Monday, December 24, 2007 by DJGrenola

High Speed Festivities

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

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

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

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

Normal quality torrents follow:

Thursday, December 13, 2007 by DJGrenola

We're Back

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

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

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

Friday, November 23, 2007 by DJGrenola

Lock Up Your Daughters

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

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

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

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

Normal quality torrents follow.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 by nate

après nous le deluge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 9, 2007 by nate

Triple The Celebrity

nate writes:

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

mikwuyma writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

DJGrenola writes:

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 by nate

EX NIHILO SDA

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

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

but wait - what's this in his comments?

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

"doing everything to post every speedrun"?

... not quite.

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

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

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

so yeah.

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

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 by nate

you can't mistake my psychology

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

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

but that's probably just me.

Sunday, October 14, 2007 by nate

born ahead

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

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

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

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

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

that's where you come in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 12, 2007 by nate

hasta la victoria siempre

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 by DJGrenola

Unappreciated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 2, 2007 by DJGrenola

Normal Service Resumed

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

Monday, October 1, 2007 by DJGrenola

FPS Double

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

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

Normal quality torrents:

Friday, September 28, 2007 by DJGrenola

Cleanup

Let's kick this queue exorcism off with a pair of Resident Evil runs. Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody's incumbent 1:24:53 A-rank Resident Evil 3: Nemesis run from 2004 is today decapitated by 'Carc1n0g3n'. Wes has beaten 'Dragondarch' by four minutes and eleven seconds. An A-rank single-segment 1:20:42 is the result.

Ever the runner's favourite, Resident Evil 4 is on the receiving end of a speedup too, in the European version with special weapons (new game +) category. Tomi 'sarou' Salo last submitted a video of this type back in 2005; he's made this seven minutes and sixteen seconds more rapid with a new 18-segment 1:43:47.

One title which seems to have earned itself a reputation for fierce competition is NES Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom. Since 'Frezy_man' finished the first run of said title in March of this year there have been three improvements. Jim Hanson is responsible for the latest of these, grabbing back his record by shaving off another eleven seconds and resetting the bar at 0:14:27. How long will the record last this time ?

You know what you're going to get with Adam 'Lucid Faia' Sweeney — well-executed single-segment goodness. Adam has taken on SNES Donkey Kong Country's 100% category (or 101%, if you want to call it that). The run that he casts so cruelly into the land of the obsolete is a genuine relic: Derek 'SnapDragon' Kisman's old 100% was played way, way back in 2001. That's so old by SDA's standards that I'm almost sorry to see it go — but looking on the bright side, its replacement gets the H.264 treatment. 'Lucid Faia' plays six minutes faster than 'SnapDragon' did; his 100% time is 0:44.

According to the ever-knowledgeable Mike Uyama, today's revision to Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria demonstrates even worse platforming than the run it replaces, but better planning and boss battles. Either way it's faster — over twenty minutes faster, in fact, although it does use nearly twice the number of segments. Alex 'AquaTiger' Nichols is the runner responsible for this 40-segment improvement, which took 2:21:08.

In the first new addition to the game list for some time — it's been stuck at 380 games listed for what seems like an eternity — Peter 'petrie911' Montag sends in his effort at Sonic Adventure 2. This run was played on the GameCube version, follows the Dark side, is categorised as single-segment, and boasts a time of 0:33:41.70.

List of normal quality torrents:

Thursday, September 27, 2007 by DJGrenola

Mega Man Mania

Of the fourteen runs in Ready to Update, no less than seven are on Mega Man games. It would seem to be time for the ultimate Mega Man speed run feast — so, in no particular order ...

Jared 'Ifrit' Nicholson's old PS1 Mega Man Legends run from 2005 is ousted courtesy of Tom H. 'sshplur' Nguyen. Tom beats Jared by 11 minutes and 23 seconds and achieves a single-segment 0:57:02. This isn't the full story, however — Tom has also knocked out a run on easy mode, again single-segment. The easy mode run exhibits the predictably faster time of 0:42:52.

SNES Mega Man 7 is next: Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe returns to beat his own previous 100% on this title, chopping off one minute and seventeen seconds from his March 2007 effort. Hoppe's revision is once again performed single-segment and abuses death to save time; the new figure to beat here is 0:56:16.

The European version of PS1 Mega Man 8 enjoys a spell in the limelight thanks to Patrik 'Cremator' Salonen. The usual 5/6 speed shenanigans apply, but in a gesture of magnanimity Jared 'Ifrit' Nicholson has requested his NTSC run be taken down to make way for Patrik's contribution, which weighs in at 1:04:57, again single-segment.

We now move onto the X games, beginning with SNES Mega Man X3. Daniel Chamness strolls nonchalantly through the X Collection version of this title, without saving, in 0:43:15. This is ostensibly about a minute and a half faster than Mike Uyama's effort on the SNES version, but the X Collection forms a separate category owing to some timing discrepancies between these editions (mainly revolving around cutscenes and slowdown).

Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk is seemingly also into self-improvement — if you want that quantifying, he's improved himself to the tune of five minutes and fifty-six seconds at the 8-bosses-beaten category of Mega Man X5. Chris's new, faster 0:25:03 assault employs 16 segments. 'Satoryu' seems to like this 8-boss thing, because he's also revised his own record on the equivalent Mega Man X6 category, or to be more precise, he's improved the final two segments. The new time is 0:29:13, but this link will only show you the improved parts 13 and 14. If you haven't had the pleasure of watching parts 1 to 12, you'll need to download them separately from the old 0:31:00 8-boss performance ... or you could just use one of the normal quality torrents, which contain the original parts 1 to 12 plus the improved 13 and 14.

Speaking of normal quality torrents ...

Anyway, back to Halo 3 ...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 by DJGrenola

Ocarina, Duct-Taped

We offer our apologies both to 'YautjaElder' and to everyone who wanted to see his 100% Ocarina of Time run mentioned in the previous update. Hopefully the issues with this have been fixed now. Watch Oskar's 64-segment performance here, or climb aboard one of the normal quality DivX or H.264 torrents. We appreciate your patience.

Sunday, September 23, 2007 by Radix

Ocarina fest

There are over a dozen runs in the queue's 'ready for update' right now, but posting that many runs at once would be a lot of work, and it would make the download speeds crappy for everyone. So, this update is just two runs, on a game that people have been drooling for more runs on for quite some time: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

In addition to the previous Single-segment eu version category, we now have a segmented run on the NTSC version and a 100% run. The 100% run acheived a time of 6:35 by Oskar 'YautjaElder' Lundquist in 64 segments. A brief definition of just what 100% covers: All sub screen items, heart containers/pieces, ocarina songs, gold skulltulas and best upgrades. Update: Sorry, there is a problem with this run's encoding and it has been temporarily removed.

The other run comes in at the crazy low time of 2:26:56 by Lloyd 'Manocheese' Palmer in 25 segments. This run uses a few 'major skips' that result in two categories. This run is simply called "Best time with save warping". Another run which doesn't use those skips would be called "Best time without major skips". This is one of those vaguely arbitrary rules we have just because some people don't like speed runs that cut out huge chunks of a game. The things that qualify as major are listed on the game's page.

Both runs posted today have torrents for both avi and mp4 versions of normal quality. You can also download normal or low quality from our new server as well as from archive.

Thursday, September 13, 2007 by DJGrenola

Releasing Games This Late In Europe Is Disgusting, 'k ?

Copious thanks are due to the many generous individuals who saw fit to donate towards the cost of hosting, and we appreciate your tolerating the new advertisements. Today's torrent download is being bolstered by our new dedicated server ! We're still considering if and how we might offer HTTP downloads from it, so we'll let you know what happens regarding that.

In the meantime, we thought we'd celebrate the release of Wii Super Paper Mario in Europe by posting a run of it. Words cannot express how utterly repulsive I find the fact that Nintendo chose to region-lock their console (sorry, PAL-60 obliterates your old pathetic, hackneyed excuse for an excuse) and then forced European and Australian regions to wait months for this title on a system horribly starved of games as it is. You'd think European consumers would get some sort of, you know, reward for purchasing the system, but apparently we're such contemptible, backward scum that we don't deserve to play new games on the machines we've shelled out hard earned cash for. That old localisation chestnut won't work, either — I've lost track of the number of EU region releases I've bought recently that have contained words that don't exist in my language — words like 'color', 'favorite' and 'tumor'. Using localisation as an excuse for ripping off PAL region consumers only works if you actually bother to localise the games. Spare us the insult to our intelligence, and try localising games into standard English. You know, the language we read and write locally. As in "localisation". Look it up.

Before the proliferation of the Internet, we happily put up with playing games at 5/6 speed with horrible screen borders, and getting them months after the rest of the world. We didn't know any better, but times have changed. If publishers think they can continue to try to make PAL region consumers pay full price for games that are months old, in an age when open modchip code can be blown onto a PIC integrated circuit for the price of a decent cup of coffee, they really are in for the shock of their lives, EUCD or no EUCD. Treat consumers like filth, and they'll gladly return the favour.

Sri 'MrGuy' Singh is responsible for knocking out the first speed run of Super Paper Mario. According to Radix, it contains some mistakes, but that's probably not so bad in a run spanning five and a half hours — the exact time is 5:13 across 45 segments. By far the preferred way to get your grubby mitts on this is to get on the normal quality DivX torrent — the other qualities are available from archive.org, but I'm strongly of the suspicion that archive's quality of service won't be anything to write home about on this one. If your ISP throttles BitTorrent downloads (many do), you might be interested in a page in the SDA Knowledge Base.

The precise clear time for this run was derived from the final save; Mike would like me to suggest that when running games like this it's a good idea to include your final save when recording.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007 by DJGrenola

Jaded...

You'll doubtless all be overjoyed to hear that for the second time in a year we've lost our main shared hosting account — the reasons for this are once again too stupid for it to be worth my even summarising them. We've been looking at other options including acquiring a dedicated server, so you will notice an increase in the number of advertisements on the site from here on in. Nate would like me to suggest that if you'd like to help with this, you may feel free to donate.

