Colorado man Terry Garrett lost his sight when he was 10 years old, but this didn’t keep him from continuing to enjoy playing video games. On the contrary, Terry instead learned how to rely on a game’s sounds to progress through a game– environmental noises, the sounds of a character’s footsteps, every noise became integral in completing a game.
The year he lost his sight, his brother brought home Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, and though he was initially frustrated by his inability to understand all of the sounds and gave up on the game, he kept going back to it until he was able to connect every sound to a particular object in the environment and act accordingly. Today, Terry can beat the game and understands enough about the game’s sound design to complete Oddworld without dying.
In 2011, Terry decided to tackle the beloved classic, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and five years later, on January 2, 2016, after much trial and error, listening to friends play and taking note of the sounds he was hearing, researching the game, and encouragement from his YouTube audience, he finally accomplished his goal. Terry played OOT using an emulator on his PC and an Xbox 360 controller, while listening to the game’s sounds through speakers set up on either side of him while playing.
Terry’s fortitude and sheer determination to not only beat the game, but to not let visual impairment keep him from gaming, has been incredibly inspirational to his followers. OOT in particular has moments that are notoriously challenging, like the Water Temple– which Terry can get through without help– and though actions that require precision, like shooting arrows, were difficult for him, he kept pushing forward. Here’s to Terry, and to many more games he’ll surely be on his way to completing in the future!