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Released in October 1997, Naughty Dog decided to make a game that didn't suck. The result was Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. Many Crash enthusiasts today believe Crash 2 is the best title in the Crash series, claiming Crash 3 strays too far from Crash's platforming roots in favor of some substandard levels starring Cocoa.


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European Single-segment: 0:46:35 by Matthew.

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This is my speedrun of the PAL version of Crash Bandicoot 2 for the PlayStation 1, it is played on a PAL Slim PS2 without the usage of the Fast Disc Speed option, kinda rule the community has about this category. My main (and, really, only) goal in this category was to beat the TAS made by Mukki in 2009, which clocks in at 47:03 SDA timing, kinda annoying when my previous PB/WR was 47:07 :P.

Before I begin the comments of the actual run I shall thank some people for various things 'n' stuff:
PeteThePlayer - The main competition, very good overall Crash runner and really cool guy and for being in the Skype call with me when I got this at 2am my time lol.
Crash41596/RinRin - Sexy manbeast who's also quite good at this game, usually skype with him and known for ages.
ThaRixer - Another competitor, holds 3rd place on this category strong.
TOTOzigemm - For having a scrotum (it's very important to him).
The Crash/Spyro gang, too many to name, for being cool dudes/dudettes.'
Trihex - For his amazing 2:16 any% run at AGDQ 2012.

Some links

If for some reason you wish to contact me then;

And to keep updated (somewhat) on WR's and stuff in Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and Ape Escape games then checkout our leaderboards!

Game/Speedrun Mechanics

Neutral Slide Spin [NSS] - Achieved by sliding [R1/Circle], letting go of the d-pad/analog stick and then spinning. Fastest way to move.

Slide-Jump-Spin - Sliding, jumping then quickly spinning, creates a higher than intended jump that can clear huge gaps and reach normally impossible heights.

Invincibility - Nerfs the NSS thus is avoided, only useful in Hangin' Out.

Game Over Abuse - The thing not used in this run. It's a trick wherein you game over after collecting a crystal, avoiding completing the level and going back to the warp room. Now for some reason, the game still has that crystal in an inventory and by completing another level normally, Crash will pull out the crystal from the level you just finished AND the level you GO'd in. Can chain GO's then later complete a level normally, and using this trick saves several mins; enough time to warrant a category split (considering about 100 billion times as many people run No Game Over Abuse compared to regular Any%.)

The Real Deal, teh urn.

Timing starts from the frame before Neo talks to you where Crash is aimed towards the left, you have control over that and ends the first frame Neo Cortex's health bar goes offscreen after the 3rd and final hit.

Turtle Woods: This level be weird, the terrain is ass and likes to lock you in crouches and ignore your jump button; the runthrough here was sloppy, but nothing too bad.

Snow Go: Always gets wrecked, no exception here in this run. NSS is so fast you can slide over the smaller pits lol, always quite entertaining.

Hang Eight: Kinda funky to me, always seem to have something weird goin' on here in runs. Damage abused on the final plant to avoid an invincibility.

The Pits: I don't know about this level, it's a pain in the ass to avoid the first Aku so I just make sure to have only 1 mask when I reach it. Can spin the birds' butts for a little speed boost here.

Crash Dash: Derpy level, slide spinning around the electric fences is pretty sketchy and sometimes jump doesn't wanna work and you slide straight down a pit.

Ripper Roo: lolno

Snow Biz: NSS on ice is just super, this level is actually quite fun but there's some stuff that can go wrong. Got hit by the last roller to avoid invincibility in the next level.

Air Crash: Can load with the mines in bad or good cycles, they were good this run, which rarely happens to me. You can use a mine to hop a fence but I forgot and missed it, only saves a sec though. Also this could happen: (go to 25 secs)

Bear It: Charge-jumpin' all over the world, sometimes the jump doesn't register (this is a recurring element eh?) and you slam into totems/dive into some water. Run here went quite well, though.

Crash Crush: Glitchiest level, can fall through the walls or floor ( For some reason you can NSS safely under the electric gates here.

The Eel Deal: Like Air Crash, this level can load with good cycles or bad ones, here, in a rare occurence it loaded in the good cycle <3. Keep at least 1 Aku here for strats in the next warp room.

Komodo Bros: Glitchy bastards, can spin for ages and if you skip the intro cutscene too fast, you'll lose your masks then die. They were nice this run though, hoorah!

Sewer or Later: Here are the aforemention strats, use your masks to plow through the flamethrower guys. Unforutnately I fucked up and took an extra hit, making me wait for one guy.

Bear Down: Same as Bear It but now with assholes hoisting iron crate rows with seemingly endless hitboxes.

Un-Bearable: For some (probably fuck-tarded) reason you CAN'T NSS under the electric gates even though, to me, they look identical to the ones in Crash Crush >_>

Road to Ruin: I shouldn't have survived at 23:34 lol, other than that this is a really fun level, 'specially for 100%.

Plant Food: Sometimes you get a grey crystal here, also sometimes you can go past the plants at the end of the 2nd jetboard area.

Tiny "Taz" Tiger: Luck based boss, got really sexy luck here, though, 3rd hit could've been faster but w/e. It was at this point I started noticing this run was above and beyond average, 26:27 Tiny split is pretty damn good.

Cold Hard Crash: Death route here is faster, there's a jump to skip the ! crate but it's risky and I didn't want to lose such a nice run to that lol.

Ruination: I want to leave here with 2 masks for Hangin' Out, kinda difficult considering this level is a gauntlet of shit.

Hangin' Out: The only use of invincibility in the run! Alternate strats:

Diggin' It: Dumb level, ESPECIALLY in 100%, but here it just has some bad sections. Kind of a weird run of this.

Bee-Having: I seem to always have a dumb death here but luckily that was not the case today. Sad I couldn't show off walking on the bees at the end of the level.

N. Gin: Aside from not getting the final hit in 1 pass this is the fastest you can kill him. The freezes here are normal of the game.

Night Fight: Starting to get worried. I never practiced this level but yet can smash it every run, I go here for 1 mask, dunno why just always have and probably always will.

Spaced Out: This level killed my 47:07's chances of getting lower than Mukki's TAS, thus I decided to take it on with the mask from Night Fight, worked out really nice :D

Piston it Away: Figured I should go here just to get it out of the way, another annoyance in 100%. Can do some 3D jump sexiness here.