This means that we're back to the donkey and cart (archive.org and BitTorrent). We have a couple of fairly big productions queued for release but no way to do so with any sort of acceptable quality of service at this moment, so for the time being we'll just have to post some shorter videos. Let's get on with it before I change my mind and give up entirely.

Jose 'PiccoloCube' Karica has submitted videos on three tracks of the DD64 F-Zero X Expansion Kit. Two of these — Port Town 3 and White Land 3 — are improvements; the third video exhibits the same time as his existing run, but has been re-encoded for better quality. Jose beats his own time on Port Town 3 by 1.227 seconds, achieving 0:01:32.094; on White Land 3 he beats a runner we had listed only as 'Max', this time by 1.049 seconds. The new White Land 3 time is 0:01:17.998; the overall improvement is 2.276 seconds, and the summed 64DD table time is now 0:17:42.894. The remastered contribution is on Space Plant 2, and is still 0:01:16.433. 'PiccoloCube' now owns the 64DD table from top to bottom.

Game Boy Kirby's Dream Land is the next object of speed running affection; Patrick 'SleepersEye' Lambert has cut this game down to size in just 0:12:07.

Meanwhile, Matt 'Deadstick' Johnson leads the assault upon Super Nintendo Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Matt played as Kimberly and scored 0:33:47, single-segment.

Friday, August 24, 2007 by DJGrenola

Penny Arcade Expo

All being well, a selection of some of SDA's content should be showing right now at the Penny Arcade Expo, which is a great opportunity both for Speed Demos Archive and for the profile of speed running in general — but the real bombshell is the introductory music video which made up the first few minutes of our hour-long feature.

This four-minute introduction to the main speed run showcase journeyed from a latent concept in Nate's brain to its dazzling final form through six epic months of punishing, non-stop toil. Along the way, it assimilated the skills of an artist, a quantum physicist, a linguist, and a programmer. It swallowed 70 hours of speed run footage, ravenously consumed two weeks of CPU time, and gorged itself upon over a terabyte of storage. It spawned 6,000 lines of source code and spread itself in mathematical symbols over page upon page of graph paper. At one point the stress it put on me threatened to bring SDA itself to a halt. It is therefore with the greatest pleasure that I can now bring you the most ambitious project I have ever worked on: Speed Demos Archive.

Please give serious consideration to downloading the high or insane quality versions; the complexity of this video is such that it makes mincemeat of even the best video codecs, and it really should be viewed at 640x480 and 59.94 frames per second as I intended. You can embed the streaming flash version in websites or blogs. It's not recommended, but you could also use the one-third frame rate YouTube version.

We'd like to thank Penny Arcade for giving us the opportunity to show our feature at PAX, and particularly for trusting us to take full control of its direction and deliver it on time. Thank you !

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 by DJGrenola

Repent

Asa 'spikevegeta' Tims has returned to revise his old Beginner mode attempt at PlayStation 2 Kingdom Hearts II. He confesses in his comments that the old video "was a lazy run from the planning stages", and atones for this sin by submitting a 27-minute improvement. We forgive you, Asa. This effort doubles the number of segments from 8 to 16, but hey, faster is faster; the new time to beat is 4:39. Grab your quality of choice from an HTTP mirror, stream the embedded flash, or get on the normal quality DivX torrent.

Saturday, August 18, 2007 by DJGrenola

Biggest Update Ever

This is the biggest SDA update ever. Compiling it was sheer hell, but the way the queue is at the moment, it may not be a record for very long.

Kari 'Essentia' Johnson has rapidly developed a name for herself in the prestigious realm of running Final Fantasy games, and her single-segment Final Fantasy VI production which has seen the forum's denizens salivating with expectation is finally ready for launch. How on earth the lass managed to concentrate for this length of time completely boggles my mind, but concentrate she did. The time ? 4:48. I'll just put this achievement into perspective — that's 38 minutes faster than the previous effort from Peter Tiernan, and yet Peter's run used 32 segments. As far as the videos are concerned, I'll give you one piece of advice: Forget about the high quality version — it's over 5 gigabytes in size. The normal quality H.264 version is full framerate, so that's the version we chose to distribute using BitTorrent. If you'd prefer something smaller than 1.4 gigabytes, go for the low quality H.264 version which most likely rivals the DivX normal quality in terms of fidelity. You'll need to use a H.264 in mp4-aware player such as VLC to watch the mp4 versions, including the one we're torrenting.

Joe Stanski has improved one of his Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog 2 levels again; this time it's Death Egg Zone. Those who read the news regularly will have realised long ago that Mr. Stanski doesn't take "no" for an answer where going faster is concerned, and according to Nate, this is the first one round Sonic 2 final boss done by a human. When sending me a revision to his comments, Stanski confided that "this one means a heck of a lot to me and the Sonic 2 community". His crazy feat, believed impossible by many, chops another six seconds off the individual-level table — practically an eternity given how hard Stanski has worked at this game. The new Death Egg time is 0:00:43, and the summed individual-level figure falls to 0:16:30.

Since I first posted the triple update containing all three NES Ninja Gaiden titles, there have been various improvements. Are these games destined to become the next Jaws and Contra ? New runs on Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom have been submitted by Josh Styger. 16 seconds fall from Tommy Montgomery's February attempt at the original game; Josh's new time is 0:13:33. The record on the latter game is beaten by 31 seconds with Josh moving the bar to 0:14:38. Great work, Sir — keep at it !

Next is PC individual-level stalwart Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, on which two further improvements have been produced by Tomi 'sarou' Salo. One minute and 38 seconds have somehow been culled from 2-6, Construction Site As Mona part 3, which is now listed as 0:00:29, and there is also a slightly less pronounced revision to 3-6, Max's 3rd Nightmare — 3 seconds are cut here to yield a new time of 0:00:52. Total improvement is one minute and 41 seconds; the new summed table time is 0:22:17. Something tells me this won't be the last time I have to open that particular spreadsheet, either.

Long time SDA supporter Tom 'slowbro' Batchelor returns to the limelight as he takes a crack at Atari 2600 classic Pitfall II: Lost Caverns. Tom's performances were executed on the Activision Anthology for Game Boy Advance, so I'm just going to list this one as a GBA game; with all the other crazy stuff I have to get done in this update, I'm not going to bother adding a 2600 section to the game list just yet. 'slowbro' has produced the classic run pair here; his any% works out at 0:05:02, and an 100% effort in which he achieves maximum score is obviously slower, at 0:12:47. One interesting curiosity related to video compression that has arisen during the processing of this run is that the high quality H.264 versions here are actually smaller than the low quality DivX ones ... the H.264 encoder just turned its nose up at the surplus bitrate that Nate suggested it should use. Are you still using those archaic DivXalikes ?

Nope, I've still not finished. PC Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal is the target of this morning's final speed run. Dominic 'DAMURDOC' Legault's five-segment assault upon this expansion pack works out at 1:09:32.

Right, I need a lie down.

Thursday, August 16, 2007 by DJGrenola

A Boy, His Blob, And Guns. Lots Of Guns

Following on from the recently posted NES Super C low% (no items) run is an any% (pure speed) carnage fest, played this time by Jim Hanson. This performance is about two and a half minutes faster than the low%, at 0:14:06.

In a lateral move from genocide to gluttony, Ray 'Croc-Doc' Cullen ignores the any% category and goes straight for the 100% jugular of NES A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia. Even if you're not interested in watching this speedy 0:11:30, you should read Ray's run comments for his upbeat tale of an anonymous, maladjusted, dysfunctional wretch whom nobody likes.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 by DJGrenola

Meddling Kids

One title that's probably long overdue for a run is the critically acclaimed, cel-shaded Jet Grind Radio for Sega's ill-fated Dreamcast. Mandela 'Megatherium' Shabazz grabs his boom box, straps on the 'blades, fills his bag with spraycans and takes to the streets in the pursuit of the lowest single-segment time possible. A kickin' rad 1:03:39 is the result.

Lara Croft is back in action today; Stacy Corron's 55-segment Tomb Raider attempt from 2005 itself becomes a historical artifact thanks to the efforts of Ali 'AKA' Gordon. Ali was apparently horrified by Stacy's previous run, and having resurrected a Saturn and reacquired a copy of the game, set about confining the existing video to a dusty case in the speed run museum. This is one of those instances where a performance on a slower European version is clearly so much better than the incumbent run that we allow the PAL contribution to oust the NTSC one, even though playing at 5/6 speed makes execution a little easier. Although the listed time for this single-segment run is 1:50:16, you should keep in mind that the timer runs at 5/6 speed à la Resident Evil, so the actual video length is about two and a half hours. Comparing the compensated times, this run is about fifty minutes more rapid than the old.

Monday, August 13, 2007 by ballofsnow

Speedcraft

When you hear the name Alex 'aresake' Eustis you know something good is coming. This time he takes a chunk off the time of the original Starcraft, breaking records set by David 'marshmallow' Gibbons over two years ago. He ran Zerg 6 "The Dark Templar" in 0:09:30, 0:06:36 faster, Protoss 4 "The Hunt for Tassadar" in 0:02:20, 0:02:28 faster, and Protoss 6 "Into the Darkness" also in 0:02:20, 0:01:57 faster. An improvement of 0:11:01 brings the total Starcraft time down to 3:17:07.

Sunday, August 12, 2007 by DJGrenola

Evil, Evicted

White hat meets grey hat in this update as we bring you a pair of attempts at previously empty categories on GameCube Resident Evil 4. The first is a Professional difficulty single-segment new game+ (special weapons) run by Daniel 'SoulCalibrII' Chamness. Daniel finished just a couple of minutes slower than his default difficulty colleague did; his time is 2:02:45, and he throws in a couple of new time saving glitches which you might like to check out. We've also had our first successful effort at the Assignment Ada bonus mode. The capable hands of Greg Innes steered the femme fatale to victory in just 0:06:42 on the game's European version. Fun fact: Radix was trying to put together a decent run on this mode for some time !

