By Maniacal Clown
Just fifty months ago, a website by the name of Zelda Headquarters was founded by a certain Neils T'Hooft. That little website grew to be huge. So large, and with such a great fanbase, it seemed nothing could stand in that site's way.
It was two years later that something did. A young man was searching the internet for sites pertaining to the Legend of Zelda, and he could find only one. ZHQ. Although he knew ZHQ was an excellent site, it wasn't all that he wanted, and he knew that some people thought the same way. So, he started a little site of his own to compete with ZHQ. With lack of a better name, he named the site after his own screen name, Ice, and thus, Ice's Zelda Central was born.
IZC became an excellent site as well, just as good, and even better in some areas, than ZHQ. The staff trusted each other, and always got the job done. Soon, however, it was time to expand. New staff must be found. They found that in the form of Steve Dixon.
Steve immediately took up residence in the articles section of IZC, writing simple editorials that won him respect and praise from staff and fans alike. And then, on November 23, 1998, it began to fall apart. Coupled with the realease of Ocarina of Time was the disappearance of Ice. The staff was forced to fend for themselves, and hope that their beloved webmaster would return.
During this time, it is thanks to Steve and the rest of the staff at the time, that IZC remained afloat. Their relentless updating with articles and letters, and their ability to keep on with it, despite rumors and verbal attacks from other sites, was commendable. Finally, in early 1999, Ice returned. Around the same time, a Clown appeared at the message boards.
I had stumbled upon IZC through a link on ZHQ. Curious about the whole deal with Ice's disappearance and hungry for all the Zelda information I could get, I fell into the main site, drug through the Fan Center, and made my way to the *original* 5th.net IZC boards. I found a bustling community made up of fans just like me, and they took me right in.
It wasn't but a week later that the 5th.net forums were upgraded and completely redone. By then, Ice had returned, Navie and JMK had departed as staff members, and Steve reigned as Editor in Chief. It was only then that I first thought about being an IZC staff member, but when I thought it through, I realized I didn't have the knowledge and the expertise to even work on the current staff's level.
So, I got to work. I explored every nook and crany of Zelda 64. I made sure I knew that game from the inside out. However, I still couldn't work up the courage to apply. I knew I had to learn the tricks of the trade. I knew I had to model myself after someone there whom I knew did it right. I chose Steve Dixon.
I talked to him almost everytime he and I were both online. I read everything he wrote. I got as close to him as a friend can get when you're seperated my miles and miles of phone line. I learned the tricks of the trade, and in September of 1999, I submitted my first article to IZC. Because of what I learned from Steve, earned a spot on the staff in early October. Without Steve Dixon, I would have remained a wanderer, and probably would have ended up, as sad as it is, an HTLoZ fan. (*shudder*)
Ten months later, Steve Dixon has decided to leave IZC. Although I respect his decision, he has after all worked here for about two years now, I hate to see him go. Ice's Zelda Central would be nowhere if it had not been for Steve Dixon, spending many lonely hours tending to his herd of now 140 articles and updating when it seemed the site was nearly dead.
Some may see this as just another staffer leaving after a long time helping this incredible site. I see it as the end of an era, and not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps it is a sign that we no longer need one individual to hold the site together. Perhaps we have advanced to a point where IZC can do it on its own.
Mr. Steve Dixon, we here at Ice's Zelda Central applaud you for making IZC enjoyable, not only for the fans, but for the staff as well. Thank you for a job well done.
We'll be sure to leave a special spot in the hall of fame for you. =)