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News from October through December, 2005. [Newer | Older]

Saturday, December 31, 2005 by Radix

Shut up Alia!

Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk continues to do Mega Man speed runs, adding another one of the missing games to the list. This time it's Mega Man X6 for PlayStation. Just like X5, it seems you can beat the game without taking down all eight maverick bosses, but he beats them all anyway. The time comes out to 0:36:52 in his 14 segment run.

Kim 'Silent echo' Siafa has been working on another run of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. His first run was any% in 1:43, and now he's been working on a Single-segment version. A time of 1:57 sounds pretty good, only 14 minutes slower. There's only a few 'major' mistakes and most of them are about half way through so it's hard to reset over something at that point. It's nearly identical in route to the segmented run except that he has to get grapple, since skipping that is so hard. Still worth a watch, especially for people who prefer SS runs.

Thursday, December 29, 2005 by Radix

Do you know what an 'aria' is?

Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody has done another speed run of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. Again he does a segmented run on hard mode, but this run is four more segments than the previous, some quite short for luck manipulation. The time is an amazing 0:36:12, over 18 minutes faster than his previous run.

Andres 'Mad Andy' Montalbetti improved one of the runs of Sonic Adventure DX. He improved Mychal Jefferson's Tails run by just under 3 minutes to reach a time of 0:18:19. Sacrificing a bit of time right at the start to get the Jet Anklet pays off in the end. Andres also did an E-102 Gamma run, but I haven't timed it yet.

Philip 'ballofsnow' Cornell ran Protoss 4 "The Quest for Uraj" in 0:01:55 for Starcraft: Brood War, a cut of 52 seconds. The total Brood War time goes down to 3:41:53.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 by Radix

Seasons near the solstice

Tomas 'Tompa' Abrahamsson did the first speed run of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and also the first Game Boy Color game added to the site (unless you count LA:DX). His run is 9 segments and comes out to the approximate time of 2:06:40. It's not that accurate because he made the mistake of overwriting the saving on some segments. Moral of the story: Don't trust your VCR. Always keep recording after saving for 20 seconds or more as a buffer zone. An interesting fact: I'm posting this run just 4 hours and 50 minutes after this year's Winter Solstice. Spooky, or planned? You decide.

Andrew Gardikis did a run of the classic Super Mario Bros. without using any warp zones. He has two deaths in the run and says he'll improve it eventually, but until then, his 0:21:18 is still over 1.5 minutes faster than the Eu version time.

In other news, Nate's beast 'v5' arrived early.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 by Radix

It's almost Christmas and I don't care

Jeremiah 'Retro2DGamer' Jones has done a run of Castlevania for NES. He improved Tom Votava's 2003 time by a minute and 16 seconds to reach 0:13:13. Lots of damage boosts from enemies help take off this significant chunk of time.

Tomi 'sarou' Salo branched away from Max Payne 2 in order to do a speed run of Resident Evil 4 for GameCube. He plays on the european version which has some differences that make it faster, most notably being able to skip the dynamite. Tomi's time comes to 1:51:03, 0:07:50 faster than the previous run. Since that's significantly more than the difference between the two versions, the old run disappears. If someone were to do a good run on the US version that's a little slower though, we'd have to post it as a second category. Unfortunately Tomi's video encoding skills are seriously lacking. The video quality is only about the same as Nate's low quality with nothing else available. Nate has lots of pricey equipment he's purchased over the last year in order to get great looking speed runs... and some people out there think they're doing us a favor by capturing things themselves. But as this run shows, they usually aren't.

Friday, December 16, 2005 by Nate

back to the future

appropriate that i make my first sda update with a metroid run, no? metroid 2002's andrew 'ajbolt89' bolton has shuffled his limited item reservoir and conquered his own metroid zero mission hard mode low percent time he set way back in april of 2004! this time he gets 0:45:42, improving his old time by almost four minutes!

due to cpu time constraints, i will not be able to recapture the run to remove the game boy player border from the right side of the picture until i receive the new sda beast sometime around the end of the year. it's harmless, though - you can see all the insane ridley stomping, kraid bashing, cheerio dodging, ted trouncing action clear as day! enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2005 by Radix

No queue change here

Philippe 'Suzaku' Henry did two more runs for Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters. He improved the 'Recover the New Parts' scenario time as Megaman to 0:03:24.70, an improvement of 36.78 seconds over Alex Nichols. He also did 'Rescue Roll' scenario as Megaman in 0:02:51.93, nearly a minute faster than his time on this scenario as Protoman. The characters are tracked separately though because of their different special moves.

