Tuesday, December 30, 2008 by Enhasa

Intermission

I wanted to include a run or two in this update to prevent it from being so disappointing, but there aren't any ready for publication at the moment. Sorry about that.

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

Most observers felt that Sattik 'Tiki' Ghosh already had the Mega Man 3 bounty solidified, but his latest run likely removes any doubt. His newest time is 0:37:06 and sports vast improvements and button-mashing skills that make some of the hapless YouTubers cry foul. Sattik's speedrun beats his prior one by 35 seconds, and it also obsoletes Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson's old run on the slower European version in 0:45:08. In a developing trend, Sattik has again included audio commentary with his run, and this time his friend Matt Glasell joins in on the action. Be warned: this commentary is not for the faint at heart.

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

There are numerous versions of Resident Evil, all with their particular quirks. Once again we have a submission for BioHazard, the Japanese release, and this time there won't be any unfortunate rules misunderstandings due to language barriers. The Japanese version has some nice benefits, and 'Carcinogen' utilizes them to produce a single-segment 100% run as Jill in 1:22:40. This run was recorded at a LAN party, of all places, which shows that runners can be hit by the speedrunning jones at any moment. Carcinogen includes audio commentary with his run, recorded by him and his friend Josh Mason, so listen up if you know what's good for you.

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

Beast

The community has been awaiting a speedrun like this for quite a long time — almost an entire decade, in fact. And now Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski stands before you today and delivers. The game is none other than Quake II. Mr. Maselewski's Hard mode 0:19:33 (torrent, HQ torrent) is in exactly 43 segments for that authentic Quake feeling. The Quake II page has been brought kicking and screaming into the present, and the casualties are Quake2 done Quick too on Hard in 0:21:06 and Mad Dash 2 by Colin "Mr M" Moore on Easy in 0:20:33. Let's hear it for bunnies and hopping.

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

Beauty

Today's first speedrun marks the comeback of Adam 'No1 Inparticular' Young, who reclaims a record that was once his. It's the appropriately-named 100-man brawl of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Adam brings the time down to 0:01:42.66, a decrease of almost five seconds that is tremendous for a run this short. But wait, an encore! Adam has also done the 10-man brawl in 0:00:07.43, which is a new category for the game page. But we're still not done brawling for today! SDA newbie Simon 'SW-1988' Wahler has a run of the boss battles in 0:00:39.25, cutting away almost a third of the previous run. That's ridiculous no matter how you slice it.

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

This update was supposed to contain some Command & Conquer, but the run was rejected. As you can see, this minor technicality had no visible effect on the update title.

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

MM6

We have two runs of MM6 today. However, they represent two very different games. The distinction is far from academic; the speedrunners of these games have thoroughly confused each other on both the forum and IRC by using the same ambiguous abbreviation. Hijinks ensued.

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

Unbreakable

Years later, Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe returns to his old stomping grounds: Legend of Mana. Updates on this game used to appear frequently, so it seems hard to imagine that it's been so long since the last iteration. But, time flows like a river... and history repeats. The single-segment Dragon path time now stands at 1:58. That doesn't sound like much of an improvement if you remember the old time of 1:58:11, but it's really around twelve minutes faster. The difference is that the previous runs didn't show the post-game timer, but this one does. Apparently the biggest route change this time was to play SaGa Frontier II first. I'm serious.

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.

Contra is an extremely manly game as is, but sometimes it seems that spread shot is just a tad too powerful. Perhaps it would be even more manly if the runner took everyone down with only the peashooter. Meet new alpha dog Jeremy 'DK28' Doll, not two weeks after his first submission was published on SDA. His low% 0:12:48, which replaces the previous 0:13:24 by Ray 'Croc-Doc' Cullen, is drowning in testosterone. Other than a subpar Base 1, the hits start off strong and keep on coming. Jeremy sacrificed his right thumb to finish this run, so be sure to pay your respects as you watch.

