Tuesday, December 30, 2008 by Enhasa
This update is to let you know what's going on in the near future. As some of you already know, SDA is having its first-ever modern get-together at MAGFest this year, where we will be presenting a panel. Come support us in person if you can make it! Since everyone on staff will be there, the next update will probably be afterwards, around January 8 or so. We also won't be responding to any communication while we're there. Don't worry though! dex will make a Quake post in several days to satisfy your speedrunning lust.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 by Enhasa
More Mega Men
To go with the old Mega Man game, we also have a run for the game that looks like an old Mega Man game. Steven 'Master ZED' Ellis has disassembled Mega Man 9 in 0:21:37 (torrent), a massive three minutes and eleven seconds faster than Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk's run. At the time this run was recorded, it ranked 4th on the Wii leaderboard; that's highly remarkable given that everyone else's times were achieved essentially as segmented New Game + runs. Despite what you might think, progress on this game still has a long ways to go. Steven himself is regularly improving on his times, and other SDA runners such as Matt Pine and, yes, Sattik Ghosh are also preparing for this record.
Friday, December 19, 2008 by Enhasa
Magical Fantasy Adventure
The second run in this update is for a Falcom game through and through, an action RPG in the vein of the Ys or Dragon Slayer series. It's Popful Mail, starring a heroine of the same name. Elijah 'scaryice' Miller follows up his Lunar: The Silver Star run with yet another Working Designs localization for the Sega CD. His run is single-segment and finishes in 1:26:13. This feat is even more impressive because at almost every point in the run, death occurs from two hits at full health. Popful Mail encourages speedrunning, and the best rank and all outtakes are available upon beating the game in under five hours. Do the math and Elijah's ratio is even better than the current Metroid run.
Monday, December 15, 2008 by Enhasa
This next game is fairly obscure, but that's just how we like it here at SDA. Let's give a hearty welcome to Laszlo Seta. On Bronze mode as the Daemon, Laszlo goes to camp on 2005's Sacred Underworld, the expansion to Sacred. He hacks and slashes to a final time of 1:37:56 in 26 segments, utilizing various refinements that were slowly accumulated since 2007. Maybe someone will be up to the task of playing as a character without the mark of the beast for the next run. Sacred Underworld suffered sales-wise from being developed by some company not named Blizzard, but you can get a taste of what it's all about if you watch Laszlo's run.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008 by Enhasa
The other run is for a Dungeons & Dragons game that isn't by Bioware or Black Isle. Instead it's Westwood's Eye of the Beholder, their first early success before they eventually became best known for Command & Conquer. Daniel 'Cromarty' Enright didn't run the DOS version, however, but the Capcom port to the SNES. He determined that the pad actually controlled better than the SNES mouse, so he padded along to a time of 0:17:04. One of the most interesting parts of this run is the strong biblical flavor of the chosen character names. If you think about it, a lot of those guys had names of four letters or less that made them suitable for old RPGs.
Saturday, December 6, 2008 by Enhasa
Command & Conker
Instead of C&C, the game you're getting in its place is Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure. The Mayans did their fair share of conquering, I suppose. Ruben 'Fliperotchy' Villegas, a newcomer to SDA, is the runner of this game. Anyone who has met him will agree that Ruben certainly does not lack for enthusiasm, impatience, or self-confidence. He mixed these attributes together in a blender and the result is a Hard mode 0:13:09 done on the SNES. We're retaining Tommy Montgomery's slower run on the Genesis version, because the SNES version has major glitches that allow you to skip entire boss fights.
In retrospect, the funniest part of Conker's Bad Fur Day is Conker taking a chainsaw to the N64 logo and replacing it with the Rare logo. Who doesn't love a little historical humor? Speaking of which, Derek 'SnapDragon' Kisman's 2:10:32 from May 2001 was itself a historical artifact. As far as I know, it was the oldest console speedrun on SDA. It's had a long stay, but finally Karl 'Normand' Grenier has sent it to the retirement home with his first publication, a single-segment 1:37:59. Let's have a moment of silence for SnapDragon, whose soul was consumed first by the World of Warcraft and then Gamerscore hunting.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008 by Enhasa
The first of these games, and probably the easier one to deduce, is Mega Man 6. Oh right, it was made even easier by the fact that I alluded to this run's existence a couple of weeks ago. There's less than a month to go, and wee Sattik 'Tiki' Ghosh is already planning an Uncle Scrooge-style vault with which to hold the $600 he is soon to collect — I think he enjoys swimming in pennies. Sattik's current time is now 0:36:45. That's 51 seconds better than Jim 'vgmrsepitome' Hanson's run, but the ever-defiant Sattik is still trying to improve his time because that's the speedrunning way.
