Let's face it: the internet is a very fickle place. What's here today could easily be gone tomorrow with the flip of a switch. On a smaller scale, that switch is expected to flip eventually. Products become obsolete, companies go out of business, or for whatever reason traffic dies and leaves behind an empty wasteland of information that's good for nothing but racking up server bills. However, in the past couple of decades a few relics of an era gone by have managed to slip through the cracks and remain online, presumably tucked away in a forgotten folder on some shared server hosting multiple other sites of more present importance. It's long been known that the original Space Jam promotional website is still around (and serving as a living reminder of how hideous '90s internet could be), but a more recent find may be even more impressive.
Yes, the European promotional site for Final Fantasy VIII is still alive and kicking, Squaresoft logo and all. Even more impressive? It still has a top-level domain, www.final-fantasyviii.com, indicating it was either registered for a very long time back in the day or someone has been regularly paying the bills to this day to keep someone else from snatching it up--nevermind that 'final-fantasyviii' is about the most awkward possible domain name for the game anyhow.
Awkward naming conventions aside, however, the site holds up surprisingly well for being sixteen years old. On the whole the design still feels elegant by modern standards, and there are lots of nice little touches that really make the site feel like a product of Final Fantasy, not the other way around. Of course, it's been a good long while since I last encountered a site asking whether to view the HTML-only version or the Flash-enabled version--which, by the way, requires Macromedia Flash IV or better. Yes, Macromedia--Adobe didn't acquire Flash until 2005. But even more entertaining is the number of inactive buttons on the site still bearing a 'coming soon' notice. Not much has changed for Square Enix, has it?
It's a fun little blast from the past, complete with game information, character bios, screenshots, and even a screensaver which incredibly is still downloadable at a blazing 1.5Mbps, though it won't work on your PC. There's also an advertisement for a Final Fantasy VIII contest, but sadly it appears to have ended. The winners will be announced 'soon' though, so keep your eyes open for that.