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!
Today’s Beyond the Board features PinkBatman from the Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX community. If you are interested in being featured on a future edition, then do not hesitate to contact either Pikastroff#4262 or Floha258#1968 on our Discord server. Enjoy!
In the meantime, do remember that Bingothon Summer 2022 submissions are open until May 22nd, so if you haven’t submitted yet, then do get those final submissions in soon! You may find everything you need on the grand masterpost for the event.
Pikastroff: Hello everyone and welcome back to this new edition of Beyond the Board where we take people in from various bingo communities to talk about their games. So here we have now PinkBatman from the Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening DX rando community. So, how would you like to introduce yourself?
PinkBatman: Ah hi everybody, my name is PinkBatman. You can find me on Twitch at Pink_Batman12 and yeah I do consider myself a variety streamer that speedruns Link’s Awakening DX, and I do a lot of randomizers for LADX as well!
Pikastroff: Awesome, so how have we gotten into Link’s Awakening DX speedrunning then, as a whole?
PinkBatman: Well, I first started watching a lot of GDQ, there was a Hotfix episode of Random Number Generation earlier last year where they showcased the randomizer for this game. At the time I was really big into playing randomizers for various games and it was a game that I had played a lot of as a kid. It was one of the first ones I actually ever had, growing up on, you know my old Gameboy brick! [Laughs]
And so when I discovered the existence of the randomizer, I was like “I HAVE to learn how to play this!”. So, I joined the community, they were all super helpful and you know, helping me get back into, you, know, locating you know my own copy for the game, finding the resources necessary to get the randomizer started, and there was a point where I just kind of started joining in on the weekly races they had in the randomizer community and you know, I learned a bit more from those guys as well. After a couple months I was convinced to actually start speedrunning the base game itself by one of the other rando runners, which actually makes this my very first speedrunning game!
Pikastroff: Nice! When it comes to the Zelda series, I think for a lot of people it is always very special because you know it tends to be the childhood games for many of us, so whenever we get to like trying to get into those communities, it always feels very, very special.
So, what is your favourite aspect then of speedrunning Link’s Awakening, and why?
PinkBatman: I believe my favourite aspect of Link’s Awakening is just how insanely broken this game truly is! [Laughs] There is so much you can do, even in the base game to just completely go beyond the normal boundaries of what you would normally find playing it casually and in a lot of cases these are just super easy tricks to perform and you know, even despite all the glitches I already know it still feels like I’m learning new glitches, new ways to break the game… Which is actually really ironic because I’m not usually a huge fan of playing games with major glitches or exploits, but with Link’s Awakening DX, it’s very different. It it still feels like you are enjoying the game despite absolutely breaking it over your knee! [Laughs]
Pikastroff: Oh, what is it to you makes that difference, despite having that in that criteria that usually you don’t like, but it’s still making you like?
PinkBatman: So a lot of games that have major glitches, you’re typically just vaulting over large portions of the game, some of which are in some cases the most enjoyable aspects of the game casually. I specifically run the No WW/OOB category, which is No Wrong Warp / No Out Of Bounds. In that category you are still going to every single dungeon, you’re still doing almost all the dungeon, you’re just doing it in a way that lets you go fast, so you’re still getting to enjoy the entirety of the game, you’re just doing it at a much faster pace but you’re still able to still play the entire game if that kind of makes sense. So yeah, we’re breaking the game, but we’re still enjoying the majority of what the game has to offer as well.
Pikastroff: That makes sense to me, because it can definitely be understandable like when it comes to normal speedruns that you can start to quote unquote ‘miss’ the original game a bit, especially on categories like Any% and whatnot, where you can actually skip a lot of stuff over there.
PinkBatman: Actually, on that note, that was actually one of my biggest fears of getting into speedrunning in the first place. You know, I really, really loved this game. I was terrified that if I started speedrunning this game, I’m going to lose a lot of the love that I had for it growing up because it wouldn’t play the same anymore. So it’s really nice to still be able to enjoy the game casually as much as I do speedrunning.
Pikastroff: Nice yeah, I had some similar fears as well back when I was speedrunning a bunch of Zelda games as well. I really feared that as well, so I totally understand you on that. But yeah, with that said, you spoke about the fact that you also run a lot of randomizers so, how did you get into Link’s Awakening DX rando bingos specifically then?
