Tuesday, September 30, 2008 by Enhasa
Speaking of which, this speedrun will certainly also make you wonder what is going on, probably even if you've beaten the game before. Yes, it's the return of that popular game to run and break: Portal. This time it's acclaimed runner Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski's turn, and he follows through with a single-segment 0:13:06 (torrent, HQ torrent) that uses glitches to skip large chunks of the game at a time. Michael 'DemonStrate' Yanni's segmented run in 0:14:27 was not replaced for this reason. Maciej's skills are such that he was previously accused of cheating, so he shut them up real good by recording himself playing this time.
This next speedrun might have the same baffling effect as well, since it moves from start to finish so quickly and also doesn't look that much like normal play. Simon 'Sorcerer88' Schmid held the previous Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 record with a single-segment run in 0:06:23. Now after a route tweak and some little tricks, the record is held by, well, the same person. Simon's third iteration of the run, again single-segment, clocks in at 0:05:47, which is some very nice work indeed. This version is also available in high quality and in English, for those that care. And I know you do. Viva La Bam.
Thursday, September 25, 2008 by Enhasa
The story of Daniel 'Kareshi' Brown's speedrun starts with Scott 'sdkess' Kessler, a man holding tremendous respect at SDA. Scott has submitted runs to us before, but one day back in 2005, he managed to beat the famously punishing Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts without taking a single hit. He didn't submit it since the "no damage" aspect was the top priority instead of speed, but he still labeled it a speedrun in 0:45:48 on Normal mode. Daniel, who is probably most famous for his GNG run on this site, thought he would be just the man to do SGNG right. Speedrunning the game is quite like playing for no damage, as one hit makes you lose the golden armor, which slows you down enough to be worthy of a reset. After months of practice and over a year of nonstop recording, the result is Daniel's magnum opus: 0:42:05 on Professional mode.
Sunday, September 21, 2008 by Enhasa
The first of these games is Rayman 2: The Great Escape. By now, the Rabbids might be more well-known than Rayman himself; I wonder what that Ancel fellow thinks about that. Lloyd 'Manocheese' Palmer is known as the guy who did justice to Ocarina of Time, and his considerable 3D platforming prowess is put to good use in his 2:17:25 (torrent). This speedrun is even single-segment, which some observers deemed "insane," and comes complete with scintillating audio commentary! But wait, there's more! Rayman 2 has a couple of timed sublevels. Lloyd ran these too, so please enjoy Walk of Life in 0:01:29.59 and Walk of Power in 0:01:27.56. By the way, the Dreamcast version has some additional timed mini-games, if anyone catches my drift.
This next game was supposed to be in the last update, as some of you might have guessed, but a single-segment Wii run was canceled for reworking at the last minute. That's alright, because we still have André Göhlsch's individual-levels run of Manhunt 2. His run is on the PS2 version and takes a total time of 0:53:00 (torrent) to complete. André hails from Germany, which is known for its draconian stance against violent games. He found a leaked beta version and ran that, but we don't accept runs on unofficial versions, so André had to wait for the eventual censored Mature release. So finally he imported the game from the US and ran it in black and white — but don't worry, what you see is in color — on his PAL TV. Now that's dedication.
You may have noticed that last paragraph was slightly different from the normal description of individual levels. Since we require a full table of individual levels already, we've changed the paradigm from a set of unrelated runs to an individual-levels run, comprised of individual levels. One upshot of this is that we now have combined download pages and the ability to make a torrent for each individual-levels run. There should be no drawbacks to this change, so you should still be able to download individual levels from the table or watch them embedded in your browser. Let me know if you have any problems.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 by Enhasa
Why So Serious?
Well, I do still have Paper Mario. This speedrun is brought to you by Kyle 'batman9502' Duffy, who would like to make the claim that the first 9501 batmen were all imposters. Kyle has performed a massive improvement to the old run by Philippe 'Wak' Brisson in 52 segments. Kyle's run utilizes 53 segments for 3:38 (torrent), which is a whole hour and twenty-six minutes faster. Not to single him out since the run dates back to 2005, but whenever the topic would come up for which run on SDA was most improvable, Philippe's run was commonly mentioned.
