Wow. It sure has been a wild ride. It’s hard to believe that, ten years ago today, a young man named Lars sat down at his computer and decided that there weren’t enough good guides for Ocarina of Time online, and so made his own. To say that Zelda Universe has spawned a community of Zelda fans beyond any of our wildest dreams would be the greatest understatement ever made – Zelda Universe started a Zelda fansite revolution that continues to this day.

We’re remarkably proud of everything we’ve accomplished in the last year of our existence, but I think this is the time to reflect on everything we’ve done – from the beginning – and to celebrate the fact that we’ve made it this far.

(We know it’s also the anniversary of Zelda as well – we’ll get to that! We promise! Coolest double anniversary ever.)

For those unfamiliar, Zelda Universe was founded in 2001 by a man named Lars Christian-Simonsen, who still lurks around the joint from time to time. Lars had a knack for building websites (well, perhaps not back then), and he learned how to grow a community. In 2003, he opened up the Zelda Universe Forums, and the rest is history. At a certain point – and I still see this as one of the coolest developments in Zelda Universe’s history – Nintendo’s official Zelda site decided to steal our name and call themselves “Zelda Universe”. Imitation is flattery, right?

It’s almost remarkable that Zelda Universe has survived this long, given how many people have owned or run the site since Lars’s departure in 2005. Needing money for college, he sold the site to a wealthy website “farmer”, relinquishing his power over the staff and setting his sights on his own future. The site has changed hands several times since then, at many points almost demoralizing the staff and community, eventually ending up in the hands of yours truly.

Since I’m not Lars, I can only really comment on the last seven years – though I’m sure we’ll end up hearing a ton of testimonials from members who’ve been around even longer than I have (crazy, huh?). I’ve worked with endless amounts of staff, and all but a fair few have been spectacular in all their work. I’ve never met or worked with better teams of people who love the series more.

I am blessed to have such dedicated staff members, and the awesome partner-in-crime that is Cody Davies. My past partner, Scott Smallback, was webmaster with me back during our crazy revamp of 2008. Although he’s no longer officially working on the site, him and I still work on side projects together. I suppose ZU just has a knack for bringing people of a common interest together. We all have always loved Zelda, but our interests always seem to overlap on a much deeper level.

Zelda Universe has always been the odd man out in terms of online communities. I’ve never seen another place where people can form real bonds with one another – our members have been holding meetups for as long as I can remember. This always astounded me, because on a personal level I’m usually afraid of meeting someone I’ve met over the internet – on a message board no less – but I’ve met with a ton of people from this place and never once have they been anything less than what they said they were.

Of course, the real meat of ZU has always been its guides – the legacy that Lars left behind. Many of Lars’s original guides have since been totally rewritten since the revamp of 2008 – a real turning point for ZU where we combined the efforts of the entire community and all 50+ staff members in our arsenal to recreate Zelda Universe and rewrite its guides which, at the time, were starting to seem a little dated.

The community donated over $2000 dollars so that we could have the amazing layout everyone now gets to take for granted every day. I’m still shocked that we pulled it off – after ten months of hard work, we moved ZU to new backend software, rewrote all of its content, added new content, and created and coded the new layout. And we couldn’t have done it without the generosity of all of you who donated, and the hard-working staff members behind the scenes that did all the work. Two and a half years later, I still have to say thanks one last time for that incredible effort.

I think, though, the last year has been something really spectacular. We’ve gotten ourselves onto YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and the response has been phenomenal. We turned ourselves from a moderately active news site into the top Zelda news site around. And we’re figuring out newer ways to reach Zelda fans all the time. Between crazy events like covering the Chuggaaconroy copyright violation scandal and the announcements of Skyward Sword, the 3DS, and Ocarina of Time 3D, we think the last year has been the second-best year for Zelda in a while.

Why the second best? Well, this year is going to be the best. Two games, a new console… and some hidden surprises from ZU. Oh yes, we’ve got hidden surprises.

It only goes up from here. From myself and everybody on the ZU team, we heartily thank you for being a visitor to our site – and for coming for however long you’ve been coming. Trust us, we’re not going away anytime soon. And we’re stupidly proud of that and all the history we have under our belt. Long live ZU!

  • Happy Birthday, Zelda Universe!

    • Lazer_Falcon

      I've only just recently joined, but Happy anniversary Zelda Universe!

  • Odraude

    Double Digits. The Big 1 0.

  • Oodles of Noodles

    Whoo! Zelda Universe!

