Posted on July 15 2018 by Euan Crombie
As some of you might have heard, today marks the beginning of what can only be described as the biggest Zelda event of the year – the Zelda Dungeon Marathon 2018. Packed to the brim with exciting content, nail biting races, and comically failed glitches and exploits, you do not want to miss it.
While the team involved with the event might brush it off as a bit of fun (and an excellent way to raise money for charity), an underlying tension is brewing. They might not show it to the world, but you can see it in their eyes/Discord Profile Pictures. Watching Andy and Taylor practice their trash talking for hours on end, one gets the feeling this tension will only be resolved in the sweet taste of victory (and the humiliation of defeat).
This week, I’ve been chatting to the staff members who will be participating in the event, and getting their perspective on the different runs featured throughout the week (and, of course, trying to scout out where the fiercest competition lies). Also featured in this article is a lowdown of the most nail-biting segments of the marathon, and where the hardest and most exhilarating tricks might be found.
Of course, only some of the games will have a competitive nature (perhaps just those featuring Editor-in-Chief Andy?), most of the marathon will be a chill, relaxing affair.
The marathon opens with a bang, featuring fan favourite A Link to the Past (no randomizer this time though), featuring Mases and Josh. The game plays hosts to a whole number of different glitches and techniques – which ones our runners use will be key to taking the lead over the other.
Then, in Day 2, we’re featuring our first CDi game of the event, the Wand of Gamelon, run by Jamie and Kevin. I caught up with Kevin to gauge his feelings on this game, and the rest of the event.
EC: You’re running one of the infamous CDi games, Wand of Gamelon. Does the game become any funner the more you practice it?
Kevin: I enjoyed Wand of Gamelon immensely the first time I played it. The music and graphics are great. When we play the CDi games at the marathon they are meant to be played at a casual pace and not intended to be competitive. Every time I’ve played it the experience is fun.
EC: You have quite the run of games towards the end of the marathon, with the Zelda Board Game, followed by a Co-Op Hyrule Warriors playthrough with Locke, then a return to the CDi series with Faces of Evil for a total of almost 10 hours straight. What are your plans for staying both focused and awake throughout this segment, or are the games themselves interesting enough to keep your attention?
Kevin: The Zelda Dungeon Marathon is fueled by soda and little sleep. I’ve been doing this for a long time so I’m not too worried. Locke and I will be playing Hyrule Warriors co-op so we will have each other to lean on in case we start to forget where to go or which objectives to complete. Playing through Faces of Evil should be a good time because we intend on swapping the controller around and letting everyone enjoy it’s majesty. Hearing that soundtrack will definitely keep me awake and alert!
EC: What part of the marathon are you looking forward to the most?
Kevin: The Majora’s Mask 3D race is always a highlight. I took a break from it last year and look forward to playing the game again against Mosley and newcomer Taylor. We are very competitive with Majora’s Mask and it should be one of the best races of the marathon. Aside from Majora’s Mask, The Puzzle is always a good time, and being able to see everyone for the week and playing our favorite series is an experience unlike any other. Side games of Mortal Kombat II with Vic, and Mosley and Trevor and taking midnight trips to Woodmans will be an off-screen highlight for me.
Skyward Sword features on Day 4, with a 6-way bonanza, featuring Spencer, Thortok, Locke, Caleb, Alasyn and Mases. With an estimated time roughly twice that of the recently featured run at Summer Games Done Quick 2018, we perhaps won’t be seeing any Back in Time or Death Warping (at least, not on purpose), but the run promises to be entertaining nonetheless.
Those allergic to true style and fashion, skip to the next paragraph. Locke opens Day 5 with a Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland showcase. You do not want to miss that. Nothing more to be said.
This is followed by the classic 8-way Twilight Princess HD race. With each runner carrying their own handicap, the final hours of this game promise to be incredibly tense and exciting (well, for the viewers at least).
The latest entry in the mainline Zelda series also gets a showing here, and not just any old run through… 10 of the staff here at Zelda Dungeon will be taking part in this, how will they spend the 12 hours dedicated to the game? Preparing for the final boss? Collecting heart containers? Picking flowers? It’s anyone’s guess!
The event closes with two classic remakes, Majora’s Mask 3D and Ocarina of Time 3D. I had a chat to two of the most competitive people I’ve ever met to ask them how they felt about going head to head (to head to head etc.) for the final game of the marathon.
EC: One of the first features of the marathon is a huge Four Swords Adventure mash-up, featuring just about everyone you could get a hold of. Are you looking forward to the chaotic nature of the game? Or will you be focusing more on the competitive nature of the event?
Andy: I’m looking forward to Four Swords m, sure, but I’d be lying if I said I had thought about it too much. I’m more focused on our Minish Cap Melee on Sunday and crushing the competition.
Taylor: Definitely looking forward to the Four Swords Adventure run and all the chaos, but like Andy, I’ve been similarly focused on our other games. I think Four Swords Adventures is going to be more of a work together/see who survives the chaotic nature of it better than a competition for who all can beat it the fastest.
EC: You’re both involved in the final run of the marathon, Ocarina of Time 3D. I know you’ve both been practicing hard, are there any parts of the run you’re particularly worried about? What about the competition? Which other runner do you think will be the biggest threat in this race?
Taylor: Oof. This is kind of tough because in practice things that I didn’t expect to give me trouble made my life a living nightmare. I think right now I’ve got everything down to a manageable level, but I need to remind myself about a certain key in the Water Temple and to not be so cavalier in my attitude towards Twinrova. I think the biggest threat in this race will be either Gooey or Kristen. Gooey has been running this game for awhile
and looks like he wants some vengeance while Kristen currently holds the top time in practice runs.
Andy: Surprisingly, the Shadow Temple has been what’s been giving me the biggest troubles. Breezed through the Water Temple no problem, but the Shadow Temple? Yikes. I’m pretty much worried about every single other runner since I’m sure I’m gonna finish in last, but the biggest threat of all in this race is gonna be my potty mouth and keeping it in check when things inevitably go wrong.
EC: What part of the marathon are you looking forward to the most?
Andy: Meeting all my friends and colleagues in person is the real treat. Trash talking them while they’re playing Zelda is the cherry.
Taylor: Hahaha, I definitely agree with Andy here. Meeting everybody and spending a week playing the game series I’ve loved forever now while raising money for charity is kind of a dream come true. Also pretty cool that it’ll be my fourth new city visited in the past year.
Of course, it’s not all about the mainline Zeldas. The event also features various other games and mediums, including the Zelda Board Game, the CDi Games, and Battle Quest from Nintendo Land! The event is jam-packed with exciting games, nail biting races, and, of course, more trash talk than you could possibly ask for. Our chosen charity this year is Extra Life, and we’ll be streaming the entire event on our Twitch channel, so make sure you come and say hi (or just trash talk the staff in chat I know that’s what I’ll be doing), and share the event to your friends!
Euan Crombie is the host of Zelda Dungeon’s bi-weekly Zelda Speedrunning series, Zelda Runners. He can be found on Twitter and Discord (Euan Crombie#9657).