Hello everyone and welcome back to this new edition of Beyond the Board, where we sit down with members of the bingo community and discuss their games and discover more of their world!
For this edition, we have RexBmx from the Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon community, right in time to celebrate the game’s 9th anniversary!
With that said, as usual, you may see the video right below as well as the FULL INTERVIEW right here!
With that said, enjoy!
Floha258: Hello everyone and welcome back to a new episode of Beyond the Board! Today we are chatting about Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. First of all, we’d like to ask our interview participant to introduce themselves.
RexBmx: Hello, my name is RexBmx. I’ve been playing bingo and speedrunning Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon since 2018. A few things about myself: as of right now I’m headed off to college; my current plans include playing more of this game, and I’ve been at, I think, 5 Bingothon events in the past.
Floha258: So how exactly did you get into Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon speedrunning?
RexBmx: I’ve been interested in speedrunning a year before I started. It was kind of a funny story. I lost my 3DS for about a year and a half and then we found it on top of the cupboard in the bathroom. It was near my bedtime, I didn’t want [to sleep], so I went to the bathroom to try and hide so that I could play a little bit longer, and I left it up there and forgot about it for a year. The copy of the game that was in the 3DS at the time was Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon! I was still missing my 3DS. I just really wanted to try that game again, so when we finally found it when cleaning the bathroom, I replayed it casually to go through everything again as I once did before and I got pretty close to getting 100% in the game. But there’s something that required some help from other people, so I looked into the speedrunning Discord to try and see if any of those guys could help me with completing the game and getting 100% in it. Initially, when I met everyone, I wasn’t actually looking into speedrunning. I was just trying to beat the game, but then I saw them upload videos of skips and world record times and I thought, “This is interesting, I’ll try this out,” and yeah, it’s been quite a journey for the past 3 years. I’ve loved it, I’ve loved the people that have been helping me with the game, and the ones that I can help with the game. Just the whole community… It’s great.
Floha258: Oh man, that sure is quite a story! What’s your favourite aspect of speedrunning Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and why?
RexBmx: Unlike the first and third Luigi’s Mansion games, Dark Moon is much more level-based, and in the main hub – which the game calls the “bunker” – you can access all the levels whenever you want, so you don’t need to play up to a certain point to practice or play just a certain part of the game. What makes it so great, for speedrunning the game at least, is that it’s very easy to go forward and pick whichever level I want to practice, or want to try and get a personal best or a world record in. And with the full level categories that we have, where we’re playing all or most of the levels in the game with maybe a few extra requirements, simply being able to practice the levels individually is really helpful for getting into speedrunning.
Floha258: Alright! How exactly did you get into bingos?
RexBmx: When I first joined, there were really only 2 main people that played bingos at the time: the 2 moderators of the game, Riidolsk and Banananana. When I joined, they were very evenly matched in how they played the game, how they did speedruns of it, how they did bingo, and I would see them chat and write messages in our Discord, and I was like, “I want to try it, it seems like fun,” so then we did a whole community bingo. I think that’s what happened. It’s been a while since the first game. I think it was those 2 and me and maybe a few others that got introduced to it. So, I liked it and I’ve done events, and Bingothon events, and enjoyed all the ones I’ve been a part of.
Floha258: Yeah, a bingo sure is fun! I’m always saying that, and it’s always great that everyone in here agrees so much. What is it that you think makes Dark Moon bingos so fun?
RexBmx: I guess, going back to the level aspect… The bingo spaces that we have, the things you have to do in order to mark out the spaces have different requirements and include different things you need to get in the levels or beating certain levels, and a lot of the spaces you have to go in-between levels, they’re rather like just another game where you would always just start at the beginning and then it might be a little bit of branching paths for certain spaces. For Dark Moon, being able to access all the levels at the start just lets you spread out and makes a bunch of different routes that different people can go on. Our races are a big example of this when we race each other in a bingo. You’ll never or very rarely see 2 people with the exact same route just because there’s so many levels you can go to, so many different spaces. Every single game we do is different and that’s what I like about it. Nothing’s repetitive.
Floha258: What do you think is the most challenging or engaging, route-wise or execution-wise, in bingos? I’m gonna guess that it comes down to which level you’re choosing. I would guess that, in the beginning, you’re going to choose a level where you can do multiple goals at once?
RexBmx: Right, I think a big example of this is when we play lockout—we’ll talk about this a little more later—but when we play a lockout, the board opens up immediately and we are introduced to 25 spaces that are completely random and we just kind of have to fly through it and say, “Okay, I wanna do this space, this space, and I’m gonna go to this level to do it.” It’s very fast-paced, especially in the beginning, and you may notice in the events that we’ve done in the past that there’s a lot of really fast thinking, and a lot of things you need to switch around in your routes especially when you’re going against other people. One person might block something off and then you have to take a different turn or try to get another space. That’s what I think is most engaging. It can bring a lot of hype when 2 people are getting really close and others are knocking each other in different directions.
