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News from April through June, 2011. [Newer | Older]

Monday, June 20, 2011 by Vorpal

Revolving doors

Apologies for the late update, but the backend is confusing the first time around and I've been without a stable internet connection lately. While the latter is not a problem worth elaborating on, yep, it's my first time. Sup. I'm Vorpal, and I'll be joining the team of updaters working to bring you the speedruns you love to watch. I'm not the only new addition to the team either. Also coming onboard is moooh, who'll be helping on the backend and just generally being awesome.

The precipitate for these changes, you ask? Mike Uyama, longtime head dictator of SDA, recently decided that he wanted more free time, and so he's scaling down his involvement with SDA. He's not leaving, but he's doing less. Flip is taking over verification and contact duties for him, while I'm taking over updating for Flip, and moooh is doing additional backend things that Mike used to do. For more info, check this forum thread. Mike's been at SDA for a very long time and has done amazing things for us, so I think we all need to give Mike a hand and thank him for his service.

I've got some runs for you too, and many familiar faces to go with them. Let's get to it.

First up is a pair of Punch-Out!! runs. Little Mac's been busy lately, and Zack 'zallard1' Allard and Charles 'Miles' Griffin have been helping him defeat all comers in Punch-Out!!, with a set of individual levels in 0:20:12.84. As if punching out Donkey Kong isn't enough, Zack also guides Little Mac through beating up his former mentor once again. In addition to the existing single-segment run, Doc Louis' Punch-Out!! now has an individual level table that comes in at 0:02:12.69.

We're not done with the individual tables yet either. Wouter M. 'WMJ' Jansen has taken a break from destroying F-Zero X to tackle Ridge Racer Type 4, a new addition to our game list. Wouter blazes through all 8 tracks in a total of 0:20:41.643, showing us how it's done.

If Ridge Racer was too upbeat enough for you, we have a more depressing game to chase it. Heavy Rain, eponymously styled, gets the Greg Innes treatment, coming in at three hours and thirty minutes. I wonder if the Origami Killer knew how quickly his game would be finished when he started.

Another game that's been missing from the game list is Vandal Hearts. Tony 'ZenicReverie' Foster has decided to rectify that. In a game about PS1-quality arterial blood sprays, Tony fittingly aims for the jugular and plows through the game in five hours and thirty-five minutes.

Every runner so far has been a veteran with at least one other run under his belt, and the next runner is no exception. Andrew 'spidey-widey' Brockmann extends his dominance over Metroid: Zero Mission further, this time capturing the hard segmented 100% category. Andrew takes Samus through her paces, collecting all items and triggering self-destruct routines in 0:55:25.

The last runner I have for you today is new to the site. Rocket Knight Adventures has had a lot of hype and activity around the site lately, with two recent marathon races, and hopefully the hype carries over to the new entry, simply titled Rocket Knight. 'Harry9397' controls the Sparkster and boosts through two anthropomorphic empires in a slim 0:32:41, making for a spiffy first run.

That's all for today. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 22, 2011 by Breakdown

Celebrate the lack of the Rapture, watch speedruns

It seems I've been posting about fighting games a lot lately, and this is a trend that continues with the addition of Bushido Blade to our game list. But this fighter carries with it an interesting classification as different times are to be tracked weapons, rather than character. That said, enjoy the first entry to the game page, the Katana, done on hard difficulty by Tony 'ZenicReverie' Foster in 0:03:07.

Next up, we have an NES trilogy finally getting full representation on SDA. The original Double Dragon today becomes the last of the 8-bit games to make its way onto the game page courtesy of David Heidman Jr. Planning, execution, and a little luck definitely show in this stellar 0:11:27. Also included is an audio commentary which is sure to shed a little light on the thought process behind the kicks and punches.

And fans of Double Dragon have a little more to get excited about this update. We also have a new run for the crossover series, Battletoads and Double Dragon. Patrick "PJ" DiCesare tackles the Lee brother category for this game, finishing with a time of 0:21:27.

In the above run PJ displayed his mastery of a Lee brother, but that's not the full extent of his talents. He's also a master of Master. PJ's has also given us a run of the original ActRaiser. Playing on the game's Professional! mode he charges through the action stages in a very quick 0:25:37.

