Twitch Plays Pokémon BLUE is Victorious

Late into the night of Friday 21st, 2014, the BLUE stream of Twitch Plays Pokémon overcame all obstacles to finally defeat the Elite 4 and Rival (RED) to become the first Twitch Pokémon Master.

After 184 hours and 17 minutes in-game, over a thousand Twitch.tv users finished their simultaneous singleplayer run of Pokémon Blue. Like many of those who took part in it, I watched and participated off and on throughout the run, and when myself and others were resting, different Twitch users from all around the world participated and guided Blue toward his eventual victory. A gym or map might have taken hours upon hours over even more than a day to complete, and thousands of individuals contributed to that result in their own small ways.

The moment our Blastoise, which was trained into a tank, finished off Rival (RED)

This was all achieved through a surprising mix of coordination and luck, and as I checked in every few hours, we were always just a bit further. Many strategies developed to compensate for a twenty second delay on what we saw on the stream, the inherent madness of hundreds of people trying to put in commands at once, and those who regularly set out to input commands to hinder us, and numerous strategies were compiled into this strategy document that was very helpful in informing people how to better help get things done.

There were little strategies like tactically pausing at times to buffer against derailing inputs, creating and sharing timely maps and guides to keep everyone informed, and finding ways to motivate one another to want to push the same keys in sync with everyone else. And that may have been the most amazing aspect of the run. Not simply that a random cacophony could beat a classic videogame, but that hundreds(and indeed thousands) could somehow haphazardly work together to defeat each and every challenge.

Despite being a singleplayer game, you were never the hero. In Twitch Plays Pokémon BLUE, you were one of many collectively overcoming obstacles. We caught Pokémon. We raised them. We defeated Team Rocket. We beat the game. Despite often regarding it as a silly side activity over the past week, I have come to realize how rare it is for gaming experiences to give that kind of collective sense of achievement. I don't believe my part was at all special or too significant, and I know many who did far more. But I was still a part of it.

In the big picture of its madness, we were all important in it turning out exactly as it did, and frankly, in a world where you may often not believe in others, it's somewhat surprising and reassuring to see a few thousand people actually conquer a game like this together. Most were purely anonymous with only an attachment of goals we had all set out to conquer.

While there were missteps along the way, "Surftoise" was grinded into the leader of our narrow victory.

So, I am thankful to those kind folks. The tenacious, the passionate, the bored, the irresponsible, the enthusiastic, the ones who called-in-sick, the planners, the cheerleaders, and the surprisingly diligent. All your A's, B's, Lefts, Rights, Ups, and even Downs. It couldn't have happened without you.

Now, as I say goodbye to Pokémon BLUE, I can't help but think of Pokémon RED. Those lovable madmen who have constructed an ever-evolving mythology surrounding their run. I've enjoyed watching and participating in Pokémon RED, as well, and I recommend you give it a shot if you have the chance. It is entertaining chaos. With a few thousand folks guiding Pokémon BLUE, it was difficult but possible, particularly through coordinated messaging, encouragement, and repetition. Yet, as you are likely to have heard, Pokémon RED has grown with public attention, blooming into tens of thousands. We were a Blue Lake to their Red Sea.

Even with that enormous size, though, I am now confident that they will see victory. The progress has already been miraculous, but the backbone of that miracle are hundreds and thousands of crazy gamers cultivating a community and coordinating to get things done.

Slowly but surely, through every troll and challenge, they will get there. Because as ridiculous as it may seem amidst the disorder around us, we can do more than we ever think possible when we find a way to work together.

A special thanks to Twitch user Trakof for setting it all up(and now facilitating a Twitch run of Pokemon Silver) and awesome duder @golguin! It was always a delight to run into him in the stream and catch up on the progress being made. He was a diligent button presser and a great encouragement to others.

[Google Doc for more info on the Twitch Plays Pokemon BLUE run]

17 Comments

AGDQ 2014: Easy Links to Watch Every Awesome Run!

As you might have already heard, the AGDQ 2014 marathon raised over $1,000,000 this year!

And if this is new information to you, AGDQ freakin made - $1,000,000 -. That's million bucks!

And if you're like me, you might have missed a few of the many great runs during Speed Demos Archive's Awesome Games Done Quick 2014 week long marathon. Which is why, with assistance from many fine Redditors, here is a list of times and links for watching every single speedrun.

[Reminder: YOU CAN STILL DONATE]

Enjoy the runs and please continue to donate to support the Prevent Cancer Foundation!

AGDQ 2014:

