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Sunday, October 12, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 by LLCoolDave
If you're more into existential horror instead of the rawr brains type of scare the Resident Evil series provides, Silent Hill 2 surely must be one of your favourite titles. The PC release added a couple of features to the game, among which is a quicksave and quickload option. Ordinarily, one would expect these to be used for segmentation, but Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko has found some rather clever ways to abuse them in a single segment setting instead, fighting his way through the third scariest town in the continental US in a mere 0:45:46 in the Normal Action/Normal Riddle category.
As an aside at this point, we would like to officially renounce any responsibility SDA takes for pants being soiled from watching spooky speedruns. inFamous: Festival of Blood does feature the classical horror creature type vampire (not the sparkly variation), but I'd be hard pressed to call it a horror title. As a digital only spinoff to the superhuman city wreckage simulator inFamous, Festival of Blood somehow turns the main protagonist into an aforementioned vampire and then, in true comic book fashion, simply expects the player to accept that that is indeed now a thing in this story. Not that 'sk84uhlivin' has had much time to ponder this turn of events, as the entire Transylvanian subplot is resolved in a mere 0:29:30.
Our spiral into mysticism has now finally left behind any remnants of horror and put us deep into Japanese folklore, somehow. Ōkami weaves plenty of traditional characters, stunning visuals and a lupine protagonist into an astonishingly well produced mesh. In short, I'd describe the game as 'Zelda with a wolf', but there was an actual Zelda title where Link is also a wolf, so I'll have to settle for 'Zelda with a wolf - the good one' instead. Nicolas 'PillsOfDeath' Ziane steers sun goddess Amaterasu through her beautiful adventure on the crisp HD release in 1:25:56 on New Game+ in our final run of the day, and if you'll excuse me, I think I have just found a good reason to plug in my Wii again.
Saturday, September 27, 2014 by ShadowWraith
Legend of Mana is one of those jRPGs that everyone seems to be incredibly fond of, but it's one that I know very little about. The run here is by prolific runner Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe, and completes the Dragon storyline in a single segment in 1:49, an improvement of 9 minutes over his run from 2008. Good stuff!
Speaking of jRPGs that everyone seems to be fond of, I have a childhood-destroying run of EarthBound (aka Mother 2) here. It's in the 'uber large skips' category, which I guess means that it's in the category of runs that have large skips and are sufficiently German. 'nemi' has clearly had enough of Porky's shenanigans and decided to skip the preamble normally required to stop a formless malevolent alien force by glitching to the debug menu, beating the game in 0:09:58. I guess Giygas couldn't comprehend the form of nemi's strats, huh?
While not a jRPG in the traditional sense, Rygar still has some RPG elements so I'm going to use that as a segue. This run is a 2 second improvement by 'Darkwing Duck' over his previous run, with a final time of 0:22:53. Not much else to say about this one.
Oh boy oh boy oh boy! QuackShot. Not an RPG. Oh well. 2D platformers are cool too, especially with Donald Duck. 'Windalgo' crushed the previous run of this game, cutting 2 minutes and 24 seconds off of the previous time on the site with his 0:25:10 submission.
Finally, some updates to our Challenge Map IL table for TMNT, submitted by Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe:
That's all for now. See you soon.
Friday, September 26, 2014 by LLCoolDave
While we're on the topic of classic platforming titles let's take a look at Faxanadu, a game that's been gone from the front page for far too long. Combining sidescrolling action with RPG elements, this little known gem never quite managed to escape the shadow of the similar Zelda II despite being a superior design in many aspects. 'ShinerCCC' improves on the previously published run by precisely 100 seconds, a curious but arbitrary fact that allows me to make this paragraph appear to have more content than it actually does. In any case, the new time to beat is a numerically less remarkable 0:29:04.
In a time before video game stories tried to take themselves seriously and failed at it, protagonist Milon lived in the land of Hudson (now take a guess at what studio developed this game) and gets involved in a strange plot involving stolen musical instruments in Milon's Secret Castle. Despite the strange setting, the game is mostly famous for its unforgiving and arbitrary design, relying on players finding secret passages that are in no way indicated to exist before you stumble upon them, among other rather glaringly poor gameplay decisions. A lot of these issues obviously disappear when speedrunning as 'HavocProdigy' knows the game inside out and discovered a very efficient route through it, beating this bane of many a childhood in a mere 0:09:03.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 by dex
Speaking of Hideo Kojima, we also have a brand new run of the possibly most demented of his games: Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake - which is quite a distinction in a lineup including gems such as SD Snatcher or Metal Gear Solid 4: Grandpa Fighting Simulator. 'Jaguar King' decided to go the extra mile and get the coveted Big Boss rating in his single-segment run, and accomplished this quite challenging feat in 0:51:29 on the in-game timer. This is from the European version of Subsistence, by the way.
Battletoads is up there on the shortlist of the most annoying games of all time. That didn't stop Piotr 'TheMexicanRunner' Delgado Kusielczuk from improving two of the runs on that there page. First, he tackled the standard category (with deaths) and got 0:13:16, 4 seconds faster than the pretty optimized run from January. Then, he obsoleted an old record for the 100% (all stages), getting 0:24:19, over 9 minutes faster. Not bad for runs finished two days apart.
We've also got a small improvement on the IL page for Kirby Super Star. 'BBQSauz' improved the Gourmet Race - Race 1 record to 0:00:21.55. It's a small improvement - less than a second - but enough to knock the total time down by another second. By the skin of the teeth...
For a more modern take on platformers, let's turn to Risk of Rain. Maik 'Onin' Biekart decided to add a run with another character to the lineup on the page. This time, it was using the Mercenary on Downpour difficulty, and it's 0:11:50. All of this is single-segment and using artifacts - which are modifiers of the original difficulty that are supposed to make stuff harder. Spoiler: they don't, not for a speedrunner.
Finally, we have Duke Nukem Forever. Now, I can already hear you typing that angry email: "but dex, you said this update wouldn't have another 3D game!" Well, I contend that describing this game and the characters in it as two dimensional is, if anything, giving the designers too much credit. Anyway, that didn't stop 'DumDumDugan' from wringing out at least some semblance of quality from this game and getting a single-segment time of 2:06:38 on the Piece Of Cake difficulty. Watching this might be the only possible way of getting entertained by Duke Nukem Forever - it's pretty good, I think mainly because it skips a lot of the game with sick tricks, which is most welcome.
Sunday, September 14, 2014 by LLCoolDave
But today is not only an arbitrary SDA update joke reference date but also the 25th anniversary of the beloved Duck Tales game on the NES. What better way to celebrate that than by breaking apart the modern remake Duck Tales: Remastered, which Robbin 'Timber' Tapper was kind enough to do for us today. Despite some immense popularity in the speedrunning scene on its release it still took a few months before a run was submitted to us, but this 0:31:11 on Extreme difficulty was surely worth the wait. Now we're just waiting on Shovel Knight.
It's just been a couple of weeks since the LittleBigPlanet franchise was last mentioned in this very place. (Well, not quite this exact spot, the update only had 2 paragraphs. The same basic idea of bringing create mode items into the story mode levels also works in the original game, so Tad 'RabidJellyfish' Cordle completes his domination of the Large Skips categories with this 0:29:39 showing.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the other hand has not been on the front page in quite a while but is highly anticipated. Today, however, is not that day, as you could have likely deduced by the lack of a hyperlink in the previous sentence. Instead, we have a good ending run collecting all the chaos emeralds on Sonic 3D Blast by Matthew 'voideddarkness' Millwood. Released in the relatively short time span between people yearning for 3D gameplay but the technology not being quite capable of it yet and people realising that isometric platforming is generally quite terrible, Sonic 3D Blast hit the sweet spot of, well, erm, bird collecting or something. This genre still haunts my nightmares, but this 0:41:23 run shows that at least this particular game is one of the best of its kind.
While we're on the subject of challenging platformers, Darkwing Duck on the NES springs to mind. My mind isn't that reliable on the subject though as it somehow associates the title with Sunsoft when it was actually developed by Capcom, so for our favourite Mexican runner Piotr 'TheMexicanRunner' Delgado Kusielczuk's sake I hope I'm also wrong on the difficulty. In case this first childhood videogaming experience had left him with some deep grounded trauma these submissions should have freed him from his curse. Not only does he beat the any% time by over 20 seconds to achieve a 0:12:36, he also included a 0:13:41 run without any pickups. Now he's truly the fajita that flaps in the night.
Contra Hard Corps: Uprising is an XBLA "Contra" game that made the absolutely critical mistake of including a health bar so it is completely and utterly dead to me. DEAD, YOU HEAR ME! SHOT STRAIGHT IN THE HEAD, SO IT SHOULD BE AS DEAD AS CAN BE BUT IT ISN'T BECAUSE HEALTH BAR! 0:43:33 Arcade mode Krystal by Steve 'sutiibu' Laemont blah blah. What an abomination of a game.
Okay, I kind of lied earlier, there is a Zelda game this update. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is the 3D 3DS rerelease of the N64 classic with a confusing title, as the original was already in 3D but it wasn't IN 3D if you know what I mean. (And I don't, because that 3DS feature doesn't actually work for me. Just like the TV based version this release is still very broken, so it's no big surprise that 'gnik' finished it in a mere 0:36:13, but if you want to know exactly how he accomplishes that you'll have to watch for yourself.
) ) There, I hope you're happy now.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Pew pew pew ... IN SPACE!
If the vast emptiness and hostility of space is not your thing, maybe you'd prefer some atmospheric dogfighting instead. Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan Wars still involves a lot of aircraft being shot down, but at least this time the eject button seems like a preferable option to blowing up in a giant fireball (or rather, mediocre explosion due to lack of oxygen). 'Thehealbus' found the previous war efforts to be a bit inefficient and thus managed to set the future of an entire geopolitical region in a mere 1:01:31 this time around.
