Monday, June 30, 2008 by Enhasa
Then we have a new category for Pokémon Red, brought to you by SDA newcomer Jacob 'Jacob91' McMillin. Pokémon running is known to be heavily based on luck manipulation, so it's impressive that this new category is a single-segment 2:39 — trading 30 minutes for 40 segments. Why would Jacob put himself through this? Well, the $100 bounty from Tom 'Slowbro' Batchelor was undoubtedly a source of inspiration. In the year that it took him to finish this, Jacob has amassed many other run ideas, so we'll be on the watch for future goodness.
Andrew Gardikis's mainline NES Mario domination is complete. He now holds the record for Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3. Andrew's 0:11:01 for Super Mario Bros. 3 may not seem like a tremendous improvement over Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson's former version in 0:11:03, but trust me, it is. If you remember the 0:11:03, you will indeed notice key differences in the new run. Join us in celebrating one man's victory over The Man and his devilish hands that always try to bring you down. And for those of you wondering about The Lost Levels... what a tease, eh?
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 by Enhasa
The competition on Super Smash Bros. Brawl has been fierce. Adam 'No1 Inparticular' Young provides the latest iteration of 100-man brawl in 0:01:56.71, 5.10 seconds faster than Peter 'petrie911' Montag's earlier effort. Adam thinks that sub 0:01:50 is possible, so let's see if the competition intensifies.
Mike 'grndino' Arnold loves to speedrun that Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, and he's back with individual-levels improvements to 1-2 (low%) and the six GBA-specific secret levels (100%). This reduces the total low% time by 49 seconds, but since the 100% secret levels were previously absent, the 100% time is actually increased by 0:31:57.
I'm half expecting an earthquake now that I'm at the end of the update.
Thursday, June 19, 2008 by Enhasa
The political outrage over Manhunt and its sequel are well-known, but if it wasn't for a recent thread by forum favorite MortyreR45 (who is German), I might not have noticed that the game page was missing a mention of Germany as a country where Manhunt is banned. Travis 'Sigma' Lee has managed to improve every single level from before, for a total time savings of 17 minutes and 14 seconds. SDA visitors from all countries are more than welcome to watch Travis's 1:36:13, done in 20 segments.
Continuing the theme of self-improvement is Alex 'AquaTiger' Nichols with Mega Man X: Command Mission. It's been over two years since the initial version, but Alex has returned with a run in 4:26. Not only is the new run faster by a whopping hour and twenty minutes, it's also single-segment — 19 fewer segments than before. Some runners regret submitting their old runs in situations like these, but Alex strongly proclaims that without the previous run, this new one just wouldn't be possible.
The third and final self-improvement is brought to you by Aleš 'Ewil' Horák. The game is Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, and he hopes that this is The Last Version. Ewil certainly makes it count, with a new time of 2:14:03, 34 minutes and 48 seconds faster. The old run was completed in 48 segments across 43 files. This one is available in two fewer segments, across the same number of files. Ewil utilizes a variety of corner and trigger glitches for massive level skipping and thanks rr_carroll for new shortcuts.
Sunday, June 15, 2008 by Enhasa
End of an Era
It's hard to imagine given the current console gaming environment, but it was once more likely for a Western-developed game to be woefully underappreciated than one developed in Japan. Such was the fate of Metal Warriors, one of the true hidden gems on the SNES. And now we have both a single-segment run in 0:22:21 and an individual-levels table in a combined 0:20:27, courtesy of Giancarlo André 'gia' Rivas De Amat. Since there isn't a stage select, the ILs come from SS attempts that failed due to bad luck — as you can tell, Giancarlo's planning and execution are wonderful when unhindered.
