Remembering N64 HQ


Image of N64 HQ's Main Page

l Welcome

You have reached the official dedication site for the once-beloved and now-defunct Unofficial Nintendo 64 Headquarters (N64 HQ), which was headed by Scott McCall. For your reference, the following page enables you to read about N64 HQ's history.

l In the beginning

It all started back on August 23, 1993. This was the date when Nintendo announced it was developing an advanced 64-bit video game system with Silicon Graphics. I've always been a huge Nintendo fan, and I eagerly awaited its latest system. Then, in late 1994, I got onto the Internet for the first time and was astounded by the amount of misinformation floating around. Since I'm a staunch supporter of Nintendo, I decided to take it into my own hands to separate fact from fiction.


I started out by visiting USENET newsgroups and ended up writing a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) file, which are big on the Internet. Then the next big step was undertaken: I decided to make a Web page. Remember, it was early 1995 when I decided to do this. The Internet was Image of N64 HQ's Review Housestill in its infancy (especially the World Wide Web), and as such, it was much more difficult for beginners to write HTML code than now. Taking information from press releases and from Nintendo Power magazine, I programmed the first incarnation of the site ("Cap Scott's Nintendo Ultra 64 Web Page") Easter weekend in 1995. It was officially put online on April 23, 1995.


Within a few months, I joined forces with another "kid" who wrote about the N64 on the Internet. His name was Mike Hrusecky. We continued to write updates to the FAQ file, and we even made a special executable, interactive version. By the beginning of 1996, however, we decided to concentrate fully on the Web site. Bear in mind that the Nintendo 64 system wasn't actually released in Japan until June 23, 1996, and it wasn't released in the U.S. until September 26, 1996. It was difficult finding enough information to report, but we kept readers interested and persevered.


In October 1996, we secured the rights to the domain name, which since has been acquired by Nintendo of America. Along with the domain name, we launched a brand-new Web site with more sections, more contributors, more information, more graphicsjust more of everything. The final version of the site is essentially the same as the one I'm talking about now. So the curtains were lifted on the Unofficial Nintendo 64 Headquarters, which was affectionately known as "N64 HQ."

l How could a bunch of "kids" do this?

We promoted the Unofficial Nintendo 64 Headquarters (N64 HQ) as the Internet's premier source of Nintendo 64 coverageand that's not just another marketing slogan. We had been online at least six months longer than any other N64 site. Not only that, but we had market penetration equal to our closest competing Nintendo 64 site. Long-time readers know, of course, that we're talking about, which has since morphed into The most amazing fact was that was run by professionals who worked for the multi-million dollar corporation called Imagine, Inc., which has since spun off into Inc. (and later IGN Entertainment, Inc.). Imagine was a publisher of technology magazines, whereas Snowball owned an online network of sites ( that are now some of the most popular on the Net. But a bunch of "kids" were at least equal to, if not beating, the "big boys" at their own game.


N64 HQ was positioned as a "fascinating and comprehensive online site dedicated to giving the reader an optimistic, accurate, and up-to-date viewpoint on Nintendo's 64-bit system. What we won't try to be is a closed-minded, egotistical online site leaving out the most important part of any websitethe reader." So what does that mean?


Well, we had the latest news, unmatched cheat and review archives, question and answer sessions, hard-hitting editorials, pictures and hands-on previews, feature articles, tons of sorted games lists, sections dedicated to the reader, and so much more. Furthermore, N64 HQ doubled as an invaluable research tool. We guaranteed you couldn't find more comprehensive background information around on the Nintendo 64. We had the history of the N64, "Dream Team" profiles, system specifications, glossary of terms, tons of press releases, and the most detailed game information around. Additionally, no one had coverage of the foreign markets like N64 HQ (mostly thanks to Yutaka Ohbuchi).

l Numbers don't lie

To give you an idea of N64 HQ's popularity at its height, here are some statistics to gawk over:



Yes, all those people meant Mike and I made a profit from banner advertisements. In fact, I'm sure we were one of the few Web sites making money in its day. We didn't become rich, but it paid better than your average part-time joband this was one job we actually liked.


Oh, and here's an interesting tidbit: Scott had his name in the credits of two N64 games. If you complete Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, you'll see "Captain Scott" listed under the Personal Thanks section. And if you finish Tetrisphere, you'll see "Scott McCall" in the Special Thanks section. Both of these games have codes that take you directly to the credits, so what are you waiting for? Go check them out!

l Resting in peace

As you can see, I sprinkled a few captures of the site throughout this article. So you canImage of N64 HQ's Software Sector reminisce about what it was like to read those sections and take a trip down memory lane. Amazingly, although the presentation may look dated by today's standards, the wealth of knowledge is still very impressive.

l Moving on up

N64 HQ was officially closed on November 20, 1997. I had to shut it down because I just didn't have the time to do it anymore. I used to spend like six hours a day updating it, and that was hurting my social life and my college grades. Additionally, my desire to update N64 HQ just burned out. It started to become too exhausting. Believe me, I made more sacrifices for N64 HQ than 99% of the world will ever know. And since it was kind of like my "baby," and since I did the majority of the work, it should have been my decision as to when to close the siteand it was. I wanted to close the site at its height, much like what Jerry Seinfeld did with his show. And I didn't want anyone else to do it because, well, it just wouldn't be N64 HQ anymore, just like Seinfeld wouldn't be Seinfeld without Jerry.


But don't cry for me. N64 HQ provided me with invaluable lessons and gave me invaluable experience. There aren't many kids in the world who have effectively run their own businesses. I learned so much about the legal and business worlds, and it also enabled me to improve my writing a lot. Moreover, I had the pleasure (both for my resume and my pocketbook) of writing for video game magazines.


to send an e-mail message to Scott.