News from July 2004
Lucky seven is what we've come upon here, isn't it? What a long time it's been. And you know what's funny about it? It gets longer every day. Strange how time works.
Now, ridiculously stupid opening paragraph aside, let me welcome you all to CoN's seventh birthday. We can now start our eighth year of life, which really is almost unprecedented among the major FF sites. It's really pretty amazing to me, this timeline. When this site started, some of the members here were in Uni; some were in high school; some in middle school; a few were probably all the way back in kindergarten. But yet, we've all come together due to our common interests (and for the most part, an ability to not suck at posting here. >_> ).
This past year has been huge. Without a doubt, the biggest year CoN has ever had by far. You all know what a statswhore I am, and what would a birthday story be from me without a little bit of stats fun? So, let's start here: in the past year, we recorded that we pushed 2,334,519 individual pages out to you all, for a total of nearly 162 GB of information. We set a new record for CoN pages delivered in a month for nine months out of the last 12. For one shiny week in April, we were even in the top 100,000 sites web-wide on Alexa's traffic monitor. Yes, web-wide. According to ISC, in January 2004, there were 230 million hosts on the internet. Some of those have no web sites, some have several. Even though we're lower now than that lofty peak, we're hovering near the 1,000,000 mark of the vast site log. So, even if you cut ISC's number in half, that still puts us near the top 1% of all sites on the internet in regards to traffic.
Oh, and we're not done yet. Give us some time to work on the projects we've got on the burners now, and year eight might be even bigger than year seven. We have some fun stuff planned, don't worry - and we think you'll like it! If you still think of us as primarily a Final Fantasy VI site, this year might change your mind. I kind of implied earlier that we are among the major FF sites on the web. If you agree, great. If you don't, stay tuned and we'll try to convince you. Unless you come to us just for the forums, then you don't care anyway and should really take some time to study your surroundings.
We do have one project that is coming OFF the burner right now to show up at your CoN dinner table. A lot of you probably know of FraudulentTommah's cool Rash project, which is a slick PHP based counter to the somewhat clunky quote management system at bash.org. Tom can tell you more himself, but launching today is the first major-site implementation of Tom's code, specially set up to work with CoN! So if you chat in #narshe, definitely submit the funny lines you've seen starting today - and if you don't chat with us, perhaps it's time to start!
Well, that's the big news today. Before I go, let me thank a lot of people for a very special year here. Of course, I have to start with Tiddles, without whom a lot of the cool stuff here would not be possible or would not be nearly as cool; Neal and Elena, who have been friends forever and the hardest working site admins that I could ask for; Phoenix for his work behind the scenes and intermittent news from Japan; Hikaroo for fab art; and finally among the staff, SSJC and Tommah, who have so often been stuck with the work that is most thankless but also extremely important to the site, and for always doing it in the most professional of manner even though they KNOW it's thankless.
We've also had a lot of help, as always, from those people who care a lot about the site and want to see us continue to grow. I can't mention everyone here because it would take forever, and I probably can't remember everyone who's helped in the last year anyway. But I'll spew off a few here - Mr_Thou, Max, Rubes, Super Moogle, Zeph, Hanyou, EvilEye, Pink_Nu1, Kappa - and of course the list can go on. Thank you all for showing what it means to really be involved with a community.
And, of course, thanks has to go to every person who contributes well to this always-expanding village. If you give your art or fiction to us to display on the site, you help us at the same time as you grow your own skills with practice and feedback. If you make thoughtful posts or create interesting chat, you dig a little deeper the hole in which we all swim. Of course, if you do none of these things, we probably still like you anyway. Well, some of you.
So there we go, that should about do it for this year, don't you think? Let's start it off with a bang.
Two final notes before I end my rambling.
1. Hopefully by now you have all noticed the ads in most sections of the main site. They show up with most page loads, especially on the main page, Final Fantasy IV, and Final Fantasy VI. It helps CoN to pay for and perhaps upgrade the server, and even maybe run contests in the near future if you click one of these ads a day. Please try it - it takes just a few seconds and really is quite literally the least you can do to help.
2. I know it's been rumored before that I might leave the site. I can't do so right now, we have too much to do in the next few weeks. So, instead of announcing an immediate permanent sabbatical from running the day-to-day operations of CoN, I am announcing that I plan to take my leave on 1 September of this year. This should give enough time to turn over the reins to Tiddles (no fighting over the order of succession, you kids), and for him to come up to speed on handling both my jobs and his.
Thank you all again for a great year, and may we all continue growing personally and as a part of CoN.
Posted in: CoN Site News
The title formerly known as Earthbound64 was feared dead as details ceased to emerge and the Nintendo64 died off. However, good news is here for fans of the series. Mother 3, the official title of the game, is approximately 60% complete, says the game's writer, Shigesato Itoi. It is not known if this means the writing or the programming of the game, but as the speculated release is late 2005, it can be assumed that it is the writing.