My good friend Josh 'rashreflection' Ballard and I have a lot in common. We both prefer competitive multiplayer gaming, support the new statistical approach to sports, and share a deeply held conviction that Valkyrie Profile is the best game we have ever played. An unsung downfall of the migration to DVDs is that even the modest cost and effort of switching provides the slightest rationale for someone to call it quits. And so, Josh has decided to make this A ending speedrun in 2:33 his last. At the very least, he went out playing "the only non-fighting game I still like anymore," and there's something to be said for that.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008 by Enhasa
Voices Inside My Head
As you have probably surmised, the two runs in this update include audio commentary, and they are fantastic. They are also rather similar in runtime, so you could theoretically listen to them simultaneously for a likely disturbing cacophony.
Matt 'Alucard' Pine has improved his own Shinobi run by one minute and fifteen seconds to 0:34:07, which counts as quite a large improvement for this game. If you read the somewhat creepy text commentary before listening to the awesome audio, your respect for Alucard will likely increase tenfold afterwards. As his master Mike Uyama says, "His voice is a lot lower than I thought." With Shinobi out of the way for now, Alucard can go back to wondering why nobody online will play him in that greatest of arcade games, Marvel vs. Capcom 1.
Speaking of Alucard, he's the star of our next run. Except in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, he's the main character, not the runner. Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk is the runner, and he's back with 0:34:34, three minutes and sixteen seconds faster than his previous run. The biggest change is that the anti-Crissaegrim contingent (myself included) is happy now. As Chris states, he fixed every single mistake from last time, while of course introducing new mistakes to take their place. Finally, we would like to give Chris and his grandfather our best wishes.
Saturday, June 7, 2008 by Enhasa
Once again, get ready to brawl. This time it's Peter 'petrie911' Montag who throws down the Super Smash Bros. Brawl gauntlet. First comes an improvement to Satoryu's boss battles run on Easy mode. Peter uses Charizard, just like his predecessor, to finish with a time of 0:00:57.76, twelve seconds faster. But Peter is not yet done fighting. He continues to live. Peter's other Brawl run is a 100-man brawl in 0:02:02.21. Do you relish the sound of Pikachu spamming Thunder constantly? I suppose you don't have much of a choice either way.
Even if you have never heard of Xardion, perhaps you will still find this speedrun fascinating. This is because Xardion is like the idiot savant who elucidates life's mysteries, if only we could figure out how to listen. Who could possibly attempt to subdue such a beautiful monstrosity? None other than our very own Josh 'LigerOfFortune' Styger, in 0:33:01. As you watch this run, keep in mind that the dialogue was actually translated by native English speakers, and that the widely beloved anime studio Gainax was credited with assistance in development.
Sunday, May 25, 2008 by Enhasa
In with the New
Indiana Jones may grow old, but Lara Croft is apparently ageless. Tomb Raider: Legend was like a new jump-start to the series, trying to blow up previous Tomb Raider games as if they never existed. Likewise, Shaun 'Mman' Friend tries to blow up the intended playtime of this game as if it never existed. He accomplishes this with 13 segments in 0:54:19. Please note that the final time displayed in the run is incorrect; read the comments to find out why.
There are eight games in the Jagged Alliance series, an upcoming DS game, and an upcoming movie, so I consider myself rather embarrassed to have never heard of it. We can still celebrate the first run up on SDA though, for Jagged Alliance 2. This 0:06:44 run by Janis 'Pendrokar' Lukss is a classic in the PC RPG tradition of totally confusing the uninitiated. I was taking my customary five screenshots for the game page, and the first time, I only managed to take one screenshot before the ending had already begun.
Before Duke Nukem Forever spent 11 years in development (and counting), there was another PC FPS that took 11 years to develop. Prey was eventually released, however, and less than two whole years later, we even have a corresponding run. Fred 'AjAX' Chicoine uses 49 segments to achieve his 1:41:53 (torrent). He was nice enough to append these segments into one video file, and the best part is that he even saw fit to include "Bloobers!" at the end. Pardon his English, he's French.
Monday, May 19, 2008 by Enhasa
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
First up, we have a huge improvement to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the one that involves taking forever driving around everywhere. Daniel 'CannibalK9' Burns runs the PC version in 28 segments and slashes the time from 7:46 all the way down to 6:09 (torrent, HQ torrent). Because Daniel's run is so much faster, we took down the existing console run even though the version differences would typically prevent obsoletion. If you still feel like six hours is a long time, you will be glad to know that this run comes with audio commentary to spice things up.
