OSTRICH JOCKEYS?! (Final Fantasy XV) – Game Lab
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OSTRICH JOCKEYS?! (Final Fantasy XV) – Game Lab

August 11, 2019


– I’m MatPat. Whoa!
And this is “Game Lab.” Oh, hey, hey.
It’s okay, buddy.[static]
[typing, clicking]
For the last five years,I’ve made a name for myselfoveranalyzing video gamesusing 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
in Chandler, Arizona, for their annual
ostrich festival, where over 100,000 people,
every year come to celebrate a whole thing ostrich.
Hey, buddy. Hey, you’re gonna peck me? It’s actually the third largest
event in the state of Arizona behind the state fair and some Waste Management
festival. I don’t know. But today, for us,
it’s not about ostriches, it’s about Chocobos.First published in 1987,
the Final Fantasy series
has evolved quite a bit
over the years.
But pretty much
since the beginning,
there has been the Chocobo,large flightless birds
that carry players quickly
from one part of the map
to the other.
Over the years, they’ve grown
in importance,
spawning entire metagames
unto themselves.
And at the center of it all,Chocobo Racing.Hopping the board
your trusty mount
to compete with other
real world players
for huge prizes and that sweet,sweet virtual bird
racing cred.
Is–is that not a thing?And if you think
that sounds simple,
well, you haven’t played
a video game in a while,
because it’s much,
much more than hopping
on a bird to become
a famous Chocobo jockey.
Everything from its training
to its genes
will affect how good
your trusty big bird is
come race day.That’s right.
It’s genes.
You gotta get yourself some
purebred Choco up in here.
In the latest installments,
Final Fantasy XIV and XV,
you can breed them,
race them
from the time they’re
teeny-tiny Choco-chicks
and equip them for races,which leads us to today.We’re about to undergo
what will probably end up
being the single most absurd
experience in my life,
and all in the name
of video game science.
But I can’t undergo this
ridiculous experience alone. So I brought along
a few friends.[old western music]♪ ♪Hey, guys, come on.
– Hey. Don’t be shy.
They won’t bite. – They’re enormous.
– Hey, stranger. Hey. Oh, hey, oh-oh.
– Oh, oh, this is awkward. This is awkward.
Hello. – I can see why.
– How are you doing? Coming out to Arizona for me,
huh? – That’s straight-up a lie
because I heard they do bite. – They do.
– Yeah, and here he comes. [all laughing]
– Just keep an eye on him. So, Kellie, I see you missed
the memo. – Yeah, the–
– The flannel memo. – He’s judging me.
– He is. He’s sizing you up right now.
– He got the eye on you. – He’s like, “One of these
things is different.” – Oh, there it is. – First peck of the day.
– First peck of the day, guys. This is pretty absurd, right? – Yeah.
– Oh, yeah, definitely. – Everyone here has had
to sign a waiver, I don’t have the paper work
with me right now. But everyone had to sign
a waiver that was like, you are entering an ultra
dangerous activity right now. You will get peed on,
you will get defecated on. You will get bitten
and trampled. These are dangerous creatures. Kellie, you’re–you’re
an animal expert. – Yeah.
– What do you know about ostriches, anything?
– They’re birds. They’re large.
[all laughing] Honestly, I can tell you more
about how, like, their stomachs and their organs work,
and I can tell you how to interact with them. – I have to admit,
speaking of their intestines. I saw one poop earlier–
– Yuck! – It was like something from
like a David Cronenberg film. It was like “Event Horizon”-ing. – It’s a huge egg.
– It’s like the gaping maw of terror and hell. – So psychological damage,
physical body harm. Thanks for joining us today. – Thanks.
– I already know where I stand with you, Matt.
– Anytime I can cause you badly harm, you’re on the top
of my list, all right? – Yeah.
– He’s back. – [laughing] That was truly the reaction
of fear. If I’m gonna get peed
and defecated on– – There it goes.
There it goes. It actually doesn’t hurt. [laughter] It’s all right.
You were here, you take it. – Let’s move away
from the ostrich and get changed, shall we? – All right.
– See you later, guy. – We’re going to ride you.
– I’ll get back at you. We’ll get back to you.
I’ll bite you back. – We’re the top
of the food chain, damn it. We’re the top of the food chain. – Who’s up for ostrich burgers? – This is how you ride
an ostrich, right? – You’re on it.
