Updates from 1999

For updates prior to 1999, click here.

I added another article to the pedantry section (and I'm going to keep adding them until they get so far over the top that they're....... under the bottom), and two new links.

Now, for the sad part of my little narrative. For personal reasons, I'm going to have to cut back on the amount of time I devote to the Shrine. Now, before I go on, please note that, in describing the aforementioned "reasons", I said neither "social" -- I intend to die having never been on a date -- nor "psychological" -- all is as it should be, fittingly nutty and what-have-you. The reasons I'm talking about are more of the aesthetic, cultivation-relevant, duly detached so on and so on and so on yatta yatta yatta.

Given the amount of time I seem presently to be committing to the site, the change probably won't be that drastic. The only difference is that I will spend fewer weekends attempting, without success, to update -- it will either definitely happen or definitely not happen. As to the "really original" thing to which I made reference, I'm starting to think that I'd be better off investing those energies in other creative projects stock market stock market BS BS BS BS i saw the best minds of merry christmas to all and to all a good night.

By the way, in case Y2K is all the omnipotent "they" say it is, it's been a privelege knowing you, and I'll see you on the other side.

I know I said I'd stop with the pedantry section for a while, but I seem to be feeling a touch of stage fright about writing full reviews. Either that or I don't want to invest the necessary amount of time until after Christmas. Truth be told, I'm starting to get the sense that it's time to do something new -- something really original -- with this place. The stipulation is that I have no idea what that thing is -- with the result that, for the time being, I'm kind of running around between sections, trying to figure out where to focus my energies. In the end, I'll probably just wind up doing what I've been doing with heightened candor. Sounds about right.

Anyway, I added another article to the pedantry section (as I said), wrote a fairly incoherent abridged review of The Black Bass, and added several new links (you've gotta give me a break here, people. I'm glad there's such a rising interest in the scene, but I can't keep up with the number of link requests I get. I knew I should have been meaner when I revamped that section.) I also updated a few of the comments on that page.

As an aside, I recently discovered a music recyclery that carries a few obscure NES titles in good condition. Intermittent purchases may ensue, although considering that outlet's meager selection, I don't think I'm yet rid of Funcoland and their wet, encrusted labels. Forever Games might be a viable solution, though.

I don't know when I'll next update, but I can say with certainty that it will not be next week. I have to get whacked-out on turkey and then ricochet off other shoppers for five hours, trying to throw together a Christmas list on the busiest shopping day of the year. I hope there's a Pokémon convention too, so the entire mall will implode because those inside it use up all the oxygen. All that, and I'll still be happier during the holidays than any other time of the year -- 'cuz, man, I get to look at Christmas lights.

Yeah, I know it's been a while. I'd tell you the truth of the matter -- that I've been too busy to add what I've been meaning to add -- but then half the scene would jump down my throat about how that isn't an excuse. We really need more moralism in this world, too (wonder what I'm doing now, if it's not moralizing?...)

People don't seem to be having any trouble finding me at this new location, although I'm sure I've lost some traffic. All the same, things are going fine on this end of things. CyberCities seems to go down for a very brief stint every weekend, but as long is it maintains this consistency, I can put up with that. If I were less the worse for wear, I probably wouldn't, but the thought of moving all this stuff again nauseates me.

As for today, I've added twenty-six new abridged reviews covering...

10-Yard Fight, Arkanoid, Bad Dudes, Batman, Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge, Donkey Kong Classics, Double Dragon III, Dragon Power, Dynowarz, Friday the 13th, The Goonies II, Ice Climber, Maniac Mansion, Mega Man V, Metal Gear, Metal Mech, Pac-Man, Palamedes, Power Blade, Pro Wrestling, Shadow of the Ninja, Skate or Die (revision), Slalom, "Snake, Rattle, 'n Roll", Snake's Revenge, Zanac.

Also, I added some more information about Nintendo Cereal (no more, for all that is pure, no more!), and a couple new links.

See you all.... hopefully, some time when the circumstances of my existence are a little less tempestuous (too much work, too much mucus, too much unnecessary bitching about too much work and too much mucus. Gawd, I'm tired.)

"Abby told me not to drive while I was upset, and she was right; and she was right yeterday, when she told me not to get on that damn bicycle while I was upset. But I did it anyway, and I guess I was just about as mad as I've ever been."

Remember when I said I would never have to move the site again? I was toying with you.

No, seriously, I've had about as frustrating a week as I've ever had -- so much so that I sprinted two blocks hoome yesterday in the hope of "outrunning myself", and leaving behind the abstract parts of my nature with which I was disgusted. I don't know if it worked -- judging by my mood, it probably didn't -- but I collapsed in front of my home and spent about fifteen minutes looking up through the branches of a birch tree. That was about the most euphoric feeling I've had in the past seven days, and it was probably just some hormonal response -- either the touted "exercise high" or an orgastic sense of relief triggered by my sedentary form actually surviving two minutes of imposed physical exertion. The rest of this early-October span has sucked beyond belief.

For time's sake, I'll dispense with the personal stuff and explain what happened with the site. Picture a naval aviator sitting proudly in his jet (okay, so I'm too tall to be a combat pilot -- visualization isn't the place for specificity.) Envision the sun reflecting off his plane's nose, and imagine him quite happy to have found a home on the USS Whatever. Now, picture his firing its engines, speeding down the deck, skidding off the edge, and blowing up the second it hits the water. That should give you an idea of my experience with CPGG (as well as explain why I put "Satisfaction" on the front page.)

I had originally intended to add the acknowledgments section last Saturday -- in a sweep of graceful self-abjuration -- and then turn my attention back to the review section. Sure, the server had been down the weekend before, but that was a momentary setback, not a regular problem. Ah, to be that young again...

You see, although my site had come back up, the server itself remained down, complaining that their host had "kicked [them] for using too much bandwidth." Okay, I thought, I can wait this out. And I could have. I really could have waited out a two-to-three week corrective period. But I can't wait out oblivion. I've got more important things to do.

