SDA logo

News from October through December, 2007. [Newer | Older]

Monday, December 24, 2007 by DJGrenola

High Speed Festivities

UPDATE: We had a couple of Resident Evil runs posted here a day or two ago, but we have since learned that the runner used turbo fire controllers (this was a misunderstanding and not a deliberate attempt at deceit). Since this is against SDA rules, we've had to remove them from the site. The old runs by 'Dragondarch' have been resurrected. A new run on Ninja Gaiden has also been temporarily removed because it suffered from an encoding problem. All in all, this has been an update I'd really rather forget about. Sorry.

Lego Star Wars: The Video Game continues to receive the attention of Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski; four new contributions from Maciej supercede his own previous performances:

Because I'm fantastic, you can get a ZIP file containing the normal quality DivX encodes of just these four improved levels here.

Another video to push the number of games here listed inexorably towards the 400 mark: Tomba! for the PlayStation, for which we have Robert 'RJWaters2' Ashbaugh to thank. Robert utilised 15 segments over the course of his 0:41.

Normal quality torrents follow:

Thursday, December 13, 2007 by DJGrenola

We're Back

Daniel 'Jiano' Hart returns with another attempt at The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, but there are a couple of notable differences between this run and his previous. Firstly, in a gruelling feat of endurance, the new run is done single-segment rather than segmented. Secondly, 'Jiano' has switched from playing on the Wii to playing on the GameCube, and Daniel's new sub-5-hour time of 4:47 is due in part to the ongoing divergence in tricks and glitches that can be pulled off on the two different versions. In particular, Mike Uyama informs me that the long jump glitch is only possible on the GameCube. Since this is a long single-segment run, the high quality version is over four gigabytes in size. It is therefore my duty to remind you that certain combinations of operating systems and download clients have problems with files larger than two gigabytes — if you're even a little bit unsure as to whether you can download this successfully, save yourself the risk (and us the bandwidth) and get one of the normal quality versions instead. Also, if you intend downloading a low quality version, remember that you get far more bang for your byte with H.264.

Also breaking the three-week news drought is Matt 'Deadstick' Johnson, with a 31-segment submission on a new game list addition — Brave Fencer Musashi for the PlayStation. Join 'Deadstick' as he goes scroll hunting through this 1998 Square release, finishing with a time of 4:06.

One other thing — we're anticipating doing some server maintenance over the next couple of weeks. Downloads shouldn't be affected, but you may encounter the occasional thing that doesn't work as it should during this period.

Friday, November 23, 2007 by DJGrenola

Lock Up Your Daughters

Way, way back in the ancient mists of time immemorial — we're talking literally several whole months here — it was brought to our attention via the forum that the SNES Super Mario World runs on the site were incorrectly timed because of an erroneously placed start-of-control point. Mike re-timed the runs, but due to the combination of my being a worthless lazy scumbag and the fact that editing archive items makes me violently ill, I didn't bother updating the site with the new figures.

Into this carefully cultivated atmosphere of sloth and general idleness waltzes Andrew 'andrewg' Gardikis. Determined to make a mockery of my careful procrastinations, he beats the incumbent any% from 2004, and in the process forces me to relist the unchanged single-segment 100% as well. Playing nine seconds quicker than Scott Kessler, Andrew's single-segment any% works out as 0:11:01. (The 100% has been revised from 1:31:30 to 1:31:45.)

Today's other feature presentation is a one minute and fourteen second improvement to NES platformer Felix the Cat. This one was run by Jim Hanson who I'm sure will be grinning like a Cheshire cat; the vanquished player was Tom Radovich, who is left to swish his tail and meow wretchedly. Cats are usually every bit as lazy as I am, but they can really move when they want to — Jim makes use of more bag shortcuts to achieve 0:24:49.

I can't say I've tried it out myself, but according to Nate, the normal quality H.264 MP4 versions of both of today's runs and all future normal quality MP4s should be compatible with video iPods, so if you want to take your speed run consumption onto the streets, you can now do so. Be sure to tell the person watching the videos over your shoulder where you got them from !

