SDA logo

News from July through September, 2009. [Newer | Older]

Monday, September 28, 2009 by Enhasa

Mike on the Mic

Whenever Michael Uyama gets together with some friends from SDA, what's bound to happen is that they sit down, pound some beers, and crank out a couple of rollicking audio commentaries. When Mike visited Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson and Kristian 'Arctic_Eagle' Emanuelsen in Norway this summer, this gathering of beer fans burst into speech and song for Rush 'n Attack, Kung Fu, Duck Tales, and Ninja Gaiden. The new audio has been muxed into the old videos for your convenience.

Mike's only getting warmed up too with the commentating. A beat 'em up aficionado, he was the perfect candidate to run Behemoth's Castle Crashers. This marks the first current-generation speedrun for SDA's most prolific active runner. Mike takes the Blue Knight and puts him through an intensive workout regimen involving lots and lots of steroids and protein sandwiches. Thousands of dead bodies, one beach volleyball match, and 1:14:34 later, he finally gets to kiss the princess. He's in for a real treat. In the meantime, Mike has gotten himself hopelessly addicted to Xbox Live Arcade games, so perhaps we'll be seeing more from him on this platform.

Castle Crashers' title screen bills it as a "four player adventure." Nintendo takes the co-op advertisement a couple of steps further and places it directly in the subtitle of the game itself for The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. Philippe 'Wak' Brisson, who has been making himself comfortable in the news lately, strikes again with a 0:04:09 of Lake Hylia, the first level. This replaces Mike 'TSA' Damiani's 0:04:17 from 2005. I haven't asked him, so I don't know if Philippe just got bored or what, but that's it for now. But this question does lead directly into...

Public service announcement! Do you own that most awesome of games: E.V.O.: Search for Eden? Do you know where your cartridge is? Would you like to see a speedrun of this incredibly underrated gem on SDA? Would you help out a fellow speedrunning enthusiast in need by lending him your cartridge? If you answered yes to all of these questions, please post in this thread and help a brother out. Philippe and I and many others will all thank you dearly.

Thursday, September 24, 2009 by dex

A change of pace

The first thing you usually think when hearing the word 'goo' is 'repulsive'. You couldn't be further from the truth when it comes to one of the most addictive 'indie' games ever made, World of Goo. This one sucks you in and doesn't let you get away like, well, a vat full of goo. Nigel 'ridd3r' Martin abuses the design of the levels in clever and impressive ways in this 0:53:41 single segment run. Featuring out-of-the-box thinking and insane mouse movements even very late into the game, this goodie is bound to be a pleasurable watch, and I've decided to make a torrent for convenience of all slime lovers.

As addictive as WoG is, it rarely creates a dependence as deep as one of Blizzard's masterpieces tends to. Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is infamous for drawing the player into it for weeks at a time. Ignoring that sinister capability for possessing humans is Laszlo 'bimanc' Seta, who finished the game in just 1:15:02. It's a segmented run, and the character used to hack and slash through the evil hordes is Assassin. You can grab the Medium Quality and High Quality torrent for what is bound to be an extremely popular run.

Monday, September 21, 2009 by Enhasa

Sierpinski triforce

Sattik 'Tiki' Ghosh, Mega Man runner extraordinaire, still looks up to Mike 'MegaDestructor9' Dickson. Sattik idolizes his game, his name, and his nickname, which is an appropriate moniker given that Mike enjoys destructing Mega Man 9. And now they get to share the same page: Mega Man 3. Mr. Dickson has a single-segment Anniversary Collection run in 0:32:42. This is much lower than Sattik's time, it's true, but the AC version is significantly faster due to eliminated lag, on-the-fly weapon switching, autofire, and a speed slide glitch.

Our other game today is none other than The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Philippe 'Wak' Brisson decided that he'd finally had enough of seeing anyone else's name on the page, so he completes his clean sweep with a single-segment 1:35:45. This bests Mike 'TSA' Damiani's 2005 run by four minutes and two seconds, representing remarkable advancements both in route and quality. It is also a mere six minutes slower than the segmented run. Philippe confirms that, yes, it is nice to have a supportive girlfriend when dealing with speedrunning frustrations.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 by Enhasa

Don't call it a comeback

I've been here for years. Apologies from the "prodigal admin." I love to update, but you know how inertia works. Well, I'm going to try and start some positive inertia, and with the increased manpower with the addition of dex to our active staff, we're looking to expand SDA in more community-focused directions with some new features. I'd love to tell you what we're planning, but we're still just floating ideas around at this stage.

