Saturday, September 27, 2014 by ShadowWraith
Legend of Mana is one of those jRPGs that everyone seems to be incredibly fond of, but it's one that I know very little about. The run here is by prolific runner Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe, and completes the Dragon storyline in a single segment in 1:49, an improvement of 9 minutes over his run from 2008. Good stuff!
Speaking of jRPGs that everyone seems to be fond of, I have a childhood-destroying run of EarthBound (aka Mother 2) here. It's in the 'uber large skips' category, which I guess means that it's in the category of runs that have large skips and are sufficiently German. 'nemi' has clearly had enough of Porky's shenanigans and decided to skip the preamble normally required to stop a formless malevolent alien force by glitching to the debug menu, beating the game in 0:09:58. I guess Giygas couldn't comprehend the form of nemi's strats, huh?
While not a jRPG in the traditional sense, Rygar still has some RPG elements so I'm going to use that as a segue. This run is a 2 second improvement by 'Darkwing Duck' over his previous run, with a final time of 0:22:53. Not much else to say about this one.
Oh boy oh boy oh boy! QuackShot. Not an RPG. Oh well. 2D platformers are cool too, especially with Donald Duck. 'Windalgo' crushed the previous run of this game, cutting 2 minutes and 24 seconds off of the previous time on the site with his 0:25:10 submission.
Finally, some updates to our Challenge Map IL table for TMNT, submitted by Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe:
That's all for now. See you soon.
Friday, September 26, 2014 by LLCoolDave
While we're on the topic of classic platforming titles let's take a look at Faxanadu, a game that's been gone from the front page for far too long. Combining sidescrolling action with RPG elements, this little known gem never quite managed to escape the shadow of the similar Zelda II despite being a superior design in many aspects. 'ShinerCCC' improves on the previously published run by precisely 100 seconds, a curious but arbitrary fact that allows me to make this paragraph appear to have more content than it actually does. In any case, the new time to beat is a numerically less remarkable 0:29:04.
In a time before video game stories tried to take themselves seriously and failed at it, protagonist Milon lived in the land of Hudson (now take a guess at what studio developed this game) and gets involved in a strange plot involving stolen musical instruments in Milon's Secret Castle. Despite the strange setting, the game is mostly famous for its unforgiving and arbitrary design, relying on players finding secret passages that are in no way indicated to exist before you stumble upon them, among other rather glaringly poor gameplay decisions. A lot of these issues obviously disappear when speedrunning as 'HavocProdigy' knows the game inside out and discovered a very efficient route through it, beating this bane of many a childhood in a mere 0:09:03.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 by dex
Speaking of Hideo Kojima, we also have a brand new run of the possibly most demented of his games: Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake - which is quite a distinction in a lineup including gems such as SD Snatcher or Metal Gear Solid 4: Grandpa Fighting Simulator. 'Jaguar King' decided to go the extra mile and get the coveted Big Boss rating in his single-segment run, and accomplished this quite challenging feat in 0:51:29 on the in-game timer. This is from the European version of Subsistence, by the way.
Battletoads is up there on the shortlist of the most annoying games of all time. That didn't stop Piotr 'TheMexicanRunner' Delgado Kusielczuk from improving two of the runs on that there page. First, he tackled the standard category (with deaths) and got 0:13:16, 4 seconds faster than the pretty optimized run from January. Then, he obsoleted an old record for the 100% (all stages), getting 0:24:19, over 9 minutes faster. Not bad for runs finished two days apart.
We've also got a small improvement on the IL page for Kirby Super Star. 'BBQSauz' improved the Gourmet Race - Race 1 record to 0:00:21.55. It's a small improvement - less than a second - but enough to knock the total time down by another second. By the skin of the teeth...
For a more modern take on platformers, let's turn to Risk of Rain. Maik 'Onin' Biekart decided to add a run with another character to the lineup on the page. This time, it was using the Mercenary on Downpour difficulty, and it's 0:11:50. All of this is single-segment and using artifacts - which are modifiers of the original difficulty that are supposed to make stuff harder. Spoiler: they don't, not for a speedrunner.
Finally, we have Duke Nukem Forever. Now, I can already hear you typing that angry email: "but dex, you said this update wouldn't have another 3D game!" Well, I contend that describing this game and the characters in it as two dimensional is, if anything, giving the designers too much credit. Anyway, that didn't stop 'DumDumDugan' from wringing out at least some semblance of quality from this game and getting a single-segment time of 2:06:38 on the Piece Of Cake difficulty. Watching this might be the only possible way of getting entertained by Duke Nukem Forever - it's pretty good, I think mainly because it skips a lot of the game with sick tricks, which is most welcome.
