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== Introduction ==
 
== Introduction ==
  
When I first approached Ilari to ask if he'd update his wiki page, we agreed that a few short paragraphs on his career would make a great summary for people to read. At the time the thought of producing what you see before you today never even crossed my mind once. But then he started talking ... and never stopped ...
+
When I first approached Ilari to ask if he'd update his Wiki page, we agreed that a few short paragraphs on his career would make a great summary for people to read. At the time the thought of producing what you see before you today never even crossed my mind once. But then he started talking ... and never stopped ...
  
'''Ilari "Illu" Pekkala''' is synonymous with creativity, genius, insane gaming, [[Dark License To Kill]], [http://perfectdarkelite.yuku.com/topic/2046 AWESOME] and walls of text in the [http://the-elite.net/chat.html Elite's Chatroom]. His contribution to strategy formation and perfection, swift video proof, emotional storytelling and overall positve attitude on the [http://perfectdarkelite.yuku.com/directory message boards] have made him countless friends for life throughout the gaming community. In fact it often goes unnoticed that he simply never has a bad word to say about anyone. With a rise to the top of the ranks that gave so much enjoyment to those who witnessed his era, as a person and as a player Ilari was thus the perfect legend on which to write an extended biography of this kind. He is truly one of the most inspirational people I have ever had the privilege of knowing and it is an honour to have had the opportunity to write the page.  
+
'''Ilari "Illu" Pekkala''' is synonymous with creativity, genius, insane gaming, [[Dark License To Kill]], [http://perfectdarkelite.yuku.com/topic/2046 AWESOME] and walls of text in the [http://the-elite.net/chat.html Elite's Chatroom]. His contribution to strategy formation and perfection, swift video proof, emotional storytelling and overall positve attitude on the [http://perfectdarkelite.yuku.com/directory message boards] have made him countless friends for life throughout the gaming community. In fact it often goes unnoticed that he simply never has a bad word to say about anyone. With a rise to the top of the ranks that gave so much enjoyment to those who witnessed his era, as a person and as a player Ilari was thus the perfect legend on which to write an extended biography of this kind. He is truly one of the most inspirational people I have ever had the privilege of knowing and it is an honour to have had the opportunity to write this page.  
  
 
I can't thank Ilari enough for his time in producing what has grown to be one of the best projects in [[Elite]] history. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had assembling it. - [[Shep]]
 
I can't thank Ilari enough for his time in producing what has grown to be one of the best projects in [[Elite]] history. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had assembling it. - [[Shep]]
 
  
 
== Summary ==
 
== Summary ==

Revision as of 14:26, 30 June 2008

Ilari "Illu" Pekkala

UPDATE STILL IN PROGRESS! NOT FINISHED

rshepherd1000 (13:50:47): boo
The Illu (13:50:56): eeek!
rshepherd1000 (13:51:06): ok i thought of an easy way we can update your bio
The Illu (13:51:17): wow really!?!?!?!
rshepherd1000 (13:51:24): well no
rshepherd1000 (13:51:27): but lets try it anyway
The Illu (13:51:30): thought so
The Illu (13:51:31): hahaha

Introduction

When I first approached Ilari to ask if he'd update his Wiki page, we agreed that a few short paragraphs on his career would make a great summary for people to read. At the time the thought of producing what you see before you today never even crossed my mind once. But then he started talking ... and never stopped ...

Ilari "Illu" Pekkala is synonymous with creativity, genius, insane gaming, Dark License To Kill, AWESOME and walls of text in the Elite's Chatroom. His contribution to strategy formation and perfection, swift video proof, emotional storytelling and overall positve attitude on the message boards have made him countless friends for life throughout the gaming community. In fact it often goes unnoticed that he simply never has a bad word to say about anyone. With a rise to the top of the ranks that gave so much enjoyment to those who witnessed his era, as a person and as a player Ilari was thus the perfect legend on which to write an extended biography of this kind. He is truly one of the most inspirational people I have ever had the privilege of knowing and it is an honour to have had the opportunity to write this page.

I can't thank Ilari enough for his time in producing what has grown to be one of the best projects in Elite history. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had assembling it. - Shep

Summary

Early Life – Lives in Borås, Sweden. Huge interest in Track and Field and videogames. Joins The Elite in January 2004
Dark License To Kill – First person ever to beat any level on DLTK difficulty setting. Sets multiple World Records and, beginning with Dam, has been the first to complete every single challenging stage remaining, in some cases still being the only person in history to do so.
GoldenEye - Sets countless World Records, several of which have been called the 'best ever' at the time including Dam Secret Agent 1:17 and Jungle SA 0:54. Becomes the Proven GoldenEye Champion in January 2007
Perfect Dark - Unties Defection World Records on Special Agent and Perfect Agent – including beating Sucrams infamous claimed time on SA. Reaches the Top 10 with other WRs
Further Gaming - Holds both NTSC and PAL World Records simultaneously on Super Mario 64 for 16 star completion. PAL run is still the WR 3 years later
Outside Gaming – Continues to follow track and field and enjoys various other sporting activities. Is always full of stories to tell and has attended gamer meets with other Eliters.
Creative Videos - Makes some of the most original and entertaining videos the gaming community has ever seen.


Early Life

Ilari Pekkala was born of Finnish parents on December 16th 1982 in Borås, Sweden, and has lived there since. He has a sister, Susanna, who is 7 years older and a brother, Miikka, who is 2 years younger. Early in life he was known just as Ilari, but later in high school was given a nickname that several years later would become his famous online persona.

The Illu logo used in many of Ilari's videos

The Illu: someone started calling me Illu back in school
The Illu: just a random name
The Illu: like first or second grade
The Illu: now it's almost like a split personality sometimes
The Illu: sometimes it's still just my nick
The Illu: but it can be molded into many shapes and that
The Illu: I grew to like it

At high school Ilari had studied carpentry and media in particular, but he never completed his education there. Instead he became very interested in athletics.

The Illu: I was training running
The Illu: for 800-5000m distances mainly
The Illu: I was in a decent shape
The Illu: ran a few races for the local club
The Illu: my best was probably a 3rd place in some 5.3km race
The Illu: in a city bit away from where I live
The Illu: but I did some serious workout back then
The Illu: like 6 times a week
The Illu: could be like.. one day 12x 200m runs
The Illu: then next day like 10km jogging
The Illu: maybe 5x 1000m.. each in just a bit over 3min
The Illu: but I just found the training too hard in the long run

Gaming

Throughout this period Ilari had another love; video games. He was a gamer from an early age, getting his first taste of action at the age of only 8 years.

Gameplay screenshot from Alien Syndrome

The Illu: it was some game on the sega master system
The Illu: I think it was called alien syndrome
The Illu: and you shoot monsters
The Illu: I tried that game at a friends house and got hooked instantly pretty much
The Illu: he had one more master system console and sold it to me
The Illu: I was particularly obsessed with sonic for awhile

Although his biggest competitive gaming achievements would come on the N64, Ilari’s early gaming experiences came on other platforms. In fact he skipped Nintendo out altogether until 2000 when he bought a SNES to play games he’d missed out on.

The Illu: some games I saw as really awesome experiences in my life
The Illu: really lived into them
The Illu: more so with the N64 games like mario 64 and zelda when those came along
The Illu: though somehow I got most obsessed with metal gear solid

Ilari had borrowed a friend’s Playstation to play the first Metal Gear Solid (MGS) game. He then saved enough money to be able to purchase the Playstation 2 system when it came out to pick up MGS2.

Saved still from Metal Gear Solid 2

The Illu: never waited so eagerly to play a game
The Illu: actually that was really on the edge you know
The Illu: I dunno if I'll ever get, or want to, be that obsessed with a game again lol
The Illu: I guess the story line was well crafted into the game
The Illu: kinda dived into the experiences with so many senses
The Illu: I read everything, I saw the characters as real people almost
The Illu: and when I beat it it was almost like I was emotionally really tired
The Illu: like this awesome game I waited for so long was over
The Illu: but I played it through again like 10 times to find everything there was
The Illu: I had been playing games since I was 8, that was like the highlight for me

By now games had become an integral part of Ilari’s life.