PinkBatman: So every month the developer slash maintainer of LADXR, his name is Daid, he releases a special rando seed that has some form of strange mechanics implemented into a game. Past monthly’s have included mechanics such as having your health actually be your rupee count and you die when your rupee count hits zero! Or another month he implemented ‘super weapons’, quote unquote, into the game, where the effects of the items already existed in the game, have their kind of their code changed a little bit, so you’d be able to fire the bow at nonstop speeds. Basically like machine gun speeds! Or the feather, which lets you jump in the game will now let you jump like almost twice as high! [Laughs]
It’s just very silly little things every month. One of the more recent monthly’s… I want to say it was like maybe like three or four months ago… There is a lot of discussion in the Discord community about how bingo used to be done quite a bit using Bingosync and so Daid had the idea of basically ‘what if we put this bingo board inside the game and make it a goal for the game?’. That monthly ended up being a huge hit with all parties involved and even our weeklies like I would say 95% of the weekly races we do are always bingos.
That was really what got me started into it in the first place and just why I love it so much is because it’s almost an extension to the randomizer itself. A lot of people play randomizers because you know, games with progression like this, generally it’s ‘pretty linear’, quote unquote. But having the idea of a randomizer helps kind of change the way you play that game over and over again, it keeps it fresh every time, so the addition of the bingo board helps kind of change the end goal of what a randomizer is because at the end of the day, most randomizers are still going to be, you know, the path may be different but the end goal is the same. Now that it’s a bingo, the path is different and so is your potential end goal.
Pikastroff: Nice, so basically the good thing about it is that it basically really goes hand in hand together, like both the bingo and rando aspect. They just work really well together and help making that a better experience.
Pikastroff: Nice! There’s something I’m definitely curious about I wanted to ask you about a bit later, and I think you’ve already partially answered my question, but we’ll come back to it later, about the fact that the bingo board is basically in-game, which I have found is a really interesting aspect. We’ll come back to that a bit later.
But you know right now, what I’m curious about is, so in what aspects is Link’s Awakening DX rando the most challenging or engaging? Is it in routing, execution, or something else?
PinkBatman: I would say the most challenging aspect of playing LADXR bingo would most certainly be the routing involved. You know, I’ve been playing this game for a little over a year now and even still it can be very easy to just kind of forget certain checks in the game because they’re very out of the way or you know, you might forget a check that has a very specific item requirement, and this happens a lot when you’re trying to go fast in a randomizer. Well, missing some of these checks can actually very easily become the difference in a race between having a commanding lead and then just completely failing, and I’ve had a lot of races go that way for myself personally.
The best way to kind of overcome these challenges is just, you know, practice, practice, practice! If you lose a race because you didn’t go and check this one location you know next time you race could be like, well, I gotta remember to go check this location next time. We do allow the use of map trackers when we’re racing, most of us don’t use them, kind of like a… Uh, what’s the best way to describe it? Like, kind of like a gentlemen’s agreement where it’s like an unspoken agreement that is like yes, we have the ability to do it, but we don’t want to, kind of.
Pikastroff: Yeah, so I suppose you just do that like as a sort of quote unquote ‘fairness’ between all racers?
[PinkBatman: Yeah, yeah along those lines, yeah. But I mean if you’re playing it casually though, I mean no one’s gonna care if you use a map tracker! [Laughs] It’s a good way to kind of learn how to play the game, and there are a couple of trackers out there that are still actively being updated with the new tricks and skips that are being found.
Pikastroff: I guess it’s even good points for practice as well.
PinkBatman: Oh, absolutely.
Pikastroff: Yeah, in case you’re still trying to learn exactly where all the checks are and what are the best ways to route them in it, you can definitely use that on your own to practice, but I can definitely understand that then once you’re doing an actual race like, you usually don’t want to go ahead with that and that’s fair to me.
You mentioned earlier that there’s still a lot of discoveries being made with Link’s Awakening in terms of tricks and glitches and skips, and you know on that note, therefore, are there any tricks or glitches that are not often seen in normal speedruns of Link’s Awakening DX rando that are useful in bingos and if they are, what are they and why is it useful in bingo and not in speedruns?
PinkBatman: You know, I took a while to think about this question! [Laughs] Generally speaking, you’ll be pretty much using the same tricks and glitches in a bingo seed as you would be in a normal random seed. But if anything, the biggest difference you might see is locations that are already in the game that you normally would never visit because they’re totally unrelated to the completion of a seed. There will be certain goals to maybe get pictures in the game or you know go to a location like a fairy fountain or something that are just super out of the way, there’s no reason to go there when you’re doing a normal randomizer seed, but for the purpose of a bingo it does kind of add more to the game in that sense. And so maybe there’s a few like tricks or glitches, you know, little speed strats here and there you can use to get to those areas. That would be about the only sense of what you would use in a bingo versus just like a random seed though.
