This Twitch streamer just became the first person to beat every N64 game
Samuel “Acegamersam” Girand owns a plot of video games. The 32-year-old Quebecer has an extensive library of classic console titles, including complete collections of North American Dreamcast and N64 games. Five years ago, with a young Twitch channel, Girand began releasing Nintendo titles to a small audience. This audience quickly began to grow as he set his sights on completed all 296, a feat no one else has claimed to have done before.
Since last week, half a decade later, Girand has completed this monolithic task. Based on rules agreed upon by a Discord community of others attempting this task of completion, the streamer has beaten every Nintendo 64 game released on North American shelves. Yes, even including Superman.
Acegamersam’s interest in collecting retro games began in 2009, ironically: it was sparked by the first time he parted ways. “I just sold a few retro games that I no longer played, and I was heartbroken to part with games from my childhood,” he said. Kotaku. “I told myself that I would prefer to find and keep the games of my childhood.”
In attempting to fill in these gaps, Girand discovered that he took great pleasure in researching them. “I really enjoyed the process of finding games online or visiting retro game stores. Two or three years later I already had a couple hundred games and kept going!
Focusing on the NES, SNES, N64, Master System, Genesis, and Dreamcast, the focus then was on collecting rather than playing. And as with any attempt to complete a collection, there has games that are much harder to find than others, or at least reasonably priced. For this complete N64 shelf, Girand told me: “It took me a while to find good copies at reasonable prices for Clay Fighters Sculptor’s Cup, stunt rider, super bowling, To Armageddonand Transformers Beast Wars Transmetal.” But once he had them all, he thought it would be fun to play them on Twitch.
“I started playing games like Super Mario 64, Sega Genesis Sonic games and some Disney games. Especially childhood games. Super Mario 64 brought me viewers who were Nintendo 64 fans growing up. During these streams, Girand mentioned to viewers that he had amassed an extensive collection and started getting requests from people asking him to play their favorite childhood games. “After a few games,” Girand explains, “I decided to create an official challenge where viewers would ask me to play games.”
It then turned, as such things so often do, into a challenge to complete games. But like Sam Girand Told Radio Canada, the viewer suggestion format meant they only browsed the most popular titles. “I was going to… end up with the bad ones for last.” He created a point-based incentive for his handful of viewers to suggest more obscure games.
But of course, “finishing” a game is often not easy. Of course, you beat Bowser’s final fight in mario 64 and the game is over, but how does it work for, say, International Football Superstar 64? In order to establish such rules, a Discord Group other actors would discuss and debate the agreed criteria. I wondered how others reacted when it became clear that Acegamersam seemed to be the first to achieve this arduous record.
“Our Discord is a fantastic place,” Girand replies. “All people with the same passion for taking on the challenges of the console. There was no competition between the team members at any time. We all share our knowledge and everyone beats the games at their own pace. There’s no race to that, he explains, “The important thing is to all achieve the same goal at the end.”
Of course, combining this extraordinary marathon with trying to deliver something worth watching to a viewing audience is no small feat. I wondered how the ratings were maintained during the most boring or worst matches. Turns out that wasn’t a problem at all. “People love to see someone suffer over a bad game on Twitch.” He would send a message on social media saying how “awful or difficult” a game was, and people would flock to see his reactions. “I had some of my best [numbers] playing the worst games for the Nintendo 64. That’s a good thing, because it got me through the worst parts of the challenge.
296 is a lot of games, and while some would be difficult, there had to be others he would never have played, otherwise it really surprised him. “I got the chance to play games that I never had when I was a kid, or [had] never heard of before,” Girand told me. A list, in fact, comprising Mystical Ninja with Goemon, Reclaim, mischief makers, Jet Force Gemini, Ogre Battle 64, Goemon’s Great Adventureand even Paper Mario 64.
So, with this crazy task done, he’s done, right? Surely? Well no. Girand now intends to set himself a new challenge: complete all 200 games featuring Sonic. Which sounds like fun, until you realize that means multiple re-releases of the same games, and, you know, the 3D ones. “I’m afraid to discover games like Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Sonic and the Secret RingsWhere Sonic and the Dark Knighthe tells me, as well as spin-offs like Sonic Maze and Sonic Mix. “The last part that scares me in this challenge is that I have included official compilations, if at least one Sonic game is included. This includes a game like Sega Genesis Classics, which includes over 50 Sega classics. This will take way too many hours to complete!”
That doesn’t seem to deter him, however. Yet he is fully aware of the seriousness of the situation. “There are a lot more games that I don’t know, so I can still find more horrible games along the way.”