You know how you can’t even get past the first area of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice without crying? Well, this guy can play the entire game, in under two hours, blindfolded.
As part of this year’s splendid Awesome Games Done Quick, which overall raised an incredible $US3.4 ($5) million for charities, speedrunner Mitchriz attempted FromSoftware’s 2019 action-adventure without his eyes. Which is ridiculous.
You might think that here I’d add in the caveat. The, “But of course he was guided by a friend who told him where he was.” Nope. None of that. There was commentary, but it wasn’t available to the runner, with Mitchriz just doing the damn thing straight up.
The scale of this defies belief. It’s not like he’s stumbling about, hoping to fluke his way to reaching a gateway or survive a fight. This is full-on speedrunning lunacy, using those glitches and exploits that make you blink in bemusement on a regular run, but based entirely on memory and sound.
The feat requires a comprehensive memory of the layout of the game, then using audio cues at every point to understand exactly where he’s stood, and which direction he’s facing. There are extraordinary moments where you’ll see Mitchriz standing against a wall, then experimentally moving and turning to hear specific sounds, so he can exactly place himself. Or when he nonchalantly bounces down cliffsides to skip sections, in a way that would require mortal man 300 attempts with both eyes open.
Fighting is impressive too — many boss fights obviously can’t be skipped, so instead techniques are invented where a certain moveset is guaranteed to dodge any attack an enemy might make. Hit, hit, listen for attack, roll right, for an easy one. Listening for the attack sounds of a larger boss, recognising it’s a three-hit combo, then responding, moving and attacking appropriately. At one point (around 22 minutes in), he loses his camera lock, and uses echo-location to find the boss.
As I watched the run, I constantly forgot the player wasn’t able to see. As with any speedrun, I stare in amazement at the skill on display, the knowledge of a game, and the precision required to do it all. He’s doing all that! Just, you know, without seeing anything at all.
It’s so detailed, too. Picking up specific items, bags in the middle of the ground in the middle of nowhere. Bonkers.
This isn’t Mitchriz first time doing this, of course. He was the first person to do it, finishing the game blindfolded in July last year, then taking almost five hours. Goodness knows what he thought he was doing, swanning around, not seeing the sights. Since then, the record time is held by a Chinese player at 1 hour 32 minutes, which wasn’t broken here.
This remains an exemplary performance, well worth a watch. The superb commentary from LilAggy really adds a great deal too, explaining every move, and doing it all with Covid! Kudos to all involved.