Friday, December 21, 2012 by Vorpal
The end of their world was a millennium ago
But there is some slight chance the world might not end. Boring as this possibility may be, we're planning for it. You may have also heard that we're putting together a marathon in early January, a little over two weeks from now. Perhaps the banner at the top of the page gave it away. Now check this out: the trailer. Link that around, get those views up! Every person watching means more money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation and, ultimately, just flat-out makes it more fun for everyone. In the meantime, we've got some runs for you.
The fighters in Hidden and Dangerous Deluxe are not nearly so hidden or dangerous now that their secrets have been revealed to the world. 'Thinkshooter' has pulled a Bradley Manning and dumped everything into his run. Check out this 107-part 1:25:12, and if anyone asks, it was on the Normal difficulty. In an SDA first, the run is also available in stereoscopic 3D. If your monitor can handle it, check it out: 720P (side-by-side) and 1080p (above-below).
Mega Man is always a crowd favorite. Let's ride the Cross Street Fighter release hype and enjoy a nice, entertaining Mega Man X3 no-items run (low%). Your host today is Austin 'Auchgard' Caldera, gracing us with his first published speedrun; and the time to beat is now 0:44:37, obsoleting the existing run by 3 minutes. Perhaps Dr. Doppler could tell us whether his impending doom was coming so fast, it displayed the doppler effect?
Sweet Home is a cool-looking game that I, unfortunately, have not played. It turns out that Andrew 'RaneofSoTN' Melnyk is a much more well-rounded gamer than I. This haunted mansion can be exorcised pretty quickly; Rane shows us how with his single-segment 1:04:16. Now I finally know how to deal with that one lamp in my living room that keeps flickering on and off.
Let's cut right to the chase: a lot of people are waiting for a Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword run. 'Paraxade' is your man. I have an incredible amount of respect for long single-segment runs, as I simply don't have the attention span to perform for that long. A 5:39 single-segment with resets certainly delivers on that end. Even as I post this excellent run, I have to wonder if the game will ever get as broken as OoT? Let's download the run, try a bunch of stuff, and find out.
Got one last run for you today. Eversion, a short but sweet little gem, gets a run today courtesy of Dave 'bangerra' Janssens. bangerra rushes straight through the game, taking no note of worthless little gems, and reaches the end in a swift single-segment 0:02:35.74. With a time that fast, you might wonder if there were interesting glitches. Take a gander and, if you guessed yes, pat yourself on the back. I've also gotta say, the ending is very appropriate.
Until next time.
Saturday, December 15, 2012 by dex
A Modest Proposal
I'm saying this because we're quickly approaching the time of yet another Awesome Games Done Quick. This time, like the last, we're raising money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. And as I have painfully learned during the recent days, there is no greater cause to get money towards. At least not one I can think of.
A person very dear to me has just departed because of stomach cancer. I know it's too late to do anything about that, but the money you help us raise this year might stop a different son from having to lose a different father to a different, but equally sudden, debilitating, and excruciating ailment.
So come watch our marathon, and if you enjoy it, consider donating to that greatest of causes. You can at least bet on me being eternally grateful for your contribution, and I will always raise a glass of an alcoholic beverage to your health. And if you feel so inclined, you can raise one to my old man's memory. He would have enjoyed that almost as much as sharing it.
...I will miss you, dad.
But you aren't here to read my eulogistic remarks. So, back to your scheduled broadcast: some runs to whet your marathon appetite!
Beginning with some classics, we've got a run on Ninja Gaiden. Adding to the gallery of videos available on the game page is Mister 'sinister1', a moniker so catchy I couldn't pass up the chance to write it for posterity. He decided that apparently, Ninja Gaiden isn't difficult enough already, and went for the extra-challenging, Low Percent time. Low percent means Sword only, by the way. Despite this negligible handicap, 'sinister1' got a time of 0:13:07, which is only 35 seconds slower than the unbridled runthrough. An understandably impressive achievement, I think.
Staying in the classical territory, after 6 years, we finally get to find out Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time promises are no matter to be trifled with. Because that's exactly how long it took Mike Uyama (colloquially known as The Magnificent Dictator behind the scenes) to deliver us a rerun of that game. And boy, was it worth the wait - shattering the previous record by over 2 minutes, this 0:20:20 on Hard as Raphael shows us the man running the show can still also occasionally run a game. As always, top form. Yeah, it's single-segment, what the hell kind of a question is that?
A little less known addition to this update is Skyblazer. Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel went for the single-segment time in this (I'm afraid to say) unknown to me game. Nevertheless, the 0:26:06 is still an eminently entertaining experience. Then again, guessing what's going on in a platform video game run is not exactly rocket surgery. But I digress; the run looks great, and definitely deserves your download. So go fetch it! And in case you think this description ain't detailed enough, 'Omnigamer' helpfully provided us with audio commentary.
The next submission baffled me, at least after seeing the title of the game and before taking a look at it. See if you feel the same: Crash Tag Team Racing. Tell me that ain't a surprise genre to see. Nevertheless, Michael 'MAS8705' Solseth not only managed to make the game an interesting watching experience, but also managed to incorporate some skips into the game. Now that's impressive. Don't believe me? Watch this 1:16:12 to be proven wrong! It's in 4 segments, by the way.
And finally, to round it off, something more PC oriented - Tomb Raider: Chronicles. Jarek 'j.calling.2bad' Hanzelka made a segmented run of this fifth installment of the Tomb Raider franchise, managing to guide Lara through the trapped caves and temples in just 1:13:28, spanning 33 segments. Highly polished by the folks at Tomb Runner, to a mirror shine - so go take a look.
That about wraps it up. Remember, January 6-12, 2013. Be there or be square.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 by Vorpal
Marathon Hype Starts Now
Got a bunch of runs for you as well. First up is the return of Josh 'the Funkdoc' Ballard, who had multiple runs posted just last update. Anyone who knows how prolific Josh is, however, won't be surprised at finding out that we're posting a grand total of four runs of his today. The game is Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse. funkdoc's recorded a Trevor solo run in 0:29:36, a Grant run in 0:30:43, a Sypha run in 0:28:55, and to round things off, another Sypha run, this time on the Japanese version. That comes in at 0:29:10 and uses a bunch of different boss and stage strats, since the two versions have different glitches. This game's strats have been evolving and it's nice to see the fruits of that, especially when it involves 4 good new runs.
Speaking of evolving games, and more particularly fruits, the big Dee Kay has something to say. Donkey Kong Country gets a new run today. Timothy 'tjp7154' Peters has been kind enough to send in a single-segment all stages run. In lieu of going bananas with bad puns, I'll simply note that this obsoletes his old run by one minute… and the old run was segmented. Grab this 0:31.
Dark Souls has been the darling of the gaming world for some time. I think it's about time SDA shows some love as well. Freddy 'Thanatos' Vasquez, who previously ran Demon's Souls for your enjoyment, has set his sights on everybody's favorite sequel. Take a gander at this 0:32:45, done single-segment with resets and major skips, and try not to get too excited whenever VICTORY ACHIEVED pops up.
Superman 64 is a game that everybody loves to hate. That hasn't stopped Alec 'aleckermit' Aster, however. aleckermit, one of the world's premier N64-ologists, made it his mission to break this game, and break it he did. Cruising through the rings and glitching through the indoor levels leads you to a single-segment 1:53:14.
Serious Sam has long been an SDA favorite. Thus I am not surprised when the recent HD remake, Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter, gets a competent set of runs. The people to credit for this are 'Freezard', who ran 14 of the game's 15 levels, and Mirko Brown, who came through on the Sewers level. I don't know of anyone who can't use more nonstop alien blasting in their life, so check out this IL table, which totals out to a nice 0:39:55 on the Tourist difficulty.
Our last run today completes a crowd favorite in record time. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island has seen a resurgence of activity lately, something I wholeheartedly endorse. Andy 'Carl Sagan' Diamos is the man of the hour, and while he might not have sent Yoshi traipsing across billions and billions of stars, he's certainly captured billions and billions of hearts. Just ask ArneTheGreat what effect this single-segment 1:49:16 had on him.
That's all for today. See you around.
Friday, November 30, 2012 by Breakdown
Does anybody really read the title?
I feel like every other update I write has a Castlevania game in it. This is an exaggeration, but really wouldn't be a horrible thing if it were completely true. And in case you were wondering, yes, this observation was brought on because we do have a Castlevania game today, Castlevania: Bloodlines to be specific, and if you think vampire hunting is best done with a spear, then this is the run for you. Runner Tom 'ProD1gy84' Israels pilots Spear Dude (or Eric Lecarde for you manual-reading types out there) through the lone Genesis installment in the series in a very quick 0:31:48 on the expert difficulty setting.
Now for those of you who feel cheated out of some old fashioned whip-wielding Belmont action in the last paragraph, fear not. Simon Belmont sees some screen time in this next run, but he has to share the spotlight with some other Konami characters in a game that never saw release in the US. Those of you not well versed in Famicom exclusives are probably wondering what I could possibly be talking about, but the rest of you are no doubt excited about the link to the Konami Wai Wai World run that is no doubt incoming. Josh 'funkdoc' Ballard is the one giving the Famicom fanboys something to cheer about today, guiding some of Konami's finest to victory in 0:33:25.
That's not it for Josh the funkdoc this update, though. In addition to being an all-star at cleaning up 8-bit space of alien scourges, he's also rather adept at cleaning up the 8-bit streets as evidenced in his work on the title Bad Street Brawler. Josh makes use of Duke Davis's varied moveset and makes the city safe in 0:15:39. Not bad at all for a retired punk rocker.
Finishing things up today, we have a little something for the people who want more rocket powered bunny rabbits in their lives. And really who doesn't? Bryan 'Hsanrb' Nash offers up a healthy dose of robotic rabbit goodness in his run of the early Playstation game, Jumping Flash! The time of the run is a very speedy 0:12:48, and really, did you expect a run featuring a cybernetic rabbit to take all that long? I think not.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 by Vorpal
Two's a crowd
Athena is a darling of the bad game exchange, and runner Brian 'Brossentia' Cook is doing us a public service. While we all feel bad that he was subjected to the horrors of the goddess of science, we can at least appreciate the fruits of his labor... to a certain extent. Check it out: single-segment 0:22:35 with warps.
Batman's been popping up a lot lately. For our purposes, however, Arkham City is the new hotness. With this one, you've got a choice. Would you prefer to watch the game be cleared from scratch, or would you prefer new game plus? Sean 'DarthKnight' Grayson has very thoughtfully run both categories single-segment and with the Catwoman DLC. 2:06:17 is the time to beat for new game plus, and otherwise you're looking at 2:03:19. Yeah, NG+ is longer; that's because the game ups the difficulty to compensate.
Clock Tower is a game people have toyed with running, so it's nice to see Greg 'TheThrillness' Innes put it to rest. But considering that the run goes for Ending H, maybe 'putting it to rest' was a bad choice of words. It really is a shame this wasn't posted in time for Halloween. 0:02:04 is much shorter than it normally takes for an escape from a serial killer, if bad horror movies have taught me anything.
