Thursday, December 31, 2015 by wickedcodeferret

Fueled By Clickbait

Adventure games are the original clickbait ads. No, seriously! Pixel hunting for just the right item to click on or combination of inventory items to get past some obtuse puzzle pretty much led to those terrible advertisements that show up on all web pages on the Internet:

I personally can't wait until someone writes a point-and-click game that's nothing but navigating through clickbait ads. Either way, speedrunning Adventure games is an art in amongst itself, minimizing mouse movements and managing clicks to preserve precious mouse click fluid. 'Cause you don't want to run out of click fluid in the middle of a run, right?

The Dark Fall series of Adventure games involve piecing together historical mysteries involving ghost hunters, ancient evils, occasional time travel and a punishing inventory system that doesn't manage any notes or clues, requiring the player to keep track of things outside of the game. Like on paper. Plus devious puzzles... lots and lots of puzzles. However, when you already know the solutions and don't need to click on a bunch of journals to figure out things like plot and backstory, going through both games is a breeze! Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko flies through both games, destroying all puzzles in the way of victory, solving Dark Fall in a quick 0:04:31 and Dark Fall II: Lights Out in a slightly longer 0:09:35. Try not to blink when watching these runs or you might miss large portions of the game.

Full Throttle's dystopian future of motorcycle gangs still existing in a world of hovercars is still considered a classic of the Lucasarts SCUMM Adventure game days. With incredible voice acting, occasional arcade elements mixed with the traditional point n' click and full motion video, it still holds up today as a great game. Especially with its story involving greed, murder and minivan production, which I'm pretty sure Sons of Anarchy copied more than once in that show's story arcs. Taking control of Ben, Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko revenges the death of Corley Motors' President and rides off into the sunset in 0:14:02. Which includes speeding past that stupid wall kicking puzzle.

Another series that blend action with pixel hunting are the Quest For Glory games, which include multiple paths through each game depending on the class of character being played. Fighters fight their way through, Thieves sneak and steal, and Wizards just wizard everything in sight. Starting with Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero, Paul 'The Reverend' Miller posts a Fighter run through the lands of Spielburg in 0:09:27, which is faster than the Wizard by about a minute, but about 10 seconds slower than the speedy Thief.  Also, after quickly saving the land of Fricana and reuniting the Lion, Leopard and Human tribes in Quest for Glory III: Wages of War not too long ago, Paul 'The Reverend' Miller also speeds up the Fighter (0:26:25) and Wizard (0:25:43) paths with improvements of 1:18 and 1:45, respectively.

Lastly, waking up and discovering your home planet is in a collision course with a giant organic spaceship is never a good way to start a morning. Best you can do is jump in your trust banana-can rocket, travel to the spaceship and click through a whole series of screen-based puzzles to prevent the collision and save the day. If any of this makes sense, you've obviously played Samorost. Solving surreal puzzles with lots of clicks and digging the groovy sountrack, Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko saves the gnome-y homeworld in 0:04:29. Which should hopefully lead the way to a run of Samorost 2 in the near future

Sunday, December 27, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Contractual

I wanted a better word but apparently words containing 'Contra' in them that pertain to a partnership don't seem to exist (better said: I can't find any at the moment). So a contract it is. Sort of. An agreement between both parties? Works with today's theme.

Revisiting Contra ReBirth, we get a couple of good runs. Jeremy 'DK28' Doll did an Easy difficulty run as Bill in 0:12:37, and then Kyle 'Mr. K' Halversen & Jeremy 'DK28' Doll did a Co-Op run on Hard difficulty, clocking in at 0:13:52.

Up next is another new entry to the Contra series, this time Neo Contra. Taking place in the year 4444 (insert lame joke here), Earth became a prison planet. Long story short, bad guys attempt to take over the planet and Bill is awaken from his cryogenic sleep (also, he's a clone of the original). Paired with a samurai, they go and destroy 'Neo Contra'. Both the organisation and the game, that is. Familiar names did the following runs:


Until next time, have a happy new year!

Saturday, December 26, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Contraposition

I didn't know we had a run for Contra 4 until AFTER I took screenshots for the gamepage and tried to upload them. If you liked the previous run by Mr. K, then you'll be happy to see this time around Kyle 'Mr. K' Halversen & Zack 'Zallard1' Allard teamed up to serve us with a Hard difficulty Co-Op run, clocking in at 0:24:13. In addition to that, both of these guys also speedran the Challenge Mode, which is made up of 40 levels which are repeated parts of levels from the game. Those are finished in 0:33:54, done on Hard mode as well.

Up next is Super C. While we don't have any improvements to the existing 1-player runs, we do have a couple of new ones. Kyle 'Mr. K' Halversen & David Heidman Jr. did an any% run in 0:13:08, and since that wasn't enough, they went ahead for a No Items run as well, beating the game in 0:13:36.

The last game is bad, and the audio commentary I listened to while watching this run is what indicated that to me. Adding to the list of Contra series SDA hosts we now have Contra Force. Kyle 'Mr. K' Halversen was the victim and thanks to a handful of shortcuts that were much needed, you get to enjoy this run in 0:14:51.

Friday, December 25, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Contravene

This is violating the game on so many levels.

Today's Contra III: The Alien Wars runs are adding several new categories with a few really awesome improvements, considering how good the previous runs were. Hard to pick which run to watch first with all of this variety...!

Thursday, December 24, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Contramure

I've sat here wondering for the last half hour what to write pertaining to Contra, and turns out I have nothing to say that hasn't been said before.
So yes, we've had Contra: Hard Corps appearing a month ago, but before that it's been 1 year and 9 months since any Contra game appeared on the front page. In fact it was the Xbox-Live version of Contra that was last posted. Has no one played Contra? Not at all.
If you somehow missed the Contra Conferences, then you will be happy to hear that the runs recorded for these last 3 years were submitted to SDA, and they all amassed together to bring you something special for this holiday season! Today marks the first of four consecutive days where you get to see so many Contra runs that you will lose your shirt, gain some muscles and go shoot some aliens.
Oh, and one more thing... most of them contain an audio commentary.

Today's Contra runs obsolete the old NES runs and add a couple more:

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 by LotBlind

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (really just faster...)

The one year in-between the releases of Age of Mythology and Age of Mythology: The Titans is approximative of the interval between seeing the last set of Individual Levels runs for the former and now beholding the same for the latter. Developed for Microsoft by Ensemble Studios in 2003, The Titans brings a new player on the field: The campaign lets you play the Atlanteans who misled by the evil deity Kronos enter a war with the three other cultures - Greek, Norse and Egyptian. Additions include new god powers such as "Sky Passages" which allows units to blink across the map in a flash. IIRC this is one of those that see use in 'UtterNutter''s 1:25:56 but other cool strategies also abound.

It's never too late to speedrun. Mark my words! This ship will NEVER sail. Wait, doesn't that mean no-one's ever getting anywhere? My point is here we have 'AlecK47' who first arrived on the scene a full 10 years ago and has now scored his opener with two Invididual Levels improvements for Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Breaking into any Sonic ILs table, I can only imagine, takes a lot of dedication and so even saving 2 seconds on Emerald Hill Act 2 (for an 00:35) should not be slighted, let alone the 6 seconds hewed off the Wing Fortress Zone record (making it an 01:38). This leaves us with a new combination time of 0:14:36.

Starcraft has featured on the front page before during my time, though in the form of its expansion, Brood War, and so I won't wax lyrical, dramatic, or prosaic on the topic today. Suffice it to say it was a 1998 seminal Real-Time Strategy hit following the footsteps of Blizzard's equally popular WarCraft II. And that you should probably have heard of it. Of the three available races, 'Zergreenone' goes Terran, enters mission number 5, and gives the troops a whole flurry of orders that speed the human army into victory 11 seconds faster than before. The new time is 04:57 and the whole table stands at 2:28:30. If this young runner keeps going with this game, I predict more top times will exchange hands ere long.

Okay, so here's the real tofu (because I'm vegetarian) of this update: a whole new racing game inductee, but not one that hasn't seen competition, it's Mickey's Speedway USA. Because it's a kart racer, there's nothing to say about it (they're all highly derivative of each other), but that doesn't mean both the race records and lap records submitted by 'PerfectTaste' aren't both tight and klutch. For most of the races, the fastest kart belonging to "scientist, lecturer, psychologist, and world traveler" Ludwig von Drake is the one opted for with infrequent appearances by other characters on the what are probably more technical courses (my guess anyway). The runner, who started on their Speedway journey way back when the game came out, etches their name all across the ILs tables (filled with gallons of powerslides and close cornering) having stopped short of nothing... but reclaiming EVERY LAST WORLD RECORD before submitting to us! Differences of a few frames can be spotted on the records board at speedruns.com. The verifiers all seemed to appreciate these runs too.

Race records:
0:25:15.67
Lap records
0:08:14.50

This ILs-themed update is probably the best place to mention this: even though small, down to single-level improvements to existing ILs tables are always accepted at SDA, if it is your possible intention to return to the game at some date in the not-too-distant future, there's probably no rush to submit them right away. Same goes for getting a number of different endings for example. I'm saying this because it makes processing the runs more efficient the more there are in the same package. I full well know some ILs tables are optimized to the stratosphere and even one improvement demands a marathon of attempts, but just as a heads-up. If you just plain want some feedback, feel free to link your run in the game thread and see if anyone capable of giving you some comes around.

Saturday, December 19, 2015 by wickedcodeferret

NES Re-revengence!

Revenge is a dish best served in 8-bit gaming format, at least according to the games in this update. Whether it's getting revenge on a meddlesome ninja who foiled your plans for world domination, or revenge on those who ruined your life and turned you into a giant swampy monster. Or even getting revenge on your own gamers by creating a glitchy and obtuse metroidvania game with no saves or a password system. Man, that last one was rough before the Internet was invented. Either way, NES revengence is short, sweet and now performed really, really quickly.

Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos follows Ryu through multiple cinematic cutscenes, with some occasionally difficult platforming action, on a quest to save his girl Irene who keeps getting captured and stabbed throughout the course of the adventure. All the while, being manipulated into doing all the work to revive a bunch of demons for (surprise!) the same guy you took out at the end of the first game! Probably because all of his dialog was prefaced with "Would you kindly..." 'jimmypoopins' guides Ryu through and overcoming Jaquio's plan for revenge, completing the movie game in 0:10:16, an improvement of 01:05. As Ryu would say, "...".