And now for something completely different. Nox has appeared on the front page twice in the past and today's entry rounds out the class table for this isometric action RPG. Maik 'Onin' Biekart picks up the Conjurer class this time for some highly glitched spellslinging and crossbowerizing and incorporates some new tricks in his 27 segments. Although not sounding safe for work, the imp bump certainly played a role in achieving a final time of 0:34:24, but the nutritiously favourable apple bump also makes a comeback.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Pew pew pew
Pew pew pew pew pew, Mega Man X2 pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew. Pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew, pew pew pew pew pew pew Tyler 'Trogdor' Sykes. Pew pew pew pew pew pew pew, pew pew pew pew. Pew! Pew pew pew pew pew pew pew, pew pew pew pew. Pew, pew pew pew pew pew pew 100 seconds pew pew pew pew pew pew, pew pew pew pew pew pew 0:33:50.
Metroid II: Return of Samus pew pew pew pew pew Mega Man, pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew. Marc J. 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski pew pew pew pew pew 100% pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew. Pew pew pew pew pew pew, pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew. Pew pew pew pew pew pew pew 6 minutes, pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew 1:03:24. Pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 by LLCoolDave
For an entirely different outlook on our future we can turn to the Metal Gear series, although the world painted there doesn't look much more friendly to stay in either. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is part of the canon but plays very unlike other titles in the series. With a heavy emphasize on sword fighting, the hack and slash element takes first billing over the usual stealth focus, but most people agree that the whole package works out just fine this way. 'General_Beatrix' guides protagonist Raiden through a New Game+ playthrough on Hard difficulty with resets in an action packed 0:50:44.99.
If you're still eager for more slashy slashy we can turn to a game that quite likely had a lot of influence on Metal Gear Rising's design in Devil May Cry. The game is notorious for both its crisp gameplay and controls but also the very high difficulty and learning curve, and 'ahuynh' does not go easy on the category choice. Just finishing the game with 100% item collection on Dante Must Die! difficulty is quite impressive on its own, but he does so in a single segment run in just 1:29:37 on the PS3 HD rerelease using the Legendary Dark Knight costume.
Monday, September 8, 2014 by IsraeliRD
One of the harder NES games out there, and there are a lot of them, but this one has to stand out, is Ghosts 'n Goblins. Watching runs done in previous 'GDQs as well as the ones on SDA you can't help but be impressed as the runners handle the RNG and lag, especially when Round 2 of this game happens. Daniel 'Kareshi' Brown is synonymous with this game and for good reason, as he crushed his previous run down to 0:20:52.
A lot of books, movies and TV shows that get a game remake are not that good, and some are outright disasterous. One of the few games that pleased its fans is Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights, as it stays true to the Scooby-Doo! universe, even featuring villains and music from the original episodes. The Mastermind has kidnapped the gang and it is up to Scooby to free them and piss on The Mastermind's leg. James 'cooopercrisp' Mernin takes control of the brave/scared Scooby as he makes his way through the Mystic Manor and its surroundings in 1:32:33, with deaths.
Sunday, September 7, 2014 by IsraeliRD
LXXX * II
FLaiL is a pretty neat indie game that has nothing to do with me flailing in the swimming pool trying not to drown, or with others having a grand entrance. Based on a character that is capable of changing its movement mid-air, you need to manoeuvre around certain hazards (i.e. spikes) that are in your way, and collect different powerups as you try and get to the finish. Charles 'Arcanod' Nannan improves the time--I'm sorry, score, of the previous run by re-doing the entire table, landing at a high score of 247540.
While the title of Stealth Bastard Deluxe: Tactical Espionage Arsehole can be somewhat misleading, the game really is about stealth. You take control of a goggle wearing clone which is a bit smarter than your average clone, and your task is to get to the end of every room in a testing facility while staying in the shadows. If you leave the shadows you will meet hordes of robots, lasers, robots with lasers, rocket shooting robots and much more (spoilers: robots). There is also this robot you sometimes move that makes the saddest eyes when you run away from it, being the arsehole that you really are. 'Niet the Dark Absol' is being a good clone test subject and wraps up the game in 1:05:05.06.
Saturday, September 6, 2014 by IsraeliRD
I've had enough of bullet points for now. Thankfully the next game doesn't need bullet points as the entire table was improved, but since there are guns in it, there are bullets as well. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light sees Lara Croft team up with Totec, a Mayan warrior, in their adventures to stop the evil spirit Xolotl. Firstly we have 'Fatalis' do a one player run in New Game Plus in 0:22:08. I guarantee it has quite a few interesting skips, and if you want to see the game broken even further, then 'Fatalis' and 'dawhos' teamed up to bring down the New Game Plus co-op table down to 0:14:54, 3:33 minutes faster than the previous table.
Friday, September 5, 2014 by IsraeliRD
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! is a game many of you would be familiar with. Taking control of Little Mac you need to punch your way (and avoid getting knocked out) to the top as you take on some odd opponents, and eventually going fist to fist with Mike Tyson. Zack 'Zallard1' Allard and 'sinister1' have teamed up to improve the individual levels table by 13.34 seconds and bring it down to 0:14:36.78. Improvements are:
'sinister1' also brings us an improvement to his old Single Segment run, improving it by slightly more than half a minute to 0:16:33.22.
In Super Punch-Out!! Little Mac is present again and this time knocking his way through to become the World Video Boxing Association champion. Zack 'Zallard1' Allard and D.J. 'Akiteru' Rideout have improved four levels by 0.85 seconds to bring the time down to 0:02:17.05. Gives you an idea how optimized the individual-levels table is.
If you prefer to watch all the fights then you'd be happy to hear that Zallard1 also improved his previous Single Segment run by almost 5 seconds, bringing the time down to 0:02:49.19.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Sometimes you're just at a loss for words
The Fancy Pants Adventure: World 2 has me speechless for an entirely different reason: I've simply already fired my whole load the first time 'Newtmanking' submitted a run on the title. The game solely stands out by just being a slight bit more sophisticated than the other Flash games in its time and thus not being immediately forgotten. This new run in 07:21.77 improves on his previous efforts by adding a new skip in Level 5 and slightly tighter execution but not on the abysmal choice of wardrobe. Those pants are still no good, sir.
Monday, September 1, 2014 by LLCoolDave
New month, new runs
My first encounter with Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel taught me two impressive facts about him: He's a beast that seems to need no sleep, but is socially aware enough to pretend to nap under a table from time to time as not to make everybody else feel bad, and his collection of SNES games is rather outstanding. It is therefore no surprise if you have never even heard of the cartridge he dug out for today, the rather obscure Kendo Rage. The game features a girl sent out to fight monsters by, depending on the localization, a spirit detective (yay) or her personal kendo trainer (boo). That's essentially all I could find out about this game, this 0:11:21 run may very well be the most comprehensive information source on this game out there. I wonder what you will unleash on us next, Omnigamer, but I certainly can't wait for it.
As a friendly reminder, game submission for Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 is nearing an end, so if you've got something you'd like to offer make sure to read up on the guidelines before it's too late.
Sunday, August 31, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Finding new headlines every day is a tiring process
Donald Duck is a lot of things to me, but I just can't imagine him as a competent detective with an alter ego of a Hawaiian ninja (then again, there is Paperinik so good job at keeping your character traits straight, Disney). Luckily, Maui Mallard is exactly the guy to fill that role, except that Maui Mallard is actually just Donald Duck and what the hell is wrong with this setup? Once you get beyond the confusion of just figuring out who the hell the protagonist actually is, Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow is one of my favourite childhood games. As a fairly well designed, varied and difficult platformer the SNES version gave me countless hours of enjoyment. If you've made the grave mistake of already clicking the game link before finishing this paragraph you'll however have noticed that the run submitted today is on the GB port, which is worse in just about any way imaginable. Luckily, Martin 'J.Y' Söderhäll managed to figure out how to contain the suffering to a mere 0:12:42 so some of my good memories made it out unscathed.
Saturday, August 30, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Evil Things and Evil Minds
Speaking of things you don't want to encounter in the dark (and I don't get why everybody assumes that evil monsters would be your best friends during daytime), Resident Evil 4 surely features some Evil stuff going on with some Residents of the area. The game has proven to be a popular speedrunning title, so today Leon's ill designed one man rescue party for the president's daughter takes him through the gamecube release with special weapons in 1:46:59 at the hands of Austin 'Auddy07' Davenport, a considerable improvement over the previous run in this category.
In an incredibly ballsy move the terroristic The Mafat Conspiracy has stolen a weapons satellite and is now extorting BOTH the US an Soviet governments at the same time. Special agent Golgo 13 is sent to deal with the threat through 5 different styles of gameplay including sniping and driving a Ferrari, because if you're going to save the world, you might as well do it with style. Marc J. 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski shoots, punches and dies his way through the rather unusual NES game in 0:24:58, just quick enough to be home for his pizza delivery to be picked up. Mmh, Ferraris and pizzas. A world worth saving.
Finally, sometimes you just do evil things solely for your personal amusement. Mr. X has lured unexpecting victims to a luxury cruise just to have them participate in a murder party. Everybody is assigned a target in secret they have to assassinate while dodging any attempts on their own life. Although primarily designed for multiplayer action, The Ship: Murder Party also features a singleplayer campaign in which you have to (spoilers) unsuccessfully try to escape the grasps of Mr. X. Having already successfully murdered all of his friends, Christian 'ShadowDraft' Moll picks up this campaign and manoeuvres through it in 0:19:07 on easy difficulty.
Thursday, August 28, 2014 by LLCoolDave
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Somehow, Metal Gear Solid 3 HD manages to subpass the previous title in realism still. Whereas the first Metal Gear Solid plot at least had a reasonable level of plausibility to it, by the third game in the subseries we've already thoroughly passed into (possibly literal) voodoo magic. Centenary snipers that die of old age, a guy carrying a hornet's nest on his back, the disembodied spirit of a dead medium and a guy being supercharged with high voltage are just some of the foes you have to face in this game. The stealth action gameplay in the series is absolutely superb though, as demonstrated by japanese runner 川元 'Hikari' 英則 here, adding a single segment EU-Extreme Foxhound run in 1:20:11 to his previous segmented outing.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by LLCoolDave
A slight delay
Stairs play a major role in our lives and those of video game characters, yet they are seldomly paid much attention. Being a convenient way of making use of a vertical component in our buildings, in older games they also served as a useful point for room transitions to keep the memory use in line. It is precisely this careful use of memory space that makes stairs such a prominent feature in this Final Fantasy IV run. The game naturally only stores a limited stack of back references when using a staircase, so cycling through some rooms in a loop until this stack is filled and then backtracking leads to the game just throwing you in an arbitrary spot it didn't intend you to go. Naturally, 'nocashnocash' abuses the potential to easily travel anywhere in the game to its fullest, beating the large skips category in a mere 2:03:58, shaving almost a quarter hour off the previous time and saving an hour on the lazy elevator using couch potatoes.
