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News from July through September, 2013. [Newer | Older]

Thursday, September 26, 2013 by ShadowWraith

NO! NOT THE WATER! YOU FIENDS!

I generally don't try to theme my updates, but the games I have for you today practically demand it. If you can guess what the theme is before the end of the update, you can have a cookie. So, let us begin.

First up, we have the (somewhat) legendary Drakkhen, famous for its constellation monsters, pots and pans robots and dragonkin with questionable accents. Through some interesting abuse of game mechanics involving killing half the party and using the dead person to murder everything, as well as standing still in a room for several minutes to gain levels, Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody averts the destruction of the world of man in 0:34:32, leaving him just enough time to pull the tattered corpses of his fallen party members out of the moat he dumped them in before the celebratory victory ceremony.

Next, a game that needs no introduction - assuming you've been around SDA for longer than a year - but for those of you who have not, I shall introduce it for you. Lagoon is one of those Zelda clones that falls somewhat short (quite a lot, in fact) of the game that inspired it, but that didn't stop Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare from tackling the issue of... muddy water? (I honestly don't really understand the plot of this game at all, you don't do anything with any water in the game), bringing us this 1:28:52 masterpiece. However, I take issue with the toothpick the protagonist is armed with being called a 'sword'. It's just not. Oh, and the game has audio commentary. You should listen to it.

Third up, another SNES RPG for you guys. Illusion of Gaia is a game about a boy who can turn into a grown adult complete with a REAL sword (get out Nasir), or a blue version of the flame guy from the Fantastic Four. He is tasked with saving the world from a comet which will bring bad luck with it. Adam 'puwexil' Dunn does not approve of superstitious celestial objects, however, and decided to beat up the naughty comet as fast as he could, while still snagging all the loot along the way in this 2:17:20 100% completion of the game. Also, one of the NPCs has a pet pig. Why? I have no idea.

Finally, a game that is somewhat infamous in certain circles for having the most irritating escort quest type system imaginable, Resident Evil 4, or 4 Resident Evil, depending on whether you look at the box art, is the story of one man's journey to rescue the daughter of the POTUS from some random hick villagers in somewhere that very very closely resembles Spain, but is clearly not Spain. Well today, that man is Bartolomeu 'blaze8876' Penkal, and with a combination of roundhouse kicks, heavy weaponry and being able to ignore the protagonists name being screamed at him in the most ear piercingly irritating way possible, he completed a run of the game in 1:45:48 on the PC version, in 16 segments. Honestly, the President can't have given that much of a shit about his daughter if he only sent in one guy with very little support, but that's neither here nor there.

So, did you guess the theme yet? It was games with terrible plots! What, you want a cookie? I never said it'd be me who'd give you one. Just go play that new Cookie Clicker game. I hear it's all the rage now.

*snorts*

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 by LLCoolDave

Speedrunning: Not vehicular manslaughter

According to social media this week, being a PC gamer right now is akin to being woken up way too early by your alarm clock, smacking your head straight into the wall because you forgot you had moved the furniture yesterday, stepping onto a piece of Lego as you slump out of bed, noticing you ran out of coffee and finally realizing it is your day off when you get stuck in a massive traffic jam on the interstate. As such, we at SDA would like to dedicate this update to the poor people unable to experience the latest release in the marginally justifiable road rage simulator genre by celebrating the PC speedrunning scene instead. Go keyboard!

Our first entry of the day is a rather bizarre one. Although the First-Person Shooter genre has had uncountable entries in recent years that placed the player in a war torn Europe, most of these were set in the 1940s. World War I seems to be a far less frequently visited setting for your average historically inaccurate shooter, presumably because the resurgence of Imperialism, a century worth of treaties and alliances and a lack of clear good and bad guys make for a less engaging backdrop than a simple plot of 'Kill ALL the Nazis!'. NecroVisioN not only chooses to set itself in 1916, it also does away with any pretence of realism by pitting you against Zombies, Vampires, Demons and the rulers of Hell themselves. Despite the slight discrepancy between the story told in this game and his high school history book, Arthur 'Artas1984' Lozovskis ploughs through this revision of European history in 13 individual level runs, summing up to a time of 1:03:04. I recall the real affair taking a tiny bit longer than that.

