For a while now, I’ve had something in the works. A personal dream of mine has been to recreate the Phantom Hourglass launch contest we held way back in the day. The launch contest was nothing short of a huge success, but the money to hold more contests never came. On the flipside, the donation button on Zelda Universe is rarely used, and I always wondered why. But the answer was plain to see: There wasn’t much incentive to donate, even if you knew it would help pay for ZU’s hosting costs.

So I developed an idea, whereby we would all contribute and build our own contests, that we could all participate in. An idea that would completely replace standard donations and turn them into something that immediately gave back to the community. And I’m calling it The Bank of Hyrule.

The Bank of Hyrule is something ZU’s never had before – a complete overhaul and replacement of Zelda Universe’s traditional donation system. In fact, it’s hardly a donation at all, because ZU keeps none of the money. So what the heck is going to be done with it?

When a person “donates” to ZU, the counter on the Bank of Hyrule’s main page rises, indicating how much is currently in the Bank. This is all well and good, but the real magic happens when the Bank reaches a certain amount of deposits. When that happens, the money in the bank will be flushed out and spent…

…on a contest.

These contests will have very simple entry rules and will be open to, hopefully, everybody in any country – anyone who visits ZU. Contests could range from a Smash Bros. Brawl tournament, as we’ve done in the past with marginal success, or baking a cake shaped like Link’s head and taking a photo of it, with prizes ranging from copies of The Legend of Zelda Manga to a DSi (or several!). The beauty is that it’s funded by the community, so as long as Zelda fans visiting ZU want to have a contest, then a contest there shall be! More than one contest could even run simultaneously, if there’s enough funding.

I’m hoping to launch The Bank of Hyrule by this Monday. There are still a few kinks I need to work out in the system, but it’s getting very close to being ready. I’m hoping that, when it launches, the Bank can be successful – of course, it will only be as successful as the community wants it to be. But if you’re up for some prize-giving fun, then so am I.