Saturday, December 31, 2011 by Breakdown

Said it once before, but it bears repeating

Yes, I know, the Awesome Games Done Quick 2012 promo video was in the last update, but seriously, have you seen this thing?

Pretty awesome, huh? Huge thanks to SDA member Cool Matty for putting it together and Grant from Metroid Metal for letting us use the track. Now, with the marathon mere days away, I have a humble request for all of you reading this: help this promo video do its promoting thing. Link people here to see it, or even better, download it and upload it to any corner of the internet you can. Twitter, youtube, facebook, whatever: if you're helping to spread the word about AGDQ you're doing all of us at SDA a great service.

Seeing as we're inside of a week away from 5 consecutive days of live speedrunning goodness this update will be a little lighter on runs than normal. Not to worry, though, as what they lack in quantity they more than make up for in quality, and incidentally all these games will be featured during the marathon to further keep the hype train rolling. Let's get to it, shall we?

There are few games out there than have seen the same amount competition and scrutiny from the SDA community in recent years as Super Mario 64. New tricks have been discovered, routes have been modified, and a dedicated group of runners have been driving each other to lower and lower times. Truth be told, all this attention has really made some of the runs on site show their age a bit, but today the game page is getting a facelift courtesy of two submissions from runner Mike 'Siglemic' Sigler. For starters, he submitted a run for the currently absent 70 star category that clocks in at a brisk 0:49:43. If that weren't enough, he's also provided us with an improvement of over 20 minutes to our 120 star run, finishing with a time of 1:48:05. Of course, the competition on this game didn't stop dead when these runs were submitted and faster times have already surfaced elsewhere on the internet. Is an improvement to either of these runs going to make its way to SDA? Time will tell.

Sticking with Nintendo properties for the time being, we have a new run for the first generation of the Pokémon games. Pokémon Blue gets its first single segment run on SDA courtesy of runner Mark 'werster' McKenzie. Mark gathers up the requisite badges, takes them to the Elite Four, and shows the rival his grandfather never had any faith in him in a very quick 2:04, just 5 minutes behind the red version's segmented time.

Wrapping things up today we have some news for the game that started it all at SDA: Quake. While this is old news to those of you who frequent the Quake news page, for many of you this is probably the first you've heard of the newest installments in the Quake done Quick series. A lot of time, effort, and tiny optimizations from many members of the community culminate in the release of the any% Quake done Quickest in 0:11:29 and the aptly named Quake done 100% Quickest (2 guesses on what category, first one doesn't count) in 0:48:00. If you're a fan of the game, genre, or speedrunning in general you owe it to yourself to check these out, they're that good.

That should be more than enough to tide you good people over until Wednesday, January 4th, at which time this space will be occupied with a stream window that'll have all the live speedrunning you can handle. Be here, you won't want to miss it!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 by dex

We interrupt your broadcast

So, as you probably already are aware, between January 4th and 9th there's the 2012 edition of Awesome Games Done Quick incoming. In case you need to get any more pumped (though I would posit you probably already are) for this live speedrunning event, we have a promo video for you to see. Check it out on archive.org or on youtube. Send it to friends, colleagues and acquaintances, and help spread the news of this Awesome charity marathon!

Because an update with just the promo would be a little bare, here's a couple runs for your viewing pleasure. The Polish western-themed shooter Call of Juarez got some attention from Evgeny 'Camo' Eliseev, who decided that reliving the glory days of the (fictional) Wild West was not something he wanted to do for any extended period of time. So instead he blasted through the game in just 1:21:46. The run is on Easy difficulty and in 82 segments, but don't let that fool you into thinking it ain't a big deal, 'cause nothing is an easy feat when done in a western.

Meanwhile, in more modern times, Mihail 'horned' Petrov decided to go through some infiltration action in I.G.I.-2: Covert Strike. Yeah, I know that title looks weird, blame the developers. Anyhow, Mr. Petrov did not think the whole 'stealth' thing was really all that important, and instead went for the strategy of rushing through ranks as fast as possible - a decision we at SDA are always delighted to see. The resulting time is 0:58:44 in 19 segments, and as someone who knows how unforgiving this game can be, I have to say: damn good work.

That's all for today (I told you there would only be a couple games!). Stay tuned for the marathon!

Friday, December 16, 2011 by Vorpal

Wherein my preferences are made clear

You may be familiar with Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin's existing speedrun, which is a rather quick 2-minute glitchfest. If you were hoping to see something that doesn't warp to the final battle from the first save room, you're in luck. 'szsk' has graced us with a single-segment 0:42:35. While his comments are unfortunately unreadable to most of us, you can glance through for links to glitch descriptions and so on, so be sure to do that if you're interested.

For a long time, Clue's 3-second run was considered an unbeatable run, a masterful confluence of game choice and outstanding improv detective skill. All this remains true, even as many runners searched for a game that could be completed in 2 seconds or fewer. Clue was never beaten. But a crucial detail was overlooked: there's also a PC version. Joining the existing run is a run clocking in at a solid 0:00:01, or one second flat, executed by Ace Dick Ellis 'Chrno' Watson. I rather suspect this time will stand for a while...

Metal Gear Solid has enduring popularity despite people's propensity to only actually like one or two games in the series, but Metal Gear Solid 3 is probably one of those games. We have two runs for you today, both done by テ・ツキツ敕・ツ・ε」ツ€ツ€'Hikari'テ」ツ€ツ€ティツ仰アテ・ツ可・(Hidenori 'Hikari' Kawamoto), and both segmented runs on the European Extreme difficulty. One clocks in at 1:23:37 and achieves the Fox Hound rank, the other at 1:38:42 and achieves the Kerotan rank. I'm sure you'll enjoy both of these solid improvements.

It's been a long time since the SNES Prince of Persia has graced the SDA front page, but Benjamin 'UraniumAnchor' Cutler couldn't let that stand. This time he's completed a set of training mode levels, which come out to a total of 0:03:03. Unfortunately missing from the SNES version is a loud, booming voiceover commanding you to pick up axles and bring them up to the top; after all, everyone agrees that all training segments would be improved by such a thing.

It's been an even longer time since one Mr. Michael Uyama has completed a run, but retiring does have its advantages. While his current time is eaten up by marathon practice and a rather peculiar Genesis gem called Sub-Terrania that some jerk inflicted him with, Mike managed to complete a run of Sunset Riders beforehand. Join the pink cowboy Cormano as he struts to a solid 0:18:19. You may also be delighted to hear that this run features not one, but two audio commentaries. One is Mike by his lonesome, the other features a big skype call. Check those out.

System Shock 2's longstanding run has been on the site for years at this point, since 2005. Taking a chunk out of a well-optimized run is no mean feat. Enter first-time runner Michael 'M1' Bullock and his segmented 0:32:54 on the Impossible difficulty. M1 uses better optimization and a few new tricks to shave 3 minutes off. This next bit always feels good to say: the run includes audio commentary. Be sure to check that out.

The last run today involves The X-Files Game. Two lost agents and ten minutes later, Bryan 'bpcookie' Powell files his final report in a brisk 0:12:44. Note that this run isn't formally declassified, but we're making an exception because of how much paperwork the Freedom of Information Act involves. Haven't played it myself, so I'm not sure if aliens show up, but they'd better.

Lastly, some people (imagine the world's most obnoxious sneer) may have doubts as to how awesome charity marathons are, or may have joined us only recently and not have been exposed to our previous marathons. For these people, I must reiterate: Awesome Games Done Quick is, well, awesome. If you don't believe me, check out our highlights, and much more importantly, our bloopers. If you want to go back even further, we also have Classic Games Done Quick highlights and bloopers on tap.

Are you hype? We are hype! Join us on Jan 4 as we defeat cancer all over again.

Until next time.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 by Breakdown

It's that time again

Many of you no doubt noticed the large banner that's appeared at the top of our homepage (courtesy again of the very talented Lindsey King, check her stuff out!). Truly, this is the best visual indicator of an upcoming SDA marathon, but I figure a little text on the subject can't hurt. But yes, the 2012 edition of Awesome Games Done Quick is right around the corner. Starting January 4th we'll be bringing you about 120 consecutive hours of live speedrunning goodness on over 100 great (and a few notably not so great) titles. We're not just doing this for the fun of it, however (though it is a definite bonus), as the whole time we'll be taking donations for The Prevent Cancer Foundation. In addition to the satisfaction that comes with knowing you're helping a great cause, donors will be able to influence certain things that happen during gameplay and get a chance to win some really cool prizes. You can check out the full schedule here and more details will be released in the weeks to come, but the main message to take away from this post is don't make any plans for January 4th through 9th, because you won't want to miss this event. At the risk of sounding redundant, it's going to be awesome!

And if you want to start adding to our donation total early, there's an easy way for you to do that thanks to SDA member and our live streams page creator/maintainer bmn. He has enrolled the live streams page in both the Amazon Associates and eBay Partner Network, which generates a bit of income when people access either Amazon or eBay through the link at the top of the w00ty page. All proceeds raised through this will be donated to the Prevent Cancer Foundation, so if you plan to use either site for your holiday shopping do us and cancer research a favor and take a detour through w00ty on the way to your shopping site of choice.

Of course, while the upcoming marathon is big news, most of you are no doubt expecting new runs when a new post hits the front page. Well, I'm not going to disappoint on that front today. Let's get to it.