Dominic 'DAMURDOC' Legault pushes the site inexorably towards the 400-games-listed mark with a performance on Super Nintendo Battletoads & Double Dragon. Playing as one of the Lee brothers, Dominic scored 0:23:23.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007 by DJGrenola

Back from the Edge

Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski looks to further his ubiquity today by adding an attempt at PC F.E.A.R. to the SDA run vault. Maciej played on Extreme difficulty and achieved 1:15:55 in 38 segments.

There are some fairly remarkable goings-on in the world of PC Baldur's Gate — or, to be more precise, on its Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack. The hitherto listed pair of runs on this title — one single-segment, one segmented — have both been made obsolete by Julien Langer's application of the polymorph glitch. Julien beats Kevin Horst's segmented run from 2006 by almost 14 minutes with a new time of 0:16:35 in 9 segments, and Julien's own single-segment effort from 2005 is also comprehensively confined to the history books; a crazy 45 minute revision yields a new figure of 0:24:30 ! These runs are apparently pretty confusing to watch; luckily Julien's comments are of the verbose variety.

Also joining the game list today is PlayStation title Driver: You are the Wheelman. This game was run by Sean 'ZhouTai' MacDonald who bravely battled its unrelenting randomness and scored 1:48:22 in 5 segments for his troubles.

Friday, August 3, 2007 by DJGrenola

Warp Speed

Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe checks in at SDA headquarters to revise a pair of his own runs on PlayStation Space Invaders. 'Sir VG' improves the normal difficulty category by 3 minutes and 39 seconds to 0:36:12, and the expert difficulty category by a slightly more modest 2 minutes and 29 seconds to 0:49:30.

Thursday, August 2, 2007 by DJGrenola

Joekami

Regular speed demon Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski flows us an attempt at cult mythological PlayStation 2 title Ōkami. Maciej admits in his comments that his primary motivation for performing this run was to fill in the "out-of-the-box" category and pave the way for the "new game +" video that he actually wants to do. He also admits that this submission could have been executed a lot better. That such a run completed in five days can pass verification impels me to raise a number of eyebrows, especially when this performance is well over nine hours long (9:19:21), and the bandwidth and disk space we have available for torrents is so limited. Having said that, the run appears to be strategically sound and there seems to be plenty here that could be used as a basis for something faster, including the sunken ship skip. Colour me perplexed, then grab the normal quality DivX torrent or one of the HTTP copies, watch it, and send in an improvement, 'k ?

By contrast, today's other item — Owen Traeholt's single-segment 0:31:04 sugar-rush through GameCube Viewtiful Joe on Kids mode — was described by Mike Uyama as being "so fast that Sonic would be jealous", although there were also calls for a run on a harder difficulty. The speed of the video is such that you should probably give serious consideration to the high quality version of this one if your machine is powerful enough to play H.264 at 640x480 and 59.94 frames per second, and if you think you can tolerate a 585 MB download.

Friday, July 27, 2007 by DJGrenola

Did You Miss Us ?

Three items today, kicking off with a single-segment Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Extreme difficulty 1:37:37 effort by Cody Miller.

Second is a 7-segment Donkey Kong Country any% run played by Timothy 'tjp7154' Peters, which joins the existing 100%. Timothy achieved 0:32.

Lastly there is an improvement to one of the SNES Kirby Super Star subgames, gaining roughly three seconds on the previous video. Gourmet Race: Race 3 has been revised to 0:00:42.57 by Brian Inwood.

There are normal quality DivX torrents available for both Metal Gear Solid 2 and Donkey Kong Country. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 19, 2007 by DJGrenola

What Does The Name Joe Stanski Mean To You ?

Although to me the name Joe Stanski is synonymous with the tedious act of editing individual-level spreadsheets, most people will recognise this monicker as belonging to an extremely tenacious Sonic the Hedgehog runner. This appears to be the fifth Stanski-powered Sonic update of 2007 !

Joe kicks off by beating the old single-segment Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog record by 'mike89'; his motivation appeared to revolve around the fact that any new run wouldn't be tainted by "sucky PAL music". Gaining seventeen seconds on its predecessor, this new video is listed as 0:17:52.

Onto Sonic the Hedgehog 2, on which Stanski has also improved a single-segment record; this time it's his own. This is a forty-two second revision which brings the time down to 0:18:12. From the comments: "This is definitely the best run I have ever done for SDA ..." — if it's better than his Dark Castle run, it must be good !

Lastly, there's the usual brace of improvements to individual-level Sonic 2 times:

Eleven seconds' worth of improvement means the summed time for the table is now 0:16:36.

Saturday, July 14, 2007 by DJGrenola

Bandwidth Buster VII

Our servers tremble with fear as another Final Fantasy run prepares for liftoff — this time it's Final Fantasy VII. This contribution was executed on the PC version; differences in load times between this and the PlayStation incarnation make dual categories inevitable. The player determined to reduce our hosts to lumps of smoking metal this time is Andrew 'Farringa' Farrington. Spanning 85 segments, with a run time of over eight and a half hours, and a normal quality DivX encode of roughly 2 gigabytes in size, Andrew's run has been listed as 7:41. A normal quality DivX torrent was patently unavoidable.

Thursday, July 12, 2007 by DJGrenola

Screw E3, Watch These Instead

Into the festering pit of obsolescence is cast Adnan Kauser's 2005 PS2 Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater single-segment Fox Hound ranked run on European Extreme difficulty. The successor to this attempt has been produced by Merlin 'Take-Chan' Medau, and it's a good quarter of an hour faster. Merlin's magical new time for this category is 1:44:55.

NES Contra sequel Super C gets itself listed today by Ray 'Croc-Doc' Cullen. Ray's minimalist (no items) speed run works out as 0:16:32.

Further NES goodness abounds as an NTSC run joins Freddy Andersson's PAL Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game contribution from March 2006. The new video was performed by Elliott Feiertag, one of the Super Feiertag Bros. — Elliott achieves 0:39:20.

Lastly, a categorisation change accompanies an individual-level improvement to Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. Previously we listed "shortcut" runs (using a super jump glitch) and "non-shortcut" runs (not using said glitch) separately on this game. An agreement between Mike and the runners has been reached by which the arbitrary "non-shortcut" category is abolished; from now on we're just going to roll with whatever is fastest. Anyway, one level has been improved here by Ben 'Kegerius' Beer: 2-5, Construction Site as Mona part 2, now stands at 0:01:44, down from Tomi Salo's 0:02:19. This makes the overall table 35 seconds faster, with its times now summing to 0:23:58.

Sunday, July 8, 2007 by DJGrenola

Speedy Symbology

Today we bring you the not-so-small matter of a 43-minute improvement to PlayStation 2 RPG Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. Damien Moody is the unlucky veteran whose record is made obsolete, with Harvey 'drkhades' Nguyen his successor. Harvey's new 29-segment run clocks in at 3:28.

Friday, July 6, 2007 by DJGrenola

Forty-Seven Plus Two

Christian 'Rabbath' Rotthues's 2005 PC Hitman 2: Silent Assassin record falls today courtesy of a welcome improvement sent by Tassilo 'nudel' Kneib. Tassilo beats the old attempt by 4 minutes and 37 seconds, breaking the 40-minute barrier with a new figure of 0:39:10. Like its predecessor, this effort was done in 20 segments.

Meanwhile, Nicolas Deußer has coughed up a pair of runs on PC Enclave; both are played on easy difficulty. The first of these is a Light side playthrough in 14 segments with a final time of 0:45:19. You might however prefer to watch the 13-segment Dark side effort — according to Nicolas's comments it is the better of the two, and at 0:30:47 it is demonstrably the faster.

Monday, July 2, 2007 by DJGrenola

The Market For Mario

Attempts at Mario sequels aren't traded quite as fiercely as they are on the title which originally popularised the famous red plumber, but they are still choice plots of speed running real estate — appropriate, then, that both NES Mario improvements today have been contributed by big players in a market where time is money.

Stepping up to the plate first is one Andrew Gardikis, whose five minute SMB1 completion has apparently not satiated his desire to expand further his portfolio. Chris Knight's previous Super Mario Bros. 2 record has been demolished, making way for an improved 0:09:15 construction — four seconds faster.

Today's other intrepid entrepeneur is Mr. Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson. Super Mario Bros. 3 has been property belonging to Richard Ureta since 2004, but it changes hands today. Freddy's modern 0:11:03 development is eight seconds more rapid.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 by ballofsnow

Starcraft Time Again...

Newcomer Dmitriy 'Shander' Chekrigin has taken 31 seconds off the total Starcraft time with three new runs. He ran Terran 2 "Backwater Station" in 0:01:12, 2 seconds faster, Zerg 1 "Among the Ruins" in 0:07:11, 23 seconds faster, and Zerg 2 "Egression" in 0:00:50, 6 seconds faster. The total Starcraft time is now 3:28:08.

The aesthetic barrier of three hours for Starcraft: Brood War has been broken with a new total of 2:53:00. The improvement of 0:10:40 comes mostly from Alex 'aresake' Eustis. He ran Terran 1 "First Strike" in 0:02:45, 0:01:25 faster, Terran 3 "Ruins of Tarsonis" in 0:05:36, 0:02:47 faster, Terran 6 "Emperor's Flight" in 0:02:09, 0:01:18 faster, and Zerg 9 "The Reckoning" in 0:06:30, 0:02:59 faster. Philip 'ballofsnow' Cornell implemented the pause glitch in the bonus level "Dark Origin" resulting in a time of 0:01:30, 0:02:11 faster.

