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News from April through June, 2012. [Newer | Older]

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 by Breakdown

S is for Sega

Have to love it when a theme falls into your lap, but first let me also say that S is also for super long overdue update, and additionally it's also for sorry. Two weeks is entirely too long between these things, and for this I apologize. Strictly my fault, have excuses but they don't matter, won't become par for the course again. Now that that's out of the way, let's get down to some Sega-y goodness.

You can't have a good Sega update without a certain blue hedgehog in mix, and let me assure that with the inclusion of Sonic Chaos here we have that covered. This Master System title is far from the most well known entry in the Sonic series (due in no small part to being on the Master System), but the game has at least one super fan in runner Adam 'AdamAK' Kuczynski. He pilots Sonic to the end of this exclusively 8-bit adventure in a very quick 0:06:14.

That's not it for Sonic games here, though, as we also have a new run for the slightly more popular Sonic 3 and Knuckles. However, it's the other titular characters who gets his time to shine in this paragraph. Mike 'mike89' McKenzie with an improvement to the Knuckles category, and we aren't talking one of those one second Mario improvements, oh no. This is Sega doing what Nintendon't with a close to six minute improvement. All kidding aside, the new time is 0:26:28 and you should see what this man has done to this poor, poor game.

That's it for the mascot, but we do have a couple Genesis exclusives to round out the update. First up is the generally well liked and respected Comix Zone. Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman adds this title to his growing resume of published runs today with a hefty improvement to run we've been hosting since 2007. A few glitches and some far more aggressive strategies resulted in over five minutes of improvement to Sketch's journey through the panels, clocking in at a final time of 0:12:35. This one also comes with an audio commentary.

Wrapping things up today we have a run from Mike Uyama, which the SDA faithful should know could only mean one thing: the beast has finally been unleashed on the SDA front page. Sub-Terrania makes its grand debut on SDA today. Really, there's little I can say about the game or the run that isn't covered very, very thoroughly in Mike's comments or the accompanying audio commentary, so I'll just say congrats here, and you should do the same after watching his easy difficulty run in 0:09:18.

Before I sign off here there are a couple points of interest I should call to your attention. First, as of this posting nearly every run from Summer Games Done Quick has at least a normal quality encode ready for download. There were tons of great moments and fantastic runs at the last marathon, so go immortalize those on your hard drive with the links from the archive details page. Also, we now have a torrent available for all the vids from the last Awesome Game Done Quick currently at the ready for those of you who've been waiting to get all of those runs in one shot. Interested? Then just click on the attachments in this post. Big thanks to Uranium Anchor for his tireless work on the encodes and to anybody who helped out in the video synch thread.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 by dex

Still in a dream

As seems to be par for the course after marathons, I yet again have to congratulate you guys on the staggering amount of donations you've done. You rock. I'd elaborate beyond that, but romscout and Vorpal have put it to paper far better than I could - plus, I think you're itching for some runs, so let's get down to it.

Those of you with unmatched theme song acumen might recognize the title of this update as the words to one of the kings of tactical espionage action, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Hidenori 'Hikari' Kawamoto improved the previous time on what true spies love best - Single-segment European Extreme run with Fox Hound rank (with New Game+). Now that's a mouthful. The improvement totals 2 minutes, giving us a time of 1:27:34. Well worth watching - then again, that's a given with MGS runs nowadays.

One of the games I have revered in the olden days of my childhood was the Amiga version of Another World. I am evidently not the only individual with fond memories of this gem stowed away, since there was a recent re-release of the game for the PC. And Alexis 'NHG' Gabaig decided to run it post-haste - as in, 'half the time of the SNES version' type of post-haste. 0:08:50 for the segmented category. And that wasn't enough, since in the same submission we've also received a single-segment from him - 0:10:12. That's pretty damn good. Hey, speaking of classic realistic platformers for the Amiga, someone should run Flashback. That'd be a cool one.

Next up, a representative of a wholly unsaturated genre - a difficult freeware platformer. In case this very unique description didn't jog your memory, the game is Nikujin. Blaise 'Blazier' Roth decided the page felt a little empty without a segmented run and submitted to us a blindingly fast 0:02:12. That's fast, son, especially compared to the other run on the page, an amazing run in its own right.

A good representation of what seems to slowly be happening with DLCs nowadays is DLC Quest (more imaginative name a possible DLC). David Heidman Jr. didn't let that break his spirits, however, and he sent us in a single-segment 0:04:35. Though maybe I shouldn't say it didn't break his spirits - the run gets the bad ending. Nevertheless, it's still a good watch. More information available in an SDA DLC pack. Or, alternatively, included audio comments. I guess.

Finally, to close off, a run on the Douglas Adams designed adventure game, Starship Titanic. Mario 'digama' Carneiro decided to sprint through the game single-segment and got a 0:24:26, a spanking good achievement. I recommend you watch it - in addition to some awesome running, you'll get to hear Monty Python members acting out a Douglas Adams script. Tell me that alone ain't worth the price of admission.

See you next time.

