About Nintendo Castle
Nintendo Castle is an independent fansite that offers news, articles, reviews, guides, and other content on a number of first party Nintendo titles. We also strive to provide high quality content on indie games, especially Nindies. Our goal is to create a community and provide them with useful content to make their video game expirience better. Nintendo Castle was founded in 2011 and has been a source for Nintendo information for over 6 years.
Launched: August 18, 2010
Nintendo Castle's history starts months before the launch of the site. Six months, in fact. Before there was NC, there was ZC. Zelda Castle was a fansite very similar to what Nintendo Castle is today, and was inspired by sites like Zelda Dungeon and Pokémon Dream. Pocodudeface was the founder of this site, and it was built on and hosted by Freewebs. In the following months, Pocodudeface continues to work on guides, and Zelda Castle begins to establish friendships with Zelda Eternity and Link's Hideaway.
In late October, Pocodudeface places an advertisement on the Zelda Eternity Community Forums, asking for help with his new website. On October 21-23, 2010, ZE users Phantom and Iamthefusedshadows join the team as a graphic artist and content writer. Phantom begins work on Zelda Castle version 2.0, and finishes only two days later, on October 23. A few days later, on the 26th, Zelda Castle hires it's fifth, and final staff member, @lexMM. Alex was hired as a video and screenshot specialist, and he took all the screenshots for the Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Masks guide.
After a few weeks of activity, Pocodudeface leaves unexpectedly and Phantom and Iamthefusedshadows are left to take over the site on their own. The last post on Zelda Castle was made on November 10, 2010. However, Phantom and Iamthefusedshadows still have hopes for the revamp of ZC, and as a dying breath -with the help of a few members of Zelda Eternity- they complete the planned New Years Marathon by playing various games starting on a cold December night, and ending on a even colder January morning. Zelda Castle is no more.
Launched: February 18, 2011
Although Phantom loses interest, Pocodudeface contacts Iamthefusedshadows and @lexMM on February 18, 2011 and they reunite to create Nintendo Castle. Version 1.0 of Nintendo Castle was built and hosted on Weebly. The three staff members work hard to transfer guides and content from Zelda Castle in the weeks after.
After a few months and taking various Zelda screenshots, @lexMM has his internet disconnected, and is forced to quit Nintendo Castle. Pocodudeface and Iamthefusedshadows remain the only active staff, and they continue to write guides for the 7-8 viewers they get a day. Iamthefusedshadows starts his walkthrough for Pokémon snap, and Pocodudeface continues work on the Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass section. Both staff members continue to post news on upcoming games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and the newly launched 3DS.
At the beginning of June 2011, Iamthefusedshadows offers to pay for a domain name and hosting service. He is promptly promoted to webmaster. After finding the right hosting provider, the two get to work on building version 2.0 of Nintendo Castle. Version 1.0 goes inactive for a few weeks so that the team has time to focus on the newest version.
Launched: June 19, 2011
The next version of Nintendo Castle featured a brand new domain, a new Content Management System in Drupal, and a brand new layout. A few months after the launch of Version 2, the webmasters decide to merge with the small Zelda fansite Zelda Heavens and LegendofHyrule31 and Spirittarcksmaster join the staff. Shortly after, staff members Emhave and EpicDoug join as a content writer and news reporter, respectively.
For a period of a few months, the staff works on slowly building a pool of content. The release of the 3DS and a number of games like Ocarina of Time 3D and Starfox 64 3D dominate the news stream. In January 2012, Link8150 joins the staff in January and works on expanding Legend of Zelda content. In February of 2012, to celebrate Nintendo Castle's first anniversary, the staff work together to stream a 115 hour Super Mario Marathon. After enjoying relative success in participation from viewers and staff, the webmaster begin to work on the third version of Nintendo Castle.
Launched: March 10, 2012
After two weeks of downtime, Nintendo Castle Version 3 was ready. Our fourth CMS, Wordpress, was now in use. Pocodudeface and Iamthefusedshadows set most of the site up, while Nick of Zelda Eternity designs most of the graphics. It was a button-centered theme, and featured a large right sidebar. The webmasters continue to update the content on a semi-regular schedule. News posts range from daily to monthly. Podcasts are released monthly, but start to fade out. A few new staff members join the crew; namely DodongoBomber, Bigflyingpotato, PotassiumIodide, and Larke12. All three have connections at Zelda Eternity and make minor contributions for a while, including participating in the podcast.
Months go by with small updates, although traffic continues to grow. On August 9, 2012 Nintendo Castle hosts a Metroid Marathon. The stream lasts for a few days, and the majority of the Metroid titles are played. After not being able to participate in the stream, Iamthefusedshadows decides to leave Nintendo Castle. The two friends and News Correspondents Raxit and Kakariko Villager become staff members shortly after the Metroid Marathon. Raxit posts news for a bit before leaving, although Kakariko Villager continues to post daily for months. This helps to bring a moderate amount of traffic to the site.
