After a long flight over the Atlantic I land in the quiet countryside country of Holland. It’s a peaceful little country known for its plants and scenery…ahem…anyways; I’ve tracked down one of the sites more reclusive trophy hunters as he is deep in the Dutch woods stalking the rare treadmillicous runicous. The bane of every gamer alike, this man is on a mission to slay the beast and serve it’s severed mechanical sprigs on your plate for dinner as a good source of iron. This is after he makes you do 50 push-ups, 50 sit-ups, and 10 laps around the block, tonight in Episode 6: Red Light District. Where did all the ambulances come from? Oh right, exercise…
Disclaimer: This interview is reproduced as written by the interviewee with the exception of spelling and some grammar corrections. Picture copyright of its artist/photographer.
Age: 24 Years Old
Occupation: I'm a fitness instructor at the moment and I'm still studying for my Personal Trainer certification. That is my goal I want to achieve; help people with problems and motivate them to change their lifestyle and get healthy.
Country: I'm from Holland.
Lasombra: When did you start gaming?
Bear: I started gaming when I was about 12 years old. First I bought a Playstation, later the Playstation 2 and even later the Playstation 3. I always stick to Sony. I started gaming because my cousin had gotten a Playstation from his birthday. He told me he got one and I didn't know what it was. So he showed me, and I was sold right away. No more foolish installments that you make on a PC. (My mum didn't allow me to install games on our PC; it's too dangerous for any viruses she said) I saved for my Playstation and I got Final Fantasy VIII pretty quickly for it. It made me stick to RPG's too.
Lasombra: How did you choose your PSN name?
Bear: On the day that I got my PS3 I was still playing on my PS2. I didn't unpack it for the whole day. Later I started up my PS3 and I was given the option to go online and make an account. I wanted a name, not a number and nothing with my personal life in it, so I was thinking I wanted something cool. At some point some animals went through my head. Grunting popped up. I thought of Gruntinglion, or tiger, because I like them. But at some point Gruntingbear, and pow, that was it. I had it, nice sound to it, cool and dangerous. And so a legend was born.
Lasombra: What motivated you to become a trophy hunter? What was your initial spark?
Bear: The first games I got were Assassins Creed, Far Cry 2 and GTA IV. GTA IV wasn't trophy supported at the beginning and I played Far Cry 2. But I don't really know what my first trophy was. When I had multiple games I once saw that I had a trophy collection and I saw a few games with percentages. That's me, I want it 100%. The completionist that I am.
Lasombra: Are you a trophy hunter, platinum hunter, or a specific hunter? (Example: All GoW game hunter)
Bear: I don't call myself a trophy hunter or platinum hunter, but a completionist. I want everything I play 100% and platinum, so no PSN games allowed on my account.
Lasombra: How many hours do you dedicate to trophy hunting?
Bear: I call it gaming, it's still for fun. I think I play about a few hours a day. Actually if I'm off, I can spend the whole day.
Lasombra: What motivates you to go for that next trophy? How do you stay motivated after a long gaming session, particularly with grinding trophies?
Bear: I don't really have to motivate myself. But I guess if I see 78% in my trophy list, it motivates me enough to go for it. And if I play for a long time I just keep thinking about my goal, or I put my focus on different trophies in the game. Grinding trophies keeps me going to turn some music on and doing some research about games. I’m not too busy with the game at that point.
Lasombra: Have you ever gone through any burnout from your sessions?
Bear: I haven't gotten any burnout, but I had some rage quit's. I think World at War was the first game that I rage quitted. I always stay pretty calm though, even though I had broken 2 or 3 controllers now. Medal of Honor was kind of bugging on me. Having lag in a sector control is really annoying. You see someone shooting to the left and you think you can take your time killing him, and bam, killed by that fool that shot towards his left side.
Lasombra: What is your proudest platinum and why? Was it your hardest?
Bear: My proudest platinum is Star Ocean the Last Hope. It took me about 600 hours before I got the platinum trophy. It is one that is really rare because people don't have enough patience for it. My second proudest is Far Cry 2, also rare and pretty annoying. This was my first hard platinum that I've got. That's why I'm so proud of it. My third proudest is White Knight Chronicles. This game took me 740 hours for the platinum. Pretty long and for some reason, I still play it. I'm at 904 hours right now. It is a lot, but there is a lot to do before I get what I want. I want the Ultimate armour and a good Georama. These games were not my hardest in skill level. But they were the hardest in a mental level of endurance. That's what I like. I see them as projects, no matter how long it takes; I will get the platinum trophy. If I put a game in my PS3, I know I'll get the platinum.
