Thank you, and waddle on…
Even now, it seems a little surreal since we’ve been here many times before: when classic Club Penguin closed in March 2017, Club Penguin Rewritten in February 2018, then Club Penguin Island in December 2018, and when Disney issued takedown notices in May 2020. It’s difficult to accept that this truly is the end of an incredible journey – and even though there may be other smaller servers still out there, I’m afraid to confirm that it marks the end of my journey.
This will be the final post on Club Penguin Mountains, and I’m not exactly sure how to write it. I’ve never really quite put it like this before. Over the last couple of years, there have been less than a handful of active Club Penguin blogs, and even fewer which are still running today. So it’s strange to imagine that when I first signed up to the game back in 2010, there were – literally – thousands and thousands of them. I still have fond memories from back then, from purchasing my first membership at the local ToysRUs to reading the Shadow Guy comic book on the plane when I moved to South Africa for four years. Given that so many people have been sharing their Club Penguin story over the last few days, I wanted to take a final opportunity to reflect very briefly on the journey of this blog one last time.
My involvement in the community really began with the Penguin Lodge chat, which I’m sure some people will have memories of. Penguin Lodge was a “cheating site”, as it was called back then, but it had a thriving community. The IRC chat was effectively the precursor to services like Discord, and it was the first time that I was really able to connect with people about Club Penguin outside the game. It was where I spent much of my time, and I still remember the night in December where I was hired as a moderator for that chat – that was a big deal back then! But it was really through that chat where I saw people creating their own Club Penguin blogs, and I was inspired to do so myself.
With so many blogs already existing, it would perhaps seem odd that I chose to make my own – creatively named “Club Penguin Torres 126” – in September 2013. I had no experience other than trying to work on a similar blog with a friend for a month or so earlier, but I loved it. There was something extraordinary about the idea of being able to upload content online, even if only a handful of people read it. Strangely, I think that feeling remains as strong today as it did back then. I remember returning home from school, excited to see my site’s Dashboard. The one thing which still amazes me about those times is just how young we all were. Much to my embarrassment, all those posts are available to read on this blog today – and they’re not exactly sophisticated! I hope the fact that I was nine years old will make that explainable, but most of us in the community were young – too young, perhaps. It almost certainly wouldn’t be possible today, not with the clampdown on underage accounts coming with the British government’s online safety reforms. But looking back, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
I suppose that the next development came in November 2013, where I joined the Club Penguin community on Twitter. I think that my first tweet was embarrassingly asking to be added by Tommy 234 56, a “famous” blogger at the time. But signing up brought with it a wider community, all connected by Club Penguin. I don’t think that I can explain the magic of waking up at 6am during a school holiday, scrolling through overnight tweets as the community woke up (back then, it was common to tweet “good morning” without fail!) while working on this little blog. Every blogger back then had so much pride in what they published, from the little widgets on the side of the blog to the many different pages which people wrote – and I was certainly no exception. Those pages and posts may have been poor quality, but I remember having so much fun writing them. In many ways, 2013 was a golden year filled with beautiful parties and exciting updates.
In early 2014, “Club Penguin Torres 126” became “Club Penguin Mountains”, although a two-year hiatus meant that nobody initially knew that. Incidentally, I still vaguely remember the night where I came up with that name – again, only ten years old, but it’s amazing how recognisable it would subsequently become. After that hiatus, from 2016, I began posting again; it was during that year where people kept holding hope for “#ProjectSuperSecret”, which would later become Club Penguin Island, but many felt the game had already started to lose its charm. It was probably a combination of the increasingly irregular updates, a perceived disconnect with the team, and skepticism for the unknown project. In retrospect, I think that we – as a community – were probably a bit too harsh. The team were played a difficult hand, and one not made easier by the closing of global Club Penguin offices a year earlier, although I still question the wisdom of many decisions taken back then.
And so, as we approached 2017, Club Penguin Island came along. The disappointing response to it has already been well-documented, though I still find it unfortunate how it ended at a point where there was genuine potential for the game. Needless to say, my blog posts about it didn’t last particularly long, and the venture to Club Penguin Rewritten soon began. Over the last nine years, I’ve blogged at some point about six different games, albeit for varying lengths: Club Penguin, Club Penguin Island, Club Penguin Rewritten, SuperCPPS, Vintage Penguin, and Pengur. Each brought its own joys and challenges, but it’s been wonderful to see the community continue for so long, even after the official franchise closed.