After a while, Iamthefusedshadows decides to rejoin the staff as a member of the podcast team and a live streamer. February is Nintendo Castle's second anniversary, and the tradition of an annual Super Mario marathon continues. The stream is Nintendo Castle's biggest success yet. Pocodudeface, Iamthefusedshadows, Emhave, Link8150, and DodongoBomber, play 13 games lasting 116 hours (topping the previous year by a single hour). As Summer rolls in, Larke12 and Pocodudeface begin to discuss the next version of Nintendo Castle. They decided to build the layout from the ground up, and in July, after two months of work, Version 4 is ready.
Launched: July 20, 2013
After some on and off downtime, Version 4 of Nintendo Castle launched on July 20th 2013. Version 4 was by far the best the site had ever looked. It featured a sleek, graphic-rich design with no sidebars. All graphic design, coding, and debug was done by staff member Larke12, under the direction of Pocodudeface. Version 4 was also the beginning of a partnership between Link's Hideaway and Nintendo Castle. All Legend of Zelda content was transferred to LH and it's webmaster Autydi joined NC as a Webmaster. In addition to the partnership, a joint forum was created for the two sites. Komodo_Zero joins the team as head forum administrator and content writer. After some trial and error, the forum launched August 15, 2014. Forum activity is promising at first, but quickly dwindles to a few active members posting infrequently.
Little happens until the launch of Pokémon X & Y. During it's launch in October 2013, Pocodudeface and Komodo_Zero work to produce quality guides for the games and introduce a new forum theme. In November, Super Mario 3D World launches and Pocodudeface works to create guides over the coming months. It quickly becomes one of the largest site sections. In February, in celebration of Nintendo Castle's third anniversary, we host our third annual Super Mario marathon. Pocodudeface and Iamthefusedshadows play through the entirety of Super Mario 3D World, and Super Mario RPG. Limited staff and schedule issues made the 2014 marathon the shortest (16 hours) and least viewed marathon yet.
New webmaster and SEO expert Autydi help boost NC's page rankings and usability, increasing traffic steadily. Pocodudeface continues to post news periodically in preparation for the launch of Mario Kart 8 and E3. As time rolls on, Pocodudeface and Larke12 begin sharing ideas for the next version of Nintendo Castle.
Launched: June 15, 2014
Just like the year before, Pocodudeface and Larke12 began planning a new version of Nintendo Castle for the summer. Version 5 would feature a sleeker, less busy design and a cutback on how many franchises would be covered in an effort to not spread NC's limited manpower too thin. The color scheme of blue and gold was adopted as a somewhat permanent style for later Nintendo Castle versions.
With limited staff and no dedicated news reporters, the site dawdles at inactivity for a few months. Komodo_Zero does his part to keep the forums alive, but they still haven't grown since they launched. Pocodudeface does post news at an irregular rate, especially covering the upcoming Smash Bros. games for the 3DS and Wii U. Komodo_Zero puts together a popular top ten list and database for the music in both games. During this time Nintendo Castle starts to receive press copies of games from Independent developers on the Wii U and 3DS and writes reviews for them.
Autydi and Pocodudeface begin to discuss the future of the website and network that included Link's Hideaway and a small PC site. They decide it would be in the best interest to convert Nitnendo Castle's Pokémon content into a new site: Pokéball Insider. The last few months of 2014 are spent getting the site ready and preparing for the launch of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. After a successful launch and traffic boost with the new games, focus is shifted back to Nintendo Castle and moving it onto the custom CMS that Autydi has designed for Link's Hideaway and Pokéball Insider. This marks the launch of Version 6 and a new boost of activity for Nintendo Castle!
Launched: February 10, 2015
After some time working on the new network site Pokeball Insider, focus shifted back to updating the layout and backend of NC. Version 6 brings a switch to yet another CMS, from wordpress to a custom CMS developed by Autydi. Magitroopa joins the staff and news coverage during the first half of 2015 is dominated by Splatoon. Pocodudeface and Komodo_Zero also work to provide reviews of upcoming eShop games during this time. Coverage continues throughout the course of 2015 at a moderate rate, the year is ended with the second edition of the GOTY awards, a new tradition at NC.
2016 was a year of light but constant news coverage at Nintendo Castle. Rumours of Nintendo NX riddled the internet and created a lot of excitement for fans eager to hear about Nintendo's upcoming console, which was revealed as the Nintendo Switch at the end of the year. Pocodudeface and Magitroopa continue to post news four or five times a month and Pocodudeface and Komodo_Zero continue to review 3DS and Wii U eShop games. There weren't many major game releases that weren't Pokemon related (Pokken Tournament and Sun & Moon versions were covered by Pokéball Insider), so news wasn't always easy to come by.
The later half of the year saw slightly less activity on NC as the staff's focus shifted toward network site Pokéball Insider. 2016 came to a close and marked the first year since the launch of Zelda Castle that Nintendo Castle didn't release a new version and design. However, improvements to Version 6 were released throughout the year including a more compact home page and and reintroduction of a tag system.