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News from July through September, 2007. [Newer | Older]

Friday, September 28, 2007 by DJGrenola

Cleanup

Let's kick this queue exorcism off with a pair of Resident Evil runs. Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody's incumbent 1:24:53 A-rank Resident Evil 3: Nemesis run from 2004 is today decapitated by Wes 'Carc1n0g3n' Kempton. Wes has beaten 'Dragondarch' by four minutes and eleven seconds. An A-rank single-segment 1:20:42 is the result.

Ever the runner's favourite, Resident Evil 4 is on the receiving end of a speedup too, in the European version with special weapons (new game +) category. Tomi 'sarou' Salo last submitted a video of this type back in 2005; he's made this seven minutes and sixteen seconds more rapid with a new 18-segment 1:43:47.

One title which seems to have earned itself a reputation for fierce competition is NES Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom. Since 'Frezy_man' finished the first run of said title in March of this year there have been three improvements. Jim Hanson is responsible for the latest of these, grabbing back his record by shaving off another eleven seconds and resetting the bar at 0:14:27. How long will the record last this time ?

You know what you're going to get with Adam 'Lucid Faia' Sweeney — well-executed single-segment goodness. Adam has taken on SNES Donkey Kong Country's 100% category (or 101%, if you want to call it that). The run that he casts so cruelly into the land of the obsolete is a genuine relic: Derek 'SnapDragon' Kisman's old 100% was played way, way back in 2001. That's so old by SDA's standards that I'm almost sorry to see it go — but looking on the bright side, its replacement gets the H.264 treatment. 'Lucid Faia' plays six minutes faster than 'SnapDragon' did; his 100% time is 0:44.

According to the ever-knowledgeable Mike Uyama, today's revision to Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria demonstrates even worse platforming than the run it replaces, but better planning and boss battles. Either way it's faster — over twenty minutes faster, in fact, although it does use nearly twice the number of segments. Alex 'AquaTiger' Nichols is the runner responsible for this 40-segment improvement, which took 2:21:08.

In the first new addition to the game list for some time — it's been stuck at 380 games listed for what seems like an eternity — Peter 'petrie911' Montag sends in his effort at Sonic Adventure 2. This run was played on the GameCube version, follows the Dark side, is categorised as single-segment, and boasts a time of 0:33:41.70.

List of normal quality torrents:

Thursday, September 27, 2007 by DJGrenola

Mega Man Mania

Of the fourteen runs in Ready to Update, no less than seven are on Mega Man games. It would seem to be time for the ultimate Mega Man speed run feast — so, in no particular order ...

Jared 'Ifrit' Nicholson's old PS1 Mega Man Legends run from 2005 is ousted courtesy of Tom H. 'sshplur' Nguyen. Tom beats Jared by 11 minutes and 23 seconds and achieves a single-segment 0:57:02. This isn't the full story, however — Tom has also knocked out a run on easy mode, again single-segment. The easy mode run exhibits the predictably faster time of 0:42:52.

SNES Mega Man 7 is next: Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe returns to beat his own previous 100% on this title, chopping off one minute and seventeen seconds from his March 2007 effort. Hoppe's revision is once again performed single-segment and abuses death to save time; the new figure to beat here is 0:56:16.

The European version of PS1 Mega Man 8 enjoys a spell in the limelight thanks to Patrik 'Cremator' Salonen. The usual 5/6 speed shenanigans apply, but in a gesture of magnanimity Jared 'Ifrit' Nicholson has requested his NTSC run be taken down to make way for Patrik's contribution, which weighs in at 1:04:57, again single-segment.

We now move onto the X games, beginning with SNES Mega Man X3. Daniel Chamness strolls nonchalantly through the X Collection version of this title, without saving, in 0:43:15. This is ostensibly about a minute and a half faster than Mike Uyama's effort on the SNES version, but the X Collection forms a separate category owing to some timing discrepancies between these editions (mainly revolving around cutscenes and slowdown).

Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk is seemingly also into self-improvement — if you want that quantifying, he's improved himself to the tune of five minutes and fifty-six seconds at the 8-bosses-beaten category of Mega Man X5. Chris's new, faster 0:25:03 assault employs 16 segments. 'Satoryu' seems to like this 8-boss thing, because he's also revised his own record on the equivalent Mega Man X6 category, or to be more precise, he's improved the final two segments. The new time is 0:29:13, but this link will only show you the improved parts 13 and 14. If you haven't had the pleasure of watching parts 1 to 12, you'll need to download them separately from the old 0:31:00 8-boss performance ... or you could just use one of the normal quality torrents, which contain the original parts 1 to 12 plus the improved 13 and 14.

Speaking of normal quality torrents ...

Anyway, back to Halo 3 ...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 by DJGrenola

Ocarina, Duct-Taped

We offer our apologies both to 'YautjaElder' and to everyone who wanted to see his 100% Ocarina of Time run mentioned in the previous update. Hopefully the issues with this have been fixed now. Watch Oskar's 64-segment performance here, or climb aboard one of the normal quality DivX or H.264 torrents. We appreciate your patience.

Sunday, September 23, 2007 by Radix

Ocarina fest

There are over a dozen runs in the queue's 'ready for update' right now, but posting that many runs at once would be a lot of work, and it would make the download speeds crappy for everyone. So, this update is just two runs, on a game that people have been drooling for more runs on for quite some time: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

In addition to the previous Single-segment eu version category, we now have a segmented run on the NTSC version and a 100% run. The 100% run acheived a time of 6:35 by Oskar 'YautjaElder' Lundquist in 64 segments. A brief definition of just what 100% covers: All sub screen items, heart containers/pieces, ocarina songs, gold skulltulas and best upgrades. Update: Sorry, there is a problem with this run's encoding and it has been temporarily removed.

The other run comes in at the crazy low time of 2:26:56 by Lloyd 'Manocheese' Palmer in 25 segments. This run uses a few 'major skips' that result in two categories. This run is simply called "Best time with save warping". Another run which doesn't use those skips would be called "Best time without major skips". This is one of those vaguely arbitrary rules we have just because some people don't like speed runs that cut out huge chunks of a game. The things that qualify as major are listed on the game's page.

Both runs posted today have torrents for both avi and mp4 versions of normal quality. You can also download normal or low quality from our new server as well as from archive.

Thursday, September 13, 2007 by DJGrenola

Releasing Games This Late In Europe Is Disgusting, 'k ?

Copious thanks are due to the many generous individuals who saw fit to donate towards the cost of hosting, and we appreciate your tolerating the new advertisements. Today's torrent download is being bolstered by our new dedicated server ! We're still considering if and how we might offer HTTP downloads from it, so we'll let you know what happens regarding that.

In the meantime, we thought we'd celebrate the release of Wii Super Paper Mario in Europe by posting a run of it. Words cannot express how utterly repulsive I find the fact that Nintendo chose to region-lock their console (sorry, PAL-60 obliterates your old pathetic, hackneyed excuse for an excuse) and then forced European and Australian regions to wait months for this title on a system horribly starved of games as it is. You'd think European consumers would get some sort of, you know, reward for purchasing the system, but apparently we're such contemptible, backward scum that we don't deserve to play new games on the machines we've shelled out hard earned cash for. That old localisation chestnut won't work, either — I've lost track of the number of EU region releases I've bought recently that have contained words that don't exist in my language — words like 'color', 'favorite' and 'tumor'. Using localisation as an excuse for ripping off PAL region consumers only works if you actually bother to localise the games. Spare us the insult to our intelligence, and try localising games into standard English. You know, the language we read and write locally. As in "localisation". Look it up.

Before the proliferation of the Internet, we happily put up with playing games at 5/6 speed with horrible screen borders, and getting them months after the rest of the world. We didn't know any better, but times have changed. If publishers think they can continue to try to make PAL region consumers pay full price for games that are months old, in an age when open modchip code can be blown onto a PIC integrated circuit for the price of a decent cup of coffee, they really are in for the shock of their lives, EUCD or no EUCD. Treat consumers like filth, and they'll gladly return the favour.

