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News from July through September, 2015. [Newer | Older]

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 by HoboWithaShotgun

I'm not dead yet!

Hey look! It's an SDA update NOT written by LotBlind! Can this be? The other updaters are actually doing there job? Yeah, so me, Judgy, and wickedcodeferret have been out of the loop for a while. The reason? Life sucks. Fortunately, things have started to clear up, for me at least, and now LotBlind can take a much needed break. 

Up first we have Final Fantasy. And yes, that's the original Final Fantasy, the game that spawned god knows how many sequels, spin-offs, and even a movie. To think, an old NES game from 1987 could create a multi-million dollar franchise. Anyway, in the game, you play as fourth youths who must stop an evil forces from destroying the world. Sure, send youths to save the world. That makes total sense. Anyway, Benjamin Lannin decides that the story is boring, and opts to rush through the game in just a mere 2:21:48, nearly an hour and a half faster than the run from 2010. The run is in 89 segments.

For the next run, we fast forward 25 years into the future, where the graphics aren't so pixelated. Hitman: Absolution, the fifth game in the Hitman series, focuses on everyone's favorite bald-headed killer Agent 47. In this game, Agent 47 decides to go rouge, and tries to keep a young girl away from an evil agency. Honestly, I played this game, and that's about all I remember about the story. I do remember there was a point in the game where you could disguise yourself in a chipmunk suit. That was pretty cool. Sadly, Mirko Brown & Bart 'TheVoiid' de Waal don't wear the chipmunk suit in this multi runner speedrun, but does instead beat the game in just 0:47:39, Easy difficulty. I guess that makes up for the chipmunk-less gameplay.

Last but not least, we have my favorite type of run. The WTF just happened type of run. You know, the runs in which everything is normal at first, and then dissolve into utter madness before the game decides it's had enough and throws the credits at the player no questions asked. Yeah, those runs are pretty cool. The Last of Us: Left Behind, in short, is the DLC for The Last of Us, a game that won just about every award under the sun in 2013. The DLC follows Ellie, a survivor of the zombie apocalypse, as she makes her way through an abandoned mall to try and find medical supplies. There's also another part to this DLC, with flashbacks to Ellie's friend, but lets just say, Greg 'The Thrillness' Innes found a way to skip those parts...and complete the DLC in just 0:05:58, on Easy difficulty. Also, if you think this is broken, the main game is just as broken, if not worse. Yeah, The Thrillness has been busy.

Thursday, September 24, 2015 by LotBlind

Drop Your Bombs Between the Minarets

WARNING! BORING HISTORY LESSON. I thought I'd look up the devs behind Sierra's Quest for Glory franchise. Turns out it's a married couple, Corey and Lori Cole, who had the main creative impact in all the five QfG games. Both had a long career at Sierra and influenced the development of many of the various "quest" titles as well as Castle of Doctor Brain. The game you might NOT have heard of is Shannara, published by Legend Entertainment (1995) drawing on the fantasy novels of Terry Brooks. I thought I remembered they were crowd-funding something at some point and yes they were!

When you talk QfG at SDA you talk Paul 'The Reverend' Miller. He's not the only one who played or even ran them, but he does now (I can only assume) hold most of the records. Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero is one of the games his work has helped bring down on its knees. The whipping it receives in a newly (and accidentally) started "major skips" category surely makes it one of the all-time fastest adventure game submissions at a pop-song-length 0:04:14. I also want to point out the run has the most awkward ending sequence since this thing. Because of the new skip, the hero, Graham, never actually frees Elsa the Baron's daughter from the curse that's turned her into a mean-tempered brigand and when he arrives at the castle (packed with all qualities of weirdos including T. Riker from Star Trek, and a dead person), first no-one utters a word for almost a minute, then some guy comes in doing cartwheels and you get a medal. Then there's this shot. Is this possibly the earliest known example of a trollface? Because this guy knows. He knows he just ran, presumably soft-locking the poor girl's AI in the same murderous pose forever. He knows even his score indicates at best a half-assed effort at transcending the common scoundrel.

Okay, let's promptly move onwards now. Or should I say backwards? Unlike QfG 1 (initially named Hero's Quest), Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire is being run in the original shape it appeared in because of an infinite money type trick whereby you sell an item you don't even have multiple times. As it stands, it reminds us that back in 1990, adventure games were still rooted in the days of so called interactive fiction with their purely text-based command input systems. And when you type in short commands like "run" it might actually be faster, in the end, than choosing them from a submenu with the mouse.

Although the Thief is chosen here run comments indicate this doesn't make a difference and the result will always be something similar to the submitted 0:19:58. This run probably takes the "longest wait within a speedrun" award, but I actually wanted to start another thread for sharing similar cases you're aware of. Let's see if we can find something even better/worse! Anyway, if you're a fast and accurate typer you should seriously consider running some text parser games! Just wait for Mr. Miller to route it and then go in for the steal. Tell him regards from me. Also write less typo-riddled run comments.

Despite the great difference in time between this 0:44:01 and the existing segmented 0:49:29, this is for the Japanese version of Bomberman Hero and fends off direct comparison. Run comments indicate it's pretty technical. Every time a bomb gets randomly dropped you can be sure it's for a reason (or not, no guarantees). Runner 'PvtCb''s (the Cb stands for "Cinnanon bun" of course) only previous submission was for System Shock, a PC First-Person Hacker/Shooter out of all things (that's the exact gaming antipode for Bomberman I'm fairly sure). I honestly liked this run never having seen the game that is quite kawaii and simple yet sufficiently freeform with a few subtleties. Kinda like Super Monkey Ball. It's got spikes that make the laser blaster sound when they spring up. Lotsa gameplay and soundtrack variety too. LotBlind approves!

Sunday, September 20, 2015 by LotBlind

Coming Up With This Title Was As Hard As Finishing One of These Games

I had NEVER noticed to this day (I've even played one of them) the puns in the names of Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exoddus. I thought I was going crazy with how to spell "odyssey". Sam 'Samtastic' Locke all the while is absolutely nuts about wanting to spell out "major glitches" as legibly as an uncivilized mudokon possibly can. Having previously produced runs with segmentation for both the old '97 and '98 Oddworld games, the new 0:10:28 represents the single-segment any% category. Both the developer Oddworld Inhabitants and the runner have plans for more output in the near future so it's truly a living legacy. There's seriously quite a lot to say about these games. They're (LotBlind Delayed Introduction™) cinematic puzzle platformers with a ton of originality and charm. The runner is using a PC but they're also available for the PS1 and the latest one for the PS3/4/Xbox with further ports and spin-offs on certain handhelds and more platforms I haven't mentioned. They've won over one hundred awards and sold 7 million copies. The major skips I mentioned before are worth reading about in Sam's run comments and seem to have issued from the recent experimentations of multiple enthusiasts. Apparently a new TAS* even is coming up in their wake.

Before I saw the run, I wanted to find out a bit about the origins of Hudson Hawk. I knew it was a movie adaptation but nothing else. Turns out it was a surreal action comedy about a thief getting blackmailed into more crime after entering parole. Bruce Willis and two others got "worst actor" nominations and it actually won "worst picture", "worst director", and "worst script" (that Willis was involved in writing). Metacritic score falls into the "overwhelming dislike" range. It busted with tens of millions deficit. I genuinely want to see it now...

Meanwhile I next watched this quick 0:07:46 and read its notes to discover it "handles like ass" and is very unforgiving in general. Despite this, 'WhiteHat94' hits 3/5 one-frame tricks on the first try and loses minimal time to recover the crystal or whatever. Someone's more detailed review about what's wrong with the game here. I genuinely want to play it now... And actually if you own and can somehow record an Atari ST, that version had much better reviews. And also I have to defend the game a bit: it looks to have a great sense of humor that's instantly apparent in the very first stage in a casual playthrough. It wants you to be the floundering clown, the anti-hero.