As a fan of the series, this makes me extremely happy. I had a Nintendo64, and had the game come out when I owned it, I would've been doing flips. Now that it's back, I might have to buy a Gamecube if that's the platform.
Posted in: RPG News
Paper Mario RPG, sequel to the N64 title Paper Mario, is scheduled for release on the Nintendo Gamecube this Thursday in Japan.
According to Nintendo, the sequel employs many of the same aspects of the original game--most notably the Action-RPG genre twist and cheery feel intended to help open up the game to younger audiences.
Additionally, the unusual qualities of 2D characters placed into a 3D environment are again a key point of the game, with such updates as the ability to fold Mario into various origami shapes, including an airplane and a boat, to help him traverse obstacles he encounters.
Nintendo Japan has posted an official site for the game (Japanese), but as of yet have made no comment regarding an American release.
Paper Mario RPG will retail for 5800 yen ($53-55).
Posted in: RPG News
As earlier mentioned by Elena, Final Fantasy I + II Advance is slated for release later this month in Japan.
Aside from a convenient new "save anywhere" function in FFI and extensive graphical and audio overhauls in both games, each title will feature new items, story elements and dungeons unique to the GBA release.
Final Fantasy I will include a new dungeon accessible at the end of the game, where players will be able to begin the "Soul of Chaos" quest.
To complete this quest, players will be required to defeat, in sequence, more powerful versions of the game's four fiends: Lich, Marilith, Kraken, and Tiamat.
And during the quest, bosses from Final Fantasy III(j) through VI(j) will appear in battle, including FFIV's Four Fiends, FFV's Gilgamesh, and FFVI's Chupon.
Additionally, a span of new items will be available, including an Ultima Weapon sword and full set of Crystal armor.
Final Fantasy II will include an extra chapter in the game's story, entitled "Soul of Rebirth." During this chapter, players will follow the activities of a new party composed entirely of assisting characters from the original game: Ming Wu, Scott, Joseph, Richard, and Cid.
Enemies during this segment of the game will be equipped with powerful new spells, and will include a new boss named Ultima Weapon.
Final Fantasy I + II Advance's July 27 release date is still tentative, as Square Enix has already pushed back the release once (from it's original schedule of July 15) due to a coding glitch.
The game is set to retail for 6,090 yen ($55-58).
Though it's nice to see some classics getting deserved attention, and the new features sound like fun, Square Enix seems to be pushing the early Final Fantasy titles a little far--along with this upcoming GBA release, official releases have recently been made for the PSX (Final Fantasy Origins), the Wonderswan Color, and even newer Japanese cell phone models using the NTT DoCoMo service.
Posted in: Final Fantasy I
It was recently announced that there will be a tweaked version of FF1, for the GBA. So far, the news includes bonus dungeons, a tentative release date in Japan of 29/07 of this year, and the fact that you can apparently fight Gilgamesh, Shinryuu, Ultros, Chupon, and the Four Fiends.
The Official Website for this release, though all in Japanese, provides some interesting screens to look at. Use the convenient gloved-hand menu navigator to load pictures.
(FF2 is also mentioned, but unfortunately we do not have further information on it at this time.)
We hope to get more information on this from Phoenix, our newsie currently staying in Japan. And the character images are very cute, but that's to be expected from a GBA, for some reason.
Posted in: Final Fantasy I
As the title states, Square Enix has released new screenshots of the latest installment of the company's flagship franchise. The unique character art features the work of designer Akira Toriyama. The screenshot feature some new characters, but it is unclear as of yet how many of these will be playable.
In other Dragon Quest VIII news, there is still no word on a North American release date. Japanese gamers are not much better off, however, with a vague release date of Winter 2005.
Source: Games Are Fun
Say whatever negative things one wants about Akira Toriyama's Dragonball and Dragonball Z anime series (and I'll most likely agree), but I have loved his video game character design work (for those who did not know, he was the man responsible for Chrono Trigger's art). Hopefully, the localization for the title will not take Square Enix nearly has long as it has taken them for Star Ocean 3.
Posted in: Square-Enix News
We've hit another milestone, as can be seen further down in the main forums page. Del_S amazingly guessed correctly to nearly the exact date. Here's his quote, from the 30,000 post news thread:
“And also, i predict July 4-6th for the 50,000th post.”
Here is a quote from Del_S, upon learning that he guessed right, from the chatroom:
that kinda freaks me out...
coincidence or not.
Well, there you have it folks. By the way, the 50,000th poster was Mogmaster, posting in this Kefka fanart topic. As you can see, it was on the 4th of July at 7pm GMT.
Thank you all for visiting our forums, and continuing to help our community flourish.
Posted in: CoN Site News