History of my Internet Life and this Site
I officially began my life on the internet in 1997. I was 12 years old. I didn't surf around on websites a lot, at first; I just went into the chat rooms on AOL and spent hours in them. Back then, email was the most amazing concept for me. You could send a message to just about anyone in the world in just seconds. Just like in real life, I had friends and enemies on the Internet (luckily just one enemy). But about a year into my internet life, I began surfing websites more than chatting in rooms.
During my journey through the "information super-highway" as it was called back then, I found many Mario-related sites. I enjoyed looking through all of them because I was always a big Mario fan. Then my friend, Matt, told me that he built a website of his own, and wanted me to check it out. So I did and I was really amazed. It kind of got me thinking, "Hey, I would like to do that someday. But of course I could never find the time or knowledge to do anything like that!" So the idea of building my own website stuck with me for quite awhile, and at the time my parents had bought me a digital camera and a photo-editing program, called IXLA Digital Camera Suite. It also came with a website-making program, but at the time I thought I could never learn how to use it.
But one day when I was playing Mega Man X, another favorite video game of mine, I was having such a hard time that I went to the Mega Man Homepage and tried to find help there. Not only did I find help, but that site gave me the boost of inspiration that caused me to act on my impulse of building my own website. So I finally got started with IXLA Digital Camera Suite which had a WYSIWIG editor, and I started placing text and pictures onto blank pages and finally built my first website, which I called "Mario 64 Mania!" I wanted to be as helpful to others as the Mega Man Homepage was, so I put up game tips for Mario Party, Yoshi's Story, and Super Smash Bros. The website was hosted on a platform called AOL Hometown, which was a simple and small web hosting platform provided for AOL members. Now that I was finished with that site, I needed a counter. So I went to 123Counter.com and got one. But not knowing anything about HTML or even what it was, I had no idea how to put the counter onto my site. But after a long process of trial and error, I finally opened up my site in Notepad and copy and pasted the counter code there, and it worked! I wanted to expand my site, but unfortunately, I was out of FTP space. "No problem," I thought, "I'll just put extra information onto another domain." So I tried out Maxpages and put up game tips for Super Mario 64. Since I didn't intend it to be its own site, just a part of Mario 64 Mania!, I called it "Purple's Super Mario 64 Section". And even though I added a lot of content to it, I never really completed it and thus it was forever under construction! Anyway, still not over my website-building craze, I added another section to Mario 64 Mania!, made just for game screenshots. I called it "Mario Nostalgia Mania!" or "MNM" for short, and it is actually the exact same website that you are looking at today! But back in '98, it was nothing but a black front page and subpages containing screenshots for only three games. After adding so many screenshots I got tired and left this site alone for a year.
It wasn't until around the summer of 2000, that I started working heavy-duty on MNM to improve it. I left Mario 64 Mania! alone since I couldn't update it anymore because my computer crashed, deleting all of my local files for that site, so this site was my biggest project, along with Crystal Universe, my Kirby 64 site. MNM was hosted on 50Megs for awhile, and then it was moved to Geocities for a very short time. It was then hosted by Xtremgaming up until about 2001. It was at this time that I think MNM enjoyed its "glory days", first starting out as a screenshots section, and evolving into a complex, information-rich, megasite with lots of visitors and followers.
Then after that, things started going downhill. MNM suffered years of a lack of updates due to my part because my life was changing and getting busier, and I no longer had the time or interest to keep this site running the way it used to. I was still as avid a Mario fan as ever, but it was getting difficult to put the time and effort to maintaining MNM. People even suggested that I just close it down and move on, but I could never bring myself to do it, mainly because this site took years to build up to what it was. The most that I actually considered was giving up ownership of it to someone else- most likely a fellow staff member- namely Magma Yoshi because he was really bent on keeping MNM updated. A final decision was never really made until 2006 when a good friend of mine named Scribendus (AKA King Boo) and I decided that I couldn't let MNM disappear or fall off the radar, and a major revival process became underway. I owe much to King Boo, who eventually became a staff member, for his unwavering support and contribution in bringing MNM back to life (he made the Super Mario World-themed layout used in 2006 - 2010, including the title banner below, which I thought was really cool at the time):
First up in the major revival process, was that MNM got a permanent quality home on Awardspace. The next thing to do was to purchase a domain, but there was a dilemma. The domain name, www.marionostalgiamania.com, seemed too long, and it no doubt would be hard to remember and tedious to type. In addition, the name was no longer appropriate. In the beginning, when the site served solely as a screenshot archive, its mission was to deliver nostalgic feelings of old Mario games. However, it had expanded greatly over time and accrued much more diverse content and covered many Mario games including ones that weren't even out at the time. So the word "nostalgia" now only applied to a small subset of this site. Thus, it was decided by this site's eighth birthday that the name of MNM be changed to Absolute Mario with the slogan "The absolute authority on Mario."
For about 3 years, I rotated among using 4 different layout themes on this site, all with generally the same format. I had a Halloween theme, a Christmas theme, a summer theme, and one general-purpose theme that I called the "spring theme." At the bottom, you can find screenshots of both the spring and summer themes.
Then, in time for this site's 12th anniversary in 2010, I created a new layout which is very close to what you see today!
Finally in the year 2020, on this site's 22nd anniversary, I considered deleting the website altogether. It had been inactive for more than 10 years and I was keeping its domain name renewed every year since for basically nothing. However, nostalgia being a very potent phenomenon, I decided to keep the website up. I cleaned it up some, got rid of some dead and useless sections such as the Mushroom Banner Exchange, Mario Graphics Webring, and staff application, and decided to re-present the site as an museum/archival piece, noting that it was no longer active or being updated. At the same time, I also considered putting the domain name, www.absolutemario.com up for sale. However, after a few days of deliberation, I decided to keep it after all and I've also decided to start updating it again. I added a Tumblr blog to the main page so that I can keep my visitors up-to-date on what I'm doing, and as always, I will continue to share lots of Mario goodies on this site.
Below is a gallery of previous layouts and images used by Absolute Mario and Mario Nostalgia Mania! in the past. Isn't this just a nice walk down memory lane???