Rock It: Love this death glitch, kinda glad I actually got it in "teh urn".

Pack Attack: The home stretch, almost died at one point here which would've sucked so much.

Neo Cortex: If you get all 3 quick hits he takes 21 seconds from load-up to death. Stopped my WSplit at 46:37.17, which I then properly timed to 46:35.480.

And that is that, I spent quite a bit running this game on and off and I am so glad to finally have this run, it is improveable but for the time being I am content. Thank you for watching my run and I hope to be back with some other Crash 2 stuff later. Bye.

European Single-segment with Game-over abuse: 0:41:30 by Peter Tissen.

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Author's comments:

Hello everyone this is another Speed Run I, PeteThePlayer, present to you. It is a Crash Bandicoot 2 Any% Speed Run in less than 42 minutes, which has been my goal for a while by now.
This run requires careful planning and precise execution to be succesful. My original Speed Run of this was a very satisfying and overwhelming time of 44:44 on emulator, but since then I have gotten a copy of Crash 2 on console as well. With the help of the PS2's Fast Disc Speed I was able to increase my loading screen's speed tremendously and with an even better route I could finally pull this run off.

Now I shall explain the important factors in this run:

If Crash picks up an objective (Crystal or Gem) and you die until you get a Game Over, that objective is not lost. In fact, if you finish a level afterwards without having to re-enter, you will pull out the objective you collected before the Game Over as well. Thus you can skip the portion between the level's crystal and the level's end portal. This is used to finish long levels faster or to finish levels faster that give you the crystal relatively early into the level.

This is a glitch the main movement technique. It just consists of me setting the direction and starting a slide, then letting go of the direction and then spinning. That way the spin carries over the slide speed instead of being decreased to the running speed. In other words, I permanently travel in slide speed, which is the fastest way to move, especially on ice.

This a glitch that requires you to jump and spin out of a slide. Crash's jump reaches an unintended height and allows some skips.

This glitch requires you to move quickly left and right (or up and and down, depending on the perspective) while you are in the air. If done quickly enough, Crash will get prepelled a few pixels forward. Usually all time in the air is lost time, but zig zagging in that time kinda makes up for it and can save 1-2 seconds per level, if it is used for all jumps.

Just a small topic I need to mention. Invincibility in this game does slow you down. There is only one instance in the game, where it is beneficial to get the three masks as well. Otherwise it restricts your movement to the same speed regardless of the move you use (e.g. your slide would be just as fast as crouching)

When Crash falls down a pit, his shoes sometimes pop out and soemtimes they don't. Anytime you see the shoes, you obviously lose time and so far we only have silly theories as to how to decrease the chance of getting them. The real trigger is yet to be found.

Every extra life means dying an additional time. There are times it is very hard to avoid extra lives, but if you see me desperately trying to avoid certain ?-boxes then I do it because they really likely contain lives with my current life count.

Now I will talk about the important parts in the run:
L5 Crash Dash: Game Overing in this level saves around 5-10 seconds. You have to go extremely fast on the third boulder, otherwise the boulder will give you a very long death animation and keeps rolling.
L4 The Pits: Game Overing saves around 5-10 seconds.
L3 Hang Eight: Game Overing is not worth it because drowning takes too long.
L2 Snow Go: I die in order to prepare the Game Over in L8 Bear It.
L1 Turtle Woods: Crystal's right at the end, no GO

Ripper Roo: Swag strats of messing around and humiliating the sad bastard who cannot touch while I could roll myself out of laughter.

L8 Bear It: The crystal is extremely early found in the level so getting a GO skips about 2/3 of the level. It needs to be prepared though because the death animations in this level are very long. Possibly the biggest time gain over a No GO run.
L6 Snow Biz: Prapare GO for L10.
L10 The Eeel Deal: GO saves a few frames or somethin'. Too long deaths in this level, that's why it is prepared.
L9 Crash Crush: Ordinary.
L7 Air Crash: Finish with at least 1 mask. Rest ordinary.

Komodo Bros.: I got unlucky since Joe spun for quite a long time. We are not aware of a trigger for that yet, but I lost a few seconds.

L12 Sewer or Later: You want to enter with 2 masks or enter with 1 mask and get the enemy snipe at the start. Damage abuse is what you need in this level and I made up for more than all of the time I lost in the Komodo Bros.
L13 Bear Down: Ordinary.
L14 Road To Ruin: Game Overing saves a tad bit.
L15 Un-bearable: Probably the second biggest time gain over a No GO run.
L11 Plant Food: Ordinary.

Tiny: Okay battle. Finally good RNG on this. Prepared a GO as well because you enver get shoes here. I could have jumped on Tiny's platform after the third hit and danced in the air but the platform was far away and I could never judge well, what height it is on when I don't see it next to me. I've lost runs to that and decided against the swag strats although they do look sexier.

L17 Diggin' It: You can GO here quite well but dying in Tiny beforehand is still faster.
L18 Cold Hard Crash: Death Route is actually faster than the normal path of the jump. Also note the Kreygasmic Yolo jump before the death route. Hedgehogs kicked my ass in this one but I found a way out of the trouble they out me in.
L19 Ruination: I died in order to reset the cycles since they always be the same and it's a very convenient setup.
L16 Hangin' Out: This is the one invincibility in the game that is worth getting. going along the grids is sped up and jumping on the pipes works too. Both take around the same time, I chose the latter because it simply looks more entertaining. You have to enter this level with two masks, gathered from SOMEWHERE in this Warp Room (preferably (but unlikely) L18 or (more likely) L19)
L20 Bee-Having: Ordinary.

N. Gin: Double Arms ez pz. Thoguht I'd get screwed for Double Shoulders but I still made it. CLUTCH.

L23 Night Fight: GO.
L22 Rock It: Ordinary.
L21: Piston It Away: GO.
L24 Pack Attack: Wasted a tad bit of time, maybe a few seconds.
L25 Spaced Out: Sexy.

Cortex: Sexiest.

Overall I am quite satisfied with this run. It is very clean, The shoe "luck" was acceptable.

Special Thanks to:

SolarBowler/ElectronAvenue: Definitely my main competition in Crash games and cool dude.
Crash41596: My cockroachlicker :)
Batplug: The Swaggiest.
ZtarZtorm: For actually putting thoughts into this category and trying to compete.
The Crash/Spyro Group: For being an awesome bunch of picking these great series to speedrun.
MrBean35000vr: For his backup Crash 2 disc.

