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News from January through March, 2005. [Newer | Older]

Thursday, March 31, 2005 by Radix

Be a Jedi in an hour or less

David 'LLCoolDave' Spickermann took only 59 minutes and six seconds to speed through Jedi Academy for PC. The game lets you pick which missions you choose, so you don't even see the longer ones in this run. This is the second Star Wars game that's added to SDA because of Dave; I wonder if he plays any other series of games?

Philippe 'Wak' Brisson redid his 100% of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and cut the time by an even six minutes to get 2:07:45. The random heart pieces went much better this time, and some more route tweaks bring this one closer to the ominous 2-hour time. Who will claim the cash?

Another one of Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody recent slew of tapes is ready to post: Resident Evil 3 for PlayStation. He did his usual Single-segment with A-rank performance and got a time of 1:24:53. For once it seems that the ending cinemas don't count for the time, so be sure to enjoy watching Racoon City getting nuked!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 by Radix

Quake can never die

Unreal came out for PC in early 1998 and I definitely remember all the pre-release talk 7 years ago about it being a "Quake killer". Yet seven years later Quake has over 8000 speed demos while Unreal has only a few on scattered sites. Coincidence? I think not! ;p Well, Mark 'Allantois' Freyenberger decided to go for a whole-game run in 'QdQ' style, going one level at a time and sometimes going back and redoing earlier levels and pasting it all together in the end. He ended up with a time of 0:55:29 and ran on easy skill like most FPS games get run on. He lists a lot of improvements possible in his comments, and it's quite possible there's already better run(s) out there that I don't know about... and if there are, I'm sure we'll all know soon heh.

Friday, March 25, 2005 by Radix

Fuzzy Bunnies approaching

Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody did a bunch of runs recently, but there's only one ready for now. He did the NES game Crystalis, a 1990 RPG game. He was occasionally bogged down with forced leveling but he ended up with a time of 1:29:21. So travel back in time eight years to a world that's been destroyed and then witness it being saved, very fast.

David Gibbons did a run of Bomberman 64 with "full power", an unlockable mode that some would wrongly call a 'cheat'. Well, not only do I want to have normal runs before such bonus-mode runs, but the guy who watched it for me couldn't stop talking about marsh's death count. When he got up to like 30 I lost interest, so even now that he's done a normal run I'm still not posting the full power run. :-p The normal run he did is in four segments, with the majority of it being the first segment. He even left in his screwup and reset button press at the end. The game time at the end displays 1:34 even though the video length is over 2.5 hours. It only includes the time actually running around levels I guess. Well, I've labeled the run as 1:36 because marsh once again had a death-wish for the character he was controlling. Poor little bomberman dove into a pit on two occurences to save him the trouble of walking back to where he was, which I'd rather see. Yep, I'm a weird one!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005 by Radix

Won't someone please turn on the lights?

Andres "Mad Andy" Montalbetti has done his first speed run, and he chose the GameCube game Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. The run is in 14 segments but only 12 files since he kept the chapters together. This is another game that has a timer on save files but then the game doesn't display the damn time at the end! So, I just ignore it and time it with my standard method. Not sure what else to say about it... another game I haven't played. :P

Sunday, March 20, 2005 by Radix

A spikey haired blonde hero

Another new PS2 game added to the archive, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy looks like a game I'd probably enjoy, at least in another life where I have a PS2. The run is by Ben Fichter in 8 segments and a time of 2:20:03. In one of the segments the game decided to not load him in the same spot that he saved at, so he walked backwards to get there and then turn around again. I started the timing for that one when he turns around, as if he'd loaded there. We didn't want to edit the video to cut it out as that's too artificial.

Saturday, March 19, 2005 by Radix

Tu as compris?

Alex McIver has improved the run of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, getting a time of 1:41:26, 3 minutes and 19 seconds faster than the previous run by TSA. He forgot to take the super bomb through the light world or it would have been nine seconds faster... tsk, tsk. To add to the coincidences lately in people's run choices, there's a second LttP run in this update too, done on the same date as Alex's. This one is a 100% by Philippe 'Wak' Brisson but it's different in another respect from all the other runs... it's in French! The game was translated for French Canadians, an apparently one of a kind deal. I'm sure that the difference in text lengths of en vs fr has some small bearing on the time, but frankly I don't care to figure it out. He ended up with a time of 2:13:45, 37 seconds faster than the previous 100%... which was on the GBA version. So in reality, it's much much faster than 37s better because the GBA version has really quick text scrolling.

Perhaps you remember the Paper Mario run from Philippe and me promising there'd be longer comments eventually. Well, his friend who was supposed to translate his French comments into English has turned into a deadbeat who hasn't done it. So, I just posted the French. Maybe someone else will be kind enough to do it? (4:11a: they're translated now, I got about six translations and took the best from all... thanks everyone).