Monday, August 25, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Hope you took a day off for these
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers is a strong contender for longest SDA ID at 32 characters. Being the fourth game in the Crystal Chronicles subseries it also might just hold the record for longest story arc in the Final Fantasy series. It however takes place long after the previous titles, so once again you don't run any risk of being familiar with any of the inexplicably clad protagonists. Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe found some improvements to his old route and shaved off just over 11 minutes to achieve a run in 4:01:50 over 20 segments, including over 90 minutes of unskipable cutscenes. Why would you ever want to skip a cutscene in a JRPG anyway?
Sunday, August 24, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Build your own speedgame
LittleBigPlanet 2 features even more of what made the first one great. Figuring that just playing through the predesigned levels isn't doing the game full justice, Tad 'RabidJellyfish' Cordle decided to use and abuse the game's editor to thoroughly break the singleplayer experience. The result is a run in 0:29:40 skipping most of the levels in the progress.
Saturday, August 23, 2014 by LLCoolDave
A blast from the past
In their neverending quest of environmental friendliness by producing heavily recycled content, Nintendo has brought the nearly forgotten franchise of Kid Icarus to the forefront again. Not only did the main character Pit get a coveted spot in their popular mascot clobbering series, he even got a well received full fledged 3DS game out of the revival. However, Dylan 'Jorf' Beauchamp is a man of tradition. His speedrunning efforts were concentrated on the original title, guiding the flickery 8-bit sprite of Pit through 4 worlds of traditional jumping and running in a quick 0:25:23, beating the old time by over 8 minutes.
Friday, August 22, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Pow! Right in the kisser!
Double Dragon Advance at least aspires to having a real storyline, although calling it original would be rather far stretched; not only is it utterly generic, it also exactly follows that of the original Double Dragon. The Advance release however is more than a pure port as it not only incorporates 4 new levels but also moves from later titles in the series. This 0:18:54 run doesn't do the best of jobs in showcasing the variety in your attacks though, as some combos are just more efficient at taking down most enemies quickly. To me the most notable oversight in this release however is the fact that Bimmy Lee seems nowhere to be found.
In case you haven't figured it out yet, today's runner is of course the one true crude dude, professional goon puncher and suplex master extraordinaire Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 by LLCoolDave
I'd rather never sleep again
Anodyne is a rather less surreal game than Jazzpunk, but it still takes place in a dream world. As such runner 'The Barrel' has decided to decree walls to be more of a decorative design than an integral part of the game world and decided to just go where ever it pleases him. It should be no surprise then that his all bosses run in 0:24:43 deals with things in a rather unusual order, abusing the game's engine to the fullest.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Help, my screen is melting
Mega Man Battle Network 3 is a somewhat unusual spinoff from the traditional Mega Man formula of unforgiving platforming, tight energy management and difficult boss battles. Instead, the Mega Man Battle Network series features tight chip management, difficult routing decisions and unforgiving action-RPG battles. Maybe it's not actually as big of a departure as I first though. As usually, getting a good run on an RPG involves just the right mixture of good planning, solid execution and the right amount of luck and it seems like 'Tterraj42' succeeded in finding that perfect balance to achieve a time of 3:28 on the Blue version, not only improving the old time by 6 minutes but also doing so in a single segment this time around.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 by LLCoolDave
The first game of the day is Cool Spot on the SNES, a bizarre platformer featuring the anthropomorphized red dot from the 7 Up logo as a main character. You know, that dot that somehow separates the logo into two parts yet isn't actually part of the product name and which most of you won't recognize ever wearing gloves and shoes as the logo has been redesigned twice since this game was released? Yes, exactly, that thing. 'darbian' has refused any statement on a potential corporate sponsorship for his 0:11:27 run but reports indicate that he has last been seen installing a mildly citric water park in his backyard.
Next up is the PS1 stealth classic Syphon Filter. Surprisingly none of the high-tech biological weapon manufacturers have decided to associate their corporate branding with this title. At least that'll keep the players from developing an insatiable urge to eradicate an entire subcontinent. Martin 'J.Y' Söderhäll went back to the game with some new tricks and route changes to improve on his old time by almost 9 minutes, achieving a run in 1:00:55 across 20 segments.
If you'll excuse me now, I've got an inexplicable thirst to quench.
Sunday, August 17, 2014 by IsraeliRD
Our longest run today begins with a title that never got released on the NES in North America, and was the last game ever released in Europe for the NES. Actually this trivia is probably chewing off your spare time so I'll just state that The Lion King was the answer. Taking control of the wild and untamed Simba Dave 'bangerra' Janssens goes through the RNG-hell-bad-platform-collision-pixel-perfect-jumps-invisible-enemies game in a super fast 0:06:13 to defeat a coconut-throwing monkey and become King of the Jungle. Probably a good thing it didn't get a North American release.
Next up is a twist on playing with yourself. Cursor*10 is a short game where the objective is to lead your cursor through floors and solve puzzles using your current and previous cursors. Andres 'Almarac' Vanlandewyck finishes the game in 0:01:47. To the curious, the lack of LQ is on purpose, as it's due to the new yua (coming soon). MQ is being encoded in the same profile and features as LQ/HQ which means some runs may not produce LQ, and some will no longer have HQ.
Ether Lunu is a first person platformer/shooter game created by a number of students as their university project homework. Your task is to use an Ether to perform Sun Busts to jump around the level, passing traps and other obstacles. Ben Hogan speeds through in 0:01:31 and gets my A+.
The last run on the update is so fast that if you blink you'll miss all the action. Actually I'm not sure how much action Picture Puzzle can have, but Dave 'bangerra' Janssens provides us with 0:00:01 of action and solves a picture of a swag crocodile. The intro on the other hand is way too long.
Since speed is the name of this update, a certain blue blur just has to go fast. We're talking Sonic and the great folks at The Sonic Center are having their third charity marathon, which starts on the 18th of August at 2:00 PM EDT. All money raised will go to the American Cancer Society. Check out their stream and scroll down for the schedule.
Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 is approaching and you can now submit your games! Follow the instructions in this topic and hopefully you'll get a game in as well! If not, don't salt. Instead use the salt next time you stream your Chikin Sammich speedrun and maybe that will go on AGDQ! Donation category is who will make the food (and then eat it). Can even be done as a race, or Co-op, or maybe one handed?
Monday, August 11, 2014 by IsraeliRD
Whipped to death
Kickstarting our biggest ever Castlevania block is an awesome game called Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Normally one takes control of Alucard as he sets on defeating his own father, while Dracula decides to recite the bible in his spare time. I don't think being a pastor is something that would be a good career choice. Anyway you also have an option to control Richter whose moveset from the get go is so impressive that he gets to shaft super-fast. So fast that when you let Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman play this game he does it in a swift 0:05:19, on the XBLA version and Single Segment.
The following runners have produced multiple runs, because they are not satisfied with just beating the game once, but making sure that the day is saved from multiple angles. First one up is Jay 'DeMoNFLiP84' Cabasag who's set on having a new legacy, and what a better way to start it off if not with Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness. Wolfing through Cornell's story, DeMoNFLiP84 saves Henry and Ada while defeating Dracula's career resurrection plans in a mere 1:22:32, in Single Segment. Talking about Henry, DeMoNFLiP84 also goes through his story to save 6 children in 0:17:17, 20 seconds faster than the previous run, and also Single Segment. I would like to know how the children got there to begin with because some of those spots are crazy.
Now for a different type of legacy. A sequel to Castlevania III comes in the form of Castlevania: Curse of Darkness. Normally one plays Hector as he goes through a journey to battle his career-related old-friend turned nemesis, Isaac, and ends up fighting against Dracula. Having already done that, Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody decides to take up Trevor Belmont and his trusty whip instead. Blazing through the castle and surrounding areas, Dragondarch destroys the game in a brief 1:22:20, done in Single Segment. This is 21:15 minutes faster than the previous run on the site, which was segmented. If this wasn't enough for you then you'd be happy to know it wasn't enough for Dragondarch either as he also plays the Boss Rush mode as Trevor in 0:09:49.33, a 2:09:72 minutes improvement. Now having his name exclusively on the page I'd like to ask if we'll see an improvement on the Hector run. Preferably Single Segment.
A few months ago LLCoolDave has asked everyone to submit a Vampire Killer run, a MSX2 exclusive, before you got to the end of his update. It appears that 'Jaguar King', who did Haunted Castle in that update, has decided to do just that and actually make a run for this game. Taking control of Simon Belmont, Jaguar King has to traverse Dracula's castle and collect Skeleton Keys in order to get to Dracula's room. These keys were well hidden as clearly Dracula wants to be alone, but Jaguar King doesn't let him be. And then we wonder why he hates us. Reasoning aside, Jaguar King beats the game in 0:17:44, also Single Segment. Unlike Haunted Castle which has a giant fugly face of Dracula coming from the side this time you have to beat a less-ugly portrait as Dracula's second form. Perhaps a painter isn't the best career choice either.
The next two games have confused the hell out of me before this update, and thanks to Wikipedia I now know why. The first game is Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge. Christopher's Belmont son Soleiyu gets kidnapped by the evil Dracula, as he turns him into a demon (turning people to demons is a good career choice) with the plans of becoming human again and rebuilding his castle. Whipping his way in black, white and 50 shades of grey 'Jaguar King' makes a second appearance, as he saves Soleiyu and Transylvania and this time with a run totalling 0:27:19, done in Single Segment. Erm. Yeah.
