David Karetai, also known by his Gamertag, Decroux3000, is a 28-year-old from New Zealand and he’s a gamer. He’s not just any gamer though, Karetai has spent 10-years working towards unlocking 100 Platinum Trophies.
Unlike other achievement and trophy hunters, Karetai hasn’t attempted to unlock as many trophies as possible, as quickly as possible. Instead, he’s focused on the journey. He’s chronicled his 100 Platinum adventure in a document he’s titled Decroux3000’s 100 Platinum Retrospective.
This document is an incredible record of every step along the way towards unlocking his 100th trophy. It’s also a fascinating look back at a catalogue of games most of us would have stopped playing years ago.
Not only that though, the list of games Karetai writes about, in detail, include some of the most difficult Platinum Trophies of all time. His writing reflects his passion for gaming and even though you often understand just how frustrating some of these trophies were to acquire, you also share Karetai’s jubilation as he moves down the list.
Decroux3000 100 Platinum Trophies
Karetai’s story begins on November 15, 2008, with EA and DICE’s Mirror’s Edge. Karetai explains that Mirror’s Edge wasn’t the first game he played on PS3, “but it was the first game that instilled in me the determination to start collecting Trophies.”
Gaming was very different in 2008 and the first Mirror’s Edge was a far cry from anything that had come before or since really. Excited to play it, Karetai called in sick to work and headed to his local video store to try and snag a copy. He’d become so keen to play it after a friend had told him about the “First Person Parkour game where you could see your feet and everything.”
When the demo became available, Karetai played it obsessively, which only fuelled his desire for the full game. With rented copy in hand and work successfully put off, Karetai began his first playthrough, the one that would see him become a fully fledged Trophy addict.
That first night, he played until 2am and completed his first playthrough. Not even distractions from his housemates or the loud screams of a domestic altercation outside his window were enough to keep Karetai from finishing.
However, the Platinum Trophy was still a long way from being unlocked.
Confessions of a Trophy Fiend
Karetai wasn’t able to unlock the Platinum Trophy in Mirror’s Edge until December 1, 2009. His first Platinum had taken him well over a year due to a combination of difficulty and personal circumstances.
Fittingly, the way he writes about Mirror’s Edge and unlocking its Platinum demonstrates the impact the game had on him and his gaming career. Once that first Platinum was unlocked, Karetai was set on his path towards earning 100.
His document is filled with stories and moments that we can all relate to, whether you collect Trophies or Achievements.
He writes about how he unlocked the Platinum for God of War III in just five days and of how it was his first trophy in over a year. The reason, he was too busy playing World of Warcraft.
There are the obligatory unlocks of Uncharted, Ratchet & Clank and inFAMOUS. All Platinum Trophies that PlayStation fans should own. But then there are the insane Trophies Karetai has unlocked. Including the Platinum Trophy from Demon’s Souls.
That’s right, motherfucking Demon’s Souls.
Demon’s Souls, a good time if you’re a masochist
Long before every gamer was a fan of Dark Souls, From Software released Demon’s Souls to acclaim. Like its spiritual successors, Demon’s Souls is hard and punishing. Only 16% of players have earned the Platinum and Karetai is proudly one of them.
He even writes that “earning the Platinum is one of my biggest gaming accomplishments.”
Earning the Platinum Trophy in Demon’s Souls took Karetai nearly two and a half years and it goes a long way in understanding his passion and drive for collecting Trophies. Like Demon’s Souls other incredibly difficult Platinum Trophies he has unlocked include Hotline Miami and Hotline Miami 2, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and WipEout HD.
For Karetai, it’s not the number of Trophies or how quickly he earns them, it’s about enjoying the game he’s playing, enjoying the experience and working towards the goal of completion.
Writing about Enslaved, he mentions the difficulty he had in collecting the nearly 1000 collectables. It took me back to my own experience with Enslaved and those god-forsaken glowing orbs. I too unlocked the Platinum for Enslaved and hearing about Karetai’s experience made me fondly remember my own.
Even if I wanted to throw my DualShock 3 through the wall at the time.
A Sense of Achievement
Karetai’s document makes for fascinating reading and is filled to bursting with great anecdotes that could only come from playing videogames. Karetai is earnest and charming in his stories and more than once outright hilarious.
A constant thread throughout his entire chronicle is the friendships he has and the friends he shared his games with. Most of the games he played were with friends or at a friend’s house or because of a friend’s recommendation.
Even something as personal as collecting Trophies can be a collaborative experience, as Karetai shows. No more so than when he talks about his 100th Platinum, Portal 2.
Earned eight years, to the day, after his first for Mirror’s Edge, Karetai unlocked the Portal 2 Platinum. He had earned most of the trophies with the help of friends and finally unlocked his 100th Platinum just in time for a party.
I like to think the party was in celebration of his 100 Platinum Trophies even if it wasn’t.
As gamers, we have been programmed to hunt for these digital bragging rights for a long time now. Most players probably earn them and never give them a second thought. Others are in it for quantity, vying for the largest Gamerscore or highest Trophy Count.
Others still want to be the first to finish. It’s not often that you come across someone like David Karetai who has spent nearly a decade of his life unlocking Trophies and dedicating the experience of each one to memory.
His document serves as a record of one gamer’s journey through 100 different games and his experiences playing with friends, suffering setbacks and working towards earning his Platinum Trophies.
As Karetai writes, it was Mirror’s Edge that first inspired him to unlock Platinum Trophies and nearly 10-years later he is still going strong. You can read Decroux3000’s 100 Platinum Retrospective here.
Special thanks to David Karetai for sharing his story and allowing PowerUp! to write about it.