Sunday, December 29, 2013 by Breakdown

You mean I have to follow that?

Let it be said on the front page: that last update was awesome. I have no amazing literary rendition for you today, but I do have some new runs. That counts for something, right? Right?

With a name like Unepic, you're really not sure what to expect from the game. Is the title to be taken at face value, or is it like that one friend everybody has who's always going on about how stupid/ugly/whatever they are in the hopes you'll correct them? I've made it a point not to research this game prior to writing this paragraph to keep the intrigue intact, but you can be sure that even if this is some sort of paint drying simulator, that the run we're posting by Maik 'Onin' Biekart gets that paint dry really, really fast. The only way to dry paint, of course, is single segment, and he makes use of resets to save time (sun manipulation maybe?) on his way to a final time of 0:45:23.

Next up, we've got runs on two cartoon based games. First is an update to our existing 'Difficult' run for the SNES version of The Lion King. It's been a long time since there's been a submission on this one, with the previous run dating all the way back to 2006, but runner 'Allbeert' is letting us knock the dust of the game page today. The new run times in nine seconds faster than the old, 0:16:44 to be exact.

Second of the cartoon games is one of those games where you sort of wonder how the property became a game at all. In the early 90s, games were definitely being marketed to a younger crowd, and how a company would think kids would beg their parents for a game based on a cartoon show that enjoyed the height of its popularity in the 60s is beyond me. However, whether or not I understand the reasons why doesn't change the fact that The Adventure of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends was in fact made and is fair game for speedrunning. Taking advantage of this is runner 'Karma', who pilots Moose and Squirrel through their sidescrolling 8-bit adventure in a brisk 0:04:57.

We'll close out the new runs today with a rare occurrence of the Gamecube's bongo controller seeing use in a speedrun. Given the games made that were compatible with that contraption, many of you no doubt have already figured out we have a run for Donkey Kong Jungle Beat for you today. The runner slapping the skins on this one is Zack 'PiePusher11' Maher, who now has a single segment effort to go up alongside his IL table from before. The time of the run is 4/4 at points, with all manner of other speeds thrown in as well, but the one we track on the site is 0:55:24.91.

To close things out today, we have a friendly reminder. As I type this, we are a mere one week removed from Awesome Games Done Quick 2014. I somehow doubt this is news to regular visitors to the site (though exciting nonetheless!), but there's loads of people out there who may not be aware, and this is the critical time to change that. So I encourage all of you to talk it up in your streams, plaster it over your facebooks, blow it up on twitter, and spread around our promo video (put together by CoolMatty with music by mistermv, thanks guys). We have download links if you'd like to host it yourself, or just point them to the youtube upload below.

One week. Get hype!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 by LLCoolDave

A Speedrun Carol

The run was dead. There is no doubt whatever about it. The health bar drained, the game over screen flashing, the timer stopped, the game reset. The run was as dead as a door-nail. Scrooge McPflug put down his controller in disgust and left for the kitchen. When he got back, a window was flashing in the bottom right corner of his laptop screen.

"How are attempts going?" inquired the window.
"The usual, 4-3 is a pain," answered Scrooge.
"Got a sub 24 yet?" the window continued.
"Haven't even finished a run in days," said Scrooge.
"Maybe you should take a break. UraniumAnchor is consistent on 4-3, maybe you should get in touch with him," it noted.
"Bah!" typed Scrooge, "Humbug!"

He closed the window only to reveal a different one underneath.
"Hey man, was wondering if you could tell me how to do that ladder skip on 5-2," the window asked.
"Why would I?" Scrooge replied.
"I can't seem to get the height to clear the gap," the window insisted.
"Isn't there a youtube video of the stage?" asked Scrooge.
"Yes, but I can't figure out how to get the height to make it," said the window.
"That should be plenty enough help. Have a nice day," typed Scrooge and closed the window.

Scrooge had already left and picked up his controller when the window flashed up again. "But ..." it said, but no one was around to read it. It was about time to take back this record. And so the evening went by and as the light outside grew dim so did the remaining space on the DVD recorder. Exhausted from fruitless efforts he tucked himself into bed quite frustrated that night. "I'll get you tomorrow, UraniumAnchor, and beat your stupid run," he thought while rolling around restlessly. "I'll get my record back, I swear," he ranted on as he slowly started to drift away.

"Scrooooooge" a voice called him in his dreams. "Scroooooge" "What is it?" he mumbled back. "Scrooge, there is something I need to show you," the voice demanded. Scrooge turned over and opened his eyes. The revelation that he was alone in this house struck him at the same time as the sight in front of him. At the end of his bed stood, or rather floated, a semi translucent pixelated figure. Despite the blocky appearance the outlines of the figure were hard to determine as it slowly bobbed in the wind streaming through the open window. "Wh-what are you?" Scrooge stammered. "I am the Ghost of Speedrun Past," the figure replied, although the voice did not appear to origin from where its body could be seen. "Come with me, quick. We gotta go fast," It was not the type of voice you disobey, so Scrooge got up. "What an odd dream," he muttered. As the spirit grabbed his hand, his vision blurred into a large black space in front of which giant white letters began to form. "Hey!" exclaimed Scrooge, "I recognize these names. This is Quakenet #qdq!" "Watch closely," demanded the Spirit.

*** Scrooge (~scrooge@66.75.229.207) has joined #qdq
<Scrooge> Hey guys
<Scrooge> I'm having trouble with the nade jump on e3m3
<@Morfans> Hi Scrooge
<Scrooge> I can't seem to place it right from the start.
<@Stubgaard> oh, that's fairly easy
<@Stubgaard> don't move and aim at the silver key symbol to the right of the door
<@Stubgaard> that should get it into a good spot every time
<Scrooge> thanks, I'll give it a try
*** Quits: Scrooge (~scrooge@66.75.229.207) (Signed off)

"Heh, can't believe I ever had trouble with e3m3. That trick is quite easy," Scrooge remarked. "How about this?" the voice said and the letters started shifting and swirling around before coming into alignment again.

<Scrooge> I think I got it consistent now
<Paratroopa1> what?
<Scrooge> the Omega Pirate onecycle
<Scrooge> turns out he never spawns in the pool closest to you
<_Tim_> sweet
<Scrooge> and he never appears in the same pool twice
<Paratroopa1> ah, good stuff
<_Tim_> that's a great find
<Scrooge> so you can perfectly predict where he's going to show up after the first time

"Ah, #metroid. Those were the days," Scrooge reminisced, "We found so many tricks there. They don't make games like that any more these days." "I must go now," the voice remarked, "for I was only paid for eight lines. But this does not mark the end of your journey." Before Scrooge could utter another word, the pixelated spirit was gone, and with it the text. Where the letters just stood one could now see a gigantic "Now Loading" logo. After some time had passed, another voice made itself known. It was deeper, smoother than the previous one and appeared to come from all directions at once.

"Show yourself!" demanded Scrooge. "I am right here," the voice replied, "you must be looking at me from the wrong angle." And surely, the spirit became visible as it turned in front of Scrooge McPflug. It was much more defined than the previous one, with a clear structure and facial features, although the very border of its body still appeared to shift in and out of existence. Notably, the mouth seemed to move slightly out of sync with the voice. "I am the Ghost of Speedrun Present. Follow me." A white door opened in the middle of the still spinning logo. First the spirit stepped through, then Scrooge followed. Once his eyes had adapted to the light, he found himself standing behind someone sitting at a desk. The screen showed an all too familiar view while the speakers filled the air with a well known jumping noise.

"That's Max 'coolkid' Lundberg, I recognize him. He's been running Quake for quite a while now," Scrooge exclaimed. "Look," the spirit said, "we came right in time." And as Scrooge turned back to the screen, coolkid stepped through the final teleporter and exploded Shub-Niggurath into thousands of pieces. The console read: "Total Time is 13:00.78979" (YouTube) "That's an impressive run," Scrooge remarked, "he's a really talented speedrunner." "Yes, the work of dozens of people culminated in this run." the ghost replied. "Yes, but he is the one that performed it at the end," Scrooge countered. "Come," the ghost said, "there is more to see." His arm twisted through his back to point towards the white door in the room.

When Scrooge moved through the frame again, his vision blurred completely. When it began to form, he found himself in a living room. "Something's strange about this place," Scrooge noticed. "It's French. That's not why we are here though," the ghost retorted, "over here is Guillaume Scholtès." "Is that Tony Hawk's American Wasteland?" Scrooge inquired as the onscreen character flailed wildly in the air before dropping out of the level completely, "I used to play that a ton. This game is so broken." "He doesn't know it yet," the ghost stated, "but he will get a time of 0:05:16 later this evening." "That's a mighty fine time," Scrooge remarked, "He surely put in a lot of time discovering all these tricks and refining that route." The spirit sighed and urged Scrooge towards another white door. "We've got elsewhere to be. This split is red already."

As they stepped through the door, they found themselves in another living room. "This is Phil 'inzult' M," explained the spirit. "He's about to get a new record." Link appeared to walk inside a wall and then confronted Dark Link. "Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is quite a competitive game," Scrooge noticed, "Impressive for someone to get a record in this game." "0:09:42, New Game+ with large skips. Quite the time," the ghost said. "But do you think he figured this all out on his own? Discovered all the mechanics himself, found all these glitches himself?" "No, but ..." Scrooge retorted. "But what? Come, time is running low." And so they stepped into the door again.

They emerged in another room. "This is Tiny TJP," the spirit noted, "He started running and streaming recently. Look, he's playing a familiar game." The TV screen showed the inside of Samus's visor, underwater in the Tower of Light. Tiny TJP hugged the wall, jumped but didn't quite make it to the top and plummeted back down into the water. This repeated itself a couple of times. "You have to let go of L," shouted Scrooge, "and move a bit further to the right." Tiny TJP came short again. "You can do it! Just a bit to the right." The spirit tapped Scrooge on the shoulder and pointed at the monitor to the side. A Twitch chat window was open, the only text in it as follows:
Skillmast0r69: noooooob
Skillmast0r69: ur sooo bad
Skillmast0r69: ill go wathc a real runner Kapap
"My journey ends here," the ghost proclaimed, "but you still have a stop ahead of you." And like before, the spirit vanished at a moment's notice, and with him the world he had created. The "Now Loading" logo was spinning again in an otherwise featureless black void.

A third spirit plopped up right in front of Scrooge's eyes. It was well defined and with life-like detail, but still bore the aura of indiscreetness right around the edges like the other two did. "I assume you are the Ghost of Speedrun Future?" Scrooge inquired. "Ghost of Speedrun Yet To Come," the threatening, all engulfing voice boomed back. Those were the only words it'd say. It simply pointed to a new door that had appeared inside the logo, only this time one could see right through to the other side. Scrooge entered and the spirit followed. They emerged back in the room he had last left. "I wonder how Tiny TJP is doing." The spirit pointed at the screen, and Scrooge followed the lead. "Oh, the Twitch viewercount is at almost 1500! He seems to be doing really well," Scrooge noted. Then his eyes caught the actual game feed. "Is that League of Legends?" he pondered. The spirit nodded. "What happened to your speedrunning ambitions, Tiny TJP?" Before he could find an answer the spirit had already dragged him through the door into another chatroom.

They were moving past the floating letters at a breakneck pace so Scrooge could only catch a glimpse of the discussion: "Turns out UraniumAnchor took back the record within a week." "Yeah, heh, serves him right." "That new 6-3 route he kept blabbering on about? Gotta love how they found an improvement to that within a day." "Yeah, this great new thing he kept secret for months and then he didn't even optimize it, hah" "I heard he wanted to quit speedrunning for good" "Good riddance, couldn't stand that guy anyway." And then they stepped through another door.

The room was large but lifeless. The rows of chairs were neatly arranged and barely occupied. The large banner on the back wall had come off partially and all one could read were the numbers "2016" in crude hand coloured black ink on plain white cardboard. In front of the chairs 3 people set on a red couch. "How did you miss that jump?" "That's not an easy trick, okay?" "Sure it is, you're just bad at this game." "If you're so great then why don't YOU get a sub 48 100% time?" "Well you haven't shown any proof that you got that time either!" "So? It's not optimized yet. I'll show the route once I got an optimized run." "You missed that jump a SECOND time?" The bickering was interrupted by a voice from the sideline. "Hey guys, we just got a whopping $20 donation!" The two people in the audience looked up from their laptops to give a short round of applause. "No!" cried Scrooge, "This can't be. Tell me this isn't how it's going to be. Surely we must be able to change things. Tell me, are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?" The ghost stood silent. "Ghost!" Scrooge cried, "I promise I will change my ways. Don't tell me this is inevitable." The spirit still stood unfazed. Scrooge dashed at it fists raised, but the Ghost of Speedrun Yet to Come simply pushed him back when he came close. Scrooge fell and knocked himself unconscious.

When he came to he found himself in his bed. The alarm clock conveyed that he had spent a mere hour asleep but Scrooge felt energetic and renewed nevertheless. When he got back to his keyboard the chat window was still open. "The trick is to let go of jump before you switch weapons," Scrooge replied. "Holding jump during a weapon switch kills your upwards acceleration." Then Scrooge went to Twitch and found Tiny TJP streaming. He was currently trying the Furnace bomb jump with little success. "Hey, you know there is an easier way to do this?" Scrooge typed. And then he spent the rest of the night teaching Tiny TJP all he knew about Metroid Prime. And when he contacted UraniumAnchor about 4-3 the next day, they exchanged ideas and little shortcuts and eventually found a new large skip. Because that's the true speedrunning spirit.

Thursday, December 19, 2013 by LLCoolDave

Speedrunning Monthly 12/13

Hello dear readers and welcome to the final edition of Speedrunning Monthly for 2013, and what a year it has been for speedrunning. We've already seen several major breakthrough on the field of high energy particle speedrunning this year, most notably the experimental verification of the existence of Raneions, a particle theoretically necessary to explain the observations of bad RNG that exceeds the limits of classical speedrunning theory. On top of that we are now capable of producing and maintaining significant amounts of antiparticles to conduct more profound experiments on those in the coming years. We also close out the year with what looks to be a very impactful theoretical paper on death-warping theory.

It is a well known fact that the speed of screen scrolling in a vacuum is a fundamental speedrunning constant and the quantum effects that cause the scrolling speed in an actual medium (i.e. a game) to appear slower than that have been well understood for almost two decades now. Nevertheless, the recent experiments conducted by Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy are quite remarkable. In an elaborate setup his team managed to suspend a thin layer of ionized Heavy Barrel on a solution of NES at near absolute zero temperatures. In these conditions screen scrolling is slowed so much that it can even be directly observed by the naked human eye. Furthermore, these specific conditions barely affect the speed of character movement, which MURPHAGATOR! has measured to be almost twice that of the perceived speed of screen scrolling. In ordinary conditions the speed of character movement is several orders of magnitude smaller than the speed of screen scrolling and while systems of superscrolling have been observed in the past, this experiment marks the first time such conditions have been upheld on macroscopic timescales. In particular, they have managed to sustain the superscrolling state for 0:19:07. Read all about this experiment on pages 18-21.

Spelunking characters were first postulated in the late 60s when the building blocks of the supersymmetry theory of videogame entities was developed. As the antiparticle to the action hero they react violently on any contact with floors, spikes, bats, rocks or waterfalls and as such can not exist for any extended period of time in our natural speedrunning world. Previous experiments have only been able to produce spelunking characters in isolation and for short periods of time. The team around Dandy J has been working on creating and sustaining larger quantities of the elusive antiparticle for quite a while now and finally had a breakthrough just earlier this month. Colliding a beam of Spelunker with a stationary plasma of NES at an energy level of 12.1 Giganolans was found to not only provide an environment in which low energy spelunking characters are formed, they also turn out to be fairly easily separated magnetically from all other byproducts of the collision before they can react. Using this setup they have managed to produce spelunking characters well in the six digit figures and sustain them for up to 0:06:10. This now opens the door for large scale experiments on these antiparticles and firmly move them from the realm of theoretical speedrunning to experimental speedrunning. Exciting times to live in. Pages 34-45.

On the cosmological side of speedrunning, 'Festival-Temple' et al. have published the results of their three year long survey of the cosmological background radiation at the super-duper humongous telescope. This background radiation was formed in the early stages of the universe when Zone of the Enders particles first formed and thus turned the universe from an opaque mess of subgame particles to a translucent stage that is accessible to us today using more and more powerful telescopes. Previous measurements set the origin of this radiation at 0:33:05 after the big bang but the new data collected by the team around 'Festival-Temple' have dated the creation of this background radiation back to 0:32:32 after the big bang. Although this difference may seem fairly minuscule to the layman, this early period of the universe was dominated by PJon interactions, a subgame particle responsible for exchanging glitches between games and the major player in game corruption we experience today. However, the PJon levels we measure today and the new data collected at the super-duper humongous telescope are fundamentally irreconcilable with our current theories about the early stages of game formation in the universe. It is currently unclear whether our theories need to be revised or if there is an error in this new data. Several teams are currently trying to recreate this experiment but due to the nature of cosmological measurements we'll likely have to wait at least a year for these results to stream in. In the meantime, a graphical representation of the data collected can be seen on pages 91-113.

The Jurassic Park conundrum is a well known problem among theoretical speedrunners. In essence, the radioactive SNES isotope of Jurassic Park has been measured to decay at a much faster rate than theory would predict. This experiment has been recreated successfully dozens of time and is a well established part of experimental speedrunning. However, this rate of decay has proven to be inexplicable in the existing framework of quantum-chromo-thingamajigging. The lower bound for the half-life of these isotopes has been established to be 1:02:36 within QCT, significantly longer than the actual measurements. Dr. 'LeonPowPow' has just published a paper using recent ideas of superstring death-warping theory to explain this phenomenon and derived a half-life time of 0:46:45 which closely matches the actual experiments. These methods extend beyond the specifics of Jurassic Park and he additionally identified further games were similar differences to QCT should occur. As most of these isotopes are within the reach of modern particle accelerators, this proposes, for the first time, a set of experiments that could be used as direct evidence of death-warping theory, an elegant theory of the speedrunning universe that had so far been unable to make predictions at energy scales that are accessible to experimental speedrunning. Pages 132-152.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Unthemed updates are fine too

Hey guys, me again. Writer's block is a bitch and I need to get this done yesterday, or I am a jerk, and I don't want to be a jerk, so... stream of consciousness update anyone?

First up, The Operative: No One Lives Forever. From what I can tell about this game from my brief perusal of the wikipedia page, you control a female secret agent that looks like something out of an Austin Powers film, so I automatically like the game because Austin Powers is hilariously British. That said, some runners who may be a little more mature than I have seen this game on its merits and thus, made a speedrun of it for you to watch. 'Warepire' and 'ymh' completed the game in 61 segments in a fairly brisk 1:18:16.5 (I'm amused that the game tracks to deciseconds here), which is a little bit shorter than any given Austin Powers film, so I'll give this one my star of approval, though I'm assuming it doesn't feature an amusing tent cutscene halfway through. Oh well.

Mirror's Edge is a game about a lady that does parkour and espionage in a dystopian future, which already sounds like a good time to me. I wonder what a Fallout type game would look like with parkour? Probably pretty crappy, what with the lack of buildings and stuff. Nevermind then. Anyway, Filip 'Zubmit' Sahlberg took it upon himself to perform several of the hardest jumps ever to get this time, single-segment with resets on the master race version, 0:34:49 on the clock at the end.

Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare is somewhat infamous around here for breaking things. However, in Rad Raygun's case, it wouldn't be fair to blame him for this run, since the game is already broken. I'm told you are able to literally walk through walls in certain cases, without any kind of setup. That said, a broken game leads to a broken speedrun, and PJ does not disappoint with this 0:08:18 all-bosses run.
That said, not all games PJ plays are incredibly broken (at least before he plays them), only most of them. A notable exception is Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts, a game where collision detection on terrain works more than 50% of the time and the most you need to worry about glitchwise is your cart becoming possessed and crashing on level 2 after giving you the wrong items in chests. Thankfully, none of that happens and we have this 0:36:07 run for you to enjoy. So go ahead. Enjoy it. Or we'll send the debt collector after you.

ALSO! I have been informed by our resident encoding badass UraniumAnchor that all the encodes for Summer Games Done Quick 2013 are done! They're available HERE and UA was nice enough to include a torrent for those of you who want it all. So while you're enjoying the other runs, feel free to enjoy these too.

Friday, December 13, 2013 by LLCoolDave

Buy three, pay three

Oh, hello there! May I help you? Just looking around? Sure, have a go, I'll be here if you need me. Feel free to shoot me any questions you may have.

