Let's Talk with Lavindathar

By Marc Hollinshead, 2 years ago
Hello all and welcome back to another Community Interview. This week, our guest is Lavindathar, a gamer who managed to juggle a lot of Xbox time with an interesting profession. Let's give a big TA welcome to Lavindathar!

Marc: Gamertags almost always tell something about their owners. Tell us about yours.
Interview 1

"Drunken night out"

Lav: I’ll be honest. I’m not too sure whether you will be able to learn anything from my gamertag, simply as I have no idea what it means. I remember the first time I ever used it though; I was fourteen or fifteen, at school, and really into Baldurs Gate. I was signing up to a forum called ‘The Ironworks’, and I needed a cool username. I chose Lavindathar. I have no idea how it came to me, or why, or if there was any inspiration behind it….it just happened, and I’ve used it ever since from forums, to MMO’s, to Xbox.

Marc: How long have you been gaming?

As long as I can remember to be honest. My first memories of gaming were on a Spectrum, although I don’t recall which model. I think it was a ZX? I remember we used to load the games off an old red cassette player that my Dad had, and I remember very few games that we owned but I do remember Tai-Pan. I guess I was about four or five, but by the age of seven or eight I got my own Atari ST520. Those were the days, tons of games per one floppy disk! I’m thirty now, so I guess in answer to your question, about twenty five years.

Marc: Do others in your family game, or are you a first-generation gamer?

I’m a first generation gamer, as neither of my parents ever gamed and neither ever showed any interest in gaming with me as I grew up. Regarding my own family, both my partner and my children play.

Marc: What do your parents/significant other/friends have to say about your gaming?

My friends and work colleagues think I’m a geek and they pretty much leave it there. None of them are gamers therefore none of them understand.

My partner however does understand, and is far more understanding than she should be, as I play way too much. She lets me get away with it, but deep down I know I need to reduce my gaming time as I definitely fall into the category of addict now. I have an addictive nature.

Marc: Assuming you’re not a professional gamer, what’s your day job?
Interview 6

Talisman Clyde Alpha Oil Platform

Lav: Well, I work on an oil rig in the North Sea which is pretty cool. It’s not your everyday job, and I work on a 2/3 rota (meaning for every two weeks I work I get three weeks off at home). Many friends have pointed out that working on an oil rig regularly crops up on various sites of ‘most dangerous jobs in the world’ lists. It’s not as bad as people think, but it has the potential I guess. And that’s before you even get on the helicopter to work…..
Before this I’ve had a few different vocations including running the family pub, being a deep sea engineer for Maersk on container ships and I was also a car salesman!

Marc: Sounds like you've been around! Shame I can't say the same...

What other hobbies do you enjoy?

I love sport. Mainly football, as I’m a massive Manchester United fan (born and bred in Manchester) and I try to watch all the EPL games each week. I’m also quite into UFC, but I tend to follow this in on and off spurts.
I’ve tried many hobbies, such as MtG, Warhammer etc, but they tend to sit on a backburner as I always fall back to my Xbox.

I'm also a massive reader. My main genre is definitely fantasy, with my favourites currently being the Song of Fire and Ice set, the Wheel of Time series and the First Law trilogy. I also love American tv shows - 24, Prison Break, House, Dexter, Lost etc, as well as things like the amazing race!

Marc: Tell us about your home life – parents, spouse, children, significant other, animal companions?
Interview 3

My Dad and two brothers in Thailand

Lav: I have a partner and two children (8 and 4). We also have a cat named Samwell (Tarly).

Marc: Of what real life achievement are you most proud? Would you give us some details?

It may be a cliché, but the birth and raising of my children. Nothing will ever top that, regardless of how good a job or how much money I ever earn. I just want to raise them right, and let them go onto live fulfilling and successful lives.

Marc: A lot of other interviewees say exactly the same thing, and I don't blame them! Having kids is an awesome achievement.

What’s your favourite game of all time on any console? What makes it special?

