Hello and welcome to another installment of Randomizer Thoughts! Where we unravel the mysteries and complexities of Zelda randomizers and discuss what’s new in the world of randomizers. This week, we’re doing an expose on shortcuts to shorten your trips as you scour for items! We also have the match-up for the Link to the Past Randomizer league final, an interview with two different randomizer streamers, and a Majora’s Mask Randomizer seed to try out!
If you’re new to Randomizer Thoughts, check out our FAQ for a little bit of a lesson on what exactly Randomizers are as well as our previous installment where we discussed item trackers and how they can up your game. Without further ado though, let’s get into this week’s topic.
Learning the Shortcuts of Hyrule
This week, we have a bit more of an informal lesson for everyone. While wildly manipulating the hitboxes and boundaries of games as speedrunners often do is intimidating for most, there are still a number of more simple exploits one can take advantage of to get themselves through the games just a little bit faster and make life a little easier. This week, I collected up a bunch of these exploits, all of which are allowed within Glitchless competitive play for randomizers.
A Link to the Past
- It is mentioned later by our interviewee this week, but it is entirely possible to navigate dark rooms without the lamp if you have them memorized.
- In the fight with Ganon, if all the torches are lit, it’s possible to damage him just before he warps with a spin attack instead of using silver arrows
- With the Pegasus Boots, pressing Y and A at the same time can allow you to use an item and dash at the same time.
- With the Super Bomb and Purple Chest, if you dash while the item is catching up to you, such as after taking damage or using the Hookshot, you won’t drop it.
- Rapidly slashing your sword or gripping a wall will reduce the magic usage of the Cape.
- Harming yourself with bombs can allow you to jump short one square gaps
Ocarina of Time
- While in midair, you can jump slash to gain extra distance and bounce yourself around. It’s possible to actually skip a major portion of the Deku Tree using this method.
- In Jabu Jabu’s Belly, you can roll from the blue switch to the door and open it before it locks up again.
- Using bombs, you can damage Volvagia while it is underground.
- As an adult, you can backflip over Mido where he blocks you in the Lost Woods.
- You can sidejump off the tall tower in Kakariko Village to get the Man on the Roof check without the hookshot.
- Likewise, it’s possible to backflip over the Death Mountain guardrail as both child and adult and get the Heart Piece check above Dodongo’s Cavern
- If you hold Z, you can swim while sinking with Iron Boots.
Given the more recent incorporation of competitive scenes for Majora’s Mask and Wind Waker, it’s not entirely clear which glitches will be allowed in competitive in the long run, but here are a couple that may be helpful.
- If you align yourself just right to the gap in the wall, it is possible to clip into Sakon’s Hideout with the Bunny Hood.
- As stated in our previous installment, killing the Octoroks and then edging to the very tip of the dock in Ikana Canyon will put the tree needed to access the rest of Ikana in reach, negating the need for Ice Arrows.
- If you park The King of Red Lions where he can be fired at on Spectacle Island, hitting him counts for points for… some reason.
- It is possible to fire the hookshot at Molgera’s mouth while he’s flying and get another round of hits in, thus skipping his third and fourth phases.
Next up, we have our Randomizer Spotlight for the week! Each installment, we’ll be covering various individuals in the randomizer in the community as well as highlighting their developers! As often as I can, I’ll be trying to reach out to them to get their direct input on the process and development of the randomizer, but regardless, we hope we can bring attention to a lot of unique randomizers and enlighten people on the complicated and devoted process that many of these developers go through to make these work.
This week, I talked to our very own Justine from Zelda Informer’s social media team as well as Daaanty, an admin for the Link to the Past Randomizer League and a top 4 finisher within the league on team The 2019 Titan’s Mitts of 2019. Both stream Legend of Zelda Randomizers on their own individual channels, but one is very much casual in their approach and the other among the best in competitive and I spoke to them both in hopes of understanding the major differences between casual and competitive play.
Let’s start with a introduction to yourself and your experience with Zelda Randomizers.
