North Castle Approaches it's 8th Year

S ometimes I still have to pinch myself. I can't believe that it's been so long. Alright it's not that long, but on the internet it's surely a milestone. I'm still so very proud that my little pet project is still thriving and continuing to grow and is enjoyed by many. It's even nicer that people still remember this place after leaving the community for a while. It's always a first port of call. Nice to get random emails from old friends every now and again who just 'stopped by'. That's got to be worth something. Odyssey of Hyrule pips me to the post slightly as one of the oldest Zelda fansites and there's probably a few more but I'll hold my head high anyway because I got this far. As always there's been times I've been tempted to jack it all in, times I've wanted to walk away, but you know, something always makes me come back, keep going.

That something is you.

It's actually frightening to consider that it's been nearly seven years now since Ocarina of Time was released. Time seems to fly quickly these days for some reason. Perhaps that's because I've grown up, I've done and experienced a lot of things in these past few years, had a few different jobs, got a mortgage, met lots of interesting (and not so!) people and learnt quite a few lessons. In the midst of it all though, I've never forgotten my website or the people who've helped me keep going for so long. I have to admit that all seemed lost a few years back when who hosted me had a server crash and I lost a lot of the site. I could have easily given up but thanks to the help of Conrad VanderWoude I managed to retrieve a lot of the missing HTML through use of the Wayback Machine and then at the end of 2001 my friend Khuffie (host of kindly purchased the NC domain and gave me the space I needed to host the site. Khuffie really is indeed the saviour of NC in many ways because without his kind generosity I probably wouldn't have been able to get back up off the ground and start again. As for the man in question, he already knows what I think of him (hahaha) so we'll say nothing FURTHER on that subject!

I had a look at the editorial I wrote when North Castle was coming into it's 3 year mark and you know, so much has changed and yet at the same time, remained the same. I still have many of the same, loyal visitors. I still update once a month. I still get my steady 800-1000 visits a week. The layout is still the same old basic HTML, sadly I'm not clever enough to learn php! One day maybe. It's still first and foremost a fan-focused site so you'll not find any information past Zelda IV but you will find one of the biggest and oldest collections of art and fan fiction in the community (deviantArt and don't count!). The only thing that has really changed is the faces of NC and it is sad sometimes that so many of those people are no longer with us. However it's made up by all the people who support North Castle now with their submissions and suggestions or simply just their visits. I've got some wonderful friends in the community.

I'm still really happy that NC is held in high reverence by many people, despite its humble looks and facilities. I do feel it's a pity that I'm not in touch with as many webmasters these days but the community seems a little fragmented plus I don't have as much time on my hands these days but I try my best! I'm glad that I'm friends with Lysia from The Legend; one of my favourite Zelda sites, plus me and Khuffie have been long-time friends now (about 7 years is it?) and I was really glad to see Jack O'Reily come back to the community again with his great site, The Desert Colossus. Plus of course big thanks to Crazyfreak and Shin-Zeruda Hime from ZeldaLove; I can't wait for you guys to get back online! Thank you to all my affiliates too – you have great sites and thank you for your continued support and friendship.

We revived the NC forums about 2 years back now (has it really been that long?), at first a shiny but rather rubbish php board hosted by the unreliable Eventually after much prodding from several members we moved to Invisionfree and have been extremely happy there ever since. It's a small community and not always that busy but very friendly and everyone seems to have a lot of fun there. I'd like to thank Janus first of all for all the work he did organising the layout and such; back in the old days at Ezboard he was known as Sheiksilver so it shows how long he's been around to lend a helping hand to NC. Plus my sister Kirst does a brilliant job setting up most stuff and thanks go to Raul and Justin for their efforts as moderators. And of course to everyone who posts and contributes. Thank you! Be sure to check the photo collage because a lot of you are on there!

I've had some great contributors as well who I can always rely on for great submissions, I have to say one of my favourite fan fiction series this year has been Secrets by Wizera, and as always my long-time friend Megan'O'Shea has contributed some great shorts as well (I just wish she'd get her series finished!). Link Æwondåslåmon has also started some great tales but he too, needs to get them finished! Thank you to everyone who has submitted their stories because I've enjoyed them all. I've had loads of amazing art, probably too much to mention although I must give special thanks to Reaper's Ritual; first and foremost for her support and friendship, second for her brilliant art and finally of course for her project at deviantArt, The Zelda Collection, which completely pwns NC's paltry collection! Crazyfreak and Trance Gemini have also provided me with great pictures throughout the year too, plus everyone else who has sent in their beautiful pictures.

I couldn't have done this without you all because you are, indeed, what keeps NC going. I want to keep going as long as I love Zelda and as long as everyone else loves Zelda. Let's keep having adventures in Hyrule and sharing our creativity. Thank you for seven wonderful years. Let's have many more and make our eight year online the best yet!

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 This page was created by Juliet A. Singleton © 2005. All rights reserved.