Friday, September 28, 2007 by DJGrenola
Ever the runner's favourite, Resident Evil 4 is on the receiving end of a speedup too, in the European version with special weapons (new game +) category. Tomi 'sarou' Salo last submitted a video of this type back in 2005; he's made this seven minutes and sixteen seconds more rapid with a new 18-segment 1:43:47.
One title which seems to have earned itself a reputation for fierce competition is NES Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom. Since 'Frezy_man' finished the first run of said title in March of this year there have been three improvements. Jim Hanson is responsible for the latest of these, grabbing back his record by shaving off another eleven seconds and resetting the bar at 0:14:27. How long will the record last this time ?
You know what you're going to get with Adam 'Lucid Faia' Sweeney — well-executed single-segment goodness. Adam has taken on SNES Donkey Kong Country's 100% category (or 101%, if you want to call it that). The run that he casts so cruelly into the land of the obsolete is a genuine relic: Derek 'SnapDragon' Kisman's old 100% was played way, way back in 2001. That's so old by SDA's standards that I'm almost sorry to see it go — but looking on the bright side, its replacement gets the H.264 treatment. 'Lucid Faia' plays six minutes faster than 'SnapDragon' did; his 100% time is 0:44.
According to the ever-knowledgeable Mike Uyama, today's revision to Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria demonstrates even worse platforming than the run it replaces, but better planning and boss battles. Either way it's faster — over twenty minutes faster, in fact, although it does use nearly twice the number of segments. Alex 'AquaTiger' Nichols is the runner responsible for this 40-segment improvement, which took 2:21:08.
In the first new addition to the game list for some time — it's been stuck at 380 games listed for what seems like an eternity — Peter 'petrie911' Montag sends in his effort at Sonic Adventure 2. This run was played on the GameCube version, follows the Dark side, is categorised as single-segment, and boasts a time of 0:33:41.70.
List of normal quality torrents:
Thursday, September 27, 2007 by DJGrenola
Mega Man Mania
Jared 'Ifrit' Nicholson's old PS1 Mega Man Legends run from 2005 is ousted courtesy of Tom H. 'sshplur' Nguyen. Tom beats Jared by 11 minutes and 23 seconds and achieves a single-segment 0:57:02. This isn't the full story, however — Tom has also knocked out a run on easy mode, again single-segment. The easy mode run exhibits the predictably faster time of 0:42:52.
SNES Mega Man 7 is next: Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe returns to beat his own previous 100% on this title, chopping off one minute and seventeen seconds from his March 2007 effort. Hoppe's revision is once again performed single-segment and abuses death to save time; the new figure to beat here is 0:56:16.
The European version of PS1 Mega Man 8 enjoys a spell in the limelight thanks to Patrik 'Cremator' Salonen. The usual 5/6 speed shenanigans apply, but in a gesture of magnanimity Jared 'Ifrit' Nicholson has requested his NTSC run be taken down to make way for Patrik's contribution, which weighs in at 1:04:57, again single-segment.
We now move onto the X games, beginning with SNES Mega Man X3. Daniel Chamness strolls nonchalantly through the X Collection version of this title, without saving, in 0:43:15. This is ostensibly about a minute and a half faster than Mike Uyama's effort on the SNES version, but the X Collection forms a separate category owing to some timing discrepancies between these editions (mainly revolving around cutscenes and slowdown).
Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk is seemingly also into self-improvement — if you want that quantifying, he's improved himself to the tune of five minutes and fifty-six seconds at the 8-bosses-beaten category of Mega Man X5. Chris's new, faster 0:25:03 assault employs 16 segments. 'Satoryu' seems to like this 8-boss thing, because he's also revised his own record on the equivalent Mega Man X6 category, or to be more precise, he's improved the final two segments. The new time is 0:29:13, but this link will only show you the improved parts 13 and 14. If you haven't had the pleasure of watching parts 1 to 12, you'll need to download them separately from the old 0:31:00 8-boss performance ... or you could just use one of the normal quality torrents, which contain the original parts 1 to 12 plus the improved 13 and 14.
Speaking of normal quality torrents ...
Anyway, back to Halo 3 ...
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 by DJGrenola
Sunday, September 23, 2007 by Radix
In addition to the previous Single-segment eu version category, we now have a segmented run on the NTSC version and a 100% run. The 100% run acheived a time of 6:35 by Oskar 'YautjaElder' Lundquist in 64 segments. A brief definition of just what 100% covers: All sub screen items, heart containers/pieces, ocarina songs, gold skulltulas and best upgrades. Update: Sorry, there is a problem with this run's encoding and it has been temporarily removed.