Jose 'PiccoloCube' Karica sent three improvements to the 64DD levels of F-Zero for N64. Devil's Forest 4 is now 0:01:37.302, 2.856 seconds better. Mute City 4 becomes 0:01:15.639, a 1.523s improvement. Port Town 4 drops to 0:01:23.461, 2.639s less. That drops the total for the expansion to 0:17:56.212.

René Kamp did Protoss 3 "Legacy of the Xel'Naga" in 0:08:54 for Starcraft: Brood War, an improvement of 0:02:07 bringing the total Brood War time down to 3:42:45.

Saturday, December 10, 2005 by Radix

Shake that big Kong butt

Philippe 'Suzaku' Henry did a run of the Game Boy version of Donkey Kong, which takes the four classic arcade levels and adds 96 more. This game was the first to utilize the Super Game Boy player for Super Nintendo, but I still have to adjust the time upwards to due it running fast. Philppe's time for his nine segment run is 1:16:18.

Philippe also did a run of the first Mega Man game for Game Boy, Dr. Wily's Revenge. This Single-segment run comes out to 0:21:02.

Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe did a run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time for Super Nintendo. There are four turtles to chose from, of course, and Nicholas played as Donatello and got a time of 0:21:33. Other turtles are said to be faster and I think a few people are working on them. This run has a few bad parts like a lot of deaths at bosses, but I've never been able to beat this game without dying a lot either.

Thursday, December 8, 2005 by Radix

Speed runs by an open fire

It's 14 °F / -10 °C outside for me today so think warm thoughts, since I walk 33 minutes to work, ok?

After Shaun 'MMAN' Friend did his Tomb Raider III run, he went backwards one game to Tomb Raider II for PC. His 18 segment run finishes in a time of 2:44:02, easily timed since this game actually has a timer.

Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody did a second run of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest for Super Nintendo, although you never saw the first run. It was deemed crappy by one of the verifiers, so Damien scoured GameFAQs and learned a bunch of stuff, and came back with his second try, a 2:44:20 in 21 segments. That's eerily close to that TR2 run's time isn't it? This game also has a timer but it's only visible on the game's file select screen, so I ignore it and use my standard real-time measurement.

Jean-Philippe 'Ounaya' Gilbert has improved one of the oldest (non-Quake) runs on the site. Derek 'SnapDragon' Kisman ran Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest in 2001, Single-segment 100%, with a time of 1:33. J-P has improved it by two minutes to 1:31. He plays the game in French since he's from Canada and as a result his comments have both English and French names for all the levels he refers to... fun stuff. It's a shame he has one death in the run, but so did Derek.

There's a swift chop of 16 minutes and 33 seconds for Starcraft in four new times, each with brand new strategies. Philip 'ballofsnow' Cornell improved Zerg 8 "Eye for an Eye" in 0:03:50, 0:05:25 faster and Protoss 2 "Into the Flames" in 0:06:48, 0:02:44 faster. Blake 'Spider-Waffle' Piepho improved Protoss 8 "The Trial of Tassadar" in 0:07:47, 0:05:09 faster and Protoss 10 "Eye of the Storm" in 0:05:51, 0:03:15 faster, you'll love the smell of napalm in the morning after watching this one. Overall, the total Starcraft time goes down from 3:54:24 to 3:37:51.

Monday, December 5, 2005 by Radix

You're invited to a boo party

I've been working on my own speed run... yeah I actually do them too. Especially with my apartment crap, I wanted to take time to just play some games for a while instead of worrying about everything so I started some runs. My Circle of the Moon run is waiting to be mailed since my capture of it is crappy thanks to 60hz effects. I turned to a Luigi's Mansion run after that. After David Gibbons did his run I got interested in doing a 100%, and I decided to do it Single-segment to make it harder and more impressive, but Hidden Mansion to make it a little easier. After a month of trying and shaking my fist at the incredible randomness, I managed a 1:36:13. My capture looks pretty good, better than David's I think, but I'll eventually mail it to Nate for uber treatment too... unless I improve it. Any flaws that I don't already point out in the commentary?

Sunday, December 4, 2005 by Radix

Life in the Shadows

Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe did a run of Legend of Mana for PlayStation back in August, and now he's done two more. There are three quests in the game for various ways of beating it, and Nicholas's first run was doing Jumi's. Now he's done Dragon's quest in 2:10:02 and Faerie's quest in 2:32:23. Dragon is over an hour faster than the Jumi's quest run he did initially. I wonder if he knew it was the slowest quest when he started with it?