Monday, June 25, 2007 by nate

metroid prime 1:03

three years ago today the newly joined metroid 2002 speed demos archive presented kip's segmented 1:04 in metroid prime to the world. since then i have served sda as an encoder not only of metroid material, but of all runs in need of my services.

however, as my lower case writing is meant to indicate, i have not forgotten what brought me here. i am therefore honored beyond all measure to release today no fewer than three world record metroid prime speed runs: 1:03 segmented, 1:07 single-segment, and pal 1:17 single-segment.

all three runs were produced by the last active metroid prime runner, besmir 'zoid' sheqi. zoid is an avid collector of metroid prime speed runs and an aficionado of their contents. through careful analysis of past great runs as well as a great many attempts at each segment, zoid was able to trim an entire minute from one of the greatest and longest standing records sda has ever seen. on top of that, he cleaved six minutes from the single-segment record and two minutes from the pal single-segment record.

some of the approximately sixty seconds separating kip's very high 1:04 from zoid's very high 1:03 came from a tricky timesaver at ridley discovered by red scarlet. the rest of them, however, were shaved off one by one in a spectacular show of dedication to the greatest game ever made.

modern sda arose from exactly the kind of work you see here today. yet there is nothing mysterious about it—every one of you is capable of matching zoid's tenacity if you would only try. together we are creating a new world, and this is only the beginning.

1:03 torrents: divx avi | h.264 mpeg-4

Saturday, June 23, 2007 by DJGrenola

Half-Hour Half-Life

Queue watchers will have noticed one run stuck in the "Waiting for author's comments" stage of submission for what seems like an eternity. That submission was Blake 'Spider-Waffle' Piepho's long-awaited PC Half-Life run. We all know that Gordon Freeman is a fine soldier and a skilled research scientist, but in Blake's capable hands he now becomes an Olympic sprinter — just shy of 15 minutes have been cut from the old Hard mode attempt by David 'RandomEngy' Rickard, with this new 180-segment run clocking in at 0:31:00.

This video makes probably the heaviest use of scripting and binding we've yet seen in a run — according to Mike Uyama, one of the scripts used allows Freeman to do a perfect 180 degree turn and shoot, picking up speed instantaneously. This sort of thing presents us with a problem. There has been some controversy surrounding the use of scripts in PC games, with many complaining that defining macros to simplify tasks such as bunnyhopping is bordering on tool-assistance (even though the capability to do this is provided as part of the game engine itself). To appease those that feel this way we'll be listing PC runs that use scripts as a separate category — Blake's run is the first to be treated this way. Also, if 180 segments sounds excessive, please remember that every non-autosave has a half second penalty associated with it, so this hasn't gone unpunished.

Despite the above string of caveats, there's no doubt that this is a considerable improvement and well worth a watch. It's a shame that Blake's placeholder comments don't explain how he does what he does — without full explanations, this becomes a long chain of incomprehensible tricks. I'm making available both DivX and H.264 torrents. The original demo files are also available.

Friday, June 22, 2007 by DJGrenola

Little Big Update

The Little Big Adventure 2 run currently listed is bolstered today by an attempt at its prequel — Little Big Adventure (also known as Relentless: Twinsen's Adventure). Per 'KaThogh' Normann is the player of this memorable isometric PC game, achieving 1:19:14 in 6 segments. Once again this was done using a Windows XP patch which allows the game to run on modern machines, but the patch is not believed to have any effect on gameplay.

Monday, June 18, 2007 by DJGrenola

It's A Biggie ...

I've got a lot to get through today, so I'll spare you my usual florid prose and get on with it ...

First off is the run that I originally posted on the 7th and we had to pull because the audio was broken — one on PC action RPG Dink Smallwood. Arturs 'Sanitars' Demiters scorched through this in 7 segments, taking 0:49:22. Apologies go to Arturs for the bungled original release; let's hope nothing goes wrong this time.

Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson has been conspicuous by his absence for a little while, but he's back to knock yet more time off NES shooter Contra, still a hotly-contested favourite. Ten seconds have been slashed from Ray 'Croc Doc' Cullen's December 2006 effort; Freddy's new time is 0:10:40.

Andrew Gardikis of Super Mario Bros. fame has also fired up his NES recently and put Excitebike on the map. Andrew's performances are individual-track time trial efforts; follow the link above to see the details, but I'll tell you that the sum of his times for all five tracks is 0:04:10.96. I've also made zip files of all five tracks in normal quality DivX or H.264 format for easy downloading.

Next is cult PlayStation RPG Valkyrie Profile, with Kevin 'Enhasa' Juang bringing to the table a single-segment effort on the bonus Seraphic Gate dungeon. Kevin's time is 0:15:43.

Finally, we see the return of one Mr. Joe Stanski, who adds Genesis Castlevania: Bloodlines to the game list. Stanski beats the game on Expert mode using Eric Lecarde and notches up a single-segment 0:32:13 for his troubles.

Saturday, June 16, 2007 by DJGrenola

More Of The Fortune, Less Of The Soldier

Peter 'Kibumbi' Knutsson is nothing short of scathing when it comes to PC/Xbox shooter Soldier of Fortune 2: Double Helix; the comments for his new 62-segment Soldier of Fortune skill run promote it as "one of the most buggy and random games ever created", and herald it as "a total failure in game design". Indeed, he requested that I include a YouTube link to what is presumably an outtake just to demonstrate how badly broken the game is. Anyway, Peter managed to achieve a time of 1:41:24 against all the odds. He also claims that the DivX versions of his run don't look so good, so this is an SDA first: Today's normal quality torrent is only available as H.264.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 by DJGrenola

Gotta Catch All But One Of 'Em

Ben 'Cygnus' Goldberg has offered us an improvement to his own Game Boy Pokémon Red run. He starts with Charmander rather than Squirtle this time and beats his old 24-segment attempt by ten minutes to secure 2:09 using 41 segments.

There is a slight problem with this run — a segment is missing from the video, and I wasn't at all happy about posting a run with a missing part, especially as we've been penalising runners for video glitches recently. However the missing piece is very short; the verifiers gave Ben the all-clear; this is an improvement to a runner's own run; and (most importantly) the timing is all done in-game, so eventually I relented.

Sunday, June 10, 2007 by DJGrenola

It Gave Me Lemon-Lime

Long before I started working for SDA, I was avidly watching a topic on the SDA forum aimed at improving an existing run on a highly prestigious PC game. This topic was started way back in 2005 and has run to over one thousand replies. A lot of discussion seemed to be taking place but not a lot of running, and indeed at one point I'd pretty much given up hope of ever seeing an revision on one of the best games ever published — the genre-bending RPG/FPS hybrid Deus Ex.

Enter Quake veteran Karol 'dex' Urbanski, who was determined to take these suggestions and actually construct a coherent speed run from them, one that would beat Nick 'Thrull' Alward's old 1:29:02 from December 2004. No stone was left unturned (or ventilation shaft uncrawled) in the relentless quest for shortcuts, and 'dex' even restarted his run from scratch when a particularly appealing early timesaver was found. The results are highly impressive, and this run has it all: sequence breaking; huge shortcuts; meticulous planning; easter eggs; and even a novel use for a packet of cigarettes — all these combine to slice Nick's old run neatly in half. Karol's new Realistic difficulty time is a well-deserved 0:43:20 spanning 41 segments, and if you'll forgive a personal touch, this is now one of my favourite runs on the site. I've made both DivX and H.264 normal quality torrents — the HTTP mirrors are of course still there with the other qualities.

Great job, 'dex' !

Thursday, June 7, 2007 by DJGrenola

Attack !

In another new gamelist addition, Bas 'Iron Knuckle' van de Ven has assaulted SNES Tetris Attack. Bas's run on versus mode was done using the "very hard" difficulty setting, and his single-segment time was 0:06:19.

There was originally another run in this news update, but it suffered from severe audio/video desync problems, so it has been removed pending investigation. We offer our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 by DJGrenola

Lucidity

Purist Adam 'Lucid Faia' Sweeney has long been an advocate of single-segment speed running, and four new such videos of his are posted today. If you're into biorhythms, you can probably assume that Adam's graphs were at their zenith on the eighth of April — three of the four runs were done on that one day !

Adam's signature game — one that he apparently "knows better than his own house" — is isometric NES adventure-puzzler Solstice. In order to celebrate an improvement in recording technology, he went ahead and beat his own 100% record on this game by 33 seconds, achieving 0:14:24. He also decided to populate this title's hitherto empty pure speed category — 0:06:23 was the result. One impressive factoid here is that this any% was recorded and wrapped up on the very first attempt !

The other game that Adam elected to attack on that fateful April day was SNES Demon's Crest. Again, a dual-category approach was taken — 0:50:59 for 100%, with the pure speed any% effort taking a more modest 0:12:24.

That's a good day's work by anybody's standards !

Thursday, May 31, 2007 by DJGrenola

A Long Time Ago in a Toy Box Far, Far Away ....

Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski has improved two of his own PC Lego Star Wars individual-level times. Episode 2, Chapter 5 has been trimmed by 5 seconds to 0:02:14, and Episode 3, Chapter 5 loses 20 seconds bringing the time down to 0:02:03. The summed time for the table now stands at 0:54:58.

Monday, May 28, 2007 by DJGrenola

Steal Everything !

Daniel 'CannibalK9' Burns has finally completed his crazy PC Grand Theft Auto III 100% marathon. Given how long this run is, it's quite impressive that he only utilised 18 segments — Daniel's time was 7:37.

Film tie-in Willow for the NES is the other featured game this morning. Marc J. 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski has single-segmented this in 1:34:13.

Saturday, May 26, 2007 by DJGrenola

Sonic Shakespeare

Joe Stanski moaned that my previous update announcing his Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog 2 individual-level improvements was devoid of all creativity, so this time I thought I'd do it in iambic pentameter:

All o'er the land the children run with joy,
To Emerald Hill, which grief could ne'er alloy;
As sages old and wise to tears are moved —
Joe Stanski hath his Sonic 2 improved.

Yeah, I'm better with Unix than I am with poetry.

It's pretty crazy that Joe is still able to go faster at this game: These revisions chop off another 11 seconds, slashing the total summed individual-level time to 0:16:47, and I thought we'd seen perfection from Stanski a long time ago ... If you'd rather not download all the levels individually, you can get a zip file containing the five improved videos in normal quality DivX or H.264.