Zombie games are all the rage, but no zombie game has been quite as successful as Left 4 Dead. The star team of 'Freezard', Adam 'AdamAK' Kuczynski, Max 'oasiz' Ylitalo and Lee 'flicky' Reeves, last on this page not too long ago, hasn't slacked at all. This time you get a taste of the Sacrifice DLC. Perhaps the name is a reference to the team-killing antics you're about to see? 0:05:38 is not very long at all; usually betrayals involve a dozen minutes of speeches and backstory.
If Capcom announced new Mega Man Legends content, a lot of people would be very happy. Justin 'JMC4789' Chadwick decided to correct their deficiency and complement the existing easy-mode run with a run on normal. Sad trombones play for Tron Bonne in a grand total of 0:53:41, single-segment.
Rygar hosted a serious bit of competition around the middle of the year, what with feasel and 'Darkwing Duck' duking it out over precious seconds. Darkwing managed, after much effort, to cut the 23, and the record has stood there since. The time to beat is now a single-segment 0:22:55, and you'll need some pretty great yo-yo skills to even get close.
Shadow Complex got broken open with some new tricks recently, and so Jordan 'Greenalink' Greener decided that he couldn't let his old run stand. It isn't often that someone cuts a run time in half, but that's what he did. Enjoy this 0:07:28, done single-segment and with resets on new game plus.
Until next time. And I promise, that won't be weeks from now. Be sure to check back soon.
Friday, November 2, 2012 by Vorpal
I'd buy a system for F-Zero U
This next game follows a very well-thought-out theme: it starts with an F. Everyone likes Frogger, especially Stephen 'SSBMstuff' Evans. SSBMstuff tackles the remake, helpfully titled Frogger: He's Back. 0:15:41 is the new standard, done in two segments. Unfortunately, many frogs were harmed in the production of this speed run.
Speaking of games whose names starts with an F, there's a rather popular series that fits the bill. Now what was it? Frugal? That doesn't sound right. Final, maybe? Tristan 'Caracarn' Helwig has spent very long periods of time running this game. Not so long ago he was doing single-segment attempts that took up a whole day. This run, however, is segmented. Nobody thought this game would ever slip in under the 10-hour mark, but I present Final Fantasy X in 9:56 over 45 segments.
Another World, also known as Out of This World, is a cult classic, accorded its status as such by none less than Tim Rogers. Alexis 'NHG' Gabaig is no stranger to running the game, owing to his existing runs. Today he obsoletes his segmented run; using 6 segments to clock in at 0:07:39, over a minute faster.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is the third game to get an inaugural run today. The honor falls to Greg 'Setz' Tyndall. Setz blasts through the game very quickly, and claims a 0:49:47 to his name with a somewhat glitchy run. Good stuff.
Grand Theft Auto 3 is one of those games where I wasn't sure if we would ever see a 100% speedrun, due to the massive length and planning required of such an endeavor. After the first one, I thought we wouldn't ever seen an improvement. Luckily for you, John 'Silmaranza' Breedon thought otherwise. 17 segments sounds like a fair amount, but when the run time is 6:32 and the average segment length is around 20 minutes, it becomes clear why it took about two and a half years to finish the run. It's not often that we see obsoletions of over an hour.
There are an awful lot of Mega Man games out there, so when I casually mention that this run is of a game not already featured on the site, that doesn't narrow it down much. The game in question is Mega Man Network Transmission. 'doicm' stands up to fill the gap, and the result is before you. 1:06:51, to be exact. You know it's a good first run when the time is half an hour under a testrun. And yes, the time listed in the statid is wrong.
Pulseman looks really fun. I'm gonna have to play it sometime. Fortunately for you, Nick 'Axon' Beaudette already did. Genesis games always have the funniest major skips, and Axon's 0:31:34 is no exception. As far as I can tell, you can fly through walls by nothing more than running, turning around, and then jumping. If that's not the best endorsement I can give, then I don't know what is. Note that, unfortunately, the run has no audio commentary despite the statid saying so.
That's all the runs I have to post for you today, but certainly not all the runs. Everyone wants to go to AGDQ in January, and that includes you (even if you don't know it yet). Unfortunately, travel and lodging can cost a fair chunk of change. The cool cats from #smw on our IRC server have put together their own marathon to help out with those costs and get people who would not otherwise show to the marathon. Seriously, check it out, it's just started and has a three-day lineup of runs from people I am honored to know: www.numbersmw.com.
Until next time.
Thursday, October 25, 2012 by Breakdown
We're starting things off today with a game near and dear to my heart. Some of my earliest gaming memories are playing the arcade version of Gauntlet, and once I got my hands on a copy of the NES port I played it for hours on end during my formative years. And with those memories in mind, it brings me great pleasure to unveil a new and improved speedrun for the title from Jeff Feasel. Using the Elf he charges through the game's 100 levels in 0:16:49 without any of that gathering clues crap. Morak never knew what hit him.
Moving on we're adding to our growing list of runs from the venerable Contra series, though today with an entry that tend not to leap to most people's minds. Kyle 'Mr K' Halverson has announced his candidacy for mayor of Game Boy Contra titles today with a speedrun of Operation C. He's running on a platform that, even in a monochromatic setting, alien invaders must be dealt with as swiftly and shirtlessly as possible, so give him a chance to earn your vote. It'll only take 0:11:44 of your time, and it's definitely worth it.
Next up, we've got a little something for RPG fans today. Well, little is rarely the right word for an RPG run, and it's really not a fitting adjective for a 100% single segment. The game in question? The revered Square title Chrono Trigger. The runner? The destroyer of revered Square titles, Kari 'Essentia' Johnson. The time? 5:40. Is anybody still reading this? Probably not, you've already clicked the download link.
Wrapping things up on the game front, we bring you to feudal China, where the body counts are always high and the enemy officers are always dispatched. Well, at least that's what Dynasty Warriors 4 teaches you about feudal China. Runner lenophis is well schooled in this game's history lessons, and his expertise shows in a set of three runs, all played on expert difficulty through New Game +. What differentiates the runs is the character selected, and the times are as follows: 0:17:21.80 as Shu, 0:19:36.96 as Wei, and 0:17:03.98 as Wu. Go check em out.
One last point of interest here, this weekend a number of members of SDA, SpeedRunsLive, and The Speed Gamers community will be participating in an online, Halloween-themed marathon dubbed the Speedrun Spooktacular. The event will be starting off 8 AM Friday EST and will feature over 60 games and will be taking donations to benefit SDA marathon banner-maker, artist extraordinaire, and all around cool person Lindsey Lane King (aka Jazaboo or Anatotitan). She's recently incurred some rather hefty medical expenses, and she's given so much to the communities over the years, now seems a great time to give back. The festivities can be watched on romscout's twitch channel, and a full schedule of the games to be played can be found here. Come by and check it out, and maybe give a bit to a person in need while you're at it.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 by dex
Well, it's *kind* of a theme
Not to be outdone, the celebrated Half-Life researcher Albin 'quadrazid' Sigby went for the Half-Life: Blue Shift crown. Just like the previous run, it's on the Hard difficulty, and manages to beat it by a whopping 56 seconds. Sounds feeble? It might until you realise that the old run was segmented, and this little, 0:31:22 long baby is single-segment. Now that impressive enough for anyone, good job, mister quadrazid!
Speaking of quadrazid, he also submitted a small improvement to the Counter Strike: Condition Zero table. The Thin Ice level got 51 seconds' worth of savings thanks to his exploits, for a time of 0:02:13 for the mission and 1:43:27 for the whole game. Let's hope it's merely the beginning of quadrazid's Half-Life escapades.
Now, probably my favorite run from this update, a shiny new Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time playthrough. Not only is this on one of my favorite games of all time, but it also completely demolishes the previous time of over two hours. Years of painstaking research and even more painstaking execution culminates in Justin 'Ucpro' Salamon's segmented run, clocking in at 1:31:49. 16 segments, by the way. Now, stop wasting time on my ramblings and go watch it, it's amazing.
For another non-FPS entry in the update, a couple Resident Evil 2 videos. 'Carcinogen' made a couple single segment runs, first using the character of Claire A - and getting a 1:19:01 (an improvement of over 5 minutes over Dragondarch's old run). Aftewards, he used Leon B and got 1:17:47, about 7 and a half minutes faster. Good show, that man, good show. Multiple SS runs in a single update are always fun to see.
Finally, to round this update off, a singular, but significant improvement in the Xbox Individual Level table of Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare: AJ 'ss4_link' Stainer improved the level All Ghillied Up by three minutes and twenty-one seconds, to get this spangly 0:04:21. The total time for the table is now 1:52:32.
And if videos aren't really your thing, perhaps you'll be interested in some words from the great Mike Uyama, interviewed by 'sinister1'. Go learn some of SDA Dictator's views and opinions!
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 by Vorpal
It's all PJ's fault!
The first is one of PJ's runs. Dream TV is not a game, in the sense that you'd want to play it, but it's certainly something. That something is on full display here today; all 0:14:20 of it. Mr. Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare has spent far longer on this game than it deserves, and the audio commentary is proof of that.
This next run, while not completed by PJ personally, is a product of his bad game exchange. Hercules: The Legendary Journeys is an N64 game that was gifted to Tony 'ZenicReverie' Foster by neskamikaze, which should tell you all you need to know right there. But if it doesn't, then Zenic's speedrun in 1:24:12 will definitely do the trick.
Dear Esther is not normally the type of game that gets run, but Simon 'default' Albacke Eriksson is happy to make an exception. default doesn't put much stock in languid recollections or flashbacks, instead preferring a sort of powerful expediency. If you wish, you too can share that expediency: 0:23:53. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can do what the game does and insert selected Bible quotations here, at the end of this paragraph. Maybe the first half of 1 Samuel 20:38?
The Hitman series is yet another one of those franchises that I've had vague intentions of playing, for what seems like forever. Today's installment features Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. 'Forever', fortunately, is not a word in Nathanaël 'Forsaken' Villemin's vocabulary. Using a segment for each level, or 20 in total, Forsaken styles his way through the game in 0:32:16, or just over a minute and a half per level. This is an improvement of seven minutes over the previous run.
Alex 'Anwonu' Morinaga is no stranger to the site. Neither are Mario games. This Mario game, however, makes its first appearance here today: Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. Manipulating time over and over is the standard for segmented runs; 46 segments today gives you a run in 4:07:xx. Perhaps in the future somebody will travel to the past to do a coop run with themself.
This next run? Also a Mario game. New Super Mario Bros. Wii, to be more precise. This is an improvement as well; at first glance it seems like a small improvement, 7 seconds off, until you notice that it's a single-segment obsoleting a segmented. Zach 'RaikerZ' Waggoner single-segments the game, coming in at 0:25:31.
Sonic Advance is a game that I don't feel gets enough respect; crappy GBA audio aside, it has fun levels and visual charisma. Zeupar over at The Sonic Center has been making it his mission to give the game some love, and towards that end he recruited Kyle 'Talon' Ragbir. The existing Sonic and Knuckles runs now have some company; Talon controls Tails and comes out with a 0:14:37.66. I must say, I am not surprised at all that nobody cares to play Amy.