I know you said you were just looking, but I couldn't help but notice your interest in this fantastic 0:25:11 Dark Souls. Beautiful thing, isn't she? What, boss souls? Well, to be quite frank, no, not really. This one had the Kiln glitch applied, but I assure you that's a perfectly normal procedure. Yes, she has had a couple of resets, but you know what they say? Resets give a run its character. You know, this model even comes with a rare spider shield! And you know what, this particular one was previously owned by 'Treynquil' so there's some prestige to that. Haven't heard of him? Oh well guess this one just isn't for you then. But I think I have a very good idea of exactly what you are looking for then. Just follow me over here.

There it is, a 'CnEY?!' brand DLC Quest. One of my personal favourites, and judging by our sales I'm surely not alone in that opinion. Got this one in last Tuesday and I assure you it won't be on this lot any more next week, so you better get it while the getting is good. Yeah, it's the bad ending model, but the differences really are just cosmetic, beneath the hood it's just as good as all the other releases. The asking price for them is usually in the four-forties but guess what? Just for you I'm willing to knock off a a couple of seconds. How's 0:04:24 sound, if you take it right here right now? Yes, it's a bit short, but in a hectic city like this, having a short speedrun is only going to benefit you in the long run. No, there are no extras on this, but that's the beauty of the whole thing. You know how all these other runs come with features such as skipping cutscenes, climbing walls, clipping through doors and quick killing bosses that nobody ever REALLY uses, right? But you still got to pay for all of them. With the DLC Quest, all you pay for is the very basic stock and then get the accessories that you personally need on top of that. Don't spend anything on the things they say are useful, customize it to your needs and you will save BIG TIME. No, not your thing?

Oh, you're more of a blaster type of guy. Well, I wouldn't have guessed that, but to each his own. Here at Speed Deals Associates Ltd we have just the right thing for everything. How about over there, this will surely tickle your fancy. A Japanese import Mega Man X3, a rare sight this side of the pond. People will surely gaze at this if you show up to a party in it. See this Zachary 'zewing' Ewing label? That's a sign of quality if I've ever seen one. And this one's the real deal, all the pickups, full 100%, no expenses spared. Sure, it will set you back 0:46:16 but it's definitely worth at least twice that. And I'm sure you won't find another one like this anywhere else in town, so we'd be stupid to sell it that low. But guess what, there's the sign, so that's the price and we'll have to deal with it if you decide to pick it up right now before we can change it. Still not quite what you are looking for?

Ah, you're actually looking for a 3D run, should have said so right away. How's the exotic flair? You like that? Great, then this one is surely going to hit home. It's actually reserved for our very special customer Justin 'JMC4789' Chadwick but guess what, for you I'll make an exception and sell it anyway. Don't worry, I'll deal with JMC4789 if he comes back to pick it up. Quite frankly, between you and me, I don't think he's getting back to it, so you don't have to worry about it. We're really proud to even be able to offer this, it's a rare thing someone gets rid of a Japanese Mega Man Legends before running it to the ground so getting a used one in this condition is a chance you shouldn't pass up. See, it's even the coveted normal difficulty single segment model. How much? A meagre 0:49:48. Deal of a lifetime, if you ask me, and quite frankly you should because I do this for a living so I know what I'm talking about.

Hey, get back here. We've still got over a thousand runs in the backyard you haven't seen yet. Surely there will be something perfect for you. Come on, man, I've got kids to feed.

Sunday, December 8, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Breaking News

I'm ShadowWraith with the SDA News, good morning.

The war with the Collectors is over. Commander Shepard has returned aboard the Normandy from the galactic core of our galaxy with news that the Collector threat has been completely eliminated. We were unable to reach the Commander for further comment, although we have recieved a video log of the entire Mass Effect 2 mission, courtesy of Dustin 'hokorippoi' Hanks, although we are somewhat puzzled by the video file only being 2:02:15 long. However, we are assured that there are no breaks in the video. Like all other supplemental videos, you can watch it after the weather report, and if you so prefer we also have them available to view for you online.

An investigation into the use of soup cans and other various household items has shown that they can in fact be used to create viable working rocket ships capable of achieving escape velocity, sustaining human life in space, and indeed, visiting other planets and civilisations. Arturs 'Xarthok' Demiters has produced a short documentary on the eight-year-old boy genius Billy Blaze, titled Commander Keen: Keen Must Die!. It's 0:01:59 long and like all our other special reports, available to view on our website.

Team Plasma is a contraversial organisation, their modus operandi has been hotly debated, but we can now report that they are no more. After somehow engineering a fortress, codenamed Pokémon Black, that was able to rip the mountain that the Pokémon League stood upon out of the ground and lift it into the sky, their plan to dominate the world through misuse of pokémon was foiled by a pokémon trainer called 'Vulajin', and impressively enough, it took them a total of 3:30 to do it. They'll be available for comment later on in the programme.

In other news, treasure hunter diva extraordinaire Lara Croft has returned from her trip through Peru, Egypt and Atlantis, where she was reportedly searching for an artifact called the Scion. According to a trustworthy source named 'MMAN', she encountered fierce resistance along her journey from wolves, bears... dinosaurs and creepy exploding mummies? We have a 1:27:59 long special report prepared on her escapades, titled Tomb Raider, and you can catch it after the weather report.

Now over to LLCoolDave with todays weather report.

Thursday, November 28, 2013 by Breakdown

Giving thanks

As those of us in the States enjoy National Food Coma Day (you may know it better as "Thanksgiving"), we're supposed to take a moment to reflect on the things in our lives for which we are thankful. While new speedruns to watch on SDA likely won't top anybody's list, it's definitely a nice little bonus, like the whipped cream on your pumpkin pie or the gravy on absolutely everything else on your plate. Plus, all of the runs in today's update are completely new to the site: three new games, and a new category on a fourth. Let's see what we've got, shall we?

Some of you out there will no doubt be watching some football this Thanksgiving, but if that's not your thing we've got something for you that will fill a similar amount of time while that turkey aroma starts permeating through your household. We're kicking this update off with one of the better received comic-based games of recent years, Batman Arkham Asylum. In addition to being generally well liked, it also makes for a damn entertaining speedrun, and I'm happy to present you today with the efforts of runner Sean 'DarthKnight' Grayson. He's done a single segment run on the game's hard difficulty to go up alongside his existing easy run. It clocks in at 2:08:22, perfect for filling the time while you're waiting for the turkey thermometer to pop.

Thanksgiving is also a time for looking back and keeping traditions from the past alive. Runner 'HavocProdigy' is definitely keeping the old 8-bit stylings going, and you should be thankful for that, because the run he's put out on the early NES game Milon's Secret Castle is something to behold. He navigates the complex castle at an impressive clip and save the queen in an amazingly fast 0:10:43.

When giving thanks, it's also important to sometimes to reflect on things that have not happened. For instance, you can be thankful a book you enjoyed hasn't been turned into an awful, awful video game. This is something I regrettably cannot say, because Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance is a thing. However, we can all be thankful that we won't be responsible for producing SDA's first run of the game, as Dag 'ktwo' Cato has fallen on that sword for us. If you've played this one, I'm sorry, but it will enable you to truly appreciate just how ridiculous this 0:05:19 run really is. Regardless, check it out.

Lastly, sometimes you just need to be thankful that the heroes of Greek mythology are protecting the world from its villains and assorted other threats. Yes, as per usual, my themes start running thin towards the end, but you do have one more run to watch in Herc's Adventure, definitely something to be thankful for in and of itself. Direct those thanks to runner Benjamin 'Chfou' Desmoudt, who blasts his way through a wide assortment of mythological baddies on the European version of the game in 1:19:01.

That does it for new runs today. Happy Thanksgiving internet, and as a friendly reminder, Awesome Games Done Quick 2014 is just over a month away. Are you feeling the hype yet?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 by LLCoolDave

The Life of Speedruns

Ssh! Be quiet, I think we found some. There, behind those bushes. Marvellous, looks like we encountered a whole family. Let's sneak up closer to get a better look. That's some beautiful speedruns we got here. Look at those bushy tails on the mother! Snow white tips, deep orange fur, that points towards a healthy diet indeed. That's one beautiful Sonic 3 & Knuckles speedrun if I've ever seen one. They are a rare sight these days so let's make sure not to scare them away as we approach further. Looks to be a pretty quick one, I'd say it measures about 0:25:27. I remember when Adrian 'HDL' Perez first told me about these Tails single segment runs but I didn't expect to run into any out here. This is certainly the quickest of them I have ever heard of.

And look at those younglings. Some shiny, spiky blue hair and dashing around their mom at an impressive pace. These got to be some of the fastest Sonic 2 ILs ever captured on camera. If we study their fur patterns closely we should be able to classify them exactly. I'm no expert on the subject, but it looks to me that these are Chemical Plant 1, Aquatic Ruin 2 and Death Egg. You'd have to ask Mike 'mike89' McKenzie or 'Paraxade' to make sure, they've written an encyclopaedia totalling 0:14:46 pages on this subject. And there they dash off, what outstanding form and haste they show. These are surely going to grow to be some magnificent speedruns in the next year or two. But what could possibly have spooked them like this?

That's a loud roar. Get behind that tree, quick. Good, we should be save here for now. That's the noise of a mighty predator speedrun right there. Definitely a Kong run by the sound but we'll have to see it to know what it is exactly. You can hear the rustling of the underwood as it approaches but its prey has long since fled. We should be able to get a peek at it right around there any moment now. And there is a glimpse of the dark brown fur, and between the leaves you can see the red of its trademark tie. That certainly looks like a Donkey Kong Country 3 run to me, Virtual Console single segment if I were to hazard a guess. These fierce hunters can grow up to 0:43 in size and mostly prey on small ILs and some segmented speedruns. Marc-Alain 'MorKs' Bouchard had an impactful encounter with one of them just recently so we should better get out of here before it spots us.

Okay, this should be far enough, I can't hear its roar any more. Too bad we couldn't get an even better shot of those Sonic runs, but I can already spot another interesting specimen under that tree. That looks like a Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back speedrun to me. If you look at the ears you can see that they are very pointy and triangular. This is a typical sign of the Large-Skips category, which isn't native to this island. They were initially imported from the United States as pets in 0:12:21 by Matthew 'ElectronAvenue' and have spread around fast since then due to a lack of natural predators. Hunting them for food earlier this century has brought their numbers down close to extinction again but it looks like they have found a save home around here as I can see two more in the distance, just about there.

And on that note we shall end today's episode of The Life of Speedruns. We have still not succeeded in finding any signs of the elusive Ocarina of Time but we'll check the caves of the Northern Nolan Mountains next week. Until then, keep a look out for exotic speedruns in your area. You can never know when you'll run into interesting ones even in your backyard.

Friday, November 15, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Call now on 1-800-SDA-ROXS and recieve a free coupon to download any run of your choosing

Hey there guys! ShadowWraith here for todays SDA update, the fastest, easiest, safest way to get your fix of our latest speedrun records, GUARANTEED! Just read through the post, click the links and you'll have the finest speedruns the internet can provide. But don't take it from me, see for yourself!

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "That's some pretty big talk. I wonder if he can back that up?". Well feast your eyes on this; a European Extreme Foxhound rank speedrun of Metal Gear Solid 3 HD. You fancy yourself a stealth connoiseur? Think you've seen it all? Well 川元 'Hikari' 英則 knows all the tricks in the book, and most of the ones on the bathroom walls, too. You want guns? We got guns. You want CQC? We got CQC. You want a painfully obvious female lead that will end up backstabbing the protagnoist at the end of the story? Check. You want a chronically diarrhetic incompetent guard? Well, not this time sorry, but we have something better! You get to beat up an old man! What's not to love? "Oh ShadowWraith!" I hear you shout. "What's the final time? Tell us!", you cry. Well sit down or otherwise secure yourselves because we don't wanna be responsible for your injuries. You ready? 1:14:27! Crazy right? Well I hope we haven't blown your minds completely yet, because we've got more amazing speedruns for you guys coming right up.

Lego Racers is the greatest racing game this side of the toybox. You want fast cars? We got fast cars. You want powerups that'll make Mario cry with envy? We got them by the boatload. You want custom made lego roadhogs? Done. Easy. With the help of Tad 'RabidJellyfish' Cordle, we're happy to bring you 12 IL runs of fast paced block car action. Want to see what happens when you shoot a pirate in the face with a rocket? With this run you can. But wait! There's more! As a special bonus when you watch this speedrun, we'll throw in some Large Skip Glitch ILs with it, absolutely free! That means you get the full 12 regular levels, plus 6 extra bonus runs, in the low low time of 0:21:35.59!

Once in every lifetime comes a speedrun so great, so revolutionary, that it really does redefine the way we get runs done. The run we're talking about here is one of those, and it's of the game Dungeon Keeper 2. DK2 is no ordinary run. It uses Possession Kiting Technology to deal with all types of enemies, with unmatched safety, speed and precision; previously this technology has only been available in the game's prequel. But why listen to me talk about how great this run is? Anthony Malmgren worked hard on this run, and we really think you guys will enjoy this. The time? 2:14:03. Possessing Dark Mistresses has never been so much fun.

For those of you who prefer a more light hearted affair, don't be disappointed, because you're going to love this. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a game I'm sure all of you are familiar with, and for good reason, because this run is the tits (and I'm not just saying that because it features Hermione). Watch awestruck as Menno 'Menno888' Rijsselberg takes control of everyones favourite prepubescent wizardling Harry Potter and demonstrates his mastery of Alohomora, Glacius, Expelliarmus and whatever else takes your fancy. Sirius Black? More like Sirius Whacked. You-know-who ain't got nothing on this kid. Just sit back and relax as our hero kicks evil butt in just 1:27:38. So what are you waiting for? Click the link, and you'll be done watching faster than you can say Wingardium Leviosa.

Saturday, November 9, 2013 by Radix

Remember remember the 9th of November

I would like to present to you for your entertainment this weekend, a run on a game known as Metroid Prime. Charles Griffin worked some time to provide you the following run I'm sure. Unfortunately, he hasn't sent us any comments yet, but maybe they'll come eventually and we'll know for sure.

Charles's single segment run clocks in, on the game's timer, at 0:56! This is 10 minutes faster than the previous single segment run we had up, and five minutes faster than the segmented one. Save points, who needs them? I definitely remember the days when many folks thought this game would never see a run below one hour - and I was one of them. Speedrunning certainly likes to prove people wrong though.

In other news, we're now less than two months away from Awesome Games done Quick 2014. Are you hyped yet?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 by Breakdown

Standard issue update

No crazy theme this time around (though I must say the last few updates have been enjoyable reads, props to my updating compatriots). We're going quick and to the point on this one, so let's get to it.

Brave Fencer Musashi is one of those games I played way back when and kind of forgot about, but when I'm reminded of it I remember it fondly. Today, I have been reminded of fond memories thanks to the efforts of runner 'ShortCircuit'. Whether or not the rest of you have similar thoughts on this game, I do encourage you to take advantage of this chance to either relive it or see it for the first time in condensed form via this single segment run in 2:49, an improvement of over an hour to the previous segmented run.

Next up is Dash Galaxy in the Alien Asylum, a game I've personally tried hard to forget about over the years. The speedrunning community, however, doesn't seem to want to let me do that, as I was surprised to have to update about this game so much as once, let alone twice. Yes, we have an improvement of 28 seconds to the existing run for you today courtesy of runner Adam 'KHANanaphone' Ferguson. While my hate for this game runs deep, I will admit there's something cathartic about seeing it absolutely destroyed, so I do recommend checking out this 0:06:18 run, complete with suicide button tech.

"NES hard" is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but few current developers really strive to put it in their games these days. Developer Sivak didn't just embrace the concept, though, he embraced the medium as well with Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril. Speedrunners, however, aren't generally the type to shy away from a challenge, and runner 'Airrider' took the game's Unfair difficulty setting and said "Let's do this." The result is a 0:45:07 single segment run, really serving to show even the toughest nuts out there can be cracked.

We'll finish things off today with a run that's sure to get the average Yahoo commenter frothing at the mouth. "But it's cheating!" they say. "The game should be played normally!" they say. Well, we say seeing a game broken to pieces is pretty damn awesome, and that's definitely the case in Tobias 'Charleon' Nerg's Maxim run of Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance. If you're a likeminded individual (or like getting angry), you really should check out this run that finishes before a first time player has had a chance to get comfy with the controls. Final time is 0:00:45. No, that's not a typo.

Monday, October 28, 2013 by LLCoolDave

A Day at the Races

Hello and welcome to the third sesquibicentennial SDA Derby. There's mere seconds until one of the two-hundred most prestigious horse races of the week will be under-way and the crowd is already bursting with signs of slightly elevated levels of expiration.

And there's the sign and off they go. Right out of the gates Dag 'ktwo' Cato leads the pack on Adventure Island. Although he is an experienced jockey, this is the first time he rides this North American breed at one of these events. The 6/5 gallop has pushed the horse with the number 0:37:21 ahead of the competition initially but it looks like the rest of the field is closing in as we head into the first corner and three horses are head to head now.

And Rockman 4 takes it on the inside! This Japanese breed has seen strong performances in the past couple of years but has reached new levels ever since 'Checkers' has taken the reins. At this rate it looks like it could very well breach the best time of this season at 0:38:22 today as the race is blistering fast after the first quarter mile. Rockman 4 is still in the lead as we head up Nolan Hill but Adventure Island manages to keep pace as the rest of the field is slowly falling behind again.

The lead remains unchanged as we're halfway up the hill but Darkwing Duck is slowly climbing up the ranks in the main bulk. Jonathan 'Joka' Karlsson is determined to improve on his performance at the last SDA Derby and is aiming for a finish of 0:12:57 today and it looks like he and Darkwing Duck are in great shape with this lightning quick uphill section that put them on the front of the pursuers as Adventure Island and Rockman 4 still jostle for the lead as we turn around the last corner and onto the final stretch of the race.

Gosh and Gollies! Hold on to your monocles gentlemen as Anticipation is making a run for it from the midfield! Adam 'KHANanaphone' Ferguson is putting the spurs to Anticipation Very Hard and they are making a wild dash for it. Anticipation passes Darkwing Duck as Adventure Island is slowly falling back. The super high pace from the start is taking its toll now and Adventure Island can't keep up any more. Anticipation takes Adventure Island and the gap to Rockman 4 is closing fast. Only a couple dozen yard left in the race but Rockman 4 is losing ground. Three lengths. Two lengths. Anticipation has pulled head to head on the final moments and pulls out in front as they cross the line! 0:07:57! What an incredible time, what an incredible race.

The crowd is exasperated. Frenetic moustache twirling. Fastidious pocket watch reading. A mild flurry. I've never seen an audience this excited at one of these events. This was truly one for the books.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Dinner is served

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the SDA restaurant. Today, I shall be your waiter, and we shall be serving you a delectable selection of delicious speedruns prepared by our most experienced speedrunning chefs.

As an appetiser, we present this speedrun of Bomberman 64, lovingly prepared in a single sitting by our cuisine artist known only as 'footbigmike'. He has gone above and beyond, finding the most succulent and choice strategies for your consumption. No need to pace yourself here, the run is only 0:24:33 long, so hurry! Do be careful though, if you have a delicate stomach. The food can be quite... explosive.

The soup of the day is our Japanese themed special, that we have named Yakuza 3. The soup contains three different gameplay modes, all expertly woven together, plenty of inaccurate stereotypes about Japanese organised crime and other things that the more eccentric of you might pick up on as you enjoy it, prepared in the PAL regions in a single-segment, at Extra Hard levels of heat, with some breadsticks on the side. The chef who has created this masterpiece is a gentleman known as Sergio 'Holy_3051' Frances, and this course of the meal will last approximately 2:41:34. Approximately.

Continuing with the organised crime theme of your meal, the main course: Mafia. This dish of Italian origin, containing herbs and spices that we have elected to keep secret, is prepared from a recipe handed down from father to son dating back to the 1930s, featuring hints of bootlegging, extortion, arson, assassination and other assorted nastiness, carefully sliced into 92 pieces for your enjoyment. The man responsible for bringing you this meal is known as 'Chris-X', and it took him a mere 2:56:00 to create this meal for you. I trust you'll enjoy it.

For dessert, we've decided to go with a somewhat spooky themed dish, appropriate given the time of the year. Dead Space 2 will, however, not be served with lit jack-o-lanterns or any other silly Halloween paraphernalia, though if you wish to provide your own we will not stop you. Craig 'osey889' Kean spent a great deal of time sculpting your dessert into the perfect image of Isaac Clarke, 2:25:51 to be precise, done Casually in a single sitting.

We hope you enjoy your meal. Compliments should be directed to LLCoolDave.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 by Breakdown

With a better route, Columbus could've totally cut the 1492

And with better planning on my part, a Columbus Day themed update would've actually hit on Columbus Day. We'll have these things, and just think, it could've been a Labor Day theme if I really wanted it to be. This seems downright timely by comparison.

