Saturday, December 31, 2005 by Radix

Shut up Alia!

Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk continues to do Mega Man speed runs, adding another one of the missing games to the list. This time it's Mega Man X6 for PlayStation. Just like X5, it seems you can beat the game without taking down all eight maverick bosses, but he beats them all anyway. The time comes out to 0:36:52 in his 14 segment run.

Kim 'Silent echo' Siafa has been working on another run of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. His first run was any% in 1:43, and now he's been working on a Single-segment version. A time of 1:57 sounds pretty good, only 14 minutes slower. There's only a few 'major' mistakes and most of them are about half way through so it's hard to reset over something at that point. It's nearly identical in route to the segmented run except that he has to get grapple, since skipping that is so hard. Still worth a watch, especially for people who prefer SS runs.

Thursday, December 29, 2005 by Radix

Do you know what an 'aria' is?

Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody has done another speed run of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. Again he does a segmented run on hard mode, but this run is four more segments than the previous, some quite short for luck manipulation. The time is an amazing 0:36:12, over 18 minutes faster than his previous run.

Andres 'Mad Andy' Montalbetti improved one of the runs of Sonic Adventure DX. He improved Mychal Jefferson's Tails run by just under 3 minutes to reach a time of 0:18:19. Sacrificing a bit of time right at the start to get the Jet Anklet pays off in the end. Andres also did an E-102 Gamma run, but I haven't timed it yet.

Philip 'ballofsnow' Cornell ran Protoss 4 "The Quest for Uraj" in 0:01:55 for Starcraft: Brood War, a cut of 52 seconds. The total Brood War time goes down to 3:41:53.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 by Radix

Seasons near the solstice

Tomas 'Tompa' Abrahamsson did the first speed run of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and also the first Game Boy Color game added to the site (unless you count LA:DX). His run is 9 segments and comes out to the approximate time of 2:06:40. It's not that accurate because he made the mistake of overwriting the saving on some segments. Moral of the story: Don't trust your VCR. Always keep recording after saving for 20 seconds or more as a buffer zone. An interesting fact: I'm posting this run just 4 hours and 50 minutes after this year's Winter Solstice. Spooky, or planned? You decide.

Andrew Gardikis did a run of the classic Super Mario Bros. without using any warp zones. He has two deaths in the run and says he'll improve it eventually, but until then, his 0:21:18 is still over 1.5 minutes faster than the Eu version time.

In other news, Nate's beast 'v5' arrived early.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 by Radix

It's almost Christmas and I don't care

Jeremiah 'Retro2DGamer' Jones has done a run of Castlevania for NES. He improved Tom Votava's 2003 time by a minute and 16 seconds to reach 0:13:13. Lots of damage boosts from enemies help take off this significant chunk of time.

Tomi 'sarou' Salo branched away from Max Payne 2 in order to do a speed run of Resident Evil 4 for GameCube. He plays on the european version which has some differences that make it faster, most notably being able to skip the dynamite. Tomi's time comes to 1:51:03, 0:07:50 faster than the previous run. Since that's significantly more than the difference between the two versions, the old run disappears. If someone were to do a good run on the US version that's a little slower though, we'd have to post it as a second category. Unfortunately Tomi's video encoding skills are seriously lacking. The video quality is only about the same as Nate's low quality with nothing else available. Nate has lots of pricey equipment he's purchased over the last year in order to get great looking speed runs... and some people out there think they're doing us a favor by capturing things themselves. But as this run shows, they usually aren't.

Friday, December 16, 2005 by Nate

back to the future

appropriate that i make my first sda update with a metroid run, no? metroid 2002's andrew 'ajbolt89' bolton has shuffled his limited item reservoir and conquered his own metroid zero mission hard mode low percent time he set way back in april of 2004! this time he gets 0:45:42, improving his old time by almost four minutes!

due to cpu time constraints, i will not be able to recapture the run to remove the game boy player border from the right side of the picture until i receive the new sda beast sometime around the end of the year. it's harmless, though - you can see all the insane ridley stomping, kraid bashing, cheerio dodging, ted trouncing action clear as day! enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2005 by Radix

No queue change here

Philippe 'Suzaku' Henry did two more runs for Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters. He improved the 'Recover the New Parts' scenario time as Megaman to 0:03:24.70, an improvement of 36.78 seconds over Alex Nichols. He also did 'Rescue Roll' scenario as Megaman in 0:02:51.93, nearly a minute faster than his time on this scenario as Protoman. The characters are tracked separately though because of their different special moves.

Jose 'PiccoloCube' Karica sent three improvements to the 64DD levels of F-Zero for N64. Devil's Forest 4 is now 0:01:37.302, 2.856 seconds better. Mute City 4 becomes 0:01:15.639, a 1.523s improvement. Port Town 4 drops to 0:01:23.461, 2.639s less. That drops the total for the expansion to 0:17:56.212.

René Kamp did Protoss 3 "Legacy of the Xel'Naga" in 0:08:54 for Starcraft: Brood War, an improvement of 0:02:07 bringing the total Brood War time down to 3:42:45.

Saturday, December 10, 2005 by Radix

Shake that big Kong butt

Philippe 'Suzaku' Henry did a run of the Game Boy version of Donkey Kong, which takes the four classic arcade levels and adds 96 more. This game was the first to utilize the Super Game Boy player for Super Nintendo, but I still have to adjust the time upwards to due it running fast. Philppe's time for his nine segment run is 1:16:18.

Philippe also did a run of the first Mega Man game for Game Boy, Dr. Wily's Revenge. This Single-segment run comes out to 0:21:02.

Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe did a run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time for Super Nintendo. There are four turtles to chose from, of course, and Nicholas played as Donatello and got a time of 0:21:33. Other turtles are said to be faster and I think a few people are working on them. This run has a few bad parts like a lot of deaths at bosses, but I've never been able to beat this game without dying a lot either.

Thursday, December 8, 2005 by Radix

Speed runs by an open fire

It's 14 °F / -10 °C outside for me today so think warm thoughts, since I walk 33 minutes to work, ok?

After Shaun 'MMAN' Friend did his Tomb Raider III run, he went backwards one game to Tomb Raider II for PC. His 18 segment run finishes in a time of 2:44:02, easily timed since this game actually has a timer.

Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody did a second run of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest for Super Nintendo, although you never saw the first run. It was deemed crappy by one of the verifiers, so Damien scoured GameFAQs and learned a bunch of stuff, and came back with his second try, a 2:44:20 in 21 segments. That's eerily close to that TR2 run's time isn't it? This game also has a timer but it's only visible on the game's file select screen, so I ignore it and use my standard real-time measurement.

Jean-Philippe 'Ounaya' Gilbert has improved one of the oldest (non-Quake) runs on the site. Derek 'SnapDragon' Kisman ran Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest in 2001, Single-segment 100%, with a time of 1:33. J-P has improved it by two minutes to 1:31. He plays the game in French since he's from Canada and as a result his comments have both English and French names for all the levels he refers to... fun stuff. It's a shame he has one death in the run, but so did Derek.

There's a swift chop of 16 minutes and 33 seconds for Starcraft in four new times, each with brand new strategies. Philip 'ballofsnow' Cornell improved Zerg 8 "Eye for an Eye" in 0:03:50, 0:05:25 faster and Protoss 2 "Into the Flames" in 0:06:48, 0:02:44 faster. Blake 'Spider-Waffle' Piepho improved Protoss 8 "The Trial of Tassadar" in 0:07:47, 0:05:09 faster and Protoss 10 "Eye of the Storm" in 0:05:51, 0:03:15 faster, you'll love the smell of napalm in the morning after watching this one. Overall, the total Starcraft time goes down from 3:54:24 to 3:37:51.

Monday, December 5, 2005 by Radix

You're invited to a boo party

I've been working on my own speed run... yeah I actually do them too. Especially with my apartment crap, I wanted to take time to just play some games for a while instead of worrying about everything so I started some runs. My Circle of the Moon run is waiting to be mailed since my capture of it is crappy thanks to 60hz effects. I turned to a Luigi's Mansion run after that. After David Gibbons did his run I got interested in doing a 100%, and I decided to do it Single-segment to make it harder and more impressive, but Hidden Mansion to make it a little easier. After a month of trying and shaking my fist at the incredible randomness, I managed a 1:36:13. My capture looks pretty good, better than David's I think, but I'll eventually mail it to Nate for uber treatment too... unless I improve it. Any flaws that I don't already point out in the commentary?

Sunday, December 4, 2005 by Radix

Life in the Shadows

Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe did a run of Legend of Mana for PlayStation back in August, and now he's done two more. There are three quests in the game for various ways of beating it, and Nicholas's first run was doing Jumi's. Now he's done Dragon's quest in 2:10:02 and Faerie's quest in 2:32:23. Dragon is over an hour faster than the Jumi's quest run he did initially. I wonder if he knew it was the slowest quest when he started with it?

Two months before he did his popular Chrono Trigger run, David 'marshmallow' Gibbons did a run of the not-so-popular Nintendo 64 game Shadow Man. His run is in 20 segments and gets a time of 3:14. It's worth getting the first segment just to laugh at the bad voice acting in the opening story that goes on for at least five minutes. I didn't watch any of the run so that's the only part I can comment on.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 by Radix and ballofsnow

The sequel of the game I almost played

Dominic 'DAMURDOC' Legault did a speed run of Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn for PC. The run is in 12 segments and finishes in a time of 1:11:37. I wouldn't have taken this one during my submission hiatus but I had someone very eager on IRC wanting to see it posted, so he volunteered to do all the work for me. Except when I took some time to verify his timing points of the run, I noticed several were off. Just goes to re-enforce the old adage... "If you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself." As a counter-example, I don't mind that I didn't write this next paragraph, since it seems to be done right. :-p

Blake 'Spider-Waffle' Piepho made a huge improvement of Zerg 7 "Drawing of the Web" for Starcraft: Brood War. This level has gone all the way down from 0:17:35 to 0:09:49 and now to 0:04:23. You want to see this run! On the pre-expansion side, Philip 'ballofsnow' Cornell has improved five levels for Starcraft. They are Terran 1 "Wastelands" in 0:02:40, 9 seconds faster, Terran 6 "Norad II" in 0:05:18, 28 seconds faster, Terran 10 "The Hammer Falls" in 0:07:51, 0:01:48 faster, Zerg 1 "Among the Ruins" in 0:07:34, 0:01:02 faster, and Zerg 4 "Agent of the Swarm" in 0:06:48, 0:01:37 faster. Overall, the total Starcraft time goes down from 3:59:28 to 3:54:24, and Brood War down from 3:50:18 to 3:44:52.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 by Radix

Wood in the skin

You'll find two new runs on the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell page, one on the GameCube version and one on the PC version. Both were done a little more than two months ago so my apologies to the runners for the delay in putting them up, but this is one of the worst games there is to time. Even though I actually got someone else to time them for me (thanks!) I still had to take a small amount of time to verify the timings, plus this wasn't until a few weeks ago anyway. The run on the GCN version is slightly faster but the PC version is also on hard mode. I know there are differences in the levels in the different versions but I don't know enough about them to know which run is actually better, although the verifier says PC. I could've bought this game for GCN for $10 but had no interest in it simply because timing the first run left a bad taste in my month. That run was an hour slower than these because it was a "no alarm" run, something the game doesn't even reward, so shouldn't be a separate category.

Monday, November 21, 2005 by Radix

Lucky thirteenth category

Besmir Sheqi has been working on a Single-segment 100% run of Metroid Prime. I tried this category once, shortly after I got 1:37 segmented. I managed a 1:59 but I didn't get it recorded or it probably would've been the record here until now. Besmir got his 1:44 way back in June and finally decided to send it in until he gets something better. The run is quite good I think except for a huge embarrassment in Furnace and the lack of early Newborn, which is of course a huge risk on an SS run, but that's what would make it so good.

David Gibbons wasn't done with Chrono Trigger after his recent 4:56 run. He used a save copy he'd made after part 29 to start a new run from, a "100%". Since an RPG like this can have varying defintions of 100%, we went with a simple one that's actually feasible: complete all optional side quests, so that Gaspar would tell you the only thing left to do is fight Lavos. His finish time comes out to 0:06:31 and he still nearly gets wiped out in the Lavos battle despite having a slightly higher level and better equipment. Also he never uses Crono after bringing him back, poor mute bastard.

Saturday, November 19, 2005 by Radix

Improved crystals

Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody didn't think he'd improve his run of the NES game Crystalis, but after some new information came his way, he decided to try again. The end result is a new run in the time of 1:09:06, an improvement of 20 minutes and 15 seconds over his previous run.

There are eight improved times on the Starcraft and SC: Brood War pages from René Kamp, Philip 'ballofsnow' Cornell and Torfi 'Blublu' Gunnarsson. There is also one new level: the "Boot Camp" training mission in the Starcraft page, thanks to Qoix for pointing out this omission. Overall, the Starcraft total time went up by 0:02:14 to 3:59:28, and Brood War went down by 0:16:33 to 3:50:18. Thanks also to Philip for writing the preceding sentences and updating the pages at archive.org.

Thursday, November 17, 2005 by Radix

My bad fur season

Julien Langer did a run of the 2000 PC game Icewind Dale. His run is in 14 segments and comes out to 0:58:00. You'll need to know a bit of German to understand everything going on.

Way back in May 2001, Derek 'SnapDragon' Kisman did a run of the Nintendo 64 game Conker's Bad Fur Day. Although he's had the run online for some time, he bugged me about posting it here for wider viewing and I finally got around to it. You'd better not click if you're under 18!

Ben Fichter recently sent in a run of Jak II for PlayStation 2, but unfortunately due to some faulty packaging, the second of four tapes disappeared in transit to Nate. So that Ben's effort wasn't completely wasted, we captured and compressed what we had anyway, but it can't go on SDA since such a significant amount of material is missing. It's put up at archive.org as an "incomplete run".

Monday, November 14, 2005 by Radix

First case of actual bunny hopping

In Quake the term bunny-hopping is used to refer to how the player jumps around in a zig-zag motion to build up and maintain speed much faster than simple running. The technique is possible in a lot of 3D games but it was always just a joke. Now it's time for some real bunny hopping, in the game Jazz Jackrabbit 2 starring the amazingly green Jazz. I don't think Jazz actually goes faster by jumping, but it's the pun that counts, right?

The runs for the game are done by Alex 'AquaTiger' Nichols and both are Single-segment on normal skill. He uses Jazz and gets a time of 0:32:21 and then his red brother Spaz for a time of 0:30:00. Judging by the last bit in the Jazz comments, it seems this was truly a case of a rush against the clock!

Saturday, November 12, 2005 by Radix

Dante still isn't dead

Michael 'sternn' McEnroe has done the first 100% speed run of Devil May Cry for PlayStation 2. Including bonus missions, extra weapons, all the orbs, and s-rank on every level for 100% is already quite a feat to do fast ... but Michael also plays on the hardest skill setting, elegantly called "Dante Must Die!". His run is in 23 segments and gets a time of 1:55:05. Unfortunately he did a bit of editing I don't really approve of, but I'll let it slide once. He cut out the loading and saving in every segment, so it just starts right in, even on the first file. Please don't do that, folks!

René Kamp improved two more of the levels for Starcraft: Brood War. He did Protoss 01, Escape from Aiur in 0:02:42, two seconds faster, and Zerg 07, Drawing of the Web in 0:09:49, 0:07:46 faster.

Finally, just a note that Nate has stopped production of new video dvds.

Sunday, November 6, 2005 by Radix

Disturbingly fast

Mychal 'trihex' Jefferson has been working hard for some time on a run of Yoshi's Island. He started on the GBA version and sent a 2:19:49 that I probably shouldn't even have posted because of the amount of deaths. He acquired the SNES version and has improved that time by over 21 minutes to get 1:58:14. Unfortunately, the run is still not death free. Mychal also sent seven improvements to individual levels, including 1-1 in 0:00:58 and 1-2 in 0:01:04, 18 and 14 seconds faster than his previous runs on the GBA version. He also improved my own run on 4-5 by 16 seconds to get 0:01:48 thanks to a few shortcuts involving going over really tall poles. Four other levels are faster than David Gibbons; find them on the page.

