TA Community Interview - SpiralGamerpro

By Kevin Tavore, 18 days ago
We've had lots of interviews recently thanks to the conclusion of Leap Frog, but things don't stop here for the TA Newshounds. We're dedicated to guiding you through our community so that you can see just a few of the best of us. Two weeks ago we heard from II Kazz II, a wonderful gentleman with a colorful life. We went step by step through the things that made him tick and at the end, I think we all had a much more complete vision of who he is.

So you might say these interviews are like community walkthroughs to help you get to know someone. Am I stretching too far here? I'm not sure, but today's interviewee, SpiralGamerpro, certainly isn't complaining about the opportunity to enter our TA reality show. We're going to walk through the thoughts and feelings of the man we all know as both a fierce competitor and heroic Walkthrough Manager.

Okay enough with the not-so-subtle play on his role. You're here because you want to learn about Spiral, so let's get into the details.

The Interview

Gamertags almost always tell something about their owners. Tell us about yours.

I first got my Xbox 360 back in 2008 and as an uninspired lad, my first choice for a Gamertag was simply “Gamerpro”. When I connected to Xbox Live for the first time, that Gamertag was taken, so I looked at the Microsoft suggestions for what my Gamertag should be. Amongst them was “SpiralGamerpro”, which reminded me of Spiral Mountain, since I was playing Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts at the time. Needless to say, I’ve stuck with that Gamertag for nearly a decade now.
Sporl in shameless site-promotionSporl in shameless site-promotion

How long have you been gaming?

I’ve been gaming for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest gaming memories include playing the Reader Rabbit games, playing Super Mario Bros. or Rad Racer on the NES, and playing countless hours of Super Mario Advance on the GBA.
Do others in your family game, or are you a first-generation gamer?

My parents do play video games as well but certainly nowhere near on the same scope that I reside on. My parents introduced me to video games at a young age (as can be seen above), so I wouldn’t consider myself a first-generation gamer. My father, in particular, is a really big fan of Blur, and he even named his Gamertag after said game: BlurBlur1.
What do your parents/significant other/friends have to say about your gaming?

Virtually everybody around me knows me as a gamer, and while I would say that I have a bit of an obsession with achievements (as we all do…), my peers are pretty accepting of my gaming habits. Trust me, I do have a social life (well), but I’m glad that my friends and family accept that gaming is simply a form of leisure. Unless you’re playing Trackmania.
Assuming you’re not a professional gamer, what’s your day job?

I work as the Walkthrough Manager here on TA wink In all seriousness, I am a full-time student at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. I am a Communication major sophomore and intend to pursue a career in screenwriting after I graduate.
What other hobbies do you enjoy?

I’ve always been musically inclined and listen to a wide variety of music, so one of my hobbies has always been playing the guitar. More specifically, I studied classical guitar throughout high school and recreationally play music on the electric guitar. Alongside that, I also really do like to write and proofread, which explains why I volunteer so much of my time to the Walkthrough Team as a manager, overseer, and writer.
Tell us about your home life – parents, spouse, children, significant other, animal companions?

I currently live with my parents due to the whole college situation, and I also have a pet border collie named Banjo (may or may not also be a reference to a specific game) who recently turned 7 years old.
The dogeThe doge

Sporl and his dogeSporl and his doge

What part of the world do you live in? If I were to visit, what sights would I have to see?

I currently reside in Sunnyvale, California, which is a remarkably average town in the middle of the Bay Area. Other than visiting the house of the legendary Sporl, the main landmarks to see here are office buildings and headquarters of major technology companies. The traffic here is also horrendous, which solidifies it as a landmark in its own right laugh
Of what real life achievement are you most proud? Would you give us some details?

The answer to this will probably change in two years after I get my degree. However, since we live in the present (some of us at least), my greatest real-life achievement is probably becoming the Walkthrough Manager here on TA.
If you had to pick one spirit animal to describe you, what would it be?

My spirit animal would be Awoo so I could be better at platformers.
If you had to pick one non-human spirit animal to describe you, what would it be?

I suppose I would be a shark so I could simultaneously rule the ocean while building my empire through investing in small businesses.
What’s your favorite game of all time on any console? What makes it special?