Date appropriate or not, if we're running with the Columbus Day theme, the fact our first run is Super C is fairly appropriate. Fun fact (that isn't really a fact): Red Falcon and his alien hordes came to this planet on three spaceships, but were blasted to oblivion with heavy artillery in an insanely quick 0:13:16 by David Heidman Jr., two seconds faster than earlier reports suggested. Definitely more exciting than your average history lesson.

Keeping things loosely tied to exploring the unknown, we've got a new run for Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. Runner 奥村 'jibupo' 亮 has given the SNES Luigi category a facelift with a healthy improvement to the previous run, cruising through the new worlds (well, if you consider a US release of 1993 "new") in a brisk 0:16:07.

Of course, many see Columbus Day as a bit of a throwaway holiday, but it is a solid indicator that Halloween is right around the corner, a day where running around in your pajamas and throwing a seemingly limitless supply of candy around is perfectly acceptable. In that light, the new run for Little Nemo: The Dream Master is a glove fit for this update, and a pretty awesome run to boot. Playing on the Japanese version, runner Jonathan 'Joka' Karlsson dispels all the nightmares and puts things right in Dreamland in the time of a barely satisfying nap, 0:23:50 to be exact.

And since we've shifted to Halloween, our last entry today feels ever so slightly less shoehorned into the theme. Everyone either has been or has known someone who decided to be a superhero of their own creation for Halloween either due to a desire for originality or the lack of funds to get an official Super/Bat/Iron/Whateverman getup. Those individuals probably feel right at home playing Prototype, and while I'm unsure if runner Joshua 'Stormknight' Grant has ever rocked such a costume on the 31st, it's clear he's right at home playing this game as well. You can see what I mean by watching his 1:59:12 run on the game's Easy difficulty in 24 segments.

Saturday, October 5, 2013 by LLCoolDave

Alternatives

I want to start off this week's update by stimulating the creative areas of your brain. With a small Gedankenexperiment, if you want to call it that, and I know you do because early 20th century German philosophical loan words are ALL the rage right now, right? In any case, I want you to imagine a parallel universe that is very much like our own, except for two very minor differences.

Despite just being minor differences, they would still have a strong impact on your life. For one, your breakfast cereal would be a slight bit less enjoyable. Oh, and this site wouldn't exist. Nor would any of your gaming consoles. You'd have to spend your free time on such nonsense as reading books, visiting friends and solving the daily crossword puzzle that insists on syzygy being an actual word. The two differences in this parallel universe are that nobody ever took a second look at cows and kept on milking goats and that the first game of this update actually managed to finish off the gaming industry instead of just massively crippling it. We're of course talking about the infamous E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600. Unlike most kids during Christmas 1982, runner 'DSmon' doesn't actually consider the idea of a clumsy alien stumbling into massive pits and very VERY slowly floating back out by stretching its neck to make for one of the worst games of all time and has thus provided us with a quick run in 0:00:53, even beating the tool assisted run for the game. Now let's quickly leave this nightmare of a parallel universe.

Instead, let's take a look at Kirby Super Star Ultra, the DS rerelease of one of my favourite SNES titles. Instead of following the story of our beloved fluffy vacuum salesman, Alex 'Anwonu' Morinaga was much more interested in the tale of the first character so broken that it had to be banned from Nintendo's party tripping simulator. His new run on Meta Knightmare Ultra mode clocks in at 0:26:00.76, beating his old time by almost a minute and a half. If you insist on me making this pun, this run does indeed not suck.

Duke Nukem is one of the biggest, baddest asses out there, afraid of nothing except for small ledges, stairs and slight bumps in the level design. For several years the IL table of Duke Nukem 3D had been dominated by a single name, but plenty of things have been discovered in the game since then. Alex 'pogokeen' Dawson is the first to bring the world's squishiest action hero to the front page again, improving the time on 'Toxic Dump' by almost 1.7 seconds to 0:00:33.29. We have taken this opportunity to retime the old runs to be more in line with SDA guidelines and be more consistent across versions and with regards to replay playback and live play while also adding in sub-second precision. This puts the entire IL table at a new total of 0:20:45.50.

The final entry for today is Mega Man Legends 2, a pretty large detour from the classic Mega Man formula of unforgivable platforming level design and 2 second boss fights. Instead, Capcom decided they wanted to follow a story that is slightly more intricate than 'Dr. Wily Evil! Kill!' and opted for a 3D Action Adventure game instead. Justin 'JMC4789' Chadwick tackled this RNG infested run superbly in 1:24:53, slightly over the Mega Man standard of roughly half an hour. Notably, this game is well known for ending on a cliffhanger that was never properly resolved.

And on that note, it is finally time for me to announce

Thursday, September 26, 2013 by ShadowWraith

NO! NOT THE WATER! YOU FIENDS!

I generally don't try to theme my updates, but the games I have for you today practically demand it. If you can guess what the theme is before the end of the update, you can have a cookie. So, let us begin.

First up, we have the (somewhat) legendary Drakkhen, famous for its constellation monsters, pots and pans robots and dragonkin with questionable accents. Through some interesting abuse of game mechanics involving killing half the party and using the dead person to murder everything, as well as standing still in a room for several minutes to gain levels, Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody averts the destruction of the world of man in 0:34:32, leaving him just enough time to pull the tattered corpses of his fallen party members out of the moat he dumped them in before the celebratory victory ceremony.

Next, a game that needs no introduction - assuming you've been around SDA for longer than a year - but for those of you who have not, I shall introduce it for you. Lagoon is one of those Zelda clones that falls somewhat short (quite a lot, in fact) of the game that inspired it, but that didn't stop Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare from tackling the issue of... muddy water? (I honestly don't really understand the plot of this game at all, you don't do anything with any water in the game), bringing us this 1:28:52 masterpiece. However, I take issue with the toothpick the protagonist is armed with being called a 'sword'. It's just not. Oh, and the game has audio commentary. You should listen to it.

Third up, another SNES RPG for you guys. Illusion of Gaia is a game about a boy who can turn into a grown adult complete with a REAL sword (get out Nasir), or a blue version of the flame guy from the Fantastic Four. He is tasked with saving the world from a comet which will bring bad luck with it. Adam 'puwexil' Dunn does not approve of superstitious celestial objects, however, and decided to beat up the naughty comet as fast as he could, while still snagging all the loot along the way in this 2:17:20 100% completion of the game. Also, one of the NPCs has a pet pig. Why? I have no idea.

Finally, a game that is somewhat infamous in certain circles for having the most irritating escort quest type system imaginable, Resident Evil 4, or 4 Resident Evil, depending on whether you look at the box art, is the story of one man's journey to rescue the daughter of the POTUS from some random hick villagers in somewhere that very very closely resembles Spain, but is clearly not Spain. Well today, that man is Bartolomeu 'blaze8876' Penkal, and with a combination of roundhouse kicks, heavy weaponry and being able to ignore the protagonists name being screamed at him in the most ear piercingly irritating way possible, he completed a run of the game in 1:45:48 on the PC version, in 16 segments. Honestly, the President can't have given that much of a shit about his daughter if he only sent in one guy with very little support, but that's neither here nor there.

So, did you guess the theme yet? It was games with terrible plots! What, you want a cookie? I never said it'd be me who'd give you one. Just go play that new Cookie Clicker game. I hear it's all the rage now.

*snorts*

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 by LLCoolDave

Speedrunning: Not vehicular manslaughter

According to social media this week, being a PC gamer right now is akin to being woken up way too early by your alarm clock, smacking your head straight into the wall because you forgot you had moved the furniture yesterday, stepping onto a piece of Lego as you slump out of bed, noticing you ran out of coffee and finally realizing it is your day off when you get stuck in a massive traffic jam on the interstate. As such, we at SDA would like to dedicate this update to the poor people unable to experience the latest release in the marginally justifiable road rage simulator genre by celebrating the PC speedrunning scene instead. Go keyboard!

Our first entry of the day is a rather bizarre one. Although the First-Person Shooter genre has had uncountable entries in recent years that placed the player in a war torn Europe, most of these were set in the 1940s. World War I seems to be a far less frequently visited setting for your average historically inaccurate shooter, presumably because the resurgence of Imperialism, a century worth of treaties and alliances and a lack of clear good and bad guys make for a less engaging backdrop than a simple plot of 'Kill ALL the Nazis!'. NecroVisioN not only chooses to set itself in 1916, it also does away with any pretence of realism by pitting you against Zombies, Vampires, Demons and the rulers of Hell themselves. Despite the slight discrepancy between the story told in this game and his high school history book, Arthur 'Artas1984' Lozovskis ploughs through this revision of European history in 13 individual level runs, summing up to a time of 1:03:04. I recall the real affair taking a tiny bit longer than that.

The next game on our list is about an ordinary earth person being pulled into a different world filled with magic and mystical beings. Despite the remarkably similar synopsis to our previous game, I am actually talking about the Action-RPG Nox here. Although this title is being overshadowed in general memory by Diablo II, which was released around the same time, this gem of the past is very much worth a play and has generated some new-found speedrunning activity just recently. Thus, it is no surprise that Anders 'Pjoxt' Örndahl has decided to revisit his old run as the Wizard class and improve it to a time of 34:06. In the meantime, Maik 'Onin' Biekart has picked the Warrior class at the start, finishing this branch of the game in a swift 36:29. In both cases the very first segment involves passing through a solid gate with a trick intriguingly named 'Apple Bump'. That certainly was enough to get me interested in watching these.

Next up is Drakan: Order of the Flame, one of, if not even THE best game in the classic Dungeon Exploration/Dragon Dogfight hybrid genre. Patrik 'Pafi' Varjotie cuts the old time more than in half by skipping large amounts of the gameplay out right. How? Flying through the air by continuously blocking with your sword (which seems like a rather impractical mode of transport if you might as well just mount a dragon) and forcing said giant dragon right through solid objects. First apples, now dragons. Is there anything that still respects the sanctity of physics and collision detection? The final result is a single segment time of 24:17 in the newly established large skips category.

Lastly, not to be outdone by the previous games' realistic display of the world as we know it, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne is to real police work like a tsunami is to a water fight in your backyard blow-up swimming pool. This gaming adaptation of film noir is one of my favourite PC game series (or rather, was, until May Payne 3 happened, but we'd rather not talk about that) as it combines a dark and gritty narrative with excessively over the top slow motion gunfights into a giant ball of pure awesomium. Therefore I am quite pleased to see that Evgeny 'anarki' Gladkiy improved two of the New York Minute individual level times by a combined 24 seconds, namely 1-5 Max's Apartment Building continued and 3-2 Return to Vlad's Restaurant. This brings the full table down to a time of 18:34.050.

And on that note, I might just have to go and undust my XBox 360 now.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 by Breakdown

Locked and loaded

We'll pull out the big guns right at the start here with an update to a game from the beloved Mario series. The warps category for Super Mario Bros. 2 is getting a facelift today, and how. Seeing as how this game is all supposed to Mario's dream, it nice to see runner Chris 'cak' Knight pull some Inception-level weirdness in this 0:08:32 run. Check this one out, it won't disappoint.

Next up we have a run featuring guns mounted on spaceships. I know that's enough to get me interested all by itself, but some of you might need a little extra push. How about if I told you we have an improvement of over four and a half minutes to our previous Star Fox Assault run? This healthy improvement to the Bronze difficulty setting clocks in at 0:41:08 and comes courtesy of runner Zachary 'zewing' Ewing, and if the comments are any indication, there's more on the way, so keep an eye out.

Canonically speaking, the next run features a duo that has quite the aversion to guns. Yes, the heroes in the Genesis version of The Adventures of Batman & Robin would rather use assorted bat-themed objects to dispose of their enemies, but they get the job done in hurry. This is especially true when they're piloted by Colin 'Musashi1054' Darczuk. He's rounding out the improvements in todays update with an over 90 second betterment of our existing run for the game, saving Gotham from its colorful cast of villains in a brisk 0:49:51.

So the last run is Glover for the N64. I guess the protagonist could hold a gun, maybe. Really the whole gun theme I have going starts to fall apart here, but by many accounts the game's controls may have you reaching for one. This affliction, fortunately, did not get the best of runner Bryan 'Crankeey' as he pushed the time down on this title all the way to 0:36:34 prior to submission.

And with that, I've emptied my clip. See you next time.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Always a day late

My updates recently seem to always come a day after I want them to. I'm not sure whether that's just because I'm a slacker or not. However, I'm just going to assume that it's because my grasp of the passage of time is somewhat inhibited by my desire to go fast. Speaking of desires to go fast (segue ahoy), here's some speedruns for you.

Mega Man games have been a mainstay of speedrunners for years, with their impressively difficult platforming action and abuse of invincibility frames to do things that the game really doesn't want you to do, and Mega Man X3 is no exception. Austin 'Auchgard' Caldera chose to tackle the 100% category for this magnificent game, improving our current (8 year old, I should mention) run by 3 minutes and 19 seconds in this 0:49:07 single-segment affair, fast enough to confuse even the blizzardiest of buffalos. It's about time, I'd say.

Side scrolling beat 'em up games are also a prime target for speedrunners, with this site featuring the likes of Golden Axe, Double Dragon and some of the Final Fight games. Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy, previously (in)famous for his Kageki submission that was featured quite prominently here a few months ago, has chosen to turn his attentions to a more deserving game; Final Fight 3. His attention comes in the form of single-segment runs of the game using every character on Expert difficulty. The times are as follows:

If watching random mooks get kicked, punched, bodyslammed and piledriven is your thing, these are the runs you should watch. I heard there may be infinites too. Maybe.

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is a game that I don't think fits into the traditional speedrunning subset of games. I guess you could put it with the other JRPGs, but the card-based combat system is a little weird. That said, pretty much every game can make a good speedrun (with a few notable exceptions that shall not be named *coughheavynovacough*), and this one is no different. Ben 'Ghostwheel' Hartman took it upon himself to prove it, bringing unto us this 3:02:18 tribute as testament to this fact. And we applaud him for it.

Last, but certainly not least, we've got another speedrun from our resident heartthrob Jeff 'Feasel' Feasel, this time on the NES game Willow. I'm assuming this game is based on the events of the film, having never played it myself, but you can't go wrong with top down RPGs, as Zelda, Crystalis et al. will confirm. The run itself is a single-segment run that completes the game in 1:18:27, a solid 15 minutes and 47 seconds faster than our previous best time, and also a fair bit shorter than the film itself. But then again, that's what we come here for, right?

Monday, August 26, 2013 by LLCoolDave

Tom Clancy's SDA Update

Most people regard the 8- and 16-bit consoles to be the home of the golden era of platforming. The early 90s also played stage to a plethora of fantastic platformers released for your then impressive 50MhZ i486 (that's 479 more i's than contemporary CPUs!) PC. Unlike the NES classics, these games sadly don't get nearly enough love in the speedrunning community.

Arturs 'Xarthok' Demiters however seems to remember these days fondly as he has submitted runs for two episodes of the classic Commander Keen series. Not only did he improve the old run of Marooned on Mars by 6 seconds to 0:03:52, he also came out ahead in his competition with Cosmo on The Armageddon Machine with a time of 0:02:31 by wrong warping past 9 stages. That still leaves 4 episodes uncovered on SDA, so get to work guys.

If you should find yourself in a real hurry and unable to spend the better part of a 12th of an hour on either of the previous runs we can provide you with an even shorter run this update. Originally a minigame in the Might & Magic series, Arcomage was later released as a standalone title. Paul 'LagDotCom' Davies blazes through this turnbased strategy card game in a lightning quick 0:00:14, obliterating the opposing tower in a mere 4 turns and 6 seconds faster than his previous record.

Skipping ahead another decade of PC gaming we get to Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel, a Doujin Mega Man clone best known for having a name that seems to be impossible to properly pronounce unless you wear some Lederhosen and had Weißwurst for breakfast. Not fazed by this collection of letters indecipherable to the English thinking mind, 'Senovit' adds his time of 0:33:58.25 as Pamela to the gamepage. Surprisingly, this run does not beat the current record for longest filename on SDA.

For the final entry of the day, Tom Clancy presents Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, as endorsed by Tom Clancy. Although prominently featured in the title of the stealth game series, the famous espionage author seems to have had roughly the same amount of involvement with the game development as he has had with this particular update post. He didn't even write any of the tie-in novels to either of them! ('SDA: The Updatening' should be available on Amazon shortly, so keep an eye out for it.) Runner Michael 'CotySA' saw through this ploy of corporate branding and punished the game by breaking it. Hard. Despite adding in 3 additional extra missions over the old IL table, this run improves the total time by a massive 22 minutes to 1:13:02.

Thursday, August 22, 2013 by Breakdown

A low sodium alternative

We've got an eclectic selection for you today. Let's skip the pleasantries and just dive in.

We'll start off with a little something for all the Assassin's Creed fans out there. The Lost Archive DLC for Assassin's Creed: Revelations has received the individual level runs treatment from Francois 'Fed981' Federspiel. Going the New Game + route, he deals out all the death in the DLC pack's 7 memories in just 0:27:45 total time.

Dying in a game to pick up some time is pretty standard operating procedure amongst speedrunners, but it's not too often you find a run featuring the game over screen as a legitimate strategy. Well, we have one such run today in Crash Bandicoot 2. Playing on the European version, runner Peter 'PeteThePlayer' Tissen makes good use of the screen most of us consider failure, and it's in no small part responsible for the final time of 0:41:30, just over five minutes faster than the standard issue death abuse run.

It's been a long, long time since we've had cause to knock the dust off of the Little Big Adventure game page, but we've given an excellent excuse to draw attention to this cool little isometric RPG thanks to runner Michael 'CrimsonxxMana' Davies. He's done a single segment run of the game to go up alongside the segmented effort from years past. Final time is 1:28:11, check it out.

We're bookending the games portion of this update with IL tables, because bookends are classy, and we're a classy establishment. And while I'm sure you're here for the class, I imagine you won't mind being able to watch runner Wouter M. 'WMJ' Jansen absolutely wreck every track in Penny Racers while you're here. Total time for the table of 9 tracks is 0:12:49.88, enjoy.

One last point of note, we've recently rolled out a piece of new policy that's sure to please fans of old DOS games. It's no secret recording these on their original hardware is a nightmare, so in a effort to make submissions on some of these old classics more realistic for most, we've decided that SDA will now allow the use of DOSBox and virtual machines for games that have no real alternative methods for recording. A big win for the old PC enthusiasts out there certainly. Now, there are some caveats and stipulations with this, which are gone over fairly thoroughly in this thread, so be sure to read up before rushing off to record.

Monday, August 12, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Gotcha

Now that we've had a chance to chill out after the amazing event that was SGDQ, I feel comfortable posting a new set of runs. Also this isn't late because it's totally Sunday somewhere, right? Rather than bore you with some preamble about how certain game mechanics in certain games I may or may not be drilling for marathon purposes can go suck an unnamed appendage, I'll just get right to it.

VVVVVV is an awesome game, from the block colours, pixel art style and oldschool style music. Jared 'FieryBlizzard' Klein brings us updated versions of his VVVVVV runs, which I shall list for you using these handy bullet points. Woo, html!

T.R.A.G.: Tactical Rescue Assault Group is a game I have never heard of before. Wikipedia calls it 'Hard Edge', but I haven't heard of that either, but I'm told the game is like Resident Evil except anime, minus the zombies. That said, we have a run of it now! Dylan 'CavemanDCJ' Jock completed a single-segment run of the game in 0:56:49.

Final Fantasy IX, being my favourite of the PSX era FF games, is also a really long game. The games I speedrun tend to max out at an hour long tops, which makes the fact that someone was able to do this monster in a single sitting mindblowing. Tristan 'Caracarn' Helwig is a much more determined man than I, and did exactly that. His 9:05:45 single-segment run now stands as the longest single-segment run we have on the site, and is a solid testament to how determination and stubbornness can overcome fatigue and boredom. And the urge to pee.

Gothic is a game I have heard of and have played, albeit briefly. The game wouldn't run very well on my old rustbucket PC back in the day so I didn't get far, but from what I gathered the game has a very Elder Scrollsy style swords-and-sorcery RPG feel to it, although it doesn't have the same level of freedom or enormous open world as those games. However, as is generally the case in these games, Gothic is hilariously broken, as 'Blubbler' can attest. His 2:48:08 100% run (in 306 segments) features an amusing amount of infinite jumping and some out-of-boundsy shenanigans, and is probably going to be an amusing watch for most people. Maybe not Severance levels of hilarity, but definitely entertaining.

In other news, our very own Mr. K is hosting the Contra Conference on his stream. It's a week long (August 9th-August 17th) meetup of the greatest Contra speedrunners. If that's your cup of tea, and it's certainly mine, then head over to his stream here, and enjoy the show! As of right now, I'm watching what appears to be Contra 1, except someone has destroyed the cart graphics so everything is funky looking. It's pretty awesome.

