|Owner(s)||Link of Hyrule, Last Chance, Xizor|
|Launch Date||November 1999|
|Status||Became Xero Gaming|
LegendofZelda.com was one of the oldest and most prominent sites in the Online Zelda Community, first founded in 1999. The site was led officially by Link of Hyrule, Chance, and Xizor, but Chance and Xizor, along with Forum Administrator Menelaus, ran most of the day-to-day affairs of the site, with Link of Hyrule popping his head in every once in a while. LoZ.com's media was managed and updated by Incubus, with additions being made to fanart and screenshots regularly. LoZ.com culture was based mainly around its forums, which were one of the larger forums in the Zelda community . Humor, freedom of expression, tolerance, and love of fun were enforced mercilessly. LegendofZelda.com's reputation of having strict and sometimes stolid moderators and administrators was well earned, and seemed not to be let down. LoZ.com was also host to a vast library of Zelda media, including full soundtracks for almost every game, as well as thousands of images, both official and fan-created.
The site officially ceased to be Zelda-focused on June 22nd, 2011, and became Xero Gaming, a general gaming website. The site in that iteration remains a Mastermind of Zelda Wiki.
LegendOfZelda.com was founded in 1999 by Alex Jones of Britain (known as Link of Hyrule on the site). Nintendo of America threatened the site with a lawsuit. Nintendo wanted to use the domain name, and filed a copyright infringement suit. The lawsuit was deemed frivolous and was dropped shortly after it was issued.
Before taking an extended hiatus in 2002, Link of Hyrule left a few members with administrative control of the site. One of these members, Nemesis, took away forum powers from the other staff members and formed his own staff. Anger towards the new administration caused people to abandon the site and it eventually went down. Link of Hyrule returned in 2003 and announced that the site would relaunch soon. A temporary Lycos messaging board was used by regular members while they awaited the resurrection of LegendofZelda.com. As people celebrated New Years 2004, it became apparent that Link of Hyrule wasn't going to relaunch the site any time soon. Prominent members and then administrators Megaman X, Remus, and Droshi led a migration to a new site, XeroGaming.com. This site centered on all gaming, not just the Legend of Zelda series.
Rebirth of LegendofZelda.com
LegendofZelda.com was relaunched nearly two years after originally promised, and was officially reborn in November of 2004. Prominent members from the old forums and Xerogaming.com were accepted into the Oldies group and given access to an Oldies-only restricted forum. Link of Hyrule appointed KingKrazyLink as an administrator.
Members of the boards saw the site destroyed and rebuilt several times by hackers in the summer of 2005. Quick action to restore order was impossible because Link of Hyrule and KingKrazyLink were often offline, incapable of doing anything. After a hack, Link of Hyrule gave Cartoons of ZeldaDungeon.net administrative powers to rebuild the site. Because nobody had heard of him before and he was now an administrator, most members assumed he was the hacker who destroyed the site. He rebuilt the site within hours, but many still insisted he was a hacker. Angered by the accusations, Cartoons abandoned the site in the face of yet another hack. Only a moderator at this point, Chance was promoted to administrator to restore the forums. For three days in July of 2005, he struggled through code to not just rebuild the forums, but to make them better.
Resurrection of XeroGaming.net
About a month later, Chance was informed by three close friends that Link of Hyrule and KingKrazyLink were planning to remove him as administrator, and on August 17th, 2005, Chance erased the forums of LoZ.com, replacing them with a letter of explanation. He also changed his username and profile to appear that he was KingKrazyLink and said that everyone should go to XeroGaming.net, a reincarnation of the old XeroGaming.com (the new domain name being XeroGaming.net). Along with Darth X (formerly Megaman X), Chance recreated Xerogaming.net. Twenty members followed, and XeroGaming.net once again had a healthy community, now devoted to bad-mouthing LegendofZelda.com.
