Released in April 1994, Super Metroid was the eagerly anticipated third game in the Metroid series. Samus Aran returns to the planet Zebes to once again fight the space pirates and Mother Brain who have taken the metroid hatchling.
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Single-segment 0:44:26 by Matt Thorne.
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A lot has changed since Hotarubi's 0:32 any% run. The majority of Super Metroid runs now are judged primarily by real time instead of game time. Even Hotarubi ditched the Murder Beam (a game time strat if there ever was one) and improved his time to 0:31 after his SDA submission.
There are quite a few reasons why real time is the standard now. It's a more fluid run, completing the game without a single pause and generally avoiding lag. This involves different routing such as delaying the collection of the Ice Beam until later in the run and completely skipping a number of items such as Spazer, Ridley's E-tank, and the crab supers in Maridia. Many, many strats such as fast pillars (avoiding two door transitions by short charging to get through the pillars in Lower Norfair) have added excitement and new tech to the run. Also, the fact that the in-game timer only displays minutes means a considerably worse run could be considered a tie with another run. A lot of us on SpeedRunsLive (SRL) like to race this (there is a big weekly Friday night any% race), which obviously makes more sense in real time as well.
Just to give an idea as to how far this run has been pushed since the previous SDA submission, my run here clocks in at 0:29 compared to the 0:32 run, and is 8 minutes faster in real time (5 minutes faster than hotarubi's 0:31 that aimed for real playing time). That said, I don't want to take much credit for this. The amount of people that have worked on this by now is staggering, and listing them all would be impossible. I can think of about 5 rooms in this run where I could claim to use my own strat that is significantly different from any previous one...
Shoutouts to all the SM TASers, the SRL community, Japanese and Swedish SM players, the m2k2 community, and all of the old school players for their contributions. I want to give a special shoutout to the SRL community, because they took me in when I was learning, helped me, and to this day continue to make speedrunning fun for me. Although they didn't do it singlehandedly, they championed the real time speedrun and worked hard to develop it. It really is a nice speedrun. An additional shoutout to Garrison, for helping me with these comments and for pushing this time down many times over. Other runners who deserve a lot of credit for pushing the time down on this run recently are Kottpower and Behemoth. Big thanks to SDA for giving speedgamers a place to host high quality videos and for putting on great marathons. If you want to learn more about this run or the history behind it there are a lot of really good super metroid runners on twitch to watch and talk with.
This run will surely be improved by another 20 seconds or so in the future, which will produce a 0:28 in game time, but doing so will be a very difficult task. I made a handful of notable mistakes, and although I had really good boss luck, it wasn't perfect. That being said, this is still a solid run that I'm proud of.
One final note: Recently some major skips have been found, allowing a person to X-ray climb into Tourian and skip Mother Brain similarly to the 6% TAS. Even better, methods to trigger the escape sequence with either a glitched beam or X-ray were discovered, allowing you to completely skip most of the bosses and all of Tourian. The speedrun I have submitted is being preserved as it's own category and I'll end my comments by letting Garrison describe it:
"Definition for Traditional style Super Metroid any%:
-Defeats the main four bosses depicted in the statues blocking entrance to Tourian (Kraid, Phantoon, Draygon, Ridley) and goes on to defeat Mother Brain as well and go through the escape sequence.
-Stays within the boundaries of the map and limits the use of clips to entirely in boundary use (Wrecked Ship ceiling clip, Zebetite Skip)
-Does not use the GT Code
-No Abuse of Space/Time Beam or its variants
The heart and soul of the traditional any% category is to encapsulate the feeling it was to go through the game after first play and try to go through it as fast as possible. All exploits are done with the intention of working around the general design of the game, not the programming and/or its oversights."
Single-segment European version in 0:34 by Christopher Hill.
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In ceres i failed to get a damage boost off a falling tile which was a bit annoying. In the next room i hit Some smoke coming out of the ledge. These puffs of smoke are very unpredictable on PAL and there wasn't much i could have done about it. On the whole though ceres isn't that important.
Crateria shaft - Issues with wall jumping for some reason on that day. Also my upward shots were well........ weren't shooting up before i started wall jumping.
Missed the little wall jump after the huge jump just to the right of the norfair elevator on the way to Kraid. Annoyingly i actually jumped far enough to reach for a wall jump so there's no excuse there.
