On a rainy evening back in October 1985 three young Norwegian guys decided to form a computer group. We were not exactly sure about what we needed the group for but we were really inspired by other big groups at the time, such as Flash Cracking Group 1941, Section 8, Electronic Cracking Association 1998, ABC 1999, Jedi 2001, 1103, Djenghis Khan, Hellmates, SCC, Dynamic Duo etc.
These three founder members are today known as Doctor No, Insane TTM and Sector9.
A good group does of course deserve a good name, and thanks to Hellmates we decided to call ourselves RAZOR 2992. (No, that's not a typo). The number was put there to separate us from eventual future jerks who would come and steal the "Razor"-label. Besides, most of the other groups used a number too - so why shouldn't we? (We actually had a group of nitwits on Commodore C64 who stole our name for a while and added "Express" behind it - ie "Razor Express". Not many remembers them today though).
It didn't take us long to realize that 2992 was a dull number. So we came up with 1911 instead. We all agreed on that it sounded much better. Many people has asked us through the years why we chose exactly 1911. The reason is that the scene on Commodore C64 was full of brainless kids who, for some odd reason, enjoyed using 666 (the number of the beast - from the Revelation) on their demos, letters, diskbags and God knows what else. We thought this was rather childish, after all what has occultism got to do in the scene anyway? So we chose 1911 because it translates to $777 (in the hexadecimal numbersystem). 777 happens to be the opposite of 666 and so it was our small "grow-up-and-get-a-clue"-message to the immature kids in the scene. It may also be mentioned that we seem to be immortal and thus GOD-like (777). Later on we used the name "Project $777" in a demo on Amiga to slag off everyone's that we just didn't like in the scene but couldn't find a good excuse to yell at under the Razor-name. This time more people realized what was going on, but most of them thought it was quite funny so we got away with it (we always seem to).
The 64-period was rather short. We made a lot of demos and a few cracks and became one of the better groups here in Norway. However - we didn't come up with too many outstanding productions. A few of them are still in circulation today on those CD-Rom compilations of Commodore 64 demos. Some of them are worth taking a look at, at least as a curiosity. So after a year the group broke up for a while. One half went to TCC while the other half (Sector9 and Doctor No) went to Megaforce (later known on Amiga as Scoopex). This only lasted for about a month - we decided to join Active Cracking Crew. This is where we got in touch with the WORLD for the first time. Through ACC we got to learn how the big crackers of C64 worked, we entered telephoneconferences and talked to everyone in the scene that was worth mentioning. About 6 months later we went to one of the big parties at the time. Back then parties were only for the "top elite" people. If you didn't have an invitation and couldn't legitimate yourself you could forget about even entering the place. They were actually even called "COPY-parties", and instead of boring democompetions we voted for the best cracker of the year (I remember that this year, 1987, it was Mr.Z from Triad, a few votes ahead of Laffen from Raw Deal) and the competition was when Danish Gold (the organizers) came up with a brand new original and every group could have a go simultaneously (If I'm not mistaken FairLight did some cooperation-crack together with ACC on a James Bond game there). Sorry about the digression folks, I just get really nostalgic from time to time. Anyway, on the plane from Denmark back to Norway we decided to give rebirth to Razor on the Amiga together with two members (Lord Sand Hypocrite) from the highly successful crackingroup Raw Deal.
Other important people from the C64-period are Mr.W and Tilt.
The Amiga was really slow in the beginning - nothing happened. No games, no demos, no people, no nothing. But after a year with just sporadic productions from Razor we started putting out demos on a more regular basis (1988). Soon we were among the better demogroups around, and got many members from all over the world. Our demos were usually quite original - new ideas, nice graphics and really catchy music. But still something was missing. The senior members were all aware of the fact that our wish was to become a major cracking group as well as a good demogroup, unlike many of the new members. As we were one of the bigger demogroups we occasionally entered phoneconferences with the major cracking groups (such as Paranoimia, Accumulators, Eclipse (No, not the new PC-crew), Quartex etc). We became quite good friends with Zodact and Onyx from Accumulators and when they broke up in late 1989 we made them join us. Zodact was the main American supplier (and sysop of a major bbs: The Castle) and Onyx was their main European cracker. All of a sudden we had solved our main problem: ORIGINALS! Besides we had access to two good crackers - Lord S and Onyx.
We also got heavily into the art of phreaking, so we had plenty of ways of reaching all our contacts around the world. This was way before the masses of lamers got any idea of what was going on, so everything was fairly safe too. During the last two weeks of 1989 we had our two first world-first releases on Amiga - Pocket Rockets and Strip Poker II. (I know they were rather cheesy, but who cares today?) Now we released games on a regular basis for a few months, until we joined a cooperation with Classic on Amiga during spring 1990. This didn't last long when we found out that some of their members tried to stab us in the back (you learn from every mistake you do!). After the break with Classic we continued putting out games until April 1991 (I think it was about 50 games altogether). By the time Amiga started becoming a dull computer to crack on. You had to work like crazy to warp up disks because they all had track-protection, and you had to put out fix after fix after fix for different problems.
