April Fools' Jokes Archive
Over the years this site has usually had some kind of an April Fools' joke each year on April the first. This page lists all the various jokes and attempts at jokes.
April Fools' Day 2003
The site's first attempt at an April Fools' joke was a silly thing where the front page was suddenly a page claiming to be "uploading your hard drive" to the server, with a fake progress bar and a button to supposedly cancel the upload. When pressed, it would bring you to this page (warning: eye-searing red background), which would announce your foolishness and tell you you should have just waited for the "upload" to finish to demonstrate your nonbelief in it, duh. The fools counter was at fifteen before I put up the joke archive; as the site was still only five months old at the time (and still named Butterfree's Pokémon Site and looking like Oldie Style), it didn't get a lot of daily visitors.
April Fools' Day 2004
I can't find any record of there having been an April Fools' joke in 2004, so I'm guessing there wasn't one, though it's been so long I can't properly remember. Before I made this page, the last modified date of the file that keeps track of the number of pageviews on the 2003 joke page was April 1st 2004, so it looks like somebody looked at that page at that time, but that was probably just me remembering the previous year's joke and wanting to review the page (after which I most likely facepalmed at the stupidity of it and ditched any possible plans of recycling it).
April Fools' Day 2005
This year, I claimed on the splash page to be eloping with my then-boyfriend Nidokingu (the same one who wrote the Sevii Islands walkthrough) and shutting down the site. This fooled absolutely nobody, not least because I admitted it was a joke on the actual main page and had reminded the viewer that tomorrow was April Fools' Day the day before; apparently I was feeling very uninspired.
April Fools' Day 2006
In 2006, I pretended I was giving up on the then-monthly crossword because I was pissed that nobody got it right. It was good timing for a joke, because April the first would be the day I'd have revealed the results of the previous crossword anyway... too good, because as it turned out pretty much everybody accepted this as a real thing, thought it made perfect sense nobody had gotten the crossword right because it's just way too hard, and didn't really care. Which made it kind of fail as a joke, since the results had little entertainment value.
April Fools' Day 2007
2007 had probably my favorite April Fools' joke in the history of the site. For the occasion, I made the front page redirect the user to this page. It claimed to be a website for "TCOD Solutions", produced by a company named "DRAG Productions, ltd." located on "Flyc Avenue" (to justify why their URL would be 'dragonflycave.com'). The TCOD Solutions site included an "Our Products" page offering three different products - all having descriptions that, while very complimentary, contained no hints towards what those products actually did - as well as a "Customer Testimonials" page vouching for the awesomeness of the products, again without any indication of what the products actually are. The "About TCOD" page then admitted it was a joke and gave a working link to the real home page.
A few people legitimately freaked out about this, telling me frantically that some company had taken over the URL, and apparently didn't think to check the About page. But most people immediately realized it was a joke and just enjoyed its humour value in itself. I enjoy April Fools' jokes that are amusing on their own more than those that rely on actually fooling people, so that was fine with me.
April Fools' Day 2008
There was no joke this year; I had meant to write some patently ridiculous theory, but I ended up not having the time or inspiration to get it done before April the first. Oh well.
April Fools' Day 2009
Unfortunately it seems this year had no joke whatsoever. I don't know why that was, when I'd at least tried to have a joke the previous four years, but at least if there was one I can't remember it and it was sneaky enough to leave no evidence of its existence behind.
April Fools' Day 2010
The site didn't actually have a joke this year, but I did make a joke: I wrote a fake chapter of my long-running fanfic The Quest for the Legends and posted it as the real chapter 53. In this ridiculously over-the-top installment, the main characters were suddenly in the deepest love ever loved, Mew suddenly appeared to explain to them that their destined relationship was what would resolve the plot, one of the 'bad guys' was suddenly turned good by a throbbing pink glow of love, and in general everybody's problems were resolved in the most ridiculous way possible. The chapter got more comments than any chapter before it, with the reactions ranging from repulsed to amused to desperately hoping it wasn't real, plus one person who actually said they'd prefer it was the real chapter over the actual chapter 53 (having written the chapter to be terrible in absolutely every possible way, I can certify that this person was nuts).
I later posted a detailed account of the creation of this joke (which had been years in the planning), if anybody cares.
April Fools' Day 2011
This year I did another fanfic-oriented joke, but this time it did take place on the site itself, since Morphic, its subject, doesn't have its own minipage. [Please be warned, before clicking any of the links here, that Morphic, joke chapters included, is rated R and contains both violence and a lot of profanity.] Basically, I had finished Morphic in December 2010 and mentioned that I had an idea for a sequel at that time. At midnight (Icelandic time) on April 1st 2011, I then claimed that I'd given over the writing of the sequel to my friend Espeon and that he'd written the first chapter. Espeon, who really did write the chapter, had never read Morphic; instead, I wrote one-liner descriptions of the principal characters that I sent to him and let him go wild. This fake chapter featured everyone dying and going to the afterlife, a technically ten-year-old sociopathic Scyther Pokémorph having the hots for the grown-up jerkass I keep writing extras about, another ten-year-old becoming a bus driver, everyone being hilariously out of character, and doors made of solid pine as a key plot point. This was a pretty obvious joke and nobody really fell for it, at least not after actually reading the chapter.