The other game is Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven, SDA's first listed game in the series. I didn't know this until just now, but it turns out that Might and Magic and Heroes of Might and Magic are actually different series. (I used to think people were just too lazy to say the "Heroes of" part every time.) In any case, we now have our first run from this entire collection of games, courtesy of Landon Leo 'Xiaoyazhi' Tan, who hails from Singapore. His maiden speedrun obtains the good ending in 0:42:20 (torrent) using 44 segments. I must admit that I don't know anything about this game, but I do know that the verifiers were extremely impressed.
Saturday, November 29, 2008 by Enhasa
Many a Mega Man fan is in utter awe at the skills of Seth Glass; Sattik 'Tiki' Ghosh even holds him in higher esteem than he does Chuck Norris and other various superheroes. After Seth's previous Mega Man 2 run went up, viewers unanimously clamored to see the same level of play, only this time exploiting glitches such as zipping and the pause trick. It's time for everyone to rejoice, as the reworked version is now down to an incredible 0:29:02, a whole minute and thirty-one seconds faster. For this new run, Mr. Glass has some of the least informative run comments ever, but since the actual product is so good, I'm sure you'll forgive him.
Thursday, November 27, 2008 by Enhasa
Are You There God? It's Me, Imoen.
Eli 'Smilge' Chase makes quite a splash with his first run, which is a rather large improvement to an already great run. The game is Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, and the mage/thief class is now all the rage. Eli demonstrates its effectiveness with a 17-segment 0:41:31 (torrent) that obsoletes Dominic 'DAMURDOC' Legault's human sorcerer run by six minutes and eighteen seconds. Many of Dominic's strategies were reused here, so his continued presence is clearly felt. You can't help but feel sorry for the poor Infinity Engine as Eli works it over in countless twisted ways.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 by Enhasa
I used to be a mech soldier
Today's other run is from a familiar face. The thing that separates Andrew Gardikis from other people is that while others (myself included) post about how they could handily beat the existing Marble Madness speedrun, Andrew just goes and does it. And thus the second shortest full-game run on all of SDA is slashed by nineteen seconds all the way down to 0:02:54. Considering that Elliott Feiertag's run was also deathless and very clean-looking, most observers figured that a time shaving of that magnitude was maybe not even possible. Andrew's achievement was to behave like a man with blatant disregard for his own marbles.
Sunday, November 23, 2008 by Enhasa
So easy, an ad agency can do it
Cavemen have been slowly infiltrating the SDA ranks, and in this update, they take over yet another game page. They seem particularly bent on proving they can platform as well as any modern-day plumber. First Joe & Mac, now Chuck Rock, then a game you should probably be able to figure out since it stars the most famous platforming caveman of all. But back to the present. I admire anyone with eccentric tastes, and Marc J. 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski just keeps on delivering with the underdog speedruns. Apparently a fan of wrestling with his controls much like he wrestles crocodiles, Marc manages an impressive 0:11:55. The most impressive part is how he did this on an empty stomach.
Friday, November 21, 2008 by dex
Get your Quake on
Oldie of the Update!
Today's 'Oldie' is not an 'Oldie' at all. It's the fastest Easy Run on the first map in Quake - The Slipgate Complex (e1m1). It was submitted to our bunny comparison page by Jonathan Lenhardt a few months ago. However, it isn't the record on the map, because it didn't beat the earlier demo by Peter Horvath by an entire second. Despite that, Jonathan's demo deserves recognition for taking smoothness to the limit, so here it is: MQ, HQ, IQ.
Also, because there were less worthy demos this month, an extra Oldie. A history of how The Elder God Shrine (e4m3) Nightmare Run evolved - 3 demos. The first one from the era when bunnyhopping was not known by 'DooMfienD', the second one from Markus Taipale, and the current record by the one, the only... Peter Horvath! The last one is a real treat. Get MQ or HQ.