Pikastroff: That makes sense to me, so basically. Those places you usually wouldn’t visit normally in a speedrun, because it’s just not required, but could all of a sudden be required to visit in a bingo. In this case, knowing tricks that are useful there can definitely make them useful especially for bingo, so that makes sense to me, something to be aware of for anyone wanting to to get into bingo I reckon.
The other perspective, which I’ve also heard in a few other Beyond the Boards is also that sometimes, bingo can give a new life to old tricks and glitches that, for instance, were replaced by newer ones, whether it be because a faster thing has been found and therefore this particular trick is not relevant anymore, like I’ve heard of some cases where that kind of thing happened where it gave life again to all tricks and therefore do you think that happens as well in here?
PinkBatman: I am trying to think if there are any specific instances where that is very much a thing. Off the top of my head, I don’t believe so. I think it would be more accurate to say that different tricks and glitches that are like old hat, you know, maybe once were used back in the day but are no longer used, become more relevant depending on the settings for the card, which is kind of something I’ll talk about a little bit later, one of the more unique aspects for the goal, but for the most part you’re generally going to be doing whatever you can to get through a card. I don’t think there’s any specific goals in mind that would normally change how you would do an area at least with LADX bingo.
Pikastroff: Right, OK, in that case we can see about that a bit later on. In the meantime, we can move on to our next little section here, and we’re back now to where we were with something we mentioned earlier on, which is about the way the card is generated. I find it intriguing back from when we saw the game at Bingothon Winter 2021 that the bingo card was generated within the game and not via Bingosync. So, I wanted to ask like is there a particular reason why it is done that way instead of traditionally? I mean you’ve already talked a bit about it, but you know, is there more stuff you’d like to mention about that particular system, so to speak?
PinkBatman: I mean, as far as the reason why we prefer to use the in-game bingo card as opposed to Bingosync is mostly pedantic! [Laughs] It’s very, very quality of life, you know. It’s one less window we have to have on the desktop every time we have to click outside of the screen we have to click back inside the screen to get the game to play again with our controllers, you know, it’s all like very very small things.
I would say the one major aspect to having that bingo card be in the game though, is that when you get your bingo in game, you don’t have to go beat the game, you don’t have to just kind of sit there and say “I got the bingo, I’m done!” and then just kind of like sit there in the middle of an enemy filled screen and say “oh, that’s it, I’m done”. It does kind of add a sense of finality to it, because once you’ve got your bingo, you do still have to make your way back home or make your way to the egg and check the bingo board, and then it does a credits warp, so it does kind of apply that firm sense of finality, it’s like OK, that’s it, this is the end of the game. And then it’ll even give you an official in game time and some final stats as well for those interested in knowing like how many checks you got in the game out of how many checks there were.
So I would say that’s the biggest part of having the bingo board be in the game, that makes it a little bit nicer is it does kind of apply more of a finality to your seed.
Pikastroff: Yeah I think that really makes sense and plus beyond like that sense of finality, you know it’s more climatic than just standing awkwardly there with “Oh, I’m done!”. It could even add a bit more competition, because I can imagine if you’ve got like 2 teams that are neck to neck, it means that it could be not just about who finishes their last goal first, it could be about who makes it back to the house first to get to the credits warp. I reckon that could make a difference, wouldn’t it?
PinkBatman: It absolutely has in the past a couple times.
Pikastroff: So it definitely adds a new dimension to it because then you could also need to consider when routing… Like if you’re in the end game and you try to predict, like for instance, what goal your opponent is going for, you also have to take into account “how quickly will it take me to go back and finish the the seed after I’m done with my goal compared to the time it would take for them to do it?”, and that’s a nice dimension to add, it adds complexity to it, which I think is really nice.
So, speaking of fun, what is it for you that constitutes a fun and engaging goal versus one that you think may need some rebalancing?
PinkBatman: Really the only time I’ve ever actually considered a goal that would be in need of rebalancing is if the existence of that goal directly counters the collection of another goal. So like, have one spot on the bingo board say ‘have this item in your inventory’, but then have another bingo spot and even in the same row or column, say ‘trade away that item’, which would in turn cancel out the original spot, which was an issue when the bingo board first came into play.
In Link’s Awakening DX, you get a mushroom to get powder normally in the base game, so in the randomizer we find the mushroom and then we still trade it away to the witch and she gives us another random item, however, these can both end up being bingo board spots. You know, have the mushroom and trade the mushroom for the witch’s item and if you trade the mushroom away, it takes away your mushroom trade item. You could just go get another mushroom from the forest after that, but it does feel a little funky doing it that way and there have been other goals, especially trade quest goals, that have that same thing, but it becomes a more permanent thing. If you use a glitch to skip getting a certain item of the collection sequence and then you try to go back and get that item, like it doesn’t count! So that can break a bingo board sometimes. But you know Daid has been working on fixing those issues as they come up.
