc. Him and Gallo really drove that time down, and their times still stand as the #1 and #2 times as of 2/02! That says something! Anyhow, Peter still stands out as one of the stronger Non-sc players of the time.

4. Jason Whalls (10/98)

It was very apparant that Whalls belonged among the gold winners after he broke out of retirement and went from sub top 10 to 4th in the world! Later on, his #1 rating in shortcuts, and first to 52/52 Legend pretty much means he is among the golds to stay!

Jason Whalls is possibly the best example of the silent killer. He started out very far behind the pak, and has played catchup through his career. He first beat Steven Kittel as his right of passage. Then came Launspach and Engel on Chuck's Page to Rock Whalls' World. If that wasn't enough, Booth came in and make it a 4-some on a very competitive summer long round of golf-like attributes.

As Jason Whalls was getting par for the course, the others were getting Birdies and Eagles so to speak. However, Whalls had his share of under pars, and he built his foundation upon them. Moo Moo, Choco, Sherbet, DK Jungle, YV lap, and Banshee were tracks he would at times give no mercy to people. It didn't matter that he was ranked #4 or 5 or 3 or whatever at the time. When Whalls felt a track was his, no one could touch it. His favorite tracks switched daily, and his drivers even more. He was best known for his constant improvements and his strive for greatness over the summer months.

Whalls eventually learned some strats to build upon his own already good strats and rose to the occasion to hold #2 for awhile. He then did killer, and retired at #3 before several other great Karters would blow past him. Keep in mind he never lost all his LAUNDA POINTS entirely.

Whalls got involved in Diddy Kong in 1998, and after defeating Louis became undisputed #1 by the end of the spring. He was strongest in the Hovercraft, and\ hardly allowed ANYONE to slip in a WR. His dominance there was clear.

When he saw Booth start on his comeback, he decided he would give it a try. At first, he would get nothing. At one time, he starts improving on Royal. first the fastlap then the 3lap. This was the start to something big.

He then eventually expanded this effort to a full comeback, and was so consistant, he won POM the next 2 months and only won 1 POW in the process. Whalls' first goal was to get top 10's, then top 5's. After he did that, he improved upon his 5th to 4ths and then 4ths become 3rds or better. Eventually he started his summer stardom by becoming Rainbow Whalls! He took out Bernier in Non-SC. He even takes out Booth in MR SC lap! He earns more and more Non-SC points on his way to 4th place and a King D Rank.

To sum up the rest, Whalls eventually became one of the best ever. He won September's POM, and plays until Late October. To this time he dominates Banshee, which is a track that he has always been proficient in, and gets very competitive times mostly everywhere else. He took a brief break to play some playstation games, but was back in force to get a 3/4's majority in the Royal Records.

Later, Jason comes back again after some PSX stuff and Zelda. He sets some times whenever he felt like it and remained a strong influence. He's quite aways behind in 4th in the NTSC. He recently passed back Bernier so now he is in Limbo til he gets my tape.

Perhaps someday Whalls could be competing for World's Best, but that is not Whalls' way. He will get their one step at a time, and he will do it HIS WAY! He has all the talent as a world champion, and he has proven it in 2 other games for the N64... Diddy Kong Racing, and 1080*. So he knows what it's like to taste gold, so look out for Jason!

UPDATE:

Well I would like to say that Jason Whalls still had much more to do. He still stuck around in the top 10 forever, and with another great POW performing month, he beat out Greg Ihnatenko for the first to earn 52/52 Legend Times! After that, he has had moment to moment kart comebacks, but nothing as memorable as the rest of his career. Still he is probably the 2nd guy you would mention as far as longetivity goes in kart, right under Booth. He's been around just about as long, and really who besides Booth and Whalls still are around from 1997? Ya, he hasn't really been too active, but he's not retired or anything, and you can usually expect a kart run or 2 a year, depending on what games get released.

5. Alex Penev (11/98)

Ok, as you will see below there, he was the most comparable player to Jonathan Bernier, as far as overall ability in this game. Until Gallo, Elsa, and Later, Zwartjes challeged, it was clear he was destined to just wipe out the competiton. As he passed Booth for first place in the world, he just kept pounding and about a month after Whalls earned the honor, Penev proved he deserved it, and is definitely one of the best in kart history!

Alex Penev! Alex Penev! Alex Penev! What can I say about this phenomenal player? Next to Bernier, I think this is the player that most continued to suprise and set standards that I never thought he could. He didn't start out as good as he was at the time he wrote that. He first thought that he sucked cause he didn't realize that PAL systems were slower. Later, Rob Eisler informed him of this, and he was off. Early on, he was close to my level, but still a good distance behind.

he sorta played other games for a while, but later on, he found Andy's Page, and submitted his times converted. He forgot to mention that his times were converted, so when he did, Andy and I were a bit disappointed and where at a loss for words. Andy refered him to Rex's site, and I just didn't say much. I kinda felt a little foolish when I said that he would be in the top 5 in the world in NTSC back then. Well to sum it up, he got extra motivated, and within a month, took the Championship and hasn't reliquished it since October 1st 1998!

Booth, Elsasseer, and Gallo have been close, but Penev still hangs on.... Ok... As I said, first mention of him was when he was about 6th Place in the world at Andy's site. Andy was instantly excited and send him a letter of welcome. You should have seen Andy now. This was the first time he was excited about his site and Kart for months. His updates were getting rare, and I think this would have kept him motivated to continue the page, but alas... he was a PAL player, and PAL conversions were a very frown upon thing back then, so he directed him to Rex's... I sent him a mail but got no response.

His PAL work was nice, and he made SC's best very quickly. However, Non-SC he had great challenges. First he took out past greats like Edwin Peeters, and Steven Zwartjes! However, Alex had his work cut out for him when it came to Peter Elsaesser. Peter has now played both NTSC and PAL and is leading both in Non-SC Stats. Did Alex really think he was gonna beat the great Elsaesser? Well...

This amazing 16-year old went on a tear, and redid his whole 52 boards almost in the same week. This alone made him a contender. He ended up catching Peter with some amazing Lap Racing, and captured the PAL Championship for 6 days. Peter fought back, and killed inexperienced Champ Penev. Well, Penev was not going to stand for this, so just a short day after he went to the military, Penev passed both Elsa and Booth to get the overall and never look back!

Never have I seen such dominance since the days of Bernier. He set more nice WR's than I could mention. Let's just say he held a comparable 80-90 LAUNDA lead over me, and had half of all Overall WR's if converted. Jason Whalls was a very big critic of conversions, and for the most part, I have to agree with some of his reasoning, so I have maintained a 2 body championship system. From the day there was a disagreement, the championship has been broken down to 2 parts... NTSC and PAL! I only count the overall for my purposes, but I have kept them separate, to reflect the division in Kart. This problem was also talked about in the SMK days, so we aren't alone in our arguments.

Penev later cooled off, and quit playing. He lent his system to a friend, so I saw a chance to catch him. I was extra motivated cause I beat back Peter in the NTSC. I had a better matchup with him at one point, but his LAUNDA, REX and Total times kept him ahead. Let's just say he came back and did a Bernier number on me. Since then, he has held a comfortable lead 'til recently. Now it's a 4-way battle with me playing spoiler! Peter got so close to taking it, but he is hanging on. At this time, Penev is putting on a very secretive run. This time of Kart could become very quiet, cause a championship is at stake!

My last words on Penev??? I think he is by far an easy contender for Who's The Best Ever! What is there to say he hasn't done? I think the only thing against him is he has only been around for awhile, and that he refuses to use the NTSC format. Other than that, what can you not say he can do? This is much like Bernier... He can do it all, so Penev will always be mentioned among the best players in the history of this game no matter what happens from here! Will he be the best ever.. only time will tell!