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 SDA gets its first MechWarrior speedrun, which also doubles as the first BattleTech run and triples as the first FASA run. It possibly even home runs as something else. The game in question, MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries, is the second and final follow-up to the original MechWarrior 4: Vengeance. MechWarrior 5 was canceled in 2003, so maybe Janis 'Pendrokar' Lukss is simply working his way backwards. Whatever the case, he currently has a 1:06:42 in 11 segments as the result of his work. Janis displays some large metal cojones near the end of this run and yet concludes with something like a tea party.

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

I know some of you crazies out there pay attention to stuff like this, so let me acknowledge that this update stops a streak of 19 straight I've done with exactly two games each.

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

Without beating around the bush: videos! 2 on id maps, 2 on custom maps. Because some people suggested having a second quality, all videos in this update have an additional HQ version. Also because some people suggested it, I've changed the weapon models to be more faithful to the original models.

Custom maps:

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

Mega Men

You got upgrade!

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

Our first X-Men game goes up today with X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse for the SNES. Unlike most speedruns of games that allow you to select amongst a group of playable characters, this one maintains its variety by first forcing the player to use each of the five characters in earlier stages. So no matter who your favorite X-Men character is, new runner Jeremy 'DK28' Doll and his 0:19:06 have just the thing for you... as long you like Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Gambit, or Psylocke, at any rate. Jeremy exudes confidence throughout the run that he gained from each subsequent iteration, and I can tell just by the style.

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

Blake 'Spider-Waffle' Piepho has previously owned the Half-Life page all by himself, but not anymore. Welcome Daniel 'rayvex' Babik and his contribution to SDA. It's a new run on the grandfathered category, "Hazard course time with scripts on the HLSP Bunny mod." Daniel's time is 0:02:54, which is eleven seconds better than Blake's run. Of course, the state of the art in Half-Life running has greatly changed since 2004. Still, Daniel's comments are almost the exact same length as his predecessor's, and they also start off with the phrase, "There were some mistakes." I know that you don't care but I want you to know.

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

Before I forget to mention this yet again, we have made it a priority to locate additional qualified verifiers in order to clear up some of the congestion in the verification thread. Mike has created a new dedicated verification board on the forum, and I have a more detailed evangelism thread that I ask you to please read. SDA needs you!

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

The most recent Silent Hill contributions, two speedruns for Silent Hill 2 by Adam 'Introverder' Titowicz, were posted on SDA back in February 2007. After a bit of a delay, Adam's next run is here. It's for Silent Hill 3, the next game in Konami's long-standing series. Arriving to complement Adam 'Zhegan' Steidl's existing single-segment console run on Easy mode is the featured Adam's single-segment 0:41:07 (torrent) on the PC version, also Easy mode. Titowicz implemented some strategies from Steidl's run and came up with many of his own, such as route changes and shotgun usage, for a tremendous final time.

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

Long considered one of the speedrun candidates most deserving for replacement was Daniel 'Kareshi' Brown's Castlevania II: Simon's Quest in 0:48:45 from almost three years ago. Perhaps no one is more relieved to see Thomas L. Mallory, Jr.'s new run go up on SDA than Daniel himself, as he can now be rightfully proud of all his listed runs. But of course the star of today's update is Thomas, so let's get back to his grand entrance. It's safe to say that his single-segment 0:41:48 makes for quite a solid start to his time at SDA. There's still room to make it better with tighter execution; black sheep have feelings and deserve your attention too!

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

Barely a month after Manhunt 2 first appeared on this site, we come again with some garden-fresh speedruns straight to your basket. First, we have André Göhlsch, who improves three of his individual levels on the PS2 version: Red Light in 0:01:49, Bees' Honey Pot in 0:02:00, and Personality Clash in 0:03:48. The total time for all the levels drops from 0:53:00 to 0:51:51. If that's not enough, Keith 'The Quiet Man' Skomorowski — a man who doesn't seem very quiet on IRC but whose name is worth a lot in Scrabble — has a 15-segment Wii run in 1:00:39 (torrent). The differences between the two versions mean you can't go wrong watching both.