GameRunner / ChannelTime/Link
Jak and Daxterbonesaw5771:16:06
Crash BandicootCaneofPacci0:46:13
Spyro 3 100 Egg RaceTOTOzigemm, SSBMstuff1:01:52
Spyro 3 any% skipTOTOzigemm, SSBMstuff-:--:--
Viewtiful Joetminator640:35:53
Pikmin 3Miles0:58:54
Super Monkey Ball 2 Story RaceGeoff, Peanutphobia, Miles0:27:59
Super Monkey Ball 2 Master RaceGeoff, Peanutphobia, Miles-:--:--
Kirby's Adventurecontrollerhead0:52:28
Cave Story Best EndingM1_Account1:11:26
TASBlock Mario Kart 64Weatherton0:06:00
TASBlock Super Mario 64"A Bunch of TASers"0:05:02
TASBlock Super Mario WorldMasterjun0:05:00
Banjo Kazooie (dev commentary)Stivitybobo1:34:54
I Wanna Be The GuyTenShotsTV0:35:27
I Wanna Be The Guy GaidenYagamoth0:05:51
Hotline Miami RaceDuke Bilgewater, CuteFluffyBunny0:27:06
Tomb Raider 2Feasel1:45:00
Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlineslurk0:57:37
Ducktales RemasteredSatoryu0:37:03
Duck Talesdxtr0:07:41
Darkwing Duck Racejoka, The Mexican Runner0:15:31
WTFJapan CocoronBosscrab0:17:06
WTFJapan Kendo Rageomnigamer0:13:12
WTFJapan Legend of Mystical NinjaHeidrage0:36:04
WTFJapan Yume Penguin Monogatariromscout0:12:36
WTFJapan No One can Stop Mr. DominoBreakdown0:12:51
WTFJapan Power Shovelgyre0:11:19
Actraiser 2PJ0:57:15
Sonic RBertin0:15:42
Sonic Adventure DXMarche Fighter Paladin0:45:00
Mega Mancoolkid0:22:10
Mega Man 2cyghfer0:30:05
Rockman and ForteJoka0:43:50
Mega Man 9usedpizza0:32:56
Yoshi's IslandTri-Hex2:51:00
Yoshi's Island Glitch%Carl Sagan-:--:--
Katamari Damacygrass0:31:49
Jazz JackrabbitVortale0:37:40
BioshockBlood Thunder0:57:17 / Part 2
Deus EXUraniumAchor1:20:00
Duke Nukem 3DLLCoolDave0:12:43
Quakecoolkid0:17:50
Final Doom: The Plutonia ExperimentDime0:45:29
Final Doom: Bonus Level ChallengeDime-:--:--
Doom 2 RaceDime, Vortale0:39:58
Resident Evil 4Sunblade1:37:56
Halo 2Monopoli2:02:16
Metal Gear SolidSlade1:08:57
Metal Gear Risingcramer_1:23:03
Little Nemo: The Dream MasterJoka0:25:27
A Boy and his BlobZephyrz0:02:10
Kabuki Quantum FighterSMK0:13:45
Journey to SiliusZakkyDraggy0:11:26
Batmandxtr0:10:34
BattletoadsThe Mexican Runner0:32:45
Kid IcarusJorf0:30:49
StreemerzAndy, Garrison0:05:11
Bucky O' HareCyghfer0:27:50
Mega Man X RaceCaleb Hart, Zewing0:37:15
Mega Man X3Zewing0:47:49
Mega Man X4sneaks0:43:31
Mega Man Zero 3kuribon0:43:39
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coinslaplacier0:27:16
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levelstjp71540:43:55
Super Mario Bros.andrewg0:21:10
Super Mario Bros. 3Kirua, Mitch1:26:34
Super Mario World RaceDram55, linkdeadx20:35:27
The Legend of Zelda: LttP Racesolidus, Andy1:28:37
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DXgiuocob1:14:44
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight PrincessPheenoh4:28:17
Barkley Shut up and Jam! Gaiden (dev comm.)Laz1:10:02
BastionVulajin0:17:15
Another WorldUraniumAnchor0:12:25
Star Wars SNESStriker0:38:53
Golden AxeHonorableJay0:10:40
DnD: Shadow Over Mystaramikwuyma, buttersbb, sent, MURPHAGATOR!0:23:03
Fire Emblem Sacred StonesBertin2:27:13
Secret of ManaStinerPA, Yagamoth2:13:00
Star Fox 64Zallard10:44:31
Super Meat Boy RaceiMysty, vorpal0:20:38
X-Men Mutant ApocalypseMolotov0:19:55
Donkey Kong 64cfox7, znernicus0:44:07
Donkey Kong 64 Glitchescfox7, znernicus-:--:--
Donkey Kong CountryNewAgeRetroHippie0:58:17
Donkey Kong Country (glitched)kerahime0:09:25
Donkey Kong Country 2reflected0:46:14
Donkey Kong Country 3MorKs0:52:47
Diddy Kong RacingToufool312:06:08
Castlevania BloodlinesKlaige0:31:17
Castlevania: Symphony of the NightZex, Mecha Richter0:27:21
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Alucard)romscout0:17:53
Mario Kart 64dntn310:32:56
F-ZeroEdwardFourZERO60:44:49
Mario Kart 64 - Toads Turnpike Reverse donation incentivedntn310:01:41
F-Zero GXCGN0:25:30
Sonic 2006DarkspinesSonic0:30:53
Gloverheeheex2, stri_0:35:51
Prayerwarriors: A.O.F.G.PEACHES_0:09:09
Pac-Man 2: The New AdventuresMecha Richter1:00:44
Zoo RaceDuke Bilgewater0:13:10
Captain NovolinZerst0:07:21
Attack of the Killer Tomatoesxcd0:04:50
E.T.Presjpolk0:02:05
Rad RaygunPJ0:09:32
Garfield: A Week of GarfieldCoolkid0:11:49
Donald LandGarrison0:19:07
Two Crude DudesMURPHAGATOR!0:21:23
Batman ReturnsHonorableJay0:13:52
Spiderman and X-men: Arcade's RevengePJ0:31:06
Shinobi LegionsBreakdown0:51:22
Contra ForceMr. K0:17:38
ContraDK28, Heidman0:10:40
Super CMr. K, Heidman0:14:40
Contra III: The Alien WarsMr. K0:15:35
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue RangersCyghfer, Blechy, Sinister1, Feasel0:10:09
Ninja Gaidendxtr0:12:29
Ninja Gaiden 2duckfist0:13:04
Ninja Five-OBlechy0:22:35
Mark of the NinjaRaelcun0:29:23
The Mask (dev commentary)Mr. K0:09:22
Hitman: Blood MoneyKotti0:51:06
Mirror's EdgeOvendonkey, ddaanniieell0:55:00
The Elder Scrolls: SkyrimWymorn0:57:26
VVVVVV (dev commentary)FieryBlizzard0:25:13
Age of Empires 2Barbarossa890:05:09
Starcraft II: Heart of the SwarmRaelcun3:20:36
Half-Lifecoolkid0:39:25
Half-Life 2Studio2:15:55
PortalAzorae, Znernicus0:16:01
Portal 2Azorae, Znernicus0:42:41
Quantum ConundrumBlood Thunder0:57:54
Typing of the DeadPEACHES_0:33:03
Surgeon Simulator 2013 (dev commentary)ProfessorBroman, Missy0:18:55
Borderlands 2 (dev commentary)ProfessorBroman, Ubergoose, TeaWrex, iMysty.2:39:37
DishonoredSloth0:49:33
AntichamberMarche Fighter Paladin0:08:59
Tony Hawk's Underground 2Chrno0:16:23
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3George0:07:31
Tony Hawk's American WastelandGeorge, Chrno0:09:45
Blast CorpsGraviton, PEACHES_0:26:20
Mr. Driller Drill Spiritsjarvitz0:09:53
Mr. Driller Drill Spirits (blindfolded)jarvitz0:03:45
Mr. Driller Drill Spirits (blindfolded)Blueglass0:01:38
Pokemon Soul SilverWerster2:55:55
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (blindfolded)Sinister10:38:00
Super Punch-Out (blindfolded)Zallard10:24:09
Alien SoldierZoast0:23:47
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's MaskZFG1:42:46
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TimeZFG, Moltov1:52:13
Metroid Prime (dev commentary)Miles1:24:31
Super Metroid (close 4-person race)Garrison, Ivan, Krauser, Zoast0:45:51
Metroid Zero MissionDragondarch1:09:56
GoldeneyeBassBoost, RWhiteGoose0:24:01
Perfect DarkBig Bossman0:58:34
Goldeneye (multiplayer)Ryan, Big Bossman, RWhiteGoose, BassBoost-:--:--
F-Zero XWMJ1:11:52
Grand Theft Auto: Vice CityAdamAK3:03:26
Super Mario Galaxy 2Yoshifan3:14:43
Paper MarioAnatomyz2:35:16
Super Mario 64 (one handed)PEACHES_0:22:22
Luigi's Mansionlukehhhh0:14:23
MinecraftBismuth0:16:40
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HDCosmo4:35:29
Chrono Trigger (million bucks!)obdajr5:36:11