Sri 'MrGuy' Singh is responsible for knocking out the first speed run of Super Paper Mario. According to Radix, it contains some mistakes, but that's probably not so bad in a run spanning five and a half hours — the exact time is 5:13 across 45 segments. By far the preferred way to get your grubby mitts on this is to get on the normal quality DivX torrent — the other qualities are available from archive.org, but I'm strongly of the suspicion that archive's quality of service won't be anything to write home about on this one. If your ISP throttles BitTorrent downloads (many do), you might be interested in a page in the SDA Knowledge Base.

The precise clear time for this run was derived from the final save; Mike would like me to suggest that when running games like this it's a good idea to include your final save when recording.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007 by DJGrenola

Jaded...

You'll doubtless all be overjoyed to hear that for the second time in a year we've lost our main shared hosting account — the reasons for this are once again too stupid for it to be worth my even summarising them. We've been looking at other options including acquiring a dedicated server, so you will notice an increase in the number of advertisements on the site from here on in. Nate would like me to suggest that if you'd like to help with this, you may feel free to donate.

This means that we're back to the donkey and cart (archive.org and BitTorrent). We have a couple of fairly big productions queued for release but no way to do so with any sort of acceptable quality of service at this moment, so for the time being we'll just have to post some shorter videos. Let's get on with it before I change my mind and give up entirely.

Jose 'PiccoloCube' Karica has submitted videos on three tracks of the DD64 F-Zero X Expansion Kit. Two of these — Port Town 3 and White Land 3 — are improvements; the third video exhibits the same time as his existing run, but has been re-encoded for better quality. Jose beats his own time on Port Town 3 by 1.227 seconds, achieving 0:01:32.094; on White Land 3 he beats a runner we had listed only as 'Max', this time by 1.049 seconds. The new White Land 3 time is 0:01:17.998; the overall improvement is 2.276 seconds, and the summed 64DD table time is now 0:17:42.894. The remastered contribution is on Space Plant 2, and is still 0:01:16.433. 'PiccoloCube' now owns the 64DD table from top to bottom.

Game Boy Kirby's Dream Land is the next object of speed running affection; Patrick 'SleepersEye' Lambert has cut this game down to size in just 0:12:07.

Meanwhile, Matt 'Deadstick' Johnson leads the assault upon Super Nintendo Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Matt played as Kimberly and scored 0:33:47, single-segment.

Friday, August 24, 2007 by DJGrenola

Penny Arcade Expo

All being well, a selection of some of SDA's content should be showing right now at the Penny Arcade Expo, which is a great opportunity both for Speed Demos Archive and for the profile of speed running in general — but the real bombshell is the introductory music video which made up the first few minutes of our hour-long feature.

This four-minute introduction to the main speed run showcase journeyed from a latent concept in Nate's brain to its dazzling final form through six epic months of punishing, non-stop toil. Along the way, it assimilated the skills of an artist, a quantum physicist, a linguist, and a programmer. It swallowed 70 hours of speed run footage, ravenously consumed two weeks of CPU time, and gorged itself upon over a terabyte of storage. It spawned 6,000 lines of source code and spread itself in mathematical symbols over page upon page of graph paper. At one point the stress it put on me threatened to bring SDA itself to a halt. It is therefore with the greatest pleasure that I can now bring you the most ambitious project I have ever worked on: Speed Demos Archive.

Please give serious consideration to downloading the high or insane quality versions; the complexity of this video is such that it makes mincemeat of even the best video codecs, and it really should be viewed at 640x480 and 59.94 frames per second as I intended. You can embed the streaming flash version in websites or blogs. It's not recommended, but you could also use the one-third frame rate YouTube version.

We'd like to thank Penny Arcade for giving us the opportunity to show our feature at PAX, and particularly for trusting us to take full control of its direction and deliver it on time. Thank you !