UPDATE:

Basically in 1999, and later in 2000, Players like Gallo and Elsaesser and Zwartjes really stepped it up, and showed how lacking Penev was in Non-sc. Later even Simmons, which has been traditionally stronger at SC was giving him a battle, so Penevs clear dominance was definitely in question. HOwever, he's still around, and does play on occasion. He is #1 in Shorcuts as of 2/02 over Miller, and his successfully defending Cetin and Lacey from Non-sc, so I don't think we can mark him down for too much now. As you can tell, at the time this was written, we had separate PAL and NTSC lists, but now we have a combined list with systems, to the dismay of some, but overall, I guess we take the good with the bad.

6. Brian Gallo (2/99)

Brian Gallo gained acclaim as the guy that had the Sampras/Aggassi type battle with Peter Elsaesser. He played 2nd fiddle to Booth for a few months in NTSC, but from that, he learned humility, and became a great champion in Non-sc. For this, he's mentioned among the golds for history to see!

Brian Gallo... He may be one of the most mysterious players Since Matt Horwitz or Jim Quinn. Brian is a player with such ability, but his motivation is the key, and in the past, it has been in Kart and in other games, so at first he wasn't very consistent. Not being in the circle 'til recent months stunted his growth, and the controversy over his stats was even worse. However, Brian handled this very well, and eventually got invited to be a part of the community. REX first accepted him, but Booth wanted to be sure. Later Booth did some negotiating and got him on his way. From this point on, He took off and eventually got the #1 NTSC spot on and off for a bit. Peter took it back but Brian promises a rebuttal!

Gallo, like many other players has always had a thing with that first level.... Luigi Raceway. Unknown to most, after I set my WR there, just weeks later, Gallo passed me!!! By March he was in the low 1'39's and his friend was at the claimed 1'39"11! Brian also set a Rainbow WR and a couple others in Bowser's Castle and Frappe Snowland. These records where not public 'til he put up a site. This, of course, didn't happen until later on.

So how did Kart find out about Brian? This is a strange, but nessessary tale to tell. Did you know that TYLER STOBBE was the first person to know that he played Kart 64? Seriously, it is true! Only Tyler never told me. I later found out when I was looking for recruits once more in June 98. I saw in the Diddy page guestbook that a HimerMan@aol.com signed it and answered yes to my sneeky question at the bottom! "Do you also play Kart 64 Time Trials?" Everyone always wondered why I did this... It was to refer them to my player's page ages ago.

Anyhow, I finally saw him online and asked about his times. He gave me a few of them, and I chatted with him for awhile. He had to go, but I told him to stay in touch. Little did I know that this very Instant Message would be grounds for a nasty controversy later on. Meanwhile, Gallo was setting Diddy Kong Times on My Diddy page that was being currently run by Whalls. Stobbe ran it for awhile, but quit once his access was gone. Jason took over once I said if he wanted the job, it's all his 'cause I wanted nothing to do with it. I had bad experiences with that page, and wanted to to distance myself from it.

Crud, here I'm supposed to talk about Gallo, and I go off on a tangent.. Ok, to get back on task... Gallo started to Kart again. His times were very suspicious, especially when he was explaining the strats. Things didn't seem to make sense, and Jason, of course, was a big critic of both his Diddy and Kart times. Cause of this, Gallo didn't play Kart much, and was not eligible for many frills like my page and Andy's Page. Jason wasn't too suspicious 'til I sent him that conver, and in it, the times didn't match, and there were many other contradictions.

At this point, there was a separation in Kart. I was neutral, but a little angry cause I didn't understand what was going on. Whalls was leading the critics, and others like Hines and Horwitz were sticking up for Gallo. This was ugly indeed. I chose to ignore this for a time, but I knew I had to make this right. So I finally decided to talk to Gallo, and make a deal with him. Since he couldn't get proof to me, I would ask him tons of questions, and if he answered them all correctly, and they all explained why everything has happened, I would finally make him a profile.

Well he did well, but that original statement of his just made him look too bad, and his descriptions of his strats were just too confusing. Well REX made his site cause of Andy's not updating, and he decided to give Gallo a chance. Cause of this, I did list him in the stat's but no profile yet. I even refused to rank him for the longest time. I guess you can say I was a bit harsh, but I couldn't much help it with the vibes going around kart. Whalls then refused to send his times to Rene and almost did the same to me!!! I had to forward Jason's times around so everyone got them. I think this incident finally convinced Andy to get out of the Karting Business. Well, I didn't have the guts to tell Andy that I told Rene to start his site, so at first, I was gonna handle Andy's site... Then I declined and told him the truth... Well Andy was pissed at me for awhile, but he got over it...life goes on.

Once again, I'm off on a tangent... Ok, as of now, Kart was looking like it was gonna die, especially since Zelda was coming out. Luckily for Kart, Gallo had other ideas... Eventually, I broke a deal with Jason Whalls, which was the leading body against allowing Gallo to be a part of the community. I negotiated proof at January 1999, and in return, he gets in the circle. Everyone loved this new resolution and it was said and done! This was later extended in secret to March 1999 in a deal to get new recruits validated...

From here, Gallo took off and flew past people in the ladder. He even tried SC's again to get fully rated, but knew Non-SC was the ticket. He later passed Whalls and Bernier, and was one of the people to beat in Non-SC. Not 'til he started attacking his weaknesses (fastlaps) did he really look like he was gonna catch up to Elsaesser and Booth. Well, I showed him something that was in my guestbook... (I won't elaborate, but it's the reason I still played) and Brian really took off. He had a great month and won his first awards towards the end of the year.

At this point, I told Gallo he will be champ someday. I predicted January 1999. What we didn't expect was Bernier making a last stab, and Elsaesser coming back from the military. This hurt Gallo for a while, but he trudged on and eventually got the NTSC Championship. Him and Elsa see-sawed, but in the end, Elsa got the best of Brian. Gallo swears to get it back, and with style.

Ok, As far as Gallo goes, he is definitely one of the best, and soon he shall be validated officially. He is the most recent addition to the Golden Club, and we are proud to list him among the greats. At times, Gallo is just plain amazing. He can do about everything he puts his mind to! His lap weakness has been taken away as well. Only SC's and his occasional inconsistency are questions that arrise. Also, the fact that he hasn't been in the circle for long keeps him from being the best of the best, but what most don't know is Gallo has the potential to get to the level of all the great Champions fefore him, and I have a feeling Gallo ain't finished yet! WTG Brian! Keep up the good work!

UPDATE:

Well MR. Gallo still had quite a few good times, and held #1 overall for a very long time, til Steven Zwartjes became very strong, and than the new conversion rate of 1.2024 came down to be. Gallo lost motivation to play, and than lost his thunder. Still, before he left, he still set many WRs and alot of the still stand on various courses. People still don't even get close to his DK 3lap and CM lap.

7. Myles Bukrim (7/99)

While Gallo is definitely one of the most mysterious, Bukrim is the most unique. Myles brought some of the most innovative styles of play to Mario Kart 64 since the feared 4 era. He played the game with heart, and catapolted himself into the championship hunt in late 1999. For these things and some of his memorable and attention grabbing world records, and discoveries, Myles deserves to be a member of the gold crew.

Myles wasn't always the great karter he is today. He was another who started his career very late (March 1998). At one point he wasn't even the best in his family! His sister used to be better, but he quickly beat her, and continued to advance his career. He first found Dave Hines' site, and was impressed at how fast they were there. You can imagine what he thought when he saw Andy's!!! Well, that wasn't gonna stop Myles.