The last run today? Star Trek: Elite Force II. Thomas Sturm today contributes his skill with a phaser, and you get to watch the fruits of his labor. The time to beat is 1:55:07, done in 53 segments. Needless to say, Thomas does not have any red shirts in his closet.
These aren't runs, but there are still a couple other things I should bring to your attention. If you've submitted a run recently, you want to check this thread out. In more general SDA related news, single-segment with resets runs are now accepted globally. Basically, knock yourselves out & have fun speed gaming. Until next time.
Saturday, September 8, 2012 by Breakdown
Intros are overrated
Next up, were adding to our total of runs featuring a pink-haired caveman as the protagonist, bringing the total to two. This total may seem small, but it has no room to increase currently considering this particular game is the only sequel to the other entry meeting this criteria. For those who haven't figured it out yet, Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return is making its way onto the game list today. Runner 'Chris X' braves the army of villainous pigs to save his lady fair in 1:26:13 over 18 segments.
So this is the last paragraph with new runs, and I know some of you actually said "lame" at your computer screen after reading that, but let me assure you these next few sentences are packed full of awesome, well at least if you're a fan of Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link. For starters, we have two improvements from Kristian 'Artic_Eagle' Emanuelsen. Kristian upped the ante on both of the NTSC any% categories, reclaiming the single segment time with a blistering 1:07:43 and improving his own single segment with up+A warping and death abuse time, bringing it down to 0:57:43, both featuring healthy savings from the runs that were posted before. But that's not all for the Zelda 2 fans today. We also have an inaugural run for the 100% category brought to you by Travis 'Solairflaire' Hofman, clocking in at 1:15:22. Now, those who know me should know I'm a little biased towards this title, but even still you should take my word for it that these runs are awesome, and you should watch them repeatedly.
One last point of order before calling it an update, and that is that we know have highlight and blooper reels as well as torrents available for the many amazing runs done during Summer Games Done Quick. These can all be found on SGDQ's archive details page as well as individual links for every single run from the event. Go get you some. EDIT: If you're the kind of person who thinks downlading is for squares, fear not, you can still enjoy the lovely highlight and blooper reels on youtube (highlights/bloopers).
Sunday, August 26, 2012 by Vorpal
Easy themes galore
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia also gets a new run today. Adrien Monpeyssen, whose moniker of A-M is quite appropriate in the land of three-letter Castlevania acronyms, decided that Ecclesia needed some more love, and he delivers in the form of a 40-segment Hard difficulty run with a level cap of 1, one, uno, whatever you want to call it. Considering how much additional time bosses take, it's pretty impressive that the finish comes in at barely 10 minutes over the existing time. 1:07:54, to be exact.
Let's switch gears and talk about a less, shall we say, morbid series. Let's talk about a cheery series. And then let's talk about a game in said series that's not quite so cheery. I don't know the right word to describe Shadow the Hedgehog's atmosphere, but jarring certainly fits. 'bertin', longtime IRC regular and Sonic Center member, decided that Shadow needed a guiding hand. The game has multiple endings, but bertin chose the Neutral Story on new game +. Within those confines and assisted by lots of good luck on the final boss, he blazes through to the conclusion in 0:18:20.
Let us, however, return to more mainstream Sonic discussion. Hopefully the most popular Sonic game of all time, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, is mainstream enough. Mike 'mike89' McKenzie spent the earlier half of this year pouring hours of attempts into Genesis Sonic games, and he's got lots of stuff to show for it. First is a Sonic run in 0:16:13, packed with an audio commentary for your pleasure. Immediately after completing that, he set to work on a Knuckles run, which turned out to be a slightly faster 0:15:58. During this process he also managed to improve a couple of the individual level times; Metropolis 3 is now 0:45 thanks to a new zip, and Wing Fortress is 1:46 courtesy of a single-cycle boss (and if you have any childhood memories, you should already know how ridiculous that concept is).
Mike89 is currently occupied not-practicing games he swears he's not-running, but he's not quite done in this update. His old 2006-ish set of Sonic 3 & Knuckles runs have been completely replaced with the addition of this new Tails run, clocking in at 0:29:28. And with all of his recent runs posted, mike89 can get back to the important things: not pulling a stanski and burning himself out trying to do a 100% run of a Genesis Sonic.
And I can get back to playing games that aren't my marathon games! Everybody wins, especially BlueGlass and ShadowJacky.
Saturday, August 18, 2012 by dex
All the pieces matter
On the opposite end of the seriousness to hilariousness scale, we have a run on Super Monkey Ball. Also on the opposite end of categories, as this one is a single-segment - quite a feat considering the hectic nature of the game. The one who undertook this little fool's errand is Charles Griffin, and he's certainly the right man in the right place; quite a lot of awesome bounces and clever tricks in this one, so don't skip it, even if monkeys aren't your thing. 0:07:27.81 of madness it is.
A couple short ones. The All-Star time on Easy difficulty in Super Smash Bros. Brawl got a solid improvement. Mark 'ChiboSempai' Korsak knocked down the time from the highly respectable 3:36 to an even more respectable 0:03:25.61. Short, but sweet.
In the same vein, we have a Crash Course DLC time in Left 4 Dead. It's a multiplayer time, too - we always like seeing those coop runs. 'Freezard', Adam 'AdamAK' Kuczynski, Max 'oasiz' Ylitalo and Lee 'flicky' Reeves are the ones responsible for this sparkling 0:06:21. That's pretty fast. One note regarding the comments though: not sure about whether this is the first 4-player coop on the main SDA site (it might be), but for a little bit of history, we have had 8-player coops back in the Quake heyday. Good to see coops still happen even with Quake out the mix.
All for tonight (more was planned, but some complications popped up). See you around.
Thursday, August 9, 2012 by Breakdown
With that out of the way, are you ready for some runs? I certainly hope so, because this update is a doozy.
Starting things things off, we have two new entries for the Gears of War game page. Runner William 'Youkai' Welch has an Insane difficulty run to go up alongside his Casual run. Playing on the 360 version and using 73 segments (which have been appended to one file for easy viewing) he charges through the worst the game has to throw at him in a brisk 1:56:54. But that's not all for this title today. Youkai also taken control of Marcus for another casual difficulty run, but this time around he's got Andrew 'Brassmaster' Meredith for back up as Dominic. The team tears through the game very efficiently in a single segment, finishing in 1:35:08. You can see the action from the perspective of either Marcus or Dominic, or just get both vids and sync them up for the full viewing experience.
Moving along, we have a fairly atypical entry to the Super Mario Bros. 3 game page. There's a multitude of possible categories for this game, but they've always been approached as a single segment. Well, Mitch Fowler is bucking that tradition with his submission of a complete IL table for the NES version. For those curious, all levels are started as small Mario, are timed using real time and not the game timer, and some of the strats you see will blow your mind. Total for the table is 0:48:53, go check it out. Oh, and those more traditional single segment categories I mentioned before, Mitch did a run for one of those too (and it's hardly the afterthought I just made it sound like). He's also submitted an improvement to his own warpless time, chopping off 43 seconds to bring the time down to a nice round 0:55:00.
Keeping in both the NES and ILs-plus-a-SS realm of things, we have the long awaited posting of a set of runs for Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! I've already spoiled what's to come, so let's just get to it. Runner 'sinister1' has put together an IL table for the game with an assist on King Hippo from 'adelikat' of TASvideos fame. A high level in optimization is a given in an IL table, but know a few fights in this table actually match the time of the current TAS. If that doesn't make you curious as to what's in store in this 0:14:48.12 batch of videos I don't know what will. Also on offer today, as alluded to before, is a single segment run of the game also done by sinister1. This one clocks in just 35 seconds behind his old segmented (which has been removed with this update by request, you can still dig it up on archive), finishing in 0:17:06.24. And if you're curious just how much Punch-Out!! knowledge can be dropped in just over seventeen minutes, be sure to check out the hyper-informative audio commentary.
Now that last paragraph had enough Punch-Out!! goodness to satisfy anybody, but we're going for a little excess today and also offering up a set of IL runs for the the 16-bit entry in the series. Yes, Super Punch-Out!! got the individual level treatment as well with contributions from runners Zack 'Zallard1' Allard, David Heidman Jr., and Jeremy 'DK28' Doll. The total time for the table is an amazingly quick 0:02:30.30. Fun fact, not a single fight takes longer than 20 seconds on the game clock. It's quite a set of runs, be sure to check them out.
That's it for runs, but there is an upcoming event that may interest you good people. The Ludendi Videogame Association is going to be hosting a marathon they've dubbed the European Speedsters Assembly. A group of European speedrunners (including several SDA members) will be coming together starting on August 16th to charge through a wide array of games in support the charity Hand In Hand. Further details are available on their marathon website (Edit: I've been informed the Swedish part of the site has a more up to date schedule [which is in English], check it out). So check out their schedule and prepare to have your free time monopolized from the 16th to the 19th, and maybe throw some funds at a good cause while you're at it. It promises to be a good time.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 by Vorpal
Six runs today. The first is Severance: Blade of Darkness, a game I've not heard of before. Judging from every scrap of information I've seen while composing this update, it seems like my ignorance should be a regretful one. Always had a soft spot in my heart for less-than-modern PC games, even if I haven't played many. In any case, this run was completed over a year ago and has taken a long, meandering route to the front page. We are definitely proud to finally present Miles 'Tesseract' Lajoie's 0:44:59 in 77 segments. You always know a run is good when the runner says something like this: "On a completely unrelated note, I'm taking a break from speedrunning this game because my fingers hurt."
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare gets an update today, but it's not quite what you think. Longtime runner Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery makes an appearance, not with a new run but with an update to an existing one. Specifically, he improved one segment of the existing run by Sami 'nego' Reinikainen. The Heat mission gets a new run, and the total time therefore drops by almost a minute, from 1:38:59 to 1:38:14. Fun stuff. Due to the nature of the update, that link displays the entire run; if you want to see just the updated mission, click on segment 12.
Crash Bandicoot 2 gets a lot of love, leading to such displays as the game page intro (wonder who wrote that?). Trihex's existing 100% run has been joined by a much shorter permutation; 'ElectronAvenue' has decided to simply rip the game a new one, and he does so with style. With a single-segment 0:14:01, to be exact, using large-skip glitches and on the European version. The glitch used seems pretty amusing to me, so be sure to give this a go.
Next up is Gargoyle's Quest, the oft-forgotten prequel to Demon's Crest. Unfortunately I don't have any interesting factoids about this game; it's something I've been meaning to play for a fairly long time. What I can tell you, though, is that it has pretty spiffy music and is a fun watch. First-time runner Christian 'bailli' Landvogt defeats the invasion of the Ghoul Realm in a rather swift 0:30:54. Bet Arthur can't do that.
Mohawk and Headphone Jack needs no introduction, and I'm far too exasperated by the game to give it one. Let's just say that this is the first run hosted by SDA to really, genuinely require a Motion Sickness Warning. In between drinking to drive away the memories, Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare completed a single-segment with warps run in 0:34:16. If you want to know anything further about this game, just read his comments; they explain things way better than I could ever hope to. Listening to the audio commentary works too.