The next game on our list is about an ordinary earth person being pulled into a different world filled with magic and mystical beings. Despite the remarkably similar synopsis to our previous game, I am actually talking about the Action-RPG Nox here. Although this title is being overshadowed in general memory by Diablo II, which was released around the same time, this gem of the past is very much worth a play and has generated some new-found speedrunning activity just recently. Thus, it is no surprise that Anders 'Pjoxt' Örndahl has decided to revisit his old run as the Wizard class and improve it to a time of 34:06. In the meantime, Maik 'Onin' Biekart has picked the Warrior class at the start, finishing this branch of the game in a swift 36:29. In both cases the very first segment involves passing through a solid gate with a trick intriguingly named 'Apple Bump'. That certainly was enough to get me interested in watching these.

Next up is Drakan: Order of the Flame, one of, if not even THE best game in the classic Dungeon Exploration/Dragon Dogfight hybrid genre. Patrik 'Pafi' Varjotie cuts the old time more than in half by skipping large amounts of the gameplay out right. How? Flying through the air by continuously blocking with your sword (which seems like a rather impractical mode of transport if you might as well just mount a dragon) and forcing said giant dragon right through solid objects. First apples, now dragons. Is there anything that still respects the sanctity of physics and collision detection? The final result is a single segment time of 24:17 in the newly established large skips category.

Lastly, not to be outdone by the previous games' realistic display of the world as we know it, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne is to real police work like a tsunami is to a water fight in your backyard blow-up swimming pool. This gaming adaptation of film noir is one of my favourite PC game series (or rather, was, until May Payne 3 happened, but we'd rather not talk about that) as it combines a dark and gritty narrative with excessively over the top slow motion gunfights into a giant ball of pure awesomium. Therefore I am quite pleased to see that Evgeny 'anarki' Gladkiy improved two of the New York Minute individual level times by a combined 24 seconds, namely 1-5 Max's Apartment Building continued and 3-2 Return to Vlad's Restaurant. This brings the full table down to a time of 18:34.050.

And on that note, I might just have to go and undust my XBox 360 now.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 by Breakdown

Locked and loaded

We'll pull out the big guns right at the start here with an update to a game from the beloved Mario series. The warps category for Super Mario Bros. 2 is getting a facelift today, and how. Seeing as how this game is all supposed to Mario's dream, it nice to see runner Chris 'cak' Knight pull some Inception-level weirdness in this 0:08:32 run. Check this one out, it won't disappoint.

Next up we have a run featuring guns mounted on spaceships. I know that's enough to get me interested all by itself, but some of you might need a little extra push. How about if I told you we have an improvement of over four and a half minutes to our previous Star Fox Assault run? This healthy improvement to the Bronze difficulty setting clocks in at 0:41:08 and comes courtesy of runner Zachary 'zewing' Ewing, and if the comments are any indication, there's more on the way, so keep an eye out.

Canonically speaking, the next run features a duo that has quite the aversion to guns. Yes, the heroes in the Genesis version of The Adventures of Batman & Robin would rather use assorted bat-themed objects to dispose of their enemies, but they get the job done in hurry. This is especially true when they're piloted by Colin 'Musashi1054' Darczuk. He's rounding out the improvements in todays update with an over 90 second betterment of our existing run for the game, saving Gotham from its colorful cast of villains in a brisk 0:49:51.

So the last run is Glover for the N64. I guess the protagonist could hold a gun, maybe. Really the whole gun theme I have going starts to fall apart here, but by many accounts the game's controls may have you reaching for one. This affliction, fortunately, did not get the best of runner Bryan 'Crankeey' as he pushed the time down on this title all the way to 0:36:34 prior to submission.

