What led you to speedrun Zelda in particular?
Ocarina of Time felt magical as a kid, so there was nostalgia with the game. I was into glitches and gaming feats for a long time, going all the way back to the 90s. I kept up with some of the ancient OoT speedruns that TSA did back in 2004/2005. In 2006 though, Kazooie, Acryte, and others started to find some substantial sequence breaks and ended up doing things that were mind blowing back then, like Shadow Early, and Trials Skip. I was enveloped and eventually in 2007 I ended up finding Forest Escape, which was my first contribution. I went on to research the Bottle Adventure glitch and start ZeldaSpeedRuns. Eventually this all grew into a live stream. Part of the quest was seeing how broken the game could get, and it has surprised me again and again.
The other Zelda game that I got into speedrunning was The Wind Waker, which just felt like this big adventure, and it really was. Some of the best moments I’ve had streaming were from speedrunning The Wind Waker. Looking forward with Breath of the Wild, I’d like to regain that sort of feeling of grand adventure. There’s something really special there.
If you could be any Zelda character who would you be?
Are you more Courage, Power or Wisdom?
What are your thoughts on Breath of the Wild?
It looks like it will be the best Zelda game thus far. I do not expect to be disappointed despite the large amount of hype. I want to do everything in this game! The physics system seems really cool and might lead to amazing things. I love the paraglider and the shield surfing, the different rune powers, the weapons. I know some people seem concerned with weapons breaking. I’m not, I’m definitely ready for whatever challenge that may bring. I look forward to the DLC stuff added later, and of course, exploring the massive world, the shrines, and the dungeons.
I also love that this game seems to break away from the more linear style that Zelda has been slowly turning into, it really feels like a pivotal game in the series.
Do you have any plans to speedrun Breath of the Wild when it’s released?
Very likely! I plan on streaming the game daily, starting on the game’s release, March 3rd. Before fully committing to the idea of speedrunning it though, of course I want to learn a lot about it and figure out what part of it interests me most.
There was news about there being at least two different endings in Breath of the Wild. I’m curious as to the conditions that need to be met to achieve each ending.
I’m also curious about what the DLC Hard mode is like, what the Cave of Trials is like exactly, and really everything else that can be accomplished within the game. I’m also curious if Nintendo is attempting to include an in-game timer or if that will just remain as something outside of the game.
In Ocarina of Time we used to have puzzles where you had to accomplish something very tricky, and it required a lot of game knowledge. I wonder if something like that may evolve out of this game, too. Or just different type of challenges. Another thing we came up with is Bingo racing, which gives you a sheet of random goals to accomplish. I think there’s a lot of things to potentially be done.
Of course, I think there is also a lot of potential for classical speedrunning.
Who is your favorite Paper Mario partner?
Bombette, Watt, and Vivian, in no particular order.
What is the best controller of all time?
I used to say GameCube, but with wrist issues I can’t really vouch for it anymore. I don’t truly have an answer at this point. Oh, I will say that the iQue Player was more comfortable for me than I expected.
What makes a game enjoyable? Has your perspective of games changed?
I feel like I play few games nowadays, but the ones I do play, I sink a lot of time into. I guess I’m a bit picky, because I want there to be a lot of room for replayability and allowing players to feel more autonomous instead of just going through the motions. Smash is great about this because you can develop your skill and knowledge for a long time, and there are so many characters. Mario Maker has the level editor which gives a huge amount of replayability and freedom. Breath of the Wild excites me because of the scope and how open it seems.
There are some games that are more classic that I do enjoy, but lately the trend for me has been along the lines of freedom and replayability.
You stated in a Kotaku interview from 2016 that you would like to make a video game. Have you made any progress on it?
Yes! Lots of progress actually, but still a long way from really feeling comfortable saying anything more. The project is on hold for now because Breath of the Wild is becoming my new focus.
What are your thoughts on the Switch?
The concept of combining the handheld library with the console library appeals to me. I very rarely streamed handheld games, and streaming and gaming have become synonymous for me over time. Most of the time I would just play the handheld games at home anyway, so the ability to throw it on my gaming monitor is really cool. Obviously there are downsides in terms of power, so we get lower specs than some of the other dedicated home consoles, but Nintendo frequently delivers experiences that I can’t find elsewhere.
For the launch lineup I don’t expect to care about much other than Breath of the Wild though. That’s okay, I just hope to see Smash eventually and F-Zero please! I understand those who can’t justify buying the Switch on launch, but I think things will be a lot better than the Wii U overall. The Wii U feels like this weird in-between device that never really found its place.
I did get my money’s worth out of the Wii U though. Smash alone did that, plus Twilight Princess HD and Super Mario Maker.
There was some interview with Tatsumi Kimishima, who talked about Nintendo potentially not being done with dedicated handheld devices. This strikes me as really, really weird and not something I would want as a Nintendo fan. With the Switch, it feels like there’s an opportunity for unification and I wouldn’t want to see that squandered. Not to mention, Nintendo has also moved into mobile. I don’t see much of a place for another handheld, so I hope they don’t do that.
You’ve dealt with an incredible amount of abuse and trolls. How have you fought against them? At one point, you deleted your Twitch Account due to the trolls. What gave you the courage to come back?
I try to not let trolls run rampant on my stream or discord or whatnot, but I do find myself seeking out the negative things people say about me. I’ve been addicted to that. I think it has hurt me but maybe also strengthened me. I allow myself to feel the negativity, and then I vent my feelings. This creates a sort of feedback loop where I receive more negativity for venting. It kind of creates this whole whirlwind of response and emotion. Part of it is playing with the human ego, but I definitely got wrapped up in that a lot.
With the release of Breath of the Wild, though, I want to separate from that more, because after a long, long time, it finally feels like I have something to do that I feel passionate about, that other people could enjoy. And maybe all this negativity can fall into the background and not be so in the forefront of what I do. I hope that is the case.
Part of coming back to Twitch was actually them opening up the platform to allow vlogging and misc streaming. This has allowed me to have the autonomy I seek in the moments where I am not able to play a lot of games.
Where do you see yourself and your platform in ten years?
I call myself a fledgling seer, but I don’t really have an answer to that. It’s too far away, and the world is moving too fast.
Huge thanks to Narcissa Wright for agreeing to do this interview with us.
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