This is a tough one, as it’s hard to define ‘favourite’. Final Fantasy 7 holds a very special place in my heart on the PSX, but I’d have to fall back and say World of Warcraft. It lost its appeal towards the end, but when I did play it, man it was epic.

Marc: The very reason I came to Xbox quite late was because of that game. I was addicted for a few years myself. Tauren Druid ftw!

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

I don’t remember the very first, no. I remember a ton of games from my childhood on my Atari (Dizzy, Techno Cop, Joust, Frogger), but my first games were on the Spectrum. I can’t remember anything about any of them, except the name of one.

Marc: If some evil spell allowed you to own only a single game for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?

I’d have to say World of Warcraft, purely because it’s never-ending. There’s always something to do.

Marc: What part of the world do you live in? If I were to visit, what sights would I have to see?
Interview 3

"After I accidentally shaved my head....long story"

Lav: I currently live in a tiny village about thirty minutes away from Manchester, England. If you were to visit, you wouldn’t see any ‘sights’, apart from the breathtaking rural Lancashire countryside. It reminds me of Hobbiton from the Lord of the Rings films…lots of rolling hills and fields. It’s very quiet, but I love it.

Marc: You must live fairly close-ish to me then! Small world.

Any games you regret putting on your gamertag?

It’s rare that I dislike games, but I suppose with five hundred on my tag there is a few I regret. Gyromancer, as I hated it. Alice: Madness Returns, as I hated it, and Defiance. Didn’t like that too much either.

Marc: Tell us about your gamer pic. Why did you choose that one?

It’s a robot, with a monocle, drinking tea. I picked it purely because it reminded me of being English (or at least the stereotype of being English). I don’t think I’ll change it until I find something ‘really’ cool, and not many people use this one as it is anyway.

Marc: Do you have any particular gaming pet peeves?

Hmmm, not really. I guess it would have to be young kids singing down the microphone in games where you can’t mute individuals.

Marc: What upcoming game are you most looking forward to?

Erm, to be honest I don’t really know. I look forward to everything and anything equally lol. I was quite excited for Dying Light that just got released, but I’ve not got too far into that yet. I guess for a definitive answer, I’d have to say the new Battlefront game, as I loved the old ones, and Mortal Kombat X.

Marc: What game(s) are you currently playing? How are you finding it?

I always tend to play three to five games at a time, to ensure I don’t get bored of playing the same thing for hours. So I’m currently working on :

Forza Horizon 2 – grinding out my last 50 championships
Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers – grinding out my 100 multiplayer wins
Dying Light – only just started it, but it seems cool.
Dragon Age: Inquisition – Loving this, even if it is taking me forever!
Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell – Mindless fun I guess, although I’d prefer more of a campaign.

Marc: What game are you most proud of completing? Why?

I think I’m currently around 330 completions, so I have a couple I’m really proud of. Naughty Bear is definitely up there, just because everyone else said it was insanely hard, then there are games like Titanfall that show off a dedication to complete something.

Marc: What single Xbox achievement are you most proud of? Why?

Aliens vs. PredatorThe UninfectedThe The Uninfected achievement in Aliens vs. Predator worth 113 pointsFinish a Ranked Infestation match as the only remaining prey

I know looking at it you may wonder why this is it, as 8% of people have earned the achievement. I’ve got plenty of 1%’ers, but this means more. Many of those 8% earned this by boosting, as it is a genuinely hard MP achievement, but I got it legit after tons of attempts. I still remember the little yelp of joy I gave when I finally did it. If it wasn’t boostable, it would be a rare achievement indeed.

Marc: In a slightly different vein, do you have a favorite achievement? One perhaps that you just really enjoyed attaining?

I guess that ties into the question above, as that’s my favourite achievement. But aside from that , it’s got to be:
Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360)Secret AchievementThe Secret Achievement achievement in Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360) worth 13 pointsContinue playing to unlock this secret achievement

I genuinely found this funny, so its got to be one of my faves.

