[iycewynd]: Hi, my name is Iycewynd. I am a Paper Mario Speedrunner, and I mostly play bingos right now, that’s kind of the main thing I do. I’ve speedran all of the main categories of Paper Mario, so I’m here to just answer any questions that you have, or anything that you want to talk about.
[Palmy]: That is excellent. My name is Joseph Palmer and I will be conducting today’s Bingothon’s Beyond the Board. So, how have you gotten into Paper Mario speedrunning? What is the origins of what got you starting to play this game, and becoming a speedrunner.
[iycewynd]: So, for me, what got me into it was… Paper Mario was one of those games (I think a lot of speedrunners will say this), it’s the game I played probably the most as a child… I know I have a lot of fun memories playing as a young kid. And, I think it was probably one of the first games I ever beat too, that I can remember beating. And then, in 2014, before I went off into college, I kinda got into… I was learning more about competitive gaming in general. It’s also when I started getting into Melee as a competitive game, and then I heard about this speedrunning marathon (GDQ), and I saw a speedrunner named IAteYourPie do an All Cards speedrun, and I thought that was really interesting. And then, when I got to college, I started college that fall, I kinda started looking into it. I found a bunch of resources on Twitch, and then there was a Skype group that talked about it, and I kinda just started learning the game. It took me a while, it was really hard to learn at first because back then there were not as many resources as there are now. When I started learning a category called All Cards, the community was really nice, really helpful, and I kinda just started playing the game, speedrunning the game, and just I’ve been part of the community ever since.
In terms of Bingo, one member in particular, he would kinda a lot of times host races, particularly bingos, and so I kinda learned a bunch of tricks to participate, and it was really fun, I really enjoyed it, and I just kinda kept coming back to try to do them, and it was a fun experience. I keep doing that to this day.
[Palmy]: Nice. Going off our little script here, I have this other question that kinda popped into my head. This is often a social endeavor. I mean, there are very few times where it is just you alone, so who are some people who you consider people who helped influence you? Or, when you saw them playing, you just said “Ah man, I want to do what they do” or “Ah man, I wonder if they could give me a hand.” Who are some figures who you would say helped you get here?
[iycewind]: Yeah, I think when I first started learning, GigaDB at the time I believe was the world record holder for All Cards and a couple other categories – he kinda went back and forth with a couple of categories with some other runners. He was the main one who made a bunch of tutorials on the game and that’s kind of what I learned off of. I watched his stream, and some of the first bingos that I joined were with him, and a couple other members of the community. In terms of other motivations to start learning the game… I don’t know, I was kind of self-driven at the start. There wasn’t really anyone with whom I thought like “Oh, I want to be better than them!”. I’ve never had the drive – in regards to speedrunning – to be the best or trying to have the best time or world record or beat people, or anything like that. I’ve always been doing speedruns more casually, you know. I don’t put a crazy amount of time into it, at least not as much time as a lot of speedrunners. I kind of just do it on and off, been doing so for a couple years. So, I don’t really have competitive times in terms of main categories, mostly because I just don’t have the time, nor the drive to practice and become the best – it’s just something I do for fun.
But in regards to other figures, I mean… GigaDB was always the one with whom I could watch his videos and get a better understanding of the game. IAteYourPie was the one who introduced me to it, but by the time I was active, he wasn’t as prominent in the game, and he wasn’t really a top player anymore. But, he did introduce me to the game. But yeah, overall, I haven’t really looked at people and thought “I want to be as good as them”, or “I want to be a top player like that”, you know, it’s always been something I’ve done more for fun.
[Palmy]: Do you see yourself as a pioneer for this particular game, to be able to keep it alive?
[Iycewynd]: Uuuh, not really! [Laughs] I’m definitely not the guy who will stream it, you know, 5 days a week for 4 or 5 hours a day. I don’t stream that often in all honesty. Again, it’s just something that I do whenever I have free time and the drive to do it. I’ve always been around to kind of help with just the community in general. If you follow a lot of speedrun drama, Paper Mario’s kind of been in the front page of that occasionally, so I’ve always been around, trying to help and you know, better the community. But in terms of actually the actual speedrun, and streaming of the game, I’m not really that prevalent. I’m just a member of the community.
[Palmy]: A community helper, if you will?