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

A short history lesson: Back in the days when Earth's crust was still hot, an individual known as Nolan 'Radix' Pflug (with help from a few others) started a speedrunning community devoted to Quake called Speed Demos Archive. Several years later, not content with watching only Quake demos, he expanded the site to include speedruns on other games. Since then the importance of Quake speedrunning has been diminishing to the point most people nowadays don't even know why there is a 'Quake guy' in the logo of the site.

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

Those of you who have only started following SDA in the last couple of years might not know about Wouter Jansen, GoldenEye runner extraordinaire. Wouter hasn't had a run posted since 2005 and was last seen going bananas. Today he gets his long-awaited revenge on monkey business whistleblower David 'marshmallow' Gibbons, another fabled runner of yore, by one-upping him in a game roughly analogous to Eternal Darkness or killer7 on the GameCube: Shadow Man for (of course) the N64. Wouter completes the European version in 0:44:43 by collecting only 15 souls, compared to David's 3:14 with 90 souls. This is due to a massive sequence break and other tricks discovered by yet another grizzled veteran of the N64 speedrunning fraternity, who asked for his name to be removed in accordance with the witness protection program.

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

Madman

The first speedrun we have for today is on Ratchet: Deadlocked, a game that illustrates the gross discrimination against robots in the modern starring character job market; if this bothers you, we also have earlier runs on Ratchet & Clank and Up Your Arsenal for your enjoyment. Hailing from France, Bruno "Linkinito" Ramadanoski makes his SDA debut with this run on Couch Potato mode in 2:10:51 (torrent, HQ torrent). In a self-described "love story" of the making of this run, after waiting a year for Deadlocked to be released, Bruno waited another year and a half to be able to finally record. That's amour, baby.

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

The Resident Evil page is becoming overflowed with goodness. SDA newcomer Luciano 'LucianoRX' Matyak brings some of that goodness with two speedruns on the Arrange mode of the PS1 Director's Cut version. As you could probably surmise, there is a run for Chris and a run for Jill. Those of you who know something about Resident Evil running could further surmise that the Jill run is faster. However, you would probably need to be psychic to surmise that the difference between the runs is exactly three minutes: 1:10:17 for Chris and 1:07:17 for Jill. Luciano has some short and sweet comments detailing the settings and version differences that he used.

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

Another update, another two new games.

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

A couple of PC games receive their inaugural runs today.

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

Ready for a game where you pilot giant mechs and fight to the death? Of course you are. 'Carcinogen' is here to satisfy your bloodlust and oillust with a speedrun of Konami's Zone of the Enders. If you don't know what this series is about, it might pique your interest to learn that this game was developed by what amounts to the Metal Gear Solid team. Carcinogen completes the game in 0:33:15 (torrent) and now holds the run of the final game, alphabetically, on the game list. If we're lucky, maybe he will run one of the ZOE follow-ups, much like how I'm sure Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe is planning a run of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters to further solidify his grip on the start of the alphabet.

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

Inscrutable

First things first. You might remember Pete 'Thinkshooter' Howard's great Knights of the Old Republic run from a couple of months ago. Who could forget? Anyway, Pete recently finished work on the bloopers for the run, and he wanted me to help him get the word out. So there you go. The bloopers are pretty funny and will make you wonder just what is going on in this game.

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

Sliders

Wesley 'Molotov' Corron's previous run of Chrono Cross from over two years ago finished in 7:55:08. The best known time was in 7:16:01 by Kimura Masahiro, a Japanese fellow whose record was listed on Ultima Garden: a site that unfortunately does not provide any video. Wesley wasn't a fan of this discrepancy, so he set about to lower his time. He made it about halfway before sadly his hard drive containing all the segments crashed and he lost all motivation. Enter Spikevegeta and his $50 bounty for beating the 7:16:01. Now flashforward to today, and marvel at Wesley's new 6:42:11 (torrent). Keep in mind that this was done on the US version with its slower English text. Wesley was also kind enough to provide audio commentary and to redo the last segment with the good ending in 6:48:19.

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

Next Episode

We have two new games today with "2" in the title. I know you must be struggling to contain your excitement over this fact.

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?

