Hello everyone and welcome back to this new edition of Beyond the Board, where we sit down with members of the bingo community and discuss their games and discover more of their world!
For this edition, we have Prnced from the LEGO Batman community. Speaking of this game, it should have a bingo tournament starting soon: you can find more information about that on their Discord server!
With that said, as usual, you may see the video right below, as well as the FULL INTERVIEW right here!
Just before we start, I’d like to remind that submissions for Bingothon Winter 2021 are now OPEN! To find all information about the marathon, including dates, submission links and volunteering application forms, do go onto this masterpost!
With that said, enjoy!
Floha258: Hello everyone and welcome back to this month’s Beyond the Board! Today, we are talking about LEGO Batman with a very special guest. Why don’t you introduce yourself?
Prnced: Hello! My name is Prnced, I am one of the founders of LEGO Batman bingo and I am excited to be here!
Floha258: Thank you very much for being here! So, we’re always going to start off with some introductory questions here, so how is it that you’ve gotten into speedrunning and specifically LEGO Batman speedrunning?
Prnced: Well, I started speedrunning at the end of 2015 with some Super Mario 64. After a while I got bored with that and decided ‘hey, how about LEGO Star Wars 2?’. I had a lot of fun with that, I just played it with my college roommate casually and looked at some of the speedrun videos at the time which pretty much was just AGDQ 2011, and I’m like ‘I can beat that time!’… And eventually I did! I then moved on to other different LEGO games, like LEGO Star Wars 1, LEGO Star Wars 2, and then eventually I found my way to LEGO Batman 1 and I have enjoyed every single second of it.
Floha258: Alright. Thank you very much for that! What’s your favourite aspect of LEGO Batman, and why?
Prnced: Something that sets LEGO Batman apart from the different LEGO games is that this is the first, and I believe to my knowledge is the ONLY, LEGO game where you can actually skip cutscenes right away for story mode. You don’t have to enter anything, like cheat codes, to cut them out. That is something that is very special about it, that I love.
Along with that is all the different game mechanics. Obviously you’ve got Batman and Robin, but then if you go into the villain levels, you’ve got a full array of different characters and special things that they can do like walk in toxic [waste] or jump high, things like that.
Floha258: I see. And how exactly did you get into bingos for LEGO Batman?
Prnced: I remember when I started creating the bingo board for it. I believe it was shortly after GDQ of some sort and there was a bingo for a game there. I was playing LEGO Batman at the time and I thought ‘why not have a bingo for this game?’. I thought about it for a bit for LEGO Star Wars 2 as that’s my other main LEGO game and I thought ‘no, that one doesn’t work’, because it’s got cutscenes all over the place and you have to unlock certain levels, and it just didn’t make sense for that game.
So then I went ‘LEGO Batman, you’ve got a good starting point…’. As soon as you start the game you can go into any of the three Hero episodes. You start in Episode 1 but you can exit out and go back to the other two. But, something special about this LEGO game is that after you play through one of the Hero episodes, you unlock its corresponding Villain episode. And so that’s something that I thought ‘well this aspect of the game is kind of special and unique, just great for bingo!’. You have to do this in order to accomplish that.
And so that just kinda clicked in my mind, I’m like ‘that is what a bingo should be!’. I just started working on it, I asked the LEGO Batman community for help in it and they were all wonderful at helping me out… And here we are today!
Floha258: That’s a nice story! So, what exactly made you stick with the LEGO Batman bingos? What is it that makes it so fun?
Prnced: Well, like I’d mentioned it’s got skippable cutscenes and along with that, that doesn’t in of itself help make it fun. A lot of it has to come from all the different skips you can do. This game has gotten to the point where walls are pretty much just a suggestion. You’re going through walls, you’re doing some launches, and you can basically fly in this game. I think that’s something that really holds me to this game.
Floha258: You’ve already mentioned the skippable cutscenes but is there anything else that makes LEGO Batman unique or special, that makes it stand out compared to other LEGO games?
Prnced: If we compare LEGO Batman to some of the first-engine LEGO games, like LEGO Star Wars 1, 2, The Complete Saga, LEGO Indiana Jones, and Batman, then what we can see is they all kind of have a progression of ‘here’s an episode, here’s an episode, here’s an episode’. But with Batman specifically, those Villain episodes are only unlocked after you play through their corresponding Hero episodes. With something like the LEGO Star Wars games, once you complete the first level of the game… For LEGO Star Wars 1, as soon as you complete 1-1 or ‘Negotiations’ in TCS, you unlock every single episode. You can just go wherever you want then. For LEGO Star Wars 2 as soon as you complete 4-1, that’s when you can go into Episode V or VI.