[Iycewynd]: Yeah, community helper – and you know, approving runs on the leaderboards, making sure the Discord is a good place to talk and a welcoming place, helping new runners learn the game, making tutorials… Just general things like that.
[Palmy]: Gotcha. Have you played other bingos of other video games before Paper Mario?
Ocarina of Time, as described by Iycewynd, can definitely look VERY tricky from an outside perspective!
[Iycewynd]: I haven’t played any, but I’ve watched a couple. I kind of got interested in Pikmin 2 speedruns at one point, but again, I had the same that I was saying earlier, just you know, not really the drive or motivation, but I watched it a lot and then I’ve seen them do bingos – and their bingos are really interesting. I think [The Legend of Zelda:]
Ocarina of Time bingos are really cool. I think Ocarina of Time runners – yeah and [The Legend of Zelda:] Majora’s Mask I think is kind of similar because they’re, you know, the same engine – but it just boggles my mind how an Ocarina of Time runner will think “Oh, I need to get the Spirit Medallion, so I’m going to have 27 bombchus on my C-left button and then use a bottle while I’m standing in water and then get the Light Arrows”, it’s just like… WHAT?! [Laughs] It’s crazy to me that they just KNOW all that, they just know every number. Paper Mario bingos are *
not* like that at all! Whenever we run, we have a cheatsheet, all the time, and we’ll look it up everytime because we haven’t, you know, memorised all these things. It’s just really interesting.
[Palmy]: I guess leading into that, it actually plays into one of these other questions in the introductory here, because; what would you consider is your favourite aspect of Paper Mario speedrunning? And why? You kind of touched on it a little, but go into details.
Iycewynd was at one point interested in running Pikmin 2.
[Iycewynd]: One thing I like about Paper Mario speedrunning is honestly just how broken the game is. You can sequence break the game really hard, there’s a lot of glitches… Especially so with particular bingos, you have a lot of more obscure things you can do, that seem silly, that don’t necessarily have a practical application. I do like how broken and glitchy the game is, it makes it a lot more interesting with regards to where you can go, what you can do, what you can access, and how you go about completing your goals as fast as possible.
I’ve always kind of jokingly been the community ‘glitchless hater’ – though I don’t actually hate glitchless, outside of jokingly hating it sometimes! But I think it’s because it is just not as fun for me because you have to do every single thing as intended, and that’s not really as fun.
[Palmy]: Yeah, it can take a lot more of your time, it’s just more boring.
[Iycewynd]: Yeah, for me personally! I totally respect people who enjoy glitchless and run that. With regards to bingos, what I really like is the routing aspect of it, especially with how little time I have. When I start, I have my set of goals – what’s the fastest way I can do that? I’ll come up with something and then at some point I’ll think “Oh, well maybe this might actually be faster”, but I don’t have enough time to test it out, so I go “Oh, well, If I do this optimally then this is clearly faster”, I’ll then feel it out and say “I will go with this because I think it’s faster”. Afterwards, I can think “Oh, wow… Is there another way I could have done it?” for future attempts, if I see a situation like this again – can I do something different? Can I be faster? What’s actually a better option?
Honestly that’s just kind of something with games in general for me, I always think how I could have done better with regards to what I actually did. If I was in this situation again, would I do something different? How would I play this differently? It is the idea of hindsight. Was it the right option? Was there something more I could do to have a better play? But yeah, I like the routing aspect. I think routing the run on the fly is really fun for me.
Understanding Paper Mario’s Progression System is key to not just being better at bingos, but running the game as a whole.
[Palmy]: Well, speaking of routing, it actually leads to another question, which is; in Paper Mario, what would you consider is the trickiest aspect of routing?
[Iycewynd]: Yeah, that’s actually a really cool question. It is something that actually makes Paper Mario bingos pretty tricky for new runners or people that are new to the game. So the way Paper Mario’s story progression system works is that everything is based on storyline triggers. So, if you reach certain points in the game, then it will automatically complete everything prior to that point. So, if you do something in Chapter 5, it will automatically complete Chapters 1 through 4 for you. It will say “Oh, so you’re on Chapter 5, therefore, Chapter 1 through 4 are complete”. And so, on your board, if you have something that is a key item or something that you can only get in Chapter 4, and then you go into Chapter 5, well now you might have potentially locked yourself out of getting that thing in Chapter 4. Or, if you need to beat the Chapter 3 boss, but you have no way to revert the game to a Chapter 3 state, well you can’t fight the boss, because he doesn’t show up – because you’ve already ‘beaten’ him even though, you know, you’ve never actually fought him.