Two months before he did his popular Chrono Trigger run, David 'marshmallow' Gibbons did a run of the not-so-popular Nintendo 64 game Shadow Man. His run is in 20 segments and gets a time of 3:14. It's worth getting the first segment just to laugh at the bad voice acting in the opening story that goes on for at least five minutes. I didn't watch any of the run so that's the only part I can comment on.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 by Radix and ballofsnow

The sequel of the game I almost played

Dominic 'DAMURDOC' Legault did a speed run of Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn for PC. The run is in 12 segments and finishes in a time of 1:11:37. I wouldn't have taken this one during my submission hiatus but I had someone very eager on IRC wanting to see it posted, so he volunteered to do all the work for me. Except when I took some time to verify his timing points of the run, I noticed several were off. Just goes to re-enforce the old adage... "If you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself." As a counter-example, I don't mind that I didn't write this next paragraph, since it seems to be done right. :-p

Blake 'Spider-Waffle' Piepho made a huge improvement of Zerg 7 "Drawing of the Web" for Starcraft: Brood War. This level has gone all the way down from 0:17:35 to 0:09:49 and now to 0:04:23. You want to see this run! On the pre-expansion side, Philip 'ballofsnow' Cornell has improved five levels for Starcraft. They are Terran 1 "Wastelands" in 0:02:40, 9 seconds faster, Terran 6 "Norad II" in 0:05:18, 28 seconds faster, Terran 10 "The Hammer Falls" in 0:07:51, 0:01:48 faster, Zerg 1 "Among the Ruins" in 0:07:34, 0:01:02 faster, and Zerg 4 "Agent of the Swarm" in 0:06:48, 0:01:37 faster. Overall, the total Starcraft time goes down from 3:59:28 to 3:54:24, and Brood War down from 3:50:18 to 3:44:52.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 by Radix

Wood in the skin

You'll find two new runs on the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell page, one on the GameCube version and one on the PC version. Both were done a little more than two months ago so my apologies to the runners for the delay in putting them up, but this is one of the worst games there is to time. Even though I actually got someone else to time them for me (thanks!) I still had to take a small amount of time to verify the timings, plus this wasn't until a few weeks ago anyway. The run on the GCN version is slightly faster but the PC version is also on hard mode. I know there are differences in the levels in the different versions but I don't know enough about them to know which run is actually better, although the verifier says PC. I could've bought this game for GCN for $10 but had no interest in it simply because timing the first run left a bad taste in my month. That run was an hour slower than these because it was a "no alarm" run, something the game doesn't even reward, so shouldn't be a separate category.

Monday, November 21, 2005 by Radix

Lucky thirteenth category

Besmir Sheqi has been working on a Single-segment 100% run of Metroid Prime. I tried this category once, shortly after I got 1:37 segmented. I managed a 1:59 but I didn't get it recorded or it probably would've been the record here until now. Besmir got his 1:44 way back in June and finally decided to send it in until he gets something better. The run is quite good I think except for a huge embarrassment in Furnace and the lack of early Newborn, which is of course a huge risk on an SS run, but that's what would make it so good.

David Gibbons wasn't done with Chrono Trigger after his recent 4:56 run. He used a save copy he'd made after part 29 to start a new run from, a "100%". Since an RPG like this can have varying defintions of 100%, we went with a simple one that's actually feasible: complete all optional side quests, so that Gaspar would tell you the only thing left to do is fight Lavos. His finish time comes out to 0:06:31 and he still nearly gets wiped out in the Lavos battle despite having a slightly higher level and better equipment. Also he never uses Crono after bringing him back, poor mute bastard.

Saturday, November 19, 2005 by Radix

Improved crystals

Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody didn't think he'd improve his run of the NES game Crystalis, but after some new information came his way, he decided to try again. The end result is a new run in the time of 1:09:06, an improvement of 20 minutes and 15 seconds over his previous run.

There are eight improved times on the Starcraft and SC: Brood War pages from René Kamp, Philip 'ballofsnow' Cornell and Torfi 'Blublu' Gunnarsson. There is also one new level: the "Boot Camp" training mission in the Starcraft page, thanks to Qoix for pointing out this omission. Overall, the Starcraft total time went up by 0:02:14 to 3:59:28, and Brood War went down by 0:16:33 to 3:50:18. Thanks also to Philip for writing the preceding sentences and updating the pages at

Thursday, November 17, 2005 by Radix

My bad fur season

Julien Langer did a run of the 2000 PC game Icewind Dale. His run is in 14 segments and comes out to 0:58:00. You'll need to know a bit of German to understand everything going on.

Way back in May 2001, Derek 'SnapDragon' Kisman did a run of the Nintendo 64 game Conker's Bad Fur Day. Although he's had the run online for some time, he bugged me about posting it here for wider viewing and I finally got around to it. You'd better not click if you're under 18!

