An Update to E’s Blog

Since The E Club’s creation back in 2009, E’s Blog has always been the source for updates around The E Club. The E Club World was also created in 2010 to provide updates from across The E Club Family as well as more miscellaneous topics. But when The E Club left Moogo in September 2010, a problem began to coalesce: The E Club 2.0’s host, WebStarts, couldn’t match the Moogo site’s blog capabilities, so the E’s Blog posts from the original Moogo site had to be moved to a static page separate from the new blog. Eventually, this became More Blog.

When The E Club 3.0 was created, I also had to integrate the posts from The E Club 2.0 into More Blog. Because that one page is six years’ worth of posts, some accompanied by images and YouTube videos, More Blog is by far the most sluggish and inefficient page on The E Club 3.0; while other pages take around 1-3 seconds to load, More Blog tops 10 seconds, so content further down the page cannot be accessed right away while the page continues to load.

Luckily, E’s Blog on The E Club 3.0 has the solution – it runs on WordPress, one of the most sophisticated blogging platforms on the web, so the old posts could be imported and dated back to when they were originally posted. And E’s Blog supports pagination, so almost eight years’ worth of posts will not all be on the same page. Today, I’m proud to announce the successful implementation of these solutions – all past E’s Blog posts from the Moogo and WebStarts sites have been transferred here under the Archives category. So posts load faster, each post has its own page (with comments and tags), and E’s Blog is unified for the first time since 2010 (More Blog will be gradually phased out over the next few days).

Enjoy the new and improved E’s Blog!

Season of Switch: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

Over a month has gone by since the debut of the Nintendo Switch (the inspiration for Season of Switch), and it looks like it’s a runaway success – Nintendo’s latest console has sold around 1 million units since March 3, making it the fastest-selling Nintendo console! Also, the company announced some new games for the Switch in its April 12th Nintendo Direct.

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (also known as Luigi’s Mansion 2 in some regions), released for the 3DS in 2013 as a part of the Year of Luigi, had some big shoes to fill as the successor to Luigi’s Mansion for the GameCube, released in 2001. The original brought Luigi out of his brother’s shadow as he explored a haunted mansion, guided by Professor E. Gadd (pun intended), inventor of the Poltergust 3000 (another pun intended) that Luigi uses to capture ghosts inhabiting the mansion. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon brings Luigi to the aptly-named Evershade Valley, where he is recruited again by E. Gadd to explore not one but five different mansions (Gloomy Manor, Haunted Towers, Old Clockworks, Secret Mine, and Treacherous Mansion) to capture ghosts that went out of control after the Dark Moon was shattered.

Part of the beauty of this game is that there are all kinds of secrets and surprises scattered throughout each mansion. Unsuspecting pots may contain money (in the form of Mario-style coins as well as bills), Boos, or nothing at all, and Luigi can use the new-and-improved Poltergust 5000 to suck up carpets on the floor and “fake walls” that can lead to treasure or secret rooms. There are also gems hidden in each mansion; some are obvious, but others require quite a bit of searching. In fact, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon takes secret-searching so seriously that the Poltergust even has a new function: the Dark-Light Device, which can uncover hidden objects and Boos.

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is a worthy successor to the original and adds even more enjoyable aspects to Luigi’s ghost-hunting adventure. Check out the first mission of the game in Gloomy Manor:

Season of Switch: Xenoblade Chronicles

Until a few years ago, Xenoblade Chronicles (2010) wasn’t very well-known; it wasn’t advertised too much, and it almost didn’t come to the US. In 2014, however, that began to change when Xenoblade’s main character Shulk was added to the roster of playable characters. Since then, the game has seen a New 3DS remake, a sequel (Xenoblade Chronicles X for Wii U), and another sequel (Xenoblade Chronicles 2) for the Switch later this year. So what makes this game so critically acclaimed yet almost unnoticed at the same time?

The main premise of Xenoblade Chronicles is that the Homs (basically humans) of the titan Bionis are fighting the Mechon (machines) of the titan Mechonis. Mechon armor is invulnerable to all weapons except for one, the Monado, wielded by a Homs named Dunban. He swiftly beats the Mechon back, but a year later the Mechon invade Bionis again, this time with larger units that have faces; these Face Mechon can’t be hurt by the Monado. One Face Mechon, the creatively-named Metal Face, attacks Colony 9, the home of Shulk and Dunban, and seems to have killed Dunban’s sister Fiora. Shulk (who now wields the Monado) and his friend Reyn seek vengeance against Metal Face, so their adventure begins.