Check it out! It's Radical Rex! [scary]IT CAME FROM THE BAD GAME EXCHANGE!!![/scary] and was featured at Awesome Games Done Quick this year. Also it CAME FROM THE '90s and IS A SONIC CLONE though having many ideas of its own: how about you're able to inhale the air out of a blowfish to keep from drowning a little longer... wait, what air? Also you MOVE LIKE 4 TIMES SLOWER whenever you're not on a SKATEBOARD!!! Much budget was blown on art assets (looks and sounds alright) but what I'm guessing got neglected was playtesting, severely hindering playability. This is the cardinal sin of game design and rightfully places the radicalest of SNES platformers into the SCARY VOICE bin. The easy mode 0:23:45 that Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel squeezed out is a self-improvement (a love improvement) of about 2 minutes.

Verification comments:
"For some reason, Omni improved his run of this game. I'm still never playing Musya again."
"I can't believe Omnigamer subjected himself to this torture again."
"Please stop playing this game."


*In case you haven't heard of TASing... Search for your favourite (mostly console) games here and you'll see what it's about.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 by LotBlind

Trade My Soul For Another Tenth Off

The Slovenian developer Arxel Tribe (later The Arxel Guild) won't be known to many, but let it be disclosed they predominantly created PC adventure games (between 1997 and 2003) set either in alternative historical scenarios or reworked versions of classic stories such as The Ring (Wagner opera) and The Pilgrimage (by Paulo Coelho) and Faust: The Seven Games of the Soul clearly inspired by - though only inspired by - Goethe. None of them seem to have scored very high in reviews, so maybe Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko either received his pick for Christmas in the year 2000 or bought it dirt cheap out a sales bin. Or then he thought: "Well it's a Myst-like, so I can only expect it to take me about 0:12:00 to finish it", which shows you how unexceptional it is for this type of adventure game to be reduced to nothing when you can skip everything and dart around like a cat from view to view. The idea is to collect evidence about 7 different characters and their ethical choices to see how they sort for the afterlife which to me seems pretty intrigueing. Each chapter is treated as a segment of its own, hence the Individual Levels table.

Competition continues to be an agent when improvements are sent for display in the vitrines of velocity at SDA. Sometimes it's the smallest of margins. I know I wouldn't have rest if someone took a record I had worked hard to obtain by .07 of a second. I would never want another to replace my name on what is, as with the previous game, an ILs table if I knew I could overtake them with another .03 dropped... I wouldn't, if I was Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe. Personally I probably couldn't be arsed. Klonoa (Wii), with a tightly contested first boss (Rongo Lango) time of 0:17.51 and one single other improvement of .23 for the third boss, Gelg Balm, now stands at 0:07:52.32 combined boss fights time for the Playstation-to-Wii platformer remake.

The next game is ranked 73rd worst all time by Gamesradar for being too hard and lacking humor. The problem with "worst-ever" lists for games these days is it's too damn easy to create and publish a game, so it's required to be picky about what is eligible to be shortlisted. Ironically, some Steam scamware putrescence only has the power to corrupt a perfectly unsullied hall of shame with their presence. The presence of putrescence now brings us back to Fester's Quest, which you might or might not realize is the very first Addams Family title having appeared in '89 for the NES whereas "The Addams Family" followed on multiple platforms only in 1992. An improvement of 2:53 down to 0:21:43 emerges from 'Zakky the Goatragon' having a better understanding of item drops for an efficient early grind for keys and weapon power-ups. The funniest thing about the game is what you might have realized even without me telling you: it's the Blaster Master overhead sections engine, which for some reason makes a funny juxtaposition in my mind.

Saturday, September 12, 2015 by LotBlind

Don't Dis the Gaia Legging it Through Your Residence

The way our first run of the day passed verification was, admittedly, not the slickest. I want to mention a few things as a caveat for future first-time submitters. Firstly, when you approach the more serious attempts at getting those submittable Personal Best times, you're supposed to be resetting a lot until the first parts of your run have significantly above-average luck. Depending on your game, you might need some seriously good luck if that's the make-it-or-break-it. If it's Single Segment, the rest of the run should aim for at least average luck as a guideline. Secondly, there's a spectrum of complexity and obscurity that games can have, and the more complicated your decision-making (especially if you're having to sacrifice time to regain it later), the more the verifiers will appreciate having a simple set of notes to fall back on. If you don't feel confident writing them in English yourself, you can probably find someone willing to help you translate from your home language just by asking around. That's what the community's for. To be clear it's still not compulsory for every single submission.

With that out the way, the rest of this run-through of Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness was awarded an unhesitated passing mark. In fact to the unexperted me it looks noticeably brisk-paced. It's for the Real Time Attack category and resets are used for faster grinding, which gives us the time of 2:15:31. I shouldn't imply 'elkidwx' is a first-timer either - he seems to have ample experience running, if not submitting, another Disgaea game called Hour of Darkness. I notice I've rather pointlessly fallen out the habit of giving an overview of each game for those uninitiated, which, on average, is most of everyone: it's a 2013 PS3 release best described as a tactical, square-based RPG. Expect fights and menuing, fights and menuing, fights and... The series seems to enjoy some success having been around since 2003. In fact taking a closer look at developer Nippon Ichi's records, I can see they're running since 1991 (I've totally missed them, wow!) with a significant number of international releases in similar genres.

The next one, Legaia 2: Duel Saga, was a natural choice for this update, because I guessed it might have things in common with Disgaea... but not as much as I thought. It has a similar name and is also on a PlayStation system, the PS2. It's a turn-based RPG á la Final Fantasy, but actually has a key press combos battle system like in fighting games. This run looks a bit more story-heavy so I'll wager those cutscenes aren't going nowhere no matter whose controller you're mashing. On the upside you'll get a bit more insight into what's happening and who's related to whom. I'd like to point out the "first event is your mom entering your room and waking you up, reminding you who you are and who's already waiting for you because you like to sleep late" trope is not employed for the first or second time. Although 'Deathtome' is aiming for a simple any% time, the run is still 6:46:18 long. I'm seeing someone from among the verifiers throwing down the gauntlet and saying they're going to beat this time. If you guys are going to have a fight in the town square make sure everyone gets the invitation! Or, you know, stream it.

Verifier comment for Legaia 2: "Honestly great job at breaking a game that has Resident Evil 1 laughably bad voice acting." Now THAT is more link than ever went to or indeed came back from other time periods dressed in stupid and effeminate green tights. 'sshplur' wanted to add one of the latest in HD revivals, Resident Evil HD just from this January, onto the speedrunning firmament (the celerial sphere, from the words celestial and celerity which means swiftness). Mustering all his autoimmunity, he contains the biohazard within 1:29:20 of its outbreak. The final boss is wont to swat aside rockets like a disgruntled playmate might discard a frisbee you hoped would distract them off their bellyache. This is a sad bit of RNG, which - along with other small luck and execution mishaps - makes the run improvable if more people show up sporting inexplicable medieval handgear.

If not, there's always Resident Evil Zero HD in the works.

You'll see the logic by which I tacked on Resident Evil 2 as an addendum to the previous run. In this minuscule 0:01:58.63, 'uhTrance' completes the "Hunk" mini-scenario on a different version (though timing is equivalent) blasting the old record out the water with a minute and 24 seconds of improvement. The guy dodges an entire rugby team's worth of zombies without a single shot fired and only getting hit twice.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015 by LotBlind

Said the Raven: "Nevermore, Color Dreams, pls!"

The first boss you fight in this Game Boy Advance Mario title - talking about Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - is Bowser himself. However, he doesn't seem the primary culprit this time around. It's some guy from BeanBean Land (they're probably all really awkward) who comes over and does vaguely unpleasant things (text boxes are skipped in a flash) to make the Princess cry rivers and swear mountains, cause that's all she's good for. The artwork is a perfect match to the sweetmeat precipitating my next visit to the dentist's (bet they can't wait!). The run used to be segmented and take over 3 hours but is now finished in one go within 1:18:51 making use of large, or more likely, massive skips. The first and foremost is what is called the "barrel glitch". I wonder if it's anything like Donkey Kong Country then? When I look at the game I can't help feeling like it's got something off-color about it. Anyhoo, the respondage makes up for anything strange like that, everyone seems muchly pleased with Mr. or Mrs. (or Ms.) 'altabiscuit', our hero of the day.

Our second hero of the day is 'Zakky the Goatragon'. The game is Robodemons for the NES from 1989. He says: "This is an example of me running a game because it was there and I could". He points out the developer, Color Dreams, who made a line of games that were all disgusting horrible messes individually and collectively. Includes Bible Adventures and Super Noah's Ark 3D (under a different name because they already suffered a bad reputation by then). But that's only if YOU have to play them. And if the bad doesn't underflow (eventually the wrongs start making a right). Sadly I don't think that's the case here in this 0:08:59 journey through not-quite-incompetent-enough hell-themed autoscrollers and platforming levels which does death warps like it's Jesus.  At the end the guy beats "King Kull" (who was a demon before it was kull).

The next run represents an unusual choice of genre - the visual novel. They technically have endstates and are not autoscrollers, so why - the proverbial - not? Analogue: A Hate Story is a space-themed game that explores misogyny drawing from the actual history of Joseon dynasty Korea. The game written by Christine Love received high praise from critics for intellectual depth and an original user interface, which to me looks like a parser, but apparently there's more to it than that. You're not going to find out much just watching the 0% completion C-ending 0:01:03 speed-typed by 'xVirtualNinjax' that, to my great delight, only assumes a shared 25th place in the list of fastest runs on SDA. Citius, citius, citius!

The sequel to Heretic is called Heretic 2. The first was first-person, the second second-person. Umm... third-person. It looks like a cross between Hexen 2 and Tomb Raider. Melee attacks are present and are being abused heavily to get into places one is not supposed to get yet. I never played the game but am more or less pleased with what I'm seeing both in terms of how it looks like it plays and the amount of bits 'GOODFELLA529' is skipping, more than enough to warrant speedrunning it more than once: This new run is a 0:39:35, an improvement of 04:59 minutes over a year-old run. If you don't know anything about any of the games I've mentioned, they're shooters with more puzzles than Doom in a fantasy setting. They're all by the distinguished old Raven Software.



29th October - 1st November

The Zocktoberfest is a german speedrun marathon dedicated to bring speedrunning to a broader audience in germany. There are quite some german speedrunners, but almost none also stream in german, so the marathon will be held completely in german. Any german-speaking speedrunner is welcome to offer participation here. The event will be hold online on our channel; next year - depending on the success of this event - we're looking forward to organize an event on site. For more information, mail to

Sunday, September 6, 2015 by LotBlind

Would've Made One Helluva Topiary Artist

Today I bring you the most confusing update I have yet had the pleasure to commit upon the fine SDA audience. In fact it's so confusing, that SDA (as became apparent on the day this was originally meant to be published) literally had to revise its protocols to be able to cope with cases like this. It's 3 Clock Tower games, all for the PS1 and they all came out within 1½ years of each other. One of them is a port of the original SNES game, the other two actual sequels, but the port came out AFTER the first sequel. I've given you all the Japanese titles as well as the international so you'll be able to fully appreciate the many ways they'll trip you up - and cut you up.

Clock Tower: The First Fear is the port I mentioned. There are, according to my scant sources, no changes other than adding a few little cutscenes here and there. Like the original, it was never officially translated so it's being run, by Ivan 'Kakyoin-Noriaki' Pais, in Japanese. There's hardly anything I could add if you do in fact know the SNES version, but in case you don't, it's got a girl called Jennifer trapped with her friends inside a mansion haunted by a creep with murder scissors - several sizes too large - in hand, probably making his mother rather proud he's not, in fact, ever seen running with them. Looks like there must be other undocumented or incidental differences because the same ending (the bad one - or should I say worst one, out of a possible 8) is now over a minute slower (at 0:03:07), all of which becomes illustrated if you watch them side by side. In fact lemme link the old console run so you can clock them yourself. (wink wink)

Now let's recall that the first Clock Tower game was probably called "Clock Tower" right? Wait a minute LotBlind, didn't you just tell us it never got shipped overseas? Well that's true, so this next PS1 Clock Tower game, the first to brave the briny, is also just called "Clock Tower". In Japan, of course, it's "Clock Tower 2". This one has 10 endings, 5 for each playable character. The 1:03:09 run-through is marked as 100% and does indeed see 'Carcinogen' going for the A ending with all kinds of survivors and generally favourable outcomes. Despite using the platform's 3D capabilities the game otherwise acts as a similar point-'n'-clicker as before. It takes place across multiple locations though, and not nearly all of it is spent getting short of breath frenetically escaping the probably only wildly misunderstood scissors-clacker person. I mean, isn't this exactly what happens when your priggish upper-class parents won't let you start your own jolly little barbershop downtown?

The last run I want to talk about is for Clock Tower Ghost Head, which is "Japanese" for Clock Tower 2: The Struggle Within. This time most ties to the original have been cut and the game takes place in the land of cherry blossoms itself in a house full of things like carpets, dining tables and remote-controlled cameras. This one has 13 endings, allegedly quite complicated to find, and mostly leading protagonist Allen nowheres buts her own demises. I suspect that's precisely what happened with this rather ill-fated 0:09:32 which is for ending I. Maybe once they've found more of them, Ivan 'Kakyoin-Noriaki' Pais will submit more for this game too.

Now there are 3 Clock Tower games left completely uninduced into the collections... 3, Haunting Ground, and Nightcry, which is only coming out this Fall. "Night-cry" is precisely what SDA staffers like to enjoy a bit of every now and then.

Thursday, September 3, 2015 by LotBlind

Send Us Your Briefs [and Me Your Money]

There's many things unique to the 1995 real-time JRPG Secret of Evermore: It was Squaresoft's only ever US production for which an independent team was drafted and afterwards disbanded because the game, despite receiving a by and large warm welcome as an alternative take on the genre especially with its visual representation, wasn't seen as quite up to the company's standards - at the time being typified by games like Chrono Trigger and Seiken Densetsu 3. It was also Jeremy Soule's, then freshly out of high school, first game music project. Its gameplay was partially derived from the Secret of Mana formula but also revamps magic and other aspects. As for what this 1:18:57 single segment run does to the old 22-segmented (!) run from only 4 (!) years ago to improve it by an hour, 27 minutes and 30 seconds (!!!), is probably best descibed as a "reimagining". 'MetaSigma' and his many partners in crime are running at 48 pages of discussion for the game, and it shows. But where's the Strategy Guide, boys?

At times I feel proud of my achievements. That's all the time. At times I feel proud of other people's. That's just days like today. Meet 'Soliduz Znake'! This man was the wettest-eared newcomer what seems like only yesterweek but is already announcing himself (or, well, being announced) on the front page for his second time. For what I can tell, he definitely had zero speedrunning experience before yipping his first yaps of confusion on the speedrun planning Forums of Fortune a year-and-some ago. I don't even know what made me take a peek, seeing I'd never heard of The Godfather: The Don's Edition before. Orienting his bewildered senses with my comforting voice and gentle, but firm instructions, he kept gnawing away at his modest times until from the rough, lusterless black lump... there emerged a shining, exquisite serendibite* necklace of the kind you could pawn off for lollies and smack if - Alas! - it wasn't metaphorical. When frustrated by an utter dependency on luck, don't forget you can segment your run and take it bit by bit, producing a polished 3:06:59 in 14 immaculate pieces that you could wear around your neck if it wasn't, well, a speedrun. Forget about my patent bias and take a look at this run - you'll be surprised how fast-paced and entertaining it is!

* it's a mineral. If you send me a thousand dollars ($1,000), I'll send you a precious unique ring that can detect your magnetic fields for you and make you rich.

To terminate this update (yes! I went there and am not afraid of going many places yet), I have for you another 90's action hero after last update's Robocop in the plainly appellated The Terminator, Genesis version. The game, though criticized for lacking meat, was widely considered a good time. Speaking of, here's an 0:09:18 on normal difficulty by another initiate having passed the time-honoured rite of having your first flailing attempt off-handedly rejected and forcing you to stop pulling punches. And with the over 30 seconds Chris 'thewizard' Jones afterwards shaved off (with the help of after-shave lotion?), the run now doesn't look any amount bad! The four missions all hark back to scenes from the movie: the first one set in the future, the second takes you to the city streets and the klub, the third takes places at the police station... And the fourth is the one where he has to lure the Terminator into the crusher. Read run comments for more. If there were any. I'm not your mom!

On an unrelated but important note, there has for some time been a feature of the site that allows you to submit the SDA staff news tips! Check it out (requires having a user on SDA)! One of the reasons for this is so less people miss the smaller marathons scattered throughout the year (I personally always keep missing everything I might have been into), but other kinds of news are accepted too.

Monday, August 31, 2015 by Judgy

Me, Myself And Soliduz

It feels strange to write an update where I am involved twice along with another that I worked with to stratagize and route one of the two following games with. One of these games has a very 'Wild West' theme to it so I intend to compartmentalize my update in the style of the title of a well known Wild-West movie 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' So let's do that!


'The Me' - First up on my list is a game which has it's own list of Scallawags, Drunkards, Notorious Outlaws and Questionable Gunslingers, the story of Call of Juarez: Gunslinger Is a self narrated tale of 'Silas Greaves' a self proclaimed legendary outlaw who enters a tavern in Abilene, Kansas to recite his stories about encounters with legendary Gunslingers such as 'Billy the Kid', 'John Wesley Hardin', 'Jesse James', 'Butch Cassidy' and the 'Sundance Kid' and many more in order to gain information about the killer of his two brothers (and gain some alcohol at the same time). The 'Me' part of all of this is that I, Tim 'Judgy' Kedge, Ran each of the 15 missions of this frankly underrated and under-known game in 1:11:45 under the New Game + category allow access to the full range of special powers that we all know the TRUE Wild West legends actually had.

'The Myself' - During one of my insane periods of life I decided to pick up Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 which I personally would describe as speedrunning hell namely due to the fact that Tom Clancy games and in particular the First Person Shooter ones are notoriously difficult to play normally then consider trying to play them saving as much time as possible on what can be 6 minute to 15 minute missions, it makes for an unforgiving speedrun. However, Even after all of this the first mission required improving so for the second time in this update Tim 'Judgy' Kedge (whoever he is) with an improvement of 33 seconds reducing the time for the 1st mission down to 6:17 which drops the PC Individual Levels tabel to a time of 1:15:38.

Now! this needs to be clarified!, This post was originally going to me titled 'Me, Myself and Irena' However the game involved is the second in the series and not the first which DID involve the antagonist "Irena" Which would have made for a better and wittier title, the latter in the series however involves the betrayal of former Team member Gabrial (Gabe) who gets abducted during the events of the first game and turns rogue on his former team mates... but enough clarification! on with the update!.

'The Soliduz' - The main reason that Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2's first mission even has a time save is due to the fact that 'Soliduz Znake' found that while playing the first mission it could end earlier if you were to stand as far into the final room as possible, (I'm not really sure why) however!, due to this discovery which saves around 30 seconds adding to this far riskier strategies than his previous attempt bring his time down from 8:40 to 7:41 which might seem longer than my PC Version but when you consider that the PS3 Version has a loading screen halfway through the level which is included in the play time which the PC does not it makes you realize how good of a run this was. this update brings the PS3 Individual Levels table down to 1:48:33.

Also while on the topic of Mr 'Soliduz Znake' be sure to look out for two further improvements to his Individual Levels table for this game as these are in queue for verification currently so if you enjoyed watching these be sure to check those out also!

Friday, August 28, 2015 by HoboWithaShotgun

It's a me, a Mario update!

Let's start off this update with a simple math problem: What do you get when you subtract 1 from quite possibly the most inconic Nintendo 64 game of all time? You get the surprisingly well made, and extensive flash game Super Mario 63 (in case you were still wondering, it was Super Mario 64 - 1). This flash game takes the elements from numerous Mario games like the water nozzle backpack thing from Super Mario Sunshine, the Princess Peach Castle setting from Super Mario 64, the sling stars from Super Mario Galaxy, the artwork from Yoshi's Island, etc. Overall, if you're a Mario fan, you'll immediately recognize these subtleties. 'TheMilkMan47' brings us his new run, clocking in at a time of 0:09:57, an improvement of just a little over a minute and a half from the previous run back in 2013.

In case you're not a fan of the fan-made stuff, then no worries, cause I've got just the official game for you. No, it's not the actual Super Mario 64, instead it's the water nozzle backpack thing game Super Mario Sunshine (yes I know it's called FLUDD, but I like saying water nozzle backpack thing). In a suprising twist, Princess Peach IS NOT kidnapped by Bowser, but instead by Shadow Mario, a graffiti spraying criminal imitating Mario. I guess Bowser must have had the day off. Anyway, 'PowderedMilk' apparently hates going on tropical island vacations, and decides to saves Peach in just 1:20:32, a huge 32 minute improvement from the previous run from 2008. 

While our last game may not specifically focus on our Italian amico (that's friend in Italian, because why not?), he is featured on the box art of Super Smash Bros., so, I'll just say it counts. Yes, this is indeed the original Smash Bros game, all the way back from 1999 (hopefully you don't feel old when reading that). Despite having a cast of just 12 playable characters, it's still a fun as hell game to play, even if it isn't able to compete with Super Smash Melee, Brawl, or whatever the kids are playing nowadays. 'pikashy' shows off some incredible fighting skills in this 0:05:34 run, playing as everyone's favorite pink ball of joy Kirby.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Hi Speedrun, I'm Dad.

Thankfully this update won't have these kinds of jokes.

I don't see any Dad jokes in Dadgame, which is weird too considering the game's name. In this odd flash game you play as Dad as he goes to save the city from an evil guy in a robot. I'm not sure how he saves it considering most of the goals is to create chaos and destroy whatever is in your path. Perhaps that's the Dad joke going on here? Either way, 'makermatic21' takes control of Dad in an Easy difficulty New Game Plus and beats the game in 0:07:14. Audio commentary is provided.

While watching Vampire Killer, beaten by 'Jaguar King' in 0:17:07 (40 seconds improvement), I go ahead and listen to his audio commentary. While listening to it he mentions a game-breaking glitch, and indeed soon enough he executes it. Turns out he was able to freeze all enemies and bosses, Dracula included (though it softlocks there so he has to unfreeze). Helps with the lag issues, too.

Serious Sam 3: BFE is actually the prequel to the first game, where Mental decided it is the perfect time to invade the Earth, and after three years humanity is on the brink of extinction. 'detress' takes Sam to a wild trip through hordes of Mental's forces and beats the game in 0:37:18, Tourist difficulty.

It honestly really doesn't feel like last December when Jazz Jackrabbit 2 got an update, and yet again there is one to Spaz, Jazz's crazier brother. 'niklash92' improves the previous run by 17 seconds, 0:21:48. I always wondered why these rabbits get a "Sugar-Rush" and not "Carrot-Rush". Either way, YUM!

