|“||What up, gamers!! T.U.G. here.||”|
T.U.G., also known as The Ultimate Gamer, is an American video gamer from Arizona. He joined YouTube on January 9, 2007 and is known primarily for his series "The Ultimate Let's Play" and "The Ultimate Gamer's Guide," a collection of video walkthroughs and strategy guides on many older-generation video games.
T.U.G. refers to himself as a retro-gaming enthusiast, but does try to keep up with the times. He creates videos about classic and current video games dating from the 8-bit era to today. His persona is that of an elder statesman of the video game community. Unlike other narrators who show a lot of emotion, he is mostly deadpan, though recently has become more animated and uses a lot of wordplay, puns, sound effects, and self-deprecating humor in his commentary, as well as incorporating voice-acting in some of his later projects. His style of playing emphasizes strategy over skill, often relying on his knowledge and memorization of enemy sequences and patterns as well as locations of items in the games he plays.
The Ultimate Gamer's Guide (2007-2012)
His most prominent work is The Ultimate Gamer's Guide, which ran from February 25, 2007, to March 20, 2012. There are thirty editions of the series.
1. Mega Man 3 (NES, 19 episodes, 2/25/2007)
2. Captain Skyhawk (NES, 1 episode, 3/11/2007)
3. StarTropics 2: Zoda's Revenge (NES, 10 episodes, 4/9/2007)
4. Kirby's Adventure (NES, 8 episodes, 4/30/2007)
5. Earthbound (Super NES, 40 episodes, 6/9/2007)
6. StarTropics (NES, 10 episodes, 6/23/2007)
7. Advance Wars (Game Boy Advance, 32 episodes, 7/21/2007)
8. Earthbound Zero (NES, 18 episodes, 8/15/2007)
9. Mega Man Battle Network (Game Boy Advance, 13 episodes, 9/2/2007)
10. Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers/Darkwing Duck/DuckTales/TaleSpin (NES, 4 episodes, 9/10/2007)
11. Super Dodge Ball (NES, 1 episode, 10/3/2007)
12. Mega Man V (Super Game Boy, 14 episodes, 10/27/2007)
13. Skate Or Die 2: The Search For Double Trouble (NES, 5 episodes, 11/18/2007)
14. Bucky O'Hare (NES, 8 episodes, 12/14/2007)
15. Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES, 8 episodes, 1/9/2008)
16. Crystalis (NES, 24 episodes, 3/14/2008)
17. Goonies II (NES, 1 episode, 4/21/2008)
18. Metal Gear (NES, 9 episodes, 5/15/2008)
19. Super Mario RPG: The Legend Of The Seven Stars (Super NES, 33 episodes, 8/1/2008)
20. Golden Sun/Golden Sun: The Lost Age (Game Boy Advance, 75 episodes, 1/16/2009)
21. Punch-Out! (NES, 4 episodes, 8/25/2009)
22. River City Ransom (NES, 3 episodes, 12/30/2009)
23. Mega Man X (Super NES, 14 episodes, 6/1/2010)
24. Adventures In The Magic Kingdom (NES, 1 episode, 7/6/2010)
25. Chrono Trigger (Super NES, 33 episodes, 12/31/2010)
26. Zelda DX: Link's Awakening (Game Boy Color, 20 episodes, 6/21/2011)
27. Mega Man Battle Network 2 (Game Boy Advance, 18 episodes, 9/2/2011)
28. Mother 3 (Game Boy Advance, 36 episodes, 11/11/2011)
29. M.C. Kids (NES, 8 episodes, 12/17/2011)
30. Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga (Game Boy Advance, 24 episodes, 2/25/2012)
Secrets Exposed (2007-2008)
On July 5, 2007, he debuted Secrets Exposed. In this series, a single secret of an NES game is demonstrated within a one to two minute video.
This monthly series concluded on January 20, 2008 after eight episodes.
1. StarTropics 2: Zoda's Revenge - getting the dagger early
2. Snake Rattle N' Roll - all the hidden warps
3. Track And Field II - hammer throw trick
4. Rad Racer II - time saver, stage select, night track
5. Tecmo Bowl - invisible team glitch
6. Super Mario Bros. 3 - the treasure ship
7. Nintendo World Cup - easy goals
8. Mega Man 5 - turning Mega Tank into extra lives
The Diary of a Pokemon Trainer (2009-2010)
This series was a 96-episode fan-fiction playthrough of the GBA video game Pokémon Emerald, with narration in the form of first-person storytelling. It debuted on June 6, 2009 with its first season ending on July 23, 2009 after 23 episodes.