Instead of being mean and immediately retaking the LttP record he's lost, TSA is instead working on a Wind Waker run. In the meantime, he has pledged to go through each level of Four Swords Adventures and taking back those records. He's started with 1-1 of course, even though he already had that record. This level has been done more than the others, so he only squeezed 9 seconds off his old time to get 0:04:17.

Saturday, March 19, 2005 by Radix

The biggest run yet

Recently, Nate received the longest run he's captured for the site so far. It's not the longest run on the site, but that run only has somewhat crappy looking normal quality versions. For this 5 hour and 37 minute run of Final Fantasy VI for Super Nintendo, the standard 3 flavors of quality from Nate's normal capturing methods (not the unthinkable) are available. The HQ for part 1 is larger than most other single runs and the total size of all HQ files is over 10 gigs! The run in question was done by Peter Tiernan, author of a speed guide at GameFAQs for the game. The run is in 22 segments, with segment one being far longer than the rest. Some of the later segments are only one battle long. How many other RPGs can be speedily done under my 7-hour slightly-flexible limit?

Friday, March 18, 2005 by Radix

You don't belong in this world!

Adam Grise did the first complete speed run of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night as Alucard. Be prepared to hear the sound of the backdash an awful lot, since it's faster than just walking. The bat wing smash is even faster of course, and Adam does a large number of those. It's cruel to say, but it's nice to see he still messes it up a few times though, I'm just awful at it. Adam finishes with a time of 0:55:51 in his Single-segment run. The video is a bit blurry because he tried to deinterlace a video that wasn't interlaced.

By coincidence, there's also an improvement to the Richter run for this update, also by Adam. Adam 'Psyrell' Van't Hul that is. He improved Sascha's run by 3 minutes and 41 seconds to get 0:09:45. Less time killing things and a lot more gravity-defying air dashes bring this time under 10 minutes. Still a few ouchers though... can it go under 9? Just a reminder that the timings on this game are the standard real-time measure since the game does not display its timer at the end!

Thursday, March 17, 2005 by Radix

Zombies ate my Hat!

Mike Damiani has continued his quest of having a speed record on every Zelda game, doing the first run of The Minish Cap which just came out a few months ago for GBA. The run is Single-segment like most Zelda runs and clocks in at 2:45:00. I'm still waiting on that copy of the game that TSA said he'd get me, so I can't comment on TSA's run quality, but I'm sure it's his usual. :(

Adam 'Lucid Faia' Sweeney did a run of the Super Nintendo game Zombies Ate My Neighbors. The goal is to save 10 burger-flipping neighbors from zombies. OK, they don't all flip burgers. Adam ended the 2:17:11 run with all 10 victims surviving. Even though some are lost, the game gives you one back every 40000 points. It seems to me though that it'd be faster to let several get killed early, then you'd have less to collect in the next dozen some stages and get them back by the end. But I've never played the game, so maybe that wouldn't work. Anyway, due to the tape that this run, and the recently posted Solstice run, were on, Nate had to resort to the unthinkable to capture it. He actually made it look pretty good... but please, don't try this at home! Just be sure to record your tapes on SP speed and these drastic measures should hopefully be avoided.

Sunday, March 13, 2005 by Radix

Naturally broken

The first 100% run has been added to the Metroid Echoes page, the bastard sibling of the great Prime. The time is 3:04 by Joakim 'jng' Glantz. Mr. Glantz wanted to do a "natural" run without sequence breaks ... but I don't think he suceeded. He still goes to the Space Jump the back way, he does the trick in Great Bridge that was discovered after I started my run (it saves ~2 minutes), and even circumvents that ridiculously long spider ball puzzle in Torvus Plaza. I mean, what's natural about that?!? And that's why I don't have categories for "no sequence breaks" because who decides what is allowed and not can never be agreed on. Since jng's run still has a lot of interesting stuff in it and is good, it goes up. But when someone improves it with full out breaks, it goes down. Of course, you can find all the old records at the collection at archive... you knew that right?

I'll bet not many of you have heard of Arc The Lad, an RPG for PlayStation. That's why it took so long for this run by Jonathan 'BrightStar' Fields to be posted. He did the game in 3 hours and 15 minutes in 4 segments. If you like games where you spend 75% of the time watching the computer characters moving around the screen trying to make their way to you, and the other 25% of the time actually fighting them, this looks like the game for you! BrightStar's strategy seems to be to let all his companion characters bite the bullet in every fight, then have Arc beat everything single-handed to power him up to the necessary levels. If you download this to check out another RPG story, you'll be disappointed when you get to the end and the game says TO BE CONTINUED... what the crap?