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 by DJGrenola

Repent

Asa 'spikevegeta' Tims has returned to revise his old Beginner mode attempt at PlayStation 2 Kingdom Hearts II. He confesses in his comments that the old video "was a lazy run from the planning stages", and atones for this sin by submitting a 27-minute improvement. We forgive you, Asa. This effort doubles the number of segments from 8 to 16, but hey, faster is faster; the new time to beat is 4:39. Grab your quality of choice from an HTTP mirror, stream the embedded flash, or get on the normal quality DivX torrent.

Saturday, August 18, 2007 by DJGrenola

Biggest Update Ever

This is the biggest SDA update ever. Compiling it was sheer hell, but the way the queue is at the moment, it may not be a record for very long.

Kari 'Essentia' Johnson has rapidly developed a name for herself in the prestigious realm of running Final Fantasy games, and her single-segment Final Fantasy VI production which has seen the forum's denizens salivating with expectation is finally ready for launch. How on earth the lass managed to concentrate for this length of time completely boggles my mind, but concentrate she did. The time ? 4:48. I'll just put this achievement into perspective — that's 38 minutes faster than the previous effort from Peter Tiernan, and yet Peter's run used 32 segments. As far as the videos are concerned, I'll give you one piece of advice: Forget about the high quality version — it's over 5 gigabytes in size. The normal quality H.264 version is full framerate, so that's the version we chose to distribute using BitTorrent. If you'd prefer something smaller than 1.4 gigabytes, go for the low quality H.264 version which most likely rivals the DivX normal quality in terms of fidelity. You'll need to use a H.264 in mp4-aware player such as VLC to watch the mp4 versions, including the one we're torrenting.

Joe Stanski has improved one of his Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog 2 levels again; this time it's Death Egg Zone. Those who read the news regularly will have realised long ago that Mr. Stanski doesn't take "no" for an answer where going faster is concerned, and according to Nate, this is the first one round Sonic 2 final boss done by a human. When sending me a revision to his comments, Stanski confided that "this one means a heck of a lot to me and the Sonic 2 community". His crazy feat, believed impossible by many, chops another six seconds off the individual-level table — practically an eternity given how hard Stanski has worked at this game. The new Death Egg time is 0:00:43, and the summed individual-level figure falls to 0:16:30.

Since I first posted the triple update containing all three NES Ninja Gaiden titles, there have been various improvements. Are these games destined to become the next Jaws and Contra ? New runs on Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom have been submitted by Josh Styger. 16 seconds fall from Tommy Montgomery's February attempt at the original game; Josh's new time is 0:13:33. The record on the latter game is beaten by 31 seconds with Josh moving the bar to 0:14:38. Great work, Sir — keep at it !

Next is PC individual-level stalwart Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, on which two further improvements have been produced by Tomi 'sarou' Salo. One minute and 38 seconds have somehow been culled from 2-6, Construction Site As Mona part 3, which is now listed as 0:00:29, and there is also a slightly less pronounced revision to 3-6, Max's 3rd Nightmare — 3 seconds are cut here to yield a new time of 0:00:52. Total improvement is one minute and 41 seconds; the new summed table time is 0:22:17. Something tells me this won't be the last time I have to open that particular spreadsheet, either.

Long time SDA supporter Tom 'slowbro' Batchelor returns to the limelight as he takes a crack at Atari 2600 classic Pitfall II: Lost Caverns. Tom's performances were executed on the Activision Anthology for Game Boy Advance, so I'm just going to list this one as a GBA game; with all the other crazy stuff I have to get done in this update, I'm not going to bother adding a 2600 section to the game list just yet. 'slowbro' has produced the classic run pair here; his any% works out at 0:05:02, and an 100% effort in which he achieves maximum score is obviously slower, at 0:12:47. One interesting curiosity related to video compression that has arisen during the processing of this run is that the high quality H.264 versions here are actually smaller than the low quality DivX ones ... the H.264 encoder just turned its nose up at the surplus bitrate that Nate suggested it should use. Are you still using those archaic DivXalikes ?

Nope, I've still not finished. PC Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal is the target of this morning's final speed run. Dominic 'DAMURDOC' Legault's five-segment assault upon this expansion pack works out at 1:09:32.

Right, I need a lie down.

Thursday, August 16, 2007 by DJGrenola

A Boy, His Blob, And Guns. Lots Of Guns

Following on from the recently posted NES Super C low% (no items) run is an any% (pure speed) carnage fest, played this time by Jim Hanson. This performance is about two and a half minutes faster than the low%, at 0:14:06.

In a lateral move from genocide to gluttony, Ray 'Croc-Doc' Cullen ignores the any% category and goes straight for the 100% jugular of NES A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia. Even if you're not interested in watching this speedy 0:11:30, you should read Ray's run comments for his upbeat tale of an anonymous, maladjusted, dysfunctional wretch whom nobody likes.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 by DJGrenola

Meddling Kids

One title that's probably long overdue for a run is the critically acclaimed, cel-shaded Jet Grind Radio for Sega's ill-fated Dreamcast. Mandela 'Megatherium' Shabazz grabs his boom box, straps on the 'blades, fills his bag with spraycans and takes to the streets in the pursuit of the lowest single-segment time possible. A kickin' rad 1:03:39 is the result.

Lara Croft is back in action today; Stacy Corron's 55-segment Tomb Raider attempt from 2005 itself becomes a historical artifact thanks to the efforts of Ali 'AKA' Gordon. Ali was apparently horrified by Stacy's previous run, and having resurrected a Saturn and reacquired a copy of the game, set about confining the existing video to a dusty case in the speed run museum. This is one of those instances where a performance on a slower European version is clearly so much better than the incumbent run that we allow the PAL contribution to oust the NTSC one, even though playing at 5/6 speed makes execution a little easier. Although the listed time for this single-segment run is 1:50:16, you should keep in mind that the timer runs at 5/6 speed à la Resident Evil, so the actual video length is about two and a half hours. Comparing the compensated times, this run is about fifty minutes more rapid than the old.

Monday, August 13, 2007 by ballofsnow

Speedcraft

When you hear the name Alex 'aresake' Eustis you know something good is coming. This time he takes a chunk off the time of the original Starcraft, breaking records set by David 'marshmallow' Gibbons over two years ago. He ran Zerg 6 "The Dark Templar" in 0:09:30, 0:06:36 faster, Protoss 4 "The Hunt for Tassadar" in 0:02:20, 0:02:28 faster, and Protoss 6 "Into the Darkness" also in 0:02:20, 0:01:57 faster. An improvement of 0:11:01 brings the total Starcraft time down to 3:17:07.

Sunday, August 12, 2007 by DJGrenola

Evil, Evicted

White hat meets grey hat in this update as we bring you a pair of attempts at previously empty categories on GameCube Resident Evil 4. The first is a Professional difficulty single-segment new game+ (special weapons) run by Daniel 'SoulCalibrII' Chamness. Daniel finished just a couple of minutes slower than his default difficulty colleague did; his time is 2:02:45, and he throws in a couple of new time saving glitches which you might like to check out. We've also had our first successful effort at the Assignment Ada bonus mode. The capable hands of Greg Innes steered the femme fatale to victory in just 0:06:42 on the game's European version. Fun fact: Radix was trying to put together a decent run on this mode for some time !

Dominic 'DAMURDOC' Legault pushes the site inexorably towards the 400-games-listed mark with a performance on Super Nintendo Battletoads & Double Dragon. Playing as one of the Lee brothers, Dominic scored 0:23:23.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007 by DJGrenola

Back from the Edge

Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski looks to further his ubiquity today by adding an attempt at PC F.E.A.R. to the SDA run vault. Maciej played on Extreme difficulty and achieved 1:15:55 in 38 segments.

There are some fairly remarkable goings-on in the world of PC Baldur's Gate — or, to be more precise, on its Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack. The hitherto listed pair of runs on this title — one single-segment, one segmented — have both been made obsolete by Julien Langer's application of the polymorph glitch. Julien beats Kevin Horst's segmented run from 2006 by almost 14 minutes with a new time of 0:16:35 in 9 segments, and Julien's own single-segment effort from 2005 is also comprehensively confined to the history books; a crazy 45 minute revision yields a new figure of 0:24:30 ! These runs are apparently pretty confusing to watch; luckily Julien's comments are of the verbose variety.

Also joining the game list today is PlayStation title Driver: You are the Wheelman. This game was run by Sean 'ZhouTai' MacDonald who bravely battled its unrelenting randomness and scored 1:48:22 in 5 segments for his troubles.

Friday, August 3, 2007 by DJGrenola

Warp Speed

Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe checks in at SDA headquarters to revise a pair of his own runs on PlayStation Space Invaders. 'Sir VG' improves the normal difficulty category by 3 minutes and 39 seconds to 0:36:12, and the expert difficulty category by a slightly more modest 2 minutes and 29 seconds to 0:49:30.

Thursday, August 2, 2007 by DJGrenola

Joekami

Regular speed demon Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski flows us an attempt at cult mythological PlayStation 2 title Ōkami. Maciej admits in his comments that his primary motivation for performing this run was to fill in the "out-of-the-box" category and pave the way for the "new game +" video that he actually wants to do. He also admits that this submission could have been executed a lot better. That such a run completed in five days can pass verification impels me to raise a number of eyebrows, especially when this performance is well over nine hours long (9:19:21), and the bandwidth and disk space we have available for torrents is so limited. Having said that, the run appears to be strategically sound and there seems to be plenty here that could be used as a basis for something faster, including the sunken ship skip. Colour me perplexed, then grab the normal quality DivX torrent or one of the HTTP copies, watch it, and send in an improvement, 'k ?

By contrast, today's other item — Owen Traeholt's single-segment 0:31:04 sugar-rush through GameCube Viewtiful Joe on Kids mode — was described by Mike Uyama as being "so fast that Sonic would be jealous", although there were also calls for a run on a harder difficulty. The speed of the video is such that you should probably give serious consideration to the high quality version of this one if your machine is powerful enough to play H.264 at 640x480 and 59.94 frames per second, and if you think you can tolerate a 585 MB download.

Friday, July 27, 2007 by DJGrenola

Did You Miss Us ?

Three items today, kicking off with a single-segment Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Extreme difficulty 1:37:37 effort by Cody Miller.

Second is a 7-segment Donkey Kong Country any% run played by Timothy 'tjp7154' Peters, which joins the existing 100%. Timothy achieved 0:32.

Lastly there is an improvement to one of the SNES Kirby Super Star subgames, gaining roughly three seconds on the previous video. Gourmet Race: Race 3 has been revised to 0:00:42.57 by Brian Inwood.

There are normal quality DivX torrents available for both Metal Gear Solid 2 and Donkey Kong Country. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 19, 2007 by DJGrenola

What Does The Name Joe Stanski Mean To You ?

Although to me the name Joe Stanski is synonymous with the tedious act of editing individual-level spreadsheets, most people will recognise this monicker as belonging to an extremely tenacious Sonic the Hedgehog runner. This appears to be the fifth Stanski-powered Sonic update of 2007 !

Joe kicks off by beating the old single-segment Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog record by 'mike89'; his motivation appeared to revolve around the fact that any new run wouldn't be tainted by "sucky PAL music". Gaining seventeen seconds on its predecessor, this new video is listed as 0:17:52.

Onto Sonic the Hedgehog 2, on which Stanski has also improved a single-segment record; this time it's his own. This is a forty-two second revision which brings the time down to 0:18:12. From the comments: "This is definitely the best run I have ever done for SDA ..." — if it's better than his Dark Castle run, it must be good !

Lastly, there's the usual brace of improvements to individual-level Sonic 2 times:

Eleven seconds' worth of improvement means the summed time for the table is now 0:16:36.

Saturday, July 14, 2007 by DJGrenola

Bandwidth Buster VII

Our servers tremble with fear as another Final Fantasy run prepares for liftoff — this time it's Final Fantasy VII. This contribution was executed on the PC version; differences in load times between this and the PlayStation incarnation make dual categories inevitable. The player determined to reduce our hosts to lumps of smoking metal this time is Andrew 'Farringa' Farrington. Spanning 85 segments, with a run time of over eight and a half hours, and a normal quality DivX encode of roughly 2 gigabytes in size, Andrew's run has been listed as 7:41. A normal quality DivX torrent was patently unavoidable.

Thursday, July 12, 2007 by DJGrenola

Screw E3, Watch These Instead

Into the festering pit of obsolescence is cast Adnan Kauser's 2005 PS2 Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater single-segment Fox Hound ranked run on European Extreme difficulty. The successor to this attempt has been produced by Merlin 'Take-Chan' Medau, and it's a good quarter of an hour faster. Merlin's magical new time for this category is 1:44:55.

NES Contra sequel Super C gets itself listed today by Ray 'Croc-Doc' Cullen. Ray's minimalist (no items) speed run works out as 0:16:32.

Further NES goodness abounds as an NTSC run joins Freddy Andersson's PAL Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game contribution from March 2006. The new video was performed by Elliott Feiertag, one of the Super Feiertag Bros. — Elliott achieves 0:39:20.

Lastly, a categorisation change accompanies an individual-level improvement to Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. Previously we listed "shortcut" runs (using a super jump glitch) and "non-shortcut" runs (not using said glitch) separately on this game. An agreement between Mike and the runners has been reached by which the arbitrary "non-shortcut" category is abolished; from now on we're just going to roll with whatever is fastest. Anyway, one level has been improved here by Ben 'Kegerius' Beer: 2-5, Construction Site as Mona part 2, now stands at 0:01:44, down from Tomi Salo's 0:02:19. This makes the overall table 35 seconds faster, with its times now summing to 0:23:58.

Sunday, July 8, 2007 by DJGrenola

Speedy Symbology

Today we bring you the not-so-small matter of a 43-minute improvement to PlayStation 2 RPG Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. Damien Moody is the unlucky veteran whose record is made obsolete, with Harvey 'drkhades' Nguyen his successor. Harvey's new 29-segment run clocks in at 3:28.

Friday, July 6, 2007 by DJGrenola

Forty-Seven Plus Two

Christian 'Rabbath' Rotthues's 2005 PC Hitman 2: Silent Assassin record falls today courtesy of a welcome improvement sent by Tassilo 'nudel' Kneib. Tassilo beats the old attempt by 4 minutes and 37 seconds, breaking the 40-minute barrier with a new figure of 0:39:10. Like its predecessor, this effort was done in 20 segments.

Meanwhile, Nicolas Deußer has coughed up a pair of runs on PC Enclave; both are played on easy difficulty. The first of these is a Light side playthrough in 14 segments with a final time of 0:45:19. You might however prefer to watch the 13-segment Dark side effort — according to Nicolas's comments it is the better of the two, and at 0:30:47 it is demonstrably the faster.

Monday, July 2, 2007 by DJGrenola

The Market For Mario

Attempts at Mario sequels aren't traded quite as fiercely as they are on the title which originally popularised the famous red plumber, but they are still choice plots of speed running real estate — appropriate, then, that both NES Mario improvements today have been contributed by big players in a market where time is money.

Stepping up to the plate first is one Andrew Gardikis, whose five minute SMB1 completion has apparently not satiated his desire to expand further his portfolio. Chris Knight's previous Super Mario Bros. 2 record has been demolished, making way for an improved 0:09:15 construction — four seconds faster.

Today's other intrepid entrepeneur is Mr. Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson. Super Mario Bros. 3 has been property belonging to Richard Ureta since 2004, but it changes hands today. Freddy's modern 0:11:03 development is eight seconds more rapid.