The second season lasted 21 episodes and ran from September 10, 2009 to November 20, 2009.
The third season started on January 9, 2010, the three-year anniversary of The Ultimate Gamer's debut on YouTube, and ran 26 episodes, ending on April 19, 2010.
The fourth and final season started on August 6, 2010 and ended on October 21, 2010, running 26 episodes. It was the only season under YouTube's new fifteen-minute rule. It was scheduled to run an additional four episodes, but due to technical difficulties, the remaining four episodes were scrapped.
The UItimate Let's Play (2012-present)
On March 20, 2012, he announced the beginning of a new project entitled The Ultimate Let's Play, to take the place of the now-retired Ultimate Gamer's Guide. The first season consisted of four Nintendo DS games: Pokémon HeartGold, Dragon Quest IX, MySims and Mario Party DS. The project officially debuted on June 4, 2012 and its first season ended on March 29, 2013.
Unlike the Ultimate Gamer's Guide, audio commentary is not pre-written beforehand and is instead recorded on the fly, and no visual edits of any kind are made during the gameplay (unless noted), though some language is bleeped out for younger audiences. He does try to retain some aspect of his original project by talking about facts and strategies for different parts of games as he comes to them.
Season two debuted July 8, 2013, and the games covered during this season were Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People for the Wii and Mega Man X: Command Mission for the GameCube, and a series of NES games under the collective name "Ultimate Let's Play Quickies." They include 720 Degrees, The Three Stooges, Duck Tales 2, Tecmo Super Bowl, Rad Racer II, Blades Of Steel, and California Games.
Season three debuted on June 30, 2014 and concluded July 24, 2015. Games featured this season included Pikmin, Kirby's Return To Dream Land, Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, and Final Fantasy VI.
Season four debuted on April 18, 2016, and ended June 16, 2017. The games included Breath of Fire, Robotrek, and Dragon Warrior III. Pokémon Black was planned but was cancelled due to technical issues.
Season five debuted on January 29, 2018 and ended May 30, 2018. This season had a sports theme and the games covered were Bass Masters Classic, Kirby's Dream Course, Super Baseball 2020, and Rock n' Roll Racing; all games for the SNES. The season also returned to the format of all games running at once as opposed to one at a time.
Live action videos (2012-present)
Beginning in 2012, he started attending video game conventions in his home state of Arizona, starting with Phoenix Comicon, and eventually expanding to Zapcon in 2014 and the Game On Expo in 2017. Some videos include cameos from well-known entertainers such as voice actress Tara Strong, the cast of the original Power Rangers, and multi-time Donkey Kong champion Robbie Lakeman.
One of his most popular works was the Ultimate Mega Man Gauntlet Challenge, where he defeated all the robot masters of Mega Man 1-6 without taking damage. It also gained some infamy when he used the Select Button glitch to defeat Fire Man. He would follow that up with The Ultimate X-Buster Challenge shortly afterwards.
He has also posted several gameplay videos, which either simply demo some aspects of a game or show off an amazing feat. Despite being a mere gameplay video with no special gimmicks, on June 28, 2012, The Ultimate Gamer Plays Pac-Man became his first, and so far, only video to eclipse the 100,000-view mark.
He also created a project called Pokemon EV Training 101, a 12-minute instructional video on the EV training concept of the Pokémon series.
He directed one music video in 2008. It was a tribute to 20 years of Mega Man and uses footage from Mega Man 1 through 6.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Mega Man, he uploaded The Ultimate Mega Man Marathon, a complete gameplay of the original six Mega Man games, on December 17, 2012, the exact date of Mega Man's 25th anniversary. It was, at over five hours and forty-five minutes, his longest video, up until December 17, 2017, when it was surpassed by the second part of The Ultimate Mega Man X Marathon, which clocked in at nearly eight and a half hours.
The Ultimate Mega Man X Marathon was uploaded on December 17, 2017, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Mega Man. It was posted in two parts because the running length of both videos was over thirteen hours and YouTube's limit is twelve hours.