Sunday, September 14, 2014 by LLCoolDave
But today is not only an arbitrary SDA update joke reference date but also the 25th anniversary of the beloved Duck Tales game on the NES. What better way to celebrate that than by breaking apart the modern remake Duck Tales: Remastered, which Robbin 'Timber' Tapper was kind enough to do for us today. Despite some immense popularity in the speedrunning scene on its release it still took a few months before a run was submitted to us, but this 0:31:11 on Extreme difficulty was surely worth the wait. Now we're just waiting on Shovel Knight.
It's just been a couple of weeks since the LittleBigPlanet franchise was last mentioned in this very place. (Well, not quite this exact spot, the update only had 2 paragraphs. The same basic idea of bringing create mode items into the story mode levels also works in the original game, so Tad 'RabidJellyfish' Cordle completes his domination of the Large Skips categories with this 0:29:39 showing.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the other hand has not been on the front page in quite a while but is highly anticipated. Today, however, is not that day, as you could have likely deduced by the lack of a hyperlink in the previous sentence. Instead, we have a good ending run collecting all the chaos emeralds on Sonic 3D Blast by Matthew 'voideddarkness' Millwood. Released in the relatively short time span between people yearning for 3D gameplay but the technology not being quite capable of it yet and people realising that isometric platforming is generally quite terrible, Sonic 3D Blast hit the sweet spot of, well, erm, bird collecting or something. This genre still haunts my nightmares, but this 0:41:23 run shows that at least this particular game is one of the best of its kind.
While we're on the subject of challenging platformers, Darkwing Duck on the NES springs to mind. My mind isn't that reliable on the subject though as it somehow associates the title with Sunsoft when it was actually developed by Capcom, so for our favourite Mexican runner Piotr 'TheMexicanRunner' Delgado Kusielczuk's sake I hope I'm also wrong on the difficulty. In case this first childhood videogaming experience had left him with some deep grounded trauma these submissions should have freed him from his curse. Not only does he beat the any% time by over 20 seconds to achieve a 0:12:36, he also included a 0:13:41 run without any pickups. Now he's truly the fajita that flaps in the night.
Contra Hard Corps: Uprising is an XBLA "Contra" game that made the absolutely critical mistake of including a health bar so it is completely and utterly dead to me. DEAD, YOU HEAR ME! SHOT STRAIGHT IN THE HEAD, SO IT SHOULD BE AS DEAD AS CAN BE BUT IT ISN'T BECAUSE HEALTH BAR! 0:43:33 Arcade mode Krystal by Steve 'sutiibu' Laemont blah blah. What an abomination of a game.
Okay, I kind of lied earlier, there is a Zelda game this update. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is the 3D 3DS rerelease of the N64 classic with a confusing title, as the original was already in 3D but it wasn't IN 3D if you know what I mean. (And I don't, because that 3DS feature doesn't actually work for me. Just like the TV based version this release is still very broken, so it's no big surprise that 'gnik' finished it in a mere 0:36:13, but if you want to know exactly how he accomplishes that you'll have to watch for yourself.
) ) There, I hope you're happy now.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Pew pew pew ... IN SPACE!
If the vast emptiness and hostility of space is not your thing, maybe you'd prefer some atmospheric dogfighting instead. Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan Wars still involves a lot of aircraft being shot down, but at least this time the eject button seems like a preferable option to blowing up in a giant fireball (or rather, mediocre explosion due to lack of oxygen). 'Thehealbus' found the previous war efforts to be a bit inefficient and thus managed to set the future of an entire geopolitical region in a mere 1:01:31 this time around.
And now for something completely different. Nox has appeared on the front page twice in the past and today's entry rounds out the class table for this isometric action RPG. Maik 'Onin' Biekart picks up the Conjurer class this time for some highly glitched spellslinging and crossbowerizing and incorporates some new tricks in his 27 segments. Although not sounding safe for work, the imp bump certainly played a role in achieving a final time of 0:34:24, but the nutritiously favourable apple bump also makes a comeback.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Pew pew pew
Pew pew pew pew pew, Mega Man X2 pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew. Pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew, pew pew pew pew pew pew Tyler 'Trogdor' Sykes. Pew pew pew pew pew pew pew, pew pew pew pew. Pew! Pew pew pew pew pew pew pew, pew pew pew pew. Pew, pew pew pew pew pew pew 100 seconds pew pew pew pew pew pew, pew pew pew pew pew pew 0:33:50.
Metroid II: Return of Samus pew pew pew pew pew Mega Man, pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew. Marc J. 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski pew pew pew pew pew 100% pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew. Pew pew pew pew pew pew, pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew. Pew pew pew pew pew pew pew 6 minutes, pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew 1:03:24. Pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 by LLCoolDave
For an entirely different outlook on our future we can turn to the Metal Gear series, although the world painted there doesn't look much more friendly to stay in either. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is part of the canon but plays very unlike other titles in the series. With a heavy emphasize on sword fighting, the hack and slash element takes first billing over the usual stealth focus, but most people agree that the whole package works out just fine this way. 'General_Beatrix' guides protagonist Raiden through a New Game+ playthrough on Hard difficulty with resets in an action packed 0:50:44.99.