Wes 'Arrow' Fathauer sent in his first speed run, and it's of the Genesis game Dynamite Headdy. He finished in a time of 0:47:35. Mike Uyama says "WOW" about this one.

Stefan van Dijke is at it again, Metroid Prime that is. After his 1:09 segmented run, he decided to improve his Single-segment run and ended up with a time of 1:19, four minutes faster than his previous. He claims he's done, but who believes that?

After Joseph 'Apathy' Wilcox did his second run of Doom 3, he decided to try his hand at the expansion: Resurrection of Evil. Coming in at about half the time and only 12 segments (still one file), his run is 0:52:25 on marine skill again. Where's that nightmare skill run folks?

Wouter Jansen sent three more improvements to N64's GoldenEye. He improved Frigate on all three difficulty levels by 1 second each: 0:00:23 on Agent, 0:01:06 on Secret Agent, and 0:01:12 on 00 Agent. The previous Agent run was from December 2003 by Bryan Bosshardt and the others were from April/May 2005 by Dan Cervone.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005 by Radix

Something's got to give

A bunch of improved times on the Starcraft and SC: Brood War pages. They're all from Philip 'ballofsnow' Cornell and I don't feel like listing them individually here, since you can easily find them by looking at the dates. The total time on Starcraft was dropped by over 5 minutes to 3:57:14 and the total on Brood War dropped by over 20 minutes to 4:14:39.

There are three new videos for F-Zero X and I'll actually list them. Jimmy K. Thai did Fire Field in 0:00:52.731, 1.511s faster than Dave Phaneuf. Jose 'PiccoloCube' Karica did Silence 3 in 0:01:34.242, 1.180s faster and Sand Ocean 3 in 0:01:38.985, 2.943s faster, both are self-improvements.

I recently added another item on the submit page for required items when a run is submitted (not that I'm taking much these days thanks to these assholes). In addition to comments, date run was finished, and runner's name, I also need a way to contact you! Too many times I've gotten runs, then a week or so goes by and I look at it and something is wrong, and I have no way to contact the runner unless I want to search through AIM logs to find him... and that's very annoying. Someone sent me a prince of persia sands of time run about two weeks ago... and I don't have any way to tell him, except this right here, that the sound in his run is badly off synch. Well it's got to stop, so I need contact information for everyone from now on.

Sunday, October 30, 2005 by Radix

Paradox City

David 'marshmallow' Gibbons took time away from unknown Nintendo 64 games to do a game for Super Nintendo, a very well known game in fact: Chrono Trigger. Speed runs of this game were discussed a lot in the past, but few thought it could really be done under my seven hour recommended limit. David knew there must be some key strategy to defeating the great Lavos early and decided it's Omega Flare, so he did a test run... and succeeded at a sub-7 run. That's not the run you'll find on the page though, since he changed the strategy, got significantly faster, abused rubble, and got 5:24.

Nope, still no link to the run, since he did it a third time and ended up getting less than five hours, only 4:56 in 34 segments. Now that's a speed run! If only everyone was so dedicated. Between his second and third runs, David did a New Game + run using a level 99 Crono. Since this run is rather boring, I wasn't going to post it before someone did a full game run. The game's timer can't be used here at all so it's real time all the way for 0:07:50.

Alex 'AquaTiger' Nichols sent in the third run on Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters. He did the 'Recover the New Parts' scenario, played as Megaman, and got a time of 0:04:01.48. Although this is all three scenarios for the game now, I can't list a total time until we have runs on every scenario by every character.

Now it's time for two more runs from NES-loving Tom 'rdrunner' Votava. He did Strider in 0:35:10 and makes fun of the game's name. Sixteen months later, he ran Gauntlet, another Arcade->NES port. There are four characters to choose from, and he picks Elf, the fast one. It seems unlikely anyone will try this game with the others but you never know. Tom's time is 0:20:13.

This update brings the total games covered here at SDA to 202. I'll let you decide which game is #200. Remember when I added Resident Evil 0 as #100? That was April 6. The site has more than doubled in size in less than seven months! That's one new game every ~51 hours... no wonder I'm going insane.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 by Radix

Sigh

There's a new run of Metroid Prime PAL version. Stefan van Dijke improved William 'pirate109' Tansley's time by two minutes and got 1:09. Unfortunately I haven't had time to watch this so that's all I can say. I've also had to turn away several runs recently ... until the situation in the forum post I just linked to is resolved, I can only take things that I'm personally interested in. Sorry everyone.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 by Radix

Everything's being erased

Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody sent in a run of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time for PlayStation 2. Although this RPG includes a timer that counts seconds, it doesn't display it at the end. Since it's seen throughout a run, even in an SS run I can use it plus the time after that. That makes Damien's time 4:11 since I cut the seconds for runs of at least three hours in length, unless a game shows them at the end. Also of note is that this game has a 42 minute ending file - that's just excessive.

Another unknown game from Tom 'rdrunner' Votava is The Lone Ranger for NES. One of Tom's longest runs, it takes him 0:57:43 to finish this one.

Monday, October 24, 2005 by Radix

Out with the old

The first speed run that Joseph 'Apathy' Wilcox did was for the PC game BloodRayne, featuring a red-haired scantily-clad half-vampire. I've actually posted two of his runs before, both on Doom 3, but he did this run before those. I just took longer to post it since it's not as popular of a game... just another reminder that there's no such thing as FIFO here. Joseph's run is in six segments, on easy skill, and gets a time of 1:19:49.

Philippe 'Suzaku' Henry recently sent a tape with three small runs on it. First is an improvement to the final stage of Metal Slug X for PlayStation. He gets a time of 0:03:30.05, 7.92 seconds faster than his previous run where he died at the boss. In Mega Man: The Power Battle for PS2/GCN/Xbox, Phil had previously done one of the three scenarios and now it's time for the other two. He does the Mega Man 3-6 stages in 0:02:18.33 and the Mega Man 7 stages in 0:01:46.47. That makes a total time of 0:06:25.20, a short game indeed.

But it's not the shortest run on the site, which the new Game list can easily prove. Just pick your desired system, or the entire list, then chose to sort by run time and viola, the list by time! If you view the full list sorted alphabetically, you can see that no games on the site start with N or O yet ... an odd coincidence or just no good games start with those letters? Thanks to Hans Brigman for writing the base perl script for the new game list, though I pretty much totally rewrote it, and to Astra Piper for doing some javascript for me. There's still a few things I need to clean up too, like having the release date for each port of a game listed... If you check the GBA list by release date, you'll see years in the 20th century in there, before GBA came out, because of the ports. I didn't want to delay the list anymore because of this. Hopefully everyone likes it, but feel free to bitch on the forum if you don't.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 by Radix

The secret is out

Frank 'Seiken' Cid has done a run of the first RPG I ever played, Secret of Mana for Super Nintendo. He plays the PAL version of the game with French text, but it seems to me to run at the correct speed while playing the game (I didn't do any tests though). Only when traveling on the map via cannon is it obviously going slower due to the music not being long enough, so it's probably just the map where it goes slower. The text length difference between the languages probably matters more for the time, but can't be more than a few minutes I think. Frank's run is in eight segments and gets a time of 5:15. I think he's a little loony to do it in so few segments, especially throwing in long boss battles an hour into a segment! Can anyone figure out why he doesn't just walk out the door when he loads an Inn save?

Tom 'rdrunner' Votava took on the role of Harrison Ford in two Indiana Jones games for NES. The Last Crusade is done in 0:03:35 and The Temple Of Doom in 0:05:13.

The new game list format is almost ready, I swear!

Saturday, October 15, 2005 by Radix

The forum might need Hangul support now...

There are new pages up for Starcraft for PC, and its expansion pack: Brood War. The total time for both combined is nearly nine hours. Since various people had done the html, file naming, converting and stuff, the only stuff I had to do was the uploading (took like 12 hours), a bit of html clean up and importing them into archive.org. There are already improvements to some of these but don't expect them for a while.

Thursday, October 13, 2005 by Radix

The rest of the update

The other runs I was going to add last night were two from Andres 'Mad Andy' Montalbetti on American McGee's Alice for PC. Andres did runs on two skills: easy and hard. The previous run on the game was on easy skill by Mark 'Allantois' Freyenberger and was done in ~0:54:44, though I had it listed as 0:54:55. It turns out that one of the game's cutscenes plays at the wrong speed (11 seconds slow) when you play the game. If you record to demo files and then play those back, it's correct. Since the game is nearly 5 years old I doubt it will get fixed but I'd rather time using the correctly playing cutscene, so if someone records a new run without demos, I'll subtract the necessary 11 seconds. I should note that Andres wanted to add the 11 seconds onto his times but I felt subtraction was better ... it makes the times lower.

Just make sure you remember that timing games without timers, especially PC games, is at best, an inaccurate science. At worst, it's enough to drive me insane. Always take such times with an implied margin of error in mind. Andres's run on easy is 0:48:19, about six and a half minutes better than Mark. On hard he takes 1:01:10. This run probably isn't as interesting to watch since it was done earlier, and the harder skill makes it slower (obviously). Different skills are valid categories though (just look at all those Nightmare skill Quake demos we've got), so however fast you can go on higher difficulties is still a speed run.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 by Radix

I wish I could get a good night's sleep

Next on the schedule of runs by Tom 'rdrunner' Votava is IronSword: Wizards & Warriors II. If I'm reading his comments right, it sounds like this 0:13:01 run is the ONLY time he even beat the game?! Despite this, the verifiers were impressed, even with the several deaths. I'm still debating if the run should be labelled as "death abuse" but since that doesn't affect the name of the files, I can post it before deciding.

This update was going to contain more, but I'm going to bed.

Monday, October 10, 2005 by Radix

Attack of the Wouters

Wouter Jansen has taken the record for GoldenEye: 007 away from David 'marshmallow' Gibbons. The type of run is Single-segment through the whole game on the hardest difficulty, 00 Agent. Wouter's time is 0:47:24, 2 minutes and 37 seconds faster than David. Some of the level times are significantly different from David's run, but not always better; such as Cradle which is 0:01:02 instead of 0:02:43, and Depot which is 0:02:29 instead of 0:01:38. There's probably a reason for this but I sure don't know it.

There's also some updates to the table of individual level runs on GoldenEye. Some of these were done over a year ago, but I didn't receive the vids until a few months ago, and I was lazy to fully convert/encode them and do the rest of the work until Wouter's run meant they'd be paired. So here they are, all but one is a one second improvement:

Next there's a full complement of runs on Star Wars: Episode I Racer for Nintendo 64 / Dreamcast / PC by Wouter Jansen. But wait! This isn't the same Wouter Jansen as the GoldenEye runner above. They're probably even in different countries (I don't even know), and this Wouter will be listed as "Wouter M. Jansen" to differentiate them. Believe it or not, I didn't plan these two guys' runs to go into the same update until a couple days ago. In fact, thanks to Astra Piper for finally doing most of the work involved in getting these runs up. Anyway, Wouter did runs of all 25 tracks of the game, and the total comes to 1:27:33.762. Only five of the tracks have separate lap videos, the rest have the best lap time inside the full course video.

I've temporarily put up a torrent of all of these vids for easy downloading (although the FTP is another option). You might notice I've done that for several recent runs that have multiple files (mgs3, dmc3, etc) and I tend to leave them for 4-5 days or so, but this time I didn't have one single demo.pl link to put the torrent in so I'm mentioning it here! If you do go to demo.pl links, note that the High quality links aren't working yet. Archive.org decided to change their importing procedure over the weekend, and all the HQ files I'd already uploaded to the upload server are now sitting there and I can't get to them, and I'm forced to upload them again using the new method!

Saturday, October 8, 2005 by Radix

Have you eaten a reptile today?

Adnan Kauser sent in an improvement of his run of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Same settings as his previous run: European Extreme difficulty and Foxhound rank. Adnan's new run is 7 minutes and 36 seconds faster, with the segment count increased from seven to 10, to get a time of 1:29:46.

Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody already had some runs on Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, but he decided it wasn't enough. He did 100% runs with both the default Leon character and the Joachim bonus character, although, as with most games, just what to call '100%' is a little foggy. With Leon there are two rather rare drops he didn't include, and includes all map areas since that's what the game is tracking with a %. He gets 1:50:19 with Leon and 1:22:15 with Joachim. That's six categories for this game that Damien holds ... in the Quake news they'd call that "total ownage".

Tom Votava must love short repetitive music because he sure ran a lot of NES games that have some. In Castlequest you need to journey around a puzzle-filled castle looking for keys in order to do the standard princess rescuing. Tom abuses death as a way to gain a little bit of time and ends up with 0:20:26.

There's a new time on Max Payne 2's p3c5 level, "Return to Funhouse, as Mona". Tomi Salo got a time of 0:00:41, 16 seconds faster than Stefan Breunig.

Friday, October 7, 2005 by Radix

Easy dying

Mike Uyama has submitted his last speed run for a while ... something about going to Japan for school keeping him busy. He made sure to go out with a bang though, by killing lots of things in the action-filled Contra III: The Alien Wars for Super Nintendo. Mike plays on hard mode and finishes in 17 minutes flat without ever dying. In a game where a single energy shot will kill you and there's lots of them, that's quite a feat!

Tom Votava's trip through the Deadly Towers NES game wasn't an easy one. He says the game is hard and just beating it is hard, and even wrote a FAQ for it at GameFAQs. The reviews there seem to think the game just sucks though, with lots of 1/10 scores and one review title being "Take Zelda, turn it into complete crap, and this is the result". It just goes to show that those people saying only old games are good are only remembering the old games that were good. Perhaps this will join the ranks of Chameleon Twist as "famously bad" games to run? Now that I've hyped the bad-ness I wonder how many people will get his 0:43:10 run just to look at it, hehe.

Wednesday, October 5, 2005 by Radix

Only nine more

Another three runs from Tom 'rdrunner' Votava's batch coming your way. First we have his only other Super Nintendo submission: Road Runner's Death Valley Rally. I thought of using the game's timer here, which starts at 5:00 and counts down, and then manually timing the five bosses. Then I remembered the clock item that stops time, so you could slow down to freeze the clock. Plus, if someone is ever crazy enough to get all the flags for 100% (does anyone even know where they all are?), some levels could take more than five minutes. So it's just a straight manual timing of the whole thing, which is the easiest way anyway! Tom's time is 0:25:51.

Movie-based video games aren't known to be the best batch of games. I do believe I haven't added any runs on any previously, so Tom's run of Who Framed Roger Rabbit for NES is the first. It's a very short game once you know what you're doing and Tom finishes it in only 0:06:05. The music in this game is rather catchy, I think.

Tom's longest submission is his only one longer than one hour: Adventures Of Lolo III for NES. With twice the levels of its predecessors, Lolo 3 is quite a difficult game. The idea of memorizing all one hundred puzzles for a speed playthrough is daunting, but Tom manages to do it with only one major error. I do wonder if the endlessly repeating music made him go insane, or if he just muted it. Tom's time comes to 1:23:34.

Just so the update isn't all about Tom, I'll post an improvement of F-Zero X 64DD from Jose 'PiccoloCube' Karica... again. He improved his Big Foot time by 2.213 seconds to get 0:01:27.046, which brings the total of all 64DD tracks down to 0:18:07.353. Most noticable in this run compared to his others is that the ghost cars from previous races are never seen again after only 20 seconds. Sometimes it takes him until the final lap to pass them all.

Monday, October 3, 2005 by Radix

The hard and the ugly

Tom 'rdrunner' Votava ran a lot of NES games. Some of them are well known and loved games like Castlevania 1-3. Others you've probably never heard of, or if you had, you wish you hadn't. At least Tom seems fully aware that Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine isn't exactly grade-A gaming. It seems he whipped up the runs on this game just before he contacted me as the date is August 2005... and yes I said runs. He does it on easy skill in 0:06:23 and lethal skill in 0:06:47.