Contra III: The Alien Wars has been seeing no shortage of love recently, and this is a trend that continues with two new runs hitting the game page this update. For starters, Jeremy 'DK28' Doll has an improvement to his easy difficulty run. Making use of everything the game has to offer he was able to chop 10 seconds off his old time, clocking in with a final time of 0:12:39. But that's not all for Contra 3 fans today. We also have a brand new category hitting the game page today courtesy of runner Kyle 'Mr. K' Halverson. The new category in question is low% on hard difficulty, and Mr. K makes very effective use of the pea shooter on his way to a final time of 0:22:47.

Jeremy 'DK28' Doll isn't only adept at blowing aliens to tiny bits. He's also a good guy to have around when the mayor's daughter gets kidnapped by a gang of thugs, as evidenced in his runs on Final Fight. Jeremy adds two runs to the game page today, both played on the GBA's Final Fight One. He pilots Alpha Guy to the end in a speedy 0:24:27, and has the good mayor, Mr. MIKE HAGGAR himself, kick the crap out of all the thugs who dare oppose him in 0:24:26.

Not long ago, the show Beavis and Butthead made its triumphant return to television. It's seemingly appropriate then that we also unveil a new speedrun for the Genesis game based on the two underachieving, snickering teenagers. Runner Richard Gibson takes the titular (heh heh) characters through their quest to reassemble their GWAR tickets in a very quick 0:12:15.

Wrapping things up today we have a run some of you may find educational, and may in fact help to advance your career. Runner Chris 'Trekhaak' van Halbeek shows a great proficiency in his ABCs over the course of his run through Elmo's Letter Adventure. He guides the red muppet monster through his vocabulary journey in a brisk 0:14:38 on the game's easy mode.

Friday, November 25, 2011 by dex

Quality and quantity

This update's running a little late, so in the interest of placating all those no doubt already preparing (suitably) angry messages, it contains more content than the usual one. So, without further ado...

Let's start with a run of one of the most acclaimed and treasured indie games in recent history, the genre-bending puzzle/platform/time-manipulation game titled Braid. Ralf Janiak evidently decided that segmenting was for the less dedicated and went for the single segment category. Using the assorted time gimmicks in a very clever way, Mr. Janiak managed to find enough shortcuts and tricks to get the time down to 0:27:50.70 (on the in-game timer). A very interesting watch. And no, star collection is not included.

Speaking of time gimmicks, the next game - Prince of Persia (2008) - curiously does not include them, a surprising departure from the formula perfected in Sands Of Time. This gameplay change did not phase Tobias 'Aphox' Baers, who blazes through the game in just 3:08, thanks to a very well planned route. To aid the execution of said route without the power to control the timespace, he used 46 segments. Forgotten Sands next, perhaps?

Up next, one of the titles I consider to have the highest quality writing you can find in video games, Psychonauts. After hearing that a game this fun could possibly be a financial failure, Mathias 'Butt3rs' Hoiss decided to do the game justice by making a suitably polished run. The result of the reported two years of planning and playing is this 1:07:19 in 40 segments. A recommended watch for any aspiring psychic agents.

Another of the runs today is Oskar Angelmark's run of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which is, as you probably remember, the first in the series, and also named differently outside America. Kind of amusing how "Philosopher's Stone" was changed, apparently being a phrase too big to cross the pond. But I digress - the important thing is that Mr. Angelmark did his best to abolish the earlier run by Mkt2015, and managed to knock off well over half an hour, yielding 1:29:12. 50 segments instead of 4, but hey, that's the price of progress.

Hot on the heels of the release of Serious Sam 3: BFE, here are Laurent 'KlVis' Villard's improvements of the last level of Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, The Grand Cathedral. The first one without any OOB (0:04:30), and the second one with a bunch of it (0:02:58). These improvements knock down the total time to 1:01:32.

Finally, to round the update off, Risto 'RJ19' Jouslahti's runs of Painkiller ILs. The levels in which Risto somehow improved the reckless destruction are Catacombs, Opera House, Asylum, Snowy Bridge, Train Station and Abandoned Factory. These all knock the time down by almost 3 minutes, to 1:04:40. Highest difficulty, of course - the manliest of difficulties. Well played.

Anyway, that's it for today. See you all next time.

Saturday, November 12, 2011 by Vorpal

Three's a crowd

When most speedrunners think of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, they think of all the things you can skip and all of the involved glitches and secret worlding you can use to destroy the game. Why not try breaking the game while still getting everything for a change? That's what Charles Griffin did, collecting 100% of the items and saving the planet in a single-segment 1:56, an improvement of about half an hour over the previous segmented run. That's some pretty fine playing. I simply hope Samus doesn't charge an hourly rate.

On the flip side of things, we have Half-Minute Hero, an extremely quick and awesome game that makes for some pretty cool runs. Please welcome Clayton 'Raoh' Potrzeba to the site, and his first run involves blazing through Hero 3 mode in 0:00:12.48. Yes, that's twelve seconds. Think you could save the world in 12 seconds? Watch this first.

Next up is another first-time runner, but believe me when I say that Matt 'packattack' Flees has been around for a while and knows his stuff. He doesn't disappoint with his arrival at SDA, and we consequently get to watch a good set of videos for Donkey Kong Country Returns. The times to beat add up to 1:22:13 in a collection of individual level runs. It's fortunate for the Kremlings that they didn't show up this time around.

Instead of running around with hairy-chested characters, Jeremy 'DK28' Doll chooses to run around with buff oiled chests and exploding aliens. If hearing that he's performed a new run of Contra 3 doesn't get you excited, then maybe hearing that it was done with no items will. DK28 completes the game on easy, with no items or deaths, in 0:15:30, a solid 40-second improvement over his previous time. It also comes with audio commentary for your listening pleasure, so be sure to check that out.

Fo r the Final part of this update, we're plugging the gaps in your Final Fantasy run collection. Final Fantasy 3 gets the speedrun treatment this time around, and presiding over it is the aptly named 'Dominator'. Dominator crushes the forces of evil in a 12-segment 1:27:18, which you have to admit is extremely quick for a Final Fantasy game. I guess that's just what happens when you run a game where you don't need HP.

Congratulations to all of the runners for their nice work, and we hope to see them again soon.

Sunday, November 6, 2011 by Breakdown

Shoutouts to saving

Generally when you see Donkey Kong mentioned in gaming news it's about someone setting a new score record for the title. Obviously, that's not how we roll here at SDA as we'd much rather see the giant ape get dropped on his head as soon as possible than watch someone jump over barrels for over an hour. Accommodating us in this desire is runner Joseph 'Pokey' Looney with his 0:01:03 run, a two second improvement over the one we've been hosting.

Next, we have Ryan 'Poxnor' Vogt showing he's got talents other than being a pro charity marathon donator. He also knows a thing or two about speedrunning, and this is evidenced in his first submission to the site, a single segment run of the Game Boy's Final Fantasy Legend. Ryan makes his way through this inaptly named game (not only did it spawn several sequels, it's also part of the SaGa series) in a very quick 1:07:35.

Staying in the RPG realm of things we have John 'chessjerk' Kearsley IV with an improvement to one of my personal favorite 8-bit games in the genre. It wasn't long after we posted his initial run for Dragon Warrior IV that he began work on improving it, and what an improvement it ended up being. Through some new strategies, more luck manipulation, and a higher segment count he was able to cut close to an hour and a half off of his old time. In a series notorious for being heavy on grinding, the final time of 4:52 is really quite impressive. Seriously, check this one out.

Moving along, we have an inaugural run for a puzzle game. Judging from his comments, it was quite by accident that runner 'pojr' ended up with a Kirby's Avalanche cart back in the day, but I imagine now he looks at this as serendipitous, especially considering the run of his we're unveiling today. Playing on the game's hardest difficulty he arranges like-colored blobs with blazing speed, finishing with a time of 0:07:43.

Wrapping things up today, we have an improvement to a Capcom/Disney 8-bit collaboration. The Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers run we've had on site has stood for many years, but today we release a run that bests it courtesy of runner Travis 'Klaige' Nible. The crates fly fast and furious in this 0:10:38 run, an improvement of 19 seconds over the prior run.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 by dex

Only mostly late

To kick this update off, let's start with something cheery for a change - Condemned: Criminal Origins, a game that combines Silent Hill's atmosphere with CSI's... well, crime scene investigations. Caught in between all this is Oskar Angelmark, who decided to pick the Hard difficulty of the PC version as his speedrunning target of choice. Due to version and difficulty differences, this 1:55:48 in 88 segments goes alongside the old, console run on the page. It remains to be seen whether Oskar's speedrunning spree will continue. Note: This run was erroneously given a time over 5 minutes too high in the first days of the update.

Aleš 'Ewil' Horák was hard at work improving his own Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation time. The result of that work is that he managed to cut off a whopping 45 minutes - dedication impressive even for this very site. The new run clocks at 1:28:04, and should be a good watch for any Tomb Raider speedrun fan. 45 segments, which is actually one fewer than the previous run.

Assassin's Creed II is an installment of one of my favorite recent franchises, which makes me all the more excited to see a run of it. François 'Fed981' Federspiel is the one to go stabby in Renaissance Italy, and boy, does he have the stabbing part down. This 5:42:16 - yes, that's right; really speaks volumes about the superb length of the game - is in 18 segments, and definitely does the game justice.

Finally, on the other side of the 'lengthy' spectrum, we have Tomi 'sarou' Salo being a poop and taking great joy in beating my Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne Individual Level runs. The bastard had the audacity to beat the p1c1 and p1c2 by yours truly, p1c3 and his own p1c5 and pro3. I swear, kids these days... The total improvement is 32 seconds, down to 0:19:20.

In all seriousness, though, great stuff. Go watch those. And see you next time.