But otherwise, most of the goals do kind of consider or require you to consider different routing options when you’re playing, especially goals like the picture goals which you do have to go out of your way to collect. So I would say what kind of makes that more fun and engaging is that goals in this style do sometimes lead to very close races, where in the end it comes down to speed, routing and execution before the final say and you know who’s going to be the winner. So it could be like, oh, I just need to find 900 rupees and my opponent is going for a goal where they have to complete the trade sequence. Who can do that faster?
Pikastroff: Yeah, these kinds of goals can lead to really hectic matches don’t they? [Laughs] And plus what you said earlier about the goals that might need some rework… That’s something I never thought about, those particular ones like the idea that certain goals can sort of contradict themselves. Well, I’m not sure ‘contradicting’ is the word to use here, but I guess you get what I mean.
PinkBatman: think that’s an accurate way of putting it, just having contradicting goals to each other. ‘Have the item’, ‘don’t have the item’, like huh? [Laughs]
Pikastroff: It doesn’t make! How do you handle having that on the board?! I can understand that it’s definitely something to be worried about when making your goals for your board. So yeah, definitely note to take for anyone wanting to make a board for a game.
So, tell me, do you have any particular favourite goals that you love having?
PinkBatman: I have a very strong love-hate relationship with the picture goals. [Laughs] When we get a board that’s generated that has like a couple here and there, you know it can make routing interesting, it could be fun going out of way to get some of those pictures. Some of them are quite entertaining, but then when you get a board that has every picture in the game, it just gets a little tedious going around, and I think one picture in particular requires you to do the entirety of the trade sequence, which luckily we can use glitches to skip most of the trade sequence, but it is still [Laughs]… It’s not always fun having a race come down to who can collect 5 pictures the fastest. But sometimes it can come down to a race that says who can collect these two pictures the fastest. I enjoy the picture goals, but I also hate it when I have to do too many of them!
Pikastroff: Because otherwise you end up having for instance too many prerequisites you need to fulfill, isn’t it?
PinkBatman: Yeah, that does also become kind of an issue as well.
Pikastroff: Yeah, that’s a common theme that we always hear about when it comes to complaints about particular goals or how things can improve your list, like maybe those goals could be reworked or not necessarily worked, but it’s just sometimes feels tedious in some scenarios because it requires so many things to do beforehand or so many conditions to be fulfilled before you can even attempt to go ahead. Of course prerequisites are part of bingo, and it’s part of routing, but it can get tedious when you have so much of it.
But yeah, since we were just speaking about routing, when it comes to routing, what are the aspects of it perhaps that most people usually do not think of and are there any mistakes in the thought process behind routing that people can do to damage their potential for example? And what do you think then could they do to improve?
PinkBatman: I did kind of touch on this a little bit earlier, but there are going to be often times you know, especially when you’re going fast, you may become completely stuck because you forgot the location of a check that you wouldn’t normally check in like 80% of the seeds you run It could be like you’re trying to fullclear an area and there’s one check you can’t check in that area just because you don’t have this one specific item, but then when you do get that specific item, you’re so excited because it unlocks everything else in the game that you just totally forget that you never completed that dungeon early on or gotten that check early on. It’s very easy to do this in a race and so… Trial and error honestly is the biggest part of getting through a seed like that. You’ll play multiple seeds, if you get stuck, if you forget a check you find out later, because you can always generate a spoiler log with the seed you generate. So if you get hopelessly and truly stuck you can always check to see where you are and be like “oh yeah, I forgot to go check that thing two hours ago!”. [Laughs] Or however long even, it’s a bit of an exaggeration! [Laughs] Also you know, use a map tracker if you’re just doing it casually, especially if you don’t really know what you’re doing. It can definitely help you kind of find those checks that are easy to forget or that you might forget to come back to later on.
Pikastroff: I think the interesting point to note about that is you spoke about, for instance, when you get an item that unlocks a bunch of stuff and it’s easy to just… Do you often feel overwhelmed sometimes with how many more possibilities you have when you get a certain item and you feel “OK, where to start?”, do you go to new areas or maybe do you know if you have to come back to old stuff, and considering you’re not using the map tracker to help you, like is it difficult to mentally keep up with all of that?