Maybe the comparison could instead be made between Nintendo and a title many gamers would like to ban, violently. That game is Mega Man X7. Patrik 'Cremator' Salonen bans the any% run in 1:02:41 by Alex 'AquaTiger' Nichols to the speedrun afterlife with his 0:56:59. This run is low% on the European version in 11 segments, presented in glorious 3D Technicolor. Patrik includes a list of glitches as well as overall and level comments, so those of you like Patrik who prefer genuinely informative comments will surely appreciate these.
Sunday, September 14, 2008 by Enhasa
The "best 2nd-cycle time" category for The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is sort of a strange relic. The previous run by Peter 'Dragorn' Branam-Lefkove was done at a time when SDA had a much more laissez-faire attitude regarding play quality, video quality, and run objectives. Peter's run aimed for game time and was listed as such, and Daniel 'SoulCalibrII' Chamness had the same idea, so the result is a far lower 2:23 (torrent, HQ torrent). Daniel's run in 30 segments also doesn't actually finish the game since that involves waiting around until the end of the cycle anyway. We allowed his run because of the prior existence of the category.
Now from Majora's mask we move on to Carmilla's mask. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood is considered by many to be both the greatest Castlevania game and the greatest PC Engine game. Unavailable in any form to most Westerners until recently, Rondo of Blood now has a run on SDA courtesy of Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe. His run in 0:40:10 uses Maria, who isn't nearly as broken as she is in the Saturn version of Symphony of the Night, but yeah, she's way better than Richter. Oddly enough, just like the Majora's Mask run, Nicholas's run doesn't conclude with killing the final boss. I don't know how many runs we have like this, but it can't be much more than a couple.
It's worth noting that Nicholas's run is 100%, which in this context means all stages, bosses, and prisoners. If you'd like to know how we define things, or if you're looking to make a low% or 100% run, perhaps this definitions thread will be useful to you.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 by Enhasa
Our first item of concern is Ratchet & Clank. The third installment of the series is already listed on SDA in 2:22:38, and now it's joined by the original in roughly half the time. Please say hi to Robert 'RJWaters2' Ashbaugh, who brings the goods with this 1:11:56 (torrent, HQ torrent). This is actually the third version of Robert's run, which in its current form uses 16 segments and skips large portions of the game using glitches. I probably join some of you in wondering when the second game or any of the rest of the ever-expanding series will appear on SDA. Of course, if you have the skills, you don't have to wonder. You can make it happen.
Also keep a watch out for Metroid. Nate deferred on doing this part of the update, so you get to hear me tell the tale of how the itsy bitsy Andrew 'spidey-widey' Brockmann went up the waterspout. (Remember: you were warned earlier of this possibility by the NWS.) With his first run, Andrew has already achieved a feat that most speedrunners never do. His single-segment 0:28:42 (torrent) of Metroid Zero Mission was so dominant, despite some costly mistakes, that it actually obsoleted two runs by Luke 'transience' Yagnow: a single-segment run in 0:29:58 and a segmented run in 0:28:50. Ah, the sweet sound of three years of progress.
Friday, September 5, 2008 by Enhasa
All is Brawl
Sunday, August 31, 2008 by Enhasa
There's been some good competition between several runners for the Sonic the Hedgehog record. Of course, this is the 1991 game, not the 2006 one, which was so poorly received that many of you might not even remember it exists scarcely two years later. Joe Stanski previously had the best time with 0:17:52, and now we welcome Charles Griffin with 0:15:05. As you might notice, this is a large improvement, and we have carretero, ChaosControl, and the work of many others to thank for this current achievement. Yes, at SDA we truly stand on the shoulders of giants.
