|Nasir Gebelli; programming God|
Nasir Gebelli is an Iranian-American programmer who began his career in the era of the Apple II, and eventually went on to program a handful of games for SquareSoft. Gebelli is legendary because his games were fun, unique, and tended to push the graphics of a system's hardware. Gebelli could be considered much like a Michelangelo of games; able to paint games with such artistry while being limited by present technology.
Gebelli began his career down the programming path when he moved to the United States to study computer science. After receiving his education, he started a game programming company called Sirius Software in 1980. As co-founder alongside Jerry Jewell, Gebelli began producing games at a fast pace - with one year yielding twelve games! Gebelli was known for his rapid production probably due to his method of programming - anything he planned for a game he would memorize in his head, so Gebelli would have to finish his work as fast as possible. During his time at Sirius, Gebelli programmed games such as Space Eggs and Gorgon, the latter becoming the best selling Apple II computer game at the time. It was also during his time at Sirius that Gebelli founded Gebelli Software, although this company closed its doors in 1984. It was shortly after this that Gebelli took a break from his work and travelled around the world.
|Gebelli's 'Gorgon' proved to be one of the most popular Apple II games.|
In 1986, Gebelli returned from his vacation and visited a friend of his: Doug Carlston, owner of Broderbund. Gebelli was interested in working again as a programmer and asked Carlston where he should begin. Carlston pointed Gebelli in the direction of Japan - specifically at two video game companies, Nintendo and SquareSoft. Then, Gebelli flew to Japan with Carlston and he was introduced to both Nintendo and the development team at SquareSoft. Although Nintendo did not show much interest in him, Sakaguchi knew of Gebelli's work and it was then that Gebelli was added to Square. Nasir Gebelli was now a part of the Square A-Team, which also consisted of Hironobu Sakaguchi, Nobuo Uematsu, and Yoshitaka Amano.
|An RPG proved difficult for Nasir to program.|
After his work with Square, Gebelli retired with Square royalties to travel the world. It was at this time that Gebelli was finished with the world of programming. It wasn't until August 8, 1998 that Gebelli re-surfaced again, this time at John Romero's Apple II Reunion Party. Romero had an interview with Gebelli, as they recounted on their early days of programming. Gebelli proved not only to be quite humorous, but very humble as well.
Nasir Gebelli currently lives in California and both he and Sakaguchi remain good friends.
Nasir Gebelli interview at Apple II Reunion Party
Interview snippit: Nasir and Secret of Mana
Nasir Gebelli on MobyGames
Nasir Gebelli article on Moofgroup
Wikipedia article on Nasir Gebelli