Although this will be the final post, the 3768 previous ones have contained altogether just under 600K words. I’m not sure it’s possible to explain how a Club Penguin blog can contain so many; my teachers have sometimes asked what I actually write about. I’ve never been be particularly it explain well, and I’m not sure that I could now! Writing up party guides, putting together catalog secrets, tracking mascots…they might all seem slightly odd individually, but altogether, it’s been an incredible experience.
Being in this community has shown me much of human nature’s best, and a fair amount of its worst too. Like much of society, there’s a sad story to be told about antagonism and greed – one only displayed too clearly by Disney’s latest actions, and some of the responses to it. There will inevitably always be some bitterness about the way events have unfolded, and it’s undoubtedly painful to see Disney so viciously defend the intellectual property of a brand which they were only too happy to relinquish. I want to put on record my horror at seeing private servers being effectively treated as criminal enterprises. Beyond Disney, it’s made clear the capacity of human nature for cruelty, from those that seek to sow division to the hackers and crooks that have sadly disguised themselves in our community for too long. There have been some strange characters over the years! I have no doubt that it has also exposed some of my own frailties too.
But running this blog has also given me the huge privilege of seeing how a virtual world can mean so much to so many, and how people really can brighten others’ lives. I’ve always been pretty open about my attachment to Club Penguin, including in real life, and there can sometimes be a tendency to disregard it as “childish” or “just another game”. Many of us will know both of those things to be false, and it’s been moving to see all the comments over the last few days proving that by providing stories of how Club Penguin really has shaped so many lives. It’s tempting to go through the most memorable parties – from the thrill of EPF operations to the cheer of the Holiday Party – but for me, it’s much more than that: the last few years have been strange, especially during the pandemic and successive lockdowns. Club Penguin was a source of connection, even for people who had never met before, and I hope that’s helped bring even a little bit of comfort for you when you’ve most needed it.
Like all islands, I’ve learnt that being a virtual one hasn’t exempt Club Penguin from its own politics and history. I’m sure that people will have their own judgements about the debates of past, from the seemingly never-ending disputes about “takeovers” that dominated Spike Hike’s tenure as General Manager to the decisions behind Project Super Secret. It’s funny how irrelevant and distant those seem now. I still hope that the history of Club Penguin will one day be pieced together in its entirety; though much of it has been scattered online, it’s an incredible story that deserves to be told. Some of it has been (see the New Horizons documentary below!), but not so much with the later years. I’ll always try to keep Club Penguin Mountains available to read in order to serve as an archive for that reason, or even for if you just wish to have a wistful browse of old posts one day in the future. There’s very few online communities that can truly display the proud history which this one can, with such a remarkable story, and I hope that history will always be available to find online.
No farewell post would be complete without five important messages of thanks, so I hope you’ll bear with me. Firstly, to the many wonderful friends who I’ve met over the last nine years – I’m not sure where I’d be without you. Many of those friends have come and gone, and I’m still extremely curious about where the people who I knew all those years ago are now; there are names of friends like “Pinkypink363” or “euston” which I still recall, without a clue of what’s happened to them. As an only child, I’ve spent incalculable amounts of my time with online friends – and I’m extremely fortunate to still have some truly amazing friends, and to have some lovely shared memories to smile back on.
Secondly, to the incredible people and teams who have made the Club Penguin experience possible. That includes everyone who worked on the original game, from those in Support who put up with my incredibly annoying emails when I was younger (!) to the countless people needed to make the content which we all enjoyed. I still have a card on my wall filled with the signatures of the team in Kelowna, and it never fails to remind me how much the team went above and beyond anything they were ever paid for. There are very few other Support teams out there who would try to actively create a conversation with those emailing them. If you have a couple of minutes and haven’t seen it already, this Ted Talk by Lane Merrifield (Billybob) will not fail in conveying just how incredible those folks were.
That thanks extends to those who worked to ensure we could continue our experience, even after the Club Penguin franchise officially ended – we may have had our disputes, but your dedication and commitment has always been commendable.
