The EDM world just became a whole lot more fun with the release of Skrillex Quest, a freebie browser-based video game that’s loosely modeled on Nintendo’s classic Legend of Zelda. The task at hand? Overcoming the dreaded “dust on the cartridge” syndrome that plagued so many ’80s kids, usually when you were just about to beat that really hard level boss. The game follows “P1” as he tries to destroy a bunch of glitches and pairs Skrillex’s music as the soundtrack. We spoke to the game’s creator Jason Oda about the origin of Skrillex Quest, the game’s easter eggs, and what a Kanye West throwback would entail.
How did the idea for the Skrillex game come about?
Skrillex’s people approached me to do something and were pretty open to any ideas. We went through a few rounds of brainstorming and in the end went with the glitch idea. The glitch idea came from just an initial mock up I put together of the golden cartridge.
Why did you decide to base it around the Zelda series of video-games?
Things falling under the “Zelda” categorization happens pretty easily when you’re working with swords and magic and keys and such. I thought a playable 3D version of the original Zelda dungeons would be really cool and many other Zelda things got sucked into the game as a result.
How much input did Skrillex have into the game?
I had a lot of freedom, but we went back and forth a bit about lyrical interpretations and the general idea of a collapsing world and dead or distant lovers. The “Summit” lyrics really ended up being able to paint a great sort of abstract plot along the way.
Does the game have much in the way of hidden secrets or musical references?
There are lots of easter eggs in the game … All seven treasures you can find are based on things that Skrillex likes, from books to CDs to equipment to clothing. One of the treasures is a Bangarang.
Which other artists would you most like to design a game for?
I’ve done a lot of games for musicians along the way; what I liked about working with Skrillex’s music is that it almost has an old-school video-game sensibility to the sounds and tones. But if I had a dream client it would definitely be M83, because I think you could do a lot sophisticated artsy stuff with a pretty beloved musician.
Let’s say you had to make a game for Kanye West. What would it be like?
A Kanye game would have to be some kind of a more humbling type of a game, like instead of Mario eating a mushroom and getting bigger he eats a mushroom and gets smaller and then people don’t think he’s such an egomaniac or something.
Finally, is there really any truth in the idea that blowing on a Nintendo cartridge would get rid of dust and make it work?
Supposedly it is bad for the games because it makes them gather moisture which in the long term causes them to glitch more … but I totally remember it working when I was kid!