Wait, do you want me to answer with my favorite game or the greatest game ever made? wink Jokes aside, I am seriously struggling to pin down one game as my favorite, so I will list three of my favorites:
Spec Ops: The Line: I personally believe that this game has the best storyline out of any video game, and as somebody that spends a lot of time investing himself in storylines, that is an immense compliment. While I feel that the gameplay is nothing more than decent third-person shooting, the story is incredibly well-constructed, becomes increasingly darker and eye-opening as the game goes on, and arguably has an interesting side-narrative about the desensitization of violence in video games and other forms of media. I even went into this game expecting it to be another shooter with a decent narrative but nothing special, but the final result was a game that truly challenged the player to look beneath the surface. Needless to say, I highly recommend playing this if you haven’t already.
Alan Wake: Alan Wake reminds me of Lynchian psychological horror, which is among my favorite genres of narrative. In particular, this game’s atmosphere is reminiscent of Twin Peaks (not quite Deadly Premonition level) and certainly has an excellent narrative to go alongside it. While not as enthralling or deep as The Line’s storyline, the mystery of Alice Wake’s disappearance really kept me invested in the seemingly idyllic town of Bright Falls. Along with that, the gameplay is actually really quite good, and the combat system is simple yet effective. Let’s just not discuss the ending, DLCs, or the foul American Nightmare laugh
Twins (WP): So addicting. This also happens to be one of the only games I’m really good at.
The in-game leaderboards have been hacked by loser nerds  ;/The in-game leaderboards have been hacked by loser nerds ;/

Do you remember the first game you played? What’s your fondest memory of it?

While not the first game I ever played, the fondest childhood memories I have of playing a video game would have to be tied to Super Mario Advance. I accredit that game for making platformer my favorite genre, and I can remember little times throughout my childhood when I would just tune out everything around me and just play the game whenever I had the free time.
If some evil spell allowed you to own only a single game for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?

Twins (WP). Jk. To answer honestly, I would probably say Gems of War if not only for how much replay value it has. There’s always so much to do in that game, and the gameplay itself is addictive enough to the point where I wouldn’t see myself getting bored with it for a very long time. In my opinion, it’s the perfect free-to-play game in the sense that you never need microtransactions to progress, and the game has a huge amount of replay value for something with such a simple concept.
Any games you regret putting on your gamertag?

No, I’m not a completionist, so discontinued and unobtainable achievements have never really bothered me. Plus, even the worst games deserve to be played for the sake of memes.
Tell us about your gamer pic. Why did you choose that one?

This Gamerpic is achieved for booting up Exit 2, a game that’s not even on my tag since it’s too much effort to dive. I’ll get around to it when it has a Platformer tag. Anyway, the picture itself is of the dog character from the game surrounded by EXIT signs. I chose this because I highly doubt that anybody else on the site is using it, and I really like the artistic style of the EXIT games.
Do you have any particular gaming pet peeves?

My biggest gaming pet peeve is probably escort missions if not only for the fact that I’ve never seen a good one. I also don’t like it when games force you to fend off large waves of enemies to progress through the story without much reason. There’s nothing wrong with a shorter campaign if it avoids pointless padding.
What upcoming game are you most looking forward to?

As of right now, my most anticipated upcoming game is Yooka-Laylee, since it’ll probably be more of a Banjo game than Nuts and Bolts.
What game(s) are you currently playing? How are you finding it?

Right now, I am playing many games as I attempt to work through my UHH lists, some of which have been pleasant surprises. From my first list (I just dated this interview), Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge is a classic point and click that I legitimately found funny and engaging, and Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is a solid platformer. It’s just a shame that the developers made everything under the sun missable in the latter.
What game are you most proud of completing? Why?

I have 0 prestigious completions. My proudest, though, is probably Trials Fusion solely because the RedLynx times on Elysian Skies, Seismic Activity, and Sleepy Creek required just about perfect runs. That being said, those times pale in comparison to what you’ll see in the next question.
What single Xbox achievement are you most proud of? Why?

That would be
Trackmania TurboBlack Series clearThe Black Series clear achievement in Trackmania Turbo worth 606 pointsGet a silver medal on every black track
in Trackmania Turbo, which is an achievement that I probably would have never attempted if it wasn’t for Leap Frog. Getting this achievement isn’t as simple as getting silvers on the black tracks like the description states. While it’s hard enough getting the silvers on all of the black tracks, in order to even unlock the black tracks, you need to have earned a gold or joker gold medal on every previous track in the game. Basically, this means that you have to either beat times that can be well harder than the RedLynx times listed above or earn three silvers in a row, which is far easier but still not an easy task in its own right. After completing either task for the first 160 tracks, you then have to do the same thing for the first 30 black tracks. I will complete this game eventually and earn legitimate non-joker gold medals, but for now, I feel like getting 190 joker golds and 10 silvers is my greatest Xbox accomplishment to date.
In a slightly different vein, do you have a favorite achievement? One perhaps that you just really enjoyed attaining?

Prey (Xbox 360)3: Downward SpiralThe 3: Downward Spiral achievement in Prey (Xbox 360) worth 10 pointsComplete "Downward Spiral"
wink If I ever buy this game, I would also like to be the first to unlock
Into the Belly of the BeastSecret AchievementThe Secret Achievement achievement in Into the Belly of the Beast worth 15 pointsContinue playing to unlock this secret achievement
If you found yourself dropped into a video game, which video game character would you most want to have your back?

