Tuesday, December 30, 2008 by Enhasa
This update is to let you know what's going on in the near future. As some of you already know, SDA is having its first-ever modern get-together at MAGFest this year, where we will be presenting a panel. Come support us in person if you can make it! Since everyone on staff will be there, the next update will probably be afterwards, around January 8 or so. We also won't be responding to any communication while we're there. Don't worry though! dex will make a Quake post in several days to satisfy your speedrunning lust.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 by Enhasa
More Mega Men
To go with the old Mega Man game, we also have a run for the game that looks like an old Mega Man game. Steven 'Master ZED' Ellis has disassembled Mega Man 9 in 0:21:37 (torrent), a massive three minutes and eleven seconds faster than Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk's run. At the time this run was recorded, it ranked 4th on the Wii leaderboard; that's highly remarkable given that everyone else's times were achieved essentially as segmented New Game + runs. Despite what you might think, progress on this game still has a long ways to go. Steven himself is regularly improving on his times, and other SDA runners such as Matt Pine and, yes, Sattik Ghosh are also preparing for this record.
Friday, December 19, 2008 by Enhasa
Magical Fantasy Adventure
The second run in this update is for a Falcom game through and through, an action RPG in the vein of the Ys or Dragon Slayer series. It's Popful Mail, starring a heroine of the same name. Elijah 'scaryice' Miller follows up his Lunar: The Silver Star run with yet another Working Designs localization for the Sega CD. His run is single-segment and finishes in 1:26:13. This feat is even more impressive because at almost every point in the run, death occurs from two hits at full health. Popful Mail encourages speedrunning, and the best rank and all outtakes are available upon beating the game in under five hours. Do the math and Elijah's ratio is even better than the current Metroid run.
Monday, December 15, 2008 by Enhasa
This next game is fairly obscure, but that's just how we like it here at SDA. Let's give a hearty welcome to Laszlo Seta. On Bronze mode as the Daemon, Laszlo goes to camp on 2005's Sacred Underworld, the expansion to Sacred. He hacks and slashes to a final time of 1:37:56 in 26 segments, utilizing various refinements that were slowly accumulated since 2007. Maybe someone will be up to the task of playing as a character without the mark of the beast for the next run. Sacred Underworld suffered sales-wise from being developed by some company not named Blizzard, but you can get a taste of what it's all about if you watch Laszlo's run.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008 by Enhasa
The other run is for a Dungeons & Dragons game that isn't by Bioware or Black Isle. Instead it's Westwood's Eye of the Beholder, their first early success before they eventually became best known for Command & Conquer. Daniel 'Cromarty' Enright didn't run the DOS version, however, but the Capcom port to the SNES. He determined that the pad actually controlled better than the SNES mouse, so he padded along to a time of 0:17:04. One of the most interesting parts of this run is the strong biblical flavor of the chosen character names. If you think about it, a lot of those guys had names of four letters or less that made them suitable for old RPGs.
Saturday, December 6, 2008 by Enhasa
Command & Conker
Instead of C&C, the game you're getting in its place is Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure. The Mayans did their fair share of conquering, I suppose. Ruben 'Fliperotchy' Villegas, a newcomer to SDA, is the runner of this game. Anyone who has met him will agree that Ruben certainly does not lack for enthusiasm, impatience, or self-confidence. He mixed these attributes together in a blender and the result is a Hard mode 0:13:09 done on the SNES. We're retaining Tommy Montgomery's slower run on the Genesis version, because the SNES version has major glitches that allow you to skip entire boss fights.
In retrospect, the funniest part of Conker's Bad Fur Day is Conker taking a chainsaw to the N64 logo and replacing it with the Rare logo. Who doesn't love a little historical humor? Speaking of which, Derek 'SnapDragon' Kisman's 2:10:32 from May 2001 was itself a historical artifact. As far as I know, it was the oldest console speedrun on SDA. It's had a long stay, but finally Karl 'Normand' Grenier has sent it to the retirement home with his first publication, a single-segment 1:37:59. Let's have a moment of silence for SnapDragon, whose soul was consumed first by the World of Warcraft and then Gamerscore hunting.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008 by Enhasa
The first of these games, and probably the easier one to deduce, is Mega Man 6. Oh right, it was made even easier by the fact that I alluded to this run's existence a couple of weeks ago. There's less than a month to go, and wee Sattik 'Tiki' Ghosh is already planning an Uncle Scrooge-style vault with which to hold the $600 he is soon to collect — I think he enjoys swimming in pennies. Sattik's current time is now 0:36:45. That's 51 seconds better than Jim 'vgmrsepitome' Hanson's run, but the ever-defiant Sattik is still trying to improve his time because that's the speedrunning way.
The other game is Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven, SDA's first listed game in the series. I didn't know this until just now, but it turns out that Might and Magic and Heroes of Might and Magic are actually different series. (I used to think people were just too lazy to say the "Heroes of" part every time.) In any case, we now have our first run from this entire collection of games, courtesy of Landon Leo 'Xiaoyazhi' Tan, who hails from Singapore. His maiden speedrun obtains the good ending in 0:42:20 (torrent) using 44 segments. I must admit that I don't know anything about this game, but I do know that the verifiers were extremely impressed.
Saturday, November 29, 2008 by Enhasa
Many a Mega Man fan is in utter awe at the skills of Seth Glass; Sattik 'Tiki' Ghosh even holds him in higher esteem than he does Chuck Norris and other various superheroes. After Seth's previous Mega Man 2 run went up, viewers unanimously clamored to see the same level of play, only this time exploiting glitches such as zipping and the pause trick. It's time for everyone to rejoice, as the reworked version is now down to an incredible 0:29:02, a whole minute and thirty-one seconds faster. For this new run, Mr. Glass has some of the least informative run comments ever, but since the actual product is so good, I'm sure you'll forgive him.
Thursday, November 27, 2008 by Enhasa
Are You There God? It's Me, Imoen.
Eli 'Smilge' Chase makes quite a splash with his first run, which is a rather large improvement to an already great run. The game is Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, and the mage/thief class is now all the rage. Eli demonstrates its effectiveness with a 17-segment 0:41:31 (torrent) that obsoletes Dominic 'DAMURDOC' Legault's human sorcerer run by six minutes and eighteen seconds. Many of Dominic's strategies were reused here, so his continued presence is clearly felt. You can't help but feel sorry for the poor Infinity Engine as Eli works it over in countless twisted ways.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 by Enhasa
I used to be a mech soldier
Today's other run is from a familiar face. The thing that separates Andrew Gardikis from other people is that while others (myself included) post about how they could handily beat the existing Marble Madness speedrun, Andrew just goes and does it. And thus the second shortest full-game run on all of SDA is slashed by nineteen seconds all the way down to 0:02:54. Considering that Elliott Feiertag's run was also deathless and very clean-looking, most observers figured that a time shaving of that magnitude was maybe not even possible. Andrew's achievement was to behave like a man with blatant disregard for his own marbles.
Sunday, November 23, 2008 by Enhasa
So easy, an ad agency can do it
Cavemen have been slowly infiltrating the SDA ranks, and in this update, they take over yet another game page. They seem particularly bent on proving they can platform as well as any modern-day plumber. First Joe & Mac, now Chuck Rock, then a game you should probably be able to figure out since it stars the most famous platforming caveman of all. But back to the present. I admire anyone with eccentric tastes, and Marc J. 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski just keeps on delivering with the underdog speedruns. Apparently a fan of wrestling with his controls much like he wrestles crocodiles, Marc manages an impressive 0:11:55. The most impressive part is how he did this on an empty stomach.
Friday, November 21, 2008 by dex
Get your Quake on
Oldie of the Update!
Today's 'Oldie' is not an 'Oldie' at all. It's the fastest Easy Run on the first map in Quake - The Slipgate Complex (e1m1). It was submitted to our bunny comparison page by Jonathan Lenhardt a few months ago. However, it isn't the record on the map, because it didn't beat the earlier demo by Peter Horvath by an entire second. Despite that, Jonathan's demo deserves recognition for taking smoothness to the limit, so here it is: MQ, HQ, IQ.
Also, because there were less worthy demos this month, an extra Oldie. A history of how The Elder God Shrine (e4m3) Nightmare Run evolved - 3 demos. The first one from the era when bunnyhopping was not known by 'DooMfienD', the second one from Markus Taipale, and the current record by the one, the only... Peter Horvath! The last one is a real treat. Get MQ or HQ.
Remember, everyone is welcome to start running Quake. Drop by our IRC channel (#qdq on irc.quakenet.org), and we'll help you in your speedrunning endeavours. There're plenty of maps to run for everyone. :)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008 by Enhasa
Today's first big upgrade is on Mega Man II for Game Boy. Jonathan 'Brightstar' Fields's speedrun from way back in April 2004 was significant as the first Mega Man run ever to be posted on SDA. Not to make too much of a point of it, but this 0:25:46 had gained some infamy as being one of the runs that people most wanted to see obsoleted. Some had beaten the old time handily, but they never submitted because they weren't yet satisfied. Patrik 'Cremator' Salonen finally makes these distant dreams a reality with a gigantic improvement of over five minutes, for a final time of 0:20:07.
The other upgrade today is for a game whose competition is heating up as 2008 draws to a close, with Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson's bounty closing along with it. Jim 'vgmrsepitome' Hanson strikes back at Sattik 'Tiki' Ghosh's 0:38:10 on Mega Man 6 with an improvement of thirty-four seconds. So at least for the moment, Jim's 0:37:36 stands tall, but several runners are known to be gunning for the new time, including Sattik himself. Sattik is such an expert speedrunner that he may have actually sequence broken this update with his next improvement, but that's a topic for another day.
Saturday, November 15, 2008 by Enhasa
Negasonic Teenage Warhead
Today's other run is also new to SDA. It's for the NES port of Dragon's Lair, which has somehow been released more than 50 times over the years. The 1990 NES port came out seven years after the original arcade release, and in the process, it lost all the high-quality animation and really most aspects about the game (including genre) and picked up quite a bit of infamy. You see, NES Dragon's Lair is absolutely notorious for being one of the most brutally difficult games of all time. Joakim 'Wizphix' Mäkipää's accomplishment of 0:06:56 on the European version has earned him accolades merely for beating the game deathless, let alone doing it quickly.
Thursday, November 13, 2008 by Enhasa
I got my Half-Life
Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson is back again and all is right in the world. His latest speedrun is so powerful that it managed to obsolete both of the runs previously on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game page. The victims are Elliott Feiertag's 0:39:20 and Freddy's own 0:46:32 on the slower European version. Compared to those times, this 0:35:53 must seem almost unbelievable. To reach that level of difference, Freddy incorporated minor but constant refinements throughout the entirety of the game. Don't fret that the date of this run is from over a year ago; Freddy is hard at work as always in the speedrunning lab.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008 by Enhasa
Welcome to Domino's
The Noid might not be a marketing icon that everyone still remembers, but trust me, he was ubiquitous back in the 80s. He even provoked an insane customer named Kenneth Noid, who thought the commercials were mocking him, to hold a local Domino's hostage. Join Andrew Gardikis in a slightly less deranged experience with a 0:22:40 run of Yo! Noid. Andrew proves once more that he will speedrun any game he really likes, no matter how popular or not, or even how many pizza battles are involved. In this brave new world of advertisement game speedruns, who knows what we will find? Maybe Cool Spot, Pepsiman, or McDonald's Treasureland Adventure?
In a fit of perverted genius, Capcom decided to produce a game that actually deserves to be called "retro." Probably no game has ever generated as much pre-release speedrunning excitement as Mega Man 9 has. The hunger of the masses is finally sated with Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk's run in 0:24:48 (torrent), which is several minutes faster than preliminary efforts by various runners. This game has attracted plenty of willing speedrunners, so don't expect this to be the end of Mega Man 9 running by a long shot. Fortunately for all of us, Chris likes to make audio commentaries, so crank it up for a more pleasurable experience.
Saturday, November 8, 2008 by Enhasa
Welcome to Silent Hill
Easy mode seems to be a bit of a theme, applying to the next run as well. The prolific and ultra-skilled Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski once again demonstrates his versatility with another run on a different type of game, this time Heart of Darkness. No, this has nothing to do with Joseph Conrad's famous work. Instead, it's an adventure platformer that was noticeably designed by the creator of Out of This World. Due to the nature of the game, Maciej's 40-segment 0:23:49 doesn't contain any fancy tricks, just good old-fashioned luck manipulation and even more near-death experiences than a normal playthrough.
Monday, November 3, 2008 by Enhasa
Welcome to Rapture
The other game in this update is Irrational's spiritual successor to the System Shock series: BioShock. Many people have been eagerly awaiting the completion of a BioShock run since its release, and now they can thank Mirko 'cortez' Brown for running the PC version for SDA. His time is 1:04:20 (torrent, HQ torrent), done in 56 segments and combined into 14 files. Mirko includes a lot of very nice tricks in his run and even some bloopers as a special bonus. What are you waiting for? Here's your chance to finally stick it to that freshman English professor who forced you to read Ayn Rand. Get downloading, would you kindly?
Saturday, November 1, 2008 by Enhasa
Welcome to Violent City
The trend in GTA running and really the majority of multisystem game running has been to use the PC version for finer control via mouse input. Jamie 'mongoanytime' Stone apparently has no use for either this trend or the one where you use your back foot to push off while skateboarding. Regardless of control preference, this 2:02:46 (torrent, HQ torrent) of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is hot. Jamie's run is split into three segments to scrub those hard-to-reach areas. I know in many viewers' minds, Grand Theft Auto has become synonymous with audio commentaries, but I guess you'll just have to cope without them this time.
Monday, October 27, 2008 by dex
Respect your elders
Such a turn of events has made the Quake community smaller and smaller, and in order to revive the interest in Quake, SDA Team decided to include Quake updates on the main part of the site. But, but! Not everyone has Quake, which is necessary to watch Quake demos. That's why the updates on the main site will contain encoded videos of a few demos in a quality slightly higher than NQ, while the simultaneous Quake site updates will contain all demos for everyone with a Quake copy.
A very brief explanation. Quake demos are done in an Individual Level manner. Each level gets 4 single-player categories - Easy Run, Easy 100%, Nightmare Run, Nightmare 100%. Easy and Nightmare are skill levels. Run means exiting as fast as possible, 100% means getting all kills and all secrets and exiting as fast as possible. Besides that, there are coop and marathon categories. Demos are done both on official maps from Quake and on custom maps approved by the QuakeSDA staff. Id maps are usually prefixed as 'exmx', meaning 'episode x map x'. So, time for the demos, and in a lucky coincidence we have a LOT of id demos...
Also, some demos from custom maps, incidentally from id remixes:
Well, those were some nice demos. But, we've been around for over 10 years, surely we must have something better, right? And we do! In every one of such updates, I'll try to show you an Oldie of the Update, which will usually be one of the finest demos we've had among over 10000 demos made to date. And what better way to start than with something really, really good? Today's demo is a treat from the year 2000, one of the top demos we've had. It has a huge amount of boosting, and a huge amount of amazing action. Oh, and it has luring a zombie to save time, too! In order to give those 'top' demos better quality, as well as to show you how nice Quake can look today, there'll be an Insane Quality version made with enhanced textures, models, hud and similar things. So, without further ado:
Phew, that was a lengthy update. Don't worry, the next ones will be way shorter :). Check out the Quake part of the site for all the 17 demos in the latest update.
Sunday, October 26, 2008 by Enhasa
Fighting of the Spirit
In a humorous turn of events, Mike just informed me that somehow the GoldenEye Wouter Jansen and the Shadow Man Wouter Jansen are in fact different people with the same name. So the former Wouter is still retired and you should probably ignore everything I just said, except of course that part where I implied that you should watch this run.
I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say that due to the circumstances and years of waiting, this next run is the realization of the single most highly anticipated game to ever appear on SDA: Tales of Symphonia, our first Tales game and surely not our last. Long considered far too lengthy to ever appear on this site, it turns out that the trick to getting a manageable New Game time is to enlist the help of three friends. That's right, Michael 'Flip714' Dix, Marcus 'DaBlueDragoon' Dix, Mark 'Peebs97' Peebles, and Tyler 'ukm101' McDaniel join forces to produce SDA's first ever four-player speedrun in 7:48 (torrent, HQ torrent) using 70 segments. They also tag-teamed to write the comments, which are a bona fide must-read in every sense, including learning whose travails you are laughing at in each fight.
Thursday, October 23, 2008 by Enhasa
The Polish Rifle is back. Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski: crazy good or just plain crazy? It may be even harder to tell after you watch his 0:31:46 (torrent) of the second-party expansion Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil. This doesn't just obsolete, but rather obliterates Joseph 'Apathy' Wilcox's 0:52:25 from shortly after the game's release in 2005. Maciej's run uses 37 segments compared to the 12 segments of the preceding run, but when you shoot it, you'll know where that extra money went. Read the highly informative comments with explanations and problem areas, written in the unmistakable groobo style of professional savagery.
Saturday, October 18, 2008 by Enhasa
Resident Jade, Evil Empire
Now from Biohazard to Bioware. The Jade Empire page was also supposed to grow, but Trevis 'garrote' Hall's old run in 2:57:06 was taken down in favor of Christian 'ninetigerr' Koch's new run using another character — read the note to find out why they aren't separate categories. Christian, also a SDA newcomer, seems like a very enthusiastic person. Maybe he's just excited about his 2:35:58 (torrent) in 12 segments. There are numerous differences and improvements since Trevis's run, so do check out the new run. Christian is mulling over the idea of a single-segment run, so if and when that happens, you might just know who's responsible.
Monday, October 13, 2008 by Enhasa
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Rob 'Mickey_Mage' Whitener is a champion of these lesser known titles, and today he graces us with a SNES run that isn't a Mickey Mouse game. Instead, it's Data East's Joe & Mac, ported from the arcades. It features the titular cavemen, who fight all sorts of prehistoric adversaries as they platform and run 'n
gun bone through user-selected stages in order to rescue the kidnapped cavegirls. Once again, Rob's chosen game has some peculiar physics and controls, so it's an added bonus seeing how he overcomes this. He finishes in 0:23:26 with deaths, but that's honestly to be expected considering how dangerous it was back then. Make no mistake: this is quite the high quality speedrun.
For this next speedrun, I'd like to welcome all readers of the Glasgow Courier and Good Evening Glasgow. (No, that's Glasgow, Montana, not Scotland.) Please welcome Darren 'Ultimate Darius' Cornell to the SDA ranks. He makes his entrance with Pokémon FireRed, the complement to LeafGreen. Darren thanks a lot of people in his comments, including Tom 'slowbro' Batchelor, who offered a $100 bounty for a single-segment run. I suppose that would be a spoiler that this 2:49:09 (torrent) is in fact single-segment. We at SDA would like to make a disclaimer that while it may be amusing to see "U used TACKLE!" throughout this run, your English teacher will likely not approve.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008 by Enhasa
On the Warpath
Our first speedrun is for Hitman: Codename 47. While we already have runs for Hitman 2 and Hitman: Contracts on SDA, this is our first run for the first game in the series. Rejoice! Daniel 'CannibalK9' Burns is the runner, and he's making quite a name for himself with his wonderful audio commentaries. He doesn't disappoint with his Hitman run in 0:34:19 (torrent, HQ torrent), so please give it a listen — if you want any run comments at all, you'll have to. Daniel realized that everyone just listens to his audio commentaries, and there's not too much information to convey this time, so his text comments basically serve as a placeholder.
The other game is really an expansion. It's Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs, and nobody will give you a prize for guessing that it's the expansion for Age of Empires III, which debuted on this site in May. Bart 'TheVoid' de Waal, PC runner extraordinaire and all-around helpful dude, has produced this run in 1:57:39. He mostly kept the development of this run a secret, but Bart's general perfectionism is no secret. This speedrun, similar to the film Little Big Man, ends with the Battle of the Little Bighorn; both are highly recommended viewing.
Saturday, October 4, 2008 by Enhasa
Fight to the Death
You may recall that back on July 11, Pablo 'DJ Mike Haggar' Bert vowed to defend his Battletoads records to the death. The time of reckoning has arrived. Stepping into the steel cage is the new challenger, Chris 'Shadowknife' Foreman, who presumably carries a shadowy knife of some sort that will be used to combat Pablo's deadly deejaying skills. Despite becoming nervous near the end, Chris makes a clean incision on the toads with his 0:19:36, an improvement of thirty-seven seconds. The 100% time by Pablo still stands, but for how long? Will he be able to defend it, or will all his attention be focused on launching his counterattack?
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 by Enhasa
Speaking of which, this speedrun will certainly also make you wonder what is going on, probably even if you've beaten the game before. Yes, it's the return of that popular game to run and break: Portal. This time it's acclaimed runner Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski's turn, and he follows through with a single-segment 0:13:06 (torrent, HQ torrent) that uses glitches to skip large chunks of the game at a time. Michael 'DemonStrate' Yanni's segmented run in 0:14:27 was not replaced for this reason. Maciej's skills are such that he was previously accused of cheating, so he shut them up real good by recording himself playing this time.
This next speedrun might have the same baffling effect as well, since it moves from start to finish so quickly and also doesn't look that much like normal play. Simon 'Sorcerer88' Schmid held the previous Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 record with a single-segment run in 0:06:23. Now after a route tweak and some little tricks, the record is held by, well, the same person. Simon's third iteration of the run, again single-segment, clocks in at 0:05:47, which is some very nice work indeed. This version is also available in high quality and in English, for those that care. And I know you do. Viva La Bam.
Thursday, September 25, 2008 by Enhasa
The story of Daniel 'Kareshi' Brown's speedrun starts with Scott 'sdkess' Kessler, a man holding tremendous respect at SDA. Scott has submitted runs to us before, but one day back in 2005, he managed to beat the famously punishing Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts without taking a single hit. He didn't submit it since the "no damage" aspect was the top priority instead of speed, but he still labeled it a speedrun in 0:45:48 on Normal mode. Daniel, who is probably most famous for his GNG run on this site, thought he would be just the man to do SGNG right. Speedrunning the game is quite like playing for no damage, as one hit makes you lose the golden armor, which slows you down enough to be worthy of a reset. After months of practice and over a year of nonstop recording, the result is Daniel's magnum opus: 0:42:05 on Professional mode.
Sunday, September 21, 2008 by Enhasa
The first of these games is Rayman 2: The Great Escape. By now, the Rabbids might be more well-known than Rayman himself; I wonder what that Ancel fellow thinks about that. Lloyd 'Manocheese' Palmer is known as the guy who did justice to Ocarina of Time, and his considerable 3D platforming prowess is put to good use in his 2:17:25 (torrent). This speedrun is even single-segment, which some observers deemed "insane," and comes complete with scintillating audio commentary! But wait, there's more! Rayman 2 has a couple of timed sublevels. Lloyd ran these too, so please enjoy Walk of Life in 0:01:29.59 and Walk of Power in 0:01:27.56. By the way, the Dreamcast version has some additional timed mini-games, if anyone catches my drift.
This next game was supposed to be in the last update, as some of you might have guessed, but a single-segment Wii run was canceled for reworking at the last minute. That's alright, because we still have André Göhlsch's individual-levels run of Manhunt 2. His run is on the PS2 version and takes a total time of 0:53:00 (torrent) to complete. André hails from Germany, which is known for its draconian stance against violent games. He found a leaked beta version and ran that, but we don't accept runs on unofficial versions, so André had to wait for the eventual censored Mature release. So finally he imported the game from the US and ran it in black and white — but don't worry, what you see is in color — on his PAL TV. Now that's dedication.
You may have noticed that last paragraph was slightly different from the normal description of individual levels. Since we require a full table of individual levels already, we've changed the paradigm from a set of unrelated runs to an individual-levels run, comprised of individual levels. One upshot of this is that we now have combined download pages and the ability to make a torrent for each individual-levels run. There should be no drawbacks to this change, so you should still be able to download individual levels from the table or watch them embedded in your browser. Let me know if you have any problems.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 by Enhasa
Why So Serious?
Well, I do still have Paper Mario. This speedrun is brought to you by Kyle 'batman9502' Duffy, who would like to make the claim that the first 9501 batmen were all imposters. Kyle has performed a massive improvement to the old run by Philippe 'Wak' Brisson in 52 segments. Kyle's run utilizes 53 segments for 3:38 (torrent), which is a whole hour and twenty-six minutes faster. Not to single him out since the run dates back to 2005, but whenever the topic would come up for which run on SDA was most improvable, Philippe's run was commonly mentioned.
Maybe the comparison could instead be made between Nintendo and a title many gamers would like to ban, violently. That game is Mega Man X7. Patrik 'Cremator' Salonen bans the any% run in 1:02:41 by Alex 'AquaTiger' Nichols to the speedrun afterlife with his 0:56:59. This run is low% on the European version in 11 segments, presented in glorious 3D Technicolor. Patrik includes a list of glitches as well as overall and level comments, so those of you like Patrik who prefer genuinely informative comments will surely appreciate these.
Sunday, September 14, 2008 by Enhasa
The "best 2nd-cycle time" category for The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is sort of a strange relic. The previous run by Peter 'Dragorn' Branam-Lefkove was done at a time when SDA had a much more laissez-faire attitude regarding play quality, video quality, and run objectives. Peter's run aimed for game time and was listed as such, and Daniel 'SoulCalibrII' Chamness had the same idea, so the result is a far lower 2:23 (torrent, HQ torrent). Daniel's run in 30 segments also doesn't actually finish the game since that involves waiting around until the end of the cycle anyway. We allowed his run because of the prior existence of the category.
Now from Majora's mask we move on to Carmilla's mask. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood is considered by many to be both the greatest Castlevania game and the greatest PC Engine game. Unavailable in any form to most Westerners until recently, Rondo of Blood now has a run on SDA courtesy of Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe. His run in 0:40:10 uses Maria, who isn't nearly as broken as she is in the Saturn version of Symphony of the Night, but yeah, she's way better than Richter. Oddly enough, just like the Majora's Mask run, Nicholas's run doesn't conclude with killing the final boss. I don't know how many runs we have like this, but it can't be much more than a couple.
It's worth noting that Nicholas's run is 100%, which in this context means all stages, bosses, and prisoners. If you'd like to know how we define things, or if you're looking to make a low% or 100% run, perhaps this definitions thread will be useful to you.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 by Enhasa
Our first item of concern is Ratchet & Clank. The third installment of the series is already listed on SDA in 2:22:38, and now it's joined by the original in roughly half the time. Please say hi to Robert 'RJWaters2' Ashbaugh, who brings the goods with this 1:11:56 (torrent, HQ torrent). This is actually the third version of Robert's run, which in its current form uses 16 segments and skips large portions of the game using glitches. I probably join some of you in wondering when the second game or any of the rest of the ever-expanding series will appear on SDA. Of course, if you have the skills, you don't have to wonder. You can make it happen.
Also keep a watch out for Metroid. Nate deferred on doing this part of the update, so you get to hear me tell the tale of how the itsy bitsy Andrew 'spidey-widey' Brockmann went up the waterspout. (Remember: you were warned earlier of this possibility by the NWS.) With his first run, Andrew has already achieved a feat that most speedrunners never do. His single-segment 0:28:42 (torrent) of Metroid Zero Mission was so dominant, despite some costly mistakes, that it actually obsoleted two runs by Luke 'transience' Yagnow: a single-segment run in 0:29:58 and a segmented run in 0:28:50. Ah, the sweet sound of three years of progress.
Friday, September 5, 2008 by Enhasa
All is Brawl
Sunday, August 31, 2008 by Enhasa
There's been some good competition between several runners for the Sonic the Hedgehog record. Of course, this is the 1991 game, not the 2006 one, which was so poorly received that many of you might not even remember it exists scarcely two years later. Joe Stanski previously had the best time with 0:17:52, and now we welcome Charles Griffin with 0:15:05. As you might notice, this is a large improvement, and we have carretero, ChaosControl, and the work of many others to thank for this current achievement. Yes, at SDA we truly stand on the shoulders of giants.
I know people out there are anxious for a speedrun of the 2008 Ninja Gaiden II to come out, but while that's being worked on, I'm sure nobody will mind another great improvement to the NES Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, released in 1990. Josh 'LigerOfFortune' Styger's iron reign over all three NES Ninja Gaiden games was brief yet brutal. He has been toppled by the insurgent Jim 'vgmrsepitome' Hanson with a time of 0:11:21, eighteen seconds faster. Stay tuned to see who lands the next blow in the eternal battle between a liger of fortune and some kind of jumble of letters.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008 by Enhasa
TimeShift is a first-person shooter where you can — wait for it! — shift time. It would then seem quite reasonable to expect that such mechanics might lend themselves to interesting uses in a speedrun. Robin 'Ekelbatzen' Schoenborn runs; you decide! All you have to do is download his 1:29:51 and see for yourself. The run's 24 segments have been fused into one file for your downloading convenience, or you could also grab the torrent.
It wasn't the first game with Wario in it, but Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land was the first one starring Mario's evil counterpart. Since then, Wario has gotten a whole host of games of his own, but now we have a run of his humble beginnings. Rob 'Mickey_Mage' Whitener is the runner, and 0:42:34 is his time. In addition to the normal drama from watching the actual game, there is added drama from seeing how large Wario's castle will be at the end.
Saturday, August 23, 2008 by Enhasa
Phantasy Star Battle Offline
Tuesday, August 19, 2008 by Enhasa
Monday, August 18, 2008 by Enhasa
I love the shuriken
Sunday, August 17, 2008 by Enhasa
Bounty Hunter II: Return of Sattik
Saturday, August 16, 2008 by Enhasa
Since I don't think Mike really mentioned it himself anywhere, I should probably let you know that he went on vacation earlier today and won't be back until Monday the 25th. We have some runs coming down the pipeline, so it won't affect you if you're purely a watcher, but if you're looking to contact him, now you understand why he won't be responding.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 by Enhasa
The Sonic 2
Monday, August 11, 2008 by Enhasa
From here on out it's The Goonies II
Many of our viewers might not be old enough to remember The Goonies, an extremely 80s kid-adventure movie. Those that do, however, probably thought they were safe over twenty years later from the tie-in single, The Goonies 'R' Good Enough. Nope, Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody is back with two speedruns of The Goonies II, and sure enough, the game immediately starts off with some NES-synthesized Cyndi Lauper. The rest of the game sounds like vintage Konami, maybe Wai Wai World, which you can hear as you watch the any% in 0:17:33 or the 100% in 0:24:08. Watch both runs and treat yourself to a cookie!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008 by Enhasa
Liger & the Ancient Ship of Doom
Friday, August 1, 2008 by Enhasa
Our Mario Kart 64 individual-levels table hails from ancient times. Vincent Tolhuis makes his appearance on the table and gives it a little shot in the arm with seven relatively new runs: Frappe Snowland, Mario Raceway, Wario Stadium, and Royal Raceway races, and Toad's Turnpike, Choco Mountain, and Royal Raceway laps. The victims are Steven Gutierrez, Myles Bukrim, and Ben Miller, and the total time of the table has been reduced by 4.39 seconds. Vincent actually recorded three additional IL improvements, but Nate had to reject them for video quality and mixed-in music. Alex Penev, Eric Habrich, and Steven Gutierrez are safe for now.
I would like to give a huge thanks to Benoit 'TJazZ' Boudreau for compiling a list of Vincent Tolhuis's improvements for us.
Thursday, July 31, 2008 by Enhasa
Star Wars Kid
Pete 'Thinkshooter' Howard makes his debut with a new run for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. He takes down Henrik 'MNeMiC' Larsson's run, which was completed over three years ago. In the meantime, the level of precision and optimization in the universe has grown exponentially. Pete's run on the Light side (as the appropriately-named KDQ) is in 2:05:51 (torrent), over an hour and eight minutes faster. That's quite the improvement for a run of that length. The number of segments Pete utilizes is 48, but that's progress for you. Actually, science does have the answer: fusion into a compact four-part download.
Saturday, July 26, 2008 by Enhasa
Curse of the Jiggly Puff
Recently, it seems that no update is complete without a tiger, a liger, or some other sort of feline. They drew straws and today it's Alex 'AquaTiger' Nichols's turn. He's back with Castlevania: Curse of Darkness. (Konami's ace Mad Libs team apparently audibled away from Malediction of Teddy Bears at the last moment.) Alex adds any% and Boss Rush runs as Trevor to the existing any% as Hector by Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody. He accomplishes this in a 12-segment 1:43:35 for the any% and 0:11:59.05 for the Boss Rush. Alex composed his Boss Rush comments entirely in limerick form, so the least you could do is read them.
Some people have the impression that Radix has completely ridden off into the sunset, but he does offer suggestions from time to time, which I take to heart since I still have more respect for him than anyone else at SDA. A recent one was that runs should be listed with the number of hours, even if that's zero; otherwise, 5:00 could mean five hours or five minutes. Since there is no way to syntactically disambiguate such times, fixing this across the entire site took a whole lot of time and effort. But now when you see a time, you know that the number of hours always comes first.
Along with this change, I also took the time to rename game pages with names like mzm.html into clearer names like MetroidZeroMission.html. I put in the necessary redirects, but if you notice any mistakes with broken links or the new times or anything site-related, please let me know. If you're wondering what the purpose of all this refactoring is, let's just say that doing some work up front will only make life easier for me later. How much later depends on how much extra I feel like working in the next month.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008 by Enhasa
Every New Beginning
One of the most notorious run categories on SDA has been Super Mario 64 16-star (low%). There has surely been enough clamor over the years for someone to improve Eddie 'kirbykarter' Taylor's 0:19:47 from over three years ago. It has even been accomplished before, but the video quality was so poor, it was rejected from SDA. All this is in the past now, as Myles 'ShadowOfMyles' Bukrim has a new run that is a full two minutes and sixteen seconds faster, for an amazing time of 0:17:31 (torrent, HQ torrent).
Nate came back from a trip to Montreal recently and went on an encoding rampage, so stay here for more speedrunning delights in the coming days.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008 by Enhasa
Bienvenido a Miami
Following the success of his 9-hour 100% run, Daniel 'CannibalK9' Burns is back with more Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. His achievement this time is outpacing Tim 'twoton' Symanczyk's old console run by just over 21 minutes. Even more impressively, this 1:52:59 (torrent, HQ torrent) was done in only one segment, compared to the 21 segments from before. The news just keeps getting better, as Daniel has once again included entertaining and enlightening audio commentary in his videos. Someone get this man the keys to the city!
Friday, July 11, 2008 by Enhasa
Next we have the science of toads and their combative behaviors. Pablo 'DJ Mike Haggar' Bert dissects the old Battletoads runs by Marc J. 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski with cold precision. Let's welcome this new member of our speedrunning community, someone who likes to remix Final Fight for all I can tell. Pablo has improved the any% time by 0:03:59 to 0:20:13 and the 100% time by 0:02:24 to 0:34:17. Anyone looking for a challenge, try beating these runs; Pablo has vowed to defend his records to the death!
It's time for a special encore presentation from the Master of Mario. Not only are the Mario 1–3 records his, Andrew Gardikis has planted (lowered?) his flag on Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels: the game that tries to kill you with poisonous mushrooms, backward warps, and trampolines that blast you into orbit. Andrew blazes through the game in a mere 0:08:34 as Mario — what, were you expecting Luigi? Now that we've taken care of the old-school Mario for the time being, stay tuned for... ha, this is too much fun.
Sunday, July 6, 2008 by Enhasa
One of SDA's most versatile speedrunners is back. Tomi 'sarou' Salo has annihilated the previous run of Gun by 0:55:34. The new time is 1:18:46 and was achieved in 37 segments. Although Kevin 'Mitsukai' Shropshire did his run on console, and Tomi did his on PC, the improvement was so drastic that we obsoleted the old run anyway. Gun seems built to spite speedrunners, but Tomi managed to channel his rage into some furious shooting action. No word yet on whether this run features Tomi's signature body ramming and indecisive wiggling action.
Monday, June 30, 2008 by Enhasa
Then we have a new category for Pokémon Red, brought to you by SDA newcomer Jacob 'Jacob91' McMillin. Pokémon running is known to be heavily based on luck manipulation, so it's impressive that this new category is a single-segment 2:39 — trading 30 minutes for 40 segments. Why would Jacob put himself through this? Well, the $100 bounty from Tom 'Slowbro' Batchelor was undoubtedly a source of inspiration. In the year that it took him to finish this, Jacob has amassed many other run ideas, so we'll be on the watch for future goodness.
Andrew Gardikis's mainline NES Mario domination is complete. He now holds the record for Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3. Andrew's 0:11:01 for Super Mario Bros. 3 may not seem like a tremendous improvement over Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson's former version in 0:11:03, but trust me, it is. If you remember the 0:11:03, you will indeed notice key differences in the new run. Join us in celebrating one man's victory over The Man and his devilish hands that always try to bring you down. And for those of you wondering about The Lost Levels... what a tease, eh?
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 by Enhasa
The competition on Super Smash Bros. Brawl has been fierce. Adam 'No1 Inparticular' Young provides the latest iteration of 100-man brawl in 0:01:56.71, 5.10 seconds faster than Peter 'petrie911' Montag's earlier effort. Adam thinks that sub 0:01:50 is possible, so let's see if the competition intensifies.
Mike 'grndino' Arnold loves to speedrun that Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, and he's back with individual-levels improvements to 1-2 (low%) and the six GBA-specific secret levels (100%). This reduces the total low% time by 49 seconds, but since the 100% secret levels were previously absent, the 100% time is actually increased by 0:31:57.
I'm half expecting an earthquake now that I'm at the end of the update.
Thursday, June 19, 2008 by Enhasa
The political outrage over Manhunt and its sequel are well-known, but if it wasn't for a recent thread by forum favorite MortyreR45 (who is German), I might not have noticed that the game page was missing a mention of Germany as a country where Manhunt is banned. Travis 'Sigma' Lee has managed to improve every single level from before, for a total time savings of 17 minutes and 14 seconds. SDA visitors from all countries are more than welcome to watch Travis's 1:36:13, done in 20 segments.
Continuing the theme of self-improvement is Alex 'AquaTiger' Nichols with Mega Man X: Command Mission. It's been over two years since the initial version, but Alex has returned with a run in 4:26. Not only is the new run faster by a whopping hour and twenty minutes, it's also single-segment — 19 fewer segments than before. Some runners regret submitting their old runs in situations like these, but Alex strongly proclaims that without the previous run, this new one just wouldn't be possible.
The third and final self-improvement is brought to you by Aleš 'Ewil' Horák. The game is Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, and he hopes that this is The Last Version. Ewil certainly makes it count, with a new time of 2:14:03, 34 minutes and 48 seconds faster. The old run was completed in 48 segments across 43 files. This one is available in two fewer segments, across the same number of files. Ewil utilizes a variety of corner and trigger glitches for massive level skipping and thanks rr_carroll for new shortcuts.
Sunday, June 15, 2008 by Enhasa
End of an Era
It's hard to imagine given the current console gaming environment, but it was once more likely for a Western-developed game to be woefully underappreciated than one developed in Japan. Such was the fate of Metal Warriors, one of the true hidden gems on the SNES. And now we have both a single-segment run in 0:22:21 and an individual-levels table in a combined 0:20:27, courtesy of Giancarlo André 'gia' Rivas De Amat. Since there isn't a stage select, the ILs come from SS attempts that failed due to bad luck — as you can tell, Giancarlo's planning and execution are wonderful when unhindered.
My good friend Josh 'rashreflection' Ballard and I have a lot in common. We both prefer competitive multiplayer gaming, support the new statistical approach to sports, and share a deeply held conviction that Valkyrie Profile is the best game we have ever played. An unsung downfall of the migration to DVDs is that even the modest cost and effort of switching provides the slightest rationale for someone to call it quits. And so, Josh has decided to make this A ending speedrun in 2:33 his last. At the very least, he went out playing "the only non-fighting game I still like anymore," and there's something to be said for that.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008 by Enhasa
Voices Inside My Head
As you have probably surmised, the two runs in this update include audio commentary, and they are fantastic. They are also rather similar in runtime, so you could theoretically listen to them simultaneously for a likely disturbing cacophony.
Matt 'Alucard' Pine has improved his own Shinobi run by one minute and fifteen seconds to 0:34:07, which counts as quite a large improvement for this game. If you read the somewhat creepy text commentary before listening to the awesome audio, your respect for Alucard will likely increase tenfold afterwards. As his master Mike Uyama says, "His voice is a lot lower than I thought." With Shinobi out of the way for now, Alucard can go back to wondering why nobody online will play him in that greatest of arcade games, Marvel vs. Capcom 1.
Speaking of Alucard, he's the star of our next run. Except in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, he's the main character, not the runner. Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk is the runner, and he's back with 0:34:34, three minutes and sixteen seconds faster than his previous run. The biggest change is that the anti-Crissaegrim contingent (myself included) is happy now. As Chris states, he fixed every single mistake from last time, while of course introducing new mistakes to take their place. Finally, we would like to give Chris and his grandfather our best wishes.
Saturday, June 7, 2008 by Enhasa
Once again, get ready to brawl. This time it's Peter 'petrie911' Montag who throws down the Super Smash Bros. Brawl gauntlet. First comes an improvement to Satoryu's boss battles run on Easy mode. Peter uses Charizard, just like his predecessor, to finish with a time of 0:00:57.76, twelve seconds faster. But Peter is not yet done fighting. He continues to live. Peter's other Brawl run is a 100-man brawl in 0:02:02.21. Do you relish the sound of Pikachu spamming Thunder constantly? I suppose you don't have much of a choice either way.