I was planning to juxtapose Nintendo with a violent banned game, but now I got nothing.

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

Masquerade

It's a masquerade ball at SDA and you're invited. Ours is tame and merely involves speedrunning, so you don't need a secret password like fidelio to get in.

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

Torrential

We have some longer speedruns — many of them segmented — of popular games coming down the pipeline, conditions the National Weather Service warns are ripe for producing funnel clouds and torrents.

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

Brawl is back. Now it's time for Lukas 'Midori' Jacobsson to join the Super Smash Bros. Brawl page. His speedrun is on the popular category, 100-man brawl. Adam 'No1 Inparticular' Young's previous run was done with Pikachu, so those Pokémon haters in the audience might appreciate that Lukas uses Meta Knight instead. He finishes in 0:01:47.28, which is exactly 9.43 seconds faster. And that's how he became the prince of a town called Bel-Air.

Sunday, August 31, 2008 by Enhasa

Disambiguation

Since both of the game titles in today's update yield a completely different 20th century and 21st century game with the exact same title, it's theoretically possible that you could be confused as to which incarnations are in the update. But naturally you can probably guess which is which.

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

Vintage

We haven't had an update with new games, a torrent, or multiple runs in a while, so let's mix it up and remedy all these points at once.

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

Actually, it would be cool if this game was more like Ragnarok Battle Offline. Anyway, Chia-Hao 'JoChi' Chiang has for us today a third speedrun for Phantasy Star Online. It's on the GameCube version and plays as the Hunter for a final time of 2:23, done in five segments. It joins another run on the GameCube by Julian 'dexter' v. Bock as a Force, which is twenty minutes faster. But of course that's okay since they are different categories. I am a bit confused why Jonathan 'Brightstar' Fields's Dreamcast Hunter time in 3:17 from over four years ago is still up, as the original Dreamcast version is actually advantageous for running. Probably something to ask Mike when he gets back.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 by Enhasa

Iran-Contra

He's been mentioned recently as the sponsor of some speedrun bounties, but make no mistake: Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson is one of the top speedrunners in existence. No scandal here as he takes off a full seven seconds from his own prior Contra run, one that some people had deemed "perfect." Joe Stanski even declared it the greatest run on all of SDA. I think what this all means is that you should probably watch Freddy's 0:10:17. The scariest part is that there is still room for improvement, and Freddy is just the type of man with the dedication, skill, and questionable level of sanity to pull it off.

Monday, August 18, 2008 by Enhasa

I love the shuriken

Jim 'vgmrsepitome' Hanson responded to my August 6 news update by asking, "What does a liger do with himself once his lifelong dream has been fulfilled?" The way I see it, the only greater achievement would be owning the record for all three NES Ninja Gaiden games at the same time, as Jim himself once did. Obviously, Josh 'LigerOfFortune' Styger agrees, because that is exactly what he has accomplished with his latest run of Ninja Gaiden in 0:12:53. This is fifteen seconds faster than Jim's run, and almost a full minute faster than Tommy 'tmont' Montgomery's initial run. You might feel sorry for Jim Hanson, whose speedruns are seemingly being assaulted on all sides, but I know he has some tricks up his sleeve. I must be prescient.

Sunday, August 17, 2008 by Enhasa

Bounty Hunter II: Return of Sattik

Three hundred dollars is quite a lot of cash to most of us, but for a fifteen-year-old like Sattik 'Tiki' Ghosh, it must seem like infinite money. Is it no wonder then, that straight off his effort for the Mega Man 3 bounty, Sattik would return to stake his claim on Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson's Mega Man 6 bounty? Sattik admits that this is not his best work, but his high standards mean that this 0:38:10 is still a very good run — it's thirteen seconds better than Jim 'vgmrsepitome' Hanson's previous run, after all. What may be Sattik's best work, however, are his comments, which are comprised as always with his trademark uncouth teenage exuberance.