And with that, I've emptied my clip. See you next time.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Always a day late

My updates recently seem to always come a day after I want them to. I'm not sure whether that's just because I'm a slacker or not. However, I'm just going to assume that it's because my grasp of the passage of time is somewhat inhibited by my desire to go fast. Speaking of desires to go fast (segue ahoy), here's some speedruns for you.

Mega Man games have been a mainstay of speedrunners for years, with their impressively difficult platforming action and abuse of invincibility frames to do things that the game really doesn't want you to do, and Mega Man X3 is no exception. Austin 'Auchgard' Caldera chose to tackle the 100% category for this magnificent game, improving our current (8 year old, I should mention) run by 3 minutes and 19 seconds in this 0:49:07 single-segment affair, fast enough to confuse even the blizzardiest of buffalos. It's about time, I'd say.

Side scrolling beat 'em up games are also a prime target for speedrunners, with this site featuring the likes of Golden Axe, Double Dragon and some of the Final Fight games. Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy, previously (in)famous for his Kageki submission that was featured quite prominently here a few months ago, has chosen to turn his attentions to a more deserving game; Final Fight 3. His attention comes in the form of single-segment runs of the game using every character on Expert difficulty. The times are as follows:

If watching random mooks get kicked, punched, bodyslammed and piledriven is your thing, these are the runs you should watch. I heard there may be infinites too. Maybe.

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is a game that I don't think fits into the traditional speedrunning subset of games. I guess you could put it with the other JRPGs, but the card-based combat system is a little weird. That said, pretty much every game can make a good speedrun (with a few notable exceptions that shall not be named *coughheavynovacough*), and this one is no different. Ben 'Ghostwheel' Hartman took it upon himself to prove it, bringing unto us this 3:02:18 tribute as testament to this fact. And we applaud him for it.

Last, but certainly not least, we've got another speedrun from our resident heartthrob Jeff 'Feasel' Feasel, this time on the NES game Willow. I'm assuming this game is based on the events of the film, having never played it myself, but you can't go wrong with top down RPGs, as Zelda, Crystalis et al. will confirm. The run itself is a single-segment run that completes the game in 1:18:27, a solid 15 minutes and 47 seconds faster than our previous best time, and also a fair bit shorter than the film itself. But then again, that's what we come here for, right?

Monday, August 26, 2013 by LLCoolDave

Tom Clancy's SDA Update

Most people regard the 8- and 16-bit consoles to be the home of the golden era of platforming. The early 90s also played stage to a plethora of fantastic platformers released for your then impressive 50MhZ i486 (that's 479 more i's than contemporary CPUs!) PC. Unlike the NES classics, these games sadly don't get nearly enough love in the speedrunning community.

Arturs 'Xarthok' Demiters however seems to remember these days fondly as he has submitted runs for two episodes of the classic Commander Keen series. Not only did he improve the old run of Marooned on Mars by 6 seconds to 0:03:52, he also came out ahead in his competition with Cosmo on The Armageddon Machine with a time of 0:02:31 by wrong warping past 9 stages. That still leaves 4 episodes uncovered on SDA, so get to work guys.

If you should find yourself in a real hurry and unable to spend the better part of a 12th of an hour on either of the previous runs we can provide you with an even shorter run this update. Originally a minigame in the Might & Magic series, Arcomage was later released as a standalone title. Paul 'LagDotCom' Davies blazes through this turnbased strategy card game in a lightning quick 0:00:14, obliterating the opposing tower in a mere 4 turns and 6 seconds faster than his previous record.

Skipping ahead another decade of PC gaming we get to Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel, a Doujin Mega Man clone best known for having a name that seems to be impossible to properly pronounce unless you wear some Lederhosen and had Weißwurst for breakfast. Not fazed by this collection of letters indecipherable to the English thinking mind, 'Senovit' adds his time of 0:33:58.25 as Pamela to the gamepage. Surprisingly, this run does not beat the current record for longest filename on SDA.

