Once upon a time, which was somewhere in the range of the late 90's, I had a biology paper to write yet the library had limited information on the subject matter I needed. It was at that moment I thought of trying something brand-new that I'd never tried before: the Information Superhighway. On March 5, 1997 I visited my first webpage, and it went like this:
CLICK TO VIEW MY FIRST WEBPAGE
To the hesitant: it's just a bunch of random facts about fungus, and then it ends with a picture of Maria Shriver's face. Of all the ways to get introduced to the Internet, this foretold a lot about what I could expect.
Two years later, I no longer had to use the library because my parents got their own computer: the eTower 366c, ranked as #8 on PC World's Top Ten Worst Computers Of All Time. I immediately took photos of it with the most high-tech digital camera available:
This was our computer still in its boxes, in the basement.
This was the computer in the same location, set up for the first time.
The Internet has grown in flashiness and noise over the years. Now I truly CAN find anything, using only Boolean search techniques and a relaxed attitude toward copyright law. Many of the things I found interesting over a decade ago, when only rich people had broadband and it was still relatively chic to make a .txt page, may not be appealing to you now. Nevertheless, I still think some of this stuff holds up, but we may need something extra to keep the rest of you from bailing on this piece.
So guess what? Not only will I link to newly restored editions of my favorite hangouts, but every word from this point forward will link to a different website. As you read, you can gamble with your browser, never sure where the next adjective or adverb is going to take you. THAT...will be INTERESTING! This bold new experiment commences NOW!
One of the first webcomics I read was someone's ambitious adaption of Ocarina of Time, and it wasn't half bad. It was only completed up to Link leaving Kokiri Forest, but the chapter that adapted the game's first boss fight, entitled "Queen Gohma", was rip-roarin' awesome.
Little Link is fighting Mrs. Gohma, but not very well. Soon the parasitic armored arachnid has him in the grip of death, and Navi is frantically searching for a different weapon. She ultimately has to make her own, and ties some twine around two sticks.
She flies up to Link with the new weapon and says it's called a Fairy Slingshot. "You put rocks in it and fire them!"
"But I don't have any rocks!" Link replies.
"Oh.....um...." Navi looks around, but before she can say anything else, Link grabs HER, puts HER in the slingshot and fires into Gohma's eye. Gohma falls and dies, Link cheers over his victory, and a sour-faced Navi crawls out of the wreckage.
That scene should have been in the game.
If you'd like to read it yourself, you're out of luck. It hasn't been online since 2000, and Archive.org retrieved none of it. All that was saved was the main page, or the HTML of it at any rate.
CLICK TO VIEW WHAT'S LEFT OF "ZELDA: THE ONLINE COMIC"
EURO-ASIA GAME BOY
Just so you know ahead of time, before you figure it out: every single site I "surfed" in 1999 was game-related. And "Euro-Asia Game Boy" was one of the first, despite the fact that it only covered Game Boy news from Europe and I was in Oregon.
In August of 1999 EAGB tweaked a guestbook program, turning it into the "Pokemon Never Ending Story." This experiment was up for about two weeks before its increasingly bizarre narrative pushed EAGB into tweaking it further. It restarted the next week in a multi-path "Choose Your Own Adventure" format, which proved harder to moderate. The whole thing was taken down six days later, with a public message on EAGB's front page suggesting some of the more frequent contributors should go see a psychiatrist.
I'm telling you this because the Pokemon Never Ending Story was the very first thing on the Internet I ever contributed to. If I could go back in time, I wish I could tell myself (among other, more important things) that right-clicking on a Web page brings up its source code and that Internet content is easily savable this way. At the very LEAST, why didn't I copy the text into a Word document? It would have made what I had to do to resurrect this page much easier. For years, the only proof that the Pokemon Never Ending Story existed IN THE ENTIRE WORLD was the printout I made of the first thirty entries.
