Where Have All the Chocobo Farmers Gone?: An Andore Jr. Special

Tue, 07/14/2009 — Sak

The year was 1994. Al-Gaddafi withdrew Libyan troops from Chad. Yaki Kadafi finds al-Gadaffi's name fucking hilarious, and adopts a parody of it as his own. Technotronic releases the Billboard flop, "Move It To the Rhythm" (a spiritual successor to "Move This"). Square releases Final Fantasy VI to an American audience with baited breath under the nom de plume of Final Fantasy III. The effects were both immediate and long lasting. Boys destined for greatness in academia, business, entertainment, and the arts, were diverted to an equally successful life of long-standing virginity, poverty, fan fictionery, and Final Fantasy III. However, not everything was perfect in the world of Final Fantasy fandom.

Factions amongst fans quickly broke out; Scottish Enlightenment Lockeans were quick to condemn the Christian Cyanists, while the flamboyant Figaros criticized the ever-reserved Gaus for their lack of political commitment. For a year, the world, already embroiled in the arduous process of healing poor international relations was subject to the rocky in-fighting of Final Fantasy III fans.

1995 proved to be a pivotal year and provided an impetus for bringing together the diaspora of diverging viewpoints of Final Fantasies (III). Tatsushi Nakao, known affectionately, as "Tat" launched a website by the name of Illucia, which began the craze of, to borrow the parlance of the time, "Squaresoft Towns". Tat's unselfish Internet project spawned literally sevens of similar sites wishing to take place in the revolution.

No longer were bombs thrown in the streets of Jidoor, no longer was innocent blood spilled in the streets of Miranda. Tat has ushered in the Aufklärung of Squaresoftery. Now, fans that wished to dish it out, could do so according to the principle of reason on websites like, Illucia and Erandan. Instead of slaying the nearest Leafer or Mind Candy that happened to be unlucky enough to be a passer-by, fans could engage with one another through the miracle of WWWBoard, and call each other "fagets" and "pusyes". Fans could watch their favorite characters engage in ribald dialogue with one another. Uh oh! Watch Celes berate Locke for going off on a misadventure that involves thievery! "Thief? Who you calling thief!? I'm a TREASURE HUNTER!" Locke would undoubtedly reply. It truly was the gilded age of Fantasy Fans (III, Final).

Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold

Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

-Robert Frost, 1923

In 1996, Square announced that the long-awaited sequel to Final Fantasy III (nee VI), Final Fantasy VII, would be released on a non-Nintendo system, Sony's Playstation. For most Square Town inhabitants, the correspondence between Nintendo and Square was one-to-one, and adding Sony to the equation would equal two. Although, actually, since Nintendo is being removed from the equation, it would still be one. Although, still, my original analogy was based on correspondence, not addition, so my initial conclusion is pretty non-sensical. ANYWAY IT WAS BAD.

Some town mayors attempted to salvage the remains of their now-desolate habitations, others continued naively believing that this was only a speed bump, and that towns would quickly be reinhabited by new fans, others simply descended into madness. One such story is truly the thing that tragedy as made of; as morose as "Romeo and Juliet" and as melancholic as "The Sorrows of Young Werther".

Mayor of South Figaro, Kupop, and City Ordinance Director, His Dad fell on extraordinarily harsh times. Kupop, under the pressure of a failing city, committed suicide during the early hours of the cold morning of December 28th, 1996. His Dad had the following comment to make during a recent interview: "A videogame comedy website? My son killed himself. Killed himself! He was nine years old, and the influence of a videogame caused him to fucking kill himself! And you want to interview me for a comedy website! Get the fuck out of my house before I kick your lilly white ass you motherfucker!"