For a better game, but perhaps just as hard, we turn to one of Tom's two Super Nintendo submissions: Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, part of All-Stars. Mario and Luigi have different abilities in this game so there's two possible runs, times two for with warps and without warps, plus you can save and quit to segment it if you want, though that would certainly take away the impressiveness of any run. Tom's run uses Mario and lots of warp zones to get to the end of D-4 in a time of 0:18:05. No deaths along the way; I wonder if we'll ever see a warpless run without deaths?

Just so the update isn't all about Tom, I'll post an improvement of F-Zero X 64DD from Jose 'PiccoloCube' Karica. He improved his Port Town 3 time by 1.567 seconds to get 0:01:34.670, which brings the total of all 64DD tracks down to 0:18:09.566.

Sunday, October 2, 2005 by Radix

Fifty hearts for Holy Water!

Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe submitted a run of Legend of Mana for PlayStation. His run is Single-segment, always impressive for long runs, with a time of 3:17. From what I've been told about this game, there are three quests that can be done: Jumi, Dragon and Fairy. Only one is necessary to beat the game but all could be done if you wanted to. Nicholas's run is only Jumi's quest.

When Tom 'rdrunner' Votava ran Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse in October 2003, he did all four endings. Two of them got posted last month, and now it's time for the other two. With Syfa, the time comes out to 0:32:55, and it's not very different from the run without a partner. In fact, you might say "Hey, that's the exact same time, you must have made a mistake!". Indeed I did... when I noticed I got the same time I looked again, and I had typoed the end frame for the NoPartner run when I entered it into Excel (39874 as 39844) and therefore mis-timed it. I've renamed it to 0:32:57, which makes the Syfa run two seconds faster. Yay for ice power! With Grant, the run comes out the slowest of the four choices to 0:34:21, but every level beyond the first is different in this run thanks to Grant's suction-cup feet.

Tom also ran Castlevania II: Simon's Quest for NES, completing the Castlevania NES series at SDA. Not a very well-liked game, cv2 doesn't have as much action as the others and isn't linear but doesn't have much path choice. With towns only open during the day, parts of Tom's 0:49:58 run is simply killing things to wait for the sun to rise but I don't see that changing if anyone challenges his time.

Going even further back in time, Tom ran The Legend of Zelda for NES in July 2003. Tom's time of 0:34:04 is about 0:01:47 faster than the run from Mike 'TSA' Damiani I had up which was done in June 2004. The reason for the time-travel is that Tom's run wasn't available until right now!

Saturday, October 1, 2005 by Radix

Holy shit it's October

Where does the time fly? I guess when you're watching speed runs, it *really* goes fast... ok please don't boo me off the stage just yet.

Joseph 'Apathy' Wilcox improved his run of Doom 3 by taking the standard speed run approach: don't kill stuff, just run by! There's also a new (only?) rocket jump shortcut in his new run. Thanks to a little research from 'Kibumbi', the timing for this game was altered a bit. It seems that even John Carmack can't figure out how to make a loading screen appear quickly, and during the black screen before it appears, it's apparently being ... loaded. That's right, the time to display the loading screen depends on your computer! This means the timing stops as soon as the fade to black is complete and resumes once the loading screen disappears, and this is noted on the page as it doesn't follow the standard otherwise. Joseph's new run tims to 1:40:10 using this method, but it's not 27 minutes faster than his previous "2:07" run. The time difference is about two minutes (for Joseph's computer) so it's more like 25 minutes better. Impressive either way!

The slew of runs from Tom 'rdrunner' Votava starts here. Only his run of Castlevania is ready right now, but it's easier to post them as they ready, even if I did want to hold off on the remaining Castlevania series games to go with this. Tom's time from April 2003 is 0:14:29. Tom's run does not contain a few enemy boosts from Wesley Dekkers's European version run, so even though a 5/6 multiplier would impley Tom's run is comparatively faster, it's best to not trust such conversions and judge for yourself which you think is better. Both could be improved with strategies from the other I think, but who will do it?

Thursday, September 29, 2005 by Radix

Any lawyers reading this?

I've got a serious problem with the apartment I recently moved into which my landlord seems uninterested in even discussing. It's preventing me from getting a good night's sleep, interfering with my work and the site, and my sanity. Although I've already tried contacting two local lawyers they didn't respond so I'm hoping maybe there's a speed running loving (U.S.) lawyer reading the site who might want to help me?

Elijah 'scaryice' Miller did his first speed run on Lunar: The Silver Star for Sega CD. This is the first Sega CD game to be added to the ever-growing list, which ought to be getting a redesign soon. Elijah's run is in 10 segments and gets a time of 3:35. I'm afraid I can't say much else about this one.

Julien Langer worked on a second run of Baldur's Gate and did it in five segments this time. The resulting time of 0:40:06 is almost 30 minutes faster than his Single-segment run from February. Speaking of which, I forgot to remove the loading screens from it for timing when he submitted it, so it's been retimed to over a minute less than it used to be. However since someone broke something at archive.org I am unable to rename the file at the moment. Hopefully later since I complained about it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 by Radix

Happy 28th birthday to my brother

He plays completely opposite games as me like: sports games, war simulation, The Sims, etc... blech. But if not for his PlayStation, I'd never have played Symphony of the Night. Err anyway, proceeding with the update:

James 'Psychochild' Conway submitted his second speed run, and it's of the PlayStation 2 game Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening. He plays the standard mode and gets a time of 2:29:53 in six segments. He didn't send his first attempt at this run, although he almost did. Instead he redid it all and improved it by several minutes... that's the spirit!

Freddy Andersson has been eating too many mushrooms. And flowers. 20 year old mushrooms and flowers. Somehow he survived his run through Super Mario Bros. despite this questionable food source. As the first posted run to not take any warp zones, you might be a little disappointed to know it's the PAL/Europe version. But unlike a lot of such versions, it doesn't really run slower, instead it was corrected badly. The game's scrolling speed appears to be the same but not all is equal, such as the music running fast and the sound running slow. Entering the pipe in 1-2/4-2 is the most obvious spot. Freddy's time of 0:22:52 is sure to make your head spin with the speedy music. The run would've been a little better if he'd only ate one mushroom and flower but he got hit a few times and had to eat again.

Mike Yi (MrBlarney) conquered two more sections of Kirby Super Star: Spring Breeze and Gourmet Race. SB is 0:03:51, 35 seconds faster than Steven Brooks. GR is 0:01:41.12, 1.31s faster than Wesley Corron. He also improved the three individual races.

Jason 'dingusSJr' Hochreiter made his speed running debut with a short and very confusing boss rush run of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow for GBA. The resulting time of 0:01:21.38 is 5.33 seconds faster than the previous one by Damien Moody. I wish he went through the menus a little slower since that doesn't count for the time!

If you are ejm5446 and you did a run of Lunar, I need your comments!

Friday, September 23, 2005 by Radix

It's all about me

The third play mode for Castlevania: Circle of the Moon is "Fighter" and it disables the DSS system completely; you never get any card drops. Instead you're just really powerful with high STR, DEF and lots of HP. This makes it quite speed runnable and some guy named Nolan Pflug decided to do a run. When submitting he mumbled something about working two jobs, one that doesn't appreciate him, and the other that pays 12 cents an hour (or so) although he did see a bit of an increase lately. Anyone know what he's on about? Oh yeah, the time is 0:40:48, just a little bit faster than the Magician mode run. That seems absurd since Magician mode can use the DSS cards for faster running and to slaughter the early bosses, but Wayne loses a lot of time swtching the cards, so not using any cards at all in Fighter mode catches up.

Elsewhere on the Castlevania front, Guillaume 'Shadow-Hunter' Davidson did a Single-segment run of Castlevania for Nintendo 64. The previous run by David Gibbons was using Reinhardt, and Davidson uses Carrie. Looks like Carrie is the faster player since he got 1:05:58 compared to Gibbons's 1:13:35. This run is on the PAL version, but two verifiers say it looks like the same speed as the NTSC version, which means I don't have to list it as such.

Speaking of David Gibbons, he did another game for his always-on Nintendo 64. A game so bad that he forgot he wrote a guide for it, Quest 64, also known as "Holy Magic Century", is considered a pretty bad RPG. The biggest complaint I heard was not being able to go two feet on the map without getting into another battle... and I thought Final Fantasy 3 was bad. The final time is 2:47:52 in 15 segments.

Shaun 'MMAN' Friend did a run of Tomb Raider III for PC. Since this game had a timer I didn't feel like shooting anyone, and the time of 3:08:33 is easily found. Normally manually timed games don't list seconds when they reach three hours, but I might as well keep them when they do. Although I'm still likely to turn down a 3:08:32 run ... The game even tells you that Shaun hit with 2220 out of 2507 shots fired, for an accuracy of 88.55%. Seems pretty good?

Thanks to those who gave me some dough this week. For those of you who can't/couldn't find the donate link, it's only on every single demo.pl download page. Aren't you downloading any runs?

Monday, September 19, 2005 by Radix

Questioning the reason

Lately I'm feeling frustrated. Overworked. Burned-out. It's been 18 months since I expanded SDA into other games and I never quite realized what I was getting myself into. Although I implemented a verifier system to take care of games I haven't played, these games are the main reason for all the above feelings. I only care about runs on games I can understand what's going on in, and when I spend hours timing runs for games I have no interest in, it really makes me go wtf.

After this update there are 25 runs in the queue, with at least 20 more on the way. A lot of Single-segment runs on games, even those without timers, isn't that big of a deal. Just a few very long multi-segment runs, especially ones with loading time I have to remove, is really what's killing my spirit. So I'm left with a predicament. Either I start telling folks to not do those runs, especially on games I don't care about, or I need to make serious money from this site. Although I was happy to take my time necessary to post runs on the game series I know and love, it's really cutting out the time I have to PLAY those games when I have all these runs to deal with.

You're probably thinking "Why don't you just get help?". I already have help. Nate captures and compresses everything on tape and I'd have done this update months ago if I were still doing it. "More help!" you say. I've yet to meet anyone dedicated enough to keep doing for more than a few weeks what I've done for 18 months. Although the verifiers help me with runs, I still have to deal with people submitting, verify timings, upload stuff, do the html and the actual importing of stuff to archive.org and the news. It's a lot of work and it doesn't scale well to multiple people.

I really don't want to stop accepting runs just because I don't know games, I want the site to cover as much as conceivable. But I can't continue like this; it's inconceivable. It's probably insensitive to ask for money so recently after a natural disaster that affected about a million people, but unfortunately I have to. I simply can't keep spending 3-4 hours a day on stuff with no reward. I have already gotten a few donations in the past and I thank those people, and I know not everyone can give money.

Soon I will set up an advertise page in the hopes of selling some more ad space at SDA to whoever is willing to pay. The google ads are covering the cost of the server and we've seen a small amount of profit in the last few months but not very much. The space I'm targeting extra ads is the demo.pl download page, which has no ad currently. I didn't think there was much point to a google ad there since there's not many key words and the ads would be rather meaningless. See the queue page for a good example. If you're interested in advertising at SDA, don't hesitate to contact me today, no need to wait for the advertise page. Just some restrictions: no pop-ups, no animation, no flash.

I hope you took the time to read that ... proceeding with the normal update:

Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk has redone his run of Mega Man X5 that defeats all eight bosses. While his old run was only three segments, this one is 16 for much more optimization pickiness. The resulting time of 0:30:59 is 3 minutes and 25 seconds faster than his previous and includes a bit of bonus material in the ending segment. Chris also did a run for Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters. He chose the 'Search for Wily' scenario and played as Bass (pronounced like base) and got a time of 0:05:00.55.

Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody was back to playing Metroid Zero Mission. Almost one year after he set the previous time for 100%, he got an improved time of 0:56:11, 55 seconds faster than his previous. I've watched many ZM runs before and I never realized that at the end, Samus somehow pilots the escape ship away with only one hand ...

Mike Yi (MrBlarney) has improved two of the records for Kirby Super Star. He does "The Great Cave Offensive" in 0:06:16, one minute and 44 seconds faster than Steven Brooks, and "Revenge of Meta-Knight" in 0:14:27, 0:04:27 faster than Steven.

Jose 'PiccoloCube' Karica claimed another F-Zero X 64DD record. He did Space Plant 2 in 0:01:17.156, 0.321 seconds faster than the previous. This race has an unusual ending... he crosses the finish line while his car is blowing up. The game still registers it as finishing the race, so why shouldn't I?

Friday, September 16, 2005 by Radix

This update delayed 20 minutes by bricks

Blake 'Spider-Waffle' Piepho sent in his first non-Half-Life run, going for a new completely opposite gaming experience in the original NES Metroid. He improved on Scott Kessler's time by 3 minutes and 36 seconds to get 0:18:35. If you hadn't already watched the fastest Metroid run, you might be surprised to learn that they don't beat both Kraid and Ridley, intended to be required to beat the game. As the only Metroid game that allows enemies to change rooms, you can lure an enemy into the Tourian entrance and freeze it to get in without having the bridge. It's possible to do this without beating either boss, but Tourian is impossible without at least 10 missiles, and impractical without about 40, so beating Kraid is the fastest way to get the necessary missiles.

Tommy Montgomery wasn't done with Super Mario Bros. 2 after he did a run which got promptly beaten by Scott Kessler. He decided to go for the full game completion, without using any warp zones. After a few weeks of cursing, he was unable to do a run without deaths and settled for a run with one death which costs ~12 seconds. The result is a time of 0:26:36 which unfortunately doesn't look very good. Oh sure, the play is fine, but the recording VCR was not. The details are in Nate's blog, but the summary is that while watching you'll be a little distracted by small black lines. Until you get to a part of the game with waterfalls, such as 5-1, where it really spazzes out. Anyone who can figure out why the game's waterfalls would make things so much worse gets a cookie.

After Derek 'SnapDragon' Kisman was through rolling people up in a giant ball, he decided to go back to the Prince of Persia series. He worked on a speed run of Warrior Within and managed a time of 3:19, 20 minutes faster than the previous run by Ben Fichter. But this is no mere 20-minute improvement. It's also on a higher difficulty: hard vs. easy. It's also Single-segment vs. 7 segments. It's also "100%" vs. not. All that and it's still faster you say? It must be a super-impressive 3:19 indeed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 by Radix

Anything but Slytherin

Ben 'Mkt2015' Fichter has done a run of the first Harry Potter game: The Sorcerer's Stone for PC. Given the subject matter, it seems more like a "casual" game than a gamers' game but I suppose even games marketed to the masses can be speed run. Ben does his run in 4 segments and gets 2:06:04. Huge thanks to Mike Uyama for timing this and other recent runs.

Elliott Feiertag, brother of Adrian (killer of Jaws), has done his own speed run for a short NES game. I do believe it's the shortest whole-game run to hit the site: rolling his way through the six stages of Marble Madness in 0:03:13. He did it all without losing a single Marble. I was never able to beat this game when I rented it because of the weird diagonal controls.

Monday, September 12, 2005 by Radix

I'll play with you some other time

The second Sonic game to hit the archive is Sonic Adventure, originally for Dreamcast and later ported to GameCube and PC as the Director's cut. From what I can tell, the changes shouldn't affect speed runs since I use the game's timer when available and manually time the adventure field and sub games that don't. I still label the three runs received for this as DX version though, just so it's clear. Mychal 'trihex' Jefferson sent in Single-segment runs of Sonic's and Tails's stories, coming in at 0:46:11 and 0:21:18. He also included a Super Sonic attempt ... but it was just awful. Andres 'Mad Andy' Montalbetti decided to try a little harder and he got a time of 0:01:54 with one use of death as a shortcut.

Are you afraid of the ocean? How about bad video games? Then you'd better not watch the speed run of Jaws for NES by Adrian Feiertag. At least he seems to be making a good dose of fun at himself and the game during the comments of his 0:05:46 time to slay the killer shark.

Tom 'rdrunner' Votava sent in three NES runs he recorded in October 2003... as a test. More are sure to follow in the coming months. If you're a puzzle game freak like me, you'd probably get hooked on Adventures Of Lolo 2 and other games in the series. A speed run of a fixed set of puzzles might seem a bit strange at first, but memorizing the dozens of layouts and the right paths to get through in a speedy time of 0:29:14 is quite impressive. The other two runs are on Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse for NES. This game has four possible endings depending on who you team up with. Tom goes it alone and gets 0:32:57, then teams up with Alucard, the son of Dracula, and gets 0:29:47. The first two levels are the same but then the path splits, and Alucard's flying ability makes the ending levels, when the paths merge, more interesting too.

Sunday, September 11, 2005 by Radix

Survival horror roundup

After Shawn Jones finished his eight-month 22% speed run, he had time to relax and work on easier runs. He didn't take long to whip up an improvement to a run of Resident Evil, the remake, for GameCube. He did a run as Jill last year in 1:29:43. This year it was time to get a good time for Chris, and he spanked the previous run by 20 minutes and 53 seconds to end up with 1:33:46. For having two less inventory spots and having to deal with numerous old keys, I didn't think Chris would end up only four minutes slower than Jill! By the way, the Jill run got uberized by Nate, since it was originally captured by Shawn but he included it in the mail with the Chris run. Now I just need Shawn to do some runs that get the good ending on this game ...

Brandon '19Duke84' Armstrong did a run of Silent Hill 2, but not of the main game, that's still held by Simon Berggren. Brandon's run is on "Born from a Wish", Maria's quest, on hard mode and gets a time of 0:06:32. This wasn't actually the first submission for Born from a Wish, I got an 0:08:02 from someone new, and when I sent it to Brandon to verify he said it was "kind of weak" and proceeded to improve it immediately. Then he took a month to optimize it and here we are.

Saturday, September 10, 2005 by Radix

Before there was hot coffee

Tim 'twoton' Symanczyk has laid claim to the record on another Grand Theft Auto series game: Vice City. Tim's run is seven segments more than the previous run by Andy 'NTG' Nelson, and 13 minutes faster, to get a time of 2:14:23. Be sure to enjoy all of the killing, car jacking and other mayhem that Tommy Vercetti causes. It's sure to be safe for audiences of all ages, as there are no sex scenes involved ... right?

Christian 'Rabbath' Rotthues sent in his first speed run, and it's of the PC version of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. He plays on normal skill and does one segment for each of the 20 missions. All of the levels have a summary screen at the end showing a time (his happen to be in German) except the last one, which I had to time manually and got 2:37. The total time of every mission summed up is 0:43:47.

Thursday, September 8, 2005 by Radix

Sucking up your dreams

David 'marshmallow' Gibbons recently did a run of Luigi's Mansion for Gamecube. Before I could post it though I had to do something I'd been meaning to do for some time: rewrite part of the rules. David has been a strong critic of my rule against "death warping", killing yourself as a way to teleport around. One of his first submissions to the site was Turok: Dinosaur Hunter where he jumped off a ledge at one point to avoid a 40-some second walk back to the area start. I didn't like the idea of character suicide so I penalized him by a minute. Since nobody has challeneged his run, it's not like that penalty actually meant anything though. He did it on a couple other runs too, and I've gone back and removed the penalties on the ones I remembered (he'll have to point out any more) and instead labeled them as having "death abuse". I've also labeled some other runs that previously had no penalty as using death abuse, such as Zelda 2, where they kill off poor Link to refill his magic.

Which brings me to save warping. I felt the two went together, so in addition to killing yourself to teleport around, I only wanted you to save in spots such that you'd re-appear in the same spot. Anything else can be especially confusing to people who don't know the game. In some games, such as Mario 64, it's actually impossible to do a save that isn't teleporting. I had a convoluted exception in the rules for this case, but that's gone now, because now, you can save whenever you want if the game allows it. Of course, I'll list the run as using "save warps" like David's Mansion run, which by the way is 11 segments and gets a time of 1:33:53.

So to sum it up: I updated the rules and FAQ pages to reflect the new death/save changes. You can now kill your game character and save and quit to teleport around as much as your fancy desires. But I'd still love to see runs where you don't do such things.

Back to Luigi's Mansion. There's a lot of potential categories in it now... Single-segment vs. segmented w/warps vs. segmented w/o warps, fresh game or "new game +" using the hidden mansion (also avoids the introduction to E. Gadd and the training), 100% of portrait ghosts/boos or just going for speed, A rank vs whatever. That's 24... But will anyone do any such things?

Speaking of Link, there's an improved run of his only black & white adventure: Link's Awakening. John 'Maur' De Sousa has been trying for a couple of weeks to get under an hour of a half ... but he failed, settling for 1:30:36. This is over fourteen minutes faster than the previous run by Adam Sweeney, with some minutes coming from a new kind of text skip using the save/quit screen, but no saving was involved.

Monday, September 5, 2005 by Radix

Another 2/3rds year Prime run

There's two improvements up on the Metroid Prime page. First is a run by Shawn Jones, who took the same length of time to do his run as other previous runs have taken on this game: 8 months. When you're doing a 22% on hard mode, and you want to do it really fast, it takes a lot of retries and time away from the game to not go insane. Shawn ends up with a very impressive 1:28, 26 minutes faster than the previous run by some Anonymous Coward. Shawn is actually ~35 seconds faster at the ship save before Ridley compared to Robert Nobles's 22% on normal. The difference between normal and hard ought to be about three and a half minutes up to that point, so that's a lot of new minor tricks discovered in the last year to allow that to happen. Of course, Ridley & Prime take a lot more on hard without charge so the run ends up 10 minutes slower.

Next is a much shorter video, an improvement to the frigate escape. Paul 'Bartendorsparky' Evans broke the four and a half minute barrier, finishing with 0:04:30.05 time remaining. A few new dash jumps helps take this 0.78 seconds faster than the previous time by Nils Jutler.

Sunday, September 4, 2005 by Radix

When the cows never come home

Derek 'SnapDragon' Kisman did runs of the ten levels of the PlayStation 2 game, Katamari Damacy, where everything is made of glue. Roll up people's junk into a giant ball to replace the missing stars, and when you get a big enough ball, the people themselves and their houses! Derek's total on all levels is 30 minutes and 41 seconds.

Daniel 'NintenDan' Zurad did a run of the GBA game Sonic Advance, the first Sonic-game run to get posted here. Many people have been thinking Sonic=speed, so why no speed runs? I guess it's just because in order to make a really good run, you have to do lots of tricks and never stop going super fast, making them very very hard. In SA, you can chose from four characters to play as, and Daniel uses the blue hedgehog himself, Sonic, and gets a total time of 0:16:18.50.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 by Radix

The voice of Nate

Newcomers to SDA, and even people who've been here a while, might think that the entire site is run by me. Maybe they haven't gone into the Quake section, so they see "by Radix" on every update and assume it's just me. But as anyone who's recorded stuff onto VHS in the last year knows, that's just not true. Nathan Jahnke is my faithful partner in demo archiving, taking many hours of his time to process runs that arrive on tape. He even decided to spend most of the money he earned at his summer job on more expensive equipment for better quality. In an effort to make it obvious how dedicated / crazy he is, he started a little blog, the 'word' that you either love or hate, to discuss his role. You'll probably encounter a lot of technical aspects of capturing and compression you may not understand, but you'll also catch glimpses of runs that are being processed and other tidbits. I haven't decided where to place a permanent link to it yet.

Just so this update isn't void of videos, I'll post this improvement that Jose 'PiccoloCube' Karica did to one of the F-Zero X 64DD levels. Port town 4 in 0:01:26.100, 0.672 seconds faster than the previous one by some Japanese guy.

Monday, August 29, 2005 by Radix

Three 3D game runs

Peter 'Dragorn' Branam-Lefkove took the massive undertaking of doing a 100% run of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Almost half of the time spent working on the run was simply planning out the very complex route to do all the necessary tasks. A total of four cycles are needed, two more than the minimum, since the All-Night Mask, Postman Hat, and the Chateau Romani bottle can't be collected in the same cycle. The time for the 29-segment run ends up at at 6:55, just under twice the time of the normal run.

Travis 'Sigma' Lee did a run of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell for PlayStation 2. His run was delayed posting for nearly two months because he forgot the number of segments he took. This is one of the main reasons why we now require a list of segment start/end points on VHS tapes mailed in. It didn't help that I decided to remove the loading screens for the timing, something I usually only do for PC games, just because the game is cross-platform on ps2/xbox/gcn and PC as well. Removing loading makes it "easier" to compare runs on other ports if anybody does one, but they'd still probably be tracked separately. Travis's run comes out to 2:32:56.

David 'marshmallow' Gibbons did a bunch of runs on the "deleted scenes" from Counter Strike: Condition Zero. 19 missions to do various tasks, coming out to a total time of 1:44:18. These took three months to post because of timing issues too... if you haven't figured it out, by the fact that 'needs timed' is always the largest part of the queue, timing things sucks!!! *grumbles about ever taking games without timers*

Saturday, August 27, 2005 by Radix

One less shitty run!

Kim 'Silent echo' Siafa finally did the honors of crushing the time on Metroid Prime 2: Echoes for the default any% run. The previous time was 2:11 by me, in a rather rushed run I did less than one month after the game's release. There's been a lot of new tricks discovered since then, like skipping the Sanctuary temple keys which was found just before I finished my run. Kim is also the first in the world (?) to skip the grapple beam, thanks to landing on a helpful drone in 'Grand Abyss'! Download his 1:43, 28 minutes faster than my old run, and see this less-appreciated metroid game get what was coming to it.

Friday, August 26, 2005 by Radix

Hell never looked so good

After a year, finally someone has done a run of Doom 3 and the near-constant posts on the forum saying "where's doom 3!" can cease. Did it take that long for computers to become powerful enough to record this beast at the same time as playing it? Or was it that it took that long for people to stop complaining about how dark the game is, and the inability to use the flashlight while shooting? Well, it doesn't really matter, since it is Joseph 'Apathy' Wilcox who finally did a run, playing on Marine skill and getting a time of 2:07:15. It's too bad the game doesn't have a timer like the original Doom, forcing me to time it manually, but it wasn't as bad as those KotOR runs I posted yesterday, which has a timer that unfairly includes the loading time!

Jonathan 'Brightstar' Fields has run another RPG in the Phantasy Star series, the game that started it: Phantasy Star. Originally released for the Sega Master System, it got released for the GBA in a collection, and that's what Jonathan played. Another manually timed game, it comes out to 5:40.

Thursday, August 25, 2005 by Radix

3956 years before the battle of Yavin

There are two speed runs of the PC game Star Wars - Knights of the Old Republic added today. One is by Jeff Richardson who went by 'Lord Revan', a name coming right from this game. The other is by Henrik 'MNeMiC' Larsson. What's the difference? Henrik's run is 3:14 and Jeff's run is 3:34, but Jeff's run is an "all dark" run where he only does evil choices and ends up with the dark-side ending. It's a little slower as a result. I'd write more but I feel like crap.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005 by Radix

Really Annoying Isolated Disaster

After Aleks Lukic did a run on the PAL version of Star Fox 64, Mike Damiani decided maybe he should try a more serious attempt too. He plays on normal, unlike Aleks who played on expert, but from what I can understand, there's not much difference between them for skilled players anyway. Mike's time turns out to be 0:27:29.

Andres 'Mad Andy' Montalbetti did a run of Star Wars Rouge Squadron III: Rebel Strike for GameCube. After a two-month process of finding out just what kind of run he did and finding a few people to say it was ok, I can finally post his run. It's done as Wedge with Special weapons/upgrades and gets a time of 0:28:03, which is the sum of the times for each of the eight stages he does.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 by Radix

Too old for school

Mike Uyama continues his quest to run the Metal Slug series, doing a hard mode run of Metal Slug 4 for PlayStation 2. Worst in the series you say? Who cares, Mike says! He did his run in 0:23:18.

Wayne 'soteos' Frank took a journey through Kirby's first 3D adventure, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards for ... do I have to say? He collects all the crystal shards for a 100% completion, does a Single-segment and gets a time of 1:30:39. There's one death late in the run which Wayne says "costs maybe about a minute". He ran out of time to try improving because school is starting up... I think he just needs better time management. :P Then again, so do I, and I haven't been in school for 3 years.

Sunday, August 21, 2005 by Radix

How to make a paper airplane

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door takes Mario's parallel universe 2-dimensional self on a journey to Rogueport, then off to seven lands to find Crystal Stars. It's quite a long game and I didn't think it'd go much below eight hours... James 'Brown Bomber' Bunkley proved me wrong though, using the 'Danger Mario' setup after chapter 6 to beat the remaining bosses very quickly and end up with a time of 7:11. If only the game let you skip cutscenes and long dialogs, it'd probably be an hour less. James's run contains a few minor mitakes, mostly from very long segments, and some things done for show (like stylish moves) that wasted a little bit of time and got on my nerves. Still, I'm not sure if there's 11+ minutes lost, so under 7 hours will be tough. If I had more time I'd try, but that is what I lack the most of these days. Oh, and let part 10/12 be a lesson to you on VHS recording. Don't use an old tape you've been recording TV shows on for a decade ... buy a new one!

Wesley 'Molotov' Corron did his second run of a Fire Emblem series game, doing the second game to see a U.S. release, The Sacred Stones for GBA. His run is in 25 segments, uses Ephraim's route and comes out to a time of 2:29:59. Given the original file names of his run, it's quite possible that I managed to rename them wrong and put something out of order. In fact I already did that and squashed one of the parts and had to reupload it.

Jose 'PiccoloCube' Karica sent in an improvement of an F-Zero X 64DD track, Fire Field 2. He got a time of 0:01:23.985, 1.123 seconds faster than the previous time by 'Max'. This looks like the craziest track in the bunch to me.

Thursday, August 18, 2005 by Radix

Anal-probe central

It's time to take a journey to the mysterious off-limits place that is talked about so much in science fiction and conspiracies: Area 51. OK, not really, it's just that Kevin 'Mitsukai' Shropshire did a speed run in six segments of the Xbox game named that... There's definitely aliens around, and if you look closely you might spot one in the title shot. Kevin's run comes out to a time of 2:15:56.

Aleks 'SuperCoolAl' Lukic has done a better run of Star Fox 64, finding a better path than the one Mike Damiani used in his "joke run". Aleks gets a run that's about two minutes faster, but it's actually better than that. Aleks plays on the handicapped PAL version, running the typical ~83% slower. If you try to convert the time, you end up that Aleks's run is about 7.5 minutes better than Mike's. But such conversions aren't reliable due to load times and such, so they're not done. Aleks's run is listed as 0:33:16 with _eu_ in it to let you know that it's PAL. Mike's run still gets removed* though, since it's definitely slower. Plus... Aleks's run is on expert mode!

Some runs of Max Payne 1/2:

* You did know that nothing is really "removed" right? You can get all the old runs at the archive.org speed_runs collection. But, instead of the pretty site layout here, you'll have to deal with their whacky search engine and /details/ pages they like to randomly break.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 by Radix

It's super effective!

Jose 'Lightweight' Crespo sent in an improved run of the GBA version of Yoshi's Island and got a time of 2:11:36. Although his run still contains some deaths, none of them are too bad and it is over eight minutes faster than Mychal's run. I'm sure this will see further improvements though.

David Kim did an 18-segment run of Pokémon Yellow for Game Boy, the third game in the series. He ended up with a time of 2:28 after beating up lots of pokés and leveling up the ones he captured. Since my only exposure to these crazy critters is SSBM, that's about all I can say.

