Hello everyone and welcome to a new series here on the Bingothon website: Beyond the Board. In this monthly series, we will sit down and chat with bingo runners and ask them several questions about their speedrunning career, bingos, their future plans… As well as occasionally some insights into what goes into making a bingo!
Alright, enough talking, let’s start with the first Beyond the Board!
Floha: First off, please introduce yourself; who are you, and for the people that don’t know you, what do you do? Rimato: I’m an SMS (note by editor: Super Mario Sunshine) runner from Finland and currently hold the best European time in any% though my main focus lies in organizing bingo tourneys.
Floha: What has brought you into speedrunning and especially how did you get into bingos? Rimato: I discovered speedrunning back in 2014 by watching some of Samura1man‘s SMS runs. I never thought I’d be good at it but I decided to give it a shot anyways since I was bored.
I originally got into bingo by joining some single line bingo races back in 2014-2015. I always found them fun but they lacked competitiveness so it was more of an occasional side thing back then rather than my main focus.
Floha: The next questions are about your experience with SMS bingo. What about Super Mario Sunshine specifically makes it a great bingo game? Rimato: The cutscenes at the start of the game as well as breaks between shines might seem annoying when you are doing a speedrun but they are perfect when you are trying to come up with a route for a bingo.
Super Mario Sunshine Blackout Bingo from Bingothon Winter 2019; depicting the long introduction cutscene, that is a useful time for routing, for bingo.
Floha: How much does the linear aspect of SMS decide your bingo routing? Rimato: The game is a lot less linear when it comes to bingo than one might expect compared to any%. Having access to things like Delfino shines (editor’s note: shines are what Mario collects at the end of the various levels of the game, which then sends the player back to the hub world once collected) at all times, which are incredibly fast, means that there is a constant trade off between keeping up doing fast shines for progression towards late game and doing slower shines to play towards specific goals.
The fact that you can only progress through each world one shine at a time means that doing anything in any world is a very real commitment, but that is part of what makes the game fun; hiding information about your route from your opponent is quite skill intensive whereas tracking your opponent is often fairly easy.
Floha: How have bingos and/or the bingo community evolved with Super Mario Sunshine? Rimato: The biggest evolution in the bingo meta was when a clip to get to Sirena (editor’s note: Sirena Beach, one of the worlds in the game) whenever was discovered. Before you’d need to complete episode 4 of Pinna (editor’s note: The fourth mission of the world Pinna Park) so it was quite a late game world but now you could access it right away. Until recently nobody in the community was focusing heavily on bingos but now many people focus on it more than regular speedruns.
Floha: How does the Super Mario Sunshine community support bingos? Rimato: Until 2019 there wasn’t many SMS bingo tournaments going on. Icedwindowsil had organized 2v2 lockout tournaments in 2014 and 2018 and that was about it. After joining the 2018 one myself I was craving for more bingo so eventually I decided to organize some myself. Since the start of 2019 we’ve done a total of 4 major tourneys and are just starting a new one. The tournaments focus on lockout bingo since that fits SMS better.
Floha: You are also much involved with creating and updating the goals for the Super Mario Sunshine bingo. What is the process of creating goals for a game like Super Mario Sunshine? Rimato: I focus on balancing the 1v1 lockout goal set. We got the base goals for it from the regular line bingo variant Iced had made. That already featured all the basic goal ideas one would have for SMS bingo so we’ve had to get a bit more creative when coming up with new goals. Most recently we’ve added the concept of OR goals where you can pick between completing 1 of 2 objectives for the goal. Our main focus is making lockout bingo as balanced as possible and now new goals are usually to serve a purpose for that like giving more incentive to visit a world.
Floha: What is the most unusual/creative bingo you have ever done for Super Mario Sunshine? Rimato: We combined 2 ideas in draft bingo and lockout bingo. So the bingo starts by each player drafting 5 goals off the board. Then you start the game as you would in regular lockout and you fight for the remaining goals on the board while still having to claim the drafted goals. If you fail to click your drafted goals before a time limit is up you’ll lose them permanently.
Floha: You’ve mentioned earlier that bingos “back then” were rather uncompetitive and and this was more of your side thing. What has changed since then that it’s so different now? Rimato: Back then people mainly did single line bingo which at top level becomes more of a race of speed than a race of brain since the cutscenes give you the time to consider each option and come up with the optimal one.
Lockout bingo fixes this issue as you have to adapt to your opponents decisions mid game instead of being done with routing after cutscenes.
Floha: Was there a specific event that triggered these changes or were you simply just slowly moving over to lockout? How did you get people to convince to do lockout instead of single line? Rimato: The 2018 2v2 lockout tourney got a lot of new people into lockout me included. Past that it was mainly a matter of organizing tournaments since the interest already existed. The lockout format fits SMS so well that at this point most people already preferred the idea over a regular line bingo tourney. We decided to focus more on doing 1v1 tourneys instead of 2v2 since that makes setting up matches a lot easier while still offering equally if not more complex routing.
Super Mario Sunshine Lockout Bingo from Bingothon Summer 2020; depicting the now widely popular format of lockout races for SMS, especially in 1v1 format.
