Hello, and welcome to this brand new edition of Beyond the Board, where we talk to various bingo runners in the community to talk about their speedgame and beyond!

Today, our guest is Swiffy22, a key and well-known member of the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild speedrunning community! After all, what better way could there be to celebrate the release of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, other than reminiscing about the game that inspired it!

Before we go any further, we’d like to push a gentle reminder that Bingothon Winter 2020 is happening next week on November 27th! Definitely make sure to check out the schedule of the event and the master post for more information!

As usual, you may see the Beyond the Board video right below, but you may also read the full interview right here! And strap in, because there is a lot we are covering today, so let’s go!


[Pikastroff]: Hello, and welcome to this new edition of Beyond the Board from Bingothon! This time, our guest here is Swiffy. Would like to introduce yourself?

[Swiffy22]: Hello! My name is Swiffy22. I am a Breath of the Wild glitch hunter and router. I’ve helped out the community, been there since the game released, and just try to help people, get into the game, try to help people learn new tricks and push the game forward just a little bit more every time. I’ve done some speedruns myself, but not a whole lot. I am not a big fan of grinding runs but I do like to help the community out and be able to push it further and further.

[Pikastroff]: So how did you get into it initially, especially in your perspective? Indeed, because you just say you’re more into helping people and in the community. How did you get into it overall? You said you’ve been there from the start?

[Swiffy22]: Yes, I’ve been there since the game release! I’ve never been that much into the Zelda series but I have been following speedrunning scenes for like… since before even Twitch was a thing, I was watching like development of stuff with SM64 back in like 2009. I’ve watched speedrunning for a long time now and Breath of the Wild was one of those games like, I really enjoyed Skyrim, so when Breath of the Wild was taking a similar approach I was just like, I think I could really get into this game! And I watched a lot of the preview footage, you know, I’d have GameXplain running while I would fall asleep at night just listening to their analysis… I got so involved in exploring that world. So when that game came out, it was just like… I saw the speedrun community for it growing. And I was just like OK this is something I want to be a part of, because there’s so much potential in routing an open world game!

[Pikastroff]: Oh yeah, nothing will ever beat the hype that went on when this game was released and all the months coming up to it!

[Swiffy22]: For sure.

[Pikastroff]: Indeed what you’re bringing up here by the fact that it’s “open world”, especially compared to many other Zelda games, like it’s much more open compared to a lot of games. And you were mentioning how for you, it opened up so many aspects about routing. So, I guess that would be your favourite aspect about speedrunning this game?

Breath of the Wild’s open world is what originally picked Swiffy22’s interest in the game

[Swiffy22]: Yeah, it’s just… there’s  so many ways you can approach it, different ways to get to different objectives. There are so many options for trying to figure out the optimal way to do things. And it’s just, I mean even now like almost three years later, four years later, we’re still finding new things all the time. It’s been such a nice experience.

[Pikastroff]: It is! Plus the game itself, even casually speaking, was designed to not be completed in a linear way so-

[Swiffy22]: Right!

[Pikastroff]: Even outside of speedrunning, you already have to figure out routing in a casual way. So, it’s just a different approach to it all. And I think that’s actually a good segue to start talking about….bingos!

[Swiffy22]: Oh yeah!

[Pikastroff]: Because I mean, bingos are all about routing. So how would you say in general will be your background with bingos? Are your Breath of the Wild bingos the ones you’re mainly involved with or do you have any other background with them?

[Swiffy22]: Breath of the Wild is really my first time being involved in any bingos. I have watched other streamers play bingos especially for like Ocarina of Time, I’ve seen quite a few of those, I’ve seen various other games but like Breath of the Wild is the main one where I’ve been like really involved in like have watched a decent amount of it and all that.

[Pikastroff]: Yeah! Ocarina of Time is definitely one of the biggest bingo games. There’s also for instance I guess Super Mario 64, I think Super Mario Sunshine also as a big community, with the Super Mario Sunshine Bingo League going on right now. And I think Breath of the Wild is really a great game for bingos, because what we’ve said earlier, and what really constitutes a good card is the goals that are part of it. So for you, like when you think about Breath of the Wild bingos, what do you think that would make the card engaging? What kind of goals do you think would make it fun for you?

[Swiffy22]: The goals that I like in particular are the ones like… I guess this is just me personally, but I do like the ones where you find Koroks because especially if you’re on like a smaller kind of card, you can get ones that are like, find three here, in like the Lake Tower region and find like six in the Dueling Peaks region. That can be a little bit of a struggle for somebody who’s not as familiar but I have background with like 100% helping route that, and like working on my own 100% project so the Koroks are really fun for me. There are some easier ones like um… just a card that I’m looking at here is like “Kill a blue Hinox”, “make a hearty meal”, or like “buying the Hylian hood”. Some of those you would, if you played the game casually, have an idea of where to go.

So those I think are pretty good, because you don’t have to like worry about slowing down and like having to look up where these things are, you’re just able to be like: Okay I know where that is, I can go straight to it. And get it out of the way.

[Pikastroff]: I think that really brings up the topic of how important game knowledge is. You know, in the context of bingos and in Breath of the Wild, because more often than not, in multiple Beyond the Boards, I’ve been told that, and you know it makes sense, that game knowledge is absolutely vital to being effective at bingos. And so, considering how much… indeed you were talking about how when you play casually, there’s many goals, you know, you’ll get familiar with because when exploring the game, when exploring the world. And I’m thinking especially for example of Korok seeds. These kind of goals must be quite tricky I suppose. I guess there will be many Koroks that casually you’ll remember, but then that’s going to be a certain threshold where for all of us it might get tricky. What do you think about that?