The final run today is a bit of an odd one. Long runs of RPGs that aren't Final Fantasy are rare in and of themselves. Said run being Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World is rarer still. Possibly the most remarkable aspect, however, are the runners. It's been many years since SDA administrator Nathan Jahnke has found time to complete a run, and this time he's joined by his sister Sarah. 60 segments of route planning and destroying random encounters with level-200 beasts later, they give you a multiplayer new game + run in 4:54. Check it out.
In a very ironic twist, the run does have some technical problems. I have not watched the run myself, but they are supposedly pretty noticeable. Now, SDA has long prided itself on having technically high-quality videos. We would even like to think that we're the primary force responsible for speedrunning moving away from shakycams towards direct capture (a sea change that's now so old as to be completely unremarkable). I know that our submission standards are kinda intimidating. Yeah, we do require that you try to do a good job recording, but considering that your run will be watched by many people, we'd like to think it's more of a favor to you than anything else.
But sometimes crap happens, even if you do everything right. That's life. If you're scared that what is otherwise The Run might be rejected because your capture card got drunk on Dropped Frames Fridays, even though you did everything right, don't be. We're willing to work with you, both to help you get everything set up correctly and to correct any problems that arise after the fact. So if you're thinking of getting your feet wet but are intimidated by this stuff, take the plunge. Technical problems shouldn't stop anyone, and I do mean anyone.
And in this specific case, there's also audio commentary, so audio problems are rather neatly sidestepped. Regardless, don't let me imply that the run is unwatchably bad, because it's not. It's just that I have a soapbox and saw the opportunity, and what's the point of having a soapbox if you don't use it?
Until next time.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 by dex
The runs went up with practiced bravado
Wednesday, July 4, 2012 by Vorpal
"It'll say life is sacred and so is death but death is life and so we move on"
It's been a long time coming, but one of the more notorious runs on the site has gotten a facelift. Mega Man 7 is rather unloved for a non-spinoff game, but Shawn 'Obdajr.' Nakashima decided the game deserved more attention. The fruit of his efforts is a ten-minute improvement to the 100% run, coming in at a single-segment 0:46:42. The best thing I can say about the run is to quote his comments: "I finally have a run that I want people to watch!"
Bomberman 64 has also not seen love for a long time. I'm probably dating myself pretty severely when I say that I remember watching marshmallow's 100% run from 2005 when it was posted. This time around, however, we have not an improvement but an addition. Andreas 'Ecko65' Pflug blew his way through the European version in a single-segment 0:33:22 on Hard, adding yet another proof that this game is way better than the originals.
This run coming up is notable in that it's online co-op. Not someting you see every day. But then, runs from Greg 'The Thrillness' Innes and Derrick 'The Deity' Eide don't get posted every day either. Controlling Chris and Jill respectively, The Duo recently made their way through Resident Evil 5's Lost in Nightmares scenario. Six segments allowed the pair to find their way in 0:06:33 on the Amateur difficulty. Take your pick of watching Chris or Jill.
Given how popular sports games were on the Genesis, at least in the US (Megadrive owners may differ?), it says a lot that not a single one of them has made it on the site. As you have no doubt surmised, that changes now. WWF Royal Rumble, a name that has seen entirely too many games released under it, gets the star treatment courtesy of Richard Gibson. Richard throws down and clears the aptly-named Royal Rumble mode in 0:00:51. This run also features audio commentary, so give that a whirl.
Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War has been showing up on the front page a lot lately, and you know who to thank: 'Sinochek'. This time around Sinochek tackles the Winter Assault expansion, extending his dominance once more. Once again he runs the Hard difficulty for parity with multiplayer stats, and as usual he blazes through the missions while staunchly ignoring so-called 'major' objectives. You can take your dosage in one of two forms: an Order campaign clear in 1:06:20, or a Disorder campaign clear in 0:43:50. Both use five segments.
Lots of Ws in today's update. Mickey Mouse's World of Illusion enjoys cult popularity, and Fredrik 'Edenal' Lidholt rides that carpet to e-fame on SDA's front page. Playing as Mickey, Edenal brings the stage show to its conclusion in a short 0:15:47. He'd better watch out, because some of the audience members are going to be demanding their money back after such a short session.
One last thing. Courtesy of an idea from SpeedRunsLive, we have a Promotion page. If your deepest, most secret desire is to viral market SDA on your stream page, or if you just wanna saunter around with a cheery banner, then consider yourself empowered.
And for any Americans in the audience, happy Independence Day.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 by Breakdown
S is for Sega
You can't have a good Sega update without a certain blue hedgehog in mix, and let me assure that with the inclusion of Sonic Chaos here we have that covered. This Master System title is far from the most well known entry in the Sonic series (due in no small part to being on the Master System), but the game has at least one super fan in runner Adam 'AdamAK' Kuczynski. He pilots Sonic to the end of this exclusively 8-bit adventure in a very quick 0:06:14.
That's not it for Sonic games here, though, as we also have a new run for the slightly more popular Sonic 3 and Knuckles. However, it's the other titular characters who gets his time to shine in this paragraph. Mike 'mike89' McKenzie with an improvement to the Knuckles category, and we aren't talking one of those one second Mario improvements, oh no. This is Sega doing what Nintendon't with a close to six minute improvement. All kidding aside, the new time is 0:26:28 and you should see what this man has done to this poor, poor game.
That's it for the mascot, but we do have a couple Genesis exclusives to round out the update. First up is the generally well liked and respected Comix Zone. Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman adds this title to his growing resume of published runs today with a hefty improvement to run we've been hosting since 2007. A few glitches and some far more aggressive strategies resulted in over five minutes of improvement to Sketch's journey through the panels, clocking in at a final time of 0:12:35. This one also comes with an audio commentary.
Wrapping things up today we have a run from Mike Uyama, which the SDA faithful should know could only mean one thing: the beast has finally been unleashed on the SDA front page. Sub-Terrania makes its grand debut on SDA today. Really, there's little I can say about the game or the run that isn't covered very, very thoroughly in Mike's comments or the accompanying audio commentary, so I'll just say congrats here, and you should do the same after watching his easy difficulty run in 0:09:18.
Before I sign off here there are a couple points of interest I should call to your attention. First, as of this posting nearly every run from Summer Games Done Quick has at least a normal quality encode ready for download. There were tons of great moments and fantastic runs at the last marathon, so go immortalize those on your hard drive with the links from the archive details page. Also, we now have a torrent available for all the vids from the last Awesome Game Done Quick currently at the ready for those of you who've been waiting to get all of those runs in one shot. Interested? Then just click on the attachments in this post. Big thanks to Uranium Anchor for his tireless work on the encodes and to anybody who helped out in the video synch thread.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 by dex
Still in a dream
Those of you with unmatched theme song acumen might recognize the title of this update as the words to one of the kings of tactical espionage action, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Hidenori 'Hikari' Kawamoto improved the previous time on what true spies love best - Single-segment European Extreme run with Fox Hound rank (with New Game+). Now that's a mouthful. The improvement totals 2 minutes, giving us a time of 1:27:34. Well worth watching - then again, that's a given with MGS runs nowadays.
One of the games I have revered in the olden days of my childhood was the Amiga version of Another World. I am evidently not the only individual with fond memories of this gem stowed away, since there was a recent re-release of the game for the PC. And Alexis 'NHG' Gabaig decided to run it post-haste - as in, 'half the time of the SNES version' type of post-haste. 0:08:50 for the segmented category. And that wasn't enough, since in the same submission we've also received a single-segment from him - 0:10:12. That's pretty damn good. Hey, speaking of classic realistic platformers for the Amiga, someone should run Flashback. That'd be a cool one.
Next up, a representative of a wholly unsaturated genre - a difficult freeware platformer. In case this very unique description didn't jog your memory, the game is Nikujin. Blaise 'Blazier' Roth decided the page felt a little empty without a segmented run and submitted to us a blindingly fast 0:02:12. That's fast, son, especially compared to the other run on the page, an amazing run in its own right.
A good representation of what seems to slowly be happening with DLCs nowadays is DLC Quest (more imaginative name a possible DLC). David Heidman Jr. didn't let that break his spirits, however, and he sent us in a single-segment 0:04:35. Though maybe I shouldn't say it didn't break his spirits - the run gets the bad ending. Nevertheless, it's still a good watch. More information available in an SDA DLC pack. Or, alternatively, included audio comments. I guess.
Finally, to close off, a run on the Douglas Adams designed adventure game, Starship Titanic. Mario 'digama' Carneiro decided to sprint through the game single-segment and got a 0:24:26, a spanking good achievement. I recommend you watch it - in addition to some awesome running, you'll get to hear Monty Python members acting out a Douglas Adams script. Tell me that alone ain't worth the price of admission.
See you next time.
Sunday, June 3, 2012 by Vorpal and romscout
Another successful marathon
Every time I come back home from one of SDA's charity marathons, I'm absolutely shocked by how much money was raised. You'd think at this point I'd be expecting all of you who donate to smash our goals that we put on the ChipIn, but somehow it manages to feel special every time. This time around, you guys managed to make our initial goal of $20,000 for Summer Games Done Quick look like a complete joke by donating $46,279 directly to the Organization for Autism Research. This total came from 2207 unique donations, which is nearly double the 1118 we had for the previous SGDQ held in August of 2011. Every single one of you who donated this year or at all during one of these events deserves a huge round of applause for your efforts in making the world a better place.
The success in these figures especially means a lot to me since I was personally worried about how much we would be able to raise. I distinctly recall speaking with Mike Uyama and puwexil about our initial goal and deciding that simply bringing in more than last year's SGDQ would be a good starting point. Was this marathon taking place too close to AGDQ? Did we not advertise the event enough? Was the game lineup in the schedule not strong enough? You'd be surprised what kind of questions were brought up in regards to how much money could be raised for the organization. I suppose if the worst problem we have every marathon is having our starting donation goal look like a joke, then we can't be too upset. Those big, crazy numbers that blow my mind every time certainly aren't our doing, though. This is all because you, the donors, decide to make it happen every time we put on a show for you. There is no measurement for the amount of praise that you people deserve for giving up your hard-earned money for such noble causes as autism research and cancer prevention. As a reminder, $305,572.54 have been raised for charity over six events since we started doing this, and that's as ridiculous as it sounds. In case you haven't started doing a little bit of a victory dance for yourself yet, you are welcome to do so now.
In addition to the people who directly donated money to the charity, we also owe a huge thanks to the people who provided prizes that undoubtedly led to some of the large amounts of donations during the event. You can view the SGDQ prizes thread for a full list of everyone who gave a prize. I couldn't possibly do justice to everyone in that thread with individual shoutouts, so I'm going to respectfully decline to try. The t-shirt sales provided by The Yetee have also brought in a nice amount of money for the last couple of marathons, so a huge thanks is owed to them as well. Check out their site and see who in the thread takes commissions! It is definitely the least anyone can do for the efforts they've put toward the charity events.