Mike Uyama's existing PlayStation 2 Contra: Shattered Soldier run is joined by an attempt that opens up a novel new category on this title. A tag team made up of Danny 'DonG' Ong and Alex 'XeaL' Ong has ripped through this game in two-player mode, achieving 0:26:52.

Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe is also back today, providing two revisions to his own Super Nintendo Star Fox runs. 'Sir VG' has improved his Level 1 with warps path time by 21 seconds to 0:14:56. By achieving better luck on the slot machine he has also culled 2 minutes and 45 seconds from his secret ending path time, which now stands at 0:10:26.

Thursday, May 24, 2007 by DJGrenola

Something Old, Something New

It would appear that Jim Hanson was not content with merely improving his own Ninja Gaiden II run; he wraps the black cloth around his head and takes to the shadows once more to beat Freddy Andersson's incumbent NES Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom run as well. Jim's new run is exactly one minute faster than Freddy's old one, but we had to penalise him by one second again for a video glitch, so his time is listed as 0:15:09.

A new SNES gamelist addition arrives in the shape of cartoon platformer The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse. Rob 'Mickey_Mage' Whitener is the man gripping the gamepad this time; his hard mode effort earned him 0:16:56.

Normal quality torrents:

Sunday, May 20, 2007 by DJGrenola

Neo Zelda

If the miasma that is the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess topic on the SDA forum can be likened to an ugly green caterpillar, then Daniel 'Jiano' Hart's speed run of this Nintendo title might be considered the resulting butterfly. Various differences between the GameCube and Wii versions make separate categories for the two systems an inevitability: Daniel's 43-segment 5:39 run is on the Wii version. It's nice to see those who claimed we would never list a run on LoZ:TP proven wrong !

This morning's other item is an attempt at one of the Resident Evil Gun Survivor games: Resident Evil: Dead Aim for the PlayStation 2. Brandon 'Ekudeht' S. Armstrong scored 0:23:43, single-segment style.

We have finally added another HTTP mirror to our arsenal to replace the two accounts we lost in April, so feel free to give the new hosts a whirl !

If you'd rather get the normal quality encode using BitTorrent, here is the link:

Saturday, May 19, 2007 by DJGrenola

More Than We Bargained For

Back in mid-April, I posted a single-segment Mega Man 4 effort by Tom Radovich. Tom's time was 0:41:52, but he promised us a sub-0:41:30 followup. That, as it turns out, was a touch pessimistic: Tom eventually went over a minute faster, and his new run clocks in at 0:40:50.

Monday, May 14, 2007 by DJGrenola

Time Warp

The Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness run in the previous update suffered from a timing error. Rather than being 28 segments as we suggested, this run was actually 33 segments spread across 28 files; some extra save penalty should therefore have been added to the time, which has been revised from 1:57:53 to 1:57:55. We apologise for this change.

Meanwhile, back at SDA headquarters, a new run on the PlayStation Portable has showed up. Like the other PSP runs we list, it's a Mega Man game — Mega Man Maverick Hunter X to be precise — and once again it has been contributed by Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk via his trusty Innovation PSP TV adapter. Chris managed a 13-segment 0:42:52.

Friday, May 11, 2007 by DJGrenola

Zombie Slug Archaeologist

Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski returns with some business that didn't quite get finished in the previous update - he adds a Metal Slug X run to his Metal Slug 4 one. Maciej again used the PS2 Metal Slug Anthology and played on easy mode, achieving 0:18:47. If you read his comments you will learn that this time would have been better if he hadn't smashed his PS2 controller following a failed attempt and been forced to use an apparently inferior third party one. Speed running can be an expensive hobby, you know ...

Another Xbox 360 run gets itself listed courtesy of Robert 'Valarnin' Kontz. Robert attempted Dead Rising's Overtime mode, single-segment, and scored 0:25:00. You may wonder why we're listing a "new game +" run without a from-scratch one; the reason is that the normal mode of this game is beaten by surviving for six hours, so attempting such an out-of-the-box run would be pointless.

Tomb Raider specialist Aleš 'Ewil' Horák adds another of Lara Croft's adventures to the game list; this time it's the notoriously bug-laden Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness for the PC. 1:57:55 was Aleš's time - achieved using 33 segments.

Here are the normal quality torrents; please try to seed them for as long as possible. These and other versions are as always also available via HTTP.

Monday, May 7, 2007 by DJGrenola

Groobology

Two items to download by Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski - he's been a busy boy.

First up is a further improvement to Maciej's own PC Diablo time as the sorcerer. Some further strategy refinements and the inclusion of a trick to skip a cutscene combine to bring the time down by another 34 seconds to 0:06:07. The nature of the luck manipulation employed means that this run still uses a whopping 40 segments.

Groobo's other offering is an effort on the easy mode of Metal Slug 4, played on Metal Slug Anthology for the PS2. Loading breaks have been subtracted from the run time to make the Anthology times comparable to the times we already list, but this is a new category regardless. Maciej's time is 0:18:03.

There is a normal quality DivX torrent available for Diablo.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007 by DJGrenola

Mixed Bag

Two improvements to existing runs and one new addition make up today's update.

Jim Hanson was one of the runners who starred in the Ninja Gaiden triple update back in March and his martial arts mastery is on display once again as he beats his own NES Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos time by 35 seconds (36 if you count the fact that we penalised him a second last time round for providing glitched video). No such deficiencies mar his performance on this occasion, though: Jim's new time is 0:12:09.

The GameCube Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 record has also been self-broken; Simon 'Sorcerer88' Schmid revised his routes and strategies and ground off another 2 minutes and 30 seconds, landing a single-segment 0:06:23.

And the new listing comes courtesy of Benoit 'TJazZ' Boudreau who generously provides us with a run on Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures for the SNES. Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde were left in the dust as Benoit scored a single-segment 0:32:03.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 by DJGrenola

Hip Hoppe

Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe returns to beat his own SNES Mega Man 7 100% run. Just under two minutes have been cut during the course of this new single-segment 0:57:33 contribution with death abuse. Normal quality DivX and superior H.264 torrents are available; other qualities may be found in the usual place.

Thursday, April 26, 2007 by Radix

The doors of doom!

Yu 'inichi' Morimoto has submitted a new run on the Super Nintendo RPG Chrono Trigger, everyone's favorite paradox filled game. The original run by David Gibbons was just under five hours and completed near the end of 2005 so it's been around for a while. Back when David was planning his run, there was one idea I suggested to him that I was sure would be necessary to make a good speed run - but unfortunately he didn't use it.

Yu has used this idea, and the result is a much faster time, 3:34. He defeats Lavos so early that he never even got Epoch. I have personally watched the final battle about four times - it's so crazy how much planning obviously went into making this run. If you've played this game you must watch this run. And if you haven't ... well, play the game, then watch the run! Oh yeah, it's in Japanese. But that doesn't matter cuz you know what's going on anyway, right?

Also available in the usual torrents for speediness: DivX or H.264.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 by DJGrenola

And Now For Something Completely Different ...

GameCube Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance receives more love today as a Hard mode run joins the existing default skill 2:30:01. The new effort was played by Wesley 'Molotov' Corron and its 46 segments total 2:44:13.

Monday, April 16, 2007 by DJGrenola

Yet More Mega Man, Yet More Freddy Andersson

Mike Uyama described it as "pure undistilled awesome". Nate chose to tag it as "worthy of heralding game number 350". What were they talking about ? Why, Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson's adding SNES Mega Man X2 to the game list, of course.

Yep, the Swede of Speed has ripped through this title, single-segment, in 0:36:29. April has already been a big month for runs, what with the releases of SMB1 and FFIX, and all indications are that this one is something of a classic. I suppose you'd better watch it, then ! Get it via HTTP or using BitTorrent in either its DivX or superior H.264 normal quality incarnations.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 by DJGrenola

Natural Selection

Andrew Gardikis has finally taken advantage of the fact that SDA's rules allow NES Super Mario Bros. to be beaten more quickly than is allowed by the rules of a certain other site which amusingly considers itself to be the authority on speed records. The result of this evolutionary step is that the existing SMB1 run by Scott 'sdkess' Kessler has been beaten — by a whole five seconds. Andrew's new 0:05:00 run exploits a couple of glitches on 4-2 to climb the outside of two pipes as if they were vines, and he also throws in an astonishing walljump on 8-4. Put simply, you have to see this ! You can download all qualities via HTTP as usual, but for download speeds that match Andrew's pace through this game, you'll want to get on either the DivX or H.264 normal quality torrents.

Congratulations, Andrew Gardikis.

Friday, April 13, 2007 by DJGrenola

Keep It In The Family

Prior to today, the only NES Mega Man 4 run was an effort by Freddy Andersson on the European version. However this is now joined by a submission on the US version by Tom Radovich, who achieved 0:41:52, single-segment style. Tom's run comments promise us a sub-0:41:30 effort sometime in the future.

You may think you recognise the surname Feiertag as belonging to 'InsipidMuckyWater'; however the other item today — Genesis Comix Zone — was not run by Adrian. A staffing change in the Feiertag household sees his brother Elliott Feiertag on D-pad detail for this contribution. Elliott achieved 0:17:41, but he managed to persuade 'InsipidMuckyWater' to do the donkey work of writing the comments — clever lad !

Thursday, April 12, 2007 by DJGrenola

Screw You, Queue

To some extent we botched releasing Essentia's Final Fantasy IX run mentioned in the last update by distributing solely from archive.org. Given the size of the run, we should have realised sooner that it wouldn't take many people downloading it to cripple the server it was on. Nate rescued the situation by building a torrent of the normal quality DivX, which you might prefer if you're having trouble downloading it from archive; please seed this and the other torrents for a while after you've finished leeching. Anyway, back to business.

A certain young SDA staff member by the name of Mike Uyama has found time in between sorting out everyone else's contributions to complete one of his own. Mike has tackled GBA Justice League Heroes: The Flash on Justice mode and achieved 0:27:26 in a single sitting. Good to have you back, Mike.