The Illu: I guess they have helped me through some tough times even
The Illu: even though I sometimes think that I played too much
The Illu: I mean games take often 20-60h to play through
The Illu: so if you really play them through fully they take a huge part of our life

Alongside the games that were life experiences, Ilari had also begun to get competitive in other games, in particular the racing genre. He enjoyed many hours playing against his brother and their friend Dantte and competing for times versus the group and against himself. Although he was never particularly interested in Mario Kart.

Ilari with Dantte

The Illu: I thought wave race to be more impressive for example
The Illu: I guess I looked up records for that too for awhile
The Illu: found I was doing well
The Illu: I was obsessed with having all records
The Illu: even had a couple PAL wrs on it for awhile
The Illu: but didn't really get into it more
The Illu: probably I kinda had a thing for competition and speedrunning before GE too
The Illu: ya for sure
The Illu: just it got extreme first when I found the-elite

Then in January 2004 he discovered The Elite by accident.

The Illu: hmm I think it was some magazine possibly
The Illu: a swedish magazine
The Illu: but I'm still not sure
The Illu: its possible
The Illu: I think I found a link though
The Illu: on a swedish game site
The Illu: www.gamecore.se
The Illu: they had some headline like: crazy records
The Illu: nintendo crazies
The Illu: or something like that heh

The site immediately grabbed his attention as shortly before this discovery, Ilari had started playing more GoldenEye. In particular what soon came to be known as Dark License to Kill.


Dark License to Kill

Origins and the ‘Easy’ Levels

Ilari had skipped trying to play Goldeneye normal mode competitively and had instead been experimenting with 007 Mode difficulty, placing all settings on maximum. This method of game play, in which enemies can withstand 10 headshots before dying, was later christened Dark License To Kill.

Where it all began. Killing multiple guards at once on Facility


The Illu: I just thought it was awesome to try and beat levels with the highest settings
The Illu: I was trying out facility a bit
The Illu: back in 2002 before I even found the-elite
The Illu: my bro played too
The Illu: and we kinda competed who would beat facility
The Illu: he discovered that using boxes to blow up guards was useful
The Illu: but I was the one to beat the level
The Illu: completion was probably over 10min
The Illu: could have been like 20min
The Illu: heh
The Illu: but I never really went for times
The Illu: it was just completion then

At this point no existing member of The Elite had legitimately beaten a level on DLTK, nor had any serious attempts been undertaken. In late 2003 Ilari lowered his Facility time to 8:57 and on January 30th 2004 made his first ever post on The Elite Boards.

Escaping the cell on Archives has never been this much fun!

The Illu: I just was curious to see if someone else had beaten facility or other levels
The Illu: yes people were sceptical of whether I had actually beaten facility
The Illu: well just a few
The Illu: they wanted to see a vid

‘Vid online = I am pwned, but until then I think you're full of crap.’ - Jimbo

The Illu: but Wouter was faster on that heh
The Illu: just when I got the camera to record the vid Wouter had already gotten that insane 3:00
The Illu: so I thought the 8min vid was just boring or something
The Illu: I guess it would have been nice to make it anyway now that I think of it

Soon after the thread was created people started completing some of the easier levels. Surface 2, Egypt, Runway and Archives were quickly beaten by existing players such as Wouter Jansen and Brandon Sanford. Ilari worked on lowering some of their times, playing for over 40 hours to obtain Facility 2:51 in February before taking the World Records on Egypt, Frigate and Bunker 2.

The Illu: then soon we had levels left that we didn't know if they could be beaten

Dam

Steady aim is needed to snipe on top of the Dam

The Illu: I went for Dam
The Illu: this was the first one that felt like really big
The Illu: it was longer than the others and probably took me 30h
The Illu: and I was for sure the first to beat it

With Dam being so huge and the duration of the run so long, there were many little tricks that were developed to ensure a completion. Shooting boxes for ammo became very important and Ilari spent countless hours establishing the safest places to take out the guards from. Nevertheless there were many painful failures late in the level and he estimates around 20 runs ended with a death in the tunnel at the end. But on 6th March 2004, the stage was finally beaten for the first time.

The Illu: I was extremely scared running to jump off lol
The Illu: I remember the air even felt fresh on the dam
The Illu: like if I was there for real
The Illu: I almost could feel the breeze
The Illu: the wind
The Illu: my bro and a friend saw me beat it
The Illu: I started like headbanging in front of my bro and my friend
The Illu: I dunno what the hell that was
The Illu: but it was crazy hahah

Ilari’s first completion took over 35 minutes. He considered that time to be too long to produce a video for and thus went back a second time to lower it before releasing it to the community. The result was a time of 26:29.

The Illu: the 26 vid is almost like some horror movie
The Illu: partly because of the horrible vid quality
The Illu: the music was really crazy too
The Illu: I dunno what the hell it was, my bro chose it
The Illu: I called the end part.. hell
The Illu: going down to hell there

Surface 1

With Dam beaten, people across the community began to get excited that so many levels could really in fact be completed. Lots volunteered tips, but it was only Ilari who continued to put significant time into trying to execute the strategies being discussed. Many were surprised that Surface 1, one of the levels that had proved most difficult for LTK players, was the next to be seriously attempted. However Ilari had spent time studying the level and made some revolutionary observations..

On the roof of the Communications Tower observing the confusion below

The Illu: what helped most was probably that I found that there were like 4 guards out there
The Illu: that randomly appear
The Illu: so I figured I had to find a way past those somehow
The Illu: if I shoot them they just reappear
The Illu: but I found I could run on the edge on the level close to the sides
The Illu: so I could make it quite often up to the tower alive
The Illu: so I started shooting snipers from there
The Illu: until they reappeared as klobb guards
The Illu: but that was not always necessary
The Illu: since I lured them up to the tower anyway
The Illu: and hopefully they got stuck there
The Illu: and I ran out and completed rest of the objectives

Ilari completed the level in 6:44 on the 26th of March. Not only did this stand as the World Record for several years, but it was the only completion for the same duration.

The Illu: I remember Wouter trying it
The Illu: he couldn't understand my strat
The Illu: I remember him being frustrated
The Illu: asking me how to do it
The Illu: but I guess he got sick of it and went back to normal

Break

With the ‘easy’ levels beaten and challenging World Records set, participatory interest in the DLTK league somewhat declined. People were still incredibly interested in what Ilari was doing however, even if they weren’t able to complete themselves. However even for Ilari the challenges left seemed daunting at this stage of his career.

The Illu: I was like pretty much left alone to keep completing what was left
The Illu: but then I didn't play DLTK for some time
The Illu: the rest of the levels seemed impossible at the time
The Illu: there was just so much more I could do in normal

In late 2004 he made his return.

The Illu: hmm I've never reflected over that much
The Illu: I guess time went by and I wanted to return
The Illu: the scariest damn levels lol
The Illu: I slept the days
The Illu: exhausted from the job during night
The Illu: didn't see any daylight
The Illu: only darkness
The Illu: dark LTK

Aztec

Little had changed over the preceding months. The levels that remained were still just as difficult as they were before. A strategic epiphany was needed for progress to be made again and, to many people’s surprise, it came on Aztec.

Jaws can be trapped in the Mainframe, where he dies a slow death


The Illu: I found a trap to lure Jaws into :)
The Illu: I just thought about how the guards get stuck in the mainframe sometimes
The Illu: and I kinda knew how that worked from trying the glass strat on normal
The Illu: so thought it would work with jaws too
The Illu: doesn’t work 100%
The Illu: but if I did it the right way it's very likely that he would get stuck
The Illu: and it needed patience
The Illu: but I had that
The Illu: I ran into lots of other problems though
The Illu: but I kept finding solutions

One of the biggest problems on DLTK difficulty is ammo shortage. Much planning went into each of Ilari’s runs to ensure that he didn’t run out of bullets. Fortunately on Aztec things were a little easier after the very challenging start where at one point he was down to just 3 bullets.

Or you can just use the glass strat, here for a new World Record in 2008


The Illu: yes laser ya
The Illu: infinite ammo
The Illu: I shot for ages behind those boxes
The Illu: the laser was one of the key things yea
The Illu: and a good hiding spot during countdown
The Illu: never died during that
The Illu: I had planned that so well
The Illu: was more calm than at the end on some other levels
The Illu: as I was really sure the countdown hide spot worked
The Illu: I was surprised I even died so many times before that
The Illu: always thought I planned it so well
The Illu: but I guess first completion is tough
The Illu: you want it so much

Even with a fully planned and tested strategy, a completion did not come right away.

