Can Gamers SURVIVE the Real Mirror’s Edge? – Game Lab

– I’m MatPat. Oof! And this is “Game Lab.” [static] [typing, clicking] For the last five years, I’ve made a name for myself overanalyzing video games using real-world science and math, but now I’m taking it to the next level by throwing some of the world’s most popular gamers into the scenarios we play through every day. Will the games stack up to reality? And are gamers as good in real life as they are on-screen? Welcome to “Game Lab.” [rock music] ♪ This is insane!

We’re here at the Tempest Freerunning Academy in Chatsworth, California, to learn a little bit more about parkour so we can explore the world of “Mirror’s Edge.” See that guy behind me? Yeah, that’s not gonna be me by the end of the day. Spoiler alert–I know that’s what you were expecting, but I make YouTube videos for a living, so what do you expect? “Mirror’s Edge” was a breath of fresh air for the gaming industry when it was first released by EA in 2008.

At that time, the gaming scene was dominated by gritty war games that put you in the perspective of super-soldiers gunning down the enemy. But “Mirror’s Edge” was different. Bright and colorful and with an emphasis not on shooting the enemy, but avoiding them by running, or more specifically, freerunning. In the game, you play as Faith Connors, a parkour expert working against an oppressive government, leaping from rooftop to rooftop delivering information to the resistance like the most intense UPS carrier ever. And with a sequel just released, “Mirror’s Edge Catalyst,” I figured now was the perfect time for us gamers to learn the parkour moves seen in the game, taking, quite literally, a leap of faith. So that’s a little bit about “Mirror’s Edge.” But I can’t be expected to fail at parkour all on my own.

Lucky for me, I have a couple friends who are along for the ride. And I asked them to introduce themselves in a very special way. Cue the dance break! [percussive music] ♪ Hey, guys. Getting all limbered up? – Getting there. – Yep, totally. – Getting all warmed up. – You feeling good, Brian? – I got to get real limber for this. – Can I also point out the fact that, like, you guys look so professional, and then us, we look like we came in our pajamas. I kid you not, these are my windbreaker pants from middle school. They’re like, “Okay, bring athletic clothing that you guys work out in all the time.” I’m like, yep, middle school pants, I guess? – Have you broke lots of wind in those? – I’m sure I have over the years. No shame, lots of wind has been broken. Ready to do some hardcore parkour? all: Parkour! – Ready? One, two, three, parkour. – Parkour! – Parkour! – One, two… – We’re bad at this. – Just like the graceful gazelle, we go off. [chuckles] – Okay. – All right, not too shabby. By the end of the day, we’ll be able to do that, right? – God, no. – Set your expectations low, ladies and gentlemen. Guys, I’d like to introduce you to Victor, cofounder of Tempest Freerunning Academy. –

Hello, nice to meet you. – Nice to meet you guys. – I like the bow there. That’s very nice. – I’m the only one that didn’t bow, and I should’ve bowed. [laughter] A really delayed bow. – In the world of parkour, one bows. – He’s the master of parkour. – Sensei parkour. So how long you been doing this for? About ten years, I think, right? – Ten years, yeah. – Awesome. Well, what do you have in store for us today? – Vaulting, running, jumping, climbing, bruises, you know, shin splints. – A lot of bruises. Great. Awesome, injuries. – Ready for that. – Way to warm it up. – We’ve been training our whole lives for this. – Right? So you want to show us around? – Yeah, come this way, guys. We’ll get started. – Cool. Yeah. Here we go. Uh. This is me.

This is my life today. – All right, guys, as you can see, we’re on this nice cushioned spring floor. Hope you guys like it. – Whoa. – Obviously for your safety. – Jesus. – Okay. – FLitz definitely likes it. – I’m a baby deer. – Great. So… One of the questions I got for you is, in “Mirror’s Edge,” right, there’s a lot of landing going on, you’re jumping off of high buildings, you see you’re doing a lot of rolls and dive rolls, things like that. Is that true to life? Or how’s that work? – Very true, it’s all about good technique. With Faith jumping off of a 20-foot building onto the concrete, when she lands, she’s obviously absorbing it one, with her legs. Her chest is up.