Sunday, June 3, 2012 by Vorpal and romscout

Another successful marathon

I was rather excited about the marathon when I got home from work last Thursday, but little did I know, it was not to be. A combination of a thunderstorm and Verizon simply being too lazy to bother fixing the damage for a week led to me missing pretty much the entire 'thon. Ok, I can deal with that, there'll be videos, but how am I supposed to close out something I didn't watch? Complications arising from that, unfortunately, are the reasons this closer is a couple days late. As it turns out, I won't write much of anything. Most of you will probably know romscout. He's one of a remarkable few who's been at every SDA marathon and he helps out some with planning and execution behind the curtains. The following are his words:

Every time I come back home from one of SDA's charity marathons, I'm absolutely shocked by how much money was raised. You'd think at this point I'd be expecting all of you who donate to smash our goals that we put on the ChipIn, but somehow it manages to feel special every time. This time around, you guys managed to make our initial goal of $20,000 for Summer Games Done Quick look like a complete joke by donating $46,279 directly to the Organization for Autism Research. This total came from 2207 unique donations, which is nearly double the 1118 we had for the previous SGDQ held in August of 2011. Every single one of you who donated this year or at all during one of these events deserves a huge round of applause for your efforts in making the world a better place.

The success in these figures especially means a lot to me since I was personally worried about how much we would be able to raise. I distinctly recall speaking with Mike Uyama and puwexil about our initial goal and deciding that simply bringing in more than last year's SGDQ would be a good starting point. Was this marathon taking place too close to AGDQ? Did we not advertise the event enough? Was the game lineup in the schedule not strong enough? You'd be surprised what kind of questions were brought up in regards to how much money could be raised for the organization. I suppose if the worst problem we have every marathon is having our starting donation goal look like a joke, then we can't be too upset. Those big, crazy numbers that blow my mind every time certainly aren't our doing, though. This is all because you, the donors, decide to make it happen every time we put on a show for you. There is no measurement for the amount of praise that you people deserve for giving up your hard-earned money for such noble causes as autism research and cancer prevention. As a reminder, $305,572.54 have been raised for charity over six events since we started doing this, and that's as ridiculous as it sounds. In case you haven't started doing a little bit of a victory dance for yourself yet, you are welcome to do so now.

In addition to the people who directly donated money to the charity, we also owe a huge thanks to the people who provided prizes that undoubtedly led to some of the large amounts of donations during the event. You can view the SGDQ prizes thread for a full list of everyone who gave a prize. I couldn't possibly do justice to everyone in that thread with individual shoutouts, so I'm going to respectfully decline to try. The t-shirt sales provided by The Yetee have also brought in a nice amount of money for the last couple of marathons, so a huge thanks is owed to them as well. Check out their site and see who in the thread takes commissions! It is definitely the least anyone can do for the efforts they've put toward the charity events.

As someone who has attended every single one of the marathons so far, I can tell you that while there are tons of reasons to keep making the trips, the biggest factor is knowing that many people will benefit from the generosity of our viewers. Sure, it's a ton of fun to go out and watch games be demolished in person. I certainly can't deny how much fun it is to be eating breakfast with Uyama and Poxnor practicing 80's songs way off-key as my background music, or even to be mercy killing our encore of "I Am The Wind" after my SotN run. I wouldn't trade anything in the world for the opportunity to be in a crowded room (with the doorway stuffed, no less) to watch the ocean in Mayor K's Sim City for 20+ minutes just to find out it was all a trick to get Maniac Mansion into a marathon. Don't even get me started on the chance to go crazy on games like Mario Kart 64, Wario Ware Mega Party Games, Mega Man Soccer (yes, I said that) and co-op Jamestown with some of my favorite speed runners. But do you really think we'd take vacation time from work, skip some important classes, and reschedule big meetings as often as we do if we didn't feel a positive change was being made in the process? The joy that we have at these events is only possible because of the joy you, the donors, bring to everyone when you collectively sacrifice your wallets and end up doing something like funding an entire research grant. The previous SGDQ's $21,396.76 was able to fully fund a study that focused on increasing effectiveness of early intervention services for autistic children, so you can imagine what this year's total could end up doing.

I want to once again give my sincerest thanks to everyone who donated not only to the Organization for Autism Research at this year's SGDQ, but to any previous charity cause during one of SDA's marathons. I believe I speak on behalf of everyone who organizes these events when I say that you are ultimately the people that give us the drive to provide our best effort every time we put one of these together. I also want to thank Essentia and Denton for making so many speed runners feel welcome in their home for two years in a row and making sure we never go hungry. SGDQ has a unique feel for a marathon that just can't be replicated in attending the more glorified AGDQ, and I can tell you that it just wouldn't be the same if you two weren't so loving to everybody. Thanks again everyone, and I hope to see you all involved in the next marathon!

Vorpal again. Lets get some runs up.

Fatal Frame has a cult following in some parts of the internet. Paige Gearhart, who has a pretty awesome brother, decided to snap shut the book on this haunted mansion, and did so in 1:56:05, with 25 segments. In the spirit of the game, we are posting pictures of his run on SDA. Lots of them. (05 + 56*60 + 1*60*60)*29.97fps worth. Probably a lot more, depending on how the timer works.