Justine: My name is Justine, and I am media manager for the Zelda Informer Facebook page. I’ve been playing Zelda since I was young, probably about 20 years. My first Zelda game was Ocarina of Time and it was probably the first game I ever beat. It remains one of my favorite games to date. I’ve been streaming for about a year now, and I learned about randomizers from a friend of mine. Since I knew Ocarina of Time super well, and it had been getting a bit stale, this seemed like a good way to add in a new twist. It turned out to be really easy to install and so I’ve been streaming Ocarina of Time randomizer for a bit now and it’s a fun experience.
Daaanty: My name is Daaanty, I’ve been playing Zelda Randomizers, specifically Link to the Past Randomizer since the spring of 2018 and I began running competitively about 2 months into that after I completed my first seed. I also play a lot of rhythm games. I have played competitively at SMZ3, though I guess that’s still Link to the Past. That’s the randomizer that mixes Super Metroid and Link to the Past. I haven’t played it competitively at all, but I have done a couple ZOOTers, or Ocarina of Time randomizer seeds.
What is your approach to working through the logic of randomizers? Do you have a strategy at all?
Justine: I actually use a map tracker to keep track of where I’ve looked. I usually start chronologically as I figure out how to get through, even if I don’t get too far. Using my item and map tracker, I just puzzle it out where I can go to next and see where I have access to at a given time. I also have a series of locations in my head that are better than others, so there’s a couple locations with less checks that go on the back burner a lot of the time, whereas others with a lot more checks I may go at, even if I don’t have all the items to get completely through it. I actually usually will tend to go for the medallions first and try to take out as many dungeons as I can to start off with so I can get access to Ganon’s Castle.
Daaanty: I like to say this a lot, and people hate it, but it really depends on the items you get. There’s of course the standard approach, where you start going through Kakariko Village or ‘South Shore’ as it’s called and get your early items. From there, it’s best to look at what I have and begin considering what my options. So if I have the bow, I’m going to want to be taking out Eastern Palace, or Palace of Darkness if I have the mirror. We have a phrasing called ‘ABCD’ or ‘Always Be Clearing Dungeons’. In all ways possible, you want to be always making progress.
Sometimes if a seed race is dragging on long, we may do something called gambling, where we make the assumption that our opponent has probably wasted their time with a search and so we may try to take a guess at that and skip an entire section that they may have checked.
Another approach would be sequence breaking, which if within the defined rule set, you can use your knowledge to completely skip entire sections. For example, skipping the lamp if you have the dark rooms of the game memorized. Not to mention, you can use the Fire Rod to supplant some of the needs of the lamp. And with this, we can make some assumptions within casual logic, where say, if I find the Mirror in a dark room that the seed would’ve required the lamp for, I can make the assumption that the lamp is not going to be behind anything that requires the Mirror. So this is one of those more educated gambles we can make. Really, we want to try and find any way we can to get the leg up on our opponent, because they could be doing that very same thing, as you have no way of knowing what they’re doing.
What’s the fastest you’ve ever managed to complete a seed? Tell me a bit about that run?
Justine: Probably 5 or 6 hours is the fastest I’ve ever done. It really depends on the settings I use, obviously my faster runs are going to be ones where I don’t turn on things like Keysanity at all, but really, I do these in sessions a lot, so time isn’t really one of those things I’m paying much attention to.
Daaanty: I’ll joke with a lot of competitive players, that every casual player loves to ask is “what’s the world record on LTTP randomizer?”, and well, it depends really. I’ll go ahead and just share my record for a standard ‘Defeat Ganon’ run. That was about an hour and 5 minutes just about. That was what we called a ‘god run’ where there was a progression item everywhere we went, and many of the progression items were located in places we needed to go anyway. This ‘god route’ can be good and bad because while it’s really lucky to get this, it’s just as likely your opponent figured that out too, and you have to start worrying about every little wasted check you took along the way and every little thing becomes all that more important. Whereas in a typical kind of seed, that luck and your skills can make that much of the difference.
What is most important to you in how you approach a run of a randomizer?
Justine: Everytime I make a new seed, I do want it to be fun, but at the same time, I also want to challenge myself. I actually recently completed my first run with indoor shuffle on, where things like houses and fairy fountains and grottos are shuffled around. It was the first time I had a game where I needed a pen and paper by my side and was taking tons of these notes on all these different places and it forced me to consider a lot of these grottos and houses that I’d completely forgotten about after all these years.