Thirdly, while I’ve been the sole blogger on Club Penguin Mountains for well over half a decade, there were several who worked alongside me when I was just starting out. The two who really come to mind are Nathan76877 and C0mputerguy, but I’m grateful to all of you for your assistance – wherever you are now. That thanks definitely extends to the people who have helped update the Mascot Trackers over the last year, whose help have all been invaluable – both to me and the community.
Fourthly, perhaps the people who are most overlooked by bloggers, to the incredible WordPress team behind the software which powers this blog and literally thousands of Club Penguin blogs in the past. I’ve had the privilege of coding alongside some of them over the last few years, and they truly are the unsung heroes of the Club Penguin blogging community. There’s something incredible about the fact that I could launch a blog at the age of nine with barely no digital experience, and the people who made that possible aren’t given nearly enough credit.
Lastly, to you. The stats tell me that 1.79 million people have viewed this blog in over 175 regions, with over 16.4 million views. It’s impossible to compute those statistics, but I want to thank you. The fact that you’ve chosen to spend your time reading this blog is such an incredible privilege that I have been deeply touched by. It sometimes feels a little surreal that people would choose to read the random and silly things which I write online! I hope that you’ve enjoyed doing so, whether you’ve found this blog helpful for something related to in-game content or just checked it routinely to see what’s going on. I will miss blogging greatly. From reading all your comments, tweets and emails to figuring out the updates so I can share them with you, it’s been a bit of a routine that losing will take some time getting used to! I’ll the miss small things too, like writing a post at the turn of the New Year or packaging merchandise for giveaways. But I’m always acutely conscious that none of this would have ever been possible without the incredible support of the community, and for that, I am more grateful than you may ever know – or may even believe.
If you are hoping to continue your Club Penguin journey on different servers, I hope that you’ll consider the safety tips which have been on the sidebar for a while. I wrote them almost half a decade ago, but they are as relevant now as they were then:
- Always use a different password for each of the accounts you own
- Consider having an email that does not give away personal information and use that to sign up on different servers
- Ensure you are on the correct URL/website of the game which you want to play
- Avoid servers which are run by a bad team
For me, although this marks the end of my journey with Club Penguin blogging, I’ve been really fortunate to have learnt so much from this experience. I’m not naive enough to think that any of my future projects or works will ever gain nearly as much attention as this blog, but it has taught me much from writing to coding; the other website which I created, the Latin Vocabulary Tester, simply would never have been possible without the skills that I picked up on this journey. The next month will see me attempt some challenging public exams, but if all goes well, I’ll hopefully be going to university to study Politics and International Relations later in the year. I’m still not sure at all what I hope to do in life, but I’d like to think that the things which I’ve learnt on this journey will make them easier. I’m sad that Club Penguin won’t still be the constant throughout any future experience, given that it’s been there throughout when I’ve switched schools and even countries, but it’s provided me the opportunity to learn and try so many wonderful things.
The one other thing which I’d like to say is that, although this marks the end of new posts on this blog, I will always try to be around. Please always feel free to reach out, whether that be through the comments section below (I’ll keep notifications on for this blog!) or through sending a message via email or Twitter. I hope that I’ve been accessible throughout, and I’d like to continue to be. And just in case there ever will be a new post published here – perhaps a personal update every now and then – feel free to subscribe via email as well.
I don’t think it’ll ever be possible to truly convey the magic of Club Penguin: the sheer joy of logging on for a new update when you were younger and being greeted by a beautiful soundtrack; the memories of meet-ups with mascots and moderators, scrambling to receive a postcard in the frenzy; the anticipation and excitement for an event as sneak peeks were released. Club Penguin is special. The countless articles about the game’s closure shows that the world knows it. In the bottom of our hearts, we know it too. We are the greatest community online.
So it has been a privilege and an honour to have played a small part in that magical story. There probably is no perfect way to finish this, but I’m going to end with the quote that appeared when the Iceberg tipped for the first time at the Waddle On Party back in 2017. I think that it encapsulates everything that was so special about Club Penguin: the tangible difference made by Coins for Change which funded 50+ schools and 40+ libraries, the iconic backstory behind tipping the Iceberg, and the community that formed when so many doubted the project all those years ago.
Together we can build a community, change the world…and even tip an Iceberg. Waddle on.