Xenoblade wouldn’t be an RPG without some form of combat. You explore the world with three characters (one you control and two others that follow) even when more than three join Shulk on his quest, and those three battle enemies and bosses. To me, one of the most interesting battle mechanics is the Monado itself. Even if Shulk isn’t one of the three active characters, you’ll sometimes receive visions of what the enemy will do, and you’ll have a bit of time to do something to change the future.

The beauty of the world of Xenoblade comes from the fact that nothing you think you know is really true, and many questions emerge: Why were Bionis and Mechonis created? Where did the Monado come from? Are Mechon really the enemy? Why can Shulk see the future? And most importantly, why do Bionis and Mechonis have to keep fighting? Sure, the graphics may be a bit blocky, but Xenoblade Chronicles is one of the best RPGs I’ve played to date.

Here’s the opening of the game:

Season of Switch: Super Mario Galaxy

Welcome to the first-ever Season of Switch post! Kicking off this season is, of course, the launch of the Nintendo Switch itself four days ago; it’s been sold out almost everywhere since then. In fact, it’s said that the Switch has sold faster than the Wii did in its first few days after launch! While there have been a few hardware (screen bezels scratching when docking) and software (Joy-Con syncing) issues, reviews are mostly positive. The console has real potential, and that will continue to be shown through software fixes and new games that will be released over time.

Anyway, it’s time for the first game feature: Super Mario Galaxy!

Super Mario Galaxy, released in 2007, holds special significance for me: it’s the first Mario game I ever played. I was drawn in by its stunning, bright graphics, motion-control-powered gameplay, and the story, and I had to know more about and play more of the Mario series. Plus, two years after its release, I created The E Club, which was (and still is) about Mario.

While the story is rather simple, it is compelling at the same time: Bowser attacks the Mushroom Kingdom during the Star Festival and kidnaps Peach. Mario is thrown out into space where he wakes up on a mysterious planet. Eventually, he finds his way to a crippled Comet Observatory, the hub of the game. He learns that Bowser stole its power supply, Power Stars, to travel the universe. Peach is in the center of the universe with Bowser, and the only way to get there is to restore power to the Observatory by getting the Power Stars back. It’s not the most complex plot, sure, but throughout the game it’s not only Peach you’re trying to save – the fates of Rosalina, the creator of the Comet Observatory, the Lumas, her star-shaped companions, and the entire universe (which Bowser’s trying to conquer) are in your hands. Plus, Mario (and, if you do enough, Luigi) utilizes his new spin power to travel across galaxies and planetoids within those galaxies, discovering unique life forms, anomalous Prankster Comets, and yes, Star Bits to collect. But Super Mario Galaxy still feels like a Mario game – just on a more cosmic level.

Though the Wii and one of its flagship titles may seem aged at this point with the launch of Nintendo Switch, Super Mario Galaxy (along with its sequel, Super Mario Galaxy 2, released in 2010) hasn’t aged at all; no other game quite captures the mixture of the lightheartedness of Mario, new 3D gameplay mechanics, and a surprisingly epic and intense story embodied by Super Mario Galaxy. But when Super Mario Odyssey comes out later this year, we’ll see.

To finish off this feature of Super Mario Galaxy, here’s one of my favorite galaxies in the game: Buoy Base Galaxy.

It’s the Season of Switch!

Tomorrow, March 3, 2017, is a very significant day for all of us Nintendo fans. That’s right – one of Nintendo’s most hotly-anticipated consoles, formerly known as NX, will finally be here: Nintendo Switch. Seeing this, I decided that it’s finally time for The E Club to have a piece of the action for the first time really since the early Wii years: Here on E’s Blog, it’s the Season of Switch.

What is Season of Switch? Well, back in June when The E Club 3.0 was first released to the public, I outlined a new feature on the site called Games of Note, where I would cover a variety of Nintendo games, Mario among others. Now, this idea has evolved in order to celebrate and more effectively cover the release of Nintendo Switch – (almost) every week, a Nintendo game will be featured right here on E’s Blog, as well as news and release dates about the Switch itself and new games! And the games I feature don’t even have to be for the Switch; in fact, the first game I’m going to feature this week was (and still is) one of The E Club’s very inspirations back in 2009: Super Mario Galaxy. And who knows – you may discover a game you’ve never heard of before.