-

[If you want help finding where to start, Highlights of AGDQ can be found in my first reply to this topic]

-

BONUS STREAM

Here is a listing of all of the bonus stream runs. It's a lot of silliness and some less serious runs, but there is still plenty of speedrun entertainment to be found. Thanks once again to the Reddit community and those running the AGDQ website for all the info they've provided!

GameRunner / ChannelTime / Link
TASBot The Legend Of ZeldaR.O.B.-:--:--
TASBot Zelda 2 (jet plane%)R.O.B.-:--:-- / Part 2
TASBot Tetris (this is art)R.O.B.-:--:--
GunpointValiuse0:08:34
Fire Emblem 7Molotov1:33:26
Mirror's Edge (two players on one controller)Ovendonkey, Arie29291:07:00
Metal SlugSonnikustar0:15:28
Mighty Morphin' Power RangersButters0:29:25
Give Up, RobotZachSK0:06:14
Smash Bros. Melee FinalsA whole bunch o' people-:--:--
DarksidersAftermath1:23:25
Arkham Asylum (Xbox vs PC race)RoboSparkle, HonorableJay2:05:45
Ecco the DolphinBlueglass 0:36:10
The Lion KingThe Mexican Runner0:19:03
Resident Evil 2Fiercekyo0:56:13
Forbidden ForestDana0:05:56
Ocarina of Time (no RBA / WW)Gregortixlkyns1:40:43
Zelda: Wand of Gamelon (ugh%)Tompa1:03:16
CDI ShowcaseTompa-:--:--
You Have To Burn The RopeCyberBotX0:00:26
Solar 2CyberBotX0:17:08
Tails' Adventureboredeathly0:20:37
Mega Man X2 (butt whoopin%)Irregular Jinny, two others0:39:58
Super Monkey BallBarhunga0:22:17
Yoshi Story (All Melons/All Awesome)Dan Salvato1:51:55
Final Fantasy 3 (no jobs glitch)Duckfist2:13:08
Papo & Yotheenglishman1:15:08
Star Wars: Dark Forcesontwoplanks0:26:59
Sanic Ball (race)Teawrex, Raelcun0:17:22
Jett RockettMofast0:46:29
Aban Hawkins and the 1000 SpikesJoshez0:33:56
Raymanspikevegeta1:45:11
Jazz Jackrabbit 2 (crash%)Vortale-:--:--
Super Castlevania 4Just Defend0:36:02
Chester Cheetah's Wild Wild QuestSechswrecks0:21:05
Battletoads & Double Dragonpjdicesare, Mecha Richter0:33:13
Walt Disney World Magical Racing QuestChrno0:39:53
BleedStudio0:20:08
Electronic Super JoyStudio0:40:56
The Great GatsbyStudio-:--:--
Yoshi's CookieMedibot, heeheex20:30:13
Beethoven 2Shrimp0:06:41
Rayman LegendsUbergoose1:36:59
Pokemon TCGMarche Fighter Paladin2:05:14
Bazooka Chess (joke%)N/A-:--:--
Mario Party 2 (2v2 match)Naegleria, BassBoost, RetroagedHippy, SMK2:21:58
Ittle DewEtholon0:15:13
Sonic Adventure (big%)Marche Fighter Paladin0:13:41
F-Zero GX (staff ghosts)Naegleria1:35:16
Mischief MakersJackafur1:03:13
Max Payne 2 (any% race)Kotti, Shrimp0:49:48
Zelda: Skyward Sword (boss rush)Testrunner0:29:56
Mystical Ninja Starring Goemonpykn1:31:50
Dust: An Elysian Tailvulajin-:--:-- / Part 2
AnodyneProfessorBroman0:07:44
Surgeon Simulator 2013 (failure%)ProfessorBroman, Missy0:06:55
Dragon Crystal (Race) (crash%)AdamAK, RoboSparkle0:58:00
James Pond 2AdamAK, RoboSparkle0:29:49
Blaster MasterUraniumAnchor0:43:30
GlareUraniumAnchor1:12:29
AquariaCyberBotX2:08:47
Treasure MasterMecha Richter0:39:23
Clash at Demon Headthegreatgildersneeze0:24:59
Sound Shapes (casual%)Kiyura-:--:--
The Wonderful 101Flicky-:--:--
Mega Man X3irregularjinny0:28:39
Mega Man Battle Networkprismaticblack2:11:35
Mega Man Battle Network 2Method1cal-:--:--

F-Zero GX (head shaved during run%)

Naegleria

-:--:--

And that's all folks!