With LEGO Batman, sure, the game puts you into 1-1 right away but you can exit out and go right into 2-1 or 3-1.
Floha258: Alright, so what’s the most challenging or the most engaging part? Is it routing, execution or is it anything else?
Prnced: Hmm… Most difficult… Obviously right away is doing the routing because with how we’ve done it, we’ve given ourselves about anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes to look over the card and route, and THEN you start. So for those first few minutes, that’s the most intense thing, you’re going like ‘ok well where do I have to go in order to complete a triple bingo?’. You try to look through ‘ok, I would need to complete 20 levels in order to complete this triple bingo here’ or ‘ooh, there’s a different route that only completes 18 levels!’.
Sometimes it’s looking at how many levels you need to complete, sometimes it’s looking at what you need to complete IN those levels. Sometimes doing 20 levels is going to be better than 18 because maybe one of those 18 requires doing something that’s really, really long. Specifically, doing 10 minikit goals, some of those can get really long! I know there is one minikit specifically in 3-1 that takes about 3 minutes to complete so if you try doing that and another person can complete 2 levels more quickly than that, then that may end up being a better route.
So yeah, there is the aspect of routing to it, but knowing what’s in your route and how long it’s going to take for you to do that is another really difficult thing to actually know when routing.
Floha258: Are there any glitches that are unique to bingo in LEGO Batman, and if so do you maybe have an example at hand, or maybe something that you do NOT usually see in normal speedruns?
Prnced: Yeah, there are skips all over the place that would be specifically for LEGO Batman bingos instead of all the different categories there are for regular speedruns. But I think one that sticks out – I don’t know if we’ve made this at all, I think it was the planned one that we haven’t really gotten in yet – is tasering the elephant, for doing the Elephant Taser Glitch.
That is something that’s just for fun, it has nothing to do with the speedrun, but if you were to get Joker into Zoo’s Company, which is 2-4, you can taser an elephant and swap characters, and the elephant will be, like, an electrified blue and will push you around! It’s not useful for speedruns but it’s something that’s fun to see in a LEGO game like this.
Floha258: Ok, cool! So now, normally when you play through the LEGO games, they are fairly linear and then you’ve got the ability to come back to all the levels with so much more freedom and choose whichever character you want… And if I remember correctly, you do start from a file that has already all of the levels unlocked, so how does this affect the bingos? For example, how different would a bingo look like if you were to start from a completely fresh file?
Prnced: Well we do start from a fresh file! One of the aspects of your routing is, if you need this specific character for a Freeplay, let’s say the Joker… Well first of all you need to go through Episode 3 and then you need to play the first level of Episode 6 to unlock Joker. Then you would have to go back to Episode 1, complete whatever level you needed to, and then go back to it in Freeplay. So, doing something like that can cost you anywhere from 7 to 11 levels, and so that’s something you should really consider when you’re routing. Not everything is unlocked right away, you have to unlock it as you go but once you’re in Freeplay, depending on what character you have, you can pretty much go anywhere you want, specifically if you have the Slam Extra for Batman’s Glide Suit… Or if you have both Joker and Mr. Freeze unlocked, that will also allow you to do Pipe Glitch.
Floha258: Now, let’s start going a bit deeper into the card itself. What do you think is something that constitutes as a fun and engaging goal, or one that you would think ‘I do not like this at all, maybe it needs to be rebalanced…’, or maybe it’s just personal preference that you really do not like this goal?
Prnced: For the first iteration of our bingo boards, we had a few of those that needed rebalancing. Specifically looking at some of the minikits… We first started out with ‘ok, how many minikits can you get in story mode reasonably?’, and sometimes that would range anywhere from I think like 2 all the way to 10. Obviously you’re not gonna do 10 in story mode! Maybe you will, but that’s kind of ridiculous… So let’s cut it back to let’s say, maybe 5. So, we’ll have this level ‘5+ minikits’, ‘the same level 10 minikits’. We’ve had that for pretty much everything, with the max amount of story minikits and 10 minikits.
And a LOOOOT of those 10 minikits needed rebalancing. I had mentioned that 3-1 minikit that takes about 3 minutes to complete, we ended up changing that ‘10 minikits’ down to… I think it was ‘9+ minikits’ which really helped out.