How long will Season of Switch be? There are so many games to feature that I can’t put a definitive end date on it.

Make sure to check in every week for a new entry in The E Club’s Season of Switch!

Re-Introducing The E Club Secure!

Back in 2010 when The E Club had just moved from Moogo to WebStarts, I touted a new security feature that I called The E Club Secure: right-clicks were disabled, so no one could copy information from the site. But due to the lack of necessity for the feature, The E Club Secure was quietly phased out upon The E Club 3.0’s rollout.

Today, The E Club Secure takes on a new form: The E Club now serves its visitors with cutting-edge TLS 1.2 encryption. In other words, The E Club 3.0 is now HTTPS by default on all modern browsers. Though some older browsers (such as IE8 and below on Windows XP and dated Android browsers) don’t support this new feature, visitors from those browsers will fall back to the original HTTP version of the site and can easily view the secure version from a modern browser. So now, visitors can enjoy The E Club more safely and securely than ever before. (Though we’re trying to bring encryption to the rest of The E Club Family, there is no guarantee that we can due to technical limitations.)

And The E Club 3.0 still isn’t standing still – make sure to stay tuned for new features!

The Next Chapter

Today, August 11, 2016, is not an ordinary day in the life of The E Club. While it may seem so on the surface, an incredibly important torch was just passed: The E Club 2.0, hosted by WebStarts, has closed down, leaving The E Club 3.0 (what you’re on right now) as the one true flagship of The E Club Family.

The E Club 2.0 was created with WebStarts on September 17, 2010 to replace its own predecessor, The E Club 1.0, hosted on Moogo. WebStarts caught my eye because of its unique drag-and-drop editor; at the time, I had little knowledge of HTML, CSS, or JavaScript, so I had to rely on such a website builder to maintain the site. For quite some time, WebStarts was a great opportunity for The E Club to grow – with its flexible editor, a domain name, more disk space, and a variety of built-in features, I was able to expand The E Club and begin to unify The E Club Family, starting with the websites’ subdomains of The E Club and new designs. But as my web design experience accumulated and time went on, I started to realize that WebStarts could not be the host of The E Club’s future: its HTML editor messed up other elements of the page when I edited the code, it didn’t exactly support new technologies I tried to implement, its blog tool was a glorified text editor, I had little control over the site’s structure, there was no way to make the site responsive (everything was absolutely positioned on the page), and modifying the design through CSS was incredibly tedious. And WebStarts’ problems were outside of the editor as well: prices rose for the same features, it charged $30/year for the domain that was formerly free, it wanted to charge for things as simple as submitting the site to Google, and when it promised a responsive design it didn’t deliver (I would’ve had to make a new site in order to access it). In short, it was time for a change. And because of seven years of working on The E Club, I had the capability to do what I could do with a drag-and-drop editor with just plain HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. So, on June 8, 2016, The E Club 3.0 on FastComet took the place of 2.0, and the rest is history.

Even though The E Club 3.0 replaced its predecessor at this domain (theeclub.info) on June 8, I kept The E Club 2.0 around for a little while on another URL to ensure the smoothest possible transition to the new version. Today, The E Club 2.0 has closed down, ending its era of stagnation on all fronts and firmly beginning The E Club 3.0’s era of advancement on all fronts. But make no mistake – these are not two separate sites; rather, they are versions of the same thing. And The E Club 3.0, the best version yet, ensures that The E Club Family will lead a successful future.

Star Trek: Discovery

After years of speculation, the sixth Star Trek TV series has finally been announced: Star Trek: Discovery! The new series features a starship with the same name (NCC-1031) which looks like a cross between a TOS-era Federation starship (round saucer) and a Klingon K’t’inga battle cruiser (triangular body). While we don’t know much more than that, we can infer that the U.S.S. Discovery will not feature the crew of the rebooted U.S.S. Enterprise as previously speculated; instead, it may feature multiple crews. Plus, each episode of the series may contribute to a season-long story arc rather than having isolated plotlines as the five other TV series do.