When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth. Dead Rising is back from the dead onto the news page once again. The Overtime mode run, previously done in 0:25:00 by Valarnin, has been killed but keeps coming back for more. Witness the new abomination: 0:19:19 by Zebediah 'Fulgore' Danvers, an incredible achievement for a run of this length. Zebediah recorded this a good while back, but he is still working on it. Who knows what the next iteration will hold? Is the world ready for sub 19 minutes? Everybody loot the stores, get your canned goods.
The Blue Bomber is back. We have a new speedrunner, and they call him Mr. Glass. Please give a warm welcome to Seth Glass. He has replaced one of the older runs on SDA: Mega Man 2 by Richard 'Sleepz' Ureta. Seth's time is 0:30:33, an improvement of six seconds, complete with a new stage route. His best, unrecorded time is about 0:30:20, which is interesting because Richard said the exact same thing in his comments from four years ago. The time could also be lowered greatly by exploiting glitches. Who will be the first runner to really break this game open?
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 by Enhasa
The journey of a thousand licenses begins with a single game. We now have a run of the very first Tony Hawk game, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, again courtesy of a new runner. Randy 'Discombobulator' Buikema apparently sat on his 0:05:16 run for almost an entire year before submitting, but better late than never. In the meantime, Tony Hawk himself has reached his forties, so we'll see how much longer they can keep this up.
Next we have a couple of obscure NES platformers. In terms of the direction and level of complexity of his new Astyanax run, Marc J. 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski says, "if The Magic of Scheherazade was my Master of Puppets, and Willow was my ...and Justice for All, this run would be my Black Album." I'm actually pretty sure that Emptyeye would be the critically adored band that nobody has ever heard of. You can fix this by checking out his speedruns, maybe starting with his latest run in 0:20:39.
When Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson laid out his three NES bounties, the general response was "cool, some Mega Man games, and some other game I've never heard of." Frezy_man kept singing its praises though, so some of us tried out Werewolf: The Last Warrior and found the praise to be justified. Today the last of the bounties has been claimed with a run by Andrew Gardikis in 0:15:27. Werewolf is a challenging game, and Andrew gets wrecked by the third stage. Fortunately, the rest of the run, especially the fourth stage, is typical andrewg goodness.
Monday, May 5, 2008 by Enhasa
Andrew Gardikis is well known for Mario runs, a reputation that is duly earned. His Super Mario Bros. run in 5 minutes gets most of the glory, but he also had a 100% stages run for the same game in just under 20 minutes. I use past tense because now he has beaten his old time by 17 seconds for a new time of 0:19:40. His next goal for this category is to shave off at least another 10 seconds, and I don't think there is anyone who doubts Andrew's determination or ability to pull off such a feat.
We have another self-improvement next, and it's a big one. Peter 'Kibumbi' Knutsson has reduced his Alien time for Aliens vs. Predator 2 from 0:18:50 all the way down to 0:13:44. Peter doubles the number of segments from his previous run, from 7 to 14. In a Kibumbi tradition, he has included audio commentary with his run. Peter claims it isn't as good as his Area 51 commentary, so compare the two of them and see what you think.
Including expansions, the "Age of" series has expanded to ten games, earning tremendous commercial success along the way. The first run on SDA in this series has arrived courtesy of Mirko Brown. He has chosen to run Age of Empires III on Easy mode. Mirko's run uses 24 segments and finishes in 2:09:39. The single-player mode of Age of Empires III is considered deeper and more interesting than those in its predecessors, but perhaps someone will want to tackle them anyway.
Monday, April 28, 2008 by Enhasa
As you might be able to guess from the title, this update features much Kirby love. Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe is back with some Kirby speedruns for GBA. He has obsoleted Emmitt Robert 'Gigafrost' Kraft's previous run of Kirby & the Amazing Mirror by one minute and forty seconds. Nicholas's time for this GBA original is 0:40:34, which was achieved through better routes and planning.
Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe also has a run of Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, a remake of the classic Kirby's Adventure for NES. We still don't have a run yet of Kirby's Adventure on SDA, but Nicholas insists that Nightmare in Dream Land is a thousand times better anyway. Nicholas was rejected a couple times with his Nightmare in Dream Land runs, but he persevered and now his 0:53:31 has found its way onto our site. Be sure to read his comments, as this run was deeply personal to him.
The final run in today's update is an improvement to each of the individual-levels runs of Metal Slug X in Pin Point mode. Miguel Ángel 'Neo-tze' Blanco Durán has finished the six missions with a total time of 0:13:51.46, a combined improvement of 23.12 seconds over the prior run by Philippe 'Suzaku' Henry. Huge thanks to Giancarlo André 'gia' Rivas De Amat for translating the comments from Spanish. This is the sort of thing we hope to see much more of at SDA as the process of internationalization continues.
Thursday, April 24, 2008 by Enhasa
Super Smash Bros. Brawl isn't just a game, it's a cultural phenomenon. In between Symphony of the Night attempts, Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk has done a run of the Boss Battles mode in 0:01:09.75. That's shorter than the amount of downtime it takes to start another SOTN attempt, I might add. It's true that you can get a much lower Boss Battles time, but the verifiers seemed to like this run anyway. Expect to see an improvement soon from Chris or maybe someone else. Maybe you!
I think you'd have to go all the way back to the TMNT3 run to find a new speedrun starring a ninja. That's far too long, wouldn't you think? Luckily for us, Matt 'Alucard' Pine of DMC4 fame is back already with a Shinobi (for PS2) run that addresses this quandary. This run in 0:35:22 outpaces Mandela 'spacedemonebu' Shabazz's older run by three minutes and seven seconds. Mr. Shabazz has vowed to take back the Shinobi record, so again, keep posted for any future updates.
Sunday, April 20, 2008 by Enhasa
Newcomer Matt 'Alucard' Pine may be the lowest-ranking SDA runner in terms of seniority, but he is surely the highest-ranking in terms of enthusiasm! His first Devil May Cry 4 submission went up in smoke, due to a sound rejection from resident DMC expert Psychochild, but Matt remained undaunted. He took Psychochild's advice and soon came back with the great 1:38:05 run (torrent, HQ torrent) that you see here. Now Matt can return to more pressing matters, such as how to best idolize everyone on staff and create even creepier forum avatars that show his borderline psychotic affection for Mike Uyama.
For the 420th game on SDA, we have Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force by Raven Software, a company which may or may not employ actual ravens as its programmers. This game is apparently high quality licensed material, rather than being just another half-baked Star Trek cash-in. Brett 'Psonar' Ables uses 13 segments to finish his speedrun in 1:13:57. Brett thanks me for adding a "sense of humor to the News Posts," to which I must kindly object. SDA is serious business that requires a serious disclaimer: SDA bears no responsibility for any actions resulting from imaginary insinuations in this news post.
Thursday, April 17, 2008 by Enhasa
Merlin 'Take-Chan' Medau is certainly the master of speedrunning Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Today the master returns with not one, but two new speedruns for the game. The first run in 1:25:54 is a self-improvement of his prior European Extreme, Fox Hound run, cutting the time by 0:02:13 and the number of segments by two. The second run in 1:29:25 is a new category: New Game Plus, single-segment, European Extreme, Fox Hound. Puzzle through the categorizations and you will understand why this run lands in the middle, timewise, of Merlin's three MGS3 runs.
Rejoice! Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson is back once more and he's here to stay. This time he brings to us a run of Irem's Kung Fu, considered by many to be the first beat 'em up ever created. Freddy tears through this game in 0:03:54, which makes his run one of the fastest runs on SDA. Enjoy this A mode run as well as the delightful game blurb, lovingly handcrafted word for word by our very own vgmrsepitome.
The final game in this update is for a game I consider to be one of the most underappreciated games on the NES, Falcom's Legacy of the Wizard. Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody uses some nice glitches (and as many speed shoes as possible) to complete his run in 0:30:06. Other Dragondarch fans might be saddened to learn that this run was actually done before the Lufia II run that was posted a couple of months ago. We can only hope he will return soon with more speedrunning goodness.
Sunday, April 13, 2008 by Enhasa
Since the release of Duke Nukem 3D back in January 1996, it has taken over twelve years for this game to appear on SDA. Of course, this means we still beat out Duke Nukem Forever by a very comfortable margin, even after we spotted them a generous head start. Fernando 'Fernito' Calvo's individual-levels runs, which combine for a time of 0:20:56, were almost vaporware themselves; it took the recent rules change allowing "mysterious" warping for them to be accepted.
Everyone's favorite cancer-causing agent is back! 'Carcinogen' has improved one of SDA's older runs, which Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody did back in 2004. The game is Resident Evil: Survivor, the one that generated a lot of hate and scorn for being a first-person shooter. Carcinogen concedes that he had some fun with this game, which had to be useful in achieving a time of 0:39:58, two minutes and four seconds faster than the old run.
When wee little Tony Hawk was growing up, I seriously doubt he ever imagined that one day his name would be used to build the world's largest extreme sports empire. Well, since this future is already upon us, the prudent thing to do would be to enjoy a speedrun of Tony Hawk's Underground 2. Marcel 'Maschell' Felix's Easy mode run in 0:18:21 joins Hemmo 'Heme' Hyttinen's Normal mode run in 0:30:00. The apparent David Hasselhoff of video games, THUG2 continues to attract German runners.
Here at SDA, however, we are not satisfied with merely attracting German runners. We desire speedruns from all over the world. One of the biggest hurdles in realizing this dream is our currently poor support for gamers who do not speak English. So to improve this situation, we request the aid of anyone who can help us translate SDA's FAQ, rules, and submission pages into other languages. Together, we can spread the beauty of speedrunning to gamers everywhere. Please join us.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008 by Enhasa
Not even two months ago, we posted a run for the PC version of Portal by Robin 'Ekelbatzen' Schoenborn. Now, Michael 'DemonStrate' Yanni has completed this enrichment center activity in 0:14:27 (torrent, HQ torrent), a substantial improvement of 0:01:11. Michael uses scripts and 47 segments in his very first published speedrun. He also includes a nice list of tricks and glitches in his comments, which you might want to check out. Now you're thinking with portals.
Once again it's time for another installment of Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe playing ActRaiser, Quintet and Enix's genius simulation/platformer hybrid. Soon we will run out of fingers and toes to be able to count the number of ActRaiser runs Nicholas has done for the site. This time, the category is Normal mode in 1:07:06, an improvement of exactly three minutes. Who knows what the next improvement will hold?
The final run today is on a game close to my heart. Benjamin 'MetalGearSolidBoy' Arcand has completed another run of Star Ocean: The Second Story, this time as the other main character, Claude. Compared to his Rena run, this new 36-segment run in 4:39 (torrent) is 37 minutes faster and done in a whopping 51 fewer segments. Fans of life-changingly amazing credits sequences will be saddened to learn that this run does not include the credits, but there's always the Rena run for that.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 by Enhasa
Speaking of black sheeps, it's time for Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Kristian Emanuelsen once held the record on the single-segment PAL version using Up+A warping and death abuse, with a time of 1:06:17. Kristian fans, you may now take a deep breath and exhale, because he still holds the record, but with an improved time of 1:05:00. This feat is made possible by a modified route and leveling plan, as well as the trademark one accidental death.
It's too bad this last run couldn't have been on the first TMNT game so I could complete the black sheep theme. Oh well, the reality is even better. That's right, the retro TMNT series is finally complete, with a new run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project. This run in 0:41:50 has been brought to you by Ray 'Croc-Doc' Cullen, who may or may not actually be a registered crocodile doctor. Regardless, Ray loves his reptiles, although these turtles do suffer three deaths under his guidance.