He found Whalls' very outdated strategy page and picked up some helpful tips. While there, he read Booth's Kalimari strat that was used long ago. With this, he reached the Top 10 in the world on a course for the first time in his career! He then mailed Whalls and thanked him for the help. Booth later received this mailing, but never actually ran into Myles for a while. Booth noticed his amazing potential and started helping him out. Alex Penev saw the same, and helped him too.

Later on, after achieving his goal of passing Launspach, he began setting WR's and received some tape help from Booth. Now Myles is shooting for the stars, and he could be among the golds someday with his dedication to the game!

Okay, from the start now, Myles is in general a pretty accomplished gamer...so he's no Bernier, but as far as other games go, he's right up there, and is arguably a better gamer than Booth overall. His flare and intensity is outdone by no one, except possibly Alex Penev. However, this is a Kart tribute, so I shall continue.

Myles first got noticed on Dave Hines' site as stated above. He was filling some dead space on the site at this time. He dreamed someday of catching up to these times, but never really thought of this as a reasonable goal. However, hee did have the bragging rights of being the best in West Virginia, so he definitely had a start.

His first glimpse of stardom started when he wasn't even an elite level player. He set a time in Kalimari lap thanx to Whalls' strat page which was worthy of Andy Launspach's Page. He submitted his 3lap that fell short 'cause it said to give a full submission or the time could be discarded. Well, Myles made the submission and the time got on the page...but Andy made a remark to Myles. He got a little unglued about that 3lap time that didn't make it. Andy didn't understand that he misunderstood the instructions, and send a harsh letter about sending times that are not worthy and wasting his time with them. Well, let's say from that day on, Myles' goal was to beat Andy Launspach! This is no easy goal, and for all you out there who don't go back far enough, we were all getting stomped by him for ages! So how, you ask, could Myles possibly reach this goal?????

It wasn't easy, that's for sure. Myles knew none of the strats of late, and was sorta isolated at first. He finally ran into Booth, and with his and Penev's help, he met the others and started destroying every track! None of us knew at this time of his motivation. We all just thought he saw the ladder, and wanted to climb it at a fast pace. Other players helped him, and he became yet another Phenom! Myles was our hope for a player that would do great, and continue to do great! Players like Crowley, Fiduk, Towles, and Nguyen all had the chance and ability, but quit playing for their own reasons.

Myles kept going, and by november was getting the attention of the Karting Circle bigtime! He was gaining lots of respect from the best, and was even getting pointage! He was crusin' in Non-SC, but his SC was just good enough to count as completed. Many courses, he strugged at first, but later were made strong as well.

When he became elite, he encountered a stumbling block that was a pre-Launspach Goal. His name... Veteran Nathan Johnson. Cocky Johnson was a big critic of Myles' game and sought to destory him in any way possible. This wasn't a friendly rivalry to say the least. Nathan didn't want any West Virginian to beat him, and at the end of November a historic battle began. Hours apart, each set mass PRs in a race for dominance! This was a very exciting time. Booth stayed up all night to find out who would capture POW! Myles won, but it was a hard fought victory. He had to set 6 PRs in less than 2 hours to clinch this title from Nathan Johnson. From that point on, Myles was better than ever, and maybe at his best, and as for Nathan Johnson...he was left behind to kind of fade away.

Myles was on FIRE!!! Everything he touched became golden. However the crowning moment was when he finally beat Andy Launspach in Time Trials. At this point, he typed up his Video Game History in pride, and a big weight was lifted from his shoulders. Although he reached his goal, he realized that he was now a contender and must continue to play as intense as ever.

Myles, at this point wanted to make up for the disappointment that he had from Andy's site shutting down, and decided to design a new site... The Top 15! this site would feature both PAL and NTSC players, and would even help the Player's Page with some vital stats and figurings. Well, that idea was later expanded to The Top 25. Man, this was a project! Karting time was harder with this site, but he still managed as many with sites do.

During Winter Break, he flew up the ladder. He was now a King level player, and it was harder for him to improve as he was doing before. He did experience a slowdown in PRs, but he got past that and continued to thrive. He passed players like David Wonn, Matt Horwitz and Louis-Philippe Sabbagh. His new goal was to catch players like Dave Hines and Iacopo Sorce. During this time, he even set is first WR! He took a strat that Alex Penev told him about and set an amazingly faster lap on Frappe SC! Later, he ended up being the only player at 5"41 on this board but much later was caught by others.

Eventually he caught Iacopo, but what he didn't expect was Iacopo fighting back. Iacopo started a nice friendly rivalry with Myles in Non-SC. They both ended up teaming up to catch Dave, though, as he was now inactive. They both finally caught him, but not before Mike Simmons passed them all due to outstanding playing and help from a Booth tape! They later passed him back and had a grand battle.

Myles got Booth's tape just recently and set more WR's with some help from them, and improved on some of his strats to post some times that are better than the top 4 in the world! He now holds WRs on Kalimari SC 3lap (Longcut), Frappe SC 3lap, lap, Wario SC Stadium Lap, and DK Jungle SC 3lap! Crud, I forgot to mention he was the first person to get a time sub 1'50 after completing the nearly impossible Kalimari SC! Most people don't count this SC yet cause of it's questionable nature, so for all critics, he set his first actual competitive WR's in Frappe SC! He also had an NTSC WR on Royal Lap (nonsc)! Alex Penev had the overall one by tons, but the fastlap being Non-sc, just proves that Myles is one of the better players around...

His next goal is classified, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Myles has impressed me time and time again, and other than Bernier and Penev, Myles is the most impressive player I've seen out there. Oh yes, Gallo does qualify here too, but in a more streaky way. My original prediction for Myles was to catch Hines in March '99... he did that in January!!!! So Myles is expected to continue to amaze, and I think the first player he will be hard pressed to catch is Jason Whalls! I think this step may be his final stopping point, or at least where it gets extremely hard to advance, unless Jason, of course, retires. I have a feeling Whalls shall not let Myles get by without a serious fight though... And NO that wasn't the goal I was talking about, in case you thought so. Myles... King Of The Phenoms and the Shadow of Greatness!

UPDATE:

Well Myles since than did pass Whalls and nearly everybody else. He even passed Kevin Booth, and was looking to compete with fresh champion Steven Zwartjes for the world championship. It was about this time that the rigors of kart were catching up with him. Cartridges in rivers, many retirements, and a few strong words publically made Myles a target of ridicule.

However, Myles refound religion in his life, and with that, got back his piece of mind, but unfortunitely not his kart game. He only plays a couple times a year now because of studies, and a rededication to his faith, but he earned this gold rank just as the last update fell. He is the last of the original golds.

Special Tributes (Honorary Gold)

Well since we will be losing 2 of the old GOLD players due to restructuring of the page, I would like to say a few things on behalf of Andy Launspach and David Wonn. Andy was the world champion in 1997, and than played a bit in 1998, but that was pretty much that, unless you believe the 2000 claims. That is up to you. Anyhow, Andy was champ for that whole summer, so while he is no longer part of the gold group, he does deserve a mention. David Wonn of course discovered alot of the shortcuts we use today, and held several of them as world records in his prime. He's not among the top shortcut players at this point, but still deserves a mention.

Next Generation Players

What is this?

Well there was only a few players that were on the original whos best page in the golds. We now have over a dozen players that have earened gold, so I would like to meantion the new members of this honored club of players. Late 1998 to Current, these players have earned the right to be among the golds. Granted, it was with the knowledge gained from the old school, but they still put in the time and deserve to be here. Well here they are!:

8. Steven Zwartjes (9/99)

Wow, it appears this page was quite anti-pal, or was it that only Penev was worthy of being gold? Either way, this changed about 2 months after Myles made it, cause Steven set a record breaking pace as he made it into the top spot. Really I don't need to write much on why he deserves to be here, cause he flat out dominated so much, that it makes it pretty obvious he deserves to be here. Outside of some inconsistent SC playing, he has answered all the critics questions, and he definitely started the interest for many more fast developing players later on.