In a world living under an oppressive ruler, one man rises up to bring his own brand of diskarmor revengence and release freedom throughout the land. And Rygar revengence apparently also includes gathering a bunch of random items like pullies, crossbows and hooks which are apparently so rare that only the Indora gods can have them. You'd think Indora gods would have cooler stuff, right? Attacking and assailing all the foes standing before the "Legendary Warrior", 'ShiningDragoon' quickly restores order to the land of Argool in 0:08:58 with death warps.

It's always important to check your bio-chemistry lab for bombs before clocking into work, unless you want to get all exploded and have your body fused with living plant matter. If that does happen though, at least planning your revenge on the person that set you up the bomb will keep your mind off the fact that you now look like a walking kale salad. Swamp Thing follows this tragic tale of living vegetable matter that barely spends any time all in a swamp, which is surprising given the title. Piloting Swampy on this path to deliver a strong comeuppance to the evil Dr. Arcane, Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman and brings the vengeance in 0:14:28, then returning to the swamp until needed again to save humanity. Or is that Godzilla? I can never remember.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 by Judgy

Nothing to fear but F.E.A.R itself... and spiders

Unless of course you happen to be 'Overfiendvip' who doesn't give a single fear whilst setting new records for nearly every installment of this series and also a few bonus missions too! (p.s not sure about the spiders though he might be scared of those)

Starting at the start, we begin with F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate the standalone expansion to the original 'F.E.A.R' with a storyline running in parallel with the events of both 'F.E.A.R' and the second expansion 'Extraction Point'. If you do not know the series the game is a mixed genre of First Person Shooter meets Phycological Horror (Imagine Half-life meets Silent Hill).

However by the time 'Overfiendvip' is done with it theres not really all that much horror left in it. Due to a glitch which allows 'Overfiendvip' to use ladders to no only pass through walls but also FLY!! anything you could really base a plot off of is skipped and the main story is completed in single segment style in 0:53:10. in addition to this the three bonus missions have also been completed as individual levels in a total time of 0:06:29 making the whole game completed in under an hour.

F.E.A.R 2: Reborn is the expansion to 'F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin' and has you assume the role of a soldier by the title of 'Foxtrot 813' who mission is is to find Paxton Fettel in this (very) short expansion. "How short!?" you ask, how does 0:09:43 grab you?. With some solid walking skills and some damn fine accuracy when required 'Overfiendvip' demonstrates that once you pick up a shotgun the game is basically over for everyone else around, most are simply given the cold shoulder and walked past without a care in the world and those foolish enough to get in the way are cut down where they stand. sadly for those who died only one person gets reborn during this run.

'Overfiendvip' may have taken records in the first two games of this 3 part series however that is about to change as the run of F.3.A.R was completed by none other than! .... oh ...

'Overfiendvip' ONCE AGAIN! takes that last remaining record in this dramatic one man record update spree. F.E.A.R. 3 was different from the other two F.E.A.R games playing more like an action title with character EXP, unlocked skills / health upgrades and an all over more 'Run and Gun' feel to it I will offen refer to this game as "Call of F.E.A.R.Y" due to that fact. I have tried to run this game in the past (in CO-OP) however, it wasn't for me :P. Anyway Mr VIP doesn't allow good taste to get in his way as he plows through the game on NewGame+ on the Recruit difficulty playing as Pointman in 1:03:28 single segment. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015 by LotBlind

My Last Time Was Not My Last Time

By some coincidence, each of today's runs is an iteration of the same runner's earlier efforts. I mean because I made sure they were.

To kick off, we've got 'theseawolf1', who has, alongside many fellow members of the community, been tinkering with his old run of The Guardian Legend improving by 2:47 into a 0:52:09. The Guardian Legend - from 1988 on the NES - takes The Legend of Zelda and... shmup games? and makes you look around in a fairly open-ended environment on planet Naju for self-destruct switches before it (you guessed it) crashes into arr hum plenit Urf. Thanks to the protagonist being a female cyborg (not that it made any tangible difference in titles as old as this), I now know the word "gynoid" [ˈɡaɪˌnɔɪd]. My background reading suggests some saw The Guardian Legend as superior, others inferior to Blaster Master, the classic to which it truly bears an unmistakable likeness down to the point of similar musical themes and sound effects. However, it should be remarked that The Guardian Legend came out in Japan BEFORE its perceived adversary and thus, if anything, lended to rather than borrowed from it.

We recently saw an improvement for the fastest, any% category of SNES Clock Tower. Today we revisit the nightmare and stab a vorpal blade right between its eyes after 0:15:40 of an extremely focused expedition to reach the best S ending instead. This involves saving one of your three friends, discovering the mansion's most dreadful secrets and spannering the diabolical mechanism for good with the bodies of the meanies that torment the trusty house guests. We witness Lawrence 'thk573' Palmiter applying a torrent of new tricks to effect some hitherto unseen luck manipulation along with some glitches that combine to save a whole 5:17 from when this was last done just a year before. To further pique your curiosity, I'll just name some of the novelties and you can see for yourself how each of them is done: Hole skip, Doll quick trigger, Dog skip, Dialog skip.

Genesis is the platform this non-conforming 1994 platform-er made its original appearance on. Despite having been named Earthworm Jim it certainly cannot be called mundane. It was sketched out as a satire of typical platformer games, damsels in distress etc. which goes a long way into explaining its unabashed tendency to go places normally only inspired by wormwood brew. Did you know that there was a competition organized through the Sega Channel (another story for another day) in which the first 200 players to find a hidden room in a special edition of the game were awarded prizes? I doubt Jordan 'Athens_' Kloster was one of them, seeing as they're just rushing to bring home the bacon in a long-sought-after 0:27:59, which makes it to the fireworks a 3:27 quicker than the previous record. Just a word of warning: If you see an Earthworm Jim title other than the original two by Shiny Entertainment, you'd best leave it in the bargain bin seeing as none of those are considered worthwhile.

Insanity is the most merciful fate when treading the uncanny corners of Derceto, a cursed country residence in Louisiana built by pirate Ezechiel Pregzt, a man infused with the powers of the Necronomicon but, after an old scrap with the cavalry, lacking a body. Noticing his corpus coveted by a supernatural entity, Alexis 'NHG' Gabaig goes "Not now, not ever!" and re-engages on the quest for quieting the presumptuous spirit's boisterous moanings. As it turns out, 1992 DOS classic and more or less the foundation stone in the survival horror shrine, Alone in the Dark, is a surprisingly open-ended game. You can get by collecting only 7 objects over the course of the entire escapade. Applying more recently discovered strategies, including another curvaceous venture beyond the boundaries of physical form (read: OOB), a new record of 0:08:21 is unearthed from the damp recesses of Pregzt's lair thereby extracting a blasphemous 1:06 from the equally eldritch predecessor's malevolent span. That's Lovecraftian for "improvement of 1:06".

Saturday, November 28, 2015 by wickedcodeferret

Raisin' that Alien Konga

Long ago, in the time when any TV advertising character automatically got its own video game, someone decided it would be awesome to have a California Raisins video game. Probably because a game focused on a bunch of singing and dancing raisins sounded like a cash cow to someone over at Capcom. Sadly, instead of an awesome music or rhythm-based game, they got The California Raisins: The Grape Escape, a simple platformer starring a sunglasses-wearing Raisin with a bizarre quest to recover the band's golden notes and ultimately rescue the band itself from a jealous gang of other fruit musicians. 'darbian' runs, shoots grape jelly beans and moonwalks through the game's short five levels in 0:05:25. No wonder it was cancelled and never released.

Side note: Because this game was never officially released, the run was performed using an official reproduction cart on a real NES. Nifty!

Leaving grapes behind, let's move on to another fruit. How about... bananas! And no one likes bananas more than good ol' Donkey Kong. In Donkey Kong 64, we follow DK setting out to save the DK Isles from the giant Blast-O-Matic laser and rid the islands of K. Rool once and for all. This huge game not only has four other Kongs to rescue and a ton of bosses to beat, but those Kongs are required to retrieve certain colored coins and bananas that unlock more and more of the game levels and contents. Like when going for a 100% game, which Jorge Dosdos performs on the WiiU Virtual Console version of DK64 in 5:57:44. That's a whopping 1:15:33 improvement on the three-year old previous run, which is an amazing accomplishment!

Gigantic lasers seem to be a common theme in most video games too, and Contra: Hard Corps is no exception. This fast-paced Genesis/MegaDrive entry in the Contra series had multiple characters with different weapon loadouts and abilities and a branching storyline that ended in five different paths and six possible endings to the game. Plus, there's a ton of frickin' lasers in this game, but sadly no sharks with laser beams. Piloting Brownie through the Lab/Fight storyline that shows why genetic engineering is dangerous (You earned your comeuppance, Professor!), David Heidman Jr. saves the world from the Colonel and his Alien Cell in 0:21:29 shaving 31 seconds off the 9+ year old run. He also takes Brownie through the Secret ending 10 seconds faster in 0:05:30 and earns some hot monkey lovin'. Awkward.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 by wickedcodeferret

Waring for Tribal Wages

After freeing Spielburg from the clutches of a particularly bad band of brigands and saving Shapeir from a bunch of Elementals and one particularly evil wizard, a nice relaxing vacation in the savannah plains of Fricana with your friends sounds like a good deal. Until you get there and realize you've been dropped into the middle of a large tribal war between Lions, Leopards and Humans. Oh my! Looks like it's Hero time, round three!

Paul 'The Reverend' Miller pilots each of the three main Hero classes (Fighter, Wizard and Thief) through their respective quests in record time through Quest for Glory III: Wages of War. Sadly, the new Paladin class doesn't get any speed running loving, but it's basically the same quests and route as the Fighter, except you have to be honorable. Where's the fun in that?

First up, the Fighter saves the day in 0:27:43, which includes going through a grueling initiation to become part of the Simbani tribe to marry a leopard. No really... a leopard. The Wizard 0:27:28 has a somewhat easier time, despite battling through a Wizard's duel and generally being shunned because of magic. Lastly, the Thief (not surprisingly) has the quickest time of them all with 0:22:44, only taking a minor detour to steal a drum and a spear (instead of earning them).