After grabbing the speed booster and began running back you''ll notice i stopped in my tracks on the first slope. This is a completely unforseen problem here. It either happens or it doesn't. Simple as that. (obviously some technical reason) but it might just happen on PAL too i don't know.
The shinespark across the spikes to the chozo that takes you down to the gravity suit. I Failed to get a shinespark. That's because i didn't start running from further back. Strangely in practice i always start further back than that.
I think i could have three rounded draygon if i activated the third shinespark a little bit higher into draygons head but i'm not entirely certain if it would have killed him/her.
At the beginning of lower norfair. After speed boost space jumping through the pillars and into the next room i shot up to freeze the golden pirate above your head when you enter. Unfortunately it killed him as well which totally disrupted my usual strategy for that room. I should have stood slightly further to the right for my shot which would have caught the edge of his sprite therefore it wouldn't have got hit twice by the beam essentially.
Two rooms before ridley's lair when i was running in the larva and prepared a shinespark i jumped up too early and hit the swooping bat. Low enough on health as it was i didn't want to do a shinespark into the eye door guarding his lair and drain my health further. Taking on ridley with low health turns him into a killer. No it seriously does, he will kill me the lower my health is lol.
On the way to tourian at the top of the sandy bit in brinstar. I wanted to run speed boosting through that set of bomb blocks by delaying speed boost itself until after i pass the speed boost blocks in the floor. As soon as i pass them i press and hold B and samus turns blue and i run straight through the blocks ahead of me. It seems i messed up in the room before because after i shot for the door i began running too early and i knew i would hit the door after running so i slowed samus down on purpose. Even when i held B in the next room for the entire time she didn't turn blue. Had to use a power bomb instead.
All other little mistakes were entirely my fault.
After watching the run you come to realise ( well i do ) that if you take all those mistakes away. Add a chozo skip at the biginning and two rounding phantoon then 33 minutes is probably limit which is certainly within reach.
Single-segment 100% 1:17:54 by Matt Thorne.
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First, I want to thank a few people:
- Dessyreqt is one of the most knowledgeable people in our community when it comes to Super Metroid speedrunning. He's produced a number of different theory TASes which show what a human is ideally capable of in real time while discovering new strats in the process. His specialty has always been 100% though, for which he created a massive spreadsheet comparing all worthwhile routes according to TASed segments that he had made for this purpose. On top of all of that, he was the first person to beat Hotarubi's 0:50 game time run (clocking in at 1:23:34 real time), which was the single-segment NTSC record when I started playing this category.
- DbX is one of the best teachers of how to run the game, and he taught me a ton when I was learning it. One thing that comes to mind is the power of visual cues, which helped me improve my consistency a lot when I was pushing my time down in this category. He's also come up with a lot of strats and is one of the best runners out there considering his ability in both 100% and any%.
- Apathae, Epicly_epic, and Kronicsauce are SM runners that specialize in 100%. They contributed many of the latest strategies specific to this category, and have been great people to have had as company when watching or doing speedruns. At one point, epic had the record @ 1:21:14. I recommend finding all of these fine folks on twitch!
- Gari for being a cohort when doing the green/pink brinstar cleanup after wrecked ship and retro cleanup after lower norfair was thought to be slower. Also for suggesting speed zebs to save a pause.
- Behemoth for his segmented PAL run. Despite the differences in the way the game runs between regions, watching his run helped me pick up on certain things that I hadn't before.
- All of the people who worked on any%. Many tricks used in any% have been adopted into 100%.
This category was the first I got an important speedrunning record in! When I was picking it up, most runners did a much different route, farmed to 30 super missiles for the ridley fight, and stopped at the ship before Tourian (since crystal flashing on the big metroid was being used at the time). I started running dessy's racing route, which was similar to hotarubi's route except it got grapple much earlier, and made efforts to cut out all of the pit stops that I could.
Eventually this route was found to be pretty optimal. Even though delaying crocomire and clipping through the ceiling to get springball might still be slightly faster, that route is very risky considering it introduces some difficult tricks to the run and missing the clip once loses more time than you stood to gain doing it. Considering also that the clip is after the major RNG elements in the game, Phantoon and Draygon, a route using it for a marginal time gain becomes quite dubious.