She’s taking the impact on her legs and actually absorbing through her whole body by then dispersing it with a roll at the very end, which is actually a PK roll, and that’s actually one of the first moves I kind of wanted to show you guys. – I think FLitz, our young deer here, should be the first. – Okay, all you’re gonna do is squat down, make a triangle. So you’re gonna put your triangle down in front of your left foot. all: Left foot. – Put your chin on the outside of your shoulder. Instead of with my forehead leading, I’m gonna lead with my shoulder. On the shoulder. Yes. – Oh, wow. – And sticks the landing too. – Shoulder… – Ooh! – Yeah. – Oh, my God. – Wow. I wasn’t expecting to do a pose, but it just kind of happened. – Here goes nothing. all: Oh! – There you go. – Went with the rocker stance. – He does like the “Platoon” at the end. – Yeah! – Oh! Ooh, roll like this? Like this? Bam! That’s for watching. Bam. – That’s good. – We got that mastered, right? – Yeah, masters. – Check it off. Check that off. – Slow down, hold on. That was the easiest move of the day, relax. Hold on, don’t get too excited. Jesus. – We have to celebrate what little victories we have today, okay? – First of all, I’m gonna teach you, we’re gonna do it on the floor first, ’cause it’s nice and safe. It’s called a safety vault. So put your right hand on the red line. Easy enough, right? – Yeah. – Put your left foot on the line as well, making sort of a tripod. – Like Twister. – And balance. Just balance on your arm, please. You lift your back foot in the air, but carrying your weight on your arm, though. And swing your foot through, just like this. – It’s like pilates. – Easy enough, right? Do you see this? Yes. And jazz hands. Just make sure you have, like, some jazz hands. – Oh, great. Everything’s made better with jazz hands. – All right, you guys ready to actually try it on a real obstacle now? – Like my socks, by the way? – Wait, that was a thing? – Now it gets serious. – Now it’s serious. So you guys want to start down here? So coming at you at speed this time. – Yep. – One, two, three. – That’s not too bad. – Easy, safety. – Ready? One, two, three, go. Oh, God. One, two, three. My block moved a little bit, but it would’ve been perfect otherwise. – Oh, God. – Yeah–oh! Oh, yeah! Okay, okay. – That was close, though. – Yes. – You didn’t move the block like me. – Why are you turning red? – Because I’m not good at this. – You are good. Now I’m about to blow you out of the water. Go! – Okay. – Confidence. [all cheering] – Okay, so the next one I’m gonna teach you is called speed vault, and the reason why it’s called speed vault, it’s probably our fastest way over an obstacle without actually having to hurdle it. – Oh! – Nope. Nope. – He got sideways. [laughter] – He didn’t even touch it! – You flew! – Time-out! He was in the air like this for, like, three seconds before he finally touches the thing to vault over it. – It’s like the thing in the video games where they’re able to adjust their position in mid-air. And you’re like, physically, that’s not possible. But he just did that! What? – You’re gonna run as fast as you can. – Yes. – Putting your hand down, just pretend it’s like a kickstand. Lean on your arm. However much you lean, the more stylish it is, but at the same time, you have to push yourself up. – Go get ’em. – Yeah! – Hey! – Okay, that looked really smooth. – Do or do not. There is no try. Ready, set, go! Oh, goddamn! Jeez. – She went around it. – Yeah, no. You went around it. We saw. – Yeah, you cheated. No. – We didn’t go– did we go around it? – You went around it. – Right through the middle. – Yeah. – Oh, god– – Whoa! Well… [laughter] That seemed like the quickest route for me. That’s all. I’m just saying. – Kind of cheating right now, ’cause we’re– I’m trying to teach you. all: Oh! – Okay, okay, one hand. Oh, my goodness. Whoa! – Okay, okay, that– – Not the thing I was going for. – No, that sucked. all: Oh! – Okay, okay, not bad, not bad. – Double–that was cool! That was a double-leg boy. – That was–that was pretty sideways. That was good, right? – That