In the end, all three classes unite the tribes and take out the (spoiler alert) evil Demons causing all the ruckus. And just when it's all over, a major cliffhanger ending to set up for Quest For Glory 4, who's runs on this site you should watch immediately after checking the above three out.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 by LotBlind

Fantasy King Seeking to Zone Out Hideous Monsters Behind the Barn...ey

If you think the story in Fantasy Zone seems arbitrary, you'll find that sentiment reinforced by the alternate accounts provided by the original 1986 arcade and this later Sega Master System version of the game's nebulous events taking place in "space year" 1422 and 6216 respectively. The SMS is far from the only re-release this early-ish shmup, considered a classic at least by Sega themselves, was granted. It is seen to have birthed, alongside another game called TwinBee, a niche of games plenty dear to the Japanese where anything - very much - does go. To push his time down to an impressive-looking 0:04:41, experienced runner Jordan 'Greenalink' Greener spared no expenses, becoming learned in its ways and turbo-charging the run full of small optimizations. Turbo fire, being a feature native to the Master System release, is employed without discretion.

Look! We've found a Barney. Let's play with the Barney! What's Barney up to now? Barney is looking for his little friends. Look! Barney is walking right. Look! Now Barney is walking left. Why would Barney walk left? It's because in Barney's Hide and Seek, the game explicitly tells you to "Move Barney left and right and use the buttons to find friends, jump, and play." That's "LEFT AND right". Now with 100% more taking heed of the instructions presented with, 'Naegleria' walks the Barney all the way to the closest available edge four solid times for a 0:04:29. If you watch it you and your kid will learn the names of things and also to otherwise ignore them.

I haven't expressly announced this challenge yet. Barney's Hide & Seek comes with an autoplay feature that I wonder if you could use to produce another item into the newly inaugurated list of lazy playthroughs? Note that it only says "especially for RTS runners" because I couldn't immediately think of any examples from amongst other genres, but be creative!

SNK, which is short for something uninteresting, was and is the Japanese company that brought us the Neo Geo arcade and home platforms among other things. It started its work as early as 1978 staking a claim in the growing scene of coin-op machines. Unmoved by the great '83 crash it made friends with blazingly successful Nintendo becoming its North American marketer and distributor while its Japanese home branch kept busy from the pre-NES era all the way to the year 2000 outputting franchises such as Athena, Ikari Warriors, The King of Fighters, Crystalis and Metal Slug. Their resume makes me think fighting game fanatics are some of the most likely to bow to their name although the variety within the widely ported SNK playlist is considerable. King of the Monsters 2 is a colorful beat'em'up in the urban rampage style. Jay 'DeMoNFLiP84' Cabasag leads the monster called Cyber-Woo to its destiny in 0:19:18 done on the SNES port ousting the previous record by 43 seconds. I gotta say this has a pretty cool and original soundtrack!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 by LotBlind

[Pocket] M-M-M-M-Monster [to Over]Kill!!!!

Whoa! The entire Speed Demos Archive got caught inside a whirling time paradox and was sent flying forwards two weeks and a half! From your point of view there may not have been updates during that time but... don't shoot the messenger! Shoot IsraeliRD, root of all evil. In any case today's update up to OVERcompensates for all that. It's almost OVERKILL!

Whatever you think about pirate games - pirate in the sense of "borrowing" another company's franchise for a quick hike on the bankroll - it occurs to me that speedrunning them is not going to make matters worse, at least if you wait till any heat has died down. A speedrun is far from always a tribute. Awful Games Done Quick is the testimony of that.

So exactly how bad is Pocket Monster II then? I think this quotation from runner Dylan 'CavemanDCJ' Jock says it all: "last but not least, moving platforms can despawn, and you can also fall through them if you don't jump high enough off them". Judging by outwards appearances only (although I just read some of the graphics even were ripped from other games), the game is alright. The characters are mostly recognizable featuring random pokemons. Sadly the trouble lies within random hitboxes and glitching. So yes, it's a Pokemon game, but it's a platformer on the Genesis. Easy difficulty is chosen for more damage boost potential. For the whole last minute of the 0:04:13, Pikachu goes full ADD on a mega buff Koffing.

Discussion around this game that covers the current word on what SDA will do with bootlegs in the future.

Suddenly, a 'wild mouse' appeared! Wait, that's not a type of pokemon... Looks like it's a terrible night to catch any sleep if there's a whole classical orchestra blaring out notes in unison inside your den. While the gothic abode in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Sega Saturn version) may seem big, it isn't if you're endowed with all kinds of swanky abilities from the start as I can't help to notice this Maria gal certainly is. In that case it's fully possible to have delivered the goods to Shaft within an express 0:07:45 that now inaugurates this particular category for our site. You could say... hehehe... the guy got shafted!

The third game of this terrible boisterous night is another classic. It's a recurring motif in SDA verification with 14 submissions, both Single Segment and Individual Levels counting, since March 2014 alone! The heavy weight champion "Little Mac" from Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! is back to defend the title once again. Zack 'Zallard1' Allard is the super-technical coach, telling them exactly when to slip, guard, sway, hook and - most importantly - upper-cut everyone to meet Mr. Sandman (who is waiting in the locker room). The world circuit arena resounds with a crackling Single Segment time of 0:16:25.89, just 0:01.65 faster than sinister1's previous SDA record. Not only that, a total of 7 individual fights were improved by Zallard and one of them now actually ties with the Tools-Assisted sister speedrun. New collective ILs time is 0:14:05.30, improvement of 0:09.21.

Before I forget: don't miss the audio commentary on the Single Segment run! If you're wondering how to access it, you'll need VLC Media Player (or such) and choose "audio - audio tracks - track 2" from the drop-down menus.

Now sound the trumpet fanfare with mellow string and woodwind backing! It's everyone's favourite green little goblin boy, Zelda! I mean Link! I mean... Zlenka! He/She is doing some rapid time-traveling through the plot of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past guided by someone whose name I like, 'Xelna'. Zlenka and Xelna. First thing you'll notice is this 1:23:28 is in Japanese, which may or may not be a novelty for this title on SDA. I'm just not pro enough to find out for you, you know. I am pro enough to know this game can be completed very very fast, so the run time alone intimates this submission is entering the "glitchless" category and improves on the previous time by 01:38 minutes. Superb verifier respondage, guys!

This will explain why the game should properly have been called "Zlenka to the Future".

So on the note of speedruns, I have another one right here! (...) The Typing of the Dead: Overkill takes off where House of the Dead hadn't even started yet. Similar to how Typing of the Dead is an alternate form of House of the Dead 2, this recent 2013 PC title is built on House of the Dead: Overkill from 2009. The things you type can be expected to be tongue-in-cheek. There's now a "Slow Mo-Fo" mode and an extra pair of protagonists that you play as in a few missions. Environments include a butchery, a hospital and a carnival. Now that you know what TotD:OK is, you're ready to receive news of a run, by Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios, completing the game on "Motherf***er" settings (yes they swear a lot) in individual missions combining into a 1:43:51. Did you know that you can buy DLC replacements for the basic game dictionary? I sure didn't.

I like to imagine the famous Beatles "Day in the Life" final chord as the cadence to this overblown and incidentally quite musical update.

Saturday, October 10, 2015 by LotBlind

Took a Silent Cat Nap Before Rising Re-again

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has been a game. Sahail 'Jehuty' Niemeyer has been a runner. 1:21:00.31 has been a run length, and "revengeance" - apparently - has actually been a word in 1914. And not just publisher Konami wanting to be special, like "magicka" for Bethesda. "Revengeance" is also the ultimate difficulty setting, the one chosen for this 5-segmented run on the PC with no deaths played in NG instead of NG+ that's in crazy exuberant HD seemingly. The sword-swinging action is sometimes so fast the game code isn't lifting invisible plot walls fast enough for the mad cyborg to be able to run through. Then the quick time events start. BUT you can skip cutscenes. It's not my place to judge every game that arrives in the overflowing SDA inbox, but I do. Oh how I do! It's an inconclusive.

I'm convinced I saw the previous Cat Planet run. But it's a kind of half-formed trace, like there wasn't enough matter there to condense into one coherent droplet of memory. If that is the case, it's because the game is just friggin' silly. It starts out very innocuous, a simple-looking 2D platformer in minimalistic style where you fly around as an angel of some rank exploring a planet on which there do indeed live cats. Your only hint as to the purpose of your visit is the incrementing cat count on the top left whenever you touch a cat to trigger its banal one-line unpunctuated dialogue. This is all but a facade. Your own death tally will rapidly start gaining on and hurtle right past the number of cats you've tagged. Towards the end you're playing Super Meat Boy. Getting to the cats isn't even compulsory...

A few years since the initial introduction of the game to SDA, 'liopoil' is the one responsible for the second expedition this time ignoring the majority of cats and making use of a few forward-warping deaths to come up with a 0:02:40. This was his second attempt at slipping through the verification inquisitors' diabolical sieves. So grats!

Whereas Revengeance is chronologically located furthest in the future, Silent Hill: Origins is, as is to be expected, the prequelest of prequels in its sequence. Your cause as Travis Grady, truck driver, is to come by clues as to what happened to a certain girl you've pulled out a fire. In the process you will recover fragments of your own early memories. Its gameplay was characterized as, if anything, too derivative of the fixed Silent Hill formula. The run, a 0:39:28, is in any% and Single Segment. If I ever pass by giving the exact categorization, you should assume we're talking of those. This virginal run is provided by Ilia 'Zorkiy' Poplavskii whose nickname means "keen-eyed". I guess I'd better never go head-to-head sniper combat with him then. Heh.

Saturday, October 3, 2015 by ktwo

NES, NES, NES (and then two other runs)

This is my first update, so let me start by introducing myself. I discovered SDA in 2007 by a coincidence. I wasn't famliar to the concept of speedrunning, but I was pretty much immediately hooked by what I found here. The problem was that so many great games were missing in the archives (and still are!). After having watched a majority of the NES-runs (I'm a big NES-fan, by the way) on SDA at the time, I started gathering the courage to take my own first trembling steps in speedrunning and see if I could add a game to the list. My choice eventually fell on a little gem for the NES called Cobra Triangle. It's one of several games by Rare from that era that plays in an isometric view. You control a speedboat and need to complete several different types of objectives that add variety to the game. My run has since been obsoleted and today we have another improvement done by the same runner, 'KHANanaphone', who has pushed the time down from 17:19 to 0:17:11 through a combination of tight execution and few new strats.