If you're still eager for more slashy slashy we can turn to a game that quite likely had a lot of influence on Metal Gear Rising's design in Devil May Cry. The game is notorious for both its crisp gameplay and controls but also the very high difficulty and learning curve, and 'ahuynh' does not go easy on the category choice. Just finishing the game with 100% item collection on Dante Must Die! difficulty is quite impressive on its own, but he does so in a single segment run in just 1:29:37 on the PS3 HD rerelease using the Legendary Dark Knight costume.
Monday, September 8, 2014 by IsraeliRD
One of the harder NES games out there, and there are a lot of them, but this one has to stand out, is Ghosts 'n Goblins. Watching runs done in previous 'GDQs as well as the ones on SDA you can't help but be impressed as the runners handle the RNG and lag, especially when Round 2 of this game happens. Daniel 'Kareshi' Brown is synonymous with this game and for good reason, as he crushed his previous run down to 0:20:52.
A lot of books, movies and TV shows that get a game remake are not that good, and some are outright disasterous. One of the few games that pleased its fans is Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights, as it stays true to the Scooby-Doo! universe, even featuring villains and music from the original episodes. The Mastermind has kidnapped the gang and it is up to Scooby to free them and piss on The Mastermind's leg. James 'cooopercrisp' Mernin takes control of the brave/scared Scooby as he makes his way through the Mystic Manor and its surroundings in 1:32:33, with deaths.
Sunday, September 7, 2014 by IsraeliRD
LXXX * II
FLaiL is a pretty neat indie game that has nothing to do with me flailing in the swimming pool trying not to drown, or with others having a grand entrance. Based on a character that is capable of changing its movement mid-air, you need to manoeuvre around certain hazards (i.e. spikes) that are in your way, and collect different powerups as you try and get to the finish. Charles 'Arcanod' Nannan improves the time--I'm sorry, score, of the previous run by re-doing the entire table, landing at a high score of 247540.
While the title of Stealth Bastard Deluxe: Tactical Espionage Arsehole can be somewhat misleading, the game really is about stealth. You take control of a goggle wearing clone which is a bit smarter than your average clone, and your task is to get to the end of every room in a testing facility while staying in the shadows. If you leave the shadows you will meet hordes of robots, lasers, robots with lasers, rocket shooting robots and much more (spoilers: robots). There is also this robot you sometimes move that makes the saddest eyes when you run away from it, being the arsehole that you really are. 'Niet the Dark Absol' is being a good clone test subject and wraps up the game in 1:05:05.06.
Saturday, September 6, 2014 by IsraeliRD
I've had enough of bullet points for now. Thankfully the next game doesn't need bullet points as the entire table was improved, but since there are guns in it, there are bullets as well. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light sees Lara Croft team up with Totec, a Mayan warrior, in their adventures to stop the evil spirit Xolotl. Firstly we have 'Fatalis' do a one player run in New Game Plus in 0:22:08. I guarantee it has quite a few interesting skips, and if you want to see the game broken even further, then 'Fatalis' and 'dawhos' teamed up to bring down the New Game Plus co-op table down to 0:14:54, 3:33 minutes faster than the previous table.
Friday, September 5, 2014 by IsraeliRD
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! is a game many of you would be familiar with. Taking control of Little Mac you need to punch your way (and avoid getting knocked out) to the top as you take on some odd opponents, and eventually going fist to fist with Mike Tyson. Zack 'Zallard1' Allard and 'sinister1' have teamed up to improve the individual levels table by 13.34 seconds and bring it down to 0:14:36.78. Improvements are:
'sinister1' also brings us an improvement to his old Single Segment run, improving it by slightly more than half a minute to 0:16:33.22.
In Super Punch-Out!! Little Mac is present again and this time knocking his way through to become the World Video Boxing Association champion. Zack 'Zallard1' Allard and D.J. 'Akiteru' Rideout have improved four levels by 0.85 seconds to bring the time down to 0:02:17.05. Gives you an idea how optimized the individual-levels table is.
If you prefer to watch all the fights then you'd be happy to hear that Zallard1 also improved his previous Single Segment run by almost 5 seconds, bringing the time down to 0:02:49.19.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Sometimes you're just at a loss for words
The Fancy Pants Adventure: World 2 has me speechless for an entirely different reason: I've simply already fired my whole load the first time 'Newtmanking' submitted a run on the title. The game solely stands out by just being a slight bit more sophisticated than the other Flash games in its time and thus not being immediately forgotten. This new run in 07:21.77 improves on his previous efforts by adding a new skip in Level 5 and slightly tighter execution but not on the abysmal choice of wardrobe. Those pants are still no good, sir.