There are two new runs on Halo at, run by 'goatrope'. I'll just link to his download locations: Pillar of Autumn in 0:05:51, 17 seconds better than Nephi and Keyes in 0:09:23 by Andrew 'goatrop' Halabourda, 0:03:55 better than himself. I watched the Keyes run and was surprised to see several deaths. When the player keels over, he just goes into the menu and restarts from the last checkpoint. Since the times listed are real time, that's certainly costly. But I guess since the runs are on Legendary skill, it's hard to stay alive.

Friday, March 11, 2005 by Radix

Have you beaten up a whore today?

It's time for the first speed run on the game that cause a lot of public outcry for its dramatization of violence. Yes, none other than the game that caused millions of horny teenagers to run out and have sex with a prostitute, and then beat her silly to get their money back: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for PlayStation 2. I'm not sure if there's actually any whore-beating in the run by Andy 'NTG' Nelson, because well, I didn't watch it... but it doesn't seem like something that would be done in a speed run anyway. The run clocks in at 2:27:26 in 14 segments, some of which are quite short.

Mike Uyama has added another Mega Man game to the game list, this time a GBA game, Mega Man Zero, the first in the series, which takes place a century after the X series. The game also comes with a built in Metroid-esque timer - it doesn't count time in the subscreens, dialogs, loading etc. The run's time of 0:34:03 is about 20 minutes less than the actual length of the video. It seems really impressive and Nate was practically jizzing while watching it, so you'd better buy it so Nate reaps in the 5 cents profit he makes... or something.

I finally added some more questions to the FAQ.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005 by Radix

Posting the Impossible

Adam "Lucid Faia" Sweeney did a 100% completion run on the adventure+puzzle game Solstice for NES. It looks like a game I'd probably have played a lot if I'd found it back in the day, but now I don't have time to mess with it so I'll stick with just watching his run to see what I missed. Getting 100% requires visiting every room in the large maze of a castle and getting every item too, and he pulls it off in only 0:14:57.

Some regulars from the Quake section, Pif & Luc de Mestre, have done a team-effort run on the Quake-engine game Hexen II on easy skill, in Quake done Quick style. Going through one level at a time and improving them until they were satisfied, Pif did most levels but Luc did three of the bosses. Before starting, Pif had done a little programming so that the game prints out its timer at the start of a new level... but because this exposes the engine's "stealing" of ~0.2 seconds from you each time, I didn't even use it for the time. I just stuck with real time like any other game without a timer has and the result was 0:27:36. That's slightly less than the time printed out by their patch at the final boss kill, even though I include the time after that while the boss is dieing really slowly as the player still has control. Sure, you're done with the game, but I like to be consistent with the whole "start of control to loss of control" thing.

And that consistency meant that timing this next set of levels took three months... that and general apathy. David Gibbons did some runs on the N64 game Mission: Impossible on hard mode last April and sent them to me in December. He made the mistake of telling me that it wasn't a high priority to post them... and three months later, here they are. On top of the delay, some of the levels probably aren't accurately timed anyway because it's hard for me to tell, having never played the game, just when control is lost. But I keep track of what frames I used so that if anyone improves these runs (seems unlikely...) the timing will be consistent.

Saturday, March 5, 2005 by Radix

Crocodile sandwhich

A second update for the day, right before I go to bed. Trevor Seguin sent me a run he just did on the Japanese version of Resident Evil 2, known as BioHazard 2 there. Which just doesn't make sense to me... you'd think if the game would have a different name, it'd be a Japanese name, not just a different English one. The game itself is also oddly translated, with the voice acting still English with Japanese subtitles, but not everything is translated, such as yes/no prompts! Err anyway, that's kinda irrelevent to the run isn't it. The Japanese version has some slight differences to the US version, natuarlly, since Nintendo isn't the only game company that can't stop messing with a game after it's out in one market. Full Motion Videos can be skipped sooner, and some enemies are rearranged. That means his run which came out to 1:12:53 shouldn't really be advertised as "0:06:53 faster than Damien's run". Nevertheless, it is a very impressive display. Only getting hit a dozen times and skipping the shotgun completely, I can fully understand the run since I've now played the game. After watching some of Damien's runs I sought the game out on eBay since it's been ported to GameCube, but it sells for just crazy prices. Then I saw it's also on Nintendo 64 and I got a copy for only ~$14. How many games have YOU bought because of speed runs?

Saturday, March 5, 2005 by Radix

The Warrior of Zelda?

John 'IcyCool' Gallahger has done a run on the GBA version of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Runs on the GBA version will be faster than the SNES version because the text scrolls faster, but that's not the only change in the version. John did a "100%" run with what I want to see in a 100%, because it's how I played the game when I sat down and casually played it and went for "everything". I didn't care about maxing bombs to 50 or arrows to 70 because it takes so long and you don't even need them. The same thing with getting every single rupee chest. Basically it's just about getting every sub screen item, like the bottles, plus every heart piece. He ended up with a time of 2:14:22 although it could use some work. His attempt at the bomb jump in the Tower of Hera went terribly wrong and cost several minutes. Later, the digging game didn't want to cough up the piece of heart although that's entirely random. The rest is quite good though.