Shortly thereafter, Link of Hyrule (Alex) returned from a vacation that would end up conflicting with the time he was supposedly conferring with KingKrazyLink to fire Chance. Upon learning this, Chance formally apologized to Link of Hyrule for destroying his site, and tension between both sites eased a bit. KingKrazyLink had managed to restore the forums of LegendofZelda.com, but due to a slew of forum Modifications to the open phpBB code, the forum code became so garbled that after just a couple of months, Link of Hyrule asked Chance to return as an administrator and fix the forums. Chance agreed and returned, joining KingKrazyLink and Link of Hyrule as Administrators of the forums. In January of 2006, KinkKrazyLink left to devote more time to his own site, ZeldaGaming.net, after a period of slipping activity. Chance officially became a co-owner of LegendofZelda.com in April of 2006 after LegendofZelda.com switched servers. XeroGaming.net merged with LegendofZelda.com on August 4th, 2006. Just a few days later, in lieu of the vast amount of new members, many veterans of LoZ.com, a change was made to the Oldies and Sage groups at LoZ.com. The Oldies were renamed the Sheikah, and the Sages retained their name, but their purposes flip-flopped, and their definitions clearly outlined.
In October 2006, LegendofZelda.com underwent a massive layout change. LegendofZelda.com switched from being powered by phpBB to vBulletin. The main site and forums became integrated. After the switch, LegendofZelda.com forum activity skyrocketed, with membership surpassing 10,000 members in half of a year. Around this time, Xizor became a forum administrator.
In April of 2007, LegendofZelda.com and ZeldaDungeon.net tried to merge, but failed due to lack of support on both sides. Shortly thereafter, and in part due to the failed merge, Xizor became a Webmaster at LoZ.com. Chance labored over a new layout, which was launched in June of 2007 with the live assistance of several staff members, including Xizor, Kandid, Incubus, and Runeblade. It was met with an overall positive reaction, with only 28% of polled members stating that they preferred the old layout more.
LegendofZelda.com switched servers again in April of 2008 after a string of server problems. In June 2008, however, the administrators were made aware that the LegendofZelda.com server was expending too many resources for the type of server it was. At the time, LegendofZelda.com was also hosting ExplodingDekuNut.net and ZeldaBlog.com. On July 5, 2008 all three sites were taken down temporarily. On July 26th 2008, LegendofZelda.com and ExplodingDekuNut.net were re-opened. However, Zelda Blog continues to remain offline to this day, indefinitely waiting to be relaunched.
Starting in Spring of 2009, Chance and Xizor began focusing on revitalizing the forums in a "Spring Cleaning" sort of process.
To breathe some life back into the Groups, based on popular races from the Zelda games, on March 22nd, 2009, Xizor announced that members of the three Social Membergroups would be allowed to run for "President of the Groups", a new position that will help get the Forum Staff more in touch with the regular members. Elections for Group Candidates were held in March, and the election of the President will be held in July of 2009.
In another effort to revitalize to the forums, on April 8th, 2009, it was unveiled by Xizor that Kandid was being promoted to be a Forum Administrator, having previously been a forum moderator for some time, among other roles. This promotion was viewed as a long time coming, and thus was not a major shock to the LoZ.com community.
On April 20th, 2009, Legendofzelda.com went public with a need for monetary donations in order to sustain the site, which doesn't bring in enough money through the lone Google ad on their front page. The total sum needed is about $550 US, needed by the end of May, 2009. After the year's financial situation is taken care of, Chance and Xizor have plans to find ways to increase the site's revenue.
On April 28th, 2009, Legendofzelda.com became a contributor to ZeldaWiki.org. This addition to the Wiki was discussed by the LoZ.com Staff the year prior, but was shot down in favor of the defunct Zelda Almanac Project.
These events all came to a head when, in the beginning of June, Chance cleaned out the forums and deleted lots of old and useless posts, thus decreasing the size of the forum database and reducing overall forum clutter.
