More Than Mashing: Intro with Tetris and Touhou

More Than Mashing: Intro with Tetris and Touhou

This is More than Mashing, a column on amazing demonstrations of skill in video games where I try to collect and showcase the best the net has to offer in skilled game playing and break it down so anyone can understand.

I think a lot of amazing videos out there of people doing borderline impossible things in games, but these videos tend to only really attract a niche appeal from those games’ audiences. I love seeing people do crazy stuff then figuring out how it works and I have a great lineup planned out of over 350 different videos across a wide spectrum of different games, from platformers to first person shooters, fighting games, hack and slash, and more.

Since this is the first article I’m starting things off easy with a double-header featuring two games nearly anyone can understand without much explanation. First up is invisible Tetris. HOLiC is a Tetris master and the world champion Tetris DS player. The game starts off slow, but heats up quickly, however what you really want to stick around for is the ending when the credits roll. Playing Tetris this well is hard, but it’s even harder when you can’t see your blocks.

The other one I’m showing is an incredible Touhou play through by an amazing Japanese player who goes by the handle Gil (short for Gilgamesh, but most people compare him to Gill from Street Fighter 3). Gil is great at racking up points but what he’s really known for is his challenge playthroughs where he beats the final boss of Touhou 7: Perfect Cherry Blossom without moving up or down once, and beating the entire game on easy without ever moving left or right. I’m showing his boss run here because the full game run is split into a lot of videos.

Playing Touhou this way is especially incredible because the game was just blatantly not designed to be played without either axis of movement. Projectiles pass directly across the line he stuck himself to and he manages to narrowly dodge some and erase others with careful use of bombs. He doesn’t get through completely unscathed, but he gets through both challenges without a single continue. On top of that, both are generally pacifism runs, where instead of shooting the boss down, he waits for the time on that stage of the battle to run out, meaning he has to dodge a lot more projectiles.

If you know any videos showing amazing game skills in action, post them in the comments. If it’s good, I might break it down in a future entry. I especially love footage that has a weird choice of game, shows tricks I’ve never seen before, visually impresses, or is easy for people to understand. I hope to find and share a lot of great videos with you all, and I’d love to see any you share too.

Til next time!

  1. DirigibleQuixote says:

    . . . And what was the point of this, exactly?

    Also, why aren’t the YouTube videos embedded?

  2. Tce says:

    Also I find touhou weird, you get a huge sprite but the hitbox is actually one pixel. Why not just make the hitbox as big as the sprite and adjust the game’s difficulty to it or just play with a pixel?

    • Sjur says:

      Because with a tiny sprite the concept of having more than one playable character becomes pointless and with a large hitbox the game would need to have less bullets and consequently look a lot less impressive.
      It’s common practice in bullet-hell games to have a small hitbox with a larger character sprite.

    • Chris Wagar says:

      You think I don’t have that one already?

      In any case, the hitbox is kept tiny so you can weave through all of these massively complex patterns instead of having to worry about a much larger character. It would be impossible to have the game function otherwise. Touhou makes up for this by adding the graze mechanic. As you pass over bullets with your character sprite, your graze count goes up. This acts as a score multiplier, so you want to narrowly pass by as many bullets as possible.

  3. Anon says:

    This is basically just a blog post, not really what I come to GYP for….

  4. derek says:

    this would work better as a video commentary

    • EWZ says:

      Look up STG Weekly, it’s a pretty damn good show with people who actually know their shit commenting on replays of high-scoring or 1cc runs for various shmups.

  5. Anonymous says:

    there isnt really much analysis going on here at all…

  6. Anon says:

    Don’t have much love for this kind of article, really. But if you’re dead set on making more, check this out:

    It’s doubly jaw dropping if you actually know what’s going on, but I’m sure it’ll more than pass for cuhrayzee for the uninitiated.

  7. MDef says:

    I think this column has potential, but youtube video commentary might not be the way to go. You could do breakdowns of non-multiplayer gaming skill by “genre” – Devil May Cry-style beat ’em ups, rpg or srpg challenge runs, niche shmups, rhythm and arcade games, speedrunning in general – just to name those few I’m personally aware of.

  8. anon says:

    Well if you’re going to do STG… First confirmed 1CC of Mushihimesama Futari 1.01 Ultra mode:

    Doesn’t seem to be much analysis though, more “here’s the gimmick!” in which case something like the many 2 player done alone videos are more impressive, here’s Jamestown:

    Mad Matt’s ITG insanity:

  9. Dysisa says:

    I think you should stick to one game/video and write/talk more about it instead of spreading it out between two of them. There just wasn’t all that much analyzing going on in this one.

    • Chris Wagar says:

      I understand, I’m opening up light for the first one and doubling up on the videos to make up for the light analysis.

      • Dysisa says:

        I’m glad you’re being so open to criticism, that makes me much more hopeful for these articles.

        • Evilagram says:

          Creators can’t live in ivory towers unless they care more about dogma than accuracy or quality. I thought it would be best to open up with something undeniably amazing that was simple enough for people to get without much explanation and work my way up to more complex things. For a different article (and personal interest for a while now) I ended up researching technical explanations of how strafejumping works and I was going to integrate that when I got to the quake defrag videos.

          I’ll still be coming in light next week probably, but it will be more in depth than this.

    • Chris Wagar says:

      Thanks, the lateral shift – sand ocean one is really amazing. F-zero runs are always pretty incredible.

  10. SenorR. says:

    if anyone still like mirrors edge check out this guy:

    afaik he discovered the kick glitch, his perfect execution of it speaks for it.

  11. Tce says:

    Quake 3 Defrag requires a shitton of skill, I’m always amazed at how anyone can do these things.

  12. ADL says:

    You totally fucked up the Tetris section. The name of the player is HOLiC. Arika (not “Akira”) is the name of the company who makes the game he’s playing, which is Tetris The Grandmaster 3: Terror-Instinct.

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