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The full recap

January 29, 2011

Well, totally forgot that I didn’t write this up, but here it is!  This is pretty much a direct copy from my personal Facebook page (neat reminder — we have a group Facebook page you should totally subscribe to!) about the event.

So…now that it’s a full week later I guess I should recap the marathon and how I felt it went, right?

I thought we would do okay in terms of viewership.  A couple sites already plugged us, I knew some of Sarah’s friends would check us out, and learned we got a plug from Speed Demos Archive early on.  And sure enough, we had 20+ viewers for almost the whole broadcast, even during the late night.  I also thought we would do okay in terms of donations.  We were offering up some good prizes, but I certainly wasn’t expecting what we got.  A couple people ended up giving a couple hundred dollars (thanks Zanicnight and Pongosapien!), and I thought it would be more along the lines of getting several smaller amounts.  I didn’t expect to break the thousand dollar goal, but we had it accomplished before we even hit Monday!  I heard DC Outreach themselves sent Matt a thank you note (which I don’t have access to) after the event ended.

What I didn’t expect was on the competitive side of things.  I honestly didn’t expect to win the competition, nor did I think so many games would be as close as they would.  I wanted to recap the games we played, but stopped myself when I realized which games we actually won — turned out the only one I didn’t play the bulk of was Super Mario 64 and I didn’t want to come off as bragging.  But thinking about it further, we all did this as a team, it wasn’t just me doing everything, and I think everyone wants to look back at things for how we felt too — just a bunch of guys having a great time.

So let’s go in order, shall we?

Super Mario Bros.: Thought this game would be within the five minute grace period to get partial credit even if we lost, so I wanted to run this one just to be most sure we could actually do it.  Turned out that’s pretty much happened.  I don’t know where we went wrong, but we finished two minutes behind the other team, and that’s okay.  Score: 3-5

Super Mario Bros. 2: No one else on our team wanted to play this one, thinking they weren’t good at it.  I don’t think I had ever done a decent run of this game, having focused a bit too much on getting extra lives.  But this time, we just seemed more prepared and the other team just slowed down around world 4 or 5, and we made steady progress through to the end.  Score: 8-5

Super Mario Bros. 3: This one was a favorite of Bern’s, but it wasn’t one he prepared for too much.  It kinda showed when we realized the other team was playing some unnecessary minigames just knowing they had enough time for them.  I jumped in to help him around halfway through the game, but we had lost too much progress and couldn’t gain it back. Score: 8-10

Super Mario World: Again, Bern’s game, and this one he had watched some speed run videos of ahead of time.  Unfortunately, there were a few tricks he couldn’t reliably do, and struggled to finish Lemmy’s Castle, and once again the other team, clearly knowing the exact route to take through the game, ran off with some points.  Score: 8-15

Lost Levels: This turned out interesting because we both picked different characters to play as, and probably had issues with different levels as a result.  The game went back and forth till the very end where, having gotten stuck on 8-3, the other team got a lead but couldn’t finish 8-4…and when we did, we finished it on our second try.  The other team had apparently misread the original suggestion of playing extra worlds past that and our chat was okay skipping by them, so we called this game early.  Score: 13-18

Super Mario RPG: Kyle was supposed to play this one, but since he got delayed and couldn’t make it till the next day, I took over for him.  And here we have a case of two different approaches.  As best I could tell, TSR was simply not fighting regular enemies, while we took on a few to stay just a few levels behind.  Turned out the time we gained in fighting bosses easier was about the same as the time they gained not fighting as much…up until around the end of the game, when they simply weren’t strong enough to beat several of the bosses near the end of the game.  Special thanks go out to one of our viewers, GTF, who taught me a few tricks that helped out (particularly with two of the harder bosses in the game, Jonathan Jones and Exor).  Score: 18-18