We do have a couple of new boards on the forum though. First is the Trading Post, where you can buy, sell, or trade games with trustworthy people without getting ripped off by chain stores or online auction sites. Please check it out! The second addition has been sorely missing since SDA's conception and is what I feel to be the most important initiative possible for long-term site success: Casual Speedrunning. Speedrunning at SDA has developed into an environment where a select few churn out incredible times and the rest just watch and don't really contribute. But speedrunning is fun, and even if you're not the world's greatest, you can still take a favorite game and see how fast you can go through it. After all, isn't that why we all came here in the first place? Share your speedrunning experiences and help strengthen our community.

As for this update, I waited a bit until we had two games ready that I particularly love. The first of these is the highly underappreciated Metal Storm for the NES by Irem. The game's defining feature is the ability to reverse gravity at any time with the push of a button. This is as ahead of its time as you would imagine, and it leads to great speedrunning opportunities. Benjamin 'UraniumAnchor' Cutler is no stranger to great speedrunning, and if you don't believe me, you can witness this short and sweet 0:12:44, single segment. Ben is working on Expert Mode, which is enough to send pangs of yearning down the metallic spine.

The other game is no real surprise if you know me: Valkyrie Profile. It comes courtesy of Moka (もか), a respected Japanese tri-Ace runner. These games are popular RPGs to run, both on SDA and elsewhere; the segmented B-ending category at Ultima Garden (no videos, alas) is particularly ruthless, with eventual improvements dropping to one mere second each. This speedrun is not nearly on that level of optimization, but I love it just as much. It's a 100% (all dungeons) in 4:29... single-segmented. It's wildly different from all other Valkyrie Profile runs on SDA, because the game gives you the flexibility to skip whatever you want. This fulfills a $50 bounty from me, but I'm upping it to $100 out of guilt since my absence delayed the posting of the run. Sorry, man.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 by dex

The Cool War

The first game today is quite philosophical in nature. It is about the conflict between opposing forces, the clash of good and evil, the rivalry between black and white, the struggle of extremes. Either that, or it's a game for the NES with monochrome character sprites based on a comic strip. This old (and deeply profound) classic is Spy vs. Spy! Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe evaluates the concept of yin and yang in his individual-levels run of this game. The times combine to a total of 0:09:05.

Elsewhere on the NES front, Jeff Feasel crafted a run of The Adventures of Lolo. This run on the first game completes the trilogy of runs for Lolo games on SDA (Lolo 2 and 3 have runs by mister Votava). Picking up lots of hearts and pushing lots of crates, Jeff manages to finish this game in just 0:23:01. Collecting hearts to save a woman, can that be qualified as 'profound' as well?

The NES content of the site has increased significantly in the last 2 weeks, it would seem.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 by dex


The trend of games with 'Super' in the title continues. This one is even less explicable than its Star Wars predecessor, for it is Super Dodge Ball for the NES. As you see, the system name contains hardly any 'Super' at all. Nevertheless, Jeremy 'DK28' Doll decided it's super enough to make a run on the easy difficulty. It takes him 0:06:46 of smacking the opposing team with balls. And he doesn't take damage himself, either!

You ready to get spooked? Well, if you can get spooked by 2D NES graphics, you might be in for a treat. Apparently, the controls and the hit detection alone can spook you in this game. However, 'ktwo' has a high tolerance for fear and bad programming. So he made a run on the European version of Addams Family (NES), with deaths, in 0:15:11. Then, just to show the game how much he's not afraid of it, he did a run without deaths (European version still) 0:16:46. Now that is insanity!

Sunday, August 30, 2009 by dex


"Bigger is better" is a known saying. Whether it's true is debatable, but the makers of the first game today definitely took that concept to heart. Not content with the flexibility of the numerical system, they decided to use a fictitious number and made Zillion, a game based on and named after an anime series. It definitely doesn't take a zillion seconds for John 'chessjerk' Kearsley IV to finish his bad ending run. In fact, it doesn't even take half an hour: 0:23:16 of single segment action very reminiscent of Impossible Mission is all it takes.

Another aptly named game in this update is Super Star Wars. What exactly makes it super? The gameplay? The characters? The missions? The license? Or perhaps the mundane fact of this being a Super NES game? In any case, Chris 'Pootrain' Ferguson trusts the Force and manages to avoid being killed in this quite difficult rendition of Star Wars: A New Hope. Specifically, he trusts the European version of the Force (and the game). And that is why he doesn't fail, finishing his single segment after just 0:30:36 of lightsaber swinging, jumping and sliding around. And some vehicle sections.

