Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Unintended Greatness

     Have you ever heard of the "law of unintended consequences," Company?  It is a pretty simple concept.  It holds that any action by any person or body will have effects that are unanticipated or unintended.  It is the reason why someone in every episode of the show Scorpion says "I did not see that coming."  The really fun thing is that sometimes the law of unintended consequences manifests itself in really strange ways.  And recently, a strange unintended consequence has been manifesting itself with the game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
    First, some background. This game was first issued in 1998 and can be played on a number of Nintendo consoles, including but not limited to the N64, Wii, and something called the iQue, which to me sounds like some sort of new miniature city car from Nissan or something.  It has sold, over the course of its lifetime, 7.6 million copies worldwide.  So a lot of people are playing that shit.  But apparently, there is something about this game that makes it amenable to being beat in strange and innovative ways.  And there is your unintended consequence.
     Recently, someone who is known as "Runneryguy2489" was able to beat the entire game blindfolded.  It took him 103 hours to beat it straight through from beginning to end.  That is pretty impressive. What is even more impressive is the amount of time that he has put into mastering this somewhat run of the mill entry in the Legend of Zelda series.
    His strategy was to play the game every Wednesday night for over a year.  I am not sure if the blindfolded mastery was the ultimate goal, but eventually he tried a couple of dungeons blindfolded and worked onward from there until he was able to succeed.  And good for him, that is a really unique feat that he worked hard towards and ultimately reached is goal.  Congratulations, Runnerguy2489.  Kudos to you.
     The thing is, he wasn't the first person to beat the game without seeing it.  In 2010, a blind Canadian man named Jordan Verner defeated the game with the help of other dedicated gamers who each played parts of the game, wrote their moves down in a script, then sent it to him for his computer to read out loud to him.  So it was more like a team effort on that front, at least according to television station WIS in Columbia, South Carolina.
     Earlier this year, apparently someone also beat the game using a Dance Dance Revolution pad, because why the hell not?  That is a totally normal, reasonable, rational thing to do with your time.  You can watch the dude (but not the King of the Dudes), do it on YouTube.
     The fact that two people were able to do it without sight, albeit with some help in one case and a lot of practice in another, tells me that there is some sort of unintended consequence to this game that the developers and coders never intended.  I am not a gamer, I am not a Technical Producer, I am not a Hax0r l3te, I am not even a Maytag repairman.  But I do know that if two people without the power of sight can beat a game then there has to be some sort of rhythm to it, or at least some sort of predictability where the same things happen at the same time every time you play the game. 
    This is not necessarily a bad thing, Company.  Please do not think that I am ragging on the makers of the game.  If I wanted to make fun of the game or its creators I would make fun of the fact that the title is Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time.  What the hell is that about?  Ocarina of time?  They really had to be scraping the bottom of the barrel for that one.  First of all, no one plays the ocarina - not anyone, not anyplace, and not anytime.  This is what an ocarina looks like.  It looks like something that your girlfriend would buy at Pier One for no conceivable reason other than that some idiot working at Pier One said it would look good on your shelf.  Second, it does not allow you to change or affect time other than that I am sure that listening to someone practice the ocarina would probably make one hour feel like approximately fifth-seven years.  So why are you making this weird ceramic musical instrument (and they were very liberally interpreting the term "musical instrument" when they applied to this thing I assure you) the centerpiece of a game?  It makes no sense.
     But I am not here to make fun of the game, or its makers.  That is not the point here.  It is obviously a very popular game which has sold millions upon millions of copies over time, and it obviously has such a devoted following that people will play it for hours and hours and hours on end, and they will help one another across international boundaries and the internet to be more successful at the game.  How cool is that?  I don't see people doing that for GTA or The Pins McGee Bowling Simulator game.  Or Ms. Pac Man.  The point here, Company, is that for all the wonderful things that this game created the unintended consequence is that you can beat it blindfolded.  And somewhere out there someone is probably working on beating it with one arm tied behind their back.  And if they aren't, they should be.
      They should hook up with that Dance Dance Revolution pad guy.  That seems like it would be the easiest way.  Just sayin'.

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