The second game also begins with Castlevania II in the title, and is also a sequel to a previous Castlevania game. Now you understand why I got confused? Castlevania II: Simon's Quest sees Simon Belmont's career choice of killing Dracula taking a turn for the worse. Cursed by Dracula before his untimely death, he has to collect all five body parts in order to bring Dracula back from the dead, and then kill him again. 'Furious Paul' decided that non-sensible plots are something he could get behind as he turns his attention to bring us the maximum categories possible in this game. First off we have a deathless 0:38:42 run, Single Segment. After that we have a 0:36:52 run that contains deaths, and is also Single Segment. Lastly we have a 0:45:43 run which is 100%, with deaths and--- you know what, if you haven't been paying attention to the secondary theme of this update, of which all of these runs followed, then I'm not going to tell you anything more about this run.
To conclude this massive update, and looking back at the runs and the various career choices Dracula and co. had, I can safely say that the best possible choice is for him to stay dead. However as someone who loves watching Castlevania speedruns, I for one will be sad if this does turn out true. Meanwhile I'd like you all to take note that we don't have all Castlevania games on the gamelist yet, and since it worked so well with LLCoolDave last time, then please do a speedrun of Castlevania Legends. Preferably in Single Segment.
Until we meet again, I'm off to watch two more Haunted Castle runs which currently sit in the submissions queue. I think you know what type they are.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 by IsraeliRD
Writing titles can be Payneful
Let's start with a one man war. Max Payne is a name familiar to many of you for his ability to almost die a number of times, and always come out firing to destroy the ultimate evil that destroyed his life to start with. To help Max bring in the pain is runner Nigel 'ridd3r' Martin who Super Jumps and save-glitches his way to a new low time of 0:51:35 on a deathless run of Dead on Arrival difficulty, Single Segment with resets.
A different type of conflict comes through Global Operations. This game puts you in the shoes of both terrorists and counter-terrorists as you fight one another on different parts of the world. The game has a huge variety of weapons and allows you to select several different classes, resulting in very interesting combinations. Carsten 'djcj' Janssen makes full use of the arsenal (and suiciding because it's faster), as he takes on both campaigns in 1:46:51 in 26 ILs done on Easy Difficulty.
Aliens and zombies really like killing humans as it appears, otherwise why else would we have so many games centered around this theme? Better yet if we combine the both together we'll get something pretty epic. Dead Space 3 continues the saga with Ryan 'LivingLooneyBin' Nicholls taking control of Isaac as he sets to destroy the marker home world (spoilers: aliens' homeworld). Battling through space, ice and out of bounds, LivingLooneyBin saves humanity (spoilers: Awakened) in 2:41:43 in a New Game Plus, Casual difficulty and Single Segment, with resets.
Robots. No, not the kind that are going to take over the world and kill us, but the kind we control: massive, powerful walkers. You guessed it, mechs. MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries continues giving people the enjoyment of raining hell with giant walking hulks of metal. Today runner 'Mewyabe' takes control of some Über mechs and completes the game in 0:58:33 on Recruit difficulty, Single Segment. This is an 8:09 improvement over the previous run, which also was segmented.
I can't see how this run fits the theme of this update, but I'll give it a serve and hopefully ace it. If the ball didn't hit you in the face with these clues, then perhaps tennis isn't for you. If you are a fan of tennis then you should check out the latest contestant! Aiming at the number one spot, runner 'ike6252' battles the RNG-hell of Virtua Tennis. But being #1 isn't very easy as you have to train between matches, get better equipment, handle your not-so-fantastic partner and time your shots properly. ike6252 wins the crowd as he completes the Arcade Mode in 0:05:31 and the World Circuit in 2:03:33. Both done on Very Hard difficulty and Single Segment of the European version of this game.
Saturday, July 26, 2014 by LLCoolDave
(Ad)venture a guess
In general, waking up with amnesia is slightly preferable to being stabbed as you exit a diner, but for Eike Kusch that event sets up an intriguing time travel adventure to prevent it from happening. After being revived by the mysterious Homunculus, Eike explores four eras to unmask his murderer. And again, 'Danielle' shows little empathy for this carefully designed story to explore in Shadow of Destiny and earns ending A in a mere 0:26:21 in 9 segments, all in the name of going fast.
Sonic Adventure DX on the other hand is not a real adventure game in anything but name but rather marked the series' first proper engagement with a full 3D game world, for better or worse. Certainly for worse it also introduced the concept of interlacing the cool, high speed Sonic gameplay with other playable characters you'd really rather wished they didn't waste time and disk space on. To me, Amy Rose is one of those, an annoying little sow whose only redeeming feature is her oversized squeaky hammer. Luckily, Anthony 'GeminiDX' Pancione spares us the trouble of spending more than 0:13:34 with her part of the story.
Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee trails the titular Abe as he tries to free his fellow Mudokon prisoners from the RuptureFarm meat-processing plant before they can be turned into an all new product (which, given the way they look, I wouldn't expect to be very tasty). The game is rather famous for its difficulty level and very unique graphical design and feel, but the way Sam 'Samlaptop' Locke treats it is unlike anything you've seen before. If you simply refuse to die, the game design really gets slapped in the face in interesting ways. This 0:24:41 run in 13 segments is already impressive enough in its own right, but Samlaptop has found even more absurd ways to break the game since this submission, so you can hope to see more of it in the future.
Until typing out this update, I never really noticed how bizarre the title Metal Gear Solid actually looks. Nevertheless, it has been one of the defining games of its generation and a popular speedrunning game for a long while. Thus it's all the more surprising how long it took for it to be as broken as it is today, as exemplified in this 1:09:16 run in 5 segments by 'Neb'. Not only does he achieve the BigBoss rank on extreme difficulty, he also makes a complete mockery of the story by doing things quite out of order, or skipping essential aspects of it entirely. I'm sure this is just an alternate cut of the events of Shadow Moses Island and has been planned by Hideo Kojima right from the start. At least I wouldn't be surprised if he claimed so.
Finally, if you've recovered from Summer Games Done Quick by now and have not been fully satisfied by the runs above, may I divert your attention to the European Speedster Assembly, holding their yearly marathon event from the depths of Sweden starting this Sunday. And if even their lineup of over 150 games can't quench your need for speedruns then perhaps it is time to get started yourself and submit a run of your own. As they say, the only way to stop a fire is to burn your own house. Actually, don't, that's a stupid saying. Don't burn your house. Not again.
Friday, July 11, 2014 by IsraeliRD
I should be timing speedruns but instead I bring you an update
Investigating the kidnapping of humans by aliens can a tough task, especially when you must recruit other people and aliens for the job. Thankfully they don't know you don't care about them as you let them die but they're still necessary to get to the last mission of Mass Effect 2. Runner 'letterswords' takes the role of Commander Shepard as he kills your favourite aliens all in the name of speed, 1:32:28 done in New Game Plus with DLC on Casual difficulty, and Single Segment. Main differences include a glitch to attain more skill points and DLC for best weapons and do different recruit missions, saving many minutes in the process.
Often games like to compete which can scare the player more and feature the most gruesome scenes. One such game is F.E.A.R.. The game itself is supposed to have several jump scares and a whole bunch of horror scenes that will kill your character, but 'Freezard' is having (almost) none of that. Mainly using ladders to glitch Out of Bounds, Freezard beats the game in 0:46:29 on Low difficulty using 55 segments. This is 9:30 minutes faster and 20 segments less than the previous run.
The plot behind Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise is that the bears on Perfection Island decided to go on vacation on an exotic island and didn't invite Naughty, who in return decides to hunt each of them and kill them in various entertaining ways that PETA won't approve. Taking control of Naughty is Michael 'MAS8705' Solseth who wipes the island from its inhabitants in 0:21:39 on New Game Plus in an individual-level table consisting of 36 murderous levels.
The last game today is part of the Doom series, meaning it is fast-paced and is all about killing demons without much care about the plot. I don't think I need to introduce Final Doom much longer so let's get to it. Christopher 'Dime' Dewey should be familiar to those in the Doom scene and today he gives us an impressive update to the Plutonia Experiment episode, improving the previous run from 2002 by 10:49 minutes and clocking in at 0:30:22. The run is on Ultra-Violence and is Single Segment.
And now back to my ever-growing list of runs to time I should really be working on.
Thursday, July 10, 2014 by ShadowWraith
That's a wrap, folks!
The event was a huge success - surprise crossbows and scythes aside - and all thanks to the people who make this community great, speedrunners and viewers alike, and I don't need to be the President of the United States to say that things are just going to get better and better. So whether you're a fan of Mario giving Bowser what-for for the umpteenth time, or prefer to watch Gordon Freeman perform feats of acrobatics that imply that the world is made out of rubber, or even someone casually taking a look at the marathon stream (or front page of this site, hi mom) to see what's up with this whole speedrunning thing, thank you. Thank you for helping us go fast.
For those of you not quite ready to let go, some kind folks at the speedrunning subreddit have made a catalogue of the twitch VOD links for the marathon speedruns for you to peruse at your leisure. Note that high quality encodes of the marathon runs will be available here in the not-too-distant future, so if you'd prefer waiting for a higher quality experience, watch this space.
For those of you looking to the future, Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 has been scheduled for the 4th-10th of January, and you can trust me when I say that it will be awesome. I mean, the clue's in the name. Duh.
Finally, I'd like to remind people that another speedrunning marathon, the European Speedster Assembly 2014 will be running from July 27th until August 3rd in Skövde, Sweden, hosted by Ludendi. So if you're still riding on that post-marathon buzz, you won't have long to wait until you can watch another one.
Time for us updaters to get back to our normal schedule.
Thursday, June 19, 2014 by ShadowWraith
Still here? Good. I wouldn't want to let a little thing like an awesomeness overload stop you from watching the good stuff. First up, Ikari Warriors 2. Now I know I called this the good stuff, and those of you unfortunate enough to be familiar with this game might disagree, and I completely understand that, but I'm sticking with what I said. This game is really hard, so knowing that someone exists that can beat the game pleases me greatly. Anyway, the speedrun. Marko plows through this admittedly weird game in a brisk 0:08:47, single-segment of course. Also the antagonist of the game is called Zang Zip. Just thought you'd be interested.