  • TwiliMidona

    Happy Birthday ZU! May the best Zelda site live on forever!

  • Link24

    Wooow already 25 years? Thats amazing^^ happy b-day Zelda!
    And happy b-day Zelda ZU!

  • Happy Birthday Zelda Universe! Keep up the great work! 🙂

    – Sophia

  • Congratulations Zelda Universe! Wow! 10 years!

  • JtGamer17

    Congrats

  • Wolfen

    Ahh, 2001. When Lars was AnakiN- and Wind Waker was just an E3 trailer.

    Good times, good times.

  • That's so cool! ZU's and Loz's have the same birthday! Happy double digits ZU.

  • OH! NICE BANNER.

  • ExoXile

    Congratulations–keep up the amazing work!

  • cloverplayer

    LONG LIVE ZU!

  • ChainofTermina

    yeah, I remember the days when I first came to this place. I'd spend all day reading the fan fiction on this site, then later I got into the main site stuff. it has been while, and I'm glad ZU has been around for that long. Happy B-Day Universe!

  • hosermanx

    Happy Birthday ZU ^_^

  • I have to take this to the source: Thank you Lars for coming up with a community that draws many members from years ago back to it. I'm glad you didn't give it up, and have passed it down into efficient hands.

    Jason Rappaport and Cody Davies, despite their infamous rivalry, are invaluable elements in ZU's amazing progression, and along with the staff members have merited the title of greatest Zelda site. I look forward to what they have planned for this illustrious years, and the future beyond it.

    Happy Birthday, ZU!

  • link

    yay zelda

  • Begleiter

    Happy Birthday ZU, wish there was such a thing as a tri-force cake, would be the most delicious thing, though i wonder what would the three forces flavor resemble, power = chocolate, wisdom = strawberry, courage = vanilla maybe?
    or perhaps and ice-cream cake of sorts would be good too……. (*~,*) drools

  • Guise

    Contrary to your… um upbeatness, some of that can be the most disheartening thing to happen to an online community.

    The loss of members, the decrease in activity, the decay of ones passion.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love what you’re doing and I love how you’re doing it(bottomless enthusiasm), but thinking of all those who have come and gone can make one feel… empty.
    I’m sorry, I just hate to see people “burn out” and drift away.

    But, no, this is a joyous occasion. For today we celebrate the life of the community and the joy of the users. ZU turns ten today and we should all look back on it’s many accomplishments. Yes, Reminisce of good times had and friendships made.
    We now remind ourselves why we still come here.

    Let us enjoy every second.

  • Jathavan

    Happy Birthday, let us just hope you guys puts on more news than before 🙂 ! But still let ZU live forever !

  • margar

    Happy birthday to the site that has been my e-home since 2004 <3

  • Ozl

    Congratulations, im new here but still i can appreciate how a site grows and gets better with time.

    Good day people!
    Happy Zelda 25th Anniversary!

  • aeolus

    woah, that IS an awesome double anniversary…

  • Jimbobthon

    Congrats for an amazing 10 years, of which i've been here for 7 of them. And congrats are in order for the Zelda franchise on reaching 25 years.

  • goronbot

    This is my favorite site I go on it everyday Im home
    I love this site and I'll go on untill the day I die (long time)

  • goronbot

    go to the very bottom of the screen they put some awesome candles

    • Etsuko

      That is quite awesome. 😀

  • LoZymugglegater

    Ooh,hidden surprises, my heart burns with curiosity!Anyway,holy cow,I can't believe I've been coming here for 5 years! Best Zelda site,nay, best fansite ever! Happy Birthday ZU!

  • Skywalker

    Congratulations, Zelda Universe! May you life atleast a 100 years more.

  • Baker1000

    I've been visiting this site for at least 5 years. Never really commenting before, and I'm not a member of the forum either. But I have to say this is THE best Zelda resource on the net, and here's to another 10 years of it.

  • I DEMAND YOU TELL ME THE HIDDEN SURPRISES. NOW.

  • Was it all worth it? You bet your dag nab *** it was! May ZU rule the world someday. Or at least live forever. What?

    Happy birthday to Zelda Universe (.net) and the Zelda Universe Forums community! I have never "met" a better (and more mentally unstable :P) group of people, and you are all the greatest. Except for Hombre de Mundo. He still scares me. (Nah, just kidding, man! You're awesome, too!)

    Here's to another 2,005,750 years of ZU! Oh, wait. I'm turning 2,005,750 years old next week. Poo, got them mixed up. But that works, too! (Long comment FTW)

  • Selon

    awsome. happy birthday.