You’re on it. – [laughs] That’s it.
– You got it. – Guys, I like to introduce
you to Joe Hedrick from Hedrick’s Promotions who is going to be teaching us
everything there is to know about ostrich racing today.
– Awesome! – Wow! Everything? – Everything there is to know.
– Everything. – Everything that I might know. – I also noticed on the waiver,
you were like, “You are signing up for
an activity where you will have “little to no training
in what to do. So do so at your own risk.” – Right.
[laughs] – Great.
Sounds fun! – He’s like, “I’m just here
to watch, really.” – We’re gonna give you a lot of
instruction, a lot of training. I got some guy that’s been doing
it for years. – Is a bowtie a requirement
for ostrich racing attire? – It will help. – It will? When I came up
with the idea, though, it was like,
so out of leftfield. It’s like, “Oh, what if
we can hop on a large bird and race it around the track?” And then we did some research
and we found it’s a real thing. So how did you get involved
in the world of ostrich racing? – My dad was a rodeo clown.
– Okay. – Born and around rodeos. And I did clown rodeos
for a long time, then somebody said,
“What about ostrich races?” And I thought, “Why not?” – Great.
– Wow! – Out of the animals, where do ostriches rank on,
like, toughest to work with? – You hear lots of bad stories
about ostriches, how mean they are. – We all have been bitten
at this point. Oh, there it is!
– There it goes. [laughs and screams] – Yeah, yeah.
– So it seems to be true. – The danger part of an ostrich, not these, but the danger part
is their legs. They are so strong,
so powerful in their thighs. – Mm-hmm.
– And they actually have killed people
from kicking them. I mean, you know, they don’t
kick like a horse or a cow. They don’t kick backwards,
you know, they kick forward. As they’re running…
– Yeah. – You know,
they run like this but they can reach out
and kick you. And if you can run
about 35 miles an hour on foot, nothing on their back,
they run about 40. Better have a head start
and close to the fence. – Are all of these birds ones
that you specifically raised from an egg to be trained birds?
– Some of ’em are from eggs, some are–you know, I got
when they were small chicks. And we’re just around them
all the time. The only time that our ostriches are a little aggressive
is during mating season. – As–as we all are. – Yeah.
– Yes. – You said that, Matt. – I did.
I did say that. And I’ll probably come
to regret it. – That’s not this season, is it? – Yeah. We’re out of the season.
– Perfect. – With these birds.
With these birds. – I feel–I feel a lot better. – We try to educate the people
about, you know, the ostriches, their habitats. Does an ostrich stick
their head in the sand? I don’t know if Chocobo sticks
his head in the sand, but an ostrich doesn’t,
really. – Really?
– That’s a myth. – So, so, that’s–
that’s a myth then? – That’s a myth. – In the game, you’re competing
with the Chocobos to earn a lot of prizes,
you know, a lot of money, a lot of like, rare items,
things like that. Is there profit to be had? – Financially, there is nothing
for the jockeys. We have a lot of ostriches,
about– I say a lot–about 50 of them.
– Okay. – And, uh, we–
– That’s a lot of ostriches. – So there is no Triple Crown
for ostrich racing? – Well, you know, you guys,
when you’re done, you’re gonna be, you know,
bragging rights, name bragging.
– Of course. – Oh, absolutely.
– You know, you’re putting each other down. – We will only do
supportive comments from one and other,
I’m sure. – I’m gonna kick your asses. – Oh, wow!
– Whoa! – So when you talk
about ostriches running and being able to, like,
go really fast and stuff, in the game,
Chocobos are actually usedto help the player
move long distances.
You travel, like, across
a country on these things. Like, is that even possible
on an ostrich? Or are these, like,
sprinting birds? – You don’t want to ride them
a long way. [laughter] Around this track,
you’re gonna say, “That’s enough.” – Shall we hop on some birds
and start training? – Are you ready?
– Oh, yeah. – Yeah.
– Ready as we can ever be, I guess.
Just hop on in. Just do it.
– Let’s do it. – How you doing?
Here are our jockeys. – Great, awesome.