Floha258: Do you have any particular favourite goals on a card, or also on the contrary some goals that you absolutely despise?
Prnced: I’m not sure why but I really like doing the hostages. I have no reason for it other than I find it enjoyable to save hostages!
I think doing some of the Ice Rink goals where you have to complete one, two or three levels with the Ice Rink extra turned on… It’s is a little challenging to know what level you can complete with Ice Rink and I find it a little long.
Floha258: When it comes to routing during the game, is there an aspect that perhaps some people might not think of? Maybe there’s a thought process behind routing that can damage one’s potential, or that can just completely lock you out of some stuff?
Prnced: Well, let’s say someone tries to avoid all of the 10 minikit goals. Sometimes you can’t, sometimes you can and maybe sometimes when you can maybe you have to put up every single episode, and sometimes you have to go all the way through those episodes, or at least you’d have to go through all the heroes, through the villains, maybe all the way up to the end of the villains, and that’s something that would be kind of detrimental to whoever is doing that. If they’re trying to avoid the 10 minikit goals here and there, that’s not good! [Laughs] To put it simply, that’s not good!
Maybe it takes you 4 minutes to do a 10 minikit goal, while going through every single episode – let’s say you’re doing the “any% with all episodes” – that takes about 1h45m? While if you’re cutting about two of those episodes, well now you’re maybe down to 1h20m.
Floha258: So when you look at the goals on your card, what makes you think ‘this is a row I want to go for’, or where you would say ‘I absolutely do NOT want to go for that one!’?
Prnced: Ok, piggybacking off of my previous answer, maybe there’s a row that requires Episode 4, 5 and 6, all three of those Villain episodes. Well that’s something that I would like to avoid. If there’s a row or column that goes through Episode 3 only, now that’s something I might actually want to put up, because that’s gonna take only maybe 5 levels. Sometimes you have to go back into Freeplay so that might take a few more but it’s so much better than having to go through three, four, five different episodes, rather than going through one or maybe two.
Floha258: So now, we’ve already talked about line bingo, specifically we’ve seen you do triple bingo. We’ve also seen you do blackout bingo in the past. So, what’s your most preferred way to play bingo?
Prnced: I kind of like the triple bingo because that makes it so that ‘ok, I don’t have to do every single thing in here’, and most of the time it is gonna have a goal from every single episode on the board. Sometimes you’ll be unlucky and it’s just four or five, but that rarely happens.
If you’re only doing a triple bingo, you’re cutting out a lot of different potential goals, and so one thing is the time constraint. Maybe if you’re doing a triple bingo it takes you an hour and a half, for a blackout it’s probably going to be closer to two and a half. If I have time to do a blackout I might consider it but I have more fun with the routing aspect if I’m doing a triple bingo.
Floha258: You’ve already talked about the minikits previously that you collect throughout all the levels. They make great targets for goals, but how much does their presence affect the routing, or how much of a challenge is it to manage to deal with them and what would you say is the best way to generally maybe balance collectibles on the card?
Prnced: Sometimes you get some of these goals where it’s ‘collect 3/4/7 Red Bricks’ and sometimes there are other goals where it’s ‘collect this level’s Red Brick’, and so maybe you can kind of piggyback on those, saying ‘oh, I need these three Red Bricks’, or ‘oh, I need these four and this one is super easy to get so I’m gonna get those five and that will immediately get me through that Collect 5 Red Bricks’. Same thing with minikits. Maybe there’s some that you can grab along the way that you don’t need, and so that can still help you towards your 10, 15 minikits.
Floha258: So, let’s go back a bit. We’ve talked a lot about bingos, but let’s say we’re looking at someone who is completely new to LEGO Batman, and let’s say they’re interested in picking up LEGO Batman bingos. Is there some kind of barrier of entry for those people, and do you have any advice for them in that regard?
Prnced: I would start with speedrunning some of the normal categories, either like Hero Story, Villain Story, All Episodes Story… Diving into some of the Freeplays… Something that would really, really help you out is doing 100%. If you were to do All Red Bricks, All Hostages, All Minikits, doing some of those so that you familiarize yourself with locations of collectibles, that would really help you out.
Joining the LEGO Batman speedrunning Discord server, posting in there and asking ‘hey, how do I do this correctly?’, we are happy to help! There are many people who can give you some information on any questions you have, whether it’s speedrunning or technical. The LEGO Batman Speedrun.com leaderboard has a few different speedrunning guides on there. We’ve also got a skip document where you can go level-by-level and see all the different types of skips and how to do them.