Daaanty: Lately, if I’m going into a competitive run, the idea is stay confident. Stay cool and collected and don’t let small mistakes trip you up. A lot of the time you can start dog piling on yourself all your mistakes. I’m kind of the worst at this, but you need to be confident. A lot of the times if you’re approaching things nervously, like being concerned about having to face a tough boss at a low percentage or getting a check way out of the way, you’re gonna have a self-fulfilling prophecy there. The worst thing you can do in a race situation is backtrack, so you want to be confident in everything that you do. Have confidence in your ability to play the game too.
Anything else to add?
Justine: All I’d really say is just check out my Twitch page if you get a chance and thanks for having me!
Daaanty: You can check out my Twitter and Twitch pages, I play Randomizers as well as Rhythm Games there like I said. I’m also one of the three hosts of a podcast, Go Mode where we talk about the Link to the Past Randomizer. We make a lot of the content easy to access for new players and try to prepare people who’ve been playing that want to break into competitive and we also talk about current events in the competitive scene.
This interview proved a really interesting delve into the differences of approach between casual and competitive mindsets, and both the differences and similarities were both really surprising. Be sure to check out both Justine and Daaanty at the links provided just above, and especially check out Go Mode if you have an interest in potentially trying to become competitive!
Next up, we have some news from the world of Randomizer Leagues, a community of folks who specialize in streamed one on one matches through the routed/race format of randomizers.
We only have one bit of news for the league this episode, but it is a bit one. After some tough matchups, the champions of the Light World and Dark World conferences have been determined in the The Link to the Past Randomizer League’s Season 3 Invitational tournament. From the Light World Conference, Triple Dino Disaster has come out on top over the The 2019 Titan’s Mitts of 2019 and over in the Dark World Conference, the Phendrana Drifters have knocked out Shaktool’s Digging Game after a very tight matchup. Triple Dino Disaster and Phendrana Drifters will now face off in the Season Final to determine this season’s champion. Make sure to keep up with SpeedGaming’s Twitch channel and the The Link to the Past Randomizer League’s website to find out when the final matches will occur and see live who comes out on top!
Zelda Dungeon Seed #005 (A Mess of Masks)
Finally, we have our bi-weekly official Zelda Dungeon Randomizer seed! Essentially, using the seed provided here, you can receive the same exact randomization as anyone else who uses the seed. This allows for both potential discussion of the contents of the seed among others and an opportunity for the particular run to be quality checked beforehand to ensure it’s fun and engaging and meets certain themes. I alternate between Blind and Race seeds, so there will be one of each, each month! Race seeds will also come with a Zelda Dungeon time (set by yours truly) to try and beat.
In order to play the seed, you’ll need to go to this link right here and download the rom patcher executable. From there, submit your base rom to the patcher and then you’ll want to go to the tab a the bottom of the patcher that says ‘Patch Settings’ and put in the following as your seed. 221530937. From there, modify the cosmetic settings if you so desire, patch the rom, and stick it into your preferred method of play and have fun! Submit stories and screenshots of your most bizarre experiences and achievements, and you might be featured in next month’s Randomizer Thoughts!
A couple hints for your run here!
- Bottle contents are randomized! No telling what you may get when you go to scoop up some bugs.
- Stray Fairies and Skulltula Tokens are randomized into the pool, but they will not reset when you play the Song of Time. Any gained are permanent to your total.
- You do not start with Sword or Shield in this run! Be prepared to fight your way with some alternate methods for the first while.
- The objective markers on the map mark which dungeons have important items. There is no need to complete any dungeons that aren’t marked.
- Note, that Hot Spring Water will become regular Spring Water after time has passed. This process is not randomized.
- This is a seed that very much rewards people who remember the obscure locations of items in this game.
- Hope you’re good at archery!
That’s all for now, but check in next time where we’ll be talking about some of the more obscure randomizers out there!
Emi Curtis is a junior editor with Zelda Dungeon. They are a freelance artist and programmer with maybe a bit of an addiction to video games. They can frequently be found playing Randomizer runs of Twilight Princess and Wind Waker, their two favorite Zelda games. Currently, they are in the midst of writing a Breath of the Wild tabletop rulebook and replaying Stardew Valley and EarthBound. They can be found on Twitter and Twitch as their VTuber alter-ego Bianca Duba, playing classic games good, bad, and weird alike.