Also, still remember the incredibly useful Knowledge Base? Well, a fresh addition has recently come to life, specifically the SDA Strategy Wiki, a compendium of tricks, tips and strategies for speedrunning different games. As outlined here, you're encouraged to add your own pages or tips to the plethora of existing ones.

Friday, August 28, 2009 by mikwuyma

Blue Suicide Bomber

There have been a couple of complaints on the forum about the lack of features on the site. Well, I'm glad to introduce the first SDA runner interview, with our talented Mega Man runner and teenager extraordinaire, Sattik 'Tiki' Ghosh. The interview contains interesting factoids about Sattik's Indian heritage, his motivations for speedrunning, and most important of all, his phallus-oriented relationship with Mega Man.

WARNING: Ghosh's language when interviewed is just as strong and genitalia-focused as ever, so those of you who are easily offended have been warned.

If that interview isn't enough Sattik for you, then you can enjoy his new Mega Man X run in 33:48, 21 seconds faster than the Swede of Speed's record. Included with the run is audio commentary that Ghosh recorded live as he was doing the run. You can hear about a new Maverick, Ghosh's relationship with the f-word, and complete silence during the final boss fight, proof of how focused Ghosh was during this run. Get the Medium Quality torrent here.

Seth Glass is a name many associate with Mega Man 2, and this next run is no exception. Glass's new run, unlike his previous run, does not employ any zip glitches, which means it's actually 26 seconds slower than his current glitched run, clocking in at 0:29:28. This will probably be popular, so here's another Medium Quality torrent. Zip glitches are now considered a separate category for Mega Man 2 because they change the boss route and save a significant amount of time.

While a 26 second difference might not seem significant enough to warrant separate categories, it's possible to shave more time off the current glitched run. Rumor has it that even sub-28 minutes is possible!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 by dex

A Number Of Primes

Most people affiliated with SDA so far had something to do with Metroid. Grenola and Radix had runs. Nate, well I don't have to say anything about his input into metroid2002, do I? It therefore seems fitting to have my first non-Quake update be connected with Metroid. Specifically...

We have a new Frigate Escape run on Metroid Prime. The new run is done on the PAL version by Besmir 'Zoid' Sheqi and is almost two seconds faster than the older run. A palpable improvement, so to speak. The time remaining is 0:04:25.40 - remember that the timer counts down.

That was the starter, now it's time for the main course. It might be a little stale - because it's from 2006 and hasn't been posted yet - but it's still a very edible meal. Cooked by the aforementioned chef Alastair 'DJGrenola' Campbell, it's a brand new addition to the Metroid Prime 2: Echoes menu. This low% time entering secret worlds is 1:55, done in 21 segments. In a true Grenola fashion, he supplied an extensive commentary, this time adding an audio commentary to his already impressively sized comments. Since this is bound to be a tremendously popular piece of Metroid cuisine, I've made a torrent of the Medium Quality, also for convenience when downloading.

Also, I have to mention that Arkarian put in some effort into making a runners list on his website. If you want to check what runs some player did, that's definitely gonna be useful to you before we add this and some other features to the SDA site.

Friday, August 14, 2009 by DJGrenola


I have been informed by the nice gentleman sitting to my right that he will withdraw the gun from my head if I post five runs today.

SDA already lists an entry for Pokémon Gold, but if you have been waiting to see something on its souped-up Game Boy Color adaptation, today is the day. The great Mike 'mike89' McKenzie powers through Pokémon Crystal in under four hours — 3:52, to be precise — and he does it single-segment, all in one take. "This run goes start-to-finish with one solitary Pokemon doing all the fighting - Feraligatr," boasts Mike in his comments. Anticipating popularity, I am providing a torrent.

Another popular series frequently associated with Nintendo hardware is the ghoulish Castlevania. Wayne 'soteos' Frank was until today the Magician mode record holder of Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, but his long-standing run from 2005 has finally been visited by Death. The new Lord of the Castle is Richard 'Belmont' Jasionowski, who cuts the old time listed in this category for this GBA game almost in half — from 0:41:14 down to just 0:22:14 in 12 segments. Since there are twelve files to download, I made a torrent of the medium quality encode of this run, too.