Friday, October 14, 2011 by Vorpal

Coming at you

The first run for you today had a fairly involved and painful process making it here. That's true for a lot of runs, but not all of them have blowups on the forum involving previously-unknown version differences and which threatened to scuttle the entire process for reasons I did not entirely agree with. I mention this so that, when you watch Jesse 'Jumpman' McColm's Banjo-Kazooie 100% single-segment in 2:28:51, an 11-minute improvement, you are aware of how lucky you are that this run exists in the first place. Congrats to Jumpman for finally making it to the front page, and I want to give special thanks to David Heidman Jr. for providing him a 1.0 copy of B-K.

If that excited you, there's more where that came from, even if it doesn't come with a melodramatic intro. Mike 'MegaDestructor9' Dickson, whom you previously saw destroying Mega Man 9 individual level times, set his sights on a drastically different game: Banjo-Tooie. The bird and bear have spent the time since Banjo-Kazooie sharpening their beak using special N64-branded tools, and they poke their way through all the boss fights in the game in 0:08:28 and change.

Eight minutes may not sound like a lot of time in the context of lengthier 3D platformers, but that's way too much for Justin 'UCpro' Salamon. UCpro brings us a run of Tiger Woods PGA Tour '10. More specifically, he completes a run of all 18 holes on the TPC Scottsdale course, using the discgolf mode, in 0:05:07. Considering the luck I've had doing precise things with the Wiimote, this is more impressive than you might think. And I've never even used the Wii MotionPlus.

Even faster than that is four and a half minutes, which is what Greg Innes has in store for us. The games aren't quite comparable, however: Greg's run some of the Heavy Rain DLC, namely the Taxidermist. Greg rounds out his existing run of the main game and uncovers a second serial killer in what is essentially the time per day many people spend in elevators, or 0:04:31. If only it worked like that in real life.

Let's round out a sequence of shorter and shorter runs with something a little longer. Tom 'slowbro' Batchelor, known for his uncompromising love of quirky Xbox Live Arcade indie games only he has heard of, has returned with another indie game run: Twisted Pixel's The Maw, featuring Frank, an alien slave driver, and his cute little omnivorous companion. slowbro pushes the Maw to completion in 0:56:55, completed as a set of individual levels.

I usually have to spend a couple minutes writing an intro for a game, but Portal needs no introduction. Through the deaths of thousands of test subjects more efficient placements of conveniently human-sized ad-hoc quantum displacement devices were discovered, leading Cody Miller to improve his existing run by exactly three minutes. The exact time is 0:21:37, done single-segment on the 360 version and without scripts. Get it while it's hot.

The last game today is a bit of a palate cleanser. I unfortunately haven't had the opportunity to play The Guardian Legend for very long, but Cory 'TheSeawolf1' Speiser has guaranteed that, whatever the plot of the game happens to be, I'll prefer his wonderfully psychedelic comments. Seawolf shoots his way to the self-destruct mechanisms on this party boat in 0:54:56, shutting it down a solid 8 minutes faster than the previous run. Let's be honest, now: a self-destruct mechanism is a good metaphor for a party's winding down.

That's all for today. Until next time.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 by Breakdown

Getting better all the time

Seeing new games get put on the site is always cool, but there's something to be said for seeing an improvement to a run you thought was pretty impressive to begin with. If you're a fan of that, you're in luck. We've got a bunch of those today.

At one point in time the NES's Ninja Gaiden was one of the more notable omissions from our catalogue, but since that first run hit several years back it's been one of our more fought over titles. Today we're posting the sixth run of the game to be hosted at SDA, which happens to have been done by the same man who did the third, Jim Hanson. The margin of improvement is five seconds, which should really speak to the level of optimization this title has received over the years. Check out this 0:12:39 run, it's really quite something.

Keeping with the trend of squeezing a few more seconds out of a category, we bring you the work of David Heidman Jr. Ever the perfectionist, he's provided us today with a self improvement to his Super C low% run. He still makes the pea shooter look like the spread gun, and this time around it's ten seconds faster than before, clocking in at 0:14:30. Also included is an audio commentary.

Now, seeing an improvement that gets an already highly optimized run that much closer to perfection is great, but it's also awesome to see new strategies and techniques applied to a game that yield a time significantly lower than what came before. And really, there have been few improvements as massive in SDA history as the one I'm about to unveil. Runner Craig 'cyghfer' Gordon today provides us with a long overdue improvement to Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. How big an improvement? How about one hour? Not enough for you? Well, perhaps even more impressively he also reduced the segment count from thirteen to one. Stated plainly, it's a single segment run in 2:57:28, and you want to watch it, right now.

An improvement like the one above is a hard act to follow, but our next run is definitely up to the task. In the past two years Michael 'Tigger77' Welle has treated viewers to two fantastic marathon runs and an amazing segmented run of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, and today he gains total ownership of the game page with his most recent effort on the title: a single segment run. Playing on the DX version, Michael bests the incumbent time by just over a minute, finishing in 1:29:20.

The last run for this update stretches the improvement theme I have going here a bit. No, this run doesn't replace another on the site, but I'm sure fans of Snake Rattle 'n' Roll will see the addition of this as a noted improvement to the game page. Runner Giel Goertz has turned his attention back to this notoriously difficult title, and the result of this is a warpless run to go along with his existing warps run. Played on the PAL version, Giel cruises through everything the game has to throw at him in a very quick 0:13:26.

That's it for runs, but we do have a few more new videos to showcase today. SDA member Benjamin 'UraniumAnchor' Cutler has put together a collection of highlights and bloopers from our recent marathon, Summer Games Done Quick. Both can be seen on youtube (highlights/bloopers) and also are available for download on archive.org. Of course, rather than downloading these individually, you can get both of them along with every single video from SGDQ in one shot with this handy torrent. Big thanks to Benjamin for his efforts on these videos and all the encodes from the marathon.

Sunday, September 25, 2011 by dex

With a vengeance

Hot on the metaphorical heels of the last update, today we start off with another addition to our ever-growing collection of runs on everyone's favorite vampire series, specifically a self-improvement on Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles. Chris 'Satoryu' Kirk decided to improve his old 17:44 after a pretty good run during our Awesome marathon, and ended up chopping well over a minute from the timer. This single-segment 0:16:35 is bound to be a treat to all Castlevania fans. Especially ones that like the good ending of the game.

Another series with a huge fanbase and a huge amount of installments gets a run today, too. Final Fantasy Origins, which, as you probably already know, is the rerelease of FF1 and FF2 for the PS. Lenophis embarked on the grand quest to run the former on easy difficulty, and emerged victorious with this 3:07. Lest you think the difficulty name is an indication that the run was simple to produce, Lenophis provides us with a couple of blooper reels: one, two. Neat. Also neat is that the run includes audio... commentary. You'll see what I mean when you watch it. It's in 23 segments, by the way.

Abandoning the frontier of well known video game series, let's jump straight to well known comic book series. Enter Josh 'Funkdoc' Ballard with a run of the Marvel licensed game, Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage - arguably one of the few tolerable LJN games. Josh expertly, but not effortlessly, guides Peter Parker and Eddie Brock to stop the villain in just 0:22:05. Single segment, no less, because that's the only way you can roll with superheroes of that magnitude in the title.

To round off the whole shindig, a run of a flash game with Braid overtones, The Company Of Myself. James 'Aftermath' Downing plows through the angst and loneliness-ridden plot with reckless abandon, and finishes all the puzzles in just a measly 0:03:27, which I must say is a very impressive time to make a trip through a person's inner psyche. It's single segment, too! Go check it out.

And to apologize for a delay of one day longer than I intended, here's a little something to tide you over: an interview with the Australian Mike, Mike 'mike89' McKenzie. That is a lot of M's in a row. See you next time.

Sunday, September 18, 2011 by Vorpal

Continuing on

Today we've got a couple pairs of runs from the same series, and then another run on top of that. Doubles all around, it seems.

The first set of doubles involves everyone's favorite series, Castlevania. Leading off, we have Symphony of the Night, possibly the most popular of the series. Perennial SotN runner Andrew 'romscout' Schroeder returns and demolishes his old 31-minute time with a rather impressive 0:29:14 improvement, this time featuring no Gaibon fiascos. Unfortunately for Slogra, it's still not his turn. Like all romscout runs, this run features an audio commentary, so be sure to give it a listen. The other Castlevania run this update may not be for the most popular game, but it still features Alucard. Runner 'Persona', an old hand at Castlevania games, has taken on the task of demolishing the other fighters in Castlevania Judgment with gusto, and he guides Alucard through the process of stymieing Galamoth in a sub-minute forty-three seconds. Galamoth is to remain trapped in Dracula's castle for a while longer, it appears.

The second set of doubles involves another long-running series, Sonic the Hedgehog. First, we have a set of individual level runs for Sonic 4 Episode 1, Sega's attempt to recapture the magic of the Genesis titles. 'Paraxade' continues to prove his dominance over everything he attempts and rushes Sonic through this episodes' four zones in a total of eighteen minutes and forty seconds. You may also have heard of Michael 'mike89' McKenzie, our long-time Sonic runner, and his game of choice today is Sonic Advance 3. Despite the puny size of the system, this game takes much longer, and 'mike89' collects all the chaos emeralds and signs a nonaggression pact with Robotnik in a little over an hour and 20 minutes. Considering how often Robotnik's attempts to scavenge from ancient relics backfire on him, I think he should just stick to his own designs.

The Majora's Mask single-segment run is a fairly recent addition to the site, and not many people expected it to be beaten soon. Enter Steven 'ingx24' Brown. After the discovery of a workaround for a game crash (always an interesting thing to read), Steven used the additional means of mobility this opened up, along with other improvements, to reduce the time to a smooth 1:49:33. Also included is an audio commentary, which will gleefully inform you of the precise definition of a hyper-extended super slide. If you're curious.