When, this morning, I checked to see if the server was back up, I discovered that, not only had it still not returned, but it was GONE. No good-bye message; no explanation of circumstance; no NES Enshrined; just a friggin' error message. Well, I've had enough. In various fashions, CC has been down since the very week I joined their lot, and I've had it. That, as you've probably already induced, is why I'm here.

So, now that cpgg.net has jammed what I think is a sharpened telephone pole in my proverbial paw, they are my enemies for life ("And the song they play is that guy with the messed-up face...") However, on the plus side, I have now found what strikes me as a more stable server -- like CC, but I've had to teach myself to use FTP, and my address is ugly. Moreover, they actively shun ad banners. I'd think things were going to be okay, but look what that did to me the last time. This server will probably crash too -- but even if it does, I'll find another place. I have everything backed up, so don't expect a one-site Brinstar.com incident or anything. I'm pissed off -- a "Hello from the Clock Tower" poem may bear itself upward in my mind if things don't start going well -- but not irresolute.

Still, there's the matter of how people will find me. I can reroute them on my AOL space, but with cpgg in shambles, there's nothing I can do there. I guess I'll have to (swallows his pride) impose on my fellow webmasters to get the word out.

The following is what would have been my update log for October 2nd. I'm too lazy to make it fit with the present situation. In addition to what is documented there, I have changed the abridged reviews of Kung Fu and Final Fantasy III.

In regard to the next update, next Saturday is my birthday (always accompanied by an ample helping of NES games), and I won't be in town the week after that, so it is most likely three weeks away. It'll probably be time for another move by then, at which pace I will have denounced the entire web, piece by piece, before the Spring thaw. Choler is fun. Tell your friends.

If you're reading this, you probably already know what the chief update is. That's right, I'm free of AOL and their ads and their fickle FTP server. The people at CC Hosting have been kind enough to welcome me into their community (okay, so a machine processed my query. At least I can stop bitching about not being able to find a server.)

I'm endebted to FreeIndex.com for directing me to this place, to Freespeech.org for leading me to FreeIndex, and, in turn, to Big Stu's 8-Bit NES Wonderland for directing me to Freespeech. I would also like to thank Retrogaming Online for hearing my request -- neglecting their failure to respond if they have already read it, and sounding quite disoriented if they have not.

The move essentially means two things. First, I now have, free of charge, one nonillion megs of space at my disposal, so the only reason I will ever have to move in the future will be if I want to buy a personal server. Secondly, it means I have spent the past ten hours moving files around, changing code (I knew spelling out every in-site destination was a stupid idea), finding a new counter, redirecting people, and deciding not to have a "doorstop" page. Thus, I feel unbelievably dulled, and am more acutely aware of the spot of Newman's Own salad dressing on my shirt than I am of anything else in the world. Thanks to this day, my sister's birthday card will be neither punctual nor coherent. But my goodness, that's a one with twenty-seven zeroes after it...

Thanks to my new counter, those who attempt to access my site with Internet Explorer will be hereafter met with an "error" message, and will not be able to view said counter (sob, sob, I'm sure.) Since this error arises out of code I didn't write, I have no way of knowing how it can be remedied. Either we'll have to accept that, IE users will have to process my site with Netscape (IE sucks, anyway), or I'll have to change counters (and that's not going to happen today. I'm far too busy marvelling at the size of my account. Now, you're probably making some sort of mental connection -- relating my fascination with size to certain feelings of... uh... personal inadequacy -- but get your Freudian crap offa my cloud! *Stares off into space* Twenty-seven zeroes....)

Finally, an announcement: Though I'm not going to impose any requirements (rules blow, man), I want to shift the thrust of the stump away from that of a bitching forum, and toward something more sentimental -- akin to Big Stu's Nostalgia Trip.

Oh yeah, I added another link.

I'm not hostile, make no mistake. I just figured it was time to slip this stuff in, with or without a move. I may be going out of town next weekend, so it is probable that, if I find a server between then and now, I won't be able to move it for two weeks. I'll be busy with other things for about a month thereafter, though, so this indistinct "move" to which I keep idealistically referring will probably take a while.

As for now, I've added two new pseudo-interp.s to the pedantry section, a new editorial, and another link.

See you..... I hate not being able to say.

I thought I'd sneak in a quick update to inform you all that ClassicGaming.com did reject me. I don't feel too terribly upset about it -- as you know, I didn't expect to make their cut -- and Fragmaster did say my site was "much better than the vast majority of the NES pages out there" -- so I have that comment, at the very least, to comfort me. I still don't esteem him as highly as I do the deceased Fragglemaster (Jim Henson), though.

I've put in a requisition to Retrogaming.net, so I should know about that in the relatively near future. (Although, considering the fact that Gehrke's going to be looking over my site quite soon, I probably shouldn't publicize the fact that ROH is my second choice. If you're reading this, Steve, please don't reject me because I said that. Please please please please please please please please please please please please....)

As to the content, I've now logged two complaints stating that my new layout hurts my viewers' eyes. On the assumption that these grievances referred to the backgrounds, I replaced that obnoxious checker pattern from SMB3, and dimmed the main background to a less obtrusive level.

I'd say more, but now I have to begin feverishly scrawling out all the poetry that's been stewing in my head since the beginning of Summer (plus, I have to talk/sing to my tree, and memorize that "Somebody's Getting Married" song from The Muppets Take Manhattan.) This is my final day -- tomorrow I return to academia. *Sniff* Hopefully my theory will be supported, and I'll be able maintain a defense mechanism against the dogma by singing to myself all the time. Of course, that will lead my classmates to believe that I'm insane, but they believe that anyway.

HA! I told you I knew HTML. Bet you didn't believe me, did you?