New Layout and Summer '09
On June 14th, 2009, a new layout at LoZ.com went active for the first time in almost two years. The layout has been met with mixed reaction, but for the most part, it has been received positively by the Memberbase, as well as by the rest of the Zelda Community. Along with the new layout, the slogan has changed from "The Definitive Zelda Site" to "Real Legends Never Die", a blast from the past, as this was an old catchphrase from LoZ.com's first revival in 2003.
According to both Xizor and Last Chance, the new layout is only the "tip of the iceberg" as far as summer events are concerned at LoZ.com in 2009.
The site also began actively seeking new content staff at the end of June, and hired Andoman as a News Updater on June 30th, 2009. New content was released for the first time in years on LoZ.com on July 3rd, 2009.
On July 1st, 2009, the first LoZ.com Presidential Election was held, and it was a huge success. As of July 4th, 2009, Andoman became the official President of the Groups. In an email from Xizor, it has been stated that the forums will be "more fun than ever before", in light of the election.
On July 19th, Xizor announced that LoZ.com had "discovered" ancient hylian scrolls, and over the next few days, began releasing the scrolls' "translations". In reality, this is just a new, unique content feature at LoZ.com disguised as a "real" Hylian discovery.
Starting on August 10th, the First Annual Lozzies were unveiled, with two revealed each day until Friday the 14th, with the last one, "The Pinnacle", being revealed.
Xero Gaming Returns
In June of 2011, Legend of Zelda.com ceased to exist as a Zelda-only website, and became "LoZ.com" in name only and began to operate from a general gaming perspective. Sometime in July 2011, the site officially became "Xero Gaming" as the community was slowly transitioning. The site remained a Mastermind of Zelda Wiki, as well as honoring all current and valid affiliations of Legendofzelda.com. The site continues to work toward expanding its coverage and fan base.
Recognition and Awards
LoZ.com won Exploding Deku Nut's "Golden Light Arrow" Award for most lively forum in 2010, and it was briefly mentioned in The Legend of Zelda and Philosophy: I Link Therefore I Am as a credible source of advice on the Zelda series.
The Forums of LoZ.com had often been the main focus of the site, rather than the front page, as is traditional in the Zelda Community. The forums earned a reputation as one of the more active Zelda forums in existence. The forums had a long and rich history, often tied to the overall events at LoZ.com. The culture of the forums also runs deep. The forums settled, as most staff had served for long periods of time. Moderator Triforce Guardian had been a moderator since the first forums were created, and Administrators Last Chance, Xizor, and Kandid were all moderators before becoming admins. Last Chance and Xizor administered the site from 2005 and 2006 on, respectively.
The LoZ.com forums have many features that, together, combine to make them exemplary:
- vb Credit Integration: Banking,Donations, and uses for forum money, as well as an Arcade and a Casino, and Triple Triad
- Open Member groups for all members who have 5+ posts or an introduction thread and have been a member for at least two days
- Many recurring contests and competitions, including a "Signature of the Week" contest, and a "Quote of the Week" contest
- For a time, featured a Graphics Rating System that scaled all participants on a 1-6 scale based on ability. The system has since been discontinued, but is rumored to be in the process of resurfacing over the summer of 2009, after suggestions of resurrection in summer of '08 never coming to fruition
- Semi-Annual Awards, where members vote other members for "awards" based on the traits they display at the forums
- An election for "President of the Groups" began in April of 2009, though the activity is likely never to be repeated
- Popular text-based role playing games
Inevitably a subjective area, the culture of the LoZ.com forums is quite dynamic. In its original form, the culture is somewhat lost to time, as only a few members from the original forums remain active today (most notably Link of Hyrule and Triforce Guardian). In the age of Lycos, an unofficial but strict caste system was in effect. The ruling class and forum elite were the administrators and moderators. Below them were the other special groups and established members, most often being members of the original boards. The lowest class were the newcomers, those who had not been at LoZ.com's Forums before their fall and rebirth. When Xero Gaming was created, this caste system transferred but changed, where there was only the admins/mods, and then everyone else. When LoZ.com returned in November 2004, the caste system was not as distinctly visible, though it still existed. When Last Chance broke all prior precedents, and became a moderator in three months and an admin in five, he set about dismantling the caste system. Though in some ways he was successful, in others he was not. The original system was, though never officially created, effectively destroyed. In its place, an even less defined caste system arose, with the following "pecking order": Forum Administrators, Forum Moderators, Sheikah, Site Staff, Sages, Members, and Newcomers.