The show is set to air in January 2017, but there’s a problem: While the pilot episode will be on CBS, the rest of the episodes will be on CBS’ online subscription streaming service, All Access, as well as Netflix. Star Trek has an incredibly large and loyal fanbase, so why is CBS putting a paywall between devoted fans who don’t want to subscribe to a streaming service and the first new Star Trek TV series since 2005? Does it want to alienate existing fans and turn off potential new ones who just need an introduction to the Star Trek universe to become interested? Or is it just interested in using the name of Star Trek to bolster its own All Access?

Despite all that, Star Trek: Discovery is an exciting new development in the world of Star Trek. Paywall or no, the series will bring new life and interesting new characters and locations to the Star Trek universe. So make sure to look out for the pilot episode in January 2017 on CBS, and stay tuned right here as I post about the first new Star Trek series since The E Club’s creation!

Update, August 11: It was just announced that the series will take place 10 years before the 5-year mission of TOS, will feature a female lead (who is not the captain), will delve into a significant event in the TOS era, and will feature aliens, robots, and a regular gay character. For more details, check out the StarTrek.com report.

Check out the official trailer below:

Welcome to The E Club 3.0!

I am E, founder and CEO of The E Club Family, and this is my personal blog on The E Club! For information pertaining to The E Club Family as a whole as well as more Mario, Star Trek, and science information, check out The E Club World.

You are here at a very special time in The E Club’s history; the site you are now on is the result of seven years of devotion to bringing the best Mario, Star Trek, and science information to the web in addition to incredible technological advancements. But before I get to that, here’s how we got to today.

The E Club was originally founded on June 8, 2009 with a now-defunct website creator called Moogo; though it looked far different than it does today, that version of The E Club and today’s version share the same purpose: being my personal site about Mario, Star Trek, and science. Over the next year or so, I continued to expand The E Club’s content, even creating two additional sites – The E Club Lite and The E Club World – in the process to host even more content. The E Club Lite was also created with Moogo (it is on Weebly right now), and The E Club World has always been on Blogger (though its design has evolved since its creation).

But in September 2010, the unthinkable occurred: Moogo was going to shut down all of its free sites, The E Club and The E Club Lite among them, a month later (in order to give priority to their expensive premium packages). So I set out to move the content of the two affected sites; I moved The E Club to WebStarts on September 17 and The E Club Lite to Weebly not long after. (Today, I often refer to The E Club hosted on WebStarts as The E Club 2.0 as it was the second major update to the site, the first being its creation in 2009.)

As the years went on, so did The E Club’s mission. New sites were being added to the growing chain now known as The E Club Family, bringing new innovations and content to the web such as Mario Flash games without annoying ads, revolutionary social networking, and more. But there was an underlying problem – as the rest of The E Club Family, led by The E Club+, began to sport new technological and aesthetic innovations, The E Club itself could not keep up. This was because WebStarts, The E Club 2.0’s host, has a drag-and-drop editor rather than a text-based one, and it often rendered the advanced technologies I tried to implement unusable. Plus, it made applying new styles a tedious process.

For years, I was able to overlook this issue, since it was WebStarts that basically saved The E Club. But the list of issues with the service began to grow over time: prices went up while the features remained the same, and when they promised a “new editor” with new features such as a responsive design, I would have had to create a new website (rather than having the original upgraded) to access it. So in December 2015, I made the decision that would alter The E Club’s history forever – with the new techniques I learned from developing the rest of The E Club Family, I could easily replicate what a drag-and-drop editor could do while having full control of the source code at the same time. I could finally release the shackles that WebStarts, who wanted to charge money for submitting sites to be indexed by Google (which can be easily done for free), had placed on The E Club. Thus, The E Club 3.0 was born.

The E Club 3.0 is the culmination of the past, present, and future of The E Club Family; it continues The E Club’s mission that it had since June 8, 2009 with new, advanced technologies that only The E Club Family of the present could offer, and its framework (which implements new techniques such as PHP templating) allows it to be totally scalable for the future. So what’s new? Check out Founder’s Letter 2016 or the What’s New page. But there are some other aspects that have changed or been created that I didn’t cover in either, so here they are:

Incredible blog innovations

My blog here on The E Club has always been an integral part of the experience; I have written about updates on The E Club as well as various Mario and Star Trek news items not posted on The E Club World, which covers more The E Club Family-related information plus Mario and Star Trek things. When The E Club moved to WebStarts, I put the Moogo site’s blog posts on a separate page and used WebStarts’ blogging tool to continue E’s Blog. But the tool was lacking in many important features – I couldn’t insert links, videos, or really anything but basic text.