The Illu: it took like another 8h to beat it after I found out how to do everything
The Illu: that was almost one of the crazier things with that lol
The Illu: and why the time ended up much slower than I first thought
The Illu: I was dead tired that morning when I beat it

Ilari beat Aztec with a time of 26:09 in late September 2004. It remained the only completion of the level for years. On 5th January 2008 he reclaimed the World Record in a time of 8:19 with the first, and only, succesful completion using the glass strat.

Caverns

As news of the unexpected Aztec completion spread across the Elite, collaborative strategic thought continued on the forums over the remaining levels.

The Illu: that got people going
The Illu: trying to figure out strats for those other non beaten ones
The Illu: I remember talk about caverns
The Illu: but many were worried about the ending parts
The Illu: but I had already started working on that
The Illu: I kinda planned it from the beginning myself, it was a one man show pretty much
The Illu: I even made a map over the level with all the guards and all
The Illu: damn that level was even more big and complex than any I had ever beaten

Ilari’s map of Caverns can be inspected by clicking the thumbnail to the right. It’s a testament to the scale of the level that such a detailed plan was needed. However just the existence of the map wasn’t enough, there was still the ending to figure out, and countless never before seen problems that needed to be overcome.

Plan for Caverns DLTK. Click to enlarge.

The Illu: of course some of the guards having BA
The Illu: so couldn't keep up the old stun technique
The Illu: but yea I found a way around that
The Illu: the guards stupidity you know
The Illu: I tried many things that didn’t work at first
The Illu: shooting and hiding
The Illu: losing too much ammo
The Illu: that was more of a problem on that level too
The Illu: than ever before
The Illu: so I had to find some easy way to hit their head with good accuracy
The Illu: but I kinda found fast that you just lure them out
The Illu: and hide
The Illu: then go around certain corner
The Illu: and they stop there
The Illu: and then just unload your magazine on them
The Illu: the spiral helped too with that
The Illu: but they're not always that predictable
The Illu: but it was doable now

Slapping guards is slow, but necessary to conserve ammo!

Having dealt with the Body Armour guards, multiple guards at once, serious ammo shortages, having to slap guards for the first time, as well as uncooperative scientists, progress was being made. What wasn’t doable just yet was the ending.

The Illu: the most scary was the key thing and the ending though
The Illu: no one still knew how to do it
The Illu: it took just ages to get there
The Illu: more guards to kill than ever
The Illu: you had this room full of sensitive mission objectives
The Illu: rcp guards
The Illu: shotgun guards showing up right at the end
The Illu: you had to be kinda fast too
The Illu: but though I mean that's how most saw it probably
The Illu: like me
The Illu: before

Faced with such a complex problem, the strategy was nonetheless discovered relatively quickly.

Dealing with the Radio Room requires a lot of patience

The Illu: I found out pretty fast
The Illu: the simple solution
The Illu: just had to stay behind that slow door heh
The Illu: open close
The Illu: open
The Illu: close
The Illu: opencloseopleclose
The Illu: it's just patience heh
The Illu: nerves
The Illu: stuff
The Illu: I think I died sometime at a 50min run
The Illu: it was like... horrible
The Illu: but I had kinda started getting used to it
The Illu: when I knew now for sure that caverns was doable I just needed to do it
The Illu: it was like some obsession

However there was still the drone tunnel to navigate. After a brutal last minute death using his initial strategy, Ilari figured out a better method of dealing with it for the next time.

The Illu: I died at the end before because I wasn't fast enough to shoot the drone guns
The Illu: so I figured I needed to be faster there
The Illu: so I took out the drone guns in advance
The Illu: before I had to run there
The Illu: and quickly after the last objectives just get in there
The Illu: closed doors behind me
The Illu: rcp of course came in handy at the end
The Illu: since it shoots trough doors and guards

With the objectives beaten, drone guns destroyed, and doors closed behind him, a visibly nervous Ilari faced the area in front of the lift.

The Illu: it's still maybe the place where my heartrate was highest ever on a GE run
The Illu: it even began when I was taking care of the guards near those sensitive stuff
The Illu: the radio
The Illu: had to be so careful there not to blow it up and all
The Illu: make sure the door kept going back and forth
The Illu: from there to the end
The Illu: felt like over 10min of heartrate 150 per minute or something lol
The Illu: felt almost like when I was running

Ilari finally beat the level in 41:08 at the start of October 2004. Whilst he had previously revisited levels to lower his time before making a video, this was not to be the case with Caverns.

The Illu: never tried that level again haha
The Illu: and it's still the fastest so
The Illu: but one guy has beaten it now except me
The Illu: it was all mine for 3 years

Jungle

On a roll, Ilari was enthusiastic to try more levels and subsequently got into Jungle. There were still major unresolved problems with the stage though. The ending was again a huge concern with the respawning guards and of course there was Xenia.

Xenia can be killed safely here

The Illu: Xenia was just impossible
The Illu: but Henrik found that you could get her from behind the plane
The Illu: just you needed to lure her there
The Illu: just stand there and Nat takes care of her
The Illu: heh it's amazing there was that sweet spot at the beginning
The Illu: I don't know of any other place like that
The Illu: maybe there are
The Illu: but that was just perfect safe way to kill Xenia pretty much every time
The Illu: so I got excited

Minor strategies that had assisted on Caverns proved especially helpful on Jungle also.

The Illu: the slap was more useful than ever
The Illu: some guards died really easily with that on jungle
The Illu: I still don't know why
The Illu: lots of places to hide and that in the jungle too
The Illu: just you get lost there easily

Once he’d found the way to the end it was now only a matter of coming up with the best strategy to take care of the guards.

Working together with Nat

The Illu: the ending was unpredictable
The Illu: I had to have like plan A
The Illu: plan B
The Illu: plan C
The Illu: plan A was like.. I shoot guards and hope they stay fixed in their positions
The Illu: and all work out fine
The Illu: but usually I had to use the plan B
The Illu: some guards came running from the exit
The Illu: had to back up
The Illu: it's risky
The Illu: had to make myself visible for them
The Illu: but yea could lure the spawned guards there
The Illu: and AR them
The Illu: then back to the business again
The Illu: taking care of the guards behind crates
The Illu: but sometimes I was slow
The Illu: or more guards would come from the exit
The Illu: and then I had to begin all over
The Illu: new guards had appeared behind the crates
The Illu: so I kinda jumped to plan C instantly
The Illu: speed

Taking out the guards at the end

The Illu: but yea it's not really that simple that I can say that I just had those plans
The Illu: it's all about just adapting much
The Illu: experience
The Illu: if I knew what situations came up
The Illu: I could be prepared
The Illu: still new ones kept happening
The Illu: stuff might not go as I planned

Finally, it was a tip from Swaff that combined perfectly with his strategy of speed to make the ending possible.

The Illu: it was great tip I got from swaff there
The Illu: shoot the guards until their BA is off
The Illu: leave them there
The Illu: but do it quickly before nat took any of them out
The Illu: if you kill one at a time they just reappear
The Illu: had to kill them fast
The Illu: like at once
The Illu: place remote mines or grenade
The Illu: and use the GL
The Illu: so they blow up pretty much at the same time
The Illu: then quickly to the end
The Illu: so they don't have time to respawn
The Illu: then very scary run

Ilari completed Jungle in 20:31 on 12th October 2004, and to this day is still the only player to have finished the level.

Now for a second time, both he and the community were lost as to how the remaining levels could be beaten. After using all his energy on the previous three levels, Ilari felt the need for a break.

Control

In the Summer of 2005 Ilari made his second return to DLTK competition. Bryan Bosshardt had posted a thought on how it may be possible to do the protect Natalya sequence on Control. There were still other things to figure out on the level too, but this was the boost Ilari needed to give it a go.

Boris presents no additional challenge, even on this difficulty

The Illu: you just think like control ahh dltk ahh
The Illu: no way
The Illu: but when I got working with it
The Illu: when I got serious about wanting to beat it
The Illu: I didn't really see any problems
The Illu: I just was looking for solutions
The Illu: I was motivated again
The Illu: then the pieces came together

One of these solutions required switching control styles to tackle some of the more difficult areas.