In order to contact me, visit these places:

Check out the Crash/Spyro/Ape Escape Leaderboards as well if you want to stay updated when it comes to speedruns of these game series:

Thanks for checking this out and sayonara.

Single-segment with large-skip glitches: 0:12:21 by Matthew.

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Author's comments:


Some technical stuff:
> NTSC-U version played on NTSC-U Slim PS2 with Fast Disc Speed enabled.
> The NTSC version is faster in this category (This run on WSplit compared to my PAL 12:52 -
> I recorded this using a Dazzle DVC100 connected to AmaRecTV 2.31.
> I start timing from the frame I spin in the warp room before Cortex tries to talk to me (you have control over that frame) and end timing first frame Cortex's health bar is off-screen after the 3rd hit.

Links for stuff:
> - Leaderboards for Crash, Spyro and Ape Escape games.
> - A 12:52 on the PAL version also by me.
> - TAS in 11:34 by PiroHiko.
> - My stream, where I stream with no schedule or discernible consistensy.
About this run:
The main movement technique is the Neutral Slide Spin (NSS), it's roughly 1.8x faster than Crash's walking speed and can cover large distances quickly.
Another movement technique is ZigZagging, it's used to speed you up and add cover more distance with jumps. (This can be see in the 2D section of Snow Go).
I use a glitch where I obtain a "bounce counter" of 200, which allows me to collect crystals when I kill enemies (the seals, in this case).
I kill 26 seals to get 25 crystals, I don't really know why I must kill 26 but if I kill 25 I only get 24 crystals, it doesn't waste time anyways.


> Snow Go
This level was kinda sloppy, I'm not very used to the NTSC version but there seems to be more ingame lag, and this game loves to ignore inputs when lag is going on. NSS over several pits and a bonus round, use zigzagging in 2D section to gain a few frames (gotta save 'em).

> The Crate
So here I use the 10 wumpa crate to get the first 11 bounces fast, from there I must bounce 189 more times to reach 200 bounces.

> The Seals
After bouncing on the crate I must spin then crouch when I hit the ground so as not to set off the ground flag, this will break my bounce combo. As stated earlier, I kill 26 seals for 25 crystals, all I need to advance to the final boss. To get a crystal per seal you must spin between jumping and landing on the first seal of a wave.

> Ripper Roo
After Crash pulls Fort Knox out of his pocket we get to face the first boss who is so easy I get to mess around the whole time, just gotta be careful 'round those nitros.

> Komodo Bros.
So there's a glitch here where if you skip the cutscene immediately you just get hit by nothing and die, so I wait a sec then skip it. The spinning guy (Komodo Moe) can spin for a very long time sometimes but luckily he didn't and this fight went as well as it could have (R.I.P Aku Aku).

> Tiny 'Taz' Tiger
RNG funtime, not much to say other than the platforms that fall are semi random (they usually are ones in front of you) so this boss can screw you over pretty badly. Airdancing cause I can.

> N.Gin
This boss is harder on NTSC because he moves a bit faster, making it harder to get the double hits. However I pulled off both double arms AND double shoulders, the latter of which is quite hard on NTSC. You can get the final hit on the first attack but it's not very consistent.

> Neo Cortex
This is the fastest known way of defeating him, just need to lay the smackdown 3 times and the run is completed.

Overall this run could maybe be improved to 12:15 or something I'm not too sure, but I'm pretty much done with this category. This is a great time and the fact it took little time to get makes it all the greater.


European Single-segment with large-skip glitches: 0:13:18 by Nikolaj Sørensen.

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To start off with i don't just normally walk, i do something called a Neutral Slide Spin (NSS), this is the fastest way to move, and it is performed by sliding, letting go of the directional button mid-slide then spinning. I have to do this repeatedly to keep moving and to keep my movement speed high.

Snow Go Before Box Bouncing:

The first 3D section was very solid, using the ice to my advantage by sliding on it to moving faster of course. The 2D section was also really good, you may see me zigzagging in mid air, that is to move a couple of frames faster in mid air. The last 3D section was a bit sloppy, i lost a second by stumbling over the box wall before the crystal.

Ripper Roo:
There really is not much to this boss seeing as he is time based, and what you mostly see me do is mess around to try to kill time. All you have to do is stand at certain spots when he lays down the TNTs and Nitros.

Komodo Brothers:
These guys have 2 glitches. You notice how i don't skip the cutscene very fast, if you skip it too fast you will lose one mask after another and die. You will basicly get hit by nothing. The second glitch is if you stay too close to Komodo Joe (The spinning one), he will spin for even longer. He can spin for over 40 seconds. The first hit was basic as always, stand still and NSS up-right to hit him. The second hit might be a bit sloppy but i want to make sure that i don't trigger the spinning glitch. The final hit was very good, getting it close to instantly. And of course dance on his belly to show off.

Tiny Tiger:
I hate this guy, only reason why is because he is luck based. You have to hope you get plus pieces (+p) the platformes shaped like a plus basicly. First hit i got 2 +p getting the first hit instantly. Second hit i got 2 +p again, getting the second hit instantly. On the third hit you only get one platform, i got a +p but i had to lure him over the hole by using a SJ, so i lost 1-2 seconds. Overall a very lucky and good fight. You can also jump on the platform he died on to dance on air =D.

N. Gin:
This guy is pretty basic. On the arm section, each arm is 10 hits. Hit it as many times as you can but just not 10. When he fires the lazer you hit him the 10th time on each arm, giving you double arms. Same deal on shoulders. Second missile wave (second cycle) is the best possible cycle you can get double shoulders on. You hit each shoulder as many times as you can but just not 5. Wait until the missile wave arrives and shoot the shoulders on the 5th hit.

Dr. Neo Cortex:
Easiest final boss ever. You have to spin him 3 times. Flying up and down gives you a bit of speed, and the speed resets when you hit him. Other than that dodge asteroids and mines.

NSS = Neutral Slide Spin
SJ = Spin Jump
+P = Plus Pieces (Refering to Tiny's fight)

European version Single-segment 100% 1:20:50 by Robert Chadwick.