Now you can see that things are far different here on The E Club 3.0; instead of a glorified text editor like before, E’s Blog now runs on WordPress! That’s right: the most popular open-source platform on the web now powers what you’re looking at right now. And I was able to seamlessly integrate it into the site, from the design to the incredible features such as search and archiving built in. Plus, I added The E Club 2.0’s blog posts to More Blog and remastered them with functional links, images, and videos.

Games of Note

You may have noticed that the Mario Game Help page, which provided hints and tips about a few Mario games, has disappeared. On The E Club 3.0, it has been replaced by a new page called Games of Note. Why? Instead of solely focusing on Mario games (which the page will obviously still cover), Games of Note will also feature other games for Nintendo consoles! These will range from more familiar ones such as titles from The Legend of Zelda series to lesser-known but incredible games such as Xenoblade Chronicles (where Shulk in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U came from). More content will be added to this page as time goes on, so make sure to check in often!

Backwards compatibility

You may not have noticed, but the URLs of The E Club’s pages have changed since the site left WebStarts – they are simpler, and the underscores and the “.html” suffixes have been removed. The most poignant example of this change is the Quick Polls page: its URL on 2.0 was http://theeclub.info/mailinglist_and_quick_polls.html, but on 3.0 it has been simplified to just http://theeclub.info/polls. Quite the difference, isn’t it?

But an issue quickly emerged with changing all of the page URLs: search engines and many pages across The E Club Family still link to the old pages. This would cause a huge accessibility problem, so I’m happy to announce that The E Club 3.0 is backwards-compatible with its predecessor. How? Try clicking on the old link to the Quick Polls page above.

Event Calendar, reimagined

The E Club’s Event Calendar hasn’t changed at all design-wise since I first put it on the Moogo site; due to technical reasons, I could not style it to match the rest of The E Club. Today, that has changed. The Calendar now features a custom design to match the look and feel of The E Club, so it looks better than ever.

Featured Mario Music Repository

The Mario music on The E Club’s homepage has been there since the original site, but there was an issue: the music changed every month, but due to technical limitations I was never able to publicly archive past selections (it would’ve required a lot of space). The E Club 3.0 not only introduces that long-awaited repository but also repurposes another great feature, the Videos page. Thanks to a bit of JavaScript, I was able to restructure the page so that it could host both the repository and the Super Mario Galaxy soundtracks from the 2.0 version while using as few resources and being as efficient as possible.

In honor of this, we’ll be featuring some old favorites from The E Club’s past along with new selections; this month, it’s Mario Kart DS’ Waluigi Pinball theme, and next month it’s Super Mario Galaxy’s Bowser Battle theme. There’s a lot more to come, so stay tuned!

Sleeker search

With the introduction of Smart Search, The E Club brought about a new dimension of searching – the menu automatically shows only the pages that match your search as you’re typing it. But what you would see upon hitting the Enter key wasn’t so cutting-edge; the search results page was a true page of The E Club 3.0 (like ClubIt! Designer), but the design of the results hadn’t been updated in years. Today, I’m pleased to say that the search results have finally been redesigned; they now accommodate all of the latest design techniques and sport an innovative edge-to-edge design. Search is now an innovation in its own right, before and after hitting Enter.

ClubIt! Designer 2.0

The ClubIt! Designer on The E Club 2.0 was a JavaScript-powered tool I created so that people could easily put ClubIt! Buttons on their sites. However, it had to be hosted separately from the rest of The E Club’s pages since WebStarts would otherwise make the code malfunction. Now that such a technological hurdle has been overcome, ClubIt! Designer is now a true page of The E Club – and it’s been streamlined to be even faster and more efficient than before. In addition, The E Club Share has been phased out so that ClubIt! is the primary sharing platform of The E Club.


It’s an exciting time for The E Club. With blazing-fast loading times, advanced new technologies, and all kinds of incredible new features, The E Club 3.0 really is the true flagship of The E Club Family. And you can expect even more great things to come in the near future – the possibilities are limitless. So click on the top bar banner, have a look around, and enjoy the greatest version of The E Club in its seven-year history.