Saturday, August 3, 2013 by LLCoolDave

A personal touch

The time right after a charity marathon is always one of the hardest. Not only do you have to cope with the fact that it's over and you've completely ignored the rest of your life for a week, building up a huge backlog of things you ought to have done days ago, your body also reminds you of the fact that you've not spent nearly enough time in bed the past days. However, if you somehow have enough energy left to watch more speedruns right now, I've got just the right thing for you.

Dungeon's & Dragon's has been adapted to the video game format a countless number of times with varying levels of success. The Temple Of Elemental Evil is very closely modelled on the 3.5 rules but can not avoid the fundamental issue of all its brethren: The Dungeonmaster is rather bad at adjusting to the player. As usual for this genre, Maik 'Onin' Biekart completely bypasses the main plot and even ignores the evil archdemoness Zuggtmoy, ending the game in a quick 0:04:40 sitting by stealing her jewels. He may be a good speedrunner, but I would look elsewhere for your adventuring business.

The general consensus on Jet Force Gemini is that it's actually quite a neat and unique game that should have gotten more attention, a statement which is usually followed by everybody immediately forgetting about the title again. As such, it is not a big surprise that it's been 9 years since this Nintendo 64 game last showed up on our news page. Adam 'Jimmie1717' Lehman decided that the run by then prolific David 'marshmallow' Gibbons was a bit outdated and improved on it by 42 minutes in game time, clocking in at 2:39 in a single segment.

Our final entry for today is particularly close to my heart. Long time followers of SDA may be aware that the current run on Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is held by yours truly, a record that has been outdated since pretty much the exact moment the run was done. Since then I've spent considerable amounts of time actively not improving on that run. Procrastinating once again paid off in full force, as Gustav 'recon' Jensen picked up the slack and crushed my run with an astonishing 0:42:27 in a round 100 segments. Not only is that an improvement of 24 minutes, the difficulty has also been increased to the highest level of Jedi Master, halving the amount of health available for all these crazy stunts. There's also been some activity for single segment runs of this game recently, so maybe we'll see one of those on the front page in the near future..

And on that note, it is time for me to go to bed. 3PM local time is a reasonable time to go to sleep, isn't it?

Thursday, August 1, 2013 by LLCoolDave

A million reasons to be proud

When I first got into speedrunning a decade ago, it was a niche hobby. A couple of guys on a message board, exchanging times and on rare occasions even a video of a run. Even in the broad world of gaming, almost nobody had any idea what you were blabbering on about. Things have changed a lot since then.

In the past week we peaked at just over 51 thousand viewers, and at least 20 thousand of you had joined us for every single moment of the Summer Games Done Quick marathon. You were there through all the highs and lows of the event, the good and bad ends of marathon luck, the Manchicken, when we were running up and down stairs, breaking world records, killing animals (by popular demand), beating Ganon on a single heart and many more memorable moments.

And time wasn't the only thing you were incredibly generous with. $255,160.62 in over 10000 individual donations to Doctors without Borders is the current count on our tracker, and with that we have now surpassed the magical $1,000,000 mark for money raised by SDA charity marathons. These are numbers that would have seemed unbelievable to teenage me starting speedrunning. In fact, these are numbers that still seem unbelievable to current me.

It's impossible to sufficiently thank everybody that has made this outstanding success a possibility. Thank you to everybody involved in organizing this event and keeping the stream running most of the time. Thank you to all the runners putting on over a hundred hours of entertainment for us all. Thank you to The Yetee and the 6 artists for providing us with 7 marathon themed shirts and raising $11,600 for SGDQ. Thank you to mistermv for organizing the French restream of the event and all the commentators involved with it. Thank you to everybody that provided us with great prizes for the event. Thank you to every single person out there watching the marathon, telling their friends, spreading the word and donating to such a worthwhile cause. And thank you to everybody else I couldn't fit into this post.

There were so many good runs at this event that it was just impossible to watch everything. (Damn, you, pesky little thing called sleep.) But fret not, some helpful people on Reddit have assembled a full list of timestamped links to all the runs in the twitch archives for easy rewatching. And as usual, high quality encodes of the entire event will be uploaded in a couple of weeks.

If you are a newcomer to the speedrunning community, don't be afraid, most of us don't bite. Be sure to check out the SDA Forum for discussing games and runs as well as SRL for speedrun races for all skill levels. Welcome aboard.

Despite all that's been achieved there is no time to rest. Awesome Games Done Quick 2014 is in the early planning stages, so if you're interested in keeping up with the development or even participating yourself, be sure to check out the marathon subforum in the upcoming weeks when we are starting to shape ideas for our next big event. If you can't wait that long, regular SDA updates will resume this weekend and the Happy Tails Marathon is happening in just two weeks, raising money for the ASPCA.

To another million.

Saturday, July 20, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Hello Hello Hello!

Hi! It's me again! I'm here to bring you some more fantastic speedruns! Oh don't give me that look, you know you want to see them. Why, just take a look at this Zelda II: The Adventure of Link run! It just so happens that Zelda II is my faaaaavourite Zelda game ever, which is why I'm so totally stoked that John 'Pro_JN' Nurminen has done this delightful single-segment any% run for us! Oh the time? It's 1:01:21, I know, totally crazy right? That's like, 6 minutes faster than the time we have right now! Fabulous!

If that doesn't tickle your fancy, then I may just have the run of your dreams (oh lord that pun) right here! Little Nemo: The Dream Master is so surreal, that you might think you're dreaming when you watch this run! If you like watching the personification of everyone's inner child sticking it to those mean old nightmares that plagued you growing up (I'm looking at you, boogieman), then go ahead and click this link. It's a 0:25:38 run through the game, single-segment (I'm told it's actually rather hard), so tuck yourselves in and get ready for some excitement, courtesy of Johnathan 'Joka' Karlsson! Oh, and as you're probably curious, it improves our existing run by just shy of a minute and a half!

If you're looking for a more real experience, something a little grittier, then perhaps you'd prefer an update to our Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne IL table. Our resident timer IsraeliRD has gone through all the old videos and timed them down to the millisecond and replaced the times with those, and we have 9 new level runs for you! But enough of my silly rambling, just check out these links!

This brings the total time for the table down to a miniscule 0:18:58.740!

For those of you who liked that list I made, I've got another for you! A smaller one though, but no less important! Super Punch-Out!! is the middle sibling of the Punch-Out family, and like it's older brother Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, it has been seeing a fair bit of activity recently. D.J. 'Akiteru' Rideout went ahead and updated three of the ILs for us! Wasn't that nice of him! Here you go!

This brings the total time for the table down to 0:02:17.90! Now, those improvements may seem small, but all three of those ILs now match the TAS time, and I think all you know how awesome that is!

Also, Summer Games Done Quick is less than a week away! Make sure you stock up on food, drinks and comfortable seating, because in five days you'll definitely be needing it!

See you around!

Saturday, July 13, 2013 by LLCoolDave

The more things change

Hi, I'm LLCoolDave and some of you may know me as that German bloke. Vorpal's recent departure from SDA duties has left the SDA Updater Bobsleigh Team down a man and in deep peril. I'm not sure how much use I will be on the track but I'll try my best to at least fill the gap on the frontpage.

The little nametag above this post isn't the only thing new today as all of the games below are new additions to the archive. Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds is not the first entry to the popular RPG series we have featured on this site, but we're still a long way from covering the entire Ultima universe (hint hint). 'gammadragon' blasts through this first person adventure in 16 short segments with deaths, finishing on a time of 0:22:38 using popular techniques such as breaking a potion so you can drink it multiple times or killing yourself on a fireball frozen in time. Britannia is a strange place indeed.

Fredrik 'Edenal' Lidholt stumbled on the SNES run and gun Super Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi at our last AGDQ marathon and has been hooked ever since. As a culmination of his efforts you can now watch him stop the Emperor's evil plan of ruling a galaxy that was previously unable to handle a civil war with democratic means (how evil!) in a quick 0:32:06 in a single sitting on easy mode. I've always felt people misidentified the evil guys in the Star Wars saga.

While we're on the subject of war, Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen features the struggle of the Liberation Army's uprising against the Empress Endora. Unlike other emperors mentioned earlier, her army doesn't have access to a planet destroying weapon so nothing can stop Tony 'Brootus' Robertson on his single-segment 2:10:24 march to the best ending, collecting a full 100% ingame completion on his way.

As our final entry for today we consider a game that made a big splash in the early days of the Nintendo 64. Wave Race 64 was one of the first titles released for the console but it remained popular and well regarded for several years. The advanced water physics and tight track layout makes optimizing ones runs a difficult task, but somehow Japanese runner 'FireHawkRise' did not get the memo. He rushes through all the tracks back-to-back in a single sitting seemingly at ease, finishing in a superb 0:53:17. That's a nice move!

If all this change and fancy new stuff has been too much for you, how about something tried and true as a finish: charity marathons. Summer Games Done Quick 2013 is happening in less than two weeks and we've just finished up our promotional video for it. If you've enjoyed our past showings (and I sincerely hope you did), spread the word and trailer on your favorite social media network and let your friends know about it. Get hype!
And if you already are hyped to the brim and today's runs just aren't enough to cover the time to SGDQ, fret not. Our friends at the European Speedster Assembly are holding their own charity marathon starting this Monday and lasting all the way to next Sunday. That's a full 140 hours of charity marathon you can watch while waiting for the next charity marathon to start! What a wonderful world we live in. Just don't forget to sleep occassionally.

You may now refer to me as that German bloke that writes updates.

Sunday, July 7, 2013 by ShadowWraith

It's coming

Before I jump into the new runs we have for you today, I'd like to remind everyone that Summer Games Done Quick 2013 is a mere two-and-a-half weeks away! Four days of fantastic speedruns by fantastic speedrunners making probably less-than-fantastic jokes, so for those of you who love our marathons, get hype! For those of you who don't, get hype anyway! Hype is good! Hype!

Now that you're all excited for awesome speedruns (or terrible jokes), what better way to spend your afternoon than watching some? Here's some new stuff for you.

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is one of those N64-PS1 era collectathon platformers that seem to be all the rage recently, and as far as I'm aware, it's one of the more popular ones, and indeed, the best of the three Crash Bandicoot games. So to celebrate its assured popularity, here's two runs of the game for you:
First up we have a single-segment any% completion of the game by 'ElectronAvenue', in a blazing 0:46:35.
On top of that, we have a single-segment 100% run for you by Robert 'MrBean35000vr' Chadwick in an equally scorching 1:20:50.
Both runs are on the PAL version of the game.

BioShock is an interesting game. On the one hand, it's almost a complete rip-off of System Shock 2, a game which left me trembling with terror on many occasions on my first playthrough (this is in no way a bad thing), and on the other hand, the player character doesn't understand how to store food and will eat everything and anything he can get his hands on. I'm told that the sequel is even worse in that regard, as said food is many many years old by that point, but I digress. Alex 'Blood Thunder' French has shown that he possesses both a formidable backbone and a mighty stomach as he braves the watery depths of Rapture in this single-segment 0:52:20 blast-through of the game, allowing himself to be slaughtered many times over in the interests of going fast (In other words, death abuse ahoy).

Speaking of games that may have been terrifying in a past incarnation, we finally have an entry on the site for one of the Dead Space series of games! Dead Space 3 may not be as frightening as its' two prequels and it probably doesn't have any of the food related hilarity of the BioShock series, the game is still speedrunnable. Demonstrably so, as 'Tenshouha' demonstrates for us here. Rather than slog through the main game, he (or she) tackled the Awakened DLC missions, delivering unto us this admirable NewGame+ 0:33:36 run on Hardcore difficulty, which from what I understand from hearing some associates of mine talk about the game, may involve ladders, switches and backtracking. But done fast, you see. Because this site is about speed. Hence the name. Yep.

I'll get my coat.

Monday, June 24, 2013 by Breakdown

Summer of runs

We'll start things off today with one of the games most responsible for introducing sandbox style anarchy to the gaming masses. I know I played a lot of Grand Theft Auto III with friends back in the day, but we were definitely less focused on progressing the plot than we were on causing as much carnage as possible before going down in a blaze of glory. If your experience was similar, runner 'SCM' is here to remind you there's an actual plot surrounding a number of missions that you can play through from beginning to end. Playing on the PC version, he used four segments on his way from the intro to the ending, finishing with a time of 1:11:57.

Next up we have everyone's favorite game on which to do WR attempts. Our Dark Souls page gets an update today courtesy of runner 'Treynquil'. The run is single segment with resets, and uses the Kiln glitch, finishing in 0:26:58, nearly six minutes faster than our previously hosted run.

Most people who know me can tell you I'm a big fan of classic games, and games don't get much more classic than the original Legend of Zelda. And since we're talking about Zelda 1 in a news post, it should come as no surprise that we're unveil an improvement from runner 'Darkwing Duck'. He's pushed the first quest no up+A run a little bit further, dropping the time down to 0:31:39, a 25 second improvement from his last submission.

From here out it's all new games to SDA. First up is the inaugural run for Amnesia: The Dark Descent. With the piloting of runner Andrew 'Apjjm' Moss, the protagonist doesn't look at all like someone suffering from memory loss. He seems to know exactly where to go and has a working knowledge of how to use everyday items to force himself through those pesky walls. Kidding aside, Andrew put together a large skips run that clocks in at 0:21:54 over 51 segments. These segments have been combined into one file for easy downloading and viewing, so check it out.

Wrapping up the games portion of the update is two runs for the PC's Pathologic. Both runs are brought to you by runner 'Vlad', and both use the Bachelor as their character of choice. First, we have a single segment charge to the bad ending that finishes in 0:33:49. Second is a segmented run that gets the game's normal ending. Final time is 0:45:00 over 4 segments.

One last point of interest today. As many of you already know, SDA's next charity marathon, Summer Games Done Quick, is rapidly approaching. July 25th will mark the start of five straight days of live speedrunning goodness to benefit Doctors Without Borders. It's guaranteed to be a good time, so mark your calendars now. More details will be here on the front page in the weeks to come, but if you want to check out a full schedule and get some other marathon tidbits head over to our marathon website.

Thursday, June 20, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Hi. Me again.

Don't you just love when life decides to take a dump on your plans? Well I have no idea what I'm talking about there, so have another update. Because I like you guys.

First up, we have a rather 'special' game for you: Timecop. As you might expect from the name of this game, someone has performed all manner of unmentionable things at some point in time and it falls to Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel to don his Cyclops-style shades and get in his time machine, which he does, did and will do because time is funny like that. As for the run itself, he manages to pip 20 minutes at the post for a cool 0:19:59 finish. As for why this game is special? Oh you'll see. You'll see.

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire is a neat game. I recall playing the demo version of it on PC ages and ages ago which consisted of the snowspeeder Empires Strike Back style section and loving it, and then I read the book. We don't talk about the book. At any rate, it seems that Alec 'aleckermit' Aster shares a certain affinity for this game as he decided to plow through it on the N64 version in a single-segment 0:50:52 affair, an improvement of 1:07 over his previously submitted run.

Final Fantasy: Anniversary Edition is another of those remakes of Final Fantasy games that Square-Enix seem so fond of releasing. FF1 in particular has been released 11 times for various consoles. Makes you wonder why the name is Final Fantasy if they keep releasing more. At any rate, 'Lenophis' decided that Final doesn't mean what people think it means and decided to redo one of his previous runs for an admirable time of 1:29, an improvement of 9 minutes over his previously submitted time. As much of a sticker as I am for correct usage of words, here's to hoping Final continues to not mean Final as far as speedruns are concerned.

Batman. Everyone's favourite Dark Knight. This game needs no introduction, but I'm going to give it one anyway as it deserves one, if not because it's one of the hardest NES games, but because the music is amazing. Daniel 'dxtr' Eriksson has been going back and forth on this run with some other notable runners and the result is this: a 0:10:19 completion of the game. It wasn't too long ago that people thought sub-10:40 was impossible, but these guys put in the time and the effort and forced the timer lower and lower through alternate strategies and smarter use of subweapons. This run is a 5 seconds faster than our previous best time, which for this game, is huge. So watch it. Batman commands you to.

And last, but certainly not least, a curious game that would probably have angry hate groups against it in some of the more conservative states if it were more well known, E.V.O.: Search for Eden revolves around the evolution of life on Earth, where you get to choose how you evolve. Evolution is a tricky matter, but 'Darkwing Duck' has it on lockdown, churning out this 0:50:30 single-segment gem for us. You know, in many ways, this game is a good poster child for speedrunning, with our constantly improving methods, social networks and tools with the ever-increasing desire to go fast and provide an entertaining experience driving us. Makes you think, doesn't it?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Random Trivia

My experience with the X-Men is watching the old style cartoons, the first and third X-Men films and watching a fairly amusing fandub of a scene involving the Juggernaut. Unfortunately, said scene isn't accurately represented in any video games to date, but I have something even better for you: a speedrun of X-Men 2: Clone Wars! Richard 'rggibson' Gibson has produced this single-segment masterpiece for us, beating the game in 0:26:23, and while the word bitch is not uttered a single time, I'm sure you'll be just as entertained as I was way back then. Now, the title of this update (for those of you that might not have bothered reading it) is Random Trivia, so here's your trivia for this one. You don't get to choose what character you play as at the start. Have fun resetting!

Solar Jetman is one of those games which is much, much harder to play than it looks. It also has an amazing soundtrack (imo). Some might claim the vaunted Sub-Terrania was based on this game. Nonetheless, Dag 'ktwo' Cato once again showed his penchant for playing games too hard for the rest of us*, completing the whole shebang in a mere 0:25:53 on the PAL version. As for your random trivia about this game, the protagonist is a member of the 'Federation of Space Loonies'. Yep.
*read: me

Super Bomberman 3 is a game I can't really say much about. It's Bomberman. You bomb stuff and it explodes. Well, it turns out that 'FunilaSM64' is pretty good at bombing stuff, completing a single-segment run of the game in 0:33:30. Also, the main antagonist is called Bagular. Yeah.

Dynamite Jack is a game I have not heard of before making this post. I've heard of Dynamite Headdy and Mohawk and Headphone Jack, and as much as I'd laugh if it were the case, unfortunately, this game is not an unholy bastard spawn of those two games. Youtube gameplay videos assure me that it actually looks pretty fun, so I might have to pick it up for myself. Anyway, we have a completed IL Table for you guys consisting of all 28 levels, all of which are by the lovely Nathanaël 'Forsaken' V. No completion time because the game timer works in mysterious ways which are incompatible with how SDA works, but you can rest assured that the runs themselves are fast. Trivia: Wikipedia doesn't actually have an article for this game. The top hit is 'List of level editors'.

Portal is a game I am extremely fond of. While it seems to be a shallow husk of its former self now that Portal 2 is a thing, I can still recall reacting to all the little secrets thrown into the game and wondering what the malevolent AI had in store next. Well, here's one answer: a Challenge Mode. Thankfully, Carsten 'djcj' Janssen, with assistance from Nick 'z1mb0bw4y' Roth, is not one to be dissuaded by a possibly psychopathic computer, and completed two sets of ILs for the challenge mode this game offers: Table, one in-bounds only and one that abuses out-of-bounds glitches to skip pretty much everything. As for your trivia: The protagonist is called Chell. Possibly short for Michelle? Possibly.

Lastly, we at SDA are very proud to announce our new and improved Knowledge Base. You'll find it's considerably more user-friendly than the old one, of particular note being the game strategy index. So if you have any interest in speedrunning, head over and check out some tricks for the games you were planning, or start contributing! We have a sub-board on our forums for it here. Many thanks to Mr. K and HonorableJay for working on this for us.

No trivia for that one, though I have it on good authority that Mr. K and HonorableJay are pretty swell guys.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 by Vorpal

Continuance

There are quite a few Castlevania games, a testament to the series' enduring cult popularity. The series has also been popular with runners; a quick glance at the number of vanias on the game list will testify to that. Castlevania: The Adventure expands that list a little further. Mark 'CountNeko' Moses does the Dracula-slaying honors, completing the game in 0:19:43. As a side note, all of the runs in today's update are single-segment.

Everything I read about Congo's Caper makes it sound similar to Toki. You've got some sort of human-ape hybrid trying to rescue a kidnapped girlfriend in cartoony levels. But this time, rather than being a horrible, horrible game which I am ashamed to have reminded Mike about, Congo's Caper actually has, you know, music, and speed, and perhaps even fun. Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel dissected the game, and the end result is 0:20:54. Enjoy.

Strategy games, and especially grand strategy games, have always seemed really hard to plan, at least to me. They just have so many possible route permutations. Koei's Gemfire certainly has more than enough possibilities. Scott 'Scottimus432' Collins, however, has done that particular work, at least for Scenario 4. You're looking at 0:40:30.