[Swiffy22]: I do think that there is a bit of a barrier for entry when it comes to Breath of the Wild bingo. And it is kind of hard to like try to lower that barrier of entry, just with the fact that it is an open world game. So it’s like either we’d have  to cutdown on the amount of different things, but we like having the variety, because I mean that makes bingo a bingo! But yeah there is a bit of a barrier for entry there. We do have documents, like someone that has worked on a bingo document, we have a pin in the channel in the Discord, that would help out a new person, figure out what they need to do. There is one that in particular, not even like 100% runners would know: you have to buy a certain piece of armour and then dye it a certain colour. And like, nobody knows what materials you need for the dye, but we have documents, and we also have like other resources that would help a new person. Most of the knowledge though just comes from experience.

[Pikastroff]: Yeah, that makes sense because if you were to remove like, the variety there is in bingos, you kind of lose the point. Yeah. So really, it’s really about, I think probably the hardest thing about it for someone starting out would be the intimidation they might have at first, especially for instance, if we think about let’s say an any% runner. And I myself was an any% for a while, and sometimes you get so used to playing just a single category, or maybe just some categories or surrounding that, that you kind of forget the game that’s around it.

[Swiffy22]: Yeah.

[Pikastroff]: And then you try out bingos, and you feel like you forgot the whole game.

[Swiffy22]: I’ve seen that a lot. I’ve seen that a lot with Breath of the Wild.

[Pikastroff]: Though, it’s definitely intimidating to approach. But as you said, that’s what makes it fun. That kind of allows you to rediscover the game. And it could be argued that it purpose really all bingos for all games, because bingos really insensitive view to explore the whole game and not just one section of it.

[Swiffy22]: Yeah.

[Pikastroff]: … all while applying, you know, any techs or knowledge that you’ve been learning and using through speedrunning experience. And speaking of that, something that I think it’s always exciting to talk about when speaking of Breath of the Wild is movement tech!

[Swiffy22]: For sure.

[Pikastroff]: Breath of the Wild has been really broken down ever since its release. I mean, because early on at the beginning, there were Stasis Launches, using trees, boulders and all that, and then there was the discovery of Super Launches, and then there was the massive discovery in 2018 of Bullet Time Bounces (BTBs), and then in 2019, of Windbombs. So I guess that when it comes to bingos, and movement take for a game that is such a massive open world, I can tell from experience that movement, like the ability to move fast throughout the world is probably very important to take into consideration. So for you what would be your opinion regarding that movement tech in Breath of the Wild bingos?

Modern speed tech in Breath of the Wild allows amazing feats, such as going from the Great Plateau to Hyrule Castle in just a minute!

[Swiffy22]: Movement tech is definitely a big part. Obviously, your game knowledge and your ability to route on the fly, they’re gonna be your big support for doing a bingo, but also getting familiar especially with like windbombs, those are going to be such a big thing that can help you. Back in the day, when this bingo card was first made, pretty much the thing you would do is you would run around the plateau a little bit, you’d pick up some arrow, bow, shield, get some food to heal a little bit, but then you’d hop off plateau and grab a horse right away. But with windbombs, there’s just no point in getting a horse anymore. But that’s added a new element: every time that you do a windbomb, you lose a heart. So bingos have actually become this big, health management kind of thing, where it’s not only your routing and focusing on the objectives, but now you have to also focus on your health and constantly watch it and make sure you have the resources to get around.

As you mentioned though BTBs (Editor’s note: Bullet Time Bounces) are used by some runners, especially on this one route. There’s one thing that comes up a lot where you’ll need to get the camera in Hateno to do a various amount of the the bingo objectives. So you have to go to Kakariko first, and then go to Hateno. And some people who do AMQ (Editor’s note: All Main Quests) runs will do the BTBs to get to Kakariko and then to Hateno, and those can be kind of hard, especially for somebody who’s new or somebody who doesn’t do those categories, but they’re not necessary. But yeah, BTBs are used in that way. They’re just so precise to set up that usually you don’t want to just try to wing a BTB. Because like we usually say, it’s easy to get a BTB, it’s hard to get a BTB in the direction that you want!

[Pikastroff]: Good point [Laughs].

[Swiffy22]: So yeah windbombs are a big thing for bingos now, because just being able to fly over all the terrain, not have to worry about your horse getting stuck on the other side of a river or something. So yeah, windbombs and health management are a big thing, and windbombs have their own quirks where like, you try to aim in certain directions, they don’t want to work, or you have to adjust your timing a little bit. So, it gives people who run the game a good opportunity to figure out aiming on the fly and then doing certain timings, and it helps them learn. Helps them learn through doing that.

[Pikastroff]: I keep thinking about your statement about BTBs: It’s easy to do a BTB, but it’s hard to get a BTB in the correct direction, absolutely. Like, good luck trying to improvise a BTB that goes exactly where you want it to go. That is rather difficult.

[Swiffy22]: Yeah for sure.

[Pikastroff]: And then the topic of health management. That makes me think, you know, indeed you need more game knowledge, you need to really know also where you would need to find all that food or ingredients for cooking even more potions or food that you would need. That’s even more in-depth knowledge that you would end up having to get. So the rabbit hole just keeps getting deeper.

