PAX Online 2020: Panels of Interest (Fri-Mon)

It’s a strange year. There’s really not much more to say about it than that without delving into potential existential crisis, so instead we’re just going to talk about what’s happening this weekend for PAX Online, the digital version of what should have been in-person PAX West & PAX Aus. PAX Online is running from Sept 12-20th, with 24/7 content, which is frankly a little overwhelming but also exciting… as much as a digital convention can be exciting, considering the circumstances.

Usually for PAX weekends that we’re attending, we’d be letting you know each morning of the con about panels we think might be of interest to our readership (ie. folks looking for Nintendo news and information), but since this is a nine-day event and you probably have to plan around things like your day job, kids, washing dishes, and so forth, we figure it might be easier to break this down in chunks.

We’re going to highlight potential panels of interest in 3-day chunks, to hopefully help you better organize your time in the week head. Please keep in mind that all these choices are subjective, we’ve chosen what we think might interest Nintendo fans by virtue of the panel title, description, or list of presenters/participants on the panel. We also encourage you to visit the official site ( for the full listing of panels and events so that you don’t miss out on anything we haven’t listed here that may be relevant to your interests.

So sit back, pull on your comfy pants, grab your snacks, and enjoy PAX from the comfort of your own home! We know it’s not the same. But at least it’s something, and that’s about all we can expect from this year, isn’t it?


SATURDAY (12/9) – *All times in EST

4:45pm-5:00pm – Twitch: /PAX — Tetris Creator Alexey Pajitnov Introduces an Early Look at Adventure mode in SEGA’s Puyo Puyo Tetris 2

Tune in for an early look at Adventure mode from SEGA’s upcoming puzzle adventure, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, which brings together two iconic franchises in one colorful mashup. Featuring a hilarious story filled with an eclectic cast of characters, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 will let players traverse dimensions and experience unfamiliar worlds on December 8. (Pre-recorded)


6:30pm-7:30pm – Twitch: /PAX3 — The Speedrunning Panel At Every PAX

Hey All, This is the speedrunning panel at every PAX, but online! We’ll be speedrunning, talking about behind the scenes stories, and just like PAX transitioned to online, how video game speedrunning has transitioned us to our different stages in life. With over 30 years of speedrunning, from first person shooters to Nintendo Platformers, we’ve got a lot to say. (Pre-recorded)


10:15pm-11:15pm – Twitch: /PAX3 – The Psychology of the Final Fantasy Series

Anyone who has played Final Fantasy understands that the plots are full of twists and turns.  The complex characters, gut-wrenching narrative, and the personal struggle of the characters make it an easy game to relate to.  This panel will focus on unpacking these concepts and why this series continues to draw so many people ot playing it’s immersive experiences.  Topics include mental health representation, theoretical concepts, and why we love this game so much. (Pre-recorded)


11:15pm-12:15am – Twitch: /PAX – Saturday Night Concert: Triforce Quartet

The Triforce Quartet began innocently as a short Zelda medley for an encore of a recital in early 2007, but the video of using traditional string quartet instruments to play music of classic games gained viral popularity later that summer. Thanks to this, cellist Chad Schwartz was able to combine his love for video games, along with years of classical training, to arrange a variety of video game themes that even non-gamers can enjoy. The four members of the Triforce Quartet take audience members on an unforgettable musical journey. (Live Performance)


SUNDAY (13/9) *All times in EST

2:30pm-3:30pm – Twitch: /PAX — The Very Best: Ranking The Pokemon Spin-Offs

What does it mean to be the very best like no one ever was? Is it snapping the perfect photo? Is it catching wild Pokemon in the middle of a pinball table? Is it dominating the gym leaders in intense puzzle battles? Or is it simply maintaining proper dental hygiene? There have been so many different spin-offs in the Pokemon franchise since Pokemon Stadium launched in 1998, but which is truly the best? Join Pokemon experts KindaNYC and Uppercut as they fiercely battle it out to determine which one of the Pokemon spin-off games truly reigns supreme and deserves the title of Pokemon Master. (Pre-recorded)


3:45pm-4:45pm – Twitch: /PAX — Did Animal Crossing Save Our Souls?