The Illu: I was using 1.2 at the time
The Illu: for the first time for DLTK
The Illu: but I used 1.1 for the crate area
The Illu: where I needed to walk forward very carefully
The Illu: I sneak up on the guards
The Illu: make their head show a bit
The Illu: take their BA off
The Illu: and usually they throw grenades
The Illu: just had to make sure to listen to the sounds of grenades hitting the ground
The Illu: run away.. and they blew themselves up

To the casual observer, the protect objective still appeared impossible. As Andrew Kent put it: ‘Think of protecting Nat amongst all those guards. I'd rather not. That there'd be enough ammunition is just inconceivable.’ However the strategy Boss had posted did prove to be a success.

On the run to the lift

The Illu: you didn't need to face those BA guards on protect
The Illu: with that trick that Bryan had
The Illu: it was just weird
The Illu: just go stand in front of the screen
The Illu: and the BA guards get stuck somewhere
The Illu: it didn't work 100%
The Illu: but often enough
The Illu: then for the ending I just took an alternate path
The Illu: took care of everything I could before the protect
The Illu: so I just needed to get to the exit at the end
The Illu: I got the BA
The Illu: and ran like crazy
The Illu: I knew I could take one hit
The Illu: I think I even got boosted into the elevator on that run

Amazingly the run to the elevator worked the first time he attempted it. On 12th July 2005 Control was beaten in a time of 16:33. Ilari is still the only player who has completed the level.

Depot

Next came Depot, a level that Ilari had really believed could not be beaten. However many others felt that it should be possible with the right combination of luck with the random guards outside the warehouses.

Opening and closing the rollerdoor whilst shooting the guards is harder than it looks!

The Illu: I decided to really try it
The Illu: just it was again those guards that keep appearing
The Illu: I just needed to find some new way again
The Illu: so I hid myself in one of the many depots
The Illu: I kinda thought I'll just wait out all the guards
The Illu: then I tried to lure them to a spot so I could run away to the next spot and leave them behind
The Illu: so I'd have them all in a nice pack
The Illu: then I just used the openclose technique again
The Illu: like on caverns
The Illu: sometimes there were lots guards gathered outside
The Illu: sometimes not
The Illu: so some stuff like that was never possible to be 100% on
The Illu: you just had to take it as it went on the run
The Illu: it wasn't that bad
The Illu: depot is short
The Illu: not that many guards to kill

In the end, what had seemed totally impossible to begin with actually turned out to be relatively easy for Ilari. On 16th July 2005 he completed the level in a time of 8:45. It’s still the only completion by any player.

Train

Depot is the last level Ilari has successfully beaten on Dark License to Kill difficulty. However he did make some serious attempts at Train shortly after completing it.

The Illu: I tried train right away
The Illu: thought I had it going well
The Illu: I got to the middle of the 2nd van
The Illu: but getting to the ending is hard
The Illu: very limited ammo
The Illu: BA guards
The Illu: not enough room to hide and all that
The Illu: there's really no way to have a really good strat
The Illu: you just have to try and shoot and hide in the limited spots that you have
The Illu: I think it's doable
The Illu: the ending will just be a bit hard with the pressure

Using the watch laser in Train attempts


It seemed strange to many that a level Ilari thought was doable would not produce a completion.

The Illu: I just found that it's really really hard
The Illu: in a way that I don't like
The Illu: it's like... I need to use lots of really precise peeking around corners
The Illu: or take chances
The Illu: it also needs lots of 1.1 control style I think in the beginning
The Illu: I guess I don't like switching much anymore
The Illu: so just didn't have the motivation to keep trying
The Illu: normal was going well
The Illu: and I kept becoming more and more successful there
The Illu: but I guess I still have some feeling in me that tells me that I should give it some more tries :p

On 23rd January 2006 Rayan Isran posted that he had beaten the level in 58:49. Unlike every single other time that Rayan has achieved, he failed to provide video proof. He also failed to explain his strategy, giving different excuses each time it was requested.

The Illu: maybe Rayan did it
The Illu: just no vid
The Illu: but he even said he shot Xenia
The Illu: and that's super unlikely
The Illu: I have done it with double zmg
The Illu: it's just super rare to happen
The Illu: but still I trust ace and so

The time was never accepted by the Elite and is not on the rankings.

Remaining Levels

Other than Train, the only levels that have still never been beaten are Cradle, Silo and Streets.

The Illu: yea well I still wouldn't be surprised if those got beaten some day
The Illu: considering what I've seen before
The Illu: impossible becoming possible
The Illu: I dunno I guess I just kinda have much else to do with my time also
The Illu: nowadays

Cradle death past the bridge


That being said Ilari did make a small attempt at each of the three levels.

The Illu: on silo I think I got past 2nd room where you place the plastique
The Illu: I died
The Illu: maybe had 2min left
The Illu: wouldn't have been enough

The Illu: I got past the bridge on cradle
The Illu: made two vids of me doing that
The Illu: just never got farther
The Illu: well Trev is super hard
The Illu: he takes more than one grenade
The Illu: and his BA needs to be taken off first

The Illu: streets I tried
The Illu: just barely
The Illu: I don't think I'm even the one to get furthest on that
The Illu: I think someone got to the tank
The Illu: heheh

He also had a brief play with DLTK settings on Perfect Dark.

The Illu: I did defection heh
The Illu: 1:40 or so
The Illu: but it was pretty much like PA
The Illu: just a couple of harder guard kills
The Illu: but yea another guy was doing such a great job with that already
The Illu: Mahrla

Reflections

Having made so many epic completions, all of which displaying amazing creativity and calmness under pressure, it’s interesting to know which of the records Ilari values the most.

The Illu: I guess it used to be Caverns
The Illu: it took so long and all
The Illu: now it being tied however
The Illu: I guess it's jungle
The Illu: with all the mess there
The Illu: funny xenia kill
The Illu: and the unsure ending

Indeed Jungle is one of the three levels that Ilari is still the only player to have beaten, almost four years now since his first completion.

The Illu: jungle and control has their reasons I guess
The Illu: they take lots of investigation
The Illu: it's really hard to explain the strats
The Illu: you need to explain lots of things that can happen
The Illu: and you probably need to experience those happening
The Illu: to understand what you have in front of you

Ilari has since continued to lower his times on some of the easier levels every so often, offers advice to others and participates in ongoing strategy discussions on the boards.

Train, Silo, Cradle and Streets have still never been beaten.


Goldeneye

Intro

During Ilari’s first break from playing DLTK in March 2004 he began to experiment a little with GoldenEye normal difficulty to see where he stood relative to others. Initially though he was very reluctant.

The Illu: I pretty much just didn't want to join if I didn't have anything cool to contribute
The Illu: like with DLTK I think I had something
The Illu: normal would just pale in comparison if I wasn't even in the top 100
The Illu: but it was interesting to try out
The Illu: and I guess some said I'd be good if I practised more
The Illu: people convinced me kinda
The Illu: Brandon, Shep, Wouter
The Illu: I spoke to Brandon much I guess
The Illu: he saw my Dam times and my 1:40 something total time and said like
The Illu: dude
The Illu: that's good

Ilari had not made it public that he was playing much on normal difficulty, only speaking to a few individuals about the times he had. He began to put together a page to see where he’d be on the ranks and continued to play around with various levels, getting multiple Dam 54s in particular. Furthermore to satisfy his goal of joining the ranks with a World Record, he had already prepared himself in every way possible by purchasing NTSC capability.

NTSC or PAL? Not always a straightforward choice

The Illu: I really wanted to make sure I had the best stuff and know everything since I really wanted to get WRs
The Illu: I guess WRs was on the back of my mind all the way
The Illu: I didn't just tell people how high I was aiming that much
The Illu: and I couldn't know for sure I'd ever get any WRs anyway
The Illu: but sure I wanted to try my best

However in the end it was not a World Record that started it all off.

The Illu: first normal PR that I posted and joined ranks with was Control A 4:09
The Illu: 2004-11-04
The Illu: I guess wr was 4:02
The Illu: I was myself not very happy with it
The Illu: but I just posted it and said that I'm joining the ranks with that
The Illu: and whatever times I had already
The Illu: I was maybe top 50

Nevertheless Ilari’s first World Record followed swiftly.