Monday, September 1, 2014 by LLCoolDave
New month, new runs
My first encounter with Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel taught me two impressive facts about him: He's a beast that seems to need no sleep, but is socially aware enough to pretend to nap under a table from time to time as not to make everybody else feel bad, and his collection of SNES games is rather outstanding. It is therefore no surprise if you have never even heard of the cartridge he dug out for today, the rather obscure Kendo Rage. The game features a girl sent out to fight monsters by, depending on the localization, a spirit detective (yay) or her personal kendo trainer (boo). That's essentially all I could find out about this game, this 0:11:21 run may very well be the most comprehensive information source on this game out there. I wonder what you will unleash on us next, Omnigamer, but I certainly can't wait for it.
As a friendly reminder, game submission for Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 is nearing an end, so if you've got something you'd like to offer make sure to read up on the guidelines before it's too late.
Sunday, August 31, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Finding new headlines every day is a tiring process
Donald Duck is a lot of things to me, but I just can't imagine him as a competent detective with an alter ego of a Hawaiian ninja (then again, there is Paperinik so good job at keeping your character traits straight, Disney). Luckily, Maui Mallard is exactly the guy to fill that role, except that Maui Mallard is actually just Donald Duck and what the hell is wrong with this setup? Once you get beyond the confusion of just figuring out who the hell the protagonist actually is, Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow is one of my favourite childhood games. As a fairly well designed, varied and difficult platformer the SNES version gave me countless hours of enjoyment. If you've made the grave mistake of already clicking the game link before finishing this paragraph you'll however have noticed that the run submitted today is on the GB port, which is worse in just about any way imaginable. Luckily, Martin 'J.Y' SÃ¶derhÃ¤ll managed to figure out how to contain the suffering to a mere 0:12:42 so some of my good memories made it out unscathed.
Saturday, August 30, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Evil Things and Evil Minds
Speaking of things you don't want to encounter in the dark (and I don't get why everybody assumes that evil monsters would be your best friends during daytime), Resident Evil 4 surely features some Evil stuff going on with some Residents of the area. The game has proven to be a popular speedrunning title, so today Leon's ill designed one man rescue party for the president's daughter takes him through the gamecube release with special weapons in 1:46:59 at the hands of Austin 'Auddy07' Davenport, a considerable improvement over the previous run in this category.
In an incredibly ballsy move the terroristic The Mafat Conspiracy has stolen a weapons satellite and is now extorting BOTH the US an Soviet governments at the same time. Special agent Golgo 13 is sent to deal with the threat through 5 different styles of gameplay including sniping and driving a Ferrari, because if you're going to save the world, you might as well do it with style. Marc J. 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski shoots, punches and dies his way through the rather unusual NES game in 0:24:58, just quick enough to be home for his pizza delivery to be picked up. Mmh, Ferraris and pizzas. A world worth saving.
Finally, sometimes you just do evil things solely for your personal amusement. Mr. X has lured unexpecting victims to a luxury cruise just to have them participate in a murder party. Everybody is assigned a target in secret they have to assassinate while dodging any attempts on their own life. Although primarily designed for multiplayer action, The Ship: Murder Party also features a singleplayer campaign in which you have to (spoilers) unsuccessfully try to escape the grasps of Mr. X. Having already successfully murdered all of his friends, Christian 'ShadowDraft' Moll picks up this campaign and manoeuvres through it in 0:19:07 on easy difficulty.
Thursday, August 28, 2014 by LLCoolDave
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Somehow, Metal Gear Solid 3 HD manages to subpass the previous title in realism still. Whereas the first Metal Gear Solid plot at least had a reasonable level of plausibility to it, by the third game in the subseries we've already thoroughly passed into (possibly literal) voodoo magic. Centenary snipers that die of old age, a guy carrying a hornet's nest on his back, the disembodied spirit of a dead medium and a guy being supercharged with high voltage are just some of the foes you have to face in this game. The stealth action gameplay in the series is absolutely superb though, as demonstrated by japanese runner å·å…ƒ 'Hikari' è‹±å‰‡ here, adding a single segment EU-Extreme Foxhound run in 1:20:11 to his previous segmented outing.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by LLCoolDave
A slight delay
Stairs play a major role in our lives and those of video game characters, yet they are seldomly paid much attention. Being a convenient way of making use of a vertical component in our buildings, in older games they also served as a useful point for room transitions to keep the memory use in line. It is precisely this careful use of memory space that makes stairs such a prominent feature in this Final Fantasy IV run. The game naturally only stores a limited stack of back references when using a staircase, so cycling through some rooms in a loop until this stack is filled and then backtracking leads to the game just throwing you in an arbitrary spot it didn't intend you to go. Naturally, 'nocashnocash' abuses the potential to easily travel anywhere in the game to its fullest, beating the large skips category in a mere 2:03:58, shaving almost a quarter hour off the previous time and saving an hour on the lazy elevator using couch potatoes.
