In The Very Beginning (1997-2003)
Last Minute Continue is a site with quite a long history – probably much longer than you think, in fact its true roots go all the way back to the nineties. It all began as the hobby project of LMC’s boss man Kevin.
As a young kid in the nineties with a father who worked in computers he was fascinated with how they work but not really sure how to utilise them in a way that would allow him to be creative. That changed with the popularisation of the Internet and proliferation of early pages created by average Joe’s in their bedroom. Thirteen year old Kevin hated programming but could get a handle on how HTML worked, so he taught himself some basic stuff and made a little page on Geocities where he laid out some of his interests. It was full of scrolling text, animated GIFs and spelling mistakes. So, like every other page back then.
Kevs-Kingdom, as it was called back then, was also full of creative writings and funny segments. Over time these evolved with the site going through at least 7 versions and becoming kevskingdom.com, it featured longstanding sections The Barrel of Monkeys which featured skits, parodies and wordplay. An early vault of media items relating to games, tv and movies. A mysterious entity called ‘The Goldfish’ who would answer the mysteries of the universe.
It also had a bit of what we would now call ‘world-building’, courtesy of a mysterious entity called Archangel. Who lived in the basement and had been somehow wronged by Kevin. His peculiar journals full of unusually grandiose language usually reminisced on how he had offed someone who had wronged him in a creative and darkly humorous way.
And now you know where the old ‘ArchangelUK’ handle originated from.
Welcome To Sonic Wrecks… (2004-2005)
So a Sonic the Hedgehog related gaming site; where do you begin with explaining THAT? Well you see young reader – have I told you how well you’re looking today incidentally? Love what you’ve done with your hair – it actually started with the now defunct Sonic Site Awards back in 2003, back in those days when the internet was still very young and Sonic Adventure even younger, there was a great many more Sonic websites then there are now. Like a LOT more.
Kevin had been a fan of Sonic since his younger days. He watched the old cartoons on Saturday mornings and had a Game Gear on which he played Sonic Triple Trouble apparently endlessly. During an all-nighter trying to keep himself sane he ended up stumbling on the Sonic Site Awards. Looking at the sprite comics up for their award he said out loud “Jeez, I could do better than that.”
So, he did. Originally created as part of the KevsKingdom.com website, Kevin now adopting the handle of ArchangelUK (or AAUK for short) became a part of the community, and set about creating a Sonic website in his own time. The website became knows as Sonic Wrecks – a pun on then current cartoon Sonic X which focused on the exasperated adventures of Shadow The Hedgehog as opposed to Sonic.
For a couple of years Sonic Wrecks just sort of existed on the fringes of the community, but slowly they began to build a small but loyal following.
…Oh, And Kari’s Angels too. (2002-2004)
But that wasn’t the only video game project that was going on at the time. Along with internet friends Wolfie from New Zealand, TogetherAgain from Canada and fellow Brit DigiCowboy (a.k.a DC) the quartet created media Digimon resource and humour site Kari’s Angels.
A creativity hub, much like LMC in a way, it featured comics (of a sort), discussions about the TV series, news, articles and even an ”Agony Uncle’ section in which BlackWarGreymon tried to offer his won brand of “advice” to those who sought it via email. Even though it often ended with him hurling the letter in the bin, or attacking someone with Terra Destroyer – but hey, what can you do?
It also featured a lot of factual information, and this combination of fact and humour actually grew super fast. Too fast, as it happens as only Kevin could code HTML which rather backed up updates at a time he reallllly couldn’t work on things.
Eventually the site just sort of fell apart but the interaction did spawn a series of collab stories, the characters of which (Angelus, Alzari and Frost) made their way into the Sonic Wrecks comic.
Oh Shoot, This Is Actually Becoming A Thing (2006-2008)
Somehow, some way, Sonic Wrecks began to gain popularity. Helped no end by the three streams of content: the Sonic Wrecks comic, Radio Redux which pretty much wrote the rule book for Sonic podcast radio shows and the Shadow Depository, a collection of Sonic media so dense and diverse that all three branches of SEGA themselves used it as it was easier for them to find reference material!
By 2006 the number of sites were starting to dwindle slightly and Sonic Wrecks grew. It began winning Sonic Site Awards for entertainment and comics and getting noticed as one of the real ‘up and coming’ websites and a player in the UK scene.
SW’s jovial off-the-wall tone and positioning as an ‘alternative’ destination from the norm for those that felt they didn’t fit’ helped solidify its reputation, it’s own forum Entherial Online (also named in reference to the Kevin and DC’s characters) attracted a variety of familiar names and Kevin was helped out by a small collection of other staff. These would include Ram The Dragon from Uruguay and now better known as Suf and another Brit by the name of Blake Draco, who LMC visitors will know as Dusk.