It is only recently, through OCR Technology, that I was able to convert the printed text back into digital form without having to type out the entire thing. What wasn't printed has been reconstructed from memories. You're going to roll your eyes at some of the extreme Poke-Fandom exhibited in this story, but you should at least stick with it until the "Mega 64" post. Whoever that guy was, his part still makes me laugh uncontrollably.
I must be the only person in the world who'd spend this much effort on bringing something like this back, but it's got nostalgia value, and you have to love sentences like "IT HAS BEEN KNOWN TO DESTROY SEVERAL UNIVERSES WITH A SINGLE SLASH." By the way, I'm getting tired of typing out "Pokemon Never Ending Story" every single time, but I don't think I should abbreviate it.
READ THE POKEMON NEVER ENDING STORY
ZELDA POWER RUMOR MILL
Remember when every single amateur website used a solid black background? Zelda Power is still around, but I haven't been there in years. All the content it used to have in 1999 is now off the site, most notably the Rumors section. Every week they'd publish a batch of ridiculous rumors that readers sent in, and I thought they were the best.
|I heard in Zelda gaiden that
link can turn into a 8 foot monkey and if you die, you
goto a zoo. plz tell me if this is true.!
Yeah umm sure. You need to sort your problems out before discussing Zelda gaiden!
Here is my status so far in Zelda64; 32 hours,98 golden spider, 18 heart's.My tasks ,which can you can see by looking at the map of hyrule;that area that blinks.The task that I'm having problems will is the market place.The only thing in the market place that has a green cursor around it when I lock on it is the chicken... Soo what do I do with the chicken?? I can't stop it from running around the market place at all..
Please send me E-mail back with an answer and if you could ask around(e.g. Shigeru Miyamoto)
Son Kim firstname.lastname@example.org
Sure, I'll just phone my mate Shiguro Up.
Me: Hey, Shigy - what's the chicken in Hyrule Market got to do with the game?
Shiguro: Ah chicken. My favorite meal.
Me: No, I'm talking about the Hyrule Market Chicken in Zelda 64.
Shiguro: Chicken taste good!
Ok, so we will assume the chicken is nothing but a way of practising your Z Targetting.
CLICK HERE FOR SEVERAL RUMOR MILLS
OH NO!! NOT ANOTHER FINAL
FANTASY VII WEBPAGE!!
Super-veteran readers, or readers who poke around Archive.org, may remember this website was linked to from the original main page back when not much else was on it. A-org's preservation of the site is shaky and unstable, so I copied the entire thing to this location. It's no burden; the entire site weighs a little over 5 MB.
The mysterious "Frank" created "Oh No! Not Another Final Fantasy VII Webpage!", a FFVII fansite that consists of typical fanfiction fare, but if you read one portion of it, that portion must be "The Great Mousse Hunt." If you ever wondered how Cloud keeps his mane so punky, there's your answer.
CLICK HERE TO RELIVE THE GLORY DAYS OF JRPG FANDOM
HYRULE: THE LAND OF ZELDA
Finally, there's this, still the best Zelda fansite I've ever followed after all these years. The legendary Ariana rumor originated from this site (and may have been fabricated by them) so it was really popular in its heyday. Of course, I haven't followed any since about 2001, but I still think HTLOZ hit a level of perfection no one will top, even though the site engaged in some of the most blatant fanboyism I've ever seen -- the creators publicly vowed never to play a Final Fantasy game that wasn't on a Nintendo system, among other things. I hope they enjoyed Crystal Chronicles.
Also, they shut down their message board just for kicks to get everybody mad at them. Maybe I should stop reminiscing or I might take back a few things I just said.
CLICK TO VIEW THE BEST ATTEMPT AT MIRRORING A LONG-DEAD SITE
CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO THE MAIN PAGE. OR MAYBE HERE! OR COULD IT BE HERE?? HA HA HAA, AT AN IMPASSE, AREN'T YOU?