Saturday, August 16, 2008 by Enhasa

Guardian Heroines

Guardian Heroes is one of my favorite games, and Nicole is probably my favorite character in the game, so naturally I approve of today's speedrun. We have a new runner, and his name is Jose 'poon78' Llado. He delivers a run with Nicole on the Golden Silver path in 0:26:17 to go with Mandela 'spacedemonebu' Shabazz's Ginjirou run on the same path. Jose's run is six and a half minutes faster because, honestly, Nicole is broken with her barrier attack. The usage of this move is liberally interspersed with the not-as-broken "trip and fall down for no reason" move, resulting in entertaining times for all.

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

Clocking in at a grand total of 40 seconds, today's update sets a record for the shortest SDA update ever. Well, don't feel too bad; I just updated yesterday after all, and more is on the way. Of course, since the game is Sonic the Hedgehog 2, it goes without saying that the runner is Joe Stanski. His 0:00:40 for Oil Ocean 2 is ten seconds faster than before, and it's all thanks to a new scrolling glitch that was disallowed prior to the March 29th rules updates. In fact, it was Stanski's anger over not being allowed to use this glitch that caused him to start an... interesting out-of-bounds (OOB) thread. The community stance eventually led to the current policy, so don't say we're not looking out for ya.

Monday, August 11, 2008 by Enhasa

From here on out it's The Goonies II

Startin' today and tomorrow's the new.

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

This update fulfills Josh 'LigerOfFortune' Styger's lifelong dream of getting an entire news post to himself. He has managed to shave an incredible 27 seconds off Jim 'vgmrsepitome' Hanson's previous run of Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom, sending poor Jim home in tears. The record is now a clean 0:14:00. The run comments, which may or may not have been ghostwritten by Mr. Hanson, are a definite must-read. Will Josh reign over all three NES Ninja Gaiden games simultaneously, or will Jim reclaim some of what he has lost? Tune in next time for another exciting episode of Ninja Garden!

Friday, August 1, 2008 by Enhasa

Guerrilla Update

I'm sure many of you have settled into some sort of pattern in checking SDA once every several days, since we're in a good groove and don't have enough speedruns to update every day anyway. Well, consider your world shattered, as now you know we may strike at any time. Make sure to check back incessantly and the rest of this sentence is removed since we don't want AdSense to drop us! Okay, maybe the real explanation is that I got a day off, I'm out of town tomorrow, and I felt like updating. But who knows? Maybe if the feedback is positive and I feel up to it, there might be smaller, more frequent updates in the future.

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

It's the long-awaited return of Tom 'rdrunner' Votava, who was previously seen in the news over a year ago. He has two runs of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project for us. First, he has an improvement of two minutes and fourteen seconds to Ray 'Croc-Doc' Cullen's run, although the number of deaths has climbed from three to seven. The deaths category now stands at 0:39:36. For those that hate to see turtles dying and other such acts of animal cruelty, there is now also an impressive new deathless category as Michaelangelo in 0:43:46. Tom Votava, your check from Joe Stanski is in the mail.

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

We have an All-Star Game for you today, but sadly no Home-Run Contest to complete the theme. It's Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it's the All-Star mode, and it's the return of Peter 'petrie911' Montag. He plays as Jigglypuff and decisively claims home field advantage in just 0:03:36.83. Peter is quite thankful of the fact that All-Star mode contains a lot less randomness compared to the other modes. We thank him for his efforts and the designers for their considerateness. With the current state of the economy in the United States, undoubtedly the only asset that trickles down is kudos.

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

Last time there was Vice City. This time: no City, all Vice. I'm putting Vice: Project Doom first today in a futile attempt to prevent it from being overshadowed by the other run. And that's too bad, since I consider it to be one of the top five games on the NES. Today, however, this highly underappreciated game receives a speedrun from Josh 'LigerOfFortune' Styger, a runner who only thinks he's underappreciated. Josh completes the game in 0:14:48 and thanks another Josh in his comments — truly, the circle of life.

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

Summon Night: Swordcraft Story might look and play like the illegitimate offspring of Tales of Phantasia and Golden Sun on the GBA, but honestly, that's sort of what it is. Some might even call it a shameless ripoff. Here at SDA, though, we don't ask questions, we merely play through games quickly. Daniel 'Cromarty' Enright does just that, finishing the game in 2:23 using 18 segments. Until the day we have runs for Drill Dozer, Gurumin, or Mr. Driller A, be sure to watch this run to whet your appetite for portable drilling action.