Normal quality torrents follow.

tuesday, november 20, 2007 by nate

après nous le deluge

last summer i was considering pursuing sorcerer88's bounty for a run of phantasy star online episode i as a force. that there was no force run on sda had always bothered me, but i wasn't sure how well such a run would turn out. it seemed like the amount of leveling required to survive the final boss's attacks would stretch the run out hopelessly beyond brightstar's existing 3:17 as a hunter, and i was discouraged when i realized that the run would only go up on the site by virtue of it being in a different category (force versus hunter).

to make a long story short, i ran out of time (as usual), and julian 'dexter' v. bock picked up the slack. imagine my surprise when dexter's final time estimate plummeted below 3:17, eventually down to the unbelievable 2:03 i am proud to present today (divx torrent / h.264 torrent).

as you might have guessed, this insane time was accomplished only by completely eschewing leveling - dexter fights only the enemies in his way of beating the game. an increased reliance on random item drops also increases the number of short segments the viewer must endure, but it's a small price to pay to watch a level 15 fonewearl pwn dark falz. and, as always, free distribution of the videos has revealed several areas of potential improvement in the run, making sub-2 hours as a force seem within reach. now hop to it!

icewind dale is the second rpg to be sda-ized today, with the new world record standing at 0:32:57 (divx torrent / h.264 torrent). julien langer uses the infinity engine's glitches (e.g. duping) to his advantage in a manner that will be familiar to anyone who has seen a baldur's gate run.

benjamin 'metalgearsolidboy' arcand has achieved 5:16 as rena in the psx exclusive star ocean: the second story (divx torrent / h.264 torrent). this run is spread across no fewer than 87 segments, so get your downthemall etc ready!

two fps games round out this larger-than-average update: fear on low difficulty in 1:06:56 by maciej 'groobo' maselewski (divx torrent) and area 51 in 1:19:19 by peter 'kibumbi' knutsson (divx torrent / h.264 torrent).

groobo has a lot of randomized enemy spawns to deal with in fear (it reminds me of my own alien vs predator jaguar runs as the alien). his run also includes some excellent examples of what i lovingly call "idle antics" and lucid faia cruelly calls "adhd": see especially around 0:44:25 in.

kibumbi has the dubious distinction of improving on a cheated run. if you recall, we removed the previous area 51 run from the site due to an issue kibumbi explains in his comments on the new run. although the cheating may not have been intentional, it still qualifies as such, and so the old run had to go. we are grateful to kibumbi for showing us how area 51 is done right. mike uyama would like to say that he also appreciates people like kibumbi who, when submitting their runs to the site, also submit a complete list of loading frames, making his timing job much easier.

as always, we invite you to help seed our torrents.

Friday, November 9, 2007 by nate, mikwuyma and DJGrenola

Triple The Celebrity

nate writes:

kristian emanuelsen has achieved 0:13:48 on the european version of ninja gaiden (for the nes), called "shadow warriors". we've decided to keep this run on the existing ninja gaiden page because the gameplay is mostly similar, other than the slower, floatier jump, which allows you to make some jumps that are impossible in the ntsc version of ninja gaiden.

mikwuyma writes:

Some of you who have only known this site for less than a year might not know I used to speed run games. You probably know me as that mod who makes disapproving posts every couple of days, then disappears into the shadowy wastes of the internet.

Well, during August and September I decided to relive the good old speed running days with one of my favorite games this year, The Red Star. The game combines my love of smashing, shooting, and dodging things all in one package.

Anyways, if you have a fetish for petite chicks who use communism's hammer and sickle for the ideological pursuit of pounding guys to death, then watch the Makita run, done in 1:44:50.

If you have a thing for bald guys wielding massive phalluses, check out my Kyuzo run, done in 1:44:54.

If you're the kind of person who prefers magic-wielding and lasers because you just "put on your wizard's hat", or if you're one of those people who plays FPS games just to snipe people from a distance because you're petty, then watch the Maya run, done in 1:37:26.

The saddest part about this post is that this is probably the most advertising the game has ever received.

DJGrenola writes:

Being so fond of someone that you miss her company more than you would miss your own limbs is not so kickin' rad when she realises she hates you, and never speaks to you again. Consequently I need to thank Nate for taking care of the most emotionally draining part of the update process recently while I crawled desperately about the floor hunting for fragments of what used to be my heart.