Lasombra: Do you have a trophy goal for the year? If so, how far are you along in it?
Bear: I don't have goals for the year. I just play and see how it goes. I still have a few games on the waiting list. I have them already but haven't played them yet: Fallout New Vegas, White Knight Chronicles II, Resonance of Fate and Final Fantasy XIII-2.
I also have a wish list that I really want to get in my game collection: Far Cry 3 and Medal of Honor: Warfighter.
Lasombra: Do you believe gamers should be allowed to make trophy hunting teams? Why or why not?
Bear: They should if they want to. I don't see it as a competition. I play for myself and my own honor. I'm proud of my collection so far and I would dislike it if there were people in my team that would get trophies on my account too. It is still a game that you're playing and that you have to like.
Lasombra: Do you think Sony should create a world database with every user’s PSN trophy info for all to see? Why or why not?
Bear: That would be really interesting. I'd be able to see if I was the first Dutch Star Ocean: the Last Hope platinum owner. I always wondered about it. It would be cool.
Lasombra: Regardless of the system, what pre-trophy game would you auto-buy if it was released on the PS3 with trophy support?
Bear: That would be Final Fantasy VIII, my first RPG. I hated it at first, but then I found out how to summon the Guardian Forces; Quezacotl and Shiva. I was like AWESOME!!!! I got the power!!!!!!
Lasombra: What tips do you have for someone trying to reach the next level and going after a difficult platinum?
Bear: I don’t have tips for going for the next level. I don't care about which trophy level you are. If you try to go for a hard platinum I'd say, never give up. If you have a hard time on a game and you needed a break, take it. But never get the thought out of your head that there is a game waiting for you to be finished.
Lasombra: Being from Holland can you tell us what the gaming scene is like? Are there a lot of game stores there?
Bear: There are shops everywhere in holland where you can buy games. But stores that are really specific for games ONLY are to be found in the big cities.
Lasombra: Since Dutch is your mother-tongue, are you able to find a lot of games in Dutch? Or do you prefer them to be in English since your bilingual?
Bear: I hate games in Dutch. I like the English language a lot. In our neighboring country Germany they dub a whole lot of movies. In our country we don't, so I'm born and raised with English in my surroundings. I think English sounds a lot cooler then Dutch.
Lasombra: Looking over your gamer card you have lots of plats for RPGs and shooters. Would you say your more of an RPG gamer or FPS pro?
Bear: I see myself as a RPG gamer. I love them and put a lot of time in them. I like shooters. There is the diffence. Loving and liking. I may have more shooter titles, but I've put more time in RPG's. Starting low leveled and then growing stronger and learning new skills and abilities, that's my joy.
Lasombra: Having rare platinums like White Knight Chronicles, Star Ocean and Far Cry 2, is it something you planned from the start or just a big coincidence those are the games you like?
Bear: It started out as a coincidence. But nowadays I don't get scared of rare trophylists. It's a challenge, the bigger the challenge, the bigger the pride. I play with pride and joy. Lately I've bought Mortal Kombat. Fighting games are totally not like me. But hey, there's the challenge. The pride will come.
Lasombra: Having played White Knight Chronicles with you for over 50 hours, you’ve done almost everything there is to do in the game. What keeps you playing, especially with lower ranked players instead of those of the same ability as yourself?
Bear: To be honest, I'm surprised that I still play WKC, it was a nice game, but it has it's flaws too. But when I play it, it feels good to help people who doesn't ask for help. Those people are mostly thankfull and they chat a bit. The reason I don't really play with high ranked players is that there is enough to get on lower ranks. And besides, higher ranked players are cocky and not very talkative. So I've been helping someone for a few months already, starting as a GR2 and now she's GR11, and I get items I like too!!
Do we have any viewers left? What do you mean we’re on live, there are red lights every...and welcome back viewers. I hope the exercise routine hasn’t forced you to have a heart attack. Come on, do another 20 push-ups, Conan would be proud of you. Don’t you want rippling muscles too? Next week bring a box of tissues because it’s Episode 7: Heartbreak
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