The second game in the Prince of Persia series to get a speed run is Warrior Within, released during last year's holiday rush. If you've seen the Sands of Time PoP run from SnapDragon then some of the game's traps will look very familiar to you. Warrior Within is almost twice the length of SoT though as this run by Ben Fichter times in at 3 hours and 39 minutes on easy skill. The run was done in 7 segments so whip out your favorite downloading program... you're not still using your web browser to download long stuff are you?

Thursday, March 3, 2005 by Radix

Opposing Gates

The first run on the Half-Life expansion Opposing Force was done some months ago by 'Downup' but some technical problems prevented it from going on the site. Then he used a patch and improved it but this time it didn't go up because I wasn't too satisfied with the avi-ization of the run, and soon Blake 'Spider-Waffle' Piepho come out with a much improved run anyway. After my half-second penalty deal, Blake's time is 0:23:09. Because of the non-steam version used, level loads would stop demo recording so a new demo would have to be started at each load point. I didn't add the half-second for those since it was required. Also there's some scripts used for 180-turns and the like, but since he has full disclosure of them I don't have any problems with that. A few times I'm sure you'll go huuuuh at some of his abuse of the displacer and other things, but thankfully he wrote some great comments explaining these confusing matters. The run is on hard mode of course... nobody has done any Half-Life runs that weren't on hard yet!

In April 1998 I founded SDA with the owner of my "competition" Quake speed running site, Gunnar Andre Mo. Early in 1999 he became heavily addicted to the PC RPG Baldur's Gate and soon I never heard from him again... are you out there Gunnar? Anyway, when Julien Langer said he was working on a speed run for the game I was like "whaaaat?" because I knew there was a lot of playtime in the game from Gunnar's old ramblings (I haven't played any of these type of loooooong RPGS). It seems, however, that if you just have the right strategy, character stats and item usage, you can storm through the game in 1:11:08. This is another run that's auf Deutsch so if you don't understand some parts, be sure to check out his explanations in the comments.

Brandon Sanford sent in some improvements to the runs on Blast Corps which 'StrangenessDSS' has had total ownage on. Where else can you cause a million dollars in damage by destroying buildings in the name of SAVING the world?

So what's this "z-trick" that makes me list two Beeton Tracks records? Well I haven't played the game, but it's been described to me like so: You press Z to get out of your vehicle. If you press it in a place where you can't get out, the player just goes 'doh'. Well if you are near a building, sometimes the building will simply blow up to let you out! I'm sure there's other levels where it can be used, so expect some more I guess.

Sunday, February 27, 2005 by Radix

Magic typewriters

No longer limited to just Metroid games, 'kip' has done a run of Resident Evil 4 with special weapons. Unlike Phil's run, kip does his segmented so Phil's will remain the SS record. Kip broke the 2-hour mark and got a time of 1:58:53 in 9 segments. Now that I've played the game, I can say that it's very impressive - only a few random elements made him lose some time.

Thursday, February 24, 2005 by Radix

More conversions? nope!

Another time conversion problem with speed runs lies with programmer laziness on PAL region versions of games. It seems it wasn't until a couple of years ago that the game design teams realized they can just *gasp* only draw 50 frames a second, instead of drawing the 60 they're used to but taking 1.2 seconds. That means that PAL games usually run 1.2x slower, or 83.3% of the normal speed. But sometimes they fudge things to not be so slow, or maybe the load time affects it too so that it's not an even conversion. In these cases no conversion will be done because I have done enough research already. Stefan van Dijke did a 16-star run of Mario 64 and got a time of 0:24:33, compared to 0:20:56 for the NTSC time. Now if you do a simple *5/6 for that time, you get 29 seconds better than the NTSC time. Because I've been told that Mario 64 doesn't always run at 5/6th the speed, and I'm definitely not in the mood to investigate, I'm not saying one way or another if Stefan's run is better than Ilari's or not. I just know that it's very close to an "equivalent performance" which is what I had asked for. So congrats to Stefan on the PAL record... wonder how long until he does a 70-star run hmm?

Thursday, February 24, 2005 by Radix

Slowing things down

It turns out Lucid didn't really beat Link's Awakening in 1:42:10. What's that, you say the video takes that long between Link hopping out of bed and going up the final stairs? Yep... it does. But, it turns out that Super Game Boy, the hardware that plays Game Boy games on Super Nintendo, and that Lucid used, is a piece of freaking crap! It has some kind of timing issue and instead of taking one minute to do something that's supposed to be one minute, it takes about 58.6 seconds. I feel like I've been doing a research paper the last two nights, spending close to six hours taking data and crunching numbers. The results are documented here. From now on any runs recorded using SGB (unless the game has its own timer that's used) will "suffer" a multiplication factor of 1.024115 in order to make the time equivalent to what it would have been on Game Boy Player. This makes Lucid's run really 1:44:38, only 54 seconds faster than TSA's DX run. The only thing that's changed is the file name - no need to redownload if you already have it.

