March 10, 2007
Welcome to all of you stray wanderers who have found themselves here at my long-dormant labour of love. I believe I have some explaining to do. Forgive me if I sound wistful.
In July 2000 I created Project Zelda here on Tripod because it was just the thing to do at the time. I had two other websites (Pokemon and Digimon, not surprising for the time) and thought a Zelda site would round out very nicely. I had the basic site design and a vast knowledge of my subject; the fact that the newest game was due out in a couple of months sealed the deal. I kept this site under construction while promoting it on Digimon Canada and opened it to the worldwide web on Auguest 22, 2000. I had done pretty well; I had the basic FAQ-like lists and pages, screenshots that weren't the easiest to find (I made the 13 Link's Awakening photos myself on a GBC emulator), a banner I spent a couple of weeks in MS Paint making and various little tidbits (such as tricks I'd learned or a rant, which would be referred to now as a blog) that made this site my own.
On August 28, 2000, I applied for hosting at ZeldaGames.com and was accepted the same day. Because I'd written my source HTML so it would be easy to bounce from one location to another and have all the links and images work right away, I moved into http://projectzelda.zeldagames.com and further promoted my site. I became affiliated with some of the better known fan sites like Zelda Vault, Ganon's Tower, Zelda Legends and The Lost Woods, and through no partucluar reason PZ became one of the most popular Zelda sites on the internet. (I remember in May 2001 getting 1500 individual visitors a day and being #1 on the Zelda Top 50.) 2000-2001 was the great time for this place. I even remember some company (2gui.com) offering to buy me projectzelda.com in June 2001. I accpeted their offer without bothering to think about how good their hosting service really was, which came back to bite me. I soon just left the dot-com and went back to ZeldaGames in July and everything was peachy. But then **IT** happened. The apathy started kicking in.
In the first 12 years of The Legend of Zelda's existence, there were a total of five games. The Legend of Zelda (1986/7), Zelda II (1987/8), A Link to the Past (1991/2), Link's Awakening (1993) and Ocarina of Time (1998). It took five bloody years for Ocarina of Time to coime out, and then in a span of merely eight months from October 2000 to May 2001 three new games (Majora's Mask, Oracle of Seasons & Ages) came out. Nintendo had FINALLY realized that Zelda games were good and that people wanted more of them. The problem? I wasn't incredibly keen on keeping up with all of it. Now, I remember being deep into Majora's Mask. I even had a purple theme and special banner for the site. But when the Oracle games were first announced all I could really do was post the same batch of screenshots every other site was posting and wait, and by the time the games came out there were other places doing WAY more than I could ever hope to do with it. I just didn't have the drive to keep up as well as I could have. I played through both Oracle games and absolutely loved them, but that love couldn't translate over to the site. Another big thing at the time was the existence of "Zelda 128," which was footage that was shown at Spaceworld 2000 showing just how amazing the newly-christened Nintendo GameCube looked. No one really knew at the time that the images of a better-looking Link fighting an awesome Ganondorf was actually from Super Smash Bros. Melee and not some new Zelda project, but damned if we weren't dreaming big at the time.
There were others in between, but I remember two of the final significant news posts from my time at ZeldaGames. One wasn't even video game related; I believe I "blogged" on June 11, 2001 about how Ray Bourque had finally won the Stanley Cup he'd been waiting 22 years for when the Colorado Avalanche beat the New Jersey Devils in Game 7 of the final two days earlier. The other one was the one that stopped the world; like everyone else on the planet, I blurbed about the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 with text I might have ripped right from somewhere else. I had a decent path ahead of me in terms of maintaining my site, and I certainly would have continued with what I had, but around then, pretty much right after 9/11, ZeldaGames.com simply vanished.
I remember that the webmaster George was reputedly a stoner and never did take the greatest care of his site. I mean, at many points I was getting more traffic that him and that was never even my initial intention. I'd built a successful Zelda homepage but I was stuck without anywhere to put it. I stuck everything back on Tripod and waited, and then my old friend Zelda Vault came knocking. Cerial_Will had gotten a domain and offered me the chance to revive PZ, which I jumped at, but once I had all my old files up and functioning correctly, I really didn't feel like doing anything else with them. Looking back, I was more concerned with keeping some sort of "legacy" intact rather than honestly maintaining a website that people would want to come to, so when Zelda Vault likewise died out some time in summer 2002 due to reasons I'm not familiar with I wasn't very disappointed. I figured I'd just leave this mirror up and someday rebuild.
Over the years I've tried to start PZ back up. I remember attempting it in 2003 when ZeldaUniverse.net said they'd host me, but something went wrong with my FTP account and I never got it straightened out. I meant to make my info sections fuller and my game scope wider, updating sections like The Wind Waker and Four Swords and adding side-things like SSBM and Soul Calibur II, but that never got off the ground. I actually remember being on the GameSpot Forums so much inspired me to give PZ another crack, but that was also very short-lived. The last piece of news I ever posted was the second-ever trailer for "The Legend of Zelda GCN," as we referred to Twilight Princess at the time. Time sure does fly.
I remember E3 2004 in all its glory because seeing that Zelda game reminded me of the 2000 footage and made me think that Nintendo was finally listening to their audience. I remember when Master Quest came out because I remember reading about the original Japanese release in 1999. I remember struggling through The Minish Cap and pwning my way through Four Swords Adventures. And even now, as I immensely enjoy The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (the culmination of 20 years of Zelda), I remember the good times I had with this site and the things the future has in store for me as a person, a gamer and anything else I might be. The info is old and a lot is out of date and it'll never get any prettier, but this site means a lot to me and I'll never get rid of it.
Rest in peace, my old friend.
Project Zelda 2000-2002?3?5?7?