The F-Zero X page has been updated with 12 new videos. They're of the tracks included with the 64DD expansion, which certainly very few people have played. The tracks look quite difficult to even stay on, so speeding through them is quite a feat.

Some miscellaneous smaller things:

Saturday, August 13, 2005 by Radix

Did I mention my rent went up?

Nate has just added eight new DVD offerings on the ordering page, go check them out! Some are recently posted runs and others are older runs that got recaptured by the uber VCR. Usually a run has to be under about an hour and 50 minutes to qualify for a DVD, but for "really good" runs on popular games, we can do a 2-disc run, and that's what we did for Peter Yeh's Majora's Mask. So if you don't feel like downloading the 6+ gigs to get High Quality, just fork over some dough instead. Other discs contain multiple runs.

And just in case you're getting paranoid, we never have any plans to make runs "pay only" - they'll always be downloadable for free. I just can't guarantee the download speeds. Never underestimate the bandwidth of a bunch of discs going through the postal service.

Friday, August 12, 2005 by Radix

See Rygar defeat Ligar

Marc J. 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski ran through the 1987 NES game known as Rygar, starring a guy named Rygar, and gets a time of 0:30:30. Quoth the verifier: "Some parts even shocked me."

If you were confused by the recent Morrowind 7.5 minute run, check out the page again as Vladimir sent in an updated list of "comments" that's more like a run script with a few explanations than real comments ... but it's better than before.

Also, it turns out the runs of Circle of the Moon were timed slightly wrong. The end point wasn't correct, it should've been about 12 seconds earlier. The SS run is really 2:16:35 and the Magician run is 0:41:14. I don't feel like bothering to rename the files right now though, but I'll change them eventually.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005 by Radix

Transformations galore

Peter 'pyh189' Yeh did a much-improved run of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask in 18 segments. His run of 3:37 is 36 minutes faster than Mike Damiani's run from May. Epona is now skipped completely, but sight of her is still seen since he fights off the ghosts in the ranch for a third bottle.

Vladimir 'Knu' Semenov took Morrowind to a staggeringly low time now. Many people were impressed with Ryan Bennitt's Single-segment 0:14:26 run, so I'm sure you can appreciate how fast 0:07:30 is then. This run is in five segments because of some difficult fighting. The best part of the run (and about the only part I understood) was when he sells some stuff to a shop keeper, then clugs him over the head and steals it all back!

Wayne 'soteos' Frank came through on his word to do a run of Castlevania Circle of the Moon 'out of the box'; that is, the settings you have when you first play a game. I was surprised he did it as a Single-segment, especially given the random drops and very hard bosses in the game. He ends up spending some minutes mining for drops, but he warns you about them in the comments. The final time of his run is 2:16:35, which doesn't count a pause at 1:44:42 where he switched tapes. The server this was put on at archive.org seems to be having some issues, so you might have trouble downloading ... just try later.

Joseph '3nki' Hernandez sent in his first run recently, and it was an improvement to the existing run of Fable. Joseph's time is 1:51 in a Single-segment run, compared to 2:16 in 2 segments from Christian Haralter. Sounds like a good improvement to me. The verifier had this to say: "It's actually very good i probably couldn't [have] done better myself".

This update doesn't include a few other things that are ready or nearly-ready. And a bunch of other runs that were approaching the 'needs uploaded' phase will have to wait at least a week longer now ... thanks a fucking lot Verizon.

Sunday, August 7, 2005 by Radix

Moving day woes

In case you're wondering what broke my 10 updates in 9 days streak, and why there's still four things in "Ready for update" after I post this short update, it's because I've been moving apartments in the last couple days. Saturday was the day to move the big stuff with help from my brother but I'm still writing this from the old apartment, laying on a towel & pillow on the floor, hurting my neck to look at my computer on the floor. Why? Because Verizon is stupid and can't figure out how to move someone's phone line correctly. I called them last Monday to do the moving and they said they'd have the new one on on Friday and the old one off on Sunday. I woke up Wednesday to a dead phone line; the idiots shut it off three days early and I had to call and complain at work to get it back on. Of course, then I started to move things and forgot to check the line at the new place until Friday evening, and they can't tell what's wrong without sending someone, on freaking Monday afternoon. I seriously doubt I will update tomorrow and you should feel happy you're getting this at all to let you know what's going on!

Cameron 'Zianchu' Marcotte did a Single-segment run of Mega Man X5 in less than half the time of Chris Kirk's run. But Chris's run remains up as a different category: Chris did all eight maverick stages, where Cameron only does one and then "gets lucky" with the weapon shooting the colony to go straight to the Sigma stages. I'm sure there were lots of resets involved. The result is a time of 0:16:00. The run is almost 30 minutes of watching material though; the timer doesn't include a bunch of stuff.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 by Radix

Hot male strippers!

It's time for the site's first (non-Quake) speed run performed by two guys... a run of Chip 'n Dale. Yeah, just the NES game called Rescue Rangers, unfortunately no strippers are involved. The run was done by Magnus 'KennyMan666', from two updates before, and his friend Johan 'Cloud' Sturesson and they got a time of 0:14:00. This and the recent Duck Tales run make me yearn to download the cartoons of both from 15 years ago, since I watched them and it makes me want to rewatch a few. (Un)fortunately, I don't have enough disk space to even consider it. Maybe I should just go the legal route and buy them on DVD through the ad that you'll probably see on the page, which Nate pointed out to me right before the update. :P

Drew 'stx-Vile' DeVore has finished up his runs of Serious Sam: The Second Encounter on Serious difficulty. The total time of all 12 levels is 1:03:31, but this is individual level runs, not a continuous game run, just so you're not confused. I believe Drew (and his fans) are eagerly awaiting the release of Serious Sam II, the third game of the series, to see what will happen with it.

Scott Kessler kept dreaming with Mario and working on Mario 2 because he knew that his last run could still be improved... but I can't quite believe that it went as low as 0:09:42, 43 seconds faster than his previous run. It's a shame that his near-perfect Wart fight was spoiled by a vegetable popping up underneath Luigi and pushing him up. Hopefully we'll see a full-game run of this soon, right Tommy? :)

I've updated the submit page to clarify (again) how to contact me when submitting a run. I'm not eyeing anyone in particular, because there's been so many incidents like this... but it's really annoying getting a message on AIM like "I did a run on game X" and then I have to ask "in what?" before I find out the time, and other info like segmented or SS. You should be telling me this stuff right away. Sorry if I seem rude, but it should be obvious I've gotten very busy and I have less time for trying to pull information out of people.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005 by Radix

Sorceress beats Assassin

When Alan 'Siyko' Burnett heard about a run of Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction, he thought surely it was with the Sorceress class... but he was wrong, because David Gibbons's run was as an Assassin. So, Alan set out to do his own run as a Sorceress after making a list of pros and cons. The end result was a 13 segment run in 1:53:44, about four and a half minutes faster than the Assassin run. Diablo fans rejoice!

Adam 'Psyrell' Van't Hul got a little advice about his Richter run of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. With a few big route changes, the time was cut by two and a half minutes to get 0:07:14. Who would've thought that the dagger's item crash would come in useful?

Monday, August 1, 2005 by Radix

One more crazy Swede

Magnus von Goës Karlström, better known as 'KennyMan666' sent in some runs recently. First up is a run on a NES game you've probably never heard of, Ufouria, which was only released in Japan and Europe. The game looks interesting enough, it's a standard "find stuff in the world" type of game, so having a good route is essential for doing a 0:41:40 run. Next is a run on Yoshi's Story for Nintendo 64. Not much I can say about this game except that the time of his run is 0:23:01.

That's eight updates in the last week... I knew summer would be bad, but this is insane.

Sunday, July 31, 2005 by Radix

Seven years in under five hours

Mike 'TSA' Damiani has probably said a few things he regrets. Like "I am done with speed running Ocarina of Time" when he got the 5:04 time last year. But he did leave a loophole in the same comments with "Unless a major breakthrough by somebody is made, which I doubt will happen, this is the fastest single segment run I can do". If you complained about all the rolling present in the previous run, you can be glad to hear that there's a lot less in his new run, it is instead replaced with walking backwards! I'm not sure if that is classified as a "major breakthrough" but it's probably the biggest time saver off his previous run. The new run's time is 4:57, about seven and a half minutes faster. Again he says "I should retire now" in his comments... should we believe him this time?

If you find the download speeds from *.us.archive.org slow lately, sorry but there's nothing I can do about getting the new stuff to *.eu.archive.org, as they managed to run out of space there. However in this case, since it's the end of the month and Nate and I have some bandwidth to kill, you can get the normal quality of this run much faster if you have BitTorrent. Just use the torrent link provided, it should go very fast!

Saturday, July 30, 2005 by Radix

Two times two oh two

Adnan Kauser sent in a Single-segment run of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, on the same settings as his segmented run. He plays on European Extreme difficulty and gets a Fox Hound rank, and ends up with a time of 2:02:17. That's about 25 minutes slower than the segmented run, a large portion of which comes from actually having to fight "The End" boss instead of using the 'old age death' clock-advancing trick that's only possible in a segmented run. I hope you like long file names.

Philippe 'Wak' Brisson improved on his previous 100% run of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. He was a lot luckier with the random heart pieces than his previous 2:07:45 run and along with some route changes, he came up with a 2:02:34. This run has the backwards sound problem of his previous, which had the left channel on both channels. This time it's the right channel on both channels. So, for things that occur on the left side of rooms, you'll only hear the effects really quiet. Better check those cables Philippe...

Friday, July 29, 2005 by Radix

Detrás de ti, imbécil

Tim Bright sent in his first run, and it's an improvement on Resident Evil 4. He improved Lee Valencia's Single-segment special weapons run by almost eight minutes and got a time of 1:59:07. This is only 14 seconds slower than the segmented run! It's also the first specials run that didn't include a sniper rifle, instead freeing Ashley from the wall braces with the rocket launcher ... can you say dangerous?

Steven 'Bartz' Brooks sent in runs on two more Genesis games, increasing the number on the list to six. Since the only Genesis game I ever played was Sonic, there's not much that I can comment on his Quackshot in 0:32:00 and Adventures of Batman & Robin in 0:56:23 except ... cool? Thanks to Mr. Uyama for timing these for me. :P

Thursday, July 28, 2005 by Radix

Bond-age action

Ben 'Cygnus' Goldberg has sent in his second speed run, this time on the GameCube version of James Bond 007 in Agent Under Fire. Hopefully there are no differences in the ports of this game, which times every mission. Ben's Single-segment run on Operative, the easiest skill, gets a time of 0:40:40 when you add up all the mission times.

Tomi Salo decided to improve one of Daniel Lee's recent NYM runs of Max Payne. He did pro1, the first level, in 0:00:15, one second faster. It turns out I was wrong in my rambling about "they might not actually be faster"; that's only in Max Payne 2. In the first game, the timer counts down from 1 minute and if it reaches 0 you lose, so you kill people to add 8 seconds to the clock. The times for NYM (given at the start of the next level) are the difference between the final time displayed and the original 1 minute, plus all the time you were given for kills... so the time for kills is only to avoid reaching zero; it doesn't decrease your time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 by Radix

Philippe Henry's personal update

Philippe 'Suzaku' Henry recently sent a tape with eight short runs on it. First there was six individual level runs of Metal Slug X for PlayStation on "Pin Point" mode. The times range from 0:01:17.66 up to 0:03:37.97 and the total is 0:14:20.50.

Next were two runs on Mega Man games that were arcade games released in 1995-96, The Power Battle and The Power Fighters, which were both included in Mega Man Anniversary Collection released last year. In Power Battle, he plays the 'Mega Man 1-2' stages which feature several classic robot masters from those games, and he gets a time of 0:02:19.40. In Power Fighters, he does the 'Rescue Roll' scenario and gets a time of 0:03:50.43. The character used in both runs is Protoman.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 by Radix

Some records go down quick...

It took a long time before someone sent in a Mario 2 run, but then Tommy's run spawned some competition between a few players and Scott 'sdkess' Kessler came up with a 0:10:25 run just two days after I posted Tommy's run. Scott's time is 30 seconds faster than Tommy's. The main speed up comes from using Luigi in a few levels: his long & high jumps certainly come in useful in 6-2 for example.

Martell 'VecGun' Cheeks sent in his first speed run for the Genesis game Vectorman. It was delayed for a while when I waited for his comments... keep that in mind. When you send a run, think about comments and get them to me as soon as you can! Then when I post your 0:19:58 run you won't already be posting on the forum that you've improved it ...

Saturday, July 23, 2005 by Radix

This way!!

It's been three and a half months since I added the 100th game to the list as Resident Evil 0 with a run I wasn't too proud of. The list is up to 142 games now and at least a dozen more new ones are in the huge queue. I finally managed to improve my run earlier this month. I could've had it online two weeks ago, but the quality would've been the usual crap my card produces. So, I mailed the tape to Nate and waited like everyone else. A few VHS problems came up, but it's still better than if I had captured it. The time came out to be an impressive 1:45:40, over 14 minutes faster than my previous run. The run is in 7 segments this time instead of 2. I still want to do a Single-segment run eventually.

Philippe 'Wak' Brisson made an improvement of level 5-3 from Yoshi's Island, "Danger - Icy Conditions Ahead". His time is 0:03:02, eight seconds faster than David's time from last year.

Thursday, July 21, 2005 by Radix

Can anyone program a reliable timer?

A few weeks ago I posted the first Super Mario Bros. 2 run, but because it was on the All-Stars version, nobody seemed to care. Tommy 'tmont' Montgomery has stepped in to do one on the original though, and got a time of 0:10:55. Unlike the all-stars run, this run focuses on using mushroom boy, Toad.

Jonathan 'Brightstar' Fields did a run of .hack//Infection Part 1, the first in a series of RPGs for PlayStation 2. The game has a timer on the saves and it updates it when you're done, I'm told for continuing into the 2nd game. The time at the end is 3:15:17, which is actually one minute _longer_ than the total video length of all 14 segments. I guess the game counts a little fast. Actually I just realized it's more likely to be a victim of a VCR playing back slightly faster than it was recorded... but I don't know if the run was even on tape.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 by Radix

Magic is the path to satanism

Wayne 'soteos' Frank did a run for the first GBA Castlevania game, Circle of the Moon. He did his run on 'Magician mode'. I do prefer that people do "out of the box" runs first, but several people on IRC convinced me that Magician mode is something different enough and not super-easy that it's OK to post it first... plus Wayne swears he'll do a normal run, so I'm holding him to it! His time was 0:41:14, which is real-time, not the game's timer. I've used it as an example before, but I don't like requiring people to pause a game to see a timer after beating a final boss... it's too unreliable. Of course, Wayne did that anyway but I'm not telling you what the game said for the time because I'm ignoring it.

Daniel 'Shido' Lee sent in a new batch of recordings for Max Payne in New York Minute mode. He improves every level to sometimes less than half of the previous times from Ben Fichter. This is the same "kill enemies to reduce time" thing as Max Payne 2's NYM, so the videos themselves aren't actually that much shorter than Ben's. For easy downloading, use the FTP link at the bottom of the MP page, sort files by date, and grab all the recent ones.

Michael 'saxman52' Metcalf did a run of Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza for PC. I know a game must be unpopular if there's zero topics at the message board for it at GameFAQs, but I was still able to find a willing verifier. It was just me taking four weeks to get around to timing Michael's run to 0:48:08 that delayed the posting.

Nate has been hard at work recapturing some old runs with the uber VCR. An example is Pikmin which was sent to me when it was done, but my capture card just isn't very good so I forwarded the tape. This and other runs will also be listed on the DVD page soon, so check back.

Sunday, July 17, 2005 by Radix

Options aren't always good

Mychal 'trihex' Jefferson made a few mistakes when he recorded his Single-segment run of Yoshi's Island. First, he played on the GBA version ... ok so that isn't a mistake, but man this is another example of a port gone bad. Some of the sound and music is horribly butchered, especially Yoshi fluttering. Of course, the port also contains a few unnecessary changes that affect speed, so runs on GBA have to be tracked separately from Super Nintendo.