For the final entry of the day, Tom Clancy presents Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, as endorsed by Tom Clancy. Although prominently featured in the title of the stealth game series, the famous espionage author seems to have had roughly the same amount of involvement with the game development as he has had with this particular update post. He didn't even write any of the tie-in novels to either of them! ('SDA: The Updatening' should be available on Amazon shortly, so keep an eye out for it.) Runner Michael 'CotySA' saw through this ploy of corporate branding and punished the game by breaking it. Hard. Despite adding in 3 additional extra missions over the old IL table, this run improves the total time by a massive 22 minutes to 1:13:02.

Thursday, August 22, 2013 by Breakdown

A low sodium alternative

We've got an eclectic selection for you today. Let's skip the pleasantries and just dive in.

We'll start off with a little something for all the Assassin's Creed fans out there. The Lost Archive DLC for Assassin's Creed: Revelations has received the individual level runs treatment from Francois 'Fed981' Federspiel. Going the New Game + route, he deals out all the death in the DLC pack's 7 memories in just 0:27:45 total time.

Dying in a game to pick up some time is pretty standard operating procedure amongst speedrunners, but it's not too often you find a run featuring the game over screen as a legitimate strategy. Well, we have one such run today in Crash Bandicoot 2. Playing on the European version, runner Peter 'PeteThePlayer' Tissen makes good use of the screen most of us consider failure, and it's in no small part responsible for the final time of 0:41:30, just over five minutes faster than the standard issue death abuse run.

It's been a long, long time since we've had cause to knock the dust off of the Little Big Adventure game page, but we've given an excellent excuse to draw attention to this cool little isometric RPG thanks to runner Michael 'CrimsonxxMana' Davies. He's done a single segment run of the game to go up alongside the segmented effort from years past. Final time is 1:28:11, check it out.

We're bookending the games portion of this update with IL tables, because bookends are classy, and we're a classy establishment. And while I'm sure you're here for the class, I imagine you won't mind being able to watch runner Wouter M. 'WMJ' Jansen absolutely wreck every track in Penny Racers while you're here. Total time for the table of 9 tracks is 0:12:49.88, enjoy.

One last point of note, we've recently rolled out a piece of new policy that's sure to please fans of old DOS games. It's no secret recording these on their original hardware is a nightmare, so in a effort to make submissions on some of these old classics more realistic for most, we've decided that SDA will now allow the use of DOSBox and virtual machines for games that have no real alternative methods for recording. A big win for the old PC enthusiasts out there certainly. Now, there are some caveats and stipulations with this, which are gone over fairly thoroughly in this thread, so be sure to read up before rushing off to record.

Monday, August 12, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Gotcha

Now that we've had a chance to chill out after the amazing event that was SGDQ, I feel comfortable posting a new set of runs. Also this isn't late because it's totally Sunday somewhere, right? Rather than bore you with some preamble about how certain game mechanics in certain games I may or may not be drilling for marathon purposes can go suck an unnamed appendage, I'll just get right to it.

VVVVVV is an awesome game, from the block colours, pixel art style and oldschool style music. Jared 'FieryBlizzard' Klein brings us updated versions of his VVVVVV runs, which I shall list for you using these handy bullet points. Woo, html!

T.R.A.G.: Tactical Rescue Assault Group is a game I have never heard of before. Wikipedia calls it 'Hard Edge', but I haven't heard of that either, but I'm told the game is like Resident Evil except anime, minus the zombies. That said, we have a run of it now! Dylan 'CavemanDCJ' Jock completed a single-segment run of the game in 0:56:49.

Final Fantasy IX, being my favourite of the PSX era FF games, is also a really long game. The games I speedrun tend to max out at an hour long tops, which makes the fact that someone was able to do this monster in a single sitting mindblowing. Tristan 'Caracarn' Helwig is a much more determined man than I, and did exactly that. His 9:05:45 single-segment run now stands as the longest single-segment run we have on the site, and is a solid testament to how determination and stubbornness can overcome fatigue and boredom. And the urge to pee.

