/tg/, I first encountered Armored Core when it came out on the Play Station all those years ago. It was the third game I owned, after Micro Machines and Final Fantasy 7. Every single other gamer where I lived had no idea what it was, but it was my favorite game, and I would play it for hours on end. I purchased Armored Core 2 for the PS2 the moment I found out about it, and when I asked about it at EB games the guy behind the counter had to look it up on his computer, saying he had never even heard of it. When I proudly told my friends I'd bought it over the weekend they had no idea what game I was talking about.
I fell out of touch with the series as the years went on, but I still wistfully remembered those glorious days of tuning together the perfect mid-weight AC with rockets to deal with slow moving powerful threats, a machine gun for lighter targets, and missiles for faster threats.
Then I saw AC 4, mere days after I had purchased a PS3. This was not coincidence, this was divine providence. I bought it, I finished it, I replayed it, I tuned NEXT after NEXT after NEXT. I created dozens of designs created for specialised missions with aesthetics coming a close second. I triumphantly told my friends.
"Armored Core? What's that?" came the heartbreaking response. In the years that passed, my beloved franchise still had not achieved the respect it deserved. I continued on, breaking For Answer over the knee of my NEXT, cracking White Glint like a a toothpick, causing millions of deaths, saving the world, all the while knowing this incredible combat would never be as appreciated as it should be.
Then I come on here, today, and I see this.
Thank you, /tg/, thank you. Shine on, you blinding, geeky suns.