Reverting back to old-school for a bit, Magician is one of those games that takes up half the screen with a text box for narration. The narration is competent enough, especially for an NES game, which made selecting screenshots for the game page more interesting than it would otherwise have been. Marc J. 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski decided that the best way to counter dwindling resource shortages was to beat the game in record time, and he does so in a single-segment 0:13:45. Hopefully this run will quench your thirst.

Wally Bear and the NO! Gang is a title I'd never heard of before seeing it in the queue, but now that I'm somewhat familiar with it, I wonder how I ever missed it. Jason 'cornshaq' Moon is the man of the hour. cornshaq dodged the evil animal drug peddlers and made his way to the perfectly safe and legal party in a single-segment 0:07:02. Hopefully, in the spirit of the game, Jason will drink a (few) victory shot(s) in celebration.

The final game today? Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!. With a !. Rounding out the current 100% time, Sven 'Neviutz' Leise decided to go for a drastically shorter major-skips any% category. He does not disappoint, finishing in a fifth of the 100% time, or more precisely, a single-segment 0:34:15. 0 orbs were collected at all, indicating how much was skipped.

That's all, folks. If you know your way around virtualdub and want to help SDA out (and do me a favor in particular), you can check the video sync thread and help us get started on encoding the marathon. I especially want to thank everyone who helped make the marathon a success ($46k? $46k!), and that includes participants, donators, and just plain viewers. You all rock, and we'll see you next time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 by Breakdown

It's almost that time

It may seem like just the other day that we announced our next marathon, Summer Games Done Quick, but already the event is practically upon us. Most of you probably know the drill by now, but for those who don't let me lay it out for you. This coming Thursday, May 24th we'll be kicking off a live speedrunning stream that will run non-stop for over four days. A wide assortment of SDA members will be behind the controls playing through over 70 games for your viewing pleasure. It promises to be an awesome time, but we've got agenda here past putting on a good show. The whole time we'll be taking donations for The Organization For Autism Research. They're definitely a cause worth supporting, and over the course of the event we'll be offering plenty of incentives for you to do so. There will be prizes to win, gameplay choices you can bid on, and even whole games that can be added to the schedule through the power of donations. So come watch and donate if you can, and even if you can't help out financially you should still check it out as SDA marathons are always a great time. Everything starts at 3 PM Eastern time this Thursday right here on the SDA front page. Be here, you won't regret it.

Considering we're inside of two days away from about 100 straight hours of live speedrunning goodness, this update is going to be a little shorter on content than usual. For those of you who just said "lame" at your computer screen, you might be retracting that statement in a bit here. There's some heavy hitters going up today. Lets get to it.

For a run that has been often cited as unimprovable, I spend an awful lot of time posting improvements for the warps category of Super Mario Bros. The five minute run was deemed perfect by many, then the 4:59 hit and more than a few people jokingly asked when the 0:04:58 was coming. Well, if the link in the previous sentence didn't tip you off, it's here now, brought to you by the same guy who did the last two, Andrew Gardikis. Go get it and be amazed.

Zelda games are seen fairly often here on the front page, but it's been many years since anyone has put out something new on the one that started it all. The Legend of Zelda sees it's first update in quite some time thanks to runner Darkwing Duck. It's a new category for the page: first quest with no up+A warping, and Link is piloted to the end in a very quick 0:34:36. It makes for a great watch, and if you enjoy this run, be sure to catch his live attempt during the aforementioned marathon.

It's practically impossible to keep up with the pedigree of the previous two titles, but when a classic Capcom platformer like the NES's Chip n' Dale: Rescue Rangers is the step back in overall popularity, you know it's a solid update. Jeff Feasel is the man behind the controls of the improvement to this beloved Disney game (and will also be behind the controls for a number of classic NES games at SGDQ). Fat Cat's plans are foiled in a brisk 0:10:13, well faster than the two chipmunks ever managed to do it on the TV show.

That should hold you all over for a little bit, so enjoy these for now, and be sure to be here on Thursday at 3 PM Eastern. It's going to be awesome!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 by dex

Gotta watch 'em all

In what is a problem we have recently managed to diminish, this update is late by about 4 days. I could start offering excuses - quite compelling ones, in fact - but that would serve nothing save for further delaying you from watching some magnificent speedruns, so let's get straight to the important stuff.

And what better way to start off than with some Pokémon. Enter the first generation games of the acclaimed series, specifically a run on the Blue version of the game. Mark 'werster' McKenzie embarked on the awesome quest of what amounts to fantastical insect fighting and got a single segment time of 1:58. Being that this is significantly faster than the runs on the Red flavor, those had to vacate the page post-haste.

Speaking of flavors, we also have a run of Pokémon Yellow. You aren't even gonna need to set aside a considerable length of time to watch it, since 'werster' adds to this page a super-glitched run. In what (I think) is an SDA first, he manages to get a time of 0:00. That's fast. Mildly amusing is the fact of the run being in two segments. Then you realise that the glitch requires using a segment, and the hilarious magic disappears. The magic of seeing the game melt down, however, remains untouched, so go watch it and be amazed.

