History of Zelda Dungeon

Mases Hagopian first played the original Legend of Zelda back in 1990, but it wasn't the mind-blowing experience that many others had. At the age of just 4 years old, The Legend of Zelda was simply just known as the game with the shiny gold cartridge and nothing else. Flash forward to 1994 when Mases got his hands on the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and quickly fell in love with it. The expansive overworlds, fun gameplay, the great difficulty, the amazing music, and the dozens of memorable moments in the quest made the game a one-of-a-kind experience that he marveled for years to come. For Christmas 1998, Mases got a copy of the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and his love for the series continued, even going back and completing all the prior Zelda titles that he originally missed out on.

Leading up to the release of Majora's Mask in 2000, Mases started to become involved in the online Zelda community. He frequently visited ZeldaPower, as well as now debunked websites, Zelda Gaming Online and Ganon's Tower. Looking for Zelda related news, reading Zelda fan fiction, and checking out secrets in the games became a daily routine.

It was during the summer of 2001 that he thought of the idea of creating his own Legend of Zelda website where he could provide written strategy guides for all of the Zelda games. This idea finally came to fruition near the end of the summer of 2001. Mases had just started high school, and being an undersized and underdeveloped 15 year old boy, he was subject to some rather merciless bullying in school. He became a social outcast, not having any friends at all of his age, and the internet became one of his escapes from his high school life. Without having much to do during the school year, he turned to his Zelda website and the Zelda Community as a place to spend a large portion of his time. This would become the start of a decade long journey through the online Zelda community.

Layout 1.0

The Early Days


August 19th, 2001
Layout by Mases Hagopian

The site launched on August 19th, 2001 and was originally hosted at Yahoo Geocities, a free hosting service. The site initially launched as part of a network of sites about several other gaming and TV show series' that I had remote interest in, including Mega Man and Beavis and Butthead. The first layout was built using the Yahoo Geocities Site Builder and was incredibly basic and very primitive looking. Each subsequent page of the website had a different visual layout.

This early era didn't last long, and by October of 2001 all of the other sites on the network had gone inactive and only Zelda Dungeon remained. This primitive version of Zelda Dungeon had very little game content, and it was in October of 2001 that Mases began working on an Ocarina of Time Walkthrough. After about a month of work, Mases was beginning to lose interest in working on the site, based on the fact that there were no incoming visitors. Activity came to a complete halt in December of 2001. It wasn't until January 2nd, 2002, when Zelda Dungeon was first listed on the good Google Search engine. For the first time, consistent visitors began to flow into Zelda Dungeon. While it was such a tiny number in retrospect, the site was receiving 5-10 hits per day, and this caused work to resume on Zelda Dungeon. The site got its first affiliate in City of Clocktown, an aspiring website at the time, and Mases became very close friends with the Webmaster of City of Clocktown. Zelda Dungeon continued to rack up more affiliates and there was a consistent flow of new content appearing at the site. With the help of the Webmaster of City of Clocktown, Mases setup an account at shorturl, and the site could now be found at the much easier to remember zeldadungeon.vze.com.

Controversy hit Zelda Dungeon during this early period, when Mases was directly linking to mp3 audio files that were hosted by Zelda Power. Mases did not know that he was not supposed to do this at the time, but in response to these new audio files, more visitors began to come to the website. After a few weeks, Mases was contacted by Aaron Holt, Webmaster of Zelda Power, and was asked to remove the direct links to Zelda Power's media. Completely oblivious to the legality, Mases quickly removed the links, but hits remained consistent at the website, reaching 25-30 hits per day.

Layout 2.0

HTML Conversion


March 27th, 2002
Layout by Mofokuban

On March 27th, 2002, Zelda Dungeon launched Layout version 2.0, and it was the first layout that was built with html coding. The layout was built by Mofokuban, the Webmaster of City of Clocktown. With the introduction of HTML coding, the website now had a consistent appearance throughout all of the pages.

Two versions of this layout were actually released. Upon release, version 2.0 had a listing of all the Zelda games along the left navigation, and every specific page of content for each of the games was also listed. This worked well at the layouts launch, as there were so few content pages. However, the website began to grow and new pages were constantly being added to the site, which caused the left navigation to become very lengthy. Additionally, because site was using basic HTML, after every new page or affiliate was added, every single page of the website had to be individually edited.

Several months into the layouts existence, version 2.5 was launched. The noticeable difference was that the game menu on the left has been compacted so that it only listed the actual games. With version 2.5, the website began using shtml. This allowed the navigation bars to be adjusted without having to go through and edit every single page when a single link was changed, and this made editing the website a lot more efficient.

The site was growing rapidly during this layout, reaching over 50 hits a day and yahoo geocities was no longer large enough for Zelda Dungeon. At the end of each month, Zelda Dungeon was being taken offline due to overuse of the allowed bandwidth. After searching online for other free hosts that were more reliable, Mases stumbled upon a website known as Zelda Odyssey, which was part of the Chatville network. After contacting the webmaster of Zelda Odyssey, Zelda Dungeon was accepted for hosting, and moved to this new network.

During this time frame, Zelda Dungeon hired its first ever staff member, Steph. Steph originated from Link's Domain, a Zelda website which had just closed down. After seeing her work and seeing the closure of the Link's Domain, Mases contacted Steph and offered her a job at the website, where she officially became a staff member on October 27th, 2002. Steph ended up creating much of the Adventure of Link content at the time, and had set a new standard of content for Zelda Dungeon. Steph was only at the website for a few months before leaving her position behind. Almost all of her content has since been replaced, but Steph still leaves behind a legacy of being the first hired staff member at Zelda Dungeon, as well as raising the bar for content.

Layout 3.0

Hosting Issues


November 3rd, 2002
Layout by Victor

Just prior to the launch of Layout 2.0, Zelda Dungeon became affiliated with one of the leading Zelda websites online at the time, Zelda Central. Victor, the Webmaster of Zelda Central had grown to be close friends with Mases, and because of this, he offered to create Zelda Dungeon a brand new layout. On November 23rd, 2002, layout 3.0 was launched and it was quite a visual upgrade over layout 2.0, as it added more color to the website. Several noticeable changes could immediately be seen with the new layout, including the first official banner that the website had at the top of the layout. In previous layouts, there was just simply a line of text stating the websites name, but now a traditional banner was in place including the sites name and artwork from the Zelda franchise. Also, prior to layout 3.0, the site was always referred to as The Zelda Dungeon, but with the new layout, 'the' was dropped from the website title, and it was now simply referred to as Zelda Dungeon.