The first Mass Effect has consistently been an underdog challenger for glitchy modern runs. Getting to break the game because it doesn't like spawning players in a crouched position? Sounds good to me. It also sounds good to 'your name here'. The new stuff adds up to more than half an hour, bringing the time down to 1:40:05 on the Casual difficulty and with resets.

The last run for today is of True Crime: Streets of LA. Frank 'Softman25' Black does the honors this time around. Reading the comments for this run, it seems that this game isn't an exception to typical open-world games, and likes to arbitrarily destroy runs for no reason. Which makes this time of 0:42:41 more impressive. Download and enjoy.

Until next time.

Thursday, May 30, 2013 by Flip

I'll have another

I'm going to start this update off with a major facelift to the Donkey Kong Country Returns IL table. Usually I like to itemize IL improvements and list them all out, but with 58 levels involved in this batch of improvements, I'll just tell you to go download the entire table and watch all 1:20:24.99 of goodness. The man behind all this is Matthew 'packattack' Flees, and his 58 levels of improvement combine for one minute and 48 seconds saved.

The notion of randomly generated levels seems brutal for speedrunners, but some people can't resist the allure of Spelunky. Barry 'Zohma' Anders has put his patience and skill to the test and he's been able to complete the game in two and a half minutes. This improvement is 23 seconds faster than the incumbent run from 2010.

It seems to me that anytime anybody talks about the Rosenkreuzstilette games, it's always mentioned how surprisingly good they are for being "knockoffs." Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel is no exception. Brian 'bjw' Walker set out to complete this sequel and he did so in 0:32:50.76. It's a great watch, so be sure to check it out.

Our next game features Sega's original poster boy. No, not Sonic, I'm talking about Alex Kidd! Damien 'babeuf' Pegoraro has been working diligently on Alex Kidd in Miracle World and it really shows. Check out his single-segment 0:14:44.

Finally we have the much anticipated improvement to Pokemon Gold. Mark 'werster' McKenzie is the man calling the shots here, and he's delivered a massive 46 minute improvement over the previous run. Werster's run clocks in at 3:29 and has all the Feraligatr you could ever ask for, and more.

Sunday, May 26, 2013 by Breakdown

Arbitrary milestone is arbitrary

Contra speed running has been seeing a lot of activity as of late, and as a result a lot of long standing runs on the site are getting an update. This trend continues today on the low % category of the original game in the series. After a lengthy stay, Freddy 'Frezy-man' Andersson is wiped from the game page and a new age of OG Contra dominance is ushered in with this 0:11:27 run from David Heidman Jr. I, for one, welcome our new Contra overlord.

We'll keep things going with another obsoletion of a run from 2009. Super Dodge Ball gets a facelift today with a healthy improvement to the existing easy difficulty run. Runner 'Darkwing Duck' chopped over a minute off the incumbent run, finishing with a time of 0:05:38. Surely the most intense ball-to-face action you'll find with your safe search on (couldn't resist).

From here on out, it's all new games to SDA. We'll kick off the newcomers with a Mario series game, though it's one of those "why" entries in the Mario series: Mario Is Missing. "Because it's there" was apparently enough reason for runner '__sdfg' to put together a run for it, and he approached the task with zeal, charging through this educational adventure in a very quick 0:21:34.

Co-op runs don't come around too often, but next up we have a co-op run of a game featuring co-op franchises. I'm not really sure why I'm trying to add significance to the somewhat unique classification of the run and game when, judging by the popularity of their AGDQ run, simply stating that Patrick 'PJ DiCesare and Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman have a submission for the NES's Battletoads and Double Dragon: The Ultimate Team should be enough to entice most of you to hurry off and download it. The final time is 0:23:29, be sure to check it out.

Wrapping things up today we have Josh 'funkdoc' Ballard running a game that became a bit of a darling among bad game enthusiasts in recent months, but the Famicom's Holy Diver isn't bad so much as that it's brutal in its difficulty. As is typical of speedruns, though, the difficulty is not at all on display in this 0:18:45 run. If you've played the game, prepare to be amazed. If not, watch it anyway, it's pretty entertaining.

And with these 3 new additions to the game list, SDA hits the mark of 900 games with hosted runs. I've been called out in the past for not shouting out milestone run totals, but they never really struck me as being all that significant personally. It's a cool number to hit, sure, but there's still plenty of games out there without runs, and given the current rate of submissions we'll be up to 1000 before you know it. Though I suppose you can't constantly be looking ahead and need to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. So happy 900 everybody, and thanks to all who have made it possible.

Monday, May 20, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Pah! I scoff at your video game logic.

P.O.W.: Prisoners of War is a terrible depiction of what an actual war is like, with it resembling something more like a Double Dragon game with guns, but if Bloody Wolf style shooting is your thing, this is your run. Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy donned his Contra-style bandana and punched, kicked, stabbed and blasted his way through this fairly entertaining looking game in 0:19:48, which I think puts it in the running for the fastest time in that a military conflict has been resolved, and we are all about them fastest times.

Speaking of poor depictions, Adventure Island does a poor job of depicting an island, with the variance of wildlife, ecosystems and the existence of wild skateboards causing me to scratch my head trying to make sense of things. Dag 'ktwo' Cato had no such issues however, guiding the questionably dressed 'Master Higgins' (Yes, that's the protagonist's name.) safely through the game to rescue his ladyfriend in a smooth 0:43:53. This run is on the PAL version, so maybe your Americanised Adventure Islands make a little more sense than this one.

Darkwing Duck is a tricky one. On one hand, anthropomorphic talking ducks make zero sense in the real world, but on the other hand, I loved watching the cartoons when I was a kid, so I'll let this one slide. While we do have a runner at SDA with the same name as this game, it was none other than Jonathan 'Joka' Karlsson who took the mischievous masked mallard title, donning his cape and stylish hat and getting dangerous to bring us this 0:13:53 wonder.

Speaking of dangerous, you know what else is? Zombies. Having never seen a real one, I can't confirm that as a fact, but if you watch this run of Resident Evil 2, then I think you will come to agree with me on this one. Jake Tabor is not one to let a little thing like danger scare him though, as he braves the undead legions and brings us this 1:17:25 single-segment run on the Claire A game mode.

If you've ever done any reading on Greek Mythology, you'll know that the Greek pantheon are dicks. It may not surprise you to know that the next game features a prominent member of the Greek pantheon, and that he is in fact being a dick. The Battle of Olympus features many members of the Greek pantheon (some of them who aren't actually being dicks to you, a rare occurance) and also many creatures prominent in Greek mythology. 'Karma' took it upon himself to defy the gods, doing so in this 0:31:09 display of blasphemy, in which he presumably kicks Hades' arse and rescues the girl. Pretty standard fare for a mythological Greek story, really.

Friday, May 17, 2013 by Vorpal

Easy Theme Finale

I hope y'all have enjoyed the runs so far, and will continue to do so in the future. Definitely been a lot of them put out there this past month, and the queue's been greatly reduced in size as a result. But all good things come to an end, and ultimately there are not enough post-verification runs remaining in the queue to sustain that pace much longer.

Looking forward, we aren't really sure what the update pace will look like. It will certainly be more than our historic once a week with 4-6 runs; if we revert to that, we'll be doing this all over again next year. But as for the exact schedule, I expect we'll be working that out over the next month or two.

Let's have a finale, shall we? Everyone loves a Final Fantasy Finale. Well, actually, the real reason is that I didn't want to take enough runs to perhaps delay the next update if other runs don't move forward quickly, but I am nothing if not opportunistic.

Brian 'Brossentia' Cook decided that Final Fantasy 4 was not quite broken enough. He set out to fix that, in a manner of speaking. The result is clear: some rather bewildering run comments, and this single-segment 2:17:26 with major skips. I have a sneaking suspicion that, some far-flung day in the future, an underflow will have been discovered for every game currently in existence.

Being Final Fantasy themed, the other game has to be completely different, and yet not different in the slightest. Enter Final Fantasy 12. I remember glancing through the forum thread years and years ago, and people were working on runs back then, but the vast scale of this game meant that many projects fizzled out halfway through. William 'Youkai' Welch had that happen to him as well, but he persevered. The end result is 6:35:17, done in 40 segments and with Youkai's trademark audio commentary.

That's all for today. Until next time.

Thursday, May 16, 2013 by Flip

Just some falling water

You would have seen this update last night, but bad storms in my area knocked out my power, and the internet was down all night. Oh well.

First off today we have a speed run of one of the games that defined the FPS genre - Wolfenstein 3D. When it was originally released, Wolfenstein 3D contained a single episode; however, now there are six. Karim 'Kimo Xvirus' El-Sheikh has seen to all six episodes on 'I Am Death Incarnate' difficulty. The total time is 0:27:14.

Next we have a game that I thought has always been interesting from a speed run perspective. In Viewtiful Joe, the player can speed up play to move faster, or slow down play to gain more power. A speed run has to find the proper balance between power and speed... and Voomerangs. The player in this case is Tom 'tminator64' Parr and he blazes through the Kids difficulty in a single-segment 0:29:46. Seriously, fear the Voomerang.

Finally we have some IL improvements to the recently published any% table for Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Zachary 'zewing' Ewing has improved 5 levels in the table. The total improvement of 52 seconds brings the table time down to 1:24:36. We have -

Notice when these runs were verified (1 2 3). Nearly all of the runs we have ready to post have been verified in the last month. The Big Push is working!

Friday, May 10, 2013 by Vorpal

Not slowing down

This update should have been a little bigger, and perhaps a little earlier, but there's been a recent rash of runs with minor technical problems in the final encodes. They'll be coming shortly, I'm sure. In any case, don't worry; even though there are only five more paragraphs, this might be pushing the record for most runners in a single update.

Let's start with the oldest run currently in the queue. Tunnel Rats is, for once, a game based off a Uwe Boll movie (instead of vice-versa). 'Kotti' has been blazing through many games as of late, and this is part of that bumper crop. Check out this 0:21:13 in 8 segments on Easy difficulty, and be glad you don't have to step into a boxing ring to watch.

La-Mulana is a game I've been meaning to play for years now. I played a few minutes of it years back, but couldn't figure out anything to do and eventually got distracted and never went back. Travis 'Solairflaire' Hofman, however, proves that even if it might take me years (and counting) to beat it, it doesn't take years to run. Enter his single-segment 1:47:27, which obsoletes the previous run by about forty minutes. It may be of comparable length to the latest Indy movie, but I'm pretty sure it's more entertaining.

I promised a lot of players, and it's time to deliver on that. When you hear the words David Heidman Jr. and Kyle 'Mr. K' Halversen, I hope you think Contra, because that's what you're getting. The Contra Conference produced good results, of which this 2-player 0:10:06 is only the first. Given how hard coordination between two players is, you really wanna give this a watch.

Contra III: The Alien Wars is a weird title. Are the other Contra games not wars involving aliens? It doesn't make sense to me. In any case, thanks to my extremely subtle foreshadowing it should be no surprise that there's a sweet 2-player run you want to watch. Jonas 'Hurblat' Martinsson and Kyle 'Mr. K' Halversen are proud to present this Hard difficulty run in 0:13:48. They also included an audio commentary, so check that out.

Two runs, three players? Greater than average, but not by much. What really gets interesting is when 'Ridley 64', 'Random', 'ARF', 'guwa', Peter 'Zil', Christian 'DarkDespair5' Walker, and Jeffrey 'I have no name' Bardon all team up on a run. The game is Touhou Bunkachou ~ Double Spoiler. The game has 108 scenes, so filling up an IL table is quite a feat. There's no total time, since the timer counts down (so higher is better), but you can check the table out here.

Until next time.

Edit - There was a problem with the Double Spoiler files. More specifically, 27 of the levels had older versions posted, and that necessitated replacing them with the proper files. If you were torrenting you'll need to redownload and start a new torrent. Sorry for the trouble!

Monday, May 6, 2013 by UraniumAnchor

Tiny but Huge

While I'm not a name that's been on the front page before, at least not in this capacity, I imagine that a good portion of you already know who I am. I've been regularly visiting this site for almost four and a half years now, when I first noticed that the site was lacking a Prince of Persia run and I decided to fix that problem. Countless hours of blood, sweat, tears, and more than a little cooperation later, and here I am, writing an update for you.

Before I get into the videos, though, I wanted to say a few words. This site is entirely user-driven. All of the content presented to you is created by the visitors. Even a good portion of the current staff members got their start just from wanting to produce runs for the site. When I started coming here nearly everything was done manually, and by far fewer people than are involved in the site now. I look back at the month my first run was posted, and every news update bar one was written by the same person. I can't imagine that sort of thing working now given the pace that runs come in. This site wouldn't be what it is today without all of the amazing runners that continue to produce content, whether it's for the bragging rights or just because of the personal challenge of wanting to see how far they can push a time down. Even if all you are is a +1 on the viewer count in a runner's stream, I thank you. This community is strong and I trust that it will continue to be so.

Speaking of the community, the generosity never ceases to astound me. It seems like every week now there's another live marathon event supporting a charity of some sort. Literally hundreds of players showing off their skills to support one good cause or another. In particular, AGDQ raising over half a million dollars for cancer research over the last three years continues to blow me away. On a personal note, last Sunday, April 28th, one of my mother's long-time friends, a man she'd known for 17 years, a man who in the late 90s gave my family the first computer I could call a proper gaming PC (though in earlier years I also had a C64 and an Amiga on top of all my consoles), lost a year-long battle with esophageal cancer. Two days ago I attended his funeral. The money that this community continues to pour into PCF and the dozens of other worthy charities that I continue to see getting supported means that fewer people will have to go through what he did, whether it's from cancer or some other ailment. I look forward to the day when an online charity marathon breaks the 7 digit mark. We all know it will happen.

But enough about that, you aren't here for my soapboxing, you're here to watch awesome speedruns.

First off we have a tiny improvement, but it's only tiny when taken absolutely. In a run as short as Half Minute Hero, a 0:00:11.55 by Jim 'dowolf' Dobler in the Hero 3 category is a large difference, just under a second faster than the previous 12.48. Don't blink.

Who doesn't know Ninja Turtles? Unfortunately I haven't played TMNT (2007) at all, but Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe has provided a table of the challenge levels, adding up to 0:04:49.890, with lots of flipping and wall climbing. Unfortunately, I didn't spot any pizza.

Those of you who watched AGDQ probably saw what happens when two brothers try to play co-op. Lots of new tricks have been found since the last co-op Sonic 3 & Knuckles run, and months of effort by Mike 'mike89' McKenzie and Mark 'werster' McKenzie results in the 0:30:05 you see before you today, over seven minutes cut off the old time. Unfortunately we don't know how much arguing occurred during the run, but some of us can guess.

Staying with Mike for a moment, a new addition to the Wario Land 4 page, this time with a S-Hard, Single Segment w/Resets run done in 1:07:02. I haven't played the game myself, but having watched his streams on many occasions, S-Hard mode hides necessary story items in some pretty devious places and doesn't give you a lot of wiggle room with damage taking. Watch it, you won't be disappointed.

Finally, William 'Youkai' Welch has provided us with an improvement to Gears of War. His new Insane segmented run in 1:34:57 is a 22 minute improvement to his old run, no small feat on a category this unforgiving. Given the numbers in his comments, it took him quite a while to get this run.

See you next time.

Sunday, May 5, 2013 by Breakdown

Feast and famine

When sorting through the runs to post today, I was a little surprised to learn that to this point we didn't have a run for the original Crash Bandicoot. This hole in our catologue is getting plugged today, however, thanks to the work of Trent 'CaneofPacci' Lowry. Trent kicks off this title's game page with a single segment 100% run with deaths which finishes in a brisk 1:21:19.

One thing that definitely didn't surprise me in plotting out this update was how few Saturn runs we're currently hosting. That total gets a +1 today, though, with the addition of Saturn Bomberman to our game list. Tony 'ZenicReverie' Foster blasts his way through this Saturn exclusive in a brisk 0:47:09.

Wii Ware games are another thing we don't see too many runs for, but there's a definitely a handfull of titles on the platform that are very speedrunner friendly. If you ask Christian Kudahl, Jett Rocket is one such title, and he demonstrates as much with a single segment run that clocks in at 0:40:29.

One thing we have no shortage of is segmented PC runs, but there's always room for more. Bolstering our total today is this run of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat from Daniel 'rayvex' Babik. Daniel uses 16 segments (which have been conveniently combined into a single file) to fly through The Zone in a very quick 0:38:58.

Further illustrating the point beginning the previous paragraph is runner 'zawj' with his offering on Giants: Citizen Kabuto. 49 segments were used in this 1:13:59 run, an improvement of close to eight minutes over the run we've been hosting. No single file package for this one, but we have torrents to make your life easier.

Wrapping up the update we have two runs that both fit categories we have pretty decent coverage of on the site: Batman games and runs by Josh 'funkdoc' Ballard. For starters, Josh adds Batman: Return of the Joker to our game list, charging through it in 0:13:40. Josh also gives a quick reminder on the what the Joker is returning from with a run of the original NES Batman. A lot of new tech has been found for this game since the last run was posted, and that's very apparent in this 0:10:24 run, a 47 second improvement. As good as this run is, though, there's a very recent improvement already submitted to SDA, and thanks to our recent surge of posting it'll be up very shortly, so get this one while you can.

Friday, May 3, 2013 by Vorpal

Keep on truckin

After helping plan NHG's Another World runs, Alexey 'Archanfel' Vishnevskiy decided to run a game himself. He chose a game in the same genre: Bermuda Syndrome, and NHG completed the circle by helping plan. Archanfel got the time down to 0:49:56 in 39 segments.

The Counter-Strike: Condition Zero: Deleted Scenes IL table gets an update today. Albin 'quadrazid' Sigby and Max 'coolkid' Lundberg teamed up to shave off over 20 minutes from the table, resulting in 1:21:42. The scenes may be deleted, but these runs aren't.

Little Big Planet has its existing single-segment run joined by an IL table today. Tad 'RabidJellyfish' Cordle finishes off all the levels with a total time of 0:57:00. I wonder if there's a jellyfish skin for Sackboy?

Every SimCity needs a mayor, and what better mayor than Kyle 'Mayor K' Halversen? I don't think I've heard of anyone playing this game without using the money glitch, and this single-segment in 0:31:18 is no exception. In other news, nobody in this town is afraid of natural disasters anymore, partially because they listened to Mr. K's audio commentary.

Solomon's Key has been used. 'ktwo' has updates for both of his existing single-segment runs. He beats the game in 0:15:28, about 30 seconds faster, and if you prefer the best ending then that comes in at two minutes faster, or 0:33:41. Good stuff.

Lots of Oddworld games have been making it to the front page lately, and Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is no exception. Brody 'Rody B. ToMMon' Taylor stranges through the strange land, saving the Grubbs with 100% in an 18-segment 3:23:44. This is also the only Oddworld game that doesn't have 'odd' somewhere in the subtitle, and more importantly doesn't make me question the spelling of another word.

That's all for today. See you around.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by Flip

Audio Commentary out the Whizzoo

All but one of today's runs have one thing in common- they all have audio commentary. The only run going up today without it is Shadow Complex. Jordan 'Greenalink' Greener had already taken this game under 10 minutes, but he's out to improve it again with his New Game + run in 0:05:14 with resets. It may not have audio commentary but as far as I'm concerned this run speaks for itself.

For those of you who have been around for a while, this next game needs no introduction. For those of you who are new to SDA, run away. It's Mohawk and Headphone Jack. Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare seems to have fooled himself into liking this game, because he not only has beaten his Warps run, but he's provided a Warpless run as well. Although the casual viewer probably can't tell the difference, I'll tell you that the Warps run in 0:29:02 as well as the Warpless run in 0:44:01 are both an excellent watch. Listen to the included audio commentary on both to give yourself a chance of understanding what it is you're seeing.

Next we have the Final Fantasy game that started them all! Well, actually Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition is like the 6th reincarnation of the original, but close enough. Lenophis is the man at the wheel here, and his single-segment run clocks in at 1:38. You'll have to watch this run and listen to the audio commentary quickly though, because an improvement has already been accepted and is heading towards the front page.

Speaking of re-imaginings older games in a series, next up we have Double Dragon Neon. Besides just punches and kicks, Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy uses every tool he can find to beat down everything in his way. I spied a whip, a baseball bat, a wrench, and a sword as I was scanning through the run myself. Sounds brutal. Listen to the provided audio commentary as you watch his single-segment 0:38:01.