Another fantasy-themed run from 2005 also bites the dust in this update. Tom 'rdrunner' Votava is the victim this time, as his run on NES Gauntlet falls foul of a faster contribution from Jeff Feasel. Like Tom, Jeff exploits the predictability of the Vault code to avoid having to collect the clues normally required to open it. Jeff's 0:17:51 as Elf is over two minutes faster than its predecessor, which has to be worth a watch.

Japanese action RPG series Ys may remain largely undiscovered by most Western gamers, but that has not stopped it from achieving a cult following amongst some. The situation regarding remakes of the Ys games is rather confusing, but the 9-segment run provided here by Jeff 'Korzic' David on Ys Eternal: Ancient Ys Vanished Omen (Ys I) was performed on the Ys I&II Complete edition, and on Easy difficulty, in a time of 0:38:35.

I apologise to Nathaniel Stalberg, whose run of Ambrosia Software's Escape Velocity Nova has been in the queue for a while, having been completed at the start of March. Nathaniel tackles the Pirate storyline and uses 40 segments in this luck-manipulating quest for glory, zipping around the Milky Way in just 0:14:31.

You can put that gun away now, Sir.

Thursday, August 6, 2009 by DJGrenola

Me Again

So, dear reader, I would like to introduce to you the concept of a "run bomb". This refers to a situation where, upon inspection of a single entry in the SDA queue, I discover that there are actually multiple runs lurking within. If more than one such "run bomb" should occur in a single update — well, grown men have been known to cry.

Before the infamous WoW claimed the social lives of so many young, promising individuals, there were some other, less societally dangerous Warcraft games. Our attention today turns to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, which is the subject of a run by the rather strangely monickered Philipp 'Stupid' H.

Wait, though — this is a "run bomb", so Philipp actually has five runs for you on the various campaign modes offered by this title. All campaigns were played on hard mode, so quickly: 2-segment Prologue in 0:08:14; 9-segment Human in 1:01:35; 8-segment Undead in 1:08:30; 8-segment Orc in 0:54:22; and 7-segment Night Elf in 1:21:37. Full details are on the game page, of course.

Psygnosis' early Wipeout games will always be quite dear to my heart, with their pulsating soundtracks, futuristic design and high-speed visuals. Many is the guilty hour I spent zooming smoothly round curves when I should have been studying the results of Fourier, Maxwell, Karnaugh and Faraday.

Of course, since only about three Europeans in total bought a Nintendo 64, my experiences had always been limited to the PlayStation releases of this popular racing game. Now, Wouter M. 'WMJ' Jansen has arrived to educate me, serving up lap records on the seven tracks of Wipeout 64. The details are all on the page, but you can also grab a ZIP file of the high quality encodes from all seven tracks here (40 MB). Other qualities may be found in the usual place.

Friday, July 31, 2009 by DJGrenola

Cameo Appearance

This place hasn't changed too much in the eighteen months since I last posted an SDA update, although I don't particularly like the new carpets or the fuzzy dice. I'd like to thank nate for the very sweet eulogy (January 28, 2008), and Enhasa for all his hard work, for hard work it is. No, I'm afraid I don't plan on making a habit of this.

Now, let's see some action. I am adding four new games to the game list on this sunny summer afternoon.

Long-time SDA forum lurker Paul 'Lag.Com' Davies opens an account on Arcomage, the standalone PC adaptation of the Might & Magic card-based tavern minigame. Paul gives us a pair of runs depicting two ways of winning this game: a Destruction victory in 0:00:20, and a Building victory in 0:00:24. These runs are very short indeed, but the times seem to mirror the fact of life that it is easier to destroy things than it is to create them.

The first part of Robert Zemeckis' time-travelling trilogy is a film well-loved by many, me included. Unfortunately, I suspect that the NES adaptation of Back to the Future is rather less roundly revered by people than its silver screen counterpart. Anyway, Ray 'Croc-Doc' Cullen is the man playing his Gibson behind his head this time — he sends Marty home in 0:17:11.

Robbie 'lightningx' Shintaku, meanwhile, gives us a 37-segment treatment of PC hack-and-slash RPG Dungeon Siege, which was released back in 2002. "The most frustrating thing about running this game was the camera," explains Robbie in his comments. This is not the first time I have read such an opinion in the comments for a speed run, nor will it be the last. He also declares that this run "was an experiment to see if the game could be completed in seven hours or less". Robbie did very well, then, since he stormed through in just 2:38 on Easy difficulty.

