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Sunday, August 12, 2018 by MAS8705

Remembering the Better Times

The Might and Magic series was one of the finest examples of PC RPG games. Its history encompasses 28 years between the first 1986 Wizardry-like inception to the pseudo-old-school Might & Magic X from 2014. While most of the series got high praise, Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer was the first that fans felt was a step backwards with a lackluster plot, weaker characters and less customizability. Today, 'Snabel' takes up the role of the Necromancer again and flies and warps around Jadame to save the world from the elementals in 0:08:00. This improves on the previous by around six minutes, however a new trick causes this run to inhabit a "with large-skip glitches" kind of domain so you'll be able to find the old run on the game page as well.
 
The Metal Gear series is also widely acclaimed. While its future is unknown following the departure of Hideo Kojima from the decreasingly of-interest publisher Konami, it certainly had its share of victories with one of the popular titles in the series being Metal Gear Solid 3 HD. While the original was an incredible game, the HD version brought the unforgettable experience to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 with beautifully updated graphics and other minor tweaks. 'Mr_Snawk' here takes control of Naked Snake, aka Big Boss, to complete his covert mission at 1:19:25, improvement of 46 seconds to an already-slick-looking single-segmented run on European Extreme difficulty, achieving Foxhound rank.
 
If you are familiar with video games published by LJN, you may notice a common theme of gameplay controls and mechanics feeling counterintuitive. One must take extra care when planning to speedrun such a game, and Beetlejuice is no exception. For 'ktwo' it was one thing to work around the confusing rules the game put before him, another to manage deaths that are seemingly unavoidable. It required lots of luck to get things going his way to bag the time of 0:11:29, as the game can be as unpredictable and unforgiving as its star Betelgeuse himself. ktwo also released (as he has been in the habit of doing) a parallel TAS, link right here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 by Worn_Traveler

Tournaments, Trials, and Terrors

Ever turn on your Nintendo 64 or Playstation 2 and watch your character wander in a direction and you’re not giving them the input to? This means your controller is poorly calibrated, which is normally quite annoying, if easily remedied, but it's also something Phillip 'ZELLLOOO' Shanklin takes full advantage of it in his Doom 64 running to make his brimstone adventure go by as quickly as possible. Aside from the movement boost you have already seen before, there's a big new trick in town – something that makes barriers more like a stop sign than a physical obstacle. The demon legions are disposed of in 0:29:27 in one any% segment on the Be Gentle difficulty, 2:54 faster than his previously published run. The hordes of Hell never stood a chance.

Some racing games want you to come in first place in every race while others are okay with you winning most of them. R.C. Pro-Am II falls into the latter category. 'ktwo' wins the number of races needed to beat the game and does so in 0:31:18 in this any% single segment run. Watch as the vehicles blaze across the tracks! Be shocked as the wicked green car begins its campaign of revenge against the protagonist’s red one! Gasp in awe as the game throws oil slicks and bomber planes in the way! Cheer as ktwo beats the odds and wins both the trophy and the hearts. This is racing drama at its finest!

Meanwhile down in the sewers, there is another competition going on. Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael are trying to determine who the best martial artist is among them. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters lets you choose a turtle and get to fighting. Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios goes with Leonardo and comes in with a plan for each of his opponents. Elipsis takes down Leonardo's friends and the other combatants in a quick 0:05:53. This game was one of the last released for the NES by Konami in the North America and PAL regions. Check it out and see how it stacks up to the other versions of Tournament Fighters. Cowabunga!

Sunday, April 29, 2018 by MAS8705

Go Big or Go Home, Controls! You're Drunk!

Sonic games are known to be fast-paced. Back when Sonic Adventure DX came out though, there was a mix of fast characters with those with more... unique game mechanics like playing as a giant purple cat and going fishing for a frog with a long tail. It might not sound as engaging as the other things you can do, but leave it to Nelson 'Sonikkustar' Martinez to showcase how you can make reeling in a frog exciting. At a time of 0:08:58, it improves on the run through careful placements of the bobber and his ability to catch Froggy within seconds of hooking it.
 
If you went to the arcades when you were younger, you noticed that one game that looked like a cartoon called Dragon's Lair. The arcade game was difficult and its NES counterpart was even worse in terms of game design. The controls alone were said to be some of the worst in the entire NES library. For 'ktwo', it was more a challenge to get the RNG to cooperate. It's hard to believe how one can dismantle this game in 0:07:21.
 