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

Oh snap!

I'm a big fan of unique speedruns, and this one surely qualifies. Giancarlo André 'gia' Rivas De Amat has a run for us today of Pokémon Snap: that game where you finally get to shoot all kinds of various Pokémon... with a camera. Some of the less flexible-minded among us wondered if this game could even be run, but gia proves the doubters wrong with his 0:24:02. Giancarlo's fusion of science and art would certainly win him the coveted Pulitzer Prize for Pokémon Photography, if only such a thing existed.

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

Ninja Garden

With all due respect to the, um, highly respected forum member omega4, Josh 'LigerOfFortune' Styger is the true ninja gardener. He has ended Jim 'vgmrsepitome' Hanson's reign of terror over the NES Ninja Gaiden trilogy with a huge upgrade to Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos. His 0:11:39 is a full 30 seconds better than Jim's run. Josh has now also held records on all three games in the trilogy, albeit not all at once. Both Josh and Jim are competing to beat this latest time, so we'll be on the lookout for some serious ninja gardening in the future.

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

Mario Man

First up today is a regular to the SDA news page. It's Alex 'AquaTiger' Nichols and he has delivered three speedruns to the ever-expanding Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters page, which now contains into the double digits in categories. Two of these runs, Search for Wily as Mega Man in 0:04:20.03 and Recover the New Parts as Proto Man in 0:03:05.66, are new categories. The third run, Rescue Roll as Proto Man in 0:03:02.93, beats Philippe 'Suzaku' Henry's prior run by 47.50 seconds. It's truly been a pleasure to watch the progress of this game page over the last several years.

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

Short Cuts

This was the easiest update I've had yet, in part because these speedruns are so short. These runs are pretty self-explanatory, so I'll celebrate with a short update.

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

Self-Improvement

Chuck Palahniuk might favor self-destruction, but here at SDA, we are still big fans of self-improvement.

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

The second speedrun in today's update marks the final run that Nate had to capture off VHS for SDA. His dedication and selflessness, in providing this service to anyone who asked, is how he got started with this site in the first place. We may fully welcome the move to DVD recorders, but one last time, let's partake in the wizardry that turns SLP recorded on old tapes with extremely low brightness and volume into something beautiful.

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

Many of us who watch speedruns at SDA are quite fond of runs with audio commentary. They can be extremely informative and entertaining, and they have a key advantage in that it is far easier to link specific portions of video with the commentary when in audio form. Although the inclusion of audio commentary is a growing trend, many people have had questions about which runs have them, how to listen to them, and so forth. This is more or less an official announcement of support for audio commentary at SDA. All of the relevant information can be found in this thread.

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

Technical Difficulties

As you may have heard, there was an explosion at our hosting provider that took us out of commission for nearly a week. It's all finally in the past, so we now return you to your regularly scheduled speedrunning. Thanks for staying with us.

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

We have three runs of new games today, as well as some new policies. Nate has had a merry time recently, nuking antiquated things such as VHS and YaBB 1.0. It feels so good, he just won't stop, and SDA is all the better for it. Now DivX AVI and separate FLV encodes have also received the axe. These changes are all designed to enhance your SDA experience, improving video quality with hopefully no drawbacks to you. However, if you feel like your life depended on AVI, you can look at this thread for assistance. Alternately, you could savor this AVI-filled update like a last meal, but we don't recommend that.

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

Perfectionists will enjoy today's update, while those that prefer new games will just have to wait until next time.

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

SS Rank

It's time once again for everyone's favorite surgeon simulation series! We have an improvement for the first console game in the series, Trauma Center: Second Opinion, by a runner new to SDA. Joshua 'InfinityX' Tate is not a doctor, but he plays one on Wii. Joshua finishes in a mere 1:43:55, so hopefully he has malpractice insurance. This run is five minutes and twelve seconds faster than the previous run by Adam 'Lucid Faia' Sweeney, a man who would approve of today's single-segment theme.