Staying on the SNES, we have a run for a game released very early in the console's lifespan: Spanky's Quest. Runner David 'FFGamer86' Singleton pilots the titular monkey through the game in a speedy 0:25:14.

One of the less heralded Disney titles out there is also making its way on to our game list today. It's the only Disney title to focus on the theme park rather than a character, Adventures in the Magic Kingdom. Runner Tyler 'Zyre' Larsen blazes through each attraction on his way to a final time of 0:10:15.

Finishing up with full game runs today, we have a new category for the Playstation's Spyro the Dragon. Runner Andrew 'Ratchet5' Carroll becomes the first to crack into the any% category for this title with his 1:01:46 single segment run on the PAL version.

There is still a bit more to this update though. Wouter M. 'WMJ' Jansen is offering up improvements to many of the IL times on F-Zero X, both NTSC and PAL. On the NTSC side he has improvements for all the Disk Drive expansion tracks as well as one from the normal game. Big Blue 3, Big Foot, Devil's Forest 4, Devil's Forest 5, Fire Field 2, Mute City 1, Mute City 4, Port Town 3, Port Town 4, Silence 3, Sand Ocean 3, Space Plant 2, and White Land 3 were all improved, bringing the total time of the table down almost 30 seconds to 0:43:08.891. On the PAL version there's also an improvement to Mute City 1 with a time of 0:01:18.474 as well as a new lap time for Fire Field of 0:00:15.207. But that's not all. New to the game page is an entry for the game's Death Race mode, also by WMJ, clocking in at a brisk 0:00:36.719.

One last thing of note is a bit of a follow up to our Japan Relief Done Quick marathon. Doctors Without Borders gave us a nice mention on their site, which you can see here. It's always nice to get a little recognition for a job well done, and with that in mind I'd like to thank everyone out there who watched, promoted, or donated during the event. Without all of you we'd have just been a bunch of people playing video games, but instead you helped us to raise a large sum of money for people in need. Know that I think you are all the man, or the wo-man as the case may be!

Sunday, May 1, 2011 by Flip

Medieval & Modern

Starting things off tonight we have a run of a game from the Breath of Fire series. Jeff 'Cosmos' Vughs has played through the 5th game in the series, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, in 0:54, using 12 segments.

Next up we have some new entries for the Final Fantasy IV: The After Years page. Thomas L. Mallory, Jr. has provided us with a New Game + time of 1:58 of the Crystals chapter. Meanwhile, Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe has given us two new entries of his own. First we have a single-segment 0:39 on the Lunarian's tale, as well as a single-segment 0:34 on Yang's tale.

Along with the above game, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is another game that I've updated with before. We have two new runs, an improvement as well as a new entry. First, Andrew 'romscout' Schroeder has improved his any% run on the XBLA version. His single-segment 0:32:57 has been improved by a single-segment 0:31:19. Be sure and listen to the included audio commentary while you watch. Also, Kevin 'xarugas' Areopagita has given us our first run of the PSP version of SotN. His run clocks in at 0:28:51 single-segment.

Next we have a new Sonic run! The Game Boy Advance titles don't get as much love as their Genesis (Mega Drive) siblings, but that didn't stop Joaquín 'Zeupar' Salido from running Sonic Advance. He runs and glides through as Knuckles in 0:16:00.28 using a single segment.

Love to watch giant robots kick people in the face? You're in luck, because our next game is Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars. Jeff Cohen's single-segment run of the highest difficulty (8-star) uses Gold Lightan and finishes in just 0:03:04.

Moving onward, we have another new game to add to our game list. Zachary Morgan has completed our inaugural run of Mega Man Zero 3. Zachary dashes from start to finish in 0:27:38 using 16 segments. I wonder what he's fighting foooo... ah nevermind.

Finally, we have our first run of Halo: Combat Evolved. Scott 'slYnki' Angus and Chris 'scurty' Wasnetsky tag-teamed to bring us their 1:20:51 on the Legendary difficulty in 121 segments. Never fear, however, they've all been appended to one file for your downloading pleasure. Be sure and listen to the included audio commentary as well!

In case this isn't enough runs for you, you can now download the entire Awesome Games Done Quick marathon via torrent. Visit here for the download link!

Monday, April 25, 2011 by dex

A little something on Easter

Today's update is really huge, so let's not waste any time and get to what you've been waiting for: speedruns!