This is update is almost entirely physical -- the exception being the new links. Other than that, I framed the site (OK, so I did that last night, but I was too tired to write an update log), created and implemented the new background, embedded onMouseOver commands on the menu (I DID TOO do it myself), and created title graphics for the review and link sections, as well as The Stump. Now that I've discovered the capabilities of Paint Shop Pro, more things of that ilk may sprout up, but NOT until the move.

Granted, I said I wouldn't frame the site until the move either, but it seemed more practical to do it when I had sufficient time. I don't yet know if this look really suits the Shrine -- that is, if it overshadows the text -- but all in all I suspect it, at the very least, proves that I can make the site appear somewhat complex when I want to.

This is really it, though. I won't update again until the move, at which time the only "addition" will be the move itself.

Within the past couple of days, Tripod disabled me from loading images from the web space I occupy there -- presumably as an invocation of a clause in their terms of service which forbids the use of Tripod accounts for "remote loading."

This clause did not exist when I opened my account there, but since the server has, with its grand bureaucratic spiral, made it virtually impossible to contact anyone truly connected with its maintenance, I am left at the end of my rope. My only choice is to move the entire site to a new server, from which I can obtain more space than is offered by the major ones. I have already applied to ClassicGaming.com, but since my site seems unlike what is featured over there, I doubt that it will be accepted (I mean, if they rejected Cord's site...) On that note, if you know of a free, marginally exclusive server (at the very least, not GeoCities, Xoom, Fortunecities, or anything of that kind) that offers at least 40 MB of space, and onto which I might be accepted (other than Retrogaming.net -- already know that one), please let me know.

For you, this development means essentially two things. First, it has shoved a stopper (and not one of those rubber dealies with the holes, either) into my plan for "one final Summer update", making this my farewell-glorious-season message. I doubt that I will be able to find a new location in six days; and even if I do, you can probably understand that I don't want to spend the last perfumed moments of my break engaged in moving files around, so I will likely not have time to transfer the site until, at best, the weekend of the 28th. Secondly, it has pretty much frozen the site until I can find a place for it, meaning that NO NEW MATERIAL will be posted until the move is complete (I have a review, a credits page, and some more pedantry brewing in my mind too, so this immensely sucks.)

On a related topic, I am considering changing the format of the site for the server change. I'm not referring to the content, mind you -- just the layout. Actually, I have been meaning to do that for some time, but until now there seemed to be no precedent, or befitting occasion, for it. The simplistic visage you see here did not come into being at my election. It came into being because, at the time of the site's creation, I knew no HTML. I would probably not of my own volition change the appearance, but my corner of the Scene has been accused of "lack[ing] in the HTML department" -- a statement which, though I don't resent it, I take to heart. The actual manifestation of this "refinement" will, in all likelihood, be only frames (or tables that resemble frames), image-based hyperlinks, and a new background -- yet as things stand this is all quite theoretical and I cannot be sure that I will follow through with any of it. The only certainty is that the Shrine will not be located here much longer (fortuitous, really -- much of the non-commercial-server-based scene, I suspect, shuns any site located on AOL.)

Now....... the closure of Summer. Beginning with the "business" end of it, as I am very much a bad-news-first type of fellow, I am not in the least exaggerating when I say that I will never again have as much free time as I have had this Summer (unless I live to be 130, or something.) I really must get a job when next this season rolls around to supplement some of my inexpensive, albeit still priced, leisure activities. ("Haste still pays haste, and leisure answers leisure; / Like doth quite like, and measure still for measure.") Mind you, I won't be laboring around the clock, but I won't have the entire three-month period to my own discretion either. That essentially means that I will not, next Summer, be able to update with this season's frequency, and that I am not certain that there will be a 2000 NES Game Tournament.

Still, that is ten months away, so I will now address the more timely subject of my immanent academic year. I'm carrying a somewhat hefty load this coming semester -- and even though I can't be sure that the number of these classes will outweigh the magnitude of those I took last year, I am going to have some work. Last year, I was able to update every two weeks, but at this end of my pursuant experience I am not sure if that will be possible. One update every two weeks will be my goal, but if it proves overambitious they may dwindle to one every three or four weeks (I'd hate to see that happen, but it may be unavoidable.) Even if I had nothing on the fire other than schoolwork, updating every three to five days would be a virtual impossibility. Between that work, lark reading, playing games, taking walks, and writing poetry (as well as prose and drama, on occasion), one addition per two weeks is the most auspicious promise I can realistically make. (I'm aware that my list of commitments is not much like the traditional Western canon of school, work, girlfriend, and rest of social life, but nonetheless it's what I do; and even if I were legitimately capable of attracting a member of the opposite sex (i.e. one-eighth as self-involved and eight times as good looking as I am), the things I named would remain important to me. Perhaps it is a self-righteous way of spending time, but I can't muster the energy to care.) It may sound bleak, but unless I am met with a sudden rush of free time (Spring Break?), the Shrine will never again be as frequently updated as it was this Summer. Don't get me wrong, it's not going to become another 8N!, but at the risk of pontificating, tri-daily updates border on being surreal when they occur on a singularly maintained site that is more than a few weeks old. At the very least, I am certain that I won't have the opportunity to update in that manner. Two weeks -- a lapse becomes an aspiration.

But as to this summer, it has been, both from a personal and a creative standpoint, ideal. I had lunch with an individual I hadn't seen for five years; I ended my four-year exile from movie theatres (prompting me to enact another one -- do you have any idea how much one M & M costs at those places?); I did away with the one shadow of my past that I hadn't already eliminated -- that is, I beat EarthBound; and most importantly, I learned to listen with all my senses and stop throwing out 90% of my ideas as creatively unworkable or immature -- the NES Game Tournament, the Pedantry section, the EarthBound article, and all of my poetry are among the outgrowths. If this strikes you as sappy, fine -- but it is all true, and I owe it to the eleven weeks I have had to sort things out (as well as read, watch Muppet movies, play games, etc....)