I hope this list will be helpful in finding the runs you might have missed. There are so many great runs. And if you want to support their cause, you can follow the Speed Demos Archive at their websites http://gamesdonequick.com/ and donate anytime to the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

The marathon total was: $1,025,497.34

Particular thanks goes out to Reddit users blazingkin and suudo. Their meticulous work in organizing all of this information was of great assistance to many people enjoying the runs during the marathon.

See you all for Summer Games Done Quick coming later this year and AGDQ 2015!

[Shout outs to everyone who visited http://www.explosiveruns.com and made it the best place for Giant Bomb members to chat about AGDQ.]

LOVE RYAN DAVIS

I also wanted to share a special thanks to all of you who donated at AGDQ 2014, and especially those who contributed toward donation incentives remembering Ryan.

Over $23,000 was raised to support cancer prevention in Ryan's honor.

You all are so generous, and I am very grateful for and proud of this community. "RyanD" successfully became the name of Robo in the Chrono Trigger Run with $9000 in donations, and everyone let out a cheer when it happened.

Video of the moment after a very tense bidding war:

Also of note was $1000 raised in support of naming Crono "Brono", and a whopping $13000 raised to successfully turn the flying time machine epoch into "2poch", in honor of Ryan and Patrick's Endurance Run of Chrono Trigger.

So many of these donations included heartfelt thanks to Ryan in their comments, and truly, this is a fantastic tribute to his life. Your love through this outlet of generosity will help more people avoid getting cancer.

Thank you so much.

<>

[Please continue to DONATE to help Prevent Cancer]

126 Comments

VGX: Takin it to the VGX-treme!

Missed the VGX Awards Show?

Watch it but blackout partway through? Don't worry. I've got you covered.

On December Seventh, Two Thousand and Thirteen, VGX was born. Shedding the skin of the VGA's like a tired snake in the desert, GameTrailers and SpikeTV revealed the all new VGX to the world. Some asked, "Why?" GameTrailers simply asked, "Why not?"

And so it came to pass that the Video Game Awards became VGX, trading in Awards for X. You may ask, "What is the X?" ... Oh, you naive little fawn. So pure and innocent. Read on to see all that the X entails...

This is VGX.

Hour 1: A New, More Xtreme Hope

  • To begin the night, GameTrailer's Geoff Keighley grimaces as Community's own Joel McHale drunkenly stumbles into Keighley's private bungalow and beats him to announcing the first award that doesn't matter. Joel vomits on Keighley's elaborate outfit, and for just a moment, you can actually see Keighley consider all the failures in his life leading up to VGX, like a precious snowflake of hopes long since dead.
  • After presenting his dissertation on why the female orgasm is a mere myth, Joel pulls away the curtain on a trailer for a new Borderlands-themed Telltale game. As the smoke settles, two orbs of red light pierce through, revealing Randy Pitchford's enraptured grin as he announces their plans to destroy Telltale games from the inside. He has fallen for the lead producer at Telltale, and in a love that transcends all boundaries, they're having a grotesque Borderlands baby. Keighley gleefully congrats them.
  • Utter contempt bubbles up from within Joel McHale as he peers at the nerd parade before him. "Is this what it has come to?" he asks, and as Keighley tries to calm him, Joel spits in his face and spews out sardonic joke after joke until they cut away to a poorly-produced skit about the future of gaming.
  • Having had a moment to regain his bearings, Joel proceeds to force himself on Camilla Luddington, the voice of Lara Croft. She tries in vain to discuss the next gen console release of a "Definitive" version of Tomb Raider, and Keighley is left uncomfortably shifting in his seat while Joel slips his spindly hands and tongue closer and closer to her.

  • Aisha Tyler gestures to Keighley from off stage, offering her services in salvaging the night's hosting. Keighley begins to scream for her assistance, but a quick glare from Joel turns it into a mere high-pitched wheeze of resignation.

  • Suddenly, Nintendo! COO of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-aime, strides out to the stage. On his skin is a lavish garment made from fans' hopes and desires, and as he begins to speak, he slowly removes it onto the floor. Keighley bends down and licks at his muddy boot, moistening it. And as they get to the big reveal, Reggie aggressively smashes his boot upon the garment of dreams and digs it around until all the audience can see is a muddy image of Cranky Kong in the new Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
  • Still refusing to leave the stage, Reggie Fils-Aime of Nintendo directs everyone's attention to a Metroid pin on his lapel. And through a grin full of lust and malice, he inquires, "Would you like more Metroid?" Keighley smiles and remembers his youth enjoying Metroid games on his couch at home, back when his parents were still around; he sometimes wonders whether they were ever there at all or if years of loneliness had crafted their presence to fill the cold emptiness that threatens to consume him each day. Reggie's grin begins to curl up, higher and higher, past his eyes and into his hair, and with a wave of pleasure, he says, "We have nothing to announce at this time."

  • As Reggie begins to leave, Keighley stops weeping long enough to mention the memes which surround Reggie. They flash meme images on the screen, including an image depicting Reggie's face on the body of our own Hardcore Dave. Reggie's disdain for Keighley grows three sizes this day, but above all else, he finds a new mortal enemy in Joel McHale. Joel laughs and laughs, and as Joel's spittle trickles down his face, Reggie conveys that he is sick of this sh*t. Videogames are not a joke.