Zelda Odyssey, the host of Zelda Dungeon, was experiencing frequent downtime, and this led to Zelda Dungeon being offline rather frequently. With the growth of Zelda Dungeon being stunted because of hosting issues, Mases again began looking elsewhere in the Zelda community for websites that offered free hosting. On December 14th, 2002, Zelda Dungeon was accepted by Lars-Christian of Zelda Universe and began to move to its new home. Zelda Universe did not support shtml at the time, and this caused the transition process to be a bit more difficult. Zelda Dungeon abandoned shtml, and shifted towards php, of which remains the primary coding system of the website today. One of the luxuries of being hosted by Zelda Universe, was the large influx of fans that began pouring into the website. Zelda Universe was one of the largest Zelda websites online during this time, and this brought a lot of traffic to Zelda Dungeon. The site was now reaching an audience of over 200 unique visitors each day.

In early 2003, Mases applied for a domain name at acidmist.com, a website that offered free domain names. Zelda Dungeon was accepted, and the new url for the website was now zeldadungeon.com. In March of 2003, Zelda Dungeon once again contacted acidmist, and this time applied for the free hosting package that acidmist offered. Free hosting would be provided in exchange for the placement of a small banner advertisement at the top of each page of the website. Zelda Dungeon was accepted and in March of 2003 left Zelda Universe and found its new home at Acidmist. Leaving Zelda Universe slowed the growth process of Zelda Dungeon, but Zelda Dungeon was now on its own, outside of the shadow of being hosted at other Zelda websites.

Layout 4.0

New Co-Webmaster


May 3rd, 2003
Layout by Free Layouts

Zelda Dungeon released Layout version 4.0 on May 3rd, 2003. Mases found this layout online from a website known as Free Layouts. The site offered a bunch of free layout templates that could be freely used by anybody who runs a website. The layouts color scheme was drastically different than the previous two white layouts, as it had a much darker feel to it. After the initial release of the layout, Mases found that there was another, much smaller Zelda website, using the exact same layout template found at Free Layouts. This lack of uniqueness caused the layout to not be much of a hit with the frequent visitors of the website or with Mases himself.

After Steph became the first staff member of Zelda Dungeon a year earlier, the website hired numerous staff members to create content and write articles and editorials, but none of these staff members ever ended up sticking around for more than a couple weeks. On May 3rd, the same day as the launch of the new layout, Mases hired a new staff member who went by the alias of Cartoons. Upon his hiring, Cartoons was treated as a normal staff member and was assigned to work on content projects for Ocarina of Time as well as some material for Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages. After being given projects to work, Cartoons worked very hard and efficiently and just mere hours after being assigned material, his first content pieces were ready to be released online.

Mases saw this dedication that Cartoons had for the website, and over the next several months of the websites existence, updates became very frequent, content was being added on a daily basis, and the sites visitors were experiencing record highs. The site blossomed to getting over 500 unique visitors each day and on August 18th of 2003, the eve of the websites second birthday, Zelda Dungeon hit the mark of 1000 visitors in a single day. With his hard work and the success of the website, Cartoons was promoted to a Webmaster role at Zelda Dungeon.

It was also during this time period, that the first ideas of a Zelda Dungeon Forums were being tossed around. Mases was reluctant to create his own forum, as he felt it would be distracting from growth of the actual website, and because of the relative youth of Zelda Dungeon, it would not become very active. However, Mases began seeing the importance of giving a fan base a place to discuss, and formed the first of what became a series of partnered forums. Rather than attempting to create his own forum, Mases agreed to link to existing forums of various affiliate Zelda websites of Zelda Dungeon.

Layout 5.0

Green Return


November 25th, 2003
Layout by Avenged

Layout 5.0 was released on November 25th, 2003. The layout was created by Avenged, who at the time, was the Webmaster of an affiliate website, Zelda Chronicles. The website marked the return of the green color scheme that was seen in Layout 1.0. The layout was filled with dozens of variations of the color green, and this could be seen with a quick glance of the index page. There were very few images within the layout, and this allowed the green to really stand out and the page to load rather quickly.

It was also during this time period of this layout, Zelda Dungeon was able to affiliate with ZeldaPower, one of the biggest inspirations for Mases throughout the creation and growth of Zelda Dungeon.

Towards the end of this layouts lifespan, a stunt to the growth of Zelda Dungeon occurred once again because of hosting problems. Acidmist had been a great website for free hosting and a free domain name, but the big downfall was the poor technical support that was offered, and the reluctance of them to comply with the needs of their clients. In this case, Zelda Dungeon had outgrown the hosting package that acidmist offered, and towards the end of each month, the site was reaching its bandwidth limits and the site was coming offline.

This time period did see the hiring of Metalmallow, a new staff member that was brought on board to help the graphics field. Metalmallow created dozens of messenger icons, wallpaper images, avatars, and more. In addition to his graphics expertise, Metalmallow spent a lot of his time working on behind the scenes projects and would become an important member of the team in the coming years.

Layout 6.0

ZeldaDungeon.net


March 30th, 2004
Layout by Daniel

During the rough stretch towards the end of the lifespan of Layout 5.0, Zelda Dungeon also hired a new staff member to help produce a brand new layout. This new staff member began creating layout 6.0, but never quite finished before he vanished from the website. It is not known exactly what happened to this member or to where this member went off to, but the layout was not completed. Mases and Cartoons had all the various images that went with the layout, but it was only partially coded when the creator left. Cartoons and Mases slowly pieced together the layout, which at the time was quite difficult given the primitive knowledge that both Mases and Cartoons had with coding. After nearly three weeks of the site going without an update, Layout 6.0 was launched on March 30th, 2004. It was the first Zelda Dungeon layout to be created and hand coded by members of the Zelda Dungeon staff.

The hosting problems with Acidmist continued, and the search for yet another new host had begun. Unfortunately this also meant that the zeldadungeon.com domain name was also in serious jeopardy, because due to contractual fine print, it was owned by Acidmist. After a search for various other websites that offered free hosting services, Zelda Dungeon discovered a website known as Telefragged. The website was a well established gaming website that hosted several large fan websites from all over the gaming spectrum. They offered free hosting in exchange for a simple banner advertisement that had to be placed on the website. Mases jumped at this offer and after weeks of uncertainty with acidmist, the website moved to Telefragged and was now located at zd.telefragged.com.

With the domain name switch, visitors immediately plummeted. Fortunately enough for Zelda Dungeon, the switch ended up being a great benefit, as for the first time in quite awhile, the website was hosted on a stable server and visitors soon rebounded back to their peak position during the layout 5.0 era.