Monday, August 25, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Hope you took a day off for these
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers is a strong contender for longest SDA ID at 32 characters. Being the fourth game in the Crystal Chronicles subseries it also might just hold the record for longest story arc in the Final Fantasy series. It however takes place long after the previous titles, so once again you don't run any risk of being familiar with any of the inexplicably clad protagonists. Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe found some improvements to his old route and shaved off just over 11 minutes to achieve a run in 4:01:50 over 20 segments, including over 90 minutes of unskipable cutscenes. Why would you ever want to skip a cutscene in a JRPG anyway?
Sunday, August 24, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Build your own speedgame
LittleBigPlanet 2 features even more of what made the first one great. Figuring that just playing through the predesigned levels isn't doing the game full justice, Tad 'RabidJellyfish' Cordle decided to use and abuse the game's editor to thoroughly break the singleplayer experience. The result is a run in 0:29:40 skipping most of the levels in the progress.
Saturday, August 23, 2014 by LLCoolDave
A blast from the past
In their neverending quest of environmental friendliness by producing heavily recycled content, Nintendo has brought the nearly forgotten franchise of Kid Icarus to the forefront again. Not only did the main character Pit get a coveted spot in their popular mascot clobbering series, he even got a well received full fledged 3DS game out of the revival. However, Dylan 'Jorf' Beauchamp is a man of tradition. His speedrunning efforts were concentrated on the original title, guiding the flickery 8-bit sprite of Pit through 4 worlds of traditional jumping and running in a quick 0:25:23, beating the old time by over 8 minutes.
Friday, August 22, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Pow! Right in the kisser!
Double Dragon Advance at least aspires to having a real storyline, although calling it original would be rather far stretched; not only is it utterly generic, it also exactly follows that of the original Double Dragon. The Advance release however is more than a pure port as it not only incorporates 4 new levels but also moves from later titles in the series. This 0:18:54 run doesn't do the best of jobs in showcasing the variety in your attacks though, as some combos are just more efficient at taking down most enemies quickly. To me the most notable oversight in this release however is the fact that Bimmy Lee seems nowhere to be found.
In case you haven't figured it out yet, today's runner is of course the one true crude dude, professional goon puncher and suplex master extraordinaire Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 by LLCoolDave
I'd rather never sleep again
Anodyne is a rather less surreal game than Jazzpunk, but it still takes place in a dream world. As such runner 'The Barrel' has decided to decree walls to be more of a decorative design than an integral part of the game world and decided to just go where ever it pleases him. It should be no surprise then that his all bosses run in 0:24:43 deals with things in a rather unusual order, abusing the game's engine to the fullest.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 by LLCoolDave
Help, my screen is melting
Mega Man Battle Network 3 is a somewhat unusual spinoff from the traditional Mega Man formula of unforgiving platforming, tight energy management and difficult boss battles. Instead, the Mega Man Battle Network series features tight chip management, difficult routing decisions and unforgiving action-RPG battles. Maybe it's not actually as big of a departure as I first though. As usually, getting a good run on an RPG involves just the right mixture of good planning, solid execution and the right amount of luck and it seems like 'Tterraj42' succeeded in finding that perfect balance to achieve a time of 3:28 on the Blue version, not only improving the old time by 6 minutes but also doing so in a single segment this time around.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 by LLCoolDave
The first game of the day is Cool Spot on the SNES, a bizarre platformer featuring the anthropomorphized red dot from the 7 Up logo as a main character. You know, that dot that somehow separates the logo into two parts yet isn't actually part of the product name and which most of you won't recognize ever wearing gloves and shoes as the logo has been redesigned twice since this game was released? Yes, exactly, that thing. 'darbian' has refused any statement on a potential corporate sponsorship for his 0:11:27 run but reports indicate that he has last been seen installing a mildly citric water park in his backyard.
Next up is the PS1 stealth classic Syphon Filter. Surprisingly none of the high-tech biological weapon manufacturers have decided to associate their corporate branding with this title. At least that'll keep the players from developing an insatiable urge to eradicate an entire subcontinent. Martin 'J.Y' SÃ¶derhÃ¤ll went back to the game with some new tricks and route changes to improve on his old time by almost 9 minutes, achieving a run in 1:00:55 across 20 segments.
If you'll excuse me now, I've got an inexplicable thirst to quench.
Sunday, August 17, 2014 by IsraeliRD
Our longest run today begins with a title that never got released on the NES in North America, and was the last game ever released in Europe for the NES. Actually this trivia is probably chewing off your spare time so I'll just state that The Lion King was the answer. Taking control of the wild and untamed Simba Dave 'bangerra' Janssens goes through the RNG-hell-bad-platform-collision-pixel-perfect-jumps-invisible-enemies game in a super fast 0:06:13 to defeat a coconut-throwing monkey and become King of the Jungle. Probably a good thing it didn't get a North American release.
