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Welcome to Noclip, a podcast about the people who play and make video games. Each episode Danny O'Dwyer tells a story from inside the world of gaming. Learn about how your favorite titles were made, discover gaming communities you couldn't have imagined, and gain a deeper appreciation for the people behind the code.

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May 3, 2019

On this episode, we dive into the conversation around Sekiro and accessibility as we chat with Clint Stewart about his experience playing Soulsbourne games with an arm and a foot.

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- [Danny] Hello and welcome to Noclip, the podcast about the people who play and make video games. I'm your host Danny O'Dwyer. We've had a lot of people on who have made video games, so it's about time we've had someone on who plays them. And this isn't just anyone, this is a friend of Noclip and somebody I've wanted to collaborate with for quite awhile. So I'll let him introduce himself. Clint, how are you doing this fine Friday afternoon?

- [Clint] I'm doing great, thank you. Hey Danny.

- [Danny] Tell us a little bit about yourself. I'll kind of get into what we're gonna talk about in a hot second, but tell us your name, where you are right now, and what we're here to talk about.

- [Clint] Alright, my name is Clint Stewart. I go by DisabledCable on Twitter and JehovahNova on Steam, bunch of other names. I think TreeLegDog may be one of them. I've been a gamer most of my life and almost seven years ago, I was injured very badly and I lost my left arm and I broke my back as well, so trying to learn how to play games one-handed has been quite the challenge.

- [Danny] And you're somebody who can kind of speak to the accessibility question from somebody who has experienced playing games with no disability and experiencing games with a pretty heavy one as well. We've a lot to get into today. Before we sort of talk about, I guess, your experience more generally, I just want to let everyone know how this came to happen for this episode of the podcast. I've been wanting to do something with Clint for a long time because his insight into this is super refreshing and he's a very eloquent speaker but we've sort of struggled to get that project up and running. We're hoping to do it the future. But what happened in the past month I guess is this sort of general conversation that's been going on around Sekiro easy mode and accessibility, which I did a video on on Noclip. You can watch an episode of Bonus Level that's kind of all about that. And that was kind of my opinion on it but I thought, the way Noclip works is that we often ask the experts about these things. People who aren't, we're not just giving my option on the state of development or design or anything but we go out and we find people who are experts in these issues. Clint is an expert in this. Not only because of the way in which he plays games but also because he's a fan of the particular series in question. So pretty early on I kind of tapped him up and was like, hey, when you've played the game a bit can you come on the podcast and sort of chew the shit with us about this? So first of all, thank you so much for coming on and making the time.

- [Clint] Yeah, thank you. I've gotta say to start off with too, you did buy it for me. So I gotta be, first off, I've never been called an expert and you did buy the game for me, so that's all. All that's out of the way and start now.

- [Danny] Yeah, we don't let interns, we don't do unpaid internships or don't pay people who are contributing to our work so yeah, yeah, no. Absolutely, it's the least we could do. So before we touch on Sekiro, can you tell us a little bit about how you generally play games? Like if you're going out to buy a game today Clint, what are the considerations that you have to sort of take into account? And how do you actually play them?

- [Clint] Definitely, and this is a great first question because it really made me think about the Souls games and games like those and just everything that I have to take into consideration when I buy a game. The last game that I bought that was similar to Sekiro would be Neo. And I had to refund Neo when I first bought it because they released that PC port with no mouse keyboard controls whatsoever. I'm used to some games mouse and keyboard not working in the menus or maybe I can't rebind the keys in-game but I can do it in the Razer Synapse software, but with Neo, it was just like no. You better buy a controller or it's just not gonna work. And just one of the only times I've ever had to refund a game.

- [Danny] Is that rare? Does that happen often?

- [Clint] That is extremely rare these days, thankfully. And enough people, I got on Twitter which my tweet might have got two likes. I don't think I got noticed by anybody but more than just me who's coming out saying, hey, this needs mouse and keyboard support. You can't release a PC game with no mouse and keyboard support. And I was hoping that maybe the Dark Souls, before the remaster that just came out, the community got together and made mouse keyboard controls work in that game as well. Because the first Dark Souls port was horrible. It's one of the worst ports I think I've ever played. And the community got, what was it called? The DS Fix, I guess the one guy made. But then they added on to it and added mouse and keyboard support, but they still didn't get the prompts right. So you would get a prompt on the screen to do something but it would say, it would be the controller prompt. You still wouldn't get the mouse and keyboard, which is extremely frustrating when you're trying to remember. You've just changed everything up and you think you remember what you did but then you know, that's extremely frustrating. Generally when I buy a game I look, does it have rebindable keys? And if not, that's not always a deal breaker, but does it just have mouse and keyboard support in general? Because I have two different one-handed controllers and I don't want to knock the guys that worked on those, that created them. One of them was the first guy who I'd ever seen even do this. He has a channel on YouTube. And each controller has it's own issues, but I mean for what they are, there really is no other choice if you have to play console games. I mean because they still haven't gotten around to adding mouse and keyboard support fully on the Xbox. I think PlayStation has some in a couple games. But even like Xbox, they just added it and they have a partnership with Razer, but yet if you were to turn on the Xbox and try to just use the mouse and keyboard, or in my case the mouse and footboard, which is the Stinkyboard, you can't do anything. You have to use a controller to navigate the UI. And then to find the games that will work with mouse and keyboard. It's a lot to think about when you're looking at games.