So thank you for your support as this site learned the difference between professionalism and stiffness; and thank you for helping to bring me to the brink of 30,000, though I may have to give up my present counter before it gets there. Yay, I love rounding up.

I don't feel like writing a monologue today, so I'll just say that I have added two editorials that are rather obligatory as far as subject matter is concerned, and a few new links.

Well, I did it. It took me a hell of a long time, but I finished it.

"It", of course, is my EarthBound interpretation, which has been posted on The Stump. I'm not quite certain of how it turned out -- the theories are either workable or certifiable, I know that. Well, I'll let you decide for yourself. If you like it, I appreciate that; and if you don't like it, don't worry. I won't be doing another of those any time soon. I liked having the epiphany and all, but it took up too much time (granted, I didn't work round the clock. Somewhere in there I found a quanity of free moments sufficient to allow me to watch every Muppet movie ever made -- less the kiddie sing-alongs and whatnot.) Still, I'm glad I did it -- if only to prove to myself that I could. Now I can just relax and enjoy what little remains of my Summer.

I also cleaned out two dead links, and added a new one. Plus, I posted abridged reviews of BurgerTime and Duck Hunt -- the latter of which I am finally able to play again, now that I have a new Zapper.

And that's about all. No more cogitaiton for me this Summer -- just whimsy and fun and... barbecue, I guess.

And so it ends... No more easy updates for me. Nope, I'm back to actually having to write something meaningful -- as opposed to coding a tournament ladder. Really, I meant to get in a lot of reviews this Summer, but the Tournament grasped my attention to such a degree that I was never able to get around to that. Besides which, Summer put upon me a yen to do something a little more... creative, I guess -- hence all the weird poetry I've been writing, and the Pedantry section. Perhaps reviews are more of an academic year thing.

So, as you probably inferred, I posted the results of the championship, as well as my farewell message for that particular event. I also added some more information regarding Nintendo Cereal and two audiovisual venues of NES Media. There is also a new editorial, once again written by somebody other than myself.

As to the EarthBound article, whatever portion of my brain influences literary aptitude is dormant for the time being, meening that me no is canning write good, and no does want me give bad writed stuff to reading dudes, 'cuz yous guys deserves more gooder.

Yeah, the last update was really on the 21st. Delightful, isn't it? My mental clock gets disoriented when I travel from Illinois to Kentucky.

Kind of a potpourri today -- I added the results of the previous voting period, some more information to the descriptions of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and Nintendo Cereal (my, that stuff is popular), and posted yet another outside-job editorial.

Also, I've started writing my EarthBound interpretation, but it is, as I predicted, shaping up to be quite lengthy, so I can't honestly say when it will be finished. Next week is somewhat busy, too -- a reality that won't expedite the matter at all.

Travel has made me aware of two things -- #1) There truly is no place like home; and #2) My right hip aches like hell. The former, however, is such a homespun truism that I can't count it as an epiphany of any value, and the latter is a direct result of my having had to sleep in a hotel-room bed (or rather, on a hotel-room floor -- I couldn't bear sleeping in a bed the second night.) So my excursion didn't honestly teach me anything usable, beyond possibly reiterating that my disposition does not incline toward ever leaving home -- that I am, at heart, a couch potato, and would in all frankness rather see the world by way of other people's postcards.

Anyway, today I added the results of the previous voting period -- only two left. There is also yet another externally-produced editorial, and a new link.

I finally managed to finish EarthBound, so I can begin writing my interpretative editorial. I have the feeling that it's going to be very long, though, so don't expect it in the immediate future.

Again, nothing great is going on in my life, and I'm running a bit behind myself today, so I'll get right into things.

I... Posted the results of the previous voting period. Added yet another externally created editorial. Ate a sandwich.

I could get used to this succinct stuff.

Yay, a monologue!

I recently saw a public service ad stating that Mark McGwire has started a fund in protest of child abuse. Although personally, I think the cause would be better served if Big Mac just went over to the homes of abusive parents while their kids were away at school and beat the hell out of them, shouting to the degree that his surprisingly soft voice will permit, "NOW THE SHOE'S ON THE OTHER FOOT!!"

Anyway, I have added the entirely new pedantry section -- the obligatory "outlet for my creative eenergies" section. But this one has a bit of a twist to it. It is devoted to the insane over-interpretation of NES games. I also added some new links, retouched the section minutely, and changed the way the titles appear on all my pages.

I should add that Loogaroo has informed me that there will be no more analyses.

Big K-Mart sells diapers, business clothing, those June Allyson bladder pads, business clothing, office furniture, luggage, and features a Little Caesar's "To Go." If I wanted, I could live at Big K-Mart and never leave.

Posted the results of the previous voting period and the bracket for the Championship Round. Added more information regarding Nintendo Cereal. Am writing without subject nouns. Is fun.

Once again, I can't think of a monologue, so I won't force it.

Posted the results of the previous voting period, as well as the analyses for the present round, and added the site's first editorial written by an outside party. I'm feeling somewhat creatively defunct -- all those energies are currently caught up in pondering EarthBound; an editorial may result -- so I'm not in a position to write a review of any quality. Well, it'll come eventually.

Posted the analyses for this round. (I'm being brief today. Check your weather forecast for giant asteroids.)

I'm going to have to stop promising to compose a review, as I have no idea when time and initiative will join to make that possible. I'll just promise what I can uphold: "I'll write a review when I do."

For the time being, I've added the results of the previous round (no analyses, for the time being), as well as two miscellaneous links. This, voters, was the type of round for which I live. There was only one sweep, and it was NOT wrought by Zelda, as you may be thinking.

My wit, if I have any, is rather sluggish today. I can think of no closer.