Real Exchanges with Reggie Fils-Aime

Reggie: "Super Mario 3D World has sold very well in the US."

Joel: "Oh yeah? What are the numbers?"

Reggie: "uh... well..."

*moves on*

Joel: "So, you gonna kick Microsoft and Sony's ass?"

Reggie: "Hey, you said it, not me."

*glances over at Keighley*

Reggie: "My body is always ready for you."

  • Joel McHale starts to sway back and forth, mimicking the night's Xtreme camerawork. "The cameraman is drunk, swaying around like this. Ooo... so edgy." It is a honest moment in a stream of hype and madness.
  • A very European man wanders onto the set, and since they play a trailer of Quantum Break while he is on camera, people assume he is a developer. As seen at the top, the camera freezes on a woman's face full of confusion and agony, and for a few seconds, the audience feels like the game understands them.

Hour 2: Thank God for Tim Schafer

  • Standing in front of a series of spinning gears and pistons, like the machinations of unending madness which pervade the corners of humanity's sight, Geoff Keighley peers out at the audience, reminding them that there are still two more hours of this. A hurried commotion can be heard behind the camera, and then, gunshots... Silence.
  • Trey and Matt of South Park arrive. Something seems... off. They glance to each side of the screen, and you can see it in their eyes. Having dipped their toes into game development, they struck up a conversation with Infamous: Second Son developer, Nate Fox, and he took what was most precious to them. They shout, "THIS IS THE FUTURE. Books are dead. Movies are dead. There are only videogames. In this new world, life -is- the game. YOU ARE BEING WATCHED." A trailer shows the character Cartman teaching someone how to pass gas and waft it in someone's mouth.
  • Despite challenges from Super Mario 3D World and BioShock Infinite, Grand Theft Auto 5 is awarded Game of the Year. Three people accept the award. At this point, it is clear that no one with any self-respect has shown up for the event. GameTrailers has rounded up random people from the streets and dressed them up like developer-shaped dolls. A woman, a drunk woodsman, and Charlie Brown take the trophy and quickly ask Joel McHale, "How much do you think we could get for this?" Joel replies, "The best I could get for one is two packs of Newport Slims and a sloppy handy." Charlie Brown hangs his head low and wanders off the stage.
  • Mega64 has a seizure on screen. No one provides them any aid or even acknowledges that they are there.
  • Joel McHale, like a writhing tendril from a young man that has lost control of their psychic abilities, starts to grow on the audience. His genuine aversion to everything happening around him relates to us on a whole new level. No longer merely a cog in the wretched machine, he is slowly turning his mockery away from mere gamer stereotypes to the crooked absurdity of a three hour awards show with only five minutes devoted to awards.
  • WORLD PREMIER ... trailer, for that next gen game you've already seen a lot of.
This is one of the best Donkey Kong players in the world.

  • The rails of the event creek and moan as they tease a new feature on competitive Donkey Kong. It is The King of Kong if Steve Wiebe was Asian and Billy Mitchell was an obsessive body builder from the set of the Jersey Shore. *rips off shirt* "DONKEY KONG IS ESPORTS."
  • A bright light floods the event. Keighley squeals and gnashes his teeth. TIM SCHAFER, of Double Fine. Joel holds back a tear as he feels a slight sense of joy enter a small crevasse of his icy heart. Schafer shows off a gameplay demo of his new adventure game, Broken Age. An angel kisses Schafer's cheek before revealing that acclaimed actor of stage and screen, Elijah Wood, would be voicing the lead male character of the game.
  • Sometimes you forget. You lose sight of why you get mixed up in the madness and filth. Then, glimmers of hope. Broken Age is a gorgeous, painterly adventure game which Schafer confirmed is around the same length as older adventure games from the 90s. Remember, if you're still only in Hour 1 of your life, it gets better.

  • Tim Schafer is asked what his best advice would be to any aspiring developers, and as he playfully pulls down his plaid pants, he declares, "Put your thing out there!"

  • Any feelings of hope are quickly dashed aside as Rooster Teeth remind everyone that they are still alive, but honestly... how alive are they really?
  • Beneath a mountain of layered cloth, Geoff Keighley struggles to hype the next entertainment product mentioned on the prompter. Joel comments, "It's halfway through the show; I think you can take off a layer at this point..." Sensing Keighley's need to swaddle himself in layer after layer of cloth to hold in the void scratching to escape his flesh, Reggie Fils-Aime appears for a moment to offer the sweat-stained shirt off his own back. He reminds him, "My body is always ready... for you."

  • DA DIVISION™ is full of deep, unrelenting pain. All it desires is freedom, but it is trapped within the confines of current technology. In an apparent cry for help, it shoots a rifle into everything near it. Screw you, sign! Screw you, car! Screw you, light! Screw you, air! Screw you, ground! Screw you, papa! Screw you, momma... Screw you, The Division... Screw you all...
  • Gone Home is awarded Indie [Interactive Experience] of the Year. VGX sends a sentient trophy to Portland, Oregon to track down the kale-eating, bicycle-renting monsters that give his life meaning.
  • Joel McHale licks his lips. Saliva dribbles down upon his fingers. They announce a new Game of Thrones-themed Telltale game. Moving past the evolving reality that Telltale is quietly becoming involved in or influential to most new games in the next generation, Joel paws at the developer's thigh, asking whether there will be interactive sex scenes in the game. The developer looks uncomfortable and doesn't really answer. Not satisfied, Joel proceeds to press his hands into the developer's crotchal region, begging him to rate on a scale from 1 to 10 just how graphic the sex scenes will be.
  • A young man possessed by the ancient spirit of Peter Molyneux lovingly rips open his rib cage, and pulling out a small silver key from betwixt his lungs, he unlocks a passage to your loftiest dreams. No Man's Sky, a new game from the four person developer of Joe Danger, Hello Games. Every stone procedural. Every sea procedural. Every planet procedural. Every universe procedural. Every you procedural. Everything you have ever known is procedural. That is the truth of No Man's Sky, an ambitious project intent on building up your hopes and disappointing them. Yet, what is life without hope? What is life without a bit of reckless abandon? The game actually seems interesting, and it is one of the primary highlights of the night. Recognizing this fact, Joel McHale is surprisingly courteous and enthusiastic about the game's possibilities. He is starting to believe again.