Now for something a little crazy. Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski has sent us a further improvement on PC Diablo. The previous run achieved substantial savings over its predecessor through segmentation and severe luck manipulation, and Maciej's new attempt features more of the same. So much more, in fact, that his 0:06:41 Sorcerer run makes use of 40 segments ! As usual we apply a time penalty for each save employed on games where free saving is allowed, so this heavy use of saving and reloading has been punished to the tune of 19½ seconds, but the new run is still nearly eleven minutes faster than the old. The high save density employed here will probably not be to everyone's taste (which is why SDA's save penalty rule exists in the first place), and I find myself wondering how long a single-segment attempt at this game would take. Nevertheless, this is an impressive achievement.

Next up is GBA stalwart Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. This revision by Tomi 'sarou' Salo lays waste to Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody's old "Boss Rush as Julius" submission. Tomi got 0:03:28.63, which is over 30 seconds quicker than the run it replaces.

Und schließlich, the periodic attempts at Postal games continue. This time it's PC Postal²: Apocalypse Weekend, Postal²'s expansion pack. Peter 'ZeRo' Kornatz played on Remedial difficulty and took 23 segments to achieve 0:58:43.

Here are the normal quality torrents of today's releases:

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 by DJGrenola

Twenty Gigabytes Of Fun

Two long-awaited runs go up today, the first of which is a mammoth ...

Kari 'Essentia' Johnson's 68-segment domination of PlayStation Final Fantasy IX is ready at last. Just getting this run to SDA HQ was a mindboggling piece of logistical wrangling. Perhaps Mike Uyama said it best:

"Nate, you're going to get 19 tapes soon;
I'm not making this up ..."

Kari's run clocks in at over eight hours: 8:32, to be precise; its video run time is in excess of nine hours, and even the normal quality version totals over two gigabytes of data, so you'd better make sure you've levelled up your hard drives before downloading this one.

The other item we're supplying today is Mychal 'trihex' Jefferson's death-abusing PlayStation Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped 100% attempt, which joins his similar treatment of Crash Bandicoot 2. Having never played this game, I've not closely followed the progress of said run ... however, judging by Mychal's comments, its colourful history represents an epic tale of blood-chilling terror which will be told around the campfire for generations. This 18-segment effort worked out at 2:41:28.

Saturday, April 7, 2007 by DJGrenola

We Will Fight Them On The Beaches

Most sites would be permanently crippled by having a hosting account and its contents deleted with zero warning or grounds for appeal. We have just lost two such accounts, with one of those losses occurring only yesterday. Is that going to stop us ? Is it hell !

The tit-for-tat shenanigans on the SNES Mega Man X page continues, with Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson now reclaiming the any/low% single-segment category that was stolen from him by Sattik Ghosh back in March. Freddy has gone 33 seconds faster than Sattik, achieving 0:34:09. Another round, gentlemen ?

Freddy also currently holds two records on the European version of NES Duck Tales and he has now decided to take a crack at the US/NTSC version too, achieving 0:09:02 on Difficult mode.

A new category has also been added to PC Doom 3 by Jérôme 'tagh_azog' Bouzillard, who provides us with a 27-segment effort on Marine skill in 1:09:37. For the record this is about 15 minutes faster than the Nightmare skill run we list already, although obviously the skill level difference means that these runs cannot be compared directly.

Finally, ActRaiser for the SNES has been the object of another speedup with Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe the runner improving his own time. Over two minutes have been sliced off the single-segment category to yield a new analysis of 1:10:06. This run abuses death to save time.

Sunday, April 1, 2007 by Radix

Not my proudest moment

Recently we received a new submission on the SNES classic, Super Mario World. But this run was barely an improvement over the run we have posted, by Scott Kessler, done back in July of 2004. In fact, after checking the timing on the new run and comparing it to the old run we found that the old run was in fact timed wrong somehow. I honestly dont know how it happened, as the timing points I had for the old run in my excel spreadsheet did not match the actual video at all. I don't think scott ever recaptured this run or anything, so we're just going to list his run on the SMW page as 0:10:54 now, instead of 0:10:56 as it was before.

*shrugs*

Thursday, March 29, 2007 by DJGrenola

Time Dilation

Those unfamiliar with the remake of Resident Evil for the GameCube may not realise that it's possible to unlock an "invisible mode", where zombies and other enemies are not visible to the player. Radix has always maintained that this mode should not be treated as a separate category, partly because if you're doing a run on this game you ought to know where all the zombies are anyway, but mostly because he believed it to be less fun to watch than a conventional playthrough.

David 'DavizZz' Stierle has circumvented this restriction, however, by executing an invisible mode run on a category that currently has no visible mode equivalent - a Hard mode run on the European version (which plays at, yes, you guessed it, five-sixths speed). David's time was a four-segment 1:36:26, although the game slows the timer down to five-sixths speed as well, so the actual runtime of the videos is more like two hours. If all this weren't complicated enough, it appears that switching the PAL version of this game to 60 Hz (PAL-60) mode actually causes it to run at full NTSC speed, so if we ever get a PAL-60 run there would be a strong case for allowing it to compete directly with its NTSC cousins, unless anyone makes us aware of a major gameplay difference between the NTSC and PAL versions of this title.

We also received an attempt at Nintendo 64 Castlevania, again played on the European version. This single-segment run as Reinhardt by Baptiste Hornecker was faster than the incumbent 1:13:35 by David 'marshmallow' Gibbons. This time there were no indications from verifiers that the PAL version is slower, and this run is faster than the old effort whether this is true or not. Baptiste's time is 1:04:15.

Rounding off today's single-segment Eurofest is Jack '#endgame' Kelly, who has beaten the European version of new addition Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap in 0:55:46. This run seems to be one of those that was as much an exercise in hacking as in running - Jack had to tweak his Master System to produce composite video output and made use of game disassemblies to discover item stats - a man after my own heart !

Sunday, March 25, 2007 by DJGrenola

Pride

It seems that Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson is never out of the news for very long. Freddy has roared through film tie-in The Lion King for the SNES in 0:16:53 on Difficult mode.

Thursday, March 22, 2007 by DJGrenola

Way of the Speed Runner

Three shadowy forms at the peak of physical and mental acuity lurk in the darkness. To the untrained eye, these individuals are completely invisible; to the layman, they do not exist. These warriors are the assassins; they are ninjas. They are the men with no names.

Oh, all right then. Their names are Tommy Montgomery, Jim Hanson and Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson. They are definitely ninjas, though, having added all three of the original NES Ninja Gaiden games to SDA's game list.

Tommy sliced up Ninja Gaiden; his combination of stealth and speed earned him a time of 0:13:49. Jim's victim was Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, and his unseen acrobatics culminated in a reckoning of 0:12:45. Freddy, meanwhile, garotted Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom, in 0:16:08. All three men then slipped away into the night, the only traces of their mission a few throwing stars left on the ground and six blood soaked normal quality BitTorrent links.

Monday, March 19, 2007 by DJGrenola

Funked Up

Wes 'Arrow' Fathauer has grooved through Genesis sequel ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron using 8 segments in 1:30:06. You can get this run via BitTorrent in normal quality DivX and H.264 versions. These and other qualities are as always also available via HTTP in the usual place.

Saturday, March 17, 2007 by DJGrenola

Just When I Thought It Was Safe To Close OpenOffice ...

It is difficult to understand why NES film tie-in Jaws has attracted the attention of speed runners to the degree it has, but mine is not to question why. Daniel 'Kareshi' Brown has harpooned himself a significant 50 second improvement to his old run; his new time is a man-eating 0:03:58.

I have completely exhausted my reservoir of entertaining ways to announce that Joe Stanski has improved more Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog 2 levels, so I'm not even going to try to be creative about it this time.

These revisions, adding up to 25 seconds, have allowed Stanski to achieve his goal of pulling the summed individual-level time below the 17-minute mark; the total now stands at 0:16:58.

Thursday, March 15, 2007 by DJGrenola

Just a Trim ...

Freddy Andersson's incumbent Mega Man X single-segment low% run was the latest victim in a spate of speedicide attacks blighting innocent players the world over. The perpetrator was Sattik Ghosh, who maliciously hacked nine seconds from Freddy's old run with a blunt D-pad. Sattik's new time is 0:34:42. I've made torrents of the normal quality DivX and H.264 versions again.

Shaun Friend submitted a run on the Tomb Raider 2 assault course a few weeks back. Shaun has produced a re-run with the same final time, 0:01:03.9. You may wonder why we're posting this if the time is unchanged; the reason is that this attempt exhibits better video quality, and nobody complains about that. Well, except for me, of course, because it means I have to do more work. Shaun's also revamped his comments, so you might like to check those out.

Correction time again: The Hydro Thunder runs in the previous update suffered from a track time being incorrectly entered into the game page and my spreadsheet. The Lost Island time read 0:01:38.68; it should have been 0:01:31.68, and the total for all tracks should therefore have been 0:21:43.41. Oops !

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 by DJGrenola

IL Hell

It would seem that Mychal 'trihex' Jefferson has a thing about Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, as he continues to bombard us with improvements to individual levels on this game. Today's update features eight upgrades (or perhaps that should be downgrades ?) to Mychal's existing 100% times. Can't be bothered downloading all the files separately ? No problem, just grab either of the normal quality DivX AVI or normal quality H.264 MPEG-4 BitTorrent-distributed versions (which contain the improved levels only). These revisions comprise a gain of 25 seconds across all the levels; the new 100% individual-level total now stands at 02:12:59.

Zebediah Danvers steps up to the plate next with a new addition to SDA's game list: Dreamcast boat racer Hydro Thunder. As is the norm with racing games, these levels are all listed individually as well. I won't go through the tracks here, but I will tell you that the summed time is 0:21:50.41, and that there are DivX and H.264 torrents of these runs, too.

And finally, Marc J. 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski has strutted through The Magic of Scheherazade for the NES, single-segment, in 1:20:00. Again, there are DivX and H.264 torrent distributions available.