Anyway, onto less silly things. Ninjabread Man. Yep, less silly. You might be interested to know that this game started life as a reimagining of the old game Zool, from 1992. I certainly was. 3D platformer, you play the part of a gingerbread man who is also a ninja, and your primary opponents are cakes. This game is just a little bit too saccharine for my tastes, but I can definitely see the resemblance to Zool. 'SCXCR' makes liberal use of a level skip glitch and crushes this game in 0:06:57, presumably longer than it took to bake the protagonist. I bet he was delicious though.
Another platformer for you guys, this one has one less D in it though. Wonder Boy in Monster Land is one of the Master System's better known games and... Holy balls that cover art. Hahaha. Sorry. Anyway, yes, one of the Master Systems' better known games and Mathieu 'Mpatard' Patard smokes it in 0:18:50. That face. Whyyyyyyyyy?!
Renegade X: Black Dawn is a pretty cool first person shooter based on the old Command and Conquer first person shooter Renegade, which started life as an Unreal Tournament 3 mod but then made the jump to fully-fledged standalone game. I have yet to play it, but I probably will after I finish this update. Thank you, 'cortez', for reminding me of its existence. But I digress, 'cortez' blows through this game in a sweet 0:18:42 in 9 segments. However, we consider it an IL table as nothing carries over between levels, so this run is one of the few that exists in a weird single-video full-IL-table limbo. Still worth watching though.
Last up, the longest run of the update by far, Eternal Sonata. Not too familiar with this one, though wikipedia tells me the game tells you about the final dying dreams of a pianist/composer, Frédéric Chopin, which makes it pretty cool in my book. 'zxcvalor' wanders the mental wonderland that is this game in 2:55:12, on the PAL version. Also, if you're interested, the game features Chopin's music. That's a really cool detail.
Anyway, SGDQ HYPE! Tell your friends, tell your parent, tell your dog, HYYYYYYPEEEEEEEEEEEE.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Of Rice and Pens
Marvin strolled the streets with aimless, short strides. It was obvious that the town was just a tourist trap, the waterfront being lined with countless restaurants, cafés and shops selling all the things nobody has any use for except for when they seemed to be on vacation. The street merchants had already dragged their fragile wooden carts to the city centre while the shop keepers were busy moving all their extravagant display stands inside. Hand knit carpets, hideous portraits of the countryside, wooden figurines and whatever other worthless junk you could sell to ignorant visitors as exotic souvenirs. Marvin stopped at a small corner restaurant named Bamse where a waiter was furiously waving his arms about in the exaggerated local fashion. With some resignation, the family of four agreed and moved inside just as Marvin seated himself on the table next to them. The waiter turned: "Sir, would you be so kind to move inside? A storm is brewing and you wouldn't want your food be blown right off the dish now would you?" Marvin didn't deem the remark worth consideration. "I won't be staying for long and the wind's still calm for now. I'll have a cup of coffee, black, and today's paper if you please." The waiter resigned. Tourists had a sense of mind, but arguing with sailors was a futile effort. He carried a table inside and soon thereafter reappeared with a cup in hand and a paper under his arm. "Lovely place, isn't it?" he remarked as he placed the order on the table. "My great-grandfather Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll founded it back in 19:19 and it's been in family possession ever since. The view on the coast from here is outstanding on a clear day, but I'm afraid you don't get to see much when it's gotten this dark already." "I still see plenty enough." Marvin replied, but something seemed to have reminded the waiter of his task as he had already picked up another piece of furniture to carry inside.
The local newspaper proved to be rather uninspiring as nothing of any interest seemed to happen in this town. A new hotel had opened last week, a story clearly demanding a full four page report, some man turned 80 and plenty other that bored Marvin even more than that. The yearly EarthBound festival grasped his interest for a while at least. It seemed that '__sdfg' had broken the long standing record in the glitchless competition, setting the new bar at 4:11:02. In what was a huge upset, the five times champion in the major-skips competition struggled near the end and underdog 'nemi' was able to take a surprise victory with a time of 1:25:31. That certainly would have been worth watching, but Marvin felt that reading about sports just wasn't quite the same. The comic page was no better, something about the local humour just didn't click with outsiders. The Escape from Bug Island comic seemed to be hugely popular in the area, being printed in every paper Marvin had laid his hands on since the Bastion had reached this coast. Today's strip ended with a panel simply reading 1:00:22 on a blank background, with the author's cryptic signature of 'SCXCR' in the bottom right corner. Marvin couldn't even tell if it was meant to be funny, but if it was he surely didn't understand why.
Unusually, Marvin had finished the newspaper before his coffee, and frankly, he was quite glad he'd gotten through it. The winds had grown stronger rather quickly, and sudden gusts were strong enough to rip the paper from his hands if he wasn't careful. The moment he had taken the last sip the waiter was already in his back with the check. Marvin hadn't even taken a single step when the waiter was carrying the cup inside, and the table right with it. The sun had lost its fight with the ocean, and so had one of the smaller ships outside the harbour walls. The waves on the open sea kept rising, and the heartbeat on the pier was growing anxious and restless. Ba-Bum. Ba-Bum. Ba-Bum. The late arrivals were scrambling to fasten everything they could, and whoever was still moving along the waterfront made sure he wouldn't be doing so for much longer. Everyone except for Marvin, who still paced himself in small strides, slightly shorter than before, but not nearly as aimless. His hand slid into his inner pocket, the cold steel giving him an uneasy sense of reassurance. His finger slid across, and a short stinging pain confirmed that the blade was still as sharp as it had ever been.
Friday, June 13, 2014 by LLCoolDave
The world is your oyster; presuming your seabed is littered with parallax scrolling
Despite having established some context now and setting the bar for plot lines and characters low enough to challenge the limbo world champion, Battletoad's synopsis still reads like something out of this world. The main characters are originally computer technicians who get sucked to a distant planet and turned into the titular battletoads while testing the Battletoads video game in a virtual reality setting. I couldn't make this up if I tried. If someone pinned a gun to my head and forced me to write something more ludicrous than this setting, I'd gladly reach out and pull the trigger for them. Beneath this absurd justification for its existence however lies one of the all time classics in the beat-em-up genre, with a long and star-studded history of speedrunning to boot. Standing on the shoulders of (virtual) giants today is 'jc583', utilizing the latest strategies and warps to finish with a time of 0:13:20 and winning the right to hop on a Sega CD on one leg until he gets turned into a two dimensional sentient pogo stick.
At this point, radioactively mutated chelonian martial arts experts seem surprisingly tame as far as mind bending concepts go, so there's no reason to even linger on that subject. One could even say that one could come up with that idea while blindfolded, after all vision is not all that useful for conceptualization. This incredibly forced segway leads us to the next runner, as the last time I saw 'sinister1' he was boxing blindfolded to the (very carefully timed) cheers of hundreds in a live audience and thousands on the internet. Today he proves that he can hurt people in more ways than just sticking a curiously heavy red glove up their nostrils, clobbering the hordes of the evil, possibly even sinister, Shredder to a pulp as Raphael in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. The game has spent some time on and off the speedrunning shellves in the past years but sinister1 managed to Krang out a sizeable improvement to the already fairly optimized previous run to finish on a time of 0:19:24 on hard difficulty.
Sypha Belnades prefers a less ... brawny approach to combat, showing an affliction for elemental magic. A more civilized weapon for a less civilized time, given that she has to hide her gender as not to be hunted down as a witch. Putting such a fierce warrioress...ess(?) in the hands of 'kmafrocard' can only lead to great results and it sure did in this case. Showing up seemingly out of nowhere about a year ago, this runner has already left his marks all over the Castlevania series, taking down numerous records in these anything but uncontested games and this run on the japanese release of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse is one of them. His time of 0:28:24 beats the old US run on SDA by over half a minute, which is quite remarkable for a game this optimized despite some version differences you can take advantage of if you undust your original famicom.
In what is at best a mildly interesting coincidence, 'ZakkyDraggy' shares the spotlight in one of my Friday updates with MURPHAGATOR! for the second time this year. The game that gives him this honour today is even the same as last time, as he felt slightly unsatisfied with his previous submission on Journey to Silius. With further dedication and the speedrunning mantra of shaving frames in mind he managed to cut out another 4 whopping seconds of mistakes to improve his time to 0:11:13. Decomposing everything into its molecular constituents with a futuristic blaster rifle is either the most or least civilized way of resolving a conflict presented here today, but I'm uncertain on which side I should stand on.
Finally, as a slight change of pace for today, we leave the realms of 2D-kill-em-ups and take a look at Klonoa for the Wii, which despite its fully 3D rendered environment is still very much a 2D platformer in spirit, as the player's path is still essentially restricted to two degrees of freedom. As the Extra Vision unlocked after getting a full 100% completion at the game mocks the player with a timer, Pierre 'Skullbot' B. deemed it necessary to strike back by making the timer show as small a number as he could. 0:02.04.59 later the level ended, with loads of floating animals being grabbed and abused in rather horrifying ways. I meant to end this on a high note, but dropping countless innocent beings into molten lava just so you can get some additional height on your jumps is just detestable behaviour and I will not stand for this. I'm going to punch some puppies to calm my nerves. This is what you've done to me, I will take no blame in any of it.
Sunday, June 8, 2014 by dex
Stealing a dream
February 4th, 1927
First night of keeping the journal, and already I can feel writing this down is helping jot my memory. The scene was full of monsters of weird shapes and sizes, looking almost as if cut from cookie dough. The sky was filled with black clouds; while there were no raindrops falling, a definite Risk of Rain was brewing. I could almost feel the... randomness... of the whole universe in the air. Chaos, straight in the middle of a possible Downpour. I had a bow in my hand, like some sort of hunter or Huntress, out in the world, looking for the next kill. The name Maik 'Onin' Biekart kept resonating in my head; perhaps that is some sort of an allusion to a Norse god? The dream continued uninterrupted, with the bow felling many enemies effortlessly, until I awoke.
According to the ornate clock in my room (which has the capacity to track seconds; a most curious, intricate device, with an almost hypnotically entrancing pendulum), I awoke at 0:17:48. A lot calmer than the dreams of previous nights; maybe the prospect of writing them down helps.