The other run comes in at the crazy low time of 2:26:56 by Lloyd 'Manocheese' Palmer in 25 segments. This run uses a few 'major skips' that result in two categories. This run is simply called "Best time with save warping". Another run which doesn't use those skips would be called "Best time without major skips". This is one of those vaguely arbitrary rules we have just because some people don't like speed runs that cut out huge chunks of a game. The things that qualify as major are listed on the game's page.
Both runs posted today have torrents for both avi and mp4 versions of normal quality. You can also download normal or low quality from our new server as well as from archive.
Thursday, September 13, 2007 by DJGrenola
Releasing Games This Late In Europe Is Disgusting, 'k ?
In the meantime, we thought we'd celebrate the release of Wii Super Paper Mario in Europe by posting a run of it. Words cannot express how utterly repulsive I find the fact that Nintendo chose to region-lock their console (sorry, PAL-60 obliterates your old pathetic, hackneyed excuse for an excuse) and then forced European and Australian regions to wait months for this title on a system horribly starved of games as it is. You'd think European consumers would get some sort of, you know, reward for purchasing the system, but apparently we're such contemptible, backward scum that we don't deserve to play new games on the machines we've shelled out hard earned cash for. That old localisation chestnut won't work, either — I've lost track of the number of EU region releases I've bought recently that have contained words that don't exist in my language — words like 'color', 'favorite' and 'tumor'. Using localisation as an excuse for ripping off PAL region consumers only works if you actually bother to localise the games. Spare us the insult to our intelligence, and try localising games into standard English. You know, the language we read and write locally. As in "localisation". Look it up.
Before the proliferation of the Internet, we happily put up with playing games at 5/6 speed with horrible screen borders, and getting them months after the rest of the world. We didn't know any better, but times have changed. If publishers think they can continue to try to make PAL region consumers pay full price for games that are months old, in an age when open modchip code can be blown onto a PIC integrated circuit for the price of a decent cup of coffee, they really are in for the shock of their lives, EUCD or no EUCD. Treat consumers like filth, and they'll gladly return the favour.
Sri 'MrGuy' Singh is responsible for knocking out the first speed run of Super Paper Mario. According to Radix, it contains some mistakes, but that's probably not so bad in a run spanning five and a half hours — the exact time is 5:13 across 45 segments. By far the preferred way to get your grubby mitts on this is to get on the normal quality DivX torrent — the other qualities are available from archive.org, but I'm strongly of the suspicion that archive's quality of service won't be anything to write home about on this one. If your ISP throttles BitTorrent downloads (many do), you might be interested in a page in the SDA Knowledge Base.
The precise clear time for this run was derived from the final save; Mike would like me to suggest that when running games like this it's a good idea to include your final save when recording.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007 by DJGrenola
This means that we're back to the donkey and cart (archive.org and BitTorrent). We have a couple of fairly big productions queued for release but no way to do so with any sort of acceptable quality of service at this moment, so for the time being we'll just have to post some shorter videos. Let's get on with it before I change my mind and give up entirely.
Jose 'PiccoloCube' Karica has submitted videos on three tracks of the DD64 F-Zero X Expansion Kit. Two of these — Port Town 3 and White Land 3 — are improvements; the third video exhibits the same time as his existing run, but has been re-encoded for better quality. Jose beats his own time on Port Town 3 by 1.227 seconds, achieving 0:01:32.094; on White Land 3 he beats a runner we had listed only as 'Max', this time by 1.049 seconds. The new White Land 3 time is 0:01:17.998; the overall improvement is 2.276 seconds, and the summed 64DD table time is now 0:17:42.894. The remastered contribution is on Space Plant 2, and is still 0:01:16.433. 'PiccoloCube' now owns the 64DD table from top to bottom.
Friday, August 24, 2007 by DJGrenola
Penny Arcade Expo
This four-minute introduction to the main speed run showcase journeyed from a latent concept in Nate's brain to its dazzling final form through six epic months of punishing, non-stop toil. Along the way, it assimilated the skills of an artist, a quantum physicist, a linguist, and a programmer. It swallowed 70 hours of speed run footage, ravenously consumed two weeks of CPU time, and gorged itself upon over a terabyte of storage. It spawned 6,000 lines of source code and spread itself in mathematical symbols over page upon page of graph paper. At one point the stress it put on me threatened to bring SDA itself to a halt. It is therefore with the greatest pleasure that I can now bring you the most ambitious project I have ever worked on: Speed Demos Archive.
Please give serious consideration to downloading the high or insane quality versions; the complexity of this video is such that it makes mincemeat of even the best video codecs, and it really should be viewed at 640x480 and 59.94 frames per second as I intended. You can embed the streaming flash version in websites or blogs. It's not recommended, but you could also use the one-third frame rate YouTube version.
We'd like to thank Penny Arcade for giving us the opportunity to show our feature at PAX, and particularly for trusting us to take full control of its direction and deliver it on time. Thank you !