Remember, everyone is welcome to start running Quake. Drop by our IRC channel (#qdq on irc.quakenet.org), and we'll help you in your speedrunning endeavours. There're plenty of maps to run for everyone. :)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008 by Enhasa
Today's first big upgrade is on Mega Man II for Game Boy. Jonathan 'Brightstar' Fields's speedrun from way back in April 2004 was significant as the first Mega Man run ever to be posted on SDA. Not to make too much of a point of it, but this 0:25:46 had gained some infamy as being one of the runs that people most wanted to see obsoleted. Some had beaten the old time handily, but they never submitted because they weren't yet satisfied. Patrik 'Cremator' Salonen finally makes these distant dreams a reality with a gigantic improvement of over five minutes, for a final time of 0:20:07.
The other upgrade today is for a game whose competition is heating up as 2008 draws to a close, with Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson's bounty closing along with it. Jim 'vgmrsepitome' Hanson strikes back at Sattik 'Tiki' Ghosh's 0:38:10 on Mega Man 6 with an improvement of thirty-four seconds. So at least for the moment, Jim's 0:37:36 stands tall, but several runners are known to be gunning for the new time, including Sattik himself. Sattik is such an expert speedrunner that he may have actually sequence broken this update with his next improvement, but that's a topic for another day.
Saturday, November 15, 2008 by Enhasa
Negasonic Teenage Warhead
Today's other run is also new to SDA. It's for the NES port of Dragon's Lair, which has somehow been released more than 50 times over the years. The 1990 NES port came out seven years after the original arcade release, and in the process, it lost all the high-quality animation and really most aspects about the game (including genre) and picked up quite a bit of infamy. You see, NES Dragon's Lair is absolutely notorious for being one of the most brutally difficult games of all time. Joakim 'Wizphix' Mäkipää's accomplishment of 0:06:56 on the European version has earned him accolades merely for beating the game deathless, let alone doing it quickly.
Thursday, November 13, 2008 by Enhasa
I got my Half-Life
Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson is back again and all is right in the world. His latest speedrun is so powerful that it managed to obsolete both of the runs previously on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game page. The victims are Elliott Feiertag's 0:39:20 and Freddy's own 0:46:32 on the slower European version. Compared to those times, this 0:35:53 must seem almost unbelievable. To reach that level of difference, Freddy incorporated minor but constant refinements throughout the entirety of the game. Don't fret that the date of this run is from over a year ago; Freddy is hard at work as always in the speedrunning lab.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008 by Enhasa
Welcome to Domino's
The Noid might not be a marketing icon that everyone still remembers, but trust me, he was ubiquitous back in the 80s. He even provoked an insane customer named Kenneth Noid, who thought the commercials were mocking him, to hold a local Domino's hostage. Join Andrew Gardikis in a slightly less deranged experience with a 0:22:40 run of Yo! Noid. Andrew proves once more that he will speedrun any game he really likes, no matter how popular or not, or even how many pizza battles are involved. In this brave new world of advertisement game speedruns, who knows what we will find? Maybe Cool Spot, Pepsiman, or McDonald's Treasureland Adventure?
In a fit of perverted genius, Capcom decided to produce a game that actually deserves to be called "retro." Probably no game has ever generated as much pre-release speedrunning excitement as Mega Man 9 has. The hunger of the masses is finally sated with Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk's run in 0:24:48 (torrent), which is several minutes faster than preliminary efforts by various runners. This game has attracted plenty of willing speedrunners, so don't expect this to be the end of Mega Man 9 running by a long shot. Fortunately for all of us, Chris likes to make audio commentaries, so crank it up for a more pleasurable experience.
Saturday, November 8, 2008 by Enhasa
Welcome to Silent Hill
Easy mode seems to be a bit of a theme, applying to the next run as well. The prolific and ultra-skilled Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski once again demonstrates his versatility with another run on a different type of game, this time Heart of Darkness. No, this has nothing to do with Joseph Conrad's famous work. Instead, it's an adventure platformer that was noticeably designed by the creator of Out of This World. Due to the nature of the game, Maciej's 40-segment 0:23:49 doesn't contain any fancy tricks, just good old-fashioned luck manipulation and even more near-death experiences than a normal playthrough.