  • TrustMe101

    I'm so excited for this year! There's Skyward Sword, Ocarina of Time 3DS, the 3DS… Plus, Zelda Universe's hidden surprises are probably going to be pretty dang awesome! 😀

  • maefreak

    Happy Birthday to the best Zelda fansite on the net!

  • Hombre_de_Mundo

    I'm very happy and grateful to be part of staff for my favourite website in the world.

  • In that case, I'm very much looking forward to this year. Happy Birthday ZU, here's to another 10 years!

  • I love the community. I love ZU.

  • Doran_Bladefist

    Super sexy time, I await Cody to jump out of the cake! 😛

    Congrats to one and all members and staff of the site! Best Zelda and creativity resource on the net!

  • I AM THE GREAT TIRE

    HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY ZU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • dark_link121

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY

  • QueenxLink

    LONG LIVE ZU, LONG LIVE THE LEGEND OF ZELDA, LONG LIVE LINK AND LONG LIVE a bunch of other things… Happy birthday, ZU and The Legend of Zelda!! Love you, Link!!! ♥

  • Happy birthday, Zelda Universe!
    To celebrate your birthday, how about you send me a reply to my staff application? It's been 3 months since Cody last contacted me….

    • rachel

      hey i am a big huge fan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! of zu so have fun

  • rachel

    I am so happy for you ZU happy 10 years and i am a big fan of you and i like spirit tracks and my name is rachel but my friends call me zelda.

  • Garrett

    This is my fourth year of frequenting ZU, and I'm glad to see that it's going stronger than ever! Thanks for a great time, and here's to many more birthdays to come!

  • SnowLeopard48

    Happy Birthday, ZU!

  • aw9000 (AKA Aaron!)

    Congradulations ZU!!!!! WE ALL LOVE YOU!!!!!!

    And Lars if your seeing this its all cause of you man!

  • Teh BBDeh!

    It feels good to see this first decade celebration! I'm looking forward to seeing what is up ZU's sleeves for the coming year (and I really am always very happy to see ZU's past celebrated).

    Thank you Lasse, and Jay, and all the rest ;0)

  • Kotah

    damn, this has just made me realise i've been lurking this place for 7 years now, god thats a long time, and a lot of awesome memories. Happy birthday ZU!

  • Pablo

    Happy Birthday ZU!!!

  • Chozo Knight

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZELDA UNIVERSE!!!!! I love this site so much. I remember when I first found it, I thought it was amazing that there were other people who loved Zelda as much as I did and had crazy theories just like I did. And even though you guys shot my theories down ducks, I still love you guys. 😀

  • malinkfan

    awww i'm a day late! Happy Birthday Zelda Universe! May you continue to shine for all the zelda fans out there!

  • lifesavers2

    Grr… I'm not on this site enough anymore. I guess I'll be here more from now on. I've just been too busy modding my gameboy 😀
    And happy birthday!!

  • Nintendo Dude

    This is the best place on internet ! Congrats Zelda Univers 😀 !!!

  • HolyWar

    Been visiting this site since my childhood (I'm 24 now).

    I'm so happy you guys are still up, active and doing well. Happy birthday and keep up the good work!

  • Phantom Link

    Happy Birthday Zelda Universe!

  • Link4eva

    WHOO! Happy birthday, Zelda Universe! And happy birthday, LoZ! AND happy birthday, Link! (wheres the cake and ice cream?) 🙂

  • Etsuko

    Geez. Happy birfday u gaiz! You're epic! Everything I know about Zelda and Nintendo really comes from this one site! Keep up the awesome!

  • MikauDarmani89

    ALL HAIL, ZELDA UNIVERSE!!!

  • lulles

    happy birthday ZU!

  • Awesome!

  • Bitf Adict

    I can't bookmark the main page. Has this happened to anyone else?

  • MLink96

    Coool 😀

  • triforcemaster123

    happy birthday zelda universe this and zelda rocks!!!!!!!! its the first game i evered played!!!!!!!

  • reshiramblack17

    the image would have gone better with 25 anniversery of zelda but Happy Birthday ZU !!!

  • triforcemaster123

    zelda rocks

    • triforcemaster123

      zelda

  • triforcemaster123

    who wants 2 b friends

  • triforcemaster123

    who wants 2 b friends

  • triforcemaster123

    lozymugglegater do u wanna b friends

  • Ethan

    kinda funny I'm 10 to

  • KingZora

    HAPPY B-DAY!