I’ve been truly very blessed to have had the most phenomenal audience, and I wish every single one of you the best, long into the future. I hope that you’ll fulfil your dreams and ambitions, no matter how big or how small, and maybe – just maybe – this little snowy world may play a small part in helping you do so. Above all, I hope the future ahead will be filled with joy for you. There will undoubtedly be difficult times, but I hope you’ll be able to overcome them. Take care. I’m eternally grateful for your support. It’s been a blast.
Thank you, and for the last time after nearly nine years of blogging…
-Torres 126 (Aurorum)
Big up yourself, Torres, hope you’re doing well.
Thanks. 🙂 How you keeping?
Hello Torres, I hope you are well.
Recently the picture and name of cpr’s discord server changed. The new name is: “Discord will be open with more news shared soon on new things”. Possibly it is a christmas miracle, what do you think?
Hi! I hope that you’re keeping well too. The team have previously said that they are working on a new horror game, which I imagine could be discussed more soon. However, it will be substantially different from Club Penguin Rewritten, I’m afraid.
Thank you so much! I started playing club penguin in 2006 when I was in 1st grade. The game has always had a special place in my heart. I spent a lot of my childhood playing that game after school. I have grown up with the game for nearly all of my life. I am now 22 years old, graduated from university this year, and have moved to South Korea. There are times when I find myself thinking about the game and the happy memories I have from playing it. I was wondering if there have been any updates on the game since I last played, so I came to check out your blog. Your last post truly captured all of the feelings that long-time players have for this game and community. Thank you for all of your updates. Wishing you and all CP players the very best.
That sounds like a great story, and I hope that life in South Korea has been treating you well! I totally share your feelings of nostalgia, and I wish you all the best too. Thanks for the lovely comment, and Merry Christmas! 🙂
If you get the chance, Google Prince Purple Rain Syracuse Dome 1985. You will never be the same. There’s Hendrix. There’s Page. But on that night, it is as if God took the reins. It might be the greatest guitar performance ever.
Merry Christmas, Torres.
It’s a stunning performance. Truly incredible – he was an amazing artist. Merry Christmas to you too, and best wishes for the new year! Hope you’ve been well. 🙂
Am i hallucinating or there was a blog post about you missing posting on this blog? Possibly a dream or something
I’m afraid it was probably a dream. I do miss posting on this blog a lot! But I haven’t written a new post since this one – this feels like a ‘fitting’ final post, if that makes sense.
Wow, sad that the comments are dead but hello! Maybe it will be the only comment this Jan. sadly😶🌫
I suppose a lot of people no longer check this blog, but it’s nice to still see you around! How are you doing?
Not too bad yeah?
Glad to hear! 🙂
Hi Torres 126, I hope you are doing well in 2023. I just have one question and it’s extremely random: How do you find catalog secrets? Anyways, thank you bringing back my memories with this blog post!
Hi! I hope that you’re doing well too. I miss blogging about Club Penguin a lot, but the one thing I don’t miss is trying to put together all the catalog secrets 😛 I’m afraid that there is no special trick – it is literally just a matter of hovering over each pixel, and seeing if your cursor changes. After a bit, you get better at picking up the sorts of locations where they might be hidden (it tends to be things like little dots). But it’s definitely easy to miss some, no matter how long you’ve been hunting them for!
Hey, I know I’m late, but I actually really respect the fact you’re still replying to comments. Thank you for everything, Torres!
Hi! I still love replying to comments – albeit I’m a little slower now, sorry! Thank you, and hope you’re keeping well. 🙂
Hey Torres! I hope things are going well for you this new year. I wanted to leave my thoughts about Club Penguin Rewritten closing, even though it’s been almost a year (which is really crazy to think about, I still remember first reading this post a little while after Rewritten shut down), and I also just wanted to share my general story about Club Penguin and its impact on my life.
(Coming back after writing this to say that this is very long, so don’t feel the need to read everything, haha!)
I forget how, exactly, but my older sister stumbled across Club Penguin when we were both a lot younger. I believe she was very excited since she was really interested in penguins at the time, and I was just curious to try it out, so we both made our accounts that evening.