As someone who has attended every single one of the marathons so far, I can tell you that while there are tons of reasons to keep making the trips, the biggest factor is knowing that many people will benefit from the generosity of our viewers. Sure, it's a ton of fun to go out and watch games be demolished in person. I certainly can't deny how much fun it is to be eating breakfast with Uyama and Poxnor practicing 80's songs way off-key as my background music, or even to be mercy killing our encore of "I Am The Wind" after my SotN run. I wouldn't trade anything in the world for the opportunity to be in a crowded room (with the doorway stuffed, no less) to watch the ocean in Mayor K's Sim City for 20+ minutes just to find out it was all a trick to get Maniac Mansion into a marathon. Don't even get me started on the chance to go crazy on games like Mario Kart 64, Wario Ware Mega Party Games, Mega Man Soccer (yes, I said that) and co-op Jamestown with some of my favorite speed runners. But do you really think we'd take vacation time from work, skip some important classes, and reschedule big meetings as often as we do if we didn't feel a positive change was being made in the process? The joy that we have at these events is only possible because of the joy you, the donors, bring to everyone when you collectively sacrifice your wallets and end up doing something like funding an entire research grant. The previous SGDQ's $21,396.76 was able to fully fund a study that focused on increasing effectiveness of early intervention services for autistic children, so you can imagine what this year's total could end up doing.
I want to once again give my sincerest thanks to everyone who donated not only to the Organization for Autism Research at this year's SGDQ, but to any previous charity cause during one of SDA's marathons. I believe I speak on behalf of everyone who organizes these events when I say that you are ultimately the people that give us the drive to provide our best effort every time we put one of these together. I also want to thank Essentia and Denton for making so many speed runners feel welcome in their home for two years in a row and making sure we never go hungry. SGDQ has a unique feel for a marathon that just can't be replicated in attending the more glorified AGDQ, and I can tell you that it just wouldn't be the same if you two weren't so loving to everybody. Thanks again everyone, and I hope to see you all involved in the next marathon!
Vorpal again. Lets get some runs up.
Fatal Frame has a cult following in some parts of the internet. Paige Gearhart, who has a pretty awesome brother, decided to snap shut the book on this haunted mansion, and did so in 1:56:05, with 25 segments. In the spirit of the game, we are posting pictures of his run on SDA. Lots of them. (05 + 56*60 + 1*60*60)*29.97fps worth. Probably a lot more, depending on how the timer works.
Reverting back to old-school for a bit, Magician is one of those games that takes up half the screen with a text box for narration. The narration is competent enough, especially for an NES game, which made selecting screenshots for the game page more interesting than it would otherwise have been. Marc J. 'Emptyeye' Dziezynski decided that the best way to counter dwindling resource shortages was to beat the game in record time, and he does so in a single-segment 0:13:45. Hopefully this run will quench your thirst.
Wally Bear and the NO! Gang is a title I'd never heard of before seeing it in the queue, but now that I'm somewhat familiar with it, I wonder how I ever missed it. Jason 'cornshaq' Moon is the man of the hour. cornshaq dodged the evil animal drug peddlers and made his way to the perfectly safe and legal party in a single-segment 0:07:02. Hopefully, in the spirit of the game, Jason will drink a (few) victory shot(s) in celebration.
The final game today? Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!. With a !. Rounding out the current 100% time, Sven 'Neviutz' Leise decided to go for a drastically shorter major-skips any% category. He does not disappoint, finishing in a fifth of the 100% time, or more precisely, a single-segment 0:34:15. 0 orbs were collected at all, indicating how much was skipped.
That's all, folks. If you know your way around virtualdub and want to help SDA out (and do me a favor in particular), you can check the video sync thread and help us get started on encoding the marathon. I especially want to thank everyone who helped make the marathon a success ($46k? $46k!), and that includes participants, donators, and just plain viewers. You all rock, and we'll see you next time.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 by Breakdown
It's almost that time
Considering we're inside of two days away from about 100 straight hours of live speedrunning goodness, this update is going to be a little shorter on content than usual. For those of you who just said "lame" at your computer screen, you might be retracting that statement in a bit here. There's some heavy hitters going up today. Lets get to it.
For a run that has been often cited as unimprovable, I spend an awful lot of time posting improvements for the warps category of Super Mario Bros. The five minute run was deemed perfect by many, then the 4:59 hit and more than a few people jokingly asked when the 0:04:58 was coming. Well, if the link in the previous sentence didn't tip you off, it's here now, brought to you by the same guy who did the last two, Andrew Gardikis. Go get it and be amazed.
Zelda games are seen fairly often here on the front page, but it's been many years since anyone has put out something new on the one that started it all. The Legend of Zelda sees it's first update in quite some time thanks to runner Darkwing Duck. It's a new category for the page: first quest with no up+A warping, and Link is piloted to the end in a very quick 0:34:36. It makes for a great watch, and if you enjoy this run, be sure to catch his live attempt during the aforementioned marathon.
It's practically impossible to keep up with the pedigree of the previous two titles, but when a classic Capcom platformer like the NES's Chip n' Dale: Rescue Rangers is the step back in overall popularity, you know it's a solid update. Jeff Feasel is the man behind the controls of the improvement to this beloved Disney game (and will also be behind the controls for a number of classic NES games at SGDQ). Fat Cat's plans are foiled in a brisk 0:10:13, well faster than the two chipmunks ever managed to do it on the TV show.
That should hold you all over for a little bit, so enjoy these for now, and be sure to be here on Thursday at 3 PM Eastern. It's going to be awesome!
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 by dex
Gotta watch 'em all
And what better way to start off than with some Pokémon. Enter the first generation games of the acclaimed series, specifically a run on the Blue version of the game. Mark 'werster' McKenzie embarked on the awesome quest of what amounts to fantastical insect fighting and got a single segment time of 1:58. Being that this is significantly faster than the runs on the Red flavor, those had to vacate the page post-haste.
Speaking of flavors, we also have a run of Pokémon Yellow. You aren't even gonna need to set aside a considerable length of time to watch it, since 'werster' adds to this page a super-glitched run. In what (I think) is an SDA first, he manages to get a time of 0:00. That's fast. Mildly amusing is the fact of the run being in two segments. Then you realise that the glitch requires using a segment, and the hilarious magic disappears. The magic of seeing the game melt down, however, remains untouched, so go watch it and be amazed.
To round off the Pokémon part of this update, we also got a run of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, a video game based on a trading game based on a video game. That slightly confusing realisation didn't stop the mysterious fellow going by the moniker 'aneeslol', who was determined to show us trading card games can be optimized, too. The result is this single segment 1:08. Go watch it, but do heed the warning in the first line of the comments, mmkay?
But men cannot subsist on nothing but Pokémon, so let's give you some Final Fantasy Tactics. John 'chessjerk' Kearsley goes through the tactical RPG using 31 segments in just 4:17, which sounds like quite a long while, but for one, it's a Final Fantasy game. Not to mention that this new run saves over 22 minutes over the previous one, so by that token it must be even better than the previous entry.
Square Soft is getting quite a lot of front page space in this update, it's Secret of Evermore. Patrick 'ev0lution' Seibert, Nicolas 'ZdadrDeM' Großmann and Frank 'Nokia3311' Jahn did the most sensible thing in a Secret of Mana inspired game and run it coop. Using 22 segments, they managed to obtain a time of 2:46:27. European version, in case that wasn't clear from their names. I like coop runs, it's like watching multiple runs for the price of one!
Finally, a run of the Grand Theft Auto inspired Total Overdose. Another strictly-nickname-only gentleman, 'Kotti', went ahead and took his sweet time making a single segment 1:05:22. It's on hard difficulty, and you should definitely check it out.
Just as a reminder, a marathon is incoming. You don't want to be missing that, are you? See you around.
Sunday, May 6, 2012 by Vorpal
First Things First
And now for the runs. Greg 'Setz' Tyndall, a fan of stylish third-person shooters, brings you a run of Advent Rising. After discovering that even modern 3D big-budget titles can still be short, he came up with a single-segment 0:22:17 on the Xbox version, on easy, and with warps. Enjoy that cliffhanger ending.
This next run is also of a modern game, but it is by no means short. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean has developed something of a cult following, and this run is rather hefty. It's not quite Skies of Arcadia long, but Scott Collins' 10:37 in 96 segments may be the record for largest number of segments on the site (and they aren't 3 seconds long either -- I'm looking at you, Diablo) [Edit: I stand corrected: Diablo 2's got a 150 segment run]. He's also written up comments that are about as long as the run, so if you were looking for extraordinary detail you came to the right place.
In case that wasn't enough RPG for you, the following game should satiate your lust. Breath of Fire is the opening game in a series whose death I personally lament, but Greg '__sdfg' Singer's new run, shall we say, breathes new life into it. It took him a year and a half to record, but his 4:35 in 29 segments was worth the effort. Part of that effort involved an audio commentary, so be sure to tune in.
Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman is rather notorious for submitting Castlevania: Symphony of the Night runs and then obsoleting them in the following week or two. In that regard, it's a miracle a run of his lasted long enough to be posted at all. Through his compulsive resettery you are left with a Richter All-Bosses run in 0:27:49. Single-segment, if you wanted to know. Disregard the note that says audio commentary is on track 2; there were plans but they fell through.
The last run today is of a PSP game, so it should be no surprise that Kevin 'xarugas' Areopagita is the man in question. The Japanese-only revision of Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins, Goku Makaimura Kai, got thrashed, and as tempted as I am to start parodying a Duane and Brando song here I'll simply link to xarugas' 0:43:27 in 18 segments and call it a day.
That's all for now. Until next time.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012 by Breakdown
The NES's Ninja Gaiden 3 doesn't get quite the same love the other 8-bit entries in the series enjoy. This might have a little something to do with many throwing in the towel after being met with the brand of difficulty they had come to expect from the earlier games, but this time with limited continues. No doubt at least some of you reading this tapped out to this game before glimpsing the end back in the day, and this group may take particular pleasure in watching Josh Styger blaze through it in his improvement to our existing run. The new time is 0:13:32, check it out.
Next up we have the inaugural run for the slightly obscure SNES action RPG Brain Lord. Runner Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody shines a little light on this title with a segmented run. Split into 25 parts, he finishes with a time of 1:19:20 and also includes an audio commentary.
Wrapping things up, we increase our already healthy Mega Man game representation by one, though with a nontraditional title in the canon. The Misadventures of Tron Bonne makes its way onto the site today thanks to the efforts of runner Shawn 'Obdajr' Nakashima. I can guarantee you no finer source of a girl piloting a giant robot beating the crap out of stuff on the internet than this single segment 0:34:38. A bold claim you say? See if I'm wrong.
And with that we not only close out this update, but the official duration of The Big Push as well. A lot of runs have hit the front page this last month, and while I'm not going to sit here and tell you we're now current, we are a hell of a lot closer to it than we were thirty days ago. Now, this doesn't mean updates are suddenly going to screech to a halt, but we will by dialing back the pace a little bit. Besides, we have some other pressing business coming in the month of May. Details to come on that very soon.
