The Outbox

This here marks the first page on HYLIA.Com of what was called "Letters" on our parent site, ZHQ. Most of it was put together very quickly with less than 25 hours passing between when the first letter was received and when all responses were collected and organized, yet in that time I've managed to get in touch with a couple of key people and include their replies here too.

This short three-letters edition is entire Conrad's doing. Getting Fox involved would have made this take longer. Rest assured that Fox has asked about getting his own edition up and is eager to start posting his own editions as soon as I give him the go-ahead.

The name of this section isn't set in stone. See the voting section. If you'd like to participate in this section you may try by sending letters to the Letters Team Mailing List (our "Inbox"). (Disclaimer: Please note that all submissions become considered property of the owner and/or the maintainers of this web site. All submissions may be modified before posting, at the poster's descretion, for reasons of brevity, spelling errors, proper-sounding English, decency, style, emphasis, and any other ways we deem desirable.)

The first letter:

Jeff declares: Hello,
I have been very interested in ZHQ since I first saw it, back when it was up and running fine. I now even have my own webpage up about zelda, but it only has the game's timeline and some nice pics. I am a very good Zelda game player though and have beaten all of them that are out, from Z1 to the Oracle series. I was wondering what had happed to ZHQ since I could no longer access it, and now I know why from reading your site. My timeline on my page I gathered from ZHQ, and I belive it is pretty accurate to what happened. I was wondering if any of you had checked out that site. it's fancy but has lots of useful information. Their timeline though, I could argue a point or two about.


Conrad, for the record, I challenge your claim as the worlds best Zelda 1 player. feel free to take me up on it anytime. also, I read in the latest updates about how you feel about the horrible things that happened on 911, and what is going on now. While things like video games do seem very inconsequential right now, and they are, they do provide us a outlet to let us clear our minds of sadness, or anger, or etc... and lets us bring our minds back into focus. It lets us push all else out of our minds while we focus on taking out that boss, or getting that item. and when we are done we can look at our situation with a clear head and helps us deal.

Conrad replies: Test Yes, we've seen Zelda.Com. Yes, they have useful informations, including [JavaScript:New_Window] downloading the Player's Guides. We've also had issues of the storyline they tell and have contacted them about it. I'm not aware of there having been a response yet.

In all my time at ZHQ, even before I was the webmaster, I didn't have anybody E-Mail me posing a challenge to my claim. Yes, of course there may be somebody in the world better than myself... that's true of just about any recognized world title holder in anything. However, that doesn't prevent world records from being recognized and titles of "world's best" from happening. We have Olympics where competitors meet, and whenever a previous record is broken then they are considered to have become the world's best, even if there is somebody who can run faster or jump higher living in a native tribe, far away from known civilization so that we don't have a chance to know of that person's abilities.

I don't foresee a lot of people traveling to where I live to compete with me, I'm not aware of any plans of a grand scale for such people to meet elsewhere, and I'm simply too poor to travel somewhere else to defend myself anytime someone wants me to challenge them. I searched the Internet for some time before I made the claim and took on the title, and during that time of searching I hadn't found anybody with a better record. The search included not only the world wide web but E-Mailing people in the online Zelda community (this was before I made my first Zelda web page or got involved with any Zelda web site), visiting IRC channels on multiple different servers, and so forth. I didn't see anybody who even claimed to be able to match my abilities, much less submit any evidence of them. If anybody wishes to verify what I've done, it's still possible for them to download my recorded input and view the accomplishment. The files are still available to the public.

If you'd like to submit some countering evidence, I'd look forward to seeing it. However, just as Gary Kasparov is (last I checked) considered the world's best human at chess and I can't refute that just by saying "Nah, I'm better than him", I simply can't hand over the title just because someone else says they challenge me. No title could stand with such conditions. The person needs to actually challenge me.

Before you spend a lot of time, I oughta let you know:

  1. I have made new recordings for Zelda 1, first quest only, which I haven't yet bothered to make public (as I want to create a sort of custom installer for the distribution which I haven't done so yet). The recordings were created in multiple sessions and using the medium that they were created on, they can easily be played back either as a whole sequence or starting the playback from certain points (such as at the beginning of a level). When played back, I beat the first quest with similar restrictions as before in less than 90 minutes.
  2. Someone said in E-Mail that without some of the restrictions I've done, they beat first quest in under 60 minutes. I have determined that it does appear possible and hopefully will have a recording to prove that in the near future. Unfortunatley I can't use my controller of choice or even a standard Gamepad to make this recording, in order to make the smallest, easiest-to-distribute recording possible due to various technical issues including things not working as well as when I've made some similar recordings in the past. In fact, the input device I'm going to use is just darn-right awful. Yeech.