So a lot of times, I’ve seen this happen with a lot of new bingo runners. They will think “Ok, well now I need to do this thing in Chapter 5”, and then they go back to Chapter 3… And then, they’ll realize “Oh, I actually don’t have access to this item yet because I skipped it, but now because I am in this state, I can’t go back and get that, so I have to go even further back so I can then come back forward to get what I need”. I think the best example I can think of is that they’ll do something in Chapter 5 – it is often the first place you go to in bingos – and get some stuff there, and they’ll then think “Well now I can go back to Chapter 2 to get some stuff there”, and then they’ll say “Well now I will go to Chapter 3 to get my last stuff”, but because now they’re in a Chapter 2 state, they can’t access Chapter 3, so now they have to go back to Chapter 5 to do stuff in 5 so that they can then revert back to Chapter 3. So it can get really tricky. If you aren’t too familiar with a lot of the storyline triggers, you might kind of get stuck or have to do some other convoluted things to get back to a point you want, which can take a long time. I’ve seen it happen a lot.
[Palmy]: Is it easy to get softlocked when doing bingos?
[Iycewynd]: [Laughs] Well, I guess there’s two main things. In terms of storyline triggers, it’s not too hard. There’s always a way out of a storyline trigger softlock just because of how much you can break the game. So, I would say no, in that sense. BUT, there is something that you do in the game, which is really funny. So, in Paper Mario, if you play the game there’s something you can get called the Action Command, which lets you time your actions to deal more damage. But, there’s actually a glitch to skip it. But if you skip the Action Command, certain attacks will just softlock the game, and you’ll be stuck and your attack will never stop, it will never go through, you’ll just be stuck in this animation forever because you can’t do the Action Command, and you have to restart. And then if you restart, you might lose like 20 minutes of progress because you didn’t save, and I’ve seen people lose runs to that, because they thought “Oh hey, I’m going to skip this thing”, then they forget that this certain attack is impossible without the Action Command, and then they’ll softlock and they’ll be like “Welp… I just lost 20 minutes of progress”.
[Palmy]: Oh, my gosh!
[Iycewynd]: Well, I’ve done that before. I’ve seen it happen to, honestly, a lot of people. It’s a pretty common thing to happen. It’s kind of one of those ‘everyone’s done it once’ type of things.
[Palmy]: What is by far your favourite glitch? It would be the glitch that just tickles your pink every time you do it.
As explained by Iycewynd, many tricks can lead to silly results!
[Iycewynd]: My favourite glitch in Paper Mario… [Laughs] There’s actually a couple of really silly ones, but there’s this thing called loading zone storage where you can do frame perfect jumps to delay taking a loading zone and you can kind of move Mario to a different part of the map before the loading zone takes you. And if you do that, you can actually grab an item, and Mario will grab it, but then the loading zone will take you during the ‘collecting item’ animation. And so, you’ll be able to kind of skip that. There are two instances I can think of. One is in Chapter 2 – you have to collect these letters, and one of those letters is at the bottom of a cliff, so you can actually do a couple loading zone storage jumps, and then jump DOWN the cliff – so you have to do a couple frame perfect jumps and THEN jump down the cliff – and so you can time it so Mario will jump down at the bottom, and you can actually grab the letter. This saves about 2 seconds, and it’s 5 or 6 frame perfect inputs, one of them being jumping off a cliff and then getting a perfect jump… It is just really silly, it is basically an unspoken rule to always go for it at least once, it’s really funny.
There’s another one where you can do the loading zone storage to land out of bounds when you load the next room. And so, there’s like this other area where there’s a cliff, and you have to blow up a wall, and then you have to go down a pipe to then go up the cliff to get a badge. But well, you can instead do loading zone storage to go out of bounds and land on top of the cliff without having to go to the pipe. It saves maybe less than 5 seconds, but it’s just really cool and funny. Whenever I need that badge, I’ll always do that.