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

Potpourri

The theme of today's update is... well, there really isn't a theme actually.

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

(>'-')>

Last year's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, like Gears of War the year before, was a game that won overwhelming critical acclaim and "Game of the Year" awards not for doing anything new, but simply for delivering to the teeming masses their ideal FPS experience. In addition to its wildly popular multi-player modes, Call of Duty 4 apparently also includes a single-player mode. Andrew Mills goes through this campaign, completing a full set of individual-levels runs in a total time of 1:55:53.

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

Quickie

Ok, I figure I have enough time here to make a quick update.

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

420

Let's kick back, take it easy, and watch some speedruns, man.

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

Speedrun Bonanza

You may have heard that there's this Grand Theft Auto IV game coming out. You might then be interested to learn that we have a new run on the game that started the modern GTA formula: Grand Theft Auto III. Mihail 'SCM' Suraev has tackled the PC version in three segments, arriving upon a final time of 1:16:12 (torrent, HQ torrent). This marks a 0:06:19 improvement over the previous run by Andre 'l2ebel' Bodmer, which was also done in three segments, but segmented differently.

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

SDA Forever

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008 by Enhasa

Huge Success

First up today is a run of Star Wars: Starfighter, an early PS2 space combat game from LucasArts. This game is apparently set during Episode One, but luckily Jar Jar Binks does not make an appearance. Brett 'Psonar' Ables, however, does make an appearance, shooting down everything in his path en route to a time of 1:16:53 on Easy mode. Stay tuned to find out what futuristic flying combat game Brett will take on next.

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

Cowabunga

Do you like Half-Life? Do you like runs using scripts? Do you like 70 segments appended to one file? This might just be your lucky day. Half-Life: Blue Shift was always the black sheep of the family of Half-Life runs on SDA, ostracized for its relative lack of total brokenness. Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski has rectified the situation with his Hard mode run in 0:27:39, which goes up alongside Jerry 'laughing_gas' Yu's scriptless run.

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

Treasure Box

Upon hearing that this update is themed around cult developer Treasure, you may either frown with confusion or squeal with delight. But first, an announcement.

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

Metroid 2002

I am pleased to announce a total of six (6) new runs on the Metroid games released in 2002.

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

Something New

And now we have three runs on games that are new to SDA. These games were all released in consecutive Novembers from 2003-2005, a useless fact which I am sure nobody has ever pointed out or will ever point out again.

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

Something Old

First in today's set of three improvements to old single-segment runs is Ian 'B'man' Bennett's run of the Tanker episode of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty with 100% dog tags on Extreme difficulty in 0:18:15. Did you catch all of that? Good. Adnan Kauser once held this record with a time of 0:23:06, but as you can see, Mr. Bennett shows mercy to no man. Snaaaaaaake!!!

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.

Every word I write is but a moment longer before you watch Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson's Contra in 0:10:24.

Sunday, March 16, 2008 by Enhasa

We missed you too

Today's update features runs of two relatively obscure NES platformers that I only recently discovered but deeply love just the same.

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

This will be an unusual update in that all of the runs involved are segmented and on the Easy difficulty setting. Wimps? Maybe, but even if so, fast wimps.

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

It's a battle between old school and new school Square games, and the winner is you.

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

So soon?

Today's update is naturally exciting so let's get right to it!

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

2D Sidescrollers

I have always enjoyed the 2D sidescrolling genre, but my appreciation has only doubled since joining SDA staff. Such speedruns are usually single-segment, relatively short, and don't require torrents, all of which make my life just that much easier.

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

100% Cotton

It seems these days that no news post would be complete without a run from Josh 'LigerOfFortune' Styger, who insisted that his run be at the top of this update. Today he has a run on the original SotN, Natsume's Shadow of the Ninja, in 0:12:37. You might think that this is just another ninja game but silly rabbit! There can never be enough games with ninjas.