Marc: If you found yourself dropped into a video game, which video game character would you most want to have your back?

Superman from the LEGO games. He can fly, shoot lasers, breath ice. Oh, and he’s got invincibility.

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

Definitely a necromorph, those things are silent and deadly, and incredibly scary.

Marc: Any characters you would like seen thrown into video game hell?

Not particularly, there’s no one I really hate. But I’m gonna nominate the main character from D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die, David Young, purely because of the awful voice acting and ‘Boston’ accent.

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

Plenty. And like a BOSS.
Nah, I don’t let things bother me. I just move on, mute them, try to humiliate them, or if everything fails, I resort to all out abuse down the mic ;).

Marc: Do you prefer single player or multi-player?

I like both, and both have their own pro’s and cons. I don’t think you can compare them ?

Marc: Do you have a favourite group of friends you like to play with? If so, how did you meet?

Not really, as I tend to play with many people depending on what I’m playing. Usually, once I complete something I move on, yet many friends will stay and play for fun. The ones I talk to most I either met here on TA or over on XBA. I have a group of friends I chat to on here, but that doesn’t always mean I play with them.

Marc: If you could have a multiplayer session with anyone in the world, whom would you choose? Why?

Eric Cantona. Purely because he’s a legend, a villain and a hero all at the same time.

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

I think I’ve owned pretty much every console ever made with the exception of a Jaguar. I’ve got a soft spot for the old games; Final Fantasy games on the PSX, PS2 and SNES. Banjo Kazooie on the N64, Magic Carpet on the Sega Saturn, SWoS on the Atari, Monkey Island on the Amiga, Knights of the Old Republic on the original Xbox.

Marc: Have you ever had a game you really looked forward to that you were disappointed in when it finally arrived Tell us about it.

Erm, Definance was a bit of a let down. I was a big time MMO player on the PC (WoW, Star Wars and Tera), and I was hoping for a really good console MMO. This just wasn’t it. Then to make matters worse, Destiny disappointed me even more.

Marc: Tell us about your gaming set-up.
Interview 4


Interview 5


Lav: It’s pretty basic. Currently I have two Xbox Ones, one upstairs in the games room and one downstairs in the living room. Both are on pretty big TV’s (37” and 42”), and we use Turtlebeach headsets. We have four or five 360s, but only two are set up at the minute.

Marc: Well I guess you don't have to worry if one of the 360's take a turn for the worst at least. :-P

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

Everything really. I mainly use it for the stats and social side. I don’t use sessions too much as I’m not a fan of boosting and I usually can find friends to play with if I need to. I used to write lots of solutions and I still think I’m top twenty or so on the site, but I don’t contribute as much as I used too.
I was also a newshound a fair few years ago, but unfortunately work commitments made me give that up. I joined the same day as litepink if I recall correctly!

Marc: How has your gaming changed or evolved since coming to TA?

I’ve definitely tried to improve my completion percentage since joining here, and I’m up to 91% now so I’m happy with that. Anything above 90% will do me….

I first got involved into achievements in two ways. One, was World of Warcraft had the same system but completely contained within the game. As I was part of one of the world's best guilds, I started earning them to look good with other players. The other, was my brother had a 360 and I saw him playing the original Assassin's Creed and he explained the xbox achievement system to me as I didn't have one at the time. When it came time to quit WoW, I went and got an xbox with AC, and I've been hooked ever since.

I actually got my 360 about 3-4 years after it came out, so I started late. I guess my gamerscore is ok considering!

I also don't view achievements like a lot do. I do see them as sort of a marker to recognise something hard, but more importantly I view them as a gaming history. I can look back at what I've played, when, and what I did. That's more important to me, it makes me feel like something is logged forever.

Marc: Seeing achievements in that way makes a lot of sense indeed. For someone who also joined Xbox late, your gamerscore certainly is...quite something.

What do you like and dislike most about the site?