The joke wasn't over yet, however, because in the evening, I posted another fake chapter, this time of my own creation. This one featured a Mew and Mewtwo morph suddenly turning out to exist, a dead character being resurrected by a Misdreavus morph thinking about her hard enough, and finally a dark twist where several main characters were murdered. Some people actually believed it was real, since it is in a twisted way very much something I'd write, and there had already been a joke.
Like in 2010, I wrote a more detailed postmortem of the joke explaining how the idea came about and what the process of creating it was like, for those who might be interested (contains severe spoilers for the fic, but it'll probably not be very interesting to those of you who haven't read it anyway).
April Fools' Day 2012
In 2012, I went with a kind of an obvious opportunity for a joke, namely to claim that I was permanently translating the site into Icelandic. For the purposes of the joke, I translated the front page, menu, footer, etc., plus the output of the Zodiac script (both dates and images), turned the update dates into the European format (DD/MM/YY instead of MM/DD/YY), and promised to continue with the rest of the site.
I had a lot of fun with the translation, especially on the Almighty Random Poll; I translated the whole thing myself in as sane a manner as I could manage (no Google Translate laziness involved), and it was interesting coming up with semi-workable equivalents for all the many, many things that really don't translate well to Icelandic. Often the actual translation I came up with amused me a great deal more than the joke in itself, especially the "You suck" option in the polls becoming "Þér eruð fífl" ("You are an idiot", except using an archaic, respectful form of "you" that makes it one of those inherently hilarious phrases). I'm kind of sad none of my actual visitorbase could have understood that half of the joke, but oh well.
Surprisingly many people fell for it, which was a bit funny because I'd imagined it was a stupidly obvious joke. It turned out many people were actually puzzled I hadn't made an Icelandic version of the site long ago, even if they'd rather I kept an English version around as well. The reason that idea seems so absurd to me is that Icelandic is pretty crippled when it comes to video-game-related vocabulary - video games are never translated into Icelandic, and as a result we completely lack actual remotely agreed-upon terminology for more or less anything video-game-related. I'd go so far to say translating any section about something like stats into remotely serviceable Icelandic would be flat-out impossible - Icelandic geeks just throw the English words in there, but those would never pass in proper written Icelandic, and if I were to just make up neologisms, they would sound awkward and nobody would have any idea what the hell I was talking about. (We don't really do loanwords; we have a committee painstakingly making up proper Icelandic words for concepts in computer science and the like, but that committee doesn't exactly cross over with video game culture.)
Moreover, the fact video games aren't translated means that people who seriously play video games in Iceland can read and understand English by definition - the number of people potentially interested in this website who would understand it in Icelandic but not in English is minuscule, if they even exist at all. So yeah, no, I'm not going to actually translate the site into Icelandic, ever.
As an easter egg of sorts, the translation function for the Zodiac is still around: if you add
?lang=is to the URL of any page of the site, the Zodiac date will appear in Icelandic, and likewise, if you add
&lang=is to the URL to a Zodiac image, you'll get the Icelandic version of that image:
April Fools' Day 2013
For April 1st 2013, I put up a fake R/B/Y Safari Zone mechanics page. It claimed, among other things, that by holding down A at precisely the right time you can get a Safari Ball to act as a Master Ball (referencing the many R/B/Y-era "cheats" asserting any Pokéball could be made infallible with the right button timing); that the calculation of whether the Pokémon will run away is based partly on a "nervousness factor" estimating how jittery the player is acting and thus how wary the Pokémon would be of him (simply the first absurdly elaborate mechanic nobody could have predicted that popped into my head); and that encounters in the Safari Zone are systematically biased towards Pokémon you've already caught (playing with the way many players love to insist baselessly that the Pokémon games are horrendously biased against the player, which they are in fact not). I sprinkled some more silly pessimism on, like saying Pokémon are by default four times harder to catch in the Safari Zone than elsewhere, and to give the whole thing an added air of plausibility, I included formulas, tables, algorithms and stuff about possible overflows and the game freezing.
I had already analyzed the R/B/Y and G/S/C capture algorithms and unearthed pretty counterintuitive information from there, and had been talking about the actual Safari Zone mechanics page I was making for quite a while, so all in all it added up to several people being fooled. That was more than I'd dared to hope, since to me the idea that the game would actually do nonsense like factoring in the timing of button presses seemed pretty absurd, and since I crammed in three ridiculous mechanics and had assumed people would perhaps fall for the first one or possibly two but definitely catch on when they got to the third. But then again, G/S/C's capture algorithm had more weirdness than that, so it may not be all that surprising that this seemed almost plausible by comparison.
Page last modified May 05 2013 at 15:32 GMT