We’re still searching for old game info sites that are still up in 2023. Another couple of use are Video Game Maps, last updated in 2007 but still available, and Revned’s Video Game Maps, which saw its last edit in 2016, but is mirrored on Github.
For the past 20 years it’s felt like any game information you could ever hope to find is out there on the World Wide Web, somewhere, but as both the people who grew up playing these games grow old, and the drive and motivation to start and maintain websites has diminished with the popularity of social media, this is increasingly no longer the case. Sometimes you can find vanished websites on the Wayback Machine, but it’s a lot harder to find things there, Wayback often misses images, their web archives are often incomplete, and server-side scripts are broken by archiving so dynamic content is usually dead, the page contents locked in the state it was at when the time of archival.
I’ve banged this drum a lot lately it feels like, but I have to reemphasize that the internet is not forever, and as Ryan North has told us lately, even the most popular website in the world is one missed bill from disappearing, probably forever. As this happens more and more often, big and well-funded content hosts like Fandom and Github persist, while smaller, independent information sources tend to fall away, which results in a rich-get-richer feedback loop. Independent sources of accurate information are so important, no matter the subject. It is difficult to fault anyone unwilling to keep content up and updated for a large portion of their lives, but whenever it happens, I appreciate it.
So I’ve been trying to celebrate the best, most long-lived websites out there, and NES Maps, and its sister site SNES Maps, qualifies, going back to around 2006. That’s 17 years! And it’s still there, quietly providing maps of just about any NES game you might want to find information on.
It’s not perfect. Their labeled maps of Castlevania III, I discovered just now, are incomplete, cutting off after Block 5, promising that more is coming soon for who knows how many years. But most other games have complete maps, including a number of Japanese-only title. It’s truly a great resource, and I hope they can figure out a way to keep it going for the long term.