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Hello all! This is my first ever submission to SDA, of a run that has been a long time coming, Crash Bandicoot 2 100% in 1:20:51, single-segment. I was inspired to create this run after watching the old 100% time by trihex, which was awesome for its time, and some TAS times that had demonstrated some new movement techniques. After 2 - 3 years of hard work learning tricks and over 2,000 failed attempts, here we are. This run achieves 100% by the game's in-built percentage counter, which is all 25 crystals, all 42 gems, all 5 secret warp room portals unlocked and Cortex defeated. The 200 bounce glitch is not used, as it is broken, boring, and banned in this category.

The game was played on a PS2 slim with fast disc speed enabled, and this is the European version of the game. The European version is faster by default but the advantages offered are not ridiculously significant. People would like to claim that they are, but they are liars!

First and foremost, allow me to present some useful things.
There is a commenated YouTube version of this run here:,
and a non-commentated YouTube version here:,
and here are the leaderboards that the Crash community uses for tracking times:
and finally, my Twitch, where I frequently stream runs of this game:

General movement tricks and glitches:

Slide-Spin - In this game, sliding is faster than running by a magnitude of roughly 1.8x. However, the animation for a slide ending is costly, meaning that sliding everywhere barely saves time. In order to prevent the animation, you can spin, which slows you down slightly but skips the animation, faster overall.

Neutral Slide-Spin (NSS) - But there's more. I often refer to this trick as full speed slide spin. Slide-Spin is cool and all, but slowing down during the spin is annoying, and the runners demanded that this game should be faster. If you release the d-pad or analog stick before initiating the spin part of a slide-spin, the spin speed grabs the sliding speed instead of slowing down to normal running speed like it otherwise would. This means that the entire game can be played at sliding speed with no slowdown. This forms the primary movement method of the game.

Ice Momentum - If you want the fastest speed the game has to offer, slide-spin on ice. As long as you initiate your slide on ice, the game will act like you are on ice until the slide-spin is complete, meaning that you get to take a lot of nice momentum with you even on the land.

Glitched High Jump - When performing a slide jump, if you spin shortly after jumping, you gain a bit of additional height (and distance, by proxy). This height can be used to make otherwise impossible jumps. It also comes with the neat quirk of allowing Crash to belly flop out of a sliding jump, which he is otherwise unable to do. When entering the belly flop animation, Crash reaches the highest point he possibly can out of a jump.

Glitched Low Jump - There's not really such a thing as a glitched low jump, but I refer to it as this since the inputs are so very similar to the high jump and this move often happens at critical times by accident. If you press buttons in the wrong order (Slide, spin, jump), you get a very low jump as if you have not performed a slide at all. As a movement technique, this is actually really helpful if you mean to do it, as it means less airtime from a slide jump. And since I want to stay on the floor as often as I can to get increased movement speed, I use it a lot during general navigation.

Zig-Zagging (Wiggle) - The Crash community likes to refer to this technique as "zig-zagging", probably to make this trick sound cooler than it actually is. Since I'm realistic, I call it wiggle. When in a jump, the fastest movement you can do is to alternate the direction buttons on the d-pad so that Crash moves in a pile of diagonals (up left, up right, up left, up right, etc) and yet still achieve a straight line overall. Crash effectively wiggles through the air and goes slightly faster. This is a useful trick to get additional lateral distance from a jump, but is murder on the thumbs.

'Sliggle' - A fusion of slide and wiggle. Slides are faster if you wiggle in diagonals during them as well, and they also cover more distance like that. However, slides don't usually last long enough for that to be a feasible movement technique when combined with NSS, especially since we must let go before spinning to preserve momentum. But where spins aren't necessary, or a slide will last longer, this trick is used to save those precious frames. My poor thumb...

Walking While Talking - The game provides us with a nice way of skipping all cutscenes where Cortex's demented head pops up for a chat. However, we have to wait briefly for Crash to do an animation before we can skip the cutscene. So, we found a way to do it faster, because why not. If you jump and spin on the frame that this animation is supposed to happen, it does not. Crash can then walk around freely, even while Cortex talks to him if he wishes. However since no portals are loaded while Cortex talks, the cutscene is then dismissed immediately the normal way. Saves about a second for every use.

Anti-Invincibility - Masks are great. They allow you to take hits, and if you get three of them, you become invincible! That allows you to plough through enemies without a care in the world! The downside? NSS then becomes the slowest form of movement and running is not much faster than normal. Because of that, I avoid going into 3rd mask form at all costs. There is one instance in the run where being invincible helps, and the rest of the time, it is slower! My level order is largely based around avoiding getting too many masks while still having plenty for survival purposes and mistake correction.

Deathwarping - When you die, the only thing that you lose are crates, one life, and some of your precious time as you have to redo part of a level. But critically you do not lose the level's main collectables, specifically the crystals and gems. So if a gem is down a very obscure path, it is often much faster to go back to the nearest checkpoint to resume the main level via death. Since lives are no issue in this game, this trick is abused constantly to avoid having to revisit levels to get obscure collectables.

3D Jumping - Crash, by default, is a 3D game allowing movement along all 3 axis. In some areas of the game, Crash goes into a 2D-esque environment. In reality, it's still 3D, and Crash can jump towards the screen. Due to the rather nice tight jump control that the game has, you can succesfully jump out of the 2D area, and spin around and re-enter it without dying. This is used in some 2D areas to jump around otherwise impassable objects to save time.

Spin-Slide - Another name I have invented for an obscure trick that has a few uses. If you can time it correctly, if you land on a crate just as a spin animation ends and then immediately call for a slide, Crash will be able to slide off the top of the crate he is landing on. It will break beneath him fairly rapidly, but there is enough time to jump out of the animation. This is used for breaking ten-fruit bouncy crates that are suspended in mid-air, to save painstakingly breaking them by bouncing on them 10 times. If you use spin-slide when coming out of an ice skating jump, if you hit the box at the right place, the box will count as more ice (even if it is on normal land), meaning your slide will be even faster.

Box Duplication - Also referred to as "box dupe", or "extra boxes", it is a trick discovered by me that allows you to clone crates on levels where circumstances permit. To achieve it, you must enter a bonus round, leave it, and kill yourself (including all required death animation) before the counter that is putting crates towards your score hits zero. You will respawn at the last checkpoint you hit, but your box counter will still be set as if you had broken all boxes outside of the bonus as well as inside, and all of the crates that you broke beyond the checkpoint will be back, allowing you to break them again to add to your box score. It seems like a trick that would be so useful, but there are very few circumstances where it is possible, and out of the possible ones, only two save time. So it is used twice in the run to cut significant portions from two levels.