- [Danny] Yeah, it's a whole lot of questions that most of us don't really have to consider at all. So when you're interacting with these games, obviously the bindable keys, you said, is a really important part of it. But what are you using physically? Because presumably you're not using both a mouse and keyboard. You're remapping this to a third-party peripheral, or sort of a--

- [Clint] So yeah, just let me explain that a little better. I use a 19 button mouse that's called a Razer Naga. Razer is the company that makes it and the Naga is the brand. And basically it's made for MMO. It's called an MMO mouse. Which I have used it in an MMO, and we can talk about that later. I think that's, one of the games that I used to try to teach myself how to play again was World of Warcraft. And then I also use a Stinkyboard, which is a four button footboard. Now both of these hardware have software tied to them as well that will allow you to completely rebind. You can make any of the buttons whichever button you want. And then the Razer software is even more powerful because you can make macros as well. And there are certain games like Devil May Cry 5, that just came out recently. That's a beautiful game. It's brilliant, it's a lot of fun to play. But for me as a one-armed gamer that was infuriating because you had to press three different buttons to be able to do some moves. And that was including having to hold down a button for lock on. So I ended up having to go in the Razer Synapse software and make a simple on/off macro for lock on, just so I could do some of the moves in that game. Out of all the things that they forget to add, like of course I would love to see ultrawide support or unlock frame rate. The game does have unlock frame rate, but just simple lock on. Being able to just toggle that on or off. Just like maybe you want to have sprint always on, have a toggle on sprint or a toggle on crouch. For lock on should be something that just needs to be industry standard. Do you want it toggable or not?

- Wow.

- Just help people out. That's definitely something I've come across in a few different games.

- [Danny] Yeah, I hadn't thought about that consideration at all. When you're playing then, so you have a prosthesis, right? Like you have some sort--

- [Clint] I actually do have government subsidies, or I should say subsidized, because I had to go through a legal battle just to get Medicare and Medicaid. I've talked to you about my story before, you know what happened. They denied me disability. I actually got denied twice and had to get a disability lawyer to get disability. And then when I finally got in court the judge was like, oh my lord, son, we're gonna take care of this.

- Oh my goodness.

- And I was in and out of there in two minutes.

- [Danny] On what grounds were they?

- [Clint] You know what, the first letter I got back they were like, oh he can still bend over and lift things. I'm like, with what good back and what two arms? Did you even read what your doctor said? Ah, bureaucrats, man.

- [Danny] That's incredible. So the judge like took one glance at you and kind of--

- [Clint] Yeah, soon as I got in front of the judge he was just like, I am so sorry sir, and we're gonna get this taken care of. Within the next three months I had an arm. You know, I think the government paid $90,000 for it, I wanna say. And it's very nice but it's very limited. I mean, it's the first version, right? Like if I had, I've got a few complaints about it, but one of the most being is how heavy it is. Because it's carbon fiber and it's got a battery. And also due to the kind of amputation that I had. I don't have a lot of arm left so it's pretty much just resting on my shoulder which is supported by my back which again, my L3 and L5 were severely cracked and my L4 looks like a spiderweb. They didn't think I'd be able to walk again. So that's a miracle in itself that I'm still walking and talking. So I count my lucky stars and I don't complain about too many things. But definitely this whole conversation around accessibility versus difficulty's really got me thinking. Your video is great that it looked at the nuance of it. You didn't just do one hot take or try to ride the fence. I saw your other tweet where you compared it to how you play racing games, and that really hit home for me because I would love to play VR games but yet you don't see me demanding them make all VR games playable for me with one hand because they're still creating that space. Like if I were to buy VR now I might be able to play Dirt Rally or maybe Elite Dangerous. They'd probably be the only two games I could really play in VR.

- [Danny] Yeah so let's jump into that then there, since you brought it up. How did you feel then about that sort of, I mean it was a very broad conversation that sort of was almost like numerous different conversations that were bumping into each other. But just speaking from the heart, what was your initial reaction to the conversation about that and what was your opinion on it?

- [Clint] Honestly, I really feel like it's a branding problem. I feel like, let's say they added an easy mode tomorrow in Sekiro or the Dark Souls games, you're not gonna care, right? Is it gonna lesser the experience that you had? No. Matter of fact, I could enable easy mode in my game right now because I ended up getting that mod. They patched it and then my workaround for the ultrawide fix wasn't working anymore so I found a mod that unlocks the FPS, does the ultrawide, lets you choose some camera adjustments. Where the game works now is if you target someone the camera automatically snaps to you. Or if you move at all, the camera automatically will snap back on you and this mod will disable that as well as give you FOV adjustment. I know it's something TeeVee was always preaching about. That really makes a huge difference when you're sitting really close to the monitor. Having a bigger FOV, it's huge. But that same mod will also let you turn down the speed, which isn't that how the guy from PC Gamer, I forget his name, but he was like, I cheated and I feel fine.

- [Danny] Right

- [Clint] I feel like it's just a branding problem, right? If we called it cheats I think everybody would be happy, because the people that don't care would just be like, yeah, I cheated, who gives a shit? And then everybody else would be like, you cheated yourself and the game.