I want to begin my intro with a somewhat Henry Higgins-like correction. As people discuss the tennis-Parthenon currently occupied by the game's greatest talents, I notice one recurring error of pronunciation that, as I am a collosal prig, ties all my nerve endings together at a single spot. "Wimbledon" IS NOT prounounced "Wimbletin." There are neither Ts nor Is in the word. Now you may be saying, only pitiful self-spoiled people with masked inferiotiy complexes have any concern for pronunciation. Well... I could stop concealing my inferiority complex, if that would make you feel any better.

I must also apologize for failing to live up to my promise to review. Other necessities kept getting in the way -- cleaning out a particularly filthy closet (does anyone know where I could sell used video game magazines? -- don't really need all those GamePros and EGMs that discuss nothing but Mortal Kombat III anymore.)

More relevantly, I have added the results to the round just past, and new analyses for the coming ones.

Finally, I should state that I am not, as I have done before, going to screw with Independence Day and post an unneeded, whiny update log. I'll not likely even turn on the computer, but rather go to a golf course set atop a large hill and watch five pyrotechnic displays at once. Don't confuse my enthusiasm for patriotism, though. I just want to watch things explode.

Well, this is just delightful, and amplified in its effect by the fact that many of these matches dangled over the pit of uncertainty through today. In the round just elapsed, you the voters exalted to the position of victory all of TWO of the games I was rooting for. I can take heart, dear reader, in the fact that I do not value my opinions above those of anyone else. But please stop by my house if you happen to have a chisel with you. I need to get my fist out of the wall.

You can see the ravages the judges have wrought on my nerves at the newly updated tournament ladder, read some of the new analyses, or flee in terror of my wrath to the new link. Those of you judges may also drive by my home and run into me with your cars, mopeds, and motorcycles if you don't feel you've done enough damage. I am going to pay a lot -- that is, in medical expenses -- for this muffler.

Who the hell would want to watch two hours of Nash Bridges?

Nothing of especial note has happened to me in the last three days, so I'll move right along.

I posted the results of the first round in Group B, and added analyses for Group C. I also added three new links.

I'm aware that the tournament has become practically the exclusive focus of the site, and I don't know what solace I can offer to those who might be disgruntled about it. I'll try to fit in a review at some point this week (the subject will probably be either Gyruss or Magic Johnson's Fast Break), but I cannot be sure that time will present itself.

I've run out of ways to disprove to you the fact that my life is colossally boring, so I'll just unassumingly take my leave.

My site wasn't very well established when tnw gave out those "Recommended Look-See[s]," so I never had any real chance of being granted one. That in mind, I rather staunchly believe that the "OPCFG Award of Excellence" is the most prestigious award still presented to NES Websites, and I am immensely gratified to have received it. I'm very near launching into a raving gesture of thanks to every person who has aided me in this endeavor, but such a thing seems better suited to its own page, so for the moment I'll confine my acknowledgments to Rob Strangman, who gave me the honor.

So, as you might have inferred, I added the OPCFG Award to the little trophy case on my front page (actually, I did that yesterday.) Also, as today marks the end of the tournament's first voting period, I have posted both its results and Loogaroo's analyses of the matches in Group B.

I additionally added some more info regarding Nintendo Cereal.

For those of you waiting for some contribution to the epistolary sections of the site, I've been told that I should expect an outside editorial submission at some point.

I just finished watching both Ghostbusters movies. I wonder if I could make the Lincoln Memorial fly around by gluing a motherboard to my NES Advanatage... I'm also at a loss as to whether or not Janine Melnitz is a more dignified character than Mary Jo Shively. (You should hear some of the antic thoughts I have after a viewing of Willow.)

Today I applied what will serve as the final dab of the brush for this voting period -- Tim Connolly's analyses. They're quite good, so be sure to read them before you leave.

By the way, The Stranger is the funniest damn book I have ever come across. (The difference between a regular book and a "damn" book is that a "damn" book tends to elicit some reaction from the reader. Thus the only "non-damn" book consists of 300 blank pieces of paper not compiled in dadaist spirit, although one of those Rand McNally map books might also fit the bill...)

The other day, while visiting an old friend, I finally had the opportunity to read Nintendo Power's list of the "100 Greatest Games of All Time." Is it just me, or did they start choosing random games after the Top 10? (Sadly, the selection of Mario 64 as #1 fit the big N's hype-equals-value ideology of the mid-late '90s.)

Anyway, today I brought into full light what I hope will be a less vain evaluation. That is, the brackets, rules, and other necessaries of the 1999 NES Game Tournament are now up. The actual voting does not begin until tomorrow, but all opening matches are available to be viewed.

This update log finds me tired once again, so I'll not extend it any longer.

It's a rarity nowadays that I update the MIDI Library, but while I sit here biding my time in anticipation of the tournament's beginning, I feel obligated to do something. That feeling tends to befall me during the summer -- wherein I continue my decadent existence to extremes and have next to nothing to do. Yeah, I'm "biding" my time -- this lifestyle is ever so similar to that in prison. Large people even beat me when I wash my hands, and everything.

Anyway, I've added four new MIDIs, including three from Legendary Wings by the incomparable Shaven Wookiee.

Duck Tales - The Moon
Legendary Wings (new section) - "Danger" Levels, Level 1, "Palace" Levels

As to the tournament, things are coming along swimmingly. I've already gotten over 64 nominations, and already ten people have declared their willingness to judge. I have a strangely good feeling about this.

Well, we'll see...

Just to give you all an idea of how much I care about you, I'm only half-watching Martial Law to do this. Sammo and Arsenio have flipped over all manner of people, and I'm missing it.

I keep my promises, folks. Today I uploaded the beginnings of the tournament to which I've alluded recently. The success of this endeavor hinges on your participation (it's a poll, technically speaking.) In order to complete it, I'm going to need a greater volume of responses than the "zero" I've hitherto received for the editorial section.

I won't waste your time anymore. I'd rather you go and participate in the tournament (telling comment: I want this thing to succeed.)

