Forums
Guides
Features
Media
Zelda Wiki
Patreon
    I remember ZU when...
    • Keewii wrote:

      Dude I have been on this site since I was 12 and I am now 25.
      Haha I been on here since 2005. I have to say, I cringe looking back at my old posts. I pity anyone that dealt with my immaturity back then. My condolences to anyone that suffered.

      Mirren wrote:

      I remember when the maximum sig size was 400x200 and God have MERCY on your soul if you broke that rule.

      I remember when the litany of Zelda fansites competed in "best of" voting tournaments, and ZU lost to Zelda Power in the first round, much to all of our chagrin. More accurately, we were livid. Of course, 15 years later, and 95% of those other sites have been dead for a hot minute and we're still kicking it better than ever.

      I remember when novel-length RPG fights would go down in the Battle Arena on a daily basis (how the F did we have the time to write that stuff!?)

      I remember the ZUser Created Challenges; Fox hosted the first one as a graphics competition for the cover to a game centered around Ganon, and with Fox's blessing, I hosted the Writing Round, which welcomed written adaptations of scenes and sequences from Zelda games.

      Malia wrote:

      when capn faked his death
      when lt lollipop faked his death
      We've had a peculiar (maybe alarming) number of faked deaths around here, haven't we? :lol:
      There was another, I think even long before those two. I would have been 13-14 at the time so this is going back to 2003 or 2004. I can't remember the kid's name, but he was a Battle Arena regular and I was pretty good friends with him on here. He came here posing as his brother, saying that he was knocked out during a martial arts tournament and ending up dying in the hospital because of it? I think that was the story.

      Then someone ousted him when they searched the newspapers in the D.C. area for info on the story and found nothing. :cookiemonster
    • ZU has to be one of the longest lasting Zelda fansites out there. Probably one of the longest lasting gaming fansites in general. I'm glad to see it still thriving. Hopefully some more old timers will come back.

      I remember a fellow named Lord of Shadow. I believe he changed his named a few years back. I posted something random about 5 or so years ago (can't remember exactly) and he actually remembered me from the early days.

      Hm... maybe the ZU staff need to send an email blast to the email accounts to all the registered forum members. Maybe some will return.

      Hopefully this site keeps thriving and sticks around more many more years. And speaking of the future... I better mark March 26 2022 on my calendar. That'll be a big ZU milestone for me :)
    • Hoju wrote:

      ZU has to be one of the longest lasting Zelda fansites out there. Probably one of the longest lasting gaming fansites in general. I'm glad to see it still thriving. Hopefully some more old timers will come back.

      I remember a fellow named Lord of Shadow. I believe he changed his named a few years back. I posted something random about 5 or so years ago (can't remember exactly) and he actually remembered me from the early days.

      Hm... maybe the ZU staff need to send an email blast to the email accounts to all the registered forum members. Maybe some will return.

      Hopefully this site keeps thriving and sticks around more many more years. And speaking of the future... I better mark March 26 2022 on my calendar. That'll be a big ZU milestone for me :)
      It's hard to quantify. I know The North Castle is the oldest zelda website online right now (came out in 1997) but that place is dead and it has been for quite some time. I think Zelda Dungeon is slightly older than ZU and is still thriving really well.

      Some of the other zelda websites that came out around ZU inception are pretty much dead. So in terms of zelda fandom, ZU is for sure 1/2 longest lasting sites out there considering they are still very popular after 16 years.

      For other video game franchises I don't know at all.

      Ah yes I remember him! He goes by Max Nichols now but I haven't seen him in a while.

      Even though I used to fear larger aggregate web sites like Reddit may make fansites like ZU obsolete, ZU always had a strong community. I hope it lasts!

      EDIT: Wow you been here since 2002! Amazing!

      I remember ZU when each member had their member number next to their name. For example, Lars was number 1.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by HeroOfTime5 ().

    • Hoju wrote:

      I was a wee lad just graduating high school the year I joined. Now I'm mid 30s... haha

      Speaking of ZU. Not just ZU but I remember when ZU and other Zelda fansites would have their affiliate links on the page. I'm pretty sure I found ZU by some other affiliate link, probably Ganons Tower (which sadly no longer exists).

      Wow I haven’t heard about Ganon’s Tower in ages. That was a cool site.

      Speaking of websites I remember when ZU launched Zelda Wikia back in 2005. It made sourcing material such much easier on threads!
    • On the topic of salt:

      From the perspective of someone who's lurked on and off here for years, the amount of salt this forum has produced is legitimately impressive. A very recent example is the BotW timeline placement thread. I read every single post, and the amount of salt that one thread produced could have quite possibly completely destroyed the agriculture of a small nation. Very well-worded salt, though, in most cases.

