Metal Steve[GameSetWatch columnist “Metal” Steve Dewitt was apparently confused when he heard the news of GSW alumnus Frank Cifaldi's recent departure from 1up. Metal Steve somehow thinks Frank Cifaldi passed away, and he wrote a touching tribute in Frank’s honor. We don’t have the heart to tell Steve otherwise (let alone correct his factual inaccuracies about Frank’s career!). Please enjoy this heartfelt memorial to a man who is still alive and well.]

Gone But Not Forgotten

Greetings, my faithful servants. Your pal Metal Steve is feeling really depressed right now. Some people say they can remember where they were when JFK was shot. Others will never forget when Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon (although your wise king Metal Steve thinks it was all staged in a TV studio! Haha!). But if you were Metal Steve, you would say to yourself, “I’ll never forget what I was doing when I heard Frank Cifaldi had departed.”

You might be asking, “Hey Steve, what were you doing when Frank departed?” Well, my loyal legions of readers, your buddy Metal Steve is not embarrassed to tell you he was sitting on the toilet. My cell phone rang and it was the singer in my band Mighty Talon, “Platinum” Daniel. Daniel was like, “Dude, did you hear about Frank Cifaldi?” I was like, “What? What about Frank Cifaldi?” Then Daniel got really quiet and I knew before he even said the words what had happened. The silence was broken once but not by Daniel, but because I was still going to the bathroom. We normally would’ve been like “Haha!” about the noise but we ignored it out of respect for the moment. Then finally Daniel said, “Frank Cifaldi departed.” One final log fell into the toilet and the plop echoed for what seemed like an eternity.

I couldn’t believe it. Frank Cifaldi. The man who founded GameSetWatch. The man who created a website dedicated to adding levels to old games. The man who started Gametap, which Microsoft then bought to make Xbox Live. Man, Frank really made a big impact upon the video games world. It is a sad time, my friends, and your leader Metal Steve is actually holding back a tear of two as he types this. But Frank wouldn’t want it this way. No, Frank would want us to celebrate his accomplishments and proclaim from the rooftops that he was an awesome dude.

So, Metal Steve proposes that today be considered FRANK CIFALDI DAY and we honor his legacy by remembering some of the highlights from Frank’s career. “YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!” Join me, my subjects, as your ruler Metal Steve leads the charge and raises a sword in a METAL TRIBUTE to one of our dearly departed comrades.

A Long List of Accomplishments

Frank Cifaldi started his career as a video games journalist right here at the website you are reading, GameSetWatch. That’s right, Frank is responsible for what is now one of the biggest video game websites in the entire world. It attracted the attention of overseas investors, and soon the guy who currently runs GameSetWatch, Simon, got in touch with Frank and asked to buy the website.

He was like, “Frank, I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse” only at first Frank couldn’t understand him because Simon has a thick British accent. Haha! Rumor has it Frank said something like “What did you say about otters?” but finally Simon was able to speak more clearly and the rest of history. Simon bought GameSetWatch and Frank went on to pursue other things.

Frank Liked Old GamesWhat was next for the man of the hour, you ask? Well, Frank was a fan of old video games and so he started a website called The Lost Levels, where he took old video games and added new levels to them. Ted Turner (yes, that Ted Turner) was a fan of old video games and one day played a Lost Level that Frank had created and said, “This guy is a genius!” He called Frank and at first Frank thought it was a joke. So then Ted Turner got into his private jet and flew all the way to Frank’s hometown and went to Frank’s house.

It’s kind of scary that Ted Turner has that kind of information, but when you own every cable station, you have access to things like Frank Cifaldi’s address. Frank answered the door and was like “Whoa, it’s Ted Turner” and Ted said, “We need to talk.” Two hours later Ted Turner boarded his private jet and flew back home to Kentucky, and Frank had a briefcase full of hundred dollar bills and a new job: Start Gametap for Ted Turner.