Thursday, August 20, 2015 by LotBlind

The Official Truth on All of the Things

Kart racing games, such as Crash Team Racing are the console analogue to first person arena shooters. At least you can't look at powersliding - of which there be more than there's power chords in heavy metal - without eventually realizing how it sort of IS the equivalent of strafe jumping. You need to know when to start, when to switch sides, how steeply you can hope to be able to turn... Oh yes and do cut the bejeezus out of those corners while you're going! Not to confuse, strafe jumping is still more challenging (and yes, the PC still... actually let's not go there right now).

The first thought I had seeing the in-race HUD was "no automap, is that to sneakily cover up extreme rubberbanding?" but later you see the others getting lapped, so I'm guessing it's all for real. There's nitro boosts so continuous that I didn't even notice them at first, gross mishandlings of hazardous chemicals, scaring boss characters so much they can't talk, and I think every time the racer goes "Ow!" she's actually just given herself whiplash. I suspect it's all in the day's work for 'Karlie', who - while not quite delivering a world record (it's some 20 seconds off apparently) - makes the SDA record in this category, any% adventure mode, a pleasing 5 minutes 18 seconds better for a speedy 0:51:35. If you wanted to see more of this game, I found this site for you. Looks like top times are being exchanged on a daily basis!

Actually, now that I think about it, can you technically lap someone if your laps are a completely different shape from theirs? :P

If the brevity of the Wiki page is a measure of a game's obscurity, Nosferatu, a 1994 SNES exclusive, is obscu' fo shizzle. Viewing the submission we see the game has three difficulty settings and this 0:23:11 is on "easy" mode. Gameplay looks a lot like Prince of Persia but with werewolves and floating eyeballs that rudely knock you over like the Hell's Grannies from that Monty Python sketch. There's a time limit for each stage. There's pressure plates and timed gates... Alright, it IS Prince of Persia, but refurnished, improved in many many ways and with all the style of an average Castlevania romp. It looks like it doesn't deserve the oubliette it's been kept in for the past 20 years. The criticism seems to center around unresponsive controls and no save points (at all!) but that's stuff us speedrunnin' lot can make do with.

Quote from 'GreenKnight1294''s run comments: "On 2-B you can save up to 4~5 seconds by sliding under the Frankenstein."

As a little addendum I want to mention the game creators were SETA, who mostly ever made games for the Japanese market, but turns out they're the very guys who brought us Bio Force Ape, a name I recalled from one of the past GDQs.

The Real-Time Strategy genre, I'd like to argue, is the King of All Genres in speedrunning. The ideal example is one that just gives you a fresh start and a goal of destroying everything wearing colors that are not the one you've dressed all your own tanks and infantry in. There doesn't tend to be a single moment when you can't do SOMETHING to help bring this ambition into fruition a tad bit faster. Even the most broken platformers, the most hectic first person shooters have moments when you're just holding down a button or two waiting to get to the next junction or choke point. If the goal is just to defeat the A.I., the means of doing so in an RTS game is highly resemblant to playing against a human opponent, except on the level of strategy, where those abstract thinking skills are only possessed by the latter, but in the best case scenario the runner will still have some improvisation to do on each attempt as well as deciding what the best overarching approach is. Today's last run is a mere one mission (Zerg 10 to be exact) for Starcraft: Brood War, which first-time submitter Sergey '4p)MickeyMouse' Kitaev hereby improves by a full minute and 34 seconds into a 16:54. The new record (individual missions completion now takes 2:20:25) was obtained mostly by starting more bases earlier, more intelligent microing of units and fighting on multiple fronts at once.

Because I didn't want to assert my views on genres vs. speedruns in such a monopolar way, I started a thread on the topic earlier to angle for more opinions. It's been running for a week now and I wanted to summarize what everyone had written as well as include some more comments of my own, so unless I forgot, I should now have updated the first post inside that thread to act as both those two things.

Monday, August 17, 2015 by wickedcodeferret

Cecil Steampunk and the Underworlds

Steampunk has been incorporated into video games long before it was hip and trendy. A world filled with mechanical wonders, alchemy, rockets and all things powered by steam is a great basis for just about any type of game imaginable. Especially RPGs, which conveniently covers the games listed in this update.

When working as a courier in the world of Final Fantasy IV, it's always important to know what you're carrying. You never know when the package you're delivering is doing to wipe out an entire village and start a chain reaction of events that leads to adventures with airships, bards, dwarves, giant robots and a trip to the moon! Jules Verne would be so proud. Leading Cecil and his band of adventurers on their quest to prevent Golbez from destroying the world, 'the_roth' stops Golbez in a quick 1:57:20 (a 6:38 improvement) using large skip glitches and resets all performed in a single segment.

After surviving a zeppelin tragedy and given a ring delivery job, Arcanum: of Steamworks & Magick Obscura follows The Living One on their quest to make that delivery. All while discovering the secrets of a vanished city, navigating complicated cultural issues, and saving (or ruining) the world in the process. This open-ended, non-linear RPG portrays a complex world where both Magic and Technology co-exist and normally takes tens of hours to complete, but 'Skydivizer' finishes the game in a blazing fast single segment 0:06:54 on Hard difficulty. Take that Magic and Techology!

The classic Ultima universe has always been right on the cusp of a Steampunk world, especially in the earier games that had spaceships and phasers. Within this universe, Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss casts you in the role of The Avatar banished to a dungeon to rescue a Baron's daughter and eventually save the world from an evil demon. And throwing lots of things into a steamy volcano, for some reason. Also, you can make popcorn with a torch and some corn, 'cause the developers thought of everything. Nifty! Improving on the previous run by 48 seconds, 'Nin' races through all the first-person 3D dungeon goodness in 0:16:37.

Monday, August 10, 2015 by LotBlind

Escapology Without Apology

Pikmin is a game about an escape. You, some fashion of alien, command a small army of jolly little'uns (pikmins) on a strange planet that's going to poison you with its noxious "oxygen" within a month of your crash-landing. Each type of pikmin has unique talents that need to be used in concert to access broken-off ship parts in the puzzley territories of your place of imprisonment. This being a speedrun, the goal will be achieved in much shorter order than the full 30 days you've been allotted, however the category is low% which means the runner is limited to the minimal number of pikmins that can finish the game, 50. This means it still takes 9 days and 1:36:02 for Zack 'PiePusher11' Maher to recover the necessary nuts and bolts. This improves on a 10-year old SDA time by 17:58 so if you're WAY TOO OLD you can now relive the game once again. The strange part is that, quite unusually, SDA has indeed only seen the low% and the 100% (in which every optional ship part is also collected), but never the plain unflavored any%. I suspect this is because new strategies have been discovered in an even flow. Maybe the 6 day run is coming next?

Psychon is also a game about an escape. You're trapped in a 2D top-down space station with a killer virus threatening to spread to Earth unless you can incinerate the infestation through the use of provided self-destruct switches. It comes from an unexpected place: it's a home-knit entry into the PS1 catalogue created with a software development kit called Net Yaroze. The best of these third-party games were mailed to subscribers, including Martin 'J.Y' Söderhäll & Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll, of Official UK Playstation Magazine in backsleeve demo discs. Well, might have been front sleeve. The runners complete a 0:07:54 tour of the station's 10 decks with their windy corridors, keycards and health packs, wiping away half of the former humans on their way. The run is simple but fast-paced and does involve some neat routing that makes it look like the two are bound together by invisible rubber bands.

This last game is the ultimate form of escape-ism: you go to a third-world country (sorry Venezuela!) to work for a multinational oil company just doing what it needs to to control the deposits, destroy the local infrastructure, quench the guerilla resistance movement, and generally act unbelievably irresponsible on countless different fronts. Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is both my personal power fantasy and a game that took way too long to beach - like a joyously iridescent spillage of a non-renewable source of HAPPINESS - on the depressingly decorous shores of SDA. This 1:32:19 demolition job has to be at least as entertaining as any GTA run you ever saw, the sandbox furnishing complete leveling of targets up to 10 stories high. And it looks spectacular! 'Tigger77' chooses the attituded Jennifer out of three possible avatars and makes the best of the sundry tactics available proving the optimal solutions are far from the most conventional, and usually involve air-striking something. The only minus this segmented run gets is from the video quality up to segment 11/24, but I think we can forgive it that.

Friday, August 7, 2015 by LotBlind

What happens when there's no run comments...

Sonic series games are quite liberal, as you'll be aware, in what they'll allow you to do with the level geometry. As one of the verifiers put it: "Walls are just suggestions." This explains why a lot of things go as they do in Mike 'mike89' McKenzie's 0:30:53 through Sonic 3 & Knuckles running as Sonic. The category doesn't have a precedent on SDA but I can tell you it's only under a minute slower than the Sonic and Tails 2-player run. Does it contain zips? Yes. Does it contain quick kills? Absolutely! Does it contain levels that take a shorter time to finish than the bonus tally takes? Probably. Watching this run you'll be more reminded of improvised dancing than video games. Going by the verifier respondage (I told you that's a word now), it's something our Aussie pal can be proud of!

This very first RoboCop video game has an interesting history in that the video game rights for the movie were bought by Ocean before the movie had even been made, and though the company went on to publish (though not create) multitudinous sequels itself, this original arcade version of the game was licenced out to Data East and Nihon Bussan, who made it a year after the movie in 1988. And that's very interesting! Otherwise seeing this game reminds me why gaming arcades were so popular back in the day: the games had all the memory and processing power and fancy input devices in the world to set them apart from what was possible on consoles or PCs of that era. Explosions everywhere, bad guys being hurled left and right, hardly any lag with dozens of sprites on the screen - it's just baller! The digitized voice clips on the other hand may have just passed their best-by date... The runner, Tim 'iast' Treichel, fires his robogun in various orthogonal and diagonal directions and rights every wrong with violence in a blazing 0:09:09. I'd like to add the ZX Spectrum version was apparently particularly successful out of all the multiple ports so if you can somehow set up recording for it, maybe you'd like to give that one a go!

This next run came with no run comments and it's too long to watch just for the sake of this update, so my approach on it here is to enact the karmic revenge the runners, 'StingerPA' & 'Yagamoth', plainly deserve.

Secret of Mana probably requires no introduction to most, and if JRPGs are not your cup of tea, I'm sorry, I walnut go out of my way for you! I'm Sylphid up with people wanting full expositions. In this two-person single-segment 1:52:41 run there are a few moments of herb-a-derping when the runners get themselves into a royal jam, but all in all it goes fairiely well. Whenever there's a scary boss Lumina head, the players get ready to hammer it with supercharged attacks. It eats their health away in great big rabites. "Gnome, gnome, gnome!". If you ever get thwarted by a red drop and/or a blue drop, I think the same trick works fine. Otherwise just drum something up. In-between fights, you'll stare at the game moogle-eyed, because it does offer some serious eye candy in all different shades. I'm surprised it never exceeds the sprite limit! The run relies heavily on Dyluck and the runners just have to wish for no flammies, but at least there's money duping so they don't have to spend a long time rummidgeing through treasure chests. If you're wondering Watts left to improve in this run, maybe roping in a third runner could cut some more time. Don't be illusioned though - while the runners don't have to be best palace forever or confess Undine love, cooperation and good manas can save a minotaur at least a few seconds. Aside from that you'll only find more tricks if you're ready to do empireical research yourself.

In case someone wanted to actually know something about the run, presume it features heavily in this stuff. Also you can watch the run in the same category by the same runners at ADGQ'14 for a commentary.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015 by HoboWithaShotgun

Boxing Matches, Superhero Movies, and Clothing Store ads

Realistically speaking, aren't those the only things on TV nowadays? Actually, I forgot about daytime soap operas. Maybe a run of a Sopranos game?

The Punch Out games have always been popular among the speedrunning community. In fact, it's gotten to the point where improvements to individual levels for any game in the series are usually less than a fraction of a second, and rely on some of the most insane RNG known to man (maybe I'm over exaggerating things, but Punch Out runs still need a lot of luck). But even with times becoming evere so increasingly shorter (with some levels literally matching the time of the TAS runs), runners are still putting hundreds of attempts into these levels. Zack 'Zallard1' Allard, Terry 'klar' Heard & 'Pottoww' show off their boxing skills in Punch-Out!! (Wii), improving quite a few levels in the process, bringing the total IL time down from 20:06.66 to 0:19:50.76. The improvements are:

Oh, but that's not all! In case you wanted to see more Punch Out fun, then this new single segment run for Punch Out!! has got just what you need. Zack 'Zallard1' Allard is at it again, delivering the same sucker punchers and KO's as always, with the run clocking in at a final time of 0:22:27.45.

Being able to control time seems like a really cool super power to have. Being able to slow down, stop, or even reverse time would make my life so much easier, though, realistically any super power would make life easier. Even though super powers like that don't exist in real life (or do they? DUN DUN DUUUUUN!), it's nice to know that videogames are more than happy to let you fufill your time-bending dreams. Next up on the update is TimeShift, a game that couldn't have a more literal title if it tried. 'HeRMe' is able to find the perfect balance between aiming for the fastest time, and slowing down time to break the game, and completes TimeShift in 1:07:26, a 22 minute improvement from the previous run from 2008 on Casual difficulty. 

I must admit, when I first saw the name of the final game on this update, I wasn't sure what to expect. With a name like First Person Lover, you might be inclined to think that the game revolves around "that," but I can assure you, it's the complete opposite of what you're thinking right now. First Person Lover is a first person shooter where you have to liberate a city from the hate it's been engulfed in. You do this by shooting kiss bullets, bubble guns, throwing teddy bear smoke grenades, and other adorable things to hate filled pedestrians, before zapping off their clothing and replacing it with the newest collection from clothing store Bjorn Borg (yeah, this game is supposed to promote a clothing store). Also, apparently this game is supposed to make fun of Gamergate, or something like that. Yup, I told you this game wasn't at all what you were expecting. However Etienne 'EthanWolfcat' Taschereau doesn't seem to care about the adoreableness, and instead finishes the game in a comfortable time of 0:04:11.

Friday, July 31, 2015 by LotBlind

You're Not Supposed to Be Here

As of late there have been zounds of submissions for this particular adventure game series, one of multiple old Sierra franchises, and another one that became validified upon the passing of the "DosBox-is-now-GO!" edict. I'm talking about the "Quest for Glory" games. Everything traces back to one man, self-professedly obsessed with their idiosyncratic ways, Paul 'The Reverend' Miller. Having missed these games back then, I am now getting better versed in them by proxy, most recently in Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness. What they all have in common and what separates them from most is they're also part RPG: You get to choose a class out of three, allocate some extra skill points and note the numbers have incremented every time you've used an ability such as climbing or lockpicking. Correspondingly, most of the puzzles seem to have been designed with at least a few different solutions, each with a corresponding skill requirement. To single out QfG:SoD a bit more - its sinister influences are found in Slavonic and Middle European lore rife with rusalkas, vampire rabbits and liches. Anyway, here's the four runs, one for each class and an extra one for the thief class where a pre-buffed character was imported back into the same game:

Fighter - 0:33:45
Wizard ("magic user") - 0:33:24
Thief - 0:32:40
New Game Plus Thief - 0:29:42

I can't leave this topic before quoting how Mr. P.R. answered my request to get a glance in on his notes: "I've speedrun QfG4 since 1997, so all the notes are in my head".

Something I would never have imagined is that "Eliminator" is an actual brand of motor boats that the game Eliminator Boat Duel (1991, NES) is advertising. Here's what someone says about it on the Amazon page:

"This is the equivalent of finding a diamond in a pile of slugs. Ugly slimy slugs."