      Side note, I don't remember when this smilie was added, but I'm really fond of it: :cookiemonster:


      Edit: Ganon's Tower was the first Zelda website I ever found, it was a favorite of mine. It is a shame it went down.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Wildecastor ().

    • Yeah, I really liked Ganons Tower. I think I used to be a mod their for a while too. The original webmaster was a cool guy too. I used to play xbox 360 with him back in the day even after he sold the domain. But yeah, he's a few years older than me so I think life just got busy for him and he couldn't keep up working on a website. He eventually sold it to a couple that actually lived in the same city as me.

      Sadly, this couple was planning on reviving the site then they just let the domain expire and haven't done anything with it. If you have a couple thousand dollars at your disposal you can buy the domain.
    • Hoju wrote:

      ZU has to be one of the longest lasting Zelda fansites out there. Probably one of the longest lasting gaming fansites in general. I'm glad to see it still thriving. Hopefully some more old timers will come back.

      I remember a fellow named Lord of Shadow. I believe he changed his named a few years back. I posted something random about 5 or so years ago (can't remember exactly) and he actually remembered me from the early days.

      Hm... maybe the ZU staff need to send an email blast to the email accounts to all the registered forum members. Maybe some will return.

      Hopefully this site keeps thriving and sticks around more many more years. And speaking of the future... I better mark March 26 2022 on my calendar. That'll be a big ZU milestone for me :)
      Lord of Shadow went on to work in gaming development, but I couldn't tell you where, sadly. He popped in for a brief period a few years back.


      HeroOfTime5 wrote:

      Hoju wrote:

      ZU has to be one of the longest lasting Zelda fansites out there. Probably one of the longest lasting gaming fansites in general. I'm glad to see it still thriving. Hopefully some more old timers will come back.

      I remember a fellow named Lord of Shadow. I believe he changed his named a few years back. I posted something random about 5 or so years ago (can't remember exactly) and he actually remembered me from the early days.

      Hm... maybe the ZU staff need to send an email blast to the email accounts to all the registered forum members. Maybe some will return.

      Hopefully this site keeps thriving and sticks around more many more years. And speaking of the future... I better mark March 26 2022 on my calendar. That'll be a big ZU milestone for me :)
      It's hard to quantify. I know The North Castle is the oldest zelda website online right now (came out in 1997) but that place is dead and it has been for quite some time. I think Zelda Dungeon is slightly older than ZU and is still thriving really well.
      Some of the other zelda websites that came out around ZU inception are pretty much dead. So in terms of zelda fandom, ZU is for sure 1/2 longest lasting sites out there considering they are still very popular after 16 years.

      For other video game franchises I don't know at all.

      Ah yes I remember him! He goes by Max Nichols now but I haven't seen him in a while.

      Even though I used to fear larger aggregate web sites like Reddit may make fansites like ZU obsolete, ZU always had a strong community. I hope it lasts!

      EDIT: Wow you been here since 2002! Amazing!

      I remember ZU when each member had their member number next to their name. For example, Lars was number 1.
      Yeah Zelda Dungeon is still doing very well, and has been for a long time. I would actually argue that they were the first Zelda fansite to really embrace social media, even before ZU did. They used YouTube extensively to build their reach before eventually utilizing other channels like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

      Hidden Triforce also established a dedicated following through social media. They're a smaller site than ZU or Zelda Dungeon, but they've sustained themselves well and have a lot of great editorial content.

      Other than that, it's pretty slim pickings for active Zelda websites. I'm sure I'm forgetting one or two, but it sure isn't like it used to be. I'm very thankful that ZU has thrived all these years.
    • Hoju wrote:

      I remember a fellow named Lord of Shadow. I believe he changed his named a few years back. I posted something random about 5 or so years ago (can't remember exactly) and he actually remembered me from the early days.
      Lord of Shadow got really mad at me on my first day as a member because I made a bunch of spam posts in the Zelda section that he had to delete lol.
    • Malia wrote:

      i remember the cody vs powershot election lol, and then all the mini independent factions that rose from it, also running for webmaster xD
      The ZUBC even produced an hour-long debate between Cody and Power Shot. It was delightful.
    • Cody summoned me. I am the self-proclaimed keeper of knowledge of the history of the Zelda community, and it's my favorite thing to talk about. So, many thanks to my boss, the illustrious Cody for letting me know about this thread.

      Many people have mentioned old Zelda websites and the people from them, so I thought I'd elaborate on some of those topics since I have some details that aren't often discussed.

      But first, I'll answer the original question asked in this thread.