PinkBatman: Oh gosh, uh, sometimes! [Laughs] Usually the one item that really opens up the game that you always have to find somewhere early on is the Power Bracelet. The Power Bracelet locks out like half of the entire world. You literally cannot access the second half of the world without the Power Bracelet. And so if you find the Power Bracelet and then two seconds later you find like the Flippers that let you swim, and then another two seconds later you find like your sword and you’re able to climb the mountain… If you find all these items that are just very large gates to certain checks, you know it can be sometimes very overwhelming. It’s like, well, I’ve got all these great items. But now I’ve got like 200 checks I need to check at the same time. It can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out “OK, so which way do I go next? Do I go over here? Do I make maybe a ballsy play and go over here?”… Yeah, it can be a little overwhelming.
Again, trial and error, practice makes perfect. Once you start kind of learning the game, learning the map, it becomes a little bit easier to be like “OK well, I could check here but there’s only like 2 checks here, so maybe I’ll go check here first because there’s like 10 checks here”.
Pikastroff: Yeah, with experience you’ll basically start to gain a better understanding of the synergy between the checks and how quickly you can navigate the world and the checks. So it’s something that really comes into experience I guess.
Alright, so since you know we’re just kind of talking about decision making, this does lead up pretty well to my next question here, which is… While looking at the goals in your card, what kind of factors make you think “OK, this is a row I want to go for” and which ones make you say “I am NOT going for that one”?
PinkBatman: So usually if you see a row or column that has nothing but instruments or items that don’t normally provide progression to a seed like a powder upgrade or picture goals, those are usually the last ones I’m going to consider getting. Typically I’m looking for rows that have major progression items that open up large portion of the map, like the Flippers or the Power Bracelet. Or, you know, just easy to achieve goals in general, like having a certain rupee count or beating certain bosses or minibosses that I know I can find pretty easily. I would say a majority of the bingo seeds I do, I actually just completely ignore the bingo board in the beginning and I just kind of go for a little. But once I get to a point, you know, I’ve collected a couple progression items, I’ve got a few different decisions on where I want to go… At that point, I’ll go back to the bingo board and see what goals have I already gotten, what am I close to, what’s going to be the next play based on what I have on my bingo board.
Pikastroff: Right, so basically, from what I gather generally speaking, goals that have also an impact in the game itself since you mentioned some progression items and whatnot. To a certain extent, those can be sort of good goals because I reckon they can also help you lead into further goals and hopefully they have good synergy. [Laughs]
PinkBatman: Very much so yeah.
Pikastroff: So it’s interesting, you mentioned that you don’t really care that much about the card at the beginning, so is it for instance you get the card reveal and then you just like look at it just to get an idea of what the goals are, but without necessarily routing, is that what you mean?
PinkBatman: Uh, kind of. When we first start a bingo seed. We actually don’t get to see the card right away. We press start on the seed and the first thing we do is we wake up in bed. We don’t actually get to see the bingo card until we go to the back of the starting house and look at that big blue thing on the wall, and that’s when we have the card revealed to us essentially, so we have no idea what possible end goals we’ll be going for right away. However, we do know that even if we do check that board right away, 90% of the time it’s going to be impossible to figure out which way should I go first just because without those progression items, there’s not really a whole lot of options you can do in the first place.
The first item in the game is always going to be talking to Tarin in the starting house. So if we talk to Tarin and he gives us a Power Bracelet, maybe in that situation we might check the bingo board right away because this is already like “Well now I have half the world already opened up to me, maybe I’ll check the bingo board and maybe they’ll give me a better idea of which way should I go”. But generally speaking, most of the time it is kind of difficult to gauge which goals you’re going to go for right away because you have no idea which way the seed is going to take you. And so getting those progression items do kind of help guide a little bit because it’s like I could look at a bingo board and say “OK, beat this mini boss, well that’s it, very easy to find the mini boss, I just have to go to this location and kill him”, but then I start collecting items and I don’t find any of the items necessary to beat him, but I do get the items necessary to beat a miniboss on the goal that is much further into the game. I could check that board early on and be like “well, I’m going to go for this early boss first and then get totally screwed over when I realize well, that’s not happening, now I gotta change my whole plan!”, and in that situation I might end up behind in a race.
Pikastroff: OK, so first off that already basically answered one of the questions I had later!
PinkBatman: Whoops! [Laughs]
Pikastroff: We’ll come back to it a bit later, that’s OK, but that’s really good actually. So basically, from what I understand, it seems to relate a lot like this way of like not focusing too much on the card at first… It’s a way to basically deal well with the randomizer aspects. It’s true that you can’t actually know how the game is going to go at all when you don’t have any idea of what items you’ll have at the beginning and where you can even go, and so in that case, it makes more sense for you to first spend some time gathering some first items and going to a few locations just to make sure, just to gauge a bit… Because I guess with the experience you’ll start being able to predict once you have a few items, how things can potentially go, and that’s from that moment you can start going OK, those are the goals you can start routing.