Gothic is a game I have heard of and have played, albeit briefly. The game wouldn't run very well on my old rustbucket PC back in the day so I didn't get far, but from what I gathered the game has a very Elder Scrollsy style swords-and-sorcery RPG feel to it, although it doesn't have the same level of freedom or enormous open world as those games. However, as is generally the case in these games, Gothic is hilariously broken, as 'Blubbler' can attest. His 2:48:08 100% run (in 306 segments) features an amusing amount of infinite jumping and some out-of-boundsy shenanigans, and is probably going to be an amusing watch for most people. Maybe not Severance levels of hilarity, but definitely entertaining.

In other news, our very own Mr. K is hosting the Contra Conference on his stream. It's a week long (August 9th-August 17th) meetup of the greatest Contra speedrunners. If that's your cup of tea, and it's certainly mine, then head over to his stream here, and enjoy the show! As of right now, I'm watching what appears to be Contra 1, except someone has destroyed the cart graphics so everything is funky looking. It's pretty awesome.

Saturday, August 3, 2013 by LLCoolDave

A personal touch

The time right after a charity marathon is always one of the hardest. Not only do you have to cope with the fact that it's over and you've completely ignored the rest of your life for a week, building up a huge backlog of things you ought to have done days ago, your body also reminds you of the fact that you've not spent nearly enough time in bed the past days. However, if you somehow have enough energy left to watch more speedruns right now, I've got just the right thing for you.

Dungeon's & Dragon's has been adapted to the video game format a countless number of times with varying levels of success. The Temple Of Elemental Evil is very closely modelled on the 3.5 rules but can not avoid the fundamental issue of all its brethren: The Dungeonmaster is rather bad at adjusting to the player. As usual for this genre, Maik 'Onin' Biekart completely bypasses the main plot and even ignores the evil archdemoness Zuggtmoy, ending the game in a quick 0:04:40 sitting by stealing her jewels. He may be a good speedrunner, but I would look elsewhere for your adventuring business.

The general consensus on Jet Force Gemini is that it's actually quite a neat and unique game that should have gotten more attention, a statement which is usually followed by everybody immediately forgetting about the title again. As such, it is not a big surprise that it's been 9 years since this Nintendo 64 game last showed up on our news page. Adam 'Jimmie1717' Lehman decided that the run by then prolific David 'marshmallow' Gibbons was a bit outdated and improved on it by 42 minutes in game time, clocking in at 2:39 in a single segment.

Our final entry for today is particularly close to my heart. Long time followers of SDA may be aware that the current run on Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is held by yours truly, a record that has been outdated since pretty much the exact moment the run was done. Since then I've spent considerable amounts of time actively not improving on that run. Procrastinating once again paid off in full force, as Gustav 'recon' Jensen picked up the slack and crushed my run with an astonishing 0:42:27 in a round 100 segments. Not only is that an improvement of 24 minutes, the difficulty has also been increased to the highest level of Jedi Master, halving the amount of health available for all these crazy stunts. There's also been some activity for single segment runs of this game recently, so maybe we'll see one of those on the front page in the near future..

And on that note, it is time for me to go to bed. 3PM local time is a reasonable time to go to sleep, isn't it?

Thursday, August 1, 2013 by LLCoolDave

A million reasons to be proud

When I first got into speedrunning a decade ago, it was a niche hobby. A couple of guys on a message board, exchanging times and on rare occasions even a video of a run. Even in the broad world of gaming, almost nobody had any idea what you were blabbering on about. Things have changed a lot since then.

In the past week we peaked at just over 51 thousand viewers, and at least 20 thousand of you had joined us for every single moment of the Summer Games Done Quick marathon. You were there through all the highs and lows of the event, the good and bad ends of marathon luck, the Manchicken, when we were running up and down stairs, breaking world records, killing animals (by popular demand), beating Ganon on a single heart and many more memorable moments.