If someone wishes to send me some sort of proof, such as a recording, of a feat to challenge mine, I'll certainly try to view it. A little more than type-written boast needs to exist for me to yield the title, though. I've already made public my feat of getting through each quest in 6 hours and though I haven't yet released anything better to the public yet to prove my latest statements, I will likely accelerate that task should the need arise.

As for September 11 of this year of 2001, that issue is addressed on today's update of the main page.

The Second Letter (Part 1)

"The Fairgrives" wrote: I mainly ask this as every time I enter all I ever get anymore is server not found, so it leaves me to wonder if ZHQ is offcially dead, mainly I still visited ZHQ almost daily to see if Neils made a surprise update *loved ZHQ and The Top Secret Zelda section which it contained* Of course TSZ was gone way before ZHQ ever went out of the media. MY next question is when will Hylia launch with game information and etc. I also was wondering when Hylia launches would they have actual descent maps of Zelda 2???

Conrad Responds: Why, suddenly, today? I'm going to quote part of another message.

"Tiss me, Raccoo. You may remember me from such eventless e-mails as "Raccoo drops a rupee in the wishing well" or "Why hasn't ZHQ been updated?"

Well, I write this to inform you (if you haven't noticed already) that ZHQ seems to have kicked the bucket. Try as I might, my computer will not connect with the ol' web site. I thought you might mention this in your next update. That's entirely up to you... =]

Conrad Continues: Why, suddenly, today? Seems to me that the site's been unresponsive for a while now, and all of a sudden today people decide to start asking about it. Well, as for whether it's officially dead or not, the person to make such an official decision would be the owner and current webmaster of the site. Last we've heard from that person, what ZHQ said about its status before the site stopped responding is still true. That, in case you don't remember, is that the current progress on the site is pretty much on hold, but that it should still be makin' a comeback someday.

I actually contacted Niels to see if I could confirm this before posting it here, and here's some of the ICQ transcript I had with him:

<TOOGAM> Basically, I intend to respond and say that ZHQ's current plans are the same as they were when it was last updated... that it does intend to make a comeback, at an undetermined time. I was wondering, though, if you wanted to add anything before I said that.
<Niels> Yeah, that's the basic deal :) I still own the domain, plan to put it online someday again. I've been thinking about doing something small recently, after writing some short essays on the new Zelda for GameCube and after getting totally hooked to Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons :)
<TOOGAM>I was rather surprised when the main page started to not respond. I thought you'd at least leave that up. (Did you not know that it's unresponsive?)
<Niels> It's some trouble with switching servers. I have a little multimedia studio, where they have their own server equipment, and it's apparantly rather intricate to move everything there.
[Later in the conversation]
<Niels> Further I'm basically doing some things for this multimediastudio... I worked until 6 am last night to get a script for a small online game finished, for example
<Niels> Oh, my letter about the new Zelda was featured on Hyrule Times, but you have to have IGN Insider to read it :-)

Conrad Rambles Further: I found the article on IGN Insider and so made a hyperlink out of Niels's words... In the article Niels starts out saying "I'd like to shed some light on an aspect of The Legend of Zelda for GameCube that I haven't heard anyone about." He goes on to talk about his thoughts of the new GameCube Zelda (which has been dubbed "Cel-Da") I should point out that I only recently got access to the IGN Insider and haven't looked it all over yet, but they appear to be doing some really good work at having pages about Zelda from news to high resolution movies to discussions of the new game to fan art to photographs of Zelda memoribilia to IGN-created-quality graphics, making that part of their site really being much like a good live active Zelda site.

Now, onto the next question: When will this site launch?

I feel it's taken me way too long. The site has been in development, on and off (although never officially "off", I've gone months without touching it) for over a year.

Within the last month I did work on it some more, and I stopped only because I absolutely had to. I really have been extremely busy lately. I found out only recently that I could get into a college this school quarter if I moved half-way accross the state. So, I moved halfway accross the state. You can imagine that can make a person's life a bit hectic. My computer is set up but many things are unpacked, such as any of my video game equipment.