[Swiffy22]: It really does. With this game, it really does. And I was going to mention earlier: there is one BTB that I make sure that I know for bingos, I’ve got this setup for it drilled into my head. There’s a forest that you can BTB to off of the Great Plateau. And for short cards, you don’t really have to do it because you may not need this much health management. But there’s a forest that has a bunch of hearty food in it, you cook it, and like every time you cook one you can do like 6 or 7 windbombs, and there’s at least like 10 there. So yeah, like if you grabbed all of those and cook those, I would recommend that to like somebody new to bingos because that means you can fail a lot of wind bombs, you can take a lot of damage, you’ll have like 70 hearts for the whole bingo card. But yeah, that’s one thing I did want to mention: the health management is hard, but there are alternatives you can get that will make it not as bad.

[Pikastroff]: Actually, you just mentioned for instance the topic of the short card. And because something that I was very interested in by Breath of the Wild bingos is that I believe there’s 3 variants: the short card, the normal card, and the long card. And so I’m curious about how the balancing for such goals work. So what do you think about those?

[Swiffy22]: The balancing is really interesting to me, I don’t really know what’s going on behind the scenes because I wasn’t really part of the development of the bingo card. But our bingo card was made, I think by someone named …Blaust I think was his name. And he’s really the one that put all the work and it’s the bingo card that we still use today, it really hasn’t even been touched, because it’s just so good. There’s so many different things you can get from that one card. But from what I understand, at least from my experience with bingos, there’s like a weighted system where it’s like all of these objectives are like, in the same pool together. And depending on if you choose a short card, it’s going to weigh towards like: Oh, these are objectives you can do pretty fast, like you can hop off plateau and get like 6 Koroks and the Dueling Peaks area really quickly. You can hop off Plateau, kill a Blue Hinox really quickly, it leans more towards those that are weighted on the lesser side. But it can also pull from normal objectives. Let me take a look here… Read King Rhoam’s Diary, which would involve you going all the way to Hyrule Castle having to go inside and go to the King’s Room to read that.

Completing a given amount of Shrines can be quite a common objective, which definitely can take some time to do!

Some of those are like weighted more towards the normal card. So you’ll have normal objectives that are like, let me just look over here: Flame Breaker armour is one where you’d have to go all the way into Goron City to buy that, or 13 Shrines. You wouldn’t see  something like that on a short card, because that 13 Shrines would take not incredibly long, but would be a little more like, you’d spend a good maybe like 20-30 minutes to try to get those.

And then you have the long cards, which I haven’t seen a lot of these, I haven’t even done one of these myself, but these have a lot where it’s like, you have to collect like 50 Koroks. It doesn’t really matter where you have to but get 50 Koroks, I see one here, that’s like get the Barbarian Helm and then upgrade it. You have to go like all the way to like the North, or I think it’s the Southwest side of the map? Yeah, into the desert labyrinth, get that helmet and then get all these ingredients upgraded. Activate 7 towers is another one that’s just like half the towers on the map. So there’s some pretty long ones here. And there’s some that are like, locked behind other quests. One that I saw yesterday, when I saw some people playing was like, there’s a quest you have to do after you finish conquering Medoh. And you have to like, you have to conquer Medoh, go talk to one of the birds out by warbler nest and then come back to Rito Village to finish the quest. It’s pretty interesting. And there’s like a weighted system here where like no one thing is like in a specific pool, but they all share the same pool.

[Pikastroff]: I was thinking for instance: how does it differentiate between what would be like a normal goal and a long goal for instance? For some of them, you know it will be obvious, anything for instance that’s after the Divine Beasts would be put in the long variant. I’m especially thinking, since you said that card was developed a long time ago, and hasn’t really changed much since then. And still is robust!

[Swiffy22]: Yeah, but it did a really good job with it.

[Pikastroff]: So I was wondering for instance you know, you were mentioning goals, like for instance in the completing certain amount of shrines or activating a certain amount of towers. And I wonder, actually, let’s say that there was a rebalancing being done today, would you think that these goals might actually change in terms of variants, because for instance, now that we’ve got a lot more speedtech, I reckon that activating seven towers would be a lot quicker now than it was back when the card was created. I wonder, if there was a rebalancing, how long would the long variant be? How short will the short variant be? Overall, it would probably.. even outside of the variant themselves, the card will probably remain similar because the goals themselves are great. They’re what really make it so amazing.

[Swiffy22]: Yeah the card is just… the work that they put into it, like you said, it’s very robust, and we haven’t really changed anything since then because the stuff that they did find was very good. As far as like balancing, I’m just trying to take a look here at the card I have pulled up… There’s one in particular that – and of course, most of my experience comes from short bingos, because even now, with all the movement tech we do have if you’re doing a short card it’s still going to be like 30 to 40 minutes long. Normal cards probably going to be like 1h10-1h20, and long cards, depending on how bad luck you get can take like 2 or 3 hours.

But yeah, most of my experiences with the short card I think the good goals, especially for somebody who’s not as familiar with the game… I think the shrines are good ones. Because obviously, you may not know exactly where the shrines are, but you can start on the Great Plateau. And you can mark stuff with the pin and be like.. there’s one there, there’s one here …so I can just go to these. Towers are the same, you can see them from the plateau. So I think those are good ones, there are side quests that you probably ran into in a casual playthrough where you can remember pretty easily. One that comes up on the short card a lot is the Cooking with Koko side quests. There’s this little girl who needs different ingredients, right outside Impa’s house. It’s easy to remember ones like that. And the ones where you buy gear, you look up once where it’s like: Oh I need the Hylian Hood, where can I buy that? And it’s pretty easy to remember. You can buy it in either Kakariko or Hateno. I think those are good ones.