Today, few traces remain of Square Towns. The bitter memories of former mayors, thirteen year old HTML files containing message board gems drifting on someone's hard drive, stored in their grandmother's attic, and the odd, uncaught reference in an IRC chat log. Despite its shortcomings, the phenomenon of Square Townery will be considered revolutionary. Even with the advent of a Final Fantasy game to be released on a non-Nintendo system, former Square Town mayors remember the idealistic movement fondly. I asked a former mayor, who wishes to remain anonymous, about the zenith of Square Townery. He took a drag of a cigarette, and looked wistfully towards the open sky, "Probably when Tat turned his site into a little mini RPG thing that was totally unplayable but the rest of us, basically just ganking his ideas, were like AW MAN HOW DO WE COMPETE WITH THAT."

Comments

Wed, 07/15/2009 — Terry

I visited Illucia all the time until FFVII came out and Tat turned it into an isometric, Javascript nightmare.

Wed, 07/15/2009 — E.novak (his ghost)

What foul and unfamiliar beasts stalk the dread halls of Rien, as the lip of day fades into night, and the turning whims of CGIs drain the background color from our very souls?

Wed, 07/15/2009 — Ragu

What the hell, is that really E. "Lava Jabbas" Novak?!

Wed, 07/15/2009 — Ragu

Also, I periodically search around the net to see if anyone has any of the old Illucia graphics saved because those were seriously the shit. Unfortunately all traces of the Square Towns seem to have been wiped off the face of the internet, and Andore Jr. is the only website with the BALLS to talk about them!

Fri, 07/24/2009 — Errip

http://www.uvm.edu/~mkontrov/square/towns.html

save it now before the past disappears forever

Wed, 08/05/2009 — Sak

Corectly guess which one of these sites was ran by an Andore staffer -- and which staffer -- and win a complimentary PUFF PUFF from your's truly.

Wed, 08/05/2009 — Bred N. Butter

I wanna say Lagomorphica (Lago), but that's too easy.

But if I'm right, I'll take the PUFF PUFF.

Thu, 08/06/2009 — Ragu

YOU ARE CORRECT SIR.
At the risk of humiliating myself, I actually have a backup of the page online, just for kicks. http://ea.zeroesunlimited.com/lagomorphica/lagotown.htm

I'll warn you that the quality of Lagomorphica is in no way indicative of how rad Illucia was - it's more like an indicator of the quality of Tat's barely adolescent biters and hangers-on. It's pretty goddamned terrible.

Thu, 08/06/2009 — Ragu

Also you'll have to wait for Sak to deliver the Puff Puffs, my tits aren't nearly nice enough to give a perfunctory Puff Puff.

Thu, 08/06/2009 — Bred N. Butter

Puff Puff = paizuri? That kinda takes the magic and mystique out of the possible orifices/deviance the term used to cover...

Thu, 08/06/2009 — Bred N. Butter

Waitaminit...how did "Lago" become "Ragu?" I always thought you were two separate people.

Fri, 08/07/2009 — Ragu

I guess the puff puff is the act of putting someone's head between your tits and "puff puff"ing. At least according to Dragon Ball and some of the later Dragon Quests which take the delightful mystery out of the act. Kind of ruins that thing I wrote back then, but I guess the Japanese mind has an innate desire to classify vague sexual acts.

Sak used to call me "Ragu", and I didn't want to have a name derived from Final Fantasy anymore. So I chose spaghetti sauce instead. WHO KNOWS MAN, WHO KNOWS.

Fri, 08/07/2009 — Bred N. Butter

AND NOW I KNOW THE TRUTH
AND THE TRUTH HAS SET ME FREE

Fri, 08/07/2009 — Bred

I just finished touring Lagomorphica. That was pretty adorable.

Sat, 08/08/2009 — Onomarchus

Ragu sounds like a name derived from Wild Arms.

Sat, 08/08/2009 — Kabbage

Holy shit Lagomorphica, this is amazing

MORE HIDDEN SHAMES LIKE THESE

Sun, 08/09/2009 — Ragu

W-Wild Arms? Damn. That's even worse than getting my name from Final Fantasy.