The 6th layout of Zelda Dungeon was the first layout that had a quick navigation system for the Zelda games. This was a trend started by popular Zelda websites such as Zelda Elements and Zelda Universe, and during this period, nearly every single large Zelda website had a similar quick navigation menu. The quick menu and the additional images on the side bars led this layout to be by far the most image complex layout to date. The lavender colored layout was also something quite different than any previous Zelda Dungeon layout, and was quite a unique look in color for its time. However, after the strong initial reaction of the layouts launch, most fans did not have good opinions of the look.

During this time period, Zelda Dungeon switched to Cutenews, a news system that allowed users to make edits on the sites index page without having to edit and upload pages through a FTP program. Having a new content management system like this allowed Zelda Dungeon to have staff members that can work independently to post news articles without having to go through one of the Webmasters or upload through FTP. Thus, during this time period, several new staff members were hired strictly as news reporters. Unfortunately, none of these staff members ever stuck around for more than just a couple of months.

Zelda Dungeon also saw its first active participation in a forum during this time period. One of the websites closest friends at the time was a website known as Zelda Legacies. They had their own community forum, but it was run by Cartoons, a webmaster of Zelda Dungeon. While not officially a part of Zelda Dungeon at its conception, the forums were actively promoted at Zelda Dungeon with links and consistent mentions of the forums. Throughout this time period, Zelda Legacies was beginning to dwindle away, and the forums were becoming more and more interlaced with Zelda Dungeon. This forum was known as the Forsaken Forums and in retrospect, is known as the 1st generation of Zelda Dungeon forums. The forum was run on the vBulletin forum software, which was licensed to the webmaster of Zelda Legacies. Unfortunately, Zelda Legacies and its forums experienced some rough times and went offline, leaving Zelda Dungeon without its own community forum. Throughout its lifetime, the first generation of forums for Zelda Dungeon accumulated over 300 registered members and 7,000 total posts.

Layout 7.0

Community Forums


August 23rd, 2004
Layout by MetalMallow

Layout 7.0 was launched on August 23rd, 2004, just four days after the websites third anniversary. This was the first of three layouts that would keep the tradition of launching a new layout in celebration of the websites birthday. The layout itself returned Zelda Dungeon to a white background that wasn't seen since the websites 3rd layout. The layout was created by Metalmallow of Zelda Dungeon, and it was his first attempt at a layout. The layout did however receive a mostly positive reaction from fans of the website.

Zelda Dungeon's content areas began making a gradual shift from standard content to full blown walkthroughs during the period just prior to the launch of this layout, as well as through much of this layouts lifespan. The first of these walkthroughs was completed in the summer of 2004 and it was the A Link to the Past site walkthrough. It was the first full game guide at Zelda Dungeon to have a complete walkthrough of the game, complete with both text and screenshots. This new standard of game guides carried over to the original Legend of Zelda, which was completed in October of 2004. In retrospect, many of these early guides appear to be quite primitive, but at the time of their release, it was top of the line material.

Shortly after the fall of the first generation of forums, Cartoons wanted to re-launch the forums once again, and he did so on October 10th of 2004. This was the first forum software to be hosted by Zelda Dungeon and it became known as the 2nd generation of Zelda Dungeon forums. The forum program used for this second forum was the phpbb software. Phpbb is a very popular free forum software that was used by several Zelda fan websites at the time. Activity at the forum sparked immediately upon the launch of the forums, and a steady incline in activity followed for the next several months.

Near the end of 2004, Cartoons had taken over much of the day to day operations of the website. Mases' focus turned to being almost exclusively on creating game walkthroughs for some of the various Zelda titles.

Layout 8.0

New Heights


February 25th, 2005
Layout by MetalMallow

Zelda Dungeon launched layout 8.0 on February 25th, 2005. The layout was MetalMallow's second attempt at a layout, and it took upon a gold color scheme. The layout had dropped the quick links navigation system at the top of the site that was present in the previous two layouts.

This era of the website saw some major changes in the day to day activities and updates at the website. In the previous four layouts, Mases and Cartoons were the primary news posters at the website, with the occasional post by MetalMallow. However, during the months after the release of layout 8.0, Zelda Dungeon hired several new staff members in Air Grady and Chance. Air Grady was brought on board to report on recent Nintendo and Zelda news, while Chance was hired at the website to help boaster the graphics department of the site, adding various new icons and buttons, as well as Zelda related wallpapers. Updates had reached their peak during this layout, with nearly daily updates occurring for several months.

In January of 2005, The Minish Cap was released for the Game Boy Advance in the United States, and just a few months later, Mases began working on a Minish Cap Walkthrough. Work on the walkthrough continued throughout the summer, fall and winter until its eventual completion in January of 2006. With the updates on the Minish Cap Walkthrough and content sections, as well as the frequent updates by the staff members of the website, visitors began soaring to new heights. The website repeatedly was breaking new records in total visitors for a single day. On April 2nd of 2005, Zelda Dungeon received 3159 unique visitors, which was a single day record at the time, and a record that would stand for the next 29 months.

The Zelda Dungeon Forums also continued to slowly grow during this point in time, eclipsing the 200 member mark and the 5000 posts count. It was during this point in time that the Zelda Dungeon Forums saw the registration of several members who would go on to become forum staff members. Many of these members that joined the forums during this period of time still remain a part of the Zelda Dungeon forum staff including Super Moderator Linkman8.

Layout 9.0

Big Surprise


August 18th, 2005
Layout by Henry

The 9th layout of Zelda Dungeon was released just before the sites 4th birthday on August 18th, 2005. The organization of this layout was done by Cartoons and the coder of the layout was Henry of Zelda Dimension. MetalMallow and Chance also contributed with some imagery and help with the coding. The layout was created behind the scenes by Cartoons, so much so that Mases did not even know about the layout. On the day of the sites birthday, Cartoons released the layout and made a post entitled 'Surprise' to celebrate the sites birthday. The next morning on the sites birthday, Mases came to the website to see the big surprise and made a formal happy birthday post, thanking Cartoons, Henry, and the fans of the website.

On November 14th of 2005, Avenged joined Zelda Dungeon as a new Webmaster. Avenged previously created Layout 5.0 and ran his own website, Zelda Chronicles. Avenged offered Zelda Dungeon some very unique material that was previously exclusive to his own website. Once the merger between Zelda Dungeon and Zelda Chronicles was official, most of this information was now available at Zelda Dungeon.

January of 2006 saw the launching of the Zelda Dungeon media server. The new media server was a part of the already well established 3ddownloads server provided by Telefragged. Zelda Dungeon began offering a whole listing of downloadable music from the Legend of Zelda series, including mp3 file rips and downloadable Zelda soundtracks.