Tuesday, August 21, 2007 by DJGrenola
Saturday, August 18, 2007 by DJGrenola
Biggest Update Ever
Kari 'Essentia' Johnson has rapidly developed a name for herself in the prestigious realm of running Final Fantasy games, and her single-segment Final Fantasy VI production which has seen the forum's denizens salivating with expectation is finally ready for launch. How on earth the lass managed to concentrate for this length of time completely boggles my mind, but concentrate she did. The time ? 4:48. I'll just put this achievement into perspective — that's 38 minutes faster than the previous effort from Peter Tiernan, and yet Peter's run used 32 segments. As far as the videos are concerned, I'll give you one piece of advice: Forget about the high quality version — it's over 5 gigabytes in size. The normal quality H.264 version is full framerate, so that's the version we chose to distribute using BitTorrent. If you'd prefer something smaller than 1.4 gigabytes, go for the low quality H.264 version which most likely rivals the DivX normal quality in terms of fidelity. You'll need to use a H.264 in mp4-aware player such as VLC to watch the mp4 versions, including the one we're torrenting.
Joe Stanski has improved one of his Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog 2 levels again; this time it's Death Egg Zone. Those who read the news regularly will have realised long ago that Mr. Stanski doesn't take "no" for an answer where going faster is concerned, and according to Nate, this is the first one round Sonic 2 final boss done by a human. When sending me a revision to his comments, Stanski confided that "this one means a heck of a lot to me and the Sonic 2 community". His crazy feat, believed impossible by many, chops another six seconds off the individual-level table — practically an eternity given how hard Stanski has worked at this game. The new Death Egg time is 0:00:43, and the summed individual-level figure falls to 0:16:30.
Since I first posted the triple update containing all three NES Ninja Gaiden titles, there have been various improvements. Are these games destined to become the next Jaws and Contra ? New runs on Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom have been submitted by Josh Styger. 16 seconds fall from Tommy Montgomery's February attempt at the original game; Josh's new time is 0:13:33. The record on the latter game is beaten by 31 seconds with Josh moving the bar to 0:14:38. Great work, Sir — keep at it !
Next is PC individual-level stalwart Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, on which two further improvements have been produced by Tomi 'sarou' Salo. One minute and 38 seconds have somehow been culled from 2-6, Construction Site As Mona part 3, which is now listed as 0:00:29, and there is also a slightly less pronounced revision to 3-6, Max's 3rd Nightmare — 3 seconds are cut here to yield a new time of 0:00:52. Total improvement is one minute and 41 seconds; the new summed table time is 0:22:17. Something tells me this won't be the last time I have to open that particular spreadsheet, either.
Long time SDA supporter Tom 'slowbro' Batchelor returns to the limelight as he takes a crack at Atari 2600 classic Pitfall II: Lost Caverns. Tom's performances were executed on the Activision Anthology for Game Boy Advance, so I'm just going to list this one as a GBA game; with all the other crazy stuff I have to get done in this update, I'm not going to bother adding a 2600 section to the game list just yet. 'slowbro' has produced the classic run pair here; his any% works out at 0:05:02, and an 100% effort in which he achieves maximum score is obviously slower, at 0:12:47. One interesting curiosity related to video compression that has arisen during the processing of this run is that the high quality H.264 versions here are actually smaller than the low quality DivX ones ... the H.264 encoder just turned its nose up at the surplus bitrate that Nate suggested it should use. Are you still using those archaic DivXalikes ?
Nope, I've still not finished. PC Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal is the target of this morning's final speed run. Dominic 'DAMURDOC' Legault's five-segment assault upon this expansion pack works out at 1:09:32.
Right, I need a lie down.
Thursday, August 16, 2007 by DJGrenola
A Boy, His Blob, And Guns. Lots Of Guns
In a lateral move from genocide to gluttony, Ray 'Croc-Doc' Cullen ignores the any% category and goes straight for the 100% jugular of NES A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia. Even if you're not interested in watching this speedy 0:11:30, you should read Ray's run comments for his upbeat tale of an anonymous, maladjusted, dysfunctional wretch whom nobody likes.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007 by DJGrenola
Lara Croft is back in action today; Stacy Corron's 55-segment Tomb Raider attempt from 2005 itself becomes a historical artifact thanks to the efforts of Ali 'AKA' Gordon. Ali was apparently horrified by Stacy's previous run, and having resurrected a Saturn and reacquired a copy of the game, set about confining the existing video to a dusty case in the speed run museum. This is one of those instances where a performance on a slower European version is clearly so much better than the incumbent run that we allow the PAL contribution to oust the NTSC one, even though playing at 5/6 speed makes execution a little easier. Although the listed time for this single-segment run is 1:50:16, you should keep in mind that the timer runs at 5/6 speed à la Resident Evil, so the actual video length is about two and a half hours. Comparing the compensated times, this run is about fifty minutes more rapid than the old.