SW was one of the sites invited to take part in the inaugural Summer Of Sonic celebration (which took place online) and it created a very special parody version of the website called Winter Of Robotnik – so yeah, we already did that joke everybody. Sorry.
IRL community meetups began to happen, small ones, then big ones. Kevin’s work behind the scenes and product knowledge also saw him start working at SEGA, and this led into SW having a founding partner role in the creation of what would become the Summer of Sonic live events.
We took part in the community’s “A Race To Name” competition for Sonic Chronicles, and Sonic Wrecks ‘s YouTube channel was the centre of a viral test campaign run by SEGA to reveal the game Sonic Unleashed. Things were really kicking off.
Goodbye Red & Black (2009-2012)
Over the next few years Sonic Wrecks worked up the ranks as it were, at one time swapping places with The Sonic Stadium as the biggest Sonic fan site in the UK and into a sort of #3 spot for the English speaking fan portals. In 2010 the three sites mentioned teamed up to reveal the first footage of Sonic’s new voice actors within Sonic Colours, we also helped out UK Channel 5’s The Gadget Show with Sonic merchandise from the SW collection for a show (that they promptly managed to severely damage) and we also helped Video Games Live with media content and information during this time.
Radio Redux moved to SEGASonic:Radio to help it survive and in 2010 it became the first show to broadcast live on both SS:R and rival RadioSEGA simultaneously.
Summer Of Sonic went from strength to strength and while it seems eternally linked solely to The Sonic Stadium it has always been a collaborative effort one we’ve been front and centre of. While that contribution may be forgotten most of the time, those in the know are aware that SOS simply wouldn’t have taken place without a lot of hard work from the team on this site.
2011 remains Kevin’s favourite Summer of Sonic. He left SEGA in March 2011, though not before leaving great dirty fingerprints all over Sonic Generations – actually succeeding at getting Nack the Weasel to cameo in the game. (Which should be worth a medal in itself.)
The team rocked with Crush 40, caused mischief with Tommy Tallerico, drank with Yuji Naka, spoke with Iizuka-san and Sonic Team at their Japanese offices, got slightly plastered with Richard Jacques and more. Yet a percentage of the community was still bizarrely dismissive of SW due to it’s Shadow-based branding. The staff shrugged at this. Those who had fun, had fun – and we sure had a a lot of it.
Hello Blue & Yellow (2012-2014)
Change can be hard and can be painful. Sonic Wrecks as a site was basically done – with no games on the horizon and an attitude from SEGA towards the site and its people that had left everyone unwilling to deal with them again. Last Minute Continue’s birth came out of necessity, to focus more on gaming in general, but it was never intended to supplant Sonic Wrecks. On the contrary, LMC’s original creation was the result of a job offer to Kevin.
A lifestyle company being created by a professional footballer was seeking someone who could cover video games both news and reviews and Kevin got the role. He called the section ‘Last Minute Continue’, made a bunch of content, went to a host of meetings and even a swanky celebrity gala… and then was promptly never contacted again.
Despite moving into livestreams on Twitch, and the site receiving new blood with the likes of Turbo, Donnie, DoubleXXCross (then Umiyuri) and the support of others such as long time friends Urtheart and Vger, Kevin ultimately decided that Sonic Wrecks must end in 2014 with the archive pushed to Tumblr and even Radio Redux mothballed.
But all that work on LMC wouldn’t go to waste.
It just had to be repurposed.
A New Start (2014-2019)
Where Sonic Wrecks would end, Last Minute Continue would begin. LMC would still be a key contributor to Summer of Sonic and keep a watching eye on the community it used to be a part of but taking the familiar style of irreverence SW had and moving to a format unrestricted by focus on one series or publisher.
As LMC tore down and rebuilt the new site Kevin moved things more to what they themselves found fun with contributions from all sides including long time members of its community like Mr. Vanato and TheBritishAndy. One of the old problems was that previous items had become a chore. Whilst the content ‘tent poles’ were no longer in place the team found that new creations such as Uncutting Crew, Last Minute Kick Out and others brought far more personal satisfaction. LMC became about friends having fun.
Originally it was intended for the previous theme to be the last with LMC moving over to being a purely YouTube (and Twitch) outlet. However YouTube’s inconsistency rather put paid to that idea.
In early 2020 Kevin became aware that all support for the old WordPress theme had ceased – which was rather a problem. The decision was made to do a full conversion and update. This would mean repairing, reworking or replacing all the posts and pages of the site as well as combining LMC with archived news posts from other projects. A new theme was sourced which would help focus more on video.
After several months of downtime, not helped by the COVID-19 pandemic, LMC would return and with it so would some familiar faces. With plans for not only new Sonic Wrecks comics but a return for Radio Redux, which had been doing one-off specials for several years but returned to RadioSEGA with a new more professional sound.
It was all an evolution of what came before – and what lies ahead? Well you’ll have to wait to find out.