Layout 10.0

Short Lived


February 12th, 2006
Layout by Avenged

Layout 10.0 of Zelda Dungeon was launched on February 12th, 2006. It was created by Webmaster of Zelda Dungeon, Avenged, who at this time was using the alias Chrono. This was Avenged's 2nd attempt at a Zelda Dungeon layout after previously helping create layout 5.0. This was the first Zelda Dungeon layout that was not symmetrical. There were still two navigation bars on both sides of the layout, but they each had different appearances.

The layout in general had an old school Zelda feel to it, using many aspects from the original Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link. The banner used in the background of the header was a map created by Melora, the Webmaster of History of Hyrule. It was a painting like modification to the original Legend of Zelda overworld. Overlapping the map, was a rare official artwork image of Link from the Adventure of Link. The rest of the layout had sprite images and background themes that very much resembled the Adventure of Link. The layout did come out really well, and it was a hit for the short time span that it was online.

There was even a small, lesser known Easter egg at the corner of the banner. The statement, "The Evil Jar Awaits The Chosen One" can be seen clearly, and this is a reference to the Legend of Zelda Animated Series. The evil jar was an item used by Ganon during the cartoon and it was symbolic as an item that was kept for the dead, inferring that death awaits Link.

A lot of the Zelda Chronicles content that Avenged had at his website was brought over to Zelda Dungeon. During this transition, much of the content was reworked to bring up to new standards, and one of the highlights was Avenged's 'Beta Files'. This included a well documented and thorough analysis of the beta history of Ocarina of Time. Another new feature at Zelda Dungeon was a character game. Each week Avenged would post up a screenshot from a Legend of Zelda game, but would blur out a character. Fans would then be able to send in their guesses as to who the hidden character was, and the results were posted the next week, along with a new character. It was one of many intuitive ideas that Avenged had to get fans more involved with the website.

Layout 11.0

Bright Lights


April 19th, 2006
Layout by Avenged

Just weeks after the release of layout 10.0, talks of yet another new Zelda Dungeon Layout had surfaced. Layout 11.0 was released on April 19th, 2006, and it was Avenged's third layout creation for Zelda Dungeon. The release of the layout came with almost universal displeasure of the color scheme. The new layout took on a gold color scheme, but most fans considered it to be too yellow and viewed it as being way too bright. Along with the new layout came a new greenish-gold forum template, which unlike the layout, received positive reactions from the forums users of Zelda Dungeon.

While Avenged and Mases were big proponents of the layout, the general fan base was not, and a steady decline in visitors was a result of this. After noticing the fans displeasure just three months after the launch of the layout, plans of replacing it with a better layout was in the works.

The staff at Zelda Dungeon was shuffling around quite a bit at this time. Cartoons, who went quite inactive for several months prior to this layout, began making a small comeback with frequent updates in the summer of 2006. Avenged on the other hand, had his interest sway away from the Legend of Zelda series and Zelda Dungeon in particular. Avenged began working on his own website, Planet Vegeta, a dragon ball website, and became less active as a Webmaster of Zelda Dungeon. Avenged would eventually resigned from his position as Webmaster of Zelda Dungeon and went on to resurrect his old Zelda website, Zelda Chronicles. Avenged provided the site with a steady flow of new material, frequent content updates, news articles, and two layouts during his time as Webmaster. With Avenged gone from the website, this marked the first time in several years where the site had fallen to just two active staff members.

Layout 12.0

Failed Mergers


August 19th, 2006
Layout by Jessica

Avenged and MetalMallow had been a big part of the creation of the previous 5 layouts at Zelda Dungeon, and now with both of them gone from the Zelda Dungeon staff, Mases looked elsewhere for help with the creation of a new layout. Originally Killswitch of Zelda Legacy offered to create a layout for Zelda Dungeon. However, after a few compatibility issues, the layout was scratched. Jessica, a good friend of Cartoons, offered to create a layout for the website and this version launched on the websites 5th birthday on August 19th, 2006.

The layout returned to a greenish color, but it took on a much duller color scheme than anything that Zelda Dungeon previously had. The layout was received with a mixed reaction from fans. Most users at the time did not overly like the layout, but much preferred it over the bright Layout 11.0.

Not too much happened during much of the first few months of Layout 12.0. Several new staff members were brought on board and frequent news updates and articles were written, but none of them received a positive reaction from the fans. The ideas were scrapped, and the staff members began to dwindle away. Usual content upgrades were being made at the website, and even the beginnings of a Link's Awakening Walkthrough were under way. The walkthrough however was never finished at this time, as other issues became more prevalent with the website.

Cartoons, the long time Webmaster of Zelda Dungeon, was beginning to take a much less active role with the website. He rarely made any news updates, and most of all his work was now being done behind the scenes. In January of 2007, Cartoons removed himself from the staff page at Zelda Dungeon and months later, Mases posted an update about his formal resignation as Webmaster of Zelda Dungeon. This left Mases, for the first time in nearly five years, as the only active staff member of Zelda Dungeon.

On October 31st of 2006, Mases made an update at the website, stating that it was the end of Zelda Dungeon as everybody had come to know it. Mases had been disgusted with the direction of the website over the previous few months as he watched site visitors dwindle to the worst that they had been in nearly 3 years. Even on the eve of the release of Twilight Princess, Mases at the time believed that Zelda Dungeon could not continue to exist in its current form, and Mases was beginning to look elsewhere in the community for smaller Zelda websites to potentially bring into Zelda Dungeon, or even to completely merge with.

In late October Mases approached the webmaster of a now closed website, Zelda Compendium. The website was fairly new, but already had a very high quality standard in content that even surpassed many of the outdated guides at Zelda Dungeon. Early plans were in place for a merger between Zelda Dungeon and Zelda Compendium, but plans never went through, as the webmaster of Zelda Compendium seemingly disappeared from the internet and his site was soon abandoned.

Several weeks later, the long awaited Twilight Princess was released. A dejected Mases, after the failure with Zelda Compendium, was in contact Killswitch about potentially combining into one larger website. After progress was made and some discussions took place, things fell through. After just weeks, plans of a potential merger were dead.

With two consecutive failed attempts at mergers, even with the release of Twilight Princess, Zelda Dungeon had truly hit rock bottom. Site visitors did receive a short jump with the release of Twilight Princess, but moral at the website was at an all time low. December of 2006 marked the first time since 2001 that a span of over three weeks occurred without an update. It wasn't until January of 2007 where Mases formally announced that the plans he had with the website had fallen through, and thus, regular updates would resume.

In January of 2007, Mases released a new section at the website known as 'Mas and Vic Present'. In this section of the website, Mases, and his close friend Victor, would review old NES games with a mixture of a serious and humorous tone. The videos were uploaded to Youtube, but Zelda Dungeon was the primary home of the videos. A section at the forums was created for the game reviews, and the project did end up gathering decent support. The long term effects of this included a gradual shift towards the inclusion of video based content at the website.