February 6th, 1927
Back to intense dreams after two nights of relative rest. I'm beginning to affirm myself in the belief that these dreams are not merely random musings of a barely conscious mind, but actual visions. It feels like
someone something is trying to give me some clues; I cannot explain how I ascertained it is so, but I feel that it is so. Tonight, I have dreamt of swords and magic; of dungeons, villains, and medieval heroes. Perhaps this is implying that these visions I had have sort of A Link to the Past. When I woke up, I could swear the clock - stuck unmoving at 1:25:06 - had the name 'Jadin' etched on it; upon closer inspection, there wasn't anything there, and the pendulum returned to full swing. I recall a similar dream in the past, but this one was at least a minute shorter and felt more entertaining. It also felt like... the dream was late, due to error by either me or my close associates. So strong is this feeling that I can't help but apologize even on these pages; pages not intended for anyone other than me.
I have just noticed my journal entries seem to contain randomly capitalized words. Weird.
February 8th, 1927
Today, I have dreamt of many pictures of kittens with white words written on them in, frankly, disgusting typeface. What could it all mean? Is this a vision of some kind of a possible, dystopian future; one where people waste their lives making such affronts to civilization?
February 11th, 1927
This is a most precarious situation; I have sat down to write down today's entry and saw those two words already etched in the notebook, along with the correct date. I do not recall doing that. Perhaps I sleepwalked? In any case, tonight, my visions showed me a world far away, a world in which Matt 'zoast' Thorne reigned king over the mysterious... space pirates. I do not know why the celestial domain would have pirates, but there you go. I awoke at 0:44:26; as ridiculous as this sounds, I could swear the clock only showed minutes just before I went to sleep. Almost like the timing method has changed, just for this dream - it must be important. I just don't know why it would be.
February 12th, 1927
I had the same dream today. Well, I say the same; it felt more... complete, like 100% of everything that can be found in it was finally clear to me. Again with the mysterious 'zoast' in charge, same other world... but with all the nooks and crannies clearly explored for my benefit. It's 1:17:54 now - later than yesterday, which fits the length and depth of the dream; it is a small comfort to know even in the midst of this paranoid episode of mine, I at least have a handle on the passage of time.
This might be the key to everything. Am I being warned about something? A war? Mysterious creatures?
As crazy as that sounds, for a second there, I thought one of the weird locals I've seen yesterday was in the room. Just my imagination; time to get back to sleep - I must really be quite exhausted.
February 13th, 1927
Tonight, it started the same as last night. I was almost convinced it was a repeat, maybe with even more detail. But as it went on, it dawned on me that that it wasn't a more complete version of the previous one. There was less freedom, less exploration. Not to mention it wasn't as exhaustive as the one on the 12th. The similarities were merely superficial. I was in another world entirely; one made to look similar, but still. I seem to have the words Metroid Fusion etched in my mind, along with a name: Alex 'kirbymastah'.
0:46. Where the hell is the seconds' hand?
There were a lot of gooey... things. Microorganisms of some sort. Maybe it's meant to represent a plague or something of that nature?
February 14th, 2014
Gotta prepare myself for the V-Day. The missus will probably want to visit a cinema to watch some new sappy Julia Roberts movie; snore. I'd rather play a cool game, like Wario Land 4. Oh well, what can you do.
Oh yeah, had a dream tonight; my therapist says I should keep a log of these, so whatever, here goes. I've seen some guy, Mike 'mike89' McKenzie I think. And he actually was playing Wario Land 4, now that I think of it. He did really good - single-segment, Normal difficulty, with resets, the whole nine yards. 0:47:50 for all that, that's not something you see every day. Obviously, cause it was just a dream. Is this whole log thing really supposed to help?
February 15th, 1927
Woke up with a horrendous headache today. Nothing special since the 13th.
February 26th, 1927
Something weird is going on in this town. I have burned this notebook after seeing the February 14th entry, but I just found it intact in the drawer. At least the bizarre dreams have stopped for the last two weeks.
February 29th, 1927
The dreams are back. I do not think I have long to live... I feel faint just
tryying trying to write this down; and I think I've seen too much. A secret order, full of psychics... Psychonauts, they called themselves. They infiltrate dreams in order to convert people. Was this all this was, me, just listening to some man called 'Grimdonuts' toy with my grey matter? Does he have accomplices in Innsmouth? I swear, every wall is beginning to look like it slithers, like a snake octopus. The clock stopped at 0:50:11; I think it's been broken since yesterday. Funny thing is, it showed a time 17 minutes higher before I went to sleep.
I hope someone finds these notes. Soon something terrible is going to hap
March 1st, 1927
Completed my preparation of the altar. He will not remain dreaming for long.
Thursday, May 29, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Saturday, May 24, 2014 by dex
Short but sweet
Staying in that general 80's video game area, we have an update to the Marble Madness record. Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios used a few new strats and applies some extra minor timesavers to pull off a 4 second improvement, which is a huge deal for a run that takes 0:02:50. It was an especially mad achievement to attempt considering the record was previously held by the legendary Andrew Gardikis; in fact, without video proof, I would go as far as to say a man trying to beat it lost his marbles.
Diligent readers of the SDA frontpage (who apparently still exist, as I was assured before picking up the updater's mantle back again) might recognize our next runner, the man going by Benjamin 'UraniumAnchor' Cutler, who decided a 5 year old run of his in Metal Storm needed an improvement. He then proved his suspicions correct with a single-segment 0:12:14, 30 seconds faster than the run that graced the game page previously; mostly through new strategies and some extra polish here and there.
The longest run in this update happens to be a Sonic 3 & Knuckles record. Adrian 'HDL' Perez noticed the Knuckles time wasn't the fastest one on the page any more and decided that was something - much like most moonshine - in need of quick rectification. The result of his exploits is a 3 minute, 48 second improvement to get a time of 0:22:40. This is a single-segment with deaths, by the way.
Finally, to round it off, an IL improvements to the Duke Nukem 3D table. Alex 'pogokeen' Dawson submitted a new Episode 3, level 3 run, an improvement of almost 2 seconds to get a time of 0:00:25.75 (getting the total time down to 0:20:43.85 in the process). Apparently, it is a whole new route to get it done faster, so go check it out! I mean, it's not like it's a big time investment.
Sunday, May 18, 2014 by LLCoolDave
We regret to inform you that all items touched by PJ DiCesare are exempt from our return policy
The Elder Scrolls titles are well known for being vast, immersive experiences featuring a detailed history, society and storyline for the player to explore. They are also well known for being some of the buggiest titles out there, and Oblivion is no exception in this regard. It is therefore no surprise that the game can be beaten in less than 10 minutes, but André 'Xevro' Gagné Bouchard figured that the game deserved a more extensive treatment. Opting to complete the full storyline he finished all of the main quests in ... 0:27:15 across 45 segments. For a game that takes most people days to complete that is quite the feat.
Inexplicably, most of the towns in fantasy settings seem to be founded on top of the congregations of evil. If you run into possessed gigantic rats, the screams of tormented souls, rotting ghouls and other demonic beings while you dig out your new town's sewer system, you might want to consider settling elsewhere. However, it seems like the accepted modus operandi is to throw passing adventuring parties at the problem until the evil spirits are either satisfied with the sacrifices or get defeated. The town of Waterdeep in Eye of the Beholder is no different, and a party spearheaded by Jay 'DeMoNFLiP84' Cabasag is sent to the town sewers. As heroic deeds are not paid by the hour the entire clean out is over in a mere 0:12:12 before the adventurers immediately got back to the town pub, almost 5 minutes quicker than the last group that made it back out alive.
Local inebriation expert Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare is famous for pretty much destroying anything electronic he gets into contact with. These traumatic experiences might very well have influenced his taste in games and speedruns, often leaving bystander simply question 'why?'. Sometimes because the game is incredibly punishing to run, sometimes because the game is just punishing to endure and very frequently both. Solstice passes my tests for being a good game, which simply means that it has had to have been a nightmare to run. An isometric 8-bit platformer with room transitions and fast, precise movement is hard enough to play as is but the run still goes further with plenty of frame precise tricks. By his own account, PJ finished two deathless runs of the game, both of which are featured here today: a 0:05:58 pure speed run and a 0:12:22 100% run collecting all the hidden pickups. Please note that SDA can not be held liable for any damage watching these runs may do to your computer or brain.
Saturday, May 10, 2014 by dex
Considerably more pedestrian
To put us in an appropriate, adrenaline filled mood, let's start off with Streets of Rage, a side-scrolling beat-em-up from around the fall of the Iron Curtain (or, more importantly, the announcement of the thankfully temporary dissolution of Devo). Noted SoR player 'galedog' took a lot of fight strategies, sprinkled them with infinite combo tricks and then topped the whole thing off with some skillful execution to obtain a single-segment record, to wit: 0:29:46 as Blaze Fielding on Normal difficulty.
If you fancy something less poisoned with pure testosterone and Arnold blood, you would do well to avert your gaze to Wild Arms 4, a Japanese RPG with a load of main characters that can't legally drink yet. Kenneth 'Tide' Cheung took on the extended task to get a record in this shockingly long game, and managed a 34 segment recording that takes 5:04:54 - which is a nice achievement considering the scope of the title.
More jRPGs for the RPG god! A fellow Speed Demos Archive updating partner in crime Michael 'Flip' Dix decided to tackle an entry in the acclaimed Tales series, Tales of Graces (specifically, the PS3 version). Showing a blatant disregard for the holy behind-the-scenes queue process by which SDA operates, he got his run stuck in the pipeline, waiting for his comments; truly shameful. Despite the delay, it's still a highly well made run: 33 segments for a time of 2:35, a New Game+ time. This one has audio commentary!
Finally, to round it off, another Tales game, this time Tales of Vesperia. Sarah Jahnke adds to her records in the series with a New Game+ run on the PS3 version, just 20 segments combining to 3:23:52, which is actually a good deal shorter than the Multiplayer run on the page, though how much of that is due to the PS3 version having cutscene skip is uncertain. Still, it's definitely worth watching, especially considering it has audio commentary. If that's not enough to whet your appetite... well, if you think you recognize this surname from somewhere, you aren't mistaken: the hidden hand that makes SDA go round a.k.a. Nate helped with the planning of the run and is in the commentary! If that still ain't enough for you to be convinced to watch it, I'm just gonna paste a sound bite from Sarah's text commentary: "[Thanks to] Nathan for [...] being on Cockface Duty."