- [Danny] That's a good point.

- [Clint] 'Cause it's all the same thing. We're just talking, like you said, we're talking around each other. We're all talking about different things but they do kind of correlate. I really do feel like it's a branding problem. Let's just call it cheats and be done with it. 'Cause even though I could cheat in this game I'm not gonna do it. I love this game. Honestly, the boss I had the most trouble with so far was a miniboss. It's not in the main bosses I've encountered. And I should say, I haven't beaten the game yet. You got it for me a couple weeks ago. I've been taking my time. I've been enjoying it. I've been exploring everywhere.

- [Danny] Good, me too. You're way ahead of me, buddy.

- [Clint] Oh, really? That makes me feel good.

- Oh yeah.

- [Clint]I'm like, he's probably gonna beat the game and be like, you're where? But yeah, the biggest difference for me I feel like with accessibility versus difficulty, like I recently beat The Witcher 3 as well. And that's a game that I had to start over because I ended up having to wipe my hard drive so I lost like 80 hours. And then I ended up like, I'm just gonna do everything. And so I spent another 150 hours just trying to clear my map. And so I finally beat that recently and that was a game I actually turned down the difficulty on a few of those last fights, just because they were annoying. The controls are transcendent in Sekiro, even more so than Dark Souls.

- [Danny] Well, it's funny like you're talking about how you're adding all these things and you're saying you're not cheatingsome people could argue that you're playing the game at a way higher level. 'Cause you're playing with your foot and one hand, whereas most of us have access to two analog sticks.

- [Clint] This game makes me feel like a ninja, it really does. I'm playing a one arm ninja, so the symbolism is not lost on me. I completely adore this. And the fact that you said maybe I'm playing on a higher level, I have felt like that has hindered me in some games. Take Dark Souls for example. Even on the remaster the mouse and keyboard controls are not perfect, they're not. I have to make a macro in that game for the jump attack and then like a kick I think, where you have to press two buttons at once. One of them's like forward and attack and the other's like, I forget exactly what it is. But I had to make that simple macro just because those buttons wouldn't always register because I've got W on my footboard. So I guess I should just tell you a little about this. I've got W and S on my footboard. So where those are very close together where I can press them very quickly if I need to. And the first two buttons I have on the Naga, there's a row of 12 buttons on the side, and the very first two where my thumb constantly rests are left and right, so A and D. I did it that way so I could press them in combination together because the Stinkyboard, when I first got it, it's first driver revision it wouldn't allow you to press more than one key at a time. So I couldn't, for instance, press two buttons on there at the same time. Where if I tie it to the mouse I'm able to do a Shift move to the left and move forward at same, it's kind of like a diagonal, you know. You're pressing three buttons at once to do what two buttons should do. And it's little workarounds like that that I've had to get comfortable with. I used to make a profile for each game that I would play. I mean, I've got a gigantic Sting library now. I started to realize, I need presets, right? Like this is the preset for action RPGs. This is the preset for shooters. This is my strategy preset. So I've just kinda had to learn just by doing, like okay, this is what I should do.

- [Danny] Right, are some genres that are totally off the cards? You're saying up, down, left, right. Like Mortal Combat just came out. Are you able to play that at all?

- [Clint] I have not played a fighting game since my accident and I would say, now I grew up playing Street Fighter. I had a Street Fighter callous. People that played that game will no what I'm talking about. If you played enough of it you would develop a callous. Depending on what kind of characters you like playing too and I never played the guy, the M. Bison kind of characters. I always liked the Ryu and the Ken's and the 360 characters like Zang and stuff. So my thumbs got destroyed, especially depending on what controller you used. And now with the setup I have I could play Street Fighter if I programmed everything or if I played with simplified control. 'Cause I think they introduced that in one of the games. It was like, you could do advanced moves by just pressing a button and I tried it and was just like, this is so boring. Now I haven't tried it since I've been hurt. This was several years ago. And I just know that the game wouldn't be fun to me, to play it that way. Like I'm not looking for something so easy that it's just mind numbing. That's not, I do play games to be challenged and to have a good time. Just pressing one button over and over's not really, that's not a good time.

- [Danny] I think that's why I was so impressed by the fact that you were playing these games because for me, as somebody who has both my hands, I was incredibly intimidated to play Bloodborne last year. I'd never really played a Soulsborne game until last year and then the reason I played it was we'd just had a kid and I was spending hours and hours lying on the sofa with her asleep on my chest and there was nothing I could do except play games. And I thought well, fuck it. This is probably a good a time as ever to actually try and--

- [Clint]Are you playing with the baby on your chest? Wow.

- Yeah, yeah.

- [Clint] Heard about being cold and in the moment.

- [Danny] It forced me to actually, I don't know, be very intentional. And I couldn't get frustrated because she'd wake up if I started to shout or move or get angry or throw a controller. So going back and playing the first Dark Souls which I did months after when the remaster came out, and also playing Sekiro, I found them very, very intimidating. What other games do you play? And is there something special about those Sekiro, Soulsborne games?