I was cheered up ever so slightly by the fact that the Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne entry in the queue represented not the usual set of individual-level improvements but instead a single-segment run. Thank you, Thomas Mai, for not requiring me to start up OpenOffice, and congratulations on achieving 0:49:45 on the Dead on Arrival difficulty level.

It seems two seconds can't tick past without another improvement on Resident Evil 4. Greg Innes wades in and chainsaws eleven seconds from his own European version Assignment Ada time — his best is now 0:06:31.

Since I'm finishing up, I'll give you one of those normal quality torrent lists I know you all love so much.

wednesday, october 24, 2007 by nate


tactical rpgs are the only kind of rpgs i like, so i eagerly set four of my six available cpu cores to encode the runs grenola and i are presenting to you today. (even then, though, they still took over two days to encode all together!)

first off we have a 3:03:25 run on the sixth fire emblem game, the japan-only fuuin no tsurugi and a new addition to the site (divx torrent / h.264 torrent). if you're a nihongo baka, as the vast majority of us are, fear not: adam 'yoshmaster5' picard's comments will help you understand how he owns the game, stemming in large part from his mastery of the game's rng (random number generator) system and its effects on battle outcomes.

but wait - what's this in his comments?

"Thanks given to the entire crew of SDA for making this awesome site, nate for doing everything to post every speedrun."

"doing everything to post every speedrun"?

... not quite.

i'd like to make clear that though i've written many of the recent news posts, grenola still did everything else for the updates.

"surely there can't be that much else besides the news posts", you say ... ?

well, for this update, grenola made the fuuin no tsurugi game page rotating images, aggregated all the video size and length data, unicode-friendlied the game pages, dirized the videos, made the torrents, assembled his local copy of the update, uploaded said copy and unpacked it, backed up everything involved in the update, prepared the archive items, inserted the run metadata into the api support files, sent the torrents to m2k2sda server, took the videos and torrents live on our download server, downloaded and checked that the torrents were working, took the torrents live on m2k2sda server, deployed the flash video on both the primary and backup servers, spidered all the download links to make sure there were files on the other end, installed the rotating game images he made earlier, posted the game page, spidered the game page links and posted this news update (YOU ARE HERE). after this he has to update the queue, update the game list system, remove obsoletes from the support files, populate the archive metadata fields for all the new runs, generate the news feeds, check the news feeds, deploy the news feeds, and back up everything offsite.

so yeah.

he's the man behind the curtain at this site.

representing slightly less work for grenola, we also have 4:45 - a 34-minute improvement! - in final fantasy tactics by the same john 'chessjerk' kearsley iv (divx torrent / h.264 torrent). 'chessjerk' abuses the jp scroll glitch to roll in jp at new world record speed and flares his opponents (and his friends!) like the greatest master of kitsch photoshop filters. if you don't like it, well, blame yourself or god.

tuesday, october 16, 2007 by nate

you can't mistake my psychology

philippe 'wak' brisson has improved the 100% category on the legend of zelda: a link to the past. the 2 hour barrier remains intact, though: the new world record is 2:00:01 (divx torrent - h.264 torrent).

but do we really want to rank the two measly seconds separating 'wak' from 1:59:59 above his personal improvement of over two minutes? i think not. personally, i would have preferred he cut off one fewer second, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing 20002.

but that's probably just me.

sunday, october 14, 2007 by nate

born ahead

last time, i wrote about 'dsgamer' posting his metroid prime hunters segments to youtube so that others could comment on his progress. those less familiar with sda might be wondering, then: what separates youtube from sda?

for most people, one word, verification, is sufficient to answer that question.

in verifying a run was not cheated, merely watching it on youtube is not enough. the video could easily have been altered, especially given youtube's abysmal playback quality ("the 1990s called - they want their codecs back!").

there is no one perfect guard against cheating, but sda's peer verification system is as good as it gets. this system works in two stages, and the first happens before any video is posted here: knowledgeable community members verify the run, taking a stand that it meets sda's standards of excellence.

but what happens if the verifiers are all wrong and we post a cheated run?

that's where you come in.