Saturday, April 28, 2012 by dex
They are indeed
Speaking of NES, here's a run of a flash remake of Mike Tyson's Punch Out: Breakfast Brawl. Zack 'zallard1' Allard fights abominations of contemporary tables in a sacred quest to conquer the nightly fast, and maanges to knock out all the enemies in merely 0:01:16. One thing I have to admit, it's an interesting premise. A re-remake with industrial strength drugs instead of breakfast will hopefully follow soon.
The finest folks over at Serious Sam Done Quick grace us with another Individual Levels table. Rather predictably, it's on a Serious Sam game, specifically the third one, going by the moniker Serious Sam 2 for clarity. Ale 'Ewil' Horák and Bart 'TheVoid' de Waal combined forces and relentlessly destroyed the waves upon waves of Mental forces in just 2:38:55. Tourist difficulty, but don't be fooled: it still wasn't a piece of cake.
Finally, a run on Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad Of Gay Tony. A person calling themselves 'SCM' used 23 segments to give you this 1:43:10. Hopefully vehicular manslaughter is right up your alley: if so, you should go watch it now. And also probably call the police. But do it in that order.
All for today. See you next time.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 by Vorpal
Post titles are hard to write
First up, we have an improvement on the popular sleeper hit Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. Not content with letting the world get taken over by zombie centurions in loincloths or their weirder overlords, Devin 'Uilnslcoap' Smither has stepped forward. Using 16 segments, he sliced approximately 20 minutes off the existing time, bringing it down to a snappy 2:08:43. The run has both rather personal comments and audio commentary, so read/listen if you're interested. But unfortunately, my sanity is not quite where it should be, and the run deleted itself from our server right after this message was written.
Mega Man X is a game that's been receiving a lot of attention lately, and it shows. Caleb Hart was talking the game up on the Sunday Sequence Break not too long ago, and while this run may be a little older than last February, it's correlated in spirit. Give his 100% single-segment 0:37:34 a watch, and then lament the lack of MrSparkle in the run comments. But it has audio commentary instead, so it evens out.
This next game plays like Mega Man, but isn't quite the same. Rosenkreuzstilette may be a mouthful of a name, but Michael '072' Moncilovich's run is quite efficient. Using 10 segments, 072 blasts his way through Wil-, er, Iris' fortress in 0:30:54.53, a substantial five minutes faster than the previous run.
Lastly, we have a game you probably aren't expecting, unless your name is Wesley 'Molotov' Corron. Molotov's known for Fire Emblem speedruns, and he does not disappoint, bringing you a Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 completion. While pretty much every Fire Emblem features a kingling and his posse saving their land with pages upon pages of strategy discussion and number crunching, the times vary. This time around, it's a swift 2:06:24.
If all that isn't enough for you, be sure to check out bmn's live stream page (helpfully linked above, for future reference), or for a slightly different selection and layout, SDA's team page on twitch.tv. Many rather cool people have been putting on speedrunning events and stuff recently; for example, you just missed neskamikaze's N64athon, and cyghfer is currently in the middle of four straight days of Super Mario RPG attempts. More are being planned in the near future, and things have been getting hype. Or, if you're more of a decisive take-action kind of person, you could just hit up Speed Runs Live and race a bit. Up to you.
Sunday, April 22, 2012 by Breakdown
You don't really need 'em all
Not everyone loves Pokémon, so let's include something different for all the haters out there. Marble Madness-esque games have been fairly popular among speedrunners for such a niche genre, but today is the first time we have a co-op speedrun for such a game. The two man team of Adrian 'InsipidMuckyWater' Feiertag and Richard 'Reech Reynolds' Crismore put together a set of 2-player ILs for the downloadable game Switchball. They roll straight through the game's four co-op levels in a brisk 0:12:03.39. These are conveniently packed into a single file for easy viewing and also includes an audio commentary featuring both runners.
April's coming to a close, but we've still got plenty of runs to post. Stay tuned.
Friday, April 20, 2012 by dex
First Person Speedrunning
It is always heartwarming to revisit an update on one of the first games I've ever updated with. Metroid Prime is especially fertile for such nostalgic episodes, given the unsurprisingly high output metroid2k2 produced over the years. Mister William 'Pirate109' Tansley (no word on whether he's a space pirate) ran the PAL version of the game, the segmented any%, to be precise. Polished execution and some nice shortcuts serve to chop off 2 minutes of the previously established time, an extraordinary feat considering the amount of scrutiny and effort put into Metroid Prime. What I'm saying is that this 1:07 comes with a "You won't be disappointed" guarantee. Seventeen segments, by the way; and it's got audio commentary, too!
Keeping with the theme of open games, here's Call of Duty: Black Ops, the Modern Warfare style shooter for people who didn't have enough of that yet. Both of them. As crazy as finding a faster path in such a game might seem, we here on SDA strive to achieve even the most unimaginable goals. Oliver 'TheLongshotLegend' is the mastermind behind our spanking new Recruit run, a 15-segment run in 2:54:28. All jokes aside, this is a very formidable and interesting effort and you should go check it out.
That's all for today. Yeah, not a large update, but at least the runs are more expansive than in my last one. See you around.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 by Vorpal
But hey, this isn't livejournal, and it still technically is Tuesday, even if it takes an inferior time zone. I've got two runs for you today. Both are from someone whose name has graced the site many times: the ever-prolific Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe.
First up is Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection. Sir VG's taken aim at a particular side-story included in addition to the main game, titled the Interlude. The Interlude is appropriately short, and gets destroyed in a scant single-segment 0:31. For those keeping track at home, that's about a sixth of the time required for the main game.
Sir VG's other offering also happens to be a Final Fantasy game. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord, to be exact. With DLC and 38 segments, the time comes out to 2:23:32. For all of the King's efforts, the Darklord can defeat his best knights in less time than it takes me to wake up each morning.
Until next time.
Sunday, April 15, 2012 by Breakdown
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is one of those games that has a very active speedrunning community, but practically never gets a run submitted for it. In fact, it's been over two years since this title has graced SDA's front page. That drought is over today, however, thanks to the efforts of James 'Reaif' Schurig. The category is single segment 100%, and this run is over 7 minutes faster than the one it's replacing, clocking in at 1:52:43.
Call me crazy, but I don't think most people will mind if I continue here with another Zelda run. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has also worked its way to the top of the queue with a new category being added to the game page. Runner 'Paraxade' crammed as many tricks and skips as he could into 38 segments, blazing through the sections of the game still deemed necessary in a brisk 3:06, a full 50 minutes faster than the single segment.
No more Zelda runs to post, but we're closing things out here with another long-running, popular series. Castlevania: Bloodlines is the most prone of the 8 and 16-bit entries in the series to being overlooked, most likely due to it being on console not produced by Nintendo. Runner Travis 'Klaige' Nible, however is very well aware of this game's existence, and poured a lot of time into getting an optimized run for SDA. His run uses John (AKA Whip Guy) resulting in a more familiar viewing experience for fans of the series than the existing Eric (AKA Spear Dude) run. So kick back and enjoy some classic whip on vampire action with this 0:31:40 run played on Expert difficulty.
One last point of interest for you all, the highlight and blooper videos from Awesome Games Done Quick 2012 are compiled and ready for download. They're up at the top of the list on the marathon video's archive details page. As with the rest of the videos, huge thanks to UraniumAnchor for the encodes and thanks as well to everyone who suggested clips (special thanks to mike89 who combed through every run and ended up making about 90% of the suggestions). So go get those, and relive the most memorable moments of AGDQ. It'll serve to get you in the mood for more SDA marathon goodness, and there's more of that coming just right around the corner. Details to come soon.
Thursday, April 12, 2012 by dex
To start with, we have a run of the wretched hive of sequel scum and villainy, the infamous Deus Ex: Invisible War. Hey, I'm allowed to dislike it for tarnishing the amazing predecessor, alright? Anyway, I have to thank Nathaniel 'NMS' Stalberg for deservingly tearing it a new one - the old run by 'Tagio' gets beat by almost eight minutes, giving us the final time of 0:18:52, in 64 segments. On Realistic difficulty, because every real man speedruns Deus Ex games that way *cough*. It's a really great run, by the way, go watch it. I'm kinda convinced more thought went into it than some of the game design decisions...
But enough of my raving against IW, you came here to see more than one run. So up next goes a game somewhat similar, in regards to the perspective and the genre. Enter S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. Mirko Brown evidently doesn't have enough radiation in his body just yet, 'cause in a fittingly poetic move he returns to the long undisturbed page to dwell and improve on his past endeavours. One and a half minutes faster than before, this 0:15:49 on Novice difficulty should leave just about every Chernobyl junkie satiated. 22 segments, a couple more than before, but not by many. It's still a bad ending run, by the way.
For our next game(s), we move to the world of platformers. The plot of Cool World sounds rather nonsensical, but that didn't stop Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman from running it (though if the comments are to be believed, he finds it bizarre as well), a quite crazy undertaking. Nevertheless, this single-segment 0:08:46 is quite a report of his success.
Finally, this same gentleman brings us our last run today, one of a rather old platformer called The Adventures of Captain Comic. Running those two wasn't without a toll: check out the comments for a detailed account of the descent into madness. Or at the very least a descent into being a little frustrated. Nevertheless, perseverance again triumphs, as evidenced by this 0:07:52. One can only hope Mr. Foreman retained enough sanity to bring us some more runs in the future.
Wait, that was supposed to be brief. Accident, I swear. Anyway, see you next time.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 by Vorpal
The Old and the New
Gears of War is a pretty popular series nowadays. That tends to happen when a series starts from scratch and gets two even-better-received sequels in the span of 5 years. Hopefully William 'Youkai' Welch's run will be just as popular. Youkai blazes through the 360 version's casual difficulty in a scant 01:46:28, over 60 segments. The run comes packaged with audio commentary as well, so have fun with that.
But if Gears isn't your preferred modern breakout series, perhaps this one will suffice? Portal, a game mostly notable for unleashing a torrent of bad cake jokes everywhere, has an update courtesy of one Kevin 'Monopoli' Marnell. Monopoli also ran the 360 version, completing the game in a single-segment 0:21:08 without out-of-bounds glitches or cake assistance.
Everybody loves going retro, but when they think retro they generally don't think TG-16. Zack 'zallard1' Allard, however, thinks Splatterhouse. zallard1 shaved off half a minute from his current run, going from 0:13:53 to 0:13:19.
Staying in the retro realm, but similarly overlooked, is Dynamite Headdy. Tyler 'Zyre' Larsen refuses to back down from the Dark Demon and cuts from the existing run almost as many minutes as years it's been on the site; six minutes off for seven years, to 0:41:17. Audio commentary is included as well, if that's your thing.
Give these runs a whirl, and we'll see you again in a couple days.
Sunday, April 8, 2012 by Breakdown
First up we have an improvement to the NES version of Batman. Josh Styger blazes through the worst Gotham City has to throw at him in a very quick 0:11:44, a full 81 seconds faster than our previous run.
Staying on Sunsoft properties for the moment we have a new addition to the Blaster Master page. Benjamin 'UraniumAnchor' Cutler just couldn't stay away from this one, and is back today with an improvement to the deathless category. The poor, helpless, giant, mutated frog gets rescued in a brisk 0:41:23, just over a minute faster than his previous submission.