So yeah, I think that’s an interesting perspective because whenever we discussed randomizers in previous Beyond the Boards, it’s a tricky thing. You know, having to deal with the randomization aspects with the bingo card… And that’s an interesting strat, the idea of just not focusing on that and not tunnel-vision accidentally, with just the hope that it will work out. Does that make sense?
PinkBatman: Yeah, that makes total sense to me.
Pikastroff: Yeah, I think it’s really an interesting thing. Since we’re on the topic of the randomizer aspects, you’ve already answered most of that question I think, but are there any other aspects with randomization that are very tricky to deal with, and what are your strategies to handle them?
PinkBatman: So at the end of the day, routing does become the most common reason to why a seed may or may not take longer to complete. And it’s not just because somebody might not know how to do, you know, glitches and tricks in the game, it can be very easy to get tripped up during certain seeds because in some cases you could have a runner who knows all the tricks and glitches in the game and they might end up taking longer to beat the seed than a guy who does everything vanilla because the progression of the seed won’t necessarily always ask the player to know how to do all these tricks. So like I could be doing this trick and that trick to skip half the game and get to the later parts in the game to try to find good items, but then another runner who doesn’t really know how to do that could just be playing the game as normal and find all the good progression early on, and then I’m falling behind because I don’t have that progression to get to the areas I need to and I should have had that like an hour ago. [Laughs]
So if you know what your seed settings are, it is a lot easier to make better routing choices just based on what’s available to you at the current junction. I could cheat my way into a dungeon very easily, but if I would normally need four other items just to access that dungeon, it is very unlikely that sort of gamble would end up paying off in the long run.
Pikastroff: So it’s not all about being able to skip things and go faster there when you take the randomization aspects into it. It makes that a bit more complicated, doesn’t it?
PinkBatman: Very much so yeah! [Laughs] I have taken a lot of time to learn some of these tricks and that does kind of end up biting me in the butt sometimes during a race because I’m like I’m super excited, It’s like “I’m going to do this trick, I’m going to skip all this, it’s gotta pay off”… And then it never pays off! [Laughs] It is very easy to get tripped up on that kind of thing when you’re doing a race, especially for the randomizer.
PinkBatman: Pain, exactly! [Laughs]
Pikastroff: So yeah, it definitely makes sense to me. So, what do you think is the most fun bingo type to play for LADX rando?
PinkBatman: Well, so currently the in-game bingo board we have only has two options. You can either do a single bingo or a full card bingo, but there is still Bingosync available if you want a larger variety of options.
Personally, I’m a bigger fan of single bingo, just because it leads to shorter seeds that can range anywhere from, like you know, 30 minutes to an hour. Unless you’re me and I play with much more challenging seed settings in which case things can take a little bit longer and it’s just an easier category overall to race. Sometimes full card bingos can take an egregious amount of time and you know it is just nice having those shorter seeds to do sometimes.
Pikastroff: Yeah, I reckon it can be good sometimes for those long matches, but I guess especially if you try to do a lot of matches it can become too tedious at times if you have super long matches! [Laughs]
PinkBatman: Very much so yeah.
Pikastroff: Alright yeah, that makes sense to me. We shall move on to the next section here… What would you say is the barrier for entry for people who are interested in picking up random bingos and have got any advice for them?
PinkBatman: It can be pretty easy honestly to be discouraged to learn any rando. If you’re watching someone else play a seed and they’re doing all these fancy glitches and tricks that just look super difficult you know. But the nice thing about Link’s Awakening DX is that it’s a very underrated game in the Zelda series. It’s very, very approachable, so both those who want to learn how to break the game and those who just want to have a fun casual experience and not have to worry about the pressure of “I HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO DO ALL THESE THINGS!”. The game itself is actually very user friendly if you will. It’s very easy to get into casually.
The best part of the randomizer itself is that there’s actually a difficulty setting in the options when you’re setting up a seed, that kind of dictates what level of knowledge and skill is required to complete a seed, which can be anywhere from casual, which is the easiest difficulty. It’ll actually include extra copies of the major progression items in the game, and it won’t require any level of tricks or glitches to complete basically. The hardest difficulty, which is the one I like to play the most, is hell logic, which basically requires some of the most obscure knowledge, and the most difficult to perform tricks and glitches. Those may be required to complete a seed.
There are resources available to everybody who wants to play Link’s Awakening DX randomizer, so you can play and learn at your own pace. You know, take the time to learn the layout of the game first, maybe even play the vanilla game first, just to kind of learn what the game has to offer. Once you start feeling comfortable with it, take advantage of the resources, start learning tricks and you know, play in higher difficulties.