The truth is, there's very little point for me to be involved in making a Zelda website if nobody is able to appreciate it and therefore the idea of spending a lot more time behind the scenes is less attractive. In light of the fact that the web site's development hasn't gone as well as optimistally planned, I've decided to lower my standards on the site's launch. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as the standards were quite high to begin with. I was secretly (even from the staff) planning on getting completed sections up and running on my own computer before making one public so that when launch did come, it would be an exciting several days of huge update after huge update. It woulda been nice, but at this point I think the site should go up as soon as possible.

As for the exact question of "when", if it seems like I've been beating around the bush a bit, I have. I don't feel I can give a definite time. Had I done that long ago, I would have surely missed it. All I can say is that I want it to be soon, and I'm not going to require perfection. My visions of the site launch as posted on the site FAQ have altered a bit since that FAQ was written, because I think people will agree it would be better to have a simple site up and publicly viewable sooner rather than waiting longer for people to be able to see anything.

I've noticed over the last year a much greater number of sites using JavaScript menus. It certainly appears that it was worth my time to have learned the language and spent the time that I had on making HYLIA.Com's new navigation system, just to keep up with the times. (It may not look as revolutionary as it may have if it were released a year ago, but at least it shouldn't look outdated.)

Moving onto your next question, I'll quote yet another letter (this one received over a year ago... yikes, it's been that long?!?)

"Niklas Noreliusson" submitted: Well, I'm a great fan of Zelda and I was going to make my own website just for Zelda in Swedish. I started but it took too much time and I work too much too. BUT, I made some maps: Complete layout for all the palace in Zelda II.

Conrad Keeps On Talkin': I looked at the first map he sent me, and took him up on his offer to send me the other maps. The answer to your question is definitely a "Yes", and thanks to Niklas's contributions to this site I should be able to get a useful Zelda II section up quickly and it is likely to be one of the first Games Sections to go up.

The Second Letter (Part 2)

"The Fairgrives" wrote: I actually think it's a smart idea you didn't make a messageboard for the site sure it may increase traffic but most people who go to message boards do not pay attention to the site itself. So kudos on your choice. I hope your letters section is as big a hit as ZHQ's was mainly I went to ZHQ to read the archive letters they were hilarious at times. and has Chibi-Zelda done anymore artwork it looked nice. I know this is long but I wish you luck Scott.

Conrad writes: About your thought on my message board choice: Thanks. About Letters: Absolutely. The Letters section was great and I am really looking forward to having an entertaining "letters section" on HYLIA.Com. About Chibi-Zel's work... uh, I may as well post Chibi-Zel's response.

Chibi-Zel wrote: Really? Thank you! I'm so happy you like my drawings! ^_____^

Well, I haven't exactly had time to do any serious art, so mostly I've been drawing on my notes. I will get back to it eventually, tho.

Again, thank you for the compliment!

c-ya ^_^
the Chibi-Zel

Chibi-Zel wrote: The scanner in the dorm computer lab is dead, and i'm not too enthusiastic about walking over to kinkos to pay who-knows-how-much to scan them when I could just wait and go home to scan them.

Conrad Concludes: It's been a while since I've received more submissions from her, but I still have a number of graphics to go through and figure out where on the site they'll be posted. She's still around, though, and so if I use up what I've got and there becomes a need for more, I figure she'll be happy to provide. It's a safe bet to expect seeing more of her work in the future.

Thanks for the good luck wish. (Scott? Hmm...)

--Scott Conrad VanderWoude

Cold is defined as lack of movement

This is Steve Dixon, formerly of that one chilly Zelda site. I don't know if your old catch-all mail addresses work, but I figured I'd give it a shot.

I wanted to let you know that IZC is, for all means and purposes, gone. [...] The "Temporarily Closed" message is his polite way of telling the regulars to [stop bothering to come]. So between ZHQ and IZC, the old school is more or less officially gone.

I figured I'd pass that on to you, so that you can remove the IZC link at Hylia[.Com].

Speaking of which, is Hylia[.Com] still in development? A couple of us IZC vets have been watching with interest. I'd be willing to lend my writing and design skills to the project, should you be interested in picking up a new staffie down the road.

That's my two bit $0.02. Thanks for reading.

Catch you on the defrosted side.
- Dixon

Conrad Replies: If a large, old Zelda site like Ice's Zelda Central officially goes kaput, don't you think it deserves some space for me to talk about? Even if it is IZC...

I've simply lost track of who is the webmaster and who is the most active staff over at Ice's Zelda Central. Maniacal Clown did a lot of good for that site, and I've never had any reason to be ill towards that man. It would've been great if he was allowed, and had inclination, to take over the site. Ah well.

