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Speedrunner takes down Battletoads’ infamous Turbo Tunnel, blindfolded

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One of old-school gaming’s hardest stages

Piotr Delgado Kuseilczuk, ‘The Mexican Runner,’ gets ready to take on Battletoads while blindfolded
Games Done Quick

Alright, team, this is a great knife trick of eight-bit video gaming: The hardest stage in Battletoads, blindfolded.

Battletoads has an outsize reputation for old-school bad-assery, not only for regular shlubs like you and me, but also for speedrunnersl. At Awesome Games Done Quick this afternoon, showcase performer Piotr Delgado Kuseilczuk, aka “The Mexican Runner,” whipped Battletoads in a warpless, any-percent run in 29:04. That’s not a world record, but Kuseilczuk does own the title (23:42, set six months ago).

Because that segment beat its donation goal, Kuseilczuk came back to do the infamous Turbo Tunnel stage — blindfolded. “I hope you trust me on this one,” he says modestly, placing the blindfold over his eyes and then slipping over a red winter hat, backward, to hold it in place. Finally, he looked down throughout the run, just so everybody could see that he couldn’t see. It’s at 18:49:19 of this stream.

Kuseilczuk didn’t make it without dying. In fact he died eight times on the stage, which is why he stocked up on extra lives on his descent through the Wookie Hole into the Turbo Tunnel. Still, it’s damned impressive that he can take something that has tormented so many into gamepad-throwing fits of rage and make it look so simple.

Last year, Kusielczuk realized his goal of beating every game for the Nintendo Entertainment System — 714 in all, taking him three years and more than 3,000 years to accomplish. He is one of the best and brightest among performance gamers, speedrunning or otherwise. Watching him pull apart Battletoads like a piece of barbecued chicken is a highlight for AGDQ as the charity marathon hits its midpoint.