Pikastroff: Step by step basically yeah. Don’t feel too overwhelmed by the complex tricks you can find in the game, isn’t it?
PinkBatman: Yes, absolutely. There are some very fun tricks and very funny ways to break the game.
Pikastroff: Yeah, and that’s what a lot of speedruns are composed of. Funny ways to break the game in absolutely ridiculous ways.
Alright, do you think ‘normal speedrunners’, well, quote unquote ‘normal speedrunners’ could benefit from doing bingos in some way because you already touched that at the very beginning of the interview, you already said that categories like Any% [editor’s note: No WW/OOB] still explore the game quite a lot. But despite that, do you still think there’s a way that speedrunners who usually don’t touch bingo might benefit from playing bingo?
PinkBatman: I do think so, absolutely. The biggest reason I believe this is because when you’re speedrunning the base game you’re typically doing the same glitches and the same tricks in the same place, and you’re doing them over and over and over again, but there might be parts in the run, especially later in the run, where maybe you only do one specific trick one specific time, and you don’t get a chance to really practice those tricks in other ways and other locations you know. One of the advantages of doing a bingo is maybe some of these lesser used tricks might come up much more often when you’re playing a randomizer or bingo, so it can be a great way to help practice those tricks while still having a little bit of a variety and, you know, make it a little less grindy, a little less repetitive.
Pikastroff: So basically as a way to avoid just being stuck constantly in the same routine forever basically.
Pikastroff: Even if you explore it, it’s still a large part of the game. The fact is you still do the same thing over and over again.
PinkBatman: Yeah, it definitely kind of breaks away from a little bit of that, you know, mundane repetitiveness.
Pikastroff: Obviously it’s not exactly the same thing here, because in my own case it was that the much content is skipped, unlike in Link’s Awakening as you were mentioning yourself… I’m always thinking about how I used to be a big [The Legend of Zelda:] Breath of the Wild Any% speedrunner, to the point that I played so much Any% and so little outside of Any% that as soon as I was put outside of the contents of Any%… Uhm, I was lost! [Laughs] I was utterly lost and so that’s where stuff like bingo can really help you just kind of apply things you’ve learned in new ways!
I mean, I say that and you know, I keep thinking about… [Laughs] No, I think about the Blind Bingo Series Finale! [Laughs]
PinkBatman: Oh my goodness, that was a great time, let me tell you! [Laughs] We may have lost, but I still had so much fun during that finale, like that was a ton of fun! Oooh, I can’t wait for season 2!
Pikastroff: Oh yeah, I’m pretty sure it will happen. I don’t know when but it will.
PinkBatman: More chaos, more yelling at Floha! [Laughs]
Pikastroff: Yes, I’ll allow you any excuse to yell at Floha!
PinkBatman: He’ll be on the other team and I’ll STILL be yelling “Floha, what are you doing?!” [Laughs]
Pikastroff: Even if you don’t know what he’s doing, you can yell!
PinkBatman: Exactly! [Laughs]
Pikastroff: Just put doubt in his mind.
But yeah, with that said, how do you think the community can further support bingos?
PinkBatman: So the Link’s Awakening DX randomizer Discord has a channel specifically for ideas and suggestions for improving LADXR as a whole. You know, if you’re playing the bingo and you come up with new ideas for bingo goals or other mechanics to the randomizer, you know we’d love to have you stop in and make those suggestions. You know, new ideas can often come from very surprising places.
Pikastroff: Alright, yeah, basically don’t be afraid to say your opinion if you’ve got any on the on the board! Something I’ve often heard in the past is that like for instance when the board like… I don’t know how many people have been involved in making the LADX board, but for instance, oftentimes it’s often either only one person, or maybe it’s just a few people in the community and so having this exterior feedback from new people and new blood, it’s really useful. That’s definitely really good. Good words to say here for people who feel like they want to contribute, you can just suggest those things. Your exterior perspective matters.
PinkBatman: Yeah, as far as I know, Daid is the only one that actively maintains pretty much everything for LADXR, so you know, having us as runners you know, helping out with new ideas… Don’t get me wrong, he is an absolute genius with some of the stuff he comes up with, but there have been ideas that some runners have come up with in the past that he’s never thought of that do actually add a bit of quality life to it.
So yeah, I mean if you got an idea, you know there’s no such thing as a bad- well, OK, hold on now! [Laughs] There ARE such things as bad ideas, BUT, we’re not going to judge you for those unless you’re actually trying to be an idiot! [Laughs]
Pikastroff: Alright, we’re moving on to the final section here. Just before we conclude, have you got any anecdotes you’d like to share?