Speaking of arcade games that got an NES release, Hudson's Adventure Island (NTSC) is... complicated.  It was an adaptation of the arcade game Wonder Boy, but because of licensing issues, there were changes made to the NES version. ktwo knows his way around the island and has gone back to improve his previous run from 2013 by about 15 seconds for a new time of 0:37:05. Aside from this, ktwo also improved on Adventure Island's TAS by a minute, 12 seconds.
 
 
-------- SDA NEWS --------
 
LotBlind here with a BLINDING FLASH!
 
The last update had a run for Donkey Kong Country 3 that accidentally had a broken link. It's now been fixed. Speaking of this, the old FLASH player that you see when you click on a run link inside a game page (the link that's on the run time) has been replaced with a more modern one based on HTML5, courtesy of nate. It also plays HQ videos by default but you can choose whichever quality yourself.
 
Also might I point out SDA has just turned twenty. That's one more than nineteen, two more than eighteen and generally N more than twenty minus N. There is currently no amount of congestion in SDA's queue and so this would be an excellent time to dig out runs you've been sitting on! Especially DOS games are appreciated #100%unbiased. The upside to less traffic is I can work all the harder on finishing my first very own speedrun... as in the game's gonna get very owned.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 by Worn_Traveler

Bill and Lance Find Eggs by the River

I like Contra. The game is fun and challenging. Beating the game without the 30 lives code is very possible with good memory and reflexes. How can the Contra experience become better? With friends! Piotr 'TheMexicanRunner' Delgado Kusielczuk & Matthew 'AngryLanks' Wissig have teamed up and taken down Red Falcon in 0:09:51, a three second improvement over the former run! Contra runs are notoriously hard to get lower times in so any lower time is a good improvement. The lower time comes from finding a good use for the laser while still retaining the spread gun action that we all know and love. Watch this run!

Sometimes improvements come in frames and not in seconds. Where's an Egg? is a case of frame based improvement and Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios has decided that his egg finding run from 2015 is just too slow. Elipsis has taken advantage of a Windows option and combined his mouse and keyboard to find Stalin's missing egg in 0:00:00, which is one frame! You've probably heard the phrase "Don't blink or you'll miss it!" and this is one of those cases. You may have trouble seeing the "blind accusation" shot input but you will certainly see the outcome. Watch as the ending cutscene takes longer than the game itself! Not even RPGs with very long endings can make that claim.

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble, like its two SNES predecessors, has a GBA port that expands the game by adding a minigame or two and another world, along with a completely different soundtrack by David Wise. Small changes have been made to the mechanics as well, which is demonstrated in this River Race run. Jordan 'Greenalink' Greener shows us the difference in the way the game handles the race timer and beats Brash Bear's race record in 0:00:10.50. The main difference here is that the race timer stops and stays that way. Brash Bear never had a chance.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 by LotBlind

Bring-Yer-Own-Headline

Sight. Sound. Smell. Taste. Touch. Dead people... and rather vapidly, the future? I'm assuming we're referring to the sense of which future outcomes will emerge from which present decisions. Skeptics say it's just preparation and all the semblance of serendipity – rote commitments to memory. Us speedrunnin' folk, we knows. We knows. And so does the cadavers.

Can't say we've had any Bring-Yer-Own-Adven... umm... Choose-Yer-Own-Adventure books in our purportedly rather eclectic displays as of yet. Someone fond of them but unable to curb the instinct to "nudge" the rolls whipped up their very own interpreter called Seventh Sense and stuck in Joe Dever's Lone Wolf series of adventures (summing up to Lone Wolf: Seventh Sense) so as to RPG-ify them. Automating aspects such as all the bookkeeping and die rolls, he finally put an end to the unrestrained "flip slips" which is evidenced at least in this one 0:10:50 going "by-the-book" in more ways than one, thumbing through the first cycle of three, titled Kai. Let's welcome another new runner, Robert 'ItanoCircus' Reid, into the venerable Order of the SDA Front Page! The run may be fairly short, but it's chock-full of insidious numbers to remember, with branching paths depending on RNG, all having been subjected to thorough investigation to ensure the greatest economy in routing. BTW: you might wanna download the HQ encode or better of this run as the default web player quality is too low to be able to read the text.

