The Nintendo NSider Forums (NSider) were the official forums of Nintendo, run by Lithium Technologies.
The Nintendo NSider Forums were essentially an online branch of Nintendo Power (the magazine's logo used to appear as a header for most pages), a video game magazine published by the video game company Nintendo. Also, the user accounts were shared with My Nintendo accounts. Thus, Nintendo Power subscription numbers can be tied to a posting user's account.
The NSider Forums, in its current incarnation, was officially launched on November 24, 2003. The user base was transferred over from Hyrule Town Square (HTS) and Digichat Nsider (or Old Nsider), which was launched to once again attempt an official Nintendo bulletin board system, on April 7, 2003. Its primary theme was Nintendo's series of The Legend of Zelda video games, launching within the time frame of the release of the Nintendo GameCube title, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The Nintendo NSider Forums were simultaneously launched with the new Nintendo.com design. NSider has a divided section, itself and Nintendo.com. With use of Nintendo.com NSider members can register games to unlock unique downloads.
Forms of NSider have been around since 1995, when Nintendo first launched a website on AOL. Previous incarnations of the NSider Forums were referred to as Nintendo Power Circuit, Loudhouse, The Ancient NSider, The Old NSider, Digichat, The Old Days, Hyrule Town Square, and The New NSider.
There were numerous boards on the Nsider Forums including, Power On, Technical Support, Fan Art, Newcomers, and Review Board. In addition to those, there were also several other Nintendo franchise themed boards as well as a cluster of boards to endorse Nintendo Wi-Fi products. The following is a list of boards in order of there appearance.
The Bulletin Board
The Bulletin Board is a board that only admins can edit. It usually talks about new Nintendo website updates and news about NSider.
Gameplay Help for Newcomers
The Gameplay Help for Newcomers board was created designated as a place for newly registered users to spend their first three days on the forums before heading out to various other parts of the forums. The board is strictly exclusive to new members, and for game plays help discussions, as any other message foreign to the theme will be locked or deleted.
The Technical Support board offers NSiders a place to exchange information pertaining to technical issues on the forums with their fellow peers, administrators, and moderators. The Technical Support board also offers tutorials for helping NSiders make signatures, or learn more about the NSider Forums.
Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Boards
The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Boards were a list of boards featuring current wifi games, and general discussions. It features FAQs about each game, and so on. The following is a list of boards in this section.-
- Nintendo WFC General Discussion
- Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and Pokémon Battle Revolution
- Metroid Prime Hunters
- Diddy Kong Racing DS
- Mario Kart DS
- Animal Crossing: Wild World
- Other Nintendo WFC Games
- Nintendo WFC Technical Questions
Console & Handheld Boards
The console and Handheld boards were multiple boards where you talk about the console or handheld. The following is a list of boards under this topic.
- Nintendo DS
- Nintendo GameCube
- Game Boy Line
- Legacy Systems
- Nintendo Entertainment System
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System
- Nintendo 64
- Virtual Boy
The franchise boards were boards based on popular franchises or recent games. The most popular were the Mario, Zelda, and Super Smash Bros. boards. The following is a list of the boards in the order of there appearance.
- Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day
- Fire Emblem
- Super Smash Bros.
- The Legend of Zelda
- Donkey Kong
- Star Fox
The Review Board serves as a place where NSider users can submit reviews of video games they have played to their peers. If a review is extremely well written and detailed, it can be chosen by a group of judicatures to appear on the Community page for the official Nintendo websites.
Fan Art / Fan Fic Board
The Fan Art Board offers users a place to submit artwork based on a Nintendo related theme. It is also a place for NSider users to show off their signatures and exchange advice on how to make better ones. Every month, the Nsider's hierarchy usually holds a contest to determine which item of artwork is the be st.
Similar to the Fan Art board, the Fan Fiction board allows NSider users to create stories or scenarios for their favorite video game characters. Every week, the hierarchy of the forum will select the best and most well written story for the "Best Fan Fic of the Week". Recently, a new workshop has been created as a place for NSiders to receive suggestions and analytical reviews from their fellow peers for their Fan Fics.