In February of 2007, Mases released what he dubbed as the 'State of the Dungeon address'. It was the first video based update where Mased spoke about the failed mergers with Zelda Compendium, Zelda Legacy, and a broad overview of what had happened in the previous few months. Mases also gave a brief idea of plans that he had for the future of the website, including a much bigger emphasis on the inclusion of more video content.

The update sparked interest from the Webmasters of LegendOfZelda.com. They too were looking for websites to potentially merge with and talks began just days after the update was made. The idea of having a Zelda website under the legendofzelda.com domain name was very intriguing to Mases. Plans were in place of labeling the forums of this new website as the Zelda Dungeon, while retaining the LegendOfZelda.com site name. There were also plans of bringing in the Zelda Dungeon forum members, merging the forum communities into one.

LoZ.com was a site primarily focused on media, news reporting, and a massive community forum. While Zelda Dungeon was focused on content and game strategy guides, making each sites weakness the other websites strength. At the original planning of the merger, the new merged site would be commenced with a brand new layout, signifying this big moment in history.

After just a few days of talks, the webmasters of LoZ.com wanted to get the merger done quickly, while sorting through issues in the future as they occur. Mases agreed to these terms and a site merged had commenced. The ideas of a massive launching of this new combined website fell through. There was no new layout, and the merger took place with just news posts at LegendOfZelda.com and Zelda Dungeon.

Just hours after this merger, thoughts were going through the mind of Mases, and he was unsure whether or not he rushed into this decision or not. After spending a few hours thinking about it and reflecting on the history of Zelda Dungeon, it hit Mases that this was a mistake on his part. Mases rushed and deleted his video update at Zelda Dungeon, deleted the three news posts at LoZ.com, and even deleted his State of the Dungeon video update. It was as if the last few hours of the website had never happened, and Mases had pulled back on his offer of a merger. Mases believed that he rushed into the merger, and that rather than it appearing as a true merger of sites, it seemed more so that Mases was just joining LoZ.com as a new Webmaster. After hearing the news, the relationship between the websites took a sour turn, and talks of the merger had died out.

Layout 13.0

Video Content


February 25th, 2007
Layout by Jessica

Layout 13.0 was the second layout that was created by Jessica and it took on a much brighter color scheme than the previous dull layout. The layout was focused on simplicity, with two standard navigation bars, very limited amounts of imagery, and a large content area.

After a failed merger attempt with LegendOfZelda.com in the previous layouts lifespan, talks of a potential merger began to pop up once again. Both sides acknowledged the problems that occurred the first time around and tried to give it another go. Disputes arose about what the possible new layout for this merged site would look like, tensions arose, and the second merger idea never came to fruition and was almost immediately shut down.

The new layout marked the continuation of the emphases on video based material at the website. All updates during this layout were done in a video form. Updates were much larger, but also further apart from one another, often happening every weekend or every other weekend. Updates were embedded onto the site's home page, and a subsequent textual update was placed right below the video. In addition to video updates, Mas and Vic NES reviews continued during this period of time, and towards the end of the layout, a subsequent page was created devoted to the Mas and Vic reviews.

In addition to videos to the NES game reviews and video updates, several more videos were added to the site. One of the features was a 'Top 10 Zelda Website' video countdown, where Mases and other webmasters voted on websites to be listed. After tallying up the vote totals, Mases began airing these countdown videos. The countdown was originally destined to be released in five segments, with each segment covering two websites in the countdown. However, only four of these segments were ever released, which meant only sites three through ten were ever revealed.

Another feature that has since grown at the website, was the inclusion of video based walkthroughs. Mases began working on a video guide for the original Legend of Zelda title. The videos were released at Zelda Dungeon as well as on YouTube, where the first video has reached over 500,000 views. The current YouTube account used for Zelda Dungeon was created on February 22nd, and quickly began to gather a following of subscribers based on promotion from the website.

On March 25th, 2007, Caleb Simpson was formally announced as a new staff member at Zelda Dungeon. Caleb actually applied to the website months before he was hired, but because of the uncertainty with the site during these months, he wasn't officially hired until March. Caleb began working at the website as a content specialist, working with Mases on some of the older game content, with more of an emphasis on better display and completeness of the material. Mases and Caleb revamped much of the original Legend of Zelda section of the site during the time period of this layout.

Layout 14.0

Phantom Growth


May 14th, 2007
Layout by Avenged

Avenged, who left the website 10 months ago, returned to Zelda Dungeon at the launch of Layout 14.0. The layout that was launched was originally intended to be released for Avenged's own Zelda website, Zelda Chronicles. After various issues came up with Zelda Chronicles and some influence from Mases, Avenged decided to come back and once again merge Zelda Chronicles into Zelda Dungeon.

The layout had a few notable differences than any previous Zelda Dungeon based layout, one of them being the color scheme. The tan color offered a fresh look to Zelda Dungeon. This marked the first layout in Zelda Dungeon history that went away from the standard two navigation bar system. While there were still two navigation bars on the website, they were both arranged on the right side of the layout. This also marked the return of a quick links navigation system for all of the Zelda. When the viewer scrolled their mouse over the game menu at the top of the layout, a small drop down menu would pop up, allowing the viewers to quickly navigate to a specific game page, without having to go through the game index page. These drop downs did not have a complete listing of every game guide, as it was believed that the menus would appear too bulky. Instead, they had links to the more popular pages for the particular games.

Content during this layout began to really thrive, starting with the continuation and completion of the Legend of Zelda Video Guide. The success of the Video Walkthrough, led the Zelda Dungeon YouTube account to reaching nearly 150 subscribers by August 6th, 2007. Additionally, Caleb began working on the Majora's Mask site walkthrough. Before Caleb joined the Zelda Dungeon staff, he had already completed a Majora's Mask text guide, in a style similar to what would be accustomed to what is found at gamefaqs. Caleb began transitioning the text guide into a site walkthrough, complete with screenshots and artwork, all in a well displayed form with boxes keeping things informative and organized. This new style of walkthrough was the foundation for future walkthroughs, and was a drastic upgrade to the previous styles that Mases created.

Since Cartoons left the website earlier within the year, the Zelda Dungeon Forums were becoming neglected by Mases and security upgrades for the forums phpbb software were ignored. Mases was disgusted with the direction that the forum was going, as the forum was becoming more focused on forum word games, textual role playing games, and more controversial mature discussion. None of which had much to do with Zelda Dungeon or the Legend of Zelda series.