That's all for today. Hope you enjoy them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 by Breakdown

Assortment pack

Crash Bandicoot may not have been completely successful as Sony's mascot back in the PS1 days, but that doesn't mean they didn't try to make him stick. On top of sequel after sequel in the main series, the effort was made to port him and the cadre of characters created along the way to other genres. The first such foray was Crash Team Racing, which is being added to our game list today courtesy of runner Austinn 'Davis' Hallman. Playing on the game's Adventure mode, Austinn leaves his computerized opponents in the dust, cruising to a final time of 1:01:06 in a single segment.

Next up, we're heading outside of my standard updating area for a long overdue posting for that dual screened Nintendo DS thing. Though while the game in question's release date falls about a decade outside my usual comfort zone, at least the source material is well within my standard domain. The run for Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, the DS remake of the original Famicom game, makes its long awaited debut on the SDA front page. Runner Wesley 'Molotov' Corron is the man behind the stylus for this 32 segment endeavor. A lot of planning and an insistence on only the best possible luck is apparent in this 0:13:50 run.

We'll be staying in segmented territory for one more entry today with a new addition to the Mega Man X4 page. Breaking into the low % categories for this title is the two man team of Patrick 'Cremator' Salonen and Dan Enright. Their run with X finishes with a time of 0:42:47 over 13 segments, and definitely serves as proof that these two know what they're fighting for. Sewiously.

Moving along, we have a game and category near and dear to my heart seeing an improvement. We have a new run for the no up+A single segment category for Zelda II: The Adventure of Link going up today. Well, new isn't quite the right word as this run actually predates the one we've been hosting by close to two years. Why runner Jon Fessenden waited this long to submit is a mystery to me, but be glad he did as there is some very impressive play and interesting strategies to be seen in this 1:10:36 run. Truly a treat to watch.

Wrapping things up today, we see the first published run to result from SDA's bad game exchange. And a bad game it is: Castle of Dragon for the NES. Given the game's pedigree, it should serve as little surprise that the man behind the controls is none other than Jacob 'UltraJMan' Ritz, a man who's tolerance for games such as this is rivaled by few. It really shows that a lot of work went into this 0:08:46 run, which is probably a few minutes more than most people are willing to spend on the title period.

Thursday, September 8, 2011 by dex

My delays are augmented

In an ideal world, SDA updates would always be written on time and there would be no distractions interfering with the whole process, save perhaps for the complimentary chicks. Unfortunately, such a utopian situation is rarely feasible, as I've painfully found out after the release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. A potent drug, despite - if you'll forgive the personal opinion - not being one percent as good as the original DX. So, sorry for the delay. But I digress, and my rambling is undoubtedly incongruous with what you expect from an update, so let's get to the meat and potatoes of this thing - the videos!

Starting off with one of the big modern coop titles, we have a run for the Gearbox Software game Borderlands. William 'Youkai' Welch followed the old adage "if you want something done right, do it yourself" and opted for the single-player route. Reasoning that if he's a loner, he might as well pick the craziest and angriest character on the block - the brawler, Brick - for his (very fast) adventure on Pandora. Not to be confused with the Cameron movie. Mister Welch finishes the game in 2:29:02, using a pretty generous amount of segments - 99, to be exact - to pull off some impressive gameplay. It's the 360 version, by the way.

Next up, we have a splendid little indie platformer, FLaiL. Those of you familiar with this wonderful gem will no doubt remember the extraordinarily high difficulty of the game. Undeterred by this slight hitch, Charles 'Arcanod' Nannan decided to elevate skillfully aiming midair boosts to an artform in his run of the game, which I can amusingly time as 244580 - the score achieved through the runs of all the individual levels. The score actually counts down like a timer, so the higher the score - the better the time. So, now that nobody is confused, go watch the run, and play the game too - both are damn good.

Nothing hammers home the idea that speedrunning is a competitive exercise better than the communities that modern SDA grew out of - the ones for Quake and Metroid. That little hypothesis gets another argument added to the site today, in the form of a 100% run of Super Metroid. Christopher Hill decided that having just one run on this hotly contested page was not enough, and improved the 7-year old run by 'Red Scarlet'. The improvement totals 7 minutes, yielding 0:48, and despite what you might think after reading the phrase '7-year old run', it is a very impressive improvement, as RS was quite a talented runner. The run is on the PAL version, in 6 segments. And congratulations to mister Hill! Hopefully extrapolation is a correct assumption and I will see more SM runs in the near future.

Finally, to round this all too modest update off, a self-improvement of the old NES title The Addams Family by 'ktwo'. Not content with the quality of the run abusing deaths, he decided to improve his old 15:11 by over a minute, getting 0:13:54. Too bad he doesn't seem to wish to improve the no-death run as well, that would be an awesome sight too.

Also, I'd just like to echo Vorpal's words and tell you guys: you rock. A hundred thousand 'bones' is no small sum, and we owe it all to You. Keep on truckin', and see you next time. Hopefully without such delays.

Sunday, August 21, 2011 by Vorpal

I did say "soon"

Unfortunately for you, when I said soon, I meant soon in SDA time, which is equivalent to "before two weeks" in normal time. You see, we have so many speedruns on the site that we approach relativistic velocity and experience time compression. Alternatively, there's a boring explanation involving logistical mishaps, connection problems, and a dash of laziness.

But enough about that. All of today's speedruns are, thankfully, on normal time. And while none of them are traveling the cosmos at near the speed of light, many of them do involve stars. The first treat you have today is a clear of Phantasy Star Online 3. The run itself was, interestingly enough, completed some years ago in 2006, but it made its way to the submission queue only recently. We're glad to finally have it, because it chops a good 20 minutes off the previous time. Please welcome Ryan 'Ryock' Hollatz and his single-segment 3:12 to the site.

Staying true to our impromptu theme, Kirby Super Star also features foreign planets. This time, however, the run is not on the SNES version. Alex 'Anwonu' Morinaga, a familiar face on the forums, went through major difficulty recording a run of a mode unique to the DS remake, Kirby Super Star Ultra. Using Meta Knight, he slashes through the appropriately-named Meta Knightmare Ultra mode in a single-segment twenty-seven minutes and 26 seconds. I must say, reading his run comments, I was tempted to link to the Kirby wiki several times in this paragraph.

Kirby's exploits don't end with Super Star today. Kirby 64 has gotten some attention recently, and Wyatt 'peril1337' Blair set his sights on the previous single-segment 100%. He brings in our second double-digit improvement today, chopping 13 minutes off and finding all the crystal shards in one hour and seventeen minutes. It's always great to see new runners make impressive debuts like this.

Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando has long been a missing piece in a series we already have several runs of. That ends today, with the addition of 'Lapogne36's segmented run in one hour and thirty-eight minutes. Lapogne36 holds comfortably to the standard set by previous Ratchet runners, and employs various major skips and generally breaks the game. He's also a new face to the site, and while that is becoming quite a refrain this update I hope it keeps up. It's always sweet to see names I'm not familiar with.

The final run today is from another 'newcomer', but anyone familiar with Sonic Adventure 2 speedrunning will recognize Felipe 'son1cgu1tar' D'Andrade. He's been breaking Sonic Adventure 2 on youtube and at The Sonic Center for a long time, and now he has a completed hero story speedrun to show off. In a game as random and generally glitchy and hard to run as Sonic Adventure 2 is, a sub-half-hour hero story time is excellent, and 00:29:09 is more excellent still. I have a feeling we might be seeing more from him soon…

That's all the runs for today. If you have a hankering for even more, I'd like to remind you that our just-finished marathon is getting uploaded online at a healthy clip. UraniumAnchor is working overtime, and as of this writing we have 36 runs up, which is over half of the 50-something games we played. That number is counting, so keep checking in to get them as they become available.

Finally, I would like to extend a shout-out to the people who donated prizes. They are all extremely awesome people, and they definitely deserve your appreciation and, in some cases, business. Emily 'MercuryDotCom' Lizzi gave us a large chunk of her time (and because she does commissions, money) knitting a bunch of awesome plushes for us. Lindsey King has consistently been a supporter of our marathons since day 1, donating dozens of awesome drawing and animation cels. She too accepts commissions. The stylish perlers were tag-teamed by Caleb Hart and Mecha Richter, the latter of which can be commissioned at mechaisfly __at__ gmail.com. Kurt Janda generously made a Zelda illustration for us; he's also available for commissions, at sonikku.sama __at__ gmail.com. Last but not least, Magnus 'Souleye' Pålsson gave out some VVVVVV steam codes for our lucky winners.

Give them all a hand for helping make the marathon a success. Until next time.

Sunday, August 14, 2011 by Vorpal

Have I told y'all that you're awesome?

We've had three marathons this year. There was Awesome Games Done Quick in January, Japan Relief Done Quick in April, and Summer Games Done Quick has just wound down. Altogether, people chipped in quite a lot: $53,379.83, $25,800.33, and $21,475.06, respectively. Or $100,655.22 total.

Read that number again. We've raised one hundred thousand minty fresh United States dollars this year, from not just the US of A but all around the world, from doing nothing more than playing video games over the internet. All of that, minus about $1000 in paypal fees, is going straight to charities. And that's not counting Classic Games Done Quick's eleven thousand from a year and a half ago.

If you've checked your email recently, you may have noticed that Allison Gilmour, Outreach Director for the Organization for Autism Research, sent you her thanks. She mentioned that the $20,000 you just raised is enough to fund an entire study by itself, which is a pretty amazing success story, all things considered. And really, it's you who got it done, not us. Yeah, we provide the venue, but it's on you.