Floha258: So, when we’ve got these speedrunners who are only doing speedruns so far, do you think that there is a way that they might benefit from doing bingo in some way?
Prnced: I don’t think so... I guess one aspect of it is that there are skips in bingo that you don’t normally see in the speedruns because sometimes they get obsolete. One goal that comes to mind is doing Episode 1 Chapter 2, ‘An Icy Reception’, doing that with Robin only. You’re only Robin throughout this level but if you were to do it the speedrun way you’re going to be doing a lot of different Drop-In Warps and doing two-controller strats, and so if your bingo card pulls a ‘do this level with this person only’ goal, that is something that’s very special to bingos and does not necessarily apply to speedruns… But, if you were to somehow get stuck in your speedrun, maybe those bingos could give you an idea of ‘hey, there is a backup for this if I were to do this skip in this way!’.
Floha258: Ok, interesting! Do you think that there is a way for the community to further support bingos?
Prnced: Really just attending or participating, watching Bingothon! That’s one big thing that can help bingos in general!
Floha258: Obviously! [Laughs]
Prnced: Specifically for LEGO Batman bingos, we’ve had LEGO Batman bingo tournaments. I think we’ve only had one so far but we’re in the thoughts of doing a second one, I think LoS has posted something about asking if we’re gonna start setting it up, so if you’re a LEGO Batman speedrunner or bingo speedrunner, keep that in mind, there’s a tournament coming out pretty soon!
Floha258: Oooh, that sounds interesting! If there’s any news regarding this, we’ll be posting it right here!
Prnced: More information about that can be found in the LEGO speedruns tournament Discord server which can be found in the LEGO speedrunning Discord server. So if you’re interested in that you can check those different servers out.
Floha258: Yeah, we’ll be linking that as well! Now, we’re almost coming to the end in here, but let’s go a bit into the past. Is there anything funny that has happened to you in a bingo that you think is really unlikely to happen to you in a normal run, or in general any anecdotes you’d like to share from playing bingo?
Prnced: I think it might actually have been at Bingothon! I think I was in the middle of a bingo and I think my game froze at the end of a level and I’m like ‘oh, I have no idea what to do!’. At the time I believe I was playing on Xbox One, so I turned it off, turned it back on, I was ready to go back… and the file I was playing on got corrupted! [Laughs]
So that’s something that’s really unlikely to happen to someone now that most people play on PC, but just having that happen to you and then not knowing what to do is absurd!
Floha258: Oh, especially in a marathon setting, it’s really not what you’d like to see!
So yeah, we’re at the end here. Any final words you’d like to say?
Prnced: First off, I want to say a big thank you to all the different LEGO Batman speedrunning community members, the mods for the game… LoS, NoteK0, Scynor and Spedermon… They are all wonderful people, wonderful speedrunners, very knowledgeable of the game and they’ve been very, very helpful setting up and running some of these bingo boards, races, tournaments… They’ve been absolutely wonderful.
A lot of the other members in here, GuildMaster, chimkin, WiiSuper, wbt… There’s so many people to mention but basically every single LEGO Batman speedrunner has been very helpful for the bingos and speedruns, so a huge thank you to them.
I think that’s all I’ve got for shoutouts!
Floha258: Alright, well thank you very much for being here and for talking with us about LEGO Batman in here!
Prnced: You’re welcome, thank you for having me!
Floha258: Do make sure to give Prnced a follow on all the social media, on Twitch and all the other stuff that is probably gonna be linked below! If not, blame Pika [editor aka Pika’s note: Oh no, I am getting called out]!
That is all I have to say, we will see you next month on the next Beyond the Board, see you!
And that is it for this month’s Beyond the Board!
Do make sure to check out the LEGO Discord server if you are interested in everything LEGO speedrunning as well as for more information on the upcoming bingo tournament for LEGO Batman! Do of course make sure to give Prnced a follow on Twitter, Twitch and YouTube!
Thank you, and see you later on another Beyond the Board!
About The Author
Floha258 is one of the Main Organisers of Bingothon and depicts himself as “Mädchen für alles”, since he’s responsible for Development, Social Media and all other kinds of organisational activities.
Currently he is trying to fix his sleep schedule, in the hopes of it not crashing like Otogi.