As far as the ones that I think would need balancing, we do have a lot of quests that rely on the Camera, and especially if you’re running in teams, there’s always some person that’s like: OK I’ll go to Hateno, get the Camera. Just because there’s different quests tied to that like sometimes you get a quest that is like get three of the picture memories which you need to get the camera and then tell them before. There’s like, get pictures for the companion which involves the same, thing made him a picture. There’s one other one, it’s just like, I feel like it leans a little too heavily on needing the camera even though that’s something that’s easy to remember and like easy for a new player to be like: OK I just go to Hateno, I do feel like it comes up really often, especially when you’re doing blackout bingos. There’s always gonna be at least like one thing that’s like: OK go get the camera.

[Pikastroff]: Yep!

[Swiffy22]: There’s a side quest where you have to get butter and like Tabantha Wheat and all this and cook a cake or something and give it to a guy that’s right off plateau that’s near one of the shrines near the stable. Some of those are like, especially for a short card, it’s like if you want to get those ingredients, you have to go all the way to Rito Village and there’s one where you need Goron Spice which unless you get lucky and find that certain traveler, you have to go all the way to Goron City and survive the heat there. There’s so much that… I don’t know it’s just some of the side quests, especially like that and then the camera heavy things I think are kind of could use a little bit of rebalancing but overall, the cards are really good. They were really well designed when they made them.

[Pikastroff]: Yeah, there are some goals indeed that kind of require you to kind of go out of your way, if that makes sense. For the camera, I believe you first have to get to Kakariko before you can even go to Hateno, isn’t it? If I recall correctly? Could you do a reminder actually of the requirements we even need to get through before you can even get the camera?

[Swiffy22]: So the first thing you have to do is you go to Kakariko, talk to Impa. I believe you have to talk to her twice… And yeah, you do. Because that has messed me up in bingos before! So you talk to her once, and then she’s like, talk to me again when you’re sure you want to know your history or something like that. So you have to talk to her twice, then you go to Hateno, then you have to get this blue flame. So you have to pick up a torch or something somewhere and get this blue flame from a furnace. And usually, you know, people who are experienced with windbombs do a couple windbombs up to the [Hateno Ancient] Tech Lab, light the furnace, and then you talk to Purah inside. She then goes through this whole dialogue and you go through this little thing where there’s like the thing trickling down on the Sheikah Slate… So you get the camera. And then you have to take a picture of her, talk to her again… It’s just like a whole long thing. So once you do that, you’re able to take pictures for the Compendium.

Goals involving memories or taking pictures with the camera require quite a lot of pre-requisites, which Swiffy22 judges is not necessarily the most appropriate for a short card.

The thing is though, if you get one that has like memories, you have to warp back to Kakariko and talk to Impa again. And THEN the memories show up on the map. So it’s just such a long side-track to doing any other bingo objectives. I feel like that one could use some rebalancing maybe weight those a little more towards the normal card. Maybe not have them show up in the short card at all. That’s my nit-pick with the short card especially. It’s just there’s too many camera related things.

[Pikastroff]:  I suppose this was interesting to think about in terms of when balancing a card, like how far out of your way a goal required a runner to do certain things, which is always interesting knowledge for anyone who might be looking to create a card for a game. You can just start thinking about: OK you have this idea for a goal, how far away do players have to go to complete that goal? Especially if they want to integrate any kind of variants kind of like Breath of the Wild? That was with short, normal, long, or just I don’t know if you’re familiar with the SRL system of bingo cards where they have those difficulty tiers. It’s something that’s been discussed in some previous Beyond the Boards. Because as an example, even if a goal such as collecting a certain amount of memories, in of itself isn’t that hard, because it’s just going to a certain location on the map, but what creates this difficulty: it’s first having to go get the camera and then travel to those locations. So definitely, that’s interesting to think about.

[Swiffy22]: I don’t know how much of a problem it would be for other games, but I think especially in terms of like an open world, because like you said you’ll see something like collecting three memories. And it’s like, OK that’s pretty obvious, but there’s prerequisites that you have to get out of the way before you can do that. I think when balancing a card, it’s important to take into consideration what are the prerequisites in order to do this thing, especially when it comes to the memories, it’s locked behind three different interactions. And I feel like you’re gonna spend a good, probably 20-30 minutes just getting to the point where you can get a memory, depending on how fast you can get there and then get to the memory itself. So yeah.

[Pikastroff]: Yeah, that makes sense! We can say basically the lesson is: Yeah know your prerequisites!

[Pikastroff]: Yeah!

[Pikastroff]: On that whole topic, of goals and the card… I was thinking,when you start a game of bingo like, OK, you see the card, it’s revealed to you. In general, how does your thought process go into determining for instance, OK this column, no I don’t like it, or oh this row looks good. Like how does your thought process go when you plan the route initially, considering how important routing is in bingos, as we said?

[Swiffy22]: I think the first thing that really sticks out to me is like, I’ll take a look over the board. Of course, pretty much anyone who’s got experience with bingos in Breath of the Wild have their own plateau route pre-planned. So it’s for mine, you start at right after you get the paraglider. That’s where your bingo file starts. So I’ll drop
through like a hole in the roof, I’ll get the bow, I’ll get some arrows out of one of the pots that are down there, then I’ll do a windbomb out of the window, and then go to a Boko camp that’s nearby. And that will get me like a torch and it’ll get me a decent amount of food to heal. There’s like 15 peppers there. And then there’s like, five Hylian Shrooms so it’s enough to heal for like 10 windbombs or something, I don’t know the exact amount.