Some of you may remember the name Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare. If you don't, you should probably see a doctor because he's literally three paragraphs up. His victim this time around is Whizz. Less than 2 months ago, we posted PJ's 0:18:08 to the front page. Lots of major route revisions have brought about his improved 0:16:10. Two minutes off of a run less than twenty minutes long is nothing to scoff at. Neither is PJ's audio commentary, so give it a listen while you watch.

Another game that hasn't been out of the news for very long is Super Punch-Out!!. Earlier this month we posted fifteen new IL runs to the Super Punch-Out!! page, and today I'm happy to say we have an improved single-segment run to go with them. Zack 'Zallard1' Allard has shaved 30 in-game seconds off of the previous time, which is astounding considering the previous time was 0:03:24.97. Check out Zallard1's new 0:02:54.05 and listen to the audio commentary as well!

April may be over but we're not quite done (big) pushing yet. Stay tuned for more.

Monday, April 29, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Oh, it's on.

While it's true that real men are able to innovate when tasked with writing an update containing a full list of games they have not played before, it is also true that lesser men are able to start memes regarding other updaters nicknames, such as 'Breakdown? More like Breakclown, amirite?'. Real men should therefore be more careful with their updates lest this sort of thing propagate itself. Please note that I am definitely not in no way endorsing not using this particular anti-line of text in the presence of certain other updaters.

Speaking of updaters, I am one and therefore shall supply you with an update. First off, we have a run of the interestingly named Bad News Baseball. Rest assured that the game making it to our front page is in no way bad news no matter what the game name might lead you to assume, and that all baseball displayed within is within acceptional boundaries for speedrun conditions. Richard 'rggibson' Gibson knocks the opposition out of the park in this speedy 02:32 single-segment run, no doubt filled with home runs and other baseball related terminology.

Moving on, we have a rather mind-blowing segmented run of Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal by Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery and Eli 'Smilge' Chase, and those of you who have played this game before should probably swallow whatever drinks you may be consuming before you read the completion time: a mere 05:11. To give this a little perspective, this is an improvement of a whopping 31:51 over the previous record. I strongly recommend you have a copy of the run comments handy while watching this, because the level of glitching and game abuse going on in here makes the 3D Zelda titles look tame.

Gunman Clive is a recent game, so recent in fact that it has no wikipedia article for me to blag information from for my update, so barring that, I'll resort to assuming the game plays similarly to how it's titled. So for those of you who want to watch a speedrun of a game wherein a man named Clive who also wields a gun has to do stuff, then this is the run for you. For those of you who would rather I look harder for information, tough. Jordan 'Greenalink' Greener has completed an IL table for us, with a total time of 12:05.84, no doubt full of action packed gunmanly manlyness. And bullets. Who can resist such a combination?

Having played Left 4 Dead myself, I'm therefore qualified to write a real update about it. 'Freezard' took it upon himself to improve the existing IL table by a little over 7 minutes total, for a final time of 38:15. He's also included a fully detailed list of comments for every level improvement, so make sure to keep those handy while you watch him completely disregard what normal people would do in a zombie outbreak situation and gun down his own teammates before running off faster than Francis can say, "I hate teamkillers".

Castlevania: Dracula X is a game about a man dressed in leather who has a whip and fights demonic crime. Said leather-dressed man also moves much faster while backflipping, which both looks hilarious and makes for an interesting speedrun. Bruno 'mabru' Rosini demonstrates his acrobatic proficiency in this bad-ending single-segment run in 16:53, and while I'm not sure what the bad ending constitutes, if it involves you flicking the business end of your whip into Dracula repeatedly it can't be that bad, right?

I am of the personal opinion that Robots are Cool. I must therefore disagree with the name of the next game in this update on a fundamental level; Give Up, Robot is one of those flash games that we've been seeing more and more of, and while the name offends me mildly, I actually think this one is pretty cool. Zach 'ZachSK' Kessler has provided us with a single-segment run of this little gem that beats the game in 04:44.13, which makes it the perfect run to watch while you're taking a short break from watching the next run in the update...

...which leaves us with the final game in the update; Xenoblade Chronicles is one of those JRPG thingies that are all the rage these days, and will therefore be the longest run in the update. Being a modern JRPG, you might be surprised that Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe was able to complete a NewGame+ single-segment run of this game in a mere 3:40, a far cry from some of the times the other monstrous JRPGs this site features boast, and the better for it. Sir VG has also included run comments of a size appropriate for the run time, so those of you who like reading about runs while watching them should give those a browse as well; for those of you who don't, this run also features audio commentary, so you don't have to! Win win.

Sunday, April 28, 2013 by Breakdown

I've totally played all of these. Totally.

Real men put on a brave face when called upon to write about seven games they've never played before. It's in the man handbook sandwiched between refusing to ask for directions and never calling a repair man when there's perfectly good duct tape on hand.

Let's kick things off with the lone improvement of the day, and what an improvement it is. Damien 'Dragondarch' Moody puts the PS2's Castlevania: Lament of Innocence through the wringer with a number of new tricks, glitches, and strategies from the previous single segment run. The result is a time over sixteen minutes faster, clocking in at 0:34:58. Looking at the game page you'll notice a bunch of different categories with long standing runs. With the new finds you have to wonder how much longer those will be sticking around

The Sly Cooper series is one with a strong following, and that contingent should be happy to see another installment in the series get a run hosted on the site today. Sly 2: Band of Thieves gets a 100% run added to the gamelist today thanks to the efforts of James 'cooopercrisp' Mernin. Everything the game has to offer is completed in 6:38 over 54 segments.

I'm willing to bet a good chunk of our readers have never heard of Disaster: Day of Crisis, it being a more recent game that was never released in the US, but for the importers, Europeans, Japanese, and Australians out there, it might be one you know and love. Either way, you're bound to get some entertainment out of this new game+ run from Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe. Playing on normal difficulty and using 24 segments, he saves the populace from an assortment of not so natural disasters and puts a stop to their source in 2:09:23.

Despite never being much good at them myself, I've always really enjoyed runs of Mega Man games. Fortunately for me (and others in the same boat), the series is very popular among speedrunners, with the overwhelming majority of the titles in the series having runs available on the site, and that majority gets a little bit more overwhelming today with the addition of the Game Boy's Mega Man IV. Runner Will 'willwc' Blatt blazes through this monochromatic Mega Man adventure in a very quick 0:41:55.

We'll keep the huge series theme running for one more game, though this one doesn't have quite the same representation as the previous one. The Might and Magic series has been going strong for decades, but today we're seeing only our second speedrun for it with Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer. I'm not sure exactly how much gameplay time this RPG boasted on the back of the box, but I have a sneaking suspiscion runner 'gammadragon' makes a mockery of that number with this 0:17:12 run with deaths. The run used 16 segments, but they've been appended to a single file for easy downloading and viewing.

So I've been winging my way through this update, but it's been pretty easy for most of these games as they're at least from series I'm varying degrees of familiar with. Legend of Grimrock offers me no such luxury, but in doing some research on it, it seems like a pretty cool game. I may personally hold off on watching this 1:01:35 run in 23 segments from 'Pongsifu' until I've played through it myself, but for the rest of you, get it while it's fresh.

Friday, April 26, 2013 by Vorpal

Trilogies are boring

The first game we have for you today is Armadillo Run. If you're a fan of Rube Goldberg machines, you'll want to check this one out. Scott 'Sendai45' Barnkow has helpfully provided a set of individual-level runs for all 50 levels; they total up to 0:05:58.63.

Half-Life's enduring popularity shows no signs of decaying any time soon. Enter Fabrizio 'Superfrizzio' Rossebastiano. Superfrizzio opts to play on the rather different European release of the PS2 version, and he puts up a single-segment 01:06:06 on hard.

The Hitman series has been one of those series I've kinda wanted to try, but never quite got around to. That problem is not shared by 'Kotti', 'msqrt', or Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery. They've collaborated on an individual level table for Hitman: Blood Money. Or more specifically, a NewGame+, Silent Assassin, 100% table on the Professional difficulty in 0:22:50. That's a mouthful.

Lately we have had several Xbox Live Indie Games hit the site. That pattern continues with Ophidian Wars: Opac's Journey. Jess 'JTB' Blouch uses deaths to clear the interesting platformer in a swift single-segment 0:10:51.11.

Not enough games give me the opportunity to channel Chomsky, but Sniper: Ghost Warrior is one of them. Tim 'Judgy' Kedge has sent in a set of individual level runs. They come in at 0:38:25 on the Easy difficulty. Perhaps these vids will give you something to watch as you wait silently in the jungle?

This update had plenty of military-themed games. Syphon Filter 3 is definitely one of them. Terrorists blowing stuff up have been in the news lately (my condolences to anyone affected by the Boston bombings), so I guess it's fitting that we post a game originally delayed by the 9-11 attacks? I'm sure Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll was not thinking such morbid thoughts when he set out to do this speedrun. Have a look at his 01:14:32, done on the European version using 19 segments.

The NES version of Ultima III: Exodus is interesting to me. Partially because of its history, and partially because, after posting an Abe's Exoddus run, I keep having to double-check how I'm spelling the word. Neil 'PresJPolk' Stevens has faced the game in single-segment fashion, and defeated it in a solid 0:43:37. Clearly he dislikes it when computers act up.

That's all the runs today, but there's also an event worth mentioning. Tomorrow (4/27) at 9 AM EDT/3 PM central european time, the folks at the Olymptronica video game festival in Berlin are going to be hosting a live speedrunning competition. Adam 'AdamAK' Kuczynski and Max "coolkid" Lundberg are going to be competing in that. That link is a link to the stream; head on over and hit the follow button, and if you're around tomorrow you just might catch some of the action. That's all for today; until next time.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 by Flip

Can you tell I haven't played any of these? Part 2

Kicking things off tonight, we have Crash Bandicoot. It's been a whole week since we had Crash in an update so I know many of you were missing him. Today, Peter 'PeteThePlayer' Tissen has given us his run of Crash Tag Team Racing. His run on the European version with large skip glitches clocks in at 0:52:22.

Alpha Protocol seems like a pretty awesome game, even though I had never heard any mention of it before we got a submission of it. Sounds like Knights of the Old Republic with a stealthy side. Frank 'Softman25' Black seems to like it, considering he ran through it in 1:33:20 using resets.

I love when already short runs are beaten by a sizable margin. An improvement of a couple minutes is impressive for an hour long run, but mostly unheard of for a run under 10 minutes. That's just what Joel 'George' Hall has done to Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. He's brought the time down from 0:05:47 to 0:03:55. After watching this run all I can say is kids, don't try this at home. Stay inside with your video games where it's safe.

Next up we've got another short run, this time of the Flash game Don't Look Back. It's made by the same guy who made VVVVVV, so if you thought VVVVVV was beautiful wait until you feast your eyes on this one. Charles 'Arcanod' Nannan shoots his way from the grave, to the underworld, and back again in 0:04:18.

A few of the runs recently posted have been out of the first batch of public verifications in SDA history. These next runs of Tobe's Vertical Adventure were also publicly verified. Greg 'Setz' Tyndall has run this game 3 different ways! First, we have single segment runs as both playable characters- 0:15:54 as Tobe and 0:15:10 as Nana. Greg also did a segmented co-op run with 'Gumboman' and completed it in 0:13:48.

Monday, April 22, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Can you tell I haven't played any of these?

Let's start you off big. We've got a new entry for the longest run on the site, Grandia, weighing in at a hefty (yet impressive) 13:32:02 in 97 segments by 'Chris-X'.

Mafia 2 is another new addition to our gamepages, with an impressive 3:28 segmented completion by Mirko Brown.

If you've been at SDA for any appreciable amount of time, you may have heard of PJ's bad game exchange system. If you have not, you should familiarise yourself here. Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy completed a run of the colourfully named Musya: The Classic Japanese Tale of Horror in 20:21. In exchange, Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel had to complete a run of the equally colourfully named Radical Rex, and did so in 25:40 on the Easy difficulty. Which of these two was the bigger victim? You decide.

Quake runs are traditionally impressive to me as Quake is a game that requires incredible precision in movement and aiming, and Quake 2 runs are no less impressive. Jozsef Szalontai continues that tradition with this 14:00 segmented run of the first expansion, Quake 2: The Reckoning.

We have two runs of the Penumbra series of games for you; a segmented run of Penumbra: Overture in 18:55 by 'Kotti', and a segmented run of Penumbra: Requiem in 21:58, also by 'Kotti'.

Finally, our very own UraniumAnchor has created some equal parts amusing and amazing Highlight and Blooper reels of the most recent AGDQ marathon. You guys should check them out. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll laugh until you cry. I guarantee it.

Sunday, April 21, 2013 by Breakdown

Rush job

This update was written in a bit of a hurry as The Big Push cares not for busy weekend schedules (it's still Sunday somewhere, I'm counting it as on time). I don't even have time for a snarky reply to Vorpal as I need to rush to post his Hokuto No Ken run. Oh wait, that doesn't exist. He should finish up his own runs before trying to get a little retribution by coming after mine.

Our catalogue of Contra series runs is already rather large and impressive, but there's always room for more, and today's addition to that list has so much shirtless, alien-blasting action that it can't even be contained to a single screen. Be sure to check out an unparalleled display of dual-screened manliness from Kyle 'Mr. K' Halversen on the DS's Contra 4. He charges through the game's hard difficulty in a brisk 0:24:37.

Simarly to the Contra series, SDA also boasts a wide variety of Final Fantasy games, but again we're adding one to the total today. Well, sticklers for details may point out Final Fantasy Legend II is actually a SaGa title, but to them I say the game's title is plenty good enough to include it as another tally on the list. Ryan 'Poxnor' Vogt blazes through this handheld RPG in a single segment, clocking in with a final time of 0:34:26.

Fun fact about Dash Galaxy in the Alien Asylum: when I was a kid and got the chicken pox my parents got me the game to keep me busy while I was home sick. Despite this fact, I still love them. It's a horrible game, and deserves the absolute destruction Kevin 'neskamikaze' LaLonde brings to it in this 0:06:46 run. I find watching it cathartic, I hope you all enjoy it similarly.

Let's keep the bad NES game train a rolling for one more entry, though this next one looks like fine art compared to Dash Galaxy, and does have a pretty rocking soundtrack at the very least. Fester's Quest is making its way onto the game list today courtesy of runner Brian 'Brossentia' Cook. Why Uncle Fester is pitted against aliens is a mystery to me, but with Brian's piloting he proves to be more than up to the task, foiling their plot in a very quick 0:24:35.

Moving on to more popular and well regarded fare, we have a new run for the warps category of Super Mario Bros. 2. It's been close to six years since the category has seen an update, but runner Chris 'cak' Knight knocked over 20 seconds off the incumbent time. The resulting 0:08:52 is quite something, be sure to give it a watch.

Next up, we have a new run for the fiercely competitive and SRL Season 1 entry Ninja Gaiden. The improvements for this one just keep coming, with the latest entry to the game page being this 0:12:00 run from Daniel 'Dxtr' Eriksson. Whether you're a racer trying to shave some seconds off your time or just a fan of the game wanting to see it get wrecked, this run is sure to have what you're looking for.

We'll wrap things up today with I game I feel pretty safe saying everyone reading this has played at one point or another. The run for the long time Start menu standard Minesweeper has gotten an improvement to the Intermediate difficulty setting. Kamil Muranski bested his own already amazing time by a few tenths of a second (which is basically years in high level Minesweeper circles), dropping the time down to 0:00:07.03. Click that link and prepare to be amazed, just be careful not to blink.

Friday, April 19, 2013 by Vorpal

Bright neon lights

I learned, when researching this update, that there are several different versions of Batman Returns. There's the SNES version, which I know nothing about, there's the infamously bad Genesis/Megadrive version, and then there's the subject of this update, unique and forgotten Sega Master System version. Adam 'AdamAK' Kuczynski, true to the spirit of the Dark Knight, makes use of large-skip glitches to get around everything. The time to beat is 0:01:41 on Hard.

Kiss: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child is a run that was stuck in verification hell for a very long time. This push of updates has brought a lot of those out, and hopefully Thomas Sturm's run will now find the audience it deserves. Have a look at this 0:51:16 in 30 segments, on Lullaby difficulty.

A lot of people are going to be excited when they see the name of this next game: Super Mario Galaxy 2. 'nemi' has decided not to let Bowser have his way for too long. The end result is a 3:17:50 single-segment using Bank Toad. Enjoy.

Pitfall II: Lost Caverns has been recommended to me by multiple people as one of the best early platformers. This flies in the face of common knowledge, which has it that the only game on the Atari 2600 was E.T. I guess people really liked pits back then. Regardless, Chris 'cak' Knight knows what's up, and hopefully this 100% single-segment in 0:09:47 will entertain you, as it is exactly three minutes faster than the previous run. I'm definitely watching it as soon as I'm done with this update.

It isn't often we see 30-minute obsoletions. Pokemon Crystal has provided just that. Mark 'werster' McKenzie has been blazing through quite a few Pokemon games lately, and this gem is one of the fruits of his labor. I'll stop making terrible puns and just link the single-segment 3:24 already. Be sure to check out the audio commentary as well.

Along with the Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island any% run we posted back around the beginning of December, Andy 'Carl Sagan' Diamos's sent some any% individual levels in at around the same time. But 54 levels, with 3 qualities per level, is just a lot of things to have to manage, and more than a couple IL tables have been held up due to technical problems and so on. In short, these runs had a long and torturous road to the front page, but now they're here, and you're looking at 1:25:28 for the whole game. Swag is: on.

A lot of people are going to tune out Touhou Bunkachou ~ Shoot the Bullet because it has Touhou in the title. If you do, that's a mistake. If the words puzzle-shmup hybrid sound at all interesting, you should check out the IL table. 'Giant Catfish' is responsible for 84 of the 85 stages, with 'fsvgm777' pulling an assist on 5-7.

That's all the runs for today, but not everything I have to say. SpeedRunsLive has launched Seasons, which is: a total reset of leaderboards/points every 3 months, along with a selection of a dozen featured games where, if you place well in a category, you get a small permanent award/prize/thingy at the end of the three months. You can see the list of games/categories here. It's a really cool excuse to play games you would otherwise not have bothered with, along with a bunch of other people who will be learning along with you.

I've picked up Meat Boy personally. It's kinda amusing; Breakdown's been playing Super Metroid for a while, musclin' in on my turf, and now I'm striking back. Consider this a warning: if you continue your aggressive behavior, I'll show you up by going after Ristar as well! Also, Meat Boy's a fun game.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 by Flip

Treasure Hunting

Our first game tonight is one I have wanted on this site for quite a while. Today we finally have a run of LittleBigPlanet. Brian 'Brossentia' Cook has provided us with a single segment 1:11:55.

When this next game was posted to the site the first time, I figured it would never be beaten. I mean, who can top a speedwalk? How many speedrun strats could Dear Esther have? Apparently there's a way to walk faster and 'S.' walks all over that island in 0:19:38.

Next up, we have a run that features one of my favorite obese adventurers. Mike 'mike89' McKenzie is the man behind this speedrun of Wario Land 4. Mike plunders all the chests and shoulder charges through in 0:52:05, with resets.

We're not done with mike89 yet, oh no. He's got another character who's out to find some treasure in his run of QuackShot. Mike has shaved nearly 5 minutes off of the incumbent run from 2005. Check out his 0:27:34.

Although I haven't played this next game, it's quite clear that Jared 'FieryBlizzard' Klein makes it look much, much easier than it really is to fly through VVVVVV. This 100% run has its ups and downs (no, I couldn't resist), and clocks in at 0:17:48.

Wrapping things up, we've got two runs of Resident Evil 5 to add to the existing multiplayer run. Japanese runner 'NaP-Pe' has provided us with a Desperate Escape scenario run as Jill in 0:11:23 as well as a Lost in Nightmares scenario run as Chris in 0:08:27. All of these are great watches, so be sure to check them out!

Monday, April 15, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Aliens, Dragons, and Questionably Dressed Men

Let's start you off with the questionably dressed part of the update. I've always had a soft spot for Castlevania games, even though I've only played the more modern 'metroidvania' types. Regardless, this single-segment run of Castlevania: Bloodlines was a treat to watch for me. Travis 'Klaige' Nible puts John Morris (the whip guy) through his paces in a frankly amazing 30:46, almost a full minute faster than his previous time. Oh, and he does it on Expert difficulty too.

We've got two new sets of runs on the more recent Castlevania: Harmony of Despair. James 'Aftermath' Downing has completed a NewGame+ Soma Hardmode IL table (try saying that 5 times fast) of the game in 06:52.34. On top of that, he's teamed up with Richter afficionado Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman and game destroyer Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare to put together a coop NewGame+ Hardmode IL table in 06:33.10. So if you want to see a man in a bathrobe divekick bouncing off skulls up a pyramid, or some equally fashionably impaired individuals somehow warping their way to Dracula's room before he's even had time for breakfast, you should watch these runs.