If I haven't mentioned it already, I like NES-games. The next one so happens to also be one I'm quite familiar with. Ice Climber dates back to the oldest days of the NES. I think it passed by fairly unnoticed in the US. However, the game was bundled with the NES in my home country, Sweden, and was quite well known there at the time. I have particularly fond memories of the cooperative aspects possible in 2p-mode. So maybe it's not a coincidence that the two speedrunners I could find that have tried their hands on this game are fellow compatriots of mine. Today we post the faster (at least for now) of the two, 'pidipajt', who gets to inaugurate the game page with a time of 0:14:20. Conveniently enough, there has recently been made a tas of this game, http://tasvideos.org/2963M.html. Check it out to see some of the hot 2p-action I mentioned. The tas goes to the top of every mountain, so you'll also get to see a bit more of the game.

The last games in today's update is a triplet by the same runner, 'Jaguar King'. This is not a newcomer around here and if you stumble upon his name on one of the game pages, you can rest assured that it will be a particularly well done speedrun and worth the watch. The work he shares with us this time is held to the same high standards as before and consists of the second Metal Gear game for the NES (more NES!), Snake's Revenge, done in 0:42:17 (an improvement of almost 8 minutes) and including audio commentary. He then follows up with two Neo-Geo games (played on the PS2 though). An ancient Japanese story, partly played in contemporary settings, in the form of the beat-em up Sengoku, done in 0:27:11 and a non-linear platformer called Magician Lord that was completed in 0:12:29. The latter one including audio commentary.

To round things off, even though it's maybe a bit early yet, 'KHANanaphone' and 'Jaguar King' will play their respective games in the follow-up of last year's successful "Best of NES" marathon. It's held over the Halloween weekend though, so there is still plenty of time to enjoy the runs in this update in the meanwhile. We'll try to post a reminder about the best of nes when we get closer as well.

Thursday, October 1, 2015 by LotBlind

I Will Walk You to the Moon and Back TWICE REALLY SLOW!

For some reason, when I watch this fairly straight-forward 0:19:38 of Castlevania: The Adventure for the Game Boy, I'm reminded more of what it was like to play unemulated NES games (my only console) back in the days than with any run that's actually ON that console. Such is the grittiness present here, despite the SNES through the Super Game Boy adapter rendering it in color. If you saw Brental Floss's and Dave Bulmer's musical argument about the merits of Super Mario Land (from the same year), you'll see the same kinda does apply. It's the fact that it's something we were already familiar with but everything is scaled down and can't hope to amount to an equally impressive experience. Well unless you're impressed with its time-lapsed movement, tendency to lag or bad controllability. 'Epryon' gives you right about the cleanest execution one could ask for, improving the record by 5 hard seconds.

There's few runners who go so consistently for the most bonkers of games as Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare & Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman. They're devoted to glitching and then showcasing the most demented, weird, and unexpected titles and have done so live on multiple occasions across the early expanse of the history of GDQ marathons (long live the GDQ!), including with Battletoads & Double Dragon for the SNES. Despite the far more serious nature of this 0:18:23, running as the two Double Dragon guys, much beat'em'uppage takes place. Very chill, cool soundtrack, eyes bulge, how did they do all that parallax stuff and most importantly is that chicken saying his lines or typing them? Or both? Why?

Why is this only the first run for Michael Jackson's Moonwalker??? This game is legendary! Or so I have been told. First-timer Josiah Winslow contemplated on the injustice of the omission and took it upon himself to deliver a neatly packaged 0:23:03 in Single Segment. Delayed IntroductionTM GO! It's a platformer where you play as Michael and you need to find all the cloned children hiding behind doors and inside trash compactor chutes followed by a boss fight, which I find it pretty unique you can trigger seemingly anywhere in the level.

I'm trying to decide whether it's ironically or unironically that people took to the games (similar but distinct titles came out on PC systems and the arcade). It's so squarely Michael's essence, it embodies so exactly his entire character with all the various trademarks and his non-violent philosophy (every bad guy succumbs to the power of his dance moves) that it really comes down to what your attitude towards him is in general. It's probably this Jackson we'd do well to remember and not what surfaced later about his non-public self.

It is in any case un-ironically that I go "Whoop-de-doo!", we've got another...

NEWS FLASH

Sega Master System Big15 race

This event is inspired by Big20 races put on by a community called Best of NES.
Similar approach but this time 15 Sega Master System games.

When is it going to happen:
24th October 2015

Notable games include:
Fantasy Zone,
Wonder Boy,
Psycho Fox,
Sonic The Hedgehog,
Ninja Gaiden,
Alex Kidd in Miracle World and 9 others.

In other news SOMA is already officially being given "The Treatment". I'm not gonna link it because so many unhidden videos... feel sorry for us non-hyper-Internet-bandwidth guys. It's under "PC Games".

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 by HoboWithaShotgun

I'm not dead yet!

Hey look! It's an SDA update NOT written by LotBlind! Can this be? The other updaters are actually doing there job? Yeah, so me, Judgy, and wickedcodeferret have been out of the loop for a while. The reason? Life sucks. Fortunately, things have started to clear up, for me at least, and now LotBlind can take a much needed break. 

Up first we have Final Fantasy. And yes, that's the original Final Fantasy, the game that spawned god knows how many sequels, spin-offs, and even a movie. To think, an old NES game from 1987 could create a multi-million dollar franchise. Anyway, in the game, you play as fourth youths who must stop an evil forces from destroying the world. Sure, send youths to save the world. That makes total sense. Anyway, 'WarMech' decides that the story is boring, and opts to rush through the game in just a mere 2:21:48, nearly an hour and a half faster than the run from 2010. The run is in 89 segments.

For the next run, we fast forward 25 years into the future, where the graphics aren't so pixelated. Hitman: Absolution, the fifth game in the Hitman series, focuses on everyone's favorite bald-headed killer Agent 47. In this game, Agent 47 decides to go rouge, and tries to keep a young girl away from an evil agency. Honestly, I played this game, and that's about all I remember about the story. I do remember there was a point in the game where you could disguise yourself in a chipmunk suit. That was pretty cool. Sadly, Mirko Brown & Bart 'TheVoid' de Waal don't wear the chipmunk suit in this multi runner speedrun, but does instead beat the game in just 0:47:39, Easy difficulty. I guess that makes up for the chipmunk-less gameplay.

Last but not least, we have my favorite type of run. The WTF just happened type of run. You know, the runs in which everything is normal at first, and then dissolve into utter madness before the game decides it's had enough and throws the credits at the player no questions asked. Yeah, those runs are pretty cool. The Last of Us: Left Behind, in short, is the DLC for The Last of Us, a game that won just about every award under the sun in 2013. The DLC follows Ellie, a survivor of the zombie apocalypse, as she makes her way through an abandoned mall to try and find medical supplies. There's also another part to this DLC, with flashbacks to Ellie's friend, but lets just say, Greg 'The Thrillness' Innes found a way to skip those parts...and complete the DLC in just 0:05:58, on Easy difficulty. Also, if you think this is broken, the main game is just as broken, if not worse. Yeah, The Thrillness has been busy.

Thursday, September 24, 2015 by LotBlind

Drop Your Bombs Between the Minarets

WARNING! BORING HISTORY LESSON. I thought I'd look up the devs behind Sierra's Quest for Glory franchise. Turns out it's a married couple, Corey and Lori Cole, who had the main creative impact in all the five QfG games. Both had a long career at Sierra and influenced the development of many of the various "quest" titles as well as Castle of Doctor Brain. The game you might NOT have heard of is Shannara, published by Legend Entertainment (1995) drawing on the fantasy novels of Terry Brooks. I thought I remembered they were crowd-funding something at some point and yes they were!

When you talk QfG at SDA you talk Paul 'The Reverend' Miller. He's not the only one who played or even ran them, but he does now (I can only assume) hold most of the records. Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero is one of the games his work has helped bring down on its knees. The whipping it receives in a newly (and accidentally) started "major skips" category surely makes it one of the all-time fastest adventure game submissions at a pop-song-length 0:04:14. I also want to point out the run has the most awkward ending sequence since this thing. Because of the new skip, the hero, Graham, never actually frees Elsa the Baron's daughter from the curse that's turned her into a mean-tempered brigand and when he arrives at the castle (packed with all qualities of weirdos including T. Riker from Star Trek, and a dead person), first no-one utters a word for almost a minute, then some guy comes in doing cartwheels and you get a medal. Then there's this shot. Is this possibly the earliest known example of a trollface? Because this guy knows. He knows he just ran, presumably soft-locking the poor girl's AI in the same murderous pose forever. He knows even his score indicates at best a half-assed effort at transcending the common scoundrel.

Okay, let's promptly move onwards now. Or should I say backwards? Unlike QfG 1 (initially named Hero's Quest), Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire is being run in the original shape it appeared in because of an infinite money type trick whereby you sell an item you don't even have multiple times. As it stands, it reminds us that back in 1990, adventure games were still rooted in the days of so called interactive fiction with their purely text-based command input systems. And when you type in short commands like "run" it might actually be faster, in the end, than choosing them from a submenu with the mouse.

Although the Thief is chosen here run comments indicate this doesn't make a difference and the result will always be something similar to the submitted 0:19:58. This run probably takes the "longest wait within a speedrun" award, but I actually wanted to start another thread for sharing similar cases you're aware of. Let's see if we can find something even better/worse! Anyway, if you're a fast and accurate typer you should seriously consider running some text parser games! Just wait for Mr. Miller to route it and then go in for the steal. Tell him regards from me. Also write less typo-riddled run comments.