Yeah, I thought that would do the trick.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 by LLCoolDave
In fact, you don't even need any legs at all for mighty quick platforming, as everyone's favourite butcher's-leftovers-come-to-live Rayman has proven time and time again. After a short stint with rabbit based entertainment this character returned to jump and run glory in Rayman Origins and it's about time that game made an appearance on SDA. 'Twyn' decided to forego the option of playing coop with his friends and rather blasts through the game on his own, with large skips and resets, in 0:46:55.
If people stopped spending so much time pondering about the precise sepia filter to apply to the picture of their now only lukewarm meal they might find that camera's have much more practical uses as well. Like cutting and pasting parts of your surroundings. Snapshot explores this feature of modern photography in depth, placing the player in ever more convoluted puzzle scenarios armed with just their reality bending picture device. Due to the way momentum of objects can be preserved 'Aaron_Haynes' has found some rather interesting solutions to some of these obstacles, beating the game in a mere 0:20:02.
Unfortunately, Phantasy Star Online does not chronicle the tales of the construction of a Vietnamese interstellar telecommunications network but rather turns out to simply be an action RPG. This has not stopped 'saintmillion' from dedicating some time to the game however, picking up the previously unlisted Ranger class and figuring out a way to seriously confuse the poor merchant NPCs in the game. Breaking the equipment system this way has allowed him to cut the previous best time for episode 1 almost in half with a single segment run of 1:04 on the Gamecube version. If you'll excuse me now, I've got a game idea to pitch.
And with this update out of the way we have officially broken the 1000 games mark at SDA, with a precise count of 1001 different games on our gamelist as of right now. Thanks to all the runners that have made this achievement possible and continue to submit runs for all of us to enjoy. With a bit of luck, we might be able to add another digit to this number some day. There's certainly enough games left unexplored, for now. What are you waiting for?
Friday, May 2, 2014 by dex
Back From The Dead
Aggressively enough that he got his first assignment instantly. Paired up with a guy called Kyle 'chairbender' Hipke to watch over the proceedings in the Hammerfight sector. Jesus, that was a hell of a first case to draw. Stone cold single-segment, too. The toughest you could find. As if all that weren't enough, 'chairbender' was not a man to be trifled with - a man who smashed things with impunity when it was necessary, and wasn't afraid of casualties in the line of duty. Still, the assignment was finished in just 0:36:10. The Archive valued expediency.
An abrupt breeze broke him out of his deep thought. Good thing, too - he didn't want to be late for his grand return. He began confidently walking towards the entrance, when suddenly, a sharp pain interrupted his stride, reminding him of his still not fully healed leg. An injury incurred in the line of duty, and the reason for his retirement; a retirement cut short by yesterday's proposition from the Chief. We've got something we could use your expertise for, the Chief said. Why did he even consider that proposition, anyway? This wound is reason enough to decline, he thought as he hobbled through the enormous, wooden doors.
The entrance hall looked just as impressive as he remembered it. The marble flooring, the pillars, the oak receptionist's desk - just like old times. Hell, there even was good old 'cortez' behind the desk, likely doing some lighter work before his next assignment. The tales of 'cortez's exploits in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky were stuff of legends back in the day - and for good reason. Even on Novice difficulty, running around in a zone full of radiation and bloodthirsty hostiles was nothing to scoff at, and it got done in a record time of 0:15:39. I mean, 'cortez' was back in office before the morning coffee was cold, how crazy is that?
Abandoning the trip down that particular memory lane, dex entered the elevator and pressed the second floor basement button on the panel, then hurriedly pushed the 'close door' button so he didn't have to wait - old habits die hard. The doors began to snap together when someone wedged a boot between the two sliding pieces of chrome.
"Pardon," said the man dressed in security garb as he entered the cabin. He waited for the doors to close properly before speaking again, a definite threatening note to his voice. "Second floor basement, huh? That area's off limits. I'm gonna have to insist that you leave."
"That ain't happening. I'm supposed to go there."
"Oh yeah? Who the hell are you?"
"Does it matter? I'm meeting the Chief."
The uniform relaxed himself. "Oh, you're that vet. You're shorter than I expected."
"Yeah, well, appearances can be deceiving."
"I guess. I just expected the man who tackled the whole Spider-Man debacle to be more... menacing, you know."
"Yeah, year 2000? Kid Mode difficulty? Don't tease me, man."
"Wasn't me. Not into the comic book stuff, honestly. I think it was, uh, someone going by 'Piston'. Real fast guy, good at aiming his swings."
"Sounds about right."
"0:37:39 was the time on that one. A real pro, that 'Piston'."
The guard raised his eyebrow. "You struggle to remember the man but recall the exact time?"
"Time," said dex, "is what matters, kid." He let the weight of his words sink in for a second. "Let's move, huh? I don't like enclosed spaces," he said, exiting the cabin and entering the hallway leading to the center of operations.
"So, what cases did you actually handle?" the uniform asked.
"Don't ask. It's a long story."
"You back for good?"
"Nah, it's just temporary."
"Probably for the best," scoffed the guard. "Cause I'm telling you, a lot changed since you've been gone. Hell, just last week Greg 'The Thrillness' Innes did an Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception gig."
Uncharted 3. Crazy stuff, thought dex. That must have been an extended deployment. "What difficulty?" he asked.
Very easy. Thank God. Even that was hard to believe. "Time?"
"2:35:37," the man said smugly. "71 segments"
Mental. Absolutely mental. These new guys really weren't joking around.
"Hey, we're here." They stopped in front of the Chief's office. "Good luck. You'll need it," the guard quipped as he returned down the hallway.
Maybe the rook actually had a point? Would the Chief even entertain hiring him again after seeing what a mess he is? Here he was, standing in a subterranean hallway, pretending he still had what it took to do this job - the same job that got him heavily injured. It was a Serious Sam: The First Encounter assignment with the SSDQ folks, 'Freezard' and Bart 'TheVoiid' de Waal - great agents with a lot of experience who assured him it would be a simple in-and-out job. It was, for them. 'TheVoiid' did things by the book in Tomb of Ramses (0:01:36, was it?), then went off the beaten path and skipped a lot of surface area in Luxor (got it done in 0:02:10). In his hospital bed, dex heard of 'Freezard's unconventional exploits - Sand Canyon (0:00:35), Valley of the Kings (0:01:51), Moon Mountains (0:01:05), Oasis (0:00:49)... amazing operations in which he was absolutely no use, and got shot before they even began. He was already mediocre enough to fail then, and only gotten rustier since.
Yet, recalling the day of the injury made him realise that, for the first time in a long while, his leg pain receded. He could already feel the adrenaline surging through his veins, and the feeling was not one of fear, but excitement. Perhaps that's why he agreed to come. Maybe, just maybe, he still had the touch. It was time to find out.
He entered the room of the boss man. The Chief was sitting in his chair, a dimly backlit silhouette in a dark room - you did not get to be the head honcho of the Archive without a little theatrical flair.
"It's been a while, Agent," the Chief bellowed in a familiar tone. On the desk in front of him lay dex' standard issue semi-automatic .57 and his old badge.
dex smiled - this would go much more smoothly than he expected. He couldn't help but feel like he was back home.
"Reporting for duty, Sir."
Monday, April 28, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Alice: Madness Returns is quite a strange game indeed. Not only was it released as a sequel to an 11 year old title at the time, its combination of horror, plain odd surrealism (literally peppering pig snouts with wings) and surprisingly strong themes for a game of its kind combined with reimaginings of characters that most of us probably best know from the colourful Disney movie somehow just seems to work just right. Unfortunately the actual gameplay doesn't quite stand up to the artistic vision, but in usual speedrunning ways 'zawj' decides to simply bypass the boring and repetitive parts by abusing the game's area load code when necessary, yielding a single segment time of 1:44:17 on Nightmare difficulty in a New Game Plus run.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a title that needs no introduction, which is convenient because I'd find it very hard to say much about it at all. Bowser kidnaps Peach, plumbers set out to rescue her yadda yadda blah blah. It's a first party Nintendo title ending on a numeral, you should know exactly what you're getting into. Jordan 'Greenalink' Greener continues his dominance over the DS Mario titles, this time opting for a single segment run with warps, finishing in 0:27:00 flat.
Calling Power Blade the Australian Mega Man would be immensely culturally insensitive so I'll refrain from doing so. Although rumours of a hidden cyborg kangaroo boss are unfounded, the game still features an upgradeable boomerang as the protagonist's main weapon. 'InfestedRiche' deems himself to be worthy of this outstanding tool, adding a 0:17:24 run on the NTSC release to the previous PAL run on that page. Not content with a mere quarter hour of boomeranging, he also submitted a 0:23:34 run on the sequel Power Blade 2 which bears the even more magnificent name of Captain Saver in Japan. Crikey.
If these runs still haven't satisfied your hunger for speedruns for the week then let me remind you that this year's instalment of Crystals for Life is starting in a mere 24 hours for almost 5 days of consecutive RPG speedrunning action. If disjointed story lines from out of order unskippable cutscenes, impossibly low level boss encounters and Roman numerals tickle your interest be sure to give them a watch and spread the word.
Friday, April 25, 2014 by ShadowWraith
No, not that kind of times tables. The good kind.
Last time I updated, I posted about a game called Kick Master. Well, apparently there's also a game called Sword Master. I wonder if the two are related. Anyhow, naming conventions aside, Sword Master presumably includes a lot of Swords and the mastering of them thereof, and 'MrWalrus' went ahead and did a single-segment run of the game for you guys in 0:09:12. It's on the PAL version, because everyone knows european swords are the best. Have you ever seen an American sword? They look like twigs by comparison. Give me a claymore any day.
I never thought I'd be posting an update for a Nancy Drew run, but well, here it is. Nancy Drew: The Final Scene is one of those adventure games aimed at young adults, which means the plot is probably simple and the twist is probably predictable as well. Nevertheless, 'Danielle' saw fit to run it for us, completing a 0:36:17 in 3 segments on Senior Detective difficulty.