Woo-hoo, no more damn unpredictable Personal Publisher!!!!!! WordPad never takes ten minutes to process anything, that's for sure -- it doesn't crash; it doesn't freeze; IT DOESN'T HATE ME!!! *Dief does a happy dance* Why in blazes did I take so long to do this? I FEEL REBORN!!!!!

I know I said there would be a tournament forthcoming. Well... it's still forthcoming for the moment. I had to get my new acquisitions out of the way beforehand.

In a slightly more jubilant spirit than I may have suggested with that last comment, I have added abridged reviews for the following games:

Adventure Island II, AirWolf, Blades of Steel, Gargoyle's Quest II, Gyruss, Mega Man 6, Pinball, RoadBlasters, Tecmo World Wrestling, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Additionally, there is a new link. I also changed the abridged review of Metroid, but that was a couple days ago.

I'll probably begin the tournament tomorrow, unless I play golf. Well, it'll get done one way or another.

Time being of the essence, I'll dispense with my original plan of quoting the Declaration of Independence and offer this condensed retelling of my past 48 hours.

Suffice it to say that, for more than a year, I had been using AOL's HTML-publishing program to upload my pages, while writing the code myself. That's right, your resident webmaster began this site with no working knowledge of HTML, but rather gradually taught it to himself during the Shrine's early existence. (The site had no public exposure during its first month, anyway, so just go ahead and lose faith in me for no reason, fair-weather patrons.)

Anyway, two evenings ago, I attempted to access my "means of uploading", and was confronted by a glitch -- one of AOL's self-promoting banners kept re-processing to the point that I had to override the program (I gotta get off this server, man.) This bug persisted through mid-day yesterday. AOL's "help" technicians were their usual equivocating, vague selves ("We're updating some of our departments. You must have encountered a bug." Well no kidding, fella.)

I hatched a theory that downloading AOL 4.0 would rectify this, and thus spent an hour-and-a-half doing nothing while my modem processed those giant zip files. However, upon opening the new version, I encountered bright colors, large fonts, some cgi orchestrated to make me think that my e-mail had round edges, and other such pandering things. The new "Personal Publisher" (I'm now ashamed to admit I ever used it for any purpose) was accessible, though, so I was reasonably pacified. Pacified, that is, until I attempted to use AOL's newfangled rehashing of my old utility. Not only had the "Free-Form HTML" option been forsaken, but I was unable to edit any of the pages I created with the previous version. This incompatability, I assumed, was due to the fact that I had written my own code for the majority of my site's existence. AOL had modeled the new "PP" (it deserves the acronym) entirely upon pre-set page templates, and made it utterly babying and hand-holding. I felt cloistered, and was aware that a self-chosen routine had fashioned the coffin in which I now lay. In other words, I was Truman Burbank, only worse -- I had shut myself in my studio, and then forgotten about it.

Met with the inaccessibility of my pages, I had no choice but to transcribe all my source codes into "Notepad" documents (okay, I got them off IE in two clicks, but they still needed to be realigned.) That is how I have spent this past day -- realigning my codes, sprucing up the site a bit, and forever renouncing the use of "Personal Publisher". It was a simple transference, for I knew what I was doing, yet on this side of AOL's coddling I feel somehow liberated. I stand outside the gates of Thrushcross Grange, mooning Mr. Linton and Nelly Dean (i.e. Steve Case and his technicians.)

No -- I'm not that vengeful. It's only that AOL has rather gravely inconvenienced me for these past two days, and so I'm a tad punchy. Some of those to whom I narrated this situation have suggested (jokingly, I hope) that I sue for damages, but I cannot see how my failure to make backup files can be used against the service. Then again, that is my disposition. Whenever I encounter a contrary opinion, I assume that I'm wrong. Whenever I encounter an impediment in my path, I assume that it's my fault for having failed to foresee it. (You know, I once apologized for getting hit with a chair.) Woo, insecurity evangelion.

Still, I feel somehow as though I have been set free. The end of this whole ordeal even coincided with a rather violent hailstorm -- exposure to the volatility of the real world over "protection" from it. The advent of summer break has enhanced this sensation as well, so all in all I'm feelin' pretty darn good.

Also, with summer now in full swing, I will have more time to update. Tim Connolly has given me the green light to organize an "NES game tournament" in the vein of his "Game Show Tournament", so I will at the very least invoke a little more "artful borrowing" before the season is out. As to tomorrow, I think a break is in order, since I have spent two full days embroiled in rigor and such. I plan to get back to reviewing soon, though.

Oh, and today I added another thoroughly nutty, self-involved section -- a "quick" reference to the site's history, with assorted other events documented that have influenced the world in which I presently live -- too many, really. I said it there; I'll say it here: I have been momentarily possessed by Robin Williams.

I seldom like to promote massive fronts or anything of the kind, but seeing all these NES sites "drop like flies" compels me to agree with Tim Connolly -- to believe that perhaps we should "circle our wagons" or do something to salvage the scene. Or maybe each webmaster should just do what he/she has been doing hitherto -- his/her own thing. Well, we'll just have to see.

Today was more or less a day of overhaul. I redid the links section, and, as you've seen, finally got around to writing a new introductory message.

Okay, busy day tomorrow, so I can't romance this update log any longer.


Well gee... For the third year in a row, a horse has won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. I can only predict that this year a subatomic microscope will be needed to verify the fact that Charismatic has not won the Belmont (losing by a nose becomes losing by an angstrom.) Then again, maybe this is the year. We'll just have to wait and see.

In the mean time, I've added a review of Ninja Gaiden, and a new link.

I hate Old Navy's advertisements (just trying to kill space in a fashion more creative than "I'm tired.")

Three points of business before I get into the meat of the update.

1. When I said that I would accept outside editorial submissions, I meant it.

2. Circumstances (namely, the fact that neither site has been locatable for about a month now) have necessitated that I remove two of my favorite sites -- Spazzoid's NES Stuff and The Nintendo Review Archive (NRA) -- from the links section. At present, the only information I have on the matter is that the destruction of both sites may have been due to some sort of piratical assault on the server to which both belonged, but that has yet to be confirmed.