UPDATE:

Yes, this isn't some typo I made. Since Steven Zwartjes never had a bio made on him, I am starting from scratch.

Ok, Steven started his career very early for pal players. This was in the summer of 1997 after the Liems and Edwin Peeters talked about their times. He was challenged to beat them, and he did. This was also good practice for the upcoming dutch N64 Championship, so he had all the reason to go for the gold.

When Rene made the site he did, and Peter Elsaesser started his PAL career, Steven had somebody to compete against, and they both had a great battle, but Steven eventually won out and retired for the first time at around what Kart 64 Players would consider the King F level.

For quite awhile, he was focused on other games, but I did tell him about my page by email, and he submitted a correct to his DK time and an improved WS non-sc time, and that helped a bit. It wasn't long after this that he got interested in kart again, and made it his mission to be teh best at yet another game.

It was hard going at first, but he learned the tactics of the greats very fast, and flew from King to Legend in no time. Him and Simmons and Bukrim really tag teamed the whole way up to these top spots. At this point, Gallo/Elsa/Penev were the stars, But Steven and Mike wanted to join the crowd, and in a matter of months, they were right in the thick of the battle.

For about 3 months, nobody really knew who was going to prove themselves worthy. Zwartjes finally showed his dominace and took teh top spot. He set many excellent world records in his conquest, but than soon retired again. During this time, Brian Gallo did some major damage and took it back.

It wasn't til a future comeback in the year 2000, and the conversion rate change in 2001 that Steven got his championship back, and has kept it since as of 2/08/02. The Newest of the golds + Penev are now putting the pressure on him, but he has set the standard for all players at this point. The achievements he is most proud of are LR 3lap with a unique shroom strat, the KTB lap on 2nd lap that is sub 25"90! However, the biggie was his sub 2'24 performace on Royal Raceway, which is quite simply one of the best times in the history of mario kart 64!

9. Michael Liem (9/99)

Probably will be one of the 2 controversial picks for the gold award. While not being a champion of kart 64, even in pal since 1997, he still has hung around close to where the best players are, even with limited playing time in the last 2 years, so based on consistency, and quality of overall times, he does deserve to be here.

UPDATE:

Ya, you guessed it. He never even earned the silver cause of pal integration not being 100% at the last Who's Best update. However he is here now, and to the best of my ability, I will talk about the career of Michael Liem.

As said in the Steven Bio, he started out much like I did. On the relase of the game for him. He competed with his brother, and Edwin Peeters. They were both heavy into SMK and were excited about the prospect of competing for time in a new kart game. Edwin definitely dominated most this, but the Liems stayed strong.

When Elsaesser and Zwartjes joined the battle, Liem really took 2nd saddle to these great competitors. Still, he proved he was still worthy of a look as he set world records on DK Jungle Parkeway, even as the top players were at their best.

Really after that, he would make several comebacks, and would have a blast competing and staying up with the likes of Myles Burkim, Sami Cetin, Mike Simmons, and some of the phenoms like Batastini, Marsden, and so forth. His career and college got in the way of the serious playing and dedication needed to compete, so he had to let it go, but still, he progressed at a steady rate up the Legend Ladder.

One thing he has mentioned is that he might be the only player to have ever reached and lost a rank a total of 3 times. There was restructuring at kart 64 players, and cause of this, he went from Legend F to King A and back quite a few times. This also served as a demotivator to play, sadly enough.

Still, up to current, Liem is still in the top 10 in the world, after all of this time, so even with very few overall WRs in his career, or too many shots at the #1 overall in the world, Michael Liem still hung around and took the blows in stride. He even has became an integral part of the updating team in the last couple years, and at times nearly singlehandedly keeping things afloat while Booth was involved in other ventures. Even with doing that, he has mananged to PR at least a few times a year, and pass inactive players on occasion. The PRs have slown down, but never will the fact that he enjoys being a part of this community, so count on Michael to be around for the duration.

10. Mike Simmons (10/99)

Mike is the first player that made the jump officially from the Silvers to the Golds shortly after the update of the site. Anyhow, after his achievements up to this point, and a year later, I really don't need to bring much of an argument to the table on why he belongs among the golds. Really the true measure was when he improved his MT speed, which was keeping him down in Non-sc, and used this to become one of the best overall players in history, along with Penev and Bernier.

Mike Simmons is one of the few great US players that isn't somewhere East. He's up a state away from Booth, in college. When I think about Simmons' career... I think of a player that was a homesteader just like me. He's been around for quite some time. He hasn't been a front runner much of the time, but he has always posted some great times. His SC times were always quite aways ahead of the rest, but as he's progressed, his Non-SC ones have caught up.

Later, he proved to be one of the most versatile karters by setting times with several different drivers at will. Jason Whalls also shared this quality, but all of this shall be discussed at a later time and place. Mike is also Mr. Versatile at his site currently, and holds a great lead over Booth and Whalls. This shall change in the future, of course, but I have a feeling Simmons' times with the other guys are getting pretty good, cause his Karting in general has improved greatly.

I think the first memory of Simmons was when I spotted him at Mr. Hawk's Kart 64 Site. I can recall him in hot persuit of Wonn in Turnpike SC very early on. He did have a few other good SC times back then, but TT is what I mostly remember him from. Sadly, he wasn't part of the circle at this point, and knew nothing of the others for months after this. He did have some great times, and showed up in some other spots as well. I eventually emailed him about a profile prospect, and ended up getting a reply. Later on, I did finally get a profile set up for him.

In 1998, I recall him getting on Andy's Page, and at that point, he was up there pretty high on the SC stuff. At this point, he had one of the best times in Wario Stadium SC, and it was with Wario of all people! Mike was definitely versatile, but his Non-SC stuff was a bit behind the other greats. He improved upon them in the following months. In the summer of '98, he was cruisin' up the charts, but was way behind the standards of Whalls and the other more consistent players. He did pass Andy, and that was quite a historic time as it is for anyone.

Mike started to really take off in all aspects of the game, so I decided to make him the first recipient of my tape, since he was the closest competition for me, and I felt he needed a little boost to get equal with the rest... Let's just say that when he saw that tape, he took off and defintely rounded out his play. Mike was better than me before on some SC Courses, and even led me on Banshee Boardwalk 3lap for a period of time. Now he was ahead of me in many areas, and is better than me in SC's now.

Simmons, armed with the tape, blew past Hines, and was 7th in the world for a very short time before Bukrim and Sorce made it a 3-way war for this spot. Eventually, I estimate this trio will pass Bernier, unless Bernier plays again.

In conclusion, Simmons has really been a SC-based player for most his career but it picking it up in all weaker aspects. Simmons now deserves to be mentioned among the best in the world. Who knows... Simmons could be there contending someday... If you ask him, he may not say so, but he, like the other silvers has the ability to get there... It's just that he hasn't yet, cause the others are just too good at this time. Simmons is very close at SC's but is a good 3 months behind in Non-SC stuff. Time behind is very relative, so Simmons could make up the ground and fast. Him, Bukrim and Sorce will continue to play spoiler on several courses, and will join Whalls in hitting top 10 times everywhere. Lastly, and as a side note, I have no idea how Simmons can compete with all of us while still in college! It is quite an amazing feat. Launspach couldn't do it, and neither could many others, but Simmons has, and this alone should prove to you all that Simmons is definitely among the best, and is a contender always! I rest my case...

UPDATE:

Simmons eventually competeed with the best players in the world for the remainer of 1999, and well into 2000. His non-sc got just as good as his shortcut times, and closed out his career, with a memorable MR SC 3lap, and over half his overall times at god standard. Mike earned his spot in history perminentally!