I would probably want Harley Pasternak from Harley Pasternak's Hollywood Workout to have my back since he transcends mortals and could demolish any opponent with that smile of his.
The myth himselfThe myth himself

In the same scenario, what character/creature would you most/least like to see headed your way?

I would most like to see Aban Hawkins from 1001 Spikes headed my way due to how absolutely fragile he is. I would least like to see Mel B from Get Fit With Mel B headed my way, because then Harley would abandon me for the sake of a fitness battle.
Any characters you would like seen thrown into video game hell?

Probably Snoopy from The Peanuts Movie: Snoopy's Grand Adventure for making me collect nearly 7,000 jellybeans. At least I can make the world’s finest milk steak now…
Snoopy after his adventure in Stone BlanketSnoopy after his adventure in Stone Blanket

Ever had any bad experiences online? How did you handle it?

I haven’t had any overwhelmingly bad experiences, but I’m sure we’ve all dealt with trolls or 12-yaer-olds trying to be gangsta with their high-pitched voices laugh I’ve never truly taken a bad experience online to heart.
Do you prefer single player or multi-player?

I definitely prefer single-player games over multiplayer games. My answer to the above question is half of the reason why, but the other reason why is because I just prefer to play single-player games over the same game in co-op with another player or any competitive multiplayer game. I do like plenty of co-op and competitive multiplayer games, but I usually just like to play games by myself with the company of others in an XBL party.
Do you have a favorite group of friends you like to play with? If so, how did you meet?

Nearly every day, I hang out in XBL parties with the Dobba 6 (Awoo, ArcCsc, BEE LION 27, and th3 Han) and have also been known to party up with Doublecboy himself, Dang3R Gaming. I met Doublecboy through mutual friends two years ago, and I met Old Razor a year and a half ago by being his overseer for the Shovel Knight Walkthrough. After that, we became close friends as two of the early streamers for Xbox Alive (lol), and he introduced me to Arc early this year. Therefore, while I don’t necessarily like to play multiplayer games, it’s always nice to have some company online.
If you could have a multiplayer session with anyone in the world, whom would you choose? Why?

Harley Pasternak obviously.
Harley in shameless self-promotionHarley in shameless self-promotion

What other consoles do you own? What are your favorites on those platforms?

I do own other consoles but don’t really play them. My favorite games on other platforms would probably just be platformers on Nintendo consoles.
Have you ever had a game you really looked forward to that you were disappointed in when it finally arrived? Tell us about it.

When I heard that there would be a new marble-based platformer on the ID@XBOX front, I was really excited since Marble Blast Ultra and Super Monkey Ball are among my favorite games. Unfortunately, the result I got was Momentum. Look, there’s a reason why Marble Blast Ultra has you control the marble and why Super Monkey Ball has you tilt the world. When you have to rotate the world with a terrible camera like in Momentum, the game is virtually unplayable. I wasn’t expecting a game that looked refreshing to be one of the worst games ever made.
Tell us about your gaming set-up.

My gaming setup consists of a 46” Samsung TV alongside an Xbox One and an Xbox 360. Yes, it’s very original. I do own another Juan and another two 360s that aren’t in the photos due to the foul lack of ports.
Doublecboy making an appearanceDoublecboy making an appearance


360 alongside the nectar of the Gods360 alongside the nectar of the Gods

This is a photo of my hotel setup and is how I stayed in Leap Frog during RTX:
Let’s discuss joker golds

How do you use TA? Tracking, walkthroughs, solutions, sessions?

I use TA for nearly everything it offers, but what keeps me coming back to TA more than any other site on the internet would have to be the myriad of solutions and walkthroughs available on the site, alongside the ratio system that I’ve always found intriguing. I can just imagine what ratios would look like if we used the Juan achievement rarity system, though
Do you actively compete in any of the TA competitions? Which ones?

I actively compete in every TA competition, and I always seem to be that guy that puts enough effort into each competition to make it far but never enough to go all the way. I feel like a token example of this is Leap Frog 2016, in which I tied for 4th place purely by preloading games and abusing free-to-play titles and title updates to make it through each day with minimal effort. I could’ve even made it further after the free-to-play bonanza died out, but I willingly dropped out since I legitimately couldn’t be arsed anymore and didn’t want to sacrifice my sleep schedule or wallet at any point in the competition.
I’ve also competed in UHH and the GTASC, both of which are going on as I type this response. Simply put, I really do like all of the competitions here on TA, and I’m glad that they encourage me to play specific games. UHH has probably been my favorite contest format, followed by the 2015 Leap Frog format.
How has your gaming changed or evolved since coming to TA?

