Posted on May 19 2016 by Darrin W. Harr
If you’re not familiar with the YouTube channel known as CInemassacre, you’re missing out. Filled with amazing shows such as the classic Angry Video Game Nerd, to the very entertaining Let’s Play-style James and Mike Mondays, Cinemassacre has a variety of retro gaming-related content to keep you occupied for a long time. Cinemassacre has been around on YouTube for a decade, and still puts out new content.We had the opportunity to interview the channel’s own Mike Matei, who created the venture with James Rolfe years ago. Below is a series of questions regarding Mike’s opinions on various
Zelda topics, as well as some inquiries surrounding his work.
Zelda Informer (Darrin): Would you tell us a bit about who you are and about your work for those who don’t know?
Mike Matei: Hey, my name is Mike Matei. I am a producer for Cinemassacre, which is a production company most famous for making The Angry Video Game Nerd. Our website hosts a large variety of gaming and movie based content. I primarily consider myself a video editor as that’s what I spend most of my work hours doing. Though I do often write and appear on screen as well.
We’ve been doing video gaming related content for over 10 years. And for the past 3 years or so, we’ve been doing a show called “James & Mike Mondays” where I appear with my friend James Rolfe (Who plays the AVGN character). Essentially, it’s my job to get those out each week. I also do my own Top 10 videos and various other projects like blu-ray production art and live streaming.. If I sound busy, it’s because I am.
ZI: What Zelda-related projects have you worked on at Cinemassacre?
Mike: Quite a few. As far as scripted content, I helped to write the “Zelda Timeline” episode of the Angry Video Game Nerd. As well as the “Zelda II: The Adventure of Link” episode. For a while I was doing a show called Mike’s Game Glitches. Two of those episodes focused on glitches in Zelda games. Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past.
As for Non-scripted Zelda videos, we did an episode of James & Mike Mondays where we played the Famicom version of the game to show how the Pols Voice can be killed with a microphone.
ZI: A while back you completed a swordless/shieldless run of the original Zelda game on the NES on both the first and second quest, how difficult would you say that is?
Mike: Yes, a few years ago, I went through both quests, and made it to Ganon with no sword. I recorded video of it but I was unhappy with that because it was just gameplay footage. Recently, since I’ve started live streaming, so I re-did the first quest where I added commentary throughout the process.
I wouldn’t say it’s difficult really. It’s more that you just need to play the game a lot and know what you’re doing. What I mean is, there’s not much that requires fast reflexes, like fighting Mike Tyson in Punch Out. If I had to pinpoint one thing that’s “hard” about it, I would say that killing Dark Nuts with bombs alone is tough. The bomb placement has to be very precise.
ZI: Would you recommend it to veterans of the series who have beaten The Legend of Zelda for NES more than once?
Mike: Yes. If you have already beaten both quests of the original Zelda on your own, then it’s a great additional challenge to give the game some extra legs.
ZI: For your Ocarina of Time glitches video, how many times did you have to try and get certain glitches to work?
Mike: It’s been a long time since I made that video, but I remember having a hard time trying to figure out how to get the trick working with Link hovering in the air.
It was worth it though, because I think thats the best glitch/exploit that I’ve seen.
ZI: How many times did you have to try certain glitches in your A Link to the Past video?
Mike: The glitches in that video were a lot harder to record then in OoT. The first one I show, about jumping into the Death Mountain ravine took me a long time to figure out. You have to get the portal placement from the mirror in the exact right spot. If it’s off even one pixel, then you can’t get onto the ledge to jump down. Many hours were spend trying to pull off those glitches.
ZI: What was it like killing the Pols Voice with the Famicom controller for the first time?
Mike: It was cool to be able to do something new in a game I’m so familiar with after all these years. Though, I do play a lot of Zelda mods (Such as Zelda Outlands) so I guess I get that experience out of those as well. But doing something like that, and knowing it’s an official Nintendo released zelda title was cool.
ZI: What do you think about the Zelda timeline?
Mike: Okay, so as I said earlier, I helped James write the “Chronologically Confused About The Legend of Zelda Timeline” episode 40 of AVGN.
After that video was released, Nintendo finally released an official Zelda timeline, which I personally don’t believe in. I think they made that because of fan pressure that there should be a timeline. The point of our timeline video was, when we were kids, when the NES and SNES were out, nobody thought much about a timeline. It wasn’t until later (after Ocarina of Time) when all the timeline theories really started happening.
The Legend of Zelda is exactly what the title says – it’s a LEGEND. A Legend is an unverified story handed down from earlier times. Often changed as time goes by, because different people remember the story in a different way.
Nintendo releasing a timeline is a reaction to the fan outcry that there needed to be one. When originally, no such thing was ever even considered. The point of the Zelda games is to explore and figure out puzzles. For me, the timeline stuff is irrelevant.
ZI: What’s your favorite game in the Zelda franchise?
Mike: My favorite Zelda game is the original. I’m sure that’s partially due to nostalgia. It was the first game I became obsessed with as a kid, and I guess I always felt, that’s how a Zelda game should look. The 8-bit graphics, to me are the perfect way to showcase that world. That’s not to say I don’t love later incarnations of the series. I really love the art direction in Wind Waker for example. I feel that colorful style suits the Zelda universe perfectly. As I always envisioned Hyrule to be a colorful place. But to me, I’m most at home when Zelda is in 8-bit.
ZI: Are you looking forward to the next Zelda game on Wii U/NX? Do you think it will be as good or better than other Zelda games?
Mike: I’ll be honest, I’m more a fan of the top-down style of Zelda. I loved the recent “A Link Between Worlds” because it went back to that tradition. I certainly love Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. But if I had my pick, I’d always go with the traditional format. Right off the bat, that makes me slightly less excited than I otherwise could be. I think it’s a shame we haven’t had that style Zelda game on a CONSOLE in such a long time. I really think each Nintendo system should have two Zelda games. A 3D version and a top down 2D version. That way it would appeal to everyone.
They seem to understand this as far as Mario goes. We got Mario Galaxy and Mario 3D Land. But we also got NEW Super Mario Bros. The traditional Mario game formula. Why can’t they do the same thing with Zelda on consoles.
ZI: Would you like to tease any future projects/say anything to our fanbase?
Mike: Since this is Zelda Informer, all I will say is Cinemassacre is always interested in doing Zelda related videos. I’m sure if you follow along with our website, from time to time you’ll see us do some cool Zelda related videos. I still need to do a live stream swordless run for the 2nd quest of the original zelda. And for James & Mike Mondays, there are various Zelda titles I want us to cover. Link’s Awakening being among them.
If you haven’t yet, you should totally subscribe to Cinemassacre on YouTube, and visit their website here. For more of Mike, you can check out and follow his Twitter here. Also, be sure to let us know what you thought of this interview in the comments below.