Despite the great difference in time between this 0:44:01 and the existing segmented 0:49:29, this is for the Japanese version of Bomberman Hero and fends off direct comparison. Run comments indicate it's pretty technical. Every time a bomb gets randomly dropped you can be sure it's for a reason (or not, no guarantees). Runner 'PvtCb''s (the Cb stands for "Cinnanon bun" of course) only previous submission was for System Shock, a PC First-Person Hacker/Shooter out of all things (that's the exact gaming antipode for Bomberman I'm fairly sure). I honestly liked this run never having seen the game that is quite kawaii and simple yet sufficiently freeform with a few subtleties. Kinda like Super Monkey Ball. It's got spikes that make the laser blaster sound when they spring up. Lotsa gameplay and soundtrack variety too. LotBlind approves!

Sunday, September 20, 2015 by LotBlind

Coming Up With This Title Was As Hard As Finishing One of These Games

I had NEVER noticed to this day (I've even played one of them) the puns in the names of Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exoddus. I thought I was going crazy with how to spell "odyssey". Sam 'Samtastic' Locke all the while is absolutely nuts about wanting to spell out "major glitches" as legibly as an uncivilized mudokon possibly can. Having previously produced runs with segmentation for both the old '97 and '98 Oddworld games, the new 0:10:28 represents the single-segment any% category. Both the developer Oddworld Inhabitants and the runner have plans for more output in the near future so it's truly a living legacy. There's seriously quite a lot to say about these games. They're (LotBlind Delayed Introduction™) cinematic puzzle platformers with a ton of originality and charm. The runner is using a PC but they're also available for the PS1 and the latest one for the PS3/4/Xbox with further ports and spin-offs on certain handhelds and more platforms I haven't mentioned. They've won over one hundred awards and sold 7 million copies. The major skips I mentioned before are worth reading about in Sam's run comments and seem to have issued from the recent experimentations of multiple enthusiasts. Apparently a new TAS* even is coming up in their wake.

Before I saw the run, I wanted to find out a bit about the origins of Hudson Hawk. I knew it was a movie adaptation but nothing else. Turns out it was a surreal action comedy about a thief getting blackmailed into more crime after entering parole. Bruce Willis and two others got "worst actor" nominations and it actually won "worst picture", "worst director", and "worst script" (that Willis was involved in writing). Metacritic score falls into the "overwhelming dislike" range. It busted with tens of millions deficit. I genuinely want to see it now...

Meanwhile I next watched this quick 0:07:46 and read its notes to discover it "handles like ass" and is very unforgiving in general. Despite this, 'WhiteHat94' hits 3/5 one-frame tricks on the first try and loses minimal time to recover the crystal or whatever. Someone's more detailed review about what's wrong with the game here. I genuinely want to play it now... And actually if you own and can somehow record an Atari ST, that version had much better reviews. And also I have to defend the game a bit: it looks to have a great sense of humor that's instantly apparent in the very first stage in a casual playthrough. It wants you to be the floundering clown, the anti-hero.

Check it out! It's Radical Rex! [scary]IT CAME FROM THE BAD GAME EXCHANGE!!![/scary] and was featured at Awesome Games Done Quick this year. Also it CAME FROM THE '90s and IS A SONIC CLONE though having many ideas of its own: how about you're able to inhale the air out of a blowfish to keep from drowning a little longer... wait, what air? Also you MOVE LIKE 4 TIMES SLOWER whenever you're not on a SKATEBOARD!!! Much budget was blown on art assets (looks and sounds alright) but what I'm guessing got neglected was playtesting, severely hindering playability. This is the cardinal sin of game design and rightfully places the radicalest of SNES platformers into the SCARY VOICE bin. The easy mode 0:23:45 that Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel squeezed out is a self-improvement (a love improvement) of about 2 minutes.

Verification comments:
"For some reason, Omni improved his run of this game. I'm still never playing Musya again."
"I can't believe Omnigamer subjected himself to this torture again."
"Please stop playing this game."

 

*In case you haven't heard of TASing... Search for your favourite (mostly console) games here and you'll see what it's about.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 by LotBlind

Trade My Soul For Another Tenth Off

The Slovenian developer Arxel Tribe (later The Arxel Guild) won't be known to many, but let it be disclosed they predominantly created PC adventure games (between 1997 and 2003) set either in alternative historical scenarios or reworked versions of classic stories such as The Ring (Wagner opera) and The Pilgrimage (by Paulo Coelho) and Faust: The Seven Games of the Soul clearly inspired by - though only inspired by - Goethe. None of them seem to have scored very high in reviews, so maybe Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko either received his pick for Christmas in the year 2000 or bought it dirt cheap out a sales bin. Or then he thought: "Well it's a Myst-like, so I can only expect it to take me about 0:12:00 to finish it", which shows you how unexceptional it is for this type of adventure game to be reduced to nothing when you can skip everything and dart around like a cat from view to view. The idea is to collect evidence about 7 different characters and their ethical choices to see how they sort for the afterlife which to me seems pretty intrigueing. Each chapter is treated as a segment of its own, hence the Individual Levels table.

Competition continues to be an agent when improvements are sent for display in the vitrines of velocity at SDA. Sometimes it's the smallest of margins. I know I wouldn't have rest if someone took a record I had worked hard to obtain by .07 of a second. I would never want another to replace my name on what is, as with the previous game, an ILs table if I knew I could overtake them with another .03 dropped... I wouldn't, if I was Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe. Personally I probably couldn't be arsed. Klonoa (Wii), with a tightly contested first boss (Rongo Lango) time of 0:17.51 and one single other improvement of .23 for the third boss, Gelg Balm, now stands at 0:07:52.32 combined boss fights time for the Playstation-to-Wii platformer remake.

The next game is ranked 73rd worst all time by Gamesradar for being too hard and lacking humor. The problem with "worst-ever" lists for games these days is it's too damn easy to create and publish a game, so it's required to be picky about what is eligible to be shortlisted. Ironically, some Steam scamware putrescence only has the power to corrupt a perfectly unsullied hall of shame with their presence. The presence of putrescence now brings us back to Fester's Quest, which you might or might not realize is the very first Addams Family title having appeared in '89 for the NES whereas "The Addams Family" followed on multiple platforms only in 1992. An improvement of 2:53 down to 0:21:43 emerges from 'Zakky the Goatragon' having a better understanding of item drops for an efficient early grind for keys and weapon power-ups. The funniest thing about the game is what you might have realized even without me telling you: it's the Blaster Master overhead sections engine, which for some reason makes a funny juxtaposition in my mind.

Saturday, September 12, 2015 by LotBlind

Don't Dis the Gaia Legging it Through Your Residence

The way our first run of the day passed verification was, admittedly, not the slickest. I want to mention a few things as a caveat for future first-time submitters. Firstly, when you approach the more serious attempts at getting those submittable Personal Best times, you're supposed to be resetting a lot until the first parts of your run have significantly above-average luck. Depending on your game, you might need some seriously good luck if that's the make-it-or-break-it. If it's Single Segment, the rest of the run should aim for at least average luck as a guideline. Secondly, there's a spectrum of complexity and obscurity that games can have, and the more complicated your decision-making (especially if you're having to sacrifice time to regain it later), the more the verifiers will appreciate having a simple set of notes to fall back on. If you don't feel confident writing them in English yourself, you can probably find someone willing to help you translate from your home language just by asking around. That's what the community's for. To be clear it's still not compulsory for every single submission.

With that out the way, the rest of this run-through of Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness was awarded an unhesitated passing mark. In fact to the unexperted me it looks noticeably brisk-paced. It's for the Real Time Attack category and resets are used for faster grinding, which gives us the time of 2:15:31. I shouldn't imply 'elkidwx' is a first-timer either - he seems to have ample experience running, if not submitting, another Disgaea game called Hour of Darkness. I notice I've rather pointlessly fallen out the habit of giving an overview of each game for those uninitiated, which, on average, is most of everyone: it's a 2013 PS3 release best described as a tactical, square-based RPG. Expect fights and menuing, fights and menuing, fights and... The series seems to enjoy some success having been around since 2003. In fact taking a closer look at developer Nippon Ichi's records, I can see they're running since 1991 (I've totally missed them, wow!) with a significant number of international releases in similar genres.

The next one, Legaia 2: Duel Saga, was a natural choice for this update, because I guessed it might have things in common with Disgaea... but not as much as I thought. It has a similar name and is also on a PlayStation system, the PS2. It's a turn-based RPG á la Final Fantasy, but actually has a key press combos battle system like in fighting games. This run looks a bit more story-heavy so I'll wager those cutscenes aren't going nowhere no matter whose controller you're mashing. On the upside you'll get a bit more insight into what's happening and who's related to whom. I'd like to point out the "first event is your mom entering your room and waking you up, reminding you who you are and who's already waiting for you because you like to sleep late" trope is not employed for the first or second time. Although 'Deathtome' is aiming for a simple any% time, the run is still 6:46:18 long. I'm seeing someone from among the verifiers throwing down the gauntlet and saying they're going to beat this time. If you guys are going to have a fight in the town square make sure everyone gets the invitation! Or, you know, stream it.

Verifier comment for Legaia 2: "Honestly great job at breaking a game that has Resident Evil 1 laughably bad voice acting." Now THAT is more link than ever went to or indeed came back from other time periods dressed in stupid and effeminate green tights. 'sshplur' wanted to add one of the latest in HD revivals, Resident Evil HD just from this January, onto the speedrunning firmament (the celerial sphere, from the words celestial and celerity which means swiftness). Mustering all his autoimmunity, he contains the biohazard within 1:29:20 of its outbreak. The final boss is wont to swat aside rockets like a disgruntled playmate might discard a frisbee you hoped would distract them off their bellyache. This is a sad bit of RNG, which - along with other small luck and execution mishaps - makes the run improvable if more people show up sporting inexplicable medieval handgear.

If not, there's always Resident Evil Zero HD in the works.

You'll see the logic by which I tacked on Resident Evil 2 as an addendum to the previous run. In this minuscule 0:01:58.63, 'uhTrance' completes the "Hunk" mini-scenario on a different version (though timing is equivalent) blasting the old record out the water with a minute and 24 seconds of improvement. The guy dodges an entire rugby team's worth of zombies without a single shot fired and only getting hit twice.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015 by LotBlind

Said the Raven: "Nevermore, Color Dreams, pls!"