I was, as per request, going to reveal all my old-school, "inside" knowledge of IZC's past on that site's message boards, and I would have if it weren't for KodeKeeper. However, I realized that there were many people at Vortex Gen who came on board much later than the events I had knowledge of, and the newcomers didn't want a bunch of old troubles being stirred up. In order to not disrupt what might be good members of a currently-decent community, I decided to remain silent. One thing that Maniacal Clown and I do agree on, though, is that Nemesis's post which was attacking everybody but herself, from ZHQ and IZC, was inaccurate. Without going into details, the timeline had the most number of clear-cut errors that I could identify.

I simply do not have enough knowledge to be able to identify the original Ice who has disappeared. The recent webmaster of Vortex Generation who was called Ice may be that person, or perhaps not. I cannot deny that he is the same person, argueing that he clearly is not, but nor can I accept that he is. I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that I won't ever be able to meet up with the original Ice and recognize him as being such. I did have respect for that guy while he was running the original version of the site.

The latest turn of events is that IZC's webmaster has decided to stop running the site. The "IZC Temporarily Closed" graphic was all that was on the page. Now, the page is as unresponsive as ZHQ. Then a staff member of IZC writes to me calling the site a thing of the past. However, if you buy the story that the recent man Ice was the same person as the original Ice, then according to that story and other facts, Ice has closed down his site before from a lack of interest of that person. However, IZC revived itself later.

Whether the site gets taken over nicely, taken over (illegally) by force or trickery, restarted by a totally different individual (likely famous among IZC's community) who uses their own name or adopts the name of Ice, whether that person tries to act like that person is the same Ice or not, or whether in maybe six months "the real Ice" will resurface ready to herald that site into a new golden age: No matter how it may come back, I'm not convinced that I'll never again be hearing of a site called Ice's Zelda Central.

Maybe it won't be until another really-neat Zelda game captures everyone's attention, but I'm sure some of you still have each other's ICQ numbers and E-Mail addresses, and it's difficult to imagine that the community of IZC fans will disappear. The KVS Message Board is still around and is clearly the current successor to the "great KVS everyone remembers during KVS's glory days".

As for your "the old school is more or less officially gone" statement, I disagree. First of all, I have to say that ZHQ is not officially gone. If you want to count it as gone, though, I guess the old school of main Zelda sites I cared about could be considered gone. However, that's really a technicality. Those sites may be gone, meaning their addresses and names, but the people of those sites are still around. The sites I remember most fondly from that day and age are ZHQ, IZC (in a few ways), and TGL. TGL is the most clear exception: It isn't officially gone by any means, as it later became Zlda.Com and now sits at, and I consider the modern incarnation of DekuTree.Com to be what TGL has become. That site's been in relative or even extremely active status ever since the glorious TGL days. You're not going to be able to convince me that all the old sites have died off as long as what is currently DekuTree.Com is around. Long live DekuTree.Com!

Even if that site does bellyflop, even if none of the leading sites date back to 1997, the staff of ZHQ has by and large rallied around me and this site, and so if you stick around you should be able to see them in action at HYLIA.Com. I agree they may not be seen very publicly at the moment, but they are by and large still affiliated with a Zelda site and looking forward to the day I finally get this site launched and start posting their stuff, and when HYLIA.Com does get going then it won't seem as though the group ever died because the group never did.

As for if this site is still in development, the answer is: absolutely! Yes, I have worked on the site recently. It's hard for me to find time that I want to spend on the site because when I do spend time on the site I spend a great ordeal of time on it, usually the remainder of the day and staying up late at that. Therefore, it's difficult for me to start working on the post-launch version, but I do do it.

If the site ever looks like it doesn't have much of a future, whether as an actively updated site or even just being an existing site, and if I'm still running the site when that day comes, I'll be up front about that and say so. That is how I operate.

And No, I am not seeking to bring a whole bunch of IZC staffers on board just because that site closed down. As for "down the road", I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

There you have it, our first edition of Hylian Heresay. I, Conrad, would just like to point out that shortly after I compiled these answers, and without Chibi-Zel having any idea that I was going to post this or anything like that, I did receive from our fine Chibi-Zel some ***MORE!!!*** pictures. I don't know if she went home a few days later, or if she walked over to Kinkos and paid who-knows-how-much. Thanks go to Jeff, The Fairgrives, and Raccoo, for without people like them this edition of Hieroglyphical Handwritings would not have been a reality.

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