- [Clint] So yes, yes. First of all they are brilliant. They're a masterclass in game design, whether it's the art team. Now, the only thing you could really knock against it may be the story. The story in the Souls game's pretty obtuse. You kinda have to go looking for it. Maybe you need to watch some lore videos. I am glad that this new game there are cinematics. There's like more of a traditional story. I do appreciate the fact that it's not quite so, they respect the player. And that when they teach you something, they expect you to have learned that and to begin, not necessarily master it right away, but begin to start working on it. There are so many times where after I've beaten a boss I've been like, okay, so let me see, what's the cheese for this strategy? Is there a cheese? And I'll look it up after just to see did I do it the cheat way? I actually thought that I had beat, what's her name? Lady Butterfly, I had thought I had cheesed her because how I killed her was I kind of, I love they have fake attacking in this game. Like you can act like you're gonna attack and then block and it will fake it. And that's very similar to World of Warcraft, fake casting. As a caster in WoW, you don't want them to interrupt your heal, like when you gotta get off, or the spell you have to get off, so you kinda have to fake. Like you're, I'm gonna cast, I'm gonna cast, use your interrupt, ha ha I got ya. That's built into the gameplay. So I kinda tricked her and baited her to get into a corner and then one of her really killer moves in the air, I only had to dodge twice and I'd be able to attack her. At least get like two attacks on her when she's in a corner. So I look up the cheese on her, and the cheese is like do this one move over and over and over and over and over. And I was like, holy shit. That's so cheesy. I did not, I thought I'd cheesed it but no, I didn't cheese it at all.

- [Danny] You talking about cheeses is like, also sort of goes into the previous point you made about this being a marketing issue. The delineation between accessibility and cheats and then cheeses and strategy, because one of the things that came to my mind when were talking about easy modes in these games was the music box in Bloodborne, which is like, it's a fucking easy mode.

- [Clint] I'm not familiar with that.

- [Danny] So if you, you know, Father Gascoigne is a, oh, have you played Bloodborne? Of course, it's a PlayStation--

- [Clint] So yeah, I should say, yeah, it's on PlayStation. I haven't played it because I only have the Xbox one-handed controllers. I'm hoping they just add, they bring everything to PC. I know they're not gonna bring everything to PC but at least let me use mouse and keyboard, or in my case mouse and footboard on console. 'Cause one-handed controllers, no matter which one I have, they don't compare. For me, they have a one-hand, a mouse and this footboard, there's just nothing that comes close to that. Such a shame. I saw the tweet from the God of War guy and I'm like, yeah, your game's really aren't accessible to me at all, buddy. And I know it's, I know he wasn't thinking like that but I hate exclusivity, man. I really do. I wish you could play everything on anything. That's what I hope the future of gaming is, honestly.

- [Danny] Yeah, I'd never even considered the fact that basically the PlayStation games are completely off the cards. So Spiderman.

- Played Bloodborne, I haven't played Spiderman. Yeah, Spider-Man's the one that's killing me. Even more so than Bloodborne or God of War, is Spiderman. I wanna play Spiderman so bad.

- [Danny] Metal Gear Solid V, did that come out on PC?

- [Clint] Yes, that was on PC, yes. And that was actually a great--

- [Danny] Let me quickly explain that, the music box thing 'cause then I've got another question, just now that we've brought up the Metal Gear Solid thing. So in Bloodborne, they're one of the first bosses you meet, Father Gascoigne. Earlier, I'd say at least half of players run into this like windowsill where somebody, who I think you later find out then is his daughter, gives you a music box. And if you use the music box during the fight he basically staggers and you can use it infinitely up until I think, no you can use it three times during the fight. But it's basically a free hit.

- Oh wow.

- [Danny] And it completely changes the difficulty in that. I would say cuts the difficulty at least in half for that fight for new players.

- [Clint] You used or did you avoid it because you knew about it?

- [Danny] Yeah, the first time I played through it. The first time I played through it Bloodborne had been out for so long that at that stage, you know, I think I was working at GameStop when it came out so somebody did a video about that. So when it came round, the first time I played it I definitely did it. But in subsequent playthroughs I haven't bothered because I've gotten better at it by that stage. Which, you know, that's kinda how those games work, right?

- [Clint] You use the skills that you have, right? That makes sense. The difficulty, they want you to learn. I feel like these games are trying to teach people patience and just not to give up.

- [Danny] Totally, but at the same time they're not completely walling it off to people who--

- [Clint] I don't think so.

- [Danny] No, I don't think that's the intent. I don't think it's some crazy hardcore.

- [Clint] The quote that everybody loves to put up when they talk about, oh, it'll never have a easy mode. This is from Miyazaki, I'm sure I'm saying that wrong, the quote that everyone always loves to through up is, we don't wanna include a difficulty selection because we want to bring everyone to the same level of discussion and the same level of enjoyment. The next part of that quote is, so we want everyone to first face that challenge and to overcome it in some way that suits them as a player. That's the part everyone always leaves out. And I feel like with this one, they've really nailed it because they include a lot of options in terms of changing the keybinds. In some of Dark Souls, you couldn't change some of the keys at first. Like it was just completely locked out. The camera options that they added in, the fact that even include a selection now to show keyboard and mouse prompts instead of just, even though you changed the settings and maybe even changed what the keybindings were it still will show up Xbox buttons. That's so infuriating.

- [Danny] Absolutely, and whenever I play PC games and I've got my Xbox controller plugged in that happens. And it irritates me, but obviously the other way round it happens all the time, I imagine.