If you don’t know what Gametap is, please take your Gamer Card and go put it in the shredder, put a Mariah Carey CD into your CD player and press play, and use pink puffy paint to make a photo collage of you and your junior high friends because you are obviously a wimpy little girl who is not worthy of touching a game controller. Haha! Don’t worry, Metal Steve is just joking with you. Besides, junior high girls can grow up to be hot some day. Just wait until you’re 18 before you contact Metal Steve! “STEVE MIGHT ROCK OUT TO WINGER’S ‘SHE’S ONLY 17’ BUT HE DOESN’T LIVE LIKE THAT!” Haha!

Anyway, Gametap was a website where you could go and play any video game ever created. You only had to pay $9.95 a month. It had everything from Atari 2600 games up to Sega Dreamcast games and was about to have Xbox games until Microsoft had a great idea and called Ted Turner. They bought Gametap from Ted Turner and turned it into Xbox Live. The only bad news was Frank no longer had a job.

But, as luck would have it, the website 1up needed a new writer, and they called Frank and were like, “Hey Frank, bad news about Gametap. But good news for 1up. Come work for us.” Talent like Frank didn’t come cheap, and soon Frank became the highest-paid video games journalist in the business. He never slacked off, though, and ran many successful Internet radio shows like one about old video games called “Retronauts” and another one about modern video games called “Games, Damn It!”

How Frank got away with swearing in an Internet radio show is beyond me, but I guess when you have the pull of man like Frank Cifaldi people will just say, “Carry on, you must know what you’re doing!” Frank also wrote all the reviews on 1up and wrote most of the articles as well. I don’t know how 1up will be able to continue without Frank Cifaldi. “THOSE SHOES ARE TOO BIG TO FILL.” And did you know Frank wore a size 13 ½ shoe? You know what they say about the size of a man’s shoes. I have a feeling the ladies were never disappointed after a night with Frank! Haha!

Farewell to Frank

Farewell, Frank!Well, my friends, we have reached the end of my METAL TRIBUTE to the great Frank Cifaldi. May you keep Frank alive in your hearts from this day forth and never forget the impact he had upon the video games industry. Without Frank you would never have Xbox Live, not to mention be reading GameSetWatch! So, dear Frank, Metal Steve vows to stand atop the nearest mountaintop, playing a blistering guitar solo in your honor.

Well, come to think of it, I don’t know how I would get electricity on top of a mountain, and Metal Steve refuses to play sissy acoustic guitars. “I ONLY MELT FACES. I DON’T PLAY BALLADS.” One time a guy tried out for a rhythm guitar position in Mighty Talon but he brought an acoustic guitar and I told him to get the hell out before he even started playing. Haha! Well, okay Frank, I’ll just open my front door and play really loud, so at least the other residents in my apartment complex will hear of your greatness tonight when Metal Steve shreds in a METAL TRIBUTE to the mighty Frank Cifaldi!

I hope you enjoyed reading about the life of one of the greatest video games journalists to ever walk upon the face of the Earth. I never had the chance to meet Frank Cifaldi in person, but maybe one day he and I shall meet up at a great banquet hall in Valhalla. Maybe Frank and I can score with some hot Valkyries there, too, so if there are any hot chicks that want to hook up with me and Frank in Valhalla, just make sure you kick the bucket before I get there. “VALKYRIE IS ABOUT TO DIE, JUST IN TIME FOR METAL STEVE TO HOOK UP WITH HER IN VALHALLA!” Haha! Okay, my devoted subjects, your friend Metal Steve has to sign off. But remember, as your pal Metal Steve says, “NOBODY WILL BE ABLE TO FILL THOSE SIZE 13 ½ SHOES, SO DON’T EVEN TRY!” Later!

[Metal Steve lives in Fresno, CA and is the founder and lead guitarist of the band Mighty Talon. He is best known for his METAL REVIEWS on his website, Game Riffs. Steve is a lifelong video game player and enjoys drinking beer, listening to metal, and wearing cowboy hats.]