Picture Perfect: Marines Website Restoration

Welcome to Picture Perfect, a column dedicated to analyzing photos from throughout army history. Nearly a decade after its defacement, the Marines website has been restored to its former glory. Join us as we delve into the history of the Marines, and the details behind the website’s destruction.

Designed by Cassie

The Club Penguin Marines are one of the earliest recorded armies, recognizing themselves as the fifth army ever made. Their history goes back to November 20th, 2006, as a clan created by CPA Legend SF1998. The Marines established the first known army WordPress website, and years of army history are documented through nearly a decade’s worth of posts. Much of the army’s history is up to interpretation. However, some claim that the Marines reached sizes matching contemporary armies of that era.

Marines during the Clan Wars

Army of Club Penguin creator Oagalthorp recognized the Marines as one of the army’s closest allies, listing them on ACP’s Hall of Fame page. Between 2007 and 2014, many individuals attempted to revive the Marines. However, these short-lived attempts did not receive official recognition from modern Marine veterans.

I then decided to “out-source” the ACP. I joined a smaller forum, along with the Miniclip Forums, and set up an ACP thread there. This was the forum set up by Lt Giovvani, who was already a loyal ACP soldier. On his forums, a penguin by the name of Sf1998 saw the ACP thread. He thought it was pretty cool, so he decided to make the ACP a brother army: The Club Penguin Marines. After a small plagiarism argument, we became close allies. The CPM soon grew as big as the ACP, but not within the Forums, but rather on a WordPress site.

– Oagalthorp, ACP Creator “The ACP Saga

In February 2014, the Marines formally revived under the leadership of Sidie9 and Agentrds/Rexeh. Following numerous short and unsuccessful stints, notable small/medium army leader Totidile reformed CPM into a Small/Medium powerhouse of the late pre-CPPS era. Warring various armies from 2015 to 2016 such as the Rebel Penguin Federation, the army reached sizes of 25+ and peaked at second place on the Club Penguin Army Central Top Ten. CPM fielded numerous prominent figures alongside Totidile throughout this modern period, such as Water Vikings legend Buddy and Special Weapons and Tactics creator Ganger90. Additionally, CPM witnessed an impressive return to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, achieving maxes of up to 50+ on Club Penguin Online.

Marines warm up before battling Light Troops in 2015

Time would seemingly erase much of the considerable success achieved by the army. On June 30th, 2015, an individual intentionally erased all content from the army’s website. Before the popularization of Discord in the army community as a means of communication, army websites served as the main avenue for distributing information. This included event schedules and announcements. The act of defacing a website would often lead to the army’s subsequent death or the loss of significant portions of history. In the case of the Marines, everything except media files was deleted. This prompted the army to enter a lockdown period shortly thereafter. Over time, Sonic/Nhlguy, identified himself as the responsible party, but reversing it seemed impossible.

I wonder why defacers enjoy what they do.

Totidile contacted me a few hours ago about making Step and Cowboydan leader of the army and I told him to be suspicious about a possible deface and make backups as I was unable to make any at the time. My suspicions were correct, and now everything has been ruined. Work will commence to reconstruct the website, even though everything except media files have been permanently deleted.

No, the Marines are not dead. Totidile is still dedicated to leading this army. I am still yet to contact him on what has happened, but for now I’ll say this:

Totidile will be the ONLY leader unless an old leader returns or I say otherwise.

The Marines will live on.

– Sidie9, Club Penguin Marines Guardian “This isn’t the end

Marines event on Club Penguin Online

Several Marines leaders have remained present in the broader army community since its final generation in 2020. However, the army ceased activity following a merge into the Water Vikings. This period of silence would end on January 20th, 2024, following the publication of a new post on the CPM website. In a short statement made by Sidie9, she announced that the army had finally restored most of its posts over 8 years since the defacement. Utilizing the Internet Archive, a website dedicated to preserving as much content on the Internet as possible, a significant portion of the army’s pre-CPPS history has now returned to the blog.

A user defaced this entire website in 2015, deleting all of the army’s history in moments. I promised to do my best in recovering what I could, but I didn’t have the knowledge or time to manage such a task. Having grown a decade older with the ability to navigate the Internet Archive, I have spent the past few days restoring everything I could. Though some posts were not recoverable, the archive for 2014 to August of 2015 has returned to the website. I don’t know how many people will find such a resource useful, but restoring that segment of Marines history was the least I could do to preserve this corner of the internet.

– Sidie9, Club Penguin Marines Guardian “Marines Archive

To learn more about the Marines’ defacement and the reconstruction of the website, Club Penguin Armies reached out to Sidie9 for an interview.

It’s been nearly a decade since the defacement of the Marines’ website. What prompted you to restore the missing content after all these years?

I was bored out of my mind earlier this month, scrolling through random websites as I sometimes do. My website of choice this time was the Club Penguin Army Wiki, and I had the random thought to search for information on the Marines. Being one of the oldest armies with a variety of successful generations, you’d expect the wiki to at least have a page for the army. I was wrong. As such, with my trusty Wikia account I planned to author a page for the army. It’s a bit hard to write an army’s history with a big chunk of the story missing, so I went ahead and checked the Internet Archive. It turns out that much of the lost posts had been saved there. Though I didn’t know about the Internet Archive at the time of the defacement, I think it’s better late than never.

Who was Sonic/Nhlguy in relation to the Marines? Why do you think they chose to deface the website?

I think Sonic was Marines “owner”, which what you’d call high command nowadays. I remember him being in quite a few armies such as ACP, he didn’t do much of note but if you were around back then you probably knew of him. I don’t really remember why he did it, I might have a screenshot of his confession somewhere. At the end of the day, though, I don’t really think the motive matters. The damage was done. Defacing can destroy an entire army’s history, and if you value the preservation of our internet sub-community at all, there isn’t a motive that could justify it. Defacing was such a common thing back then. Hell, even I did it to a Shadow Troops when I was 12 or something out of spite. So much of our community’s past is now gone due to this kind of thing, and to me that’s very saddening.

How big of a role do you believe army websites play in preserving our history?

Army websites, aside from the XAT chat rooms, were the main way to organise and record the happenings of your penguin army. While people use them less now, websites are the best way to archive an army’s history. Defacing an army nowadays may not kill the army, but the impact of defacements are lasting. Armies like SWAT or UMA had their websites deleted so often that entire parts of their history are completely unknown. So, with that in mind, I’d say preservation is pretty important.

You’ve been part of the army community for a long time, and I’m sure you’ve witnessed a fair share of defacements. What advice do you have for army leaders/veterans looking to protect their websites from vandalism?

PLEASE regularly create back-up saves of your army’s website. Almost every website provider has a back-up option, such as the import feature on WordPress. Additionally, you can go to the Internet Archive. You can enter the URL of any website, even ones you don’t own, and it’ll save a snapshot of the website. Unless you want to risk the possibility of your army’s history being lost to time, I’d adhere to that advice.

Through Internet archives, the Club Penguin Marines got very lucky in restoring their history. Not every army is as fortunate, and just a few clicks have erased so much history over the years. The CP Army community is so diverse, and record-keeping through media organizations, the CPA Wiki, and individual army websites is essential in preserving our past. Properly securing content on websites through WordPress backups and third-party resources is essential. Additionally, record keeping through the CPA Wiki allows you to be impactful as an individual in securing our history for years to come. Though much work remains, we are taking a step toward preserving our community’s history by restoring the Marines’ website.

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One Response

  1. AhsokaTano24 February 1, 2024 (7:11 pm)

    Wait, the Marines are back?

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