Monday, November 3, 2008 by Enhasa
Welcome to Rapture
The other game in this update is Irrational's spiritual successor to the System Shock series: BioShock. Many people have been eagerly awaiting the completion of a BioShock run since its release, and now they can thank Mirko 'cortez' Brown for running the PC version for SDA. His time is 1:04:20 (torrent, HQ torrent), done in 56 segments and combined into 14 files. Mirko includes a lot of very nice tricks in his run and even some bloopers as a special bonus. What are you waiting for? Here's your chance to finally stick it to that freshman English professor who forced you to read Ayn Rand. Get downloading, would you kindly?
Saturday, November 1, 2008 by Enhasa
Welcome to Violent City
The trend in GTA running and really the majority of multisystem game running has been to use the PC version for finer control via mouse input. Jamie 'mongoanytime' Stone apparently has no use for either this trend or the one where you use your back foot to push off while skateboarding. Regardless of control preference, this 2:02:46 (torrent, HQ torrent) of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is hot. Jamie's run is split into three segments to scrub those hard-to-reach areas. I know in many viewers' minds, Grand Theft Auto has become synonymous with audio commentaries, but I guess you'll just have to cope without them this time.
Monday, October 27, 2008 by dex
Respect your elders
Such a turn of events has made the Quake community smaller and smaller, and in order to revive the interest in Quake, SDA Team decided to include Quake updates on the main part of the site. But, but! Not everyone has Quake, which is necessary to watch Quake demos. That's why the updates on the main site will contain encoded videos of a few demos in a quality slightly higher than NQ, while the simultaneous Quake site updates will contain all demos for everyone with a Quake copy.
A very brief explanation. Quake demos are done in an Individual Level manner. Each level gets 4 single-player categories - Easy Run, Easy 100%, Nightmare Run, Nightmare 100%. Easy and Nightmare are skill levels. Run means exiting as fast as possible, 100% means getting all kills and all secrets and exiting as fast as possible. Besides that, there are coop and marathon categories. Demos are done both on official maps from Quake and on custom maps approved by the QuakeSDA staff. Id maps are usually prefixed as 'exmx', meaning 'episode x map x'. So, time for the demos, and in a lucky coincidence we have a LOT of id demos...
Also, some demos from custom maps, incidentally from id remixes:
Well, those were some nice demos. But, we've been around for over 10 years, surely we must have something better, right? And we do! In every one of such updates, I'll try to show you an Oldie of the Update, which will usually be one of the finest demos we've had among over 10000 demos made to date. And what better way to start than with something really, really good? Today's demo is a treat from the year 2000, one of the top demos we've had. It has a huge amount of boosting, and a huge amount of amazing action. Oh, and it has luring a zombie to save time, too! In order to give those 'top' demos better quality, as well as to show you how nice Quake can look today, there'll be an Insane Quality version made with enhanced textures, models, hud and similar things. So, without further ado:
Phew, that was a lengthy update. Don't worry, the next ones will be way shorter :). Check out the Quake part of the site for all the 17 demos in the latest update.
Sunday, October 26, 2008 by Enhasa
Fighting of the Spirit
In a humorous turn of events, Mike just informed me that somehow the GoldenEye Wouter Jansen and the Shadow Man Wouter Jansen are in fact different people with the same name. So the former Wouter is still retired and you should probably ignore everything I just said, except of course that part where I implied that you should watch this run.
I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say that due to the circumstances and years of waiting, this next run is the realization of the single most highly anticipated game to ever appear on SDA: Tales of Symphonia, our first Tales game and surely not our last. Long considered far too lengthy to ever appear on this site, it turns out that the trick to getting a manageable New Game time is to enlist the help of three friends. That's right, Michael 'Flip714' Dix, Marcus 'DaBlueDragoon' Dix, Mark 'Peebs97' Peebles, and Tyler 'ukm101' McDaniel join forces to produce SDA's first ever four-player speedrun in 7:48 (torrent, HQ torrent) using 70 segments. They also tag-teamed to write the comments, which are a bona fide must-read in every sense, including learning whose travails you are laughing at in each fight.