Thanks for coming in. Let the ostrich stand here… – So, is that the, uh, the harness that we’re gonna be
sitting on today? – It’s the ostrich harness, yes. – It kind of just looks like
a pad to me. [laughs] – One is a pad with a harness,
and this is– this is what you’ll be
holding on to, right here. – So, there are places
to hold on to then? – That’s right.[loud caws]
– Is there a proper way to fall if you feel yourself
kind of tipping off or… – No, no.
– [giggles] – If you start sliding off–
– He’s hungry for me. – The best bet is just to–
– Roll. – Bail, tuck, and roll.
– Gotcha. – I’m a pro at that
after the parkour episode. PK rolls for days. – Is hard to recover if you
start getting off to the side. – Gotcha.
– Okay. So we just bail in general?
– Yeah. – Imagine riding a football
or an egg.– An egg.
– Riding a football.
– Your balance
is the key thing.
You want to stay center, right?As centered as much as you can
on that ostrich.
If you’re too far forward,
you start tipping down.
Hard to run.– Because I imagine something
with two legs
versus something with four legs
is a lot less stable
and more apt to fall over.– When it comes to
the ability to ride, you know, that really comes down
to each and every person. – Okay.
– Balance is a key thing. – Gotcha.
– Just knowing how to ride a bike.
– Yeah. That’s about where I’m sitting
right now. – How about playing
a video game where riding large flightless birds is
a regular course of action. No, that’s not gonna help? We learned that you have to be
a certain weight in order to ride. It said 150 pounds. So, for you guys at home, I actually had to lose weight
for this episode. The four weeks that we were
fil–like, filming, I was trying to, like,
lose weight the whole time so I could do this episode.
[loud caws] Hey, nice to meet you, friend. Yeah, there it is. All right, cool. – Will they turn on their own
when they get to the bend? – Yeah, they’re gonna get it
on their own. – Oh, really? Great.
Awesome! So, really our challenge
is just sit on and stay on. – If you’re, like, a seasoned
ostrich rider, can you steer them or is it
like, pretty much, they’re just do their thing?
[loud caws] Oh, he got the hat. – Some of you can. We, we typically don’t
recommend it to everybody. Just stay centered
and stay on. – Good deal, good deal.
– All right, all right. – So, to recap,
it’s football shaped, so aim for the center
of the body. If you start tilting– [laughs] – Hey, get out of here.
Go, go, go. – There it is.
Alpha, awesome. – He’s already
the ostrich whisperer. – If you start–if you start
to fall, bail toward the back. That’s it?
– And just hold on. – Okay, cool.
– All right. – So, I guess we should learn
how to get on them, then? – Yeah.
– Like–Oh, my gosh. This guy is–
This–this is mine? This is the one I’m riding?
– This is your mount. – Great. I’m gonna
name you Stanley, because that makes you
less intimidating. – You’re gonna sit
right here. – Okay, so just launch my leg–
Oh, my God. Holy–holy cow. Okay, okay.
– Slide forward a little bit. – All right. Where–where are
those harnesses? Holy–
Oh, my God! [giggles] Oh, no! – Slide forward
just a little bit. – Okay, a little forward.
– There you go. – Oh, damn, this is–
[laughing] This is the most ridiculous
thing I’ve ever done. Oh, no! There is no chance. There is no chance
I’m surviving today. Oh, okay. – You feel your balance?
– Yes. Yes. Oh, oh, my God. Okay.
– All right, here we go. – We’re going.
– [giggles] – Got your mount here. – All right. – I believe in you, Steph.
– Okay. – You can do it.
– There you go. – All right. – Don’t listen to anything
I tell you, listen to Kellie.
– Okay. – Hey, buddy. – Slide on.
Just sit right up here. – Just slide on, Matt. Slide on.
– Yes. – There you go. – Wow, ok– [laughs] – All right.
Good boy, good boy. Yeah, look at that. – Oh, and he–he needs a name,
right? – Yeah.
– Uh… Eddie.
Eddie the ostrich. – Eddie, I like Eddie.
– Eddie the ostrich. – The women have a clear
advantage here. – I think so. – I think they like us.
– They’ve must have sense my… amazing levels of testosterone. – I’m a fan of alliteration,
so you’re Ollie. Ollie the ostrich.