Starting off the update is a Planescape: Torment run. Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery guides The Nameless One on his quest for lost identity... his REALLY FAST quest for lost identity... in just 0:20:15. Included with the run are... some text comments, bound to be a hit if you're not into the whole 'video' thing and prefer to read a speedrun instead. Though all joking aside, it is quite useful in a conversation-heavy game like this, so if you want to get the true Torment experience and follow the dialogue trees, having the comments open on the side is a good idea. The run is segmented (49 segments), and is another in Mark's saga of runs that beat runs currently in verification (the first one being Blood Money. It's only a 2-part saga, you see), improving an earlier run by niebezimienny. Tough luck, buddy.

For the Star Wars fans in the audience, we have a Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II run. Created by David 'RandomEngy' Rickard with help from Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery (he sure does a lot of stuff, doesn't he?), it improves the older run by over 10 minutes, down to 0:25:57. It was done in 21 segments, and is sure to be a great watch to anyone who fancies themselves a Star Wars and/or Dark Forces II fan. Well, I liked it, at any rate.

The notoriously hard platformer I Wanna Be The Guy also gets a run in today's update - with deaths, on the very hard difficulty, in just 0:29:41. The runner - 'Anonymous52555', which is quite an odd name if I may say so - has segmented the run into 22 parts, no doubt to preserve his sanity while running. That game must be even harder to speedrun, as if that were possible.

Juri Rosenkilde made a speedrun of all the campaigns on Hard difficulty for one of the few Blizzard games without a run on the site so far, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. The Sentinels campaign is 0:37:08 (in 8 segments), the Alliance campaign is slightly longer, clocking in at 0:45:37 (just 6 segments), and finally, the Scourge campaign is 0:45:15 in 10 segments. Very good performance from a rookie on the site, nice job!

Juház 'bebe' Bálint has made a run for Metro 2033, finishing the whole postapocalyptic Moscow experience in 2:41:27. The run is on easy difficulty, with 38 segments used for optimisation purposes.

Coming hot on the heels of the release of Portal 2 (by the way, thanks for delaying this update a couple days, Valve, you jerks, with your great games stealing time), we have a run of another first-person puzzler, Grappling Hook. This game was made by SpeedRunGames, and if that doesn't tell you that the game is well fit for speedrunning, I don't know what will. Nigel 'ridd3r' Martin, David 'LLCoolDave' Spickermann and Josh 'Inexistence' Peaker filled up the individual level table of the game, with a total time of 0:09:27.79, all on hard difficulty. Dazzling speeds, I tell you.

The remake of Sid Meier's Colonization in the Civilization IV engine, appropriately named Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization also hits the SDA shelves today, thanks to one Derek 'TentacleMonster' Zhang, who took it on himself to pass the game single-segment on the pilgrim difficulty and managed in just 0:14:38. That's some real speedy economy right there.

Finally, another individual levels table in this update, this time for Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Szymon '-KFC-' Kiendyś. Unlike most Battlefield titles, this one has an extensive single-player mode, and '-KFC-' finishes all the levels on normal difficulty in just 1:16:03.

Also, do check out the Features page for marathon videos and new interviews with Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk and Wes 'Carcinogen' Kempton.

Thursday, April 7, 2011 by Flip

Japan Relief Done Quick TODAY!

That's right, TODAY! Japan was hit by another quake earlier today. This one was a 7.4 magnitude. Please help us raise money to send some help their way.

The marathon is kicking off at 4:00 PM EDT. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 by Flip

Japan Relief Done Quick this weekend!

Hey! If you haven't already noticed, check out that sweet banner at the top of the page (many thanks to Lindsey King of The Speed Gamers for doing our art).

You guessed it. We're doing a marathon this weekend to raise money to help those affected by the disaster in Japan. More specifically, we're raising money for Doctors Without Borders. Doctors Without Borders is an excellent charity and you can rest assured that your donations will be used properly.

The marathon will start on Thursday, April 7th at 4:00 PM EDT and run through the 10th. Be sure to check in and donate for your chance to win some great prizes. These include handmade plushies and excellent character art. Also don't forget about our Grand Prize- a PC game package courtesy of our own Marc 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski.

As usual, you can watch the marathon right here from our front page. You can also see the schedule of games to be played so you can plan out your weekend accordingly. See you Thursday!