Even if you have never heard of Xardion, perhaps you will still find this speedrun fascinating. This is because Xardion is like the idiot savant who elucidates life's mysteries, if only we could figure out how to listen. Who could possibly attempt to subdue such a beautiful monstrosity? None other than our very own Josh 'LigerOfFortune' Styger, in 0:33:01. As you watch this run, keep in mind that the dialogue was actually translated by native English speakers, and that the widely beloved anime studio Gainax was credited with assistance in development.
Sunday, May 25, 2008 by Enhasa
In with the New
Indiana Jones may grow old, but Lara Croft is apparently ageless. Tomb Raider: Legend was like a new jump-start to the series, trying to blow up previous Tomb Raider games as if they never existed. Likewise, Shaun 'Mman' Friend tries to blow up the intended playtime of this game as if it never existed. He accomplishes this with 13 segments in 0:54:19. Please note that the final time displayed in the run is incorrect; read the comments to find out why.
There are eight games in the Jagged Alliance series, an upcoming DS game, and an upcoming movie, so I consider myself rather embarrassed to have never heard of it. We can still celebrate the first run up on SDA though, for Jagged Alliance 2. This 0:06:44 run by Janis 'Pendrokar' Lukss is a classic in the PC RPG tradition of totally confusing the uninitiated. I was taking my customary five screenshots for the game page, and the first time, I only managed to take one screenshot before the ending had already begun.
Before Duke Nukem Forever spent 11 years in development (and counting), there was another PC FPS that took 11 years to develop. Prey was eventually released, however, and less than two whole years later, we even have a corresponding run. Fred 'AjAX' Chicoine uses 49 segments to achieve his 1:41:53 (torrent). He was nice enough to append these segments into one video file, and the best part is that he even saw fit to include "Bloobers!" at the end. Pardon his English, he's French.
Monday, May 19, 2008 by Enhasa
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
First up, we have a huge improvement to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the one that involves taking forever driving around everywhere. Daniel 'CannibalK9' Burns runs the PC version in 28 segments and slashes the time from 7:46 all the way down to 6:09 (torrent, HQ torrent). Because Daniel's run is so much faster, we took down the existing console run even though the version differences would typically prevent obsoletion. If you still feel like six hours is a long time, you will be glad to know that this run comes with audio commentary to spice things up.
When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth. Dead Rising is back from the dead onto the news page once again. The Overtime mode run, previously done in 0:25:00 by Valarnin, has been killed but keeps coming back for more. Witness the new abomination: 0:19:19 by Zebediah 'Fulgore' Danvers, an incredible achievement for a run of this length. Zebediah recorded this a good while back, but he is still working on it. Who knows what the next iteration will hold? Is the world ready for sub 19 minutes? Everybody loot the stores, get your canned goods.
The Blue Bomber is back. We have a new speedrunner, and they call him Mr. Glass. Please give a warm welcome to Seth Glass. He has replaced one of the older runs on SDA: Mega Man 2 by Richard 'Sleepz' Ureta. Seth's time is 0:30:33, an improvement of six seconds, complete with a new stage route. His best, unrecorded time is about 0:30:20, which is interesting because Richard said the exact same thing in his comments from four years ago. The time could also be lowered greatly by exploiting glitches. Who will be the first runner to really break this game open?
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 by Enhasa
The journey of a thousand licenses begins with a single game. We now have a run of the very first Tony Hawk game, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, again courtesy of a new runner. Randy 'Discombobulator' Buikema apparently sat on his 0:05:16 run for almost an entire year before submitting, but better late than never. In the meantime, Tony Hawk himself has reached his forties, so we'll see how much longer they can keep this up.
Next we have a couple of obscure NES platformers. In terms of the direction and level of complexity of his new Astyanax run, Marc J. 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski says, "if The Magic of Scheherazade was my Master of Puppets, and Willow was my ...and Justice for All, this run would be my Black Album." I'm actually pretty sure that Emptyeye would be the critically adored band that nobody has ever heard of. You can fix this by checking out his speedruns, maybe starting with his latest run in 0:20:39.
When Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson laid out his three NES bounties, the general response was "cool, some Mega Man games, and some other game I've never heard of." Frezy_man kept singing its praises though, so some of us tried out Werewolf: The Last Warrior and found the praise to be justified. Today the last of the bounties has been claimed with a run by Andrew Gardikis in 0:15:27. Werewolf is a challenging game, and Andrew gets wrecked by the third stage. Fortunately, the rest of the run, especially the fourth stage, is typical andrewg goodness.
Monday, May 5, 2008 by Enhasa
Andrew Gardikis is well known for Mario runs, a reputation that is duly earned. His Super Mario Bros. run in 5 minutes gets most of the glory, but he also had a 100% stages run for the same game in just under 20 minutes. I use past tense because now he has beaten his old time by 17 seconds for a new time of 0:19:40. His next goal for this category is to shave off at least another 10 seconds, and I don't think there is anyone who doubts Andrew's determination or ability to pull off such a feat.
We have another self-improvement next, and it's a big one. Peter 'Kibumbi' Knutsson has reduced his Alien time for Aliens vs. Predator 2 from 0:18:50 all the way down to 0:13:44. Peter doubles the number of segments from his previous run, from 7 to 14. In a Kibumbi tradition, he has included audio commentary with his run. Peter claims it isn't as good as his Area 51 commentary, so compare the two of them and see what you think.
Including expansions, the "Age of" series has expanded to ten games, earning tremendous commercial success along the way. The first run on SDA in this series has arrived courtesy of Mirko Brown. He has chosen to run Age of Empires III on Easy mode. Mirko's run uses 24 segments and finishes in 2:09:39. The single-player mode of Age of Empires III is considered deeper and more interesting than those in its predecessors, but perhaps someone will want to tackle them anyway.
Monday, April 28, 2008 by Enhasa
As you might be able to guess from the title, this update features much Kirby love. Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe is back with some Kirby speedruns for GBA. He has obsoleted Emmitt Robert 'Gigafrost' Kraft's previous run of Kirby & the Amazing Mirror by one minute and forty seconds. Nicholas's time for this GBA original is 0:40:34, which was achieved through better routes and planning.
Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe also has a run of Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, a remake of the classic Kirby's Adventure for NES. We still don't have a run yet of Kirby's Adventure on SDA, but Nicholas insists that Nightmare in Dream Land is a thousand times better anyway. Nicholas was rejected a couple times with his Nightmare in Dream Land runs, but he persevered and now his 0:53:31 has found its way onto our site. Be sure to read his comments, as this run was deeply personal to him.
The final run in today's update is an improvement to each of the individual-levels runs of Metal Slug X in Pin Point mode. Miguel Ángel 'Neo-tze' Blanco Durán has finished the six missions with a total time of 0:13:51.46, a combined improvement of 23.12 seconds over the prior run by Philippe 'Suzaku' Henry. Huge thanks to Giancarlo André 'gia' Rivas De Amat for translating the comments from Spanish. This is the sort of thing we hope to see much more of at SDA as the process of internationalization continues.
Thursday, April 24, 2008 by Enhasa
Super Smash Bros. Brawl isn't just a game, it's a cultural phenomenon. In between Symphony of the Night attempts, Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk has done a run of the Boss Battles mode in 0:01:09.75. That's shorter than the amount of downtime it takes to start another SOTN attempt, I might add. It's true that you can get a much lower Boss Battles time, but the verifiers seemed to like this run anyway. Expect to see an improvement soon from Chris or maybe someone else. Maybe you!
I think you'd have to go all the way back to the TMNT3 run to find a new speedrun starring a ninja. That's far too long, wouldn't you think? Luckily for us, Matt 'Alucard' Pine of DMC4 fame is back already with a Shinobi (for PS2) run that addresses this quandary. This run in 0:35:22 outpaces Mandela 'spacedemonebu' Shabazz's older run by three minutes and seven seconds. Mr. Shabazz has vowed to take back the Shinobi record, so again, keep posted for any future updates.
Sunday, April 20, 2008 by Enhasa
Newcomer Matt 'Alucard' Pine may be the lowest-ranking SDA runner in terms of seniority, but he is surely the highest-ranking in terms of enthusiasm! His first Devil May Cry 4 submission went up in smoke, due to a sound rejection from resident DMC expert Psychochild, but Matt remained undaunted. He took Psychochild's advice and soon came back with the great 1:38:05 run (torrent, HQ torrent) that you see here. Now Matt can return to more pressing matters, such as how to best idolize everyone on staff and create even creepier forum avatars that show his borderline psychotic affection for Mike Uyama.
For the 420th game on SDA, we have Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force by Raven Software, a company which may or may not employ actual ravens as its programmers. This game is apparently high quality licensed material, rather than being just another half-baked Star Trek cash-in. Brett 'Psonar' Ables uses 13 segments to finish his speedrun in 1:13:57. Brett thanks me for adding a "sense of humor to the News Posts," to which I must kindly object. SDA is serious business that requires a serious disclaimer: SDA bears no responsibility for any actions resulting from imaginary insinuations in this news post.
Thursday, April 17, 2008 by Enhasa
Merlin 'Take-Chan' Medau is certainly the master of speedrunning Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Today the master returns with not one, but two new speedruns for the game. The first run in 1:25:54 is a self-improvement of his prior European Extreme, Fox Hound run, cutting the time by 0:02:13 and the number of segments by two. The second run in 1:29:25 is a new category: New Game Plus, single-segment, European Extreme, Fox Hound. Puzzle through the categorizations and you will understand why this run lands in the middle, timewise, of Merlin's three MGS3 runs.
Rejoice! Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson is back once more and he's here to stay. This time he brings to us a run of Irem's Kung Fu, considered by many to be the first beat 'em up ever created. Freddy tears through this game in 0:03:54, which makes his run one of the fastest runs on SDA. Enjoy this A mode run as well as the delightful game blurb, lovingly handcrafted word for word by our very own vgmrsepitome.
The final game in this update is for a game I consider to be one of the most underappreciated games on the NES, Falcom's Legacy of the Wizard. Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody uses some nice glitches (and as many speed shoes as possible) to complete his run in 0:30:06. Other Dragondarch fans might be saddened to learn that this run was actually done before the Lufia II run that was posted a couple of months ago. We can only hope he will return soon with more speedrunning goodness.
Sunday, April 13, 2008 by Enhasa
Tuesday, April 8, 2008 by Enhasa
Not even two months ago, we posted a run for the PC version of Portal by Robin 'Ekelbatzen' Schoenborn. Now, Michael 'DemonStrate' Yanni has completed this enrichment center activity in 0:14:27 (torrent, HQ torrent), a substantial improvement of 0:01:11. Michael uses scripts and 47 segments in his very first published speedrun. He also includes a nice list of tricks and glitches in his comments, which you might want to check out. Now you're thinking with portals.
Once again it's time for another installment of Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe playing ActRaiser, Quintet and Enix's genius simulation/platformer hybrid. Soon we will run out of fingers and toes to be able to count the number of ActRaiser runs Nicholas has done for the site. This time, the category is Normal mode in 1:07:06, an improvement of exactly three minutes. Who knows what the next improvement will hold?
The final run today is on a game close to my heart. Benjamin 'MetalGearSolidBoy' Arcand has completed another run of Star Ocean: The Second Story, this time as the other main character, Claude. Compared to his Rena run, this new 36-segment run in 4:39 (torrent) is 37 minutes faster and done in a whopping 51 fewer segments. Fans of life-changingly amazing credits sequences will be saddened to learn that this run does not include the credits, but there's always the Rena run for that.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 by Enhasa
Speaking of black sheeps, it's time for Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Kristian Emanuelsen once held the record on the single-segment PAL version using Up+A warping and death abuse, with a time of 1:06:17. Kristian fans, you may now take a deep breath and exhale, because he still holds the record, but with an improved time of 1:05:00. This feat is made possible by a modified route and leveling plan, as well as the trademark one accidental death.
It's too bad this last run couldn't have been on the first TMNT game so I could complete the black sheep theme. Oh well, the reality is even better. That's right, the retro TMNT series is finally complete, with a new run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project. This run in 0:41:50 has been brought to you by Ray 'Croc-Doc' Cullen, who may or may not actually be a registered crocodile doctor. Regardless, Ray loves his reptiles, although these turtles do suffer three deaths under his guidance.
Saturday, March 29, 2008 by Enhasa
I'm not Bill Maher, but it's time to unveil some New Rules. We have gone back and rewritten the rules, FAQ, and submission pages before we begin recruiting translators to spread the good word of SDA in other languages. If you want to discuss any of these changes or have something clarified, please use this thread. There are a decent number of changes, so it would be wise to read up.
Tyler 'MrMonkeyMan' Needham, superior shmupper and Treasure superfan, delivers an incredible 66-second improvement to his old Alien Soldier run. The new time is 0:10:31, which still gives you ample time to ponder life's mysteries, such as why Seven Force does not actually have seven forms in this game. Personally, I devised a scheme to sneak a mention of Tyler's superb Iwanaga videos into the update.
The runner formerly known as Megatherium has returned. Mandela 'spacedemonebu' Shabazz, superior smoker and Sega superfan, has a run of Guardian Heroes in 0:32:47. Mandela plays as Ginjirou and takes the Golden Silver end path. Gunstar Heroes fans will be happy to learn that Golden Silver is back, while ninja fans will be happy to learn that Ginjirou is a ninja!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008 by nate
In the Metroid Prime department, Besmir 'Zoid' Sheqi brings his distinguished speed running career to a close today with two runs on this site and three additional ones via M2K2. First, Zoid unleashes what he calls "definitely my best Speed Run of my life [...] even better than my 1:03"—100% in 1:24 (torrent). In 21 segments Zoid shaves a remarkable 4 minutes off of Bartendorsparky's groundbreaking 1:28. Watch it now. (As an aside to the historically inclined, this run is in the same category as Radix's famous 1:37, which launched modern SDA way back in November of 2003.)
Zoid next brings in some love for his old PAL with single-segment 100% in 1:39 the European version, the first run in this category. It seems that few people really have a good idea of the differences between the original North American version of the game and this European ("PAL") version, so be sure to check out Zoid's comments for this run if you find yourself wondering what is going on. Most of us agree that the changes in the PAL version make the game less fun to run (and to watch), but at least with the PAL TV standard you get decent brightness, color and contrast for free!
Finally, for dedicated Metroid Prime fans, Zoid offers two so-called Natural Route runs, as well as his own (non-record-breaking) low percent effort. Read about them in the Metroid 2002 news.
The Metroid Fusion side of things has been quiet for a long time—the last run on it was done in November of 2004! Kirk 'BioSpark' LaBuda bursts onto the scene today, applying knowledge of the game he gained in the TAS world to achieve 0:48 (torrent) in a single segment, which beats the previous single-segment (0:51) as well as the segmented time (0:50). You know you're a serious contender when your run wipes out two others. Not content with today's level of carnage, BioSpark is resolved to destroy the single-segment 1% record next. He anticipates an improvement of over ten minutes. I'll see you there.
Saturday, March 22, 2008 by Enhasa
The first game, released in November 2003, is Mario Kart: Double Dash!!!!!! (The first two are part of the game's title, the extra ones are for enthusiasm!) Benoit 'TJazZ' Boudreau snakes his way to a blistering 0:29:07. Those of you who are afraid of snakes are advised to wait until the release of Mario Kart Wii. By the way, I would like to add that TJazZ drives at speeds no man can know.
It seems rare nowadays that a PC RPG can be less popular than its pen and paper or tabletop counterpart, but such is the case with 2004's Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines. (You may notice that our blurb for this game has probably set some sort of SDA record for length.) Bryan 'kn1ves' McKiernan has a 15-segment run as a Tremere in 0:56:33. This is actually Bryan's second attempt, as a huge sequence break was found by TheVoid after the first submission.
The wild and mostly inexplicable success of Neopets apparently gave birth to some video games that had, by contrast, a very tame and explicable lack of success. One of these games is 2005's Neopets: The Darkest Faerie. Alex 'AquaTiger' Nichols is the runner and 4:25 is the time, done in one glorious segment. Alex's run spent quite some time in verification purgatory, but as you can see, now it has ascended to a better place.
Thursday, March 20, 2008 by Enhasa
The next improvement on our docket is Kristian Emanuelsen's self-betterment of Shadow Warriors. I know just what you're thinking: "Cool! Yet another game with ninjas!!" I'm very sorry to disappoint you, sir, but this is simply the European name for Ninja Gaiden on the NES. "Well, that's super, Ninja Gaiden is always awesome!!!" Yes. At any rate, Kristian's 0:13:32 represents an improvement of 16 seconds.
Sunday, March 16, 2008 by Enhasa
We missed you too
Josh 'LigerOfFortune' Styger is back with a vengeance. He has a run of Taito's brilliant Kick Master in a terrifyingly appropriate 0:13:37. Josh utilizes a wide variety of kicks since this game is too awesome for lame old punches. There are some RPG-like features such as experience, magic, skills, and branching paths, which afford Josh the opportunity to make minor mistakes such as healing unnecessarily before the final boss. PLANNING? LIGER NO LIKE PLANNING. LIGER SMASH PLANNING!
Speaking of planning, the other game today also features a surprising amount of planning for a stage-based NES speedrun. Let's give a warm welcome to SDA rookie Chris DeRosa. His weapon of choice is Sammy's Ninja Crusaders and his mission time is a ninja-quick 0:05:51. Ninja Crusaders is a game about ninjas who can turn into animal forms. (But please do not worry, they can also turn back into ninjas.) They can also work together in co-op mode, and two daring players can even have a ninja riding a tiger. I know, it sounds just too good to be true.
Thursday, March 6, 2008 by Enhasa
It's not easy being greasy
Aleš 'Ewil' Horák has completed a new run of the brilliantly named (excluding the subtitle) Driver: You are the Wheelman. He has a run on the PC version on Easy in 1:04:16 to go along with Sean 'ZhouTai' MacDonald's run in 1:48:22 on the PS1 version. The two runs cannot be readily compared, since the PC and PS1 versions have inexplicable timing differences, but Ewil assures us that his run is indeed superior. Ewil also appended the 13 segments of his run into one file for each of the five chapters, because he is a nice guy and has you, kind viewer, in mind.
The other run in this update adds yet another game to our ever-growing list, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, for the popular triple threat combo of GameCube, PS2, and Xbox. This speedrun was produced by Patrik 'Cremator' Salonen on Easy in 0:59:04, and no, Mega Man is not in this game. If perhaps you like the Baldur's Gate world but don't enjoy brutal abuse of the helpless Infinity Engine, perhaps this action RPG run would be for you. Patrik's run is in 21 segments as the Archer, but if you watch this run, you would swear there was a hidden Jumper class.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008 by Enhasa
Square: Past and Present
First, we have a single-segment run of 2006's Kingdom Hearts II. Daniel 'Axel_Ryman' Fitzgerald adds his 4:52 (torrent) on Beginner mode to Asa 'spikevegeta' Tims's existing 4:39 in 16 segments, also on Beginner mode. This is a pretty favorable comparison for Daniel, whose run is now the longest single-segment any% speedrun on all of SDA. In the future, he would like to bring his time closer to the rest of the pack... or possibly even lose this distinction altogether, if you know what I mean.
Before I drop this next bombshell, refer back to Mike's news post on January 17 and you can probably guess what is coming. In my defense, I had no idea that the timer runs while idling over your save slot in the loading screen (!), which cost me a great deal of time. But I think Mike's comments are probably more accurate: "Enhasa: You suck. Period."
There is a time when the run that made you famous gets destroyed, and all I can say is, "At least he did a good job of it." Robin 'Deign' Reigstad, SDA newcomer but TAS superstar, has annihilated my old run of 1991's Final Fantasy IV by an unbelievable 51 minutes for a time of 3:05 (normal and high quality torrents). I think that, objectively, this accomplishment is likely the best console RPG speedrun on the entire site, so I will stop blabbering and you can judge for yourself.
Friday, February 29, 2008 by Enhasa
Cody Miller's run of The Adventures of Batman & Robin was originally supposed to be included in the previous update of 2D sidescrolling goodness, but Cody decided to re-encode this run as well as his Portal run. In the end, he obsoletes Steven 'Bartz' Brooks's prior run by a substantial 4 minutes and 54 seconds. Yes, there is death abuse in this 0:51:29, but it still would have beaten the old run by over 4 minutes without death abuse.
Bart 'TheVoid' de Waal has an even bigger improvement for us today with his 13-segment run of Enclave on the Dark side in 0:20:22. Bart plays on Hard instead of Easy, and still manages to demolish Nicolas 'Kahless_GOA' Deußer's run by 10 minutes and 25 seconds. Most of the improvement comes from some new shortcuts and not bothering much with collecting Gold. Bart truly encapsulates the poor gamer ethos many of us are sadly familiar with.
This update just keeps on building steam with the triumphant return of Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson. After an extended hiatus, Mr. Andersson proves that he is still on top on his game with his new run of Contra in 0:10:33, an improvement of seven seconds over his old run. This marks the fifth iteration of this highly competitive record, which started two years ago with Tommy 'tmont' Montgomery's run in 0:11:25. We have come a long way in that time, so download this run and see the fruits of this labor for yourself.
Frezy_man gets yet another mention in this update since some of his money will soon be flowing directly to Jim 'vgmrsepitome' Hanson's bank account. Jim has conquered the bounty of Mega Man 6 with his run in 0:38:23. The natural order of the world has been restored, as now all six Mega Man games on the NES have speedruns to their names. As you watch this run, you must understand that Jim's NES simply could not handle the pure awesome involved, a phenomenon that also occurs to many humans who come into contact with him.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008 by Enhasa
We've tracked some strange records in the news posts before, but browse our full game list and see which game sticks out — literally. The appropriately-named Rob 'Mickey_Mage' Whitener has contributed the longest line in our game list with his run of Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse in 0:21:54. This was the first game that David Jaffe helped design, and incidentally it features 100% less naked women yet 100% more Steamboat Willie than in God of War.
Unable to compete with such a tremendous feat in running games with long subtitles, Blake 'Evil_Guru' Adams will simply have to settle for being the one responsible for obsoleting Dominic 'DAMURDOC' Legault's Battletoads & Double Dragon run. This 78-second improvement clocks in at 0:22:05, and once again we ignore the timer in this game because it is inaccurate. I assure you, Blake gives the most stirring praise possible when he says "you guys don't suck."
The last run in today's update is from my good friend and SDA compatriot, Mike Uyama. Mike has gone back to his speedrunning roots and has improved his very first run, a 100% run as X in Mega Man X4. His new time is 0:49:13, which is now within two minutes of his Zero time. Those of you who read his comments for the infrequently asked questions, stage-by-stage breakdowns, and future runs discussion will be terribly disappointed this time, I might add.
Sunday, February 24, 2008 by Enhasa
Next we have an improvement of 22 minutes to the previous Lunar: The Silver Star record, for a new time of 3:13. Elijah 'scaryice' Miller takes down his old run in a single segment compared to the 10 segments from before! He does this mostly with the introduction of a glitch that allows characters to cast a spell and still use the remaining attacks in the same turn, which is quite handy as you could imagine.
Finally we have a behemoth of a run: 100% Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Daniel 'CannibalK9' Burns has a 100% run on the PC version, utilizing 23 segments, in a flat 9:00. Personally, I think someone has to be mentally disturbed to produce or watch such a run, but here at SDA we know our viewership well. So here are normal quality H.264 and normal quality DivX torrents just for you.
Thursday, February 21, 2008 by Enhasa
The run is a lie
First up is SDA rookie Robin 'Ekelbatzen' Schoenborn with a beautiful run on the PC version. Robin's run is in 19 segments and uses scripts for such maneuvers as bunnyhopping and wallclimbing. This level of optimization and precision allows for a final time of 0:15:38.
Then there is also an Xbox 360 run by Cody Miller of Halo 2 fame. Cody's run is single-segment and obviously doesn't use scripts, because it can't. Those of you who prefer your runs au natural might want to take a look at this version in 0:24:37.
We also provide choice in A/V quality and distribution method. In addition to the usual direct download links, we also have insane quality H.264, high quality H.264, normal quality H.264, and normal quality DivX torrents for the PC run and high quality H.264, normal quality H.264, and normal quality DivX torrents for the 360 run. And once again, thanks for choosing SDA.
Monday, February 18, 2008 by Enhasa
Tiki's time on Mega Man 3 is 0:37:41 and joins Frezy_man's time of 0:45:08 on the PAL version. Be sure to check out Tiki's comments (ghostwritten by yours truly), deemed the greatest comments of all time by popular consensus.
The other run we have for you today is yet another Josh 'LigerOfFortune' Styger special. This time he has a run of the other NES G.I. Joe game, G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor, in a speedy 0:09:50. Josh ignores everyone except for General Hawk because, like Josh himself, he is a Real American Hero. (Josh has just informed me that he is actually Canadian.)
Thursday, February 14, 2008 by Enhasa
If you live outside of Japan, you may have never heard of our next game. But trust me, Namco's Ace Combat is a wildly popular series of flight/combat sims in its native Japan. Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe has completed a run of Ace Combat 04 on Very Easy difficulty in 2:29:30. His next goal is to run Ace Combat Zero, so be sure to watch out for that if you are a longtime fan or a new convert.
Finally, some administrative business. I went back and updated the game list to include all the different platform releases for each game. If you have ever wondered why Final Fantasy 7 wasn't listed under PS1, Prince of Persia wasn't listed under PC, or Knights of the Old Republic wasn't listed under Xbox, you can now once again sleep easy at night.
Monday, February 11, 2008 by nate
the beginning of the end
Joining the 1:06 today in the category I named is Zoid (who else?)'s single-segment 100% in 1:29 (torrent). Please read his commentary for the full details, but I will give you advance warning that you will feel Zoid's frustration with the ... difficult nature of this game more than once during this run. What Zoid knows well is something I learned only after joining SDA: when things backfire miserably, the proper response is to try again immediately with renewed insight and vigor and not to stop until the job is done. As Voltaire said, le mieux est l'ennemi du bien, and this run is as good as it gets. But how many better runs were lost only a few minutes before the end at the trick we darkly call Early Newborn? Out of such nightmares was wrenched this snapshot of tenacity.
Zoid has already completed five other new runs of Metroid Prime, three of which aren't even meant for SDA (watch the M2K2 News for info on those). Unfortunately, he has decided (probably for the last time, given his life goals) that he can no longer give up the time Metroid Prime speed running requires, and so these seven runs will close a long and dignified chapter in the history of our beloved game. The irony here is, of course, that Zoid has simply innovated himself out of a job: he found our Metroid Prime ripe for the picking and made an exquisite meal of it—one in which we can all share. He has not, however, ruled out moving on to other, less demanding games.
Since I captured Trebor Selbon's 23% in 1:38 way back in December of 2003, I have striven to achieve the highest quality picture and sound when freeing speed runs from their primitive VHS prisons, and I believe today's digital releases punctuate my progress.
Friday, February 8, 2008 by Enhasa
Daniel 'Shido' Lee and Max Payne both appear in this update, but the seemingly obvious linking of the two would be incorrect. Instead, Shido has laid waste to Tim 'Exinex' Juliar's individual-levels run of Hitman: Contracts. An incredible 15 minutes has been sliced off the old time, resulting in a total time of 0:23:28. Shido uses a variety of tricks to achieve this time, so be sure to read his commentary for your edification.
Two acclaimed runners team up to improve the individual-levels run of Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. Tomi 'sarou' Salo and Karol 'dex' Urbanski have obsoleted a combined ten levels by a total of 70 seconds, with more surely on the way. The individual-levels time now stands at 0:21:07. dex and crew have made it a goal to achieve sub 20 minutes, so let's wish them luck!
Here at SDA, we are all about speed. In addition to these gaming speed improvements, Nate has also improved the download speed from our server because he's cool like that. Happy downloading!
Monday, February 4, 2008 by Enhasa
Single Segment Speedruns
Stephen 'yoshifan' Chan has seen fit to provide SDA with a Hero side run of Sonic Adventure 2 in 0:32:05 to complement Peter 'petrie911' Montag's run of the Dark side in 0:33:42. Perhaps one day, yoshifan and petrie911 will duel it out to determine who shall prevail in the ultimate battle between good and evil. (Currently, good has the lead by about one and a half minutes.)
Josh Styger has pitched his tent on the news page and simply will not leave. His latest run is the NES G.I. Joe in 0:21:29. As you watch this run, you may be reminded of a certain other run 'n gun series featuring a brokesauce spread weapon. You would also be correct in assuming that Mr. Styger has had previous experience in this regard.
Finally, we have what is sure to be a popular improvement to a run of a popular game, complete with normal quality DivX and H.264 torrents. Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk has improved Adam 'Lucid Faia' Sweeney's run of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night by six minutes to reach a time of 0:37:50. This massive improvement comes primarily from a new "shielddashing" movement technique and a glitch to skip the Richter fight.
Satoryu also bends over backwards to get the Crissaegrim, a decision that others have vehemently challenged. However, Satoryu currently has the best time, and the way we handle talk on this site is to back it up. If you think you have the skills to beat his run, we would love for you to try! Fostering debate and competition is just one of the benefits we enjoy here at SDA due to our policy of serving videos.
Thursday, January 31, 2008 by Enhasa
First we have the continued dominance of all things SDA by Josh Styger. His single-segment run on the NTSC version of Mega Man 5 in 0:44:12 joins Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson's PAL version run. Josh came through in the clutch by finally writing comments, which, as the legends say, take as much time and effort for him to create as the runs themselves. The sheer number of runs that Mr. Styger has been producing might remind us of someone else...
Those of you who are relatively new to this site might not know the name of Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody, one of the most prolific runners in SDA history. Yet, his most recent run dates back all the way back to August of 2006. What happened? Well, almost two years ago, Dragondarch started plans for his biggest project yet, a run of a certain classic RPG. But the going was tough. Had the master met his match? Irresistable force met immovable object, and after immeasurable toil and trouble, the results speak for themselves in this 3:24 (3:11 until loss of input) run of Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals.
I don't know if I will ever be able to say this again in however long I work here, so... this is my favorite run on all of SDA. Seriously. (What a day to join, huh?) In addition, Lufia II has the honor of being the 400th game with a run at SDA. In commemoration of this event, we have created normal quality DivX and H.264 torrents for Dragondarch's triumph. Enjoy.
Monday, January 28, 2008 by nate
three hundred ninety-nine down, one to go
Drawing ever closer to the decimal deity of "400 games with runs", I have for you today two runs on two games new to SDA: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. in 0:17:18 by Mirko Brown and Rune in 1:36:09 by Bart 'TheVoid' de Waal. Both games find themselves at home on your PC (or Mac).
Mirko notes in the comments for his S.T.A.L.K.E.R. run that the "developers promised a huge game but you can still finish it in less than 20min". Indeed, game developers should tremble before the might of SDA (and then hire us for enormous wages).
Mike Uyama commented that the Rune run's comments seem excessively long, but that he didn't mind this time, as Bart handled the HTMLization of them himself, freeing Mike to continue in his quest for a new run of Mega Man X4 (and to work on bringing you more runs!). Bart also cares about you, the viewer: he has appended the run's 49 segments to one file for your downloading convenience.