Treatment of New Members
In the past, LoZ.com viewed new members with less-than-welcoming glances. From Lycos until about mid 2006, new members had to prove themselves before they were accepted, and often were treated harsher than veteran members. New members are now treated as society treats children; they are shown leniency, and when they have "grown up", they are held to the same standards as everyone else.
Text-based RPGs have always been a popular aspect of LoZ.com's forums. On Lycos, there was simply a board to post topics that were "RPGs", moderated by certain members. In 2006, there was for a time a group known as the "RPG Leaders" who were assigned to moderate, manage, and create different RPGs on the forums. The group eventually went defunct, as all its members grew inactive at the forums.
RPGs have seen a resurgence in popularity. Previous "site sponsored" RPGs did exist, most notably "Siege of the Nations", which was also played at Xero Gaming for a time. Siege of the Nations (or just "SotN") was followed by two sequels, SotN II and SotN III. The current site sponsored RPG, "Amplus Teradi", is in its second incarnation, after the first fell prey to inactivity and general apathy. Alongside the newly revived RPG stands the user-created "Ethnan Chronicles: Rise of the Empire" RPG.
The "groups" as they are referred to, are simply three auxiliary usergroups that have no bearing on the LoZ.com forum hierarchy of authority, similar to Zelda Universe's Clans of the Goddesses, the Legends Alliance "Dorms", and other such usergroups/clans. These groups are sanctioned by LoZ.com, each led by a Group Leader appointed by Xizor, who is officially in charge of managing the groups. Members of groups are given a private board only for members of their group. Members are only allowed into one group, and must meet only two requirements for membership: 5+ posts or an introduction thread in the Deku Scrub Playground and two days of membership. The groups as they are now is new. In the past, there have been various amounts of groups, ranging from 2 to 7. On Xero Gaming, there were "clans" but this feature was not ever very popular for much more than biased trash talking by group members towards the opposing group's members. On the 15th of January 2010, the groups were officially disbanded by Last Chance, until Xizor reinstated them on March 24, 2010.
"Game Over" is the name of a radio show that has been executed a total of fifteen times throughout the last three years of LoZ.com's History, with a recent production on June 5th, 2009. The show is produced by Chance, and has been hosted by Chance and Kandid since the first episode. For the first few episodes, MXdan was one of the hosts, but he later left the show and was replaced by Shinya. Later on, Xizor joined the hosting trio and became the 4th permanent host after being a guest on many previous shows. For the first 10 or so episodes, the show was broadcast live at LoZ.com. However, the last few episodes experimented with pre-recording of the show. Yet, following this, the cast has returned to the live-broadcast style.
Game Over is typically filled with gamer-related content, interlaced with crude humor and course language meant for mature audiences. Recurring segments are:
- "Pwn World News" or "PWN", where Game News is relayed to the audience
- "What I Found On Ebay", a segment run mostly by Chance, in which he shares and discusses the oddest things he can find on Ebay, while Weird Al's song by the same name is playing in the background.
- The Open Forum section, where free discussion about a particular issue occurs; Shoutouts, where messages posted by members in the days leading up to the show are read aloud
- The GO Poll, where Members vote on various subjective questions
- The now-discontinued "Moron of the Week" poll, where members would nominate people who they found to be incredibly stupid that week, and then on GO night would vote during the broadcast, with the results revealed at the end
- The GO Quiz, where members respond to quiz questions for a chance to enter into a drawing for a prize at the end of the show.
The future of Game Over is uncertain; the show was originally commissioned to be a once-a-week occurrence, yet that never came to fruition. Thus, there is no regular or predictable pattern on which to predict a future episode of Game Over.