And time wasn't the only thing you were incredibly generous with. $255,160.62 in over 10000 individual donations to Doctors without Borders is the current count on our tracker, and with that we have now surpassed the magical $1,000,000 mark for money raised by SDA charity marathons. These are numbers that would have seemed unbelievable to teenage me starting speedrunning. In fact, these are numbers that still seem unbelievable to current me.

It's impossible to sufficiently thank everybody that has made this outstanding success a possibility. Thank you to everybody involved in organizing this event and keeping the stream running most of the time. Thank you to all the runners putting on over a hundred hours of entertainment for us all. Thank you to The Yetee and the 6 artists for providing us with 7 marathon themed shirts and raising $11,600 for SGDQ. Thank you to mistermv for organizing the French restream of the event and all the commentators involved with it. Thank you to everybody that provided us with great prizes for the event. Thank you to every single person out there watching the marathon, telling their friends, spreading the word and donating to such a worthwhile cause. And thank you to everybody else I couldn't fit into this post.

There were so many good runs at this event that it was just impossible to watch everything. (Damn, you, pesky little thing called sleep.) But fret not, some helpful people on Reddit have assembled a full list of timestamped links to all the runs in the twitch archives for easy rewatching. And as usual, high quality encodes of the entire event will be uploaded in a couple of weeks.

If you are a newcomer to the speedrunning community, don't be afraid, most of us don't bite. Be sure to check out the SDA Forum for discussing games and runs as well as SRL for speedrun races for all skill levels. Welcome aboard.

Despite all that's been achieved there is no time to rest. Awesome Games Done Quick 2014 is in the early planning stages, so if you're interested in keeping up with the development or even participating yourself, be sure to check out the marathon subforum in the upcoming weeks when we are starting to shape ideas for our next big event. If you can't wait that long, regular SDA updates will resume this weekend and the Happy Tails Marathon is happening in just two weeks, raising money for the ASPCA.

To another million.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 by Breakdown

The hype, it is palpable

July 25th is approaching rapidly, and with it the start of Summer Games Done Quick. Yes, we are less than two days removed from five consecutive days of live speedrunning goodness. Undoubtedly, most of you reading this are already well aware of the event (though if you happen to be in the dark about it, just click the banner at the top of the page for details and a full schedule of the games), and are waiting about as patiently for this thing to kick off as a small child in the back of a car on its way to Disney World. Well, don't fret, we've got some new runs today to help tide you over until Thursday.

It's been a long, long time since there's been any mention of the N64's GoldenEye 007 on the front page here at SDA. The game does still have an active community, though, and one of the very best players saw fit to give our game page a facelift. Runner 'Rayan Isran' offers up a single segment run on Agent difficulty, clocking in at a ridiculous 0:18:51. Give this one a watch, it's not GoldenEye how you remember it.

It has not been that long a time since the last mention of Half-Minute Hero here on the front page, but as long as runner Jim 'Dowulf' Dobler keeps cranking out high quality runs for the game, we'll keep posting them. Today's offering is a new category for the game page: the Evil Lord 30 mode, and given the amazingly short amounts of time the game give you to complete your objectives, it should come as no surprise the speedrun time is something ridiculous like 0:02:23.77.

Next up, we have a little something for the tactical RPG enthusiasts out there. Valkyria Chronicles gets an improvement today courtesy of runner Wesley 'Molotov' Corron. After lots of number crunching and multiple sacrifices to the RNG gods, he put together an impressive 2:21:10 run over 23 segments, an improvement of just over 20 minutes over the previous entry.

Wrapping things up today, we have some good, old fashioned, zombie killing action. Who doesn't like that? Judging by the sales number on Resident Evil 4, most people do, and those number give me confidence this last run will be well received. It's a new game + Normal difficulty effort on the Wii's European release by Robert 'Sunblade' Brandl and clocks in at 1:34:26 over 16 segments.