Polar Launching - As expected, this refers to a polar bear-specific trick. To gain some additional speed from the polar bear, you can do charge-assisted jumps. However, you get nice short and very fast jumps if you charge and jump almost simultaneously. You can do this almost completely throughout the levels that contain polar bears, provided there are no boxes nearby that need breaking or enemies to avoid. By jumping out of charges, the counter that limits how many times you can charge is reset, meaning you can bunny hop through the levels at reasonable speed. The way the polar bear lunges through the air when performing this is where the trick got its name.

Outrunning Explosions - TNTs are a cool kind of crate. You can do so many things with them as they take their time blowing up. And not just in a timer sense, but in a hitbox sense. When a TNT blows up, its hitbox expands outwards from the centre over time. It is very possible to outrun the explosion even at walking speed or with a jump. Because of that, TNTs can be blown up instantly with slides or by spinning their top, with no damage to me because I outrun the blast. This is regrettably not possible for nitros, however, as their hitbox expands way too quick.

Phasing Through Lab Assistants - Well, I don't really know the name of this trick... but it's PAL exclusive, in the two jetpack levels there are floating lab assistants that attempt to electrocute you and require two spins to kill. However, if you spin them once and then just charge into them, you phase through them and don't get hurt, meaning that you don't have to kill them. But if you try this on NTSC, they electrocute you without fail.

4-Range Body Slam - Another quirk of the PAL version of the game is that the hitbox of the body slam or belly flop or pancake attack or whatever you want to call it, has a significantly greater radius than that of NTSC, rendering it capable of breaking 4 crates in a line simultaneously. NTSC should be jealous, as this removes so many slams from the game and feels oh-so good to do.

Alright, that was an awful lot of text... but all these tricks combined make this game fast and very fun to play, so they're worthwhile! Now, here is the level by level breakdown of the run...

Lv 2 - Snow Go:

I always do this level first as it is tricky and flashy simultaneously. Immediately there are a ton of nifty tricks, such as walking while talking, outrunning explosions and some nifty ice physics. I also slide over several holes to avoid jumping them, as these holes are very small. A glitch known as red gem early is performed here; which as the name implies, allows you to get the red gem early. Who knew? There are three methods of doing this glitch, you can either use the seal immediately to the left as a trampoline (fastest but relies on the seal being in the right place), you can do a well-timed glitched high jump body slam from the floor directly below it as the gem descends (2nd fastest) or you can use the nearby unbreakable bouncy box as a makeshift platform, which is the slowest method. I use the second method as it is a nice balance between speed and consistency. I also successfully manage to use a seal at the end of the level to break two crates, which saves a little bit of time. A decent level overall!

Lv 1 - Turtle Woods:

I need the blue gem for Hang Eight, and I have 2 masks and need to be rid of them, so I do Turtle Woods next. The first run of the level mandates that I break no crates, allowing me to get the blue gem. I then deathwarp back to the beginning to break them all from scratch, which comes with a side effect of removing the two masks. This level can be tricky as for reasons unclear, you can sometimes get stuck in the crouched position or be unable to jump, which can result in all sorts of problems. Fortunately, it didn't happen here. Glitched high jumps are used to avoid the rat pits and the ostriches in the secret area. Another pretty nice run of the level.

Lv 5 - Crash Dash:

Once again, up to 2 masks and I'd like to lose them, so I go here next as these types of level do not allow you to take masks in. Crash Dash is a very enjoyable level to play. Due to the speed of the NSS, the boulder stands no chance of catching up. It is possible to skip Crash's roll of relief in the little checkpoint huts by pressing a lot of buttons, so I do that too and managed to avoid all 3 opportunities where Crash can roll, which saves nice time. At one point in the level I have to stop to watch the boulder blow up some Nitro crates, as the game is loaded in segments, only what is needed is loaded at any given time; and if you leave the Nitros, they unload and the boulder can't break them. The Nitros are needed for box gem, and since there is no detonator, I must sit around and watch. The bonus round is one of the most fun parts of this level, though. The floating boxes at the end are destroyed with spins and slides. Oh-so-satisfying to do! Pretty happy with how this level went, too.

Lv 3 - Hang Eight:

This level introduces a pile of new concepts, such as waterboarding, gem platforms and timed gems. Waterboarding is fast enough; just spam the turbo and control it in between boosts for the top speed. I break as many crates as possible up to the checkpoint outside the bonus round, then obtain the timer gem from the end of the level and deathwarp back to finish getting the level's crates. Aside from a silly slide at the end of the level on the timer gem pass where one of my spins didn't come out correctly, this went quite well.

Lv 4 - The Pits:

The opening was a little shaky, with some missed slide spin chains near the first checkpoint. The route used down the split paths is, to our knowledge, the fastest route. Kinda evil of the devs to put the crystal down the left split, though! This level is also the first time where a 3D jump features, in the bonus round to avoid having to crawl under some metal crates. Aside from the opening, the level was quite solid.

Ripper Roo:

You're not allowed to take masks to the fight, so my masks vanished. Oh well. This part of the run is clearly very tricky, as I have a "very important" dance routine that I must perform in the fight. This is also the first of two times that I use the analog stick in the run. So difficult, eh?

Lv 8 - Bear It:

This is my first priority in Warp Room 2 because this level is very annoying. While polar launching is a nifty technique, sometimes the level restricts your ability to charge, or the ability to jump, with no good or clear reason. If that happens, you're pretty much dead because the whole routine is fairly rigid and changing it either means missed crates or enemies. To further add to the chaos, there is a formation of 4 boxes on the ice before the first checkpoint that are tricky to break. The final 3 boxes of the level are also ridiculous. Overall, it's a very tough level. Here it went ok; I did mess up polar launching but still salvaged it somehow. The tricky crates also presented no problems.

Lv 9 - Crash Crush:

I am ashamed to admit that my first accidental death (of five total) happened in this level. Normally I would reset from a death this early in, but the run was going well and the opening of Crash Crush prior to death was strong. After the second checkpoint, I mistook my position and did two slide-spins instead of one following a jump, which put me fairly concisely in a hole. The rest of the level was reasonable, had some issues breaking boxes at the final checkpoint and grabbing the crystal. The death cost approximately 8 seconds, which is ok, considering it could have been a lot worse.