- [Clint] There's the other side of that too, where games like Battlefield, and I don't know if this works in the newest one, but it did work in Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4, as well. You could set up different keybindings, right? Like they've always allowed that. But then they also would allow you to set the plane to a flight stick. So if you had a cheap little joystick or something, or a controller even, you could set it to where when you've got it in the plane it would switch over to the controller. And then when you ejected, you could move back to mouse and keyboard. And I always thought that was brilliant and I wish more games would do stuff like that. Granted you're taking into account people have additional expensive hardware and that's the other thing people don't always think about is all this accessibility stuff is really expensive. I even saw the Xbox guys getting crap 'cause they're XAC was $100. When you look at what they did, they could have easily charged $300 for that. And they still probably would have been taking a loss.

- [Danny] Another element of this that you brought up a second ago was the way in which the lore of Sekiro sort of marries with your personal experience as well. I've actually noticed, I'm not sure if this is just because accessibility's been part of the general gaming conversation more now than it certainly was in the past, but I've noticed this recent trend with player characters with prosthesis on their arms. Am I crazy or has this just suddenly appeared everywhere?

- [Clint] No, it's definitely starting to be a thing. I got asked like what was my favorite disabled superhero maybe four, five years ago. And the only one I could even think of in gaming or in comics was the guy from Deus Ex, the remaster, the remake, or whatever. What's his name?

- [Danny] JC, no JC Denton was, Jensen? What was it?

- [Clint] Jensen was the guy from the last two, I think. Yeah, I'm pretty sure.

- [Danny and Clint] Adam Jensen.

- [Danny] We got there.

- [Clint] Yeah, you got me thinking JC Denton and I was like. That's the original, but the remakes or whatever, the reimaginings. 'Cause he was the only one I could really think of and then since then you've had the chick on the Battlefield cover. There's people in Overwatch that only have one arm.

- [Danny] Apex Legends, I think.

- [Clint] Apex Legends as well. Well, they got a whole cyborg in that one too.

- [Danny] Right, Solid Snake?

- [Clint] Yeah, that actually, you know what, that hit me the hardest. That's something I could talk about real quick.

- [Danny] Yeah, go for it, absolutely.

- [Clint] That scene was so powerful. It totally blew my mind. Now, I didn't have exact similar experience where I woke up. I knew, I came into the hospital talking about chop me off. Chop it off, just chop it off. I know it's gone, chop it off. And those doctors and nurses looked at me like I was crazy. Like damn, how is he living? I don't know if I told you this story but they didn't even know about my back. I woke up after my amputation and was like, holy shit, my arm is gone. I need a smoke. And they were like, you can't go outside? I'm like, you can't tell me what to do. And then I fell on my face and that's when they were like, oh, we need to check something. That's when they found out my spine was all screwed up. But yeah, getting off topic. So Call of Duty, in the last two or three Call of Duty's, it seemed like they just kept having, Buddy would always get his arm chopped off. There would always be that scene where like, it's just gruesome and they're tearing the arm off or it's getting trapped in a door or something. And you see, you get dragged away and your arms left there. They did that, I know for at least two years in a row. That never bothered me or impacted me at all. I played that opening scene in Metal Gear and all, granted most of it is just kind of a walking Sim for the first hour, hour and a half. But that first 20, 30 minutes is very powerful because you wake up. And I do remember waking up in the hospital bed and being like, what do you mean I can't get up? Oh, you did what to my back? Oh my god, my arm is gone. That was very surreal, very powerful. And the have David Bowie playing over it too. And of course those guys come in and kill the one guy couple minutes later but it was a very powerful scene. I love Hideo Kojima, that guy is a genius. I hope I get to play his next one.

- [Danny] What was it like, I guess as well, the subtitle for that game is Phantom Pain, which we've talked in the past, that's obviously a massive issue for yourself and for people in your situation.

- [Clint] And trying to describe that for people is nearly impossible. I mean, it's a constant thing that I have to worry about and over the last, I wanna say the last year or so, it's gotten a lot better in terms of I'm not getting the spikes. Have you ever had a searing headache to where, or let's say stomach pain, where your stomach's hurting, right? But then you get those surges to where you just wanna double up and you can't do anything. Phantom pain is like that. It can be a constant aggravation. Just something's constantly in the back of your mind. Or it could constantly just be bringing you to your knees where you can't do anything else. There is no, I mean I've cussed out my mama before. I love my mama, I would never do that, right? I've been hurtin' bad enough to cuss my mom out. That's kinda how I have to explain it to people. It hurts bad enough that it'll make you cuss your mom out. And you the type of person that normally do that, that's saying a lot. It's a mindfuck, man. And I'm sorry for cussing, really no other way to describin' it. It is unreal. I wish there were words that I could use to give it justice. And for some people, I've heard stories of where it lasts 90 days, they lose a limb and 90 days later, they're fine. Maybe it aggravates them every now and then, but for the most part they're fine. But for some reason with me, this October will be seven years and I'm still dealing with it. So I wish I had an answer as to why, but I don't.

- [Danny] Does that, presumably not just playing video games, but that must impact every moment of your life.

