It seems like just yesterday that what we now know as Zelda was the Zelda Universe Wiki (“A Wiki Project of Data”, as the tagline went), a project started by myelf and forum-goer Yami. Although Yami quickly stepped down from managing the wiki, back then we were sporting ugly red, white and blue colors and updating the main page of the wiki with posts from ZU and miscellaneous wiki updates. All of the effort that went into building it up was based in one thread in the General Chit-Chat section of ZU’s forums.

My, how we’ve grown in five short years.

You’d be surprised, given the sheer amount of activity that the Wiki has, that it was ever tough to get people to edit and add articles to the site. In fact, it was a daily chore – I remember having to bug a million people. Edit! Create! Do something! – those were the daily pleas, all over the message boards and via IM. Articles were short stubs; we had our monoliths, and I specifically remember resident Legend of Zelda expert lord-of-shadow cooking up a spectacular page for A Link to the Past. But other than that, the wiki was lacking.

In late 2006, about a year and a half after its founding, I broke the wiki off from ZU. After a bit of debate, and a suggestion from ZU’s founder, Lars, the wiki was renamed to Zelda – why .org? The new name also came with a new purpose: Since the Zelda Universe Wiki began, other sites had been making their own wikis, and in general this was hurting us all by fragmenting the wealth of information in the community. I decided it was time that somebody stepped up to the plate and made a truly central hub of Zelda information, so that nobody would have to worry about making a competing wiki.

The only problem with that was that any new wiki or derivative of ZU’s wiki would inherently be competing with other peoples’ wikis. So, what to do? The solution was something no other wiki had ever done before – share ownership between multiple sites.

Since then, Zelda has grown from being owned by just one site (Zelda Universe) to nine different Zelda fan sites. All the webmasters from each contribute to the betterment of the wiki – including ZU! And in the five years since its inception, the wiki has grown from a small repository of information that I had to beg people to add to into a fully autonomous and growing Zelda encyclopedia. To say that it’s become everything I’d hoped it would become is an understatement – when I see the level of collaboration that occurs at Zelda between sites, I’m in awe. Competition is always put aside for the betterment of knowledge, and I think that’s what makes the wiki such a wonderful place.

And, best of all, there are some amazing plans in the works to make Zelda even more interactive and more expansive, like the recent creation of the NIWA (Nintendo Independent Wiki Alliance). We’re also working on a brand-new layout for the wiki that accurately reflects its veteran wiki status – we’re going all-out for this one, and you’ll hear and see more of that soon!

So, let’s all celebrate five years of building the internet’s largest and most informative repository of Zelda information – here’s to Zelda!

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