Just so this update actually contains a run, I updated the Halo page with an improved run of "The Maw". The new time is 0:10:00, a minute and 8 seconds faster than the previous one by Trevor Fitch. Thanks to 'goatrope' for reminding me of this vid, which had already been submitted to the collection at archive by the runner, and that's why the file name is so non-descript. Also, beware of .mov format!

Monday, February 21, 2005 by Radix

Link's dream, take two!

At the same time that TSA was trying his Link's Awakening run on the DX version, Adam 'Lucid Faia' Sweeney was trying a run on the original version. The DX version takes longer because the designers like to torture us speed runners by making us sit through text scrolling we've seen a hundred times before. In the original game you could skip a lot (but not all) of the text by pressing B instead of A. That's the only difference between the versions that's significant to speed runs, enough for Adam's time of 1:42:10 to be 0:03:22 better than TSA's run while being slightly sloppier. Some routes are changed, especially in Turtle Rock and before Tail Cave and it's still awfully speedy so don't let my 'sloppy' remark make you not watch it. Plus, since this run was sent to the hardest working guy in the world, Nathan Jahnke, it's available in super-duper I-can't-fill-my-hard-drive-fast-enough high quality, or just Buy It Now!

I hope eBay doesn't sue me... Also of note is that the Metroid Prime Single-segment 1:13 run by Shawn Jones is now available in HQ, just in case you haven't filled up your hard drive yet.

Sunday, February 20, 2005 by Radix

Two dimensional fun

One of the runs that was listed as "waiting for author's comments" was a Paper Mario run by Philippe 'Wak' Brisson, who had done some 4 Swords runs previously. As a native French speaker, he wrote comments in French and is waiting for a friend to translate them... and the friend is being awfully slow. So he gave me some short ones for now so I can post the run with something, and I'll update with the detailed ones later. The run is 5 hours and 4 minutes, in 52 segments. I tried to append files together so it'd be one file per chapter, but when I did that the sound was really off-synch at the end of them... so you'll just have to download 52 files. Have I mentioned the wonders of wget for downloading a list of files? Just make a text file containing the URLs you want and run "wget -i <filewithurls>" and it starts going - resumes downloads without fail too if you add -c.

A few new records on Mario Kart 64 from Eric Habrich:

In summary... 0.59 seconds of improvements, weeee!

Friday, February 18, 2005 by Radix

The pile of work

I think I've entered the point-of-no-return for the run-queue here. No matter how many runs I post, there's always some that are still delayed and new ones always coming in. It doesn't help that I'm playing a lot of Resident Evil 4, but I'm not going to give up playing games to run a site about games. Anyway I've started a page to show the current status of my queue, with a count of the runs in various stages of progress towards posting. The page will be updated whenever anything changes for any of the runs in queue, not only on days that I update the news, just to give you an idea that work is progressing. This page will only mention whole games run, not small individual level runs, like these two improvements in Max Payne 2 from Tomi: Christian 'DizidusDazidus' Haralter did his first attempt at speed running on the Xbox game Fable. He finished the game in 2 hours and 16 minutes, using a restart back to an auto save at one point to make it 2 segments in 1 file. The game is played in German... Na, Ich kann ein bissen Deutsch sprechen, aber nicht so gut. Kannst Sie verstandt es?

Monday, February 14, 2005 by Radix

Don't support the pink

Instead of wasting some money on this corporate holiday (I refuse to say the name) on things you're "supposed" to buy for your special someone, why not get her or him a bunch of new shiny DVDs of recent speed runs? Probably a little late for them to arrive today, but it's the thought that counts right? Nate has been working a bit too hard on getting Volume 3 of the increasing collection up, and there's quite a variety of choices. From the classic Metroid Prime to Mega Man X3, Mario and Castlevania, with a few more to come in the rest of the week. There's a new pricing scheme to encourage larger orders too... so please help us make up for all the time we spend on this stuff instead of looking for jobs like we ought to be doing. Hey, can I pimp myself as a programmer looking for a job in this update too?

Sunday, February 13, 2005 by Radix

Help me Leon!

