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Impossible Games Made Hard, An Interview With LordKat
Posted on January 29, 2010 by Oscar Gonzalez



LordKat's "Until We Win" is a series that takes the games that brought us nightmares as a kid, and shows that they can be beaten. Taking such legendary difficult games like Battletoads, Silver Surfer, and Bayou Billy, LordKat will show you what you need to do if you want to beat the game. Here is an excerpt of the interview I had with LordKat.

O.G.: How did you come up with the series "Until We Win?"

Lordkat: I thought up this series only as an experiment. I saw the AVGN's Ghostbusters episode and I thought "You know he's really playing this game the wrong way. I know how to beat this game." I've always wanted to put together a show to learn how to edit, script, and shoot. Until then, everything has been off the cuff, vlog-type stuff. I thought why don’t I put together this show and put this on the thatguywiththeglasses.com forums under Your Video Reviews to see if anyone likes it. Mostly I was looking for critiques from my scripting and my editing. People said they really dug the show. It was still raw at the time but people said it had potential and wanted to see more of it. I figured I can make another, why not I need more experience. It just snowballed from there, they wanted to put it on the site, and here I am.

O.G.: Since the AVGN, there have been plenty of people making videos about retro games, reviewing them and so on, and you're showing them how to play these hard old school games that no one beat because they're too hard.

Lordkat: It's not just that. It's also game other reviewers played and didn’t beat. For example, Spoony did his review of Bayou Billy. I don’t know if that's his most famous video but it did get a lot of hits. These people claim that it's impossible for anyone to beat this game. But you know, if you sit down and play through the game, you'll find that you can actually beat it. I don’t know why people give up. I understand the frustration factor; you should come back to it after awhile. At least that's what I do. I get so frustrated with a game, but after a month I come back to it and begrudgingly try to beat it. This show is my homage to that tenacity to beating games.

O.G.: Let's get to the nitty gritty, what game gave you the most pain?

Lordkat: Silver Surfer. That game was unholy. A lot of people have claimed that it's just memorization but it's not that simple. If you don’t have all of your weapons or load out by the end of the game, you're not going to be able to beat the game. So you've got to go back to the beginning of the game and pick up all the powers. Essentially, you have to play the perfect game to beat it. That really caused me the most pain. Battletoads and Bayou Billy, you can pick up around the middle and make your way through it. Silver Surfer you need to go back to the beginning.

O.G.: How close have you been to quitting a game?

Lordkat: I'm getting very close to quitting Pumpkinhead. This is a little bit of a spoiler. I am working an episode for Pumpkinhead, a game that Spoony reviewed where he couldn't get past the first level. I have been working tirelessly on his game, and I am so close to saying screw. This game is just not right, it shouldn’t exist. I'm on the second level right now of that game. I actually beat the first level. When you pop out of a video on the second level, Pumpkinhead comes out and kills you. I have no idea what I'm doing. I literally have done three hours straight of Pumpkinhead coming out and killing me. It drives me nut. It's one of those games where I'd rather be cutting off one of my own fingers right now.

O.G.: I've played most of the games you've done and I gave up on them. The amount of will you have to keep on going is astounding.

Lordkat: It's not that the games are impossible. It's that the games are designed to be hard to extend gameplay. Games back in the day were designed specifically to be hard to extend their gameplay. A lot of these ridiculously difficult games have 3-4 levels, and if they were simple, why would you spend $50 on a game? For example, Marble Madness is a great game but it's ridiculously difficult. I think it only has four levels. You can't justify spending $50 for a game that has only four levels that will maybe give you maybe 20 minutes of gameplay. So what developers did, I think, is make them balls to the wall difficult because that's the only way they can lengthen the gameplay.

O.G.: Has there been a game that you played where you were surprised that it was pretty good?

Lordkat: This is going to sound really corny because the AVGN just came out with a video of it, but it's Hylide. Once I looked up the history of it, even when I was a kid, I compared it to Zelda, I thought it was a piece of crap. I looked up the history and it's a game from 1984 and it was fit in 12kb of memory. I thought holy crap, that's a great game. After that I really got into it. Another one is actually, this is going to sound really stupid, is deadly towers. It's not a good game, I'll admit it's a bad game. But it has a lot of effort behind it. There are a lot of different RPG elements, they're subtle but they're in there. It has some redeemable qualities to it. That really surprised me after the end of that video that I felt that way. It does have some sort of redemption to it.



O.G.:What was the reason behind doing videos for Mega Man, Bionic Commando and Ironsword since those are games that plenty of people beat?

Lordkat: Actually Bionic Commando and Mega Man, for me, were ball-bustlingly difficult for me as a kid. That's really how I judge some of the older games. I try to put this video once a week and there's no way I'm going to get to every epic difficult game. If I did, I would be putting out videos once every three months. I want to keep it a weekly show.

O.G.:Are you going keep sticking with older systems or will you be jumping to more modern games?

Lordkat: I will be doing more modern games. I'll give you a hint, one of them is Actraiser 2. I'm also working on getting Xbox 360 video capture and attempt bayonetta on the most difficult level. I have a PS2 and I have a video capture for that. There will be more recent games soon, don't worry.

O.G.: With your newfound fame, have you met any online weirdoes or stalkers?

Lordkat: I have had one guy that wanted to marry me, that was kind of strange. I have no idea if he was gay, playful or just drunk. I have had people stalking me about my videos. One guy had wrote me an email six page long on how I went wrong in each level and how I can make my Bionic Commando video better. He wrote about every stage and how I missed a secret stage, so I should have to redo the video. I was like you make the video then. I remember I had one guy respond my video on YouTube saying how I'm not doing a proper Lets play and the right way to do a let's play. And how until we win was a bastard version. I get those people that want to talk my ear off.



O.G.: What are your plans for the future.

Lordkat: Right now I'm trying to get until we win back up because of this cold. Next one is Dick Tracy, hopefully people won't bust my balls over that one. Other until we win, I'm doing vlogs which are kind of on the fly thing. Also I'm doing a how to series on how to build a computer. I'm also going to be putting a series of videos about my Nokia n900 since I can't stop playing with it because it's so pretty. Other than that, there's movie foods which I stopped doing. My stomach was rejecting the idea outright, but I'm going to start it up again, maybe about bad food in general. Also about how to make a game but that's a very slow one over the next months. I do want to work on another weekly video of a high score challenge. Every week I'm going to post one game, explain it, and see who gets the high score for it.

You can listen to the full interview below on the latest Original Gamer podcast.

Or download it here.

The Until We Win series can be seen at LordKat.com and Thatguywiththeglasses.com. You can follow LordKat on Twitter - @LordKat.

Oscar Gonzalez - Editor-in-Chief og (@) original-gamer.com | all author's articles

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