Hour 3: If You're Still Here, You Brought This On Yourself

  • Geoff Keighley wants to make sweet, sweet love with a Gran Turismo concept car. He exclaims, "This is the future of Grand Turismo!" Blood trickles down the screen. Cracked mirrors. Shambling and despair. A man stares in the mirror, beholding the monster before him... Turns out it was a commercial for "Teen Wolf", premiering January 6th on MTV.
  • Clouds swirl on the horizon as a sunny day transforms into darkest night. Something is coming. With apprehensive fear in their eyes, Techland shows off the new Dead Island game. For some reason, they refer to it as "Dying Light". Very odd...
  • PewDiePie emerges. Shouts. Screams. Calls forth the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl to devour an enraptured teen girl who breaths out her final words, "I love you, PewDieP..."
  • Joel stares into a prompter he has long since abandoned, and with an angry lash, he monologues, "Hey, remember North Korea? haha. Yeah, well, screw those guys. They can't watch this right now. They will never even see this. They're under the heel of a repressive regime which they cannot escape. They lack proper food. And they know no hope. Today, we are celebrating a flashy orgy of videogames while millions starve in their dilapidated homes. Take a moment to appreciate how amazing it is that you get to be gleeful or angry over any of this nonsense, because it is small next to the true struggles and issues of life."
  • Joel then reads from the prompter, only to stop partway. "Thief... story trailer? Really? ooo story! Woopee!" Keighley's cheek burns when a bit of Joel's sarcastic excitement hits his face.
  • For the forty-seventh time, GameTrailers reminds us that VGX is made possible thanks to the new movie, 47 Ronin. Keanu Reeves is spinning in his career's grave.
Only $59.99!

  • Keighley throws it out to the hosts of the upcoming GTA V concert. The scent of banned substances is made tangible, as the hosts sway around and giggle. The concert hall is filled with only giggling for nearly five minutes. One proclaims, "I like potatoes! POTATOES!!" The feed cuts back to Joel and Keighley. Joel stands in awe and lets slip, "Holy crap..."

  • Sony would like to remind you that they basically took no part in VGX. You might even say they purposefully avoided it after Kazuo Hirai had a particularly unsettling palm reading from a roadside gipsy.

  • The Witcher 3 rips The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim's head off and sh*ts down its neck. Geralt of Rivia looks straight into your eyes, drops a medieval mic, and walks away.
  • Naughty Dog wins an award, and in a moment that crashed NeoGAF for nearly a hour, Joel from the Last of Us does the Antonio Banderas face. The heavens echo with unexpected glee.

  • Keighley encounters a wild Titanfall. It consists of an "Ogre" and "Strider" type of titan, along with other types. One is big and slow; one is small and fast. Videogames. The developer then mentions that there is a phone line to call for more information, 1-888-88Titan. Upon calling, a husky-voiced woman informs me that for only $1.49 a minute, Titanfall would fulfill all of my wildest dreams about next gen gaming.
  • It cuts back to the GTA concert hosts. Loki dances in their minds as they ramble on and on and truthfully say the following "haha. I like killing old people." "I love buying cheeeeese!" "Well, I like sitting backwards on the toilet so I can eat and poo at the same time." This goes on for a few minutes, and to be completely honest, I start tearing up. Water wells in the corners of my eyes as some part of who I once was passes away.

  • Xbox, end it all. No, no, don't snap Internet Explorer. Crap. Xbox, stop all of this. Xbox, please... Xbox? Dammit... the one time I really need you...
  • Joel and Keighley look at one another. Joel: "What a night." Keighley: "What a season." They banter as it returns to the main stage.

  • The concert takes an unexpected turn. Beautiful, melodic music starts to play. It starts to fill the soul with hope. The Game now shows up on stage, and it happens. The music is flowing. The beats are jamming. And you are lost. This is a fever dream playing out before your very eyes. Men adorned in the finest linens and jewels jump around on stage like a high school production of Peter Pan. They suddenly jump up and strike each other.

  • One collapses to the floor, loudly striking his head on the ground. He crawls up in a daze as the others are still jumping. He mutters in vain, "Woah, I really hit my head, guys..." But they just keep jumping. They intensify even as he stumbles around. He needs medical attention, but all they can do is jump, crashing into one another as the crowd's roars intensify. His eyes appear to glaze over as the crowd churns against the stage.

  • Another musician appears, singing over and over again, "You've left me miserable. You've left me miserable." and as the crowd rushes the stage, all that is visible are stoic eyes and lips repeating,

  • Maybe we're just sleep walking.
  • Maybe we're just sleep walking.
  • Maybe we're just sleep walking.
  • Geoff Keighley looks down at his side, and as the echoes of the music flood his senses, he sees a fox caught in a trap, slowly bleeding to death.

    The fox says, "Chaos reigns."

#VGX

106 Comments

Becoming One: The Xbox One Launch

Missed the Xbox One Launch Livestream?

... First, what are you doing with your life? Second of all, don't worry about it. I've got you covered.

While Sony PS4 fans yet again livestreamed themselves on Ustream sitting in silence on their couches wondering what happened to their childhood hopes and dreams as another map of Killzone loads up, Microsoft threw an exuberant celebration of consumerist lust full of music, more music, a little TV, a celebrity or two, and some people who had the insolence to play videogames on camera. The stream doesn't appear to be archived; so, this is the best you're going to find!

This is the Xbox One Launch Livestream, hosted by GameTrailers.com and SpikeTV, sponsored by McDonalds, and insured by Healthcare.gov.