The second mistake was Mychal's Game Boy Player settings. I've had this in the FAQ for months but some people just don't read it I guess. Do NOT set your GBP to "full" ... I hate Nintendo for even giving you the option! All it does is stretch and blur everything upwards to try to fill your TV. GBA is 160 lines, that's what it should be on a TV too! The filter should also be 'sharp' and stick with the black border to prevent it bleeding into the edges of the picture. Finally, playing with the GBP settings during idle time when you do a run does not make you cool. To sum up: it should look like the video was produced by a GBA that has a video out.

The third mistake was that he got a time of 2:19:49 instead of 2:14 because of a death in Tap-Tap The Red Nose's Fort. Do yourself a favor: when you get to 1:51:00 in the video just press a "skip 5 minutes" button in your media player of choice. Although it's closer to 4 minutes of 55 seconds but you get the idea. It made the run borderline-unpostable but the rest is really good ... he takes a few chances to save fractions of a second and sometimes it doesn't turn out so good though.

Mychal also did two individual level 100% runs. I've had a table of those up for the SNES version for quite some time - one of the levels is even by me. When it comes to the GBA version, it seems that some levels can be fairly compared for I.L. runs but others can't. Mychal did 1-1 in 0:01:16 and 1-2 in 0:01:18, both of which are 11 seconds faster than the previous runs by David Gibbons.

One more time: DO NOT SET YOUR GBP TO FULL!

Saturday, July 16, 2005 by Radix

I wish things would go right for once

Stefan van Dijke improved his run of Metroid Prime - PAL version, Single-segment. His new time is 1:23, 2 minutes faster than his previous run. About the only major improvement left in this run is to do the "Thardus jump" which is very high-risk and near the end. I flipped the order of 'eu' and 'SS' in the filename by accident but I think it's better this way ... but you don't care.

Anyway, this should have been in the last update but archive decided I was keeping files on the upload server too long and moved them so that it looked like they disappeared. After some emails exchanged they reappeared, but then the md5 checksum for the High Quality didn't match so I have to upload it again. I figured I'd update now with just the normal available since the download speeds lately are so slow, probably very few of you stick out the HQ anyway. (Available now)

Friday, July 15, 2005 by Radix

There should've been more in this update

Mike Uyama did the first run for Metal Slug, the first of the six game series. He played on 'mvs' difficulty, the highest one, and got a time of 0:16:47. If you become as confused as I was over the 'mission select' screen at the start, that's a way to start the game at any stage once you've beaten it, so to be a complete speed run he obviously just leaves it on the first one.

I received a new video for the Silence 2 track of F-Zero X. It's a time of 0:01:05.656 by 'muumu' and is 0.253 seconds faster than the previous one. ... OK so that was bad for 8 hours after this update was posted because I forgot to type "bin" into ftp (damn you microsoft) but now it's fine.

Monday, July 11, 2005 by Radix

Exploding computers

We had some nasty downtime from 10:45-18:30 yesterday (CET) due to unexplained hardware failure at the server ... my theory is that the CPU melted. At least no data loss, pfew!

Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk has improved his 100% run of Mega Man X8 for PlayStation 2. The new time of 2:36 is 26 minutes faster than his previous run. A couple of segments less, and no pauses that I had to subtract out this time! After he was done with that, he decided to do an inaugural run of Mega Man X5 for PlayStation, which has been described to me as "suck suck suck"... Of course, it doesn't seem that bad to me when I watched it, except for this Alia that doesn't shut the hell up. I've also been told that you can skip the standard 8 Maverick stages through some method I don't understand, but Chris beats all eight so his run is marked as "all 8 bosses beaten", like runs for NES Metroid. Chris's time is 0:34:24 but since the game only counts actual game play (apparently), the video length is about twice that.

David 'marshmallow' Gibbons went back and did the first Diablo after his successful run of the 2nd game and its expansion. After some harassment to make 320x240 versions and a list of loading screens, I finally timed his run out to 0:53:13.

Thursday, July 7, 2005 by Radix

You have defiled the altar!

Recently, Connor Fitzgerald was working hard on improving the marathon record through the entirety of the best PC game ever made, the one and only Quake! What the heck is a marathon? Well it's what the Quake-players call a Single-segment run ... which actually came first, so it'd be proper to say that Single-segment is what everyone else calls a marathon. Anyway, since lots of you out there no-doubt played Quake, but perhaps you were foolish enough to uninstall it, you can't play the game recordings of these runs, so we've made an avi version of Connor's new 0:13:46 time. It's available in both 640x480 and 320x240 versions to look the way Quake is supposed to look... 95% brown! Or if you're a color freak, you can get the "Eye Candy" version in large and small as well. For Connor's comments, go here, although if you're not a die-hard Quake player, you probably won't understand them. :-p Eventually I plan to have a Quake.html that lists the whole game records and link to quake/ the section for "full coverage".

Remember when Nate did the unthinkable to capture Adam Sweeney's runs? Well the uber VCR has brought back both runs from the depths of poor quality and into superb quality. So check out his Solstice 100% and Zombies Ate My Neighbors "10 victims saved" run again if you hated the quality before ... or for the first time!

Wednesday, July 6, 2005 by Radix

32 car explosions later

Tim 'twoton' Symanczyk has improved the run of Grand Theft Auto III for PS2. His time is 1:43:40, a little over 2 minutes faster than the previous run by Andy Nelson with one extra segment. This is turning out to be a very popular game to speed through.

Mike 'TSA' Damiani took back one of the Zelda records he lost, spending just about one month trying A Link to the Past. He achieved his sub-1:40 goal with a 1:39:47 run. Definitely a lot of little shortcuts that add up to significant savings, like skipping the mirror shield and the blue & red armors. The lack of protection makes the Ganon fight a little slower from being cautious but it's certainly worth it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005 by Radix

Uberized Mega Man

Jared 'Ifrit' Nicholson did a run of the PlayStation game, Mega Man Legends, which propelled the story 3 millennia forward into a 3D world. I think it was also the first Mega Man game to include a timer, making my job easier since I had only had to look at the end to see Jared got a time of 1:08:25 and there's no disputing that. Unlike say, Mega Man 2 where Richard Ureta did a run last year, sent it to me, and my capture card barfed on it. After a few months, I sent it to Nate... and his VCR barfed on it. So finally, with his 'uber' VCR, we tried again, and the results are much better. No more ~5 seconds of lost footage or completely disappearing Mega Man. But this recapture does reveal the inaccuracy of manually timing games like this. The run times to three seconds faster on Nate's capture than on mine. I'm leaving the time the same though, I'm just mentioning it as an example for why I need a run that's "significantly" better than a previous run, which obviously depends on the length.

Freddy Andersson did a run of Duck Tales for NES, on the usual 5/6th speed PAL version. He finished in a time of 0:10:21 on difficult mode. Before you click to relive this 16 year old game, I'm afraid I have to warn about the quality of this one. The backgrounds tend to flash from color to black and white one or two times a second. The run is still watchable I think, but don't watch it while you're on drugs or something.

As usual, Nate updated the DVD page with the latest runs and some older ones too... such as the Mega Man 2 run with several other NES games thrown in.

Thursday, June 30, 2005 by Radix

Metal Gear Assault

Have you watched the 1:01:32 Mario 64 run from the last update yet? If not... why are you reading this news update? Go read the one before it!

Kevin Brisebois sent in an improved run of Star Fox Assault for GameCube. The run is the same mode as the previous, Bronze Survival, and gets a time of 0:45:43, a little more than nine minutes faster than the first run from Jonathon Fields. His comments says it was his first run, but it actually isn't... he sent an SFA run in once before, but the quality was just awful because of a bad tape and Super Lousy Play, so we didn't post it. Thankfully he was willing to try again, and he got even faster!

Did you ever watch the run that's been up for some months on Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater? Noticed how it was black & white? Hated us for it? Well now, thanks to Adnan Kauser, we have the usual color run! He ran the game on European Extreme difficulty, which I guess is slightly more difficult than just "Extreme" that the previous run was on. Adnan also gets Fox Hound rank... which, not being an MGS player, I'm not sure what that entails. He ended up with a time of 1:37:22 in a 7 segment run, also a little over 9 minutes faster than that previous run by Andreas Hörnell. This run has a minor quality problem too, every couple of seconds there's a brief flash of some white lines. Might be a little distracting, but at least it's in color.

Matt 'jaeger369' Trent did some runs in Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance for PS2. This re-release of MGS2 added a bunch of extra mini-games, which is what will be tracked on that page. Matt did the five "Snake Tales" missions and got a total time of 1:09:13. Unfortunately he didn't ever record the main title screen, so I don't have a screenshot for the Substance game. If anyone can provide one, I'd appreciate it!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 by Radix

Mario 64 gets beaten very fast

Eddie 'kirbykarter' Taylor sent in an improved run for Super Mario 64, using the shortcut-crazy 16-star completion. The result is the first (?) ever completion of the game in under twenty minutes! Or more precisely: 0:19:47. There's some visible tracking lines at some points of the run because of the recording speed used, but nothing that makes it unwatchable.

Meanwhile, Jacob 'LeCoureur103' Cannon was working on the traditional run of the game: collecting the intended 70 stars to finish the game normally. Although a lot of people will doubtless look at his time of 1:01:32 and say "why didn't he go for under an hour!", I assure you that when you watch the run, you'll be very impressed with the time! The whole "just under a mark" thing is a psychological effect around what we happen to have as our units of time anyway... of course I realize I just advertised the 16-star run as "under 20 minutes" :P Meh, what do I know huh? Get both the runs, and be prepared to see things you never thought possible. Oh yeah, this is 0:11:11 faster than the previous run from David Gibbons. You can buy this pair of runs on DVD.

I received one more mini-vid of Mario 64 for Rematch with Koopa the Quick. The fastest vid uses a shell, and the other uses a bounce of a "flyguy". This third vid uses neither for a slower time of 0:00:15.6 by Curtis Bright, but it's pretty much the intended route so that's an all right addition. Plus it makes three categories for all three timed events in the game. I still haven't added these items to a page at archive.org, and I won't make you download the zip of all vids again to get this one, so you can get it here until I do.

One update on Mario Kart 64: Eric Habrich improved his Choco Mountain full race time by 0.23 seconds to get 0:01:36.68. Don't try to download it from Europe...

Monday, June 27, 2005 by Radix

A fourth of the queue

Brandon '19Duke84' Armstrong sent in the first "low%" run for a Resident Evil series game, and he did it on the original Resident Evil for PlayStation. So what makes a low% of RE? Using the knife as your only weapon! Lots of sneaking around zombies results, and stabbing Tyrant to death with a small AI exploit. Brandon got an impressive time of 1:09:17.

Travis 'Sigma' Lee submitted the first run of Super Mario Bros. 2, but he did the Super Nintendo version in Mario All-Stars. More than just graphical updates, Nintendo couldn't stop themselves from changing a bit of the physics in these remakes as well, so the All-Stars page will track all of mario 1-3 separately from the NES games, and of course, The Lost Levels. Travis's run gets a time of 0:12:34 using Peach in every level.

Marc J. 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski finally sent in two runs that he did over six months ago. First is a run of the NES game Battletoads. It's one of those games I rented and couldn't beat without using my game genie to use multiple cheats like going directly to the last level, because I couldn't do that unicycle level. Marc finishes the entire game in a time of 0:25:59. Although some portions of the game are fixed-speed because of the auto scroll, it's definitely a worthy game to run just because of how fricken hard it is!

Marc's other run is on Zelda II: The Adventure of Link for NES. He uses a completed file to start with level 8 attack/magic/health and all spells/techniques already, making it a "New Game +" type of run that some RPGs have. The result is a run that takes only 0:46:54, over 25 minutes faster than the normal game completion. Seeing all the death-abuse to refill magic in this run makes me want to have a "no death" category, but nobody even wants to do a "no Up+A" category either so who'd do that?

Wesley 'Molotov' Corron finally did a normal run of Devil May Cry for PlayStation 2. There was a bit of a fuss about the first run he did, since it used the "cheat" character Super Dante. At the time I wasn't strict about posting "out of the box" runs as the first thing on a game, which is why I didn't have a problem posting the SD run. Anyway, the new run is as plain-old-Dante on normal skill and in 3 segments, and gets a time of 0:58:27.

If you're looking for the High Quality (huge) download of the RE Knife, or Mario 2 run, then check back tomorrow or later. The md5 check didn't match for the files, so apparently they're bad. The links will appear when they're available. You can get the RE Knife run on DVD right now, and the rest of the stuff (except DMC) will be available soon. It took me about four hours to do this update ...

Saturday, June 25, 2005 by Radix

Chaos

I'm back from my little vacation, and the life-changing fork-in-the-road decision has been delayed a bit... not that anyone cares! I have 18 runs in the queue that need timed, verified and other stuff so there should be lots of things going up very soon. Sit tight and download older runs while you wait...

Sunday, June 19, 2005 by Radix

These aren't the Mario 64 runs you're looking for

Ilari Pekkala sent in an improved 16-star completion of the PAL version of Super Mario 64. His time is 0:23:11, 1 minute faster than the previous run by Stefan van Dijke. He made a mistake when capturing it though... I'm sure most people won't care, but he captured in NTSC format instead of PAL! A technical lesson: NTSC is 29.97 fps while PAL is 25 fps. NTSC is 320x240 while PAL is 352x288 (or twice that). So, if you capture PAL in NTSC format, you end up with a slightly squashed picture and ~5 duplicate/dropped frames per second. Now obviously I didn't reject the run because of this mix up, since it's still quite watchable... but I do like to make fun of people who make slip ups. :-p

On the Mario 64 page you'll also find a list of 8 mini-game runs: three with the Princess's Secret Slide, three with Footrace with Koopa the Quick, and two with Rematch with Koopa the Quick. It took me almost a month to convert these to DivX from the crappy format they were in. I'm sure the quality suffers a bit, but some of them weren't that great in the first place... but, for stuff so short, it's good enough. For now, you'll have to download all eight in a zip file if you want them. Sure, I can hear you saying "why can't you do a zip for all runs!". Well, that takes up too much space!

As for the Mario 64 run that you ARE looking for... Nate received his new VCR today (yes, on a Sunday...) and has started capturing the pile that built up. However, to be fair, we're proceeding in the order that they arrived. Also, I will be out of town from Tuesday evening until Saturday afternoon. So, it'll be at least a week.

Friday, June 17, 2005 by Radix

Six days until I reach the fork

Mark 'Allantois' Freyenberger got a few tips to improve his recent run of American McGee's Alice and sped through the game again as a result. His new run clocks out to 0:54:55, 7 minutes and 53 seconds faster than the last one.

Meanwhile, David 'marshmallow' Gibbons was doing a run of the super-popular PC game Diablo II. He even includes the expansion pack 5th episode, Lord of Destruction. His run is on normal skill, so he creates a new player of class assassin and gets running. The total time, after 10 segments, is 1:58:22.

I received a bunch of videos of the Nintendo 64 racing game F-Zero X from someone who I forgot to ask his name. The vids are time attack mode runs (drives) through all 24 tracks, from three people. One of whom is Japanese and goes by 'muumu', but I also put up his name in Japanese, which you'll probably just see as three squares. This game tracks times to thousandths of a second, but if anyone ever sends me a vid that's 0.00X seconds faster, I'll shoot them.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005 by Radix

Take one down, pass it around

David 'LLCoolDave' Spickermann decided to improve his run of the Star Wars PC game "Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast". The new run is in 1:06:10 using 36 segments. That's about 23 minutes faster than his previous run, though I can't say exactly because I timed it a little differently when it came to mid-level saves. Maybe that's why his new run is also 18 segments less than the previous one. Even though I haven't seen Episode 3, I'll bet this speed run is more exciting, at least for certain parts.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005 by Radix

Sneak your way to speed

Adnan Kauser continues his Metal Gear Solid dominance, with a run of the first game of the series: Metal Gear Solid for PlayStation. Adnan's run is again on the hardest difficulty, Extreme, in 6 segments and he got a time of 2:14:27. The file has _eu_Extreme_ in it, which shouldn't be confused with _EuExtreme_ that was in his mgs2 run. In mgs2 there was an extra "European Extreme" difficulty added to the EU version. In the original though, there's just "Extreme", but the EU version suffers from typical NTSC->PAL conversion laziness. He included an mgs3 run when he mailed this run, but since he had already improved it, he told us not to capture that one. I'm sure the new one will arrive soon. PAL tapes don't have to wait for Nate's uber replacement, which hopefully shouldn't be much longer!