To round off the Pokémon part of this update, we also got a run of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, a video game based on a trading game based on a video game. That slightly confusing realisation didn't stop the mysterious fellow going by the moniker 'aneeslol', who was determined to show us trading card games can be optimized, too. The result is this single segment 1:08. Go watch it, but do heed the warning in the first line of the comments, mmkay?

But men cannot subsist on nothing but Pokémon, so let's give you some Final Fantasy Tactics. John 'chessjerk' Kearsley goes through the tactical RPG using 31 segments in just 4:17, which sounds like quite a long while, but for one, it's a Final Fantasy game. Not to mention that this new run saves over 22 minutes over the previous one, so by that token it must be even better than the previous entry.

Square Soft is getting quite a lot of front page space in this update, it's Secret of Evermore. Patrick 'ev0lution' Seibert, Nicolas 'ZdadrDeM' Großmann and Frank 'Nokia3311' Jahn did the most sensible thing in a Secret of Mana inspired game and run it coop. Using 22 segments, they managed to obtain a time of 2:46:27. European version, in case that wasn't clear from their names. I like coop runs, it's like watching multiple runs for the price of one!

Finally, a run of the Grand Theft Auto inspired Total Overdose. Another strictly-nickname-only gentleman, 'Kotti', went ahead and took his sweet time making a single segment 1:05:22. It's on hard difficulty, and you should definitely check it out.

Just as a reminder, a marathon is incoming. You don't want to be missing that, are you? See you around.

Sunday, May 6, 2012 by Vorpal

First Things First

As you may have noticed, we've got a spiffy new banner to adorn the front page with. Yep, that's right. That pressing business Breakdown mentioned was Summer Games Done Quick '12, a charity marathon we'll be running from May 24th to 28th. The charity is the same as last SGDQ: the Organization for Autism Research, wherein any donated money will go directly to research. So yeah, you know how these things work. Check out the schedule and start making plans.

And now for the runs. Greg 'Setz' Tyndall, a fan of stylish third-person shooters, brings you a run of Advent Rising. After discovering that even modern 3D big-budget titles can still be short, he came up with a single-segment 0:22:17 on the Xbox version, on easy, and with warps. Enjoy that cliffhanger ending.

This next run is also of a modern game, but it is by no means short. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean has developed something of a cult following, and this run is rather hefty. It's not quite Skies of Arcadia long, but Scott Collins' 10:37 in 96 segments may be the record for largest number of segments on the site (and they aren't 3 seconds long either -- I'm looking at you, Diablo) [Edit: I stand corrected: Diablo 2's got a 150 segment run]. He's also written up comments that are about as long as the run, so if you were looking for extraordinary detail you came to the right place.

In case that wasn't enough RPG for you, the following game should satiate your lust. Breath of Fire is the opening game in a series whose death I personally lament, but Greg '__sdfg' Singer's new run, shall we say, breathes new life into it. It took him a year and a half to record, but his 4:35 in 29 segments was worth the effort. Part of that effort involved an audio commentary, so be sure to tune in.

Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman is rather notorious for submitting Castlevania: Symphony of the Night runs and then obsoleting them in the following week or two. In that regard, it's a miracle a run of his lasted long enough to be posted at all. Through his compulsive resettery you are left with a Richter All-Bosses run in 0:27:49. Single-segment, if you wanted to know. Disregard the note that says audio commentary is on track 2; there were plans but they fell through.

The last run today is of a PSP game, so it should be no surprise that Kevin 'xarugas' Areopagita is the man in question. The Japanese-only revision of Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins, Goku Makaimura Kai, got thrashed, and as tempted as I am to start parodying a Duane and Brando song here I'll simply link to xarugas' 0:43:27 in 18 segments and call it a day.

That's all for now. Until next time.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 by Breakdown

The closer

So The Big Push is going into overtime ever so slightly. These would've been up last night, but just as I was about to finalize this post there was a server hiccup of some variety that would've prevented you good people from downloading any of the new stuff (or the old stuff for that matter). It seems to have sorted itself out now, so while the following runs are several hours old news to those who chronically check the game list for changes, for the rest of you, enjoy the new runs.

The NES's Ninja Gaiden 3 doesn't get quite the same love the other 8-bit entries in the series enjoy. This might have a little something to do with many throwing in the towel after being met with the brand of difficulty they had come to expect from the earlier games, but this time with limited continues. No doubt at least some of you reading this tapped out to this game before glimpsing the end back in the day, and this group may take particular pleasure in watching Josh Styger blaze through it in his improvement to our existing run. The new time is 0:13:32, check it out.

Next up we have the inaugural run for the slightly obscure SNES action RPG Brain Lord. Runner Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody shines a little light on this title with a segmented run. Split into 25 parts, he finishes with a time of 1:19:20 and also includes an audio commentary.

Wrapping things up, we increase our already healthy Mega Man game representation by one, though with a nontraditional title in the canon. The Misadventures of Tron Bonne makes its way onto the site today thanks to the efforts of runner Shawn 'Obdajr' Nakashima. I can guarantee you no finer source of a girl piloting a giant robot beating the crap out of stuff on the internet than this single segment 0:34:38. A bold claim you say? See if I'm wrong.

