The final guide update is complete, Sonic & Knuckles is now wrapped up with Death Egg Zone, and the Stages and Stories, and Downloads pages. This is where, sadly, Zone: 0 must draw a line under its new guide content and ride off into the sunset.
I sat down and started writing these guides eight years ago this very day. My projects at that time had a history of fizzling out after a few months, and I don't quite know how this one has managed to hold itself together for this long. But I'm grateful that it's received as much support and respect from fans and the Sonic community that it has done, which has allowed me to keep going when it's been a chore as much as it has a complete joy. Although I've said my interest has dwindled in it in the past, I never failed to feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment with every new level guide that I've published, and I hope you've enjoyed reading them as much as I have writing them.
I thought it would be nice at this point to include some fun stats, including visitor analytics since the current design launched on February 22nd 2009:
- Total number of page views: 1,011,342
- Total number of unique Sonic fans that have visited Zone: 0: 134,372
- Total number of images across the guides: 4558
- Total number of words across the guides: 254,061 (wow)
- Number of community awards won: 3 (I think)
- Number of Zone: 0 maps that have appeared in gaming magazines: 2
- Total time taken to get this far: 8 years on the dot.
Not bad going for a hobby, especially the fact that I've written over 25 times the typical length of a University dissertation just on five Sonic games - that's pretty scary in fact. Why did I do it? How did I do it? Simple really; I love Sonic. I want to tell you everything I can about Sonic because I love it that much, and I wanted a site like this to exist, so I made it exist. I hope that's come across in everything you see here, from the amount of detail I've put into writing about the level structure and visual iconography of Marble Garden Zone, to the placement of every last ring on the map of Spring Yard Zone.
There are two people I will name though, whom I've thanked before but will thank again regardless. Ricky Earl for his outstanding artwork contributions to the Sonic 1 and 2 guides, a brilliant artist and an all round great guy to talk to - I wish him well with his art, and his new life in Sweden. And Mercury, whose talent for programming has made the maps for Sonic CD, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles not only possible, but so much easier. Good luck to him with his new AeStHete game engine and fan game projects. I suggest you click on the ad banner for that, which will remain in circulation.
So what more can I say? I've had a great time, and I hope you've enjoyed my contribution to the Sonic community. Though this chapter ends, it allows new ones to begin, and I hope that my contributions can continue further - I'm pretty sure I'll never stop loving Sonic, and as long as I have ideas, you'll be hearing a lot more from me..!