I don’t have a lot of stories about friends I made on the original Club Penguin since I was a little kid with the Safe Chat setting on that I found too inconvenient to bother using, but my favourite part of the game was always the characters. I loved hearing about them in newspapers, and reading their dialogue at parties, and solving PSA missions with them. I even got to meet Rockhopper at one of the holiday parties. I don’t remember anything from meeting him except running around the house after, excitedly exclaiming “I met Rockhopper!!”
I even started making stories and comics about the mascots and the adventures I imagined they had. (Again, I was really little at the time, so they’re not the most well drawn.) I think I still have a lot of them in my filing cabinet somewhere. I also made several characters of my own. The most notable two were named Fluffy and Feathers. I recall Fluffy being one of the main secret agents, who was very outgoing, and Feathers was more of a newer penguin who was also in the agency but still curiously navigating the island.
Gary the Gadget Guy was my favourite character for almost as long as I can remember, and still is, though Rookie is a close second. I think a big part of why I loved the characters so much is because I related and still relate to a lot of them, especially those two. Gary was relatable in the sense that we’re both nerds with a lot of creativity and ideas (and I just really liked his character in general), and Rookie helped me a lot when I felt insecure about making a lot of mistakes that other people didn’t seem to, and feeling like I wasn’t the smartest because of that. They both taught me a lot of lessons that I still use a lot today, and they mean so much to me.
I think some of the most memorable parties for me were the holiday parties and Coins for Change, along with Operation: Crustacean. (Sort of hard to forget a party that lasted for so long! But it was fun to get abducted and receive a tinfoil hat.) I think my favourite memory is from one of the later prehistoric parties, because we were learning about dinosaurs in school at the time, and I managed to get my teacher’s permission for me to teach the class how to play Club Penguin for our science class that day.
Going forward a year or two, and we learned that Club Penguin was coming to a close. (My sister and I joined pretty late in the game’s life, probably around 2015 or so.) I remember sobbing because this game meant so much to me, and I didn’t want to leave everything behind. I didn’t want to leave giving penguins tours with the pre-made script, or the thrill of getting a membership from our nearby grocery store. I didn’t want to leave playing with my sister and real-life friends, or submitting questions to the newspaper in the hopes that Aunt Arctic would answer one. I didn’t want to leave some of the online friends I had managed to make, even though we never met more than once or twice, and I didn’t want to leave behind the characters that felt like friends too. I didn’t want to leave behind what felt kind of like a home.
But it inevitably closed. Friends said their last goodbyes, and mascots did too. We tipped over the iceberg, finally. We had one last party, and shared our last reminder to each other to waddle on. Things felt very melancholy after. Club Penguin faded from our computer’s ‘frequently visited’ tabs. Memberships disappeared from the nearby grocery store. Even with a sequel coming, it just wasn’t the same. It was hard to accept, but it was over.
I had decent hopes for Club Penguin Island, and decent hopes were still way too high. I’m just going to skip over that part. (Though it was still very sad when it closed too, I’ll admit. I cried, just…not as much.)
In 2020, I learned about private servers. Curious, I searched up Club Penguin Rewritten, and I can’t even describe how happy I was to find a recreation of the game I still loved years later. I was crying a bit from joy. Joining Rewritten and revisiting all the old places and mini games and reading about my favourite characters again was amazing. It felt like moving back to a sort of home, and it kind of was, in a way.
Without the Safe Chat feature, and with a better knowledge of online communication that I didn’t have as a little kid, I made many more online friends in Rewritten. I specifically want to talk about three friends I had. I forget their full usernames, but their (online) names were Arpy, Falcon, and Ducky. Whenever we were all online, we would roleplay a sort of reverse EPF, where we’d do our best to aid Herbert, because all he ever really wanted was a place that was warm and quiet. We’d make plans to take on the EPF, and one of us would occasionally dress up as Herbert and pretend he’d come by for a visit or something. I accidentally ate his pizza once. I think I didn’t manage to meet Falcon and Ducky as often after a while, and we more just became ‘stop by and say hi if we happen to be on the same server’ friends, but Arpy and I still roleplayed together for a while after. Anyways, if any of them happen to be reading this by some chance, I miss you guys. Hope you’re all doing well.