And with that we not only close out this update, but the official duration of The Big Push as well. A lot of runs have hit the front page this last month, and while I'm not going to sit here and tell you we're now current, we are a hell of a lot closer to it than we were thirty days ago. Now, this doesn't mean updates are suddenly going to screech to a halt, but we will by dialing back the pace a little bit. Besides, we have some other pressing business coming in the month of May. Details to come on that very soon.

Saturday, April 28, 2012 by dex

They are indeed

Our first game today is the old-timey classic, Duck Tales. Woohoo. Johan 'segasonic' Grape improved the two-year old run to obtain a time of 0:08:10. That is merely 4 seconds faster, which might not seem like a lot, but in the world of NES classics, it's an almost unbridgeable chasm. So, go and watch this, it's very much worth it. The run is on the European version and Difficult setting, in case that interests you.

Speaking of NES, here's a run of a flash remake of Mike Tyson's Punch Out: Breakfast Brawl. Zack 'zallard1' Allard fights abominations of contemporary tables in a sacred quest to conquer the nightly fast, and maanges to knock out all the enemies in merely 0:01:16. One thing I have to admit, it's an interesting premise. A re-remake with industrial strength drugs instead of breakfast will hopefully follow soon.

The finest folks over at Serious Sam Done Quick grace us with another Individual Levels table. Rather predictably, it's on a Serious Sam game, specifically the third one, going by the moniker Serious Sam 2 for clarity. Aleš 'Ewil' Horák and Bart 'TheVoid' de Waal combined forces and relentlessly destroyed the waves upon waves of Mental forces in just 2:38:55. Tourist difficulty, but don't be fooled: it still wasn't a piece of cake.

Finally, a run on Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad Of Gay Tony. A person calling themselves 'SCM' used 23 segments to give you this 1:43:10. Hopefully vehicular manslaughter is right up your alley: if so, you should go watch it now. And also probably call the police. But do it in that order.

All for today. See you next time.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 by Vorpal

Post titles are hard to write

No theme today, just a few runs.

First up, we have an improvement on the popular sleeper hit Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. Not content with letting the world get taken over by zombie centurions in loincloths or their weirder overlords, Devin 'Uilnslcoap' Smither has stepped forward. Using 16 segments, he sliced approximately 20 minutes off the existing time, bringing it down to a snappy 2:08:43. The run has both rather personal comments and audio commentary, so read/listen if you're interested. But unfortunately, my sanity is not quite where it should be, and the run deleted itself from our server right after this message was written.

Mega Man X is a game that's been receiving a lot of attention lately, and it shows. Caleb Hart was talking the game up on the Sunday Sequence Break not too long ago, and while this run may be a little older than last February, it's correlated in spirit. Give his 100% single-segment 0:37:34 a watch, and then lament the lack of MrSparkle in the run comments. But it has audio commentary instead, so it evens out.

This next game plays like Mega Man, but isn't quite the same. Rosenkreuzstilette may be a mouthful of a name, but Michael '072' Moncilovich's run is quite efficient. Using 10 segments, 072 blasts his way through Wil-, er, Iris' fortress in 0:30:54.53, a substantial five minutes faster than the previous run.

Lastly, we have a game you probably aren't expecting, unless your name is Wesley 'Molotov' Corron. Molotov's known for Fire Emblem speedruns, and he does not disappoint, bringing you a Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 completion. While pretty much every Fire Emblem features a kingling and his posse saving their land with pages upon pages of strategy discussion and number crunching, the times vary. This time around, it's a swift 2:06:24.

If all that isn't enough for you, be sure to check out bmn's live stream page (helpfully linked above, for future reference), or for a slightly different selection and layout, SDA's team page on Many rather cool people have been putting on speedrunning events and stuff recently; for example, you just missed neskamikaze's N64athon, and cyghfer is currently in the middle of four straight days of Super Mario RPG attempts. More are being planned in the near future, and things have been getting hype. Or, if you're more of a decisive take-action kind of person, you could just hit up Speed Runs Live and race a bit. Up to you.

Sunday, April 22, 2012 by Breakdown

You don't really need 'em all

It's odd how something that becomes a widespread phenomenon can suck people with widely different tastes in. For evidence of this, look no further than one particular Nintendo franchise. There's lots of people out there who claim to hate JRPGs and anime, but they can name that Pokémon in no time flat. With this fact in mind, our servers are braced for impact as we have two new runs for the series being unveiled today. First, we have a segmented run of Pokémon Yellow. Runner Phillip 'Plasia' Donald charges through the game with Pikachu dutifully following behind in 40 segments, finishing with at time of 2:10. Second, we have a slightly more atypical run for the series with the Japanese only release Pokémon Green. Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe makes his way from character control to the ending in all of four minutes. It should go without saying that there's a big glitch being exploited here, definitely worth a watch.