Super Mario 64: Bern played this one while I went to rest, and from what I can tell he kept the whole match very close up until the very end.  When Bern couldn’t remember any other stars he thought he could get easily (and admitted he didn’t know one level well at all), I took over and got the last few.  TSR struggled at the final boss, giving us just the time we needed to snatch up another close, come from behind victory!  Unfortunately, this one ended in controversy when TSR claimed they had not only went offline while attempting the last level, but due to their capturing equipment it had blacked out their TV, making them unable to continue (and we didn’t stop for them on the grounds that they didn’t tell us any of this till after we already finished).  To be honest, I felt kinda bad for this after because it reminded me a lot of the last time I hung out with Joe, which involved me and him arguing about whether or not someone else had cheated at a card game and sort of refused to admit either of us could be wrong.  From what I can tell, they’re over it now, but I resolved it at the time by saying we should move onto the next game and we could revisit the issue if it turned out to be relevant later.  Score: 23-21

Super Mario Galaxy 1: Sarah’s game this time around.  She ran it closer to the first half of a 100% run, grabbing everything she could in the early levels and going more sequentially like that.  The fact is, I would’ve suggested something close to that myself, but in this case the other team just played faster than us, and we finished about 7 stars behind.  Sarah was disappointed with herself, but the chat reassured her saying that even though she lost, she played a great game.  Score: 23-26

Super Mario Galaxy 2: One of the best competitions in the marathon, right here!  While I took center stage, Kyle (he had arrived late into the previous game) helped out as player 2, which provided a lot of help on a few levels.  TSR did get an early lead, but we never let them get more than a couple stars more than us, and in the end I think we got a lot of the same ones.  By the end of the game, though, we had managed to make a comeback enough that we were mere minutes ahead going into the final level, and ended up finishing only five minutes ahead of the other team!  Considering the entire game is more than 5 hours, that’s quite an accomplishment.  Thanks Kyle, our lead would have been a lot less comfortable without the extra help.  Incidentally, Kyle said now he has to buy this game since he didn’t realize Yoshi was in it.  Score: 28-29

Super Mario Sunshine: I played a few shines out of this, but Sarah played the rest of the game.  And about the same thing happened as it did with Galaxy, where she played well but just not well enough to match TSR’s performance, who once again got an early lead and stuck with it.  The fact that we lost a few shines out of not saving beforehand didn’t help (though I think they ran into the same problem once).  I was asleep after my turn at the game, so I didn’t catch too many details, but hey, at least I’m good for the next few games if needed.  Score: 28-34

Paper Mario: If there’s any run that should be seen, it’s this one, and not just because of the solid time (about 7&1/2 hours).  I played this one after mistaking a cue that Jon wanted to pass it to me out of being tired (in actuality, he was still asleep and incoherent when he told me that).  We took such different approaches to this game that it was alarming.  TSR took a route similar to the SDA record of abusing a few techniques (mostly Power Bounce and a few “attack up” skills) and never fighting random encounters, but their persistence in not ever increasing their max HP gave them trouble around chapter 3 (of 8).  Our approach was more of an accelerated run through the game, but planned out which characters to use and power up in detail (including one character that was powered up to the max as soon as possible but used for exactly one boss battle).  In the end, TSR got a strong lead early on that slowly dwindled, and we eventually caught up to them at the final boss battle.  Really!  More proof that we ❤ come from behind victories (and have > 3 come from behind victories).  Score: 33-34

Super Mario Land: TSR had several problems streaming this one (thanks to using an emulator), and we spent almost as much time waiting for them as we did actually playing it, but went into it thinking it was going to be another quick game that we would win and the other team would catch up within the grace period.  Turned out I was right, but they made it close, and we probably only got it after an unlucky death on their side at the end of the game.  Also had a bit of amusement when Sarah pointed out that with the GBA Players’ color palette turning the water red and fishbones coming out of it, world 2 is more like Super Mario Hell.  Score: 38-37

Super Mario Land 2: Surprisingly, this went a lot smoother, and from what I can tell TSR fell off track and couldn’t find themselves again.  Had a little trouble on the final level but after like 7 tries eventually got it right.  Score: 43-37