3. Today commences the six weeks out of each year that I become a horse racing enthusiast (just thought you'd like to know.)

Anyway, today I added a new link, updated an old one, solefully removed the two inaccessible ones as previously stated, and posted a new editorial.

Also, Tim Connolly has informed me that the piece of Jeopardy! history to which I referred in my last update log was, in fact, a rerun. Sorry, I would confine myself to my own areas of expertise, but then it would probably come to light that I don't have any.

I'm going to have to review a game I really like soon, lest I might get the idea that I have some sort of negative fixation. Well, that probably won't happen outside of my own hypochondriacal world, but I still think some extoling comments are due.

Anyway, in the wake of yesterday's game show history*, I have written a review of Baseball Stars. My previous comments probably suggest that my perception of the game is not rosy, which it isn't. Oh well, I'll start in on the games I like next time. I'm going to be fairly busy next weekend, however -- so I may not be able to update.

* Last evening, for the first time in fourteen years, Jeopardy! did not crown a champion, as all three contestants finished with no money. (Although, keeping in mind my propensity for putting my foot in my mouth, that was probably a rerun.)

Today, I added (perhaps) an overly vitriolic review of Legacy of the Wizard. This evaluation marks an attempt on my part to deviate from the constraining structure I had previously used and implement more of a stream of consciousness, while still touching on the major points. But it's entirely possible that this whole experiment is some sort of subconsciously-originating ploy on my part to expand my reviews (this is, I think, the longest I've yet written) -- and expand them and expand them until the whole site explodes in some sort of bombastic super nova.

But enough with my own absurdity. I'm off to Biography.com

Not that I lack the patience necessary to wait out server trouble or anything (I do but that's not the issue), but I'd like to know just what in the name of Beelzebub is going on over at Brinstar.com. Unless Cord and Spazzoid both abandoned ship on the same day (which I doubt, as it would be a doozy of a coincidence), something over there ain't quite right. Attempting to access two of my favorite sites leads me only to a "page not found" message peppered with a few lascivious statements. My Victorian prudery aside (at least the comments have more personality than those damn 404 messages), I can only hope this will be corrected in the near future -- and if the two fellows mentioned in the comment really are at fault, well, then whatever Brinstar's webmaster will say of them is warranted. Be back soon, fella.

Now, onto my own doings.

As a by-product of my three latest acquisitions, I have added three new SNES Abridged Reviews -- for Gradius III, Robotrek, and Space Meggaforce. Perception wise, this is a pretty motley bunch -- one is great, another could have been better, and the third is an abomination. But conceptually, it's a bit more homogeneous -- they all have to do with technology or the future, in one way or another.

That little overview being uttered, I come to the confession that I don't have anything more to say on the subject.

Uh... I went to the driving range today... (Just trying to kill space in the hope that you won't realize that today's only additions are those three abridged reviews.)


ANNOUNCEMENT: Those of you who have attempted to download any of the MIDIs I added on the 28th will likely have realized that the links are not functional. The files are located at my expanded web space at Tripod. However, AOL seems to have manifested the link as a continuation of my own directory here. Why that has been done I do not know, as I wrote the code so as to connect with the Tripod space.

The only reason for my making this announcement is this: I do not know why this has taken place, and hope it to be a freak occurence. Today, I have put in an inquiry to AOL's help agency, but cannot offer any prognostication of when I will receive a response, nor can I, of my own conjecture, come up with any successful method of alleviating this. If it is not rectifiable, I will be forced to move the entire site to my Tripod space -- an endeavor that would consume a sizable portion of my time. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Simply, I offer this announcement to explain the situation. That in mind, I will answer no mail asking me to explain this situation. My intent is to correct this problem, or, at the very least, offer reasoning as to why I cannot do so, as soon as AOL responds to my query. In the mean time, the seemingly inaccessible files can be obtained by removing the mess AOL has placed around each of the Tripod links and re-processing it (woo, first class, huh?)

Damn bureaucrats...

I don't feel like coming up with an intro today, so please settle for this:

FDSHoierhto wahiuy3u2w 9875aw 89rewaiopd[psaofpd [sa op[fdsa=fdsa9 08(*UF*(es&*(R&U Y*(#UYHIOTGu ho8r eua98u9 84789a7e89 wayuf89eu89aweyu 89er7 5 894 73fdSL JFOIU T*(&*( %)#&*( #)&T*(G Y*Uisdj fiojsd oi894 7985s pyhuiahjk.vz//?j/ajoifejopawiu5 398u r8ioa jhifod ushaoifuj soudat983 72589 7589wa0uy fiaosj fosida jfiosa hfiodsa.joifdsuIOUT(*)EUT()E U()*IU() $#UJTOI GJW()S UJ()GSWJ)(#Jo3290 784039 2ujiof UEJIOJRIO EJIOFMSDO IHIORJE.


I've added several new MIDIs:

Castlevania - Stage 3 (better)
Godzilla (new secttion) - Game Over, Earth, Ending, Gezora, Ghidora, Gigan, Hedorah, Jupiter, Mecha-Godzilla, Moguera, Mars/Introduction, Neptune, Password, Pluto, Saturn, Title Screen, Uranus, Varan
Gradius - Level 1 (Arranged)
Legacy of the Wizard - Boss, Credits, Game Over, Inside Family Home, Inventory, Outside Home, Shops, (Another Different) Underground Maze, (4th Different) Underground Maze, (5th Different) Underground Maze, (6th Different) Underground Maze
Mega Man 2 - Title Screen (better)
Shadowgate - Title Screen (better), Within Castle (better)
Strider - Blue Dragon Ship (better)
Ultima: Quest of the Avatar - Bard's Tune (better)

I'm all too caught up in my own whimsy tonight, so I cannot stay. I have to run around in circles now.