Among these problems was the NTSC/PAL difference which made it impossible for Americans to play European games without patches and vice versa. Besides there were tons of groups competing on the same games, and usually if you released something you would be double, triple or even quadruple-released by other groups because noone could afford to lose on a release. The general economy was also weak, there wasn't enough people with money to keep the group running.
Other people from the Amiga period that deserves to be mentioned are:
Ziphoid, Sir.Henry, Rex, Jawbreaker, Sim, Drake, Murdock, Angel of Death, Analog Kid, DiMarz, Uncle Tom, Codex, Bug, Nosferatu, Darksilver, Atomic (SOS/Abrasax), Jogeir (Maniac), Mantronix, SOS, Mr.T, The Cat, Dave and lots of others.
The solution came to us without us really realizing what was going on. A brilliant PC-cracker (Darwin) just happened to live in our neighborhood. What could be more perfect? It made us able to do everything ourselves, without having to rely on a cracker in another part of the world as we were used to. We closed down the Amigadivison (with exception of Sim, Drake, Murdock and Codex who later made the best and most famous demo ever, VOYAGE).
We restructured the group totally - the group consisted of a more or less anonymous investor, Darwin, Doctor No, Onyx, Zodact, myself, Black Spyrit (SysOp) Red Baron (Sysop EuroHQ) and Langoliar (SysOp WHQ). Together we managed to put out dozens of games on the PC (a few of the first ones was released in cooperation with Skillion(!)) and the response from the PC-scene was immense. Our little tight group quickly grew from a small, compact and efficient one to a MASSIVE release machine. We had no idea things were gonna go so fast. With the exception of a month in late 1991 where Razor was dissolved and became a part of INC we've continuously released games, trainers, docs, intros etc. ever since (There have been over 600 games and countless other productions from us since then). The rest is, as you all know by now, history!
The most recent thing that needs to be mentioned is our entrance into the world of Internet. With this www-page and a very efficient distribution of releases we are able to reach more people faster than ever before. All skillfully controlled by our highly competent internet staff.
The other thing worth mentioning is our introduction into the CD-Rom scene. We sporadically released CD-Rom games under the ROM 1911 label, but didn't pay too much attention to this part of the scene until the lack of floppy games forced us to. So in October 1995 we decided to enter the CD-Rom scene and to overtake the leading place here too despite many people claiming that we wouldn't be able to convert such a big group.
This just proves that regardless of what we focus our concentration on, we still manage to become among the very best within our genre.
Of course we've had our problems in the group, this will always happen when sooner or later when a group becomes as big as ours. Twice the group has been split into two (The first time was 1994 when Legend was born and the second time in 1995 when Eclipse appeared), and both times we've managed to recover thanks to devoted and talented people ready to do a great job for Razor 1911.
We have had hundreds of dedicated persons doing their best to keep the group on top at any time. They all deserve a great salute! Especially I'd like to mention those who got busted by the police through the years, among those are Baal, Insane TTM, Gene, Devil, Butcher, Red Wizard, Ginnie, Laric and last but not least the other sysops and couriers who got into the clammy hands of the cops (among these - Assassins Guild and Pharaohs' Akira). We feel with you!
Some of the more distinctive characters during the IBM-period especially needs to be mentioned:
Zodact was our first really fast and serious supplier and US-organizer. He wanted to take Razor to the top and when he finally managed he quit the scene to everyones' surprise. He's been missed ever since by everyone that learnt to know him.
Black Spyrit was one of the best ANSI and VGA artists around in addition to his brilliant work for Razor (and ACiD). We won't forget you Chris.
The Renegade Chemist is one of the big personalities in the scene, so I don't really think I need to say more. We are all grateful for all the effort he put into the group. Shame about the Eclipse-split, but nothing can last forever I suppose.
Butcher should be well-known for most people for his long career in the scene. From his time in NEI on C64 until he left Razor after the Legend-split in 1994 he was beloved by almost everyone that had the pleasure of knowing him. After the split he unfortunately disappeared from the scene when the police busted him.
Marauder handled supplies, organizing and group-politics from 1993 to early 1995 when he decided to join Eclipse. Shame about the split, but he did a great job while it lasted.
Randall Flagg was our main cracker from 1992 to the Eclipse-split in 1995. We all appreciate this Italian geek and all his brilliant cracks all his funny expressions.
RazorBlade took care of our UK business from 1992 to 1994 when personal reasons made him withdraw from the scene. He was known as a sarcastic bastard, trustworthy friend, great supplier and last but not least as one of the leaders of the world's best couriersquad ever (We're talking about the 1993 edition of Razor's European courierteam consisting of him, Devil, Hoppermania, GrimLock, Insane TTM, Slain and Digital Justice which made every other courierteam in the world look like plain amateurs).