– Ollie the ostrich. – This is Sephiroth. He’s the king of the ostriches. – They just do whatever
they want. – They do whatever they want. – Like, you’re sitting
on my back, no big, I’m just gonna do
my thing. – So, we’re running–
Oh, hey. – He’s like, “Oh, camera,
camera, camera.” – Oh, my God!
Look at that. – When they,
uh, when they start moving, it gets very difficult. – They turn around so fast.
They’re just like whoop-whip. – See, I thought this is
gonna be the fun episode. No, this is–
No. This is probably the scariest
episode so far. Yeah. – And then just slide
kind of that way. – Slide back…
– And then start running. – And then run![8-bit blipping][dramatic music]♪ ♪– Oh, yeah, they’re ready to go. – All right.
Come on, buddy. – Yeah, they look fine.♪ ♪– Okay, hop on in.
Okay. On his back, here we go. – Yeah. – Where’s the harness?
There’s two. – Am I in a good spot? – Okay, give us a countdown. – Okay, guys.
– Oh, jeez. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – Three, two, one. – Oh-ya! Oh! – Okay.
– [screaming and laughing] – Oh, my God. I’m on an ostrich! [laughing nervously]
This is insane! This is insane! You gotta turn, buddy.
You gotta turn! You gotta turn, buddy. – [laughing nervously] – There you go.
– Oh, my God! – Go, go! Go, go! Go! [laughter] – Okay.
– I can’t– Oh-oh, there you go. [speaking in slow motion]
I’m sliding off. I’m sliding off. [groaning] [laughter] – Oh, that was amazing. [laughter, indistinct chatter] – That was insane. – On your mark.
Three, two, one. Go! [all cheering and shouting] – Oh, my God.
– This is so awesome! – Oh, my gosh. [giggles]
– Oh, my God. – [laughing] Oh, my God. – Where is he going? You got this.
You got this. Here we go for the mud.
– He’s–he’s confused. – Oh, no that way.
This way. – All right, here we go. [laughs] Oh! Now stand up. – Stay on, stay on. – Stay on, stay on?
– I got you. – What a rush. – Hold on. Okay.
Ah! – Oh, no.
– Oh, man. Darn, that was–
– Man, rod– Rodeo like a champ.
– Awww! – No, that–that totally counts. That totally counts. – [sighs]
– Yeah. – Okay.
– Matt, are you ready? – I’m ready.
– Okay. I’m gonna do a countdown.
– Thank you. – Okay, ready?
Here we go. Three, two, one. They’re up.
– All right. Whoo! Oh, there–
There it is. There it is.
Oh, hey, you are fast. And going on the completely
wrong direction. Hey, okay, okay. Hey, friend.
Hey, where are you going? Where are you going, friend? Okay, okay! – That’s all.
– Look where she went. – It was all over the place. – I thought
this was ostrich racing, not ostrich, like,
buckin’ bronco. – Okay, just you and me. – One more time, Kellie. You ready?♪ ♪Ready? Matt, ready?
– Yeah. – Yeah.
– Ready. – Ready.
– Aryn, you ready? Okay, here we go.
– You got it, guys. – Three, two, one. You’re up.
– Whoo! – All right.
– Let go! [cheers] Ride ’em! – Whoa, whoa, whoa! – All right.
Nice, good recovery, Matt. Good recovery.
– All right, turn, turn, turn. Turn, buddy.
– Come on, you can do it. – Big turn, big turn. Turn.
– You got this, you got this. Let’s go, you got it. We’re going in for the kill. Whoo! Yeah! – Okay, we’ll slow
you down, Matt. Stay right in the middle.
Stay in the middle. – Yeah!
– Nice. – Slide down.
– Kellie, you did good. – Nice job.
– Nice job. That was great. – Good job.
– Oh, that was so great. Thank you so much! – Hey, bud.
– Hey! Congratulations, Kellie.
– Thank you so much. Thank you so much.
– You were really good there. What happened, Matt? – They have a mind
of their own. – The jockeys or the ostrich? – Both actually. – Where is wreath? – Oh, hey.
– Here we go. – Oh, look at that.
– Oh, my God! – Get that bird suited up. – Oh, there you go. Hey.
– You did it, bud. You did a good job. You were so good.
You did a good job, buddy. – Just like in the game, Sephiroth is overpowered. Keep going. Oh, there he goes.