Next up is a twist on playing with yourself. Cursor*10 is a short game where the objective is to lead your cursor through floors and solve puzzles using your current and previous cursors. Andres 'Almarac' Vanlandewyck finishes the game in 0:01:47. To the curious, the lack of LQ is on purpose, as it's due to the new yua (coming soon). MQ is being encoded in the same profile and features as LQ/HQ which means some runs may not produce LQ, and some will no longer have HQ.
Ether Lunu is a first person platformer/shooter game created by a number of students as their university project homework. Your task is to use an Ether to perform Sun Busts to jump around the level, passing traps and other obstacles. Ben Hogan speeds through in 0:01:31 and gets my A+.
The last run on the update is so fast that if you blink you'll miss all the action. Actually I'm not sure how much action Picture Puzzle can have, but Dave 'bangerra' Janssens provides us with 0:00:01 of action and solves a picture of a swag crocodile. The intro on the other hand is way too long.
Since speed is the name of this update, a certain blue blur just has to go fast. We're talking Sonic and the great folks at The Sonic Center are having their third charity marathon, which starts on the 18th of August at 2:00 PM EDT. All money raised will go to the American Cancer Society. Check out their stream and scroll down for the schedule.
Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 is approaching and you can now submit your games! Follow the instructions in this topic and hopefully you'll get a game in as well! If not, don't salt. Instead use the salt next time you stream your Chikin Sammich speedrun and maybe that will go on AGDQ! Donation category is who will make the food (and then eat it). Can even be done as a race, or Co-op, or maybe one handed?
Monday, August 11, 2014 by IsraeliRD
Whipped to death
Kickstarting our biggest ever Castlevania block is an awesome game called Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Normally one takes control of Alucard as he sets on defeating his own father, while Dracula decides to recite the bible in his spare time. I don't think being a pastor is something that would be a good career choice. Anyway you also have an option to control Richter whose moveset from the get go is so impressive that he gets to shaft super-fast. So fast that when you let Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman play this game he does it in a swift 0:05:19, on the XBLA version and Single Segment.
The following runners have produced multiple runs, because they are not satisfied with just beating the game once, but making sure that the day is saved from multiple angles. First one up is Jay 'DeMoNFLiP84' Cabasag who's set on having a new legacy, and what a better way to start it off if not with Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness. Wolfing through Cornell's story, DeMoNFLiP84 saves Henry and Ada while defeating Dracula's career resurrection plans in a mere 1:22:32, in Single Segment. Talking about Henry, DeMoNFLiP84 also goes through his story to save 6 children in 0:17:17, 20 seconds faster than the previous run, and also Single Segment. I would like to know how the children got there to begin with because some of those spots are crazy.
Now for a different type of legacy. A sequel to Castlevania III comes in the form of Castlevania: Curse of Darkness. Normally one plays Hector as he goes through a journey to battle his career-related old-friend turned nemesis, Isaac, and ends up fighting against Dracula. Having already done that, Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody decides to take up Trevor Belmont and his trusty whip instead. Blazing through the castle and surrounding areas, Dragondarch destroys the game in a brief 1:22:20, done in Single Segment. This is 21:15 minutes faster than the previous run on the site, which was segmented. If this wasn't enough for you then you'd be happy to know it wasn't enough for Dragondarch either as he also plays the Boss Rush mode as Trevor in 0:09:49.33, a 2:09:72 minutes improvement. Now having his name exclusively on the page I'd like to ask if we'll see an improvement on the Hector run. Preferably Single Segment.
A few months ago LLCoolDave has asked everyone to submit a Vampire Killer run, a MSX2 exclusive, before you got to the end of his update. It appears that 'Jaguar King', who did Haunted Castle in that update, has decided to do just that and actually make a run for this game. Taking control of Simon Belmont, Jaguar King has to traverse Dracula's castle and collect Skeleton Keys in order to get to Dracula's room. These keys were well hidden as clearly Dracula wants to be alone, but Jaguar King doesn't let him be. And then we wonder why he hates us. Reasoning aside, Jaguar King beats the game in 0:17:44, also Single Segment. Unlike Haunted Castle which has a giant fugly face of Dracula coming from the side this time you have to beat a less-ugly portrait as Dracula's second form. Perhaps a painter isn't the best career choice either.
The next two games have confused the hell out of me before this update, and thanks to Wikipedia I now know why. The first game is Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge. Christopher's Belmont son Soleiyu gets kidnapped by the evil Dracula, as he turns him into a demon (turning people to demons is a good career choice) with the plans of becoming human again and rebuilding his castle. Whipping his way in black, white and 50 shades of grey 'Jaguar King' makes a second appearance, as he saves Soleiyu and Transylvania and this time with a run totalling 0:27:19, done in Single Segment. Erm. Yeah.