Dam 53

Many new players had joined the ranks recently and picked up a World Record quickly, so an early WR was nothing particularly shocking. What did surprise people was the level on which Ilari’s came. Dam Agent 0:53 was one of the most controversial World Records at the time. Only two players, Boss and Dan Berube had claimed the time, but whilst Boss had provided video proof, Berube had not. As an otherwise very low ranked player with a notoriously inflammatory attitude, Dan was scrutinised heavily and his failure to provide evidence left many, especially Wouter Jansen, infuriated.

The Illu: oh I thought the story around the 53 was interesting
The Illu: I guess my interest in it
The Illu: new dude new motivation
The Illu: new way to do the end
The Illu: kinda hehe

Indeed this wasn’t just an exact replication of the strategy Boss had used on his video. Ilari had invented a new technique that produced a more consistent result for him.

Dam 0:53 Lookup

The Illu: look up
The Illu: yea I guess that was particularly what caught everyones eye when they saw the vid
The Illu: I guess I thought it seemed to reduce lag more
The Illu: it felt more natural for that part

On the 8th of November 2004 Dam 0:53 was finally secured, on NTSC. Achieving his first World Record with such an infamous time was clearly a defining moment.

The Illu: it felt like getting a WR for real
The Illu: it really felt special actually
The Illu: I dunno how it sounds but I really just had some feeling go through my body when I fell off the Dam on that run
The Illu: some fresh feeling or something
The Illu: like if something really cool had happened
The Illu: I was just in the moment
The Illu: I pressed A
The Illu: and saw 53 coming up and like YESSSSS!!!!!
The Illu: well I didn't scream but

1.1/1.2

Safe Lockshot on Dam Secret Agent 1:20

Ilari had begun his playing career using the 1.1 control style. Although several players had done exceptionally well using this method, it was by now widely considered to be the harder of the styles to use to get top times with, and had been proven to be slower at the very very top level.

The Illu: I didn't get that much really before I changed to 1.2
The Illu: maybe partly reason for my slow start
The Illu: except 53
The Illu: and those cake wrs
The Illu: runway SA 23 and depot 26
The Illu: well I PRd a lot
The Illu: but I didn't feel I was getting the times I wanted still
The Illu: and I believed that if 1.2 is faster then if I should use it
The Illu: it just seemed impossible at times to switch
The Illu: but I thought I should be good enough to be able to use it if others can too

Eventually he got the hang of it and struggled to his first 1.2 PR, Dam SA 1:20 on 19th February 2005. He never returned to 1.1

The Illu: it changed things so much
The Illu: it's lot also about the confidence
The Illu: that I knew that I was getting used to the best control style now
The Illu: I just got better and better with it
The Illu: I caked stuff like Dam 2:04
The Illu: facility 48
The Illu: that seemed impossible before

Surface 1 Agent 1:03


The PRs continued to flow, as did the World Records. Soon Ilari was ranked in the Top 10.

The Illu: I guess first 1.2 pr that was a bit better than the average stuff was S1 A 1:03
The Illu: since only Wouter and Bryan had it at the time
The Illu: well it was the WR then
The Illu: I tied runway 38
The Illu: september 2005
The Illu: the first time I tied a wr that was untied before
The Illu: and I tied Dam SA 1:19
The Illu: Dan (Cervone) untied it soon after though lol
The Illu: I was kinda one step behind Dan there many times

Aztec

As the end of 2005 approached, Ilari had tied many World Records but as yet had not got an untied time himself. Then he started playing Aztec.

The Illu: first untied was next
The Illu: in october
The Illu: Aztec 00A 1:54
The Illu: and second untied the day after
The Illu: Aztec SA 1:44

The Illu: I think I was mostly though wanting to do some really special wr though
The Illu: I had these two untieds
The Illu: but didn't feel those were that amazing
The Illu: I just wanted to find my level
The Illu: go for insane times somewhere
The Illu: I didn't think about my rank that much

Aztec Secret Agent 1:42


He continued battling with Cervone for space in the WR topic, pulling out times such as Dam SA 1:18 and Bunker 2 00 1:15 amongst other PRs. But in an attempt to find his level, Ilari went back to Aztec.

The Illu: Well I ended up playing more Aztec
The Illu: I guess those are some of my most memorable moments from normal mode
The Illu: march 2006
The Illu: Aztec 00A 1:52
The Illu: next day 1:50
The Illu: then next day 1:49
The Illu: I untied Aztec completely
The Illu: sweeped it
The Illu: cut a second on SA and Agent to 1:42/1:34
The Illu: SA was no BA strat
The Illu: only Bryan had used it before for his 1:43

Dam SA 117

Having swept Aztec, in the process untying the Agent World Record that itself had been untied for years, many would have assumed Ilari had found his level. Yet there was still one special time that had always been in the back of his mind, something that would be truly incredible could he pull it off.

The Illu: I had tied some cool wrs
The Illu: had got my first untieds
The Illu: had improved those
The Illu: I guess I wanted to try go even further
The Illu: not by a higher rank and more wrs
The Illu: I just wanted to go for Dam SA 1:17

In May 2006 he began attempting the time and right away was given hope that his target could be achieved.

The Illu: actually I felt that 1:17 I don't know if I can get
The Illu: but then tied 1:18 soon with big stuck
The Illu: I was surprised
The Illu: thought that 1:17 is probably really doable
The Illu: but damn

Taking out the alarms

Weeks passed by without improvement as he continued to play around the clock.

The Illu: I guess that was the price I had to pay for some reason
The Illu: I don't know if many thought I would really get it
The Illu: I was posting 1:18s but people didn't say much
The Illu: got around 35 1:18s
The Illu: also I had 1:17 fails that to me seemed like legit
The Illu: but I didn't tell about those
The Illu: 3 very good fails
The Illu: where I just missed one alarm
The Illu: or one shot
The Illu: I guess the last alarm makes it hard
The Illu: it's not very easy to get all the alarms down in 1:17 speed
The Illu: and then you approach the last alarm
The Illu: which is the hardest already
The Illu: so then you have to nail it

However his perseverance would ultimately pay off. 110 hours and a month of elapsed time later, on the 8th of June 2006, Ilari finally completed a 1:17 run.

Snowdome Productions presents Illu as Bond

The Illu: many said 1:17 was the best wr for sure at the time
The Illu: I guess that was what I was aiming for pretty much
The Illu: but I didn't think that much about it
The Illu: I just knew that was the best I've done
The Illu: so I was super happy with it

Not only was the time considered by many to be the best World Record, but the video of the run was at that time without question the best produced.

The Illu: hehe well yea I actually had planned the vid before hand
The Illu: I was so determined to get 1:17
The Illu: so that I had it all planned out made it possible for me to stay motivated for all the hours
The Illu: I had that music in mind
The Illu: but decided on that just when I made the vid
The Illu: rex's lair from MGS
The Illu: the first vid by Snowdome Productions ;-)

Aftermath

Banjo speaking in the Dam 1:59 video

The Illu: after 1:17 I never really felt pressure with GE anymore though
The Illu: at least not that much
The Illu: but I felt more laid back after it
The Illu: but it didn't exactly make me pr/wr less

Indeed only two days later Ilari broke the 2:00 barrier on Dam 00 for the first time, untying the stage with 1:59. More WRs followed, Bunker 1 0:17/0:23, Statues, Archives, Caverns 00 1:42, untieds on Jungle

The Illu: I dunno if it was that thing on Jungle DLTK that got me thinking
The Illu: that many guards on jungle are weak for the slap
The Illu: so you slap the first guard instead of shooting him
The Illu: so yea everyone slaps that guard now hehe
The Illu: and made it more possible to untie those
The Illu: which I did
The Illu: SA and Agent at least at the time

The Illu: I think 2006 was when I got player of the year award finally

Proven Champ

Despite the frantic pace of World Records, Ilari was still only ranked in second place overall, behind Bryan Bosshardt. However unlike Ilari, Bryan had always been incredibly slow with proof. Although no one had ever questioned whether he had in fact got the times he was claiming, the speed at which Boss released vids frustrated many of the top players.