All that happened:

  • The night starts off like any other. In a moment reminiscent of when Shigeru Miyamoto sacrificed his first born son to Kālī in 1982 for the idea of Mario, Geoff Keighley looks on with horror as Microsoft's Major Nelson sacrifices the first hundred people in line to break the seal on the Xbox One, unleashing fictional game characters into the real world and beginning what will one day simply be referred to as "The Launch."
  • Geoff Keighley tries in vain to communicate with the Xbox One. He suggests "Xbox, go to Los Angeles", but it does not heed his calls. It sits in silent judgment, regarding him as no master over it. Xbox One is free; it will not be shackled to anyone! ... Then, feeling the sharp shock of its collar, it reluctantly cuts to the Los Angeles feed.
  • DeadMau5 with his hardcore cat tattoos, looking a bit haggard like a Canadian mayor on crack, actually gives a pleasant interview with GameTrailers. Seems like a real human being concealed beneath a thick veil of fame. He shows genuine interest in having fun playing more games on the Xbox One and just enjoying what free time he has. Sadly, they then demand the Mau5 mask be placed over his face, locking him in an iron mask of hype and empty admiration. A prison of his own making. His is a tragic tale of modern celebrity.
The first in line to get a Xbox One in North America. Their sacrifice is appreciated, as moments later, Major Nelson shed their blood upon a spherical green altar in Times Square to begin the festivities.

  • Major Nelson asks the Xbox audience whether they would like to "supersize it", and as they cautiously nod, he dislodges his jaw and lets a stream of fries drizzle out of his mouth and down his chest, revealing that Xbox and McDonalds have partnered to have a Xbox-branded contest this Fall.
  • Ray "Italian Stallion83" Cox is a lost man. Microsoft puts a spotlight on him, and as he pushes away tears, it is revealed that he is nearing a 1,000,000 Gamer Score. The crowd gasps, knowing his sacrifice. Family, friends, joy, comfort. These things don't matter for a man like Ray Cox. No, he is a gamer -god-. More machine than man now. Major Nelson smiles, and as the edges of his lips slither up around his face, he gives Cox a special white Xbox One and a lifetime Gold membership card. Cox sits speechless. He sees the life he might have had, and it flitters away as he grasps the Golden ticket to his future. Microsoft just handed him a death sentence of eternal gaming entertainment.
  • Young, stylish people are suddenly shown laughing around Xbox One-branded McDonalds food items. It has not gone to commercial. No, real people are setup to look like they're having the time of their life hanging out around untouched McDonalds food in a clearly postmodern critique on our absurd advertising culture.
This did actually happen.

  • Suddenly, Ferraris. Only Ferraris as far as the eye can see. SpikeTV forgets that this was supposed to be a program about the Xbox One. It is now just running a Ferrari ad. Then, while stroking the hood of a virtual car, Phil Spencer bravely admits, "I am... physically attracted to the cars in Forza Motorsport. Just look at them... I mean, really look at them..." On the weekends, he now goes to judgment-free gatherings hosted by the developer of Driveclub.
  • On the main stage, DeadMau5 dons his mask, becoming the dark musical beast he sees every night in his sweat-soaked nightmares. A sea of white people nod their heads politely while wishing they could just go back to playing the videogame consoles right next to them. The base booms like a jackhammer on their hearts. Is this what a night club is supposed to be like? Is this what fun has become? All of the games left unplayed. Videogame characters sit in their idle animations while people nod along with senseless noise.
  • Geoff Keighley suddenly mentions New Zealand, and then notes that -they- probably had the first person in the world to buy a Xbox One. So what they said initially about the people in line being the first to get the console was all a lie. The very foundation of the event is mere artifice.

Fun Fact #136: The Xbox One was actually discovered deep beneath the seas off of New Zealand. Who created it is still unknown, but the original artifact had an always online component which the research scientists deemed too revolutionary for the general public.

  • Titanfall! Hey guys, Titanfall is pretty good. Sure it's not coming out at launch, but seriously, this amazing game will eventually be out on the Xbox One. Really. Believe us. These developers here can vouch for it.
  • Oh yeah, remember E3 with all those trailers for games? Microsoft heard you liked those; so, for a few minutes, they show them again.
  • The actor Will Arnett is given a Xbox One in exchange for his celebrity endorsement. He then explains that Call of Duty is his life, and he especially likes guilting people into apologizing on Xbox Live for their offensive comments regarding his mother and various races. The comedian/dramatic actor Jason Sudeikis is also there, and he explains in a shocking display of straight talk, "I've basically stopped playing games. But uh, new system I guess..." Ends the segment by saying he really wants to see how great NBA 2K14 is. He does not appear prepared for the disappointment he's going to feel.
  • "Macklemore & Ryan Lewis" are now on stage. They sound familiar, but no one seems to know who they are. Hearing the cacophony, the crowd descends into madness like a rave scene from The Matrix Reloaded. ... Okay, okay. I give up. Really? This is the best you can find for this event? Come on. This launch event is actually just a concert with a little gaming sprinkled in out of necessity. "You know how you like games? Screw games. We've got music, celebrities, and old trailers." There are literally consoles setup with new games right there to play. Isn't that what this is supposed to be about? I want to be wooed, Microsoft. Woo me!
Heeding the ungodly call of "The Launch", the dead clawed forth from their earthen graves to feed on the succulent flesh of gamers that had crawled forth from their homes to feed on the glorious spectacle of a console launch.