The Earthbound Crew and appearances with other YouTubers
In 2014, he along with gamers Hunter P Brown, Alota115, and DKS3A, formed a team called the Earthbound Crew, named after their first project together (found on Hunter P Brown's channel). The team reunited for Hunter P Brown's LP of Final Fantasy VI in 2016 along with other gamers and teamed up a third time in T.U.G.'s Dragon Warrior III project.
He was also featured in the 18th edition of thejonnymar's Subscriber Spotlight.
In 2017, he participated in a few Jackbox streams of Briley Gaming.
Top Ten Most Watched Videos
As of September 15, 2018
1. The Ultimate Gamer Plays Pac-Man (126,763 hits)
2. The Ultimate Gamer Plays Skate or Die (72,761 hits)
3. The Ultimate Let's Play - MySims Ep. 1 (59,493 hits)
4. The Ultimate Gamer Plays Worms Armageddon (39,354 hits)
5. The Ultimate Gamer's Guide - Advance Wars Ep. 10 (35,197 hits)
6. The Ultimate Gamer's Guide - Advance Wars Ep. 1 (34,348 hits)
7. The Ultimate Gamer Plays Super Dodge Ball Advance (16,829 hits)
8. The Ultimate Gamer Plays Colin McRae Rally 2.0 (16,133 hits)
9. The Ultimate Let's Play - MySims Ep. 2 (15,556 hits)
10. The Ultimate Let's Play - MySims Ep. 4 (14,970 hits)
Facts and Trivia
- Has beaten over 300 titles in his lifetime, including over one hundred different NES titles.
- He has never shown his face or mentioned his real name on camera, his reasons being security as mentioned in his Robotrek Let's Play.
- His cat, Lucy, made a cameo appearance in his Phoenix Comicon 2017 video.
- His top five video game series are Mega Man, Pokémon, Kirby, Final Fantasy, and Fire Pro Wrestling.
- He has been a gamer since age four.
- The first four NES games he owned were Super Mario Bros., Snake Rattle n Roll, 720 Degrees, and Mickey Mousecapade.
- He currently owns the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, GBA, DS, 3DS, GameCube, PlayStation 1 and 2, Wii, and Switch consoles. He also owns the Retron HD clone NES console.
- He often uses the NES Advantage Joystick for NES games, primarily due to his original controllers fraying out but recently reverted back to traditional controllers.
- He obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science in May 2007.
- Aside from video games, he enjoys old-school rock and roll music, pro wrestling, writing, gambling, fantasy football, and fishing.
- He composed his own intro theme for The Ultimate Let's Play as well as the background music of some of his live videos.
- He roots for New York and Arizona sports teams, and his favorite athlete is Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
- On July 3, 2012, his videos reached a combined one million views.
- Analytics show that he has more female viewers than male viewers.
- He considers Ultimate Gamer's Guide #15: Super Mario Bros. 3 to be his personal favorite.
- He uses the emulators FCE Ultra, SNES9x, Visual Boy Advance, and DesMuMe.
- He officially changed his screen name to T.U.G. on November 7, 2013, and prefers to go by that moniker now.
- In 2017, he started competing in local video tournaments in Arizona, winning the 2018 Zapcon Tetris tournament as well as both the Punch-Out and NES Campus Challenge tournaments at Phoenix Comic Fest. He also competed in the Classic Tetris World Championship Desert Qualifier in August 2018, making it to the quarterfinals and finishing eighth place overall.
- "Game on!" - usually when starting a new game
- "I'm T.U.G....later, gamers." - his signoff for first three seasons of The Ultimate Let's Play
- "Be smart, be safe, have fun." - his current signoff of The Ultimate Let's Play
- "Aw, great, we just got eaten by a whale." - after getting eaten by a whale in StarTropics
- "He dead." - occasionally used when an enemy dies
- "Something/someone blew up." - used after an explosion off-screen or unexplained explosion
- "SHUUUUUUUT UUUUUUUUUP!!" - to Strong Sad in SBCG4AP
- "Guys, you may want to step back for this one!" - about to fire a Multi-Bottle Rocket in Hunter P Brown's Earthbound LP
- "I kind of want to go out with a bang here." - about to bomb a wall in Pikmin