The Illu: it made it hard to see what the score really was
The Illu: so as it became unclear I just decided that I know what my score is at least
The Illu: I have vids for everything
The Illu: and we didn't know how long Bryan was gonna wait with his proof

At the beginning of 2007 the Elite administration had had enough. Bryan was rolled back to his proven times until he released new videos, thus in January 2007 Ilari became the number one ranked player in the world.

Ilari posing beside Facility 00 Agent 0:55 screen

The Illu: well it was pretty controversial that
The Illu: though Bryan was slow with proof and I just decided to go for it and say that I'm the champ
The Illu: I guess it made him hurry more to prove himself
The Illu: actually in beginning of 2007 on the end of a facility 46 vid I already wrote that I was the champ
The Illu: but I only wrote proven champ 2007
The Illu: which I was for sure
The Illu: I was always fast and good with proof
The Illu: I just decided to push it some more on the facility 55 vid :-P

Ilari had untied Facility 00 Agent in a time of 0:55. The 8 minute long video titled ‘Illu in Real Life’, released on 10th January 2007, included messages referring to his new status as the Goldeneye Champ, pending Bryan sending proof. The former No.1 didn't seem impressed.

The Illu: congrats for bragging about being first
The Illu: he said
The Illu: lol
The Illu: well he thought my vid was like just all bragging
The Illu: I guess it was too
The Illu: I just thought it was fun
The Illu: but yea I think that did get him to prove his stuff faster

Bryan did indeed get himself proven again quickly and reclaimed the top position in April. Around this time Ilari’s activity had begun to decline.

An AWESOME April Fool. Or was it?

The Illu: I guess some time went by when I didn't do much
The Illu: I was just happy with what I've done
The Illu: well I had a job actually
The Illu: not as much time to play either with that
The Illu: and I didn't care much to play either
The Illu: I mean I had been playing lots since 2004
The Illu: 3 years
The Illu: like lots of periods with up to 8h a day sometimes
The Illu: barely a week break ever
The Illu: either it was GE normal
The Illu: DLTK
The Illu: or PD

It wasn’t long however before Ilari did make his return, on April 1st 2007, claiming he’d tied Runway A 0:22.

The Illu: but it was a double fool
The Illu: I actually did get Runway 22

Nevertheless he remained somewhat inactive.

The Illu: I thought I needed to focus on other things in my life
The Illu: just GE playing still happened
The Illu: it was still fun at times
The Illu: I think that I had a few moments when I got really serious again
The Illu: just not for any longer periods
The Illu: just I kinda saw me having the ability
The Illu: I played... had fun with it
The Illu: I was spending more and more time enjoying others things
The Illu: chatting
The Illu: etc

More Aztec

Then he returned.

Jaws drops in at the end of Agent 1:32 run

The Illu: I got bored of my job lol

Ilari resumed his career on Aztec, initially untying Secret Agent with 1:40 and 00 Agent with 1:45 with some minor alterations in the strats.

The Illu: well a small change on 00A
The Illu: I didn't stop and shoot the 4th guard
The Illu: when you open the door
The Illu: I shot him on the run
The Illu: hadn't been done on 00A before really

He also lowered his own Aztec Agent record to 1:32 on 6th June 2007.

The Illu: Bryan congratulated me for the best GE wr
The Illu: pretty much
The Illu: I used the pause in front of the drones first time
The Illu: I had thought about it back when I got 1:33 I think
The Illu: but now I used it first time successfully

Aztec 00 Agent 1:44


Despite the critical praise for his existing Aztec times, Ilari continued to play Aztec 00 occasionally.

The Illu: I was just playing 00A from time to time
The Illu: just randomly really
The Illu: but I got a good run and 1:44 popped up
The Illu: so I saw it as possible to still cut one sec on the others
The Illu: and since I had a tradition to improve all those 3 whenever I improved any
The Illu: I got 1:39 SA
The Illu: which was just a matter of motivation really
The Illu: and then I moved onto agent
The Illu: even though it seemed really hard at the time

Aztec Agent 1:31

1:32 Agent was still considered by Boss to be the best record but there was the tradition to be upheld. Furthermore there was still something magical about the 1:31 time claimed by Steven Zwartjes many years ago. Although the Aztec times had slowly been lowered to almost reach that mark, Steven's time saving strat itself wasn’t made use of at all

The Illu: I still don't really get it
The Illu: he'd still had to have an insane run
The Illu: people haven't got the glass open with one guard even with TAS

Nevertheless, using the existing strat, on 15th November 2007 Ilari recorded the first ever proven 1:31. It took almost 70 hours.

The Illu: I wrote the end on the post with 1:31
The Illu: THE END
The Illu: and I haven't tried to improve Aztec since then

Jungle SA 0:54

Although it was starting to appear that many levels were reaching their max for Ilari’s plans, for the time being that was only the end of Aztec.

Illu and Nat in Jungle 00 Agent 0:56

The Illu: I got back to jungle and tied Clemens untied on 00 there
The Illu: I just knew I could push the level more
The Illu: then untied it with 56
The Illu: which is the wr still
The Illu: but the worst of the jungles

Better strafing at the end, boost ratios and the guard slap at the start had all contributed to lowering the Jungle times.

The Illu: there was one more trick too
The Illu: the warp at the end
The Illu: I don't know who came up with that
The Illu: but Ace was using it
The Illu: and I wanted to use it too of course
The Illu: not opening the end doors at all
The Illu: just warp through the right or left side of the wall instantly
The Illu: but not as consistent

Still perfect execution and a little luck would be needed if Ilari was to set a new world record on Secret Agent difficulty.

The Illu: I was going for 55
The Illu: which Clemens and me spoke about just before
The Illu: we went back and forth between if 55 really would happen
The Illu: I didn't have much doubts though
The Illu: but yea it never did

The day after untying Jungle 00 Agent, Ilari sat down to play Secret Agent and soon was on a run where everything did begin perfectly.

The Illu: people speak so much about the play hours you need for a wr
The Illu: but I didn't really think that necessarily makes the best wr
The Illu: I mean if you have the ability you can get the opportunity at any moment
The Illu: important is to take the opportunity when you get it
The Illu: which almost never happens
The Illu: but this time it did
The Illu: like a huge opportunity

Jungle Secret Agent 0:54 Xenia


During his playing sessions Ilari would pause out if at any point the run was not going to be a 5x second time completion. Now he was on a run with a great overall boost ratio, perfect mine throws, no off-course boosts, and the kind of Xenia you don't get on like any attempt...

The Illu: when I approached the warp I felt it was an insane run
The Illu: I just couldn't possibly think it was this good
The Illu: even though I felt it was nuts
The Illu: I actually remember me thinking just for a split second to do a safe exit though
The Illu: but damn happy I didnt and nailed the warp on this run
The Illu: since that boost ratio I'll never see again
The Illu: not on a run as good as that

On 25th November 2007 Ilari completed Jungle Secret Agent in a time of 0:54. It is without question considered to be one of the best Goldeneye World Records ever.

Laercio's reaction to Jungle Secret Agent 0:54

The Illu: I got high or something
The Illu: I felt it was like the result of almost 4 years of playing this game
The Illu: but just not playing
The Illu: discussing, obsessing everything

Although on 27th June 2008, Rayan Isran posted that he had untied Ilari's time with 0:53, it is worth remembering just what an important moment 0:54 was for the community when it was set. It also puts what Ace has subsequently achieved into perspective.

‘Probably his career-defining time’ - Boss
‘I dunno theres a lot of good wrs but i guess 54 could very well be the best’ - Clemens
‘Its better than silo sa for sure’ - Wouter
‘Best WR ever. Better than 110 even.’ - Goose
‘This is why I joined the elite, its times like this that makes you feel privileged to be a part of it.’ - Grags
‘54 is easily the best wr by far.’ - Alex
‘I can't believe what I've just seen...’Silver Angel
‘Probably the smoothest run ever’ - Luke
‘I can't do it any longer. I was going to save my 1000th post to my 16 arch but I can't take it anymore. WTF is going on around here.’ - Patrik
‘It is the best WR right now. End of story.’ - Vitor

Current Activity

On 10th December 2007, Ilari untied Agent in 0:51, holding a sweep of the level. It was to be his last special GoldenEye record.

The Illu: i still play from time to time
The Illu: probably won't take long until I play around a bit with it
The Illu: who knows
The Illu: I don’t have any unfulfilled goals

However competition continues. New players have joined the ranks and had great success. Rayan Isran and David Clemens have now both overtaken Ilari and Boss at the top of the ranks.

