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Kyle Nelson: Tecmo’s Leading Rusher

Kyle Nelson, aka thegamer1185, is a childhood rumor finally come to life. Everybody’s childhood best friend boasted of rushing Bo Jackson to a billion yards in Tecmo Super Bowl. You knew the kid: their room piled high with Worlds of Power novels, Nintendo Power magazines, and of course, every How to Win at Nintendo Games book Jeff Rovin ever wrote. Put on the spot, though, your friend would struggle to get Bo over 100 and then mutter about how the computer “cheats.” Kyle doesn’t need any excuses. If anything, TSB finishes each game muttering that Kyle Nelson cheated.

Kyle, under his tag thegamer1185, holds two TSB World Records at Twin Galaxies: Most Rushing Yards in a Single Game (1,937) and Biggest Blowout in a Single Game (175 points). Twin Galaxies, for those unfamiliar, is the Guinness World Record-recognized arbiter of video game world records. Founded by Walter Day in 1982, the Twin Galaxies Arcade made its name keeping meticulous records of arcade high scores. Twin Galaxies features prominently in the 2007 documentary about the battle for Donkey Kong’s World Record, King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. Twin Galaxies has since expanded to keep records for console games as well as arcade cabinets and today includes a rich online presence at TwinGalaxies.com.

Twin Galaxies

With Bo under his control and Twin Galaxies on the horizon, Kyle Nelson sat down in front of Tecmo Super Bowl on November 12th, 2015 and made everyone’s childhood best friend eat their words. After countless hours of trial and error, Kyle pushed 8-Bit Bo to his limits and set the World Record for most rushing yards in a game. Given his feat, we had to sit down and have a Q and A with the record holder himself.

TecmoBowlers: Kyle, thanks for talking with us. Can you start by talking a little bit about you got started in NES World Records?
Kyle: I’ve always been a gamer. There really is no genre I don’t enjoy to play. I never thought about going for any world records until about 2014 when I discovered Twin Galaxies which records video game world records.

TB: Was Tecmo the motivation?
K: TSB wasn’t “the” motivation necessarily. I just happened to be getting into tournament play at the time I discovered Twin Galaxies and was playing TSB a lot. So it was my jumping off point.

TB: Can you describe the process for setting up? Camera, Capture, etc?
K: I used a capture card for a few records, but I just didn’t like using my computer monitor as a display. Plus, no commentary. Now I just point my webcam at my high tech CRTV and go. It’s better IMO because you get the raw emotion of the gamer as things happen. After all, who doesn’t like hearing a 31 yr old cursing at a TV by himself?

TB: How long did it take to set the records? How many attempts did you make?
K: Holy crap, how long did it take? I’m honestly glad I don’t know. It was about 4-5 hours a night for at least 3 weeks on the blowout record. That doesn’t even count the random 40 minutes of free time here or there. The rushing yards record was much easier and less stressful but just as time consuming. Other than dropped passes/picked plays/condition changes it was all pretty much up to me.

TB: Talking about condition; during the video, you often check the condition of certain players. Could you explain for the uninitiated how a player’s condition affects your record run? A below-average condition subtracts from the players stats, no?
K: Yes. Condition changes are vital to certain players depending [on what record you’re pursuing]. For rushing yards I used Bo Jackson (obviously). He must be in excellent from the 3rd Qtr on, or you may as well restart. I kept my fastest blocker in WR2 to chase down the safety. WR 1 was typically Ethan Horton. A WR in excellent [condition] can make a big difference depending on the conditions of the defensive players.
For [the biggest blowout record], condition only matters for Rod Woodson, Greg LLoyd, and your RT Tunch Ilkin for KR speed purposes. Then it’s all up to how well you can kick the ball off and what plays you have set for the opposing offense. A little help from the Tecmo Gods recovering those fumbles doesn’t hurt. I had very good success using Philly as well, but they just don’t have the Rod God factor.