That does it for runs today, so hopefully those serve to whet your appetite for the awesomeness that will be SGDQ to come. Just remember this Thursday starting at noon MDT (the schedule adjusts to you timezone, so no converting necessary with just a glance), you know where you want to be. Whether you want to watch on our twitch channel (with cool new subscriber emotes) or off the marathon page, that's a matter of preference. Just make sure you're watching, you won't want to miss a minute.

Saturday, July 20, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Hello Hello Hello!

Hi! It's me again! I'm here to bring you some more fantastic speedruns! Oh don't give me that look, you know you want to see them. Why, just take a look at this Zelda II: The Adventure of Link run! It just so happens that Zelda II is my faaaaavourite Zelda game ever, which is why I'm so totally stoked that John 'Pro_JN' Nurminen has done this delightful single-segment any% run for us! Oh the time? It's 1:01:21, I know, totally crazy right? That's like, 6 minutes faster than the time we have right now! Fabulous!

If that doesn't tickle your fancy, then I may just have the run of your dreams (oh lord that pun) right here! Little Nemo: The Dream Master is so surreal, that you might think you're dreaming when you watch this run! If you like watching the personification of everyone's inner child sticking it to those mean old nightmares that plagued you growing up (I'm looking at you, boogieman), then go ahead and click this link. It's a 0:25:38 run through the game, single-segment (I'm told it's actually rather hard), so tuck yourselves in and get ready for some excitement, courtesy of Johnathan 'Joka' Karlsson! Oh, and as you're probably curious, it improves our existing run by just shy of a minute and a half!

If you're looking for a more real experience, something a little grittier, then perhaps you'd prefer an update to our Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne IL table. Our resident timer IsraeliRD has gone through all the old videos and timed them down to the millisecond and replaced the times with those, and we have 9 new level runs for you! But enough of my silly rambling, just check out these links!

This brings the total time for the table down to a miniscule 0:18:58.740!

For those of you who liked that list I made, I've got another for you! A smaller one though, but no less important! Super Punch-Out!! is the middle sibling of the Punch-Out family, and like it's older brother Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, it has been seeing a fair bit of activity recently. D.J. 'Akiteru' Rideout went ahead and updated three of the ILs for us! Wasn't that nice of him! Here you go!

This brings the total time for the table down to 0:02:17.90! Now, those improvements may seem small, but all three of those ILs now match the TAS time, and I think all you know how awesome that is!

Also, Summer Games Done Quick is less than a week away! Make sure you stock up on food, drinks and comfortable seating, because in five days you'll definitely be needing it!

See you around!

Saturday, July 13, 2013 by LLCoolDave

The more things change

Hi, I'm LLCoolDave and some of you may know me as that German bloke. Vorpal's recent departure from SDA duties has left the SDA Updater Bobsleigh Team down a man and in deep peril. I'm not sure how much use I will be on the track but I'll try my best to at least fill the gap on the frontpage.

The little nametag above this post isn't the only thing new today as all of the games below are new additions to the archive. Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds is not the first entry to the popular RPG series we have featured on this site, but we're still a long way from covering the entire Ultima universe (hint hint). 'gammadragon' blasts through this first person adventure in 16 short segments with deaths, finishing on a time of 0:22:38 using popular techniques such as breaking a potion so you can drink it multiple times or killing yourself on a fireball frozen in time. Britannia is a strange place indeed.

Fredrik 'Edenal' Lidholt stumbled on the SNES run and gun Super Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi at our last AGDQ marathon and has been hooked ever since. As a culmination of his efforts you can now watch him stop the Emperor's evil plan of ruling a galaxy that was previously unable to handle a civil war with democratic means (how evil!) in a quick 0:32:06 in a single sitting on easy mode. I've always felt people misidentified the evil guys in the Star Wars saga.