The first boss you fight in this Game Boy Advance Mario title - talking about Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - is Bowser himself. However, he doesn't seem the primary culprit this time around. It's some guy from BeanBean Land (they're probably all really awkward) who comes over and does vaguely unpleasant things (text boxes are skipped in a flash) to make the Princess cry rivers and swear mountains, cause that's all she's good for. The artwork is a perfect match to the sweetmeat precipitating my next visit to the dentist's (bet they can't wait!). The run used to be segmented and take over 3 hours but is now finished in one go within 1:18:51 making use of large, or more likely, massive skips. The first and foremost is what is called the "barrel glitch". I wonder if it's anything like Donkey Kong Country then? When I look at the game I can't help feeling like it's got something off-color about it. Anyhoo, the respondage makes up for anything strange like that, everyone seems muchly pleased with Mr. or Mrs. (or Ms.) 'altabiscuit', our hero of the day.

Our second hero of the day is 'Zakky the Goatragon'. The game is Robodemons for the NES from 1989. He says: "This is an example of me running a game because it was there and I could". He points out the developer, Color Dreams, who made a line of games that were all disgusting horrible messes individually and collectively. Includes Bible Adventures and Super Noah's Ark 3D (under a different name because they already suffered a bad reputation by then). But that's only if YOU have to play them. And if the bad doesn't underflow (eventually the wrongs start making a right). Sadly I don't think that's the case here in this 0:08:59 journey through not-quite-incompetent-enough hell-themed autoscrollers and platforming levels which does death warps like it's Jesus.  At the end the guy beats "King Kull" (who was a demon before it was kull).

The next run represents an unusual choice of genre - the visual novel. They technically have endstates and are not autoscrollers, so why - the proverbial - not? Analogue: A Hate Story is a space-themed game that explores misogyny drawing from the actual history of Joseon dynasty Korea. The game written by Christine Love received high praise from critics for intellectual depth and an original user interface, which to me looks like a parser, but apparently there's more to it than that. You're not going to find out much just watching the 0% completion C-ending 0:01:03 speed-typed by 'xVirtualNinjax' that, to my great delight, only assumes a shared 25th place in the list of fastest runs on SDA. Citius, citius, citius!

The sequel to Heretic is called Heretic 2. The first was first-person, the second second-person. Umm... third-person. It looks like a cross between Hexen 2 and Tomb Raider. Melee attacks are present and are being abused heavily to get into places one is not supposed to get yet. I never played the game but am more or less pleased with what I'm seeing both in terms of how it looks like it plays and the amount of bits 'GOODFELLA529' is skipping, more than enough to warrant speedrunning it more than once: This new run is a 0:39:35, an improvement of 04:59 minutes over a year-old run. If you don't know anything about any of the games I've mentioned, they're shooters with more puzzles than Doom in a fantasy setting. They're all by the distinguished old Raven Software.

 

NEWS

Zocktoberfest
29th October - 1st November
Announcement

The Zocktoberfest is a german speedrun marathon dedicated to bring speedrunning to a broader audience in germany. There are quite some german speedrunners, but almost none also stream in german, so the marathon will be held completely in german. Any german-speaking speedrunner is welcome to offer participation here. The event will be hold online on our channel; next year - depending on the success of this event - we're looking forward to organize an event on site. For more information, mail to germenchrestream@gmail.com.

Sunday, September 6, 2015 by LotBlind

Would've Made One Helluva Topiary Artist

Today I bring you the most confusing update I have yet had the pleasure to commit upon the fine SDA audience. In fact it's so confusing, that SDA (as became apparent on the day this was originally meant to be published) literally had to revise its protocols to be able to cope with cases like this. It's 3 Clock Tower games, all for the PS1 and they all came out within 1½ years of each other. One of them is a port of the original SNES game, the other two actual sequels, but the port came out AFTER the first sequel. I've given you all the Japanese titles as well as the international so you'll be able to fully appreciate the many ways they'll trip you up - and cut you up.

Clock Tower: The First Fear is the port I mentioned. There are, according to my scant sources, no changes other than adding a few little cutscenes here and there. Like the original, it was never officially translated so it's being run, by Ivan 'Kakyoin-Noriaki' Pais, in Japanese. There's hardly anything I could add if you do in fact know the SNES version, but in case you don't, it's got a girl called Jennifer trapped with her friends inside a mansion haunted by a creep with murder scissors - several sizes too large - in hand, probably making his mother rather proud he's not, in fact, ever seen running with them. Looks like there must be other undocumented or incidental differences because the same ending (the bad one - or should I say worst one, out of a possible 8) is now over a minute slower (at 0:03:07), all of which becomes illustrated if you watch them side by side. In fact lemme link the old console run so you can clock them yourself. (wink wink)

Now let's recall that the first Clock Tower game was probably called "Clock Tower" right? Wait a minute LotBlind, didn't you just tell us it never got shipped overseas? Well that's true, so this next PS1 Clock Tower game, the first to brave the briny, is also just called "Clock Tower". In Japan, of course, it's "Clock Tower 2". This one has 10 endings, 5 for each playable character. The 1:03:09 run-through is marked as 100% and does indeed see 'Carcinogen' going for the A ending with all kinds of survivors and generally favourable outcomes. Despite using the platform's 3D capabilities the game otherwise acts as a similar point-'n'-clicker as before. It takes place across multiple locations though, and not nearly all of it is spent getting short of breath frenetically escaping the probably only wildly misunderstood scissors-clacker person. I mean, isn't this exactly what happens when your priggish upper-class parents won't let you start your own jolly little barbershop downtown?

The last run I want to talk about is for Clock Tower Ghost Head, which is "Japanese" for Clock Tower 2: The Struggle Within. This time most ties to the original have been cut and the game takes place in the land of cherry blossoms itself in a house full of things like carpets, dining tables and remote-controlled cameras. This one has 13 endings, allegedly quite complicated to find, and mostly leading protagonist Allen nowheres buts her own demises. I suspect that's precisely what happened with this rather ill-fated 0:09:32 which is for ending I. Maybe once they've found more of them, Ivan 'Kakyoin-Noriaki' Pais will submit more for this game too.

Now there are 3 Clock Tower games left completely uninduced into the collections... 3, Haunting Ground, and Nightcry, which is only coming out this Fall. "Night-cry" is precisely what SDA staffers like to enjoy a bit of every now and then.

Thursday, September 3, 2015 by LotBlind

Send Us Your Briefs [and Me Your Money]

There's many things unique to the 1995 real-time JRPG Secret of Evermore: It was Squaresoft's only ever US production for which an independent team was drafted and afterwards disbanded because the game, despite receiving a by and large warm welcome as an alternative take on the genre especially with its visual representation, wasn't seen as quite up to the company's standards - at the time being typified by games like Chrono Trigger and Seiken Densetsu 3. It was also Jeremy Soule's, then freshly out of high school, first game music project. Its gameplay was partially derived from the Secret of Mana formula but also revamps magic and other aspects. As for what this 1:18:57 single segment run does to the old 22-segmented (!) run from only 4 (!) years ago to improve it by an hour, 27 minutes and 30 seconds (!!!), is probably best descibed as a "reimagining". 'MetaSigma' and his many partners in crime are running at 48 pages of discussion for the game, and it shows. But where's the Strategy Guide, boys?

At times I feel proud of my achievements. That's all the time. At times I feel proud of other people's. That's just days like today. Meet 'Soliduz Znake'! This man was the wettest-eared newcomer what seems like only yesterweek but is already announcing himself (or, well, being announced) on the front page for his second time. For what I can tell, he definitely had zero speedrunning experience before yipping his first yaps of confusion on the speedrun planning Forums of Fortune a year-and-some ago. I don't even know what made me take a peek, seeing I'd never heard of The Godfather: The Don's Edition before. Orienting his bewildered senses with my comforting voice and gentle, but firm instructions, he kept gnawing away at his modest times until from the rough, lusterless black lump... there emerged a shining, exquisite serendibite* necklace of the kind you could pawn off for lollies and smack if - Alas! - it wasn't metaphorical. When frustrated by an utter dependency on luck, don't forget you can segment your run and take it bit by bit, producing a polished 3:06:59 in 14 immaculate pieces that you could wear around your neck if it wasn't, well, a speedrun. Forget about my patent bias and take a look at this run - you'll be surprised how fast-paced and entertaining it is!

* it's a mineral. If you send me a thousand dollars ($1,000), I'll send you a precious unique ring that can detect your magnetic fields for you and make you rich.

To terminate this update (yes! I went there and am not afraid of going many places yet), I have for you another 90's action hero after last update's Robocop in the plainly appellated The Terminator, Genesis version. The game, though criticized for lacking meat, was widely considered a good time. Speaking of, here's an 0:09:18 on normal difficulty by another initiate having passed the time-honoured rite of having your first flailing attempt off-handedly rejected and forcing you to stop pulling punches. And with the over 30 seconds Chris 'thewizard' Jones afterwards shaved off (with the help of after-shave lotion?), the run now doesn't look any amount bad! The four missions all hark back to scenes from the movie: the first one set in the future, the second takes you to the city streets and the klub, the third takes places at the police station... And the fourth is the one where he has to lure the Terminator into the crusher. Read run comments for more. If there were any. I'm not your mom!

On an unrelated but important note, there has for some time been a feature of the site that allows you to submit the SDA staff news tips! Check it out (requires having a user on SDA)! One of the reasons for this is so less people miss the smaller marathons scattered throughout the year (I personally always keep missing everything I might have been into), but other kinds of news are accepted too.

Monday, August 31, 2015 by Judgy

Me, Myself And Soliduz

It feels strange to write an update where I am involved twice along with another that I worked with to stratagize and route one of the two following games with. One of these games has a very 'Wild West' theme to it so I intend to compartmentalize my update in the style of the title of a well known Wild-West movie 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' So let's do that!

 

'The Me' - First up on my list is a game which has it's own list of Scallawags, Drunkards, Notorious Outlaws and Questionable Gunslingers, the story of Call of Juarez: Gunslinger Is a self narrated tale of 'Silas Greaves' a self proclaimed legendary outlaw who enters a tavern in Abilene, Kansas to recite his stories about encounters with legendary Gunslingers such as 'Billy the Kid', 'John Wesley Hardin', 'Jesse James', 'Butch Cassidy' and the 'Sundance Kid' and many more in order to gain information about the killer of his two brothers (and gain some alcohol at the same time). The 'Me' part of all of this is that I, Tim 'Judgy' Kedge, Ran each of the 15 missions of this frankly underrated and under-known game in 1:11:45 under the New Game + category allow access to the full range of special powers that we all know the TRUE Wild West legends actually had.