was pretty cool, okay. – I got to show off periodically. Mm! – I think you got some style points. – I just ruined all the cool points that I just earned. – Next one we’re gonna do is called dash vault. Jump on one leg, and putting your hands down and popping off. Oh! Okay. – Just jumping. – Like a hurdle. – Yeah, nice, nice. – Oh. – Ah! Move, body, move! Okay, here we go. Ooh! Okay. [laughter] And she sticks the landing. – We’re waiting for the biff. – And here’s the take-off. all: Oh! – Here I go. [laughter] [all cheering] – That was so good! – Senpai? – That was the best one! [all cheering] All right, you guys. – Having mastered the vaults… – That happened. – Time to defy gravity and walk on walls. So how do you know what moves to use when? – One of the most awesome things about parkour– it’s all about your environment. That is what dictates what I actually do. – In the game, Faith does a lot of, like, lateral wall-walks. – Yeah. – And it’s, like, three or four steps at a time. Like, is that possible? Are you defying gravity? Is it, like, all in the grip of your shoes? – This wall… – Yes. – This is actually kind of slanted, like a wedge, if you kind of look at it. So it makes it a little bit easier, especially for new students learning how to do parkour. – What? What? – What? What? – Oh, my gosh. – No! – Sorry, what? – All right, go ahead, Brian. [laughter] – Stickum, I need stickum. [laughter] – FLitz, go for it, buddy. Yeah! – Oh, my God! – Yeah! – Here we go. Eh! Heh! Nope. [laughter] – Nope. – And she’s out. Here we go. – All right, you got this. – Oh, God. all: Oh! – Yeah! – Nice! – This is my victory lap right here. So you’ve shown us the vaulting. We’ve gotten a little familiar with wall running. Last big move I think we have to cover is just general balance. – Yeah, let’s do it. Right this way, guys. – It’s over there? – Skyscrapers! – Okay, so like you said earlier, in the game “Mirror’s Edge,” Faith strides on beams and tiny walls and ledges. And that is kind of what we have here. – So how many steps ahead are you thinking when you’re parkouring your way through, like, a city course? Is it kind of like one at a time? Or are you saying, like, okay, you’re thinking three steps ahead, going to the bar to the other bar, and then I’m gonna leap and jump? – When you go to your environment, you’re, like, already picking your line. Like, “Oh, I’m gonna go here to here to here. I’m just gonna do it.” – Okay. – Whoa! – Oh! – Oh, no, lava! – I’m dead! – Lava, no! – I’m dead! Wait! Quarter. Extra life! – Extra life! – Extra life. Oh, everything’s tingling. [laughter] – [sighs] Nope. Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. So other question, senpai, should I be looking at the bar or at where I’m going? – Where you’re going. – Where I’m going, okay. And believe in myself. – Believe in yourself. all: Oh! – Oh, my God! Yes! – Yes! Yes! – MatPat! – Now go all the way over. – And now–no, no. So how you feel? Good? all: Yeah! – You ready? Yeah. Senpai here has designed a little challenge for us that’s gonna put to the test literally every single skill that we’ve learned today. – You’re trying to kill us! – That’s, like, extreme hardcore parkour. – Well, welcome to the show! [electronic music] ♪ So how do we look? – Why are you asking that question? I’m assuming you have not looked in the mirror. all: Oh! – Don’t we look like futuristic, like, parkour experts? – I feel like it. – Costumes give us the power of parkour. – Yeah, if you’re doing parkour in a movie or a video game, sure. – Okay, well, then we nailed it. Yeah! – There it is. Achievement unlocked. Boom. I believe you have a challenge set up for us today? – Utilizing all of your parkour skills that you learned in ten minutes… [laughter] The most amazing obstacle course that I could come up with with a very limited budget. Just throwing that out there. – Yeah? – Yeah, let’s get started. To the balance challenge. – All right, guys, for the first balance challenge, so you’re gonna be starting at the starting mark. When you are ready, in a minute, you progress forward onto the