Lastly, Jason 'honorableJay' Feeney dashes through another video game comic book adaptation in the form of X-Men for the Genesis. Jason uses Nightcrawler for much of the run, but you can read his run comments to learn why this mutant is generally superior for speed purposes (or just listen to the audio commentary). Six months of courageous effort on Jason's part have been condensed down to a mere 0:08:46, so you'd better appreciate it.

Friday, July 24, 2009 by Radix

A smashing good time

A few short runs to hopefully tide you over until a better update(r) comes along.

On Super Smash Bros for N64, Jeremy 'DK28' Doll improved both of his previous times. The time with deaths drops to 0:03:01, an improvement of 15 seconds. The time without any deaths drops to 0:03:09, an improvement of 17 seconds.

On Super Smash Bros Melee for GameCube, we now have two runs on Classic Mode. Philippe 'Wak' Brisson finished in 39.74 seconds using a sleeping Pokémon. No, not Snorlax - it's Jigglypuff. Andrew 'Pokemonmaster888' D. used Ganondorf for an even faster time of 32.77 seconds.

On Super Smash Bros Brawl for Wii, there is a new category for "100 man melee 2 player". Only one player is credited though, because apparently Adam 'No1 Inparticular' Young has no problem controlling two pikachus at once. After a mere 0:01:14.68, all 100 opponents go flying off the screen.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 by Radix

Take three down, pass them around

The first run today is a rare breed: a single-segment run on a PC game. Featuring the favorite protagonist of all the balding, middle aged men, more commonly known as Mr. Fifteenth Prime Number, this Hitman: Blood Money single-segment run on Rookie difficulty by Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery in 0:24:07 shows just what would happen if The Professional lacked the patience to be a professional at all. Mr. Amery (no word on which prime number that is) also seems to be a cunning hitman in real life, for this run was actually made in order to beat a run that he verified, marking this likely the first time such drastic measures were taken in order to keep the standards up. Talk about efficient quality control!

Next up is a tile swapper run on Panel de Pon Tetris Attack for Super Nintendo. The time of 0:05:12 is by someone who apparently has very mean parents and called him Darkwing Duck. This is one minute and 7 seconds faster than the time from 2007.

If you play North & South, you might learn a little history about the U.S - or you might blink and miss the game. The previous run from January was on "level 1" AI difficulty and finished in a mere one minute and one second. Daniel 'Kareshi' Brown has done "level 2" and "level 3" as well. Level 2 is only 0:00:56 and three is 0:00:50. I'm not sure why these apparently higher numbered levels are faster without obsoleting the lower levels, and the "comments" from the runner certainly dont explain either.

Friday, July 10, 2009 by Radix

I Am Not Enhasa, Either

We have another run from our Norwegian NES runner, Kristian 'Arctic_Eagle' Emanuelsen. Kristian improved Rygar, a game that has nothing to do with Ligers, though it does feature a villain named Ligar. Kristian says this game is a top 10 NES game, which is probably why he took it upon himself to improve his 25:59 by a minute with this 0:24:59.

Next we have three wicked runs of two bodacious action games.

When people think NES, they might not think Kid Niki: Radical Ninja, but that's because they've never played this warped game! The game has Marcel Marceau lookalikes constantly chasing you, and an old man who drops F bombs, what's not to like?

Jim Hanson wields Niki's mullet with expert precision and destroys that tard, the stone wizard, in 0:11:39. Jim said that his goal is to get at least one run posted on SDA a year, and with this run he succeeds. Atta boy, Hanson!

The next two runs might not have the word radical in the title, but that doesn't make them any less so.

First is Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson's 40-second improvement of Jim Hanson's Super C. Freddy furiously mashes and destroys everything in a fractions of a second to accomplish his 0:13:26.

Hanson's response: No Mullets? Doesn't count. Kid Niki is the truth. While Probotector 2 might not have Bill and Lance, that doesn't mean Marko 'Master-88' Vanhanen's 14-second improvement is bogus. His 0:16:44 still features the same gnarly shooting action, just with robots instead of humans.

P.S. Marko would like to say that all three of these runs "look like TAS".

The preceding was actually written by Mike Uyama, who is currently traveling through Europe. Could you tell?

Now for one more run in this update, since we're having a bit of a summer drought. Jeremy 'DK28' Doll did a run to finally bring Super Castlevania IV into the Archive's game list. His initial submission for this game was rejected but the end result is a much better run I'm sure. Its time is 0:39:17.