July 23rd, 2011. It was the day Starfox Elite had officially gone up on the web. It began as any other site, unknown and unloved at its beginning stage. Within a year I could of never imagined just how special Starfox Elite would become to me.
Starfox fan sites are a dying breed. Many have fallen from their former glory, left to be completely forgotten. Studying web design in school, and having a good friend who helped teach me the ways of HTML, I decided I wanted to run a site of my own. I tried many things, every single one failing. As time passed I thought long and hard about what exactly I wanted my own site to be based around. I thought to my childhood, of the first game I truly ever remembered getting immersed in, loving to no end, and still do to this day. It was Starfox 64, and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
I went online to see just how many Starfox fan sites there were. There were one or two good ones, but it was obvious that Starfox could have used some new blood in the online world. I spent weeks creating Starfox Elite, and took the biggest gamble of all: investing into it. Hours upon hours of research and designing, and alas, I had the site ready. As expected, once it was up on the web, no attention came to it, no matter how hard I tried to advertise it. It was very discouraging, yet I wasn’t willing to give up.
How could I make this site different from any of the others? That question dug at me like crazy. When things seemed bleak, an online friend of mine suggested something so simple, yet infinitely exciting. He told me to make a Twitter account for SFE, and see if I could track down any voice actors of the games. If so, ask them for an interview and see where things go. It was such a great idea, but yet very scary. Why would someone who were a part of the games I love and cherish want to do an interview with some new little fan site?
I figured there was nothing to lose, and created the Twitter account. I had zero clue as to who to try and find first. I first came across Steve Malpass, the voice actor for Fox McCloud in Starfox Adventures. As a Starfox fan, you can only guess how frightened I was to ask him for an interview, but I made that little tweet asking him, and it seemingly went ignored. My friend suggested I move on, try to find another one’s official website and use a provided e-mail, and so I did. I e-mailed Alesia Glidewell (Krystal in Starfox Assault) and Mike West (Fox McCloud of Starfox 64/3D). Weeks passed and I was becoming increasingly discouraged. Then one random morning, in my inbox I saw a response from Alesia. She had agreed to it!
You can imagine how I felt. I immediately began writing up the interview and sent it off as soon as possible. That was probably my first mistake. In my haste I created an awful set of questions, awful to the point that she never even went through with it, and I don’t blame her. I wouldn’t have either. Things were just looking bad for the site. Starfox Elite was to be yet another failure. It was the end of my trying to have a site to be proud of. But then one random day, Steve Malpass had replied. He was willing to do an interview.
I couldn’t screw this one up, it was Fox McCloud himself! I thought of as many questions as I could, but they just didn’t suffice on their own. So, I set out and went to three different websites, Starfox-Online, The Krystal Lovers Association, and Nintendoland. I had asked the members from each to contribute to the interview, and in turn I would post it on those sites forum for everybody to read. I made this interview a joint effort, and it was neat to have fans ask questions they wanted asked. When it was all done and over, off the questions were sent, and in a matter of a week Steve had sent back the interview, complete and full of information. It was possibly one of the best Starfox interviews to exist.
Starfox Elite now had something to recognize itself by. Traffic was beyond anything I had ever seen. Thanks to Steve, he directed me to Ben Cullum, the voice actor of Falco in Adventures. With some time, yet another interview had been achieved and the same results had taken place. There was a random day on Facebook when I came across Estelle Ellis, the voice actress for Krystal in Adventures. You can only imagine how awkward it was to send her a message with my real name and face attached asking if she voiced Krystal, and if so, is she’d be willing to do an interview. A good month or two passed by when she responded, apologizing for the lateness of replying and confirmed everything. But before I could interview her, I had to do her a favor. She wanted to be reunited with Ben Cullum, and so I had helped her to do so.
Shortly after yet another great interview was accomplished, thanks to massive amounts of help from the Krystal Lovers Association. In fact, I don’t consider the Krystal interview a pure SFE interview, but both an SFE & KLA interview. It was after this that Starfox Elite had found its first affiliate with the KLA. Thanks to Ben Cullum, I had the ability to get in touch with John Silke, the talented and limitless voice actor for many characters in Adventures, most notably General Scales and Pepper. When that was done, It enabled Starfox Elite to be the only site in the world to have interviewed a grand majority of the Starfox Adventures cast. Quite a feat.
Time passed and eventually more Starfox Elite accounts were created on more social networks, such as Facebook and Tumblr. Facebook seems not to gain too much attention with the amount of likes SFE has received, however the Tumblr response has been phenomenal. With more social outlets, I’ve been able to spread news fast, and majority of the time Starfox Elite has been the first to report on breaking news. More and more Starfox fans are becoming aware of Starfox Elite, and relying on it for their news. To know that my first successful site, the site that I invested the most time and money in, has come this far it a truly great feeling.
Fans have submitted their fan fics and fan art from all different social networks, and I’ve never been more than happy to share what they have to show and tell. The site itself has even received praise from fans, and its even got its first official hate mail, which only means I’m doing things right.
As time has gone on more interviews were accumulated, from Mike West, who did Fox McCloud in Starfox 64 and 64 3D, to Jim Walker who did Fox in Assault and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Starfox Elite has interviewed all the major Fox voices, and I couldn’t be more proud. And as a fan, might I say that seeing a friend request from Jim Walker on Facebook makes your life? It does.
It’s been a very eventful first year for Starfox Elite, and I’m anxious to see what the next one holds. Will it be just as eventful? Hopefully. Will there be more interviews? It’s iffy, but there may be. If all goes to plan, the second anniversary has great surprises in store. For now, it’s a very Happy 1st Anniversary, and for all you fans, I am going to try and open the forum as soon as possible sometime today.
Thank you everyone. Without any of you guys, this site wouldn’t be where it is today.