BSNES emulator co-developer Near reportedly dead due to apparent suicide

An actual SNES console

The retrogaming scene is mourning the loss of one of its major pioneers, Near, due to apparent suicide. The root cause of which was blamed over an extended case of bullying that lasted many years. But whose final nail in the coffin being the unfortunate event with the forum, Kiwi Farms.

Near also previously went by the username “byuu” and “Dave” and would openly identify as an introvert and non-binary.

A Tragic Event

Concern over Near’s well-being came to light yesterday when the otherwise private person posted a picture of themselves on Twitter. The photo shows a forlorn figure whose claim to have “never been able to smile” is most apparent. Making the activity even more suspicious are a series of posts, which have undertones of intent for self-killing.

Then, came next morning when word came out of Near’s untimely demise. As per tweet by prominent hacker and security consultant, Martin Hector, a document was shown citing Near’s friend’s account of they’s death. In it are information detailing the events leading to the suicide.

Not beating around the bush, the written document recounts at the start how the famous emulator author took their lives. Particularly, by overdosing on two medications: codeince and guanfancine. It is then said to have been followed by a photo of a noose and a never-ending loop of the music Les Voyages De L’âme by Alcest. But more importantly, it depicts the reasons why someone who held for so long would suddenly choose to end it all, ultimately. They were never heard of again.

From Nobody to Somebody

Near came to the spotlight when he began work for the SNES emulator, BSNES, back in 2004. Originally an undertaking with little to show for, they went above and beyond in his passion project. Their continued endeavor would later decrypt the then-seemingly undecipherable console and would lay out the gold standard in SNES emulation.

Aside from emulating 100% of the platform’s game library, they also helped in the development of another project on the same machine. This comes despite themselves actively working on improving their creation. The competing application, SNES9x, particularly, would eventually establish itself as a respectable homebrew in the scene. They would eventually work on other emulators, too, expanding on more than a single platform at a time with Higan and Ares.

With a penchant for the Japanese language, Near would engage themselves in translation project for global audiences. His most favorite seemingly the SNES RPG Bahamut Lagoon, which he had worked on for at least five times. Each instance of which starting off from scratch in a bid to apply his growing skill in the language. But the fifth one he’d consider his last, after reaching a perfection status.

Near died with a sunken heart by consuming a lethal volume of two synthetic drugs in his home in Tokyo, Japan.

Image used courtesy of Classic Gaming Quarterly/YouTube Screenshot

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