And then Rewritten closed, and oddly, I want to say it hurt just as much as Club Penguin closing, maybe even more. I’d made real connections on Rewritten. While there was a lot that I missed (I still wonder what Blackout was like), there’s a lot of memories that stick. I got to make friends that I had fun with regularly. I got to meet Gary at the Halloween 2020 party! Couldn’t have done it without your tracker. I made orders and took orders at the Pizza Parlour, and I loved participating in fashion shows penguins hosted at their igloos. I had fun beta testing Rewritten as it transitioned to HTML. One of the most memorable is meeting you, though, at one of your visits during one of the holiday parties. I remember making a big circle at the Ski Village with other penguins waiting to greet you, and visiting different penguin’s igloos together. I even got a postcard from you! Thank you again for it. Thank you in general, not for just the postcard, but for this blog and all the time you put into it. I always enjoyed reading your blog posts since 2020, and I’ve left a couple anonymous comments over time. Your blog is just as great as an environment as Rewritten, in the sense that people get to bond over their love for such a special game. Thank you for making helpful guides and trackers, and taking the time to respond to comments. This blog means a lot to me, and so do you.
Well, I think that’s pretty much everything. I have a lot of stories and thoughts still, but I think they could fill a novel. Club Penguin still lives on for me. I still reread my old Club Penguin books. I’ve started sort of a collection, actually. I’ve been very passionate about this game for almost eight years now! It has a very big place in my heart, to say the least.
I still think about the characters a lot. I haven’t forgotten about my own Club Penguin characters, either. I’m happy to say that Fluffy and Feathers are still around, along with a couple newer friends! I’ve considered the idea of making a Club Penguin online comic series about both the original characters and my own. It would be fun to work on, and it’d be something nice to share with the community. I’ll let you know if that idea ever becomes reality.
Thank you, again, for everything you put into this blog. I’m so appreciative of everything the community and creators have done for this game. All of it means so much. Over the years, I’ve grown to love Club Penguin more and more. It truly is a big part of my childhood and my life.
And as they always say…
Waddle on. <3
Hi! Firstly, I’m very sorry for the extent of time that it has taken me to approve this comment. I think my notifications for comments broke, and as you can imagine, I haven’t really checked this blog’s dashboard much lately! That being said, I did read your comment in full and I wanted to say how beautifully it was worded. I love that Club Penguin has given you so many memories, and I’m grateful to contribute a small part in that. The memories which you touch on (indeed, who could forget the length of Operation Crustacean?!) are really sweet, and it sounds like Club Penguin was a source of much creativity, joy and friendship for you. I hope that the penguins who you mention do see this as well! It’s been strange knowing that the game isn’t around like it once was, and like you, I’ve definitely noticed the way it fades from your “Frequently Visited” too. But at the same time, I’m sure it’s a lot of comfort to everyone involved in it that there have been so many wonderful moments, like the ones you mentioned, which stemmed from a little snowy island. I hope that you’re keeping well, and I wish you the best of luck if you start the comic series which you’re thinking about – let me know how it goes! Take care, and waddle on! 🙂
so sad everyone on news twitter everything no sign of coming back 🙁
Hi Torres how are you doing? Also have you thought about doing any remakes of club penguin yet?
Hi! I’ve been well, thank you – university has been keeping me busy, but my term has ended now! How are you doing? I’m afraid that I still can’t see myself blogging about any other remakes for some of the reasons which I’ve mentioned before. I think that the way many of them have closed recently shows that none of the remakes would ever have the relative stability that Club Penguin Rewritten offered for many years.
Hey Torres. I haven’t spoken to you in a bit and it’s almost been a year since Club Penguin Rewritten has shut down. How’s life?
Hey! It’s amazing that it’s almost been a year – it sometimes feels like just yesterday when I was writing this post, and I still vividly remember publishing it. I’ve been mostly well (if not a little busy and stressed from university!) though, thank you. How have you been doing? 🙂
Glad to hear! I’m doing great nowadays. It’s almost been a year since Club Penguin Rewritten. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year. Now and then I find my little brother playing another CPPS called Club Penguin Legacy and it brings back so many memories. Sorry again for not being in touch for a bit. Hope to be a little more consistent.
Today has been a year…still can’t believe it! I feel like everything since then is similar and yet so very different at the same time – it’s very strange still being able to remember a specific day so vividly like that. Glad to hear that you and your brother are still enjoying one form of Club Penguin though, and send him my best! 🙂