While we're on the subject of war, Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen features the struggle of the Liberation Army's uprising against the Empress Endora. Unlike other emperors mentioned earlier, her army doesn't have access to a planet destroying weapon so nothing can stop Tony 'Brootus' Robertson on his single-segment 2:10:24 march to the best ending, collecting a full 100% ingame completion on his way.

As our final entry for today we consider a game that made a big splash in the early days of the Nintendo 64. Wave Race 64 was one of the first titles released for the console but it remained popular and well regarded for several years. The advanced water physics and tight track layout makes optimizing ones runs a difficult task, but somehow Japanese runner 'FireHawkRise' did not get the memo. He rushes through all the tracks back-to-back in a single sitting seemingly at ease, finishing in a superb 0:53:17. That's a nice move!

If all this change and fancy new stuff has been too much for you, how about something tried and true as a finish: charity marathons. Summer Games Done Quick 2013 is happening in less than two weeks and we've just finished up our promotional video for it. If you've enjoyed our past showings (and I sincerely hope you did), spread the word and trailer on your favorite social media network and let your friends know about it. Get hype!
And if you already are hyped to the brim and today's runs just aren't enough to cover the time to SGDQ, fret not. Our friends at the European Speedster Assembly are holding their own charity marathon starting this Monday and lasting all the way to next Sunday. That's a full 140 hours of charity marathon you can watch while waiting for the next charity marathon to start! What a wonderful world we live in. Just don't forget to sleep occassionally.

You may now refer to me as that German bloke that writes updates.

Sunday, July 7, 2013 by ShadowWraith

It's coming

Before I jump into the new runs we have for you today, I'd like to remind everyone that Summer Games Done Quick 2013 is a mere two-and-a-half weeks away! Four days of fantastic speedruns by fantastic speedrunners making probably less-than-fantastic jokes, so for those of you who love our marathons, get hype! For those of you who don't, get hype anyway! Hype is good! Hype!

Now that you're all excited for awesome speedruns (or terrible jokes), what better way to spend your afternoon than watching some? Here's some new stuff for you.

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is one of those N64-PS1 era collectathon platformers that seem to be all the rage recently, and as far as I'm aware, it's one of the more popular ones, and indeed, the best of the three Crash Bandicoot games. So to celebrate its assured popularity, here's two runs of the game for you:
First up we have a single-segment any% completion of the game by 'ElectronAvenue', in a blazing 0:46:35.
On top of that, we have a single-segment 100% run for you by Robert 'MrBean35000vr' Chadwick in an equally scorching 1:20:50.
Both runs are on the PAL version of the game.

BioShock is an interesting game. On the one hand, it's almost a complete rip-off of System Shock 2, a game which left me trembling with terror on many occasions on my first playthrough (this is in no way a bad thing), and on the other hand, the player character doesn't understand how to store food and will eat everything and anything he can get his hands on. I'm told that the sequel is even worse in that regard, as said food is many many years old by that point, but I digress. Alex 'Blood Thunder' French has shown that he possesses both a formidable backbone and a mighty stomach as he braves the watery depths of Rapture in this single-segment 0:52:20 blast-through of the game, allowing himself to be slaughtered many times over in the interests of going fast (In other words, death abuse ahoy).

Speaking of games that may have been terrifying in a past incarnation, we finally have an entry on the site for one of the Dead Space series of games! Dead Space 3 may not be as frightening as its' two prequels and it probably doesn't have any of the food related hilarity of the BioShock series, the game is still speedrunnable. Demonstrably so, as 'Tenshouha' demonstrates for us here. Rather than slog through the main game, he (or she) tackled the Awakened DLC missions, delivering unto us this admirable NewGame+ 0:33:36 run on Hardcore difficulty, which from what I understand from hearing some associates of mine talk about the game, may involve ladders, switches and backtracking. But done fast, you see. Because this site is about speed. Hence the name. Yep.

I'll get my coat.