'The Myself' - During one of my insane periods of life I decided to pick up Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 which I personally would describe as speedrunning hell namely due to the fact that Tom Clancy games and in particular the First Person Shooter ones are notoriously difficult to play normally then consider trying to play them saving as much time as possible on what can be 6 minute to 15 minute missions, it makes for an unforgiving speedrun. However, Even after all of this the first mission required improving so for the second time in this update Tim 'Judgy' Kedge (whoever he is) with an improvement of 33 seconds reducing the time for the 1st mission down to 6:17 which drops the PC Individual Levels tabel to a time of 1:15:38.

Now! this needs to be clarified!, This post was originally going to me titled 'Me, Myself and Irena' However the game involved is the second in the series and not the first which DID involve the antagonist "Irena" Which would have made for a better and wittier title, the latter in the series however involves the betrayal of former Team member Gabrial (Gabe) who gets abducted during the events of the first game and turns rogue on his former team mates... but enough clarification! on with the update!.


'The Soliduz' - The main reason that Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2's first mission even has a time save is due to the fact that 'Soliduz Znake' found that while playing the first mission it could end earlier if you were to stand as far into the final room as possible, (I'm not really sure why) however!, due to this discovery which saves around 30 seconds adding to this far riskier strategies than his previous attempt bring his time down from 8:40 to 7:41 which might seem longer than my PC Version but when you consider that the PS3 Version has a loading screen halfway through the level which is included in the play time which the PC does not it makes you realize how good of a run this was. this update brings the PS3 Individual Levels table down to 1:48:33.

Also while on the topic of Mr 'Soliduz Znake' be sure to look out for two further improvements to his Individual Levels table for this game as these are in queue for verification currently so if you enjoyed watching these be sure to check those out also!

Friday, August 28, 2015 by HoboWithaShotgun

It's a me, a Mario update!

Let's start off this update with a simple math problem: What do you get when you subtract 1 from quite possibly the most inconic Nintendo 64 game of all time? You get the surprisingly well made, and extensive flash game Super Mario 63 (in case you were still wondering, it was Super Mario 64 - 1). This flash game takes the elements from numerous Mario games like the water nozzle backpack thing from Super Mario Sunshine, the Princess Peach Castle setting from Super Mario 64, the sling stars from Super Mario Galaxy, the artwork from Yoshi's Island, etc. Overall, if you're a Mario fan, you'll immediately recognize these subtleties. 'TheMilkMan47' brings us his new run, clocking in at a time of 0:09:57, an improvement of just a little over a minute and a half from the previous run back in 2013.

In case you're not a fan of the fan-made stuff, then no worries, cause I've got just the official game for you. No, it's not the actual Super Mario 64, instead it's the water nozzle backpack thing game Super Mario Sunshine (yes I know it's called FLUDD, but I like saying water nozzle backpack thing). In a suprising twist, Princess Peach IS NOT kidnapped by Bowser, but instead by Shadow Mario, a graffiti spraying criminal imitating Mario. I guess Bowser must have had the day off. Anyway, 'PowderedMilk' apparently hates going on tropical island vacations, and decides to saves Peach in just 1:20:32, a huge 32 minute improvement from the previous run from 2008. 

While our last game may not specifically focus on our Italian amico (that's friend in Italian, because why not?), he is featured on the box art of Super Smash Bros., so, I'll just say it counts. Yes, this is indeed the original Smash Bros game, all the way back from 1999 (hopefully you don't feel old when reading that). Despite having a cast of just 12 playable characters, it's still a fun as hell game to play, even if it isn't able to compete with Super Smash Melee, Brawl, or whatever the kids are playing nowadays. 'pikashy' shows off some incredible fighting skills in this 0:05:34 run, playing as everyone's favorite pink ball of joy Kirby.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Hi Speedrun, I'm Dad.

Thankfully this update won't have these kinds of jokes.

I don't see any Dad jokes in Dadgame, which is weird too considering the game's name. In this odd flash game you play as Dad as he goes to save the city from an evil guy in a robot. I'm not sure how he saves it considering most of the goals is to create chaos and destroy whatever is in your path. Perhaps that's the Dad joke going on here? Either way, 'makermatic21' takes control of Dad in an Easy difficulty New Game Plus and beats the game in 0:07:14. Audio commentary is provided.

While watching Vampire Killer, beaten by 'Jaguar King' in 0:17:07 (40 seconds improvement), I go ahead and listen to his audio commentary. While listening to it he mentions a game-breaking glitch, and indeed soon enough he executes it. Turns out he was able to freeze all enemies and bosses, Dracula included (though it softlocks there so he has to unfreeze). Helps with the lag issues, too.

Serious Sam 3: BFE is actually the prequel to the first game, where Mental decided it is the perfect time to invade the Earth, and after three years humanity is on the brink of extinction. 'detress' takes Sam to a wild trip through hordes of Mental's forces and beats the game in 0:37:18, Tourist difficulty.

It honestly really doesn't feel like last December when Jazz Jackrabbit 2 got an update, and yet again there is one to Spaz, Jazz's crazier brother. 'niklash92' improves the previous run by 17 seconds, 0:21:48. I always wondered why these rabbits get a "Sugar-Rush" and not "Carrot-Rush". Either way, YUM!

Thursday, August 20, 2015 by LotBlind

The Official Truth on All of the Things

Kart racing games, such as Crash Team Racing are the console analogue to first person arena shooters. At least you can't look at powersliding - of which there be more than there's power chords in heavy metal - without eventually realizing how it sort of IS the equivalent of strafe jumping. You need to know when to start, when to switch sides, how steeply you can hope to be able to turn... Oh yes and do cut the bejeezus out of those corners while you're going! Not to confuse, strafe jumping is still more challenging (and yes, the PC still... actually let's not go there right now).

The first thought I had seeing the in-race HUD was "no automap, is that to sneakily cover up extreme rubberbanding?" but later you see the others getting lapped, so I'm guessing it's all for real. There's nitro boosts so continuous that I didn't even notice them at first, gross mishandlings of hazardous chemicals, scaring boss characters so much they can't talk, and I think every time the racer goes "Ow!" she's actually just given herself whiplash. I suspect it's all in the day's work for 'Karlie', who - while not quite delivering a world record (it's some 20 seconds off apparently) - makes the SDA record in this category, any% adventure mode, a pleasing 5 minutes 18 seconds better for a speedy 0:51:35. If you wanted to see more of this game, I found this site for you. Looks like top times are being exchanged on a daily basis!

Actually, now that I think about it, can you technically lap someone if your laps are a completely different shape from theirs? :P

If the brevity of the Wiki page is a measure of a game's obscurity, Nosferatu, a 1994 SNES exclusive, is obscu' fo shizzle. Viewing the submission we see the game has three difficulty settings and this 0:23:11 is on "easy" mode. Gameplay looks a lot like Prince of Persia but with werewolves and floating eyeballs that rudely knock you over like the Hell's Grannies from that Monty Python sketch. There's a time limit for each stage. There's pressure plates and timed gates... Alright, it IS Prince of Persia, but refurnished, improved in many many ways and with all the style of an average Castlevania romp. It looks like it doesn't deserve the oubliette it's been kept in for the past 20 years. The criticism seems to center around unresponsive controls and no save points (at all!) but that's stuff us speedrunnin' lot can make do with.

Quote from 'GreenKnight1294''s run comments: "On 2-B you can save up to 4~5 seconds by sliding under the Frankenstein."

As a little addendum I want to mention the game creators were SETA, who mostly ever made games for the Japanese market, but turns out they're the very guys who brought us Bio Force Ape, a name I recalled from one of the past GDQs.

The Real-Time Strategy genre, I'd like to argue, is the King of All Genres in speedrunning. The ideal example is one that just gives you a fresh start and a goal of destroying everything wearing colors that are not the one you've dressed all your own tanks and infantry in. There doesn't tend to be a single moment when you can't do SOMETHING to help bring this ambition into fruition a tad bit faster. Even the most broken platformers, the most hectic first person shooters have moments when you're just holding down a button or two waiting to get to the next junction or choke point. If the goal is just to defeat the A.I., the means of doing so in an RTS game is highly resemblant to playing against a human opponent, except on the level of strategy, where those abstract thinking skills are only possessed by the latter, but in the best case scenario the runner will still have some improvisation to do on each attempt as well as deciding what the best overarching approach is. Today's last run is a mere one mission (Zerg 10 to be exact) for Starcraft: Brood War, which first-time submitter Sergey '4p)MickeyMouse' Kitaev hereby improves by a full minute and 34 seconds into a 16:54. The new record (individual missions completion now takes 2:20:25) was obtained mostly by starting more bases earlier, more intelligent microing of units and fighting on multiple fronts at once.

Because I didn't want to assert my views on genres vs. speedruns in such a monopolar way, I started a thread on the topic earlier to angle for more opinions. It's been running for a week now and I wanted to summarize what everyone had written as well as include some more comments of my own, so unless I forgot, I should now have updated the first post inside that thread to act as both those two things.

Monday, August 17, 2015 by wickedcodeferret

Cecil Steampunk and the Underworlds

Steampunk has been incorporated into video games long before it was hip and trendy. A world filled with mechanical wonders, alchemy, rockets and all things powered by steam is a great basis for just about any type of game imaginable. Especially RPGs, which conveniently covers the games listed in this update.

When working as a courier in the world of Final Fantasy IV, it's always important to know what you're carrying. You never know when the package you're delivering is doing to wipe out an entire village and start a chain reaction of events that leads to adventures with airships, bards, dwarves, giant robots and a trip to the moon! Jules Verne would be so proud. Leading Cecil and his band of adventurers on their quest to prevent Golbez from destroying the world, 'the_roth' stops Golbez in a quick 1:57:20 (a 6:38 improvement) using large skip glitches and resets all performed in a single segment.