Ben Fichter recently sent in a run of Jak II for PlayStation 2, but unfortunately due to some faulty packaging, the second of four tapes disappeared in transit to Nate. So that Ben's effort wasn't completely wasted, we captured and compressed what we had anyway, but it can't go on SDA since such a significant amount of material is missing. It's put up at as an "incomplete run".

Monday, November 14, 2005 by Radix

First case of actual bunny hopping

In Quake the term bunny-hopping is used to refer to how the player jumps around in a zig-zag motion to build up and maintain speed much faster than simple running. The technique is possible in a lot of 3D games but it was always just a joke. Now it's time for some real bunny hopping, in the game Jazz Jackrabbit 2 starring the amazingly green Jazz. I don't think Jazz actually goes faster by jumping, but it's the pun that counts, right?

The runs for the game are done by Alex 'AquaTiger' Nichols and both are Single-segment on normal skill. He uses Jazz and gets a time of 0:32:21 and then his red brother Spaz for a time of 0:30:00. Judging by the last bit in the Jazz comments, it seems this was truly a case of a rush against the clock!

Saturday, November 12, 2005 by Radix

Dante still isn't dead

Michael 'sternn' McEnroe has done the first 100% speed run of Devil May Cry for PlayStation 2. Including bonus missions, extra weapons, all the orbs, and s-rank on every level for 100% is already quite a feat to do fast ... but Michael also plays on the hardest skill setting, elegantly called "Dante Must Die!". His run is in 23 segments and gets a time of 1:55:05. Unfortunately he did a bit of editing I don't really approve of, but I'll let it slide once. He cut out the loading and saving in every segment, so it just starts right in, even on the first file. Please don't do that, folks!

René Kamp improved two more of the levels for Starcraft: Brood War. He did Protoss 01, Escape from Aiur in 0:02:42, two seconds faster, and Zerg 07, Drawing of the Web in 0:09:49, 0:07:46 faster.

Finally, just a note that Nate has stopped production of new video dvds.

Sunday, November 6, 2005 by Radix

Disturbingly fast

Mychal 'trihex' Jefferson has been working hard for some time on a run of Yoshi's Island. He started on the GBA version and sent a 2:19:49 that I probably shouldn't even have posted because of the amount of deaths. He acquired the SNES version and has improved that time by over 21 minutes to get 1:58:14. Unfortunately, the run is still not death free. Mychal also sent seven improvements to individual levels, including 1-1 in 0:00:58 and 1-2 in 0:01:04, 18 and 14 seconds faster than his previous runs on the GBA version. He also improved my own run on 4-5 by 16 seconds to get 0:01:48 thanks to a few shortcuts involving going over really tall poles. Four other levels are faster than David Gibbons; find them on the page.

Wes 'Arrow' Fathauer sent in his first speed run, and it's of the Genesis game Dynamite Headdy. He finished in a time of 0:47:35. Mike Uyama says "WOW" about this one.

Stefan van Dijke is at it again, Metroid Prime that is. After his 1:09 segmented run, he decided to improve his Single-segment run and ended up with a time of 1:19, four minutes faster than his previous. He claims he's done, but who believes that?

After Joseph 'Apathy' Wilcox did his second run of Doom 3, he decided to try his hand at the expansion: Resurrection of Evil. Coming in at about half the time and only 12 segments (still one file), his run is 0:52:25 on marine skill again. Where's that nightmare skill run folks?

Wouter Jansen sent three more improvements to N64's GoldenEye. He improved Frigate on all three difficulty levels by 1 second each: 0:00:23 on Agent, 0:01:06 on Secret Agent, and 0:01:12 on 00 Agent. The previous Agent run was from December 2003 by Bryan Bosshardt and the others were from April/May 2005 by Dan Cervone.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005 by Radix

Something's got to give

A bunch of improved times on the Starcraft and SC: Brood War pages. They're all from Philip 'ballofsnow' Cornell and I don't feel like listing them individually here, since you can easily find them by looking at the dates. The total time on Starcraft was dropped by over 5 minutes to 3:57:14 and the total on Brood War dropped by over 20 minutes to 4:14:39.

There are three new videos for F-Zero X and I'll actually list them. Jimmy K. Thai did Fire Field in 0:00:52.731, 1.511s faster than Dave Phaneuf. Jose 'PiccoloCube' Karica did Silence 3 in 0:01:34.242, 1.180s faster and Sand Ocean 3 in 0:01:38.985, 2.943s faster, both are self-improvements.