- [Clint] Oh yeah, the first thing I did when I got my disability was not build some crazy super rig and buy this Razer Naga and all this stuff. I bought a chair. I bought a very expensive chair that was good, felt comfortable to sit in and supported my back. That was the first thing I did and it was, it cost me $400 but it was worth every penny. I still have the same chair. It doesn't need an upgrade. I'll be ready to upgrade this computer before I'm ready to upgrade this chair. That definitely helps a lot. But dealing with pain and dealing with pain management, I've had to learn a lot of things because when you're constantly, your head's constantly cloudy it's hard to think clearly about anything, much less be able to deal with, you know. Let's say I get a cold or something, sometimes that's enough to just ruin my day whereas having a cold before was no big deal, whatever. 'Cause it's just addition, right? You keep adding on the things. I'm grateful that you followed me this long on Twitter, man. I can't imagine you haven't wanted to just mute me before. Because I either would just go blackout for six months or just rage for several days in a row. And then be like, oh, I love this, I love that.

- [Danny] I think that's everyone on Twitter actually. Myself included.

- [Clint] I kinda noticed that a little. Basically there to just bitch.

- [Danny] I mean, was there any then, you know, just in relation to the thematically, this has been used in games a number of times, what was your experience with what happens in Sekiro and his use of a prosthesis?

- [Clint] It's genius, it blew my mind. Like I know it's game design, right? And this is not, like none of it's real. But it really got me thinking, well, what if some of this was kind of based on some history? Like how much of this, because when I first lost my arm that was, me and my friends were talking about it like, oh, wouldn't it be cool if it had a blade like the dude from Deus Ex? You think you could, what all could you fit in there? Would it fit grenades? And it's like, no man. Why would I walk around with, you know, not serious talk. Just friends being, they were drunk and being stupid. And just thinking about what all different things could you do with an arm? And then I'm like, I wish it was the future where I could just walk up to a system and be like, okay, I would like a soda from this machine. Or give me 10 grand out this ATM. Have you seen the anime where the little finger pops up and the little wires come out? Like that would be amazing. But yeah, I love the use of the prosthetic. And I feel like that balances some of the difficulty, especially early on. I've seen a lot of people have trouble with that first red-eye ogre. And when I came across 'em I had already done the memory and beaten Lady Butterfly, so I was super powerful. I felt super, I mean I had the flaming barrel, I had plenty of oil, and I totally messed that dude up. He might have killed me once, twice maybe 'cause I didn't know about the add with the spear. Oh man, there's definitely some moves that once you get 'em, they tell you how useful they are and they'll even warn you again. And some of the handholding. That's actually hurt me, and something I'm sure they didn't think about. So I have to take my hand off the mouse, go over to the Escape on the keyboard, hit Escape, try to get my hand back on the mouse before I get smacked. Nine times out of 10 I'm getting smacked. And I know they're doing it to help people and trying to remind them like, hey, this is what this does. But that kept getting in the way for me. I realize what they're trying to do and I know they're trying to make these games more accessible. And I think that fact that it sold two million copies in 10 days, that surprised me even. I didn't think this game would do that good. These games are notoriously hard. My brother said I can't believe you're playing this. Not because he thinks I'm too disabled, but because he thinks it requires too much patience. They all have the impression they're so hard that nobody can actually play these unless you just can control your rage.

- [Danny] Yeah, they do sort of have a, I don't know, there's a sort of a mythic quality to this, which is earned in many ways, but there's an urban legend aspect to it as well which has kind of made it a bit ridiculous. One question actually we got from somebody. I put a call out on Twitter just before we went live for questions and one we got in actually rubs up against that which was, Video Attack asks, how much of the reputation for the series being obtuse and difficult do you think could be addressed with proper tutorializing and making more in-depth mechanics easier to understand? I love the series, but I don't always feel they've done well explaining mechanics to the player. I found that in the early games that was kind of part of the discovery of those games, was trying to figure it out. But Sekiro I feel like is so, I feel like you really have to defeat bosses in very particular ways, in ways that I maybe aren't, I don't know. Maybe I'm just lacking the patience for it a little bit or something. How do you feel? 'Cause they've definitely done a better job of the tutorials. It's interesting to here you say the tutorials were getting in your way.

- [Clint] They've definitely done that. Yeah, and that's just for me having one hand. Let's say maybe I had decided to put Escape for whatever reason and I macro'd that, or put that on my footboard or somewhere on the mouse, then I wouldn't have this issue. But of all the keys that I could afford to re-keybind, Escape is almost never one of them. Escape and Map are the last two things I worry about in games So they've definitely done a better job in terms of addressing that. But I feel like it's only gonna get as good as it can. Again I tell you, this does this and this is when you should use this. Now whether you remember to use it then, when you're supposed to, that's not really up to them, right? So a lot of I think like is perspective. Like you can die to a boss 10 times and think, oh, this is bullshit. I'm never playing this game again. Or you could die 10 times and during those 10 attempts somewhere you see where you made a mistake. Maybe you panic, maybe you got overaggressive. I feel like their games are trying to teach you certain things but at a certain point they do expect you to put it all together. And not everyone is the type of gamer to have read the messages and pay attention to what it is. Maybe even practice what the move is and been able to put into practice at the right time. I don't really know what they can do to do that besides even more severe handholding which I think would just detract from the game, honestly.

