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Watch me on SpeedRunsLive!

I'm aware that this is a bit off-topic from this blog's usual topic, but since this blog's usual topic (logic puzzles) has been deferred to Grandmaster Puzzles, I figured I need to post something here.

SpeedRunsLive is a place where video games get raced. Why should my blog's audience care? Well, as the title of this post suggests, I race there. Some of you may remember ChipIn for Children's Charities, wherein I raced Super Mario World as part of a deal with one of my donors. My performance was terrible, but what few viewers I had were entertained enough that they donated more money than they pledged they would, which probably constitutes my favorite memory of the fund-raiser. However, I feel most in my element when I am racing puzzle games! People in the puzzle community like puzzle games, I trust? :)

If you'd like to watch me succeed and fail at puzzle games, please follow me on Twitch, where I stream my footage. You'll get an e-mail every time I start a stream; hopefully the quality of the gameplay will make up for the lack of quality of my footage. (Maybe I'll be able to start investing in better equipment thanks to my Grandmaster Puzzles work, though. . . .) If I perform particularly well or something interesting happens, I might even make a highlight of it so you can watch it forever; for instance, here's my personal best time for rounds 1 through 20 of the highly underrated Tetris 2 (15 minutes 42 seconds).

Don't just watch me, though. I would also like to invite the smart minds of the logic puzzle community to race against me! Here is a great video tutorial on how to use SpeedRunsLive; it's as easy as using an IRC channel and streaming yourself. No matter how well or how poorly you perform, I promise that you will have fun pushing yourself to achieve new personal bests. Below is a list of all of the puzzle games I have raced so far. If you spot me in the IRC channel, you can challenge me to one!
  • Dr. Mario (SNES and Wii)
    • For a short race, it's common to race levels 0-10 or levels 16-20; a long race will entail levels 0 through 20. If you get a game over, continue from the level you lost on. Unless the goal specifies a speed (like Hi), you are allowed to switch to a different speed if you get a game over.
  • Tetris (SNES)
    • A race will often entail clearing a specific number of lines (100 is common, but I've also raced 200). Be careful! If you get a game over, you start over from 0 lines! Another idea I've entertained is to race B-type (clear 25 lines) a specific number of times; this creates checkpoints where getting a game over doesn't erase your entire progress.
  • Tetris 2 (SNES)
    • A severely underrated "match three" color-based puzzler using tetrominoes, released on NES, SNES, and GB. Clear the flashing blocks at the bottom of the well to beat the level. Some of the tetrominoes have detachable pieces, adding to the possibilities for skillful play; when one piece locks into place, the others can still be moved separately. I've raced rounds 1-20 and rounds 1-30; a masochist with a lot of time available might be able to race to round 80. Be careful! After 30, only every fifth round is a checkpoint (so if you game over on round 45, you start over from round 41). You cannot change your speed after round 30 without starting over from 30, so if you get the opportunity to race beyond 30, make sure you're very, very comfortable with your starting speed!
  • Tetris Attack (SNES)
    • One of my favorite puzzlers of all time; I own Pok√©mon Puzzle League (N64) and Planet Puzzle League (DS), as well, but cannot stream them at this time. The cool gimmick of this game is that you can continue manipulating the blocks even while they're clearing, actively building the next steps in a chain reaction. Race goals include 99,999 points in Endless, completion of Stage Clear mode, and completion of Vs CPU on a specific difficulty level.
  • Yoshi (NES)
    • A simple Mario-themed puzzle game about matching falling Bloopers, Boos, Goombas, and Piranha Plants with each other. Eggshell halves also appear; bottom halves clear in the same way that enemies do, but if a top half lands on a column with a bottom half, they turn into a Yoshi egg, clearing any enemies in between. The goal in a race is to beat levels 1 through 5 of mode B; while there is a certain amount of skill in keeping yourself one move away from victory as much as possible, you'd better hope the random number generator cooperates.
Games I'd like to race:
  •  Wario's Woods (NES or SNES)
    • An underrated and difficult to master game where you play as Toad, picking up and dropping monsters while attempting to arrange them with falling bombs of the same color to make them disappear. I'd like to race Round Game.
  • Yoshi's Cookie (NES or SNES)
    • A cute little puzzler from Bullet Proof Software. A race would entail beating a certain number of rounds from the single player mode (or Action mode in the SNES version, since it has two single-player modes). Maybe rounds 1 through 10? Or maybe round 99 by itself (yes, it is that much harder to clear a round when you have a cookie that can only be cleared by earning a wild card).

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