But while I’m doing all that, I’ll try to do that pretty quickly. And there’s moments in there, especially when I’m opening the chest to get the bow, I’ll look over at the card and the first thing I’m trying to identify is, which one takes the longest, which one is the furthest from plateau? And if it’s a camera thing, it usually ends up being Hateno. But there are some when it’s like, if you’re having to make a recipe or something, you have to go all the way to Rito village, things like that. There are some in the desert, there’s like one where you have to, you have to do a certain shrine, and then speak to someone in the city there, which also involves getting the [Gerudo] clothes, that’s another one I didn’t really talk about, but another one that’s locked behind several prerequisites.

But anyway, I’ll look at those. And I’ll try to try to figure out which one of these is the furthest from me. And I kind of work my way inward. So it’s like, Okay, if I’m having to go to Rito village, are there any Koroks that I can pick up on the way over there? Are there any in the Tabantha Tower region? Are there any in like, the Ridgeland Tower region? If I don’t see anything like that that’s on the way I think okay, I should probably try go into a different corner of the map. Because sometimes you’ll have some that are in Akkala, there’s one for reading Robbie’s diary or something like that. I think you have to talk to him first for that one. But I’d have to double check. I don’t think I’ve ever had that one come up for me. That’s another one that’s gonna be on the very north east corner of the map. I look at those and then I’m like, okay, what’s the farthest point? Is there anything that I can do on the way to that point? And then I’m thinking, at that point, I’m thinking a prerequisite. So it’s like, okay, the memories are easy have to get the camera first, though, so I’d have to backtrack. So then I wouldn’t really be on the east side of the map anymore. Because I would be getting memories that are closer to like, the central area where they’re more abundant.

And so that’s generally how I approach it, though, you want to see what’s the furthest, see what you can do on the way there. And then, and then just try to figure out from there, like, okay, so I can collect these Koroks on the way, and then I can go here, if I need to activate any towers, I can activate those on the way or do it after, depending on how the terrain is because terrains another big thing. If you’re working into the northeast side of the map, you’re gonna have a lot more of a vantage point there than you would from Central Hyrule. So sometimes it can be beneficial to try to work your way up to a higher terrain, and then work your way down. Because especially with how Breath of the Wild works, you’re gonna be able to go a lot faster if you’re going down hill.

[Pikastroff]: So, from what I gather from your telling here is that basically, when you start off a bingo, the plateau is basically the period where you’re kind of in ‘automatic mode’, and the real point is to basically look at your card and process it?

[Swiffy22]: Right.

[Pikastroff]: That’s interesting because now that I’ve been watching so many bingos at this point, I realized there are so many games in which they specifically have some time where they have for example a few minutes usually at the start. Basically, a beginning that is not as intensive as the rest of the run, which just lets the runners kind of figure out their route on the card. The most relevant example I can think of right now is on Super Mario Sunshine, where you’ve got the whole introduction, it’s like six minutes long and the run only starts when the runners get to Delfino Island. And from the moment they press Start to that moment, there’s about six minutes. And that’s six minutes where they can plan out the route, they can look at the card and plan their route.

[Swiffy22]: That sounds great! I wish we’d have six minutes of planning things out!

The Great Plateau, if well planned out when starting runs, can be a good moment to also think about the route you want to do for your card.

[Pikastroff]: Oh yeah at plateau, it probably wouldn’t be as long. But it seems like the idea is basically the same, it seems like it’s definitely good idea to have that kind of beginning where it’s a bit more ‘automatic’ to actually play so you can focus on on the card. And then when it comes to actually processing the card, it will really be about asking the right questions. So, in this case, “which goal will be the furthest?”. And once you figure out which is the furthest, well what can I do there, as you were saying yourself.

Now I suppose it could be said that what is the question to ask would depend on the game itself. But I suppose for anyone who wants to try to get into bingos, what’s important would be, because once again it can be intimidating to get into bingos, to figure out what are the most important questions to ask yourself, to ask towards the card. What would you think about that?

[Pikastroff]: As far as like, in other games? Or what do you mean, exactly?

[Pikastroff]: I’m thinking bingos in general. I suppose if you ask the right questions, it will help you figure out your routing. But do you think it applies only perhaps to Breath of the Wild, what do you think?

[Swiffy22]: No, I would say it would definitely apply to like other games too. Because you have to consider specifically what you know, how that game is laid out and with Breath of the Wild it’s really complex because there are so many routing options. With games that are more linear, you’re not going to be asking as many questions to yourself, like trying to figure out your route there. In Breath of the Wild’s case though, it’s like, and I was gonna mention this earlier, it depends on who you play with. But there’s some things where you’re gonna be doing a blackout bingo with a team and depending on what the other people are saying, or what they agree with, it’s like: okay, we can have 10 minutes of prep time to figure out what every person is going to do. That’s one of my favourite ways to play it. I like doing the 4×4 blackouts. It gets super intense. I did one a week or two ago, where it came down to the very last task that, was pretty fun.

But yeah, depending on who you’re playing with they can be like okay, we’ll have some time to figure out what we’re doing, like 10 minutes or something. There are other times where it’s like okay, this is gonna be a hardcore race, we’re gonna count to 3 and reveal a card, and then we got to figure it out from there.

