An extremely dedicated Zelda fan has successfully achieved his ambitious goal to 100% complete every single canon Zelda game in Nintendo's back catalogue - and the entire endeavour took a little over a year.
The monumental challenge was undertaken by prominent Zelda fan, and organiser of the Zeldathon charity events, SuperMCGamer. It began in July 2017 and finally reached its successful conclusion last Friday, August 3rd, with an accumulated play time of 484 hours.
To celebrate his achievement, MC took to Reddit to answer questions in an AMA (Ask Me Anything). Here, he offered a few more details on the rules he set for his task, starting with the decision to include every canon, single-player Zelda instalment released so far.
Even with games like Hyrule Warriors omitted, MC's final list still featured an impressive 18 Zelda titles - The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, A Link to the Past, Link's Awakening DX, Ocarina of Time 3D: Master Quest, Majora's Mask 3D, Oracle of Seasons, Oracle of Ages, The Wind Waker HD, Four Swords Adventures, The Minish Cap, Twilight Princess HD, Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks, Skyward Sword (Hero Mode), A Link Between Worlds, Tri Force Heroes, and last but most certainly not least, Breath of the Wild.
Of course, simply reaching the end of each game wasn't enough for MC, and his second rule stipulated that every completable challenge (as listed in this handy spreadsheet) must be accounted for. That included collecting all 72 ship parts in the Phantom Hourglass, all 64 rings in the Oracle games, all 134 Wind Waker figurines, and, yes, all 900 koroks in Breath of the Wild. It even required that Oracle of Seasons and Ages be completed twice to fully 100% them.
The only "potentially controversial" exclusion MC allowed himself was A Link Between Worlds' challenge to survive for 999.99 seconds in the Cucco Rush mini-game: "A task that is deemed near impossible by most, even with extreme pause buffering strategies."
If you're wondering what inspired this sizeable undertaking, MC offered a bit of background during his AMA. "It was summer of 2017, and we knew DLC2 was coming for Breath of the Wild," he explained, "What better way to spend the time until it releases, by 100%ing all the Zelda games?". A year on though, he jokes, "I can now think of better uses of my time".
In total, the challenge (which was streamed in its entirety on Twitch) took 484 hours to complete, with MC managing to squeeze in several 4-8-hour play sessions a week between real-life obligations. As for how that overall time was split, Tri Force Heroes, the game that required the second longest amount of time to complete in the challenge, apparently lasted 44 hours, whereas Breath of the Wild took around three times as long.
Despite the sheer dedication involved, and the potential tedium of the tasks of hand, SuperMCGamer still found much to enjoy as he revisited each series entry. "Almost every game I discovered new minigames, dialogue, or quests that I forgot about existing," he explained, "and it really made me feel really excited to discover them."
That said, preferences inevitably arose: Breath of the Wild came out top as his favourite game to 100%, while Tri Force Heroes, which required "beating the same levels 4 times each" came bottom. And as for the trickiest instalments to complete, that award goes to the Oracle games.
"I never expected the Oracle games to be so complex," MC wrote, "I had to learn RNG manipulation strategies to get the rupees required for some rings. And to grow the Gasha Nuts to guarantee the stuff I needed would grow from them."
Additionally, Oracle of Ages featured the hardest individual task to perform: to get the perfect highest-level Goron Dancing. This proved so difficult that it ultimately required MC to play directly on a GBA SP instead of through a capture card, "Because the precision was so tight."
Still, 484 hours later, MC is simply happy to have completed his goal. But if he was to do it all again? He says he'd alter the order in which the games were played. "For some reason I did all the worst games in a row, saving the best for last... which... caused me months of distress".
And if anyone is sufficiently inspired to tackle the challenge themselves, MC has one word of advice: "Don't". As he warned a curious fellow Zelda fan, "There are a LOT of horrible things that caused just distress and frustration." Instead, he admits that it's probably far more sensible to simply dedicate your time to 100%ing "all the games you love profusely".