So Wikipedia doesn't have a page for 2016's Rabi-Ribi yet, but it does suggest you meant "rabbi ribs". Being somewhat un-e-jew-cated on this topic, I'll just presume rabbis might be on the lanky side on average (although there's seemingly some evidence to the opposite on a site called "thejewniverse"), so let's just neatly tie things together by pointing out the slim proportions of every character (like, you can see their ribs) in this bullet-riddled cutesy metroidvania run again by 'triblast55'. The game is very stimulating for speedrunning: not only does it feature a specialized speedrunning mode with cutscenes... cut, there's also every kind of detail and intricacy to keep tabs on. Movement, dodging, aiming, health management, specials, cash etc. Even the soundtrack has a good deal of variety from intense dubstep down to something that reminds me of Tchaikovski with plenty of "game music" filling it out.

While the last published run – despite the high level of difficulty inherent in single-segmented low% runs going for the Post-game ending – may have been somewhat premature, all of that gets erased today together with the last 28 minutes of the run... well, actually, it's bits and pieces from the middle that are getting swiped. Many parts are just visibly faster, as they would have had to be for a 2:18:45.55.

The contrast between 1995's Rayman and Rayman 2: The Great Escape from '99 is noticeable. I remember the first game to be a patchwork quilt of worlds without much rhyme or reason to them but in The Great Escape we have an overarrrching theme of pirates. And caves. And things. Whether the environments were somewhat homogenized, the gameplay, by contrast, got a lot more diverse. At one point you get to ride plums through a pool of lava and at another you're running from the actually rather chilling jaws of death. It got releases on everything and its mom, but is here played, by 'Manocheese', on the N64. The 100% completion doesn't prevent "the great escape" from game world boundaries, abusing a heap of game logic for unanticipated cheekiness across different areas. There's evidence of a long-term relationship with one's game with even lag reduction – heck, even lag INduction – having been paid their dues. 3D platforming ain't easy, and this 2:29:47 displays a very high standard of expertise. It's also highly accessible, even coming with a long-haul audio commentary on track two. Oh, and randomly Italian is the fastest language. Mamma mia!

Monday, February 19, 2018 by LotBlind

Ikaried Away to Oblivion on a Dreamboat Boat

Right. So my feed got randomly fed with this Narcissa Wright interview w/ Liz Ryerson who I've mainly known for her coverage of that old-skool Doom mapping. It runs through the keypoints of the history of speedrunning, touching on high score runs, which is an interesting sideline at least whenever you get a bonus for being fast. 100% completion tend to be the preferred take on the same general idea, and of course sometimes they're one and the same. Other topics visited: SpeedRunsLive, tons about Ocarina of Time etc. stuff that Narcissa (formerly Cosmo) is known for; are games less broken than they were?; speedrun categories and why some people don't like glitched runs; Machinima gets a little "shout-out";  cum other topics from the none-too-distant past. This interview I happened upon myself, but feel free to use the news tip form if you'd like some extra publicity for your speedrun events etc.

Onto the runs. I'd like to trumpet out a minor improvement to the The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion any%, lest the game fall into such. The time was 3:49. With better overall execution and NPC luck, 'AntonioPeremin' grinded it down to 0:03:47. The category is still the same: Single-segment with Large-skip glitches and resets – all the usual out-of-bounds schenanigans that is. It's looking very polished now so perhaps even those of you who missed it last time will want to play catch-up today.

This continuation run for Ikari Warriors, now with deaths, wins the "most dreamlike" award. It's a combination of factors. The way the screen keeps scrolling lullingly ahead; The random vaguely representational forms appearing and disappearing; The robotic delay-perish jitterbug; The repetitive sound effects (including something like a sleeper's exhalations) and unpredictably resetting music; Indeed the times when the player just hovers through the landscape as if having realized a lucid dream; The sudden pink, and the general absence of exact physical boundaries. I like to think the G.I. is being pulled towards some very morbid point somewhere to the South-East like Lovecraft's Dreams in the Witch House, but aren't they all?

The game also has this unusual property: normally the ones where the fastest is pressing up to move in a straight line are the least interesting for speedrunning. In this case, and even though 'ktwo' did tell me earlier that it might actually be easier to charge steadfast through than taking your time, all of the near misses and painstaking planning make that straight line into electrified barbed wire and so the parsimony of input switching makes this 0:26:35 a better watch if anything. If you missed my more concrete delineations of the game and what's special about ktwo's accomplishments in the July update (second one down), peruse them now, please!