Power On is without a doubt the most popular board on the NSider Forums. The board was designated as an “off topic board” for users to talk about subjects irrelevant to Nintendo. Since its creation in 2003, the board has undergone much transformation in attempts to control spam and other threats.
In addition to the normal forum boards, there were live forums, which were more commonly known as chat rooms. The Live Forums allow NSider users to chat in real-time through a separate chatting interface with their peers and various Nintendo of America employees. As of December 2005, NOA_Andy announced that the names of the Live Forums would frequently change on a weekly basis at the whim of the current moderator or for commercial purposes. In live forums moderators and admins get special powers such as the ability to flush out everyone in the chat room, or block new people from joining it.
As with various other online communities, the administrators of the NSider Forums have instituted a ranking system for users to advance through as they spend time on NSider. A user’s rank is determined by the quantity of a user’s messages, page views, time spent online and other participation factors. As users move up in the ranking system, they will gain specific privileges, such as the ability to post images, edit posts, or display a signature.
List of Ranks
|Rank Name||Post Number||Number of Days||Page Views||Game series|
|Piranha Plant||67||3 Days||475||Mario|
|Shy Guy||990||25 Days||12,487||Mario|
|Chain Chomp||1,953||37 Days||25,049||Mario|
|Kremling||2,601||45 Days||35,479||Donkey Kong|
|Bounty Hunter||3,352||52 Days||45,123||Metroid|
|Hammer Bro.||4,587||58 Days||56,598||Mario|
|Djinni||6,427||80 Days||80,260||Golden Sun|
|Kong||8,641||102 Days||102,540||Donkey Kong|
|Pokémon Trainer||14,034||149 Days||140,355||Pokemon|
|Warpstar Knight||17,349||167 Days||182,461||Kirby|
|Fox Brigade||21,415||180 Days||224,775||Star Fox|
|Killer Bees||23,467||194 Days||316,906||Zelda|
|F-Zero Pilot||26,434||207 Days||360,243||F-Zero|
|Smash Master||30,589||227 Days||410,279||Super Smash Bros.|
|Hero of the Winds||35,113||263 Days||525,145||Zelda|
Lithium Technologies Administrator
- Lithium Technologies has provided the NSider Forums with specific employees committed to supervise and maintain the forums.
- Basic tasks for a Lithium Administrator include dealing with technical issues, mending security exploits, and manipulating various settings.
Administration and Moderation
- Message boards were controlled and moderated by Nintendo employees (called NOAs) and volunteer users (called Knights of Hyrule).
- Lead by NOA_Andy, Administrators and Moderators were responsible for the upkeep of the bulletin board system and the "Live Forums" chatrooms. Also, they ensure that all content on the forums is consistent with the rules and regulations.
- Users who have distinguished themselves as productive and noble members of the NSider Community were eligible to gain a special status that is accompanied by many benefits.
- Sages were able to post on two exclusive boards and receive promotional items from Nintendo of America. They were also allowed to display ninety pixel signatures, edit/delete their posts, wear one of a few special Sage-Only icons, have their threads floated, and have their screennames accompanied by a special triforce icon. Every Sage is sent a special triforce pin not available anywhere else and a certificate proving their Sage Status signed by forum administrator, NOA_ANDY.
- In order to become a Sage, users must be selected by the Nintendo of America (NOA) staff, and prove their worthiness by submitting a three hundred word or less review of any Nintendo game.
- There were a multitude of special ranks that were given to users for achieving excellence in online events.
- Users can also gain special ranks at whim of an administrator in the spirit of fun to commemorate a holiday or special event.
- Depending on the rank, a user is granted or in some cases denied specific privileges for a certain amount of time.
- Examples of special ranks include "Noob", "Pickle Army Supporter", "Duck Patrol", "Mysterious Agent", and an umpteen number of ranks that have been discontinued.
- In 1995, Nintendo created an AOL website, keyword: Nintendo. This website contained a community of sorts, made up of a couple of chat rooms, the most popular being the Power Circuit.