Have I told you all how awesome you are yet? SGDQ is a smashing success, and I'm proud to be connected to this, even tenuously. If you donated, give yourself a pat on the back. If you'd like to rewatch the marathon, videos are currently coming online. Bet you didn't think you'd hear this again for a while, but just check the schedule. There's really nothing more I can say, because one hundred thousand.

Catch you next time. Right now it's looking like "next time" is going to be Super Awesome Games Done Quick: Turbo 2012 hi-def remix edition (name subject to change) in January. Until then, we'll just keep posting the speedruns you joined the site for. Next update will be pretty soon, so keep checking back.

Once again: one hundred thousand. Thanks for making this possible.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 by Breakdown

Come for the downloads, stay for the marathon

We are mere days away from our charity marathon, Summer Games Done Quick. We've told you the dates (this Thursday starting 2 PM Eastern), we've linked you to the web page, we've assured you it will be awesome. We've done a fair amount to build the hype, but we're turning it up a notch today with our promo video put together courtesy of SDA member CoolMatty with music from SoulEye.

Now obviously, when presented with a video as awesome as this for an event as awesome as our upcoming marathon, the proper thing to do is spread it around, which we're making simple with these handy download links. So post it to your youtube, share it on facebook, embed it on your webpage, tweet about it, do whatever you can think of to get people to see it. Even if you only have a few subscribers/followers/whatevers, that's still a few more people that will know about this thing, and we here at SDA will greatly appreciate the effort.

And it seems a shame to be posting on the front page without unveiling some new runs. Let's get to it shall we?

For the last several years, one of the highest compliments a run can be paid on our forums is to say that shows a level of optimization similar to that of Mario 1. When someone says that, they are saying that your run is clean to the point of nigh perfection and they don't have so much as minor criticism for it. Well, our first new run today really goes to show that even the most flawless looking run can be improved with enough perseverance, even Super Mario Bros. Truly, the perseverance shows in this latest effort from Andrew Gardikis. I mean really, why settle for beating one of the most widely played games ever in five minutes when beating it in under five minutes has such a nicer ring to it? It gives me great pleasure to post this 0:04:59 run. It's about the most fought for one second improvement you've ever seen. Go ahead and watch, the other runs will still be here when you get back.

Back? Good, because this update is packed full of awesome. The only logical way to follow a run as big as the one in the preceding paragraph is with another run from a nearly equally beloved series, and it doesn't hurt if the run is also absolutely amazing. Well, fortunately for us, we have two new runs from one such series to fit that bill. You may remember that Josh 'Funkdoc' Ballard cranked out some amazing runs from the Castlevania series at both of our last two marathons. If you enjoyed those, you'll be very pleased to learn he turned up his play a couple notches on two of those titles in preparing SDA submissions. First up is the original Castlevania. With a couple new strategies and a high level of polish, Josh was able to take 15 seconds off the incumbent time, finishing in a blistering 0:12:06. And if that's not enough, we're also unveiling a massive improvement to Super Castlevania IV. The reception of the original run for this game was largely positive, but Josh absolutely destroyed the previous mark with an improvement of over four minutes, finishing with a time of 0:35:13. This run also comes with audio commentary.

Finishing things off today we have another big obsoletion that honestly, to me, is a little bittersweet. While we are adding a stellar run to our catalogue, we are regrettably losing one of our best audio commentaries. The hard mode category of Contra III: The Alien Wars gets an improvement today courtesy of Jonas 'Hurblat' Martinsson. While this does mean you can see hordes of aliens blasted to bits at higher speeds than before, it does mean the most operatic of Mike Uyama's commentaries can no longer call SDA home. A high price to pay certainly, but when you consider this run beats the one done by Mike freaking Uyama, you'll realize quickly that it's more than worth it (especially since the old run is only a quick search at archive.org away). Do yourself a favor and download the new 0:14:42 run, you won't regret it.

Less runs than usual this update, yes, but this should be plenty to keep you busy the next couple days. Just remember to be here this Thursday for the start of 3 consecutive days of live speedrunning goodness. You won't want to miss it!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 by Breakdown

Variety hour

Jumping right in today with a surefire crowd pleaser. Seeing as how the number of people who have played Battletoads far, far outweighs the number who have actually completed it, seeing it sped through with reckless abandon is always quite impressive. Well, be ready to be doubly impressed as debuting today is not one, but two new runs for the title. First up we have runner 'Baraka' breaking into the PAL categories with his 0:21:36 run using warps. Next, we have a familiar face to game page in Chris 'Shadowknife' Foreman with a 100% run clocking in at 0:33:34. Fun fact about the second run, it was actually completed way back in 2008 about a month after his warps run, but was only just recently submitted. I assure you, it was well worth the wait.

Next we have another NES title with a reputation for difficulty, though to say the game isn't as well remembered as Battletoads is a bit of an understatement. Astyanax is the subject of an improvement today courtesy of Josh 'Funkdoc' Ballard. Through some new strategies (many of which, unsurprisingly, involve lots of lag management) Josh was able to chop close to four minutes off the incumbent time, finishing in a brisk 0:16:47. Also included is an audio commentary to help explain the finer points.

Moving away from the NES for a bit, we have a new run for our (slowly) expanding Turbografx 16 catalogue. Today one of the marquee titles for the console, the original Splatterhouse, makes its way onto the game list. Zack 'zallard1' Allard is man behind the mask for this 0:13:53 run.

If you're anything like me, you think chess is a pretty good game, but it would be made much better if the pieces actually battled to the death instead of simply letting the attacking piece win all the time. Well, such a game does exist: Archon for the NES. Tony 'ZenicReverie' Foster shows off the power of the dark side in this title in his 0:01:01 run.

Rounding out the update today is the work of runner Elijah 'scaryice' Miller. But it's not just one more run for this news post, oh no. Elijah's been busy to say the least, offering up four runs over three games, and a varied selection of games at that. Elijah begins with one of the more bizarre licensed games to ever grace the NES: the mini game driven The Three Stooges. Elijah shows he knows a thing or two about wheelchair driving and Stooges trivia on his way to a time of 0:04:41. Next, he moves to a sidescrolling platformer in Amagon. Making good use of both the "little guy with a gun" and the "muscle bound strongman who shoots laser beams" forms of the protagonist he makes his way to a final time of 0:19:45. Lastly, he supplies two runs for the Famicom exclusive King Kong 2: Ikari No Megaton Punch. Elijah pilots the titular ape through an all bosses run in 0:10:08 as well as a run that just skips straight to the final boss, finishing in just 0:03:34.

And while the giant, colorful banner (courtesy, as always, of Lindsey King. Her stuff is awesome, check it out!) at the top of the page should serve as a good reminder, it's well worth mentioning again that we are just over a week away from our next charity marathon, Summer Games Done Quick, which will benefit the Organization for Autism Research. For those who don't know the drill, starting Thursday, August 4th we'll have streams embedded right here on the front page and will have SDA runners showing their skills on a wide variety of great titles. So be sure to stop by and watch some of your personal favorite games get destroyed live, and maybe donate a little something to a good cause while you're at it. It's going to be a great time, so make sure you don't miss it!

Monday, July 11, 2011 by dex

The scoop

I always had a soft spot in my heart for our first game today. Perhaps it's the fact that it defied the FPS trends at the time, perhaps it was because the game was made by a Polish studio and it's just the patriotism speaking, or maybe, quite simply, Painkiller is a really entertaining game. And one that I never considered all that speedrunnable, due to rampant blocking of the player's path until all monsters in the vicinity are pulverized into demon goo. Arthur 'Artas1984' Lozovskis begs to differ with that assessment and shows just how much you can skip through clever trickery and how fast the fights can really go in his Individual-levels run on the highest difficulty - Trauma. The total time comes to 1:07:22 of some really hasty demon gibbing.

On the opposite side of FPS games, where iron sights and things other than complete destruction of everything reside, we have our next game, Crysis Warhead, the expansion pack to the most interactive benchmark slash predator simulator. Yuri 'xsite' Z., who ran the original game, is back for more trickery with the nanosuit. This time, however, he wasn't able to use the glitch that completely obliterated the previous game, though don't let that fool you - he still has quite a few tricks up his sleeve. Tricks that let him finish the expansion in just 0:26:59, done in 54 segments on Delta difficulty - because highest difficulty levels are always more exciting.

Away from FPS land, we have a couple runs of what might be the least pronounceable game ever, VVVVVV. Joseph Schurig decided to completely dominate the page of this platforming game with multiple runs on multiple different categories: the any% run in 20 segments (finishes the game in 0:15:04), another any% run, but without any of that sissy thing called 'saving' (this is done in 0:15:54), and - to top the page off - a 100% run in 37 segments (0:18:20). Quite a package of nice runs, right there.

Speaking of a package of nice runs, you didn't think this update would be short, did you? Mkt2015's old run of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets got a pretty major update (over 20 minutes of improvement, ending up with 0:47:34) by Bart 'TheVoid' de Waal. Mister TheVoid used a lot more segments, 51 versus 10 segments in the old run to be painstakingly exact, but this is justified by the higher density of tighter tricks. I don't have much else to say about this run, except that the quality is as solid as for anything TheVoid has ever sent in to the site.

One of the few really good three dimensional real-time strategy games is none other than the pioneer of that genre, Homeworld. No doubt helped by the fact the source code for the game has openly been released by the creators of the game (respect to them for that, by the way), Mike 'grndino' Arnold has created a 17 segment space opera for all of you speedrun watchers to enjoy. Go check this 2:06:44 out.