The first runs on Resident Evil 4, released last month for GameCube, are finally ready. I was picky about wanting a "normal" run first before anyone did any runs with special weapons and Phil 'Darkside X' Majkrzak did such a run in 20 segments in a time of 3:09:56. Under 3 hours is certainly possible... although I haven't played the game yet - I should be able to start it Monday if my friend at work (hello?) remembers to bring it in for me to borrow. :) Only a few days after Phil did the segmented normal run, he did a Single-segment run with special weapons, and rather than hold it off until the next udpate just so that I only have the normal run up for a while, I might as well post it now too. So you'll find that run, with a time of 2:13:51 on the page as well.

A few more improvements for The Fall of Max Payne from Tomi Salo:

Friday, February 11, 2005 by Radix

PAL beats NTSC again

Everyone remembers Metroid Prime, right? There haven't been any runs posted for it in over two months because most people were playing its sequel ... except one person, anyway. William 'pirate109' Tansley was working on a 100% in the PAL version for several months and barely stopped when Echoes was released. He got a time that's 17 minutes better than the previous run from 'miles', and managed to beat the NTSC record for the game that I had 15 months ago, getting only two minutes slower than the current NTSC record. So not only is his 1:30 quite impressive, it sort of shows that sparky's 1:28 wasn't as good as we thought... doesn't it? I remember when I finished my 1:37 that I calculated 1:29 as the best possible for NTSC, so to see it almost done on PAL is quite an accomplishment.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005 by Radix

AvP take three

My behind-the-scenes partner here at SDA, Nathan Jahnke, also has little time to do runs any more, just like me. But we both manage to squeeze one out sometimes, and Nate has managed to do his third run as the Alien in Alien vs. Predator. The first run had two deaths. For those who haven't played the game: to continue after a death you had to have implanted an egg into an unsuspecting human and then wait for it to mature. Since the time for two such re-births is costly, he redid the run to try for no deaths a few months back but only managed run a run with one death. Now, thanks to a suggestion I made, he finally got a run with no deaths by saving and doing the run in 7 segments instead. The time is 2 minutes and 14 seconds better, 0:06:34.

Thursday, February 3, 2005 by Radix

An early awakening

It's not often I do an update before I go to work... but lately I've actually been keeping a decent schedule so that I have some time before I do, and this run has been getting lots of "where is it!" requests so I figured I'd get it up since it's ready. Also it's easier to do little updates with 1 game than big ones! The game is another Legend of Zelda game, Link's Awakening for Game Boy. Mr 'TSA' Zelda has done a Single-segment run on the DX version for GBC, which has some slight changes from the original GB version which he explains in his comments. The time is an impressive 1:45:32.

Thursday, February 3, 2005 by Radix

96 exits in 91 minutes

The first 100% speed run for Super Mario World is finally available. Jason "GameCube04" Baum was trying this run off and on for a few months, and too many times I thought he'd given up. A few times he got decent times but wasn't satisfied and each time I figured I'd never see anything. I'm glad to finally post this 1:31:30 run as it's got quite a few 'wow' moments! In fact there's only one "large" mistake in the whole thing, right at the very end. :( But don't let that take away from the rest of his voyage through the 9 areas of the game.

And yeah, this update really was at the exact same time of the day as yesterday's...

Wednesday, February 2, 2005 by Radix

Eight hours of entertainment

If I were strict about the seven hour time limit I've mentioned on the forum a few times, the following run wouldn't be getting posted... but it was always just a rough guide anyway. If something is entertaining and isn't crap, well I'll still post it. In this case the run is 7 hours and 8 minutes long, with probably at least an hour being cutscenes and dialog that you just can't skip. And lots of sailing on the open seas. Figured out the game yet? It's one that several people thought of doing, and I know someone even did a run last year, but he wasn't satisfied so didn't send it. It was David 'marshmallow' Gibbons who came in and finally did the run in question of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.

Wesley 'Molotov' Corron wanted to do a run of a game he wasn't sure would fit in the "limit" but it turns out he was wrong by almost a whole order of magnitude. He got a time of 1:11:46 for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow for Xbox. He did the run in a lot of segments - 53 - since the game offers you to save at so many checkpoints along the way, but the run is only 8 files to download since he appended the segments to keep each level together.

Both of these runs contain 'ending' files that just show the end of the game's story and the credits after the action has stopped. I make the ending separate to save people the download if they know the ending, but if you still want it because you've never played the game or you did but were too lazy/awful to finish it, you can get it!

And to add a couple more seconds on to this very long set of runs, 'Smashbros' recently improved his Marth_PAL time for Break the Targets in SSBM. The old time was 0:00:08.92 and that video had a strange effect I'd never seen before: it ran slower by a small bit than it should have. The new video did as well... until I asked for the original capture and was able to fix it up to be the right speed and apply a smoother filter to blur away the horrible VHS noise that was there. The resulting 0:00:08.83, which is 0.09 seconds better, looks better too.

Sunday, January 30, 2005 by Radix

Slowly catching up...

I've watched about 10 hours of runs this week, timed a bunch, and am in the process of uploading several gigs on my crappy upstream connection. Everything should be posted within a week... I hope.