Not everyone loves Pokémon, so let's include something different for all the haters out there. Marble Madness-esque games have been fairly popular among speedrunners for such a niche genre, but today is the first time we have a co-op speedrun for such a game. The two man team of Adrian 'InsipidMuckyWater' Feiertag and Richard 'Reech Reynolds' Crismore put together a set of 2-player ILs for the downloadable game Switchball. They roll straight through the game's four co-op levels in a brisk 0:12:03.39. These are conveniently packed into a single file for easy viewing and also includes an audio commentary featuring both runners.

April's coming to a close, but we've still got plenty of runs to post. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 20, 2012 by dex

First Person Speedrunning

Indeed, it does feel weird to be ashamed of making you wait three days for an update - but at least it is at a less barbaric hour. So without much ado about nothing...

It is always heartwarming to revisit an update on one of the first games I've ever updated with. Metroid Prime is especially fertile for such nostalgic episodes, given the unsurprisingly high output metroid2k2 produced over the years. Mister William 'Pirate109' Tansley (no word on whether he's a space pirate) ran the PAL version of the game, the segmented any%, to be precise. Polished execution and some nice shortcuts serve to chop off 2 minutes of the previously established time, an extraordinary feat considering the amount of scrutiny and effort put into Metroid Prime. What I'm saying is that this 1:07 comes with a "You won't be disappointed" guarantee. Seventeen segments, by the way; and it's got audio commentary, too!

Keeping with the theme of open games, here's Call of Duty: Black Ops, the Modern Warfare style shooter for people who didn't have enough of that yet. Both of them. As crazy as finding a faster path in such a game might seem, we here on SDA strive to achieve even the most unimaginable goals. Oliver 'TheLongshotLegend' is the mastermind behind our spanking new Recruit run, a 15-segment run in 2:54:28. All jokes aside, this is a very formidable and interesting effort and you should go check it out.

That's all for today. Yeah, not a large update, but at least the runs are more expansive than in my last one. See you around.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 by Vorpal

Final Fantasies

Passing out half an hour after you get home from work isn't very fun. It's even less fun when the sleep is worthless, despite not having had much for the past three days. Looks like that won't be happening tonight either.

But hey, this isn't livejournal, and it still technically is Tuesday, even if it takes an inferior time zone. I've got two runs for you today. Both are from someone whose name has graced the site many times: the ever-prolific Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe.

First up is Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection. Sir VG's taken aim at a particular side-story included in addition to the main game, titled the Interlude. The Interlude is appropriately short, and gets destroyed in a scant single-segment 0:31. For those keeping track at home, that's about a sixth of the time required for the main game.

Sir VG's other offering also happens to be a Final Fantasy game. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord, to be exact. With DLC and 38 segments, the time comes out to 2:23:32. For all of the King's efforts, the Darklord can defeat his best knights in less time than it takes me to wake up each morning.

Until next time.

Sunday, April 15, 2012 by Breakdown

C-c-c-combo breaker

Feels weird apologizing for the lack of an update when the last one was three days ago, but they've been coming like clockwork every other day this month until now, so my apologies. I was out of town this weekend, and it was actually for site business (the results of which we'll be able to show you soon). As it stands now, I've been driving for the better part of the day and would love to blow this off one day further, but The Big Push must keep on rolling. Let's get to it.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is one of those games that has a very active speedrunning community, but practically never gets a run submitted for it. In fact, it's been over two years since this title has graced SDA's front page. That drought is over today, however, thanks to the efforts of James 'Reaif' Schurig. The category is single segment 100%, and this run is over 7 minutes faster than the one it's replacing, clocking in at 1:52:43.

Call me crazy, but I don't think most people will mind if I continue here with another Zelda run. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has also worked its way to the top of the queue with a new category being added to the game page. Runner 'Paraxade' crammed as many tricks and skips as he could into 38 segments, blazing through the sections of the game still deemed necessary in a brisk 3:06, a full 50 minutes faster than the single segment.

No more Zelda runs to post, but we're closing things out here with another long-running, popular series. Castlevania: Bloodlines is the most prone of the 8 and 16-bit entries in the series to being overlooked, most likely due to it being on console not produced by Nintendo. Runner Travis 'Klaige' Nible, however is very well aware of this game's existence, and poured a lot of time into getting an optimized run for SDA. His run uses John (AKA Whip Guy) resulting in a more familiar viewing experience for fans of the series than the existing Eric (AKA Spear Dude) run. So kick back and enjoy some classic whip on vampire action with this 0:31:40 run played on Expert difficulty.

One last point of interest for you all, the highlight and blooper videos from Awesome Games Done Quick 2012 are compiled and ready for download. They're up at the top of the list on the marathon video's archive details page. As with the rest of the videos, huge thanks to UraniumAnchor for the encodes and thanks as well to everyone who suggested clips (special thanks to mike89 who combed through every run and ended up making about 90% of the suggestions). So go get those, and relive the most memorable moments of AGDQ. It'll serve to get you in the mood for more SDA marathon goodness, and there's more of that coming just right around the corner. Details to come soon.

Thursday, April 12, 2012 by dex

Disorient Express

Apologies, but due to my crammed schedule this one will be very brief. So let's get the vids rolled out.