- [Danny] It reminds me a little bit of just how games have changed over the past 20, 30 years. And one of the instances where this sort of, at least from my experience, reads most clearly is, the first game I ever completed was The Secret of Monkey Island on the Amiga. And it took me I think three months. I was pretty young when it came out. I think I was eight or nine. And it took me like three months, a whole summer basically, to complete it. And then the remaster came out. I wanna say it was on 360 and PS3 maybe. And it was really cool and updated graphics and loads of cool new music and all that stuff, but they also had the tip system in it. And there were some things that you had to do in that game. Like to get to one of the little islands off of Melee Island, you had to use a rubber chicken and a wire to zip across it which kind of makes no sense. I remember being stuck on that forever. But in this thing, you could use a tip and it would like, I think there was three levels of tip. They would give you a little bit of a nudge, a little bit more of a nudge, and they would just say, just use the fucking chicken wire on the wire, right? And I remember thinking, oh that's a good thing, right? Kind of, 'cause it's helping people. But I guess it says less about how difficult games were and more about where our expectations of difficulty came from. Like when that happened years ago I didn't think, oh they made this game wrong. Or you know, this is stupid. I wish they did something to let me know how to do this. I just thought, oh I'm dumb. I don't know what to do to get to that island. Whereas these days we have this expectation that we sort of need to constantly be getting this positive feedback. Even when, like you said in the boss fights, often times I'll die 10 times in a row but it's because I was using the same tactics 10 times in a row. Other games might actually, some games if you play the boss fight for the third time, they without letting you know will make that boss fight easier. And they don't signal it. Games are constantly doing this sort of stuff.

- [Clint] The new Resident Evil does that, I believe. I died one too many times in the police station and they were like, would you like to make the game easier? And I was like offended by it. I was like, hey man, F you. It's not my fault your buddy cornered me. I was trying to leave I was like, I appreciate the offer but at the same time, I was like, that would be great for someone who needs it. And it didn't offend me that it was in the game, it just offended me that they thought I needed it. I was like, hey, hey, I got this, man. Leave me alone. But I have no problem with it being in the game. I honestly don't care.

- [Danny] And that was an instance where they told you. Where sometimes they don't even bother telling you. Actually, now that I think about it, there is another bell. Speaking of bells from Bloodborne. There's a bell in Sekiro, have you seen this one? The bell that you can ring and it makes the bosses harder.

- [Clint] You know what? I've come across it but is that what it does? It makes stuff harder?

- [Danny] I think it does two things. I think it makes one thing easier and one thing harder. Like I think it might increase the drop rate on certain things but it makes the bosses more difficult. I don't know exactly what it is. But definitely if you ring it it will make the game harder in some respects.

- [Clint] I've come across it and the message was a little bit cryptic. It sort of made it sound like it was gonna be a harder game if you rang the bell.

- [Danny] It's something like, don't ring the bell, or something.

- [Clint] Yeah, yeah. I was like, I'm just gonna ignore this for now 'til I know what this is. I'm sure there'll be a lore video on it eventually that I can figure out whether or not I should ring it. This kinda makes me think of Wolfenstein, Doom. You could pick easy mode in those games and then have them like sucking on a pacifier. They're letting you know, like hey, you can play this way but don't you feel like a man about it. Like don't go bragging about it. And you know, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Why not?

- [Danny] And it's pretty funny that you mention that because when this conversation was happening, I think one of the questions I put out was like, let me know a game you play on easy because you don't care. And the one I said whenever I'm in really bad turbulence on a flight, I have my Switch with me usually and what I usually do is I just put it on easy mode and I try and score as many goals as I can and it kind of takes my mind off things. But the one that so many people kept saying which actually, now that I think about it, I have totally done as well is the MachineGames Wolfenstein games. Those games are brutally hard and a lot of the time they're kind of, I don't know, I feel like a lot of us play it because we want to feel powerful but also we just want to see what the story, where it goes. So I feel like that's, again, a lot of people play on an easier mode just so they can get through it and enjoy the experience.

- [Clint] I used to play the Call of Duty's on like the Veteran or whatever the hardest one was until I realized, I don't remember which, it was probably one of your videos or somebody's videos, where it was like, you know this is just a visible line you have to cross, right? As soon as you cross that invisible line you stop spawning. And I was like, oh shit. So you mean I've purposely just been driving myself crazy? 'Cause some of those games there's certain sections where you're just like, how the fuck, how did he shoot me, no way.

- [Danny] That's your World of Warcraft shit. You are farming them. You're just sitting back and farming these dudes.

- [Clint] Basically, and I'm thinking like, we're gonna make it. Oh no, here comes some more. It's just like, I'm killing myself and for what? Like I could be having the same level of enjoyment and my frustration level's not getting near as high if I just turn it to the appropriate difficulty. Now, whether or not they should, there's a whole 'nother can of worms, should they include it? Like if it's gonna takeaway resources and time and if they have a vision, I think you're getting more into the singular vision versus the design by committee, right? Miyazaki obviously has a singular vision for his games but he also, I don't think he enjoys the fact that everyone thinks his games are so hard. I don't think that's something he takes pride in. I think he wants more people to play 'em. I think he's pretty much said as much.