Mike Uyama finished his conquest of Mega Man X3 by doing both a 100% and a 0% run. This is one of the few games where the low% run means picking up absolutely nothing, so he likes to call it a "naked run". 0:52:26 is the time for the 100%, with the route donated by me, and 0:47:40 is the time for the 0% run, with the same route as the first run... just with no Beam Sabre. Although he says he plays sloppily, I can't really see it. The 100% is much better than the 100% run I would have done if I had tried more than 4 times.

You knew it was coming, and Tomi Salo has provided the 3rd and final part of his way through Max Payne 2, causing lots of violence along the way.

Quite some large improvements this time. p3c3 is especially noteworthy, as he used a "super jump" glitch, which is described as "Switch from a one handed weapon (pistols, SMG's) to a two handed weapon (shotgun, rifle) or vice versa and immediately press jump." on GameFAQs. Tomi thinks its use is limited to only this level, where it cuts out a large portion. Because of the "shortcut" nature, I will leave Tim's 0:01:36 in the table, having two separate entries for this level. Similar is done in Quake and Mario Kart 64 for example. I wonder if Tomi will improve Tim's entry for the whole level?

Tuesday, January 24, 2005 by Radix

Black and White camouflage

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was released two months ago for PlayStation 2, but it won't be out in Europe until March. This of course prompts people to import, and one of them, Andreas Hörnell, decided to go for a speed run. He played on Extreme difficulty and went for a 'Fox Hound' rank, the highest rank, which requires crazy things like less than 10 life bars of damage. Unfortunately because of the way he recorded the imported NTSC game on his PAL vcr, the resulting capture is only black and white. Nate believes it might not be possible to retrieve the original signal, but perhaps there's other's out there more experienced with this NTSC/PAL business who have another say? Anyway, we apologize for the quality of the run, but we wanted to get it online in what way we could instead of waiting for a solution that might not come. And hey, the couple of people who have already seen it still enjoyed it a lot!

Monday, January 24, 2005 by Radix

Still a lot to do...

Well now you can see what one of the things that's been keeping me so busy was. Although I still have a bit of cleaning up to do in the Quake section I should be able to get lots of runs posted this week that have been delayed to work on the move.

Although I could keep uploading new things to FilePlanet, I don't think it would be quite right to keep using space there when the site is now here. I'll leave the FP links up for previous runs that are there, but new ones will only be at, with smaller things also locally hosted.

I've reworded the submit page a bit, and I will do the same to the rules page soon. I've also started a FAQ to cover basic questions, it will definitely expand from the simple set I have now.

Monday, January 24, 2005 by Radix

No more 'other'

I would like to announce the dissolution of the "other games" section of SDA. Fear not, for you will still see all the speed runs that have been submitted, and many more for years (?) to come! Just not here at planetquake.

For a while I have been dissatisfied with GameSpy and even though they offer unlimited space and bandwidth, I was being constrained and felt like my hands were tied. If not for, this update would never be happening and I pray that they will continue to host everything with no problems.

What was the 'other games' section will now be the main focus of SDA at its new home, The original focus, where SDA was born - the Quake section, will take a secondary but still very important part of the site at quake/.

I have set all the rest of the pages in other/ to redirect to the new pages, only this news page will not automatically redirect. See you at the new domain!

Sunday, January 23, 2005 by Radix

Even faster larceny.

This was supposed to be in last night's update but it was delayed a bit... the result was two updates in the same day, but then archive had a hissy fit so it was delayed a few more hours. Anyway, Andy 'NTG' Nelson did a run of Grand Theft Auto III and got a time of 1:45:44. This improves the previous run from Wesley by over 20 minutes. It's available in the usual three qualities that Nate provides. Eventually a DVD as well, but he's backed up on making those for a while due to malfunctioning hardware, software, and a flow of tapes that just won't stop!

Saturday, January 22, 2005 by Radix

So much to do.

Tomi Salo continues his way through Max Payne 2, doing the entire second third of the game this week. I should have mentioned it last time, but these runs are not necessarily faster than the previous ones by Tim! In the game's 'New York Minute' mode, the game displays a timer and keeps track of records, but while you're playing it takes a few seconds off the time for every kill you get. So you can get a 'faster' run just by killing a few more... I guess that's why I'm using "better" instead of "faster".

'carlmmii' is on his way to Total Ownage of Metroid II: Return of Samus. He did a three-segment any% run and managed to squeeze the game under one hour: 0:59:49, beating the run I did last March by almost three minutes! The main gains are from this "spider throw" thing that only works when you're going left, and the fact that he didn't roll once he got the Varia Suit. I wasn't aware that once you get the suit, you walk faster - as fast as rolling, so all my late rolling actually cost time.