To start with, we have a run of the wretched hive of sequel scum and villainy, the infamous Deus Ex: Invisible War. Hey, I'm allowed to dislike it for tarnishing the amazing predecessor, alright? Anyway, I have to thank Nathaniel 'NMS' Stalberg for deservingly tearing it a new one - the old run by 'Tagio' gets beat by almost eight minutes, giving us the final time of 0:18:52, in 64 segments. On Realistic difficulty, because every real man speedruns Deus Ex games that way *cough*. It's a really great run, by the way, go watch it. I'm kinda convinced more thought went into it than some of the game design decisions...

But enough of my raving against IW, you came here to see more than one run. So up next goes a game somewhat similar, in regards to the perspective and the genre. Enter S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. Mirko Brown evidently doesn't have enough radiation in his body just yet, 'cause in a fittingly poetic move he returns to the long undisturbed page to dwell and improve on his past endeavours. One and a half minutes faster than before, this 0:15:49 on Novice difficulty should leave just about every Chernobyl junkie satiated. 22 segments, a couple more than before, but not by many. It's still a bad ending run, by the way.

For our next game(s), we move to the world of platformers. The plot of Cool World sounds rather nonsensical, but that didn't stop Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman from running it (though if the comments are to be believed, he finds it bizarre as well), a quite crazy undertaking. Nevertheless, this single-segment 0:08:46 is quite a report of his success.

Finally, this same gentleman brings us our last run today, one of a rather old platformer called The Adventures of Captain Comic. Running those two wasn't without a toll: check out the comments for a detailed account of the descent into madness. Or at the very least a descent into being a little frustrated. Nevertheless, perseverance again triumphs, as evidenced by this 0:07:52. One can only hope Mr. Foreman retained enough sanity to bring us some more runs in the future.

Wait, that was supposed to be brief. Accident, I swear. Anyway, see you next time.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 by Vorpal

The Old and the New

Nice eclectic selection for you today. Let's get on with it.

Gears of War is a pretty popular series nowadays. That tends to happen when a series starts from scratch and gets two even-better-received sequels in the span of 5 years. Hopefully William 'Youkai' Welch's run will be just as popular. Youkai blazes through the 360 version's casual difficulty in a scant 01:46:28, over 60 segments. The run comes packaged with audio commentary as well, so have fun with that.

But if Gears isn't your preferred modern breakout series, perhaps this one will suffice? Portal, a game mostly notable for unleashing a torrent of bad cake jokes everywhere, has an update courtesy of one Kevin 'Monopoli' Marnell. Monopoli also ran the 360 version, completing the game in a single-segment 0:21:08 without out-of-bounds glitches or cake assistance.

Everybody loves going retro, but when they think retro they generally don't think TG-16. Zack 'zallard1' Allard, however, thinks Splatterhouse. zallard1 shaved off half a minute from his current run, going from 0:13:53 to 0:13:19.

Staying in the retro realm, but similarly overlooked, is Dynamite Headdy. Tyler 'Zyre' Larsen refuses to back down from the Dark Demon and cuts from the existing run almost as many minutes as years it's been on the site; six minutes off for seven years, to 0:41:17. Audio commentary is included as well, if that's your thing.

Give these runs a whirl, and we'll see you again in a couple days.

Sunday, April 8, 2012 by Breakdown


Huge perk of The Big Push: I don't feel bad at all about being quick and to the point with these update blurbs. Three runs today, all improvements and all on games that have that "NES hard" reputation, but you wouldn't know that after you watch them get masterfully picked apart. Definitely good viewing for letting a large Easter dinner digest.

First up we have an improvement to the NES version of Batman. Josh Styger blazes through the worst Gotham City has to throw at him in a very quick 0:11:44, a full 81 seconds faster than our previous run.

Staying on Sunsoft properties for the moment we have a new addition to the Blaster Master page. Benjamin 'UraniumAnchor' Cutler just couldn't stay away from this one, and is back today with an improvement to the deathless category. The poor, helpless, giant, mutated frog gets rescued in a brisk 0:41:23, just over a minute faster than his previous submission.

Lastly we have what is generally one of the first games that comes up in the "NES hard" conversation: Battletoads. SDA newcomer Stephen 'Icthus' Smith get a little back for a lot of people's childhoods with an amazingly fast warps run. The time is 0:16:31, just over three minutes faster than our previous run.

Friday, April 6, 2012 by dex

It's-a me, bunny

Happy Easter holidays! As per usual, we SDA folk carry some tasty speedrunning gifts. So, what better game to start the give-away with than Super Mario 64? And if the caliber of the game wasn't enough to satisfy your palate, then surely the category this new run is on will: a non-assisted 0 stars run! 'FunilaSM64' managed to do what I will readily admit I thought impossible in just 0:06:41, which is now the fastest time on that game page. Quite remarkable - if you want to know more, there are some Japanese-only comments there too. One might say that to be unfortunate, but I say: do you really need any additional description? That's what I thought.

Still gravitating near the 3D Mario front, we have a run on Super Mario Galaxy. Stephen 'yoshifan' Chan explores the universe in which kidnapping appears to be a law of physics in just 16 segments and achieves a stellar time of 2:25:23, an awesome achievement considering the scope of the game. 61 stars with Luigi, by the way.

Finally, maybe not a Mario game, but something I'd call a reasonable facsimile: Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! Matt 'Crash41596' Leblanc took the little dragon on a spin and got a 100% single-segment run in 2:48:57, which is an impressive time in such expansive platformers. Comments foretell a possible Spyro 3 single-segment, so here's hoping Mr. Leblanc will get us even more great material.

That's all for now. The Big Push: to be continued soon...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 by Vorpal

For once, a theme

The Big Push It's official, and we mean it. No, really. We even have an image and everything! Be sure to check back every couple days and give these runs the love they deserve.

Today's runs have something that have been lacking in updates for a very long time. See, normally we just pick the oldest runs that are ready for posting, sometimes splitting it between older/newer consoles and pc if so inclined, and call it a day. Today, though? We have a theme. And this theme is pretty appropriate. Nobody who plays through a Sonic the Hedgehog game can resist starting an impromptu speedrun, and today you get to see a couple for which the term 'impromptu' is an insult.

I had the honor of posting Felipe 'son1cgu1tar' D'Andrade excellent Sonic Adventure 2 Hero Story single-segment run, and today that run is joined by his subsequent Dark Story single-segment. Evil is more expedient than friendship, so of course it comes in slightly under the Hero time, at 0:28:14.52. Live and learn, eh?

If you've ever played Sonic Spinball, you know how maddeningly frustrating it can be to play. The expected segue here is to declare that the runner has conquered their game, but in this case a more apt comparison is to say that beating your head against a brick wall eventually dents it. Mike 'mike89' McKenzie's lack of personal imperatives against self-harm leave you with a single-segment 0:15:41.

The final run today might not be known to you as a Sonic game, per se. If you're a Nintendo fan, like the vast majority of our userbase, you probably know this game as a reskin of Kirby's Avalanche. If you're correct, it'll be vice-versa. But regardless of your stance on Puyo Puyo clones, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is a worthy game, and Bryan 'Hsanrb' Nash has good taste. Enjoy his 0:06:47 single-segment destruction of Robotnik and his army, on the hardest difficulty, of course.

We'll be back soon with more great runs. Stick around and have a blast.

Monday, April 2, 2012 by Breakdown

No foolin'

The last update said to expect to see another update "very soon," and let me assure you that bit was not your typical April Fools Day empty promise. In fact, you can fully expect to see much more frequent updates throughout the entire month of April. It's no real secret among those involved in the SDA community that we currently have quite the backlog of runs that have been submitted and verified, but not yet posted. The irony of a speedrunning site being slow to move out content is not lost on us staff members, and not a fact we relish, so we're taking action. We've been calling it The Big Push in backroom talks, and what it means for you the consumer is a large quantity of runs hitting the front page all through the month of April. Updates will be very frequent this month (3 or 4 a week), and while they'll be a bit shorter on text than usual, the amount of actual speedrun content will overall greatly surpass what you've been seeing from us in months past. So make sure you're checking this page frequently all month as there's going to be tons of great content coming your way.

While the kickoff for The Big Push was technically yesterday, it seems appropriate that the first run to come after its official announcement is a game as popular and competitive as Mega Man X. It's a familiar face behind the controls of this improvement to the any% category in Sattik 'Tiki' Ghosh. The time is 0:32:57, knocking just shy of a minute off his previous submission.

We're also rolling out a new game to our catalogue today from the venerable Contra series. Runner Travis 'solairflaire' Hofman provided us with three runs for Contra ReBirth, all on normal difficulty, and each featuring a different character. The times for the different characters are as follows: BR-W9 in 0:13:42, Plissken in 0:13:13, and Yagyu in 0:13:36. For you the viewer this means a triple dose of alien-blasting action. Always a good thing.

Sunday, April 1, 2012 by MrSparkle


Tired of the frequent and large updates here at SDA? Saying too much more after that would make this a long update, so let's get to it.

It might not be the 4th, but it is April, and today we have an inprovement to Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies. Not to be outdone by himself, Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe finished this bullet hell flight sim in 2:25:48, as a single-segment run on very easy difficulty. With nearly 5 minutes to spare, there was enough time to write up the detailed comment and copywrite, be sure to read them.

Keeping up the blistering pace you know and love, we move on to the next update. Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Jeremy 'DK28' Doll and Christian 'Koopa Kid' Welsh together bring us a 2-player boss battles run of 0:00:35.66 under easy dificulty. Every well tuned team needs thier support and coffee.

Now, a run on Harvest Moon 64. I like HM simply because it is a nice peacful game. After an addrenalin pack hour with a different game I can sit back and watch plants grow. 'AniMeowzerz' gave us a action packed 0:35:16, with sleep.

Finally, 'PEACHES_' gave us a run of the ultra classic Quest 64. The low percent 6:14:36 is in far supperior wmv quality. Stay tuned for more such encodes.

Stick around, chat with us in irc, post some in the forums, and we will be back next update. Very soon.