Extra Life 2015 – The Legend Continues!

Extra Life is an amazing event bringing together millions of gamers around the world to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, to help them continue their amazing work with children, by doing the things they love the most: playing awesome games. Every year, Extra Life raises millions of dollars from audience contributions to the different streamers that participate.

This year I joined their ranks as part of the amazing Team Tomb Raider Community. Along with the rest of the crew and led by our captain, the lovely Stella, we got our game-on this weekend and played as much as we could. We spoke, laughed and all but begged our audiences to donate to our individual participations while we hopefully entertained them with our virtual exploits.

As someone just getting into the broadcasting game and without a steady following or numbers to back me up, I decided I would stream for four days, about 18 hours a day. From dawn till midnight you found me glued to a very uncomfortable wooden chair to play really fun games for your viewing pleasure.

My goal was $500 and we’ve raised $171. Pretty far from the goal, I know, but I’m grateful for every single one of the donations I received, every dollar you’ve given goes to a great cause and your donations make you eligible to win some of the cool prizes I put together. Yes, perhaps $500 was a stretch in my situation but I believe in going as big as possible. “Shoot for the stars,” they say, so why not do it for a worthy cause?

I kicked things off with Mass Effect and managed to do something I didn’t think possible before, at least outside the realms of speedrunning: I finished it in one sitting, in less than a day. I thought I could get it done in under 5 hours, but it turned out to be over 10. I played as FemShep and Renegade, something I had never done before. A part of me felt bad about the Renegade decisions but the one-liners Shepard delivered were just too good.

I then followed it up with another long game completed in a short amount of time: Batman: Arkham City. It was a joy to once again don the cowl and kick butt in Gotham, and I was thankful because there was no Batmobile!

To finish the night, I played some Binding of Isaac, clearing Greed Mode on my last run of the night, all the while complaining about Azazel being nerfed. Something, it turns out, I was right about.

Day Two was my Tomb Raider day. To honour the fantastic community that allowed a weirdo like me to join their ranks, I decided I would only play Tomb Raider games on Saturday, on the actual Extra Life day. I kicked it up with Tomb Raider: Legend and I blew crap up with Excalibur and managed to break my own personal best in terms of finishing it. Still not even remotely close to a speedrun, but for a clueless gamer like me, it was pretty damn cool. Same thing with Tomb Raider: Underworld, where I lowered my death-by-stupid-mistake count compared to the last time I played it.

Then came the big challenge: play and finish Tomb Raider 2013 (the reboot) in one sitting as I had done with Mass Effect and Batman. I pulled it off and despite dying quite a few times to pipes to the and machetes to the face, Lara and I rescued whiny Sam and left Yamatai in search for answers and more adventure.

I ended Day Two with Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, a game I someday hope to play in Co-op with a friend. I tried to start a fresh game but I couldn’t figure out how so I was replaying it with my end-game weapons and upgrades. I was hilariously overpowered but my clumsiness still got me killed a few times.

Day Three was the big RPG day. I began the day with one of the most amazing RPGs ever made: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. After the Renegade run of the other day, I needed to get back to my Lawful Good roots with a Scoundrel/Jedi Consular on a Light side run. It took hours and hours to leave Taris, and by the time I had done most things in Dantooine it was time to go for the biggest and coolest thing of the night: The Live Dungeons & Dragons game.

Despite some wobbliness to my role-playing of NPCs at the start, mostly due to being nervous and forgetting the arguments I’d prepared to make the case to the players on why they should embark on the quest, it went swimmingly and we’re going to have a 2nd part to finish up this chapter of the story. Timlah from GeekOut South-West used his donation to set one of the incentives, The Dark Council, and so they joined the fray when the party fought The “Goblin” King!

On the last day, Monday, I woke up and my arms, legs, back and neck hurt like hell from streaming 18 hours a day for three days. And I still had one more day to go. My throat hurt and I had trouble speaking during the morning. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me so I kept going and played Mass Effect 2 for about 14 hours—I did cut the day short though, things to do before going back to work. V from the Verbal Spew Review donated for a Renegade run, so I continued on where I left off with the badass-hardass FemShep I’d come to love. She was as close to a Sith as the Mass Effect universe would allow, all but devoid of humanity. For someone who plays good guys, I just had to choose the most appalling conversation options and that was usually the right one for Renegade. In many ways, it was like playing Quiplash or Cards Against Humanity.

As I said before, I’m thankful for each donation and I’m proud of everyone who gave their money and time to help me. I’m also very proud of every member of my team and all the others out there. For a moment I was disappointed I didn’t reach the goal, but then I remembered the important thing: this isn’t about me, it’s about the kids and the good this money can do.

If you’re reading this and you’re thinking you missed your chance to donate or win any of the prizes we have on offer, both here on The Mental Attic and the Team Tomb Raider Community raffle, then don’t be. The Extra Life donation pages will remain open until the end of the year, so there’s still plenty of chance of contributing to this amazing cause.

The Tomb Raider Community raffle sorting will happen on the 21st so there’s still a chance to register and hope to win a ton of cool Tomb Raider related stuff (and if you’re in America, there’s a chance of winning a Rise of the Tomb Raider Special Edition XBOX One). Anyone can register for that one, but if you’ve donated to any of our participations (you can check our roster here) then you get extra entries.

On my end, I’d originally planned giving out the prizes today, but keeping in line with the Team’s raffle, I will also keep mine open until the 21st. Remember that every $5 donated gives you one entry for the Main and Donation Goal Prizes, the latter unlocking the more donations we get. Currently, the first of these unlocked is the Tomb Raider Collection on PC.

There are also Extra Prizes where all donors have an equal chance of winning, no matter how much they donated.

I’ll continue to play for Extra Life until then, and we will have a second Dungeons & Dragons session and your donations can help shape that adventure! Keep an eye on my Extra Life Page here on TMA for information about those donation incentives!

This weekend may have ended and it was a ton of fun, but Extra Life is far from over for me. There’s still plenty of time to reach that $500 goal for this worthy cause and I hope you all can help me with this, if not with your own donations then I hope you can help me spread the word about Team Tomb Raider Community’s Extra Life participation.

On a final note, I’ll be uploading highlights of all the playthroughs from this weekend on The Mental Attic’s YouTube channel over the course of this week, so keep an eye for those! They were a ton of fun. On the other hand, I won’t be streaming today or Wednesday, just because I need a little break, but I will probably be back on Friday for a longer stream in the evening, and I hope to see you all there!

As I always say at the end of a broadcast: see you around!

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