Sunday, January 16, 2005 by Radix

Who needs FIFO?

It should be obvious by now that I don't post runs in the order I receive them... generally I post them by the ease of timing them, verifying them, and doing the html. Just so you know! ;-p

Mike Uyama did two more runs from the Man Man X series. First he did a run of the final Super Nintendo Mega Man X game, Mega Man X3, which features Doctor Doppler as the cause of all the trouble. He collects only two items in this run, getting a time of 0:44:39. He gets the Beam Sabre and uses that to slaughter everything after that, but that takes time of course. It should be worth it though...

Next he improved his run of Mega Man X4 as Zero with 100%... again. He got a time of 0:47:31, 58 seconds faster than his previous run from September. A very nice run this time with no damage on the final Sigma battle for example.

Blake 'Spider-Waffle' Piepho has improved the Hazard Course run in Half-Life by six seconds to 0:03:10. He also did another using the "HLSP Bunny" modification run and got a time of 0:03:05. This is a small patch you can find at the page that Blake set up. Basically, Valve decided to limit bunny-hopping with a function called PM_PreventMegaBunnyJumping() in the steam version of Half-Life, seemingly to appease TeamFortress players. Since it's only possible to record demos across level-loads on the Steam version, the patch was made to restore the physics to the previous bunny-heaven, and also fix/add a few other minor things. It functions much the same as the QdQstats patch for Quake in this regard. So I've decided to have track Steam runs and Bunny-mod runs in separate categories. If you can be five seconds faster in only three minutes, how much will you gain in the whole game? It turns out that Blake's Single-segment run through the game was using the bunny mod as well, and he just hadn't told me at the time...

Note that such measuring of two versions of a game with a user-made patch will only happen in extreme circumstances, in this case because of a patch that "fixes" something speed runners obviously want. Sorta like the PAL version of Metroid Prime!

There hasn't been any activity on Max Payne 2, aka the game with too much loading-time, since Tim Doherty did his original runs. Until Tomi Salo noticed the runs and reinstalled the game to try to beat some. That's the spirit! He rushed through all of the first part of the game, doing eight improvements:

Hopefully I can get all the rest of the backlogged stuff posted soon.

Saturday, January 8, 2005 by Radix

Mini update

Just a small update with a few little improvements. Expect some longer whole-game runs in the coming weeks!

Philippe Brisson did some more level improvements in 4 Swords, but it turns out that Derek Kisman had done a better 5-3 run way back in July and never told me about it.

That's probably all the 4S runs we'll see from Mr. Brisson for now as he's moved on to his own whole-game run.

Next is five improvements for SSBM's fast-paced Break the targets section, all from 'marth1', which were done sometime in November & December and only recently captured. These videos were done in some strange codec that I had to download to watch, but I converted them to DivX so you don't have to do the same.

Thursday, January 6, 2005 by Radix

69 strong!

This update marks the 68th and 69th games added to the ever-growing game list. Pretty soon I'm going to have to think about reorganizing the layout in some way again. Devin 'Mimir' Herron did a Single-segment run of the PC game Fallout in 0:11:17. I timed this one the same as the sequel, Fallout 2, which has had a run on SDA for some months. In any PC game I think it's fair to remove loading time from what's counted so that slower/faster PCs don't get timed different on an equivalent performance. Thankfully I didn't take six weeks to get this run online like that Fallout 2 run.

Number 69 is a game with lots of tongue action. No, not Leisure Suit Larry... it's Chameleon Twist for Nintendo 64. David Gibbons continues his track record of running both well known games and games no one has heard of, by doing both a pure speed and a 100% run of this game. He got Single-segment times of 0:14:40 and 0:43:00. I wonder if this will be more popular than his Body Harvest run, which barely squeaks out 1250 clicks since mid-September (compare to 37000+ for his 2nd Half-Life 2 run).

Sunday, January 2, 2005 by Radix

Change is coming

The radio station I listen to keeps saying that change is coming and they've been doing this stupid countdown for how many days are left, talk about annoying! It's so annoying that I'm mentioning it here just so you know about stuff that's bugging me.

The first 100% run for Super Mario 64, collecting all 120 stars, has been submitted by Jeremy 'spiderman88mil' Taylor. Although there's a few deaths, which of course cost time, I think the run is still very impressive, especially his 100-coin star collections. He got a time of 2:57:47 which doesn't include two long pauses he did which I mostly snipped out of the run. People often joke about going to the bathroom before you do a long run, but I don't see the harm in pausing and going whenever ;-)

There haven't been any improvements to the level runs of The Legend of Zelda 4 Swords Adventure since the end of July when Snapdragon stopped his crusade through the levels. Now a new player, Philippe Brisson, is working his way through the remaining levels, although seemingly in a random order.

That just leaves five levels left from TSA's original run that need improved.