- In 1997, Nintendo moved its website to the World Wide Web, where a new community was created, named the Loudhouse. The Loudhouse remained until the middle of 1998, when Nintendo overhauled their entire website became what is now known as NSider.
- As NSider grew, the number of members increased, and security issues were found within the iChat system which run the chat. Eventually (in the year 2000), the BBS was shut down due to exploits of glitches within the system.
- In 2001, "Old NSider" was created which was only open to Nintendo Power subscribers.
- In April 2003, Nintendo opened Hyrule Town Square which gradually opened to the general public.
- On November 24, 2003, all boards from the Hyrule Town Square site were transferred to a newly designed "NSider" forum powered by Lithium Technologies. The official “Off Topic Board”, known as the Power On, quickly became swamped with a plethora of Chat and Role-Play threads and was soon replaced with two official ones.
- On July 14, 2004, The NSider forums were reorganized once again. General discussions and game play help boards were consolidated into one board. Furthermore, a board designated strictly for Role-Play Threads, known as the Power On (RP), was created. Shortly after these new changes, a major security exploit allowed the Power On board to be hacked. As a direct result, scripts including “.cgi”, “.php”, and “.pl” were indefinitely banned.
- During the summer of 2005, spam threads were at an all-time high on the Nsider Forums and the retirement of the Power On board was considered amidst protest from valid contributors.
- In March 2005, A Game play Help for Newcomers board was added. Eight months later, several new boards were added to promote the Nintendo DS's Wi-Fi features.
- On December 15, 2005, NOA_Andy announced that due to high amounts of spam and abuse on the forums, the Power On (RP) and Chat threads would be retired.
- On December 21, 2005, the administration staff on the NSider Forums created The Archive, a section on the NSider Forums where users can view and read threads from previously retired boards. As of June 6, 2006, the Archive contains forty-two different boards.
- On June 6, 2006 as part of NOA_Andy's plan to "keep the forums moving forward" the Epic Center was retired.
- On June 16, 2006, "Bronsen," a Knight of Hyrule, temporary created a chat thread to reward NSiders for a week's worth of good behavior. The Chat thread, entitled "Nintendo Underground" was initially planed to last for only six hours, but instead carried on well into the following morning.
- On August, 2007, Super Smash Bros Brawl fans were asked to vote for their favorite Super Smash Bros character on Nintendo Forums.
- On September 17, 2007, Nintendo closed the forums. The message hints at a forum overhaul, and encourages fan forums in the meantime. The full Message is as follows:
Nintendo Forums Closing Message
Nintendo NSider Forums Update
Nintendo is working on a major overhaul to Nintendo.com to support the continued success of Nintendo DS and Wii. As we prepare for this huge site update, Nintendo must unfortunately close the Nintendo NSider Forums message boards indefinitely beginning Sept. 17, 2007.
For more than four years, these NSider Forums have fostered engaging, robust debates, a strong community and friendships. While their future remains uncertain, in the interim we invite our fans to build on the spirit of community by starting their own Nintendo discussion sites. Remember also that the unique features available with Nintendo DS and Wii give Nintendo the opportunity to communicate directly with fans, while also enabling fans and friends around the world to communicate with each other.
Nintendo has the greatest fans in the world, and it is because of their support and passion that Nintendo DS and Wii have become so hugely successful around the world. We hope that the faithful Nintendo community members will look forward to the future games and website updates that will enhance Nintendo's global community of Wii and Nintendo DS owners.
Starting Sept. 17, existing NSider Forums will be available in Read Only format for one week. Private Messages will be disabled. On Monday, Sept. 24, the forums will be removed from public view.
To visit the Read Only version of the NSider Forums, click here. Thanks for your understanding and continued support. We'll see you soon elsewhere on the Web.
There have been a plethora of contests, both official and unofficial on the NSider Forums. The following section contains a list of the most recognized and distinguished contests on the NSider Forums as well as a brief summary.