- [Danny] So I guess yeah, taking everything we've talked about today, like the different ways in which games can be more accessible to people, the sort of amorphous conversation about cheesing and difficulty and cheats and how they all sort of blend into each other. As somebody who has experience in these games, who enjoys them, who has been playing them, as far as I'm concerned, on a much harder difficulty level than most of us, what do you feel about Sekiro and how challenging it is? And how you were able to play it as somebody with a disability? Where do you land on it?

- [Clint] Honestly, since I downloaded that mod couple days ago, it really got me thinking. Because essentially I've done the same thing the PC Gamer guy has done, except I haven't enabled the cheats, right? Some people may say, oh, you're using ultrawide or unlock frame rate, like you're cheating. And I would say, yeah but I paid for that 2880. I want my frames. I paid for this ultrawide. I'm not changing the game design so much as I'm just adding things they should have maybe thought about if they're gonna release a PC port today. I love the challenge. I feel like each encounter, sounds cliche, but it's like a dance of death, right? If you get surrounded by two or three normal guys, they can kill you. The bosses are very, very hard. Now, granted I haven't beaten the game. I'm sure there's gonna be a boss where I'm just like, oh my god, I'm gonna die 20-plus times. But so far, the most I've died was maybe, actuaLly it was the guy after Blazing Bull. I can't remember the name. I've started calling him General Fuck You. Because every time I get to him he'd just be like fuck you, you're not getting past the gate. And he was such a bitch. He had like a grab and a sweep and then also like, it was the first guy I think I encountered that had three of the warnings and they were all different things. So it took me a while. And you're fighting that closed little section between the walls and it made the camp bit, oh that was a pain. I probably died 10-plus times to him. That's probably the only guy I've died that much to. Maybe Lady Butterfly, might have died like seven or eight, nine times, maybe. I love it for what it is. And I can't thank you enough for it, man. I've had a blast playing it. It's really made me think about a lot of different things. Eventually I'd like to make a video on it or something. Do something more. But you know, I appreciate being brought on this podcast, man. I've had a blast thinking about this and ways that we could try to improve the game for people with disabilities. And I feel like they've done the best job they could. These controls are super responsive. I think transcendent's probably the best way I can describe it. I don't feel like I'm using a mouse and footboard when I'm playing and I feel like I'm the one-arm wolf.

- [Danny] Well, you are the one-arm wolf and we really appreciate you coming in. There you go, just in case you didn't already have enough really good internet handles. You can add that one to your repertoire. We really appreciate your time, plqying the game and coming on to talk to us today. For folks who want to follow you, where can they catch you on the Twitter and whatnot?

- [Clint] DisabledCable on Twitter.

- [Danny] Awesome, good stuff. And yeah, how much more time do you think you have with it? Just as the parting question. Do you think this'll be something you play for the rest of the year? Or another couple of weeks?

- [Clint] Honestly, probably another couple of months. I tend to have, like I'll have my action game. I'll have my shooter. And then I'll usually have a role-playing game. Some of those can be interchanged, kind of be the same thing. And this has been my go-to. Like alright, this is my single-player game. If I'm gonna play something with my brothers it's either gonna be Destiny or Vermintide. Not playing any MMOs now. So this is, I'll probably beat it sometime, I would say in the next month, month and a half. Something like that maybe.

- [Danny] Awesome, well we wish you well on the journey. I'll be right there with you. I'll be probably a couple of bosses behind you actually. Thank you so much for coming on. And thank you so much to all of our Patrons for funding our work. As ever, you know you can follow us on Twitter @noclipvideo. I am @dannyodwyer on Twitter or /noclip if you wanna follow us on Reddit. And of course this podcast is available early if you're a Patron. Go to to support this show, get it early, and also support all the documentaries we make on our YouTube channel.

- [Clint] Go hit up this man's Patreon. Come on, y'all.

- [Danny] Thank you so much We've actually got another YouTube channel for the podcast, If you wanna watch this one. Alternatively, we are available on basically every podcast service in the known universe. iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, and loads, loads more. Soundcloud as well. We fixed the Soundcloud. There was a problem with our uploads but it's all right and ready now. Thank you so much for listening. Subscribe, give us a review if you can. We've never asked really, much, so if you can do that on iTunes or whatever. I mean, give us a good review. Don't give us a review if you think it's shit maybe. Just forget this part of the podcast. Go do something else. But thank you for listening, thank you for your time, and we'll see you next time. Actually, hold up one second. One little thing to add to the podcast before we close it out. I got an email from Clint after we recorded who felt bad that he had, in the haze of the podcast conversation, forgotten to call out two important people that helped him quite a lot on his journey. The first person is his brother, Matt, who sent him the Naga which he used when he first started coming back to play games. The other is his friend, Kyle, who was actually building him a two button foot switch when they found out that somebody was actually making one commercially., the Stinkyboard, which he ended up using afterwards. Clint's journey to actually being able to play games was quite long. He was in bed for the best part of a year, had to play on a laptop. And then through the help of using those inputs over the course of the next couple of months, learned to play with his feet and learned to play properly with one hand. So he wanted to give a shout out to the two of them who helped him so much when all this was going on, six, five years ago. And I thought I should definitely make the point of sticking it into the end of the podcast. So thank you so much to Matt and Kyle. Clearly he couldn't get to where he is right now without your support and help, so thank you very much.