Those are the two main things that I think are really fun to do, just really silly things. There’s a bunch of other stuff I can think of… There’s one glitch called the Gourmet Guy skip where you can just walk into the corner and you clip out of bounds [Laughs]. There’s another one where you can use an NPC to push you out of bounds and that lets you skip a chapter 5 boss – and this one, you just do it, it’s so easy. When I was learning the game, there was this tutorial for it titled Lava Piranha Skip with “LOL” in parenthesis because it is so easy. I watched him doing it once, I then tried it, not knowing what he did – you just spin into a wall and then use your hammer, and you’re out of bounds. You then just walk off the stage and skip the boss. So, I did that without even trying, I just went “Oh, well… Ok, it’s that easy!”. So I think that was really funny because it skips a decently hard boss in the context of a bingo, so it’s a cool thing you can do there.
[Palmy]: So how does the community support Paper Mario bingos? Is there really an active community around it that works together? How does this community come together to make this kind of thing, or to make it more popular?
[Iycewynd]: It doesn’t really get too much support – I mean, Paper Mario is definitely I think a bit smaller of a community. It’s not a *small* community, it’s still a popular game, but there’s not a crazy amount of active runners like for Super Mario 64, or Sunshine, or [The Legend of Zelda:] Ocarina of Time or anything like that. So, there’s not of people who play bingos. Two of the biggest bingo players are me and another runner named Butterlord120, we kind of just do it whenever we have free time, or we think “hey, Bingothon is gonna be on, so let’s try and submit for that”, because it’s fun. It’s just kind of something that we do every so often, whenever we feel like “hey, I’m itching to play the game, but I don’t wanna do a ‘real’ speedrun” [laughs]. So, we just kind of do bingo, it’s really fun. The Paper Mario community is decently active, there are a decent number of runners playing the game but in terms of bingo, it’s not too active, it’s just a couple of people who do it every so often.
[Palmy]: Would you have any advice for people who would be interested in creating a bingo card for these games? And, I’m gonna add onto this one, what would you suggest to help get people to come in and play more bingo of Paper Mario?
[Iycewynd]: I’ll try this second one, for how to get more people to be interested in Paper Mario bingo.
The most important lesson of them all when it comes to bingos: Just try it!
Well, there’s definitely a couple glitches that you need to know how to do because without them the run doesn’t really work, because the sequence breaking in the game is huge. But if you’re interested in doing bingos for Paper Mario, step one is to learn those glitches, and two, just try it. A lot of things I’ve learned, I’ve learned through trial and error. Like I said, the softlocking stuff, that’s the kind of stuff you learn on the spot and go “Oh, wow, that doesn’t work, I can’t do that”. The sequence breaking likewise, learning how you may lose access to something that you need… A lot of these things I’ve learnt because I did it the wrong way and then realized “Oh, I can’t do that” because I messed up. So just try it, and ask questions! If there’s anyone in the Discord who asks “Hey, does anyone want to do bingo?” well sure, why not, that sounds fun!
In terms of making a bingo board for your game or any other type of game, just come up with random goals. Create categories for types of goals that you would do… So in Paper Mario there’s key items, badges, enemies and bosses, completing chapters, and normal items, like those are the main types of categories. Then, well ask what are some key items we can get, and you just list out a bunch of key items. You can then categorize those, so you can say well, get a key from this area, get this upgrade stone, get this artifact… So then, approximate how long you think those things might actually take you to do them, so you can then categorize them by different lengths. And then, just try it. If you generate the board and you see “Oh, turns out that getting this key item from Chapter 4 is insanely broken and way faster than we ever weighed it”, then you know, move it down to a lower weight, in terms of how long it takes to do it. If something makes you go “Oh, I will never choose this goal because it takes WAY too long”, well then remove that, and try to come up with another goal that might be more fun.
So just come up with stuff and try it, and importantly, trial and error. I think that’s just a lot of bingo, just kind of trial and error, especially if you are in a smaller community. I know a lot of bigger communities already have their own bingos established, like Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion, Pokémon… A lot of those bingos are already established, but if you’re from a smaller community that doesn’t have any, and you want to make one, I would just say trial and error is the big thing, because that’s kind of what we did. We exchanged how we did certain goals, said “Oh, this goal is actually really free”, and as we do changes we ask ourselves “Well, is this right?”, and then there are more balance changes that you need to do… It’s kind of all.
[Palmy]: Right! I have another question here, and that would be, [Paper Mario] Origami King was released a little while ago. Has this game shown any potential to become a bingo game?