I recently added another item on the submit page for required items when a run is submitted (not that I'm taking much these days thanks to these assholes). In addition to comments, date run was finished, and runner's name, I also need a way to contact you! Too many times I've gotten runs, then a week or so goes by and I look at it and something is wrong, and I have no way to contact the runner unless I want to search through AIM logs to find him... and that's very annoying. Someone sent me a prince of persia sands of time run about two weeks ago... and I don't have any way to tell him, except this right here, that the sound in his run is badly off synch. Well it's got to stop, so I need contact information for everyone from now on.

Sunday, October 30, 2005 by Radix

Paradox City

David 'marshmallow' Gibbons took time away from unknown Nintendo 64 games to do a game for Super Nintendo, a very well known game in fact: Chrono Trigger. Speed runs of this game were discussed a lot in the past, but few thought it could really be done under my seven hour recommended limit. David knew there must be some key strategy to defeating the great Lavos early and decided it's Omega Flare, so he did a test run... and succeeded at a sub-7 run. That's not the run you'll find on the page though, since he changed the strategy, got significantly faster, abused rubble, and got 5:24.

Nope, still no link to the run, since he did it a third time and ended up getting less than five hours, only 4:56 in 34 segments. Now that's a speed run! If only everyone was so dedicated. Between his second and third runs, David did a New Game + run using a level 99 Crono. Since this run is rather boring, I wasn't going to post it before someone did a full game run. The game's timer can't be used here at all so it's real time all the way for 0:07:50.

Alex 'AquaTiger' Nichols sent in the third run on Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters. He did the 'Recover the New Parts' scenario, played as Megaman, and got a time of 0:04:01.48. Although this is all three scenarios for the game now, I can't list a total time until we have runs on every scenario by every character.

Now it's time for two more runs from NES-loving Tom 'rdrunner' Votava. He did Strider in 0:35:10 and makes fun of the game's name. Sixteen months later, he ran Gauntlet, another Arcade->NES port. There are four characters to choose from, and he picks Elf, the fast one. It seems unlikely anyone will try this game with the others but you never know. Tom's time is 0:20:13.

This update brings the total games covered here at SDA to 202. I'll let you decide which game is #200. Remember when I added Resident Evil 0 as #100? That was April 6. The site has more than doubled in size in less than seven months! That's one new game every ~51 hours... no wonder I'm going insane.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 by Radix


There's a new run of Metroid Prime PAL version. Stefan van Dijke improved William 'pirate109' Tansley's time by two minutes and got 1:09. Unfortunately I haven't had time to watch this so that's all I can say. I've also had to turn away several runs recently ... until the situation in the forum post I just linked to is resolved, I can only take things that I'm personally interested in. Sorry everyone.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 by Radix

Everything's being erased

Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody sent in a run of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time for PlayStation 2. Although this RPG includes a timer that counts seconds, it doesn't display it at the end. Since it's seen throughout a run, even in an SS run I can use it plus the time after that. That makes Damien's time 4:11 since I cut the seconds for runs of at least three hours in length, unless a game shows them at the end. Also of note is that this game has a 42 minute ending file - that's just excessive.

Another unknown game from Tom 'rdrunner' Votava is The Lone Ranger for NES. One of Tom's longest runs, it takes him 0:57:43 to finish this one.

Monday, October 24, 2005 by Radix

Out with the old

The first speed run that Joseph 'Apathy' Wilcox did was for the PC game BloodRayne, featuring a red-haired scantily-clad half-vampire. I've actually posted two of his runs before, both on Doom 3, but he did this run before those. I just took longer to post it since it's not as popular of a game... just another reminder that there's no such thing as FIFO here. Joseph's run is in six segments, on easy skill, and gets a time of 1:19:49.

Philippe 'Suzaku' Henry recently sent a tape with three small runs on it. First is an improvement to the final stage of Metal Slug X for PlayStation. He gets a time of 0:03:30.05, 7.92 seconds faster than his previous run where he died at the boss. In Mega Man: The Power Battle for PS2/GCN/Xbox, Phil had previously done one of the three scenarios and now it's time for the other two. He does the Mega Man 3-6 stages in 0:02:18.33 and the Mega Man 7 stages in 0:01:46.47. That makes a total time of 0:06:25.20, a short game indeed.