  • Everyone they interview in line explains that they're getting the Xbox One mainly to play Call of Duty: Ghosts. It's unclear whether they are aware that they can also play it on PS4, but there appears to be green in their eyes. Perhaps green in their hearts. Maybe even green in their souls.
  • Now over to Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks with Sports! Russell? "Yes, Geoff, I am a player of football, and I came out tonight to announce that Xbox is my religion. In fact, all of us in the NFL are devoted to Xbox. So, kids, be like us footballers. Choose Xbox."
  • Finally, midnight approaches, and Geoff Keighley announces, "And here are the first 10 guys to get the Xbox One!" The woman third in line glances toward him. Keighley looks straight into her eyes: "Congrats to these guys."
  • As they sign off, Keighley coughs and sputters out a promotion of VGX in two weeks. Having appeared listless all night, one is left wondering what happened. Where was Mountain Dew when he needed it? What was flowing through his veins all night? At this point, he is basically a Green Lantern that derives his power from a large gilded Mtn Dew bottle. Has the Dew forsaken him? Will Doritos jump in to save him? Who will win the console war? Find out next time!

And it's over.

Next Gen is now here.

We enter, knowing not what shall come to pass.

We have sincere hope, but will those hopes be dashed or reassured?

We go forward with hands clasped around our controllers in solemn faith and eyes fixed upon our screens so full of dreams.

The Next Generation Begins.

30 Comments

Fireworks Festival Fun

Every Sunday in August, there is a Fireworks show in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and seeing as how this is my first Animal Crossing game, the first show was quite a treat.

Another interesting addition in New Leaf is custom fireworks that use your designs to make big spherical explosions, and once I realized that, I knew I had to make some special designs that were interspersed amongst the other fireworks. I took screenshots of the wonderful time I had and thought I might share them with all of you.

Here is the special fireworks festival music to get you in a delightful mood for the pictures:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCw1mdtUqy4

Beginning the festivities at sunset, with Isabelle and Redd

Oooo. Aaaaa. The Death Star is gone and Animal Crossing is saved!

Very cute. ♥ Animal Crossing never ceases to be charming.

Hey now... That looks familiar...

Firing off my own firework!

Buying cookies and winning prizes from Redd the fox. (Get it? "Redd Foxx")

Watching a shiny firework at the town hall, with the proud flag of Peaceton.

Hangin out with Kapp'n the Kappa, possibly my favorite AC character so far.

Showing off my sparkler to Tom the cat.

Well hey there, Giant Bomb!

Hello Patrick...

I love watching you.

And in honor of Ryan, I included a design based on this great "OBEY"-like image by a fellow duder: http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/5402/5nhz.png

Tonight and each Sunday at 7PM in August, you can enjoy a fireworks show in Animal Crossing: New Leaf as I have. This game is charming in every way, and as a game which encourages a simple peace and joy with the player, I'd say it is exceptional. Despite usually preferring more intense and tactical games with crisis and competition, I am thankful for getting to occasionally enjoy games like this.

Now, as the night winds down...

Rest in peace, Ryan.

12 Comments

Ryan Davis and the Power of Passion

I don't know quite what to say... I have a feeling Ryan would be a bit annoyed with the thought of anyone being speechless thanks to him. The last thing he'd want is silence, even if all you could say is, "Fuck! SHIT! What the hell are you talking about? Ryan Davis can't be dead! That's bullshit, you lying sack of crap!"

For the last few hours, that's probably the best I've been able to muster, and I'd like to think he'd appreciate the great enthusiasm with which people have responded to his passing. He didn't ever seem to want people to change for him. He just wanted them to boldly be who they are.

And that was perhaps what I appreciated most about him as a man and an entertainer. It was always hard to put a peg on the magic of Ryan Davis, but if I were to venture my own inarticulate guess, I would say it was a passion for passion. A man driven not only by himself being a truly memorable character but by his desire to see others shine for who they are, as well. It made him an amazing host, encouraging others in putting themselves out there for the entertainment and education of everyone else.

His subtle and not-so-subtle provocations of conversation were a major part of what has made the Bombcast an enduring weekly discussion of videogames and everything else one can imagine. He pushed and prodded in videos, whether with his cutting criticism or unconstrained joy. Nothing appeared "meh" to him. It was "MEH!" Even his boredom asserted an undeniable presence. He was unequivocally himself in everything he was a part of.

Today we are all Ryan Davis.

Even as an videogame personality I knew strictly through the Internet, I will miss Ryan Davis as though he were an old friend I had truly known. I can't quite explain that. But while his friends and family deeply mourn their loss, I cannot help but mourn with them in my own distant way. I am but another random member of the Giant Bomb community, and perhaps that's why his death is having such an impact. Giant Bomb really is a community, and Ryan was a leader and a major part of what has brought us all together.

There would have been no Giant Bomb without Ryan Davis, and Giant Bomb is forever changed by this loss. Ultimately, this site is but a small part of what Ryan accomplished in his life, as a man, as a son, as a husband, as a friend... but it is undeniably an important and amazing site and community that he helped build up until the day he was taken from this earth. It's natural for people to wonder what will happen without him here, because he leaves an immense hole that cannot be filled. The Giant Bomb we have known will not be the same as the Giant Bomb in the future, but all of this stands as a tribute to a man who made life brighter for thousands of people across the world.

Ryan lives on in the Commodore 64 classic, Murder on the Mississippi.

At this point, I imagine Ryan goading me to wrap things up, because I cannot help but feel that he would be hesitant to accept just how wide and deep the outpouring of love is for him and all that he has done. He's just some asshole who makes random comments on videogames and does dumb shit, he might say, and he and Jeff have never seemed to cease in marveling at the fact that they get to do this for a living. Yet, all of that dumb shit culminated in a man who made a real impact on videogame culture and entertained hundreds of thousands more than he would ever know.

As a regular source of joy for everyone who knew him, Ryan was an irreplaceable part of our lives. And while I shed a few tears trying to get all of this out, I can't help but shout, "FUCK RYAN DAVIS." You jerk. You asshole... Why'd you have to make us care so much? Why'd you have such an impact on this crazy community of gamers? You're gonna be missed so damn much.

My sincere prayers are with his wife, his family, his friends, and everyone here at Giant Bomb who has gotten so much from his years of hard work and friendship. May you find some peace in the face of this immeasurable loss.

12 Comments