you can post in the forum if you notice something fishy, as you did for the area 51 run. because the discrepancies you noted in this run were not explained within a reasonable period of time, we have removed it from the site.

thousands of people like you visit sda every day. the odds are overwhelmingly against our records being cheated.

new records today are on little nemo, f-zero x and a new addition to the site: xiii.

exactly ten months later, ray 'croc-doc' cullen has improved ryan kusnery's old little nemo time, 0:30:50, by over three minutes to 0:27:07.

in the world of the f-zero x expansion pack, sand ocean 3 has been improved from 0:01:33.098 to 0:01:30.959 by philippe brodier.

finally, the pc version of the cross-platform xiii has been destroyed by the brothers vilpas in 1:38:20 (divx torrent - h.264 torrent).

friday, october 12, 2007 by nate

hasta la victoria siempre

here at sda we provide you with a great deal of entertaining content, but the speed run videos we present also serve as evidence of world record times. with that in mind, i am proud to present today the highest quality nintendo ds speed run ever recorded. though we are still forced to record ds video over-the-air due to a lack of hardware support from nintendo, the audio is not over-the-air, and the video has been lovingly autocropped by yours truly for your maximum enjoyment. the runner is zack 'dsgamer3002' mintzer, the game is metroid prime hunters, and the world record time is 1:20:35 (divx torrent - h.264 torrent).

actually, since recording this run, 'dsgamer' has already beaten the game with a better time. but because he didn't record it, should it be called the world record? i ask this question because more than once when 'dsgamer' was working on his recorded run, other members of the community pointed out costly mistakes in his segments posted on youtube and urged him to go back and correct them - which, in many cases, he did. if such corrections are not made in records without accompanying video, then are they good records?

if we all agree that in order for a time to be considered a world record, then it must be posted on sda, then this cycle of recording, peer critique, and improvement will never stop, as is the case with metroid prime hunters. if working on metroid 2002 and sda for over four years has taught me anything, it's that there is no limit to progress when everyone is involved. sda involves everyone in the improvement process by posting videos of all our records.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 by DJGrenola


"First I must thank the people who run this site, namely Radix, Nate, and Mike."

So begin Daniel 'Axel_Ryman' Fitzgerald's comments for his new Chrono Cross new game + 0:05:58 in 2 segments. Why do I bother being SDA's hardest worker ? No Christmas card for you, Daniel.

I also spied this extract in the comments for Jack 'Doodan' Patchell's single-segment 100% GameCube Super Mario Sunshine 5:10 attempt:

Radix, Nate, and Mike for having an awesome site, and just being who they are."

Colour me invisible. Kinga Styger evades criticism by not thanking any of us. That doesn't bother me at all — I just get upset when I am specifically omitted ... Kinga runs NES The Little Mermaid in 0:07:26.

Since two of today's runs are so short, and since the above has left me in no mood to do any more work than is actually necessary, I've only bothered to make normal quality DivX and H.264 torrents for the Mario Sunshine run this time.

In other news, I've just completed a two-day mission to mirror all medium quality versions of almost every single run on the site on our new dedicated server, so if you've been having trouble downloading anything from archive, you may now be able to get it with superior quality of service.

Now I'm off to fill in three pages and finish off the 40-point checklist I have to go through for each and every run that makes it onto this site.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007 by DJGrenola

Normal Service Resumed

Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe has beaten his own SNES ActRaiser Professional! mode run. Once again he abuses death to save time. The new attempt is one minute and forty-eight seconds quicker than the one replaced; the record is now 0:27:43. Torrents are available for DivX and H.264 normal quality flavours; as always the rest of the qualities are available via our HTTP mirrors. Enjoy !

Monday, October 1, 2007 by DJGrenola

FPS Double

I have a couple of PC FPSes for you today. Serious Sam: The First Encounter already has an individual-level runs table, but I confess relief that I won't be updating that today. Instead, Arran 'ShadowWraith' Kelf provides a single-segment run on Tourist difficulty in 0:49:15.

Meanwhile, Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski returns to append Unreal II: The Awakening to the game list. 'groobo' rips through in 1:42:56 on Easy difficulty and uses 40 segments as he goes.

Normal quality torrents: