Saturday, March 27, 2010 by Breakdown
Not All Who Wander. . .
Next up we have an entry from a runner who has been a regular on the news page as of late. Justin 'UCPro' Salamon is at it again, this time with a return to his speedrunning roots with an improvement to his first published run. The game in question is the WiiWare title LostWinds, and by cleaning up a few minor mistakes in the first publication and the discovery of a new sequence break he was able to shatter his old segmented time of 0:21 with his new 0:18 run in 17 segments. This one got rave reviews from the verifiers, so for all you fans of the game out there this is one definitely not to miss.
And it's another familiar face that rounds out today's update. While it's been a while since his last submission, those who've followed the site for any appreciable amount of time should be familiar with the name Andrew Gardikis. Today he makes his triumphant return to the front page with an improvement to one of his existing Excitebike ILs: Track 1 in 0:00:43.69 to be precise. This brings the total time for the table down to 0:04:08.85. Really only so much to say about this one. I mean, it's an andrewg run, and the fact that the name is synonymous with quality is a fact that shouldn't be lost on anyone.
Thursday, March 18, 2010 by Breakdown
Real Men Wear Green
And for all you Zelda fans out there, we've got one more for you. It would seem that Link is a Hylian very mindful of his future. He knows that this hero business isn't something that'll last forever, and when the bubble bursts on it he wants to be sure he has something to fall back on, so he took the time to learn a trade. What trade you might ask? Why, the noble profession of goat herding of course. Yeah, I kind of doubt that's the motivation behind the goat herding mini game in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, but if it were, as long as Link had Justin 'UCPro' Salamon on hand to coach him he would have a long, stable career in front of him long after the princesses of the world stopped needing saving. All the goats go from loose in the field to in the barn in a very quick 0:00:15.43.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 by dex
The Steed, The Shadow, The Serpent
Speaking of my favorite games... Harri 'Rogston' Väisänen and Esa 'SaunaChum' Kivirinta keep on chipping away seconds in Thief: The Dark Project, a game that encourages the player to patiently hide in the shadows and evade encounter, ideally not having the enemies notice anything is amiss. The duo of speedrunning taffers evidently doesn't subscribe to this philosophy, instead opting for a quicker approach - namely, to do everything they have to do and get out fast enough to avoid registering to the senses of the guards. 7 levels in total have been improved, and a new run (the training level) joins the level table. As usual, these are money runs. There's too many of them to list here (our master thieves have really done a lot of good work), but you can get all ILs here. Curiously, the new total time (0:35:41) is 40 seconds longer than the time before the improvements were uploaded - but before you start wondering how that's possible, let me remind you about the Training run (which adds over a minute and a half to the timer).
Lastly, in a fortunate coincidence that lets me pretend this update has at least a partial theme, we have a new run for another stealth-based game, Hitman: Blood Money. It's an individual level run, as well! Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery has made a New Game+ run, and before you ask, yes, there was a run for this game before - one done by mister Amery, in fact - but he asked for it to be replaced by this new run. ExplodingCabbage switches the Rookie difficulty from the old run to Pro - the hardest of the four difficulties. Using every little timesaver he could think of and straining agent 47 to the limit, he finishes all 13 levels in 0:22:44. Check them out, they're really entertaining.
Saturday, February 27, 2010 by Breakdown
A Bunch of Restless Guys
Next up we have a run on another NES game that too often gets lost in the shuffle. When people talk about 8-bit Konami games it's usually games like Castlevania, Contra, or Gradius that get mentioned, with next to no attention paid to a great little game by the name of Jackal. While somewhat obscure, this game does have its fans, one of whom is Marko "Master-88" Vanhanen. Motivated to see this game have its place on SDA, the Finnish runner persevered through the game's several random elements and performed some tight maneuvering in the production of his "no upgrades with deaths" run. Getting a time as low as his 0:08:54 with only grenades is quite an impressive feat, and I definitely suggest checking this one out.
