|"The world's ONLY Pokémon website!"|
PA!'s logo since 2000
|Date opened||April 10, 1999|
|Creator||Philippe Van Lieu, aka Nick15|
|Forum||PA! Discord Server|
On April 10th, 2020, PA! (quietly) celebrated is 21st anniversary.
During its initial 1999-2004 run, although PA! covered the Pokémon franchise as a whole, it was more focused on news and content about the Pokémon TCG. PA! therefore maintained a detailed database of each TCG set, as well as provided spoilers for several upcoming sets. Subsequently, when PA! ceased regular updates in 2004, its TCG database would end up forming the foundation of Bulbapedia's own TCG articles.
But perhaps what PA! was best known for was for having popularized graphical fan made (fake) Pokémon TCG cards. This included being the first website to have guides on how to make fakes, blank templates and font files for download, and regular contests to help promote up-and-coming artists.
This interest in faking also meant that PA! had a hit of a mischievous side, creating and maintaining various hoaxes and other fakes to fool the Pokémon community at large.
Since returning to regular updates in 2019, PA! has focused on the more random and off-beat aspects of the Pokémon franchise. For example, with the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield, a new "Galar language" was included and used on all signs, posters, etc, in game; PA! began work on decoding what the language is saying, and has gone further than any prior attempt. PA! also has plans to return to making fake cards, as well as release a regular YouTube series.
Original run (1999-2004)
PA! started in April 1999, initially titled Pokémon AAAH! TCG America. The site's name was a reference to Pokémon's initial fad status, as if someone was screaming the name of Pokémon out of shock and/or fear—"Pokémon?! AAAH!!"—as well as its focus on the Pokémon TCG's release in the United States. As it would turn out, spoilers for the Jungle and Fossil sets would be the site's breakout hit, as those sets had yet to be released in English, thus giving new fans of the TCG a chance to see what's to come. This in turn would inspire Nick15's work on Pokémon TCG fake cards, which encouraged visitors to visit regularly, thus building the site's fan base. During this early stage, Nick15 was joined by his best friend, IVIegaX.
When Pokémon Gold/Silver had initially released in Japan in November 1999, PA! worked with Pokémon Forever and Meowth346 to share and analyze all the new characters, events, locations and Pokémon from the new game.
In June 2000, Nick15 completed the first-ever graphical Pokémon TCG fan made fake card, Fake Edition. The set contained 200 cards total and took one year to create.
In October 2000, two ex-staff members of PA!, The Echidna and Purity, left PA! in order to start their website Pokémon Zeo!, later joined by IVIegaX. The original plan was to run two websites with names starting with both an "A" and a "Z", thus covering Pokémon "from A to Z", but that plan didn't materialize.
In March 2001, Nick15 was having ISP issues which also kept PA! offline. When Bulbagarden webmaster Anenga heard of this, he invited Nick15 to be hosted as part of Bulbagarden's hosting plan. During this time PA! could be found at pa.bulbagarden.com, and as a bonus to fans, it showcased the upcoming "Version 5.0" site design.
In August 2001, Nick15 started college and thus transferred the site to then co-webmaster, PokemonMasterX (PMX). PMX would introduce "Version 6" the site, and negotiated with The PokéMasters for them to PA!'s host.
2002, however, turned out to be an annus horribilis for PA!. First off, rising server costs would cripple The PokéMasters, forcing it to shut down in February 2002. This in turn took PA! offline. To make matters worse, the copy of PA! that PMX had was also accidentally deleted, leaving PA! offline and without a site. This prompted Nick15 to return to help with rebuilding. Unfortunately, PMX would leave in October 2002, making Nick15 sole webmaster once more. But just when "Version 7" was about to go online, a hard drive crash deleted all of Nick15's work, taking PA! once again offline. It wouldn't be until January 2003 that PA! would be back to stay, finally with a new dedicated host and site design.
In 2003, PA! would release spoilers for the upcoming EX/ADV-era sets (starting with EX Ruby & Sapphire). What made these spoilers special was that they were actually posted on PA! before even their actual Japanese release, ensuring PA! was the first stop for any TCG player wanting a sneak peak of what's to come.