On July 27th, due to poor handling of security by Mases, the Zelda Dungeon forums were hacked into. Later that day, Mases made an announcement about the hacking and removed the forums from the website. In subsequent announcements, Mases claimed that the hacking was irreversible and that the data from the php forums was gone forever. However, this was not entirely true, as both Mases and former staff member Cartoons, had database backups that could have been restored to just a few weeks prior to the hacking. Mases chose not to pursue this route and made the forum appear as if it was gone for good. Mases had long term goals of restarting the forums with new forum software and a fresh slate. On the 28th of July, Mases made an announcement that the forums at a then affiliate website Zelda Legacy were to become the new temporary home of Zelda Dungeon until further notice.

On August 19th, 2007, Zelda Dungeon celebrated its 6th birthday with tons of new game content. On this one day, multiple completed guides and portions of walkthroughs were all updated, including several new videos. This marked the single biggest update in terms of content in any single day at Zelda Dungeon. An even bigger update was planned but Avenged was not able to contribute content to the website at the time. Avenged soon had aspirations of resurrecting his own website, Zelda Chronicles, and shortly after the sites birthday, Avenged left as a webmaster of Zelda Dungeon once again. Avenged has since gone on to create a successful Dragonball fan site known as Dragonball Legends, as well as bringing back Zelda Chronicles once again.

Just days after the sites birthday, Caleb was rewarded for his hard work and dedication by officially being promoted to a Webmaster position on August 28th, 2007. Just days later on September 2nd, 2007, Caleb completed the Majora's Mask site walkthrough as well as all other Majora's Mask game pages. He also completed the text only version, which subsequently launched the Zelda Dungeon GameFAQs account, where the guide has since received a star rating. The site walkthrough was miles ahead of any previous guide put together at the site and was the new standard for game guides. Multiple other content projects were in the works, but all were put on hold by the imminent release of Phantom Hourglass for the Nintendo DS.

On September 26th of 2007, the first pieces of Phantom Hourglass content were being released for the site, five days before the games launched in the US on October 1st. Just a week after the launch of the game, the first pieces of the site walkthrough were put online and visitors quickly began to flood in as there was high demand for a guide for the newly released game.

On October 6th of 2007, Zelda Dungeon broke its single day visitor mark of 3159 unique visitors, a mark that stood for nearly 27 months. The 6th of October recorded 3472 unique visitors, and this record was subsequently broken a number of times in the coming weeks and months. Prior to this month, the site only reached over 2700 visitors on 4 days in site history. From this point until today, the site has never dipped below 2700 visitors.

On October 16th of 2007, Zelda Dungeon launched a brand new Forum, this time abandoning the old phpbb software, and switching to mybb. The forums were created by Mases, with the support of former webmaster, Cartoons. The forums began to immediately pick up a fan base, many joining to discuss the recently released Phantom Hourglass, while others joining from the old incarnation of the forums. The forum was drastically different than the previous incarnations, as at the time of launch it exclusively featured site and Zelda material, and did not have any features that were popular at the old forums, including a general discussion, role playing area, forum text game area, or a mature discussion. Mases received harsh criticism by some members of the old community at the time of this, but Mases stayed the path during the early months of the forums life, and many of the long time Zelda Dungeon members left the community.

Layout 15.0

Sprite Layout


November 22nd, 2007
Layout by Caleb

Layout 15 was launched on November 22nd, 2007 and was the first layout that was created by webmaster of Zelda Dungeon, Caleb. It was themed after the Temple of Droplets from The Minish Cap. The initial goal was to design a layout that made it feel like one was actually within a dungeon. The top banner of the website had a puzzle within it. A block of ice with a small key could be seen on the right side of the banner, and an area of fire could be seen on the left side of the banner. Much like many puzzles within the Temple of Droplets, the puzzles solution involved Link pushing blocks of ice to get the small key to the fire. The original idea was to make the banner interactive and playable, but this never did come to fruition.

The layout added a few buttons along the right navigation signifying the current site projects that the staff was working on. One of which, was Phantom Hourglass, where the staff was still finalizing some of the content and walkthrough pages. Walkthrough chapters were released on a near weekly basis since the release of the game and on January 2nd, the walkthrough had been completed. In the coming weeks, just about all the subsequent side pages for Phantom Hourglass were also completed. The walkthrough for Phantom Hourglass earned Zelda Dungeon nice rankings in various search engines, which surged visitors during the winter months. In the days just following Christmas of 2007, Zelda Dungeon recorded over 6000 unique visitors, a new record at the time.

On January 23rd of 2008, the Zelda Dungeon Forums received a big upgrade as the site switched over to the vbulletin forum software. This switchover saw a large initial push in registered members and total posts. Over the coming months, significant changes were made to the hierarchy of the forums with the introduction of several new forum rankings. New shoutbox software was installed on the forums, and with that, several new usergroups were established.

On March 1st of 2008, Zelda Dungeon was the recipient of the Golden Mirror Shield award, given out by the Exploding Deku Nut. Each year during the month of February, Darth Citrus of EDN hosted the Golden Item Awards, where sites were nominated and awards were given out to sites that were unique, aspiring, had a lively forum, had a great layout, and an award for the lifetime achievement. Zelda Dungeon was awarded the lifetime achievement award and it followed with an acceptance post by Mases at Zelda Dungeon in the days following.

April 4th marked the first time a staff member at Zelda Dungeon got married when Caleb tied the knot with his wife Michelle. Michelle would later become a frequent member in the Zelda Dungeon community and a staff member at the site. At the end of this layouts period, Zelda Dungeon added another new staff member in Dabombster. He was formally a webmaster at Zelda Legacy, but after he stepped down from his position, he was seen often at the Zelda Dungeon Forums. Mases approached Dabombster, asking if he had interest in helping out Zelda Dungeon as part of the site staff. Shortly after, Dabombster was added on board to help revamp The Wind Waker section at the website.

Layout 16.0

Zelda Dungeon Alliance


May 18th, 2008
Layout by Caleb



Beginning in February of 2008, Mases began revealing a project at the website known as the Zelda Dungeon Alliance. Over the next several months, Mases began revealing websites that were a part of the Zelda Dungeon Alliance. The original goal that Mases had envisioned with the alliance, was to have a network of eight Zelda websites, each who were unique in their own way. At Zelda Dungeon, rather than having minuscule sections devoted to things like fan artwork, a sprite comic, or a fan games section, Mases preferred to focus strictly on game content and allow other websites in the alliance to satisfy the needs of the other areas. These sites would then be featured at Zelda Dungeon with news updates on the index page, highlighting their exclusive content. At the launch of the 16th layout of Zelda Dungeon, all non-game guide sections at Zelda Dungeon were to be deleted, with focus now shifting exclusively to game guides.