But it's not the shortest run on the site, which the new Game list can easily prove. Just pick your desired system, or the entire list, then chose to sort by run time and viola, the list by time! If you view the full list sorted alphabetically, you can see that no games on the site start with N or O yet ... an odd coincidence or just no good games start with those letters? Thanks to Hans Brigman for writing the base perl script for the new game list, though I pretty much totally rewrote it, and to Astra Piper for doing some javascript for me. There's still a few things I need to clean up too, like having the release date for each port of a game listed... If you check the GBA list by release date, you'll see years in the 20th century in there, before GBA came out, because of the ports. I didn't want to delay the list anymore because of this. Hopefully everyone likes it, but feel free to bitch on the forum if you don't.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 by Radix

The secret is out

Frank 'Seiken' Cid has done a run of the first RPG I ever played, Secret of Mana for Super Nintendo. He plays the PAL version of the game with French text, but it seems to me to run at the correct speed while playing the game (I didn't do any tests though). Only when traveling on the map via cannon is it obviously going slower due to the music not being long enough, so it's probably just the map where it goes slower. The text length difference between the languages probably matters more for the time, but can't be more than a few minutes I think. Frank's run is in eight segments and gets a time of 5:15. I think he's a little loony to do it in so few segments, especially throwing in long boss battles an hour into a segment! Can anyone figure out why he doesn't just walk out the door when he loads an Inn save?

Tom 'rdrunner' Votava took on the role of Harrison Ford in two Indiana Jones games for NES. The Last Crusade is done in 0:03:35 and The Temple Of Doom in 0:05:13.

The new game list format is almost ready, I swear!

Saturday, October 15, 2005 by Radix

The forum might need Hangul support now...

There are new pages up for Starcraft for PC, and its expansion pack: Brood War. The total time for both combined is nearly nine hours. Since various people had done the html, file naming, converting and stuff, the only stuff I had to do was the uploading (took like 12 hours), a bit of html clean up and importing them into There are already improvements to some of these but don't expect them for a while.

Thursday, October 13, 2005 by Radix

The rest of the update

The other runs I was going to add last night were two from Andres 'Mad Andy' Montalbetti on American McGee's Alice for PC. Andres did runs on two skills: easy and hard. The previous run on the game was on easy skill by Mark 'Allantois' Freyenberger and was done in ~0:54:44, though I had it listed as 0:54:55. It turns out that one of the game's cutscenes plays at the wrong speed (11 seconds slow) when you play the game. If you record to demo files and then play those back, it's correct. Since the game is nearly 5 years old I doubt it will get fixed but I'd rather time using the correctly playing cutscene, so if someone records a new run without demos, I'll subtract the necessary 11 seconds. I should note that Andres wanted to add the 11 seconds onto his times but I felt subtraction was better ... it makes the times lower.

Just make sure you remember that timing games without timers, especially PC games, is at best, an inaccurate science. At worst, it's enough to drive me insane. Always take such times with an implied margin of error in mind. Andres's run on easy is 0:48:19, about six and a half minutes better than Mark. On hard he takes 1:01:10. This run probably isn't as interesting to watch since it was done earlier, and the harder skill makes it slower (obviously). Different skills are valid categories though (just look at all those Nightmare skill Quake demos we've got), so however fast you can go on higher difficulties is still a speed run.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 by Radix

I wish I could get a good night's sleep

Next on the schedule of runs by Tom 'rdrunner' Votava is IronSword: Wizards & Warriors II. If I'm reading his comments right, it sounds like this 0:13:01 run is the ONLY time he even beat the game?! Despite this, the verifiers were impressed, even with the several deaths. I'm still debating if the run should be labelled as "death abuse" but since that doesn't affect the name of the files, I can post it before deciding.

This update was going to contain more, but I'm going to bed.

Monday, October 10, 2005 by Radix

Attack of the Wouters

Wouter Jansen has taken the record for GoldenEye: 007 away from David 'marshmallow' Gibbons. The type of run is Single-segment through the whole game on the hardest difficulty, 00 Agent. Wouter's time is 0:47:24, 2 minutes and 37 seconds faster than David. Some of the level times are significantly different from David's run, but not always better; such as Cradle which is 0:01:02 instead of 0:02:43, and Depot which is 0:02:29 instead of 0:01:38. There's probably a reason for this but I sure don't know it.

There's also some updates to the table of individual level runs on GoldenEye. Some of these were done over a year ago, but I didn't receive the vids until a few months ago, and I was lazy to fully convert/encode them and do the rest of the work until Wouter's run meant they'd be paired. So here they are, all but one is a one second improvement:

Next there's a full complement of runs on Star Wars: Episode I Racer for Nintendo 64 / Dreamcast / PC by Wouter Jansen. But wait! This isn't the same Wouter Jansen as the GoldenEye runner above. They're probably even in different countries (I don't even know), and this Wouter will be listed as "Wouter M. Jansen" to differentiate them. Believe it or not, I didn't plan these two guys' runs to go into the same update until a couple days ago. In fact, thanks to Astra Piper for finally doing most of the work involved in getting these runs up. Anyway, Wouter did runs of all 25 tracks of the game, and the total comes to 1:27:33.762. Only five of the tracks have separate lap videos, the rest have the best lap time inside the full course video.