To add to our extensive repertoire of Diablo II runs, we have a run of a yet another spiritual successor of that game (a label that sticks to pretty much every hack and slash), Torchlight. Max Trunck picks the Vanquisher class (basically the game's rogue) to unleash some serious damage and useful glitches in this single-segment run, getting a final time of 0:40:15. The run features audio commentary, all the more reason to check it out.

Finally, if you're a fan of the Star Wars franchise, boy, do we have a lot of Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds material for you. Giancarlo André Rivas De Amat has done individual levels runs for all the campaigns in the game and the Clone Campaigns expansion, and let me tell, it runs for a long time: 9:53:14 normally and 3:12:22 for the mentioned Clone campaigns. Yes, 13 hours of footage altogether. I don't think I need to elaborate any further: check the comments, check the videos, it should keep you entertained for a long time.

Now that the corpus of the update is done with, we have a couple administrative matters to take care of. Firstly, you might remember from earlier updates and some... discussions on the forums that scripts have been banned. Now, it would be a dick move to retroactively remove the already made scripted runs from the archive, but we (as in, the entire staff) think that having them on the main pages might make people think that scripted runs are still accepted. So, the game pages have been updated accordingly, and the scripted runs are all on this page. The look of that page will probably change to be less cluttered sometime in the future, by the way.

Also, you might have possibly noticed a little banner for the summer marathon, cunningly titled Summer Games Done Quick. Check out more details by clicking said banner, or this link.

I think that's all for tonight. See you around.

Monday, June 20, 2011 by Vorpal

Revolving doors

Apologies for the late update, but the backend is confusing the first time around and I've been without a stable internet connection lately. While the latter is not a problem worth elaborating on, yep, it's my first time. Sup. I'm Vorpal, and I'll be joining the team of updaters working to bring you the speedruns you love to watch. I'm not the only new addition to the team either. Also coming onboard is moooh, who'll be helping on the backend and just generally being awesome.

The precipitate for these changes, you ask? Mike Uyama, longtime head dictator of SDA, recently decided that he wanted more free time, and so he's scaling down his involvement with SDA. He's not leaving, but he's doing less. Flip is taking over verification and contact duties for him, while I'm taking over updating for Flip, and moooh is doing additional backend things that Mike used to do. For more info, check this forum thread. Mike's been at SDA for a very long time and has done amazing things for us, so I think we all need to give Mike a hand and thank him for his service.

I've got some runs for you too, and many familiar faces to go with them. Let's get to it.

First up is a pair of Punch-Out!! runs. Little Mac's been busy lately, and Zack 'zallard1' Allard and Charles 'Miles' Griffin have been helping him defeat all comers in Punch-Out!!, with a set of individual levels in 0:20:12.84. As if punching out Donkey Kong isn't enough, Zack also guides Little Mac through beating up his former mentor once again. In addition to the existing single-segment run, Doc Louis' Punch-Out!! now has an individual level table that comes in at 0:02:12.69.

We're not done with the individual tables yet either. Wouter M. 'WMJ' Jansen has taken a break from destroying F-Zero X to tackle Ridge Racer Type 4, a new addition to our game list. Wouter blazes through all 8 tracks in a total of 0:20:41.643, showing us how it's done.

If Ridge Racer was too upbeat enough for you, we have a more depressing game to chase it. Heavy Rain, eponymously styled, gets the Greg Innes treatment, coming in at three hours and thirty minutes. I wonder if the Origami Killer knew how quickly his game would be finished when he started.

Another game that's been missing from the game list is Vandal Hearts. Tony 'ZenicReverie' Foster has decided to rectify that. In a game about PS1-quality arterial blood sprays, Tony fittingly aims for the jugular and plows through the game in five hours and thirty-five minutes.

Every runner so far has been a veteran with at least one other run under his belt, and the next runner is no exception. Andrew 'spidey-widey' Brockmann extends his dominance over Metroid: Zero Mission further, this time capturing the hard segmented 100% category. Andrew takes Samus through her paces, collecting all items and triggering self-destruct routines in 0:55:25.

The last runner I have for you today is new to the site. Rocket Knight Adventures has had a lot of hype and activity around the site lately, with two recent marathon races, and hopefully the hype carries over to the new entry, simply titled Rocket Knight. 'Harry9397' controls the Sparkster and boosts through two anthropomorphic empires in a slim 0:32:41, making for a spiffy first run.

That's all for today. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 22, 2011 by Breakdown

Celebrate the lack of the Rapture, watch speedruns

It seems I've been posting about fighting games a lot lately, and this is a trend that continues with the addition of Bushido Blade to our game list. But this fighter carries with it an interesting classification as different times are to be tracked weapons, rather than character. That said, enjoy the first entry to the game page, the Katana, done on hard difficulty by Tony 'ZenicReverie' Foster in 0:03:07.

Next up, we have an NES trilogy finally getting full representation on SDA. The original Double Dragon today becomes the last of the 8-bit games to make its way onto the game page courtesy of David Heidman Jr. Planning, execution, and a little luck definitely show in this stellar 0:11:27. Also included is an audio commentary which is sure to shed a little light on the thought process behind the kicks and punches.

And fans of Double Dragon have a little more to get excited about this update. We also have a new run for the crossover series, Battletoads and Double Dragon. Patrick "PJ" DiCesare tackles the Lee brother category for this game, finishing with a time of 0:21:27.

In the above run PJ displayed his mastery of a Lee brother, but that's not the full extent of his talents. He's also a master of Master. PJ's has also given us a run of the original ActRaiser. Playing on the game's Professional! mode he charges through the action stages in a very quick 0:25:37.

Staying on the SNES, we have a run for a game released very early in the console's lifespan: Spanky's Quest. Runner David 'FFGamer86' Singleton pilots the titular monkey through the game in a speedy 0:25:14.

One of the less heralded Disney titles out there is also making its way on to our game list today. It's the only Disney title to focus on the theme park rather than a character, Adventures in the Magic Kingdom. Runner Tyler 'Zyre' Larsen blazes through each attraction on his way to a final time of 0:10:15.

Finishing up with full game runs today, we have a new category for the Playstation's Spyro the Dragon. Runner Andrew 'Ratchet5' Carroll becomes the first to crack into the any% category for this title with his 1:01:46 single segment run on the PAL version.

There is still a bit more to this update though. Wouter M. 'WMJ' Jansen is offering up improvements to many of the IL times on F-Zero X, both NTSC and PAL. On the NTSC side he has improvements for all the Disk Drive expansion tracks as well as one from the normal game. Big Blue 3, Big Foot, Devil's Forest 4, Devil's Forest 5, Fire Field 2, Mute City 1, Mute City 4, Port Town 3, Port Town 4, Silence 3, Sand Ocean 3, Space Plant 2, and White Land 3 were all improved, bringing the total time of the table down almost 30 seconds to 0:43:08.891. On the PAL version there's also an improvement to Mute City 1 with a time of 0:01:18.474 as well as a new lap time for Fire Field of 0:00:15.207. But that's not all. New to the game page is an entry for the game's Death Race mode, also by WMJ, clocking in at a brisk 0:00:36.719.

One last thing of note is a bit of a follow up to our Japan Relief Done Quick marathon. Doctors Without Borders gave us a nice mention on their site, which you can see here. It's always nice to get a little recognition for a job well done, and with that in mind I'd like to thank everyone out there who watched, promoted, or donated during the event. Without all of you we'd have just been a bunch of people playing video games, but instead you helped us to raise a large sum of money for people in need. Know that I think you are all the man, or the wo-man as the case may be!

Sunday, May 1, 2011 by Flip

Medieval & Modern

Starting things off tonight we have a run of a game from the Breath of Fire series. Jeff 'Cosmos' Vughs has played through the 5th game in the series, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, in 0:54, using 12 segments.

Next up we have some new entries for the Final Fantasy IV: The After Years page. Thomas L. Mallory, Jr. has provided us with a New Game + time of 1:58 of the Crystals chapter. Meanwhile, Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe has given us two new entries of his own. First we have a single-segment 0:39 on the Lunarian's tale, as well as a single-segment 0:34 on Yang's tale.

Along with the above game, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is another game that I've updated with before. We have two new runs, an improvement as well as a new entry. First, Andrew 'romscout' Schroeder has improved his any% run on the XBLA version. His single-segment 0:32:57 has been improved by a single-segment 0:31:19. Be sure and listen to the included audio commentary while you watch. Also, Kevin 'xarugas' Areopagita has given us our first run of the PSP version of SotN. His run clocks in at 0:28:51 single-segment.

Next we have a new Sonic run! The Game Boy Advance titles don't get as much love as their Genesis (Mega Drive) siblings, but that didn't stop Joaquín 'Zeupar' Salido from running Sonic Advance. He runs and glides through as Knuckles in 0:16:00.28 using a single segment.

Love to watch giant robots kick people in the face? You're in luck, because our next game is Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars. Jeff Cohen's single-segment run of the highest difficulty (8-star) uses Gold Lightan and finishes in just 0:03:04.

Moving onward, we have another new game to add to our game list. Zachary Morgan has completed our inaugural run of Mega Man Zero 3. Zachary dashes from start to finish in 0:27:38 using 16 segments. I wonder what he's fighting foooo... ah nevermind.

Finally, we have our first run of Halo: Combat Evolved. Scott 'slYnki' Angus and Chris 'scurty' Wasnetsky tag-teamed to bring us their 1:20:51 on the Legendary difficulty in 121 segments. Never fear, however, they've all been appended to one file for your downloading pleasure. Be sure and listen to the included audio commentary as well!

