“Sometimes we attempt things to prove we can’t do them,” I wankily declared when folks started trying to play Dark Souls [official site] in the viewer-controlled style of Twitch Plays Pokémon. Embrace futility and inevitability and that, yeah? After days, they’d made two minutes’ progress. I was fascinated that hundreds of people were trying to do something that clearly would never work. So they cheated. People, yeah?
The classic ‘Twitch Plays’ setup has magical technology which turns Twitch chat commands into game inputs, letting Twitch, y’know, play. Twitch streams have a delay of a fair few seconds between the broadcast and viewers seeing it, which may be okay (well, chaotic but acceptable) in a turn-based, menu-driven game, with a real-time deathfest it becomes near-impossible. Which I thought was the joke.
After a long stretch of characters banging their heads against the walls of the Undead Asylum, stream mastermind Daniel Nichols switched to a system where Dark Souls is essentially turn-based. The game plays a split-second of real-time action then is paused, giving time for commands and votes to come in. Sure, that did let people progress and have fun and finally finish the game after 43 days, 8 hours, 13 minutes, and 49 seconds.
It’s hugely impressive, don’t get me wrong, but “Can we do the impossible?” became “Can we be arsed?”
Anywho, you can now join in with Dark Souls II. Here’s what their final fight against Gwyn looks like with all the pauses stripped out – it actually took over half an hour: