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News from March through June, 2013. [Newer | Older]

Sunday, June 30, 2013 by Vorpal

Endings are hard

007: Agent Under Fire might not be as famous as Goldeneye, but it has more than a few tricks and skips of its own. Alec 'aleckermit' Aster has branched out from his N64 roots with this 0:38:33 single-segment. This obsoletes the existing run by two minutes, but the story goes deeper: the previous run was on the easiest difficulty, while this was played on 00 Agent, the hardest. One of the changes on 00 Agent is removing auto-aim, so yeah. Have at it.

Castlevania: Bloodlines is a criminally underrated game. I am extremely fortunate that Travis 'Klaige' Nible shares my opinion. Spear dude is a pretty popular category; 0:30:27 is now the single-segment time to beat with Eric Lecarde on Expert. That's an obsoletion of about a minute and twenty seconds. And really, don't we all have a hunch that the vampire killer is overrated? Listen to the audio commentary for more details.

The Fortress of Solitude has been breached. It saw great success at AGDQ, but eventually Kyle 'Mr. K' Halversen and Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare had to face the facts: their secret wouldn't last. And now the AGDQ mystery game has made its way to the front page. Pocky & Rocky is a pretty sweet game, and two-player runs are pretty sweet, and 0:22:09 is a pretty sweet time. Especially when it comes with audio commentary.

The last game for today is Shogo: Mobile Armour Division. Runner Peter 'Sloth_machine' Madill claims the game is poor; I think that's a shame, because it looks fairly interesting, but long experience has taught me that poor games make for good runs. He has prepared for you a 0:40:42, done using 26 segments. Check it out and tell me what piloting a mech is like.

Normally I end with 'Until next time', or some variant thereof, but circumstances have changed. Unfortunately, this is my last update. I am resigning from any and all SDA-related duties. The reasons are personal, and I don't really feel comfortable going into more detail about them. If that seems curt or abrupt, sorry, but I don't know what else to say. In any case, I'm not vanishing entirely; I'll still be hanging out, maybe going to AGDQ, etc. Thanks for the memories, everyone. It was fun, and I'll see you around.

Thursday, June 27, 2013 by Flip

Most improved

Our first run today will join Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed: Revelations on SDA and complete the Ezio Trilogy. François 'Fed981' Federspiel has run Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood to complete the set. Actually, he deserves credit for the entire trilogy, as he is the runner for all three games as well as the DaVinci Disappearance DLC. He sneaks his way through Brotherhood in 2:23:41, using 72 segments. These are conveniently joined into 11 videos for your viewing pleasure. Get to it!

Next up we have an improvement to the Flash platformer Give Up, Robot. Charles 'Arcanod' Nannan has knocked nearly 40 seconds off of the incumbent time, which is wildly impressive considering the total time is now 0:04:06.03.

Speaking of massive improvements, take a trip over to the Metroid game page and notice the absence of the 0:18:35 warpless time from 2005. Recently resurged Chris 'cak' Knight has chopped a whopping three minutes off of that time, bringing it down to 0:15:36. Vorpal said it's one of the best runs he's seen, so there's a strong endorsement.

Last time I updated, I had the pleasure of posting Mark 'werster' McKenzie's Pokemon Gold run. This time around it's the first generation he's tackling. Well, actually the second incarnation of the first generation. I'm talking about Pokemon Fire Red here, OK? Still along our theme of massive improvements, werster has completed an Elite 4 Round 2 run in 3:52. That's an hour and twenty-four minutes faster than the previously published run from 2008. This category is an oddity for Pokemon games because it actually involves catching pokemon you don't need. Check it out!

Monday, June 24, 2013 by Breakdown

Summer of runs

We'll start things off today with one of the games most responsible for introducing sandbox style anarchy to the gaming masses. I know I played a lot of Grand Theft Auto III with friends back in the day, but we were definitely less focused on progressing the plot than we were on causing as much carnage as possible before going down in a blaze of glory. If your experience was similar, runner 'SCM' is here to remind you there's an actual plot surrounding a number of missions that you can play through from beginning to end. Playing on the PC version, he used four segments on his way from the intro to the ending, finishing with a time of 1:11:57.

Next up we have everyone's favorite game on which to do WR attempts. Our Dark Souls page gets an update today courtesy of runner 'Treynquil'. The run is single segment with resets, and uses the Kiln glitch, finishing in 0:26:58, nearly six minutes faster than our previously hosted run.

Most people who know me can tell you I'm a big fan of classic games, and games don't get much more classic than the original Legend of Zelda. And since we're talking about Zelda 1 in a news post, it should come as no surprise that we're unveil an improvement from runner 'Darkwing Duck'. He's pushed the first quest no up+A run a little bit further, dropping the time down to 0:31:39, a 25 second improvement from his last submission.

From here out it's all new games to SDA. First up is the inaugural run for Amnesia: The Dark Descent. With the piloting of runner Andrew 'Apjjm' Moss, the protagonist doesn't look at all like someone suffering from memory loss. He seems to know exactly where to go and has a working knowledge of how to use everyday items to force himself through those pesky walls. Kidding aside, Andrew put together a large skips run that clocks in at 0:21:54 over 51 segments. These segments have been combined into one file for easy downloading and viewing, so check it out.

Wrapping up the games portion of the update is two runs for the PC's Pathologic. Both runs are brought to you by runner 'Vlad', and both use the Bachelor as their character of choice. First, we have a single segment charge to the bad ending that finishes in 0:33:49. Second is a segmented run that gets the game's normal ending. Final time is 0:45:00 over 4 segments.

One last point of interest today. As many of you already know, SDA's next charity marathon, Summer Games Done Quick, is rapidly approaching. July 25th will mark the start of five straight days of live speedrunning goodness to benefit Doctors Without Borders. It's guaranteed to be a good time, so mark your calendars now. More details will be here on the front page in the weeks to come, but if you want to check out a full schedule and get some other marathon tidbits head over to our marathon website.

Thursday, June 20, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Hi. Me again.

Don't you just love when life decides to take a dump on your plans? Well I have no idea what I'm talking about there, so have another update. Because I like you guys.

First up, we have a rather 'special' game for you: Timecop. As you might expect from the name of this game, someone has performed all manner of unmentionable things at some point in time and it falls to Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel to don his Cyclops-style shades and get in his time machine, which he does, did and will do because time is funny like that. As for the run itself, he manages to pip 20 minutes at the post for a cool 0:19:59 finish. As for why this game is special? Oh you'll see. You'll see.

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire is a neat game. I recall playing the demo version of it on PC ages and ages ago which consisted of the snowspeeder Empires Strike Back style section and loving it, and then I read the book. We don't talk about the book. At any rate, it seems that Alec 'aleckermit' Aster shares a certain affinity for this game as he decided to plow through it on the N64 version in a single-segment 0:50:52 affair, an improvement of 1:07 over his previously submitted run.

Final Fantasy: Anniversary Edition is another of those remakes of Final Fantasy games that Square-Enix seem so fond of releasing. FF1 in particular has been released 11 times for various consoles. Makes you wonder why the name is Final Fantasy if they keep releasing more. At any rate, 'Lenophis' decided that Final doesn't mean what people think it means and decided to redo one of his previous runs for an admirable time of 1:29, an improvement of 9 minutes over his previously submitted time. As much of a sticker as I am for correct usage of words, here's to hoping Final continues to not mean Final as far as speedruns are concerned.

Batman. Everyone's favourite Dark Knight. This game needs no introduction, but I'm going to give it one anyway as it deserves one, if not because it's one of the hardest NES games, but because the music is amazing. Daniel 'dxtr' Eriksson has been going back and forth on this run with some other notable runners and the result is this: a 0:10:19 completion of the game. It wasn't too long ago that people thought sub-10:40 was impossible, but these guys put in the time and the effort and forced the timer lower and lower through alternate strategies and smarter use of subweapons. This run is a 5 seconds faster than our previous best time, which for this game, is huge. So watch it. Batman commands you to.

And last, but certainly not least, a curious game that would probably have angry hate groups against it in some of the more conservative states if it were more well known, E.V.O.: Search for Eden revolves around the evolution of life on Earth, where you get to choose how you evolve. Evolution is a tricky matter, but 'Darkwing Duck' has it on lockdown, churning out this 0:50:30 single-segment gem for us. You know, in many ways, this game is a good poster child for speedrunning, with our constantly improving methods, social networks and tools with the ever-increasing desire to go fast and provide an entertaining experience driving us. Makes you think, doesn't it?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Random Trivia

My experience with the X-Men is watching the old style cartoons, the first and third X-Men films and watching a fairly amusing fandub of a scene involving the Juggernaut. Unfortunately, said scene isn't accurately represented in any video games to date, but I have something even better for you: a speedrun of X-Men 2: Clone Wars! Richard 'rggibson' Gibson has produced this single-segment masterpiece for us, beating the game in 0:26:23, and while the word bitch is not uttered a single time, I'm sure you'll be just as entertained as I was way back then. Now, the title of this update (for those of you that might not have bothered reading it) is Random Trivia, so here's your trivia for this one. You don't get to choose what character you play as at the start. Have fun resetting!

Solar Jetman is one of those games which is much, much harder to play than it looks. It also has an amazing soundtrack (imo). Some might claim the vaunted Sub-Terrania was based on this game. Nonetheless, Dag 'ktwo' Cato once again showed his penchant for playing games too hard for the rest of us*, completing the whole shebang in a mere 0:25:53 on the PAL version. As for your random trivia about this game, the protagonist is a member of the 'Federation of Space Loonies'. Yep.
*read: me

Super Bomberman 3 is a game I can't really say much about. It's Bomberman. You bomb stuff and it explodes. Well, it turns out that 'FunilaSM64' is pretty good at bombing stuff, completing a single-segment run of the game in 0:33:30. Also, the main antagonist is called Bagular. Yeah.

Dynamite Jack is a game I have not heard of before making this post. I've heard of Dynamite Headdy and Mohawk and Headphone Jack, and as much as I'd laugh if it were the case, unfortunately, this game is not an unholy bastard spawn of those two games. Youtube gameplay videos assure me that it actually looks pretty fun, so I might have to pick it up for myself. Anyway, we have a completed IL Table for you guys consisting of all 28 levels, all of which are by the lovely Nathanaël 'Forsaken' Villemin. No completion time because the game timer works in mysterious ways which are incompatible with how SDA works, but you can rest assured that the runs themselves are fast. Trivia: Wikipedia doesn't actually have an article for this game. The top hit is 'List of level editors'.

Portal is a game I am extremely fond of. While it seems to be a shallow husk of its former self now that Portal 2 is a thing, I can still recall reacting to all the little secrets thrown into the game and wondering what the malevolent AI had in store next. Well, here's one answer: a Challenge Mode. Thankfully, Carsten 'djcj' Janssen, with assistance from Nick 'z1mb0bw4y' Roth, is not one to be dissuaded by a possibly psychopathic computer, and completed two sets of ILs for the challenge mode this game offers: Table, one in-bounds only and one that abuses out-of-bounds glitches to skip pretty much everything. As for your trivia: The protagonist is called Chell. Possibly short for Michelle? Possibly.

Lastly, we at SDA are very proud to announce our new and improved Knowledge Base. You'll find it's considerably more user-friendly than the old one, of particular note being the game strategy index. So if you have any interest in speedrunning, head over and check out some tricks for the games you were planning, or start contributing! We have a sub-board on our forums for it here. Many thanks to Mr. K and HonorableJay for working on this for us.

No trivia for that one, though I have it on good authority that Mr. K and HonorableJay are pretty swell guys.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 by Vorpal

Continuance

There are quite a few Castlevania games, a testament to the series' enduring cult popularity. The series has also been popular with runners; a quick glance at the number of vanias on the game list will testify to that. Castlevania: The Adventure expands that list a little further. Mark 'CountNeko' Moses does the Dracula-slaying honors, completing the game in 0:19:43. As a side note, all of the runs in today's update are single-segment.

Everything I read about Congo's Caper makes it sound similar to Toki. You've got some sort of human-ape hybrid trying to rescue a kidnapped girlfriend in cartoony levels. But this time, rather than being a horrible, horrible game which I am ashamed to have reminded Mike about, Congo's Caper actually has, you know, music, and speed, and perhaps even fun. Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel dissected the game, and the end result is 0:20:54. Enjoy.

Strategy games, and especially grand strategy games, have always seemed really hard to plan, at least to me. They just have so many possible route permutations. Koei's Gemfire certainly has more than enough possibilities. Scott 'Scottimus432' Collins, however, has done that particular work, at least for Scenario 4. You're looking at 0:40:30.

The first Mass Effect has consistently been an underdog challenger for glitchy modern runs. Getting to break the game because it doesn't like spawning players in a crouched position? Sounds good to me. It also sounds good to 'your name here'. The new stuff adds up to more than half an hour, bringing the time down to 1:40:05 on the Casual difficulty and with resets.

The last run for today is of True Crime: Streets of LA. Frank 'Softman25' Black does the honors this time around. Reading the comments for this run, it seems that this game isn't an exception to typical open-world games, and likes to arbitrarily destroy runs for no reason. Which makes this time of 0:42:41 more impressive. Download and enjoy.

Until next time.

Thursday, May 30, 2013 by Flip

I'll have another

I'm going to start this update off with a major facelift to the Donkey Kong Country Returns IL table. Usually I like to itemize IL improvements and list them all out, but with 58 levels involved in this batch of improvements, I'll just tell you to go download the entire table and watch all 1:20:24.99 of goodness. The man behind all this is Matthew 'packattack' Flees, and his 58 levels of improvement combine for one minute and 48 seconds saved.

The notion of randomly generated levels seems brutal for speedrunners, but some people can't resist the allure of Spelunky. Barry 'Zohma' Anders has put his patience and skill to the test and he's been able to complete the game in two and a half minutes. This improvement is 23 seconds faster than the incumbent run from 2010.

It seems to me that anytime anybody talks about the Rosenkreuzstilette games, it's always mentioned how surprisingly good they are for being "knockoffs." Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel is no exception. Brian 'bjw' Walker set out to complete this sequel and he did so in 0:32:50.76. It's a great watch, so be sure to check it out.

Our next game features Sega's original poster boy. No, not Sonic, I'm talking about Alex Kidd! Damien 'babeuf' Pegoraro has been working diligently on Alex Kidd in Miracle World and it really shows. Check out his single-segment 0:14:44.

Finally we have the much anticipated improvement to Pokemon Gold. Mark 'werster' McKenzie is the man calling the shots here, and he's delivered a massive 46 minute improvement over the previous run. Werster's run clocks in at 3:29 and has all the Feraligatr you could ever ask for, and more.

Sunday, May 26, 2013 by Breakdown

Arbitrary milestone is arbitrary

Contra speed running has been seeing a lot of activity as of late, and as a result a lot of long standing runs on the site are getting an update. This trend continues today on the low % category of the original game in the series. After a lengthy stay, Freddy 'Frezy-man' Andersson is wiped from the game page and a new age of OG Contra dominance is ushered in with this 0:11:27 run from David Heidman Jr. I, for one, welcome our new Contra overlord.

We'll keep things going with another obsoletion of a run from 2009. Super Dodge Ball gets a facelift today with a healthy improvement to the existing easy difficulty run. Runner 'Darkwing Duck' chopped over a minute off the incumbent run, finishing with a time of 0:05:38. Surely the most intense ball-to-face action you'll find with your safe search on (couldn't resist).

From here on out, it's all new games to SDA. We'll kick off the newcomers with a Mario series game, though it's one of those "why" entries in the Mario series: Mario Is Missing. "Because it's there" was apparently enough reason for runner '__sdfg' to put together a run for it, and he approached the task with zeal, charging through this educational adventure in a very quick 0:21:34.

Co-op runs don't come around too often, but next up we have a co-op run of a game featuring co-op franchises. I'm not really sure why I'm trying to add significance to the somewhat unique classification of the run and game when, judging by the popularity of their AGDQ run, simply stating that Patrick 'PJ DiCesare and Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman have a submission for the NES's Battletoads and Double Dragon: The Ultimate Team should be enough to entice most of you to hurry off and download it. The final time is 0:23:29, be sure to check it out.

Wrapping things up today we have Josh 'funkdoc' Ballard running a game that became a bit of a darling among bad game enthusiasts in recent months, but the Famicom's Holy Diver isn't bad so much as that it's brutal in its difficulty. As is typical of speedruns, though, the difficulty is not at all on display in this 0:18:45 run. If you've played the game, prepare to be amazed. If not, watch it anyway, it's pretty entertaining.

And with these 3 new additions to the game list, SDA hits the mark of 900 games with hosted runs. I've been called out in the past for not shouting out milestone run totals, but they never really struck me as being all that significant personally. It's a cool number to hit, sure, but there's still plenty of games out there without runs, and given the current rate of submissions we'll be up to 1000 before you know it. Though I suppose you can't constantly be looking ahead and need to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. So happy 900 everybody, and thanks to all who have made it possible.

Monday, May 20, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Pah! I scoff at your video game logic.

P.O.W.: Prisoners of War is a terrible depiction of what an actual war is like, with it resembling something more like a Double Dragon game with guns, but if Bloody Wolf style shooting is your thing, this is your run. Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy donned his Contra-style bandana and punched, kicked, stabbed and blasted his way through this fairly entertaining looking game in 0:19:48, which I think puts it in the running for the fastest time in that a military conflict has been resolved, and we are all about them fastest times.

Speaking of poor depictions, Adventure Island does a poor job of depicting an island, with the variance of wildlife, ecosystems and the existence of wild skateboards causing me to scratch my head trying to make sense of things. Dag 'ktwo' Cato had no such issues however, guiding the questionably dressed 'Master Higgins' (Yes, that's the protagonist's name.) safely through the game to rescue his ladyfriend in a smooth 0:43:53. This run is on the PAL version, so maybe your Americanised Adventure Islands make a little more sense than this one.

Darkwing Duck is a tricky one. On one hand, anthropomorphic talking ducks make zero sense in the real world, but on the other hand, I loved watching the cartoons when I was a kid, so I'll let this one slide. While we do have a runner at SDA with the same name as this game, it was none other than Jonathan 'Joka' Karlsson who took the mischievous masked mallard title, donning his cape and stylish hat and getting dangerous to bring us this 0:13:53 wonder.

Speaking of dangerous, you know what else is? Zombies. Having never seen a real one, I can't confirm that as a fact, but if you watch this run of Resident Evil 2, then I think you will come to agree with me on this one. Jake Tabor is not one to let a little thing like danger scare him though, as he braves the undead legions and brings us this 1:17:25 single-segment run on the Claire A game mode.

If you've ever done any reading on Greek Mythology, you'll know that the Greek pantheon are dicks. It may not surprise you to know that the next game features a prominent member of the Greek pantheon, and that he is in fact being a dick. The Battle of Olympus features many members of the Greek pantheon (some of them who aren't actually being dicks to you, a rare occurance) and also many creatures prominent in Greek mythology. Brian 'Boxfat' Ringeisen took it upon himself to defy the gods, doing so in this 0:31:09 display of blasphemy, in which he presumably kicks Hades' arse and rescues the girl. Pretty standard fare for a mythological Greek story, really.

Friday, May 17, 2013 by Vorpal

Easy Theme Finale

I hope y'all have enjoyed the runs so far, and will continue to do so in the future. Definitely been a lot of them put out there this past month, and the queue's been greatly reduced in size as a result. But all good things come to an end, and ultimately there are not enough post-verification runs remaining in the queue to sustain that pace much longer.

Looking forward, we aren't really sure what the update pace will look like. It will certainly be more than our historic once a week with 4-6 runs; if we revert to that, we'll be doing this all over again next year. But as for the exact schedule, I expect we'll be working that out over the next month or two.

Let's have a finale, shall we? Everyone loves a Final Fantasy Finale. Well, actually, the real reason is that I didn't want to take enough runs to perhaps delay the next update if other runs don't move forward quickly, but I am nothing if not opportunistic.

Brian 'Brossentia' Cook decided that Final Fantasy 4 was not quite broken enough. He set out to fix that, in a manner of speaking. The result is clear: some rather bewildering run comments, and this single-segment 2:17:26 with major skips. I have a sneaking suspicion that, some far-flung day in the future, an underflow will have been discovered for every game currently in existence.

Being Final Fantasy themed, the other game has to be completely different, and yet not different in the slightest. Enter Final Fantasy 12. I remember glancing through the forum thread years and years ago, and people were working on runs back then, but the vast scale of this game meant that many projects fizzled out halfway through. William 'Youkai' Welch had that happen to him as well, but he persevered. The end result is 6:35:17, done in 40 segments and with Youkai's trademark audio commentary.

That's all for today. Until next time.

Thursday, May 16, 2013 by Flip

Just some falling water

You would have seen this update last night, but bad storms in my area knocked out my power, and the internet was down all night. Oh well.

First off today we have a speed run of one of the games that defined the FPS genre - Wolfenstein 3D. When it was originally released, Wolfenstein 3D contained a single episode; however, now there are six. Karim 'Kimo Xvirus' El-Sheikh has seen to all six episodes on 'I Am Death Incarnate' difficulty. The total time is 0:27:14.

Next we have a game that I thought has always been interesting from a speed run perspective. In Viewtiful Joe, the player can speed up play to move faster, or slow down play to gain more power. A speed run has to find the proper balance between power and speed... and Voomerangs. The player in this case is Tom 'tminator64' Parr and he blazes through the Kids difficulty in a single-segment 0:29:46. Seriously, fear the Voomerang.

Finally we have some IL improvements to the recently published any% table for Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Zachary 'zewing' Ewing has improved 5 levels in the table. The total improvement of 52 seconds brings the table time down to 1:24:36. We have -

Notice when these runs were verified (1 2 3). Nearly all of the runs we have ready to post have been verified in the last month. The Big Push is working!

Friday, May 10, 2013 by Vorpal

Not slowing down

This update should have been a little bigger, and perhaps a little earlier, but there's been a recent rash of runs with minor technical problems in the final encodes. They'll be coming shortly, I'm sure. In any case, don't worry; even though there are only five more paragraphs, this might be pushing the record for most runners in a single update.

Let's start with the oldest run currently in the queue. Tunnel Rats is, for once, a game based off a Uwe Boll movie (instead of vice-versa). 'Kotti' has been blazing through many games as of late, and this is part of that bumper crop. Check out this 0:21:13 in 8 segments on Easy difficulty, and be glad you don't have to step into a boxing ring to watch.

La-Mulana is a game I've been meaning to play for years now. I played a few minutes of it years back, but couldn't figure out anything to do and eventually got distracted and never went back. Travis 'Solairflaire' Hofman, however, proves that even if it might take me years (and counting) to beat it, it doesn't take years to run. Enter his single-segment 1:47:27, which obsoletes the previous run by about forty minutes. It may be of comparable length to the latest Indy movie, but I'm pretty sure it's more entertaining.

I promised a lot of players, and it's time to deliver on that. When you hear the words David Heidman Jr. and Kyle 'Mr. K' Halversen, I hope you think Contra, because that's what you're getting. The Contra Conference produced good results, of which this 2-player 0:10:06 is only the first. Given how hard coordination between two players is, you really wanna give this a watch.

Contra III: The Alien Wars is a weird title. Are the other Contra games not wars involving aliens? It doesn't make sense to me. In any case, thanks to my extremely subtle foreshadowing it should be no surprise that there's a sweet 2-player run you want to watch. Jonas 'Hurblat' Martinsson and Kyle 'Mr. K' Halversen are proud to present this Hard difficulty run in 0:13:48. They also included an audio commentary, so check that out.

Two runs, three players? Greater than average, but not by much. What really gets interesting is when 'Ridley 64', 'Random', 'ARF', 'guwa', Peter 'Zil', Christian 'DarkDespair5' Walker, and Jeffrey 'I have no name' Bardon all team up on a run. The game is Touhou Bunkachou ~ Double Spoiler. The game has 108 scenes, so filling up an IL table is quite a feat. There's no total time, since the timer counts down (so higher is better), but you can check the table out here.

Until next time.

Edit - There was a problem with the Double Spoiler files. More specifically, 27 of the levels had older versions posted, and that necessitated replacing them with the proper files. If you were torrenting you'll need to redownload and start a new torrent. Sorry for the trouble!

Monday, May 6, 2013 by UraniumAnchor

Tiny but Huge

While I'm not a name that's been on the front page before, at least not in this capacity, I imagine that a good portion of you already know who I am. I've been regularly visiting this site for almost four and a half years now, when I first noticed that the site was lacking a Prince of Persia run and I decided to fix that problem. Countless hours of blood, sweat, tears, and more than a little cooperation later, and here I am, writing an update for you.

Before I get into the videos, though, I wanted to say a few words. This site is entirely user-driven. All of the content presented to you is created by the visitors. Even a good portion of the current staff members got their start just from wanting to produce runs for the site. When I started coming here nearly everything was done manually, and by far fewer people than are involved in the site now. I look back at the month my first run was posted, and every news update bar one was written by the same person. I can't imagine that sort of thing working now given the pace that runs come in. This site wouldn't be what it is today without all of the amazing runners that continue to produce content, whether it's for the bragging rights or just because of the personal challenge of wanting to see how far they can push a time down. Even if all you are is a +1 on the viewer count in a runner's stream, I thank you. This community is strong and I trust that it will continue to be so.

Speaking of the community, the generosity never ceases to astound me. It seems like every week now there's another live marathon event supporting a charity of some sort. Literally hundreds of players showing off their skills to support one good cause or another. In particular, AGDQ raising over half a million dollars for cancer research over the last three years continues to blow me away. On a personal note, last Sunday, April 28th, one of my mother's long-time friends, a man she'd known for 17 years, a man who in the late 90s gave my family the first computer I could call a proper gaming PC (though in earlier years I also had a C64 and an Amiga on top of all my consoles), lost a year-long battle with esophageal cancer. Two days ago I attended his funeral. The money that this community continues to pour into PCF and the dozens of other worthy charities that I continue to see getting supported means that fewer people will have to go through what he did, whether it's from cancer or some other ailment. I look forward to the day when an online charity marathon breaks the 7 digit mark. We all know it will happen.

But enough about that, you aren't here for my soapboxing, you're here to watch awesome speedruns.

First off we have a tiny improvement, but it's only tiny when taken absolutely. In a run as short as Half Minute Hero, a 0:00:11.55 by Jim 'dowolf' Dobler in the Hero 3 category is a large difference, just under a second faster than the previous 12.48. Don't blink.

Who doesn't know Ninja Turtles? Unfortunately I haven't played TMNT (2007) at all, but Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe has provided a table of the challenge levels, adding up to 0:04:49.890, with lots of flipping and wall climbing. Unfortunately, I didn't spot any pizza.

Those of you who watched AGDQ probably saw what happens when two brothers try to play co-op. Lots of new tricks have been found since the last co-op Sonic 3 & Knuckles run, and months of effort by Mike 'mike89' McKenzie and Mark 'werster' McKenzie results in the 0:30:05 you see before you today, over seven minutes cut off the old time. Unfortunately we don't know how much arguing occurred during the run, but some of us can guess.

Staying with Mike for a moment, a new addition to the Wario Land 4 page, this time with a S-Hard, Single Segment w/Resets run done in 1:07:02. I haven't played the game myself, but having watched his streams on many occasions, S-Hard mode hides necessary story items in some pretty devious places and doesn't give you a lot of wiggle room with damage taking. Watch it, you won't be disappointed.

Finally, William 'Youkai' Welch has provided us with an improvement to Gears of War. His new Insane segmented run in 1:34:57 is a 22 minute improvement to his old run, no small feat on a category this unforgiving. Given the numbers in his comments, it took him quite a while to get this run.

See you next time.

Sunday, May 5, 2013 by Breakdown

Feast and famine

When sorting through the runs to post today, I was a little surprised to learn that to this point we didn't have a run for the original Crash Bandicoot. This hole in our catologue is getting plugged today, however, thanks to the work of Trent 'CaneofPacci' Lowry. Trent kicks off this title's game page with a single segment 100% run with deaths which finishes in a brisk 1:21:19.

One thing that definitely didn't surprise me in plotting out this update was how few Saturn runs we're currently hosting. That total gets a +1 today, though, with the addition of Saturn Bomberman to our game list. Tony 'ZenicReverie' Foster blasts his way through this Saturn exclusive in a brisk 0:47:09.

Wii Ware games are another thing we don't see too many runs for, but there's a definitely a handfull of titles on the platform that are very speedrunner friendly. If you ask Christian Kudahl, Jett Rocket is one such title, and he demonstrates as much with a single segment run that clocks in at 0:40:29.

One thing we have no shortage of is segmented PC runs, but there's always room for more. Bolstering our total today is this run of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat from Daniel 'rayvex' Babik. Daniel uses 16 segments (which have been conveniently combined into a single file) to fly through The Zone in a very quick 0:38:58.

Further illustrating the point beginning the previous paragraph is runner 'zawj' with his offering on Giants: Citizen Kabuto. 49 segments were used in this 1:13:59 run, an improvement of close to eight minutes over the run we've been hosting. No single file package for this one, but we have torrents to make your life easier.

Wrapping up the update we have two runs that both fit categories we have pretty decent coverage of on the site: Batman games and runs by Josh 'funkdoc' Ballard. For starters, Josh adds Batman: Return of the Joker to our game list, charging through it in 0:13:40. Josh also gives a quick reminder on the what the Joker is returning from with a run of the original NES Batman. A lot of new tech has been found for this game since the last run was posted, and that's very apparent in this 0:10:24 run, a 47 second improvement. As good as this run is, though, there's a very recent improvement already submitted to SDA, and thanks to our recent surge of posting it'll be up very shortly, so get this one while you can.

Friday, May 3, 2013 by Vorpal

Keep on truckin

After helping plan NHG's Another World runs, Alexey 'Archanfel' Vishnevskiy decided to run a game himself. He chose a game in the same genre: Bermuda Syndrome, and NHG completed the circle by helping plan. Archanfel got the time down to 0:49:56 in 39 segments.

The Counter-Strike: Condition Zero: Deleted Scenes IL table gets an update today. Albin 'quadrazid' Sigby and Max 'coolkid' Lundberg teamed up to shave off over 20 minutes from the table, resulting in 1:21:42. The scenes may be deleted, but these runs aren't.

Little Big Planet has its existing single-segment run joined by an IL table today. Tad 'RabidJellyfish' Cordle finishes off all the levels with a total time of 0:57:00. I wonder if there's a jellyfish skin for Sackboy?

Every SimCity needs a mayor, and what better mayor than Kyle 'Mayor K' Halversen? I don't think I've heard of anyone playing this game without using the money glitch, and this single-segment in 0:31:18 is no exception. In other news, nobody in this town is afraid of natural disasters anymore, partially because they listened to Mr. K's audio commentary.

Solomon's Key has been used. 'ktwo' has updates for both of his existing single-segment runs. He beats the game in 0:15:28, about 30 seconds faster, and if you prefer the best ending then that comes in at two minutes faster, or 0:33:41. Good stuff.

Lots of Oddworld games have been making it to the front page lately, and Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is no exception. Brody 'Rody B. ToMMon' Taylor stranges through the strange land, saving the Grubbs with 100% in an 18-segment 3:23:44. This is also the only Oddworld game that doesn't have 'odd' somewhere in the subtitle, and more importantly doesn't make me question the spelling of another word.

That's all for today. See you around.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by Flip

Audio Commentary out the Whizzoo

All but one of today's runs have one thing in common- they all have audio commentary. The only run going up today without it is Shadow Complex. Jordan 'Greenalink' Greener had already taken this game under 10 minutes, but he's out to improve it again with his New Game + run in 0:05:14 with resets. It may not have audio commentary but as far as I'm concerned this run speaks for itself.

For those of you who have been around for a while, this next game needs no introduction. For those of you who are new to SDA, run away. It's Mohawk and Headphone Jack. Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare seems to have fooled himself into liking this game, because he not only has beaten his Warps run, but he's provided a Warpless run as well. Although the casual viewer probably can't tell the difference, I'll tell you that the Warps run in 0:29:02 as well as the Warpless run in 0:44:01 are both an excellent watch. Listen to the included audio commentary on both to give yourself a chance of understanding what it is you're seeing.

Next we have the Final Fantasy game that started them all! Well, actually Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition is like the 6th reincarnation of the original, but close enough. Lenophis is the man at the wheel here, and his single-segment run clocks in at 1:38. You'll have to watch this run and listen to the audio commentary quickly though, because an improvement has already been accepted and is heading towards the front page.

Speaking of re-imaginings older games in a series, next up we have Double Dragon Neon. Besides just punches and kicks, Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy uses every tool he can find to beat down everything in his way. I spied a whip, a baseball bat, a wrench, and a sword as I was scanning through the run myself. Sounds brutal. Listen to the provided audio commentary as you watch his single-segment 0:38:01.

Some of you may remember the name Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare. If you don't, you should probably see a doctor because he's literally three paragraphs up. His victim this time around is Whizz. Less than 2 months ago, we posted PJ's 0:18:08 to the front page. Lots of major route revisions have brought about his improved 0:16:10. Two minutes off of a run less than twenty minutes long is nothing to scoff at. Neither is PJ's audio commentary, so give it a listen while you watch.

Another game that hasn't been out of the news for very long is Super Punch-Out!!. Earlier this month we posted fifteen new IL runs to the Super Punch-Out!! page, and today I'm happy to say we have an improved single-segment run to go with them. Zack 'Zallard1' Allard has shaved 30 in-game seconds off of the previous time, which is astounding considering the previous time was 0:03:24.97. Check out Zallard1's new 0:02:54.05 and listen to the audio commentary as well!

April may be over but we're not quite done (big) pushing yet. Stay tuned for more.

Monday, April 29, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Oh, it's on.

While it's true that real men are able to innovate when tasked with writing an update containing a full list of games they have not played before, it is also true that lesser men are able to start memes regarding other updaters nicknames, such as 'Breakdown? More like Breakclown, amirite?'. Real men should therefore be more careful with their updates lest this sort of thing propagate itself. Please note that I am definitely not in no way endorsing not using this particular anti-line of text in the presence of certain other updaters.

Speaking of updaters, I am one and therefore shall supply you with an update. First off, we have a run of the interestingly named Bad News Baseball. Rest assured that the game making it to our front page is in no way bad news no matter what the game name might lead you to assume, and that all baseball displayed within is within acceptional boundaries for speedrun conditions. Richard 'rggibson' Gibson knocks the opposition out of the park in this speedy 02:32 single-segment run, no doubt filled with home runs and other baseball related terminology.

Moving on, we have a rather mind-blowing segmented run of Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal by Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery and Eli 'Smilge' Chase, and those of you who have played this game before should probably swallow whatever drinks you may be consuming before you read the completion time: a mere 05:11. To give this a little perspective, this is an improvement of a whopping 31:51 over the previous record. I strongly recommend you have a copy of the run comments handy while watching this, because the level of glitching and game abuse going on in here makes the 3D Zelda titles look tame.

Gunman Clive is a recent game, so recent in fact that it has no wikipedia article for me to blag information from for my update, so barring that, I'll resort to assuming the game plays similarly to how it's titled. So for those of you who want to watch a speedrun of a game wherein a man named Clive who also wields a gun has to do stuff, then this is the run for you. For those of you who would rather I look harder for information, tough. Jordan 'Greenalink' Greener has completed an IL table for us, with a total time of 12:05.84, no doubt full of action packed gunmanly manlyness. And bullets. Who can resist such a combination?

Having played Left 4 Dead myself, I'm therefore qualified to write a real update about it. 'Freezard' took it upon himself to improve the existing IL table by a little over 7 minutes total, for a final time of 38:15. He's also included a fully detailed list of comments for every level improvement, so make sure to keep those handy while you watch him completely disregard what normal people would do in a zombie outbreak situation and gun down his own teammates before running off faster than Francis can say, "I hate teamkillers".

Castlevania: Dracula X is a game about a man dressed in leather who has a whip and fights demonic crime. Said leather-dressed man also moves much faster while backflipping, which both looks hilarious and makes for an interesting speedrun. Bruno 'mabru' Rosini demonstrates his acrobatic proficiency in this bad-ending single-segment run in 16:53, and while I'm not sure what the bad ending constitutes, if it involves you flicking the business end of your whip into Dracula repeatedly it can't be that bad, right?

I am of the personal opinion that Robots are Cool. I must therefore disagree with the name of the next game in this update on a fundamental level; Give Up, Robot is one of those flash games that we've been seeing more and more of, and while the name offends me mildly, I actually think this one is pretty cool. Zach 'ZachSK' Kessler has provided us with a single-segment run of this little gem that beats the game in 04:44.13, which makes it the perfect run to watch while you're taking a short break from watching the next run in the update...

...which leaves us with the final game in the update; Xenoblade Chronicles is one of those JRPG thingies that are all the rage these days, and will therefore be the longest run in the update. Being a modern JRPG, you might be surprised that Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe was able to complete a NewGame+ single-segment run of this game in a mere 3:40, a far cry from some of the times the other monstrous JRPGs this site features boast, and the better for it. Sir VG has also included run comments of a size appropriate for the run time, so those of you who like reading about runs while watching them should give those a browse as well; for those of you who don't, this run also features audio commentary, so you don't have to! Win win.

Sunday, April 28, 2013 by Breakdown

I've totally played all of these. Totally.

Real men put on a brave face when called upon to write about seven games they've never played before. It's in the man handbook sandwiched between refusing to ask for directions and never calling a repair man when there's perfectly good duct tape on hand.

Let's kick things off with the lone improvement of the day, and what an improvement it is. Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody puts the PS2's Castlevania: Lament of Innocence through the wringer with a number of new tricks, glitches, and strategies from the previous single segment run. The result is a time over sixteen minutes faster, clocking in at 0:34:58. Looking at the game page you'll notice a bunch of different categories with long standing runs. With the new finds you have to wonder how much longer those will be sticking around

The Sly Cooper series is one with a strong following, and that contingent should be happy to see another installment in the series get a run hosted on the site today. Sly 2: Band of Thieves gets a 100% run added to the gamelist today thanks to the efforts of James 'cooopercrisp' Mernin. Everything the game has to offer is completed in 6:38 over 54 segments.

I'm willing to bet a good chunk of our readers have never heard of Disaster: Day of Crisis, it being a more recent game that was never released in the US, but for the importers, Europeans, Japanese, and Australians out there, it might be one you know and love. Either way, you're bound to get some entertainment out of this new game+ run from Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe. Playing on normal difficulty and using 24 segments, he saves the populace from an assortment of not so natural disasters and puts a stop to their source in 2:09:23.

Despite never being much good at them myself, I've always really enjoyed runs of Mega Man games. Fortunately for me (and others in the same boat), the series is very popular among speedrunners, with the overwhelming majority of the titles in the series having runs available on the site, and that majority gets a little bit more overwhelming today with the addition of the Game Boy's Mega Man IV. Runner Will 'willwc' Blatt blazes through this monochromatic Mega Man adventure in a very quick 0:41:55.

We'll keep the huge series theme running for one more game, though this one doesn't have quite the same representation as the previous one. The Might and Magic series has been going strong for decades, but today we're seeing only our second speedrun for it with Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer. I'm not sure exactly how much gameplay time this RPG boasted on the back of the box, but I have a sneaking suspiscion runner 'gammadragon' makes a mockery of that number with this 0:17:12 run with deaths. The run used 16 segments, but they've been appended to a single file for easy downloading and viewing.

So I've been winging my way through this update, but it's been pretty easy for most of these games as they're at least from series I'm varying degrees of familiar with. Legend of Grimrock offers me no such luxury, but in doing some research on it, it seems like a pretty cool game. I may personally hold off on watching this 1:01:35 run in 23 segments from Alex 'Pongsifu' Biffar until I've played through it myself, but for the rest of you, get it while it's fresh.

Friday, April 26, 2013 by Vorpal

Trilogies are boring

The first game we have for you today is Armadillo Run. If you're a fan of Rube Goldberg machines, you'll want to check this one out. Scott 'Sendai45' Barnkow has helpfully provided a set of individual-level runs for all 50 levels; they total up to 0:05:58.63.

Half-Life's enduring popularity shows no signs of decaying any time soon. Enter Fabrizio 'Superfrizzio' Rossebastiano. Superfrizzio opts to play on the rather different European release of the PS2 version, and he puts up a single-segment 01:06:06 on hard.

The Hitman series has been one of those series I've kinda wanted to try, but never quite got around to. That problem is not shared by 'Kotti', 'msqrt', or Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery. They've collaborated on an individual level table for Hitman: Blood Money. Or more specifically, a NewGame+, Silent Assassin, 100% table on the Professional difficulty in 0:22:50. That's a mouthful.

Lately we have had several Xbox Live Indie Games hit the site. That pattern continues with Ophidian Wars: Opac's Journey. Jess 'JTB' Blouch uses deaths to clear the interesting platformer in a swift single-segment 0:10:51.11.

Not enough games give me the opportunity to channel Chomsky, but Sniper: Ghost Warrior is one of them. Tim 'Judgy' Kedge has sent in a set of individual level runs. They come in at 0:38:25 on the Easy difficulty. Perhaps these vids will give you something to watch as you wait silently in the jungle?

This update had plenty of military-themed games. Syphon Filter 3 is definitely one of them. Terrorists blowing stuff up have been in the news lately (my condolences to anyone affected by the Boston bombings), so I guess it's fitting that we post a game originally delayed by the 9-11 attacks? I'm sure Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll was not thinking such morbid thoughts when he set out to do this speedrun. Have a look at his 01:14:32, done on the European version using 19 segments.

The NES version of Ultima III: Exodus is interesting to me. Partially because of its history, and partially because, after posting an Abe's Exoddus run, I keep having to double-check how I'm spelling the word. Neil 'PresJPolk' Stevens has faced the game in single-segment fashion, and defeated it in a solid 0:43:37. Clearly he dislikes it when computers act up.

That's all the runs today, but there's also an event worth mentioning. Tomorrow (4/27) at 9 AM EDT/3 PM central european time, the folks at the Olymptronica video game festival in Berlin are going to be hosting a live speedrunning competition. Adam 'AdamAK' Kuczynski and Max "coolkid" Lundberg are going to be competing in that. That link is a link to the stream; head on over and hit the follow button, and if you're around tomorrow you just might catch some of the action. That's all for today; until next time.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 by Flip

Can you tell I haven't played any of these? Part 2

Kicking things off tonight, we have Crash Bandicoot. It's been a whole week since we had Crash in an update so I know many of you were missing him. Today, Peter 'PeteThePlayer' Tissen has given us his run of Crash Tag Team Racing. His run on the European version with large skip glitches clocks in at 0:52:22.

Alpha Protocol seems like a pretty awesome game, even though I had never heard any mention of it before we got a submission of it. Sounds like Knights of the Old Republic with a stealthy side. Frank 'Softman25' Black seems to like it, considering he ran through it in 1:33:20 using resets.

I love when already short runs are beaten by a sizable margin. An improvement of a couple minutes is impressive for an hour long run, but mostly unheard of for a run under 10 minutes. That's just what Joel 'George' Hall has done to Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. He's brought the time down from 0:05:47 to 0:03:55. After watching this run all I can say is kids, don't try this at home. Stay inside with your video games where it's safe.

Next up we've got another short run, this time of the Flash game Don't Look Back. It's made by the same guy who made VVVVVV, so if you thought VVVVVV was beautiful wait until you feast your eyes on this one. Charles 'Arcanod' Nannan shoots his way from the grave, to the underworld, and back again in 0:04:18.

A few of the runs recently posted have been out of the first batch of public verifications in SDA history. These next runs of Tobe's Vertical Adventure were also publicly verified. Greg 'Setz' Tyndall has run this game 3 different ways! First, we have single segment runs as both playable characters- 0:15:54 as Tobe and 0:15:10 as Nana. Greg also did a segmented co-op run with 'Gumboman' and completed it in 0:13:48.

Monday, April 22, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Can you tell I haven't played any of these?

Let's start you off big. We've got a new entry for the longest run on the site, Grandia, weighing in at a hefty (yet impressive) 13:32:02 in 97 segments by 'Chris-X'.

Mafia 2 is another new addition to our gamepages, with an impressive 3:28 segmented completion by Mirko Brown.

If you've been at SDA for any appreciable amount of time, you may have heard of PJ's bad game exchange system. If you have not, you should familiarise yourself here. Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy completed a run of the colourfully named Musya: The Classic Japanese Tale of Horror in 20:21. In exchange, Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel had to complete a run of the equally colourfully named Radical Rex, and did so in 25:40 on the Easy difficulty. Which of these two was the bigger victim? You decide.

Quake runs are traditionally impressive to me as Quake is a game that requires incredible precision in movement and aiming, and Quake 2 runs are no less impressive. Jozsef Szalontai continues that tradition with this 14:00 segmented run of the first expansion, Quake 2: The Reckoning.

We have two runs of the Penumbra series of games for you; a segmented run of Penumbra: Overture in 18:55 by 'Kotti', and a segmented run of Penumbra: Requiem in 21:58, also by 'Kotti'.

Finally, our very own UraniumAnchor has created some equal parts amusing and amazing Highlight and Blooper reels of the most recent AGDQ marathon. You guys should check them out. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll laugh until you cry. I guarantee it.

Sunday, April 21, 2013 by Breakdown

Rush job

This update was written in a bit of a hurry as The Big Push cares not for busy weekend schedules (it's still Sunday somewhere, I'm counting it as on time). I don't even have time for a snarky reply to Vorpal as I need to rush to post his Hokuto No Ken run. Oh wait, that doesn't exist. He should finish up his own runs before trying to get a little retribution by coming after mine.

Our catalogue of Contra series runs is already rather large and impressive, but there's always room for more, and today's addition to that list has so much shirtless, alien-blasting action that it can't even be contained to a single screen. Be sure to check out an unparalleled display of dual-screened manliness from Kyle 'Mr. K' Halversen on the DS's Contra 4. He charges through the game's hard difficulty in a brisk 0:24:37.

Simarly to the Contra series, SDA also boasts a wide variety of Final Fantasy games, but again we're adding one to the total today. Well, sticklers for details may point out Final Fantasy Legend II is actually a SaGa title, but to them I say the game's title is plenty good enough to include it as another tally on the list. Ryan 'Poxnor' Vogt blazes through this handheld RPG in a single segment, clocking in with a final time of 0:34:26.

Fun fact about Dash Galaxy in the Alien Asylum: when I was a kid and got the chicken pox my parents got me the game to keep me busy while I was home sick. Despite this fact, I still love them. It's a horrible game, and deserves the absolute destruction Kevin 'neskamikaze' LaLonde brings to it in this 0:06:46 run. I find watching it cathartic, I hope you all enjoy it similarly.

Let's keep the bad NES game train a rolling for one more entry, though this next one looks like fine art compared to Dash Galaxy, and does have a pretty rocking soundtrack at the very least. Fester's Quest is making its way onto the game list today courtesy of runner Brian 'Brossentia' Cook. Why Uncle Fester is pitted against aliens is a mystery to me, but with Brian's piloting he proves to be more than up to the task, foiling their plot in a very quick 0:24:35.

Moving on to more popular and well regarded fare, we have a new run for the warps category of Super Mario Bros. 2. It's been close to six years since the category has seen an update, but runner Chris 'cak' Knight knocked over 20 seconds off the incumbent time. The resulting 0:08:52 is quite something, be sure to give it a watch.

Next up, we have a new run for the fiercely competitive and SRL Season 1 entry Ninja Gaiden. The improvements for this one just keep coming, with the latest entry to the game page being this 0:12:00 run from Daniel 'Dxtr' Eriksson. Whether you're a racer trying to shave some seconds off your time or just a fan of the game wanting to see it get wrecked, this run is sure to have what you're looking for.

We'll wrap things up today with I game I feel pretty safe saying everyone reading this has played at one point or another. The run for the long time Start menu standard Minesweeper has gotten an improvement to the Intermediate difficulty setting. Kamil Muranski bested his own already amazing time by a few tenths of a second (which is basically years in high level Minesweeper circles), dropping the time down to 0:00:07.03. Click that link and prepare to be amazed, just be careful not to blink.

Friday, April 19, 2013 by Vorpal

Bright neon lights

I learned, when researching this update, that there are several different versions of Batman Returns. There's the SNES version, which I know nothing about, there's the infamously bad Genesis/Megadrive version, and then there's the subject of this update, unique and forgotten Sega Master System version. Adam 'AdamAK' Kuczynski, true to the spirit of the Dark Knight, makes use of large-skip glitches to get around everything. The time to beat is 0:01:41 on Hard.

Kiss: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child is a run that was stuck in verification hell for a very long time. This push of updates has brought a lot of those out, and hopefully Thomas Sturm's run will now find the audience it deserves. Have a look at this 0:51:16 in 30 segments, on Lullaby difficulty.

A lot of people are going to be excited when they see the name of this next game: Super Mario Galaxy 2. 'nemi' has decided not to let Bowser have his way for too long. The end result is a 3:17:50 single-segment using Bank Toad. Enjoy.

Pitfall II: Lost Caverns has been recommended to me by multiple people as one of the best early platformers. This flies in the face of common knowledge, which has it that the only game on the Atari 2600 was E.T. I guess people really liked pits back then. Regardless, Chris 'cak' Knight knows what's up, and hopefully this 100% single-segment in 0:09:47 will entertain you, as it is exactly three minutes faster than the previous run. I'm definitely watching it as soon as I'm done with this update.

It isn't often we see 30-minute obsoletions. Pokemon Crystal has provided just that. Mark 'werster' McKenzie has been blazing through quite a few Pokemon games lately, and this gem is one of the fruits of his labor. I'll stop making terrible puns and just link the single-segment 3:24 already. Be sure to check out the audio commentary as well.

Along with the Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island any% run we posted back around the beginning of December, Andy 'Carl Sagan' Diamos's sent some any% individual levels in at around the same time. But 54 levels, with 3 qualities per level, is just a lot of things to have to manage, and more than a couple IL tables have been held up due to technical problems and so on. In short, these runs had a long and torturous road to the front page, but now they're here, and you're looking at 1:25:28 for the whole game. Swag is: on.

A lot of people are going to tune out Touhou Bunkachou ~ Shoot the Bullet because it has Touhou in the title. If you do, that's a mistake. If the words puzzle-shmup hybrid sound at all interesting, you should check out the IL table. 'Giant Catfish' is responsible for 84 of the 85 stages, with 'fsvgm777' pulling an assist on 5-7.

That's all the runs for today, but not everything I have to say. SpeedRunsLive has launched Seasons, which is: a total reset of leaderboards/points every 3 months, along with a selection of a dozen featured games where, if you place well in a category, you get a small permanent award/prize/thingy at the end of the three months. You can see the list of games/categories here. It's a really cool excuse to play games you would otherwise not have bothered with, along with a bunch of other people who will be learning along with you.

I've picked up Meat Boy personally. It's kinda amusing; Breakdown's been playing Super Metroid for a while, musclin' in on my turf, and now I'm striking back. Consider this a warning: if you continue your aggressive behavior, I'll show you up by going after Ristar as well! Also, Meat Boy's a fun game.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 by Flip

Treasure Hunting

Our first game tonight is one I have wanted on this site for quite a while. Today we finally have a run of LittleBigPlanet. Brian 'Brossentia' Cook has provided us with a single segment 1:11:55.

When this next game was posted to the site the first time, I figured it would never be beaten. I mean, who can top a speedwalk? How many speedrun strats could Dear Esther have? Apparently there's a way to walk faster and 'S.' walks all over that island in 0:19:38.

Next up, we have a run that features one of my favorite obese adventurers. Mike 'mike89' McKenzie is the man behind this speedrun of Wario Land 4. Mike plunders all the chests and shoulder charges through in 0:52:05, with resets.

We're not done with mike89 yet, oh no. He's got another character who's out to find some treasure in his run of QuackShot. Mike has shaved nearly 5 minutes off of the incumbent run from 2005. Check out his 0:27:34.

Although I haven't played this next game, it's quite clear that Jared 'FieryBlizzard' Klein makes it look much, much easier than it really is to fly through VVVVVV. This 100% run has its ups and downs (no, I couldn't resist), and clocks in at 0:17:48.

Wrapping things up, we've got two runs of Resident Evil 5 to add to the existing multiplayer run. Japanese runner 'NaP-Pe' has provided us with a Desperate Escape scenario run as Jill in 0:11:23 as well as a Lost in Nightmares scenario run as Chris in 0:08:27. All of these are great watches, so be sure to check them out!

Monday, April 15, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Aliens, Dragons, and Questionably Dressed Men

Let's start you off with the questionably dressed part of the update. I've always had a soft spot for Castlevania games, even though I've only played the more modern 'metroidvania' types. Regardless, this single-segment run of Castlevania: Bloodlines was a treat to watch for me. Travis 'Klaige' Nible puts John Morris (the whip guy) through his paces in a frankly amazing 30:46, almost a full minute faster than his previous time. Oh, and he does it on Expert difficulty too.

We've got two new sets of runs on the more recent Castlevania: Harmony of Despair. James 'Aftermath' Downing has completed a NewGame+ Soma Hardmode IL table (try saying that 5 times fast) of the game in 06:52.34. On top of that, he's teamed up with Richter afficionado Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman and game destroyer Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare to put together a coop NewGame+ Hardmode IL table in 06:33.10. So if you want to see a man in a bathrobe divekick bouncing off skulls up a pyramid, or some equally fashionably impaired individuals somehow warping their way to Dracula's room before he's even had time for breakfast, you should watch these runs.

Rounding out the Castlevania block, we have updates to every level in the IL table of Castlevania: Chronicles, bringing the total time down to 22:46.80, all of which are done by Nick 'Former Human' Marts. I'm not as familiar with this game as I am the others, but I'm sure the viewers will be able to pick up on at least 3 different things wrong with the protagonists attire.

On the Dragons side of things, Matt 'Crash41596' Leblanc has submitted an any% Single-Segment run of Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage to us, beating the previous run by a little shy of 5 minutes for a time of 29:23. I am assured that this run has more than its fair share of spinning dragons, and as the run category includes large-skip glitches, you can be assured that said spinning dragons will be doing things that would make the Castlevania guys jealous.

Last but very much not least, the Aliens part. Alien Shooter wastes no time in describing its gameplay, and for those of you who enjoy watching aliens being shot with a variety of weapons, you won't be disappointed. Mihail 'horned' Petrov blasts through the swarms of xenos in a time that would make even the Warhammer 40k folks jealous, a brisk 17:59, and to top it all off, this is done low%.

Until next time.

Sunday, April 14, 2013 by Breakdown

80s style bad runs

For the benefit of our younger readers, bad used to mean good, or swag, or whatever the kids are saying down at the sock hop these days.

We'll start off with what prompted this decades old vernacular lesson: a run of Bad Dudes by Sean 'MURPHAGATOR' Murphy. Sean shows that he has a more than sufficient amount of bad to his dudeness to rescue the president, completing the task in a brisk 0:14:37.

Next up, runner, SDA timer, and screenshot taker extraordinaire Matan 'IsraeliRD' Weissman (seriously, give this guy some props, and tell him to buy a capture card) puts on a display of turtle abuse that would make the likes of Mario and Shredder look like card carrying PETA members, but insane reptilian violence is what the flash game Epic Combo! is all about. While far greater carnage is possible given time, you won't see the requisite amount of shelled destruction doled out faster than this 0:01:57.67 run, check it out.

Janitors don't get nearly the respect they deserve for the work that they do, and this surely wouldn't be the case if ninja janitors were more commonly seen in the occupation. Sadly, the ninja variety is not seen to often, and is possibly exclusively represented in the game Dustforce. Runner Mark 'Marksel' van den Broek viciously slays all the dirt and grime that gets in his way in a new game+ completion of the game with deaths. He clears the final stage at 0:35:29, far less time than it takes your average cleaning crew to get a job done.

There was one universal truth in 80s and 90s: everything was better in 3-D, which I'm sure was a driving factor in the design of Jim Power: Lost Dimension in 3-D. Regrettably, the 3-D effect was less eye-popping and more nausea inducing, but this fact didn't deter Josh 'Funkdoc' Ballard in his speedrunning pursuits. Playing on the game's hard difficulty, he blazes through the static foregrounds and parallax backgrounds in 0:26:52. Josh is also known for super informative commentary, so it should be no surprise the encode has a commentary track included, so be sure to get the download.

The Ultima series is commonly overlooked when RPG fans rattle off their favorites, but considering the longevity of the series and the number of installments it undoubtedly has its fans. Hopefully, that crowd will come out of the woodwork today for Jeff Feasel's work on the NES version of Ultima: Quest of the Avatar. Watch one of the least linear console RPGs ever released get wrecked in a very quick 1:58:41.

Wrapping things up today, we have some new runs for the quirky RPG-esque Half-Minute Hero. We have both a complete IL table for the Hero 30 mode with a total time of 0:15:58.23 and a single segment run of the Hero 300 mode in 0:02:53.52 game time. All of these new runs are on normal difficulty and come to us courtesy of runner Jim 'Dowolf' Dobler, and you should check them out promptly, the Goddess of Time demands it.

Friday, April 12, 2013 by Radix

15 years of running

Today is a special day in SDA's history. 15 years ago today, I posted the first update to the brand new site Speed Demos Archive. It consisted of 41 Quake demos and 1 for Quake II. Those were the only games on SDA back when it started. About six years later, I expanded SDA into "other games" with the launch of a new section. And nine years after that, you're reading this update and we have speedruns of over 800 games.

I thought of posting the names of everybody who ever helped with SDA, but then I realized I'd be here all day thinking of names to add, and I'd inevitably leave somebody out. So instead I'll just say a big thank you to anybody who has worked on the site, you know who you are. I also must thank all the runners who submit their runs in record numbers every year. Without you all, we wouldn't be here.

Enough of that - onto the runs! In honor of SDA's longevity, all games featured today were released approximately 15 years ago.

In Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Sam 'Samlaptop' Locke has submitted two runs. A straight playthrough resulted in a time of 0:41:06, which is 15 minutes faster than the previous run from 2006. Sam's 100% run (save 99 mudokons) resulted in a time of 1:15:55. Both runs were segmented.

Sam also submitted a run on the sequel, Abe's Exoddus, adding a second run category to the page. He completed the 100% category (rescue 300 Mudokons) with 117 segments in a time of 2:38:50.

Justin 'JMC4789' Chadwick just can't get enough of Mega Man Legends. He did a run on a third category for its page, hard mode, coming in at 1:04:05, which is only a little over ten minutes slower than his normal mode run.

Jefferson 'Surreal' Cline has submitted a regular run on Spyro the Dragon. This single-segment run clocks in at 0:44:08, which is about 17 minutes faster than the EU version run we have from 2010.

Michael 'golderzoa' Weber submitted a third category for the Pokémon Red/Blue page. This run is on the red version, single-segment, uses "large-skip glitches", and comes up with a game-timer value of 0:00!?! The real time for the run is about two minutes. I have no idea how this works but it definitely involves some kind of buffer overflow exploit of this poor old Game Boy game.

André Göhlsch submitted an improvement to the run of Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero. His run in a time of 0:45:36 is 4 minutes 56 seconds faster than a run from way back in 2005.

Thursday, April 11, 2013 by Vorpal

Breaking the 4th Wall

I wasn't kidding when I said last week that David Heidman Jr. likes indie games you've never heard of. This time around, it's the 4th Wall, which seems to be an adventure/horror game. 0:02:58 is not a bad price to pay for checking it out, I think.

Batman is popular lately. Batman: Arkham Asylum is just one of many Dark Knight titles that is fondly remembered. Sean 'DarthKnight' Grayson, a man whose real name sounds like it should be in a comic book somewhere, destroys the Joker's plot in a single-segment 1:57:08. Perhaps we should serialize Batman updates.

We have a couple PS1 shooters for you today. The first is Medal of Honor: Underground. Carsten 'djcj' Janssen, not satisfied with destroying two other Medal of Honor games, has returned for a third outing. Underground gets taken down in a scant 1:00:29, using 27 segments on Easy difficulty. Good stuff.

Today's other PS1 shooter is Syphon Filter. Martin 'J.Y' Söderhäll has updated the existing run, chopping a few minutes off. The time to beat is now 1:09:31, done on the European version with 20 segments.

Mega Man 9 is a perpetual favorite of mine, despite never having played it. Richard Gibson, fortunately, doesn't have that problem. The existing realtime-oriented single-segment run now has a gametime-oriented partner. Check out his 0:20:37.

When you see a Resident Evil 2 run, it's a pretty good guess the runner is 'Carcinogen'. He doesn't disappoint; today you get to watch a single-segment, A rank, Claire B run. 1:16:54 is about 7 minutes faster than the existing run, making that a pretty sizable improvement.

Lastly, the final item in this update is a near-total obsoletion of Super Punch-Out!!'s IL table. Only of the sixteen old runs remains (Bob Charlie if you're curious); for convenience it's included in the torrents as well. Zack 'Zallard1' Allard did the heavy lifting with 14 of the new runs, but 'Pokey' also contributed a Piston Hurricane time. The new total time is 0:02:17.96, so check those out.

That's all for today. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 by Flip

Don't throw that in the river

We're kicking things off today with an old favorite. Andrew 'RaneofSoTN' Melnyk has improved his single segment time for Final Fantasy IV. He goes from Dark Knight to Paladin and beyond in 3:21.

I never thought I'd see the day that I had a run quite like this in one of my updates. Brian 'Brossentia' Cook has provided us with a run of Bible Adventures. He successfully protects Baby Moses from harm and he does it in 0:01:53.

Video games based on TV shows are usually destined for disaster, yet Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy assures me that Rollergames is "actually a legit good game." I believe him and you should too- it's 14 minutes and 13 seconds you won't regret.

While researching for this update, I was tempted to stop and start playing Cat Planet instead. Tad 'RabidJellyfish' Cordle navigates his angel through Cat Planet and collects all the cats in 0:04:25.

It's not often that really short runs see really large improvements, but that's just what Pierre 'KartSeven' L'Hoëst has done to Dragon's Lair. His improvement of over a minute brings the time down to 0:05:51.

I haven't played any of the Assassin's Creed games, despite all of the good things I've heard. I know, I'm a bad person. François 'Fed981' Federspiel seems to like them, though, based on what he did to Assassin's Creed: Revelations. He "assassinates 'em all" (that's the point, right?) in his segmented 2:48:41 using DLC.

Finally, we have Robotrek. Robotrek actually doesn't look like a bad game, so I was surprised to see that Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare ran it. He storms through in a single segment 3:47. Be sure and listen to the included audio commentary!

Monday, April 8, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Couldn't find an anagram for 'APSTMLP'

Another World (also known as Out of this World for you North American types) is one of my favourite childhood games. The combination of platforming, the versatility of the weapon you get and the art style really made the game for me. Alexis 'NHG' Gabaig has blessed us with a Single-Segment blast through this game in 08:03, and those among you who share my nostalgia would definitely benefit from revisiting the past by watching it.