TB
: Can you describe the feeling of finally setting a record?
K: It was pretty awesome. Anybody who plays the game like us tournament players knows exactly what kind of [garbage] Tecmo can throw you in one play, let alone an entire game.  [The 175-point blowout is] by no means close to being “the” biggest blowout possible. I’m going to best it this winter so keep a look out for that.

TB:
Yeah, the Facebook comments under your rushing record video included a lot of trash talk. Now there’s a little more exposure, how long do you expect your records to stand?
K: I don’t expect my records to stand much longer…I’m going to beat it in the next month I think (laughing)! The blowout score can be beaten by anybody right now. I think the best possible score, without using an emulator/save states to get the perfect scenarios, would be just above 200 points. That’s what I’m going for.

TB
: Once you’ve captured your record, what’s the process of actually certifying it through Twin Galaxies? Is it difficult?
K: You can submit directly to Twin Galaxies just like Youtube. It’s very easy. TG does have upload issues for some gamers, including myself, so I would personally rather upload to Youtube.

TB
: Do the Tecmo records feel greater than the others knowing your ties the community and Tecmo Madison TSB World Championships?
K: I can’t say that the TSB records mean more, but they are fun to talk about with everybody. I’m a young buck when it comes to tournaments in the Tecmo community. My brother Cory Schultes (noonan) is the one who got me started in all the tournament stuff. We used to write down in a notebook all of our stats from seasons we had played. He was the last and first person I had played in over 14 years. My first ever big tournament was…[Lincoln Tecmo] in 2015, then it was Madison in 2016.

TB: Do you have your eyes set on any more Tecmo records?
K: There are so many records you could in TSB. Most points scored using only Defense/Special teams. Most passing yards in a game/season. Etc.

TB
: Do you have a specific record you’re proudest of?

K: I’m very proud of all the records I currently hold. [I’m] going all out on NES Light Gun games next month. I think the one I’d be most proud of in the sense that I’m never doing it again because it sucked so much would be Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (N64), “Fastest Time on Raid on Sullust using the Millennium Falcon.” I hold the record by over 13 seconds. It’s not the fastest ever done on the level, but it’s the fastest ever done using the Millennium Falcon.

I’ve got a fun little challenge for everybody: play Super Mario Bros. 3 trying to get the fewest points possible for every level. A buddy and I created that challenge this last winter. It’s super fun, especially for a game everyone knows so well.

I’ve got so many records I know I will get, but some of them will take sooooo long to get them. Just need the time. My Wild Gunman marathon will be over 24 hours…that will be the worst day of my life. So boring.

Thanks for the opportunity to talk with you guys.


A big thanks to Kyle Nelson for taking the time to talk to all of us. We highly recommend you check out the full videos of Kyle’s TSB records. The videos show just how thin the margin between success and failure can be. One dropped pass and 4-plus quarters of work can go down the toilet. Kyle’s Twin Galaxies submission for most yards in a single game can be viewed above. Likewise, the video for his record-setting 175-0 blowout win is https://youtu.be/RYGC446oRE4. Those interested can also view a complete list of Kyle Nelson’s 43 World Records at his Twin Galaxies page. Some standouts among thegamer1185’s achievements include Fastest Time Completing The Legend of Zelda (no glitches) at 01:12:52.0 and his record for most points in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 game, 893.

Childhood best friends worldwide can also view the Twin Galaxies TSB leaderboard. What TSB fans will notice, and what Kyle Nelson hinted at, is how relatively empty the TSB leaderboard is. Twin Galaxies currently lists only Kyle’s records for TSB. Obvious records like Most Rushing Yards in a Season, Most Passing Yards in a Season, Most QB Sacks (no Lurch) in a Game, and Most Interceptions in a Season simply don’t exist yet.

So next time you get a free moment, sit down in front of TSB, point your camera at the screen and, to quote Captain Falcon, show us your moves! Who knows, you could be our next player profile.

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Keith Good

Keith Good is a future Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and 8-bit game geek. A perpetual optimist, he convinces himself every September that this could finally be the Cleveland Browns' year. He was once told to eff off by one of the Tecmo Browns. You can check out his other work at www.keithisgood.com and follow him on twitter @keithisgood.

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