Interview with TSA

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

One time, I was going to the store...*pauses*...You said a little "bit", like a skit. OH! You mean info. Gotcha! Ahem.

I am 19 years old. I was born in New York on March 5th, 1983. I lived in New York for five years, and moved to Dallas, Tx. Live there ever since. I played sports in high school, Basketball, Football, and Baseball. Played Varsity level Football and Baseball. I was in National Honor Society, STAND, and FCA. I graduated in the spring of 2001 and went to the University of Texas in Austin to be in the Red McComb's School of Business. I am currently a 2nd year, classification Sophmore, and trying to get into the Radio Television and Film Department of the School of Communication.

I first got into The Legend of Zelda when I played it at a friend's house. I owned the original versions of it and The Adventure of Link in the late 80's, and got ALttP and LA, too. The first Zelda game I was on my own to get, and an avid fan by then, was Ocarina of Time. Ever since then, I've been extremely addicted to anything and everything Zelda.

I got AOL in 1993. I ran a game club called WEGMA until about 1995, and then joined Nintendo Power Source forums. I lost AOL in 1995, and got Prodigy in 1996 and only went to ZHQ until about 1998. I then became staff of ZHQ working on the music and the Zelda V section. After ZHQ went down, I free lance helped on Zelda Infinite and Zelda Games. In 2000, I joined AGN and began extensive work on Zelda Classic quest building. In 2001, I began to get back into the broad Zelda community and in 2002 I decided to bring back ZHQ. That's currently what I am doing.

What was your position on Zelda Headquarter's (ZHQ's) staff?

I was the head of the Music section, and I had to remix and collect all types of MIDIs and MODs for Zelda games. ZHQ had the largest collection EVER, over 500 versions of various songs from Zelda. In the beginning of 1999 I was made the head Ocarina of Time guy, and began work on the ZHQ OoT Guide. I also participated in the Letters Section.

What first got you into Zelda? What has kept you in?

The cartoon series. I would watch it all the time, and I got the videos as a kid. I would watch them, and go back and play the games and act out episodes. A Link to the Past and the comic with it drew me even further into Zelda Fanboy- ism. Ocarina of Time was what sealed the deal, as I was a Final Fantasy fanboy after Zelda vanished for 5 years. The artwork and guide stories have always kept me drawn to the land of Hyrule. ZHQ also played a big role, as "online Zelda fans" came into play, and the world of Zelda was forever changed for me.

What kind of impact do you think ZHQ had on the Zelda community, and what direction has this community gone since then?

I think what got everyone was the sheer size and quality of the site for its time. By now, it looks very outdated (if you saved the site when you could), though. The fact that it featured original artwork and a sort of "narrative" presentation made it not just a great Zelda site, but a great fan site. It also housed everything you could think of on the series, a gathering place to find anything you needed on any game. I think many people first got their inspirations to create a Zelda site after seeing ZHQ. Many of its features can still be seen mimicked in other sites today, and The Grand Adventures almost is a replica of the site, too. However, there still is not, nor will there ever be, a site that matches what ZHQ was again.

Tell us about your plans to revive ZHQ.

It was basically an idea I had when I went around to Zelda Fan Sites and saw this new "web standard" scheme in them all. I began to get involved in community forums and talked with people. Zelda fans were younger, and not as "intelligent" as the ones I had known. I also thought many webmasters were in it for the wrong reasons. I tried to contact Niels to see if he was up for bringing back the old ZHQ, but he is nowhere to be found. I then contacted Conrad, and he was againt the idea.

Anyway, I got a bunch of great Zelda fans I had met, and formed a team to try to get this project underway. Originally, we were just gonna put the old ZHQ back online, and start from there. But then, we decided it would be wrong, and that the old site wasn't even what we were shooting for. Thus, we left the old ZHQ in the archives, and began "our" version of ZHQ. Thus, it's part a tribute site and part a remake. We are shooting for a March 5th, 2003 official launch, and it's a month away. I'd say 35% of the site is completed, but it's the important graphic and layout portion. We have all the content, we just need to put it into the pages now. Also, our hosting service isn't great, so in June we'll be moving to an official server and we'll be 100% operational then.

We also have a huge MMOTBRPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Text Based Role Playing Game) planned for this fall that should be a big hit if we get it right.

What are your general thoughts and philosophies about Zelda web sites?

You have to have the basic content of the games down pat. I do not know how many times I have seen the game titles spelled wrong, or character names wrong, or times of releases inaccurate. Some sites don't even cover anything before Ocarina of Time. That is the first goal of any site. The next step is getting fans who care and like your site. You should always have something unique. A Message Board is almost a necessity now, but you should try to put something extra in. Finally, you need to go beyond the typical to be noticed. Coverage of rare games, or rare Omake (extras) should be your focus. Not just for the fans, but for yourself, so you can be a complete fan.

Thanks TSA! Good luck with the new ZHQ!