PinkBatman: [Cackles ominously] Yeah, there’s a couple! [Laughs] One of my more infamous moments and it’s a clip on my Twitch… We had a weekly race where we decided to turn on Mini Boss Shuffle and Super Weapons, which was a monthly feature that ended up getting added to the normal randomizer because it was another really popular one, or another really popular mechanic, and so we have both of those on, and there is a mini boss on the game that is just notoriously buggy. It is a very strange mini boss. Because it exists in the colour dungeon, which is already a notoriously buggy dungeon, it’s just a very weird enigma to the entire game. Well anyway, that mini boss was shuffled into a room that you normally enter from the bottom of the room. I had boots and sword, I decided to try to dash attack him. But due to the buggy nature, basically how things ended up going was I started the boost dash, I ran into him, he stunlocked me, but because the boots were still active, it decided to have this weird property of moon walking me back out of the room and so basically I ran in, booped him in the snoot and then just immediately moon walked my way back out of the room, it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in my life! [Laughs] And I couldn’t do anything because I was still suffering from the stun frames from the boss’s attack, it was very goofy to watch!
Pikastroff: You said you had a clip?
PinkBatman: There is a clip on my Twitch channel.
Pikastroff: Please send it to me.[Laughs]
PinkBatman: Yes, absolutely!
Another funny story I have was actually the race that we had at Bingothon Winter 2021 where you know me and Madam Materia did not realize at the time, but we were both trying to race for the final goal of just having over 900 rupees… For which there was a very easy way for both of us to achieve that goal, and both of us totally forgot about it. In the colour dungeon, there’s just a room that has a crap ton of rupees – that easily would have just immediately got us to the goal! But yeah, like I said, we both totally forgot it and the only thing we could think of was either explore the world or do the trendy game minigame, which in and of itself is a giant meme! [Laughs] And I still ended up losing because I actually misremembered the goal, I thought it was 980 rupees. It was only 900 rupees. [Laughs] So that race ended up becoming very, very close for very silly reasons!
Pikastroff: It is messy.
PinkBatman: It’s just very messy. I know PhantomMat and dragonc0 who were the commentators for that run were just shaming us the entire time, even though I couldn’t hear it! I knew they were shaming me! [Laughs]
Pikastroff: Alright, so. We are coming up to the end now.
PinkBatman: Oh no.
Pikastroff: Already, yes, we already are.
PinkBatman: I can’t believe this.
Pikastroff: Do you have any final words you’d like to say to the community?
PinkBatman: Yeah there are. There are a lot of people that actually helped me get to the point where I am today when it comes to LADX, there’s a few names in particular I really wanted to shout out a big thanks to xandertje10 and dragonc0 for really helping me get into LADXR speedrunning in the first place and learning a lot of the obscure, difficult tricks and glitches that allow you to break this game. I also want to shout out Madam Materia for just being an awesome rival and a friend in the speedrunning community. We’ve both been doing a lot to kind of push each other while playing this game. Big shout out to Daid for you know, developing and maintaining LADXR in the first place and just keeping the game fresh every month.
I also want to thank everyone in my own community and my Twitch channel for hanging out with me during streams and just being cool people overall and then finally, I do want to give a big thanks to you guys, the Bingothon community for welcoming me in and allowing me to showcase this amazing game for the sake of charity!
Pikastroff: Aww, thank you for running! That’s what I would say! [Laughs]
Well, thank you so much for those amazing final words. In any case, thank you very much to PinkBatman here for participating in this Beyond the Board on Link’s Awakening DX rando, I’ve definitely really enjoyed this one! As always, you know it was an amazing opportunity to be able to have these talks.
With that said, if you’re interested in being featured in your own Beyond the Board in the future, you can get in touch with either myself or Floha258 who you can contact by joining the Bingothon Discord. Do make sure of course as well to follow PinkBatman on Twitch, and if you’re interested in picking up LADX rando bingo, you can check out the Link’s Awakening Discord, which all will be linked in the description of the video as well as on the article!
Of course, remember also that Bingothon Summer 2022 submissions are open until May 22nd, so definitely get your submissions in. Thank you everyone, and we will be seeing you on the next Beyond the Board, bye!
And that is it for this month’s Beyond the Board! Do make sure to give a follow to PinkBatman! Likewise, you can check out the LADX Speedrun.com page and even join their Discord in order to get involved! If you want to play the Randomizer itself however, you can also join the Randomizer Discord specifically as well!
If you are interested in being featured on a future Beyond the Board, do be sure to contact either Pikastroff or Floha258 on our Discord server!
Thank you once again, and we will see you later on another Beyond the Board!