But back to your question: as far as other games on how you approach the bingo tasks, it’s going to be really dependent on, what the game is, what kind of format it is. For Breath of the Wild, obviously, it’s going to be more complicated routing wise, but I think your approach to routing is really important, and just getting that experience. So with Breath of the Wild you want to examine the furthest points and then kind of work your way inward when you’re looking at the card. Versus like a more linear game, you may be able to knock out some things really quickly, while working towards a bigger goal on the card, things like that.

[Pikastroff]: That makes sense. It really comes down to the experience you have with routing in the game. And actually, speaking of routing, I suppose that this will be especially relevant for beginners, what would you say would be perhaps an aspect of routing that people might not realize about Breath of the Wild? Like they’re not necessarily obvious, for instance you mentioned health management, that’s something we discussed. So is there any other aspects that people usually do not take that much into account when routing their bingos in Breath of the Wild that you think is worth bringing up?

[Swiffy22]: Like I said, health management is probably the key one now, because of windbombs being such an efficient way to move around. Windbombs have helped a little bit with a bigger problem, though, and I’d say the biggest problem with trying to route around the game is terrain, because it’s not enough to just like pull up a map and try to find which points are closest together. I mean, you can do that to get an idea of like, okay this is here and this is here, and this is here. But oftentimes, with just the way the Breath of the Wild is designed, you’re going to have some sort of terrain that’s going to impede you going from one way to another.

So I’d say that’s one strength that I really have as far as bingos go because I’ve played the game so much, I’m working on routing 100%. It’s just being familiar with the terrain, being familiar with the terrain, health management. And yeah, I would say that’s probably the two biggest things to get familiar with, routing wise.

[Pikastroff]: I see. And that makes sense for the terrain, actually. Because Breath of the Wild has got some really huge mountains, all throughout Hyrule!

[Swiffy22]: For sure. Just thinking about getting into like Kakariko… In the old times, you would just get a horse and be able to ride it all the way there. For some runners who aren’t as familiar with being able to do the BTB, well, I’m not even sure myself how to do the BTB. So Kakariko it’s like… Yeah, windbombs are efficient for travelling over terrain, that big hill leaning out the Kakariko. Pretty sure last time I played it, I just windbombed out to the base of the hill, and there’s horses out there. It’s like, I’m not even gonna try to do like a BTB or something here, I’m just gonna grab a horse and just go up the hill because like, you can just keep doing windbombs over and over, that’s gonna cost you like five or six hearts or something and you’re gonna have to keep doing them. You’re gonna have to stop, set them up again, and then go again. With a horse it’s just like: Okay, this is a little bit easier, just going to grab this so I can just go up the hill.

[Pikastroff]: Oh, yeah. I love this! To come back to something we briefly touched upon, at at the very beginning… Due to the nature of bingos, it might give a bit of a strain for instance to runners. People who usually run categories that don’t exploit the game as much. So then I was wondering about what you thought perhaps about any kind of benefits that these kind of runners, such as any% or any other categories, how much they would benefit from doing bingos? You already mentioned for instance that this could serve as good practice for windbombs, for example? is there anything else you can think of that you think would be beneficial? If it makes sense?

Due to the precision of Windbombs in runs, bingos are a great opportunity for runners to get used to them.

[Swiffy22]: Yeah, I get what you mean, I think it’s more of a soft skill, but I think playing bingos naturally just gets you more curious about the game. So, it’s not like it’s not teaching a hard skill, like windbombs, like I mentioned earlier, but it’s just part of the thing that is so special about Breath of the Wild, it’s just being curious about saying: Oh this thing is here, I didn’t know this was here before. And it’s just I’ve heard that from so many people who are just like, they just grind any% runs. And then they play bingos, and they learned so much. It’s not even stuff that would be relevant to a speedrun.

In particular, I was mentioning earlier there was a blackout bingo that I did. And I was 100 rupees short of having the Gerudo clothes. I did not take a moment to look at the map or anything, trying to figure out where I could find rupees. I used my Magnesis Rune and I looked into a pond and I saw a chest and I’m just like, I’m gonna go for this and figure out what is in here. I open it, there’s 100 rupees! It’s exactly how much I needed. There’s something special in that. Bingos bring you back to that natural curiosity you have when you’re first playing Breath of the Wild for the first time, especially in terms of learning the game as a speedrun. I feel like that natural curiosity, even though it’s a soft skill, it’s really important because some of the best runners are the ones who are like, not just: oh the run looks cool. I want to do this, or like, they just want to grind any% runs for low time. I mean, they’re valid in their opinion, but I feel like the best players like… I’ve got to shout out Smichman here! He is a super good runner. He’s ran like every single mainboard category. And he’s messaged me so many times, like, how does this trick work? What do you know about this trick? Or yeah send that clip to me, I want to see this. There was one yesterday, where he was doing an All Shrines run. There’s this one shrine where you have to mount a deer, and then have it walk over to a pedestal, so the shrine raises out of the ground. And I’m like: Hey did you see this route where you can push the deer over to the pedestal? You don’t even have to mount it. It was like: No, I haven’t seen that, send it to me!

I love that kind of thing where it’s just like, it’s not even that big of a time save overall. It’s that natural curiosity of: Okay I need to see this trick. I’m not just gonna keep doing the same thing over and over, I want to learn, I want to learn more about the game and how I can manipulate it. I think that’s a very important part of bingos. It’s like I said, it’s a soft skill, but just finding that curiosity in the game again, can push you, like, push you even further.

