Phasmophobia Summer Games Done Quick Interview with Brossentia and PsEG

Having some capsule nearly weekly rounds of Phasmophobia, I couldn’t help but wonder how you speedrun a game that is so RNG based. So I reached out to the runners for the SGDQ run, and they took the time to answer some of my burning questions hours before their run.

Justin: What made you all to decided to speed run Phasmophobia?

Brossentia: I was a bit late to the Phasmo train and only started to play in February. I knew I’d love it, so I wanted to play at a time when I could do more than a few games. It only took a few days for us to decide to run. 

PsEG: It kind of all came together the second time FlannelKat and I bugged Brossentia to play Phasmo with us. We had him join us early in the game’s life, but once he saw a more recent patch with scarier hunts and a lot more unpredictability, Bro just said, “We have to speedrun this.” Things snowballed very quickly after that.

Justin: Is Phasmophobia the first speedrun game for all of you?

PsEG: Not at all. I’ve speedrun a couple of retro and indie games, things like Pac-Land and Dead End Road, and I’m the least experienced speedrunner in our crew. Bro, NPC, and Kat have all run so many games before this, but it’s our first big foray into a popular, scary game.

Brossentia: I’m the veteran of the group. This is my 13th run at a GDQ, and I really can’t remember how many runs I’ve done. It gives me a chance to dig deeper into a game that fascinates me! 

Justin: Did you all play together casually before running together?

Brossentia: A few did, but I only played a few games before starting runs! 

PsEG: FlannelKat and I played casually for a long while before the idea of a speedrun was broached. We both got our confidence ghost hunting weekly along with another friend of ours, Bond. That fourth spot was a struggle to fill, though. I’d be begging friends constantly to join us, and it was usually a case of people saying yes right up until we were about to start, and then something came up. It was that grind to get a fourth that got Bro into the mix.

Justin: How do you account for all the rng in your run?

PsEG: It can be the most frustrating part of the run, waiting for evidence to appear or a ghost deciding to move around a house constantly, but I think our commitment to taking on whatever ghost we get and finishing the investigation rather than resetting for more favorable ghosts has helped us see all the ways RNG can go against us. We know ways to try and anger the ghost into action, we know what actions the ghost is most likely to take forever to do, and it’s just a matter of  

Brossentia: Honestly, the way we play the game is very close to the actual experience – we use evidence to deduce the ghost type. There are obvious clues, but every single ghost has unique behavior. Learning about those quiet, unique twists helps out greatly, but it takes a heck of a lot of practice. 

Justin: Are there any particular tricks you are all excited to show off?

Brossentia: It all depends on what the ghosts do! We have some specific tests if we suspect some types of ghosts, and those can get spicy, especially since some tests usually get someone killed. 

PsEG: This is kind of the wild thing about how we play Phasmo: We’re not employing many tricks or glitches. It’s mostly just playing the game as well as we’re capable of at a frantic pace. That said, the best part about having a full team in Phasmophobia is that you can afford to take a death or two safely, provided it’s not the person who added all the items to our investigation that dies. If a hunt starts, regardless of if it’s unexpected or if we force it to happen, one of us will probably intentionally sacrifice ourselves to try and get some more information on the ghost. Did it have an unusual speed when it ran up to strangle us? Did the hunt seem early or late? These can be extremely useful to find out.

Justin: For people who don’t know could you explain your run/category?

Brossentia: The best explanation is all small maps with a good faith investigation. In essence, we require people to make a reasonable effort in figuring out the ghost, but as long as guesses are based reasoned out, we’re fine with it! Just no random guesses. 

PsEG: We’re running Any% All Small Maps, which means we’ll be entering each of the six house maps in the game, determining what type of ghost we’re dealing with, and then leaving as fast as we can. The rules say you have to witness all three evidences a ghost has, but we don’t do that. If you can figure out a ghost by a lack of evidence or behavior, as long as it’s correct, that’s fine, too. We jokingly call it Bro’s Rules because Brossentia was the first one to put his foot down and say we weren’t using traditional rules because we didn’t find them fun or in the deductive spirit of the game.

Justin: Is Phasmophobia an easy game for people wanting to get into speedrunning to do? Or at least get started?

PsEG: There’s really no major speedrun tricks to Phasmo, as far as I’m concerned, just learning how to play the game really well and really quickly. It’s not a bad way to see if that panic of going fast and always pushing forward is someone’s cup of tea. Worst case scenario, you become a lot better at playing Phasmophobia in the process!

Brossentia: The game is actually very easy to get into as a new player, especially when you have friends. Speedrunning is just the next step! Focus on getting evidence quickly, and you’ll soon be on a good pace for a decent run.

Justin: Do you each have a favorite map? And Ghost-type? Piece of equipment? 

PsEG: I’m always the one searching for ghost orbs, so I’m quite fond of the camcorder in night vision mode as my replacement flashlight. Give me a ghost that’s active and constantly making stuff happen in any of the houses, and I’m happy.

Brossentia: Map: Campsite

Ghost: Poltergeist. It loves to throw things everywhere!

Equipment: Parabolic mic. I swear, it’s useful. 

Brossentia: I hate the regular old Spirit. It’s boring. Then it kills you. The Shade seems worse, but it’s a safer boring ghost. 

PsEG: Shades have always been an issue for us. They’re not deadly at all, but too often, they take forever to do anything interesting. I’m also not a fan of spirits or the twins: Spirits are incredibly generic in their behavior and somehow end up being unreasonably dangerous, and twins… I don’t know, I feel like they have such a potential to fake us out with a second-place they’re haunting, and they’ve always felt more annoying than interesting.

Justin: Are there other games that you all want to get into speedrunning-wise? 

Brossentia: I have no clue what I’ll run next, but I’ll likely find something weird or different!

PsEG: Genuinely, I’m not sure what comes after this! There are so many indie games, scary or otherwise that I’ve never gotten around to playing, and one of those might randomly trip my fancy. We’ve also talked about trying to play more Ghost Exorcism Inc. and Forewarned, but I’m not sure I’d be into speedrunning those.

If you missed the Phasmophobia run, it was really fun to watch, so be sure to check out the Games Done Quick Youtube page when they upload the run and watch live until July 3rd on Twitch! Thanks again to Brossentia and PsEG for sitting down and answering these questions just a few hours before the run. I can only imagine how stressful and busy that time was!
Be sure to check out Brossentia and PsEG on Twitter and Twitch, respectively! For more horror features, interviews and reviews, stay locked in at DreadXP!