Lastly we have what is generally one of the first games that comes up in the "NES hard" conversation: Battletoads. SDA newcomer Stephen 'Icthus' Smith get a little back for a lot of people's childhoods with an amazingly fast warps run. The time is 0:16:31, just over three minutes faster than our previous run.
Friday, April 6, 2012 by dex
It's-a me, bunny
Still gravitating near the 3D Mario front, we have a run on Super Mario Galaxy. Stephen 'yoshifan' Chan explores the universe in which kidnapping appears to be a law of physics in just 16 segments and achieves a stellar time of 2:25:23, an awesome achievement considering the scope of the game. 61 stars with Luigi, by the way.
Finally, maybe not a Mario game, but something I'd call a reasonable facsimile: Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! Matt 'Crash41596' Leblanc took the little dragon on a spin and got a 100% single-segment run in 2:48:57, which is an impressive time in such expansive platformers. Comments foretell a possible Spyro 3 single-segment, so here's hoping Mr. Leblanc will get us even more great material.
That's all for now. The Big Push: to be continued soon...
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 by Vorpal
For once, a theme
Today's runs have something that have been lacking in updates for a very long time. See, normally we just pick the oldest runs that are ready for posting, sometimes splitting it between older/newer consoles and pc if so inclined, and call it a day. Today, though? We have a theme. And this theme is pretty appropriate. Nobody who plays through a Sonic the Hedgehog game can resist starting an impromptu speedrun, and today you get to see a couple for which the term 'impromptu' is an insult.
I had the honor of posting Felipe 'son1cgu1tar' D'Andrade excellent Sonic Adventure 2 Hero Story single-segment run, and today that run is joined by his subsequent Dark Story single-segment. Evil is more expedient than friendship, so of course it comes in slightly under the Hero time, at 0:28:14.52. Live and learn, eh?
If you've ever played Sonic Spinball, you know how maddeningly frustrating it can be to play. The expected segue here is to declare that the runner has conquered their game, but in this case a more apt comparison is to say that beating your head against a brick wall eventually dents it. Mike 'mike89' McKenzie's lack of personal imperatives against self-harm leave you with a single-segment 0:15:41.
The final run today might not be known to you as a Sonic game, per se. If you're a Nintendo fan, like the vast majority of our userbase, you probably know this game as a reskin of Kirby's Avalanche. If you're correct, it'll be vice-versa. But regardless of your stance on Puyo Puyo clones, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is a worthy game, and Bryan 'Hsanrb' Nash has good taste. Enjoy his 0:06:47 single-segment destruction of Robotnik and his army, on the hardest difficulty, of course.
We'll be back soon with more great runs. Stick around and have a blast.
Monday, April 2, 2012 by Breakdown
While the kickoff for The Big Push was technically yesterday, it seems appropriate that the first run to come after its official announcement is a game as popular and competitive as Mega Man X. It's a familiar face behind the controls of this improvement to the any% category in Sattik 'Tiki' Ghosh. The time is 0:32:57, knocking just shy of a minute off his previous submission.
We're also rolling out a new game to our catalogue today from the venerable Contra series. Runner Travis 'solairflaire' Hofman provided us with three runs for Contra ReBirth, all on normal difficulty, and each featuring a different character. The times for the different characters are as follows: BR-W9 in 0:13:42, Plissken in 0:13:13, and Yagyu in 0:13:36. For you the viewer this means a triple dose of alien-blasting action. Always a good thing.
Sunday, April 1, 2012 by MrSparkle
It might not be the 4th, but it is April, and today we have an inprovement to Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies. Not to be outdone by himself, Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe finished this bullet hell flight sim in 2:25:48, as a single-segment run on very easy difficulty. With nearly 5 minutes to spare, there was enough time to write up the detailed comment and copywrite, be sure to read them.
Keeping up the blistering pace you know and love, we move on to the next update. Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Jeremy 'DK28' Doll and Christian 'Koopa Kid' Welsh together bring us a 2-player boss battles run of 0:00:35.66 under easy dificulty. Every well tuned team needs thier support and coffee.
Now, a run on Harvest Moon 64. I like HM simply because it is a nice peacful game. After an addrenalin pack hour with a different game I can sit back and watch plants grow. 'AniMeowzerz' gave us a action packed 0:35:16, with sleep.
Stick around, chat with us in irc, post some in the forums, and we will be back next update. Very soon.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 by dex
Jumpin' Jack Flash
Friday, March 23, 2012 by Vorpal
SDA is sometimes cathartic. In any case, this run here also features ships blowing each other up in space, but it isn't quite as cinematic (probably to its benefit). Ares, the Mac OS 9 game, makes a triumphant entry on the site today, and Nathaniel 'NMS' Stalberg is the man responsible. NMS has supplied you with a set of individual level runs for all chapters in the game, which comes out to a stellar 1:01:03.
Panic!, also known as Switch! in some territories, is a short enough run to fit in an individual level table, and when the author's comments start with "If Clue and You Have To Burn The Rope can make it on SDA, why not Panic?", you know it'll either be really good or really bad. One way I've heard the game described is "by druggies for druggies", so probably the former. Elijah 'scaryice' Miller refuses to panic and concludes this run in a short 0:04. Fortunately for Clue, that's four minutes and not four seconds.
In another effort towards proving that p's are prominent, Adam 'puwexil' Dunn chimes in with a run of Parasite Eve. It's not often that you see SDA staff complete a run, but puwexil has an excuse: it was completed before he signed up. He blazes through New York City in a swift 2:25:17, powered by 22 segments. I've been stuck in traffic in New York for longer.
PS1 classics are in vogue this update, and what better to continue the trend than a mascot mostly known for his early Playstation appearances? Spyro 1 gets an update today, and joining the current single-segment is a complimentary 100% single-segment in 2:01:34. Thank Matt 'Crash41596' Leblanc for providing you with this excellent run.
Finally, in a revert back to the space-based theme I was originally going to write this update in, you may recall that we recently posted a Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War: Dark Crusade: Almost as Many Colons as Shin Megami Tensei run. Today, we have a run of the base game. Dawn of War is in, and 'Sinochek' purges the heretics and various assorted plant life in 2:06:57, all on hard mode and arranged as an individual level table. Disclaimer: no innocents were tainted by chaos in the making of these movies.
See you around.
Thursday, March 15, 2012 by Breakdown
I can stop anytime I want, really
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 by dex
An attempt at an aimlessly alliterative appellation
Sticking with the 'PC classic' theme, we have a bunch of improvements in the individual-levels table of Starcraft. And by 'bunch', I mean that a person going only by the name of 'Freezard' decided to improve every single one, save for Terran 03 for some reason. Curious decision nonwithstanding, Freezard's considerable contributions combine to chop 45 minutes off the clock, yielding a total time of 2:28:55. It remains to be seen whether the last level to remain standing will also be conquered by him - I sure look forward to that happening. Complete destructions of IL tables are always impressive.
Speaking of IL tables, the proud spiritual successor to Marble Madness, Marble Blast Gold got a little lifting of some of the levels. Remy 'Dushine' Dushime, Pascal 'Xelna' Lafrance, Jonathan 'Sporlo' Hynes, Ji Hoon 'iMacmatician' Chun and Matan 'IsraeliRD' Weissman all did at least one improvement each - I believe the total number of improved levels is 54! For obvious reasons, those savings stack, shaving several seconds from the previous time, specifically 42, giving us the final time of 0:14:32.307. Audio commentary tracks (on the AllLevels video) and bloopers (1, 2 and 3) are also provided for extra entertainment value.
Lastly, the Relic Entertainment RTS in the familiar Warhammer 40,000 world, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War: Dark Crusade (an expansion to the original Dawn of War) gets a super-low-segment run by 'Sinochek' - only 4 of those in here! And it ain't a quickie, either - the time taken to trash through the campaign by Mr. Sinochek is 0:28:47. Here's hoping he decides to do the other expansions next!
That's all for today. See you next time.
Sunday, February 26, 2012 by Vorpal
I start you off today with a shorter, more sparse game. Cursor*10 is a short flash game that involves using the first few of your eponymous 10 lives to manipulate the field and clear the way for your later lives to reach the goal. And since it's a weird flash game, you know James 'Aftermath' Downing is the man behind this run. Cursor*10? Closer to Cursor*0:01:48.
On the opposite end of the game size scale, we have giant RPGs. Before he started spending days at a time trying to single-segment Final Fantasy 10 on stream (I'll be honest: I have no idea how he does it), Tristan 'Caracarn' Helwig took the black sheep of the Final Fantasy series and made it beat itself until its stats went up. Or in this case, down. The game in question is of course Final Fantasy II, the Origins version to be specific, and Caracarn rushes through it in a swift 2:32, with 73 segments.
The original Metroid historically had lots of competition, but not so much recently. jprophet22 has corrected this deficiency, at least for the time being. As it stands none of the three existing runs uses up+A warps; that changes today, and Mr. J Prophet's 0:15:35 skips a lot of backtracking with the handy tool. No word yet on whether his high standing with the supernatural helped with missile luck manipulation. A quick note: this run doesn't have audio commentary, even if the statid says otherwise. The run was self-encoded when there were plans for a commentary, but they fell through, and jprophet elected not to bother reencoding the video to remove the notice.
This next run was completed way back in February, but it's only now, one year later, that it makes its way to the site. Finding verifiers can be tricky for some lesser-known games, but when you see that the game in question is Skull and Crossbones, a heinously awful Tengen NES 'port' of an arcade game, you won't be surprised. I can't say that I, or anyone, is proud to have this game on the site, but hopefully being greatly amused will suffice. Legendary bad game aficionado Josh 'the funkdoc' Ballard completed a run while blasting through a whole bunch of terrible games, depriving the bad game exchange of fodder but providing you with a speedrun in 0:10:53.
I'll close out with a run that's been a long time coming. You may know smooth-talking Michael 'Tigger77' Welle from Link's Awakening runs and just generally being awesome at marathons, but you may not know that he has an equally-skilled cousin, who goes by the moniker of -M2-. Tigger and M2 teamed up to take on one of the current generation's biggest sleeper hits, Valkyria Chronicles. After a solid year of painful luck manipulation, the time is in: 2:41:44. Anyone who's ever tried hitting a tank with a lancer at long range before is going to appreciate this. Enemy lancers, on the other hand, are free to headshot you twice in one round if my experience is any indication窶ｦ
That's the last of the runs, but not the last of the videos. One of the reasons for the delay in the queue is that people were busy with marathon videos instead, so that you might have days of footage to enjoy all over again. Last time the majority of runs had been uploaded, this time it's the vast majority. There's just a couple left; there'll be a torrent and such when everything's done. Until then, enjoy, and give a shoutout to UraniumAnchor and everyone involved in synching and encoding for being awesome.
Monday, February 13, 2012 by Breakdown
All sorts of stuff
Now after reading the above most of you are probably experiencing a wave of memories from the marathon while those of you missed it completely (a mistake I would not recommend making again) are wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, we have a little news both groups should find interesting. The majority of the encodes from the marathon are now ready for download, so you can catch up on what you missed or revisit your favorite moments. The links can be found on the schedule page as well as on their own dedicated archive details page. Huge thanks to UraniumAnchor for working on these encodes, as well as a long list of people for helping to sync the gameplay and commentary footage. The remaining runs should be up in the weeks to come, but what's available now should be more than enough to keep you busy for quite some time. Enjoy.