One of the first websites introduced into the alliance was North Castle, a website devoted to fan artwork, fan fictions, and an assortment of other fan submitted content. Each month, Juliet, the webmaster of North Castle, made an update revealing the newest pieces of artwork and fiction. Mases would then feature several of these fan artwork images in what would become known as the monthly artwork update. Four to Six pieces of artwork would be posted at Zelda Dungeon, and this allowed a constant flow of updates to be put on Zelda Dungeon, yet not many resources needed to be focused on news updating and more time could be spent on guides. It also gave a lot of extra exposure to these pieces of unique content and gave the fans of Zelda Dungeon something interesting and unique. Some of the other unique websites that were announced as being a part of the Zelda Dungeon Alliance were Zelda Comic, Zelda Reorchestrated, and Zelda Classic. On May 18th of 2008, Layout 16, which was created by Caleb, was launched, and the alliance websites were now being fully implemented.

The layout had a quite a few drastic changes made to the website. With the inclusion of the alliance, all material at Zelda Dungeon was removed, other than game content, site content, and selective media content. All of the site content was stored in pop down navigation bars that could be found along the left navigation and within the header of the layout. The game menus along the left navigation now had huge pop out menus that displayed every piece of content for each game. The compacted navigation bars made it so that it was no longer needed to have two navigation bars on every page of the website. On the right navigation bar on the index page, there was a listing of site projects and affiliates. This page however, was only seen on the index page, and if a user navigated to a game content or a media page, the right navigation would be removed and it will be replaced with an expanded content area. This extra space of content allowed the staff members of Zelda Dungeon a wider area to work with and this ultimately led to higher quality guides because there was more room, allowing for larger thumbnail images to used. New sections of the Ocarina of Time walkthrough that Caleb was working on were the first pages that took these adjustments into effect.

The layout also saw the release of a new slogan for Zelda Dungeon that Caleb created, 'Let us take you through the dungeons'. This signified the extra stress the website had on game content and specifically, game walkthroughs. Content continued to pour in during this time period, with several new chapters of the Ocarina of Time walkthrough being completed, as well as the beginnings of the Twilight Princess walkthrough.

Prior to the launch of layout, Caleb had been working on another layout that had a black and red color scheme. This layout was never officially released, although it did have the same functioning mechanics as the final blue variation. The red variation of the layout was very image intensive, taking a long while to load, and it was decided that this was not practical. The blue variation also had quite a bit of imagery, but it was significantly smaller in file size.

On August 19th, 2008 Zelda Dungeon celebrated its seventh birthday and released a retro version of layout 1.0. Caleb created a mimic of layout 1.0 in a short period of time, and for several hours, it was available for viewing at the Zelda Dungeon index page. The actual birthday update was one of the largest content updates in site history, which included the complete Twilight Princess textual walkthrough.

The period of time during this layout saw a drastic increase in active members and total posts at the Zelda Dungeon Forums. Beginning in April of 2008, every consecutive month after April, had more total posts than the previous month. This trend continued every month through the entire lifespan of Layout 16 and into Layout 17. On September 19th, the Zelda Dungeon Forums reached the milestone of 10,000 total posts.

The Zelda Dungeon alliance had not worked out entirely as was originally planned. Many of the alliance websites were going through rough times or simply didn't have the type of material that warranted news posts. North Castle had been the only alliance websites that has been constantly featured at Zelda Dungeon with monthly artwork updates. When discussion of the new layout was being made, Mases and Caleb decided to reduce the alliance down to four websites, only keeping what they felt made the most sense for Zelda Dungeon.

There were a handful of other staff changes during this layouts era, including the hiring of Josh, who was the lead content specialist at a now debunked Zelda website, Zelda Oracles. After seeing his work at what was an inactive website, Mases approached Josh and offered him a chance to help out at Zelda Dungeon, at which Josh quickly jumped aboard and began working on various content projects, including the Wind Waker Walkthrough.

Layout 17.0

Video Podcast


October 21st, 2008
Layout by Caleb

Layout 17.0 was created by Caleb and released on October 21st, 2008. The layout was structurally very similar to layout 16.0, but had a much different color scheme, and included a huge fan artwork image for the banner.

The lifespan of the layout saw the hiring of several new staff members at the website. Many of them came and went, but some made major contributions during their time period with the website. Brandikins joined the team and was responsible for the complete revamp and write-up of both the Link's Awakening and Adventure of Link Walkthroughs. Zenox also joined the staff and worked with the staff to create a high quality walkthrough for the first quest of the Legend of Zelda. Yumil also joined the team during this period of time. He was formally webmaster over a closed website known as Zelda Relic, as well as being a long time friend of Mases. Unfortunately, while there was notable contributions, many of these staff members moved on to other projects elsewhere outside of Zelda Dungeon.

In November of 2008, Mases began experimenting with hardware that would allow for a Live Zelda Dungeon Video podcast. The first podcast took place on November 29th, 2008, but since it was not recorded, it is viewed as a beta version of the podcast. The first official podcast took place on December 9th, 2008. The podcast was streamed live onto the Zelda Dungeon Forums and appeared side by side with the forum shoutbox. Forum users could actively communicate with Mases and other guests on the shoutbox while the podcast was taking place. The podcast ran through the latest news at Zelda Dungeon, at the forums, and within the Zelda world. The podcast then had a Question and Answer section. Each subsequent podcast after the initial one included a special guest, usually a webmaster of another gaming website. Mases interviewed the guest live on the podcast, asking questions about their website or their interest in the Zelda world. The guest would remain online for discussion during the question and answer section. Future podcasts added new features such as a featured thread discussion. All podcasts were recorded live and put on Google Video unedited for viewing of people who couldn't make the live show.

After the conclusion of the podcast, Mases remained online for several hours talking with the members of Zelda Dungeon. Often times, other members of the staff or the forums were welcomed onto the live stream to take part in discussions. Mases often times acted as a DJ playing various music throughout the after party. Several activities took place in the after-hours of the podcast including Name That Zelda Tune, Zelda Hangman, as well as live gameplay of various Zelda and other gaming titles. After several weekly podcasts, the stream changed to being bi-weekly, and was eventually phased out due to time restraints by Mases and complications with uploading of the podcasts due to the closure of Google Video.

In the Fall of 2009, there was a dramatic shift in how the website was updated. With the failure that was the Zelda Dungeon Alliance, there began a gradual process moving away from the guide-exclusive mindset that dominated the previous year and a half. The website started making frequent news posts in the fall and especially in the lead up to the release of Spirit Tracks. The hype of the new DS game, along with the constant coverage in news updates, led the site to reach new heights in terms of visitors. On November 28th, 2009, a new record of 12,569 unique visitors was set. Ironically, this also marked the final day that this layout was online. At this point in time, this was the layout that was online for the longest period of time in site history, spanning over 13 months.