11. Greg Ihnatenko (3/00)

One of the IQ of the already abundant intellegant Karters. He was always very strong in shortcuts, but until he reached 52/52 Legend shortly after Whalls did, he was not respected as one of the golden greats, and was part of the silver bunch. Shortly before retirement, it was clear Greg had what it took to become the best player ever, but his studies came first, so that was that. He also wanted to persue skateboarding as a hobby as well. I am happy to report he made it into THE BEST UNIVERSITY IN ALL OF ENGLAND. I think that is Cambridge, but I guess if someone from England would like to correct me, they could.

Iacopo Sorce first spoke of a player in England with the desire to play, but with the fear that he wasn't that great yet. Greg started out with a few nice SC times, and expanded out to capure some SC WRs and a few top 5s. Recently, his Non-SC racing is either close or just over the Elite hump, so soon GREG IHNATENKO could very well take over a 1.5 year title that Dave Hines has dominated everyone in....ENGLAND'S BEST KARTER! Dave had been searching for this person, and well, it was himself for a majority of the time, but just as he gave up, here comes the answer...Could Greg Do It?

As I said before, Greg started from humble beginnings. Most of his early career wasn't known too well by the rest of us. However, he did bust into the scene with a few top 10s on SC times. I can't really recall which ones, but he did have some very nice ones.

Later on, he really started busting out some fireworks...one by one, he started beating even my SC times, and he was the 3rd Karter to break the 4 second lap Barrier in DK Jungle Fastlap....Man, my heart about stopped when he was only .1 from one of my best times I had achieved in my career!!!

Anyhow he did start beating me... He killed my crappy Choco SC 3lap, edged my Frappe SC 3lap, Killed Both my Royals, but I will say more on that in a bit! Um, what else has he got me on....Yoshi Valley SC entirely! Let's just say that Greg Ihnatenko is destined for greatness, at least in SCs.

Greg was concerned that people would doubt his talents cause of his absence of Non-SC times, so he has started training on that category as well. With the help of Coach Sorce, Greg burst into the Top 25 on many Non-SC courses, and really looks like he will hit the Top 10 really soon on certain courses! His KTB Lap was the first King Lap he has achieved, and definitely not his last.

Well folks, I've saved the best for last... Greg Ihnatenko will always be known for finding a glitch in Royal Raceway for getting the first maxed out score in Kart History! His ZERO SECOND LAP was a time of great controversy. For weeks, there was heated debate on how to give Greg his due credit. Finally, It was agreed that Royal would have an ALT category for the Zero Second Lap! So, For this achievement along, Greg pocketed 12 REX Points, 1/2 Phoney WR, and other great awards! For this, and this alone, Greg will always be mentioned among Kart History....BUT.........

Greg would like to tell you that he can get WR's the hard way too... He also owns the Royal Raceway SC 3lap WR, and this was without the help of the ZERO SECOND LAP GLITCH EITHER! So as a final word to all of you at home... We haven't seen the last of Greg on the Record Books!

UPDATE:

As I've said in the intro area, Greg later in 2000 proved he should be part of the golds as he got 52/52 Legend, and was in the running for the worlds best, before hobbies and schooling became a focus. As insurrance that he would never play Mario Kart 64, he actually sent me his copy of Mario Kart 64, via Snail Mail. This was his final statement in a great but short career. I might add that is a way better solution than throwing it in the river! Maybe the new players are learning aferall...

12. Neil Marsden (3/00)

Well Neil was the first student of Brian Gallo. However, Neil was most famous for Schooling Gallo in the art of DK Jungle Parkway. Neil discovered a way of going up the end part without a shroom that saved nearly 2 seconds a lap, so no longer was a shroom needed. With this discovery, Neil recorded his first world records, until Gallo learned how to repeat the process. For his best in the world potential, Neil undoubtedly deserves to be plated in gold with the rest of the greats.

As seen by coach and friend Brian Gallo:

Neil joined the kart community on November 14, 1998. Ever since, we have seen this Expert B travel up the ladder to be the fastest King ever! After he became an Elite in late January '99, 33 days later he was a KING F!!! This is an achievement that is nearly impossible!

During his progress in Kart he has always shown signs of greatness, especially on DKJP NonSC. He had an early on 38"58!, this was amazing for someone who was also over 1'21 on MR. He had several times that showed that he was not done yet. We all watched him grow, and take out anyone who got in his way...

One of his first "real" tasks was to beat Tony Nguyen. He thought it could never be done, and he remembers being 3-29 non-sc vs him! (Now he is 32-0) This was his first real challenge nevertheless, and he still thinks that Tony is an excellent player. After Tony the next few went fast, because he was in good shape compared to the others. Now with those down, he had an even greater challenge ahead of him...to become an Elite!

This was not going to be an easy task! He remembers getting the first few, and he figured that 15 would be the best he could do, then he hit the 16th and saw no signs of a 17th. The 17th followed the next day on Frappe Snowland, when he hit his 1'46"29, and Neil was an Elite! But after this he still went on to get more and more times!

As soon as he was an Elite he already had 1 King time, KTB f-lap 26"66! He saw his next goals to be much harder, but none impossible. Along the way there were several challenging karters, including Jason Engel (at this time Neil was 4-28 vs him) with later success in passing him. Now the road was clear, until a huge jump, the Towles and Launda jump! They were the most amazing people Neil has ever had to take on, and he knew he must try to climb the mountain. With time Neil passed Towles, but Launspach was so far ahead, Neil was 1-31, and each goal involved averaging his best laps! Now Neil has passed him and is now 21-10-1 non-sc, overall 38-11-1 (no TT SC). Neil has really proven himself here, and when he passed Launda he had 14 King times! The next few King times were all good, and he became the fastest King ever!

Now Neil is looking at being 10th in the world NTSC!! He sees Louis, is at 7-24-1 in NonSC, and will do everything and anything he can to win! Neil has shown many times throughout his career that he will not give up when he is doing poorly, because he knows that he will return with force. In the future who knows where Neil will go, there's a shot at #1 open for all takers!!!

UPDATE:

Well Neil pretty much went to the Legends fast, and was settting top 5 times everywhere. It was looking like the student was going to pass the teacher in rankings very fast, before retirement. So where is Neil Marsden now? If I told ya, I'd have to kill you :)

13. Matt Batastini (7/00)

Well, Matt Batastini was always a strong karter, but he was constantly overshadowed by Gallo and Marsden. Can you even imagine not even being in the top 2 in your town, yet being top 20 in the world? This is what Batastini had to go through. Well his world records on Moo Moo Farm and later Koopa Troopa Beach, and finally, with much sole searching, getting Gallo to admit Matt might be the best of the GR bunch in potential, he earned his GOLD without a doubt!

Update Written By Brian Gallo:

Matt was my second recruit and also a friend for several years. From the days of Final Fantasy II to "the box!" Matt unlike Neil was a player with similarities to me. We both hated f-laps and it wasn't until upper level times that we both "converted" to get good f-laps. (as a side note - I had 1'46"56 on KD while my f-lap was 34"05!) Matt showed a dedication that was strong right from the start.

Matt's career began the same time as Mark Flannery's. Matt and Mark had excellent battles while Neil was always a step (or 3 or 4), ahead. Matt and Neil are currently EXTREMELY close. Matt blew Mark out of the water, and Mark could not fight back. Nice clean shut-out.

When Matt became Elite (with a moo moo time of 1'17"49 and a 25"29) he was quoted with saying, "I am maxed out!" I laughed, Booth said something to the effect of: "we all have a point in which we will stop." With that serious note I gave Matt some pointers, with the aid of Neil's tape, and a few "new" strats once in a while. This sparked something in Matt to make him surpass Elite and climb up up and away.

This new "level" brought out a karter Sterling Neblett. Matt and him had a few nice short-lived battles, One at my house. The board was yoshi valley. They must have lowered their times by 1.5 seconds each, and f-lap by nearly a FULL second! That battle ended with a .03 win by Sterling, but the war in essence didn't really exist. This may have led Matt to be the karter that he is today…

With that in mid…King F. Something that only .3% of the world may achieve. This for all karters at one point or another is a milestone. (Maybe even a MYLEstone) At this point Neil was King C and on a mission, and Matt was on a mission of his own. Times were a lot harder to get, and with each shave meant something a little more dramatic. Matt had his run in with retired Italian karter Iacopo Sorce. It may have seemed hard at the time, but Matt soon shut him out in every possible way.

Eventually Matt had 17 Legend times, but sad to say times changed and he was not a Legend! With the invention on the LKR he would have to get several more balanced times to be a Legend. He did eventually get it and once he was Legend he was already ahead of the lowest Legend.

Legend D. Not even .005% of the world can reach this. These next several races were in fact the hardest races for Matt, which makes sense because this is the top of most players abilities. More times came in, slowly, but surely.

Now on the brink of Legend C Matt started doing shortcuts with Brian Gallo. He did them really well, and then resorted back to the non-sc to pass people in the GR way.

WORLD RECORD!!! Moo Moo Farms! 1'13"77…the 3rd person from the Glen Ridge area to get a wr. (Neil being the second on DK f-lap). This changed Matt's career forever. Not all Legends have had WRs before, many have but Matt has now maintained this wr for quite some time and proves to be an excellent karter indeed.

Legend C achieved. Huge step in this excellent journey to the top 10 in the World! Now this veteran on kart continues to strive on for excellence and a type of prowess that only a Legend would comprehend. Matt has shown though out his career in kart that he will not be pushed around by people above him. Matt is a unique karter. His ability to be consistent was shown prevalent when he got a 1'20"62 on KTB. (26"87, 26"87, 26"88)

Currently Matt is atop the ladder with the Golden players, I welcome him to the best…who knows if he can take #1… only time, Peach, and a few more controllers will tell!

Update:

I would like to say some words on behalf of Batastini as well. At the end of his career, he wanted to make a lasting statement in the kart world. He karted his body into submission, but not before he did what.... There just isn't words for it what he did except... 1'19 = KTB. I'm speechless. This really is Batastini's Beach for the history of Kart.

Originally, when Gallo posted the news of this PR, I thought it was one of his immature pranks, and I made one of my snide remarks. It wasn't a few days later, that I have a very distressed Batastini, since this was a very important time. He went on about how he's shown me 2 tapes and ghosts with 1'20"40s pace times. I felt like a complete moron. I explained why I did what I did, and he was quite alright, once he understood why I did what I did. I've never known the guy to get worked up about too much, but than again, there was that incident with Gaffikin Recently, but we won't go there.

Still, my 2 cents on Matt. After dealing with all the GR crap with the other 2 karters, he made Kart and the City of Glen Ridge, New Jersey very proud. The hometown of Tom Cruise now has a new hero, that is Matt Batastini.

14. Sami Cetin (1/01)

This SMK world champion decided to take the Kart 64 Challenge, and the world of kart has never been the same. With a top 10 birth in the world, Consistent times all around, and Achieving world records on Rainbow Road and Mario Raceway, Sami cannot be denied. Gold was more than obvious. He belongs here indefinitely and forever among the greats.

Update:

Yes, you guessed it. Not even a Bronze Mention, which at least Batastini got, and here he is at the golds. Amazing what a player can do in such little time of absolutely dedicating oneself to the game.

Sami basically released his times when he was around Elite and just took off like a firecracker. He competed heavy with players like Myles Bukrim and Mike Simmons. He didn't really gain major momentum til nearly the end of the 2000 year, but when he did, it's sorta like what Matt B. did. Words fail me on how well he did during that time period.

He did retire from SCs early in the year, but some of them, like his CM SC stats were still very good. However his world records on Rainbow Road and Mario Raceway course times were most representing of how he can dominate in a game.

In recently times, the year of 2002 is becoming gold for him. He has already set tons of PAL WRs and even a fresh overall world record on Rainbow Road faslap. Alex Penev is back and so is William Lacey, so they will be putting the pressure on. Still, on 2/8/02, he passed back Penev, and Gallo for the #2 spot in the world. His dream of being only the 2nd SMK/KART64 previous/current champion is not too overly obsurd now. Time will tell.

15. Louis-Philippe Sabbagh (?/01)

I guess you could say this is our 2nd and last controversial entry into the golds. While not exerting many of the qualities a GOLD player would, besides in SC, he still hung around, and played by the rules, and still is very highly rated, including top 10 in the world in Shortcuts, after not playing for a very long time. I think this is enough to get him a legitimate birth among the others.

Louis could have been Canada's Best Player...that is, of course, if Bernier wouldn't have busted into the scene when he did. Not much is known of Louis in the Feared 4 era, but when he did show up, he immediately became a SC contender, and even led this area in LAUNDA POINTS over both Wonn and Booth! Later he set his first WR on Wario Lap. He'll admit it was a fluke, but his other 19 SC boards are no fluke! Louis has the stuff of greatness, and if it wasn't for his dedication to other games, Louis most likely could've been SCs best player. However, his Non-SC was something he only later became proficient at, and to this date is barely past the standards of Launspach in this area, but really, this is great, just not to the current levels. Okay...To Louis' career in detail!

Like I said... Louis found Andy's site, and was hitting 4th and 5th place times on it on all SCs. Because of his consistency, he was eventually beating out Paul Solo, who has disappeared from all contact. Paul had set some high standards for others to beat, and he even made 100 LAUNDA SC, which I must state is a feat in itself for any player...Even the best in the world! Louis also hit this historic mark.

He eventually set that WR I talked about in WS SC lap! That week he was the POW for that feat and several others. He remained in Kart and got several great times up to the Diddy era. Amazingly enough, I never got a profile up for him for a long time, and this did bother me. He later explained that he had them typed up all his times and sent them, but his e-mail failed, so he didn't want to type them up again.

He ended up playing Diddy Kong along with Whalls, and was interestingly enough, 2nd best to him here. Louis is amazing at many N64 games, and really is only 2nd billing to Jonathan Bernier, who only lives somewhat close to him, yet they have never met. When Whalls came back to Kart, Louis decided to as well, but little did Jason know that Louis was highly motivated and zoomed past Whalls for a time.

About this time, Louis said his plan was to crush Jason Whalls in all aspects. Well that is the wrong thing to say to Jason...due to this, Jason went postal and made the best comeback of all, and pretty much clinched the POY by doing so! Louis did fall behind Jason, but many did, and in the process he did get many respectable times in Non-SC and even got WR's on and off on LR SC and a couple others. After the summer, Louis quit playing Kart for other games, but briefly came back to make some final statements.

Finally, he went inactive, but with a tape he will be motivated again to play. He shall get that tape someday soon, and be back again. As you can see here, Louis proved to be more of a karter than most made him out to be. Although Louis was only in the world's best hunt in SC, he did have a few Non-SC courses he was very proficient in, and in that area, he was a good 4 months behind. Louis, when motivated, is one of the best karters out there, and with what he has done in SC, he definitely deserves to be mentioned among the great contenders. Basically, you just can't doubt Louis' playing 'cause he is capable of striking at any time and causing all kinds of damage.

Update:

Louis went into SMK and didn't end up playing much kart shortly after making it into gold. Anyhow, I would like to say that after he made sliver, he continued to be very competitive in shortcuts, and drastically improved his non-shortcut playing. The last thing I remember Louis doing was trying to go for that WS SC lap WR, and he did get it, until Penev tied it and David Wonn earned it in 2001. He also failed to beat Simmons in MR SC 3lap, however, I really think that this conversial pick isn't as controversial as one might think, cause he did compete for WRS, and either got them, or was 2nd in many SCs, even when it was very active, and had a decent field gunning for him. Good job Louis, and good luck in whatever you do from here!

The Revival

There really is a 3rd category?

Oh ya! The next 2 players I meantion are part of the forlong hope that there might be another world champion after Zwartjes. These people proved their stuff far after the beginning of 2001, so I feel a new Era should be mentioned and represented with these next 2 new talented players. all players after this point 2/8/02 will be mentioned here. The next player to make it to gold has been projected to be Lars Nouwen. After that, alot of new names that nobody has talked about will be surfacing. Stay tuned!

16. William Lacey (2001)

At first, it really wasn't evident he was going to be a part of this elite group, but after his friend motivated him, he picked up from the Elite Status and got King Very fast. From there, he went on a spree in 2001 that was matched by nobody, and he earned his spot among the golds. Not only is he a gold now, but a title contender, and that is just amazing, concidering humble beginnings.

Update:

Yep, his first year or so was an Elite to Sub Elite on Rex's page. That really was the only place anybody knew about the guy for a very long time. His friend finally inspired him to be greater, and with that, he started picking up the pace.

It still took a year to become a contender, but along the way, he was proving just how strong he was in Non-sc. Yoshi Valley was a course that was definitely one that Lacey was proving himself worthy to compete in from early on. There was a problem though. Mike Simmons also has Yoshi Valley as his trademark course in Non-sc, and he set the standard for Lacey so low, that even Lacey wasn't sure if he could reach it. Well guess what? HE GOT IT!

He also beat Sami Cetins WR on Mario Raceway, and became very strong in all the course times. Later in his career, he fixed his weaknesses with the fastlaps, and this year could be the year that he is #1, unless Cetin or Penev get in his way. Still though, there is a player that turned his music Karting into gold, and would like to regulate such a understatment of himself.

17. Ben Miller (2001)

It was long going, but after reaching #2 in SC stats under Alex Penev, and showing WR potential on a few Non-sc courses, Ben Miller makes the grade for Gold. He promises more consistent Non-sc racing, including sub 1'13 on MMF, and someday to be the Shorcut World Champion.

Ben, much like William, started out very humble on REX's page, and developed from there. Unlike Lacey, he did earn his silver wings not too far after Bukrim did, and his strength was SCs, and not Non-sc.

No longer was Miller time just for beer. He really took off into stardom after getting a tape from Steven Zwartjes, and some very important coaching tips on how to race correctly in kart. From there, MMF and YV really became contending times for world records.

Still, his SC racing has not been neglected, and in the last few months, he forced Penev to improve the quality of his SC racing, and land the MYLE style LR SC. Penev ended up getting a WR, and Miller is still trying to reach the top 3 in event, but it is clear that him and Penev are the runway favorites to take the SC title was of 2/8/02, but ya know Kart. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!!!

18. Lars Nouwen (2002)

Through the years, Lars Nouwen proved himself worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as the champions by having great runs from Elite to mid Legend, and putting the finishing touches, by getting close to getting an overall world record on the CM SC lap as well as Placing Legend B on the Non-sc Players List. From this point on, I will be requiring that ANY gold individual, has to at least make Legend B, in either Non-sc or SC.

Well on November 16th, 2000, The Shocking News was in. (Well they said it was) Olaf Timmermans and Lars Nouwen proclaim that Dordrecht is now a 3 karter town. Do we got another Glen Ridge on our hands? Anyhow, Lars and him competed for awhile, but Olaf eventually lost interest, but Lars did not. Lars went on to take the kart world by storm as he won an astronomical amount of awards on his way to Legend B and to his deserving Gold Rank. He won 9 POWS, 4 POMS and 3 Seasonal/Quarterly awards for the 4th best POW factor score in the history of Kart.

At the point of this writeup, Lars has 31/32 of his Non-sc times at LD or Better (WS 3lap LF), and a God Non-sc achievement in Rainbow Road course time. Besides that, his worst Non-sc finish was 21st and he even has a 2nd place time, that was only a couple days short of being a world record, due to Penev, on Choco Mountain Shortcut Lap. Lars really has become a very consistent player, and if he regained momentum, could really make a run at the top spot.

19. Michael Jongerius (2002)

More Dutch Stars? What is in these peoples water, omg. Anyhow Michael J. proved to be quite a competitor, and not only a competitor, but perhaps the last new threat to the world championship kart will have. This game running nearly 6 years old, Michael might be the last hope for a newcomer to take the title. However, I'm sure Marcello and crew will beg to differ, but time will tell.

The first recorded record of this guy, was via email forwards by Rene "Rex" Elsaesser. There were 3 of these before Michael J decided to send his information himself, on August 3rd, 2001. He just was your average talented player at this point, but the world was in for a big surprise. Just when you thought players like Beau Fairbourn or Ruokai Chen would be the next to find gold, Michael just tears through the circuit by capturing 3 POWs, 1 POM and one seasonal in 2002. So much for Chen being the player of the year, Go MJ!

20. Thomas Grandjean (Feb 2003)

Kart is now approaching 6 years, and we still have people going for the gold? It's true and Thomas has made it a reality. Another European stronghold, this guy has done some amazing stuff to keep the kart streak going. Intense hours, and fortune with a ruling has kept him a contender, and now he's finally here.

Sadly, the career of Grandjean is one I haven't followed very closely, but I will say that when he does have time to play, he has been a force, and probably only takes 2nd fiddle to Jongerius as far as PAL players go, when we talk about whos hot in the kart world. Hopefully Grandjean continues to realize his goals, and makes an impact in kart.

21. Marcelo Almeida Dos Reis (Feb 2003)

Did I actually spell his name right this time? Marcelo has made Brazil proud! While not the first famous Brazilian Karter, he is, by far, the most dominant of any of them. Him and Eric Habrich has now put some life into a really dead NTSC players roster.

Basically Marcelo started even lower than his Brazillian Counterpart, but quickly made work of him very early on. Since then, he just has been NTSC's more phenominal force until just recently. He has even provided us with a tape, although I must say, customs thought I was up to my old tricks, cause they tore that damn thing to shreds, and the tape wouldn't even play in color after the beating they gave it. Anyhow, Marcelo has recently been demolishing YV for his first god times, and will probably get more god times real soon in courses like SL. So will he ever be a contender for a world record? I think odds aren't as bad as y0u think.

Silver and Bronze

Players worth talking about

Well originally, I was going to write out long paragraphs for all those players, but I think I'll either save that for another release or who knows. Still, I think I'd be doing an injustice, unless I meantion some Silver and Bronze winners, and tell you a smidge about each one of them.

The Silver Players (**)

Ruokai Chen -
A player with a horrid past, due to some ethics violations in the shooter community. He found that the Kart community was more forgiving, and he got a 2nd chance. Although he was very young (12), he proved that age would not be a factor in his success. Probably the most impressive young gamer since Jason Whalls. Anyhow, before his recent retirement, Ryokai Chen was gonna make the golds, but just fell short by only getting one top 5 time on DK lap Non-sc before calling it quits. The thing that is a shame is that he never really ever got passed what happened in the shooter community, and his own insecurities and immatureness inevidably kept him from sticking it out just long enough for gold. Still, Ruokai was very talented!

Brandon Eberly - This was a karter that I knew would be talented, but he even suprassed my expectations. Through a couple good runs in the 2000-2001 eras, Brandon nearly made it into the gold section. I'd say the time when he claimed the 2nd best NTSC time in Banshee Boardwalk Lap, was what got my attention.