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

Not content with bringing you merely one Portal run, instead we present two runs of last year's critically acclaimed puzzle FPS hybrid. Whether you prefer PC or console, segmented or single-segment, scripts or no scripts, we have just the run for you.

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

Bounty Hunter

No, not Samus, our very own Sattik 'Tiki' Ghosh! Freddy 'Frezy_man' Andersson, everyone's favorite Swedish speedrunner, has placed hundreds and hundreds of $US on the line for runs of several NES games. Check those out, and also check out our full list of bounties if you feel like turning your hard speedrunning work into a little cash!

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

Serious Combat

First on our slate, we have some individual-levels improvements to a truly manic shooter, Serious Sam: The First Encounter. Playing on Serious difficulty, Bart 'TheVoid' de Waal has improved Hatshepsut, Suburbs, and Sacred Yards by a combined 55 seconds. He joins legendary awesome guy Drew 'stx-Vile' DeVore on the table and brings the total time down to 0:52:55. Because these are individual-levels runs, TheVoid wasn't obligated to include comments, but I'm sure you can figure out what he does on your own.

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

If you asked the tireless Besmir 'Zoid' Sheqi, he would tell you that his new single-segment 1:06 (torrent) in Metroid Prime is "beautiful," and I am inclined to agree with that assessment. You may recall that Zoid also holds the segmented any percent record, 1:03 — a mere three minutes or 4.55% faster than the single-segment run he has lovingly prepared for us today. In a game like Metroid Prime, three minutes can be—and very often is—lost on only one trick. This run is the final product of countless hours of dedication to Metroid Prime: when everyone else left for greener pastures, Zoid remained dedicated out of his love for the game.

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.

Enjoy.

Friday, February 8, 2008 by Enhasa

Cinematic

Why watch last year's Hitman movie or the upcoming Max Payne movie when you can watch far more interesting speedruns instead?

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

Today we have three new runs for those of you who believe that real men (and women) do it with stamina!

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

400

Hello, I'm new to this. Please be gentle! As DJ Grenola's successor, my goal here is to try to do a fraction of the good work that he did. But this update is not about me. This is about a milestone in this site's history.

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

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank DJGrenola one last time for all his work on M2K2SDA. I have to date met far too few people like him: ridiculously dedicated, unbelievably polite, infinitely forgiving, and most of all willing to talk with me about anything I had on my mind. Yes, others can do the work he did here at SDA, but they will not do it as well as he did it, and they can never replace the friend I found in him.

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

It was Radix's famous Metroid Prime 100% 1:37 that piqued my interest in completing games quickly, which in turn led to my involvement with this site. It is fitting, then, that my own improvement to the any% segmented category on its sequel — Metroid Prime 2: Echoes — will probably mark my departure from front-line service.

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.

The new record is 1:38 in 22 segments (both normal quality DivX and H.264 torrents are available), five minutes faster than the previous run.

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

Yes, this news post will be considerably easier for many of you to read than my previous ones were.

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

grenola's quite understandably getting a bit jaded with this whole ~45 step "updating sda" thing, so i thought i'd help out a bit today by posting some stuff. you'll note that there are no internet archive download links for the runs i'm presenting to you today; this is because i really can't stand the horrid complexity archive adds to every update, and so i have spent the last few days building up our download server to handle more concurrent downloads. of course, if that server goes out, then so does the content, but i've got my fingers crossed, and i'm not suggesting i will never upload these runs to archive (sooner or later i'll get on that). it's just that when it comes down to it, i'd rather update the site with one mirror than not update it at all, and i'm sure most of you would agree with me on that.

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

mikwuyma writes:

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.

DJGrenola writes:

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

first off today ian 'b'man' bennett brings us a run on a twist on the old text-based adventure genre: uplink. b'man brings down the internet in 0:20:12 (hq h.264 torrent), which nets him the bad ending. (it then took him several hours to get the internet back up so grenola could post this update.)

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

akemashite omedetou

there have never been more runs in the queue than there are right now. i blame at&t for changing my home ip address so i couldn't get in to my machine to work on sda stuff while i was visiting my family for a very long xmas break.

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!

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