The speedrunning community is probably at its peak right now, with many individuals streaming to Twitch repeated efforts to get their best time in a particular game. Though I’m not much of a speedrunner myself, I happen to watch a couple speedrunners in my spare time on Twitch. One of them is LickTheBishop, a teenage Mega Man 6 speedrunner. Below is my interview with him.
Blimps Go 180: 1. How did you get started in speedrunning?
LickTheBishop: I have been watching and enjoying the speedrun community for years before I started out. I used to watch hours of multiple retro games being ran, especiallly Mega Man games. Even nowadays I still enjoy watching any game being speedran, even if I don’t know the game at all! I had always tried to learn games to speedrun, but I never succeeded. Either the game was too difficult to pick up, or I burned out. With Mega Man 6 however, I really felt like I was enjoying my runs, and I’m just having a good time in general.
Blimps: 2. You’re pretty young. There were certainly very technically impressive games when you were a kid. What drew you to something as old school as Mega Man?
LickTheBishop: There are two reasons for this, plain and simple. First of all, my dad used to always introduce me to all kinds of old school games when I was younger, Mega Man being my favorite since I was 6. Second, I really like games with stages and the pixel art. Newer games don’t have this, and the only newer games that do are based on older games. I just don’t enjoy running 3D games, 2D platformers are my favorite. I would like to try out some other games soon, though, like Celeste, Hollow Knight and other 2D platformers from the newer gen.
Blimps: 3. How much of a Mega Man 6 speedrun is up to RNG [random number generator] stuff? How much is predictable?
LickTheBishop: Because Mega Man 6 is a game just based on stages, there are really only 2 aspects to the game that might involve RNG: Enemies and Boss fights. There are about 10 enemies in the game for which you have to keep RNG in mind. e.g: In Flame Man’s stage, the ‘Fire Tellies’ and ‘Fire Boys’ shoot fire at you or into oil. The oil ignites and turns into an insta-death fire pool. To avoid this, you either kill the enemies on time or try to manage your damage boosts. But these enemies fire randomly, therefore it’s very hard to predict when they’ll turn the ground below you into an insta death fire pool.
For the boss fights, I’d say that all but 2 bosses rely on RNG at least a little bit, those are Plant Man and the X1 boss. e.g: The RNG based “movement pattern” that Blizzard Man or Yamato Man gives you, could totally influence how many time you’re going to lose/save in the stage. There are some ways to manipulate the RNG though, e.g: Centaur Man. Centaur Man has 5 movements: Shoot a ball, Run towards you, teleport, freeze and teleport+freeze. If he freezes you, you’ll lose about 3-6 seconds depending on where you are on the screen. But, if you keep him inside of his I-frames, he won’t freeze, even though he can still move. Nonetheless, you just totally eliminated something that could lose you a lot of time. You won’t be as lucky for other bosses though. The biggest RNG troll is the last wily fight, which is why we usually call him the “Casino.” Depending on where he spawns on screen, you can hit him once, twice, or thrice. You obviously want to hit him as much as possible, so a bad spawn could lose you a lot of time as well.
Blimps: 4. I find when I’m livestreaming and I’m dying [in the game] over and over, I can lose viewers. Do you struggle with this as a speed runner?
LickTheBishop: This is what we all fear, but luckily it has been normalized to die in the speedrunning community. Everybody faces it, and we all support eachother. Speedrunning, but any game in general, is just a learning process. But watching a speedrun is more tense than exciting, because of the risk factor.
Blimps: 5. Who holds the MM6 any% world record? Are you close to passing him or her?
LickTheBishop: PpotDot1 holds the current WR, and he’s been holding it for 5+ years! It’s an insane record and nearly unbeatable because of the insane amounts of luck that he got with RNG in the speedrun. My time is about 4 and a half minutes slower than his time. 4 and a half minutes sounds like a lot, but I don’t do as many manipulations as I don’t like implementing them into my run. Once you get past 36:00, you need to learn more manipulations. My time is 38:14 as of now, but my sum of best segments is a 37:08. I keep getting bad Wily 4 luck unfortunately…
Blimps: 6. What game would you like to speedrun next?
LickTheBishop: Mega Man 5 or Mega Man 3 are on my to-learn list for sure! Both seem like really cool games to speedrun and I would highly recommend them to others to try out!
Blimps: 7. What do you think of MM6 as a speedrunner?
LickTheBishop: It’s an awesome speedgame. Very beginner friendly. I used to hate the game for casual, but the levels are just really cool to do fast. It almost feels like you’re dancing on the stage. I also really like the game because it doesn’t have a lot of zips are clips, which I really don’t like. I like to run vanilla and MM6 does just that.
Blimps: Thank you for your time.