Thirdly and lastly today is a new run on the 16-bit classic Zombies Ate My Neighbors, this time on its SNES incarnation: Giancarlo André 'gia' Rivas De Amat contends with the unforgiving SNES D-pad for 0:35:38, beating the game almost four times more quickly than Tom 'rdrunner' Votava did after saving all victims. Sorry, cheerleaders, but speed is king!
Saturday, January 26, 2008 by DJGrenola
See You Next Mission
This is not my first attempt at this game. My previous speed efforts have both been low% runs not valid for publication here owing to their use of out-of-bounds glitches (although, of these, I believe my 17% from Summer 2006 is probably the best run ever produced for this game). However, the practice I received and skills I acquired in working on these made this attempt possible.
Those hoping for the trademark audio commentary I produced last time are going to be disappointed — I simply don't care enough any more to waste time on frivolous embellishments — but I have written down most of what I know about this game in 20,000 words' worth of text comments. Hopefully they will give someone the ammunition they need to beat the time I achieved here; vanquishing me by one minute would be easy, and by two should still be possible with current tricks.
I won't clutter the news with information about the video, but one important idiosyncrasy bears explanation: This time I've split the videos at the Emperor Ing / Dark Samus checkpoint. Previously, runners have used this checkpoint to achieve fast final boss fights without time penalty, and then edited the videos together afterwards. This seems somewhat deceptive, so I've made it explicit this time by leaving these two boss fights as separate videos, as they were played.
My involvement here has spanned an eventful 16 months. There have been some fun moments, like being interviewed for Edge magazine; getting our product shown at PAX 2007; and spending six months raytracing a music video. Unfortunately, it has mostly been stressful, never-ending toil that has left me angry and upset, and adversely affected my relationships with people. I think I've been selfless for long enough, and I'd like to thank those who finally managed to convince me that this was the right decision. I wouldn't rule out my continuing involvement with peripheral site projects, or helping out again at some point in the future, but for the time being I think I've done more than enough.
I'll leave you with this thought: You can always go faster.
Thursday, January 24, 2008 by nate
this is not about me
But even inside of M2K2SDA I'm no stranger to capital letters, especially when I'm writing a formal announcement, e.g. the 2004 ban on unlicensed emulation—or this news post.
I feel that using capital letters makes me seem condescending to the people of this community, but because my job on this page is simply to introduce new runs and then send you on your merry downloading way, it doesn't seem like there's much room here for me personally. Penny Arcade notwithstanding, I should stop treating the SDA news like my blog—or so they tell me.
At any rate, if I am going to write the majority of the news updates from now on, then I figure that I (most of all I!) shouldn't sacrifice SDA's mass appeal for my own personal idiosyncrasy.
But enough about me. :)
Heading up today's new releases is Charles Griffin's complete set of Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz individual-level runs (h.264 torrent). For those of you who don't know, this is the Wii version of Monkey Ball, and, as such, it utilizes the motion-sensitive Wii controller to literally control the stage on which your monkey rolls. This makes Charles' runs, which verifiers approved with extreme vigor, all the more amazing, and (if your computer is fast enough, anyway) I hope that you will check out at least one of the High or Insane Quality videos, as I bought the game specifically for capturing Charles' records (transmitted to me as save game data) at full resolution and full framerate (60 FPS!). Now I transmit to you pure badassery in an elegant package, and you say "Thank you, SDA!"
In other individual-level news, Sam 'TeNFoLD' Blair has improved four of his/the five Ratchet and Clank 3 Qwark Vidcomics runs, chopping off a total of 42 seconds. Sam punchjumps his way to 0:01:38 in Pirate Booty!, 0:01:49 in Arriba Amoeba, 0:01:31 in Shadow of the Robot and 0:02:42 in Deja Q All Over Again.
The last run I have for you today is not individual-level in nature, but when you find out what it is, I am sure you'll forgive me: God of War 2 on Titan in 3:07:25 (divx avi torrent / high quality h.264 torrent). Li 'shenminiu' Lihong brings us the first run on one of the most hyped games in recent memory. I hope that everyone will seed their chosen torrent as much as they can so as to decrease the inevitable strain on our download server during the first few days of this highly anticipated run's release.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008 by nate
stronger and stronger
first up today is dominic 'damurdoc' legault's massive improvement on baldur's gate 2: shadows of amn. dominic was able to power through the game in 0:47:49 (h.264 torrent) this time thanks to, among other glitches, a good old-fashioned integer overflow bug, resulting in the replication of thousands of gems for dominic to sell. at sda, we make programmers look like morons so their testers don't have to!
oh wait, that's supposed to be the other way around.
next up is a 38-second improvement (0:25:15) to level 1 of the original star fox without using warps. this is the same runner's effort, a nicholas 'sir vg' hoppe production. check nicholas's comments for the full details, but among the sources of improvement we find some clever controller trickery resulting in every metroid fusion player's dream: the ability to skip through briefings more quickly. if only this same trick worked in every game with unskippable text!
last up is a 0:05:43 run as aliens versus predator 2: primal hunt's predalien. this single-segment run by tomi 'sarou' salo beats the segmented one by peter 'kibumbi' knutsson by 42 seconds — no small sum for a run this short! yes, we missed the chance to release this run at the same time as avp2 came out in theaters, but the run is much better than the film, so you'll forgive us.
Thursday, January 17, 2008 by mikwuyma and DJGrenola
Back In Time
There is a time when the run that made you famous gets destroyed, and all I can say is, "At least he did a good job of it." No, it's not a Mega Man game, or my babies, but Contra III: The Alien Wars had 53 seconds destroyed by one Josh Styger. Marvel at Styger's 0:16:07 as I am forgotten by the wayside, that is, until you have a run to submit.
Now the next game makes me wonder what is wrong with Mr. Styger. He decided to run a game called Low G Man: The Low Gravity Man, a game with a title so bad, you don't even need to make a joke about the title and it's still funny. You might think good gameplay saves the game from such a parodic title, but you would be wrong. Anyways, Josh Styger jumps, shuffles from side to side, and thrusts his way to a low time of 0:15:32.
A little while ago we finally worked out how to time Super Mario World runs consistently. Adam 'Lucid Faia' Sweeney waited for us to finish our bungling and then immediately pounced by submitting a two second improvement over the video by Andrew Gardikis I posted back in November. Below 11 minutes we go; Lucid heads up the Star Road in 0:10:59. If you're familiar with Lucid's prior work, you shouldn't need telling that this was performed without saving.
Some time ago, Radix instigated the policy of refusing to allow submissions until sufficient verifiers were found to validate a run. At over two years old, though, this 10-segment relic predates that rule, so it's been stuck in the queue waiting to be verified ever since. Somehow, Mike eventually found the right combination of willing and able, so I'm proud to brush the cobwebs off Ben 'Mkt2015' Fichter's 1:09:54 attempt at the PC version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets — although we did have to borrow Hermione's Time-Turner to actually locate the video files.
The posting of this video represents something of a watershed for me personally; when I started helping out here, my aim was to try to get the queue cleared. I didn't envisage spending more than a few months, but it has taken over a year and the posting of videos on more than one hundred new games to achieve it. Finally, though, the last of the old submissions has gone up — I can see myself retiring pretty soon.
Normal quality torrents follow.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 by nate
i love the smell of speed runs in the morning
next is a very glitchy run of pokemon blue by thomas wennink. thomas blazes through a game many of us have spent far too many hours playing in only 1:26 (divx torrent / h.264 torrent). this unbelievable time is accomplished only with the help of many insane glitches, which places the run firmly in a different category. however, it's still great fun to watch, as ash suddenly develops a godlike control over his environment and spontaneously generates a mew, whose level he then changes to 100. on top of that, passing through random walls is shown to be almost as easy as it was in the old school 2d sonic games. don't forget to check out thomas's comments for explanations of all the glitches he used. sometimes glitches are explained (or even discovered) on the sda forum, as well, so you might want to browse around there if you haven't already.
now, before you ask "who farted?", let me give you the answer: not me. and normally you wouldn't believe me, but this time i have an alibi: i'm posting our first run on abe's exoddus, the second game in the oddworld series. michael 'poesta' hannema blows through the game in 1:52:25 (divx torrent / h.264 torrent), like b'man, getting the bad ending.
... maybe i should ask b'man to bring down the internet again to let it air out in here.
before we asphyxiate, i have one more run for all you faithful: metal gear solid 3 in 1:28:07 (divx torrent / h.264 torrent) by merlin 'take-chan' medau. this segmented effort joins take-chan's earlier single-segment run (both eu extreme, fox hound rank), resulting in a mgs3 totally dominated by the german master (the new run beats the previous one by adnan kauser by 1 minute and 39 seconds). not yet satisfied, though, he promises to take down his own single-segment time next—argh, where are our gas masks!?
Sunday, January 13, 2008 by nate
well ... playing fire emblem 10 all day long might have had something to do with it, too. but it's pretty hard for grenola to post stuff if i don't encode or upload anything.
so let's get to it.
speaking of working at a distance, our last update originally included a botched encode of jim hanson's latest ninja gaiden run. actually, the encode was fine, but the a/v sync was wrong, so if you were fast enough to download the run in the few minutes it was available, then you saw a "badly dubbed hong kong martial arts film" effect with enemies screaming in 8-bit agony quite far from their actual times of death. i have corrected the issue, and, as a liberal arts major through and through, i promise never again to rely on my math "skills" to resync audio — especially if i can't easily check my work. grenola's original update text for this run follows in its entirety:
Next up is a twenty-five second revision to NES Ninja Gaiden, played by the inimitable Jim Hanson — regular readers will realise that Jim is no newcomer where the Ninja Gaiden games are concerned. Jim sinks Josh Styger's record from July, achieving 0:13:08 (divx torrent / h.264 torrent).
new today is harvey 'drkhades' nguyen's 4d run of star ocean 3. drkhades synthesizes enough orichalcums to plow through the game in 3:50 (divx torrent / h.264 torrent). verifiers had nice things to say about this run, placing it above the pre-existing one. i haven't played the game myself, but from what i can gather, pulling off such a good time at this higher difficulty was quite harrowing.
and last in today's opening salvo is james 'luigikart64' bertolli's 2:19:43 100% (really 120%) single-segment run of spyro the dragon (divx torrent / h.264 torrent). lk64 engages in a bit of speculation near the end of his comments, inviting some intrepid soul to best him by over 20 minutes, yielding a sub-2 hour segmented run. though he admits such a run "might just be fantasy", we all know that m2k2sda converts fantasy into reality on a daily basis. now do it again!