Floha258: Do you think there are tricks or glitches that are not often seen in the normal speedruns but are, for example, very useful for bingo? What could they be?
RexBmx: A lot of the spaces have to do with collecting gems, for example. And there’re certain tricks to getting gems while also going on a certain route. We do have an All Gems category on the Category Extensions page, which is just getting all the germs, but normally in a bingo you would be in a specific room doing something else and you’ll be getting gems along the way trying to fill different things.
Floha258: You’ve already talked about this a bit. How does the game structure with the exploration of multiple mansions and especially the level structure affect the routing of bingo?
RexBmx: Each game is very different compared to the last and other bingo boards that you play. Being able to go anywhere and accessing multiple different mansions or levels, on top of having the different bingo spaces, makes for hundreds, thousands, maybe millions different routes. Many much faster than others. There’re many different route opportunities that the structure allows for and I really like that about this game.
Floha258: Let’s go a bit deeper down into the board. Are there any goals that you find very fun and engaging, or perhaps even some favourite goals that you have? On the other hand, are there goals that maybe need some rebalancing, or those you really do not like at all?
RexBmx: Well, I would consider myself the gem freak of the community: anything that has to do with the gems in the game, I’m all for. The All Gems category in the game? I was the one who originally had the idea of it. As of recording this, I have the world record for the game, and I’ve come up with the route and a lot of the different strats for that. Here’s an interesting thing: a lot of the different routes I made for that category can be applied to bingo as well. So I’m just very hooked on the gems in general.
For the ones that might need rebalancing or are a little more difficult to achieve: some of the spaces require us to complete specific levels. There’re 34 levels in the entire game and sometimes a space requires us to complete 3 specific ones. So, if we’re going for that space, it kind of restricts what other possible routes we could take for other things. So, things that are more specific in what we need to do, especially which levels we need to go in, are a little more difficult. But those goals could be engaging as well, I would say.
Floha258: When it comes to the routing aspect, is there something that most people usually think of and is there even some way for you to basically misroute yourself? I guess with the level system this is not often that you’re stuck in one point, but is it still possible to do that and make a huge error?
RexBmx: Yeah, definitely! This probably happened at every single event that we’ve gone to. With the number of spaces that you have and the number of different things you need to go to, it’s very easy to miss something. Our gem spaces, for example, require us to get either 7, or 12, or all 13 gems in a mansion and those gems are all in different rooms. So, you would be going to those rooms while also going to other ones to pick up certain other things, and when you have 15-20 different things going on at the same time, it’s very easy to miss something while all that is going on in your head. One second… my cat’s meowing.
Floha258: We are gonna appreciate the cat.
RexBmx: Alright, sorry about that. That was Rex the cat, the cat shares my name, or I guess I share his name—that’s why my online name is Rex. He just wanted some food and decided to be very loud.
Floha258: No problem! Let’s move on. In previous Bingothons we’ve seen, both double and lockout bingos were played for Dark Moon. What makes these modes in particular better than the others to play in this game, and do you have the one that you prefer over the other?
RexBmx: Sure! Apart from double and lockout bingos we also sometimes play triple bingos which is 3 rows or columns, and I think all of those are a lot better than just the standard single bingo, which is just one line of five. Many times when we picked a bingo board, especially way back before we revised it 2 years ago, there would be one row, or one column, or one diagonal that was much better than everything else, and we would all see that and then do the exact same thing, so it wouldn’t be as fun because we weren’t as spread out and thinking about what other people might be doing and trying to guess what they’re doing so I think having the more complicated types of bingos is better simply for more variety.
My personal favourite… I would say most of the people in the community feel this way, if not all of them – lockout is probably the favourite, simply because you’re going against someone else and when you take a space no one else can have it, so it’s no longer about trying to get a specific line or anything it’s just trying to get the most spaces, so then the other person has to find some other space that they can get really quickly to catch up to you. I think lockout bingos are definitely the most competitive and I personally really like that about them.
Floha258: Do you think that perhaps there are other variants that could be interesting to play with that you haven’t experimented with? For example, some lockout variations? I know there are a lot of them out there.
RexBmx: Sure, we’ve tossed up the idea of an exploration bingo board. I believe that’s where you start off with one space and then the adjacent spaces are only made visible once that one is completed. I think that could be interesting, but we’ve never actually tried it. I’d be interested in seeing how that would play out.
Floha258: This question is specifically for double and triple bingos. When looking at the card, what kind of factors make you think, “This is the row I wanna go for,” or, “This is the row I’m definitely not going for”?