Hoppermania, GrimLock, Janno, Dune, Timelord, Nailz, Rage and The Brain have been (and partly still are) our representatives in Be-Ne-Lux. They all did a great job couriering, supplying and organizing.
We've had a number of good crackers working for us through the years and except for those I've already mentioned these guys deserve a pat on the back: Excessive Knight, Snacky, Wolverine, Intrepid, HAL9000, White Cracker, Marco Ramius and several others I can't remember from the top of my mind.
Our members in Australia and New Zealand during the years have done a lot of good work for us. Thanks alot to Grim, Prime Evil, Poise, Lithium, Ginnie and Red Wizard.
Speed Racer, EOS, The Geck, Beowulf, Lord Thinker - the guys who took over when the group split up in early 95. They did a great job putting the group back together again. They were also in charge of migrating the group into the CD-ripping scene.
Driudkin, Hula, Third Son, Pitbull, Sir Alf, Toast and all the other guys who participated in the building of Razor's very powerful internet division.
I'd also like to thank some of the other guys who are running the show today - The Punisher, Manhunter, Bunter, Vitas, Hetero, Ice, Sundancer, Cypher, Da Jackal and all the others. We all depend on them to carry on with this group that so many have sacrificed so much for. I still feel that the crew responsible today have managed to continue running Razor the way the scene has always learnt to love and hate us by.
Other people who deserves to be mentioned are: Chairman (Suburbia sysop), TFM, The Unknown, SomeOne, The Ghost Wind, The Witch King, Hoson, Grim, Fallen Angel, Zebig, Performer, Serpico, Chessking, Westbam, M:Et, Laric, Avalon, Mindbender, Mephistar, Faldo, Big Boss, Hot Tuna, Zeus, Maverick, Piston and everyone else that my mind can't think of at this very moment.
I think it's in its place to send a greeting to our worthy competition and companions up through the years: The Humble Guys, INC, Dream Team, Tristar & Red Sector, Public Enemy, Quartex, Hybrid and all the others.
For further details about what has happened to Razor during the years I refer to the .nfo-files that are included in every PC-release that we have done through the years. You will also find material about Razor on Internet and in dozens of diskmags, computermags and newspapers all over the world.
Contact us if you feel like telling us something we might wanna know.
Thank you for your time - it's been a slice....
The demo division face many setbacks, the first was the almost complete walk-out of demo division who went to the fairlight demo division. We lost most of our members during that time, and had to rebuild the team from ground up.
The new team was reformed after much internal waring, Ferrex tried to take the demo team in one direction, but Hustler, Zombie and IZM had different ideas, and decided to start from scratch. It was hard work at the start, but slowly they recruited new members and formed a solid team such as Replay, Blackpanther, Sprocket, Slumgud, X-rage, deSynx, the irrepressible Dubmood, 3pac, Ghidorah, Acet1, Blz, Zelkor, Marisa & Kemical.
The group continue to grow at a incredible rate, but it was all too much to manage at one stage, as we grow to more than 30 members. Projects were planned, four diffrent 3D engines were coded, but confusion among the team members and the miscommunication leads to a lot of frustration, and lack of dedication. But we push on, aided by the incredibly talented Replay, we produced many fine productions during that time... namely "Future No.2" (our first 3D production) and "Marsik" (our first 64k intro). Notable competition effort from this time are winning the 64k category at Dreamhack, Kindergarden, Krangparty and Equinoxe, and placing top 3 on several other demoparties like Hype, Underscore and Coma.
After that, we went into a bit of lull, and then decision has been made to reinvogorate the group by management change. After the change, we temporary swing back into action with some high quality products, with musicdisc such as our chipdisk-series, "Whispers" and the sleepless trailer. Due to some personal reasons, the new management resigned, and the group becomes leaderless for a while. The group limp along with few products, and went very quiet in 2004 when all of us are busy with our personal lives. Many extremely talented members left the group during this quiet time, Some ironically went on to become game designers (for the same companies who's cracked games were released by razor), while others becomes pro-musicians. The group suffer tremendously during this time.
Towards the end of 2004, the core members decided to reinvigorate the group once again, starting with the brand new Razor website. ironically, the website have been planned, and has been in production for many years, but have gone through hundreds of versions and changes, (at times, it reminds me of Duke Nukem Forever... or what it would be like). the first version was done by yce, and the subsquent versions are done by various members. The website is finally done after Herculean effort from members, AM did the gfx; dubmood, stv, faor and skizo did the code.
With the completion of the new website, and the new found focus in our team, we hope in the coming years, we will continue to make demos and intros that we love and share with you.
We hope you enjoy our products. Thank you all for your support!
-deSynx (additional text by IZM)