[Pikastroff]: That was actually really beautifully put! I never thought of it that way. But that really makes sense. Because anyone who’s read or watched anything about the behind-the-scenes of Breath of the Wild knows that the curiosity of the player is central to how it was designed. And so that’s a really good way to put it that bingos helped kind of stir you to go back to that feeling you have when you initially played the game, to re-explore that.

I’m probably gonna get flamed maybe by some people for saying that, because I’m saying that because I used to be a super heavy any% player until last year, I grinded multiple hours of any%, almost every day before, for multiple hours. The people who are probably gonna flame me might be any% runners, and I know I’ve loved that category so much. But there’s a point where you kind of lose that sort of magic that Breath of the Wild had after running a category like that for multiple hours every day and it’s just…you’ve put it so beautifully there by talking about bingos where it kinds of rekindles the magic of Breath of Wild. I think that’s a good way to put it in that way. And I guess It can also apply to many other games, just that curiosity you have when playing the game for the first time, where you just kind of try and do so many things, when you’re just discovering the game.

Now in case anyone misinterpret what I’m saying, it doesn’t mean that normal speedruns do not also have that. It’s different. It’s just two  different skill sets and I guess I’m kind of getting off topic, so I’m not gonna stay on that too long, but I guess as a whole, I’m just going to say, you gotta take things in moderation. And just do not let speedruns overwhelm you to the point that you don’t appreciate the game itself.

[Swiffy22]: Yeah, I think you made a good point there. I do want to clarify too, that anybody who does decide like they just want to grind runs or something, you know, that’s perfectly valid. It’s just I feel like the people who are more curious about the game, like myself, I say that I’m a glitch hunter, because I will do runs from time to time, mostly I’ll grind ILs or something. But I’m not the kind of person who just wants to sit down and grind for hours and hours. And I think having that curiosity, especially for Breath of the Wild, it just helps you learn because like you mentioned before, there is a mind blowing amount of movement in Breath of the Wild, there’s a lot of stuff that’s not even used before, there’s techniques like skew bounces that you don’t see that often in runs. At least not typically, but it’s like, you land on an uphill slope and bullet time. And when you unequip it, you can bounce in the air really quickly, use bullet time. I’ve used that to fight Ganon before because you can one cycle kill them with that technique. It’s not necessarily things that are gonna be that useful to our run, but it’s just part of that curiosity and knowing what’s possible.

[Pikastroff]: Couldn’t say it better myself. So yeah, I think we’ll soon be reaching the end, I think we’ll be reaching the final set of questions. So, how do you think the community can further support bingos? Because bingos still remain quite a niche kind of playing. So I suppose obviously, the answer will be well play more bingos – which I approve! But is there any thoughts you have in that regard?

[Swiffy22]: I think just being able to promote them a little bit more. You mentioned there are three cards earlier, but there’s actually two other types that are like not as well known. They’re not that promoted. But we do have a Great Plateau any%, and we do also have a Compendium card where you have to take pictures of certain things to add to the Compendium. And that really simplifies the process of doing a bingo. I think especially the Great Plateau bingo would be something that can help get new runners into doing the regular cards. But yeah, just being able to reach out to new players because I know today we just had somebody asking in the server how do bingos work, and just having the community be able to jump in and be like, Okay this is how you can set up your file, this is some of the common tasks you’ll get. And we recently I mentioned this earlier, but we recently got a document that outlines some of the more common goals, especially for the short cards, and that’s going to be something that’ll help out new players.

But yeah besides that, just playing the more often, it seems at least with Breath of the Wild we have phases where it’s like, I know back in like April this year, we were having people doing bingos every single day, and back then I was getting my PC and stuff set up because I just moved, like, I didn’t even have my desk with me. It’s just like, man I want to hop in these bingos so bad! And then when I got stuff set up, a month later, they kind of fizzled out. But they’ve been on a resurgence recently, in the past month or so people have just been doing bingos at least like every weekend.

A preview of the bingo document, in this case talking about armour information. It can be found on the Breath of the Wild Speedrunning Discord server, and is a great resource for new players!

So I think just playing them more trying to keep interest in them, could go a long way, because there was a lengthy gap there where it was 4 or 5 months where people just had no interest in bingo. But yeah, just playing them more often, helping others learn. I’m directing them to do maybe Great Plateau, bingos, stuff like that, to help them learn. And yeah, I think those are the main two points. It’s just keep it active by playing more and trying to get more people interested. I think at some point we should consider doing a rebalancing. Like I mentioned earlier, because some of the ones on the short card are a little bit too far out of the way for somebody who’s new. But overall, I’d say the main thing just keep playing and help new people just like you would with people getting into speedruns.

[Pikastroff]: Yep. Because indeed bingos deserve to be recognised in the speedrunning sphere, they do. And now that actually makes me want to do some Breath of the Wild bingos again, just talking about all of it. I’ll have to see if I can!

[Swiffy22]: I’d love to have you again!

[Pikastroff]: Would be good if I could, like kind of get back into Breath of the Wild because, I mean this is out of topic again, but I just completely stopped playing Breath of the Wild for some time. But I know I think if I were to get back to Breath of the Wild, bingos would probably be what I would come back with!

[Swiffy22]: I think you’d really like it now, especially with how big the community has gotten ever since windbombs were discovered! I don’t know if this is still the case, but people were posting, I think a little over a month ago and it was like like: we’re now the most played Zelda game on ZSR. And that’s incredible just to be passing out legendary titles like Ocarina of Time or Majora’s Mask. The community has grown so much and you’d find a lot of great people here, we have such a nice community.