I've temporarily put up a torrent of all of these vids for easy downloading (although the FTP is another option). You might notice I've done that for several recent runs that have multiple files (mgs3, dmc3, etc) and I tend to leave them for 4-5 days or so, but this time I didn't have one single link to put the torrent in so I'm mentioning it here! If you do go to links, note that the High quality links aren't working yet. decided to change their importing procedure over the weekend, and all the HQ files I'd already uploaded to the upload server are now sitting there and I can't get to them, and I'm forced to upload them again using the new method!

Saturday, October 8, 2005 by Radix

Have you eaten a reptile today?

Adnan Kauser sent in an improvement of his run of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Same settings as his previous run: European Extreme difficulty and Foxhound rank. Adnan's new run is 7 minutes and 36 seconds faster, with the segment count increased from seven to 10, to get a time of 1:29:46.

Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody already had some runs on Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, but he decided it wasn't enough. He did 100% runs with both the default Leon character and the Joachim bonus character, although, as with most games, just what to call '100%' is a little foggy. With Leon there are two rather rare drops he didn't include, and includes all map areas since that's what the game is tracking with a %. He gets 1:50:19 with Leon and 1:22:15 with Joachim. That's six categories for this game that Damien holds ... in the Quake news they'd call that "total ownage".

Tom Votava must love short repetitive music because he sure ran a lot of NES games that have some. In Castlequest you need to journey around a puzzle-filled castle looking for keys in order to do the standard princess rescuing. Tom abuses death as a way to gain a little bit of time and ends up with 0:20:26.

There's a new time on Max Payne 2's p3c5 level, "Return to Funhouse, as Mona". Tomi Salo got a time of 0:00:41, 16 seconds faster than Stefan Breunig.

Friday, October 7, 2005 by Radix

Easy dying

Mike Uyama has submitted his last speed run for a while ... something about going to Japan for school keeping him busy. He made sure to go out with a bang though, by killing lots of things in the action-filled Contra III: The Alien Wars for Super Nintendo. Mike plays on hard mode and finishes in 17 minutes flat without ever dying. In a game where a single energy shot will kill you and there's lots of them, that's quite a feat!

Tom Votava's trip through the Deadly Towers NES game wasn't an easy one. He says the game is hard and just beating it is hard, and even wrote a FAQ for it at GameFAQs. The reviews there seem to think the game just sucks though, with lots of 1/10 scores and one review title being "Take Zelda, turn it into complete crap, and this is the result". It just goes to show that those people saying only old games are good are only remembering the old games that were good. Perhaps this will join the ranks of Chameleon Twist as "famously bad" games to run? Now that I've hyped the bad-ness I wonder how many people will get his 0:43:10 run just to look at it, hehe.

Wednesday, October 5, 2005 by Radix

Only nine more

Another three runs from Tom 'rdrunner' Votava's batch coming your way. First we have his only other Super Nintendo submission: Road Runner's Death Valley Rally. I thought of using the game's timer here, which starts at 5:00 and counts down, and then manually timing the five bosses. Then I remembered the clock item that stops time, so you could slow down to freeze the clock. Plus, if someone is ever crazy enough to get all the flags for 100% (does anyone even know where they all are?), some levels could take more than five minutes. So it's just a straight manual timing of the whole thing, which is the easiest way anyway! Tom's time is 0:25:51.

Movie-based video games aren't known to be the best batch of games. I do believe I haven't added any runs on any previously, so Tom's run of Who Framed Roger Rabbit for NES is the first. It's a very short game once you know what you're doing and Tom finishes it in only 0:06:05. The music in this game is rather catchy, I think.

Tom's longest submission is his only one longer than one hour: Adventures Of Lolo III for NES. With twice the levels of its predecessors, Lolo 3 is quite a difficult game. The idea of memorizing all one hundred puzzles for a speed playthrough is daunting, but Tom manages to do it with only one major error. I do wonder if the endlessly repeating music made him go insane, or if he just muted it. Tom's time comes to 1:23:34.

Just so the update isn't all about Tom, I'll post an improvement of F-Zero X 64DD from Jose 'PiccoloCube' Karica... again. He improved his Big Foot time by 2.213 seconds to get 0:01:27.046, which brings the total of all 64DD tracks down to 0:18:07.353. Most noticable in this run compared to his others is that the ghost cars from previous races are never seen again after only 20 seconds. Sometimes it takes him until the final lap to pass them all.