      I joined the community (with one of those small Zelda websites to call my own) in 2002, and joined the forums in 2004. Does anyone else remember Anakin / Lars, the founder of Zelda Universe? When I remember the old days, that's who I remember. My little Zelda website was one of the Zelda Universe hostees in the final days before he stepped down. I owe him a great deal.

      So, let's clear up some details, shall we?

      Zelda Universe is the oldest active Zelda fan site remaining. The official founding date is February 21, 2001 (coincidentally, the 15th anniversary of the original release of The Legend of Zelda in Japan). Zelda Dungeon is the second oldest remaining; it was founded on August 19, 2001. There has certainly been competition/rivalry between us over the years, but I respect Mases greatly. Zelda Dungeon's contribution to the community cannot be overstated.

      There are a few older websites that are still online, but mostly inactive. North Castle was previously mentioned. Ice's Zelda Central, Zelda Legends, and Zelda Classic are all still online as well. Zelda Classic still receives some updates, and actually received a major website redesign last year.

      There are also smaller active Zelda websites open today. However, many of the newer content creators in the community have skipped building a website and gone straight to YouTube. Some smaller websites include Hidden Triforce, Link's Hideaway, and Want Midna Back. There are also some active Zelda fan sites that are not written in English. I'll give Hyrule Legends (Portuguese) a shout-out; they are our partner in the Zelda Maps project - the site would not be online at all without their help.

      All of these smaller sites are run by small teams that would greatly appreciate your support. The Zelda Universe leadership are in contact with them regularly, and I personally work to promote what they do whenever I can. Our community thrives when there are more websites, more YouTube channels, and more content of all types being created.

      I will also mention a few individuals who have come up.

      Lord of Shadow / Max Nichols is indeed a game developer now. I know at least three Zelda Universe team leaders, including myself, who are in regular contact with him. We banter back and forth on Facebook. He has written some guest articles for Zelda Universe.

      Lady Juliet, the founder of North Castle, is another important leader of our community that the Zelda Universe leadership are in contact with regularly. I could say this about so many people - and have already said it multiple times in this post - but I greatly respect Juliet. North Castle is not only the oldest Zelda fan site still online - it is also the oldest Zelda fan site that the community has any record of at all. As far as I am concerned, Juliet is the founder of our community.


      Cody also mentioned Power Shot in an image a bit ago. I ran into Power Shot completely by accident at a Nintendo event a few years ago. He was doing well at the time.


      In a similar situation, I had dinner with Dan, the webmaster of Ganon's Tower, a couple of years ago. I had scheduled to meet Mike Damiani / TSA (who is also still around - he works for a project called Easy Allies), and he invited him to dinner without telling me. Of course, I was happy to meet him. He was also doing well.

      I have hunted down old Zelda websites extensively. Some day (hopefully soon), I will publish what I have found to share it with everyone. There are far more small Zelda websites still in existence that you might think, but they tend to be very focused on one thing (like Zelda Classic) instead of being huge about-everything websites like Zelda Universe and Zelda Dungeon. There are also many old websites still online, both live and in snapshots on Archive.org.

      However, if you really want to see the past, you can just look at Zelda Universe. Our news archives go back to 2003 (something I only just discovered myself), and now that I know, I have put on my to-do list to track down other older news posts if I can to try to complete the set. In addition, I'm sure some of you know this already, but it's worth repeating - the Zelda Universe team today is populated with many of the old Zelda webmasters from the past, and we are in contact with many more.

      We work hard to keep in touch with the people who built the community. Zelda Universe is 17 years old now, and the community is more than 20 years old now. Preserving our history is important.

      Finally, I saw some complaints about the Temple theme. My forum banner says I'm the Guides Director, but that's actually out of date. I moved on to some bigger picture things. I can't elaborate much right now, but please trust me when I say that we hear you, and I'm working on it.
    • Mirren wrote:

      Lord of Shadow went on to work in gaming development, but I couldn't tell you where, sadly. He popped in for a brief period a few years back.
      I'm at Bungie now, working on Destiny!

      Oh man, gotta thank Cody for pointing me to this thread. Let's see, what's some juicy stuff I can recall.

      Well, when I first started here it was a young upstart Zelda site. Those of us from Zelda Legends, Ice's Zelda Central, North Castle, Ganon's Tower, History of Hyrule, Hyrule: The Land of Zelda, and some of the other old guard fansites felt secure in our established communities, surely nothing could threaten our supremacy!

      Lars (Anakin) and Zephka were the two webmasters who built the site. Lars once almost banned me position because I was badmouthing him at another forum. ...I was a little shit.