Lastly, after two less than mainstream games, we finish with the amazingly popular Mega Man 9. Those familiar with this game's history on SDA are no doubt also familiar with the name Mike 'MegaDestructor9' Dickson. He's been the sole owner of the IL records for this title, and while that isn't changing with this update, three of our hosted videos are. The improvements are as follows: Galaxy Man down from 0:01:38.41 to 0:01:38.11, Splash Woman down from 0:01:32.86 to 0:01:31.91, and Wily Castle 2 down from 0:01:56.85 to 0:01:54.43. These runs bring the total time of the table down three seconds to 0:20:13. To the uninitiated viewer 3 seconds over 3 runs might not sound like a lot, but if you watch the runs the level of optimization in them is plain to see. Check these ones out, you won't be disappointed.
Saturday, February 20, 2010 by Breakdown
3 in 1
Next up we have a shining example of a game being beaten far faster than its developers ever intended. If you happen to find yourself a complete, in box copy of Ogre Battle 64 and check out the list of selling points on the back you'll see that it promises "over 50 hours of gameplay." This may hold true for a first time player, but certainly not for the likes of Ben 'simmeh' Boven. Through the utilization of an item duplication glitch and some solid strategies along the way, Ben decimates the developers' estimate, finishing the game in 4:24 using six segments. This one also comes with audio commentary for your listening pleasure.
Now I know some of you are looking at the title of today's update and thinking that three games in one update really isn't anything all that special, and you're definitely right on that point. However, when one of those games has three different full game runs being posted it's definitely a noteworthy occurrence. Such is the case today for Mega Man Zero. In the span of a month Youri 'Elpis TK31' Landweer both improved his own hard difficulty with mission skips run from 0:11:19 down to 0:10:31 and completed runs for two new categories, namely hard difficulty with deaths in 0:22:59 and an ultimate mode run in 0:09:05. No audio commentary for this batch, but you can check the game page for some . . . interesting written comments.
And while this is old news to the forum regulars, it should be mentioned for those of you who don't frequent our fine message boards that we now have the entirety of the footage from our charity marathon available for download. Anything you may have missed or moments you'd like to experience again can now be immortalized on your hard drive. Just head to the schedule page for the links.
Thursday, February 11, 2010 by Breakdown
The Doctor Is In
Keeping with the medical theme, we have a new record in an old category for Dr. Mario 64. Kari 'Essentia' Johnson has had sole ownership of the page for quite some time, but no longer. Kevin 'neskamikaze' LaLonde has offered up a new run for the "Classic mode with deaths" category, topping the old mark of 0:38:50 from 2006 with a very quick 0:37:02. To cite our recent marathon, I think many of the viewers (myself included) were very surprised just how entertaining watching a run of this game can be. Check this one out; it's definitely worth the watch.
Last, but certainly not least, is one of the most anticipated runs to come to the site in quite some time. Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson is a man who needs no introduction. One of our most prolific runners, he bolsters his own reputation for excellence today with an improvement of one of the more hotly contested titles we have to offer. You may have heard of it, a little game called Super Mario Bros. 3. After logging literal thousands of attempts, the Swede of Speed was able to comfortably beat Andrew Gardikis's time of 0:11:01 with a truly stellar 0:10:48. I think it's safe to say this game has been pushed pretty close to its limits, but the runner himself admits there's still seconds to be squeezed out of it. The only question is who is going to rise to that challenge?
Sunday, January 31, 2010 by Breakdown
Wait, I have to do this again?
The first run on the menu today is an improvement over a longstanding run on the game list. Zack 'zallard1' Allard is new to SDA, but no stranger to high level play on Star Fox 64. An accomplished high score player, he recently turned his efforts to speedrunning the game. Through the use of a few new strategies and the tightening of some old ones, he was able to take down the old mark of 0:25:45 for the "with deaths" category set by Brett 'Psonar' Ables back in 2006. The time of the new run is a very quick 0:25:16, which he achieved by trusting his instincts and using the boost to get through.
Next up is a new addition to the site also coming from the N64. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron is a great example of one developer improving on the work of another. The first Star Wars game for the N64, Shadows of the Empire, was produced by LucasArts and is generally considered a fairly poor third person action title with two fantastically fun flying levels. About two years later along comes developer Factor 5 with this game consisting solely of flying levels and critics and players alike adored it. One such player is runner Evan K. N. Jankowski who today provides us with a single segment run with deaths clocking in at 1:01:17.