And now, a bunch of Super Mario Bros. 3 runs. Mitchell 'Mitchflowerpower' Fowler (also nicknamed mitch13 on our gamepages) has been hard at work improving the runs we have on the site for this game. First up, an improvement to the single segment with warps category run from 2009, Mitch edges out the old time with this 0:10:46, an improvement of 2 seconds, however it's on the Virtual Console version which runs slightly slower than the NES version, so this improvement is greater than it appears.
Next, an improvement to the single segment warpless category. Mitch crushes his old time, improving it by 54 seconds to 0:52:55. Good stuff.
Finally, for this game at least, improvements to our individual levels table, bringing the total time down to 0:48:17, a total improvement of 36 seconds:
So, who wants more table updates? That's right, you guys do. Well, here you go. This set is for Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Thanks to Austinn 'Davis' Hallman, we have 13 improvements to our any% IL table, a total improvement of 50 seconds, bringing the table time down to 1:23:46. Here you go:
Still want more table updates? Good. These are for the Wii remake of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile. Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe has improved two of his previous submitted times for the time attack category, improving the total table time by 0.1 seconds (yep, 0.1, faster is faster) and bringing the total time down to 0:07:52.65:
Finally, one more table update for you, an improvement to the CIA HQ level of the PC version of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell on Hard difficulty by Michael 'CotySA'. This mysterious surnameless gent improved the previous time by 21 seconds, taking the level down to 0:06:16 and the total table time down to 1:12:41.
Got all that? Good. Come back later, I'll have more stuff for you.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 by Radix
My apologies for this bullet list
There is a single-segment 100% submission for Donkey Kong Jungle Beat in a time of 0:58:20.40 by Zack 'PiePusher11' Maher. Note that this run got better times than so many of the individual level 100% runs from a table, that the table was removed.
The first submission for the game Addams Family, for Game Boy, is with large-skip glitches in a very quick 0:01:30 by Dave 'bangerra' Janssens. The runner complements the programmers, who left an obviously intentional shortcut right into the final level.
Next up is a submission for a game so obscure it's not even on GameFAQs, Wolfschanze 1944. Carsten 'djcj' Janssen completed it on blitzkrieg difficulty with large-skip glitches, in 29 segments, in 0:19:44.
Last up we have a new category submission on Resident Evil 2 PC version. William 'Smallvillecs' Júnior got a time using Hunk of 0:01:59.66. We already had a Hunk run on PS2, but I'm sure the times are hard to compare because of loading.
Friday, April 11, 2014 by LLCoolDave
The distinct smell of fresh rain on dry ground is called petrichor.
In fact, the first game of the day probably needs no introduction. Grand Theft Auto 3 pretty much defined the 3D sandbox murder-em-up genre and has been a fairly popular title for speedrunning for a while now, so it's not a big surprise that a new run of it ended up on the frontpage today. This submission by 'Eidgod' finishes the game in 1:11:57, improving the old run by... precisely 0 seconds?! Unlike the old run, Eidgod however decided to forego any safety saves and deals with the randomness of traffic and AI driving patterns in a single segment that just happens to clock in at the exact same time as the old segmented run. Quite the coincidence.
Thief II: The Metal Age is a game that takes a less manslaughtering approach to dealing with opposition, instead focusing heavily on stealth, tricking the AI and taking a slow, deliberate approach to 3D gameplay. This poses an interesting dilemma to the speedrunner, as hiding behind a conveniently placed crate or pillar does not clash well with the concept of going fast. Joe 'SocratesJohnson' Lunde has managed to find the perfect balance, sometimes by blatantly disregarding basic concepts of physics such as not being able to operate a key through a solid wall. The result is an impressive time of 1:02:09 in a single sitting.
Lyle in Cube Sector also involves thievery of the worst kind. Lyle finds himself punished for his rather short sighted real estate purchasing habits, having his cat stolen right outside his house inconveniently located in a rather uninhabitable and unfriendly place. This sets in motion a Metroidvania style adventure involving coloured blocks scattered throughout the world being (ab)used in rather unusual fashions. The game has gained speedrunning attention ever since its release, but this marks the first time one of them has made it to SDA with 'Gliperal' besting through the game in a catrescuingly quick 0:14:52.
With a little stretch of your imagination, the gap between cats, otters and weasels is small enough for us to make a seamless transition to the next title, as long as you're willing to play along and look away while we redecorate the set and then act as if nothing happened. Doing so we transition right on into Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, one of the many PS1/PS2 era 3D platformers that have been immensely popular among speedrunners in the past couple of years. Stephan 'Freak4games' Toews is one of them and he brought a massive improvement of over 16 minutes to SDA's show and tell today, clocking in at 1:23:44 in a single segment.
While we're on the subject of beloved franchises, let's move on to Ghost in the Shell. This popular cyberpunk anime series spawned a game of the same name that, unlike many popular media adaptations, actually features an original storyline and well designed gameplay that involves being able to relatively freely cling to walls and ceilings. Alliteration expert Zachary 'Zastbat' Zimmerman manages to avoid disorientation for 0:25:34 to stop the evil Zebra 27 (I think the proper cyberpunk name should be Zebra 3³) from his evil scheming.
Against our statistical expectations, this update doesn't just feature one but TWO whole popular media adapted games that have survived the transition without turning into the usual pile of unenjoyable garbage that's associated with that phrase. Admittedly, the source material for Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth is a tad older than the previous entry, but arguably even more well regarded by its fans. Despite being stuck in development hell for years the end product is a finely crafted survival horror that manages to completely forego a HUD for atmosphere. Unfortunately, the programming has suffered some as the player can simply lean through a wall to grab a lock on the other side of it. Patrik 'Pafi' Varjotie properly abuses these oversights for a slight mockery of Lovecraftian horrors lasting 1:38:27, a foolish endeavour that hasn't ended well for anybody else in the past.
Dead Space 2 is a horror game of a different kind, tingling a different part of your spine than the Old Ones but is no less efficient at doing so. This particular game offers a Hardcore difficulty option that very much deserves the title, limiting your saves to a mere 3 across the entire campaign. Sahail 'Tenshouha' decides to one-up this challenge further, electing to not make use of any savepoints at all and just rushing through in a single segment of 2:14:40. Spooky.
Finally, with a complete non sequitur of a segway: Bionic Commando. No, not the NES classic, the 2009 game of the same name, which is actually a sequel to the remake of the NES game that WASN'T simply called Bionic Commando. This naming scheme is just utter bullshit. Nevertheless the game at least features the well known grappling hook for movement and asinine dribble for a story line. Frontpage regular Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy took on the challenge of not accidentally swinging outside the level boundaries and dying, finishing the game in a mere 1:05:46.
This ending paragraph has no real connection to the rest of the update.
Monday, April 7, 2014 by ShadowWraith
GETCHER RUNS HERE! DON'T BE SHY, PLENTY FOR EVERYONE!
You may remember that a little while ago we had a marathon called AGDQ. At this marathon we had a gentleman known as 'CGN' completely murder F-Zero GX, known to be an incredibly hard game. Well, it turns out that he's pretty good at the other F-Zero games too. He went and improved the Port Town 1 stage of F-Zero X by 1.381 seconds, bringing the time down to 0:01:01.371 and taking the total table time down to 0:43:07.510. What a beast. If you haven't watched his F-Zero GX run yet, you really really should.
Next up, Super Mario 63. Contrary to what the name might tell you, this is not the prequel to Super Mario 64, and all similarities between the games end with the protagonist being called Mario. It is, in fact, a fanmade 2D platforming flash game, and Jeffrey 'I have no name' Bardon - you liar, you have a name, I'm on to you - ran through it single-segment in 0:11:35. Maybe this time Peach will finally stop getting herself kidnapped. We can only hope.
Kick Master is a simple game. As the name implies, you're a master of kicking and you use your kicking ability in the best way possible: on everything ever. Of course, there's more to the game than that, such as RPG elements and collecting plot devices, but nobody cares about that boring stuff. Ethan McKee saw things my way, utilising his legs of steel and bringing us this 0:13:03 single-segment run, an improvement of 34 seconds over our previous run. The astute among you will realise that this means that the run time is no longer leet, but we must all make sacrifices in the name of progress. Such is life.
Xardion (also known as Super Attack God Xardion, what a metal name) is one of those side-scrolling mecha games that are all the rage these days. As you might expect from that, it's also originally Japanese and thus the translation work in the game is terrible. Unique among side-scrolling games of this type is the backtracking feature added in to prevent you from beating the game quickly. Hah. Resident 'o' guy (check the run comments) Justin 'Zerst' Kvithyll decided that being a Super Attack God struck a chord with him and improved our previous run of this game by a little under 6 minutes, for a final time of 0:27:09. Also one of the robots is a cat. Cat robot best robot.
I love the Gauntlet games. I recently played through a Gauntlet-like game called Hammerwatch with some buddies of mine and it was tons of fun. I haven't played Gauntlet Legends, but from what I can see it captures exactly the kind of mindless gameplay that the previous games in the series had and for that reason I think it looks pretty sweet. Also apparently you can kill Death in the game, which is pretty damn cool. Anyway, 'Boyo003' also shared my affection for this game, providing us with this 1:40:50 single-segment Expert difficulty run. Good stuff.
International Track and Field is one of those games I don't have much to say about. It's just a bunch of sporting events. They don't even include Wife Carrying, for shame. Regardless, 'Chris-X' overlooked this grave oversight in the inclusion of REAL international sporting activities and created this 0:08:31 single-segment run on Hard difficulty on the PAL version. They didn't even include bog snorkeling. What a joke.
Last up, another Resident Evil game, this one going by the name of Resident Evil Code: Veronica X HD. The plot of these games confuses me greatly and is probably incredibly nonsensical to those of you who do understand it in its entirety, but suffice it to say there's probably a bunch of zombies, overgrown mutant creatures and a smarmy dude with sunglasses involved in this game. 'sshplur' cut through the bullshit and brought us this 1:41:14 single-segment run on the japanese version, presumably for the faster text speed. I feel like my updates may not be doing the Resident Evil series justice, but there's only so much "because viruses" reasoning that games can throw at me before I just stop caring about them. Eh.