They say that if you give monkeys an infinite amount of time, they’ll eventually write Shakespeare by sheer accident. I’m not sure if that’s true, but at the very least I can confirm that hundreds of people all fighting for control at the same time can clear The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Twitch streamer extraordinaire Pointcrow — who we featured in early March after he cleared Breath of the Wild without walking — is back this time with a different type of feat. The content creator rigged his Twitch stream so that his viewers can input commands via chat, with some actions, like backflipping and parrying, macroed for ease. The catch is that the chat has control only for five minutes at a time, and every so often, Pointcrow takes over.
If that sounds like cheating, there are two things to consider here. One, the original Twitch Plays Pokémon also enacted special measures to make sure the stream progressed during difficult moments, though in that case it was a “democracy” vote that determined what would happen next. Second, Pointcrow doesn’t necessarily always make things easier for Twitch chat.
Actually, for most of the run, Pointcrow trolls the chat by intentionally setting Link in front of complex enemies like a Hynox.
“Rather than give a Sisyphus task to my viewers that might take months, if not years, I wanted to make something achievable in a realistic amount of time,” Pointcrow told Polygon on Twitter. “And we did!”
The chat fights back against Pointcrow, too. While the chat manages to kill some enemies by itself, such as Bokoblins and even a Guardian, the players run away when facing huge threats.
“I put the chat right in front of a Lynel wanting them to fight and EVERYONE backflipped out of the area until the Lynel couldn’t see them anymore,” Pointcrow told Polygon.
“Cowards, all of you,” he says as he watches the chat flip out of harm’s way.
To motivate the chat, Pointcrow bets them that they can’t complete certain tasks — but says that if they do, he’ll award them free subscriptions to his channel. After the chat manages to defeat a Guardian by itself, Pointcrow keeps his word and gives out 20 subs.
After a while, the chat manages to come together to perform Flurry Rushes and parries against enemies, which is gratifying to see. There’s also some vague coordination: Part of the chat decides to press one button, while the rest of the chat does something else.
While having a person in the corner of a “Twitch Plays” is unusual, it also adds a human touch to the proceedings — we can see Pointcrow’s ecstatic face as the chat accomplishes the impossible.
For the Ganon battle, Pointcrow chips in a little more than usual. These portions feel as if Pointcrow hands his younger sibling the controller during crucial moments, and challenges them to do something specific before they can move forward. In the first stage of the fight, the chat mostly avoids attacks. Later on, the chat parries and successfully pops Stasis on Waterblight Ganon’s attacks.
In the final stage, Pointcrow gives the chat control so that it lands the final blow to finish the Breath of the Wild run. Around 600 concurrent viewers participated in the event, which unfolded over the course of about 25 hours. Pointcrow estimates that the chat was in control for about 17 of those hours, and that Link died around 80 times, often by fall damage.