New Super Mario Bros.: Streaming a DS game is…interesting.  We had a rig put together involving two webcams and some Tinkertoys, and though it was a little flimsy it did get a clear shot of the top screen (the one the game actually uses).  Jon started off with this game, but passed off to me again after struggling on world 3.  TSR ended up disqualifying themselves after using a warp cannon, but we found this out somewhat late and just finished the game anyway.  Score: 48-37

New Super Mario Bros. Wii: Here’s a case where I was willing to forgo what I thought would be a winning strategy in favor of what I thought would be more fun for the viewers: 4 player mayhem!  Everyone got a shot at this (though Jon and Sarah eventually dropped out, replaced by Bern and…well, simply an empty slot).  I knew in advance that the extra player would probably hold us back and we’d go faster with only 2, which is what the other team did, but I thought it would be more entertaining otherwise, and as far as I could tell people did enjoy watching us argue.  Interestingly enough, by world 5 or so we were working very well as a team, and by world 6…well, the other team had finished the game.  Still, though, we’ve got a good lead, we’re still going to win this, right?  Score: 48-42

Luigi’s Mansion: Break time for me!  We went slightly out of order since Kyle, our preferred player, had to leave soon, so he played this game.  I have no idea what happened here, just that Kyle played well and the other team played better.  Score: 48-47

Yoshi’s Island: Sarah goes back in there, and stays consistently a level or two behind — if the rest of the marathon was anything to go by, this is very much still in the game — but lost momentum after a disasterous run through 4-4.  Never found out what the other team did differently here, but they won with a very comfortable lead.  Speaking of very comfortable lead, what happened to ours?  Guess it’s up to me now…Score: 48-52

Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door: We decided to skip Yoshi’s Island DS entirely out of not wanting to reset the DS camera stuff and the fact that it’s a pretty mediocre game, and with the time left, this was likely to be the last game we were going to finish.  And what a game it was!  TSR took a page from our book and decided to run their game closer to ours, and as a result managed to stay within 20 minutes of us for pretty much the whole game up until chapter 7, where they finally got ahead thanks to a few screwups on my part.  I took a piece from them to and worked a Power Bounce/attack up strategy into some of the bosses towards the end of the game, clearly helping us get some lost time back.  Once again, it came down to both of us at the final boss together, knowing full well that we had to pull off an uncontested victory to finish the job, where I ended up using some abilities pretty much otherwise unused for the rest of the game (Veil and Rally Wink, mostly) to pull off the win!  Also, I found it amusing that Vivian defeated a boss using Fiery Jinx and the button combination for maximum power on that spelled out YYAYY.  Score: 53-52

As best I can tell, we started playing Super Paper Mario, then just moved on to other related games to fill in the remaining 4 hours of the marathon after knowing that game wouldn’t have been finished in time.  The other team did bring up the Mario 64 debate again since it ended up being relevant, but by this point, to be honest, I just wanted to sleep, and just left to do that when I realized that actually arguing it out would take a while.  Talking to Matt later, I don’t think he cared afterwards.

But hey, for once I’m satisfied with how things went.  I mean, sure, there’s still things I can think of things that could have gone better or that we should have prepared more for, but after it’s all said and done, we won a competition and, more importantly to me, met our donation goal and had a constant influx of viewers throughout the show.

So what’s next?  Well, honestly, no idea yet.  We talked about ideas during the marathon, but nothing concrete came out of it.  I wouldn’t expect to see an actual marathon from us till May or so, but we’ll announce things when we find them out, and there could very well be other stuff in between!

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 30, 2011 12:21 pm

    I spent the Sunshine run saying I should’ve played it for you :/
    And a fiend of mine said that you guys are bad at games where you use an invention of E. Gadd’s.
    Kind of funny how the SM64 problem ended up being relevant. Extremely relevant.

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