The Dev Behind One Of The World’s Best SNES Emulators Is Dead

© Nintendo Vita

Has been reported that one Nearby, the developer behind the excellent SNES emulator BSNES, he tragically took his own life.

Near’s work in the realm of retro game preservation and emulation is nothing short of remarkable. Work on BSNES began in 2004, with the goal of making an emulator as accurate as possible. Early versions of BSNES ran slowly on everything that wasn’t top-notch hardware, but, thanks to the fact that Near did the extra mile and really stripped the SNES chips to better understand them, it became the standard d gold of SNES emulators, boasting 100% compatibility with the entire SNES library. However, despite being focused on its own emulator, Near has taken the time to offer assistance to SNES9X developers to further improve the project.

Apart from emulation, Near has also been a major force in the world of preserving and even buying an entire SNES / Super Famicom North American and Japanese collection so they could download them and make sure the ROMs were as faithful as possible. Near also spent several years trying to produce the perfect English location for Laguna Bahamut, a Squaresoft Super Famicom RPG that has never seen release outside of Japan.

Speaking of Vice, Near explained:

I have tried this translation by fans five times. The reason I started each time was because I learned more, and I felt like I was doing better. The reason I released this fifth attempt is because I no longer believe that there is anything that can be improved.

Near has also created what many people see as the best translation for the Super Famicom title In Langrisser, another game that has never seen release in the West.

Near’s personal site includes the following autobiographical section, in which they claim to be guided by an “overwhelming drive to achieve perfection”:

Personality wise, I am a INTJ-T. I especially prefer to stick to my spaces, and generally I won’t get to others first. I work alone, even if I’m at my best when I have close friends to support me. I tend to be overly sensitive and self-critical, and I’m not the most adept at social graces, but I’m working on these challenges the best I can. I appreciate honesty over politeness, and rationality over emotion. I have a strong desire to understand everything, and an overwhelming desire to reach perfection, which often leads me to implement everything I can from myself.

I find that I am not happy unless I work on problems that are just beyond my limits, always trying to increase my knowledge and skills. You’ll almost always find me working on something, which I don’t enjoy having fun with.

Nearby – who has also passed the names “byuu” and “Dave” in the past and identifies himself as non-binary – posted a Twitter thread earlier today (UK time) which opened up about the intimidation and harassment they received online.

According to Theorem to ResetEra, “Kiwi Farms” – a site mentioned by Near in its tweets – is focused on individuals facing online cyberbullying:

Kiwi Farms has been dropped from CWCiki, a wiki focused on Chris-Chan. They are a forum focused on other people’s cyberbullying. In particular they tend to focus on people who are in vulnerable groups. For example, Byuu for what they are, identified as non-binary, is why they started harassing him. They seem to be a major catalyst for this situation.

Since the issuance of the statement, several Twitter followers have tried to get in touch with Near, who lives in Japan, via the U.S. embassy.

If you are struggling with similar problems, then Samaritans can help – you can reach them here.

If you would like to help in any way, please consider making a donation to The Samaritans, an organization focused on helping those struggling to cope with mental health issues and depression.

Please note that due to the highly sensitive nature of this topic, we have made the decision to close the comments on this article.


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