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FTDA history

The Foxtrot Discussion Area's origins go back to December 1995, when Universal Press Syndicate first put up message boards in response to the explosion of the World Wide Web. The first incarnation of the FTDA had no discussions of the type we know today. Instead, threaded messages were listed all on one page. Messages were only kept for a limited time, about five weeks, before being deleted.

Almost from the start, there were regulars in the FTDA. The earliest regulars included zero, Buffy, Don Coyote, and Alanna. There were also early freaks. Zero liked to make fun of people. One person tried to impersonate him, and another tried to impersonate Bill Amend. The freak who would later be known as yfel also appeared at this time, under the names of Foxbox and Lone Wolf Sear. He may also have been Don Coyote.

In those days, most messages were FoxTrot-related. But there were a good number of off-topic posts too, and sysop started telling people not to post personal messages. This was the start of the friction between sysop and the FTDAers.

In January 1997, the next incarnation of the FTDA appeared. The FTDA was now part of the group of UExpress message boards devoted to comics. Actual discussions could now be posted, but there were no folders. All the discussions were listed on a single page.

More regulars started coming to the FTDA at this time. They included Stetson, Maetoshi, Mialn~, princess_2_97, Raider, Python7, crow t., Ben Kenobi, John Morgan, Jonathan Long, Brian "Jason" Pepper, MaSKeD_MaN, Weed, MK Cordner, Atilla the Hun 64, southparkmarcus, Peter Wainscott, David Zielinski, scullythevampïre, foxtrotian, Griff Gyrll, andthen001, Daniel Duterte, Jenna Nicolsen, Freeverse, Eagle of Austria, AndyFox, KickDaBaby, and Eileen Jacob-son.

The first recorded crisis was in early 1997, when a freak named Sealer began locking off segments of the FTDA. The non-freaks hid in MBH until sysop fixed the problem.

In 1998, the FTDA became separate from the rest of the UExpress message boards. Messages could now be posted in real-time, without having to be moderated by sysop first. The FTDA was divided into different areas with different levels of moderation by sysop. Cerebral Cortex was the most on-topic area, and had the highest level of moderation. Realm of the Maniacs was meant for off-topic posts, and had the lowest level of moderation. Fun-Fun Central was in the middle.

In early 1998, Nick E. Snow War I (NESWI) broke out. A 'topic talker' was defeated in the war. A similar war, NESWII, was triggered by another topic-talker named Bob McKinly. Both wars were fought mainly in FFC >> What if...

At this time, sysop got annoyed by the action of the FTDAers and started doing weird things like changing the background to unicorns. After that, she rarely posted.

The freaks at this time included Virus Guy and Em. Em, shunned by the other FTDAers because of an alter identity she had, turned freak in April 1998. She repeatedly attacked the FTDA, the last time tYPING lIKE tHIS. She eventually reformed after the FTDA Army tried the tactic of being nice to her.

Again, tensions flared and yet another war broke out. This time, it was Me and Jenna Nicolsen against Atilla the Hun 64 and Ben Kenobi. The war was triggered by Attila and Ben's attempts to introduce "simming" into the FTDA.

One popular fad at this time was to have one or more alter egos. The AEs often fought each other in deathmatches in FFC. Jenna Nicolsen had the most AEs, 40 of them. Even after this time, alter egos continued to be used in both the FTDA and the C&HDA.

Late in 1998, a new area, Newbie Valley, was added to the FTDA.

At this time, yfel made his reappearance. He attacked the FTDA using double agents or 'ghosts' such as The Ghost of Calvin, The Ghost of Calvin Clone, Komondor, etc. The FTDA Army was formed at this time to fight against the freaks. The Army had several hidden bases where they planned their operations. Eventually, after posting many freakish messages, yfel left.

During this time, the FTDA had a government. Stetson was president, crow t. was governor of FFC, Maetoshi was governor of CC, and offices were in Newbie Valley. The government concept later died out, though. In particular, ROM at this time was ungovernable.

In 1999, yfel reappeared yet again, this time using several other names such as Butterfly Dog, Papillon, K~A~T~S~Y, the Pretender, etc. To fool everyone, yfel made up a story about Papillon going away to Alaska and a 'friend' of his (actually the Pretender) stealing his name and using it to attack the FTDAers. After a while, yfel left again. It was not until late 2000 that he reappeared yet again (as Mr. Fun-Fun) and admitted everything.

In June 1999, The Calvin Expert, a C&HDAer, came to the FTDA and posted a number of pointless discussions. At the same time, there was another freak attack led by Microwave of Justice and The Ghost of Miss Wormwood. Everyone thought that TCE was Microwave of Justice and all the other freaks, and treated him as a freak. It was later found out that many of the 'freaks' were actually alter identities of a couple of FTDAers who wanted to drive TCE out.

Also in 1999, sysop deleted nearly all the discussions in FFC >> What if.... Most of the discussions were FoxTrot fanfics, since that was the place where they were posted.

At this time, Laura, darkliterate, and Sci-Fi started posting more, after mostly lurking and posting the occasional message in the FTDA. Darkliterate had formerly been a freak called Madelyn9999999. New regulars included Isiltari and Goldy.

During the summer of 1999, Fun-Fun Club House was started in FFC >> Other Topics, and eventually got to over 3,200 messages. Also at this time, the FTDA Army evolved into the ARM Club. The Club occupied the ARM Building (which took up all of MBH) and continued to run strong through 2000. A deal was reached with sysop wherein she would not delete any discussions in MBH.

In 2000, UExpress decided to introduce a new FTDA located at FoxTrot.com, while still keeping the old FTDA. Some people went to the new FTDA, while others stayed in the old FTDA, while still others visited both boards. Despite the best intentions of UExpress, the new board wasn't any more on-topic than the old board.

New regulars to the old FTDA in 2000 were King K. Rool, Diablo, and Linda.

In March 2001, both old and new FTDAs were shut down, as UExpress decided that it would get rid of all its message boards. At this point, the FTDA had over 20,000 messages.

However, the spirit of the FTDA refused to die. Goldy started a new message board at EZboard.com, which became the present incarnation of the FTDA. The old FTDA areas were incorporated into this new FTDA. As well, a couple of new areas were introduced, including a forum specifically for FoxTrot fanfics. This last forum was eventually archived due to lack of use. Nowadays the FTDA has over 20,000 messages, which is about the same number the old FTDA had at its peak. And that's the current state of the FTDA.