Sun, 08/09/2009 — Bred N. Butter

IT'S TRUE
IT'S TRUE

and here's the evidence:
http://www.lordyuanshu.com/images/WildARMS/ragu.jpg

Mon, 08/10/2009 — Ragu

God damn you Wild Arms. I played you in tenth grade and even though I hated you to death, you apparently lodged yourself in my subconscious and had the last laugh.

Or it was entirely coincidental. I couldn't remember Wild Arms enough to even recognize that part.

Mon, 08/10/2009 — Bred N. Butter

Considering it's an optional boss you had to go through an unlit dungeon to reach, I'd say it's probably coincidence.

Also, TENTH grade? Are all the Andore staffers older than me?

Tue, 08/11/2009 — Ragu

Well, considering the subject matter of this article... We're old as fuck.

Tue, 08/11/2009 — Bred N. Butter

B-but if YOU guys are OLD (as fuck), then that forces me to confront my own mortality via acceptance that I am SORTA OLD (i.e. can round my own age up to 30)!

Thu, 08/13/2009 — Ragu

Bah, if you can round up to thirty then we're not that much older. I was hoping that through posts about long dead internet memes that we'd finally found the secret to appealing to the hip and happenin' kids of today.

Sat, 08/15/2009 — Bred N. Butter

Well, why didn't you just ask? The thing that all the hep and happenin' kids (or youth) of today are into is...[PLEASE DEPOSIT 200 GOLDS TO CONTINUE]

Thu, 08/20/2009 — Onomarchus

The kids these days? They're into paint thinner, town halls, and Palin family trading cards. If you wish to insinuate yourself into their company, petition them so: "I'll trade you five Pipers for a Trig."

Thu, 08/20/2009 — Ragu

I've got a few trucks full of Palin Family commemorative Pogs in the backyard, looks like I missed the boat there :-\
On the plus side, I've got a totally sweet die-cast metal Track slammer.

Fri, 08/28/2009 — Bred N. Butter

Also, on the topic of old shames, you wouldn't happen to have a copy of the lago.sexsexworld page lying around, would you?

Fri, 08/28/2009 — Ragu

The Fatima? I have it kicking around on one of my hard drives, although it might be a bit more of a trick to get it back online (since it actually used CMS software.) Maybe I should put it up one of these days.

Fri, 08/28/2009 — Bred N. Butter

Please do. I could use the nostalgia rush/exercise from pointing and laughing (in a totally supportive and non-judgmental manner).

Tue, 09/22/2009 — mrplaid

Pretty sure I'm going to need a picture of some giant anime girls shooting lasers out their cooters. Do you think you have that somewhere on your hard drive?

Sat, 09/26/2009 — Ragu

Probably! Lord knows where, though. I keep everything, it's some kind of horrible Internet OCD or something.

Fri, 10/02/2009 — Bred

Since this seems to be the place to ask about old stuff, are there any plans to bring Nancy back to its full glory?

Fri, 10/02/2009 — Ragu

Its full glory is kind of uh, gone for good, sad to say. Before it went down, Pete backed up the files but didn't back up the SQL database, and as such we lost just about everything, for good. Aside from bits and pieces you can scavenge from archive.org, that's about it.

Now, someone will probably start writing for it again at some point. But it probably won't be with that same burst of manic energy that Nancy had at the beginning of its life. Sad, we lost all the cheap beer articles :(

Sat, 10/03/2009 — Bred

That's too bad, I liked a lot of the old articles.
Well at least Doguupedia is kind of interesting.

Wed, 04/14/2010 — Anon

I am a former webtown mayor. I recently took my site down. Had something like 150,000 hits.. not bad for a tripod site

AND. I recently found a working set of javascripts for the Illucia museum that tat had on his Xenogears site.
It isnt classic Illucia.. but damn is it neat.

Does anyone know what he is doing these days?

Sat, 01/05/2013 — Nekome Kozo

Any chance you could put those Javascripts somewhere for the rest of us to poke at?

Very difficult to find info on Illucia.

Sat, 08/06/2016 — Hakai

Seriously though.. someone upload those damn files.

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