In case this isn't enough runs for you, you can now download the entire Awesome Games Done Quick marathon via torrent. Visit here for the download link!

Monday, April 25, 2011 by dex

A little something on Easter

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Thursday, April 7, 2011 by Flip

Japan Relief Done Quick TODAY!

That's right, TODAY! Japan was hit by another quake earlier today. This one was a 7.4 magnitude. Please help us raise money to send some help their way.

The marathon is kicking off at 4:00 PM EDT. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 by Flip

Japan Relief Done Quick this weekend!

Hey! If you haven't already noticed, check out that sweet banner at the top of the page (many thanks to Lindsey King of The Speed Gamers for doing our art).

You guessed it. We're doing a marathon this weekend to raise money to help those affected by the disaster in Japan. More specifically, we're raising money for Doctors Without Borders. Doctors Without Borders is an excellent charity and you can rest assured that your donations will be used properly.

The marathon will start on Thursday, April 7th at 4:00 PM EDT and run through the 10th. Be sure to check in and donate for your chance to win some great prizes. These include handmade plushies and excellent character art. Also don't forget about our Grand Prize- a PC game package courtesy of our own Marc 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski.

As usual, you can watch the marathon right here from our front page. You can also see the schedule of games to be played so you can plan out your weekend accordingly. See you Thursday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011 by Flip

A bit too super

In yesterday's update, the run of Super C by Heidman was actually the ~14:30 run he recently submitted and not the 14:40 run that has been through verification. This has now been remedied and you can now download the correct low% run from the Super C page.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 by Breakdown

Meat Boy is a powerful drug

I'm sure most people reading this can sympathize with not getting something done because you were spending too much time playing video games. While not the only contributing factor in this update's delay, it is decidedly the main one, so my apologies on that. But it's here now in super-sized form, so enjoy.

Starting things off today we have runner 'Darkwing Duck' displaying his Island Courage with a very impressive single segment run of StarTropics in 1:07:23. So go grab yourself a beverage, perhaps some variety of cola, and check this one out.

Next up we have not one, but two runs for something I never really thought we'd see on SDA: a Super Scope game. Runner Zakkie 'ZakkyDraggy' Starres makes good use of the oversized plastic contraption while playing Metal Combat: Falcon's Revenge, getting through the game with Falcon in 0:03:21.44 in 12 segments and Tornado in 0:02:22.53 in 13 segments, both runs played on normal difficulty.

Keeping the multiple runs on a single game train rolling is 'ktwo' with his efforts on the PAL version of Solomon's Key. ktwo cruises through one of the games that helped to define the phrase "NES hard," finishing with the normal ending in a time 0:15:52 and also a good ending run clocking in at 0:35:07. Also, be sure to check out the audio commentary on the best ending run.

Oh, but we're not done with games featuring more than one run this update. Sonic 3 and Knuckles gets a similar treatment as well. For starters, we have a new Knuckles run from Mike 'mike89' McKenzie clocking in at 0:32:12 with deaths. But that's not all. We also have a co-op run from the two man (or more accurately, man and wo-man) team of 'mike89' and Emma 'Flying Fox' Leatt playing as Sonic and Tails, clocking in at 0:37:04.

No more multiple runs this update, but we do have plenty more to offer. Next up we have a run that shows the pea shooter in Super C being used more effectively than most can use the spread gun. David Heidman Jr. is the man at the controls behind this 0:14:30 0:14:40 low% run, and just to silence the handful of doubters that are sure to be out there: there is no turbo controller being used.

One more NES run for you good people today coming to you courtesy of Marko 'Master-88' Vanhanen. For this project he dug into the depths of the console's library and pulled out one of Capcom's more unheralded titles: Trojan. Marko hacks and slashes his way through it in a single segment, finishing in 0:07:15.

Our next run is something that hasn't been too uncommon to the front page over the years: Sattik 'Tiki' Ghosh wrecking shop on a Mega Man title. This time around Tiki turned his attention to Mega Man X2 and has presented us with an improvement of nearly one minute over the incumbent time. Do yourself a favor and check out this 0:35:31, you won't regret it. And as with most of Tiki's runs, there is an audio commentary present.

Wrapping things up today we have an inaugural run for one of the more fondly remembered Genesis titles. The original ToeJam & Earl makes its debut on SDA today thanks to the efforts of runner Adrian 'InsipidMuckyWater' Feiertag. Playing on the fixed worlds setting, Adrian makes the best of the many, many random factors the game throws at him, finishing with a time of 0:20:51. Also included is a bloopers reel that will no doubt show just how random this game can be.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need my fix.

Saturday, March 5, 2011 by Flip

Backlog Busting

Alright, it's no secret that the backlog has gotten pretty big. Runs came in faster than we could post them last year. This is clearly a good problem to have; however, we need to clear out the queue so that we can have a fresh start. Updates are going to get bigger while we catch up. Today I've got a slew of runs for you, so let's get to it!

First off we've got a new category for the Mario Bros. 3 game page. New runner Mitch Fowler has given us a warpless run. Mitch blows from World 1 to World 8 the "normal way" in 0:55:43.

Next up we have a run of the game that started the WWII game craze that persists to this day. Carsten 'djcj' Janssen has given us our first run of the original Medal of Honor for Playstation. Carsten plows through all the nazis he can as he completes the European version in 0:39:37, using 24 segments.

Now we have a run that has waited a long time to see the front page. Isaac 'FlamingMage' McBride has given us a run of Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. Isaac runs and guns through this game in 1:58:35 in 11 segments appended to one file.

My fellow Texan Kevin 'neskamikaze' Lalonde is the man behind our next run. Kevin has supplied us with an improvement to the Yoshi's Story page. He manages to finish in a speedy 0:16:05. This is a 43 second improvement over the previous run by Strangeness DSS.

By my calculations, our next run is now the longest on the site. This seems like an undesirable trait for a speedrun, but I assure you every bit of this Skies of Arcadia Legends run is excellent. Tyler 'Zyre' Larsen takes only 12:09 to power through this monster of a game. Tyler has generously provided audio commentary for the entire run, so give that a listen while you watch!

Our last run is a doozy. When I posted his Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo run, I mentioned how Jeremy 'DK28' Doll provided runs with three different characters. Today he has completely blown that feat out of the water. He didn't just speedrun Marvel Super Heroes with three characters. Instead, he opted for twelve. Give these a watch, and of course give the audio commentary a listen as well!

Monday, February 28, 2011 by dex

Foreseen consequences

Our first run today is a team run of the first of the episodic Half-Life games, Half-Life 2: Episode One. The team in question consists of Josh 'Inexistence' Peaker, James 'TYPICAL' Tooley, Jared 'CooL' O'Brien, cRZYFST and Foxtreme, and definitely shows how little patience a theoretical physicist really has. The dream-team goes all the way and blasts through the game on the hard difficulty level in just 0:37:13. As with most team runs, the run is segmented (31 segments), and also very optimised. Definitely a recommended watch. Also, this run uses scripts, and if you perused the new Rules page introduced in Breakdown's update, you might recall that scripts have been banned. However, this run was submitted and verified before the rule change, and as such has been accepted and will remain on the site, just like older scripted runs. Edit: I forgot to mention the run features audio commentary, sorry for the confusion. Yet another reason to check this run out.

The next one is a run of another Diablo II: Lord of Destruction character. Ricky 'LeWoVoc' Mitchell tackled the previously untapped Druid character. A lot of planning obviously went into this 41 segment run - the nature mage blazes through the game in just 1:11:43, which, while a significant chunk of time slower than the Assassin playthrough, is still very impressive, especially considering the not-so-optimal speedrun characteristics of the class. Undoubtedly a treat to any Diablo II player.

Switching the platforms for a moment, we have a run of the SNES incarnation of the Shadowrun RPG. Lars Engelmann guided Jake Armitage through the European version of the game, using 21 segments. Very tight and difficult routes are used in order to gain just enough money and other resources in order to progress quickly, a feat that can prove to be very challenging in this game. Nevertheless, Mister Engelmann steps up to the challenge and finishes Jake's quest in just 1:35:50.

Finally, as a dessert, a run of the freeware game Green Island, a simple in concept, but difficult in practice puzzle platformer. The game gets an individual level table, though for now it is filled up with runs done by a single person: one Antti 'Baron Dante' Tuomisto. All the levels combine to a short 0:05:29.55. Is anyone going to step up to the challenge and try to break any of those quite tight times?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 by Breakdown

When you make the schedule you're always right on time

Starting things off today we have an improvement and a new run for one of my personal favorite NES games, Jackal. After a long hiatus, runner Jim Hanson is back in action with two new runs for this underrated title. First, an improvement to the existing low% with deaths run clocking in at 0:08:35 and also an inaugural time of 0:08:21 for the any% with deaths category. I would expound more about these runs, but then I'd run the risk of making a terrible pun about blood boiling, so I'll just say these runs are really good and I personally recommend them and leave it at that.

Now those up on their SDA history will know that the run obsoleted in the paragraph above belonged to one Marko 'Master-88' Vanhanen, and while he did lose one entry on the game list today, he's picking up another. Yes, the newest game you can watch on our site and think "looks like TAS" is the NES version of Joe & Mac. Master-88 makes the best of the game's random elements and pilots his way through in a very quick 0:08:34.

Next up is a game from a genre we don't see too much of on SDA. Only a handful of runs for fighters have been posted over the years, but today that number increases by one with the addition of the original Art of Fighting to our game list. Playing on the highest difficulty setting, runner Jeremy 'DK28' Doll punched, kicks, and AI abuses his way through the game's cast in a blistering 0:05:36. And seeing as this is a DK28 run, it should come as no surprise that there's an audio commentary included.