rail. Time will start. You will make your way as fast as you can all the way to the end mark, which is this blue buzzer. All right, you guys ready for this? – Yeah. – Yeah, let’s do it. – Okay. – You can do it. We believe. – It’s only, you’re like– – The first step’s the worst, right? – It’s like jumping double Dutch. – Oh, nice. – Whoa, he’s up! Time started. – Your time started. – Look at him. Oh, my gosh. He’s going, no problem. – Yeah, and his kicks are so fresh while doing it. – Yeah, parkour! – Yeah. – Oh, nice, Brian. – With the flow, bro. – Get it. Yeah! – Whoo! – Well done! – Nice! – Whoa, he’s up. – He’s on. – You got it, man. You got it. – It steps and stops and steps and starts and stops. – Nice. – Nice! – Yeah! – Well done! – [imitates buzzer noise] – Everyone’s doing so good. Okay, here we go. Better right? Farts. – Ohh! – Farts, farts. – Oh! – Ah! Damn it! Yes! Yeah! – Wow. – Wow, that was terrifying. – That was so scary. – That was really scary. – Slippy shoes on. All right. – Slippy-toed. – Just breathe. Use that ballet training. – Inner Faith. – That world champion ballet technique. – Oh, yeah, you got it. – Oh, that ninja cross step– – Look at it! She’s as solid as a rock. – She has way too much Faith. – Nice! Nice! Whoo-hoo! – Oh, man. That is so scary. – All right, you guys ready for the next challenge? Challenge number two! – Let’s do it! [all cheering] – Okay, it’s like– – Oh, there he goes. There he goes. – Oh, here he comes. – Watch out. Watch out for the pigeon. There’s a pigeon. all: Oh! – Piece of cake, piece of cake. – That right there is challenge number two. – I don’t know how this is all gonna turn out on camera, but my heart is racing. This is so much more intimidating and harder than you expect it to be. It looks like all fun and games, but when you’re, like, promising to land on concrete and running head-first into brick walls, it’s scary. So I don’t know if it’s translating to the camera, but just so you know, like, look, my hand is, like, shaking. – Stop stalling and go! – Be quiet, Brian! Let’s do this. All right, here we go. – Whoo! – Whoo! Yeah! – Whoa! Yeah! – Yeah! – Nice! – Hardcore parkour! – Hardcore parkour. – [screeches] – His screeching hawk. – Oh, oh! – Oh, that was good. There it is. [all cheering] – You’re smooth. – Style points. – That was awesome. – Faith, faith, faith. – Yeah, there it is. Whoa! Roll. – Oh! [all cheering] – That was some improv right there. – Flying fish! – Fish! – [yells] – [laughs] all: Oh! – Oh, Brian! [all cheering] – You did it! – That was awesome. – Oh, my God. – Yeah! – So I believe, if we’re keeping count, that’s two challenges down, but there’s one left? – One left, you guys ready for the third one? – Yeah, because that one was extreme. – Get excited. Let’s go. – Adrenaline. – This way. – Oh, my God. – Okay, starting with the first barricade, you’re going over or under. Then you’re gonna approach some blue barrels. You have to vault over the blue barrels. Then you’ll come up to the caution tape. Caution tape, you have to do a dive roll over the blue barrels over here. – It’s also worth mentioning, you haven’t taught us a dive roll yet. Like, this– you’re just kind of throwing in stuff at this point. – Hey, that’s the way it goes. – That’s how much faith he has in us. How much Faith. – Faith. ‘Cause I’m Faith. – Faith. – Last but not least, you’re gonna hit the last barricade over or under running up the steps. And then there is a table with a buzzer on top. Hit the buzzer. Fastest one obviously wins. And by the way, the kicker… – Yeah. – You’re gonna have two guards chasing you. – Oh, no. – What? – Wait, those guys? – Oh, my gosh. – Yes, those guys. – You got this. – Here you go. You got it. You got it. Go! You got it! – You got it! You got it! You got it! Yeah, go, go, go, go, go! Oh, no! – He’s coming! He’s coming! – Oh, no! – Oh, man. That was close. – Ugh! Oh, my gosh. – All right, Brian! – Yeah, Brian! – Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go, go, go, go, go, go, go! – Piece of cake! Okay, all right, all right, all right. Yeah! There it is. Yeah. – Up the steps. – What a big test. – Let’s go, baby. Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! – Aw, it’s beautiful. – Oh, my God! – Ah! [laughter] – What? What? – What? – We didn’t learn that. – You got it. Let’s go! – Go! Go! Let’s go! – [laughs] [laughter] – Go, go, go, go, go! [all cheering] – I think you hurt the button. – What? What? Did we do it? – Nice. – All right, senpai, tell us how we did. – Okay, so the good news… – Uh-huh. – In terms of technique-wise, you guys did fairly well. – Whoo! – Fairly well! – All right, the results. In last place, you got 38 seconds. – All right. – In third place, with 32 seconds, Brian. – Wow. Wow. – Oh! Flying Fish! Flying Fish! – Flying Fish. – Second place, FLitz, 30 seconds. [all shouting] And the winner! – No! – Our winner! [laughter] – What is your feelings toward parkour now having done it? – Every single thing that I did petrified me, and I’m gonna take away that you just give it your all, and you just go for it. – Before almost every event, I was terrified. There was a huge improv element. You just kind of have to do it. And it was really empowering to just, like, block off the sensors telling me not to do it and just go for it. – I learned a lot about what I need to practice. If I’m gonna do it, it’s a lot of practice and doing it over and over again so I know where my feet are gonna go when I land. And whether I know the course or not, my body knows where it needs to be. – So I guess for me, as we wrap up “Mirror’s Edge,” there are a couple takeaways here. First and foremost is momentum. In the game, Faith is constantly moving forward to avoid security guards, to leap between buildings, things like that. And what we’ve seen here over the course of today is that that’s true to life. Parkour is very much about taking one move and connecting it to the next and conserving that momentum. So that being said, the game is very true to life in terms of that. The Flying Fish himself brought it up best. There’s a huge improv element to it, right? So in the game, yes, there are certain, like, highlighted items that you want to kind of leap between, but all in all, you’re improv-ing your way through this environment. There are multiple paths that you can go. Some are faster. Some are slower. I think we all experienced it, where in that final course, you don’t know what leg you’re gonna be ending up on, whether you’re gonna have to take your non-dominant hand or your dominant hand to leap over things. It’s just one of those things that your body has to respond accordingly. In the words of Shia LaBeouf, just do it. Just do it. And finally, safety is probably the biggest part of this whole thing, right? It’s easy to look at parkour videos online or look at “Mirror’s Edge” and think, “Oh, yeah, this is easy. I’m gonna jump between buildings.” Look at them running along the ledge of a tall building and looking all cool and badass, and yet, when you’re put into that position, it is terrifying, ’cause there is concrete down there. Just do it! Actual parkour experts like senpai here have trained for years. For as impressive as it is to just watch and see the beauty of these movements, in real life, knowing the danger and risks that are inherent in this type of movement just skyrockets your appreciation for that sort of thing. – It’s very humbling. – Right, it’s very humbling, I have to say, and we have you to thank, sir. – No, thank you. – No, thank you, senpai. “Senpai, notice me,” on three. all: One, two, three. Senpai, notice me! – Yeah! – [singing high-pitched trill] – Yeah, dude. – [continues singing] – That’s so hard. – That was for you, Kristin Chenoweth. That was for you. Hold on to your mouse because the episode isn’t over yet. Each episode of Game Lab bcomes packaged with a 360 video experience that puts you into the middle of the adventure you just saw us go through. For Mirror’s Edge, you’ll be trailing along with Faith on a package delivery. So make sure you click here to check it out. Hop into the middle of the action. Game Lab 360!

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