Today Marks the 15th Anniversary Of The Giant Bomb Persona 4 Endurance Run

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ZombiePie

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#1  Edited By ZombiePie  Staff

Disregard the publish date on the YouTube posting of the video. People forget this tidbit, but when Giant Bomb launched, it relied entirely on its site video player and did not have a YouTube presence until about two years into the Whiskey Media run of the site. Nonetheless, as the title of this thread suggest, today marks the 15th anniversary of the Giant Bomb Persona 4 Endurance Run; a video that many, myself included continue to be a pioneer of the current Let's Play format that has become ubiquitous among video game-based YouTubers and streamers. While Giant Bomb was not the first to play around with the concept, Jeff and Vinny's adventures with the game continue to be one of the site's most well-known early forays into video-based editorial content.

For many, this series drove them towards the site, and served as an introduction to the works of Atlus in general. For those of you that might be new and missed this series, it's definitely a blast! Maybe consider the user-made "Best of" videos if you are wondering if it still holds up!

However, here are some things that people have forgotten about the series. First, Yukiko's Dungeon was a big judgement call for Vinny and Jeff. If they had failed in Yukiko's dungeon, the Endurance Run would have been over at that point. Due to the miso soup event as well as the capsule machine event they were on the last possible day to free Yukiko. It was do or die, and luckily for everyone involved it turned out in everyone's favor because at that point they decided to see the game to the end.

Second, the series also almost met a premature end when the tape archive for episode 50 got corrupted. Dave Snider and Vinny documented the frantic effort to review the backup tapes in an attempt to make sure the episode did not become completely lost.

To all of you that have move on to great and wonderful things outside of Giant Bomb since the Persona 4 Endurance Run first aired, I wish you and those you love nothing but the best. To all of you still naming your Persona characters some variation of "Charlie Tunoku," here's to you!

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Lab392

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To Scathach!

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Gyratyne

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I found GB through the P4 Endurance Run. Hard to reconcile that it's been 15 years, but I still have fond memories of this.

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Ben_H

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#4  Edited By Ben_H

... I still name all my Persona characters Charlie Tunoku. I had a crisis when playing Persona Q because Charlie didn't fit so I had to go with Chuck Tunoku.

I've actually rewatched the large majority of the Endurance Run slowly over the last year or so (I'm on episode 125). Parts of it have definitely not aged well (Vinny has said as much too. He also said he knows some of their jokes during this period were not in good taste and that they were trying too hard to be funny at times. It was definitely a different time and both Jeff and Vinny are obviously quite different now) but overall it's still a lot of fun. It was pretty amusing to watch the early episodes where they thought it would be fine to do 10-20 minutes an episode until they realized it would take over a year to complete if they stuck to that type of timeline.

One interesting thing about the Endurance Run is that it's such a time capsule for 2009. This whole thing happened during the widespread shift to smartphones (iPhones technically existed prior but they didn't catch on until the iPhone 3/3G, which is what all of GB got in early 2009). In the early episodes they always had to ask Ryan to look things up for them on his computer. Then one day Jeff mentions "I have this iPhone here" and started looking things up himself (until intern Drew eventually showed up and helped guide them using a FAQ when needed). They also talk about their day-to-day lives a lot. It's almost a mini-podcast at times, especially on fusing or dungeon episodes (Vinny still uses the term "fusing episode" regularly. He just called his Cyberpunk 2077 side quest streams he's been doing fusing episodes).

The Episode 50 drama was wild. People were so worried and I remembered folks (myself included) watching the forum closely to see if Vinny had posted any updates whether the file was saved then very late in the evening he confirmed that it was saved and everyone was relieved. Vinny to this day still refers to Episode 50 when he mentions being worried about losing recordings.

Another interesting bit not mentioned was that it became super obvious that Jeff was so heavily invested in the Endurance Run that he started a second playthrough of it on his own time so he could make sure that nothing would stop the Endurance Run from finishing. By around episode 100 he starts making these casual references to maybe knowing what's about to happen then eventually makes it more explicit that he's playing alongside their playthrough.

I remember back when Endurance Run was first was being released I was doubtful I would like it (the anime-ish look put me off). I didn't watch it until about two weeks in. I was bored one day so I tried watching an episode and ended up watching the entire series that was available up to that point and then it became appointment viewing the second I came home from school. Then I went on a quest to buy Persona 4. Online ordering for niche games was extremely expensive in Canada at the time and I didn't have a credit card so I had to hope I could find Persona 4 locally. One local shop had it on backorder for $80 which was very expensive (at the time Canada's dollar was much stronger than the USD so that was like 60% markup over the usual full price of games) but I ordered it anyway and also bought a copy of Persona 3 FES and a PS2. I've been thinking about this time period a lot lately as I've been playing Persona 3 Reload and using an iPod I bought in April of 2009 again.

Anyhow, I could write all day about the Endurance Run. It was so much fun and made me realize that I did in fact still like RPGs, a genre I had played as a kid but had mostly left behind. Now I primarily play RPGs again, partly as a result of Persona and the Endurance Run.

Please be careful when casting bufu.

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SpiritGoat

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@ben_h:

I made my mom drive me to Hamilton to get a fes copy. I’m currently using my 2010 iPod. Don’t worry I’m not here to finish the loop.

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cikame

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My love for the game is entirely because of the Endurance Run, never played it myself, i even bought the anime and it was fantastically faithful to the game i highly recommend it.

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Bunnyman

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Thanks for the reminder. Surprisingly often I think of Ryan yelling "Charlie Tunoku!" from off camera. (I didn't just dream that right?) Just one of many weird little GB moments stuck in my brain.

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AV_Gamer

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I'll never forget it, because it started literally a week after I've already beaten Persona 4. Still, I watched it, just to see the reactions to all the major scenes I enjoyed during my playthrough. Good times.

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Eelvac

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I haven’t fully watched this but GBs love of P4 is the reason I am currently playing P4G on switch.

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DrRandle

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I was fortunate to already be watching Giant Bomb, and coincidentally started playing Persona 4 right before this started. It was a great line-up of events. It also coincided with me uprooting my life and moving in with my now husband of 15 years. I still quote this series daily. Thanks to Jeff and Vinny, and everybody else involved, for this incredible series!

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Ryman86

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I had played Persna 4 prior to knowing what Giant Bomb was, but there was a topic on the Persona 4 message board on Gamefaqs that, apparently, "Giant Bomb" (whatever that is) was playing through the entirety of Persona 4. Needless, this was my introduction to GB!

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Undeadpool

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Oh my knees and hip flexors!

This lined up perfectly with me moving to a new apartment and picking up this game cause I knew I'd be able to play it, regardless of internet connection. The internet turned out to be fine, which was good because I could see this series debut and play along. Or get way ahead to avoid spoilers since the initial episodes were ~15 minutes long.

Vinny's "we'll just do 15-20 minute episodes" quote lives up there alongside Dan and Jeff swearing, "There's no way you introduce the brother of the main character and then kill just him 3 episodes later. We DEFINITELY haven't seen the last of Raditz."