Floha: How have you yourself improved at bingos over time? Rimato: The main way to improve is by doing practice matches. I’ve probably done more than double the amount of practice matches than anyone else in the SMS bingo community. Outside of practice matches I sometimes route cards alone in preparation to a match where I can specifically consider what my opponent would want to do.
Nowadays the biggest aspect I could improve in bingo would be my speed so funnily enough doing regular speedruns has become the optimal way to improve at bingo for me.
Floha: How have you evolved from since you started doing bingos, to now? Rimato: While doing regular line bingo I got a pretty good grasp at what goals synergized well with each other. During the 2018 2v2 tourney I learned a lot of the lockout specific stuff like adapting to your opponent clicks and predicting what initial route the opponent will take. After that I had to adapt to 1v1 meta where you naturally have to pick up more goals along the way so you need to setup for more instead of rushing for a few specific goals.
Floha: What type of bingo is your favourite? Why? Rimato: We’ve done a lot of variations of lockout. Currently my favorite is row control lockout. In row control you gain control of a row by getting the majority of goals in it. And the person who gets the majority of rows (3) wins. The interesting thing with this variant is that sometimes losing 1 goal can change your whole game plan since it might kill your chances at a full row. So not all goals are equal in value.
Super Mario Sunshine Lockout Bingo from Bingothon 2019; depicting the typical look of a lockout board.
Floha: How well do you think people who do just normal speedruns would benefit from doing bingos? What could they learn and appreciate from that? Rimato: In SMS bingo you have to come up with a lot of custom movement instead of doing pre planned movement like in normal speedruns. This might help with coming up with backups in normal speedruns.
Floha: Do you feel that bingos (at least for Super Mario Sunshine) are accessible for a wider audience? Rimato: I think at start bingo might seem confusing but I sometimes see people in chat who don’t even run the game or do bingos but still seem to understand routing pretty decently. You do kind of need to know the game to understand what is going so that would probably be the biggest limiter for gathering a wide audience.
Floha: Given that you are one of the best bingo runners for Super Mario Sunshine, which has a very big community, you have also been called “the god of Sunshine bingo”. How do you personally deal with this “nickname”? Rimato: I appreciate the nickname even if it adds a bit more pressure to perform well.
Floha: How does it feel different to race a bingo compared to a normal race? Rimato: In a normal any% race of SMS the winner is often decided quite early so playing the race out waiting for your opponent to slip up is quite annoying. In lockout bingo you interact with your opponent so there’s a lot you can do to comeback from a deficit.
Floha: Are there any other bingo-related projects that you are working on? Rimato: I’m always trying to come up with new variations of lockout but at this point it’s getting pretty difficult.
Floha: You’ve mentioned draft bingos. For those that are only familiar with the “regular” bingo versions, like single/multiple lines, lockout etc. Would you maybe like to explain what draft bingo is? Rimato: In draft bingo you take turns picking goals off the board for you to complete. Once the draft phase is done and both players have their goals picked you simply race to see who can complete their goals faster. You can tune the rules for your liking by picking either 1 or 2 goals every turn. Some also like having both players do the 25th goal while others leave it undone. A fun addition to draft I thought of is having a phase where you ban 5 goals in the middle of the draft. This allows balancing the strength of 1st and 2nd pick in draft by giving an extra ban to the one that’s at a disadvantage as well as gets rid of the awkward 25th goal.
Super Mario Sunshine Draft Bingo from Bingothon 2018; depicting the runners picking their goals before the start of their run
Floha: Are there any particular runners that inspire you in some way (whether it be a “normal speedgame” runner, or a bingo runner)? Rimato: I like seeing people out route runners that are faster than them in lockout. Briguy has always managed to beat runners with sometimes up to 5 minutes faster PB’s in any% than him. Even though me and Paperario usually win the tourneys many people me included still consider him the best at routing.
Floha: If you weren’t running SMS bingo, what else do you think you’d be running? Rimato: Maybe I’d do some SM64 or Luigi’s Mansion runs for fun but I don’t think I’d wanna go very far with other games than SMS. I haven’t really considered any other bingo games than SMS.
Floha: What are your goals in the near future? Rimato: Normal speedrun wise I’m currently trying to get Europe it’s first sub 3 hour time in SMS 120 shines. And bingo wise I’m looking to win the 1v1 invasion lockout tourney that we are starting next week although the main goal in bingo tourneys is always to have fun.
We hope you enjoyed this first edition of Beyond the Board! Do make sure to follow Rimato13 on Twitch as well as the Sunshine Community Twitch Channel to see more Super Mario Sunshine content – bingo and beyond! You may also find Rimato’s Twitter account at @rimato13.
While this first edition and all future ones will be here, on our website… some of them will be done in video format too, in which case you may want to give a follow to our Youtube Channel where not only can you watch said future content, but also all the VODs from the previous marathons, and other special videos!
Thank you so much for reading, and until we bring you Beyond the Board again next month, have a wonderful day!
About The Author
Floha258 is one of the Main Organisers of Bingothon and depicts himself as the “girl for everything”. He’s responsible for Development, Social Media and all other kinds of organisational activities.
And with the recent heatwave, he‘s gonna enjoy the Sunshine at Delfino Isle.
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