Today we are highlighting a longtime Metroid community member and friend of Shinesparkers, Elias Thompson! Elias is the original founder of MetroidHQ, one of the oldest Metroid communities online. With the help of other staff, Elias started a podcast and an annual gaming marathon, MHQthon, which has raised thousands of dollars for charity. Elias now streams randomized playthroughs of Metroid games and A Link to the Past on his own Twitch channel, and is currently Twitch Director at Zelda Universe.
Hello readers. I’m Elias Thompson, founder of the Metroid website MetroidHQ. While I no longer actively run the site’s operations, the years that I did even up to this day have left a profound impact on my life, which I owe not only to the Metroid series itself, but to the online communities that formed around it, and the people who have helped me run MHQ over the years.
I started MHQ the summer before my freshman year of high school in June of 2004. (Yeah, I’m dating myself here. Hush.) It was a pretty exciting time to be a Metroid fan back then–both Metroid Fusion and Metroid Prime had been released less than two years prior, and we were eating up E3 reveals about Metroid Prime 2. I was a fairly active member of the Samus.co.uk community at the time, and everyone there was so excited about what the future would bring for Metroid, that they expressed themselves by creating sub-communities and fan game projects.
Metroid Headquarters, as it was known at first, was the spawn of such an initiative. I threw together the initial website in Yahoo! Geocities Pagebuilder and started our own forums on ProBoards. In large part thanks to the willingness of SCU to allow advertising of the sub-communities that spawned from it, the MHQ forums got off to a decent start. Somehow over the course of my high school and college years, the community continued to grow. We built a real website, got our own domain, and became one of the go-to Metroid communities online.
By fall of 2010, I was done with school and in the working world, and the time I had to dedicate to running MHQ became more limited. Throughout the years, I had a lot of help in maintaining the website and moderating the community. In particular, Gendreavus, Saturnaut, Smilindeth, DragonX24, and Raiizn were all instrumental in helping build up MHQ. Despite us keeping on top of things, however, the community was beginning to become stagnant, and the latest Metroid release at the time, Metroid: Other M, wasn’t quite what we were expecting, and began a years long drought of Metroid games.
It was around that time that a relatively new Metroid fan, Torby Brand, approached me with some ideas on how to bring in some new life into the community. With his experience and advice, we were able to start a long-running podcast that, much like these spotlights, talked to several members of the greater Metroid community, as well as discussed some in-depth topics in the Metroid universe. We were also able to start an annual Metroid video game marathon for charity, MHQthon, which has raised thousands of dollars and that we continue to do to this day (August 17th, 2019 on twitch.tv/metroidhq, if you’re interested). In lieu of actual Metroid news, we did our best to keep the conversation going.
These days, things are different. The Internet has evolved, and we continue to looks for ways to be an active community where Metroid fans can talk about their favorite video game series. I handed to reigns over to my staff some time ago to focus on some other projects, but the bonds I’ve made and the legacy of what we did will stick with me for many, many years to come.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Elias since September 2010, when I contacted him regarding an affiliation with MetroidHQ. Since then, we have collaborated on a number of interviews, projects and events for the Metroid community. Elias is super professional, hard working and dedicated to everything he is involved in, but equally can be light-hearted and fun, which is something I can respect. Elias has been a huge support to Shinesparkers throughout the years, supporting our website and projects, from interviews to our Harmony of a Hunter albums. As Elias transitioned from running MetroidHQ to his current role at Zelda Universe, I have enjoyed his personal projects such as Winecraft Wednesday, and The Elias Thompson Show (starring Elias Thompson). Thank you Elias for your support to Shinesparkers, for letting me be involved in your projects, and most importantly, your friendship throughout the years.