RexBmx: Going back to gems again, many of the spaces repeat certain requirements for each of the different mansions. For example, we have 7 gems in one mansion, 7 gems in another and then sometimes there’s 12 in a certain one. That is 7 is just halfway; 12 is most of them so many times when I’m looking for a row for column to go for I’ll try and find spaces that are very close together. For example, if there are 2 rows and one says 7 gems in Haunted Towers, one of the mansions, and another space says 12 gems in Haunted Towers those 2 rows go very well together, or at least those 2 spaces. Once I get the 7-gem space, I only need 5 more and that won’t take as long and also I’m already most likely in the levels to get those gems so I don’t need to back out and then go to another one.
For things that I would not go for… spaces that I can’t think of combining in any way, like, everything is just very out of the way. When I try to pick rows or columns to go for I try to pick of things that are more intertwined together.
Floha258: So always looking for the synergy between goals.
Floha258: Yeah, that’s a very common thing you see over here in multiple bingos. When looking at newcomers, what would you say is the entry barrier for people who are interested in picking up Dark Moon bingo, and do you have any advice for them in that regard?
RexBmx: Yeah, I think the barrier of entry would just be not knowing where certain things are, like gems, or what levels have the ghosts you need to capture. We have a lot of Google docs and sheets that give location information on all of those on the different levels and also information on every single one of the levels; world records for all of the levels on speedrun.com have videos that go through the world record route, all the rooms you need to go through in a level. If you’re just wondering how to get through a specific level, you could check the video. We have a lot of resources that can help new players get started with bingo.
Floha258: Do you think that, so to say, “normal” speedrunners could benefit from doing bingos in some way? I’m thinking of the runners who usually don’t run categories that aren’t exploring the game to its fullest.
RexBmx: Sure, I guess the biggest category that comes to mind is 100%. It requires you to get 20,000 gold by the end of the game, which is a big deal, and also to get all the Boos and gems in the game. We have certain spaces where people need to get a certain amount of gold and then finish a mission, or collect a certain number of gems. I think bingo will greatly help people retain the locations of certain items so that when they go into a speedrun of a category like that one that isn’t where you just go from start to end, I think bingo can help keep in information in the player’s mind so that they can do better during a speedrun.
Floha258: How do you think the community can further support bingos? Is there any way that’s possible at all?
RexBmx: I think there could be a few bingo spaces that we could also add. Some things that we’ve shown off in the events before that softlock the game or crash it. We do those for donation incentives, but if we had a space on the bingo board that requires you to crash the game, let’s say 2 times, I think that could be a really fun thing for the audience to see, and also just to teach speedrunners and others about the different crashes in the game and other ways to get yourself stuck. We also have a lot of new runners are coming in recently. I think we could do like a huge group of people playing bingo all at once, maybe 8 or 10, with each person playing a different colour! That sounds like a lot of fun, I’d like to try that.
Floha258: That definitely sounds like a lot of fun! Do you have some anecdotes you’d like to share about bingo? The funniest thing that happened to you during a bingo that is unlikely to happen in a normal run, or just anything you want to share?
RexBmx: I think the funniest thing that’s happened was… I believe it was our fourth time at Bingothon, and we showed off a crash where you leave the final room of a level and then it pulls you into that Mission Complete screen, and right before it saves and you go back to the hub area, it crashes the game for some reason. We don’t know why. I don’t remember the name, but there was someone who just told me about it one time and none of us knew about it, so I randomly brought up into the bingo, told one of the people that were playing at the time, “Hey, do this!”, and they were very confused about what had gone on. It was very funny, I liked that.
Some other things I’d like to share: if you are interested in doing speedruns of this game or possibly bingo of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, you can visit speedrun.com/lm2, we have a Discord link in there, where all of our speedrunners are. They can give you a lot of tips to help you get started with certain levels, or just answer any general questions you have. We are very open to new runners of the game, and we always encourage new people to try it out.
Floha258: Alright! Before we wrap it up, do you have any final words? Or something I have not ask about yet? Anything you’d like to share, or just where can people find you on the internet?
RexBmx: You can find us on speedrun.com/lm2. Also, a lot of our speedrunners stream on Twitch, myself included, you can chat with us if you’re interested about the game, we will be happy to answer your questions. I think that’s about it.
Floha258: Alright, thank you very much! Don’t forget to give our guest RexBmx a follow, and thank you very much for joining!
RexBmx: Sure, thank you for having me!
Floha258: We’ll be seeing you again at the next month’s Beyond the Board! Until then!
And that is it for this month’s Beyond the Board!
Thank you, and see you later on another Beyond the Board!
About The Author
Floha258 is one of the Main Organisers of Bingothon and depicts himself as “Mädchen für alles”, since he’s responsible for Development, Social Media and all other kinds of organisational activities.
Currently he is trying to fix his sleep schedule, in the hopes of it not crashing like Otogi.