Another small route change came when dessy found that traversing the crateria gauntlet (accessed from the northwest of the ship area) earlier in the run on the way to green brinstar was a more streamlined path than doing it as a last stop before tourian.
This particular run clocks in with a 0:47 game time. The boss luck was actually quite bad, but I made up for it by having solid movement for the most part and hitting a lot of the hard strats. Since completing this run, dessy has produced a new theory TAS using this exact route (not to mention cpadolf's excellent new 100% TAS), so I'm looking forward to getting back into it before too long. Also, Kottpower has picked this category up recently and at the time of writing these comments, has tied my time with a 1:17:59. This run has a lot more wiggle room than any%, so it will be interesting to see what happens with it in the future!
The rules for 100% are similar to the standard any% run...
"-Stays within the boundaries of the map and limits the use of clips to entirely in boundary use (Wrecked Ship ceiling clip, Zebetite Skip)
-Does not use the GT Code [which would artificially inflate the item collection percentage at the end of the credits]
-No Abuse of Space/Time Beam or its variants [allowing a runner to completely skip tourian, respawn items, and/or travel rooms instantly by generating out of bounds door transitions, which risks crashing the game every time you attempt it]"
100% European version 0:48 by Christopher Hill, done in 6 segments.
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This run took 6 months to do and the inspiration for it started from a small conversation with Reeve from M2K2 on MSN about 100% runs back in around late August/early Septemeber 2010. At the time I was still trying to get a 0:51 in a Single Segment but was struggling with it. We talked about how easy it would be if the run was segmented. After some consideration I thought "well why not ?". I was going to be doing a segmented run of this catagory at some point in the future so now felt like a good time to start. A 0:50 minute end time was looking like the goal knowing how I was going to optimize it. I immediately got stuck into it and on that very same day, completed the first segment ceres. Work began on segment 2 the next day with me honing my skill at the Torizo skip above much else which proved to be slightly easier than I thought it was going to be. I Had done it several times in the past but was dreading the thought of having to incorperate one into a run. I think I completed segment 2 to my surprise within a week of starting. The run was well an truly underway it seemed.
Now seemed like the right time to get this work in progress on Youtube so I posted them on SDA and M2K2. After some great feedback by many SM fans ridd3r from SDA reminded me that a segmented run should not be used as a means to easily achieve a time you have been struggling to get in a SS. More, used as a seperate entity in order to fully optimise a run to make it significantly better than a SS. A Real time TAS I posted some months before I started the run showed the route and a flawless end game time of 48:12. Ridd3r was certain that 0:49 would be doable on console if it was consistent enough. I at first thought it was crazy but finally came round to his way of thinking. So cheers Ridd3r for the support and helping me realise the potential of this run. I passed this revelation onto M2K2 that I'd be trying for a 0:49. Around this time I was having to get used to the idea of moving house which was the first time in my life. So this put the run on hold a little but I got everything set up quickly in my new room. I started to practice segment 3 which was very troublesome. Quietus on M2K2 responded on many ocassions with "0:49 is your destiny" every time I displayed doubt in my posts about the failures of the current segment and my doubts on 0:49. So Cheers also to Quietus for always checking The PAL thread and responding and supporting my goal. I Drastically changed segment 3 to be a lot shorter (which you'll read about later) which enabled me to complete it sometime around October I think. I put this on youtube as the next installment of my run. Next challenge: segment 4 which was the most frustrating to get done. I eventually finished segment 4 around early January 2011 and put that on Youtube just as before. Segment 5 was well underway and proved to be welcome change of difficulty to the previous two. With me able to finish it around the same time the following month, early February. The final hurdle segment 6 began and it's size means it needed plenty of practice to be consistent at. Very long and tough overall, maybe the hardest one out of the lot. Through many practice sessions I found that 0:49 was actually too easy to achieve and that 0:48 was possible with high consistency. The goal was now just that ! I finally got a successful 0:48 on March 16th. Which is the Date the run finished no less, obviously lol.
Well with the boring story of the run out the way let's get to the segments themselves with my equally boring descriptions. I won't go in serious detail here because it would be far too long. Instead I'll explain important parts of the segments and how much time I lost in each. I may explain a few tricks here and there too.
Segment 1: Ceres - Obviously the easiest segment of them all and nothing really to report here mistakes wise. I think I had about 20 - 30 attempts before settling on this one. It's possible to be about half a second faster and get 46 on the escape but that's unecessarily difficult to bother with :). You'll notice I reset during the Ceres explosion cutscene to use the 'secret save' in there that doesn't waste time. Where as the landing site save does cost time when you re-load the segment.
Segment 2: Landing site to the Red Brinstar save - Very smooth overal going to and from the morph ball and first missile area. Made clean passes through old MB room too. Torizo skip, Only possible on console on PAL due to doors opening and closing slower. It's by no means a simple trick and requires more than just arm pumping. Perfect turn around on the bombs and a late, small jump into the door. Helps a lot also to press the opposite direction just as you enter the door transition to trigger it sooner. The whole trick saves around 20 - 25 seconds. Played very well until grabbing early Power bombs and making my way down the Red Brinstar shaft where I seemed to lose my grip on things there, followed by a mistake under the statue going to Kraid area. Kraid area was dealt with well, not much to report. Norfair section is arguably the worst part of the whole run with the odd slip ups here and there. Nothing major but when you watch the rest of the run it sticks out as being a bit sub par in comparison. In fairness it's a large and difficult segment, especially after doing a torizo skip and feeling the pressure to continue great. Red Brinstar climb to the save room was done very well. One thing to note is the health refill at the station at the bottom. This is to get my health reliably to full in preparation for all the health sapping tricks in Wrecked ship. The bugs back at the speed boost can do this job also but can quite often be slow at doing so. Not only that but they do it before a few health sapping tricks escaping Norfair which sets me up badly for wrecked ship anyway. Refill station is definitely the way for me.
That sums up segment 2. Overall about 20 seconds lost through mistakes. Sounds quite bad but I really don't think it is considering the segments length and difficulty. Luckily though the other segments are all a improvement from this one.
Segment 3: Red Brinstar save to Wrecked ship Main street - This segment was originally going to be from the red Brinstar save all the way to the Maridia pre Botwoon save. After practicing it several times it turned out to be too much of a task to get perfect patterns on Phantoon and then do a near flawless segment all the way to Maridia. So I drastically shortened the segment with the conveniently placed main street save in Wrecked ship to isolate the tedious Phantoon pattern manipulation part of it. It turned out to be a wise move. Before I begin with the run down of this segment I should say that segment 3 is the first segment to undergo a immense amount of practice and subsequent improvements being made. I was taking it seriously at this point due to me using one more save which could have had a bad effect on the outcome of the run. The execution in these segments is better than in the previous one due to more time spent practicing them. This is where the run gets 'good' in my opinion. The Big hopper room is is done very well. Run straight in there and lay a power bomb in that position kills all the hoppers, no need to 'gather' them all rolling around the room wasting many seconds. Further on at the lake I don't do the continuous shinespark to the wrecked ship door because the slower PAL doors make this trick far too difficult. The difficulty of it outweighs the reward of only about 3 seconds or something. In the Wrecked ship main street I messed up a "back down" trick (back down = aiming down moving horzontally while falling). Phantoon: One of the biggest pain in the ass in the whole run right up there with Torizo skip. Maybe even worse. It took possibly over 100 resets to get all fastest patterns and finish up with a great segment. I use the wave-power combo for the 2 round strategy. I have a method for it to work about 95% of the time so that was no problem. Sometimes I'd get best patterns but screw up the segment somewhere else so Phantoon was never a lock if he was defeated perfectly. After he died my room escape was a bit poor because I jumped too low. The robot room from the right hand secret passage in main street was done well passing over the robots and laying a power bomb. Probably the room to go through the most practice due to messing it up for different reasons way too many times. Further Up the main street taking the right hand door into the small lake room. I run full speed and jump after the floaty creature and shoot, then land a bounce ball. It consistently takes you to the oposite end of the water spike room. The damage taken is 1 ET. Quite a large sacrifice for a nice trick but it does save quite a bit of time. The refill station in segment 2 pretty much renders this trick doable. Good clean traversial getting the ET in the large pool room and coming back to save it in the main street.
Lost about 4 or 5 seconds in this segment. Very good going and certainly worth the hassle.
Segment 4: Wrecked ship main street to Pre Botwoon - Possibly the hardest segment in the game. Surprising considering it doesn't even contain a boss. It contains some of the games hardest tricks one after the other. Lots and lots of resets I'm sure you can imagine. Took me about 2 1/2 months to complete. As a result I found numerous time savers and helpers which kept me closer to my TAS from which I was using as a benchmark. Very fast Main street climb at the start. Attic room was perfect and uses a great strategy that Forensic found. It can be tricky, but being saved so near made me want to do it and it saves about 3 seconds max. Robot room: Thanks to SnUfFiT86 who found to shoot them slower to speed them up, yep sounds weird but is true. You can pass through them when your invulnerable from taking a hit but only when the're moving at you. Out in the open I do what I like to call a "twist jump" to grab the missiles in the cliff edge instead of a shinespark which is a faster strategy. After getting gravity suit I un equip hi jump boots to make the jump over the lake feasible. I found a visual method for it to work consistently which is jump just a split second after the screen reaches maximum brightness emerging from the door. With a successful jump over and mock ball the next room has a shot oportunity while running that passes under the ki hunter and hits the door to avoid delay. Very smooth play going to the Brinstar elevator. Most of the Brinstar cleanup went superbly apart from one of the worst slip ups in the game at the top of the Etecoons shaft. I failed the mock ball on first attempt. Not a common occurance for me either. I could have kept moving and bomb jumped out but it's too risky. I simply turned around and tried it again. In Maridia escaping the turtle room with the ET I use a jump out instead of a shinespark. It's a risky move but I was quite consistent because I use the forground on the right to time the take off. Later on Made a slip up hitting the spiny fish in the top room. Tried to jump out past it and mock ball to the missile but I jumped too soon. It looks funny seeing me jump and morph for no apparant reason. Coming back from the missile and super placed together I successfully did the difficult mock ball through the small gap. If I failed it I would have reset. Again I have a visual to time the take off and the height requirement comes quite naturally for me on it. Still difficult and it's around 50/50 success rate genrally for me. After that I hit an easy to avoid block on the fall through the metallic double shaft. Just edged too far to the right due to nerves.
End segment. Around 8 - 10 seconds of mistakes. Awesome !. What a relief that was.
Segment 5: Pre Botwoon to Lower Norfair elevator - Easier than the last two segments but not outright easy by any means. I had to make sure I did two important things. Kill botwoon in one round and Draygon in three rounds with a blue suit. Starting off we have Botwoon. I mastered one rounding him on at least 2 of his 4 patterns on round one. So it was 50/50 for me to get good/bad patterns. Luckily him being so close to the start means it wasn't too bad resetting all the time. On this attempt I got his best and easiest pattern. After that I did the Gravity jump to reach the top instead of wall jumping because it eliminates any inconsistencies wall jumping, which I was starting to suffer from at that time . I don't do the full shinespark across the room because it's infeasible on PAL due to the flash timer being too short to run in the room and jump into position. I've never pulled it off, only in a TAS. After the crash I cancel Knock back on the singular spike block by morphing and then un morphing to run and jump from it, saving about a second. I collect The missiles near Draygons lair before fighting him because doing so with blue suit after the fight would be slow since you can't run. Draygon: I could have killed Draygon in two rounds but that uses quite a lot of supers. A three round doesn't use any supers which I can use to speed the Ridley fight up later. The 2 round kill is faster by about 1 second by the time you reach the left hand side of the large Mocktroid room above the lair. But by doing the three round I've saved supers/time in the long run. The rest of the segment was exeptionally smooth thanks to it being more laidback after Draygon is defeated. There's some nice 'TAS' tricks collecting the missile and super in the pre Botwoon save area where I started which utilise the speed echoes, speed ball and spring ball. Not actually as hard as they look. Got a first time ice ceiling glitch to go and collect spring ball thanks to a visual strategy to time my shot to freeze the hopper. Only real mar in this segment was hitting the stalactite while space jumping above Crocomire's lair. I tapped jump too hard.
End segment. Around 4 or 5 seconds lost in errors which is Very good. The Botwoon and Draygon part of it is the difficult part but after them it's pretty comfortable really.
Segment 6: Lower Norfair elevator to End game - Thanks to Reeve once again for tons of improvements found to this segment which really helped towards my new goal of 0:48. This took a while to be 'good' at this huge segment, very large and difficult terrain makes it hard to be flawless all the way through. Golden Torizo was a very clean battle. Double Kago area was the first of four rooms to go pretty badly. I couldn't quite pass through the top one. It took me three attempts !. Ridley was decent to very good. I could have ended the battle sooner with the power bomb but I didn't want to risk it as Ridley was doing a climb so I waited for him to finish instead. From Ridley all the way to the landing site my play was exellent and nothing really to report on mistakes. Although near and around the X-ray room and green Brinstar Noob Bridge I messed up some things. At the top right room in the landing site I completely messed this room up. Rarely does it happen but I hit a spike while space jumping. Lost about 4 seconds there. The 2nd Metroid room in Tourian was a total failure due to nerves. When I went to shoot my super up at the lower metroid I think my thumb was slipping on the D-pad and made Samus start turning on the spot while aming up, which made me miss not 1, but 2 supers, with the second rather amusingly killing a rinka :P. Probably another 4 or so seconds lost here. Successfully pulled off the Metroid skip. Much easier on PAL because the Metroid is slower. The Zebitite room is the worst room in the segment. Firstly I didn't pass through on first attempt properly, then couldn't spin jump for the 2nd attempt, managed to get through on the 3rd. Very bad !. Then I fell into the gap coming out of another zebitite frame. Lastly while shooting MB with just missiles (damn those stingy Metroids with supers) I just lost my grip on things and fell into the larva. I Did the stand up glitch on MB for a visually pleasing battle instead of Murder beam. After that I did a very good escape. Not the best I can do (made some error wall jumping at one point) but decent nonethless. Got to my ship at 2:12, Should have been 2:13 if I didn't slip up the aforementioned wall jump. There's honestly so much to say about this segment but listing it all would be crazy. All in all I'm pleased with about 90% of it but with the 10% sticking out like a sore thumb. Ouch !
End segment/End game - I think I lost around 20 seconds in this segment. So everall in the run maybe lost just under a minute through errors. In order to get 0:47 you would have to make litarally no mistakes in the whole run. My final time was actually a very high 0:48, something around 0:48:55 +. Just a few seconds away from switching to 0:49. So in this last segment it was very easy to hit 0:49, quite difficult to get 0:48 but impossible to hit 0:47. So mission accomplished !!!
There's many people that need thanks for this run for without them this time wouldn't have been possible. Firstly a big shout to Forensic (Lxx4xNx6xxl) and SnUfFiT86. Thanks for all the help with tricks and tips for this run guys over the many months optimising our runs. Watch out for their runs in the future for NTSC, they will be spectacular with a naturally faster in-game time !. Thanks to Reeve for his major help with finding improvements and suggestions in the segments that we discussed on MSN. It's half the reason I was able to get 0:48. Long may it continue for the future runs. Thanks to The TAS'rS Cpadolf, Saturn, Taco, Kriole and all the rest of them for their highly optimal TAS's that not only provide great source of entertainment but provide a showcase of the "what's possible" in this game. For the past year or two our efforts on M2K2 have been focused on trying all these things out and seeing what works for us and what doesn't. I think it payed off very well. Thanks to Nate, Mike and all the forum Moderators both on SDA and M2K2. Thanks to OptimoPeach, ICheatAtGolf, F-Bomb, 072, Kejarden, Moozooh, Opium, Tyjet66 etc. All the people on the SDA PAL thread, MASTER-88, Riskbreaker Y, ING-X, VorpalEdge, MetroidAR, The Mud Shark. Last big thanks to Smokey, Red scarlet and Hotarubi for getting me into running this game. What an inspiration you are !. Very last big thanks to my PAL (lol) iceyd who uploads all my videos to youtube for me and did the encoding for this run, cheers !. I'm bound to have missed some people here but pretty much anybody who browsed the SM speed run threads on M2k2 and SDA, commented or just shown interest. This is possibly my biggest run that I'll do for SDA and maybe the hardest. There will be more to come but for now. Enjoy !!!
14% 0:44 by Satoru Suzuki.
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This is my Single-Segment 14%run,without tool-assisted,
in-game time 44min.
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