Thursday, March 8, 2007 by DJGrenola

Barney's Rubble

SDA listed runs on Half-Life and on its expansion pack, Opposing Force, but Jerry 'laughing_gas' Yu was dissatisfied with the lack of a run on the second expansion, Half-Life: Blue Shift. 'laughing_gas' wasted no time in putting right this situation with this hard mode 0:32:18 crowbar-a-thon which was played on the Steam version and used 27 segments.

Sunday, March 4, 2007 by Radix

Another run of...

Tom Votava has improved his own run of Donkey Kong 64. His improvement of 10 minutes is only 3.6% off the old time, and in fact is so similar to the previous run that he even recycled most of his comments! The new time of 4:26 is worth checking if you skipped the 4:36 run, or if you really love this game. There's a torrent of the normal quality divx.

Sunday, February 25, 2007 by DJGrenola

Classical

This update features a clutch of classic titles - although one of them is a classic for all the wrong reasons ...

Kicking us off is Andrew Gardikis. You may recognise Andrew as the gentleman who did a 0:21:18 all levels (no warps) completion of NES Super Mario Bros. - well, he has now improved this time to 0:19:57. Improvements on popular old games like these are always hard to achieve, so this has to be worth a download. There are two Bittorrent-distributed versions of this run - normal quality DivX AVI and normal quality H.264 MPEG-4 - as well as the other qualities which are in the usual place.

The rest of this news update is all about one Joe Stanski. Not so long ago I wondered aloud as to whether Joe would be able to go any faster in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The melodic crunching of Genesis controllers being destroyed heralds the arrival of an improvement to Stanski's own single-segment completion of this game - 0:18:54 is the new time, over a minute more rapid than his old 0:20:02. You can get the normal qualities of this one via Bittorrent in DivX and H.264 flavours also. It seems this man isn't finished with the individual-level table yet, either:

Stanski doesn't just play Sonic 2, though - he's also achieved several rather bizarre milestones with his next contribution. First of all, he's attempted a run on what is apparently widely considered to be the worst Genesis game ever made - Dark Castle. I am blissfully ignorant of how this release plays, but one verifier had the following to say about it:

The sound and video are terrible, but that's the game's fault. It looks and sounds like Dark Castle, and there are no hiccups at all throughout.

When a game is new at SDA, I run a script on one of our hosts which clips a set of JPEG pictures from the videos of the run for use on the game pages. My script also grabs the first one minute and thirty seconds of video and remultiplexes it into an AVI container so I can hopefully find a shot of the game's title screen, and both video and pictures are zipped up into a single file for me to download. I was somewhat surprised to discover that this time the 90 second video chunk I'd pulled in actually contained the entire speed run. Therefore Joe Stanski's other claim to fame here is that his completion of this title is the shortest full-game run on SDA, clocking in at 0:01:19.

Thursday, February 22, 2007 by DJGrenola

Turn The Brightness Up

Adam 'Introverder' Titowicz returns with a double effort on the PC version of the game he seems to know the best: Silent Hill 2. 'Introverder' has historically bombarded us with runs on the Maria's quest subgame, but this time he produces two runs on the main game instead - one single-segment, one segmented. Adam's 11-segment run works out at 0:45:37; the single-segment is (as one would expect) a touch slower: 0:47:54. The video of the single-segment run has been split into four parts, but it passed the verification procedure regardless.

Monday, February 19, 2007 by Radix

A Close Call

The first game in today's update is new-school nintendo game, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. For once the run wasn't by the usual Fire Emblem runner, Wesley 'Molotov' Corron, instead a newcomer, Stephen 'SMK' Kiazyk, luck-manipulated and menu-scrolled to achieve his 2:30:01.

The second game in today's update is Metroid, the old-school classic that had exploring and item collecting before they were mainstream. Chris Knight decided he could improve the previous two-boss run and shaved almost four minutes, getting a 0:24:06.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007 by DJGrenola

End of an Era

It's been on the horizon for a little while, but Nate has finally announced that from the first of January 2008 he will no longer be accepting runs on VHS tape. Although use of DVD recorders has been encouraged and preferred for submissions for some time now, this makes the death of VHS at SDA official. We hope that this will lead to an across-the-board improvement in video quality and lower latency in getting runs up on the site. Nate is offering some degree of flexibility as far as this deadline is concerned (VHS runs that are nearing completion at the start of 2008 will probably still be accepted), but you should read his spiel on the forum for full details.

Scott Kessler's long-standing NES Super Mario Bros. 2 record falls today to Chris Knight. Chris has beaten 'sdkess' by 23 seconds, thereby achieving a new time of 0:09:19. Our torrent-of-torrents continues with both normal quality DivX AVI and normal quality H.264 MPEG-4 versions available peer-sharing style. Don't forget to seed !

Monday, February 12, 2007 by DJGrenola

Good News

There has been overwhelming demand (er, two requests) for an SDA news feed, and so today sees the launch of such a feed in Atom 1.0 format. Please feel free to subscribe and let us know of any problems you may encounter.

Hot on the heels of the any% I posted back in January comes another Mega Man X5 run by Patrik 'Cremator' Salonen - a 100% this time in 0:34:12, over three times as long as the pure speed run. Patrik's segment count was 21, so to ease downloading we've made two torrents: normal quality DivX AVI and normal quality H.264 MPEG-4.

PC Tomb Raider: Unfinished Business was an expansion pack for the original Tomb Raider, and another submission from Aleš 'Ewil' Horák adds it to the game list - 'Ewil' has sped through in a mere 0:23:21 using 7 segments.

Martell 'VecGun' Cheeks was unhappy with the old Genesis Vectorman run and set about beating it, which, as you have probably guessed by now, he did - the new time is 0:14:16.

Next up is an attempt at bizarre NES platformer Little Nemo: The Dream Master by Ryan Kusnery. Ryan's time was 0:30:50.

Puntastically named NES sidescroller Rush 'n Attack provides today's final speed run. Jim Hanson's effort at this game clocks in at 0:09:53.

One final matter - that of a correction. It was pointed out on the forum that the Xbox Jade Empire run by 'garotte' we posted back in October had been incorrectly timed; we took our sweet time fixing it, but re-timing manually yielded us a new figure of 2:57:06. Apologies, as always, for the goof.

Monday, February 5, 2007 by DJGrenola

Deus Currit

I completed Deus Ex: Invisible War a few years ago, and if you had tried to tell me at that time that the whole thing could be done in less than half an hour I would have wasted no time in phoning the authorities. Perhaps Peter 'Tagio' Snyder is himself bioaugmented, for he has conquered this PC game on Realistic difficulty in a scarcely believable 0:26:49 using 59 segments.

The next game to be shot down in flames will be the SNES Super Mario All Stars version of Super Mario Bros. 2. An existing single-segment run on the US version of this has been beaten by one minute and seventeen seconds with René 'dEr_RiNkE' Rinke the player responsible. This new run has been executed on the European version of the game, and the time is 0:11:17.

Friday, February 2, 2007 by DJGrenola

Sewing Machine

My original draft of this update contained all sorts of puerile jokes about Nintendo's choice of name for their latest console but in the end I decided through clenched teeth to let the opportunity to vent my anger over this ill-advised piece of marketing slide. Yep, we've just got our first Wii run on Trauma Center: Second Opinion from Adam 'Lucid Faia' Sweeney who plays on hard mode and achieves 1:49:07, single-segment. According to his comments, Adam's play style incorporates "basically the worst surgery ever, but done at lightning speed" - I feel a promising future in public healthcare beckons.

Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe is back with an improvement to his own SNES ActRaiser Professional mode run. 'Sir VG' knocks 0:01:53 off the previous attempt and achieves 0:29:31; this run, like its predecessor, abuses death to save time.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 by DJGrenola

Postality

Aleš 'Ewil' Horák was decidedly unhappy with the quality of the Postal² run that we published back in mid-December and was convinced that it would be possible to beat it. The old time has in fact been brutally decapitated by 16 minutes bringing the run under the one hour threshold, and the icing on the cake is that this has been done on a higher difficulty level - Insane-o (that's the skill level, not my assessment of Aleš's performance). Anyway, the new run is a 0:49:46 in 17 segments - the previous run only used 8 - but nevertheless, a great job.

We already list a run on N64 Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon - Ulf 'HidoiMidoriRyuu' Strömberg bolsters this with a completion of the "Consecutive Fighting! Large Boss" mode of this game, which seems to be a "Boss Rush" mode of sorts. The time for this is 0:10:20 - this run was done all the way back in May.

Shaun 'MMAN' Friend holds the record for Tomb Raider 2 right now and he's opened up another category on this game - the Assault Course navigated in a quickfire 0:01:03.9.

This update brings the number of runs in the queue under 20 !

Sunday, January 28, 2007 by DJGrenola

Flying Doctor

Given that my nose is streaming like a tap as I type this, it seems appropriate to publish a triple single-segment treatment of Dr. Mario 64. Kari 'Essentia' Johnson has run this title's Classic mode in 0:38:50, its Story mode in 0:16:53, and the Story mode once more, this time on Hard difficulty in 0:24:27. So, Dr. Mario, can you help me get rid of this stupid cold ?

Ari 'Rapu' Taitto wanted sub-1:30 when he began work on a run of critically acclaimed PS2 title Shadow of the Colossus. Ari battled for half a year and ultimately failed to reach this target but came pretty close with 1:34:30 across 16 segments.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 by DJGrenola

An Unprofitable Day for the Undertaker

The "purest" category on Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (single-segment, no "up+A warping" and no death abuse) is the object of an improvement today. Tommy Montgomery's old 1:18:17 has fallen foul of Chip 'Breakdown' Vogel who stormed through in 1:17:15, 0:01:02 faster. There's apparently a mistake near the end that costs round about 20 seconds, but even Radix admits that this is a very hard category and there are no accidental deaths this time, so congratulations to Chip.

