The GameFAQs Archive, often abbreviated to the GFA, is an external website; created, owned and operated by Roaddhogg. The site was originally established in March 2003, following a seemingly-permanent cessation of updates on the first recognised archive site of its kind, ColdFusion's Nostalgia Project. The format of the GameFAQs Archive closely follows its predecessor's: that of a repository, designed in the style of GameFAQs' "Classic" view, built upon a large database of saved interesting, humourous and noteworthy topics, messages, and miscellaneous GameFAQs pages, which would otherwise be permanently deleted by the purge. The GFA is generally considered to be the largest archive pertaining to GameFAQs messages on the Internet; containing, as of August 2007, approximately 2500 archived files.
Much like the Nostalgia Project, the GameFAQs Archive's content is primarily comprised of user-submitted files in the form of HTML pages and image screen captures. Initially, the GFA existed as a series of static HTML pages on Roaddhogg's home server; user submissions were made by emailing pages directly to the creator's inbox, and updates were sporadic. In late 2003, the Nostalgia Project was removed by free webspace provider Angelfire, on whose servers it was hosted, for alleged "copyright infringement".
The GFA's popularity began to grow in late 2003 and early 2004, as GameFAQs users became increasingly aware of the site's only major preservation spinoff remaining in existence at the time, through discussion on mainstream social boards such as Current Events. Consequently, user submissions also began to grow, which became time-consuming, and often problematic, for Roaddhogg to process and add manually to the website. As a result, a semi-automated PHP/MySQL system was created over the course of the next several months, in order to make the submission and processing of files similar to that of the contribution system implemented by GameFAQs.
The design and construction of the database and website were completed in July 2004, a month which coincided with Twisted Legacy veteran Insder offering to host the project on more stable and reliable servers than those previously used. The new GameFAQs Archive site was officially opened to the public on 1st August 2004; its popularity peaked over the course of the next few months, receiving 200,000 unique visitors by December. Between December 2004 and March 2005, the GFA received, on average, 75 unique user submissions a day, which despite the semi-automated system, became difficult to manage efficiently.
In April 2005, the GFA became temporarily banned from being linked to from GameFAQs, as the Archive stored a number of account suicides containing links to pornography and warez; considered illegal by the message boards' Terms of Service. As a result, all account suicides were removed from the database, which had previously accounted for a significant proportion of the site's traffic.
As a result, along with the lack of contribution queue management, 2005 and 2006 largely saw the decline of the GFA. In June 2006, Insder completed the transfer of his domain name to a separate hosting account; effectively preventing the GFA from being accessed by the public.
In October 2006, Roaddhogg announced on Current Events that he planned to reopen the Archive at some point in the New Year. The GameFAQs Archive was officially reopened on 13th January 2007; despite an initial influx of submissions and activity, Roaddhogg fell behind on processing the files queue once again. In August, the GFA underwent a coding transformation, which included the introduction of a user account system and advanced administrative options. The queue was processed of its 385 outstanding submissions, and the site was relaunched on August 8th, 2007.