The last major change for PA! came in February 2004, when Nick15 created FakeCard.com, with the goal to cover creating fan-made fake cards for other games along with Pokémon, such as Yu-Gi-Oh! and the newly released Duel Masters. PA! thus become a section of the larger website. However, this version of the site would be short lived, as Nick15 was ready to move onto other projects, and regular updates would ultimately end the following May.
With PA! and FakeCard.com ceasing regular updates, Nick15 worked with several major Pokémon to ensure his work would not fall into obscurity. For example, the Pokémon Labs agreed to take on Nick15's fake cards and TCG data in order to continue the work that PA! started. Nick15 also transferred his fake card blanks to WaterPokémonMaster of PokéBeach, which still has a strong fan-made fake card community to this day. Finally, when Bulbapedia launched in 2005, many of Bulbapedia's TCG-related articles were created using the information and graphics from PA!'s TCG sections as a foundation.
Although PA! would cease regular updates, versions of the site would remain online for nostalgia purposes. Doing so ensured that PA! would become one of the few remaining primary sources of Pokémon news and events from that period of Pokémon's history.
In December 2009, "pokemonaaah.com" was re-acquired by Nick15 after having been owned by domain squatters for several years. The domain was lost during the confusion of PA!'s annus horribilis of 2002—thus ensuring that "pokemonaaah.net" would be the site's primary URL—but it would later be recovered by DarkPikaMew, long time fan of the site who also happened to run a domain name registrar. The "pokemonaaah.com" domain name would later be attached to a March 2001 archive of PA!.
In January 2012, PA! finally returned as a website that would update, albeit only as a simple blog for Nick15 to share Pokémon-related thoughts and ideas. Initially the site's main focus was to record and analyze print run data for current TCG sets, but it later expanded to cover reviews and info about the then-current gen Pokémon game. For example, Nick15 created an AR Marker Generator utility for the Pokédex 3D and Pokédex 3D Pro app for the Nintendo 3DS.
Current run (2019-present)
When Sword and Shield was released in 2019, PA! was updated once again to cover Nick15's research on the Galarian language. However, this research proved to be extremely popular, and so it helped convince Nick15 to start updating the site again on a regular basis.
Work on this new content is still in a preliminary stage, but Nick15 absolutely plans on seeing things through. Some of the new content planned or released includes:
- a "ColorDex", covering the kinds of colors used to depict each Pokémon type
- a webcomic series titled Adventure Battlemon, which is intended to be a parody/homage of Pokémon in the vein of "Galaxy Quest"
- a new TCG fake card set based on prototype Pokémon seen in the 1997 "Space World" versions of Pokémon Gold/Silver
What also inspired Nick15 to return was the fact that Pokémon did not fade into obscurity since 2004; frankly, Pokémon is probably more popular than it's ever been, thus ensuring that PA!'s return won't be so much of an uphill battle. Furthermore, since sites like Bulbapedia and Serebii.net focus on regular Pokémon news and data, PA! can focus on more unique content as it won't need to focus on covering stuff that other sites are better at.
PA! was later joined by Nick15's best friend, Teslalyte (formerly IVIegaX); Teslalyte will be focusing on PA!'s Discord server and helping out with other "under the hood" work.
- PokemonAaah.net - Pokémon Aaah! The (currently updating) Website
- Pokémon Aaah @ Facebook - Official Facebook page for PA!
- Pokémon Aaah! @ Twitter (@AaahPokemon) - Official Twitter account for PA!
- Pokémon Aaah! The Discord Server - Official Discord server for PA!
Archives and nostalgia
- FakeCard.com - FakeCard.com, archive from 2004
- PokemonAaah.com - Pokémon Aaah!, archive from 2001
- A more detailed history of PA! and FakeCard.com
|This article is a part of Project Fandom, a Bulbapedia Project that aims to write comprehensive articles on every aspect of the Pokémon Fandom.|