Lv 10 - The Eel Deal:

The first thing I do when entering the level is crouch on the spot then spin. It's an alignment technique, of course. And I'm a poor liar. Crouching then spinning on the spot is a consequence of releasing the direction button for an NSS far too quickly. Once I got my act together and started moving, however, the level was fine, though I am of the opinion that the fans should have brutally murdered me in the very beginning of the level. The green gem is hidden up a very long secret passageway, and losing the masks in preparation for deathwarp after obtaining went well. The only other issue was the requirement to wait for some enemies at the end to move out of the way so I could finish, but there's not much I could've done to prevent that one. I also didn't lose my mask, which is good because they're a rarity in this warp room. A fairly nice run.

Lv 6 - Snow Biz:

Wherever possible, I try to take the mask that I get in Eel Deal to here. Because this level can be tricky sometimes. It's generally fine, but the knowledge that you're safe from mistakes is muchly appreciated. But this level contains what is perhaps one of my favourite parts of the game; the red gem route. It is an insanely tricky route that contains a ton of crates and not a lot else. The way I use to clear it quickly is so very satisfying to do, and while it did not go completely according to plan, it was still very nice. I also demonstrate that NSS is so fast that you can totally ignore icicles falling on you! The next really noteworthy area is the bonus round. Sometimes entering the bonus round randomly kills you instantly, wasting 10 seconds. That did not happen, fortunately, and since I managed to keep masks through the red gem route, I can spin a TNT crate for a very fast bonus clear. Pretty nice level overall.

Lv 7 - Air Crash, Round 1:

Air Crash is the only level in the game that must be visited twice. It has way too much stuff; it has a death route, a secret exit, and a secret entrance. The first visit is the shorter of the two. The objective is to obtain the crystal, the death route gem, and the secret exit in one go. I had bad luck with platform positions so I had to wait a couple of times for things to get into a nice configuration so I could proceed. Obtaining the crystal and gem goes off without a hitch, and then I deathwarped back to the checkpoint nearest the secret exit and leave. This unlocks the Snow Go portal in the secret Warp Room. Despite the fact that I already have the red gem, simply opening this portal gives you 1%, so I have to do it otherwise the game would say 98% when completed (if you skipped another portal, which is possible). It would still give the secret end with 98%, but the category is 100%, not "best end" so here we are.

Komodo Bros.:

I have nothing to do in Snow Go, so I enter and leave it via the pause menu to get back to the main warp room, and then go to Komodo Bros. These guys are not tricky to beat, but sometimes the spinning maniac takes his time slowing down so you can hit him, and I failed to manipulate him such that he would slow down quickly. It wasn't too much of an issue overall, and I didn't lose the free mask that they provide in the fight, which is fine with me.

Lv 14 - Road To Ruin:

Probably the worst level in the game, and it certainly lives up to its title. This level contains 3 of the hardest jumps in the game and can go wrong in a heartbeat. First of all, immediately upon entering the level, an insane left jump must be performed, allowing you to enter the secret entrance of the level backwards. There are 32 boxes in here and you don't want to have to do the entire level twice for their sake. This went pretty smoothly, lost my mask on the way out, but no real issue. The level is then fairly simple up until the death route; which I don't go into but stand on its platform to register the fact that I made it; this means that the platform will not switch off if I die; including the exit platform, which is the more critical part. I then hit the next checkpoint, grab the crystal and prepare for the single hardest jump in the game. This jump allows you to skip doing the death route via entering it backwards, but in order to do this you must do a glitched high jump from thin air with a ton of wiggle. It often goes wrong, my success rate is roughly 30 - 40%. Unfortunately, it doesn't go according to plan here, twice, bringing the accidental death count to 3 of 5. Combined, the deaths cost 20 - 30 seconds. I then succeed on attempt 3 and claim the gem. Despite these deaths, it is still faster to obtain it that way than do the entire death route, demonstrating just how key that jump is. But I curse the finder, I really do. The final tricky jump is in the bonus round. By standing on top of an ! box and doing another glitched high jump off thin air, you can skip a small puzzle. I then make a mess of the bonus end, mess up the level ending, and then wrap things up and leave. Glad to get out of there, not a very good Road To Ruin in the slightest.

Lv 11 - Plant Food:

Due to my failings of Road To Ruin, I was unable to take any masks into Plant Food, which made the opening a little scary as the water mines can kill you on a whim at any point. Fortunately this didn't happen. Much like Hang Eight, I break boxes all the way up to the checkpoint outside of the bonus, and then beat the level before the timer runs out to claim the yellow gem. I then deathwarp back and clear the bonus using some obscure strats, best ones I've found, the layout's a little awkward in there. Nothing else really noteworthy happens; I miss boxes going over a jump at the end, which was unfortunate but not exactly critical, and I manage to keep a mask all the way to the end, which is lovely indeed! Not a bad level overall.

Lv 12 - Sewer or Later:

This is the level with the single most mask abuse in the game. Damage boosting is very critical to saving time here, as two new enemies are introduced; the lab assistant with flamethrower, and super-speed fan blades. Avoiding these lab assistants while they're spewing fire is almost impossible, so if you have masks, you want to let them take one for the team and sneak past. The fan blades can be jumped through without breaking them or losing a mask, but it's tricky. I manage to get a very nifty snipe on the first flamethrower by spinning a nearby enemy into him. That allowed me to use my mask to save time elsewhere; exploding a Nitro box so I didn't have to do some odd jumps. The yellow gem platform is here and contains a very easy to get gem, and I immediately deathwarp after obtaining. I wait for one flamethrower, I could skip him but I'd rather not until I'm more consistent at dodging fan blades. Bonus round is nothing special. I lose a mask to the first set of fan blades afterwards, but I manage to sneak through the second ones unscathed, allowing me to skip the final three flamethrowers of the level via mask abuse. Lovely stuff indeed.