The second game also begins with Castlevania II in the title, and is also a sequel to a previous Castlevania game. Now you understand why I got confused? Castlevania II: Simon's Quest sees Simon Belmont's career choice of killing Dracula taking a turn for the worse. Cursed by Dracula before his untimely death, he has to collect all five body parts in order to bring Dracula back from the dead, and then kill him again. 'Furious Paul' decided that non-sensible plots are something he could get behind as he turns his attention to bring us the maximum categories possible in this game. First off we have a deathless 0:38:42 run, Single Segment. After that we have a 0:36:52 run that contains deaths, and is also Single Segment. Lastly we have a 0:45:43 run which is 100%, with deaths and--- you know what, if you haven't been paying attention to the secondary theme of this update, of which all of these runs followed, then I'm not going to tell you anything more about this run.
To conclude this massive update, and looking back at the runs and the various career choices Dracula and co. had, I can safely say that the best possible choice is for him to stay dead. However as someone who loves watching Castlevania speedruns, I for one will be sad if this does turn out true. Meanwhile I'd like you all to take note that we don't have all Castlevania games on the gamelist yet, and since it worked so well with LLCoolDave last time, then please do a speedrun of Castlevania Legends. Preferably in Single Segment.
Until we meet again, I'm off to watch two more Haunted Castle runs which currently sit in the submissions queue. I think you know what type they are.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 by IsraeliRD
Writing titles can be Payneful
Let's start with a one man war. Max Payne is a name familiar to many of you for his ability to almost die a number of times, and always come out firing to destroy the ultimate evil that destroyed his life to start with. To help Max bring in the pain is runner Nigel 'ridd3r' Martin who Super Jumps and save-glitches his way to a new low time of 0:51:35 on a deathless run of Dead on Arrival difficulty, Single Segment with resets.
A different type of conflict comes through Global Operations. This game puts you in the shoes of both terrorists and counter-terrorists as you fight one another on different parts of the world. The game has a huge variety of weapons and allows you to select several different classes, resulting in very interesting combinations. Carsten 'djcj' Janssen makes full use of the arsenal (and suiciding because it's faster), as he takes on both campaigns in 1:46:51 in 26 ILs done on Easy Difficulty.
Aliens and zombies really like killing humans as it appears, otherwise why else would we have so many games centered around this theme? Better yet if we combine the both together we'll get something pretty epic. Dead Space 3 continues the saga with Ryan 'LivingLooneyBin' Nicholls taking control of Isaac as he sets to destroy the marker home world (spoilers: aliens' homeworld). Battling through space, ice and out of bounds, LivingLooneyBin saves humanity (spoilers: Awakened) in 2:41:43 in a New Game Plus, Casual difficulty and Single Segment, with resets.
Robots. No, not the kind that are going to take over the world and kill us, but the kind we control: massive, powerful walkers. You guessed it, mechs. MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries continues giving people the enjoyment of raining hell with giant walking hulks of metal. Today runner 'Mewyabe' takes control of some Ãœber mechs and completes the game in 0:58:33 on Recruit difficulty, Single Segment. This is an 8:09 improvement over the previous run, which also was segmented.
I can't see how this run fits the theme of this update, but I'll give it a serve and hopefully ace it. If the ball didn't hit you in the face with these clues, then perhaps tennis isn't for you. If you are a fan of tennis then you should check out the latest contestant! Aiming at the number one spot, runner 'ike6252' battles the RNG-hell of Virtua Tennis. But being #1 isn't very easy as you have to train between matches, get better equipment, handle your not-so-fantastic partner and time your shots properly. ike6252 wins the crowd as he completes the Arcade Mode in 0:05:31 and the World Circuit in 2:03:33. Both done on Very Hard difficulty and Single Segment of the European version of this game.
Saturday, July 26, 2014 by LLCoolDave
(Ad)venture a guess
In general, waking up with amnesia is slightly preferable to being stabbed as you exit a diner, but for Eike Kusch that event sets up an intriguing time travel adventure to prevent it from happening. After being revived by the mysterious Homunculus, Eike explores four eras to unmask his murderer. And again, 'Danielle' shows little empathy for this carefully designed story to explore in Shadow of Destiny and earns ending A in a mere 0:26:21 in 9 segments, all in the name of going fast.
Sonic Adventure DX on the other hand is not a real adventure game in anything but name but rather marked the series' first proper engagement with a full 3D game world, for better or worse. Certainly for worse it also introduced the concept of interlacing the cool, high speed Sonic gameplay with other playable characters you'd really rather wished they didn't waste time and disk space on. To me, Amy Rose is one of those, an annoying little sow whose only redeeming feature is her oversized squeaky hammer. Luckily, Anthony 'GeminiDX' Pancione spares us the trouble of spending more than 0:13:34 with her part of the story.
Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee trails the titular Abe as he tries to free his fellow Mudokon prisoners from the RuptureFarm meat-processing plant before they can be turned into an all new product (which, given the way they look, I wouldn't expect to be very tasty). The game is rather famous for its difficulty level and very unique graphical design and feel, but the way Sam 'Samlaptop' Locke treats it is unlike anything you've seen before. If you simply refuse to die, the game design really gets slapped in the face in interesting ways. This 0:24:41 run in 13 segments is already impressive enough in its own right, but Samlaptop has found even more absurd ways to break the game since this submission, so you can hope to see more of it in the future.
Until typing out this update, I never really noticed how bizarre the title Metal Gear Solid actually looks. Nevertheless, it has been one of the defining games of its generation and a popular speedrunning game for a long while. Thus it's all the more surprising how long it took for it to be as broken as it is today, as exemplified in this 1:09:16 run in 5 segments by 'Neb'. Not only does he achieve the BigBoss rank on extreme difficulty, he also makes a complete mockery of the story by doing things quite out of order, or skipping essential aspects of it entirely. I'm sure this is just an alternate cut of the events of Shadow Moses Island and has been planned by Hideo Kojima right from the start. At least I wouldn't be surprised if he claimed so.
Finally, if you've recovered from Summer Games Done Quick by now and have not been fully satisfied by the runs above, may I divert your attention to the European Speedster Assembly, holding their yearly marathon event from the depths of Sweden starting this Sunday. And if even their lineup of over 150 games can't quench your need for speedruns then perhaps it is time to get started yourself and submit a run of your own. As they say, the only way to stop a fire is to burn your own house. Actually, don't, that's a stupid saying. Don't burn your house. Not again.
Friday, July 11, 2014 by IsraeliRD
I should be timing speedruns but instead I bring you an update
Investigating the kidnapping of humans by aliens can a tough task, especially when you must recruit other people and aliens for the job. Thankfully they don't know you don't care about them as you let them die but they're still necessary to get to the last mission of Mass Effect 2. Runner 'letterswords' takes the role of Commander Shepard as he kills your favourite aliens all in the name of speed, 1:32:28 done in New Game Plus with DLC on Casual difficulty, and Single Segment. Main differences include a glitch to attain more skill points and DLC for best weapons and do different recruit missions, saving many minutes in the process.
Often games like to compete which can scare the player more and feature the most gruesome scenes. One such game is F.E.A.R.. The game itself is supposed to have several jump scares and a whole bunch of horror scenes that will kill your character, but 'Freezard' is having (almost) none of that. Mainly using ladders to glitch Out of Bounds, Freezard beats the game in 0:46:29 on Low difficulty using 55 segments. This is 9:30 minutes faster and 20 segments less than the previous run.
The plot behind Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise is that the bears on Perfection Island decided to go on vacation on an exotic island and didn't invite Naughty, who in return decides to hunt each of them and kill them in various entertaining ways that PETA won't approve. Taking control of Naughty is Michael 'MAS8705' Solseth who wipes the island from its inhabitants in 0:21:39 on New Game Plus in an individual-level table consisting of 36 murderous levels.
The last game today is part of the Doom series, meaning it is fast-paced and is all about killing demons without much care about the plot. I don't think I need to introduce Final Doom much longer so let's get to it. Christopher 'Dime' Dewey should be familiar to those in the Doom scene and today he gives us an impressive update to the Plutonia Experiment episode, improving the previous run from 2002 by 10:49 minutes and clocking in at 0:30:22. The run is on Ultra-Violence and is Single Segment.
And now back to my ever-growing list of runs to time I should really be working on.
Thursday, July 10, 2014 by ShadowWraith
That's a wrap, folks!
The event was a huge success - surprise crossbows and scythes aside - and all thanks to the people who make this community great, speedrunners and viewers alike, and I don't need to be the President of the United States to say that things are just going to get better and better. So whether you're a fan of Mario giving Bowser what-for for the umpteenth time, or prefer to watch Gordon Freeman perform feats of acrobatics that imply that the world is made out of rubber, or even someone casually taking a look at the marathon stream (or front page of this site, hi mom) to see what's up with this whole speedrunning thing, thank you. Thank you for helping us go fast.
For those of you not quite ready to let go, some kind folks at the speedrunning subreddit have made a catalogue of the twitch VOD links for the marathon speedruns for you to peruse at your leisure. Note that high quality encodes of the marathon runs will be available here in the not-too-distant future, so if you'd prefer waiting for a higher quality experience, watch this space.
For those of you looking to the future, Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 has been scheduled for the 4th-10th of January, and you can trust me when I say that it will be awesome. I mean, the clue's in the name. Duh.
Finally, I'd like to remind people that another speedrunning marathon, the European Speedster Assembly 2014 will be running from July 27th until August 3rd in SkÃ¶vde, Sweden, hosted by Ludendi. So if you're still riding on that post-marathon buzz, you won't have long to wait until you can watch another one.
Time for us updaters to get back to our normal schedule.