Terry Garrett has spent the past five years trying to beat The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time using sound alone.
The realm of gaming is nothing if not one replete with individual who have pulled off feats that, for the everyday person, likely seem insane. Mad as they may seem however, the people behind these accomplishments usually have at least a working set of eyes to help them do it. Terry Garrett can’t say as much. An engineering student at the University of Colorado, he lives his life as a blind person. It’s this lack of sight however that allowed him to complete one of the coolest gaming accomplishments we’ve ever seen: beating The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time blind.
Beginning in 2011, Garrett has spent the past five years working his way through the classic game relying almost entirely on its sound. Placing a pair of speakers in front of him while he played, he used cues from the game’s audio as well as his own memory to help him navigate environments, solve puzzles and fight enemies. As this process required a sizable amount of trial and error, he also used an emulated version of the game complete with save states that allowed him to bounce back more quickly from his mistakes. Speaking in the final video chronicling his exploits, Garrett thanked everyone that “stuck with me through this series even after it seemed like I was giving up.” Fans have been helping Garrett along over the years with tips and advice to guide him through the game.
Just speaking personally, I’m intensely impressed by Garrett’s accomplishment here. Ocarina of Time isn’t the most difficult game in the Zelda series, but it’s still a meaty and complex experience. The amount of patience it must have taken to keep going with it over the past five years is something I simply cannot begin to fathom. For anyone interested in seeing Garrett’s journey from the start, his YouTube channel contains the entire 30 part video series recorded during his years-long conquest of the gamer.