Lv 15 - Unbearable:

One of my favourite levels of the game. Most people remember this one for how tricky it is; not so for me. I admit, if you run through the level and have to spin fences and whatnot with a huge polar bear in pursuit, it's harder! But if you're slide spinning, everything just dies around you, fences implode, and all you have to be careful of are the mines that slow you down, electric fences and holes, of which there are not many. Upon reaching the second checkpoint, I throw myself in a pit. This makes the wooden planks at the bridge immediately vanish, which saves time waiting for the polar bear to catch up and break them himself, which in turn allows me to go into the secret area. The secret area is good fun, and went very smoothly. I have to mask abuse at one point to avoid invincibility, and that happened quickly and effectively. In the bonus round, I tried a glitched high jump with wiggle that allows you to get up to the ! box without going along the floor, but regrettably missed. However, my backup strat, which is a glitched high jump body slam onto the metal crates, worked fine first try, so not too much time lost. I also successfully performed polar launching in the final chase scene, and I'm pleased with the result. Took the secret exit after grabbing the box gem.

Lv 26 - Totally Bear:

The only things that I can think that can go wrong in this level are a certain 2 x 2 grid of boxes that sometimes incorrectly breaks, and one polar launch can sometimes put you on a wall, where you will almost certainly hit an enemy and die before you can get off again. Neither of these happened, it was quite a solid run of the level.

Lv 13 - Bear Down:

Simultaneously the most fun and the hardest to optimise of the bear levels. The opening is tricky as there's a lot of incovenient pits and crates, then the level gets easier from thereon out. By all accounts, this level went rather well. Again, I take the secret exit in this level after obtaining the box gem.

Lv 7 - Air Crash Round 2:

The second visit to Air Crash dumps you in the secret entrance with a pile of crates that you cannot get at from the main entrance, no matter what you may try. This area is a bit tricky due to its layout, but everything went alright in there. It's hard to move at speed, though, so a few times things were played safe. After the final checkpoint, it is possible to break the boxes on the land using the waterboard to avoid having to jump to them manually, by using a mask to damage boost atop the platform. Pretty fun to do. I then miss the final ramp and lose my other mask to a mine, but oh well... I can't use the other mask anyway and the ramp miss didn't cost too much. Pretty happy overall.

Tiny Tiger:

We are still working on trying to work out what makes this guy tick. Well, more his platforms than himself. The seemingly random pattern in which they fall can almost certainly be manipulated, as I notice a lot of familiar patterns if I do similar movements. However, for the time being, it's still a bit luck based how the platforms will fall. The first two platform cycles were good, the final one it took me a few seconds to make Tiny fall, but it could've been significantly worse. To round off the fight, I do a nice glitch that allows me to dance in midair. Always a good time!

Lv 19 - Ruination:

Did I mention that I dislike ruin levels? It's not just Road To Ruin, but Ruination can be tricky too. Today, it went alright, with the exception of one awful thing. Regrettably, my fourth accidental death occurred in this level, when attempting to do the green gem route, a jump that never fails me simply did not work, costing around 20 seconds. That was the single worst death in the run, however, and it's not terrible; it could've been much worse. But in actuality, after I died, the rest of the level went really well! The irony burns. The bonus round is an... interesting construction, one might say. By not picking up fruit, the game gets overloaded and can skip rendering certain things. For instance, at the end, the crates in that massive formation, several of them took a while to render; sometimes they don't render at all, which is frightening as you need to do some tricky jumps to force the game to reload them. Fortunately, today it was fine. I manage to escort two masks away from the level, too.

Lv 16 - Hangin' Out:

This is the only level where invincibility is helpful. I keep my two masks up to the third box and go invincible, which immediately slows me right down. But then I grab onto some grating, and my speed skyrockets. The amount of time saved from doing that is so significant that it outweighs both the obtaining and preservation of the two masks all that way, and the brief slowdown before getting under way. Following that, I enter what I refer to as the "Bonus round of the apocalypse", the single worst bonus of the game. The opening is good... then you see these Nitros with the bouncy crates in the middle. For reasons unclear, sometimes when you jump to those, they don't bounce you. And if you're not paying attention, you'll then walk straight into the Nitros. This fortunately didn't happen today! Then to top it off, there are no less than 5 ten-fruit crates in a row in mid-air that all need breaking one way or another. My intention was to break 4 of them using 2 spin slides and rely on the fruit timer of crate 5 to just let it break when I jump on it once. Instead, what happened was the first spin slide broke two, according to plan, and the second one, for the first time ever, broke all three. My heart almost stopped as I had not bothered to build up momentum, not suspecting that that would happen, so I quickly scrambled for the exit and JUST made it. Very clutch. The rest of the level was fine. It was a nice run overall, albeit terrifying.

Lv 27 - Totally Fly:

The darkness and enemy config makes slide-spin tricky, but I used it wherever I felt confident to, which was a fair amount of places. Wherever I didn't feel confident, or there were many enemies, slide jump was my fallback. Not insanely fast, but faster than just running. The bonus round is fun, you can outrun the firefly and since I know the bonus so well, I can do the final bit in the dark without a care in the world. The end of the level also went well, it was a good run.

Lv 18 - Cold Hard Crash:

All this way into the run, a new trick gets introduced: Box duping! My goal in this level is to skip having to do 3 passes through the death route and avoid the main bulk of the level by cloning enough crates that it becomes unnecessary. To do this, I go through the level, break all boxes except checkpoints, skip the bonus, stand on the death route platform so it stays when I die, double back on the bonus, and go in. I then empty the bonus round and kill myself as the counter ticks up. Since I have no checkpoint, I end up back at the beginning as if I've just entered, but with a box count of 72. With this many crates, breaking all of the main level crates again takes me so high that I only need to do the death route once; I just go through it, grab its gem and checkpoint straight away. I then skip a few crates since I have tons, lose a mask for no good reason, and wrap up the level. A pretty nice run and skipping all that stuff using the dupe is good!