– Oh! – There he goes. [laughter] – There he goes. And now we know why you won. [laughter] – There he goes.
Everyone behind the camera just collectively had
a heart attack. – Matt, you did good, too.
– Thank you very much. – So, how did we do today? – You guys did really good. I mean, seriously, Aryn,
don’t you think so? – I’ll hire y’all
on a heartbeat. – Oh, wow.
– Oh, thank you, sir. Appreciate it.
– Well, if the YouTube thing doesn’t work out,
I’ll give you a call. – So, real quick,
when it comes to the game and real life “Chocobo racing,” how does this experience change
the way you look at the games, change the way you look
at Chocobos in general? – It’s, uh, it’s harder
than it looks. – Oh, my God!
I’m on an ostrich! [laughing nervously] – You just kind of hold on
for dear life, and let them do
what they’re gonna do. – That’s it.
– I think the main thing to realize is with, you know, with Chocobos,
they like you. They have some sort
of bond with you, but it’s–the ostrich
is the boss out here. Like, it does whatever it wants. – Oh, my God.
– Where is he going? – I don’t think I know.
– You got this. You got this. And you just–you just hope
that you can hold on to it. – Right?
– Yeah. When I’m playing the game, I’m like,
“Who is that loser?” I ended up in last place
out there. Now–now I’m like, “That guy just had a bird who– Just didn’t want to finish
the race or something.” – Yeah.
– And that’s fine. That’s no big deal.
Hey, respect. Respect for that.
– That guy also invited you onto this episode, darn it – And you take it for granted
when you see them. You’re just like,
Chocobos looks so happy for you to be riding them
and these are just like,“No, get off!”
[laughter]
– They’re wild.
They’re very wild. – Yeah.
– It’s wild. So, I think it really boils down to three main points here,
right? First up is
weight considerations. In the games, you’re wearing
all sort of chainmail and armor and you have
the buster sword or, you know,whatever your weapon of choice
is for that game.
In real life, animals have
weight limitations. Then, you know,
chunky MatPat here, um, fat-Pat here as it–
as it were, barely made the cutoff. So, you know, had I strapped on
some of that armor, I’m not riding ostriches around. I’m not riding a Chocobo around. So that’s something
that the games don’t really take
into consideration. Secondly I think is distance,
right? – Oh, yeah.
– So as–as we talked about, these sort of birds,
these flightless birds are sprinters,
and so in the gameswe’re traveling countrysides.That–it ain’t happening.They’re–they’re gonna throw
you off long in advance.
Oh-oh.
There we go. And–and not only that.
I think Matt put it best. You said it feels a lot like,
what? – It feels like you’re riding
a very fast person that is giving you
a really rough piggy back ride. – Yeah.
– Yeah, so the idea of Chocobos as kind of regular mode
of transportation in the “Final Fantasy” world– no, ain’t–ain’t gonna cut it. Thirdly, the mind
of its own thing, right? Like, in the games,
there is no problem controlling them down the track
and making turns and swervesand using items and whatever.Here it’s just like…
– Where is he going? Where is he going?
– Grab hold and pray that it goes
the right way, right? Like, let’s go down the line. Game or real life? – Game. – Game, yeah.
– I mean, it was like no other experience
I’ve ever had, but it’s so much easier
to ride the Chocobo. It has to be magic.
[laughs] That’s the only explanation.
– It’s–it’s magic like mind training.
– Yeah. – Kellie, what do you think?
Game or real life? – I’m about to trade
my jockey uniforms for one of these getups. – Yeah, forget NationalDex, you’re going
into ostrich racing? All right, cool. Steph?
– I’m with Kellie. I-I could, like hop on one of
these guys again in a heartbeat. I loved it!
Real life all the way. – So fun.
– I-I loved it too, but I will say,
I choose neither. There are camels over there that these guys also race. I’m riding some camels. Can–can we race some camels? – You betcha we can. – All right.
– I’m in for some camel racing. – And you make the weight limit
very well on that. [laughter] – Oh, well, good.
There it is. So, let’s hop aboard
some camels, shall we? – Let’s do it!
– Onward![liquid gooping]– Hey, man, we buds? Oh, yeah.
No goin’ for the eyes, now. [bang!] – Calm down.
[laughs] – Holy–
Oh, my God! Oh, no!

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