Time for a Mega Man double. Ben 'Cauldrath' Hanes's old five-segment run on Mega Man X5 has been beaten by Patrik 'Cremator' Salonen, who used one more segment than Ben. Patrik's time is 0:10:12, 0:01:42 faster. We have also opened up a page for the Mega Man Anniversary Collection, the first entry on which is a single-segment GameCube run on Mega Man 3 by Daniel Chamness: 0:37:20 is the time.

And finally, Mathew Thompson has contributed a set of individual-level runs on PC Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. His level times sum to 1:16:34; this swift and stealthy feat was performed on Expert difficulty.

Saturday, January 20, 2007 by DJGrenola

In Association with Ibuprofen

A run is already listed here at SDA for the PC version of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell - now there's a run by Oskar 'Yautja Elder' Lundquist on the GameCube version too. Oskar's attempt was performed in 38 segments and works out at 1:21:45. This is somewhat quicker than the PC run, but it falls into a separate category owing to porting inconsistencies and the fact that the two runs were executed on different difficulty settings.

A double bill of death abuse completes this update. Chip 'Breakdown' Vogel leads the single-segment charge through NES platform/RPG hybrid Faxanadu in 0:36:24 with death abuse, and the irrepressible Joe Stanski has done something similar with Pixar tie-in Toy Story for the Genesis in 0:22:33, once again abusing death in the process.

Don't forget that you can embed the streaming Flash versions of all of today's releases in your websites and blogs !

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 by DJGrenola

Taking the Mickey

More Master System fun this morning from Tom 'Konnan' van Mol, again using a European version. Tom has achieved 0:36:24 on platforming puzzler Mickey Mouse: Land of Illusion.

Sunday, January 14, 2007 by DJGrenola

Hasty Heists ... oh wait, and Contra

There exists already a Grand Theft Auto 3 run at SDA, 1:43:40 by Tim Symanczyk on the PlayStation 2 version. Andre 'l2ebel' Bodmer looks for his own piece of the black-market pie now by achieving 1:22:31 in 3 segments. Hopefully we won't see turf wars between these two Godfathers though; Andre's run is on the PC version of the game, and we're treating console and PC runs as separate categories - so go easy on the gang warfare, guys.

Nate screwed up my GTA-themed news post by unexpectedly moving a NES Contra run into Ready to Update. Hence any complaints revolving around lack of witticisms as I announce that the existing low % record holder Ray 'Croc Doc' Cullen has knocked five seconds off the old any % run by Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson thereby achieving 0:10:50 and owning the page outright should be directed to Jahnke Towers. Congratulations to Ray on achieving an improvement on a popular and hotly-contested title.

Saturday, January 13, 2007 by DJGrenola

Something for the Weekend

The second addition to the Master System lineup emerged sooner than I thought it would - Wonder Boy in Monster Land ripped through by Tom 'Konnan' van Mol in 0:21:27. This was executed on the European version.

Vectorman 2 is today's second game, a Genesis title played via the GameCube Sonic Gems Collection. 0:13:24 was Mike McKenzie's time; this was again done on the European version.

Hemmo 'Heme' Hyttinen produces a lovely round time for our third feature: single-segment 0:30:00 on PS2 Tony Hawk's Underground 2. This too was performed on the European version, but with this being a modern release we don't believe this has any effect on game speed.

Adam 'Introverder' Titowicz has improved his own time on PC Silent Hill 2 Hard mode Maria's Quest by 6 seconds to 0:06:23.

Friday, January 12, 2007 by DJGrenola

Owned

Joe Stanski claimed to have retired from Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog 2 speed running, but that didn't last long. Back with a vengeance, he has booted out Nate and Philippe 'Suzaku' Henry's two remaining levels from the individual-level table, whilst at the same time improving five of his own times. As such, the entire Sonic 2 page from top to bottom now belongs to the unstoppable Stanski.

Will this be the last time I have to do this ? How much faster can Stanski go ?

These crazy revisions cleave 17 seconds from the individual-level total, which now stands at a rather improbable 0:17:29. Congratulations to Joe.

Thursday, January 11, 2007 by DJGrenola

Masterful

As I write this, the Sega Master System category at SDA contains one game, and that's not even a Master System run - it's a run of a GBA port of a Master System original. There are therefore no Master System runs at SDA right now. This morning, I will fix this situation.

Alex Kidd in Miracle World was an ahead-of-its-time classic when released as a cartridge - so much so that it was subsequently built into the Master System hardware itself. A run of it is long overdue, so it is with great pleasure that I announce this 0:17:33 by Tom 'Konnan' van Mol on the European version of the game. More Master System runs, please !

Following on neatly from the Diddy Kong Racing runs published a few days ago comes this contribution from Mike McKenzie. Mike has improved the Cheato's cheats category of Nintendo 64 Banjo Tooie with a single-segment 0:53:18 performance which lays waste to the older 0:56:25 by Adam Vierra from April 2006.

And to finish up, PlayStation release Spyro: Year of the Dragon is added to the game list with a 12-segment, 100% effort (although the game claims it to be 117%) forged by the capable hands of Daniel 'CannibalK9' Burns. Again, this was done on the European revision of the game and clocks in at 4:39.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 by DJGrenola

Ninja Gaidone Quick

I have often heard Nate rave about Xbox Ninja Gaiden, so this update should please him in two ways: Firstly, he'll be overjoyed to see some runs of it go up; secondly, it will give him the opportunity to recover 17 gig of space on his RAID ...

Josh Mangini is the man behind the hood for tonight's assassinations, both of which are on the updated "Director's Cut" version of this title: Ninja Gaiden Black. This 27-segment 1:41:08 is a big improvement over his original, unposted attempt which bore a time of 1:53:29. In fact, Josh was close to being able to beat his original segmented time without using saves: He has also donated a single-segment attempt in 1:55:05. It's always gratifying to see players going the extra mile to push their times down further.

Monday, January 8, 2007 by DJGrenola

Diddybytes ?

The venerable Radix informs me that today's update pushes total SDA video content firmly past the one terabyte mark. Of course I'd much prefer 1024 to the power four to be referred to as a "tebibyte", so if there are no SDA updates for a little while it's because I got into a fight with Radix about it and he broke my fingers. Anyway, thanks and congratulations to all the runners who have helped us achieve this wonderful milestone - long may it continue !

The runner responsible for pushing us over the edge is Stefan Mahrla, who adds a pair of runs on the European version of N64 Diddy Kong Racing to the run on Blast Corps we posted on the 29th of last month. Firstly there's a single-segment 100% in 2:37:24. This run includes the last trophy race and unlocks the Drumstick character which qualifies it for 100% status. Secondly we have a "new game +" style production using the "TT" (clock) character, again a single-segment, but this time without the 100% extras; the time is a slightly quicker 2:21:44.

Saturday, January 6, 2007 by DJGrenola

Singled Out

One thing you learn after spending a while in the speed run game is that everyone has a slightly different opinion on how runs ought to be played and categorised. This update should please those diehards who hold the deep and unshakeable belief that single-segment is the only way to go ...

We already list runs on Kirby 64 and Kirby Super Star and to these we now add a single-segment effort at Kirby & the Amazing Mirror for the Game Boy Advance. Emmitt Robert Kraft is the protagonist this time with this 0:42:14.

Honours are even on the PS2 Devil May Cry page right now with two runners sharing the limelight at two categories apiece. Michael 'sternn' McEnroe evens the score today by opening a fourth category on this game - a run as the Legendary Dark Knight on 'Dante Must Die !' skill. 1:17:43 is the final time with 'sternn' once again producing a dual-audio version of his run that features a spoken commentary track. This has only been done for the high quality edition of the run this time, and the usual disclaimers apply - Matroska is not officially supported by SDA, you can get the .mkv from archive, and any problem you may have with this file is exactly that - your problem. For a little more information on getting the dual-audio version to play, please scroll down to the rant with which I announced Michael's previous run on November 20th. The single audio avi/mp4 versions are of course available in the usual place. Enjoy !

Friday, January 5, 2007 by DJGrenola

Backlog, Part Three

Mike 'TSA' Damiani's old single-segment 4:57 run on Nintendo 64 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time from summer 2005 has been consumed by the ravenous Mauri 'Kazooie' Mustonen. Not only has Mauri managed to achieve a single-segment 4:46, eleven minutes faster, but it has been done on the intrinsically slower European version of the game - a compelling achievement. If you're intimately familiar with OoT you may see some areas that can be done faster through the abuse of more severe glitches, but some of these are forbidden by SDA rules, and others would cause a separate category. Oh, and we've made a torrent of the normal quality DivX AVI of this run for your peer-sharing pleasure.

The Valkyrie Profile games appear to be in the ascendancy ... in the time I've been doing SDA updates we've seen two quickfire runs on the original and now they are joined by a 29-segment assault upon the PS2 sequel, Valkyrie Profile 2 by Alex 'Alkaiser77' Eng. 2:45:57 is the time - verifiers opined that the platforming in this run wasn't so great, but also that it seemed well planned and featured good boss fights, so we decided to keep it.

Thursday, January 4, 2007 by DJGrenola

Backlog, Part Two

There were supposed to be more items in today's update, but sadly I have been comprehensively thwarted by archive.org.

PC Star Wars RPG Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords joins the game list today with a 58-segment production by Carlos Wolfe. A lot of effort went into timing this run: Mike had to use in excess of 200 cutoff points to end up with a final reckoning of 3:39. We have created a "dark" category for this run since the player takes the dark side path exclusively ... everyone knows the dark side of the Force is cooler anyway.

Completing today's update are David T. 'Megafrost' Kraft and his dash through Blaster Master. David made short work of this NES classic in 0:44:09.

[Old News (2020)]
[Old News (2019)]
[Old News (2018)]
[Old News (2017)]
[Old News (2016)]
[Old News (2015)]
[Old News (2014)]
[Old News (2013)]
[Old News (2012)]
[Old News (2011)]
[Old News (2010)]
[Old News (2009)]
[Old News (2008)]
[Old News (2007)]
[Old News (2006)]
[Old News (2005)]
[Old News (2004)]