The Illu: its fun to watch
The Illu: I mean I can't keep up playing like that anymore
The Illu: the only way I think I could possibly be better is if you look at everything
The Illu: I still have done about as much as them overall I think
The Illu: just I never found that dedication for just normal as they seems to have
The Illu: but overall they're faster everywhere when it comes to doing fast times
The Illu: well.. almost everywhere ;-)


Perfect Dark

Ilari had been playing a lot of multiplayer Perfect Dark with his brother since its European release. Yet it wasn’t until after he started speedrunning Goldeneye that interest in playing PD for times also arose.

The Illu: I saw some people playing villa
The Illu: I thought it looked fun
The Illu: at the end of 2004 I tried and got 1:18 after practising a bit
The Illu: then I really got into defection

Defection

Ilari quickly obtained very good times, initially posting 1:38 PA on 18th December 2004. This was still 15 seconds away from the claimed World Record on that level at the time but was worth a lot of points since many other top players found the level too difficult to play.

The Illu: I saw the strat and I was like.. wow genius
The Illu: I wanna be able to do that
The Illu: it should have been like the hardest level to start playing PD with
The Illu: but I just went for it because I thought it looked so cool
The Illu: though some couldn't understand how I could like that level

Thus in a similar manner to the way his GoldenEye career started, Ilari’s serious playing time began on a level with a history engulfed in controversy. In early 2002, Marcus "Sucram" Dolejsi had claimed times of 0:37 SA and 1:23 PA, far far beyond anything else another player had set. His failure to tape those runs led to the largest controversy in Perfect Dark history over whether to keep the times on the rankings and resulted in the development of the first official Elite Proof Policy. Ilari was one of those who felt the times should be removed.

Defection Perfect Agent 1:26


The Illu: well I didn't care that much before
The Illu: but then I heard the story
The Illu: and it was such a long time ago
The Illu: it seemed weird he would have gotten the time back then
The Illu: but yea we couldn't be sure of course but I thought it was fair since it didn't have any proof
The Illu: many agreed that that kind of a time should need full video proof
The Illu: but sure was an amazing strat he came up with
The Illu: with Paragon

Ryan Dwyer had got 1:27 on 13th December 2004 and claimed it as the real World Record. Sucram’s time was removed from the rankings and, whilst Ilari’s playing time was mostly devoted to GoldenEye, he now had a little more motivation to play Defection.

Defection Special Agent 0:34

The Illu: yeah sucrams 123 wasn't proven
The Illu: but I was actually closing in on that time
The Illu: I started doing a faster ending
The Illu: falling down instantly after the upload all the way down to the place where you throw that ecm mine
The Illu: no one expected it really but I got 1:26
The Illu: so I had the fastest proven time on it then
The Illu: in december 2004

Although continuing with GoldenEye as his primary focus, for a while Ilari branched out to play other levels, setting himself small goals initially.

The Illu: eventually I did set one bigger goal
The Illu: it was just to have something to aim for on every level
The Illu: which wasn't that hard
The Illu: I went for like 70-80 pts I think for each level
The Illu: just it was so relaxing when it got harder and harder to PR on GE
The Illu: at the end of 2005 I had some decent points on each level I guess

However defection was still the only level that he continued to attempt serious times on, getting 0:06 on Agent in February 2005 and later improving Special Agent to 0:39 on 19th February 2005.

Overall Improvements

Investigation Agent 1:28

Then in 2006 Ilari started to play other levels more seriously, although he continued to play Defection as well. He cut his Villa Agent time down to 1:10, tied the Chicago Agent World Record and on 23rd September 2006 with his 1,000th post on The Elite Boards(by accident – he had planned something special but forgot) announced he had untied Defection SA with 0:34, a time now faster than the one Sucram had claimed many years previously. He also lowered the PA World Record again to 1:24 on 26th September 2006.

The Illu: and actually that was the start of some weird thing I tried
The Illu: I just started to go for the wr on each level
The Illu: level by level... difficulty by difficulty
The Illu: well I made it look like that at least for a little while :-P
The Illu: so after defection comes investigation
The Illu: tied Bryans 1:28
The Illu: so I tied investigation SA too
The Illu: went on with extraction and got leaderboard there
The Illu: villa A 1:09
The Illu: but wr was already 1:08 back then
The Illu: I kinda got leaderboard on most levels
The Illu: and got into top 10 for a brief moment in middle of 2007.

G5 Special Agent 0:45


At the time the most famous sweep in the game existed on G5. Karl Jobst had set what were considered to be some of, if not THE, best World Records in Perfect Dark. No other player had come close at all to tying the SA or PA times.

The Illu: well ya I decided to try and tie one of Karls G5 records
The Illu: SA
The Illu: I liked that level
The Illu: I thought someone needed to challenge Karl more

At a Swedish gamer meeting in late summer 2007 at Patrik Nilsson’s house, Ilari came close.

The Illu: I got 46 twice at the swedish GE meet I think
The Illu: one of those was a really low decimal
The Illu: Patrik and Henning saw me do that one
The Illu: but I had to wait until I got back home before I nailed it

Ilari tied Karl’s SA time of 0:45 on 23rd July 2007, sharing a record a full 2 seconds ahead of the competition. He also set very good PRs of 40 and 58 on Agent and PA respectively. Then Rayan Isran started to play the level and at the start of 2008 untied Ilari/Karl’s time. By 4 seconds.

The Illu: its 4 sec untied now
The Illu: I could see me getting 44
The Illu: but Ace took it to a whole new level
The Illu: so not much for me to do there anymore

Current Activity

It wasn’t just Ilari who felt the wrath of Rayan and his new NTSC console. As records were shattered everywhere, very few of the World Records Ilari had tied or untied remained.

The Illu: well I think defection is still my best
The Illu: I'm still tied first there
The Illu: with Ace of course
The Illu: that hasn't been completely taken beyond belief
The Illu: but many levels got really wiped out
The Illu: there's not that much you can do about some levels
The Illu: Ace just owns many of them

Air Base Agent 1:15


Since setting his G5 times, Ilari has rarely played Perfect Dark. He PRd on Maian SOS Agent with 1:38 on 29th December 2007, but his first WR in almost 12 months came on 7th June 2008 on Air Base Agent where he tied several others with 1:15.

The Illu: just fun to get A pd wr again
The Illu: dunno if I'll get untieds ever again though
The Illu: and ties for that matter even
The Illu: probably won't get lot of prs anymore even in PD
The Illu: just I never felt that I could do as well on PD as GE
The Illu: so I guess when I played it was more GE
The Illu: and especially with Ace now
The Illu: I guess that would make me even more motivated to try but sometimes you just have to say that I've done what I could
The Illu: like that was enough for me


Further Gaming

Ilari’s world class talent at video games extended outside of GoldenEye/Perfect Dark and there were other games in which he obtained some spectacular World Records after joining The Elite.


The Illu: Turok I had the training world record
The Illu: it was something fun I was doing for awhile
The Illu: it was a pretty cool run
The Illu: in may 2004
The Illu: I found the controls in turok to be better than GE and PD even at times
The Illu: felt really fluid
The Illu: it was faster than I found anywhere at the time

However Ilari is arguably most famous in the gaming community as a whole for his work on Super Mario 64.

Super Mario 64

Still from the PAL World Record

In June 2004 a guy called Dom Dunk had just come up with a basic strategy on how to beat Mario 64 with only 16 stars. Someone posted a link to it on The Elite Boards and Ilari took up the challenge of setting the early World Records.

The Illu: I found a really quick star route and quickly learned how to go fast
The Illu: it was pretty easy since the way to beat that game with only 16 stars had just come out
The Illu: and I found the controls in mario 64 to be awesome
The Illu: had a better feel for that game when I control than even for GE or PD I felt many times

Ilari quickly became the fastest player on both NTSC and PAL, his first World Record coming at the end of 2004.