Friday, June 10, 2005 by Radix

Another Prime SS and Uyama's revenge

Mike Uyama's 2nd Genesis speed run (I already posted the 3rd...) was on the game Revenge of Shinobi, the second game of the series. He played on the "hardest" difficulty and got a time of 0:15:09. I don't believe I ever saw a game that had a final boss who wielded their hair as the weapon of choice before.

For the 12th run category listed on the Metroid Prime page, we have a Single-segment run on the PAL version. On the Metroid 2002 forums there has been a thread discussing such a run for some time, ever since 'Spazmo' announced a 1:30. I told him though that he should aim for a little lower, since the time of the segmented PAL run is 1:11, and that would be a 19 minute difference instead of the 9 minute difference that NTSC has (1:04 vs 1:13). So... he tried some more, but also got some competition. Stefan van Dijke got a time of 1:25 which is quite good. Unlike the very difficult 22% SS, there's no 8-minute stalls, only a few 20-30 second mistakes. I'm sure Stefan and Spazmo will both keep trying for lower...

Wesley 'Molotov' Corron tried running another game which he wasn't sure he'd get under my 7-hour limit ... and again got it way under. The game in question is Fire Emblem for Game Boy Advance, the first game of the series to leave Japan. Wesley made use of the "Mine trick", which is basically an abuse of a bug in the game's auto save system, in order to get a time of 3:18:22 using the character Eliwood.

Drew 'stx-Vile' DeVore improved one of his level runs of Serious Sam: The First Encounter. A trick that he was informed of results in skipping the end battle of level 7, and a time of 0:48, 1:55 faster than the previous one, bringing the total to 0:53:50.

Sunday, June 5, 2005 by Radix

The Metroid run nobody thought would happen

It's been 7 months since Robert Nobles finished his 22% speed run of Metroid Prime, and there's been no other attempts at a low% run of the game since... until last week. Some people had talked about the sillyness of a Single-segment 22% run before, but no one had actually tried it (I think), until Shawn Jones, aka smilingjack13, decided to give it a shot. In one of his earliest attempts he made it all the way to Ridley and died... ouch! He kept trying, and in less than a week managed to complete a run in the not-too-shabby time of 1:41. The nasty room known as vent shaft delayed progress by nearly 8 minutes, but geo core, long thought to be the worst part of a 22%, fell much sooner. In a few rooms he goes the safe route and kills everything, but other than that there's not much slow down because of health worries. Definite congratulations to Shawn! Now we just need the same category done for Super Metroid and Metroid 2; who's up for it? ;-)

Even though in the last update I mentioned forgetting something in previous updates, I managed to forget something in that update. I must be getting old. Drew 'stx-Vile' DeVore sent in a new episode 3 run of Doom on Nightmare skill. His time is 0:04:10, 8 seconds faster than the 4.5 year old run from Adam Hegyi.

Saturday, June 4, 2005 by Radix

The long and the short

The honor for the new record of "longest run posted to SDA" goes to Andy 'NTG' Nelson for his run of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for PlayStation 2. His 37-segment run clocks in at 7 hours and 46 minutes on the game's clock... certainly over my suggested 7 hour limit. But this is quite a popular game and several people expressed interest in seeing a run, so enjoy the 8.5+ hours of video.

For something much shorter, how about a Break the targets video from SSBM? 'Doraki' sent in an 0.08s improvement over his previous Fox video, achieving a time of 0:00:07.03. I kept forgetting to include this in the previous few updates because it's so short!

For something in the middle, how about a new run of the second Genesis game to be added to SDA by Mike Uyama? He did a run of Gunstar Heroes on expert difficulty in 0:41:15. Nate had this to say about the run: "if you know gunstar heroes, you want to watch this run. if you don't know gunstar heroes, you want to watch this run."

Friday, June 3, 2005 by Radix

Chapters from a self-help booklet

After it was discovered that the previous run had a small missing section, Peter Tiernan decided to rush through a new speed run of Final Fantasy 6. The result is a new run that abuses saving even more, in order to always get the desired battle in eg, the dinosaur forest. The run is in 32 segments vs 23 for the first one, and the time is 11 minutes faster at 5:26. If you watched the previous run and think there's no point in checking a new one for a relatively small difference, I'd recommend at least getting part 2 to see him skip Shadow in Sabin's scenario, part 11-12 to see his changed dinosaur forest strategy, and of course the final part, because who doesn't like that music?

Thursday, June 2, 2005 by Radix

My voice has been stolen!

Here's the promised missing Damien Moody speed run: a run of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for GBA. This is a game that I never thought could be done under 10 hours, though I never actually tried to beat the game without getting into every single encounter on the way, so of course I got high times. Damien avoided all the unnecessary battles, except a few, and also performed the incredible feat of avoiding all damage. Because of the way you can dodge attacks in the game, it's possible to never get hit, and that's what he does in his 55-segment 4:26 run. I've changed the downloading method so that all parts are listed on one demo.pl page now: this should make downloading things easier. I also provide a link to the ftp for even easier automated downloads. Eventually I'll change all the previous multi-part downloads to the new system.

Mike 'TSA' Damiani has returned to his Zelda roots and finished his speed run of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask for Nintendo 64. This run is in 15 parts and gets a time of 4:13. Here you'll need to click on the quality you want to expand the parts selection, or just use the FTP link.

The previous posted MM run was a "6 day challenge" video by 'Dragorn' which will remain up as a separate category, as explained on the MM page. Mike's run includes a few bomb-jumps and also uses "future knowledge". He kept playing at the end of segment 1 to learn the bombers' code, then turned it off to return to the auto-save on entering Termina. Then in segment 2, he doesn't have to find all the bombers to learn the code. Yes, I do allow this, since theoretically you could just be trying segment 2 over and over until you guess the code right; there's only 120 choices.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 by Radix

Dragon-Castlevania mania

Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody recently flooded Nate with one of his customary large piles of tapes. After Nate recovered from spraining his back picking up the package and the excitement of his uber vcr being delivered, he got capturing. The runs were on Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow for Game Boy Advance and Castlevania: Lament of Innocence for PlayStation 2 and are all Single-segment. Well, four of the runs are Boss Rush modes, and you can't even save in those but it still means that they're all easily downloaded to everyone out there who complains about downloading multi-part runs. Yes I'm working on a better solution for those, but for now, on to this list of runs, all of which you could also buy on DVD! Of course, when Nate went to capture the next run, the uber vcr proceeded to die. I wouldn't be surprised at $50 vcrs falling apart after 2 days but seeing a $400 one do it made us just a little ticked off. Of course, it was mailed back for a replacement which will hopefully last longer. There's another run of DD's from his batch, which Nate captured before all the others, but the files all vanished from archive's upload server. Supposedly they were moved, not deleted, but it should be in the next update no matter what.

Sunday, May 29, 2005 by Radix

Even more guns

Rounding up this organized crime themed weekend, Tim 'Exinex' Juliar did some runs of the PC game Hitman: Contracts. The runs are individual levels for all 12 levels on professional skill, available in both 320x240 and 512x384 flavors. The total time of everything added up is 0:38:23.

Saturday, May 28, 2005 by Radix

An offer you can't refuse

Stefan 'xeen' Breunig did a speed run of the PC game Mafia, taking you on a flashback story of a 1930s mobster. The run was in 93 segments and it took me six weeks to process the videos into an acceptable format. The sound in some segments isn't very good because of the noise on Stefan's recordings that I tried to filter out... but I think you can live with it. The run's time is 3:41 and available in 20 parts, one for each mission. Be prepared for some German vocals.

Wesley 'Phantom' Dekkers did a run of the NES Castlevania on the slow European version. This is another game I used to own and probably sold for $3 or some other low amount on a trade in, and haven't played in a decade. It was nice to bring back some memories by watching his run in 0:17:43.

Thursday, May 26, 2005 by Radix

All is not well in wonderland

Mark 'Allantois' Freyenberger has done his third speed run, on a new game this time: American McGee's Alice for PC. Follow an older Alice as she travels through a very dark and morbid version of wonderland in a mere 1:02:48.

Sunday, May 22, 2005 by Radix

The first poké encounters

Drew 'stx-Vile' DeVore did some speed runs on the PC game Serious Sam: The First Encounter. He ran all 15 levels individually on Serious difficulty. The total time summed up is 0:55:45, but a whole game run would surely be faster from stuff carried over between levels. But it's not like the Quake players among us don't already know that concept.

Ben 'Cygnus' Goldberg did a run of the Game Boy game Pokémon Red. This game was a paired release with Pokémon Blue, but I've been told that the differences between the two are minimal. A run of the Blue version would probably be very similar but not identical, so I'll have both on one game page. Ben's run is 22 segments and gets a time of 2:40. (12:40 AM edit: time corrected)

Four more improvements on Mario Kart 64 by Steven Gutierrez bring the total down to 0:59:49.58. He improved Alex Penev's Luigi Raceway shortcut lap by 0.18s to 0:00:21.70. He improved both runs of Toad's Turnpike shortcut: his own lap by 0.05s to 0:00:28.99 and Kevin Booth's "full" course by 0.44s to 0:01:31.43. Finally, an older run of his on D.K.'s Jungle Parkway improves Ben Miller's Shortcut "full" course by 0.01s to 0:00:21.26. Unfortunately you won't be able to download these files from the archive europe link. In fact, all the stuff I've added this month doesn't exist yet on their european cluster. When they changed some things around they broke the copying, so the europe downloads for newer things just redirect to the US servers. For mk64 though, I just added these 4 files to an older item, so you'll just get a 404 instead if you try. Hopefully that wasn't over too many peoples' heads.

Thursday, May 19, 2005 by Radix

Everything's coming up neutral

Another multi-platform game added to the ever-increasing archive today. Beyond Good & Evil exists on all current platforms, and simple load time differences dictate that they'd have to all be tracked separately, because the game doesn't display its time at the end. *Radix throws a brick at Ubisoft. The speed run in question was done by Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper in a Single-segment and achieves a time of 2:41:09.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 by Radix

Zombie lovin'

Kevin 'Mitsukai' Shropshire has done his first speed run, a Single-segment run through Resident Evil, the Remake for GameCube. He improved the previous time as Chris by 58 seconds, and since the previous time was segmented, doing it in an SS is pretty good. The new time is 1:54:39 but he definitely lost some time with all the zombies that felt like taking a bite. I'm not very good at dodging zombies either, so it always seemed to me to be better to just kill the darn things. Of course, I'm so busy with the site anymore that I haven't had time to try to improve my re0 run in a month.

Monday, May 16, 2005 by Radix

Neither the second nor the final

Peter Tiernan sent in his second speed run a few weeks ago, and it's another really long RPG game that he sped through very fast. By abusing a few instances of enemy helpers that respawn, he finished Final Fantasy IV for Super Nintendo in 4 hours and 15 minutes. The respawning enemies were used to get massive experience in a short amount of time, a definite necessity in surviving against the final boss in RPGs like this. The run is in 10 segments and comes in the standard three qualities.

Friday, May 13, 2005 by Radix

Two newbies' debut

James 'Psychochild' Conway has done an any% run of Donkey Kong Country 2, the GBA version. He used the 'ROCKARD' code to enact 'hard mode' which removes all DK and continue barrels. That makes his Single-segment run with no deaths in 0:56 even more impressive. I'd never seen the GBA port before and I must say the changes look hideous... Sure, they have to change a few things to fit the smaller screen, but the entire world map?

Luke Henderson improved the existing run of Phantasy Star Online 3 by 19 minutes. The run is still Single-segment on the Hero side and the new time is 3:32. Congrats to both of these guys on their first speed runs; hopefully we'll see more.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 by Radix

Speed flight

Mike 'TSA' Damiani was feeling a bit woozy or something on May 5th (maybe he drank too much) and decided to do a speed run of something that's not Zelda! Shock, horror! The game in question is Star Fox 64 for... you guessed it, Nintendo 64. He got a time of 0:35:13 with an Andross battle that he describes as "sooo not good...arg...". I think he's planning to improve it before he tackles Majora's Mask even though it just got sequence broken!

Monday, May 9, 2005 by Radix

A selection of good things on sale

Lee 'Leebo' Valencia has Chicago Typewritten his way through Resident Evil 4, improving the Single-segment time by nearly 6 minutes. Yep, it's another SS Specials weapon run, this time with a time of 2:07:58. Please enjoy the Spanish cursing, finger pointing, pitchfork stabbing, Ashley screaming, and rocket launcher action. Lee plans to tackle the from-scratch first-play no-specials or however you call it run next.

Sunday, May 8, 2005 by Radix

The price of quality

Mike Uyama has done his second all S-rank run of the Mega Man Zero series, this time on Mega Man Zero 2. The time comes out to 0:31:51 but the run is over twice that length because of the things the game's timer doesn't include. It's said to be as impressive as his first... and that's the run that Nate foams over the most I believe.

Drew 'stx-Vile' DeVore finally made an avi version of the Doom 2 Single-segment Nightmare skill run he did last November. The time is 0:29:56, which is 2 minutes and 3 seconds faster than the previous avi version I had up, but only 16 seconds faster than his previous run that only people eyeing the incoming directory of Compet-N would have seen. Oh and Adam Hegyi, if you're reading this, you're a bum!

Wesley 'Molotov' Corron improved his Gourmet Race time in Kirby Super Star by 0.43 seconds to get 0:01:42.43. He also did individual runs on each of the three courses with slightly faster times.

Just a note that Nate has decided to stop production of new DVDs until he is able to buy a new unit for capturing them. You can still buy the existing ones, but as soon as he heard about it from a friend of his a few months ago, he started calling it "the uber unit" and didn't seem to mind the $700+ price tag. So if he can convince a local Lubbock business to hire him for the summer, soon any runs sent to him on tape will look better than almost anything other people can produce with their capture cards. Once he gets it he plans to meticulously recreate most of the existing dvds too; he's dedicated like that. What would we do without him? :-p

Thursday, May 5, 2005 by Radix

One more second shaved

Trevor Seguin improved his run of Super Mario Bros. by one second just a month after he did it, bringing it down to 5 minutes and 6 seconds. That's the time from Mario moving to axe chopping. Trevor was hesitant to release it because of a mistake... that you'll probably barely notice! When a run is this close to theoretical optimums, each second is quite impressive though, so I'm glad he decided to send it. Unfortunately www.archive.org is undergoing some maintenance today and tomorrow and I am unable to add new items. So, this run is currently only available using a BitTorrent client. Even the High Quality download is pretty small, so I think it'll go pretty fast if people are kind and leave their client open to seed...

Update May 6th 4:30 AM: Normal download is available now.

Saturday, April 30, 2005 by Radix

Getting smart the easy way

Ryan 'Benito' Bennitt did a Single-segment run of "The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind", a game that I've been told offers hundreds of hours of gameplay. So how can it be speed run? It has a main plot that if you fulfill you get the ending, so that's what is run. The basic method is to buy the ingredients for, make and drink a lot of intelligence-raising potions. The effectiveness of each is more than the last because the player's intelligence determines how well potions work, so he gets to an 8000+ int pretty quick, then uses that to speed to the end. The total time for the run is a mere 0:14:26.