While the marathons have become an important aspect of SDA in these last few years, we do still primarily pride ourselves as a hosting site for the runs that are produced in more than one live attempt. We do have several of those for all of you today.
For starters, we have a new game hitting our catalogue. One of the less heralded Rare NES titles, Digger T. Rock, makes its SDA debut today with a run from Wes 'Arrow' Fathauer. Making use of warps and some skilled shovel wielding, Wes blazes throw a title that upholds Rare's reputation for difficult 8-bit games in a very quick 0:03:41.
It wasn't very long ago I was talking about how the original Ninja Gaiden is one of the more fought over titles on the site. Well, I'm mentioning it again, as we have another improvement for it today. Runner Kevin Carstensen enters the fray on this title in flying form, taking down Jim Henson's run by a margin of seven seconds. The new mark stands at 0:12:32, and if you though the old one was ridiculous, wait until you see this one.
Finishing things off today, we're knocking the dust off of the Resident Evil 2 game page. It's been nearly seven years since the page has seen any activity, but that changes today with the efforts of runner 'Carcinogen'. He's provided us with a healthy improvement to the US version's Leon A A-rank category, dropping over 5 minutes off the incumbent time, finishing in 1:14:18.
That's it for runs, but we do have a few other points of interest to address. First off, English translations for a couple runs' comments are now available, so for those unable to read Japanese or French, you may now know the thought process behind the runs for Infinite Undiscovery and When Pigs Fly respectively.
Lastly, we have a little something to supplement our live streams page. SDA has recently registered itself as a team on twitch.tv. As such, we now have our very own team page. As with w00ty, this page lets you quickly see who on SDA is streaming, but it also allows you to see any clips highlighted by team members as well as giving you the option to follow all members of the team with a single click. Just one more tool to make it that much easier to find some speedrunning goodness to watch. Give it a try.
Friday, January 27, 2012 by dex
I'm sorry, I think I have something in my eye
Back when we started this year's marathon, Mike Uyama wanted to set our goal at $80k, but then decided that the first goal should be around $50k, so that we'd be relatively sure to meet it safely. I mean, $50k? That's damn respectable, and it would be close to the biggest haul we ever had on a marathon. We secretly hoped for the aforementioned $80k, of course, but the pesky 'realist' in us kept telling us that might be wishful thinking.
And then you guys proved that 'reality' and 'realistic predictions' have no place in the speedrunning community. That our 'wishful thinking' goal would be met around the halfway point of the marathon. That you guys are amazing enough and determined enough to raise money sufficient to fund a two year cancer research grant in 5 days. That your capacity for kindness exceeds your considerable speedrunning prowess.
That, if you'll forgive a personal touch, is absolutely amazing to me. And, more than that, it fills me with pride to be able to honestly say I'm affiliated, even in the tiniest of ways, with such a superb bunch of people. The people here have a track record of pushing the envelope beyond the impossible, and I'm proud charity is no exception. You've shattered all my most optimistic expectations (one hundred fifty thousand US dollars!), and for that, I thank you. You can count on me raising a toast in your honor sometime.
But you didn't come here to hear me get all emotional, you're here to watch some speedruns. So, the first one is the speedrun of the PC version of Final Fantasy VIII. Not joking. Dave 'Sush' Rochefort chose an unorthodox platform for the famous Square franchise, but that doesn't get in the way of having a great looking run. 7:58 is the time Mister Rocherfort managed to achieve in 36 segments. Word on the street (okay, actually his comments) is that he ran into some glitchy PC trouble at the end of the run, trouble which required a lot of finagling to fix. Clearly, a lot of effort was put in, so you should go watch it.
Our next game is the post-apocalyptic NES platformer 8 Eyes. Mark J 'Cornshaq' Davis ran this one single segment, and manages to fix the jewel problem in merely 0:21:15. It's a short one, but guaranteed to keep you entertained, so go and download it. I mean, 20 minutes has to be watchable in any schedule.
Speaking of shorties, the rest of the games are pretty short Flash games, so I'll just rattle them away here. James 'Aftermath' Downing contributed two runs: a 0:00:13 run of a pet simulator called Can Your Pet, and a slightly longer (0:05:09) run of the artsy platformer Coma. To add to those, Bart 'TheVoid' de Waal adds to his collection which includes YHTBTR with a 0:00:40 run of a tower-defense-kinda game Age Of War 2. Short, but sweet.
I hope you enjoy watching this, and once again: you rock. See you next time.
Monday, January 16, 2012 by Vorpal
We need a new word for surpassing expectations
You may remember our previous marathon retrospective (a little ways down the page, on Aug 14) detailing how successful they were. The grand total was $111,761.20 before AGDQ '12 rolled around.
That got smashed in rather spectacular fashion. The total this time comes out to a round $149,044.99, all towards the Prevent Cancer Foundation, eking past our final target of 145k and nudging 150. That number counts most everything, including shirt sales from fangamer.net (which came in as a $1056 donation not long ago). There simply aren't enough words in the English language to express how amazing this is. The initial goal was indeed $50k, but internally we'd estimated that we'd make around $80k. That would have been a fair increase, and furthermore $80k is enough for the PCF to fund a full study. It'd be a good goal to hit, and we could go home happy.
And then everyone got together and decided to nearly double that. You all do that a lot, but as these numbers get bigger and bigger it gets more and more unbelievable.
I'm loath to credit that increase to anything we at SDA did. Sure, we'd like to believe that this last marathon was bigger (which it was), and better (we certainly hope so), with more prizes and so on. But nah, I can't really see that accounting for us raising 50% more than all of our previous marathons combined.
I had the misfortune of not being able to attend personally, so in my spare time, as a break from pining in my room, I checked on how the marathon was being received. I knew Flicky was plugging the 'thon at TeamLiquid (go ESPORTS!), so I mosey on over there and hey, 35+ page thread. I finally find out that the reason everything seems to be named Lunk is that it's a Something Awful thing, so I roll on over there, and hey, there's dozens of pages and even some people summarizing upcoming games and what to expect. Mad props. Check NeoGAF on a whim, and I don't remember there being a thread there at all last year, and if there was it definitely wasn't this big. SRK's events have always been great to watch, so I'm glad y'all enjoy ours. The Prevent Cancer Foundation itself promoted us, sending out emails and, well, check out our company on this page. It goes on, and that's just in the language I can read. eLive brought us French during Sands of Time, and there are undoubtedly other communities who supported the marathon and PCF but which I am simply not in a position to know about. Don't feel forgotten! I may not know you directly, but your efforts make themselves known.
You all made this marathon bigger and better, and you all helped prevent cancer. Our spiffy new donation tracker shows 3193 unique donators, who made 5869 unique donations, with an average of $25.38 per donation. That's not something SDA could do by itself. We don't have 3193 regulars. That number is the crowd buzz, the result of everyone talking about it at various other websites, generating viewership and a reach SDA simply did not have before. Even if you didn't or couldn't donate yourself, simply talking about it and watching it helped.
This is you. Yours. Your accomplishment. I said that before, and it's still true. Almost $150k over 5 days to defeat cancer. The direct results of your generosity include a two-year cancer research grant and continuing education, advocacy, and outreach. Be proud.
Let's understate things and say that the prizes were pretty popular this year. As an unforeseen problem, there are simply too many prize donors to list off at the end of a news post like I did last time, even if I cull the list to just people who take commissions. So I won't. Here's a link to the list of prizes. While people wondering how much money the community as a whole puts into running these things may shudder at travel costs, what many people also don't realize is that 99% of the prizes are donations from the community. This list represents a significant donation to charity on behalf of many people, all of whom deserve recognition out of scale with this small space in a news post. If you would like to commission something from the many people who make things, this thread has a list of them if you expand the "people/stuff to plug" header. Please consider thanking or at least appreciating these people, who donated fair amounts of money (and in some cases large amounts of money and time) towards defeating cancer.
Also, marathon videos are on their way. It'll take a little while, since there's quite a lot of footage, but UraniumAnchor and others are once again working overtime on those. You'll be seeing them soon.
The last marathon-related thing I want to talk about is the twitch.tv ad revenue. Our stream has class-upped to Partner status, and as such we get back some ad money. This comes out to around $432. It's not included in the total since we don't actually have it yet; we'll get it sometime around mid-late Feb. As it missed the cutoff for the chipin anyways, we're considering hanging onto some or all of it, and using it to pay costs for future marathons (like buying prizes, paying for shipping, etc). We'll keep you updated on what we decide to do with it. On a similar note, Serious Time t-shirts are still available from fangamer.net if you missed your chance at the Yetee's promotion and still want some SDA merch, but the chipin is closed and PCF isn't getting a chunk of the profits anymore.
That's about it for marathon stuff. Thanks for helping to make this event such a success. Seriously, $149k? $260,806.19 total? Don't ever stop surprising me or cancer. But that's not all I have for you. This site also happens to host speedruns, and I've got a few of them for you today.
First up is Castlevania Chronicles. Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe, who you may remember from the marathon and his prolific SDA portfolio, has improved two of his times on the IL table. This marks the second improvement for each of these stages. Stage 1 has been cut down to 0:02:15.2, and Stage 4 has been reduced to a slim 0:02:38.9. Grab them while the night is still young, lest ye be crushed by chandeliers.
This next run is living proof that the marathons are not only good for charity, but also help the site itself. Every so often I see a comment on the forums that goes "well, too bad people are doing marathons instead of speedrunning now", or some such, and I just shake my head. Nah, it doesn't work like that. Anything that gets people playing games helps, because then you have people running new games, and getting hyped for speedrunning, and hopefully getting hyped for speedrunning new games. Enter Andrew 'RaneofSoTN' Melnyk, who closed out AGDQ '11 last year with a clutch run of Final Fantasy 4. He's back, and this time he slaughtered Zeromus in a single-segment 3:35 and change that would not exist if he hadn't volunteered to run FFIV for the marathon. Be sure to name all your files until the next update "Rane".
In what may become the standard rather than the exception, Mega Man 10 receives its first run today, also due to the motivating factor of the marathons. Russell 'duckfist' Wright marks his first appearance on the main page of SDA, and he brings with him his single-segment 0:23:03. Included is an audio commentary, so be sure to listen to that. This comes full circle with his recent marathon run of MM10, so I have to say: congrats, duckfist, and I hope to see you around!
Last but not least, we have a game that a couple people have toyed with running, but that hasn't appeared on SDA for one reason or another. Until now. Dylan McMahon steps up to the plate with his inaugural run on SDA, flipping through P.N.03. His run, a segmented run on easy, comes in at a fair 0:36:35. Dylan, obviously a man of good taste for playing this game, is hopefully someone we'll see again.
That's all, folks. Seriously, $149k? If you want to see more speedrunning in the meantime, you can check the streams link at the top of the page and watch the runners themselves. It's good stuff. Until next time.