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.
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. :)
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.
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. It ultimately succumbed years later to legal action by the owners of the show.
"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.
Copyright Infringementby Nehi
Postalby GothicksoulGo nuts and kill all the annoying people!
SWATby SommyOne of the first rail shooters on NG.
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!
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.
To the left is what the Portal looked like in late 1999 / early 2000.
Continue to 2000...