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Flash Portal History: 1999

Prior to 1999, Newgrounds was one of the web's most popular entertainment sites based solely on the strange features I had created, such as Club a Seal, Cat Dynamics and Telebubby Fun Land! You can read more about it on the official NG History page.

I occasionally goofed around with side-projects and found myself with no place to put these random creations. Thus, the Portal was born, as my own personal dumping grounds. A "black hole" of Flash content.

January

It started with a gag submission, the Small Penis Program. From there, I re-created some of my old (and crappy) Amiga cartoons, such as Billy Bo Bob and John and War. The Portal was such a perfect place to share this crap without sticking it on the front page of Newgrounds.

These movies would have been voted off the site nowadays. I never forget just how bad I was and as a result, I try to be patient with other aspiring Flash artists, no matter how horrible they are. :)

August

The Portal remained stagnant for the next eight months, until one day in August when I came across a piece of Flash that was so good and violent that I thought it would be perfect on Newgrounds! I figured I would email the author, and with his permission, I would put his movie in The Portal with my goofy crap. I was always big on keeping my stuff exclusive to Newgrounds, so I couldn't imagine someone letting me showcase their stuff on here as well. To my surprise, the author said yes! Hate became the first of the "third-party" Newgrounds content.

  • Hate
    Hate by bigandclever

    A stylish short with a violent conclusion.

    Score
    3.32 / 5.00
    Type
    Movie
    Popularity
    269,277 Views
    Rated
    Ages 17+

When NG fans saw Hate in the Portal, they suddenly became interested in submitting their own games and movies to the site! The first fan submission I posted was "Dennis, the Phantom Menace", followed shortly by the violent "Un-Named", by Oliver O'Neil. It was a perfect example of what goes on in the mind of your typical Newgrounds fan! I also received "Kill a Hippie" from Aaron Premo. Oliver and Aaron were the two youngest Flash developers I had come across, and their styles continued to grow over time.

  • Un-named
    Un-named by HalfQuakeSix

    One of the original Flash killing sprees.

    Score
    2.82 / 5.00
    Type
    Movie
    Popularity
    33,216 Views
    Rated
    Ages 17+

September - October

I continued to receive submissions from NG fans. I was excited to receive "The News Guy", because the art and animation quality was some of the best I had received from a fan of the site. I also got a huge kick out of "Sniper", by Jeremy Lokken. I saw a lot of potential in Jeremy, as he soon proved later that month with the debut of "Reading Rainbow." For anyone who wasn't around back then, "Reading Rainbow" long reigned as the greatest third-party Flash movie on Newgrounds. It was the movie that I showed to everyone I met, as an example of how funny Newgrounds could be. I think this was one of the most inspiring movies to hit The Portal in its early days.

"Copyright Infringement" was Nehi's response to the BBC attacking Telebubby Fun Land. It was one of the first "Monty-Python-style" Flash movies, as well as one of the first times a long-time NG BBS resident had turned from BBS user to Flash producer. This was a very cool transition!

Aaron Premo spread his wings with "Postal", one of the original Flash shooting spree games that inspired endless others. Sommy came onto the scene with "Swat", one of the best Flash shooters of the time.

  • Reading Rainbow 1
    Reading Rainbow 1 by JeremyLokken

    The start of a long series of battles between network dominance, Levar's bitterness, and sexual, perverted acts.

    Score
    3.88 / 5.00
    Type
    Movie
    Popularity
    825,548 Views
    Rated
    Ages 13+
  • Copyright Infringement
    Copyright Infringement by Nehi

    A wacky tribute to the Pythonesque comedy we all know and love.

    Score
    2.70 / 5.00
    Type
    Movie
    Popularity
    11,945 Views
    Rated
    Everyone
  • Postal
    Postal by Gothicksoul

    A classic killing spree where you kill all the people who annoy you on a daily basis.

    Score
    2.74 / 5.00
    Type
    Game
    Popularity
    1,403,516 Views
    Rated
    Ages 13+
  • SWAT
    SWAT by Sommy

    One of the first great shooting games to hit Newgrounds!

    Score
    2.70 / 5.00
    Type
    Game
    Popularity
    983,893 Views
    Rated
    Ages 17+

November

November brought some of the best and worst of Newgrounds. HK Mobs was one of the most polished Flash games to ever debut on Newgrounds and Ribbachile was probably the worst.

Nowadays, people are used to finding crap in the Portal - because anyone can post anything at any time. Back in these day, I personally selected every movie on the site, rejecting 80% of the submissions because they were crap.

Ribbachile, in all its crapulense, still made me laugh, so I posted it in The Portal. The Newgrounds public was not pleased; they didn't get why I would do that. It later spawned a hilarious April Fools gag!

  • HK Mobs
    HK Mobs by Thomaz

    They got your girl, and you gotta chop off some limbs to get her back!

    Score
    1.91 / 5.00
    Type
    Game
    Popularity
    459,535 Views
    Rated
    Ages 13+
  • Ribbachile!
    Ribbachile! by Marty

    Here it is!

    Score
    2.92 / 5.00
    Type
    Movie
    Popularity
    25,703 Views
    Rated
    Ages 13+

December

Several new NG trends started by the end of the year. Cycle of Violence was one of the first Portal submissions to contain Newgrounds references, making it both a great movie and a fun NG tribute at the same time.

Ninja Battle lead the way for a ton of similar cartoons featuring stick figures, while Britney Spears Farts was the first of millions of Britney Spears movies submitted to The Portal (although it is no longer featured).

Finally, we had a great Portal milestone. Blanco y Negro was one of the most well-produced Portal entries to date, showing the public that Newgrounds could have a very cool, dark serious side.

  • Cycle of Violence
    Cycle of Violence by thespook

    A fetching tribute to NG!

    Score
    2.42 / 5.00
    Type
    Movie
    Popularity
    30,679 Views
    Rated
    Ages 17+
  • Blanco y Negro
    Blanco y Negro by Raz

    The original Flash Noir animation. This one has it all - suspense, drama, violence and really slick animation.

    Score
    3.58 / 5.00
    Type
    Movie
    Popularity
    283,633 Views
    Rated
    Everyone

Keep in mind, the Portal wasn't yet automated at this point. When we automated the Portal in April of 2000, some of these entries were re-submitted and many weren't. Because of this, not all of the submissions are available for showcase and many of them have ID numbers and submission dates that don't represent the true date of their premier on Newgrounds.

To the left is what the Portal looked like in late 1999 / early 2000.

Continue to 2000...