If you live in the green and pleasant land of England Town (or anywhere in the world really) then you will be acutely aware that the Olympics are going to officially start happening today. To celebrate this momentous occasion we decided to sit down at our desks and exchange emails with a man on the other side of the office who has already won the Olympics. Not the actual Olympics but Sega's official video game of the Olympics - London 2012: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games.
The man is PSM3 magazine's Iain Wilson (aka Mr Trophy) and every month he embarks on a quest to 'Platinum' a PS3 game. His most recent challenge was to win every Trophy in the London 2012 game. And he did it. He won the Olympics. This is his story...
Above: This is me and Mr Trophy. I'm giving him a trophy
GamesRadar: So how does it feel to have already beaten the Olympics?
Mr Trophy: It feels really good to have beaten the Olympics and brought home all the Golds, I have to say I did feel a little swell of pride hearing God Save The Queen play out over so many podium finishes for my Team GB. The challenge turned out to be a lot more difficult than I first expected, so there was also quite a bit of relief once that Platinum trophy finally popped!
GR: About that 'swell of pride' - do you think you would cry actual tears if you were an actual athlete winning a medal at the actual Olympics?
Mr T: To be honest, I was welling up by the end of the 30 hours it took me to finish the game - if I'd put in years of training and practice to get there in real life I'd no doubt explode into one giant teardrop. Probably.
GR: Holy crap 30 hours is a long time. I worked it out and it's 1800 minutes. Which is a lot when you consider completing the real 100 metres only takes around 9 seconds or something. Out of that 30 hours, which trophy did you spend most time on?
Mr T: There were two that really stand out for me. One was for unlocking all of the golden equipment and alternative national kits, which involved winning all 28 Gold medals in the hard Olympic Games mode. For a majority of the events you need to put in a World Record beating performance to top the podium so a lot of practice was required.
Then there was the daddy - a trophy for running the cumulative distance of a Marathon across all events. To put this into perspective, a Marathon covers 42,195m and the longest race available in the game is 400m! Even rushing through it as quickly as possible, I still ended up running the 400m on repeat for almost 4 hours before that final award appeared. As a result I now have a thumb that can crush a walnut...
Above: An excessive amount of running is required to obtain the Platinum trophy
GR: Four hours just playing the 400m? Would you have preferred it if the game had a marathon event so you could have got it all over and done with in one go?
Mr T: I think I'd have preferred it if they didn't put in silly requirements like this in the first place! Though I suppose if the game DID have a Marathon event I could have set up a Homer Simpson-esque Drinking Bird toy to keep hitting X and just left the race to play out.
GR: What was your overall favourite event in the game?
Mr T: I think my favourite events were the ones under Challenge Mode that mixed things up and had more of a party game feel. One of them is Archery Blitz, where you have a minute to score as many points as possible with an unlimited supply of arrows, leading the commentator to shout about "ROBIN HOOD!" as you hit the backs of previous arrows and split them in two. Another is Skeet Attack, in which you face off against increasing waves of clay pigeons shot at you from from a distance, with bonus 'rapid fire' rounds that give you an automatic rifle to blast those pesky discs with! That would certain spice up the real Olympic skeet events.
GR: Could you use the assault rifle in any of the other events, like trampoline or swimming?
Mr T: Sadly not, though if someone had been pointing one at my athletes in the other events then perhaps I would have broken all of the World Records! That sort of thing tends to motivate people to give a bit extra.
Above: Swimming events do not feature assault rifles
GR: Did you employ any cunning tactics like rubbing a pencil really fast over the buttons to get any of the trophies?
Mr T: Most of the events were single player, but there were also a few synchronised diving events which can only be done with two players. To get around this, I ended up balancing a pad on each knee and used them simultaneously to control both athletes at once. It was a bit like trying to pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time, but at least I always scored 10 out of 10 for synchronisation as I was naturally pressing the buttons at the same time!
GR: If you could add one more trophy to the game, what would it be?
Mr T: Well, the developers have pretty much covered all the main bases, so I'm thinking of something a bit left-field. One of my favourite easter eggs in the old PS1 International Track & Field was during the javelin, where a slow run up followed by a last second sprint and throw straight upwards caused the spear to stick into the side of a UFO which then crashed into the stadium. A hidden trophy for finding something that would be awesome, though I'm not sure if LOCOG would approve of having such a thing in the officially licensed game. For shame.
GR: Will you be playing London 2012 again now you've beaten it to death?
Mr T: I'm probably going to stay away from it for a while now, although a contact of mine helped me out with the online trophies so if any of my friends get stuck on them I may jump back on to return the favour. Pay it forward and all that.
GR: Final question - what's next in Mr Trophy's sights (i.e. what's your next Trophy challenge)?
Mr T: As Mr Trophy I don't get chance to rest on my laurels, so I've already got Spec Ops: The Line queued up for my next challenge. I hear that game has a bit more sand than the long jump pit...
Thanks Mr Trophy and congratulations on winning the Olympics. You can catch more Mr Trophy in Episode 18 of the powerfully athletic GamesRadar UK Podcast.