      Speaking of me being a little shit, my very first post ever at the site was me accusing Lars of stealing an analogy I liked to use in arguments about Zelda art styles from my posts at another site. Also, I once abused my super mod powers to ban some dude that I was jealous of because he was talking too much with a female poster I liked, and was just spammy enough that I could get away with it. I don't even remember who the woman was. Andi, maybe.

      Kari Fry used to do a weekly Zelda webcomic for the site. Nowadays, she makes awesome books for fangamer, like these:
      Stardew Valley Guidebook
      Banquet of the Wild
      Legend of the Hero
      Kanto Field Guide
      A Guide to Village Life

      I used an article I wrote for ZU as a my college entrance essay. That same article helped inspire at least two other ZU posters to go to the same school as me. All three of us got game design degrees. One of them was HylianDan, who wrote the seminal The Message of Majora's Mask.

      I got around - I was a supermod here, at Zelda Legends, Ganon's Tower, Zelda Headquarters, and the Great Deku Tree all at once. Even once I was webmaster at Zelda Legends, I still wrote articles for ZU.

      Speaking of articles, I've spent the last year off and on writing an article series about Ocarina of Time's impact on the series. Expect those to be published one of these days.

      Timeline theorizing was amazing back before The Wind Waker. I considered that my personal domain here at the site. DrZaius, OldBeane and I reigned as kings and argued a lot. ...I was pretty full of myself. Once The Wind Waker came out, it got too hard to fit everything into a timeline without making up too much stuff, or using multiple timelines (which I hated). I fought long and hard against the multiple timelines idea. I considered it a huge cop-out. Then, years later, Nintendo confirmed it, hah.

      I once got really angry at the sheer number of spammy and low-quality threads in all the Zelda forum sections, and spent like 5 hours locking threads I felt were low-quality. Then I posted an announcement about thread expectations. I probably single-handedly scared half our posters away that day. Those were the days when we had 100 active users at a time at peak hours every day, so we could afford to lose a few!

      There was a long period where the webmaster who took control of the site after Lars sold it (I don't even remember the guys' name) basically ignored the community. It was anarchy. The chaos, drama, and infighting in the moderator section was... really embarrassingly petty and dysfunctional, in hindsight!

      There was that one time where someone (Maybe Joshua?) made a special forum -The Stone Watchers I think - that was ONLY for Zelda webmasters and other prominent community members. Influencers, they'd call us nowadays. There were like 20 of us there. I think we were supposed to operate like illuminati or something. Didn't stay active long.

      I remember attending E3 2006 (back when Twilight Princess was first playable) when I was 18, using Zelda Legends to get a press badge. I met up with Davogones (Zelda Legends Founder), Mike Damiani (TSA), Melora from History of Hyrule, and Robin from Ganon's Tower there. One of the first big webmaster meetups.

      Good times. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

      One last thing. Here's the website from around the time I joined:
      web.archive.org/web/2002112906…www.zeldauniverse.net:80/

      And here're the forums:
      web.archive.org/web/2002120620…dauniverse.net:80/forums/

      I gotta say, growing up in the Zelda community was pretty amazing. I'm still active friends with 30+ people from those days: my facebook wall is basically a home for retired Zelda webmasters.


      Edit:
      Joshua: "North Castle is not only the oldest Zelda fan site still online - it is also the oldest Zelda fan site that the community has any record of at all. As far as I am concerned, Juliet is the founder of our community. "

      I think that Zelda Headquarters - the original, not Mike Damiani's version - predates North Castle. The one started by Niels T'Hooft and then continued by Conrad (I think his last name was van der Woude). But I could be wrong about that!

      That said, Juliet and Kirsty Singletone were involved with that original ZHQ community as well - I remember reading their fanfics there when I was, like, 12. Juliet especially is a towering figure in the history of the online Zelda community, and stayed with us far longer than Niels or Conrad did.
      Pronouns: He/Him

      The post was edited 11 times, last by Max N. ().

    • Pietro wrote:

      Lord of Shadow got really mad at me on my first day as a member because I made a bunch of spam posts in the Zelda section that he had to delete lol.

      Max Nichols wrote:

      I once got really angry at the sheer number of spammy and low-quality threads in all the Zelda forum sections, and spent like 5 hours locking threads I felt were low-quality. Then I posted an announcement about thread expectations. I probably single-handedly scared half our posters away that day.
      My bad bro, sorry XD.

      legendofzelda .com is not the oldest, but goes back to 1998 according to the copyright. Its no longer online, but its where I spent a lot of my teens online, where I first modded and also where I met some great people like Abyss Master and Mercedes who are still here.