Lv 17 - Diggin' It:

Box duping in Cold Hard Crash is joyous and easy. You can also box dupe in this level too, and it's joyous! But on the contrary, it is not easy this time around. The aim is to skip needing to get any crates from the death route, of which there are only 6 anyway. Well, at the bonus round, conveniently positioned is a checkpoint, followed by 7 crates. You see where this is going. I play through the level to that point, aiming to keep at least one mask. I get lucky and keep both. Hit the checkpoint, get the 7 crates from ahead, stand on the death route platform for if something goes wrong which is an all-too-real threat, and head to the bonus. So specific is this glitch that you need to break the nitro crates in this bonus to succeed in the dupe otherwise you simply don't have enough time, hence the mask requirement. Then when exiting the bonus, I use the analog stick for the second and final time, to get a super-specific angle to the hole directly outside so I can die quickly. If I mess the angle up, or Crash dies with the animation of shoes flying up, the dupe fails. Fortunately, my angle was good, and no shoes came, and the dupe pulled off successfully. However, the cloned crates are volatile until you next hit a checkpoint, so if I died again, the glitch would end. Thus I played VERY safe up to the next checkpoint, and managed to save the cloned crates. With the dupe, the level becomes very easy, as all I need from the death route at that point is its gem, and I can just jump along the scenery to enter backwards, claim it and deathwarp. My final death of the run happens shortly after that; beyond the final checkpoint of the level are some rather nasty plants that spit grenades almost randomly; sometimes you just die here because you were unlucky; and that is what happened to me. Fortunately this death was right next door to the checkpoint, so it was roughly 6 - 7 seconds time waste. I don't mind that. The level was pretty nice, and I leave via the secret exit.

Lv 20 - Bee-Having

I have no purpose in Road To Ruin, again, the only reason to open the portal is for the 1% it gives to unlock. So I enter Totally Fly and exit, this is so I spawn in Warp Room 4 instead of 3, and then make my way to Bee-Having. Bee-Having is fun, it really is. It can go very wrong but when it doesn't, it's a nice level to play through. And I am happy to say that it did not go wrong! The secret area of the level is a joke because the purple gem is so early into it, so I grab it and deathwarp, which saves tons of time (and death). Nothing else noteworthy happened, which is good, aside from the fact that at the very end, spinning the bees usually sets off the nitro detonator, today that did not happen, so I had to use manual detonation strats. Which is jump and spin on the spot and then sit there. Tough, right? A very nice level overall.

N. Gin:

This fight should've gone better than it did. I had some issues hearing the game audio and miscounted how many hits I had done on both the arms and the shoulder rocket launchers. Because of this, I had to break them all one at a time, instead of being able to break two at once twice. That cost roughly 8 seconds. It's not a huge deal, just a shame I messed up what is a relatively simple fight.

Lv 24 - Pack Attack:

Final warp room begins! After a brief struggle with the front door, I manage to put myself in Pack Attack. I go here first because it's easy and there's a mask here for me, which be useful in the two piston levels coming up afterwards. The rotating mines in the very beginning were on an unexpected config which threw me off slightly, but afterwards things were pretty good. Missed a checkpoint by overshooting it a little, but I didn't take long correcting the mistake. Pretty good overall.

Lv 21 - Piston It Away:

Hard mode begins. In a series of unfortunate events, I lose both masks that I had available to me in rapid succession on the way towards the crystal, which is frightening. On the plus side, it turned out not to matter and the only real costly thing about losing the masks was the animation of getting electrocuted. The final mask I obtained managed to last all the way out of the level. I do a nifty trick behind the glass wall of the death route, I jump on top of the shield lab assistant and use the height to mount the top, where I can slide spin to victory without worrying about enemies. Since this level can so easily go wrong, I am beyond pleased I did not die and still went quite fast, and had a spare mask.

Lv 25 - Spaced Out:

Hard mode, part 2. The 5 coloured gem platforms are the trickiest part of this level. Dying in that route is such a time waste that it's almost worthy of a reset on its own, and some of the tricks you must perform are horrible. 2 3D jumps in the opening, some glitched high jumps, avoiding shrink rays and lab assistants... frightening. The mask made me feel happier, for sure, and I was fortunate enough to succeed in getting the gem without problem, then deathwarped back. After that, the level really does enter easy mode. A lot easier than Piston It Away, for sure. It is possible to do the glass mount technique in this level too, but I didn't feel confident to do it (a nearby Nitro can really hurt), so I skipped it. Bonus round has 4 10 fruit crates suspended in midair again, just to make life fun, however two of them join onto the land, so I can break all four with one spin-slide for the first two, and then spin-walk to land. Lovely indeed. The rest of the level was good, ended up in a crawling position once when I really didn't want to be, but no matter. It was one of the smoothest Space Out runs I've done, regardless. And once again, I managed to hold the final mask to the exit.

Lv 22 - Rock It:

The only reason to do this level before Night Fight is because if you've managed to hold the mask from Spaced Out, this level has no intentional deaths so you can use it all the way through to avoid some damage. And it turns out to be a blessing, when I accidentally hit a heated ray right at the end of the level. If I had done Night Fight first, due to deathwarping, I'd have no masks and that would've been fatal, but fortunately it was not so! The main level when I wasn't accidentally losing masks was pretty good. Not bad overall.

Lv 23 - Night Fight:

Final main level of the run, and what a way to end, eh? In the dark, death route, an enemy that can troll... what more could you want? The opening was good, got the death route gem nice and quickly. Then there is this nitro with two crates above it. Some speedrunners choose to spin these, but the risk you will blow up is so great, you don't want to do that. The intended method is to jump on them, and that's what I do... or try to. Apparently, mounting these crates is difficult. It took me 5 attempts to get up there, and 6 to break both of them. Frankly, nevermind, at least I didn't die. The rest of the level went without a hitch. Played it safe a little because of the good run time. Bonus was particularly good, though. Pretty happy overall.


The joke of a final boss goes down ridiculously fast, and the timing stops upon the final hit of Cortex, which was 1:20:50.95, which I round up to 1:20:51. The game then rolls the credits for the first time, and proceeds to put me back in the warp room. I then try, for the sake of it, using walking while talking on the final cutscene of Brio saying that I have all gems. I succeed, and demonstrate what happens if you don't skip the cutscene, by having fun messing with his head. In my joy of messing with said head, I forget to pause the game and show the 100% count, however it's not a problem as all of the criteria were fulfilled. I then go to the alternate end with Brio still talking, which causes a music-less ending to the game. The music stays off when the game reboots too. And that is the end of the run!

A few special thanks to some various people:

trihex and pirohiko, for being my original inspiration, whether they realise it or not.
Sword0fSeals, for being ridiculously supportive and inventing polar launching and several strats.
Chadderz, for convincing me originally that single-segment is the way forwards in life.
CaneOfPacci, for hosting the Crash Bandicoot speedrun leaderboards and whatnot.
Everyone who watched my many failed attempts on target on stream and the other members of the Crash speedrunning community. You guys are all great!

Thanks for reading/watching my run, and I hope you have a great day.

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