We’ve all been playing more games during the Covid-19 pandemic, whether it’s sneaky Switch sessions during Zoom meetings or filling the void of furlough with playthroughs of the latest blockbusters. But how has this increase in gaming affected us? Many have mused that games help us cope with the stress, uncertainty, and misery of the pandemic, and connect with people online when we cannot connect in person. Others have voiced fears that lockdown is the perfect breeding ground for unhealthy gaming habits. So what do we actually know? Join games researchers Dr Rachel Kowert, research director of the mental health in games charity Take This, Dr Sebastian Deterding, who leads the COVID-19 and Games Research Observatory, and ethicist Dr Catherine Flick, of the Ask an Ethicist booth at PAX East, in a discussion about the impact of games on us during the lockdown, all based on the latest research. (Pre-recorded)


MONDAY (14/9) – *All times in EST

12:30am-1:30am – Twitch: /PAX – Sunday Night Concert: 88Bit

88bit is the alter ego of Cleveland-based composer/pianist, Rob Kovacs, where he performs virtuosic note-for-note piano arrangements of classic video game soundtracks from the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Kovacs’ repertoire consists of music from Mega Man 2, Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest as well as lesser-known games such as Marble Madness, Adventures of Lolo, Arkista’s Ring and others. By acoustically recreating early electronic music (music never intended to be performed by humans), Kovacs is stretching the limits of traditional classical piano playing and bringing video game music to audiences that might never have otherwise heard the music. (Live Performance)


1:00pm-2:00pm – Twitch: /PAX — 35 Years of Stomps: Ranking Mario’s Enemies

Way way back in the 1980s, Mario stomped a Goomba and the rest is history. But how does that Goomba feel? In an effort to shine the light on the foes Mario has stomped on over the years, we at Nintendo World Report want to sit down and sift through the hundreds of enemies felled by the plumber and figure out which ones are the cream of the crop. Are we down with the Koopas? Which Koopaling is the best one? Are Shy Guys really that awesome? What about Boos? King Boo is mostly in Luigi’s Mansion games; does he count? We’ll answer all of those questions and more as we aim to give you the definitive ranking of Mario’s baddies. (Pre-recorded)


4:00pm-5:00pm – Twitch: /PAX2 — What Do We Want to See From Persona 6?

From its deep dungeon-crawling gameplay to navigating the day-to-day life of a Japanese teenager, the Persona series has gone from a cult JRPG series to a major worldwide hit. With the success of Persona 5, we’re looking ahead to see how Atlus’ beloved JRPG franchise can take things even further in its next installment. What exactly do we want to see from Persona 6? Our panelists will take a look at the longtime traditions of the JRPG series and its ties to Shin Megami Tensei, while also examining how its more recent installments have managed to take this initial spinoff series and gave it an identity of its own. (Pre-recorded)


9:00pm-10:00pm – Twitch: /PAX2 — Building Our N64 Classic Console

The N64 is considered to have ushered in Nintendo’s era of 3D gaming, and some of the best games of all-time have been released for it. From Super Mario 64, to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – we debate the 10 games that should make up the N64 Classic, if Nintendo ever decides to actually make one. This isn’t the definitive list of the top 10 games on the system, but a mixture of the best games from different genres that would make it the complete package. (Pre-recorded)


10:15pm-11:15pm – Twitch: /PAX2 — The Great Video Game Cook-off: From Power-ups to Power Meals

Do the salt-grilled meat dishes in Breath of the Wild make your mouth water? Have you ever wanted to inhale the Delicious Chocolate Cake from World of Warcraft? Do you catch yourself daydreaming of what characters from the Destiny universe might snack on? We’ve brought together five of the chefs behind video game licensed (including World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Destiny, and Fallout) and inspired (including Earthbound and Legend of Zelda) cookbooks to spill all the delectable secrets behind their processes for transforming health-restoring inventory items into real recipes you can make. (Pre-recorded)


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Author: Faith View all posts by
Faith likes games and books and cake and writing and Lara Croft, not necessarily in that order. She also thinks a Skylanders cartoon show is a really, REALLY good idea...

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