I know people out there are anxious for a speedrun of the 2008 Ninja Gaiden II to come out, but while that's being worked on, I'm sure nobody will mind another great improvement to the NES Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, released in 1990. Josh 'LigerOfFortune' Styger's iron reign over all three NES Ninja Gaiden games was brief yet brutal. He has been toppled by the insurgent Jim 'vgmrsepitome' Hanson with a time of 0:11:21, eighteen seconds faster. Stay tuned to see who lands the next blow in the eternal battle between a liger of fortune and some kind of jumble of letters.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008 by Enhasa
TimeShift is a first-person shooter where you can — wait for it! — shift time. It would then seem quite reasonable to expect that such mechanics might lend themselves to interesting uses in a speedrun. Robin 'Ekelbatzen' Schoenborn runs; you decide! All you have to do is download his 1:29:51 and see for yourself. The run's 24 segments have been fused into one file for your downloading convenience, or you could also grab the torrent.
It wasn't the first game with Wario in it, but Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land was the first one starring Mario's evil counterpart. Since then, Wario has gotten a whole host of games of his own, but now we have a run of his humble beginnings. Rob 'Mickey_Mage' Whitener is the runner, and 0:42:34 is his time. In addition to the normal drama from watching the actual game, there is added drama from seeing how large Wario's castle will be at the end.
Saturday, August 23, 2008 by Enhasa
Phantasy Star Battle Offline
Tuesday, August 19, 2008 by Enhasa
Monday, August 18, 2008 by Enhasa
I love the shuriken
Sunday, August 17, 2008 by Enhasa
Bounty Hunter II: Return of Sattik
Saturday, August 16, 2008 by Enhasa
Since I don't think Mike really mentioned it himself anywhere, I should probably let you know that he went on vacation earlier today and won't be back until Monday the 25th. We have some runs coming down the pipeline, so it won't affect you if you're purely a watcher, but if you're looking to contact him, now you understand why he won't be responding.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 by Enhasa
The Sonic 2
Monday, August 11, 2008 by Enhasa
From here on out it's The Goonies II
Many of our viewers might not be old enough to remember The Goonies, an extremely 80s kid-adventure movie. Those that do, however, probably thought they were safe over twenty years later from the tie-in single, The Goonies 'R' Good Enough. Nope, Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody is back with two speedruns of The Goonies II, and sure enough, the game immediately starts off with some NES-synthesized Cyndi Lauper. The rest of the game sounds like vintage Konami, maybe Wai Wai World, which you can hear as you watch the any% in 0:17:33 or the 100% in 0:24:08. Watch both runs and treat yourself to a cookie!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008 by Enhasa
Liger & the Ancient Ship of Doom
Friday, August 1, 2008 by Enhasa
Our Mario Kart 64 individual-levels table hails from ancient times. Vincent Tolhuis makes his appearance on the table and gives it a little shot in the arm with seven relatively new runs: Frappe Snowland, Mario Raceway, Wario Stadium, and Royal Raceway races, and Toad's Turnpike, Choco Mountain, and Royal Raceway laps. The victims are Steven Gutierrez, Myles Bukrim, and Ben Miller, and the total time of the table has been reduced by 4.39 seconds. Vincent actually recorded three additional IL improvements, but Nate had to reject them for video quality and mixed-in music. Alex Penev, Eric Habrich, and Steven Gutierrez are safe for now.
I would like to give a huge thanks to Benoit 'TJazZ' Boudreau for compiling a list of Vincent Tolhuis's improvements for us.
Thursday, July 31, 2008 by Enhasa
Star Wars Kid
Pete 'Thinkshooter' Howard makes his debut with a new run for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. He takes down Henrik 'MNeMiC' Larsson's run, which was completed over three years ago. In the meantime, the level of precision and optimization in the universe has grown exponentially. Pete's run on the Light side (as the appropriately-named KDQ) is in 2:05:51 (torrent), over an hour and eight minutes faster. That's quite the improvement for a run of that length. The number of segments Pete utilizes is 48, but that's progress for you. Actually, science does have the answer: fusion into a compact four-part download.