While it lacks the nostalgia factor, Portal 2 has the perfect blend of malevolent artificial intelligence, law of physics abuse and science, and this single-segment run in 1:13:38 done by Alex 'Znernicus' Thieke shows just how quickly those three things can be demolished. I hear the law of gravity in particular is looking to sue.

Speaking of malevolent AIs and Science, this run of System Shock 2 has them in spades. This single-segment run done on the Impossible difficulty in 27:31 by Dmitry 'KhanFusion' K. has lead me to ask myself this all-important question; who would win in a fight, SHODAN or GLaDOS?

The Immortal is a game notorious for its unforgiving traps and levels whose difficulty may caused frustration enough for you to curse at the developers ancestry. Those of you who remember the boat section and the worm cave and never got past either will enjoy this 11:06 Bad Ending completion of the game by Brian 'Boxfat' Ringeisen, and just to top it off, this run features death abuse.

Max Payne 2 is a game about a man with nothing to lose, so when a man with nothing to lose decides that he has nothing to lose really fast, we end up with this run; a single-segment run done on the Dead on Arrival difficulty in 46:20 by Evgeny 'anarki' Gladkiy.

If ancient Mayan plague gods, excessive and questionable weaponry, and explosives-relatedfire ignorance of collision boundaries are more your thing, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is the game for you. 'Kotti' and 'ariwa' teamed up to bring us this newgame+ coop blast-through of the game in a total of 18:27. If you've played this game before, maybe tried to get the speedrun achievements, you'll realise that this time is really damn fast.

Finally, we have a segmented run of the first-person survival horror game Penumbra: Black Plague for you done in 21:34 by 'Kotti', who has featured twice in this update. Favouritism? You decide.

Sunday, April 7, 2013 by Breakdown

Natural behavior

Anyone ever want to see ants do what ants do best really quickly? And by "what they do best" I of course mean setting up dominoes to be knocked over in elaborate chains. If so you're in luck today, and should check out this run of Pushover by Pierre 'KartSeven' L'Hoest in 1:00:24.

And we all know Bandicoots like to glitch the hell out of their surroundings and skip large chunks of what one would consider the intended path to their goal. You can see plenty of that in this run of the european version of Crash Bandicoot 2 in the large skips category from Nikolaj 'ThaRixer' Sorenson. Final time is 0:13:18, which should let anyone familiar with the game know the skips are large indeed.

As their job title implies, firemen put out fires. Sometimes they die in that pursuit, and it's very sad, but gets the job done more quickly. For examples of both, check out both the survivalist and expendable workers runs of The Firemen by Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel. The deathless and with deaths categories time in at 0:11:15 and 0:10:54 respectively.

I shouldn't need to educate anyone on the tendencies of ninjas, but just in case any of you are among the uninitiated, they run really fast, do cool flips in the air, and wreck everything that gets in their way in the most awesome ways possible. There is plenty of all of the above on display in this run of Hagane, again with Omnigamer at the helm, clocking in at 0:15:22.

Oversized apes tend to walk to the beat of their own drum, but occasionally they feel the beat of another drum is the best way to go. Such is the case in this set of 100% individual level runs for Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. Total time for the table is 1:00:05.53, and the man banging the bongos on all of them is Zack 'PiePusher11' Maher, who you will see certainly has the rhythm in him.

Lastly, we investigate the habits of scientist. They like to ride trams, perform experiments, open interdimesional portals, and kill stuff with crowbars. All of this and more can be seen in action in this single segment run of Half Life. The runner here is Max 'coolkid' Lundberg playing on the PC version's hard difficulty in a single segment, clocking in at 0:36:58.

One last point of interest, you've likely noticed we've started linking to runner's streams in these updates (and if you like their runs, give them a follow, we speedrunners measure our self worth in follower counts, another natural behavior), but we can only link to streams we know about or can find (I lucked out on a few of these today). So if you get a run posted and your name is linkless, let us know what your stream is and we'll edit it in. Simple as that.

Big week of speedruns, but much more to come. That Big Push keeps on rolling.

Thursday, April 4, 2013 by Vorpal

Not April Fools

Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus gets an improvement today. 'Sligfantry' is the man behind a remarkable 10 minute improvement to the game's bad ending segmented category. Check out this 0:45:17 in 49 segments.

Ace Combat 5 sat in verification hell for a while. It really is about time to present this run to you. Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe has a single-segment run on Very Easy for your perusal: 3:56:54.

Duck Tales GB seems like an especially relevant game, given the reveal of Remastered. Dave 'bangerra' Janssens has a moneybin he needs to fill, and 0:09:26 is the time it takes to do it on Difficult. Perhaps he should've invested in a bigger bucket.

Gears of War has had some activity over the past couple years. Andrew 'Brassmaster' Merideth was part of the multiplayer crew, but there's something to be said for striking out on your own. He's gone through Casual difficulty and achieved a time of 1:30:40 with 64 segments. Enjoy.

It might not be Mega Man Legends 3, but the Misadventures of Tron Bonne remain popular still. Especially to Justin 'JMC4789' Chadwick, the author of this fine run. Check out his single-segment 0:29:43, five minutes faster than the previous run. Do servbots count as tool-assistance?

If you watch David Heidman Jr.'s stream you're likely to see a procession of indie games you've never heard of, and that's a point of pride for him. Ninja Sneaking seems to be one such hidden gem. 0:05:38 should be short enough for you to check it out, no?

The last run I have for you today is no doubt the heavy hitter of this update: a new segmented run of Portal. The run was completed by the SourceRuns team, consisting of z1mb0bw4y, Inexistence, and Gocnak (with ending orchestration by Xebaz). The final time is 0:09:12. Also worth noting: their previous Portal run used scripts. This one doesn't, and still obsoletes it.

That's all for today. Happy watching.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 by Flip

The Big Push 2013

Despite the overwhelming support of our 'Speedrun of the Month' plan, we here at SDA have thought it through and decided that it may not be in the best interest of the site to post only one run per month when we're averaging close to 30 submissions every month. As it turns out, some people are concerned about having to wait too long after submitting to see their run hit the front page.

In all seriousness, recently we've had more runs accepted than we've been able to post, and that has created a well-known backlog between verification and the front page. We recognize that one of our top priorities needs to be reducing our overall submission time. That's the primary goal of this year's Big Push. When this is over, runs that are verified and accepted will be posted to the front page sooner rather than later. I won't bore you with all the details, just get ready to watch a LOT of runs.

First off, we have a couple of Pokemon Snap runs courtesy of Zach 'RaikerZ' Waggoner. RaikerZ snaps a few in his 0:22:55 any% run and he snaps 'em all in his 0:26:08 100% run.

Next up we have some new runs of Punch Out!! for Wii. For starters, we have a single segment run of the Contender Mode in 0:08:21.30 courtesy of Zack 'Zallard1' Allard. Also, we have 6 new Individual Levels in our table courtesy of Terry 'klar' Heard. Those are Disco Kid in 0:00:28.86, Don Flamenco in 0:00:17.74, Disco Kid 2 in 0:00:23.45, Piston Hondo 2 in 0:00:32.69, Super Macho Man 2 in 0:01:13.71, and Mr. Sandman 2 in 0:00:43.20.

When we reposted all of ktwo's runs, we didn't repost Cobra Triangle. Why, you ask? Because Adam 'KHANanaphone' Ferguson had since submitted a better time. Check out his 0:17:19.

From what I've gleaned from Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare's run comments, Battletoads in Battlemaniacs is not the most fun game to speed run. It should come as no shock to anyone that he has run it anyway, providing us with a single segment 0:19:56.

Capping off this update, we've got a run of Devil May Cry. Andy Huynh has run through the Japanese version of this game in Super Dante mode in 0:43:11. Make sure and get all of those runs while they're hot. We'll have more for you before you know it.

Whew, I've gotten rusty at this updating business. Feels good to shake off the cobwebs a little bit. See you next week!

Monday, April 1, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Wonderificent Informationage!

Good day to you, ladies and gentlemen! I come bearing news, news of some fantastic and radical CHANGES to SDA. There have been concerns that our update speed could be a little better. Yes, it's true, some people may have been under the mindset where they'd have bet chump change that those chumps would never change, but you have called and we have listened. A wise man once said, "If 'potential' is having the or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future, then 'pretential' is the potential to have potential.", and we at SDA are full of pretential. So full of it. So with that in mind, I'm going out lay out our changes for you.

At SDA, we value every single one of your speedruns. Every. Single. One. Even the Clue runs. So, how better to show our appreciation for them than to give them their own updates? But wait ShadowWraith, I hear you call, what about exposure time? How will my run truly be appreciated if it's in the most recent update for less than a week? Fear not, good speedrunner, for we have also instituted a plan to make sure that your speedrun gets the attention that it deserves. As a sort of litmus test for this 'speedrun of the month' plan, we're going to be pulling the most influential run out of our queue and posting it here for you to enjoy. For the entire month.

So, for the month of April, your speedrun will be... Kageki!! This masterful masterpiece was divined, crafted, and blitzed by our very own Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy, and we at SDA were so taken by the quality of the run and, indeed, the included audio commentary (which we all mandate that you listen to, as you would be doing a great disservice to the run by not doing so), that we pushed this plan of action out for you sooner rather than later. Of course, there is the accompanying comments file that the runner so generously wrote for us, and we hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

See you in May!