At some time or another, we have all thrown our hands up at a game because the road got a bit too tough to hoe, whether it’s the grueling test of the Dark Souls series, the tunnel level in Battletoads, or any of the other of the world’s most challenging games. We all have our reasons.
Dig down deep into the life of YouTuber, Terry Garrett – known on YouTube as MegaTGarrett – and you will find no trace of such excuses.
Completely blind since he was 10 years old, Terry took the gaming world by storm on January 3rd by publishing his final video of a 5 year journey to beat The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time completely on his own.
As they say, art imitates life. Terry’s story is definitely one that garners just as much amazement as even the grandest of computer-generated open worlds, and it required just as much resilience as even the greatest gaming hero. We got a chance to sit down with Terry and talk about his challenge, what he’s planned for the future, and why exactly he does what he does.
What made you first decide you were going to play Ocarina of Time, a game which is already difficult enough, let alone when you can’t see it?
Terry: The way it all started was a company called Oddworld Inhabitants, they make 2D scrollers and a couple 3D games, one called Abe’s Odyssey and another called Abe’s Exoddus. My brother actually brought Odyssey home. I liked the gameplay. It was a puzzle kind of action-like game. I like to play it, but I couldn’t really figure out the sounds.
But when Exoddus came out, it actually had save state built into the game. So, you could save your progress anywhere in the game. That’s where I actually started learning to play Exxodus, and I was able to figure out the game. I was so excited about it after I beat it, that I told the company. They ran with it, made an interview, and encouraged me to start making my own videos about games.
I decided to do Zelda. To be honest, when I was in college, I actually passed Zelda already. Kind of the same way I did [in the videos], but I needed help with a lot of the temples. So, I wanted to go back and videotape myself doing it, put it on YouTube, and be able to do the entire game independently. So that’s when I started in 2011.
Was gaming something you’d always been interested in?
Terry: Gaming has always been a part of my childhood. When I was 5 we had the old NES, the old black and grey box with the cartridges. We had a Sega Genesis.
I had limited vision when I was younger. So I could see some of the older games. Like the old Mario games and Sonic the Hedgehog, I know what all of those games look like.
But I lost all my sight at age 10, and that was around 1998, when the N64 was getting big. So I think I saw Super Mario 64 just before losing my sight, but I never saw Ocarina of Time. I’ve had a Gamecube, and N64, but lately I’ve just been emulating the older games.
From your childhood, is Ocarina of Time your favorite game?
Terry: Well, Sonic the Hedgehog, of course, is one of my best side-scrollers. I absolutely love the game, especially Sonic 3.
The original Zelda on NES, I used to play that all the time, but I could never pass it. I could get to the last temple. I could get like 7 Triforce pieces, but I could not get all of them. Unfortunately, that game doesn’t have enough accessibility. I can’t go back and do it now. But I read walkthroughs later and was like ‘That’s all I have to do!”
I had a love for Zelda even before I lost my sight. The next one that came that I really enjoyed was Ocarina of Time. Skipped a couple games, but they didn’t really interest me until I heard about Ocarina of Time. That’s when Zelda really, I felt, got really full depth. The story was a lot more rich.
In your first video, you describe your set-up. Walk me through how you developed that.
Terry: There are actually companies out there, one is called GMA games, that produce games specifically made for the blind. They are 3D environments, and in those games, they encourage you to have speakers on each side of you or use headphones. I played several of those games, and that’s where I got the idea. It’s just a 3D game with video. I just need to be able set up speakers on either side of me and try to listen and basically learn how to orient myself with what I am hearing.
When I was doing the videotaping, I wanted to do the speakers. People can hear the video if I do screen-capture like I did in my later videos, but they kind of lose seeing me and my facial reactions, and how I’m listening to my speakers, and what I’m getting out of them. So I set it up with speakers instead of headphones so the people watching could be more involved.