Saturday, July 26, 2008 by Enhasa
Curse of the Jiggly Puff
Recently, it seems that no update is complete without a tiger, a liger, or some other sort of feline. They drew straws and today it's Alex 'AquaTiger' Nichols's turn. He's back with Castlevania: Curse of Darkness. (Konami's ace Mad Libs team apparently audibled away from Malediction of Teddy Bears at the last moment.) Alex adds any% and Boss Rush runs as Trevor to the existing any% as Hector by Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody. He accomplishes this in a 12-segment 1:43:35 for the any% and 0:11:59.05 for the Boss Rush. Alex composed his Boss Rush comments entirely in limerick form, so the least you could do is read them.
Some people have the impression that Radix has completely ridden off into the sunset, but he does offer suggestions from time to time, which I take to heart since I still have more respect for him than anyone else at SDA. A recent one was that runs should be listed with the number of hours, even if that's zero; otherwise, 5:00 could mean five hours or five minutes. Since there is no way to syntactically disambiguate such times, fixing this across the entire site took a whole lot of time and effort. But now when you see a time, you know that the number of hours always comes first.
Along with this change, I also took the time to rename game pages with names like mzm.html into clearer names like MetroidZeroMission.html. I put in the necessary redirects, but if you notice any mistakes with broken links or the new times or anything site-related, please let me know. If you're wondering what the purpose of all this refactoring is, let's just say that doing some work up front will only make life easier for me later. How much later depends on how much extra I feel like working in the next month.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008 by Enhasa
Every New Beginning
One of the most notorious run categories on SDA has been Super Mario 64 16-star (low%). There has surely been enough clamor over the years for someone to improve Eddie 'kirbykarter' Taylor's 0:19:47 from over three years ago. It has even been accomplished before, but the video quality was so poor, it was rejected from SDA. All this is in the past now, as Myles 'ShadowOfMyles' Bukrim has a new run that is a full two minutes and sixteen seconds faster, for an amazing time of 0:17:31 (torrent, HQ torrent).
Nate came back from a trip to Montreal recently and went on an encoding rampage, so stay here for more speedrunning delights in the coming days.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008 by Enhasa
Bienvenido a Miami
Following the success of his 9-hour 100% run, Daniel 'CannibalK9' Burns is back with more Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. His achievement this time is outpacing Tim 'twoton' Symanczyk's old console run by just over 21 minutes. Even more impressively, this 1:52:59 (torrent, HQ torrent) was done in only one segment, compared to the 21 segments from before. The news just keeps getting better, as Daniel has once again included entertaining and enlightening audio commentary in his videos. Someone get this man the keys to the city!
Friday, July 11, 2008 by Enhasa
Next we have the science of toads and their combative behaviors. Pablo 'DJ Mike Haggar' Bert dissects the old Battletoads runs by Marc J. 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski with cold precision. Let's welcome this new member of our speedrunning community, someone who likes to remix Final Fight for all I can tell. Pablo has improved the any% time by 0:03:59 to 0:20:13 and the 100% time by 0:02:24 to 0:34:17. Anyone looking for a challenge, try beating these runs; Pablo has vowed to defend his records to the death!
It's time for a special encore presentation from the Master of Mario. Not only are the Mario 1–3 records his, Andrew Gardikis has planted (lowered?) his flag on Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels: the game that tries to kill you with poisonous mushrooms, backward warps, and trampolines that blast you into orbit. Andrew blazes through the game in a mere 0:08:34 as Mario — what, were you expecting Luigi? Now that we've taken care of the old-school Mario for the time being, stay tuned for... ha, this is too much fun.
Sunday, July 6, 2008 by Enhasa
One of SDA's most versatile speedrunners is back. Tomi 'sarou' Salo has annihilated the previous run of Gun by 0:55:34. The new time is 1:18:46 and was achieved in 37 segments. Although Kevin 'Mitsukai' Shropshire did his run on console, and Tomi did his on PC, the improvement was so drastic that we obsoleted the old run anyway. Gun seems built to spite speedrunners, but Tomi managed to channel his rage into some furious shooting action. No word yet on whether this run features Tomi's signature body ramming and indecisive wiggling action.