Luke 'transience' Yagnow has quickly delivered on his promise to improve the segmented any% run of Metroid Zero Mission. He got a time of 0:28:50, 1 minute and 4 seconds faster than Jason's old run with one additional segment. I remember when I did my 34 minute run on this game and sub-30 seemed like it would never happen, so a sub-29 is a very impressive time!

On the forum recently, 'Wak' suggested the idea of doing a run on SSBM's Adventure mode. I wasn't sure how it would work, but 'pyh189' quickly started trying it out and soon got a run he was happy with. He used Jigglypuff, the sleepy pokémon and got a time of 0:03:15.27. That's derived from adding up all the elapsed times on each course. The run was of course done on Very Easy skill. I wonder how fast someone could do it on Very Hard... who's up for it?

There's seven new improvements to Mario Kart 64, I was starting to wonder if everyone had stopped playing it. Thanks to mjf for sending me everything:

I added up the total time of all the mk64 vids just for some additional information, and it is currently 0:59:50.26. That means this update brought it under one hour total, congrats to all mariokart64.com players! Although they'd have had the <1 hr total for some time, this is just the 'videos that are decent quality' milestone I guess...

Thursday, April 28, 2005 by Radix

I'm so cruel

Four months ago, Nick 'Thrull' Alward did a run of PC game Deus Ex on Realistic difficulty. He contacted me in December and I told him how to compress stuff, and then I didn't hear from again until this month... Took him that long to try using VirtualDub to compress the stuff. Make sure you don't do that, or I'll embarass you in the news when I post your run too! Deus Ex is another of those brain-damaged games that tracks your time but doesn't display it at the end, so the listed time of 1:29:02 for his run follows my standard timing method.

The timer for Mega Man X8 is updated on the save at the end, so using it is perfectly fine for runs. Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk did a 100% run in a time of 3:06, but it seems he can't hold it long enough to do a 10-minute segment without pausing to go do his business. There were two such pauses in the run which we edited out so you don't have to see watch the pause screen for ~2 minutes both times. Just because I'm a nice guy, I subtracted four minutes from the time and list it as 3:02. So make sure you don't pause in your segmented run or I'll make fun of you for that too!

Sunday, April 24, 2005 by Radix

Mother nature is smoking crack

It's snowing as I write this update, at the end of April, a week after it was 80 degrees F (26 C). Surely this is a sign of... something. Enough weather, onto the runs!

Adnan Kauser did some runs of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. I hope someone can provide me with a better title shot for this game, one without a VHS rainbow in it... (done!) He did two runs, but both are only on the introduction 'Tanker' episode. If I had realized this when he first contacted me I'd probably have asked him to do something on the rest of the game before posting them... but because I didn't catch it, Nate already had them processed before someone informed me. So, here they are... maybe someone can do something on the rest of the game to fill the gaps? Yep, that's TWO requests I made for this game. Anyway, Adnan's runs are on European-Extreme difficulty in 0:10:36 and Extreme difficulty with all Dog Tags in 0:23:06.

David Gibbons did a 4 hour, 8 segment run of Turok 2: Seeds of Evil for... do I need to say what system it's for? The game has a timer that it shows on saves, but not at the end. So I timed it manually and got 3:55. The game's timer seems to run rather slow, probably because the game itself does. The number of duplicated frames in the videos from a low fps is evident.

Wesley 'Molotov' Corron has improved his Devil May Cry speed run as Super Dante, aka "I'm a dirty cheater for using an intended bonus in the game" mode. The new time is 0:49:35, 1 minute and 54 seconds faster than the previous run.

Friday, April 22, 2005 by Radix

I hate the wind

Luke Yagnow, perhaps better known as 'transience', has done the first Single-segment any% run of Metroid Zero Mission. This nearly-forgotten Metroid game hasn't had any runs on it since July! I must admit to trying an SS any% a few times myself last year, but I wasn't good enough at the zipline skip. Luke gets it without any problems along with various other things... though he does have a few problems crouching sometimes. He ended up with a time of 0:29:58, just four seconds slower than Jason's segmented run, which he's after toppling next!

Mike 'TSA' Damiani has been releasing segments of this next run as he went on the forum, so perhaps you've already seen his 6:42 of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The run is in 22 segments, four more than the previous run by 'marshmallow' and 26 minutes faster. It should be noted that this run was recorded on a '2nd quest' game, which has a few minor changes from the first play. They're not worthy enough to be listed separately. If someone wants to figure out the exact second difference between the two some day then I'm sure the runners will stick to whichever one is faster.

Thursday, April 21, 2005 by Radix

Survive the soul reaving!

Ben Fichter has done a run of the PlayStation game Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. He actually was recording runs on this years ago, before I started this big giant archive of speed runs... but he was cheating! He actually sent one of those recordings to Nate by accident previously and that's what made him think to try the game legitimately. He did a Single-segment run and got a time of 3:16:42. This is the first long SS run that Nate has captured and the resulting high quality file was over 6 gigs in size. Unfortunately archive wouldn't take a file that's greater than 4 gigs, so we had to cut it in two. I'm sure you'll cope.

Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody did a run for the traditional "let's try to change things and see how it goes" game of the Resident Evil series. Unfortunately the popular opinion on Resident Evil: Survivor's first person take is that it's a horrible game, getting 3 out of 10 reviews. Since there's a time displayed at the end though, why not do a run so everyone can see just what was so bad about this game? Surely that's what Damien was thinking anyway when he ran it and got a time of 0:42:02.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005 by Radix

Glo-light special

Simon 'EzekielMartyr' Berggren did a run on Silent Hill 2 for PlayStation 2. The run is Single-segment on normal skill and the time is 0:57:12. So come along the dark streets of Silent Hill and squint your eyes, struggling to see what the heck is going on in this run. The game definitely keeps up the atmosphere from the first SH which I already made fun of before...

Mike Yi, aka MrBlarney, has improved Steven Brooks's run of Milkyway Wishes in Kirby Super Star. He got a time of 0:15:45, 6 minutes and 23 seconds faster than Steven. He only picked up three of Kirby's abilities, using the same plasma strategy on bosses he used in The Arena. Unfortunately archive.org is taking forever to copy this file to a public server so it's not actually downloadable yet, but I'm sick of waiting and will just post this update now.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 by Radix

Two twenty five, twenty five, twenty five...

Paul 'Bartendorsparky' Evans has finished his 3.5 month-long 100% speed run of Metroid Echoes. Having started so soon after the game came out, just two days before I finished my any% run that was 2:11, there were a lot of tricks that were discovered as he went through the game. He took it slow so that the result would be fast, and ended up with a definite 'Must Download' for any Metroid fan: an impressive 2:25. The run is full of crazy speed tricks for getting various missiles and other expansions quicker than they were intended and getting major items out of order... it's the one thirty-seven of Echoes. Also, we're trying a little experiment with this run. Since Nate recently installed a torrent tracker for the protoman.com music, we made one for the normal quality videos of this run. So, if you have a BitTorrent client, you can use this torrent to download all 24 segments at once. If you don't know what BitTorrent is, or if you're looking for the High or Low quality videos, you'll have to stick to the normal archive download. Also, we're not sure how well this is going to work, but try it out if you can!

Jonathan 'Brightstar' Fields did an inaugural run of Star Fox: Assault, just released in February for GameCube. He did a run on Bronze skill in the Survivor mode, which I've learned is the same as Story mode except you can't save or die at all. So, it's the game's way of forcing a Single-segment run. He ended up with a time of 0:55:06.

Two new records for Super Smash Bros. Melee's Break the targets: 'SIGN' improved marth1's Mario by 0.01s to 0:00:08.35, and 'Doraki' improved Fox to 0:00:07.11. Previously there were separate Fox times for NTSC and PAL versions, but this new strategy apparently works just as well on both, so that's not needed now. The new time is 0.17s faster than Senju's old NTSC and 0.10s faster than his own old PAL time.

Monday, April 11, 2005 by Radix

Indiana Jones with breasts

Stacy 'Kitty' Corron has done a run of Tomb Raider for PlayStation, the game that introduced Lara Croft to the world. She got a time of 2:39:30 with a tiny amount of help from her brother Wesley. If you read the forum you ought to be expecting a run that's 57 seconds better than that, but it seems the Corrons aren't so good at math...

Sunday, April 10, 2005 by Radix

I vant to suck your blood!

David Gibbons continues his apparent quest of getting every Nintendo 64 game listed here, this time running Castlevania... which doesn't have a '64' in the name. It is in fact the same name as the old NES game, but I've gotta distinguish it somehow, even though nobody has run said NES game yet, so the html has a 64 in it damnit! Err yeah, David's run is Single-segment as Reinhardt Belmont and he got a time of 1:13:35. Be sure to keep account of marsh's pickups as he apparently gets "too many meats". :-p

Friday, April 8, 2005 by Radix

It's unreal that I forgot...

Tomi Salo sent a bunch of new improvements to his New York Minute mode runs of Max Payne 2 last week. I had them all ready to update on the 5th and even updated the game's page but forgot to mention them in the very long news update. Since then he sent me two more so I guess it worked out well anyway. I don't feel like linking to them all here; you can find them easily on the page by looking at the dates... anything done in March and April is new. There are several new shortcuts with the super jump and one shortcut that didn't use it, so a bunch of the stuff is new categories.

Mark 'Allantois' Freyenberger redid his run through Unreal and got a time of 0:49:18, an improvement of 6 minutes and 11 seconds. And now I must practice more re0.

Wednesday, April 6, 2005 by Radix

You can't have 100 without zero

It's with great chuckles that I'm adding the 100th game to the game list here at SDA.... with a run that I rushed to completion last night! I'm not very satisfied with it and plan to improve, but I wanted to have Resident Evil 0 for GameCube be the 100th game just so I could use the headline... yeah. The run is only 2 segments, on normal skill, and I got a time of 1:59:37. I had been trying for an SS run but decided to go for 4-5 segments or so instead, but then when my 2nd segment wasn't going that well but it was OK enough, I kept going and said I'd post it if I got under 2 hours. Despite a few large gaffes, I still got it, so here it is! Please give me suggestions for improvement.

Tuesday, April 5, 2005 by Radix

Win my face

On Sunday, the Quake section held the 4th annual Nolan awards for the best Quake demos made in the previous year. This year I figured it would be a good idea to have DivX avi versions for everyone out there who played and enjoyed Quake but won't have it installed anymore, or even if you never played Quake at all, check them out! Congratulations to Connor Fitzgerald for winning the most Nolans!

Mike Yi, aka MrBlarney, did a run of the final game in Kirby Super Star, The Arena, a marathon of all 19 boss fights from the other games. The game tracks the time spent actually fighting and he got a time of 0:05:16.48

Stefan van Dijke has improved his PAL version run of Mario 64 by 22 seconds to a time of 0:24:11. I think it contains a few more mistakes than his previous run, during some of which you can easily think of the curses Stefan was probably saying. The reason he ends up faster is several new shortcuts that could certainly be useful for other categories on this game.

Freddy Andersson did a run of Mega Man 3 for NES. Since he's Swedish, he was playing the 5/6th speed PAL version, so his time of 0:48:08 would be about 40-41 minutes on the US version. I know someone who's been working on a run for the US version for quite some time, so hopefully he'll get something soon to go along side Freddy's PAL run. I probably haven't played this game in a decade, and I had no recollection of some of the areas at all, so it was a nice run to watch.

TSA had said he was going to go through all the levels of Four Swords Adventures but he's changed his mind and delayed it until November on his schedule. Before he did, he had finished a run of level 1-3 at least. I was waiting to post it until I got some more, but I guess that's not a good idea anymore. He improved his time by seven seconds to 0:06:57... but I decided to change the way I time some of these levels. I had been removing parts of the time during the maiden scenes so it would be possible to compare runs on a new playthrough, like TSA's first speed run, to "redo" plays that let you skip dialogs. However, nobody was able to figure out how I was timing them so I just decided to count everything again. This means the time is now listed as 0:07:45, and several other levels are retimed to higher times.

Pfew, this update was too long.

Sunday, April 3, 2005 by Radix

8.5 minutes less Sorrow

Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody improved his hard mode run of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow recently. The new run is 0:08:29 faster than the previous one, mainly by killing less things and a few route changes. It's segmented almost exactly the same, just one segment less. If only he'd kept the save from the end of segment 1 from his first run, he'd be 0:08:31 faster, as the new segment 1 is actually two seconds worse than the old one. :( After that, though he quickly gets minutes ahead of the previous run!

Wesley 'Molotov' Corron whipped up a run of the Gourmet Race from the just added Kirby Super Star, the mini-game that I complained about Bartz not doing. He got a time of 0:01:44.66, then after a few tips got it down to 0:01:42.86.

Saturday, April 2, 2005 by Radix

I did it!

David 'marshmallow' Gibbons did his second run on a Bomberman game, this one also for Nintendo 64 (of course), Bomberman Hero. This game doesn't have a timer and seems to be a lot shorter than b64, because the total time was 1:07:00 compared to the 2.5+ hours of real time in his b64 run. Watch this run, and you'll be saying "I did it!" all night long.

Friday, April 1, 2005 by Radix

The pink puffball is no joke

The first game featuring Kirby, the pink guy that can absorb his enemies powers by swallowing them, has been added to SDA. Steven 'Bartz' Brooks did runs on Kirby Super Star, a set of mini-games for Super Nintendo. He did runs of the five main games, though I think he should have done the racing game too as it even includes a timer. The 'Megaton Punch' and 'Samurai Kirby' aren't really applicable for running though. The total length of the five videos he did is slightly over an hour, check out all the sucking action!

Thursday, March 31, 2005 by Radix

Be a Jedi in an hour or less

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 by Radix

Quake can never die

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

Friday, March 25, 2005 by Radix

Fuzzy Bunnies approaching

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

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2005 by Radix

Won't someone please turn on the lights?

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

Sunday, March 20, 2005 by Radix

A spikey haired blonde hero

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

Saturday, March 19, 2005 by Radix

Tu as compris?

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

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

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

Friday, March 18, 2005 by Radix

You don't belong in this world!

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

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

Thursday, March 17, 2005 by Radix

Zombies ate my Hat!

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

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

Sunday, March 13, 2005 by Radix

Naturally broken

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

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

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

Friday, March 11, 2005 by Radix

Have you beaten up a whore today?

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

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

I finally added some more questions to the FAQ.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005 by Radix

Posting the Impossible

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

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

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

Saturday, March 5, 2005 by Radix

Crocodile sandwhich

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

Thursday, March 3, 2005 by Radix

Opposing Gates

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

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

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

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

Sunday, February 27, 2005 by Radix

Magic typewriters

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

Thursday, February 24, 2005 by Radix

More conversions? nope!

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

Monday, February 21, 2005 by Radix

Link's dream, take two!

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

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

Sunday, February 20, 2005 by Radix

Two dimensional fun

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

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

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

Friday, February 18, 2005 by Radix

The pile of work

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

Monday, February 14, 2005 by Radix

Don't support the pink

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

Sunday, February 13, 2005 by Radix

Help me Leon!

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

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

Friday, February 11, 2005 by Radix

PAL beats NTSC again

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

Tuesday, February 8, 2005 by Radix

AvP take three

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

Thursday, February 3, 2005 by Radix

An early awakening

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

Wednesday, February 2, 2005 by Radix

Eight hours of entertainment

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

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

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

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

Sunday, January 30, 2005 by Radix

Slowly catching up...

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 24, 2005 by Radix

Black and White camouflage

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

Sunday, January 23, 2005 by Radix

Even faster larceny.

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

Saturday, January 22, 2005 by Radix

So much to do.

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

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

Sunday, January 16, 2005 by Radix

Who needs FIFO?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, January 8, 2005 by Radix

Mini update

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

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

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

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

Thursday, January 6, 2005 by Radix

69 strong!

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

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

Sunday, January 2, 2005 by Radix

Change is coming

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

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

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

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

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