News page of Volume 425, November 2010
|Language||English, Spanish, French, German, Italian & Dutch|
|Dates of operation|| Sept 2002-Sept 2012|
|Date opened|| September 3, 2002|
|Creator||Second Story (North America)|
|Web Address|| animal-crossing.com (archived)|
The Crossing Guardian was a fictitious newspaper that covered the weekly news of a typical in-game village and served as the official website for Animal Crossing. The domain was registered by Nintendo of America on April 3, 2002 and went live on or before September 3rd that same year. The North American version of the website was developed for Nintendo by the interactive media studio Second Story, a company which specializes in creating interactive experiences that encourage their audience to connect and share.
Layout and content
The website featured six main sections, each of which covered a different aspect of the Animal Crossing world. The Guardian's content was cycled for about the first month of its release, after which time most of its pages remained static. The main News page, however, would continue to update on a monthly basis, showcasing a different event each month. A bar at the top of the page displayed the volume count, which began increasing by one each week starting sometime in October 2002. The last confirmed issue of the Crossing Guardian was volume 516, as the site was retired sometime between September 1-11, 2012.
In addition to hosting downloadable wallpapers and providing general information about the game, the site was used to distribute special codes for the NES games Clu Clu Land D, Donkey Kong Jr., Donkey Kong 3, and Soccer. This was the only method of obtaining these titles prior to the advent of the first code generators in December 2003 and the Action Replay's debut earlier that year. Later in its life cycle, the site redistributed codes for the Mario Items that had originally appeared in Nintendo Power magazine.
A slightly modified version of the North American site available in eight languages came online sometime in early September 2004 in advance of its European release on the 24th of that month. While still stylized as an on online newspaper, the section headings are different (there are six instead of five), and the site's focus is to provide information rather than mimic the feel of a periodical. The European site was also used to distribute NES game codes, and when fully functioning, the North American and European sites would often distribute different titles, allowing players to generate codes for two NES games at any given time. Punch-Out!! may have been exclusively distributed via the European site, as it had not seen distribution on the North American site as of October 2004.
- The North American site's landing page featured a random villager (possibly one representative from each villager species) holding up the latest issue of the Guardian. Confirmed villagers include: Bill, Buzz, Pudge, Chevre, Savannah, Bangle, Valise, Rex, Cesar, Ribbot, Limberg, Spike, Hopper, and Stu.
- NES giveaway pages were accessed by clicking inconspicuous banners on certain pages of the website a certain number of times. The NES game being distributed was typically cycled on a monthly basis.
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