[Iycewynd]: I haven’t played it. I have not played Origami King, no. I’m not trying to sound elitist or anything, but the game just doesn’t really look that interesting to me, I’ve seen a lot of gameplay, and I’m just not interested in it. So I can’t really answer that, sorry.
[Palmy]: Eh, not a worry! Well then, what is the funniest thing that happened to you in a bingo that you think is unlikely to ever happen again in another run?
Do not let your muscle memory betray you!
[Iycewynd]: I think I have two things that are kind of funny. One time I had one goal that was, make a certain recipe, and you needed a mushroom and a syrup or something like that, you’d give it to Tayce T. and she’d cook out that recipe. So, right at the beginning of the game, in prologue, you pick up a fire flower and then you do a fight, and in the fight you mash A to use the fire flower to kill the enemies. As I was going and picked up the fire flower I remembered “Oh wait, there’s a mushroom right here, right on my path”, and you know it was easy, it would take me two seconds, that’s a free mushroom I can grab and use later. So, I picked up the mushroom, and I got to the fight. However, my muscle memory normally tells me well, you take the first item and you mash it. But now, because I had picked up the mushroom, it was the first item in my inventory, instead of the fire flower. So, I thought it was just really funny how I thought, you know, OH, mushroom, big brain idea, easy peasy, and then I accidentally use it in the first fight and almost died. Whoops! [laughs] It was really funny that my muscle memory took over and I forgot that I picked up an extra item and just wasted a bunch of time.
Another thing that’s kind of funny is, when you cook recipes with Tayce T., you normally need two specific items to make a certain recipe. But, there’s an item in the game called the Mystery, and if you give Tayce T. a Mystery, she will cook you a random recipe. This is something that actually happened to GigaDB – one of his goals was to create a recipe called the Potato Salad, which required a potato and something else. But it requires you to get the iced potato which you can’t get until Chapter 7, and therefore takes a really long time. So instead, what he decided to do was to get nine or ten Mysteries and just have Tayce T. cook them until he got a Potato Salad, randomly – it’s a one in fifty chance. So, it was kind of low, but you can just do it and then reset, and he has ten of them, so he could go with ten at a time. As it turns out, he had to reset TEN TIMES to get the Potato Salad, and worse – that was his last goal, in a game where he was 5 or 6 minutes ahead of us. He had to do that over and over and over again, and so in the end, both me and the other racer both beat him and he was still just going, trying to cook that Potato Salad. It was really funny seeing how unlucky he was, seeing how he had to constantly keep resetting. He eventually got it and just went “Oh god, finally!”.
[Palmy]: Oh wow, leaving it up to chance sometimes really just…
[Iycewynd]: Oh yeah, it definitely is like that sometimes!
[Palmy]: Well, I do appreciate your time for this interview! What are any – if you have any – final words that you would like to say to the community, to your fans, to the general public, what are some things that you would like to get off your chest or say to your community before we close this interview?
[Iycewynd]: Play more bingos! They’re fun! [Laughs] If you’re interested in the game, you know, we have a lot of tutorials now. It’s way easier to get into the game now than when it was three or four years ago, in my opinion. We have so many resources to learn the game, so much stuff to help new runners… I think bingo’s super fun, sometimes people complain that Paper Mario runs are too long because Any% is 1h40 and really RNG-heavy, and you know… Bingos are only 1h20, it’s great! [Laughs]
So yeah, I just want more people to play bingos with, and yeah, I think Paper Mario is a great, fun game to play and to learn so if you are interested, you can go to the Speedrun.com page, speedrun.com/pm64. Play bingos! That’s all I got. [Laughs]
[Palmy]: Well, that works for us! And with that, thank you for tuning in! Take it easy, we will see you in the next Beyond the Board!
And that’s it for this edition of Beyond the Board – we hope you enjoyed it! Definitely be sure to give Iycewynd a follow as well as to Palmy. Definitely join the Paper Mario speedrunning Discord if you are interested as well! Likewise, make sure to follow both our YouTube channel and Twitter account to stay updated on everything Bingothon, and of course, our Twitch channel so you may follow new regular content such as the Super Mario Sunshine Bingo League. Finally, do not forget that Bingothon Winter 2020 is happening this November – learn more about it on our Winter 2020 Masterpost!
Thank you everyone, and see you on the next Beyond the Board!