I had something of a blast watching the run back in verification, but I did reckon the runner, Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios, had made away with a different interpretation of the title... something like "I'm the 'Eliminator' and I'm the one who's actually going to finish this race", which would explain all the brutally smashing into your progressively more challenging A.I. opponents until their prissy little boats would no longer be seaworthy ON MARS. Aside from this, there's ongoing strategizing related to your upgrades and the usage of nitros and other subtle stuff. Each race runs through multiple legs in a swamp or on a river with 3-4 different kinds of presentations of the action: sometimes a side view, sometimes from directly behind the racers etc. so I can really confirm this is a game to look into, especially since Elipsis has laid down a great portion of the groundwork (even having done some TASing!).

Any% Expert - 0:30:26
100% Easy - 0:37:34

Note that the runs have audio commentary.

Okay, final run. Ready?

Half-Minute Hero
Jim 'Dowolf' Dobler
Any% Single Segment (Hero 30) (PC) 0:18:54

...aaaaaand time!

That's the essential experience of watching this flash-through of Half-Minute Hero. I think every one of the verifiers suspected the video had been sped up at least 3-5 times. Along with the most recent segmented Half-Life run, this is the only speedrun making me sweat at night thinking what it'd be like if someone submitted another improvement.

It's no surprise though, seeing as there couldn't even have been a game conceived of more speedrunning-oriented. It's a JRPG parody where you have the liberal 30 seconds to up your stats and muster the equipment for charging into the act boss's lair. Well apparently that's just one of its game modes but in my defense it's the relevant one. The runner is attempting to keep up a streak of perfect RNG manipulations from the beginning of each of the 31 stages to the end and often pulls it off. Need I say more?

Meanwhile I've perfectly RNG manipulated this update to come up at a time when SGDQ still has some 1½ days left. That means you're still not supposed to be reading these sneaky during-marathon updates. Tsk, tsk!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 by wickedcodeferret

Rocky Splatter Toady Show!

Goblins get a bad wrap in most games, always being all evil and attacking, and occasionally stealing babies while singing really awesome David Bowie songs. But when the Nopino Goblins go crazy and start attacking a local shrine, Pocky & Rocky head out to just stop the Black Hoodie-caused Goblin insanity. This time Rocky goes solo, guided by 'Akisto', and saves the goblins in 0:21:29 on Normal difficulty. Dance, Tanuki, Dance!

Some nights are just the worst. Having your mansion invaded by evil spirits, getting your family kidnapped for dark rituals and an ancient Terror Mask stuck to your face. Not to mention a late game betrayal you never see coming (maybe)! Time to beef up and start smacking the stuffing out of everything that moves! Helping Rick lay the smack down to a horde of Splatterhouse 3 monstrosities, 'Slaughterhouserock' clears the mansion once again and saves Rick's family 19 seconds faster in 0:22:00 on Game Master difficulty. Come for the all the gore and plenty of hardcore "breadsticks" action!

People getting kidnapped/stolen in video games is the trope that keeps on giving for plot setup. Battletoads is no different, with Rash and Zitz tracking down the Dark Queen through 13 levels of brutal difficulty to rescue their friends Pimple and Princess Angelica. Unlike previous SDA runs however, runners Piotr 'TheMexicanRunner' Delgado Kusielczuk & 'jc583' take control of both toads and clear the game in a wicked fast 0:16:15 using Warps. This includes avoiding the infamous Stage 11 second player freeze bug and tons of nifty Co-op only tricks to check out. Recommended!

Saturday, July 25, 2015 by Judgy

Half-Of My-Life Playing Borderlands waiting for SGDQ

First up this time round is a game everyone is familiar with Half-Life or more accurately the Hazard Course from that same game. Over the years many have stepped forward to challenge the course and take thier place as the fastest and today we place 'Maxam' at the top of the podium who bunnyhops, grenade boosts and ...interacts impossibly with elevator buttons in 0:02:48 a 1 second improvement over the old time. which, to be honest, is a pretty big ask. Amazing run watch out for that elevator lag!

Next up is a segmented run of Borderlands the first of a (currently) 3 part series, a series in which I have spent far, FAR! too much of my own time (7000 hours+ in borderlands 2 alone). During which time I met and became friends with our runner Alexandre 'penta'. Who while playing as Lilith on the PC version throws his weapon away countless amounts of times in order to complete the game, This is due to the PC version allowing you to bind a Key to "Throw Weapon" something not possible on console versions he abuses the fact that weapons are picked up with full ammo and he skillfully pummels everything in sight with Sledges shotgun. New routing to gain EXP early from various in game achievements and obligatory farming so well known in all borderlands games results in finishing the game in a time of 1:26:14 across 77 Segments. which is over an hour quicker than the Xbox 360 version using Brick.

In other news The Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ) marathon begins tommorow! (the 26th) helping to raise money for the Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders charity, Speedrunners from both Speed Demos Archive and Speedruns Live will be displaying their talents on over 150 titles across the span of the week long event. you can find the schedule HERE! we hope to see you there! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 by LotBlind

Strikingly, in Japan, Silence is Normal

All the runs in this update are by one big man. He's from Japan. He does it 'cause he can, and that's how the rhyme ran. Actually I don't think he's FROM Japan so much as he's big IN Japan, which is another way of saying you've failed to attain any real significance amidst your home crowd (there are no rules as to what the Japanese can take a liking to and therefore it doesn't count). However, because of legal reasons I am also obliged to mention there was apparently a movie by the same name. Maybe he's going to start a thread titled "Explain Your Name". If his explanation is any more interesting than "Yeah it's from the movie", I'll respond to him and show tell him mine. If you haven't guessed it yet it's Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko.

Normality (PC, 1996) comes from an old long-time UK gaming company called Gremlin Interactive. If anyone reading this recognizes the name off-hand, you're probably being thrown into a spell of nostalgy from hearing that I'd imagine. Amongst their varied achievements we had a few 2.5D adventure games and Normality, then, is one of them. It takes place in a loopy, somewhat futuristic dystopia where strict social conformity, or "normality", is the presiding regime's agendum. Cap'n Japan's agendum, on the other hand, is to liberate the people in a swift 0:23:00 blow-out that exploits the game's mechanics and alternative solutions heavily. The main thing besides frantic clickety-clicking is the game most often doesn't require you to be anywhere near the objects and NPCs you want to interact with in order to be able to use them. If and as you watch this run you'll see what I mean and appreciate you're being treated to something quite unusual. Seeing as cutscenes are unskippable you'll even get a good glimpse into the writers' distraught minds.

Toonstruck (PC, Virgin Interactive, also 1996) was a game I immediately fell in love with after seeing a short retro review somewhere on YouTube. Mobygames' summary refers to Monkey Island and Roger Rabbit when outlining what it's like, while the screenshots personally bring me back to Day of the Tentacle. It is, you'll have gathered, another point'n'clicker, but I shouldn't neglect to mention it stars the full-motion captured Christopher Lloyd. He, one must recall, played "Doc" Brown in Back to the Future. I will not tell you anything more of the game or about Mr. Japan's run, a 0:33:25, because I WILL HAVE NO SPOILERS. No I'm not here to provide a service.

The last big and manly BigMan runs one lowly update even has room for are going to be for much acclaimed Silent Hill 2, or "Sairentu Hiru Tsuu" in Japanese. Trivia of the day: its scenario is based on Crime and Punishment, a 19th-century literary classic by Dostoyevsky. What started out as a hardware limitation, the fog and darkness were reused as an atmospheric device when the development team under Konami shifted over from the PS1 to the PS2. Amongst other influences, Tomb Raider was used as a point of reference when creating the 3D-environments. [/trivia] So without further ado:

18 Segments Normal/Normal - 0:43:19 (1:01 off previous 13-segment run)

Single Segment Normal/Normal - 0:44:18 (1:26 off previous record)

Maria Hard - 0:05:57 (0:07 off previous record)

Tune in next week, same Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko time, same Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko channel! Bada-bada-bada-bada BIGMAAAAN...

Sunday, July 19, 2015 by LotBlind

Bound for Kyrandia, Sherwood and Earth

The Kyrandia series is comprised of three first-half-of-the-'90s point-and-click adventure games from Westwood Studios, who were constantly setting new standards for how pretty hand-drawn art in games should be. The games were vibrant, had brilliant soundtracks and a peculiar inventory puzzle system where you drew from a generic pool of items available to you that you could normally always replace when having run out. For this reason the game would allow you to waste them on random interactions that produce a similar kind of ephemeral glee you could get from slapping quarters into a coin-op. It's a combination of these factors that make me think back to the games mostly with warmth and enthusiasm.

Evidently I'm not the only one. Our resident adventure game fanatic, Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko, after being convinced he should complete the set having done just the second game at first, took my sage advice of segmenting the runs at junctions where the lead role was reserved for Mr. Random Number Generator. This meant The Legend of Kyrandia was conquered in two segments adding up to a 0:51:56, and The Legend of Kyrandia 3: Malcolm's Revenge in 0:31:55 being split into four of them.

Do I gravitate towards games with awesome soundtracks or do games with awesome soundtracks gravitate towards me? Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (NES 1991) certainly qualifies. The runner, 'Slyse', says in the verification notes for his 0:29:28 it's "a crazy good action-rpg" but then goes on to list its various defects like soft locking and awkward movement in the same paragraph, which seems more in line with how retro reviews seem to portray the game. At least the not entirely fidelitous movie tie-in had ambition: in addition to a typical top-down view you get a side view for fencing and a zoomed-out perspective for battles where you and your merry A.I. band merrily rout large mobs like no-one's business. Finally there's horse racing. In summary it might be one of those better-watched-than-played types.

My last game for this update is one that embodies the old "If you have to ask, you'll never know". We're looking at Earthbound, which in addition to being an irreplaceable classic of JRPGs seems to have a long-lived and prospering speedrunning scene as well. These were my thoughts watching Andrew 'andyperfect' Woolston's run in 3:56:27 where most of the time there simply aren't any signs of floundering anywhere. There is one 10-second mistake with a teleport as I recall. I should mention this is a single segment run without major skips (previous SDA record for the category gets beaten by 14:40 minutes) so if you remember Ness slipping through seams or warping through debug menus, this will show you more of the game instead. One of the most recent advancements is TAS-like encounter and drop manipulation through all of Onett, which is where RPGs generally always go when people have run them for 10+ years (think Final Fantasy).

Thursday, July 16, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Age of Aliens

I'm a fan of RTS games so seeing Age of Mythology means I know what I'll be watching today. Arkantos from Atlantis attempts to regain Poseidon's favor and ends up going on a lengthy journey to stop evil (and Poseidon) from destroying the world. 'UtterNutter' shows who's the real demigod around here and tackles the entire 32 (33-ish?) levels of the campaign on the Easy difficulty, finishing in 3:10:12.

A successful remake to the 90s cult classic XCOM series comes in the form of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. While the game normally has a ton of features and plenty of quests to go through, it can be surprising just how fast it can be beaten. Kevin 'Papers' & 'Twyn' fought more than just aliens as they rolled the RNG and "completed through the observance of astrological symbols and the sacrifice of several goats", producing a run clocking in at 0:29:19 done in 64 segments. The comments are a must read to really appreciate this run.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 by Judgy

Character Select Screen!

Sometimes, (If you're a member of the Capcom roster) beating someone else into a pulp isn't enough to prove you're better and in this event you fall back to the only other possible option, what is that option I hear you cry? duh!... a puzzle battle!!!. Looking like the tainted offspring of 'Tetris' and 'Bejewelled' comes Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix where some of the Streetfighter cast attempt to outsmart each other while also throwing a few punches while they do it. 'bluebomber285' first selects Devilot for a playthough of the games X' (X-Dash) mode on expert, he deftly negotiates the puzzles before him in a time of 0:05:37.

Upon returning to the character select screen 'bluebomber285' then picks a new challenger to once again tackle Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix's X' mode on expert. This time with the profusely pink protagonist Dan, making even shorter work of the game than his Devilot run this run clocks in at 0:04:37 PERFECT!!.

Not wanting to be left behind Paul 'The Reverend' Miller fired up his copy of Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero and selected two characters also!. Beginning in a magical mana (get it?) our first character run is that of the wizard/Magic-user class, to be honest not much magic happens but if you like rock clicking your in the right place as this serves good purpose in this run in 0:10:29. The next contender is the thief, whose skills in the more dishonourable arts seem to make him quick with both his hands and his feet as he put an end to the whole sordid tale in 0:09:16 You've become a hero!...TWICE!

Saturday, July 4, 2015 by Judgy

The Name's Batman, Baseball Batman

In the world of Ninja Baseball Bat Man any amount of baseball paraphernalia can, and will!, attack you. Be it gloves, balls, bat wielding bats or whatever, it is not safe to be outside! Unless of course you happen to be Travis 'Klaige' Nible, Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman, Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy & Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare who, as a joint force not to be reckoned with take the colorful quartet through the game in 0:29:32 Single Segment.
**The price of admission also includes free Audio commentary so check that out also :)

Bat that's not all!! One of the four decided that his work was not done in Ninja Baseball Bat Man and continued to swing his way through the game once again using the twin bat wielding Ryno. This time round Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy steps up to the plate and knock the enemies out of the park in 0:21:14 Single segment. Tune in to the commentary for a play-by-play of all the action from the comfort of your own home!.

Released in 1998 on the Game Boy James Bond 007 is thought to be one of the last ever games to grace the grey brick we remember so fondly. *wipes tear away* anyway!, Martin 'J.Y' Söderhäll picked out his copy and karate chopped, shot and sneaked his way through a more "legend of Zelda" like adventure for the super spy in 0:42:02 ...  007 in Hyrule ... it a bit of an odd-job.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 by HoboWithaShotgun

Solving the mystery of the missing princess with a talking sword

Up first, we have Transistor, a game that just so happened to be developed by the same company who made one of my all-time favorite XBLA games, Bastion (BTW, it's Supergiant Games in case you were wondering). Seriously though, the reason I mention this is that when you start watching the run, you'll immediately notice just how strikingly similar the two games are. Regardless, they're completely different games apart from some gameplay mechanics. In Transistor, you play as Red, a female protagonist who must destroy an evil robot army. How will she do this? With a magical talking sword of course! Anyway, notable PC runner 'Maik 'Onin' Biekart' brings another one of his runs to SDA, with a single segment with resets run, clocking in at a final time of 0:37:01 minutes.

By now, you've probably watched AT LEAST one Mario run. That little italian guy's been all over the place, havening appeared in just about every videogame genre there is (in fact, the next Call of Duty game will have Mario as a secret playable character, though you didn't hear that from me). But let's game back to the Mario game we have today. New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a sidescrolling platform game released back in 2012 for the 3DS. Plotwise, Princess Peach yadda yadda yadda Bowser is evil yadda yadda yadda let's rescue her! But hey, at least the games are fun as hell. 'Jordan 'Greenalink' Greener' seems to agree, since this his second run of the game, improving his previous run by 21 seconds, with a single segment run using warps, with a final time of 0:26:39.

Last but not least, let's throw a monkey wrench in here and give you a completely unexpected run. Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion is your classic point and click mystery game released way back in 2000 for PC, and 2001 for the GBA. Everyone's favorite female detective must investigate an old Victorian Mansion that's under renovation, because apparently some evil spirits got bored and decided to mess with everyone. Realistically, this sounds like a job for the Ghostbusters, but I guess we'll send in an 18 year old amateur detective instead. Runner 'Michael 'arglefumph' Gray' doesn't seem to mind spooky ghosts, and instead, opts to finish the game, or should I say solve the mystery in 0:15:54 minutes, single segment fashion on Senior Detective difficulty no less.