Monday, October 3, 2005 by Radix

The hard and the ugly

Tom 'rdrunner' Votava ran a lot of NES games. Some of them are well known and loved games like Castlevania 1-3. Others you've probably never heard of, or if you had, you wish you hadn't. At least Tom seems fully aware that Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine isn't exactly grade-A gaming. It seems he whipped up the runs on this game just before he contacted me as the date is August 2005... and yes I said runs. He does it on easy skill in 0:06:23 and lethal skill in 0:06:47.

For a better game, but perhaps just as hard, we turn to one of Tom's two Super Nintendo submissions: Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, part of All-Stars. Mario and Luigi have different abilities in this game so there's two possible runs, times two for with warps and without warps, plus you can save and quit to segment it if you want, though that would certainly take away the impressiveness of any run. Tom's run uses Mario and lots of warp zones to get to the end of D-4 in a time of 0:18:05. No deaths along the way; I wonder if we'll ever see a warpless run without deaths?

Just so the update isn't all about Tom, I'll post an improvement of F-Zero X 64DD from Jose 'PiccoloCube' Karica. He improved his Port Town 3 time by 1.567 seconds to get 0:01:34.670, which brings the total of all 64DD tracks down to 0:18:09.566.

Sunday, October 2, 2005 by Radix

Fifty hearts for Holy Water!

Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe submitted a run of Legend of Mana for PlayStation. His run is Single-segment, always impressive for long runs, with a time of 3:17. From what I've been told about this game, there are three quests that can be done: Jumi, Dragon and Fairy. Only one is necessary to beat the game but all could be done if you wanted to. Nicholas's run is only Jumi's quest.

When Tom 'rdrunner' Votava ran Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse in October 2003, he did all four endings. Two of them got posted last month, and now it's time for the other two. With Syfa, the time comes out to 0:32:55, and it's not very different from the run without a partner. In fact, you might say "Hey, that's the exact same time, you must have made a mistake!". Indeed I did... when I noticed I got the same time I looked again, and I had typoed the end frame for the NoPartner run when I entered it into Excel (39874 as 39844) and therefore mis-timed it. I've renamed it to 0:32:57, which makes the Syfa run two seconds faster. Yay for ice power! With Grant, the run comes out the slowest of the four choices to 0:34:21, but every level beyond the first is different in this run thanks to Grant's suction-cup feet.

Tom also ran Castlevania II: Simon's Quest for NES, completing the Castlevania NES series at SDA. Not a very well-liked game, cv2 doesn't have as much action as the others and isn't linear but doesn't have much path choice. With towns only open during the day, parts of Tom's 0:49:58 run is simply killing things to wait for the sun to rise but I don't see that changing if anyone challenges his time.

Going even further back in time, Tom ran The Legend of Zelda for NES in July 2003. Tom's time of 0:34:04 is about 0:01:47 faster than the run from Mike 'TSA' Damiani I had up which was done in June 2004. The reason for the time-travel is that Tom's run wasn't available until right now!

Saturday, October 1, 2005 by Radix

Holy shit it's October

Where does the time fly? I guess when you're watching speed runs, it *really* goes fast... ok please don't boo me off the stage just yet.

Joseph 'Apathy' Wilcox improved his run of Doom 3 by taking the standard speed run approach: don't kill stuff, just run by! There's also a new (only?) rocket jump shortcut in his new run. Thanks to a little research from 'Kibumbi', the timing for this game was altered a bit. It seems that even John Carmack can't figure out how to make a loading screen appear quickly, and during the black screen before it appears, it's apparently being ... loaded. That's right, the time to display the loading screen depends on your computer! This means the timing stops as soon as the fade to black is complete and resumes once the loading screen disappears, and this is noted on the page as it doesn't follow the standard otherwise. Joseph's new run tims to 1:40:10 using this method, but it's not 27 minutes faster than his previous "2:07" run. The time difference is about two minutes (for Joseph's computer) so it's more like 25 minutes better. Impressive either way!

The slew of runs from Tom 'rdrunner' Votava starts here. Only his run of Castlevania is ready right now, but it's easier to post them as they ready, even if I did want to hold off on the remaining Castlevania series games to go with this. Tom's time from April 2003 is 0:14:29. Tom's run does not contain a few enemy boosts from Wesley Dekkers's European version run, so even though a 5/6 multiplier would impley Tom's run is comparatively faster, it's best to not trust such conversions and judge for yourself which you think is better. Both could be improved with strategies from the other I think, but who will do it?