I love the numbers! Seriously, it’s all about the stats for me. There isn’t much I dislike to be honest, the staff here do a good job.

Marc: How did you learn about TA? Have you signed up any friends to the website?

Erm, Google maybe? I’ve no idea how I came here or originally found it! Do you? It was years ago! But yeah, I’ve got a few friends to join *runs to check referral badge*….

Marc: Well I personally joined in 2011 which was quite late really. I think it was something as simple as Google as well!

Have you made friends here?

Tons. More than I can mention, but some are really good people to chat too now. https://www.trueachievements.com/Barad+XBA.htm, Cisilien, II Kazz II and your very own DaveKinetic.

Marc: If you could have a game handcrafted just for you, what would your perfect game be?

Some form of MMO, with lots of bosses and loot. And it is never tuned down to appease casual players…..only the hardcore will surive!

Marc: Why do you choose TA over other gaming sites?

I don’t. I use it equally alongside others such as XBA. However, the stats here are amazing, so that’s definitely a plus!

Marc: Wait, you actually use OTHER gaming sites? What is this preposterous nonsence!?

Do you have a “claim to fame” in gaming? If so, what is it?

Erm, I don’t think so. I’ve set a firsts in World of Warcraft back when I was raiding, which is pretty cool (or was back then). I did some testing on DiRT 3 years ago. Or was it DiRT 2? I forget. Anyway, I went down to the Codemasters studio and helped out a bit. Still got some of the Codies devs on my FL. I’ve also met Rich (TrueAchievement) IRL. I guess that’s a claim to fame on here.

*Lightning Round*

Favorite 360 game?

BioShock (Xbox 360). Hands down.

Favorite non-360 game?

World of Warcraft.

Least favorite game?


Favorite game developer?


Favorite game weapon?

Plasma Cutter from Dead Space .

Most hated game enemy?

Anything from Dragon Age with shields.

Favorite game character?


Favorite game sidekick?

Wheatly. Does he count?

Favorite game ending?

Probably Portal 2. Genius.

Most hated game ending?

Ooooh, I’ve no idea. Theres been so many endings, I can’t remember what's bad.

Favorite game environment?

The BioShock games, especially Rapture.

Favorite game music?

Final Fantasy series. All of them.

Most emotional video game moment?

Gotta be Aeries. Still.

Game that shouldn’t have had a sequel?

All of them should, as every game should get a chance?

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

All the old Final Fantasy games. 1-10.

*End of Lightning Round*

Marc: Is there anything in particular you want the TA community to know about you?

Not really. I'm a fairly easy going guy, and I'm happy to play with anyone, so feel free to send me an xbox one follow and we can get our game on.

I've traveled the world, and visited many counties, mainly through work but I have ties to Thailand as it is where my dad and two of my brothers live.

I also quite like tattoos, and have a fair few. Some I really like, such as my arms and my leg, where as some aren't so good, such as my chest. Be careful what you 'think' you want!

Marc: Is there anything I haven’t asked that you want to talk about?

Nope, I think that’s it.

Marc: Any shout-outs you want to make before we go?

Yeah, to my GTASC team, Brute Force Crew. And Manic Ado!

Well there you have it, folks. Thanks again to Lavindathar for sharing a portion of his life with us. Join me next time where I'll be with my next guest, OfficerBarbrady.

Come back to see me and, you guessed it... let's talk. wave

I'd like to remind everyone that because of the huge waiting list for candidates, I am currently not taking any applications for the Community Interview. When some of the backlog has been worked through, I'll let you know. ~ Marc
Marc Hollinshead
Written by Marc Hollinshead
To summarize Marc in two words, it would be "Christian Gamer." You will usually find him getting stuck into story heavy action-adventure games, RPG's and the odd quirky title when he isn't raving about Dark Souls and Mass Effect. Outside the world of gaming, Marc attends and helps out in his church on a regular basis and has a not-so thrilling job in a supermarket.