Rounding out the update today has to be one of the most highly anticipated runs to hit the site ever. Well, the comments have a lot of hype to live up to anyways. Yes, today we're releasing the comments to Altered Beast (or I should say, Alternative Beast) to the public. Those of you who watched the recent marathon got a sneak peek of this epic bit of text, and now it can be enjoyed in full any time you'd like. Oh yeah, there's a co-op speedrun to go with them by Joe Stanski and some guy named Mike Uyama, clocks in at 0:06:39. And then there's a bloopers vid, and both of them have audio commentary. Nice little bonuses certainly.

While that's it for new runs today, you certainly have no shortage of new videos to watch. For those who haven't been keeping up, you'll be happy to learn that we now have every run from Awesome Games Done Quick available for download at this time. Also, thanks to the efforts of Benjamin 'UraniumAnchor' Cutler there are also a few extra videos for your viewing pleasure. He took it upon himself to edit together a highlights reel (youtube/download), a blooper reel (youtube/download), and a little something he's calling a special surprise (youtube/download). Big thanks to Benjamin for putting these together, and also thanks out to everybody who took time out to help sync the marathon videos.

One other thing of note around the site is that we have recently gone live with our revised Rules page. Not too much has changed in the way of site policy, but this update definitely does a much better job of relaying what does and does not fly around here compared to the last iteration. Big thanks to John 'VorpalEdge' De Sousa for compiling and writing this out. Please note that this barely touches on game specific rulings at all, it's more a general overview of SDA policy, so if you have any specific questions don't hesitate to ask.

Monday, January 31, 2011 by Flip

Business as usual

Our first run today is on a game that is no stranger to my updates. Instead of an improvement, we've got a new category for the Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth game page. Travis Hofman has given us his inaugural run on normal mode (the existing run is on easy). He blazes through all six stages in a speedy 0:21:03. Also, the run is single-segment. Be sure and check this one out.

Our next run is on the original Resident Evil game. Probably not the version you've played, however. This run is on the Japanese version, and is better known as Biohazard. Awesome Games Done Quick disc destroyer 'Carcinogen' has provided us with a 100% single-segment Chris run in 1:20:41 to complement his existing 100% Jill run. Be sure and check out the included audio commentary as well!

Wrapping up this quaint update is an improvement to the Zelda: Majora's Mask any% category. Daniel "Jiano" Hart has gone after it again and this time he's chopped nearly 10 minutes off of his old single-segment time. That's right, he's brought the time down from 2:03:04 to 1:53:32. Instead of long text comments, Jiano included audio commentary to explain everything, so be sure to give it a listen while you watch.

Those of you who watched our charity marathon earlier this month will surely remember all of the awesome prizes we had to give away. If you loved the prizes, specifically the knitted goods, plushies and perlers, then you're in luck. The people we got the prizes from, Emily 'MercuryZelda' Lizzi and Dustin 'Aitamen' Hammontree will do commissions for you! Contact Emily at Emily.Lizzi@yahoo.com for knitted goods and plushies. Also see her new website- www.mercurialknits.com. Dustin can be contacted at dustinhammontree@gmail.com for perlers. We appreciate all of their help during the marathon so help us give back by commissioning some work from them!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 by Flip

Marathon alert

This is just a friendly announcement to let everyone know that the guys at Bonus Stage Marathons will be starting their Disney Marathon tomorrow! They're going to play as many Disney games as they can in 72 hours to benefit Multiple Sclerosis Research. They were nice enough to plug our marathon earlier this year so we wanted to return the favor! Be sure to check them out!

What's that, new runs you ask? You'll get them in due time. Be sure to check out the runs posted on Monday if you haven't yet. If that doesn't whet your appetite for speed, have a look at the schedule page from our marathon. Most of the runs from the marathon are now available for download. Download your favorites and watch the ones you missed!

Monday, January 24, 2011 by dex

A little violence never hurt anybody

Today's update starts with one of my favourite games to play and see speedruns of. I have to confess I have a fondness to Nigel 'ridd3r' Martin's approach to speedrunning - improve, improve, and once again, improve. Even if you're the one holding all the records on the game, which is exactly the situation his new New York Minute run of Max Payne presents. Nigel certainly lives up to the name of the main character and deftly disposes of any foe foolish enough to cross his path. No such enemy is left unpunished and no glitch is left unabused in this 0:25:34 in 63 segments. Mr. Martin mentions how he feels he has broken the game to the limit in his comments, and if you watch this run, I guarantee you will be partial to that sentiment yourself. Very much recommended! Oh, and a bloopers file is available for good measure.

The next game is one of a relatively unknown game called Outcast. Despite this, a speedrunner going by the moniker 'atomicJo' found several pretty useful bugs and decided to give it a spin. The result of those glitches and some heavy, heavy route planning is this 1:12:14, done in 9 segments. Now, that might sounds like awfully few segments for such a lengthy run; however, in this case, there is good reason for it. The game has a very peculiar save system that forces you to wait multiple in-game seconds before you can complete the saving process, which causes two things: 1) annoyance of the player, and 2) a large time loss if you save too often. Therefore, it is not surprising 'atomicJo' wanted to avoid saving as much as feasible.

Rockstar has a knack for making controversial games, and Bully is no exception. David Arnold does not listen to the 'moral guardians' and instead plunges headfirst into a speedrun of this surprisingly complex game - and, as you'll find by reading his comments, manages to be quite a pain in the butt for a speedrunner. Nevertheless, David did not let the game keep him down, as you will undoubtedly see by watching this 14 segment 2:49:25. Even the lousy save system that forced some of the segments to be longer than half an hour could not weaken his resolve.

To wrap this up, a quick and short run of a quick and short Flash game, When Pigs Fly. A somewhat run-of-the-mill, uh, platformer (or maybe, a better way to put it would be a 'flyer', except that sounds stupid), it was nevertheless interesting enough for Charles 'Arcanod' Nannan to make a speedrun of. Check out this 0:03:01 for some well executed pig flying - which, silly as it may sound, is not as easy a task as you would think.

Also, you might recall there was an SDA marathon recently. If you have missed some of it, or just want to rewatch your favourite parts, you'll be delighted to know the first batch of the videos has been encoded and is available here.

That's it for today.

Monday, January 3, 2011 by Breakdown

It's almost that time

Just in case you somehow missed the big, colorful banner at the top of the page with the countdown underneath it, let me start this update by reminding you that we are mere days away from kicking off our charity marathon, Awesome Games Done Quick. I'm excited. The staff's excited. People who are coming are excited. Lots of other people are excited. Are you excited? Can I make you more excited about it? If only there were something I could show you that would build the hype for the event to new levels. Oh wait, there is, we made a video.

Now I know this thing is old news to some of you, but if this is your first time seeing it that is a definite indicator that news of this event hasn't really found its way to whatever corner of the internet it is that you frequent. Well you can change all that by either downloading and posting this video (NOTE: Do not try to upload the IQ or HQ mp4 to youtube, the video gets stretched out and runs at about half speed), or simply by linking people to the marathon webpage. It may not seem like much, but the more people who know about the event, the bigger and better it will be. So whether you think your bit of promotion will inform 5 or 5000 people, you'd be doing us here at SDA a service by making the effort.

Now, while the marathon is certainly our main focus at the moment, that doesn't mean we should neglect our usual duties. It's been a while for new runs on the front page. Let's remedy that, shall we?

Let's start things off here with a set of runs that will keep the marathon hype rolling. A notable omission from our last event, but one that will be featured this year is Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, and today we're unveiling new runs for each possible partner choice from the runner who will be doing this game live, Josh 'funkdoc' Ballard. The times are as follows: Trevor solo in 0:31:04, Sypha in 0:30:53, Grant in 0:33:02, and Alucard in 0:27:54. Do keep in mind that for the marathon run Josh will be taking donation bids for which path he takes, so if you're interested you may want to take the time to familiarize yourself with these runs so you can make an educated choice. Regardless, I'd still suggest watching them all, they're fantastic.

Another notable game featured in this years event will be a 100% completion of Chrono Trigger. While we don't have a new run today showing off everything the game has to offer, we do have one that showcases as little of the game as possible. Runner John 'VorpalEdge' De Sousa tackles the amazingly brief New Game + category for the title, and with the help of a few new tricks brings the time down to a very quick 0:06:42.

In a past update I alluded to the fact that the Double Dragon series would be seeing more thorough coverage on the site in the days to come, and today we see some evidence of that with the addition Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones to our game list. Runner Yadir 'Riskbreaker Y' Osornio pilots the brothers Bimmy and Jimmy Lee (a typo that egregious couldn't have possibly made it into the final release, so it must be accurate information) as well as few other foes turned friends through the waves of enemies the world throws at them in a blistering 0:14:15.

Wrapping things up today we have two new runs for the underloved Toejam and Earl in Panic on Funkotron. Granted, few series took as big a departure from their first installment with their second as this one, but you still got funky aliens dealing with crazy humans, I don't see what's not to like. If you agree with me on this one, than you're sure to enjoy both this 0:54:57 any% run in 6 segments and this 1:02:21 100% run done in a single segment, brought to you courtesy of runner Robin 'Deign' Reigstad. Even if you are one of this games haters, I still say give these a watch, the only thing that sucks in them is the Funk Vac.

That ought to hold you over until this Thursday at 4 PM EST, and at that point you'll have all the speedrunning goodness you can handle right here on the front page for four days straight. See you then!

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