[Pikastroff]: Oh yeah, It has grown a lot. And I’ve seen indeed there are so many people playing bingos on Twitch, there are many people playing it. So that’s nice to see. I think definitely I need to add that to my calendar: play some bingos again because that’s fun! So to get back a bit on topic before we close things off, you know, we’ve been talking about the community. Is there any advice you’d like to tell anyone who would be interested in getting started with bingos? Like, they just would like to get into it. Is there anything you’d like to advise them?

[Swiffy22]: Yeah, the main thing is just come over to the Discord. You can go, we have a bingo channel there. So you can just hop into the Discord. And in our pinned messages I have recently pinned some new things like, I actually pinned your old video recently, because I don’t think it had been pinned yet.

[Pikastroff]: Oh yeah, that old video!

[Swiffy22]: Yeah we found some new stuff recently, like how to make a bingo file. We have like the document that I was talking about earlier, that’ll help you. I know the first page on it has what materials turn into what dye colour for the different armours that you’ll have come up in the bingo card. I’ve worked hard on the resources channel in there. I’m one of the admins over the server. And so I keep the amount, I do like the announcements, I keep the resources channels and everything in check. And even people who were on bingos today, I’m like you need to use that resources channel and put so much effort into that!

But in particular, we have like an object map, where it’s like, you pull it up, there’s a search bar and you can type in anything you want in there, it’ll pull it up! There’s filters for it – it’ll show shrine icons, or Koroks if you press that one. I think it does all those by default, but then you can click off which ones you don’t want to see. It’ll separate the map into tower areas so if it says Dueling Peak Koroks, you can filter it so it’ll show like the map area and then see which Koroks are in that boundary. That one is super important.

So object map for sure, and then the document that we have pinned where it tells you the dye or like….it tells you what you need for the side quests, like the document we have pinned in there is really good. But yeah join the Discord, take a look at the pins, ask for help in the bingo channel, we can help you get started!

The Object Map is an amazing resource to be used in the Breath of the Wild speedrunning community!

[Pikastroff]: Awesome. I remember the object map which is an absolute godsend, I remember it. Indeed, if you get into Breath of the Wild bingos, definitely use, or just even speedrunning if you want to help yourself and want to get into routing and stuff. Definitely use that resource. It’s amazing.

[Swiffy22]: For sure.

[Pikastroff]: So yeah, we’re getting to the end now. Is there any final message? Just anything, any last thoughts you’d like to say?

[Swiffy22]: I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to the Breath of the Wild community! I’ve been here since the beginning, I’ve seen it go through several different phases. For the first year and a half of the game, we were essentially a glitchless run, we didn’t have any new tech or anything that was being found. We’re just stasis launching ourselves everywhere. And then like you mentioned in fall 2018, we got shield clipping, BTBs… The game sort of started breaking down a little bit from there. And then the next year, September of last year, we got windbombs, and it just seemed like it drew so many people in, we just have such a nice community. There’s so many nice people here who want to help new runners and want to help bring new things in.

I would say the past three and a half years, we’ve been on sort of like the route of discovery, where we’re learning new things about the game and things are constantly morphing and changing into new things. The game is old enough now that things are starting to settle down a little bit. I made a post about this in announcements a couple weeks ago and it’s just like even the way the server is structured is for the benefit of discovering new things, or discussing new ideas, like every category has its own channel, and everything.

And it’s just, I want to start trying a path where it’s like: we’re able to adapt and help new runners more readily. Because we’re not trying to build ourselves up anymore. We’re trying to take what we’ve learned these past three and a half years, and let everybody else know. At least from what I’ve seen, our runners are so nice and so helpful to people. I feel like we can really continue to grow as a community. There was a lot of excitement when windbombs were found as a new movement method. But even then, it’s been a year since then, our community has just continued to grow. We’re having an any% tournament right now that had 68 entrance, we had 14 last year. So in spite of like it being a year’s time since the major find, people are still playing and are so interested.

I can’t thank the community members enough for that, for being so helpful, just for being good people and helping other people learn. So thank you all for that.

[Pikastroff]: What can I even add to that? That’s amazing. Well I think that’s gonna be it! So first off, thank you so much Swiffy for participating in this Beyond the Board! So definitely make sure to give them a follow. And of course, at the moment this will be released, there will be Bingothon Winter 2020 happening right at the end of this month, on the on November 27th. So do make sure to tune in for this. And well also be looking for the next Beyond the Board!

Thank you everyone, and we’ll see you next time then. Cheers!



And that is it for today’s Beyond the Board! Did you enjoy it?

Definitely make sure to give Swiffy22 a follow both on Twitch as well as Twitter! Likewise, if you are interested in joining in on the fun that is Breath of the Wild bingos, then do not hesitate to join the Breath of the Wild Speedrunning Discord to get started – and as that always is a good resource, do check out the Speedrun.com page as well!

In any case, also do note that Bingothon Winter 2020 is happening exactly one week from now! It will start on November 27th, and will be live on Speedrunslive! You can check out more info about the upcoming marathon on our Master Information Post, and of course, do make sure to join our Discord server for updates about the marathon and more (including Beyond the Board!) if you haven’t already!

Cheers everyone, and we’ll see you no the next one!

About The Author

Pikastroff profile picture, a main organiser at Bingothon


One of the Main Organizers of Bingothon. If he’s not busy with the organization of the next event (with responsibilities including Scheduling, Fundraising, Social Media, and other organizational tasks), chances are that he is either editing some kind of video, or working towards the 3D Zelda Challenge… Or perhaps, some other plans to take over the world!