Rounding out the Castlevania block, we have updates to every level in the IL table of Castlevania: Chronicles, bringing the total time down to 22:46.80, all of which are done by Nick 'Former Human' Marts. I'm not as familiar with this game as I am the others, but I'm sure the viewers will be able to pick up on at least 3 different things wrong with the protagonists attire.

On the Dragons side of things, Matt 'Crash41596' Leblanc has submitted an any% Single-Segment run of Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage to us, beating the previous run by a little shy of 5 minutes for a time of 29:23. I am assured that this run has more than its fair share of spinning dragons, and as the run category includes large-skip glitches, you can be assured that said spinning dragons will be doing things that would make the Castlevania guys jealous.

Last but very much not least, the Aliens part. Alien Shooter wastes no time in describing its gameplay, and for those of you who enjoy watching aliens being shot with a variety of weapons, you won't be disappointed. Mihail 'horned' Petrov blasts through the swarms of xenos in a time that would make even the Warhammer 40k folks jealous, a brisk 17:59, and to top it all off, this is done low%.

Until next time.

Sunday, April 14, 2013 by Breakdown

80s style bad runs

For the benefit of our younger readers, bad used to mean good, or swag, or whatever the kids are saying down at the sock hop these days.

We'll start off with what prompted this decades old vernacular lesson: a run of Bad Dudes by Sean 'MURPHAGATOR' Murphy. Sean shows that he has a more than sufficient amount of bad to his dudeness to rescue the president, completing the task in a brisk 0:14:37.

Next up, runner, SDA timer, and screenshot taker extraordinaire Matan 'IsraeliRD' Weissman (seriously, give this guy some props, and tell him to buy a capture card) puts on a display of turtle abuse that would make the likes of Mario and Shredder look like card carrying PETA members, but insane reptilian violence is what the flash game Epic Combo! is all about. While far greater carnage is possible given time, you won't see the requisite amount of shelled destruction doled out faster than this 0:01:57.67 run, check it out.

Janitors don't get nearly the respect they deserve for the work that they do, and this surely wouldn't be the case if ninja janitors were more commonly seen in the occupation. Sadly, the ninja variety is not seen to often, and is possibly exclusively represented in the game Dustforce. Runner Mark 'Marksel' van den Broek viciously slays all the dirt and grime that gets in his way in a new game+ completion of the game with deaths. He clears the final stage at 0:35:29, far less time than it takes your average cleaning crew to get a job done.

There was one universal truth in 80s and 90s: everything was better in 3-D, which I'm sure was a driving factor in the design of Jim Power: Lost Dimension in 3-D. Regrettably, the 3-D effect was less eye-popping and more nausea inducing, but this fact didn't deter Josh 'Funkdoc' Ballard in his speedrunning pursuits. Playing on the game's hard difficulty, he blazes through the static foregrounds and parallax backgrounds in 0:26:52. Josh is also known for super informative commentary, so it should be no surprise the encode has a commentary track included, so be sure to get the download.

The Ultima series is commonly overlooked when RPG fans rattle off their favorites, but considering the longevity of the series and the number of installments it undoubtedly has its fans. Hopefully, that crowd will come out of the woodwork today for Jeff Feasel's work on the NES version of Ultima: Quest of the Avatar. Watch one of the least linear console RPGs ever released get wrecked in a very quick 1:58:41.

Wrapping things up today, we have some new runs for the quirky RPG-esque Half-Minute Hero. We have both a complete IL table for the Hero 30 mode with a total time of 0:15:58.23 and a single segment run of the Hero 300 mode in 0:02:53.52 game time. All of these new runs are on normal difficulty and come to us courtesy of runner Jim 'Dowolf' Dobler, and you should check them out promptly, the Goddess of Time demands it.

Friday, April 12, 2013 by Radix

15 years of running

Today is a special day in SDA's history. 15 years ago today, I posted the first update to the brand new site Speed Demos Archive. It consisted of 41 Quake demos and 1 for Quake II. Those were the only games on SDA back when it started. About six years later, I expanded SDA into "other games" with the launch of a new section. And nine years after that, you're reading this update and we have speedruns of over 800 games.

I thought of posting the names of everybody who ever helped with SDA, but then I realized I'd be here all day thinking of names to add, and I'd inevitably leave somebody out. So instead I'll just say a big thank you to anybody who has worked on the site, you know who you are. I also must thank all the runners who submit their runs in record numbers every year. Without you all, we wouldn't be here.

Enough of that - onto the runs! In honor of SDA's longevity, all games featured today were released approximately 15 years ago.

In Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Sam 'Samlaptop' Locke has submitted two runs. A straight playthrough resulted in a time of 0:41:06, which is 15 minutes faster than the previous run from 2006. Sam's 100% run (save 99 mudokons) resulted in a time of 1:15:55. Both runs were segmented.

Sam also submitted a run on the sequel, Abe's Exoddus, adding a second run category to the page. He completed the 100% category (rescue 300 Mudokons) with 117 segments in a time of 2:38:50.

Justin 'JMC4789' Chadwick just can't get enough of Mega Man Legends. He did a run on a third category for its page, hard mode, coming in at 1:04:05, which is only a little over ten minutes slower than his normal mode run.

Jefferson 'Surreal' Cline has submitted a regular run on Spyro the Dragon. This single-segment run clocks in at 0:44:08, which is about 17 minutes faster than the EU version run we have from 2010.

Michael 'golderzoa' Weber submitted a third category for the Pokémon Red/Blue page. This run is on the red version, single-segment, uses "large-skip glitches", and comes up with a game-timer value of 0:00!?! The real time for the run is about two minutes. I have no idea how this works but it definitely involves some kind of buffer overflow exploit of this poor old Game Boy game.

André Göhlsch submitted an improvement to the run of Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero. His run in a time of 0:45:36 is 4 minutes 56 seconds faster than a run from way back in 2005.

Thursday, April 11, 2013 by Vorpal

Breaking the 4th Wall

I wasn't kidding when I said last week that David Heidman Jr. likes indie games you've never heard of. This time around, it's the 4th Wall, which seems to be an adventure/horror game. 0:02:58 is not a bad price to pay for checking it out, I think.

Batman is popular lately. Batman: Arkham Asylum is just one of many Dark Knight titles that is fondly remembered. Sean 'DarthKnight' Grayson, a man whose real name sounds like it should be in a comic book somewhere, destroys the Joker's plot in a single-segment 1:57:08. Perhaps we should serialize Batman updates.

We have a couple PS1 shooters for you today. The first is Medal of Honor: Underground. Carsten 'djcj' Janssen, not satisfied with destroying two other Medal of Honor games, has returned for a third outing. Underground gets taken down in a scant 1:00:29, using 27 segments on Easy difficulty. Good stuff.

Today's other PS1 shooter is Syphon Filter. Martin 'J.Y' Söderhäll has updated the existing run, chopping a few minutes off. The time to beat is now 1:09:31, done on the European version with 20 segments.

Mega Man 9 is a perpetual favorite of mine, despite never having played it. Richard Gibson, fortunately, doesn't have that problem. The existing realtime-oriented single-segment run now has a gametime-oriented partner. Check out his 0:20:37.

When you see a Resident Evil 2 run, it's a pretty good guess the runner is 'Carcinogen'. He doesn't disappoint; today you get to watch a single-segment, A rank, Claire B run. 1:16:54 is about 7 minutes faster than the existing run, making that a pretty sizable improvement.

Lastly, the final item in this update is a near-total obsoletion of Super Punch-Out!!'s IL table. Only of the sixteen old runs remains (Bob Charlie if you're curious); for convenience it's included in the torrents as well. Zack 'Zallard1' Allard did the heavy lifting with 14 of the new runs, but 'Pokey' also contributed a Piston Hurricane time. The new total time is 0:02:17.96, so check those out.

That's all for today. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 by Flip

Don't throw that in the river

We're kicking things off today with an old favorite. Andrew 'RaneofSoTN' Melnyk has improved his single segment time for Final Fantasy IV. He goes from Dark Knight to Paladin and beyond in 3:21.

I never thought I'd see the day that I had a run quite like this in one of my updates. Brian 'Brossentia' Cook has provided us with a run of Bible Adventures. He successfully protects Baby Moses from harm and he does it in 0:01:53.

Video games based on TV shows are usually destined for disaster, yet Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy assures me that Rollergames is "actually a legit good game." I believe him and you should too- it's 14 minutes and 13 seconds you won't regret.

While researching for this update, I was tempted to stop and start playing Cat Planet instead. Tad 'RabidJellyfish' Cordle navigates his angel through Cat Planet and collects all the cats in 0:04:25.

It's not often that really short runs see really large improvements, but that's just what Pierre 'KartSeven' L'Hoëst has done to Dragon's Lair. His improvement of over a minute brings the time down to 0:05:51.

I haven't played any of the Assassin's Creed games, despite all of the good things I've heard. I know, I'm a bad person. François 'Fed981' Federspiel seems to like them, though, based on what he did to Assassin's Creed: Revelations. He "assassinates 'em all" (that's the point, right?) in his segmented 2:48:41 using DLC.

Finally, we have Robotrek. Robotrek actually doesn't look like a bad game, so I was surprised to see that Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare ran it. He storms through in a single segment 3:47. Be sure and listen to the included audio commentary!

Monday, April 8, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Couldn't find an anagram for 'APSTMLP'

Another World (also known as Out of this World for you North American types) is one of my favourite childhood games. The combination of platforming, the versatility of the weapon you get and the art style really made the game for me. Alexis 'NHG' Gabaig has blessed us with a Single-Segment blast through this game in 08:03, and those among you who share my nostalgia would definitely benefit from revisiting the past by watching it.

While it lacks the nostalgia factor, Portal 2 has the perfect blend of malevolent artificial intelligence, law of physics abuse and science, and this single-segment run in 1:13:38 done by Alex 'Znernicus' Thieke shows just how quickly those three things can be demolished. I hear the law of gravity in particular is looking to sue.

Speaking of malevolent AIs and Science, this run of System Shock 2 has them in spades. This single-segment run done on the Impossible difficulty in 27:31 by Dmitry 'KhanFusion' K. has lead me to ask myself this all-important question; who would win in a fight, SHODAN or GLaDOS?

The Immortal is a game notorious for its unforgiving traps and levels whose difficulty may caused frustration enough for you to curse at the developers ancestry. Those of you who remember the boat section and the worm cave and never got past either will enjoy this 11:06 Bad Ending completion of the game by 'Karma', and just to top it off, this run features death abuse.

Max Payne 2 is a game about a man with nothing to lose, so when a man with nothing to lose decides that he has nothing to lose really fast, we end up with this run; a single-segment run done on the Dead on Arrival difficulty in 46:20 by Evgeny 'anarki' Gladkiy.

If ancient Mayan plague gods, excessive and questionable weaponry, and explosives-relatedfire ignorance of collision boundaries are more your thing, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is the game for you. 'Kotti' and 'ariwa' teamed up to bring us this newgame+ coop blast-through of the game in a total of 18:27. If you've played this game before, maybe tried to get the speedrun achievements, you'll realise that this time is really damn fast.

Finally, we have a segmented run of the first-person survival horror game Penumbra: Black Plague for you done in 21:34 by 'Kotti', who has featured twice in this update. Favouritism? You decide.

Sunday, April 7, 2013 by Breakdown

Natural behavior

Anyone ever want to see ants do what ants do best really quickly? And by "what they do best" I of course mean setting up dominoes to be knocked over in elaborate chains. If so you're in luck today, and should check out this run of Pushover by Pierre 'KartSeven' L'Hoest in 1:00:24.

And we all know Bandicoots like to glitch the hell out of their surroundings and skip large chunks of what one would consider the intended path to their goal. You can see plenty of that in this run of the european version of Crash Bandicoot 2 in the large skips category from Nikolaj 'ThaRixer' Sorenson. Final time is 0:13:18, which should let anyone familiar with the game know the skips are large indeed.

As their job title implies, firemen put out fires. Sometimes they die in that pursuit, and it's very sad, but gets the job done more quickly. For examples of both, check out both the survivalist and expendable workers runs of The Firemen by Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel. The deathless and with deaths categories time in at 0:11:15 and 0:10:54 respectively.

I shouldn't need to educate anyone on the tendencies of ninjas, but just in case any of you are among the uninitiated, they run really fast, do cool flips in the air, and wreck everything that gets in their way in the most awesome ways possible. There is plenty of all of the above on display in this run of Hagane, again with Omnigamer at the helm, clocking in at 0:15:22.

Oversized apes tend to walk to the beat of their own drum, but occasionally they feel the beat of another drum is the best way to go. Such is the case in this set of 100% individual level runs for Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. Total time for the table is 1:00:05.53, and the man banging the bongos on all of them is Zack 'PiePusher11' Maher, who you will see certainly has the rhythm in him.

Lastly, we investigate the habits of scientist. They like to ride trams, perform experiments, open interdimesional portals, and kill stuff with crowbars. All of this and more can be seen in action in this single segment run of Half Life. The runner here is Max 'coolkid' Lundberg playing on the PC version's hard difficulty in a single segment, clocking in at 0:36:58.

One last point of interest, you've likely noticed we've started linking to runner's streams in these updates (and if you like their runs, give them a follow, we speedrunners measure our self worth in follower counts, another natural behavior), but we can only link to streams we know about or can find (I lucked out on a few of these today). So if you get a run posted and your name is linkless, let us know what your stream is and we'll edit it in. Simple as that.

Big week of speedruns, but much more to come. That Big Push keeps on rolling.

Thursday, April 4, 2013 by Vorpal

Not April Fools

Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus gets an improvement today. 'Sligfantry' is the man behind a remarkable 10 minute improvement to the game's bad ending segmented category. Check out this 0:45:17 in 49 segments.

Ace Combat 5 sat in verification hell for a while. It really is about time to present this run to you. Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe has a single-segment run on Very Easy for your perusal: 3:56:54.

Duck Tales GB seems like an especially relevant game, given the reveal of Remastered. Dave 'bangerra' Janssens has a moneybin he needs to fill, and 0:09:26 is the time it takes to do it on Difficult. Perhaps he should've invested in a bigger bucket.

Gears of War has had some activity over the past couple years. Andrew 'Brassmaster' Merideth was part of the multiplayer crew, but there's something to be said for striking out on your own. He's gone through Casual difficulty and achieved a time of 1:30:40 with 64 segments. Enjoy.

It might not be Mega Man Legends 3, but the Misadventures of Tron Bonne remain popular still. Especially to Justin 'JMC4789' Chadwick, the author of this fine run. Check out his single-segment 0:29:43, five minutes faster than the previous run. Do servbots count as tool-assistance?

If you watch David Heidman Jr.'s stream you're likely to see a procession of indie games you've never heard of, and that's a point of pride for him. Ninja Sneaking seems to be one such hidden gem. 0:05:38 should be short enough for you to check it out, no?

The last run I have for you today is no doubt the heavy hitter of this update: a new segmented run of Portal. The run was completed by the SourceRuns team, consisting of z1mb0bw4y, Inexistence, and Gocnak (with ending orchestration by Xebaz). The final time is 0:09:12. Also worth noting: their previous Portal run used scripts. This one doesn't, and still obsoletes it.

That's all for today. Happy watching.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 by Flip

The Big Push 2013

Despite the overwhelming support of our 'Speedrun of the Month' plan, we here at SDA have thought it through and decided that it may not be in the best interest of the site to post only one run per month when we're averaging close to 30 submissions every month. As it turns out, some people are concerned about having to wait too long after submitting to see their run hit the front page.

In all seriousness, recently we've had more runs accepted than we've been able to post, and that has created a well-known backlog between verification and the front page. We recognize that one of our top priorities needs to be reducing our overall submission time. That's the primary goal of this year's Big Push. When this is over, runs that are verified and accepted will be posted to the front page sooner rather than later. I won't bore you with all the details, just get ready to watch a LOT of runs.

First off, we have a couple of Pokemon Snap runs courtesy of Zach 'RaikerZ' Waggoner. RaikerZ snaps a few in his 0:22:55 any% run and he snaps 'em all in his 0:26:08 100% run.

Next up we have some new runs of Punch Out!! for Wii. For starters, we have a single segment run of the Contender Mode in 0:08:21.30 courtesy of Zack 'Zallard1' Allard. Also, we have 6 new Individual Levels in our table courtesy of Terry 'klar' Heard. Those are Disco Kid in 0:00:28.86, Don Flamenco in 0:00:17.74, Disco Kid 2 in 0:00:23.45, Piston Hondo 2 in 0:00:32.69, Super Macho Man 2 in 0:01:13.71, and Mr. Sandman 2 in 0:00:43.20.

When we reposted all of ktwo's runs, we didn't repost Cobra Triangle. Why, you ask? Because Adam 'KHANanaphone' Ferguson had since submitted a better time. Check out his 0:17:19.

From what I've gleaned from Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare's run comments, Battletoads in Battlemaniacs is not the most fun game to speed run. It should come as no shock to anyone that he has run it anyway, providing us with a single segment 0:19:56.

Capping off this update, we've got a run of Devil May Cry. Andy Huynh has run through the Japanese version of this game in Super Dante mode in 0:43:11. Make sure and get all of those runs while they're hot. We'll have more for you before you know it.

Whew, I've gotten rusty at this updating business. Feels good to shake off the cobwebs a little bit. See you next week!

Monday, April 1, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Wonderificent Informationage!

Good day to you, ladies and gentlemen! I come bearing news, news of some fantastic and radical CHANGES to SDA. There have been concerns that our update speed could be a little better. Yes, it's true, some people may have been under the mindset where they'd have bet chump change that those chumps would never change, but you have called and we have listened. A wise man once said, "If 'potential' is having the or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future, then 'pretential' is the potential to have potential.", and we at SDA are full of pretential. So full of it. So with that in mind, I'm going out lay out our changes for you.

At SDA, we value every single one of your speedruns. Every. Single. One. Even the Clue runs. So, how better to show our appreciation for them than to give them their own updates? But wait ShadowWraith, I hear you call, what about exposure time? How will my run truly be appreciated if it's in the most recent update for less than a week? Fear not, good speedrunner, for we have also instituted a plan to make sure that your speedrun gets the attention that it deserves. As a sort of litmus test for this 'speedrun of the month' plan, we're going to be pulling the most influential run out of our queue and posting it here for you to enjoy. For the entire month.

So, for the month of April, your speedrun will be... Kageki!! This masterful masterpiece was divined, crafted, and blitzed by our very own Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy, and we at SDA were so taken by the quality of the run and, indeed, the included audio commentary (which we all mandate that you listen to, as you would be doing a great disservice to the run by not doing so), that we pushed this plan of action out for you sooner rather than later. Of course, there is the accompanying comments file that the runner so generously wrote for us, and we hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

See you in May!

Monday, March 25, 2013 by Vorpal

What is it with games and clock towers?

Batman, the first of the two Sunsoft NES games, has seen a very exciting competition break out over the past few months. Josh 'funkdoc' Ballard started it all off by getting this 0:11:11, 30 seconds faster than the previous run. This time has since been improved, and by more than one person; funkdoc's got a faster run going through verification at the moment. If this run leaves you craving more Batman, you could also check out dxtr, who's also beaten this time and who streams the game semi-regularly. I say all this not to dissuade you from watching the run, because you definitely should watch it, but because it really makes no sense to talk about Batman without also talking about the incredible competition that's built up. Check it all out if you have the slightest bit of interest.

BattleTanx: Global Assault has runs on a category you don't hear about very often: multiplayer. Or more specifically, multiplayer individual levels. The original game was fun; unfortunately I've never had the opportunity to play this one, but if it's anything like the first you're in for a great time of tanks blowing stuff up. The table comes in at 0:20:52 on the easy difficulty, done by players Dylan 'Phazonelite7' McMahon & Tom 'Enkazin' Jones.

Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare only plays the best games. This time, you're looking at Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, a game which has entirely too much dumb stuff at every skill level, making it a perfect choice. If you thought the rest of PJ's runs didn't have enough dumb stuff in them, you should check out this IL table using Simon, on Hard and NewGame+. The total time is 0:07:37.28.

Mighty Jill Off might not have a clock tower, like two of the previous three games, but its tower is big and distinct enough that it counts in spirit. 'harry9397' runs Jill through the gauntlet at a record pace; the time to beat is 0:06:23. I'm not sure, when the Queen kicked Jill off the tower, she expected Jill to be back quite this quickly. That's probably one reason why she keeps doing it.

Muramasa: The Demon Blade is a mainstay on the list of people's favorite Wii games. Perhaps William 'Youkai' Welch's run will be a mainstay of your favorite speedruns? Youkai's cut through the game until he reached a time of 1:24:24, done in 25 segments using Momohime. If that isn't enticing enough, the run was also done on Shigurui mode, better known as 1HKO mode. And if that wasn't enough, there's also an audio commentary.