Monday, August 13, 2007 by ballofsnow
Sunday, August 12, 2007 by DJGrenola
Dominic 'DAMURDOC' Legault pushes the site inexorably towards the 400-games-listed mark with a performance on Super Nintendo Battletoads & Double Dragon. Playing as one of the Lee brothers, Dominic scored 0:23:23.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007 by DJGrenola
Back from the Edge
There are some fairly remarkable goings-on in the world of PC Baldur's Gate — or, to be more precise, on its Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack. The hitherto listed pair of runs on this title — one single-segment, one segmented — have both been made obsolete by Julien Langer's application of the polymorph glitch. Julien beats Kevin Horst's segmented run from 2006 by almost 14 minutes with a new time of 0:16:35 in 9 segments, and Julien's own single-segment effort from 2005 is also comprehensively confined to the history books; a crazy 45 minute revision yields a new figure of 0:24:30 ! These runs are apparently pretty confusing to watch; luckily Julien's comments are of the verbose variety.
Also joining the game list today is PlayStation title Driver: You are the Wheelman. This game was run by Sean 'ZhouTai' MacDonald who bravely battled its unrelenting randomness and scored 1:48:22 in 5 segments for his troubles.
Friday, August 3, 2007 by DJGrenola
Thursday, August 2, 2007 by DJGrenola
By contrast, today's other item — Owen Traeholt's single-segment 0:31:04 sugar-rush through GameCube Viewtiful Joe on Kids mode — was described by Mike Uyama as being "so fast that Sonic would be jealous", although there were also calls for a run on a harder difficulty. The speed of the video is such that you should probably give serious consideration to the high quality version of this one if your machine is powerful enough to play H.264 at 640x480 and 59.94 frames per second, and if you think you can tolerate a 585 MB download.
Friday, July 27, 2007 by DJGrenola
Did You Miss Us ?
Thursday, July 19, 2007 by DJGrenola
What Does The Name Joe Stanski Mean To You ?
Joe kicks off by beating the old single-segment Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog record by 'mike89'; his motivation appeared to revolve around the fact that any new run wouldn't be tainted by "sucky PAL music". Gaining seventeen seconds on its predecessor, this new video is listed as 0:17:52.
Onto Sonic the Hedgehog 2, on which Stanski has also improved a single-segment record; this time it's his own. This is a forty-two second revision which brings the time down to 0:18:12. From the comments: "This is definitely the best run I have ever done for SDA ..." — if it's better than his Dark Castle run, it must be good !
Lastly, there's the usual brace of improvements to individual-level Sonic 2 times:
Saturday, July 14, 2007 by DJGrenola
Bandwidth Buster VII
Thursday, July 12, 2007 by DJGrenola
Screw E3, Watch These Instead
Further NES goodness abounds as an NTSC run joins Freddy Andersson's PAL Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game contribution from March 2006. The new video was performed by Elliott Feiertag, one of the Super Feiertag Bros. — Elliott achieves 0:39:20.
Lastly, a categorisation change accompanies an individual-level improvement to Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. Previously we listed "shortcut" runs (using a super jump glitch) and "non-shortcut" runs (not using said glitch) separately on this game. An agreement between Mike and the runners has been reached by which the arbitrary "non-shortcut" category is abolished; from now on we're just going to roll with whatever is fastest. Anyway, one level has been improved here by Ben 'Kegerius' Beer: 2-5, Construction Site as Mona part 2, now stands at 0:01:44, down from Tomi Salo's 0:02:19. This makes the overall table 35 seconds faster, with its times now summing to 0:23:58.
Sunday, July 8, 2007 by DJGrenola
Friday, July 6, 2007 by DJGrenola
Forty-Seven Plus Two
Meanwhile, Nicolas Deußer has coughed up a pair of runs on PC Enclave; both are played on easy difficulty. The first of these is a Light side playthrough in 14 segments with a final time of 0:45:19. You might however prefer to watch the 13-segment Dark side effort — according to Nicolas's comments it is the better of the two, and at 0:30:47 it is demonstrably the faster.
Monday, July 2, 2007 by DJGrenola
The Market For Mario
Stepping up to the plate first is one Andrew Gardikis, whose five minute SMB1 completion has apparently not satiated his desire to expand further his portfolio. Chris Knight's previous Super Mario Bros. 2 record has been demolished, making way for an improved 0:09:15 construction — four seconds faster.
Today's other intrepid entrepeneur is Mr. Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson. Super Mario Bros. 3 has been property belonging to Richard Ureta since 2004, but it changes hands today. Freddy's modern 0:11:03 development is eight seconds more rapid.