Chris Hames- Not an instant success here, he worked hard to get better at Kart. He did have one setback though. He confessed to cheating during the crackdown of 2000, with Kretschmer leading the charge for 100% video validation of all legends. Still, he made a rebound and became a fierce competitor and earned the legend D ranking, before it was all said and done.

Jason Enright- Is Oregon's 2nd seed. This guy, from the home of Prefontaine was originally known for his sport sim prowless, however he found this kart site, and decided he wanted to leave his mark, just as he did in Marshfield for football and Wrestling. Before he quit playing, he captured 5 Oregon Records (2 still stand), and placed very strong on Wario Stadium and Rainbow Road in the world. Althrough out of the top 20 currently, Jason still brought honor to Coos Bay.

Thomas Grandjean- Was another one of those explosive players flying up the ladder. He first flew immediately nearly up to the King Ranks, then he thought he'd be out of action for 6 months, but an unexpected change of plans brought him back into the running, where he earned the Legend D Rank.

Jon Kretschmer- A recruit of Jason Whalls' had very humble beginnings, but we all knew he'd be good someday, cause of his ability on Banshee Boardwalk. Through consistency, he built himself up the ladder. Jon even took over the webmaster duties for a few months, after the launspach debacle. During his tenure, his rough style of webmastering was critiqued constantly, especially by the seasoned members (Sorce, Whalls), however he did do one good thing while he was there. He required proof for all Legends, and he nearly got 100% to comply by the time he left. Since then, he has disappeared from the kart world, as he persues his music.

Craig Makepeace- was commonly overshadowed by Ben Miller and Alex Penev, but that didn't stop him from dominating seasons mercilessly. He didn't stay in the Elite Ranks long, and even did very well in the king ranks, however Legend was his undoing, as he stopped at Legend D. However, he has announced a return late in 2002, so stay tuned.

Marcelo Almeida Dos Reis- Will be NTSC's new star. This Brazillian champion is already Legend F (halfway to LD), and due to school, is slowing down, but I'm telling you, the way he's played this year is just remarkable. Going from the Elite Ranks, and passing tons of other very competitive Elites and Kings like they were standing still to his current rank. He most recently made widespread news, as he placed 2nd place in NTSC on Yoshi Valley 3lap Non-sc.

Dave Crawford- Amazingly wasn't even on the bronze list last time I updated this page. Dave gradually made his way up the ladder and proved that Mike Couch wasn't the only person that could kart passed the big Three-Ow! He even took some Michigan Records away from Whalls Temporarely, that Whalls has had the luxury of hanging onto pretty much since the beginning of his career. He has also contributed to the community, in many ways, by making movie files, as well as being part of the staff, and doing timesheet updates as well as the total times, and restructring the standards pages.

Beau Fairbourn- May not quite be Legend Yet as of (11/02), but I feel he's still got tons of karting in him. This guy has definitely put Maryland on the map with a few months of great movement. There was a time that we all thought he'd even get Legend before Chen, but things got busy for Beau. However, he is back, and is on a mission to fly up this ladder the Beau way!

Ryan Wiley- Was an older member that as refocused himself into kart and pretty much came from nowhere to go from sub-elite to King, with his explosive play.

Eric Habrich- Is just phenominal. That is call I can say. He is probably the most exciting player, from the United States in years. I have a feeling I will be putting him in the golds next. Anyhow, He's only been on the site a couple months from the time I'm writing this, and he just constantly breaks historical pace for PRs and improvements. Neil Marsden, take a side, cause Habrich is gonna Husk that Corn!

For Writeups on the remaining Silver People, go to http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Fortress/2305/WhosBest2.html . This will include Matt Horwitz, Gregg Gorczowski, Jim Quinn, Dave Hines, Iacopo Sorce, as well as 4 current golds that used to be sliver.

The Bronze Players (**)

Nathan Stinson: First known for his stardom on the VL courses on SMK, he takes that knowlege into Kart 64 and nearly gets Legend
Alex Tsagouris: Is another Australian Star, that had about 5-6 really strong months.
Zack Kennedy: Was going to be at least A silver, but local plans has stopped his run short.
Tom Gaffikin: Inspired by the site, and Countryman Cetin, flew up the ladder, but no Legend Yet.
Brent Wingert: The Founder of MKE decides to join Kart 64 Players, and his all around game earns Bronze.
Yrvin Van Wijk: A very promising Player had over a year of great playing, with excellent non-sc and some sc.
David Hehn: We also think will eventually be silver, however other life goals have put that quest on hold.
Derek Clark: Also has proven himself to be an all around gamer with shooters and kart as well.
Keith Nichols: The 4th place guy in Glen Ridge, but still, a great karter none the less.
Steven Foy: Another Shooter guy heads over and makes a statement in the kart world.
Chris Rayola: A big reason the PD community started, also playes kart at a high level, especially SCs.
Frank Dinicola: I think will make the Silvers by the next time I update this page.
Stanley Jeram: Was once the SMK NTSC champ. He's also a great karter.
Mark Jones: May have retired, but not before he made quite the impact in his 1.25 year career.
Kevin Horst: hasn't been too active as of late, but is another player with what it takes.
David Tran: Created the "Tran" method of doing Rainbow Road by sticking to track to save time.
Anton Forsander: Really was putting the fear in his competition for quite some time.
Simon Laflamme: is currently #2 to Jamie White in SMK, and a King Player here.
Kris Milo: Another older gamer contributed greatly to the kart 64 cause.
Jean Francois Dubreuil: (JF) with Laflamme and Jeram, had the canadian movement going after Bernier and Sabbagh were inactive.
Mike Nardone: A karter we picked to make Legend before recent inactivity.
Arthur Van Dalen: Inspired by Booth (followed his career since 1997), nearly got god on LR lap Non-sc.
Alexandru Balahura: Set some attention getting SC times as well as strong Non-sc times before he left.
Salam Salhani: He set standards on LR and Moo early on!
Rocky Griffith: Was responsable for Launspach's eventual success in LR!
Paul Solo: The 3rd player to Join the 100/100 LAUNDA POINTS CLUB! Would've been silver at least had he stuck around longer.
Daniel Huntsman: Remember DK Jungle SC WR's?? He had them for awhile!
Steve Austen: Kalimari Desert...Competed against me for the WR...spanned months!
Mike Couch: Held WR's in Wario Stadium, and wasn't bad at other Nons!
David Burnham: Several Non-SC WRS!!! Almost could be Silver had he stuck around longer!!
Allen Crowley: This "Team Oregon" player contributed to Frappe SC and Non
Francis Fiduk: The Original Phenom! Could have been a great!
Nathan Johnson: Yoshi Valley SC lap WR, and DK Lap. Not a bad Lap Racer!
Kevin Towles: The 2nd phenom! Incredable streaks of greatness!
Tony Nguyen: Yet another phenom! Had some serious potential also.
Sterling Neblett: Sterling Is proficient on some courses and still improving!
Matt Batastini: (NOW GOLD!)
Wesley Reppert: Is dedicated to Kart...he could go a long way if he sticks with it!
Todd Worcester: (Feb 2003) Shows that Kansas is not just for Basketball and Tornados. He's creating his own waves.
Andrew Weatherton (Feb 2003) Speaking of Weather, this guy has set a strong Legend time in FS SC 3lap. proving that even a game that is 6 years old can yield new strategy.
Pier-Yves Lemire (Feb 2003) As provided a Balanced Non-sc and SC attack to the game of kart, once again. Bernier would be proud of him.
Robin Usher (Mar 2012) Back when this page was written, some of his current times would have almost been impressive!

As a last note, I expect Michael Linski to join this list on next update. He is defintely known as karts silent stalker, as players fall by the wayside unknowning of this DNS Administrators best weapon: Stealth!