I can't tell whether or not it was good publicity or bad for the Mira Loma custom-boat-builders-since-1969 for their name to be stickered onto a game whose equivalent hyphenated-through descriptor would read "custom-boat-disassemblers-since-1991". It does sound like a symbiotic relationship. Whatever you think, Eliminator Boat Duel licenses the single most appropriate brand of aquatic chariot available in an all-out waterway one-on-one sink-or-swim winner-takes-it-all collision fest of epic proportions. But you're the choir, and I'm the preacher, because this 0:28:34 is Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios' fourth coming altogether, if you only count even this one game. It's the Expert difficulty improved by 0:26 due to things that are either more or better, or sometimes more better.

You can't tell me "Elimonator" on the edge of the game's cartridge is a misspelling. "E-li-mo-nay-ted!"

Sunday, February 4, 2018 by Worn_Traveler

Buggy Soul Cards

'AntonioPeremin' has submitted a lot of runs to SDA over the last year and we are proud to present improvements to two runs. Both are in the Yu-Gi-Oh! series and feature fast card action. Yu-Gi-Oh! Power of Chaos: Joey the Passion is one of three Power of Chaos games. Antonio has taken his 0:55 and lowered it down to 0:00:49.  This is accomplished through better luck with the paper-scissors-rock bout and another small optimization of playing without any sound effects or music. Antonio does the same in Yu-Gi-Oh! Power of Chaos: Kaiba the Revenge, closely related. This bout used to take 2:03 but now takes 0:01:37. Both runs are easy to follow even if you are not familiar with Yu-Gi-Oh! so make sure to give these a watch.

'Tigger77' has been around for a while. I was lucky to meet and hang out with him at the first AGDQ. We now have a new game on our games list thanks to him. Soul Calibur II joins the near 1300 other games that we have a run for. Tigger uses Voldo to slash, stab, and ring out his opponents in 0:00:47.48. This run is single-segment, arcade mode, and played on easy mode. As of this writing, it is one of the fastest known runs in these categories utilizing Voldo. It's a bit cheesy but so are some croissants.

We’ve got an improvement for Bugdom 2 so get ready for some insectoid out-of-bounds adventuring. 'Newtmanking' has decided that finding Skip’s (the game’s main character) knapsack in 17:09 was no longer acceptable after someone beat his time and has now recovered the knapsack and stopped the bees in 0:15:34, eschewing walls in the process to victory. I was not familiar with this game prior to watching the run for this update and I was surprised by the variety of the levels and objectives in this game. Check this one out.

----

Someone asked about how you can both stream and record locally so the stream has splits and your running commentary etc. but the local recording is clean. This can be done at least in OBS. Instructions for separate audio recording. As for the video, just make sure nothing is overlayed directly onto the game itself and it can later be cropped for an SDA submission.

Saturday, December 23, 2017 by MAS8705

Karting and Clobbering

It seems only yesterday when we last saw Mario Kart 8 Deluxe added to the site. Earlier this year, Jose 'UchihaMadao' Karica performed a fantastic run of all the courses in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with all the items on. With how chaotic it can be to be randomly attacked by blue shells or lightning, it can be tricky to get a good time while not getting obliterated in the process. He has returned having made changes to his kart set up and using Gold Pink Peach instead of Rosalina.  With these changes and some luck from the RNG Gods, he has improved on his previous run with the new time of 1:33:16, improving on his previous run by two minutes.

While it is great to see an improvement, sometimes you have to wonder to yourself, "How would it be to do all the tracks without worrying about a blue shell coming from behind you?" This was a thought expressed by 'UchihaMadao' when he decided to submit a second run for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.  When you don't have to worry about anything coming from behind, you can be much more efficient with your final time.  At a final time of 1:27:56, it definitely is impressive at how much time can be saved when items are turned off. There were still a few missteps such as missing a few shortcuts, but for the most part, this is still a well-executed run through all 48 tracks.

When it comes to River City Ransom, it can be best described, as how 'yelsraek' put it: One Big Boss Rush.  It's one thing for you to get to where you need to be to beat down some thugs, but another for everyone to be right where you want them to be when you get there. One prime example was having the brothers in the warehouse spawn at a specific point and using the crate to attack them from the other side of the wall.  It was with this and other careful planning that the run saw an improvement by over a minute at 0:06:38

Monday, November 27, 2017 by Worn_Traveler

The Roman Scroll of Chameleons

Improvement has always been a tenable object that many have striven for over the course of history. These improvements come either in the form of efficiency or qualitative thought, but rarely together. Oh wait, that was my lecture from a class I just taught. Anyways, speedruns are meant to be improved on and 'AntonioPeremin' decided that he did not conquer Thracia and other ancient civilizations fast enough in Rome: Total War. 'AntonioPeremin' has gone back to virtual Europe and Asia and led the armies to victory in 0:02:47 on the easy difficulty. This is an improvement of 24 seconds from the previous run. The action is fast in this one so pay attention or you may miss the intricacies of battle logistics.

Rewriting the historic face of the world is not enough for Antonio though. He has returned to the world of The Elder Scrollsthis time to The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. He disembarks from the boat, gets his parole papers, and proceeds to kill a god in a blistering 0:03:15. Normally Morrowind involves beating many missions, constant travel, and waylaying people for boots of blinding speed (well, I do at least) and maybe even some tree climbing. If you haven't watched an Any% Morrowind run for a while, you will certainly want to watch this one.  Not only does this run beat the former published run here by over a minute but this run is the current WR at the time I am typing this.

Journey, Motley Crue, Kiss, and Aerosmith: Their music has been featured in video games. Now we may add Jerry Paper to the list. Paper is a philosopher/musician and you can read more about him here. Chameleon World is a surreal experience of a game and even in a normal play through things do not always make sense. Sequence breaking the game causes that “reality” to shatter even more. 'dogia900' breaks on through to the other side in 0:18:19.This game features talking frogs, a chameleon dressed as a clown, some wonky jumping physics, and a bottle bearing frog. Is this a synthesis of different mediums coming together to unify as a whole or a dream/nightmare simulator? Watch and decide.

Saturday, October 21, 2017 by MAS8705

An Update As Random as the Guy Posting Today

How's it going, everyone? I'm MAS8705 and I will be helping out with the Front Page for today. While I might not be as well known in the speedrunning community, I have submitted a few runs that have been featured on the site: These runs include Fire Man from Megaman Powered Up, Crash Tag Team Racing, and Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise. I've also assisted with SDA's verification for new runs added to the site. I've been away from Speed Demos Archive for some time and I'm excited to be back! So let's waste no time and talk about the latest additions to the site!

Starting things off, we have a game that lets you build your very own racing vehicle. It also gives you the choice between racing as an Astronaut or a Pirate. Lego Racers came out at a time when racing games were a dime a dozen. One feature in the game was the ability to use boosting power-ups to warp past courses and finish races faster. As it turns out, you can actually earn better times if you warp at specific parts of the track while power sliding in the more tighter parts of the course. A tactic used-well by 'Greycatmon' who improved the times for all 12 tracks in Time Race at a combined time of 0:16:43.87. I wonder what the chances are that Lego would want to make another racing game in the future? It feels like we are long overdue for a sequel.

When you think of a long-running RPG series, the first game that might come to mind would be Final Fantasy. But did you know that the 2nd longest running Eastern RPG is Ys? Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter had a unique system where you can "bump" your enemies until they fall over dead. The sequel expanded the game further by introducing a magic system that allowed for more options in fights and exploration. By running directly into danger and monsters,Jeff 'Korzic' David achieved a final time of 1:04:18. Of course when it comes to Ys, there's a lot more to the game than running into your foes and see who gets knocked down first. Be sure to listen in to the audio commentary provided by Korzic.

The last of our runs today is a sandbox game based on one of the most influential films of all time: The Godfather. The game itself was so big at the time, it had five different versions. The Godfather: The Don's Edition on PS3 made use of the SIXAXIS controls to help throw people against walls or off rooftops. It can be a lot of fun to recreate various scenes out of the film and to shake down local businesses for your protection. In the case of 'Soliduz Znake', he decided to take a more direct approach in helping the Corleones take over New York City. At a time of 3:02:36, this single-segmented run comes in at a couple of minutes more than the original film itself and improving on his previously submitted segmented run.

That's all the time we have for today. Be sure to watch these great runs and stay tuned with us here at Speed Demos Archive for more fantastic Speed Runs!

 

COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED NEWS FLASH!

The arduous and longitudinal analysis is complete; the results from the grand speedrunning survey of 2017 are in. They will be announced and picked apart on the Twitch stream of tonic, the head of the team whose initiative this whole shebang was. This is happening this Sunday at 6PM EDT. Check here to see when that is for you.

[Old News]