Layout 18.0

Triumphant Explosion


November 29th, 2009
Layout by Caleb

Layout 18 launched on November 29th, 2009, which was a day the site got 12,814 unique viewers, another new record. The new layout saw a return to a horizontal game navigation menu across the top of the site. Gone were the huge pop-ups and instead, users had to click the game icons at the top, first taking them to the game index pages. This made users go to an extra page, but it solved many users concerns about the bulky game navigation pop-outs from the previous two layouts. The new layout saw another drastic change in the display of content. This marked the first time an index page had just one navigation bar, allowing for wider images and videos to be displayed right on the index page. Furthermore, the single navigation bar was found on news, media, vault, and general game content pages. On walkthroughs pages, there was no navigation bar at all, allowing the content area the span the entire width of the layout. This extra room really gave even more freedom in terms of what could be done with walkthroughs, with the inclusion of official artwork, larger screenshots, and much more information.

The launching of the layout also saw a shift from Cutenews to Wordpress. This was a huge upgrade as it allowed the website to implement a number of wordpress plugins as well as in on-site comments system. Prior to the shift to Wordpress, all news posts were made at the site and forums, but users could only comment at the forums. With Wordpress and the IntenseDebate plugin, users could comment right on the news post without being forced to go to the forums or to register a username. This allowed for much better interaction between the staff and the fan base.

Just weeks after the launch of the new layout, Spirit Tracks hit stores and on day one there was tons of game content, including the first few chapters of the Spirit Tracks Walkthrough. Just days after the games release, a full textual walkthrough was available. Given the fact that the guide was online so quickly, and the high search engine rankings that it garnered, the site his record breaking numbers once again. 15,000 visitors, then 20,000 visitors, and then 30,000 visitors in a span of just a week after the games release. The site was growing at extreme rates and reached a maximum of 41,291 unique visitors on the weekend following the games release.

Even that record would be short lived as on December 28th, 2009, the site recorded 71,416 unique visitors, the highest amount in site history. Even after the holiday season and into the Spring months, visitors remained high, with the site holding constant at 20,000 unique visitors per day, a number unheard of in the history of the online Zelda community.

While Spirit Tracks content was the focal point of this time period, the site also saw great expansion in other sectors of the website that were not game guide related. Site sections such as the Zelda Commercials, Zelda Trailers, Publications, Books, and many other pages were launched, to helped bolster non-game guide related content.

On March 17th, 2010 the Ocarina of Time Video Walkthrough had been completed and posted at the site. Videos were constantly being updated at the Zelda Dungeon YouTube channel, where by the time of completion, the channel reached over 5000 subscribers. Immediately following the conclusion of the Ocarina of Time Video Walkthrough, video guides were completed for Link's Awakening and the Adventure of Link, giving the YouTube audience constant videos.

Several new staff members joined the team during this time period including Joseph, who was brought on board to be the Facebook Coordinator. Daily Facebook updates began immediately, including raising questions to fans, posting fan artwork, fan videos, as well as posting all the Zelda Dungeon news, and making fun Zelda statements. This quickly allowed the Facebook page to blossom, where by May 13th, 2010, the Facebook page hit over 2,000 fans.

Another new addition to the team was Axle the Beast. After some planning with the staff, Axle launched the Curiosity Shop, the Zelda Dungeon weekly Mailbag. This was a video question and answer segment where fans could send in questions for Axle to answer. It gained quite the popularity both at the website and at the Zelda Dungeon YouTube channel where it still remains a weekly segment today.

Justin was another notable staff member who was added to the team to help with much of the behind the scenes work at the website. This included the back-end coding, Wordpress plug-ins, Forum modifications, and even layout planning.

Layout 19.0

Social Expansion


June 12th, 2010
Layout by Caleb & Justin

Launching just before E3 2010, the site immediately received quite a boost in visitors. With Skyward Sword being revealed, more visitors flooded in and the boost remained consistent throughout the summer and into the fall and winter, where as of February 2011, the site received its highest consistent viewership in site history, reaching an audience of over 30,000 viewers each and every day.

During this time period, Zelda Dungeon reemphasized the importance of having daily updates, with at least one update occurring every single day from July 4th, 2010, all the way through February of 2011. The daily updates started taking on a more formal approach. While news updates were made whenever interesting material was released, the Curiosity Shop started having a set release every Wednesday. Additionally, in late fall of 2010, Zelda Dungeon started weekly Fan Music updates each Thursday of the week. At the start of 2011, Tuesdays began being the day of weekly Fan Artwork updates, supplanting the monthly North Castle updates that had been gone for a year. Another weekly feature was the Article Friday's days at Zelda Dungeon. While they started in the summer of 2010, they really took hold in fall, with a new article appearing almost single Friday from September through the present day. A few other, minor reoccurring updates included the bi-weekly featured forum thread occurring every other Monday and monthly community forum competitions. In early 2011, another weekly feature launched entitled Mas' Zelda Collection, in which Mases would showcase a particular item in his Zelda collection each Sunday.

The time period also marked the rapid expansion into the social media. While the Zelda Dungeon YouTube channel launched all the way back in early 2007, it took quite awhile for it to finally stand on its own. At its third year online, it reached 6,000 subscribers, but in its next calendar year it blossomed to over 13,000 subscribers. Similarly, the Facebook account, which had just over 2,000 likes at the launch of the layout, even after being online for over a year, quickly jumped up to 8,000 likes in the next 8 months.

In later 2010, site also started Z-Talk, the Zelda Dungeon Podcast. Run by new staff members Din and Rishian, the monthly podcast featured Zelda discussion by the hosts, as well as roundtables, theories, special guests, and even podcast games. The monthly podcast usually pops up during the last week of each month, as well as occasional special editions of the podcast.

Website streams returned after a bit of a hiatus in the last year. A July 4th Mini-Marathon was held, lasting 12 hours and including playthroughs of the first four Zelda titles. To celebrate the site 9th birthday, a Wand of Gamelon stream was held. Later in the year there were streams for Majora's Mask, Faces of Evil, and a New Years Day 12.5 hour stream of Zelda's Adventure.

Also in late 2010 launched the game month's special. Started in October of 2010, celebrating the 10th year anniversary of Majora's Mask, the whole month was dedicated to the game, including adding new media, articles, revamping the guide content, and a few other miscellaneous features. Future game months have already been planned, including a Link's Awakening month, which is scheduled for when the title re-releases on the Nintendo 3DS virtual console.

Layout 20.0



October 2nd, 2011
Layout by Caleb & Justin