The Illu: I actually held the ntsc wr with 5 full minutes pretty much at first
The Illu: then got PAL
The Illu: some people found my runs impressive and they wanted to be able to do that too
The Illu: so I lost the record
The Illu: but I got my PAL record back after it was beaten
The Illu: and improved the ntsc record
The Illu: for a while I held both

This former NTSC World Record run has over 1,000,000 views on YouTube


Despite the fact Ilari’s fastest PAL time was set on 13th June 2005, it is still the World Record today. His first NTSC run is hosted on YouTube and with over 1,000,000 views is Ilari’s most watched gaming video. His best NTSC time however has since been beaten.

The Illu: that ntsc one has been smashed beyond belief now
The Illu: with 17:31 I think it was now
The Illu: I remember hearing about new strats from time to time
The Illu: eventually they had enough to improve my run
The Illu: I had kinda played it enough though
The Illu: so didnt try and beat it again

Banjo

Perhaps one game that has had a profound influence on Ilari’s contributions to speed running, video making, and life in general, is Banjo-Kazooie.


The Illu: I remember playing the first Banjo game for the 64 at my friends house
The Illu: also Banjo-Tooie too
The Illu: wow what graphics with a ridiculous story about a bird and a bear
The Illu: haha dead fun
The Illu: it's just fun to get obsessed with such a ridiculous funny Bear
The Illu: I was thinking of doing some kind of a Banjo speedrun for awhile
The Illu: but actually maybe I just haven't found that to be the kind of game I want to be competitive on really

Instead over the years Banjo has become someone very close to Ilari.

The Illu: yea I had some good times with Banjo
The Illu: made me take a break from GE and have a good time with him
The Illu: he liked me too and didn't want me to leave and kept showing up in some of my GE vids
The Illu: it was a bit annoying but I really couldn't help to like Banjo
The Illu: so yea he's one of my best friends now
The Illu: I dunno I just have this good personal chemistry with him
The Illu: it's like we have stuff in common
The Illu: life is so much more fun with Banjo with me

Outside Gaming

rshepherd1000 (14:04:02): ok slow down a sec
The Illu (14:04:13): yea lol when I get going with my stories

Shortly before joining The Elite, Ilari had given up running and the intense training programme that went alongside. Now his time was split between active competition on DLTK and employment.

Ilari at home

Between April and November 2004 he worked a tough job delivering newspapers that was physically and mentally draining. He left of his own choice and used the newly created free time to readjust to a normal sleeping pattern and focus on his gaming. During this time Ilari increasingly spent more time conversing with friends in The Elite Chatroom and could always be relied on to spark interesting discussions.

By mid 2005 he decided to take up meditation with holosync and then later in the year a chance meeting with an old friend in town led to his return to active physical exercise.

The Illu: well he kinda broke that pattern of mine
The Illu: that pattern of just GE eat sleep chat
The Illu: he knew a lot more people than me
The Illu: and invited me into... stuff
The Illu: got to meet some people through him
The Illu: we did some stuff together
The Illu: like wrestling or so
The Illu: heh
The Illu: boxing
The Illu: I was just trying stuff out

Clockwise from top left: Ilari, Henning, Patrik and Axel Z

He subsequently took a job working as a cook and janitor at a school, where he excelled. Despite his outstanding performance and the fun working environment, Ilari left the job in late 2007 in preparation for his desire to return to education. Shortly prior to this decision, he had travelled to Patrik Nilsson’s house to meet other Swedish Eliters.

The Illu: ya it was fun meeting them
The Illu: Patriks place
The Illu: Henning was there
The Illu: Axel Z
The Illu: it was us four
The Illu: it was quite new experience
The Illu: fun to meet some of the people you've only spoken to online before
The Illu: kinda taking the whole thing with GE to the real world
The Illu: just when you're alone playing much you kinda go into the virtual reality thing lol I dunno

Jump!


Furthermore, following the success of his wrestling and boxing, Ilari began training athletics again.

The Illu: I've started that the past 6 months
The Illu: well the 6 months was just to activate myself again heh
The Illu: I was in such a bad shape I thought... compared to before
The Illu: now I've kinda started doing more actual exercise
The Illu: weather got warm and I was swimming
The Illu: playing football
The Illu: and got back to running again too
The Illu: it's fun to be able to run long
The Illu: so I might go for doing long races all over the world or something hehe
The Illu: I'm still scared of the marathon though
The Illu: seems too long
The Illu: I could do it if I trained
The Illu: I mean there's idiots that go doing it without training much at all
The Illu: but ya they don't finish that well

Unsurprisingly Ilari is glued to the television whenever there’s a track and field meet being broadcast. He also watches a little football and F1 and has developed new interests, including going karting with friends at the local track. In August of 2008 he returns to high school to finish what he missed out on completing the first time. He has also continued with the meditation he started several years previously.

The Illu: I've become happier and more relaxed overall during the years
The Illu: I try to be open to new possibilities
The Illu: to expand my views or so
The Illu: it's fun from time to time
The Illu: like suddenly going to USA and meeting more eliters
The Illu: now from like all over the world
The Illu: you never know what things will lead to
The Illu: life is an adventure


Creative Videos

As much as he is famous for being an incredibly skilled gamer, Ilari is without a doubt the most creative video maker The Elite, and perhaps the gaming community as a whole, has seen. He had previously made several miscellaneous videos such as Balance on 31st July 2004 and Hot Dog Eating on 17th June 2005, but it was really his imagination and vision in pioneering entertaining videos of GoldenEye speed runs that caught the community’s attention.

The Illu: I guess I more and more enjoyed putting something special in each wr vid
The Illu: especially since I saw people liked that
The Illu: it almost became a priority sometimes
The Illu: there were always those who didn't like it though
The Illu: it's funny
The Illu: that it's like with one special game designer
The Illu: who I admire
The Illu: Hideo Kojima
The Illu: kind divides people
The Illu: into those who think his games are too much story and movie
The Illu: and those who love it
The Illu: I am a bit influenced by his work I guess

Here is a collection of Ilari’s 10 best videos, chosen by himself. These capture a broad range of emotions from the story behind Lost Without You to the truly ridiculous comedy in Dam 1:59. The intensity of DLTK and the genius of Dam 117 and Jungle 54. A magnificently colourful collection that is a must watch for any fan of gaming and creative film making.

Ilari’s 10 Favourite Videos

Lost Without You

'For that girl.'

Depot Dark LTK 8:45

'Had bit of a surprise beginning here with the crap digicam and black and white quality for this one. Then getting thrown into an aim convo with some mysterious dark, crazy (crazy Illu) side of myself. Some different pieces of music thrown into it for even more emotion for the different scenes of the vid.'

Maya?

'Pretty much my most insane moment, reflected in the vid, in my ways. I decided to use the word Maya since it means illusion, like a coverup for what was in the vid'

Dam 1:59 (in the breeze of 1:17)

Three days later.PNGAudience (evening in dam, sky altered).pngAudience say welcome (dam 159 vid).PNGAudience(tonightshow with illu).PNGIllu in dam evening(altered sky)2.PNG

'Only 2 days after I achieved 1:17. I was really in the mood to put in lots of humor into this and surprises after the more serious 1:17 vid. Not as good of a time (1:59) but the most I felt creative with doing a vid this time around - and made 1:59 look kinda easy this time.'

Aiming with controller (from Illu in Real Life)


Illu in Real Life

'Had achieved first in GE (proven champ) and this shows more of me in real life in this vid. Turns into some kind of a music vid after the interview beginning with clips of me and my best GE runs. Surprise untied at the end of vid.'

Dam SA 1:17

'I played more intensively than ever for this wr for the longest time. Not one of the longer vids but gave a pretty powerful impression with the (for the time) insane wr.'

Control Dark LTK 16:33

'Pretty varying run, cool strat, got hit twice but was protected by BA both times. Pretty intense ending (wasn't sure how it was gonna work). Added just music to this, a few pieces that makes it kinda fun to watch with the different challenges this level offers on dark LTK.'

Aztec 450 (147).PNG


Aztec 450

'A bit confusing vid at the time, kinda a teaser trailer for the world record (00 1:47 confirmed in wr topic next day). Just some clips from the actual wr run.'

Aztec SA 1:40 (The Aztec Master)

'Had some weird (real) convo thrown into this vids beginning, me speaking in the vid, a bit bad vid quality, borrowed my friends cam, I had to get a vid out of this.'

Aztec A 1:33

'Because of some controversy in getting illyus masdeterpiecde linked we replaced it with Aztec 1:33, which is a funny vid'

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