Having spent the weekend of my previous update contemplating heartily, enjoying the spoils of a day without demands, and pestering Tim Connolly, I am now brought back to earth by two fundamental agents -- first, the unshakable truth that euphoria doesn't last forever; and second, the NCAA Tournament (though the latter lifts me back up a bit via the many underdogs who have proven successful -- go Gonzaga!)

Anyway, today I have, rather than deepen an existing section, expanded the site's breadth by way of the newly-created editorial section. The page itself explains its function, and the prospect of viewer-contribution. Given that I have something of a busy day tomorrow, I had best be retiring for the evening.

Has anyone else ever noticed how much the word "volatile" resembles "Voltaire"?

My goodness, a whole day without academia's demands and requirements clawing at my throat. Maybe dreams do come true. I've been able to spend a full day in the heady lofts of contemplation, and work on the site to boot. Life, for the moment, is exceptionally good.

Anyway, I've added a new link, redone/revised my absurdly self-promoting bio, and added several new MIDIs (itemized below):

Castlevania III - Stage 3
The Guardian Legend - Boss, Level 1
Marble Madness - Intermediate Race, Practice Race, Silly Race, Ultimate Race

Enjoy. As for me, I'm off to continue experiencing my whimsical euphoria and watch Sammo Hung beat the hell out of people.

Oy, up late again. There has to be a more timely way to get things done -- possibly it involves heightening my late-night endurance. But as things stand, I'm exhausted. Why are there apparitions of the Muppets in my room? Now they're gone...

Okay, bringing myself back to full consciousness, let me set down to the matter at hand.

I've added a review of Lunar Pool, and three new links. Now I'm off to my slumber -- that which came so late.

It's far too late for me to worry about moving fluidly and subtly into the actual update, so I'll just get down to business.

I've added an archive of SNES Abridged Reviews. Its origin, purpose, and future are explained in the intro on that page. Good night.

Oh, and people still waiting for links, the lateness of the hour prohibits that I deal with them now, but I have a three-day weekend on the forefront. I'll probably be able to get to them in a week. Thank you for your patience.

Okay, it's been more than two months since the last full review, but I've written one now. I'll try not to use this as an excuse to refrain from writing reviews until April.

This review is an experimentation of mine with a slightly more relaxed style. However, I'm still having a little trouble concentrating when I write. If any of you know of any focus exercises that might be of help, please let me know. Then again, The Beatles suggested that they should get rid of anything that stops their minds from wandering. Maybe I should go about it that way -- achieve a higher focus through distraction, or something...

Anyway, there is now a review of Faxanadu up.

Also, for those of you who have asked me for links, I'm too tired to deal with those today, but I'll be sure to post them at the next opportunity.

I'm currently troubled by some manner of flu, and thus can't muster the energy to create some bombastic intro -- okay, so this probably pleases more of you than it dissapoints.

Anyway, I've added numerous MIDIs:

Flying Warriors (new section) - After Achieving Objective
Karnov (new section) - Level 1
Mighty Final Fight (new section) - Stage 1
Rad Racer 2 (new section) - Coast to Coast
Street Fighter 2010 (new section) - Introduction
Strider (new section) - Blue Dragon Ship, Boss, China, Egypt, Inventory, Title Screen

Also, thanks entirely to one fellow with a sponge memory, there is quite a bit of new information in the Audiovisual portion of "NES Media."

Good-bye. I have to go make chicken soup -- or some other similarly cathartic food.

I've sat here for a bit, aiming to devise something momentous with which to begin my update message. However, nothing is coming to mind, and that my inspirational floodgates are closed is of little relevance, for there is no water to be withheld.

Sorry. I just had to get a little creative imagery out -- probably in the hope that some new will come and take its place. Anyway, down to business...

First is an announcement:

Today is The NES Enshrined's first birthday. One year ago today -- and about this time of day, coincidentally -- a small bit of code that is now not even one percent of this site came into being. I joked, on that day, that the site was just one of my many pipe dreams, and that I would soon forget about it -- abandon it for some other faddish enthatuation. Well, if it was a pipe dream, then I'm still a-dreamin', for the cop-out I mentioned a year ago is now buried so deeply beneath my inspiration and initiative that its portentous influence cannot be heard. This site has lived a year, and I'll wager it will live a few more.

Okay, I can see myself sidling toward some lengthy sentimental discourse worthy of the late Jimmy Stewart. So, I'm going to draw back, wish the "Shrine" a happy birthday, and fulfill my earlier promise to "get down to business" -- this time to the business that really is business.

I've uploaded four MIDIs:

8 Eyes (new section) - Title Screen
Crystalis - Leaf, Valley of Wind
Double Dragon II - Shadow Boss

Also, I've fixed one link, and added a new one.

For an anniversary update, I'll admit that this is an anticlimax. Thus, to downplay my own lack of foresight -- I didn't remember today was the site's b-day until I sat down to compose this update log -- I'll just segue clumsily into this lovely Oscar Wilde quotation:

"Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. That is a fault.
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope."
-from The Picture of Dorian Gray

Ah... Nothing like a chance to begin anew. In this case, I'm referring to the update page, which was becoming quite lengthy, though you could apply that statement to by and large anything. Anyway, I moved all updates from 1998 into the rather inspirationlessly named 1998 Updates page.

Also I have added abridged reviews for the following games:

1942, Athena, Baseball Stars, Commando, Donkey Kong 3, Flying Warriors, Iron Tank, Low G Man, Lunar Pool, Metroid, P.O.W., Racket Attack, Rad Racer, Side Pocket, Skate or Die, Soccer, Solar Jetman, Street Fighter 2010, Super Sprint, Tecmo Bowl.

Finally, since I was unable to showcase as many of the holiday MIDIs as I would have liked, I've decided to leave that collection up indefinitely. However, as you can hear, I'm returning NES songs to the front page.

Enjoy the new year, all.

Return to the main page - The NES Enshrined

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