Post of the Week Contests
The Post of the Week Contest is a contest in which selected judicatories decide on the best NSider user video game review. The contest is held once every week with the winner's review appearing on the Community section of the Official Nintendo website for one week.
Fan Art Contest
Each month, NSider users were given a nominated theme and invited to submit artwork featuring Nintendo characters which may be featured on the NSider Forums or in Nintendo Power Magazine. At the end of the month, a winner is chosen and receives a special forum rank, called the NSider Picasso which is held until the following month's contest.
Friday Trivia has been a long term weekly contest held almost every Friday evening in the Nintendo HQ Chatroom. The Nintendo HQ Chatroom is usually renamed “Friday Trivia” or something related for the occasion.
While in the Friday Trivia Chatroom, NSiders were challenged to best their peers by being first to answer trivia questions correctly. Correct answers gives users options to mute or un-mute other users. After several rounds, a winner is chosen based on their performance. Originally, winners were given the privilege to stay on the live chat for an extra few minutes before it closed, but more recently winners have been rewarded with material prizes, such as random items from the Nintendo of America Headquarters, and a special forum rank called Trivia Assassin. The runner-up in the contest is awarded with a lesser special rank, called Trivia Underachiever, as well as an infamous pink screen-name font. On other occasions, winners of Friday Night Trivia an be awarded with other ranks, the most common being Tye-Dye Ninja.
As of March 2006, users can join the contest between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. PST, at which point no further users can join and the trivia contest starts. The game usually ends around 6:00 p.m. and winners were announced in the Trivia thread located on the Bulletin board.
- Clubhouse Games- Clubhouse Games board
- Star Fox Command- Star Fox Command Board
- Nintendo Kennel Club- The well loved Nintendogs board
- Lost Magic - An online game for the DS
- Nintendo Fusion Tour - Nintendo Fusion Tour Board for 2006
- Tetris DS - Tetris DS board
- Tony Hawk's American Sk8land - Tony Hawk's American Sk8land board
- Epic Center - RPG board.
- News from the Show! - E3 Board
- Resident Evil - Resident Evil Board
- Start Mayhem - Gameboy Advance SP
- Pikmin 2 - Pikmin 2 board
- The Crossing Guardian - Animal Crossing Board
- Nintendo Fusion Tour - Nintendo Fusion Tour Board
- Thirsty Jimmy - WarioWare Board 1
- Pick It! - WarioWare Board 2
- Jump in the Hole - WarioWare Board 3
- Goalie - WarioWare Board 4
- Don't Sink - WarioWare Board 5
- Avoid It! - WarioWare Board 6
- Xevious - Classic NES Series 1
- Super Mario Bros. - Classic NES Series 2
- Pac-Man - Classic NES Series 3
- The Legend of Zelda - Classic NES Series 4
- Ice Climber - Classic NES Series 5
- Excitebike - Classic NES Series 6
- Donkey Kong - Classic NES Series 7
- Bomberman - Classic NES Series 8
- General Pokemon Discussion - Pokemon
- Pokemon Gameplay Help - Pokemon
- Legend of Zelda General Discussion - Zelda
- Legend of Zelda Gameplay Help - Zelda
- General Gamecube Discussion - Gamecube
- Gamecube Gameplay Help - Gamecube
- General Gameboy Advance Discussion - GBA
- Gameboy Advance Gameplay Help - GBA
- Virtual Boy - Virtual Boy
- Nintendo 64 - Nintendo 64
- Super NES - Super NES
- NES - NES
- General Metroid Discussion - Metroid
- Metroid Gameplay Help - Metroid
- Classified Information - Cheats
- Arena - Challenges
- Power On (RP) - Interactive Stories
- News - New Nintendo news.
The NSider Forums participants identify a number of issues with the management of the forums:
- The lack of adequate coverage by official Nintendo moderators to control inappropriate content,
- The current user ranking system, which is seen by many as a possible cause of elitism,
- The Lithium and Administration staff slow responses to technical issues,
- The lack of user created personal avatars for regular and sage-ranked NSider users,
- The strict signature limitations for regular NSiders,