I came to TA with an 85% completion percentage and a 1.39 ratio. Right now, I have a 47% completion percentage and a 1.86 ratio. I think that sums up how my gaming habits have changed since coming to TA
What do you like and dislike most about the site?

My favorite parts of the site would definitely be the competitions and the walkthroughs. It’s really nice to be part of a community that hosts such fun competitions and host over 1,500 achievement walkthroughs for various games. Trust me, we are working on making all of those walkthroughs up to par of the current standards What I dislike most about the site would probably be the sense of entitlement that I’ve noticed in the community as of late. It seems like all you have to do to get a hard achievement nowadays is to email the devs to make it easier.
How did you learn about TA? Have you signed up any friends to the website?

I used to be on XBA and heard about TA from the forums there. Needless to say, TA is far better than XBA dance
Have you made friends here?

I have made many friends here through numerous avenues, such as through competitions, sessions, or even friend feeds. More specifically, I’ve made some really close friends from being on the Walkthrough Team for the past two years, and it’s great to be able to have such tight relationships with people who are essentially my coworkers.
If you could have a game handcrafted just for you, what would your perfect game be?

My perfect game would be a music and rhythm game that allowed me to play any song I wanted.
Why do you choose TA over other gaming sites?

I choose to go on TA over other gaming sites mainly because of the reasons above, and due to the amount of connections I’ve made, I don’t see my habits changing anytime soon.
Do you have a “claim to fame” in gaming? If so, what is it?

I don’t really have a specific claim to fame in gaming, but I suppose my exposure here on TA is a combination of being the Walkthrough Manager, my former domination of the Platformer leaderboards, my recent Leap Frog finish, and, of course, #TeamSporl ;o

Gaming Lightning Round

Favorite 360 game?

Favorite Xbox One game?

Favorite non-Xbox?

Super Mario Sunshine
Least favorite game?

Game you wish you'd never played?

Game you've always wanted to play but haven't?

Favorite game developer?

Favorite game weapon?

My drawings in Draw a Stickman: EPIC
Most hated game enemy?

The foul cows in ZHEROS
Favorite game character?

Andrew Ryan in BioShock
Favorite game sidekick?

Favorite game ending?

Most hated game ending?

Favorite game environment?

Bright Falls in Alan Wake
Favorite game music?

Most emotional video game moment?

Hitting 500 faults on Way of the Machine
Game that shouldn’t have had a sequel?

Non-Xbox game you’d love to have achievements in?

End of Gaming Lightning Round

Bonus! Off-topic Lighting Round

Favorite movie?

Spotlight (SCU pride)
Favorite music genre?

Favorite band?

Iron Maiden
Favorite book series?

Best place you've been?

Lake Tahoe, California
Place you want to go most?

Alvakalebby, Sweden
NICEST place you'd never want to go?

Bruges, Belgium (In EWJ)
Weirdest food you love?

Milk steak
Favorite car?

The Lagoon car from Trackmania.
Favorite super hero?

Reebman (oh ah ah)
End of Bonus Lighting Round

Final Thoughts

Is there anything in particular you want the TA community to know about you? Is there anything I haven’t asked that you want to talk about?

I think nearly everything has been addressed at this point, so I suppose I should take this time to say that I’m open to any suggestions as to how we can improve the Walkthrough Team here on TA. All I want is to help this site that has given so much to me. Also, #TeamSporl will be back for Leap Frog 2017 regardless of what the format will be dance
Any shout-outs you want to make before we go?

Big shout-outs go to all of my friends. More specifically, shout-outs go to everyone involved with the Walkthrough Team, past and present, and everybody currently in the Skype chat (Mystic Typh00n, RadicalSniper99, Shh I am Batman, xDaff, MalibuStacey85, Dang3R Gaming, chrisie81, SoupaBuoy, and Reborn Insanity). Special shout-outs go the Toeblerone chatters as well (Awoo, ArcCsc, VixyNyan, Momiji, Fluffytoast, Lost Legends, keung, Cuckoolander, MemoriesOfFinal, and even Dang3R Gaming). Thanks to Eurydace for hosting this interview, and thanks to MC0REBE for always having my back. On a final note, thank you to all readers of the interview, and I hope you enjoyed learning more about me! wave
The TA Community Interview will be posted every two weeks if we have enough nominations! If you have a friend you'd like to nominate to be interviewed, or if you'd like to nominate yourself, please send a PM to kintaris. You’re more likely to be picked if you’re well-written, interesting, funny or have an affinity for competing on the platformer leaderboard.
Kevin Tavore
Written by Kevin Tavore
Purveyor of news articles and the occasional walkthrough or op-ed. The American equivalent of Aristotle. Likes almost all genres but has an unhealthy aversion to exploration and puzzles. Nicest place he'd never want to go? Japan.