The Gamecube Resident Evil port/remake, better known as REmake, gets an obsoletion today. You may recall Derrick 'The Deity' Eide if you've followed Resident Evil 5. As it turns out, he's still not fond of zombies or various nightmarish horror creatures, and is pretty good at taking them down a notch. The Chris single-segment time is now two minutes shorter, or more specifically, 1:31:40. Watch it at night, with lights off, for best entertainment.

The last run I have for you today is Sonic 4: Episode 2. I haven't played it myself, but I've always watched Sonic ILs from 'Paraxade', they're always well-made and show the game off. In this case, he's sent us a set of individual levels as Sonic. The total time is 0:27:51.53, so have at it. Robotnik managed to last a little longer than usual this iteration.

That may be the last run, but it certainly isn't the last item. The fine folks over at The Sonic Center are putting on a Sonic series marathon over the next few days and raising money for the American Cancer Society. Love em or hate em, Sonic games are always an entertaining watch, so I suggest heading on over there and getting your charity on.

Sunday, March 17, 2013 by ShadowWraith

I am not good at themes

I never understood what the deal was with Klonoa. He's an anthropomorphic... cat? fox? What kind of critter is he? At any rate Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe has completed runs on the Time Attack mode of this game in 07:52.75, and while I may be confused as to what Klonoa actually is, I recognise a good time when I see one.

I'm a huge aficionado for 3D brawler games, so seeing that we now have a run of Bayonetta makes me very happy, even if I find the concept of a protagonist channeling their power from the elemental plane of hair a little bit silly. Lee 'flicky' Reeves sent in this 1:33:21 completion of the game on Normal difficulty for your viewing pleasure, and judging by the run's content, possibly other types of pleasure as well. I'm talking about the included audio commentary, of course. What did you think I was talking about?

If swashbuckling sailors and treasure-hunting pirates is your thing, then boy do I have the run for you. Cutthroat Island is a game packed full of both of those things, and even throws in a minecart section for good measure, and no doubt if you played it you will be very excited to see it beaten. Josh 'funkdoc' Ballard completed a run of this game in 14:29, so what are you waiting for?

If that's not your cup of tea, then perhaps a little RTS action is more up your street. Starcraft: Brood War is possibly the most influential RTS of all time, and while its campaign isn't as popular as the competitive side was, that didn't stop Freezard tackling the Protoss Campaign and Bonus mission for an improvement of 06:52 over the previous total, bringing it down to 2:40:10. En taro Adun!

I'll be honest and tell you that I've never played a Mega Man game. Ever. I love watching them though, so if you also enjoy watching our pixelated hero blast his way through robot masters and doom fortresses that for some reason resemble skulls, this run of Mega Man 4 should pique your interest. Tom Radovich blasts his way through the game in a swift 40:39, for an improvement of 11 seconds over the previous run.

In other news, there's been a flurry of activity over in the Quake section, so if you're feeling a bit oldschool (the update was even done by Radix!) head over there and watch the demos. I guarantee that it's worth your time to do so.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 by Breakdown

Numbers game

We'll pull out the big guns right away this update. Not to take anything away from the runs to follow, but I have a sneaking suspicion these two runs of Super Mario World I'm about to unveil will be pulling in the highest download totals for the next couple days. But yes, two new Mario World runs, a long overdue update to both the any% and 96 exit categories, both courtesy of runner Jon O'Rourke. The new any% clocks in 30 seconds below our previous run with a time of 0:10:29, and the 96 exit takes almost six and a half minutes off the incumbent time, finishing in 1:25:19. Just goes to show how far the scene for this game has come in the past few years.

Now, I stand by the prediction that the Mario World runs will be the biggest draw of this update, but it wouldn't surprise me if one or more of the VVVVVV runs next up on deck give them a run for their money. Yes, multiple runs for the same game yet again, and again all from one runner, Jared 'FieryBlizzard' Klein. First is a single segment run that tops our current segmented time by close to two minutes, finsihing in 0:13:18. Next, an all trinkets run in 0:17:59, a 21 second improvement to the current run. Lastly, we have an inaugural run for the game's No Death Mode, clocking in at 0:14:05.

Of course, the internet is a finicky place, and some old school Disney nostalgia might tip the download totals in the next game's favor. And, for me at least, nothing hits the Disney nostalgia sweet spot quite like Duck Tales. The NES version of the game has an improvement going up today from runner Daniel 'Dxtr' Eriksson. Playing on the NTSC version's difficult mode, Dxtr helps the rich get richer in a very quick 0:07:25.

Rounding out the new runs today we have a dark horse candidate for highest download count in the Capcom title Trojan (get it? Dark horse, Trojan? OK, that was bad). Still, this game has its fans, and I encourage you to give it a watch. Daniel 'Dxtr' Eriksson is again the man at the controls, and he pilots the game's protagonist through to the end in 0:06:50, saving 25 seconds on the previous run.

A few more things to touch on before calling it an update. First and foremost, now all video qualities of all runs from Awesome Games Done Quick are available for your viewing pleasure, go get them here. The only videos yet to come are the highlight and blooper reels, and you can help determine what marathon moments will make it in. We'll be accepting suggestions in this thread through March 20th, just post the timestamps of the moments you want immortalized.

Lastly, if you're hungry for a fresh dose of video game marathon goodness, then there's an event this weekend you might be interested in. Crystals for Life, a Final Fantasy speedrunning marathon, starts up this coming Friday. A group of SDA members will be charging through an assortment of entries in Square's flagship RPG series and raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Lots of good gameplay and commentary are guaranteed and there are some cool prizes on offer for donors. So go check it out, promises to be a good time, and huge props to Poxnor for putting the event together.

Saturday, March 2, 2013 by Vorpal

Title not forthcoming

Let's start by hitting hard with a mainstay. Pokemon Yellow, a game loved by many. Mark 'werster' McKenzie, who you may have recently seen destroying any semblance of coherency in Pokemon Gold at AGDQ, contributed a single-segment 2:02 by the in-game timer, an obsoletion of six minutes over the previous segmented run. A lot of people say that Pokemon games have no skill. To those people, I say: beat this.

I've known that Final Fantasy Legend is glitchy, but without having played the game, I didn't quite know how glitchy. Well, today's the day we find out. Ryan 'Poxnor' Vogt has an existing single-segment run that clocks in at an hour and a few minutes, but if you venture into the major skips category then you can just chop the hour off, and keep the six minutes. Or, to be more specific, 0:06:46. All that from a little bit of monster meat.

Donkey Kong 64 is a notoriously glitchy game, most recently on the front page for being destroyed in the same amount of time it takes me to get the first couple bananas. Today you get to see how fast it goes when you get everything. Chris 'cfox7' Fox is the man with the plan, and any plan that nets you 101% in a single-segment 7:14 is a very elaborate plan indeed. No word from K. Rool on why he hasn't just given up by now.

Forsaken 64 was stuck in the queue for a pretty long time, so it's gratifying to be able to post it. The author of this set of individual levels is David 'marshmallow' Gibbons. marshmallow was an incredibly prolific runner, at one point having around 20-30 runs of various N64 games, but his last submission was from about 2005, so it's been a long time. Welcome him back to the site by downloading his ILs, which complete the game in 0:49:44.

Heavy Rain's Taxidermist DLC gets an update today, courtesy of Marwin Misselhorn. A different ending escape route yields a five-second improvement. This Taxidermist fellow is pretty oblivious, apparently. In any case, while watching this 0:04:26 may teach you how to psych out serial killers… don't try this at home.

The final run today is of Whizz, an SNES game I've never heard of, and after watching some of the run, I still don't understand anything about it. Games like that seem to be Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare's specialty. And let's be honest: you can't really give a better review of a PJ game than that. So check it out for yourself by downloading this single-segment 0:18:08 and tell me what's going on. I should also note that the statid is full of lies: there is no audio commentary.

Thanks for watching! Until next time.

Saturday, February 23, 2013 by ShadowWraith

Testing, testing, 1 2 3. Is this thing on? Yes? Excellent.

Hello! I'm ShadowWraith. If you're reading this, then I have successfully managed to wrestle SDA's update system into submission. Unfortunately, one of our other updaters, dex, took a nasty hit from the obsoleted speedruns while we were marching them to the discard pile and has been sent home to recover. I'll be taking over as one of your fabulous updaters for the foreseeable future. However! You aren't here to read about my adventures, you're here for delicious speedruns, so let's get to it.

First up on the agenda, a little title you may or may not have heard of called The Legend of Zelda. The run we have for you today is a single-segment first quest completion of the game done in a brisk 32:04 by none other than Darkwing Duck. It's dangerous to go alone, so I suggest having a read of the run comments as some of the techniques Mr Duck uses are somewhat non-standard, such as teleporting across the screen.

Speaking of teleporting, this is a horrible segue to our next run that may or may not actually feature teleportation, but our resident hunk and all around awesome guy Jeff 'Feasel' Feasel has delivered unto us a single-segment run of the infamous Hydlide. I'm not entirely sure what this game is about, but I have heard interesting things about it, and what with the run a short and sweet 15:45 in length you're sure to enjoy watching him demolish the game, which I am told is devilishly difficult.

Moving on, we've got a run of the titular Mass Effect for you. If you're like me and you tend to take several days to complete this game, then the completion time of 2:12:39 will be sure to pique your interests. Credit for this run goes to the gentleman named 'your name here', and before you get any ideas about taking advantage of the previous sentence, I advise you to watch the run instead. I hear it's got glitches. We love glitches.

Next is a run of a game I thoroughly enjoyed as a child, as I expect many of you did. Kyle 'Mr. K' Halversen, also known as the infamous Mayor K., has brought unto us, his constituents, a run of the game Maniac Mansion done in 06:49. Of course, it's single-segment, just like the rest of the runs in this update, but it is also awesome. So go watch it.

Last, but most definitely not least, we have a run of Mega Man Legends brought to you by Justin 'JMC4789' Chadwick. This single-segment run blasts through the game in a speedy 39:22. I don't follow the Mega Man spinoff storylines at all, but for those of you that do (and those of you that don't), you will not be disappointed by this run. If you are disappointed, you can write me an angry PM.

Monday, February 18, 2013 by Breakdown

It wasn't supposed to be a joke...

I've heard more than a few people crack wise about the whole "regular updating schedule" declaration followed by three weeks of silence. Given periods in the past this isn't completely unwarranted, but the site as a whole is not to blame. Simply put, purely my fault. I can make excuses, but why give excuses when I can give speedruns instead?

Representation of the Crash Bandicoot series has been steadily increasing over the years. This is a trend that is continuing today with the addition of Crash Twinsanity to our game list. Runner Dylan 'DRsynj' Rothwell is the man behind this single segment run with deaths that clocks in at a swift 1:04.

Next up, we have everyone's favorie hybrid of Castlevania and QWOP, Earnest Evans. Our very own Mike Uyama is at the helm of this 0:08:53 run, so enjoy watching him flail his way to victory. I can already hear the Wolf Team howls.

Now we move from raiding ancient tombs to grizzly assassinations, a perfectly logical and seamless transition to be sure. Hitman 2 is the subject of an improvement today. Nathanael 'Forsaken' Villemin returned his attention to this title to knock over 3 minutes off his old time, bringing it down to 0:28:56 over 20 segments.

And here we move from grizzly assassinations to younger versions of Warner's Bros. characters - OK, I'm going to stop trying to segue these runs together neatly. The Tiny Toons cartoons spawned a handful of games over the years, but today is the first time one's found it's way to our game list. Fredrik 'Edenal' Lidholt presents a run of the SNES's Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose. Playing on the Japanese version, Fredrik steers the titular blue rabbit to a final time of 0:23:08.

Wrapping up the games for the update is an indie PC game. Most games have titles that relate to the story or a particular gameplay element that sets it apart, but rarely do you find a game with a title as blunt as You Have To Win The Game. Really just gets right to the point. Runner Emil 'ibldedibble' Larsson takes the games title to heart, flying through even the games most sinister challenges without fear, finishing with a final time of 0:05:17.

One last point of interest before I finish up here, we now have at the very least low quality encodes for every run from Awesome Games Done Quick available for download, and higher quality vids are steadily being added. So go immortalize all your favorite AGDQ moments on your hard drive. Download links are available here, enjoy.

Sunday, January 27, 2013 by Vorpal

Returning to your regular update schedule

AGDQ is the gift that keeps on giving. You may remember when Chipin crashed and a man by the name of SMK implemented an alternate donation system and, well, basically saved the marathon. One of the rules of the alternate donation system was that people had to keep comments limited to 255 characters or less. Otherwise, we wouldn't see them. Not just the donation comment, but the donation itself. They would still go through to PCF, but without us being aware of them.

At least, until now. PCF let us look at their logs, and with those we were able to add the missing donations to the tracker. This revised the grand total upwards, just a bit. How much money did AGDQ raise? $448,423.27 over 16306 individual donations. You all rock. No, really.

All prize emails have been sent out. Check your inbox (and your spam folder) and see if you've won something. The last thing worth noting is that videos are starting to come online. If you want our customary high-quality standalone downloads, well, we've got a few up right here and will be adding more quickly.

And speaking of videos, it's about time for SDA to return to regular updating, don't you think?

Wesley 'Molotov' Corron has provided a Jungle Strike single-segment for you today. This game's got an interesting history; its first SDA activity was being one of the games mike89 featured in his speedrunning tournament a couple years ago. Molotov took that ball and ran with it, and the result is before you: a single-segment 0:42:41.

Even kart racing games that aren't Mario Kart still have power sliding, apparently. That's the lesson I'm taking from Crash Nitro Kart. Peter 'PeteThePlayer' Tissen is way more on the ball than I am, thankfully. Check out this single-segment 1:11:13 and shave those frames with some phat drifts.

Let's switch gears and go with a completely different genre. Ultima Underworld is a game that has a persuasive cult following but which I unfortunately know almost nothing about. But don't let my ignorance stop you. 'gammadragon' has here a single-segment 0:17:25, and judging by some of the comments about the run in the game's forum thread, it's rather excellent.

A couple months ago, I found out that Turok 2: Seeds of Evil was made by people who eventually went on to found Retro Studios, and since then I've wanted to play it. It's on my list of games to beat this year, actually. But Christopher 'giganotabehemoth87' Hill, destroyer of PAL Super Metroid, beat me to the punch. He's run the PC version on Hard, using deaths and getting the best ending. Check out this 1:55:26, done in 44 segments. Knowing Behemoth, it's a really awesome run and well worth your time.

The last run for you today is something from my childhood. Golden Axe, the game that isn't actually about any sort of golden axe at all (a fact lost on me way back when), got beaten up by Jason 'honorableJay' Feeney. All I have to say is I told you so, Dad, I knew magic wasn't nearly as good as its animation suggested. The run is a single-segment 0:09:27, using Tyris Flare. honrableJay estimates that a perfectly-executed run could only get another few seconds faster before trodding into TAS territory, which is always a good thing to hear.

Until next time.

Saturday, January 19, 2013 by Vorpal

And again we are surprised: AGDQ 2013 Wrapup

$432342.42

That wonderfully symmetric number is, as of this writing, the total amount raised for the Prevent Cancer Foundation during the entirety of Awesome Games Done Quick 2013. By the time you read this the number will probably be slightly higher, since people can still donate. But the point stands.

Four hundred and thirty two thousand dollars. Going into this, our best guesses for the grand total were around the 200-250k mark, which would work out to about two two-year research grants. Guess we were lowballing it, eh?

It was a hell of a lot of fun. Even the dumb stuff like getting blown up in a race. Meeting awesome people and playing games with them is the best thing. And then there's all the people I didn't meet.

People like you, who watched the marathon from afar. People who donated. People who really wanted to come in person but couldn't quite make it. People who wrote about it. People who moderated the chats. People who did restreams in other languages. People who told their friends. The response the marathon got, not just from the speedrunning community but from all of gaming, and even outside it, is nothing short of astonishing. Last year I tried shouting out every community I knew of that supported us. This year I flat-out couldn't keep up. This fantastically high number of dollars? It's more your doing than anyone else's.

I gotta say, the Prevent Cancer Foundation also deserves a big pat on the back. They've supported us the whole way, from promoting us, helping resolve technical problems (thanks, Chipin) to organizing catered food for us (thanks, Subway, Ledo's Pizza, and Design Cuisine). In addition to being a good cause they've just been really great to work with.

I don't know what the donation total next year will be, but I do know that if predictions are again shattered, this time we won't be surprised. When we stand together, impossible is nothing. Can't wait to do this again.

The rest of the prize drawings will be done over the next week or so. Check the email you used to donate to see if you won something. If you had your eye on something but didn't win it, many of the prize donors take commissions (and given how much time and money some put into their crafts, they deserve them). The list is too big to copy here, so please click the list of prize donators and give them the love they deserve!

If you want to watch videos from the marathon, you can check out the timestamps kindly linked by the Reddit community here. We're already working on getting separate downloadable vids encoded, but that will take a while.

Finally, if you want to get into speedrunning, SDA is definitely a great place to start. But also consider checking out SpeedRunsLive. People over there race games every day, and it's a great way to learn.

Thanks for watching, y'all. You helped defeat cancer. Be proud.

Thursday, January 3, 2013 by Breakdown

A bit of an 8 bit bias

Three days.

What happens in three days you ask? Well, if you're asking that you haven't been paying much attention to these updates as of late. Just in case your memory needs to be jogged, here's a video to refresh you on what I'm talking about.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday indeed. Awesome Games Done Quick is upon us, and it's going to be amazing. Not much else to say that wasn't already said in an awesome monster truck announcer voice in the video (props again to Cool Matty for this and the more formal promo video). Be sure to check out the marathon page for the schedule to remind yourself how much sleep you'll be missing, and starting on Sunday, the streams themselves (our front page will redirect to the marathon site during the event, so don't worry about missing it). See you then.

With that bit of business out of the way, all that's really left for me to do is build that marathon hype. I can think of no better to accomplish that than with some runs of games that will either be featured this year or have been featured in marathons past. Enjoy.

Let's start off with a game that's been featured in some form or fashion in every winter marathon to date: Super Mario Bros. 3. We have a new run for the warpless category going up today from Mitchell 'Mitchflowerpower' Fowler. Mitch cut over a minute from his previous submission for the category, saving the princess in a brisk 0:53:49. And if you are a fan a warpless Mario 3 runs (or become a fan after watching this one), make sure to check out tjp7134's run at the marathon on Monday the 8th.

Oddly enough, I could start this next paragraph the exact same way as I did the last one. The Contra series has always been well represented at SDA marathons, and the original Contra has always made an appearance. It's been quite some time, however, since it's made an appearance here on the front page. Reason being, the incumbent runs are top notch, but even the best runs get beaten from time to time, and such is the case today. David Heidman Jr. has bested Freddy Anderson's Contra weapons run from 2008 by a margin of six seconds. Impossible you say? The evidence is right here in this fantastic 0:10:11 run. Be sure to check it out, and if that just leaves you hungry for more Contra action be sure to check the marathon's Contra block on Friday the 11th.

Zelda games are a mainstay at SDA marathons, and we have an impressive lineup this year running from the NES to the Gamecube, but missing in action this time around is the game that started it all, The Legend of Zelda. The original has had a good showing at SDA marathons, appearing in all three winter events as well as the last SGDQ, but this year it gets a rest. If you see this as upsetting news, don't despair, as we have a Zelda 1 fix for you today courtesy of runner Darkwing Duck. DW is steadily taking over the game page for this title, adding to his credits today the 2nd quest, no up+A category. This 0:37:11 run is an improvement of over 7 minutes from the previous run, that alone should pique your curiosity.

Double Dragon 2 has enjoyed a long tenure at the SDA winter marathon, one that is regrettably coming to a close (or at least a hiatus). However, if you're in need of a fix of some knee-to-face action then right now you're in the right place. Marathon attendees and half of the last AGDQ's co-op race, sinister1 and Joe 'jprophett22' Corbin are back with an improvement to the 2-player category. The knees fly fast and furious, hitting both friend and foe alike on their way to a time of 0:11:08.

And of course, it wouldn't be a very good marathon hype update if I didn't talk about the Awful Games Done Quick block. Depending on your time zone it will start either late Wednesday or very early Thursday, but seeing people blaze through games generally thought unplayable is something not to be missed. Our last run today was part of the illustrious inaugural AwfulGDQ class, Deadly Towers. Jeff Feasel kept with this title a while after the last marathon for reasons unknown and unexplainable (Stockholm Syndrome maybe?), but the result is this most impressive 0:31:42. This is an improvement of over two minutes from his previous submission and really goes to show you can't have too much of a bad thing.

Just to reiterate: 3 more days. Hype. That is all.

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