Thursday, October 23, 2008 by Enhasa
The Polish Rifle is back. Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski: crazy good or just plain crazy? It may be even harder to tell after you watch his 0:31:46 (torrent) of the second-party expansion Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil. This doesn't just obsolete, but rather obliterates Joseph 'Apathy' Wilcox's 0:52:25 from shortly after the game's release in 2005. Maciej's run uses 37 segments compared to the 12 segments of the preceding run, but when you shoot it, you'll know where that extra money went. Read the highly informative comments with explanations and problem areas, written in the unmistakable groobo style of professional savagery.
Saturday, October 18, 2008 by Enhasa
Resident Jade, Evil Empire
Now from Biohazard to Bioware. The Jade Empire page was also supposed to grow, but Trevis 'garrote' Hall's old run in 2:57:06 was taken down in favor of Christian 'ninetigerr' Koch's new run using another character — read the note to find out why they aren't separate categories. Christian, also a SDA newcomer, seems like a very enthusiastic person. Maybe he's just excited about his 2:35:58 (torrent) in 12 segments. There are numerous differences and improvements since Trevis's run, so do check out the new run. Christian is mulling over the idea of a single-segment run, so if and when that happens, you might just know who's responsible.
Monday, October 13, 2008 by Enhasa
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Rob 'Mickey_Mage' Whitener is a champion of these lesser known titles, and today he graces us with a SNES run that isn't a Mickey Mouse game. Instead, it's Data East's Joe & Mac, ported from the arcades. It features the titular cavemen, who fight all sorts of prehistoric adversaries as they platform and run 'n
gun bone through user-selected stages in order to rescue the kidnapped cavegirls. Once again, Rob's chosen game has some peculiar physics and controls, so it's an added bonus seeing how he overcomes this. He finishes in 0:23:26 with deaths, but that's honestly to be expected considering how dangerous it was back then. Make no mistake: this is quite the high quality speedrun.
For this next speedrun, I'd like to welcome all readers of the Glasgow Courier and Good Evening Glasgow. (No, that's Glasgow, Montana, not Scotland.) Please welcome Darren 'Ultimate Darius' Cornell to the SDA ranks. He makes his entrance with Pokémon FireRed, the complement to LeafGreen. Darren thanks a lot of people in his comments, including Tom 'slowbro' Batchelor, who offered a $100 bounty for a single-segment run. I suppose that would be a spoiler that this 2:49:09 (torrent) is in fact single-segment. We at SDA would like to make a disclaimer that while it may be amusing to see "U used TACKLE!" throughout this run, your English teacher will likely not approve.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008 by Enhasa
On the Warpath
Our first speedrun is for Hitman: Codename 47. While we already have runs for Hitman 2 and Hitman: Contracts on SDA, this is our first run for the first game in the series. Rejoice! Daniel 'CannibalK9' Burns is the runner, and he's making quite a name for himself with his wonderful audio commentaries. He doesn't disappoint with his Hitman run in 0:34:19 (torrent, HQ torrent), so please give it a listen — if you want any run comments at all, you'll have to. Daniel realized that everyone just listens to his audio commentaries, and there's not too much information to convey this time, so his text comments basically serve as a placeholder.
The other game is really an expansion. It's Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs, and nobody will give you a prize for guessing that it's the expansion for Age of Empires III, which debuted on this site in May. Bart 'TheVoid' de Waal, PC runner extraordinaire and all-around helpful dude, has produced this run in 1:57:39. He mostly kept the development of this run a secret, but Bart's general perfectionism is no secret. This speedrun, similar to the film Little Big Man, ends with the Battle of the Little Bighorn; both are highly recommended viewing.
Saturday, October 4, 2008 by Enhasa
Fight to the Death
You may recall that back on July 11, Pablo 'DJ Mike Haggar' Bert vowed to defend his Battletoads records to the death. The time of reckoning has arrived. Stepping into the steel cage is the new challenger, Chris 'Shadowknife' Foreman, who presumably carries a shadowy knife of some sort that will be used to combat Pablo's deadly deejaying skills. Despite becoming nervous near the end, Chris makes a clean incision on the toads with his 0:19:36, an improvement of thirty-seven seconds. The 100% time by Pablo still stands, but for how long? Will he be able to defend it, or will all his attention be focused on launching his counterattack?