Last, but certainly not least, we have a run of a game that truly changed the face of its franchise. To call Star Fox Adventures a departure from the previous games in the series doesn't really begin to describe just how amazingly different this title is from the ones that came before it. Taking place outside of an Arwing for the bulk of the game, the series moved here from straight up space shooter to a style more similar to that of the 3-D Zelda titles. Whether this was a good move for the series or not is a matter for debate, but what is certain is that runner Justin 'UCpro' Salamon has put this game through its paces. Making use of 100 segments, Justin saves the aptly named Dinosaur Planet in a speedy 4:46. 100 files is a lot, so we have torrents available for the medium and high quality versions for easy downloading.
Thursday, January 21, 2010 by Breakdown
"Hold on to your butts."
But enough about me, you're here to see some runs, right?
The title of today's update serves the dual purpose of expressing my fear of my technical ineptitude being put on display for all to see as well as quoting one of the more memorable lines from the movie on which today's first game is based. As with most wildly successful movies, Jurassic Park has been ported to just about every console imaginable in nearly every gameplay style imaginable. Really the only thread tying them all together is that each features a variety of dinosaurs that you need to blast your way through in some form or fashion. Today's offering is on the SNES version of the game, which has no shortage of dino blasting, but also has a focus on exploration and item collection to advance the plot. The three man team of Patrick 'ev0lution' Seibert , Frank 'Nokia3311' Jahn, and Nicolas 'ZdadrDeM' Grosmann make their way through this single player adventure in a very efficient 1:02:36 on the PAL version. Sure it doesn't have the length of a Spielberg film or a Crichton novel, but this run is an excellent example of how less can indeed be more.
Vagrant Story is generally heralded as one of the more innovative games Squaresoft ever produced. Lauded by some and reviled by others, it features a deep combat system and an intricate item crafting mechanic. Love it or hate it, though, there is no denying that Yadir 'Riskbreaker Y' Osornio annihilated it, cruising through the game using 13 segments and finishing in just under 2 hours (1:59 to be exact).
Also of note is that we have more videos from our wildly successful Charity Marathon ("Classic Games Done Quick") up and ready for download, commentary included. We currently have up through Strider on the second day ready to go. You can find the links on the schedule page, and keep an eye on that page because there's more on the way.
Saturday, January 9, 2010 by dex
Almost A Clone
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is a game that needs no introduction. What definitely needs introduction, on the other hand, is the absolutely insane improvement of the Assassin run by the absolutely crazy Sören 'FraGFroG' Heinrich. Drawing on sinister powers that shouldn't be named, he managed to save over 16 minutes and actually bring this epic game under the magical 1 hour threshold. This 0:58:52 in 33 segments is so crazy, you're really gonna think Sören is possessed. Which actually might not be that far off from the truth: this game is infamous for drawing players in for good, and 'FraGFroG' couldn't evade this mysterious power and had to also make another run. Virtually identical to that 58:52, it abuses a death in the last segment to save a pretty palpable amount of time - 24 seconds, to be exact (0:58:28). Go check it out.
Monday, January 4, 2010 by nate
Charity marathon conclusion
Much of the marathon (both game and commentary streams) is already available for viewing on our ustream page. Higher quality versions (with both streams in one video and without problems with sprites disappearing, for example) will follow soon. Right now as I type this I'm burning all 55 hours of video from Mike Uyama's DVD recorder in 2-hour chunks, then copying those DVDs to my laptop's hard drive in preparation for combining with the Flash Media-encoded commentary stream. Syncing the two streams will be the real hard part, but I don't anticipate that will take me more than a few days. Keep checking back, and you'll see that nice version of the marathon available for download here soon. Otherwise, if you don't want to wait, just hit the ustream recordings.
We'd like to thank all our runners and mods, the MAGfest staff, CARE for being willing to try us out, and especially TheSpeedGamers for taking us under their wing for our first run through this charity marathon game they built completely from scratch. You should know that there would have been no Classic Games Done Quick if not for your vision.
Here's to another record-breaking year!
Friday, January 1, 2010 by nate
Last-minute charity marathon promotion
See you tonight!