After surviving a zeppelin tragedy and given a ring delivery job, Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura follows The Living One on their quest to make that delivery. All while discovering the secrets of a vanished city, navigating complicated cultural issues, and saving (or ruining) the world in the process. This open-ended, non-linear RPG portrays a complex world where both Magic and Technology co-exist and normally takes tens of hours to complete, but 'Skydivizer' finishes the game in a blazing fast single segment 0:06:54 on Hard difficulty. Take that Magic and Techology!

The classic Ultima universe has always been right on the cusp of a Steampunk world, especially in the earier games that had spaceships and phasers. Within this universe, Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss casts you in the role of The Avatar banished to a dungeon to rescue a Baron's daughter and eventually save the world from an evil demon. And throwing lots of things into a steamy volcano, for some reason. Also, you can make popcorn with a torch and some corn, 'cause the developers thought of everything. Nifty! Improving on the previous run by 48 seconds, 'Nin' races through all the first-person 3D dungeon goodness in 0:16:37.

Monday, August 10, 2015 by LotBlind

Escapology Without Apology

Pikmin is a game about an escape. You, some fashion of alien, command a small army of jolly little'uns (pikmins) on a strange planet that's going to poison you with its noxious "oxygen" within a month of your crash-landing. Each type of pikmin has unique talents that need to be used in concert to access broken-off ship parts in the puzzley territories of your place of imprisonment. This being a speedrun, the goal will be achieved in much shorter order than the full 30 days you've been allotted, however the category is low% which means the runner is limited to the minimal number of pikmins that can finish the game, 50. This means it still takes 9 days and 1:36:02 for Zack 'PiePusher11' Maher to recover the necessary nuts and bolts. This improves on a 10-year old SDA time by 17:58 so if you're WAY TOO OLD you can now relive the game once again. The strange part is that, quite unusually, SDA has indeed only seen the low% and the 100% (in which every optional ship part is also collected), but never the plain unflavored any%. I suspect this is because new strategies have been discovered in an even flow. Maybe the 6 day run is coming next?

Psychon is also a game about an escape. You're trapped in a 2D top-down space station with a killer virus threatening to spread to Earth unless you can incinerate the infestation through the use of provided self-destruct switches. It comes from an unexpected place: it's a home-knit entry into the PS1 catalogue created with a software development kit called Net Yaroze. The best of these third-party games were mailed to subscribers, including Martin 'J.Y' Söderhäll & Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll, of Official UK Playstation Magazine in backsleeve demo discs. Well, might have been front sleeve. The runners complete a 0:07:54 tour of the station's 10 decks with their windy corridors, keycards and health packs, wiping away half of the former humans on their way. The run is simple but fast-paced and does involve some neat routing that makes it look like the two are bound together by invisible rubber bands.

This last game is the ultimate form of escape-ism: you go to a third-world country (sorry Venezuela!) to work for a multinational oil company just doing what it needs to to control the deposits, destroy the local infrastructure, quench the guerilla resistance movement, and generally act unbelievably irresponsible on countless different fronts. Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is both my personal power fantasy and a game that took way too long to beach - like a joyously iridescent spillage of a non-renewable source of HAPPINESS - on the depressingly decorous shores of SDA. This 1:32:19 demolition job has to be at least as entertaining as any GTA run you ever saw, the sandbox furnishing complete leveling of targets up to 10 stories high. And it looks spectacular! 'Tigger77' chooses the attituded Jennifer out of three possible avatars and makes the best of the sundry tactics available proving the optimal solutions are far from the most conventional, and usually involve air-striking something. The only minus this segmented run gets is from the video quality up to segment 11/24, but I think we can forgive it that.

Friday, August 7, 2015 by LotBlind

What happens when there's no run comments...

Sonic series games are quite liberal, as you'll be aware, in what they'll allow you to do with the level geometry. As one of the verifiers put it: "Walls are just suggestions." This explains why a lot of things go as they do in Mike 'mike89' McKenzie's 0:30:53 through Sonic 3 & Knuckles running as Sonic. The category doesn't have a precedent on SDA but I can tell you it's only under a minute slower than the Sonic and Tails 2-player run. Does it contain zips? Yes. Does it contain quick kills? Absolutely! Does it contain levels that take a shorter time to finish than the bonus tally takes? Probably. Watching this run you'll be more reminded of improvised dancing than video games. Going by the verifier respondage (I told you that's a word now), it's something our Aussie pal can be proud of!

This very first RoboCop video game has an interesting history in that the video game rights for the movie were bought by Ocean before the movie had even been made, and though the company went on to publish (though not create) multitudinous sequels itself, this original arcade version of the game was licenced out to Data East and Nihon Bussan, who made it a year after the movie in 1988. And that's very interesting! Otherwise seeing this game reminds me why gaming arcades were so popular back in the day: the games had all the memory and processing power and fancy input devices in the world to set them apart from what was possible on consoles or PCs of that era. Explosions everywhere, bad guys being hurled left and right, hardly any lag with dozens of sprites on the screen - it's just baller! The digitized voice clips on the other hand may have just passed their best-by date... The runner, Tim 'iast' Treichel, fires his robogun in various orthogonal and diagonal directions and rights every wrong with violence in a blazing 0:09:09. I'd like to add the ZX Spectrum version was apparently particularly successful out of all the multiple ports so if you can somehow set up recording for it, maybe you'd like to give that one a go!

This next run came with no run comments and it's too long to watch just for the sake of this update, so my approach on it here is to enact the karmic revenge the runners, 'StingerPA' & 'Yagamoth', plainly deserve.

Secret of Mana probably requires no introduction to most, and if JRPGs are not your cup of tea, I'm sorry, I walnut go out of my way for you! I'm Sylphid up with people wanting full expositions. In this two-person single-segment 1:52:41 run there are a few moments of herb-a-derping when the runners get themselves into a royal jam, but all in all it goes fairiely well. Whenever there's a scary boss Lumina head, the players get ready to hammer it with supercharged attacks. It eats their health away in great big rabites. "Gnome, gnome, gnome!". If you ever get thwarted by a red drop and/or a blue drop, I think the same trick works fine. Otherwise just drum something up. In-between fights, you'll stare at the game moogle-eyed, because it does offer some serious eye candy in all different shades. I'm surprised it never exceeds the sprite limit! The run relies heavily on Dyluck and the runners just have to wish for no flammies, but at least there's money duping so they don't have to spend a long time rummidgeing through treasure chests. If you're wondering Watts left to improve in this run, maybe roping in a third runner could cut some more time. Don't be illusioned though - while the runners don't have to be best palace forever or confess Undine love, cooperation and good manas can save a minotaur at least a few seconds. Aside from that you'll only find more tricks if you're ready to do empireical research yourself.


In case someone wanted to actually know something about the run, presume it features heavily in this stuff. Also you can watch the run in the same category by the same runners at ADGQ'14 for a commentary.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015 by HoboWithaShotgun

Boxing Matches, Superhero Movies, and Clothing Store ads

Realistically speaking, aren't those the only things on TV nowadays? Actually, I forgot about daytime soap operas. Maybe a run of a Sopranos game?

The Punch Out games have always been popular among the speedrunning community. In fact, it's gotten to the point where improvements to individual levels for any game in the series are usually less than a fraction of a second, and rely on some of the most insane RNG known to man (maybe I'm over exaggerating things, but Punch Out runs still need a lot of luck). But even with times becoming evere so increasingly shorter (with some levels literally matching the time of the TAS runs), runners are still putting hundreds of attempts into these levels. Zack 'Zallard1' Allard, Terry 'klar' Heard & 'Pottoww' show off their boxing skills in Punch-Out!! (Wii), improving quite a few levels in the process, bringing the total IL time down from 20:06.66 to 0:19:50.76. The improvements are:

Oh, but that's not all! In case you wanted to see more Punch Out fun, then this new single segment run for Punch Out!! has got just what you need. Zack 'Zallard1' Allard is at it again, delivering the same sucker punchers and KO's as always, with the run clocking in at a final time of 0:22:27.45.

Being able to control time seems like a really cool super power to have. Being able to slow down, stop, or even reverse time would make my life so much easier, though, realistically any super power would make life easier. Even though super powers like that don't exist in real life (or do they? DUN DUN DUUUUUN!), it's nice to know that videogames are more than happy to let you fufill your time-bending dreams. Next up on the update is TimeShift, a game that couldn't have a more literal title if it tried. 'HeRMe' is able to find the perfect balance between aiming for the fastest time, and slowing down time to break the game, and completes TimeShift in 1:07:26, a 22 minute improvement from the previous run from 2008 on Casual difficulty. 

I must admit, when I first saw the name of the final game on this update, I wasn't sure what to expect. With a name like First Person Lover, you might be inclined to think that the game revolves around "that," but I can assure you, it's the complete opposite of what you're thinking right now. First Person Lover is a first person shooter where you have to liberate a city from the hate it's been engulfed in. You do this by shooting kiss bullets, bubble guns, throwing teddy bear smoke grenades, and other adorable things to hate filled pedestrians, before zapping off their clothing and replacing it with the newest collection from clothing store Bjorn Borg (yeah, this game is supposed to promote a clothing store). Also, apparently this game is supposed to make fun of Gamergate, or something like that. Yup, I told you this game wasn't at all what you were expecting. However Etienne 'EthanWolfcat' Taschereau doesn't seem to care about the adoreableness, and instead finishes the game in a comfortable time of 0:04:11.

Friday, July 31, 2015 by LotBlind

You're Not Supposed to Be Here

As of late there have been zounds of submissions for this particular adventure game series, one of multiple old Sierra franchises, and another one that became validified upon the passing of the "DosBox-is-now-GO!" edict. I'm talking about the "Quest for Glory" games. Everything traces back to one man, self-professedly obsessed with their idiosyncratic ways, Paul 'The Reverend' Miller. Having missed these games back then, I am now getting better versed in them by proxy, most recently in Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness. What they all have in common and what separates them from most is they're also part RPG: You get to choose a class out of three, allocate some extra skill points and note the numbers have incremented every time you've used an ability such as climbing or lockpicking. Correspondingly, most of the puzzles seem to have been designed with at least a few different solutions, each with a corresponding skill requirement. To single out QfG:SoD a bit more - its sinister influences are found in Slavonic and Middle European lore rife with rusalkas, vampire rabbits and liches. Anyway, here's the four runs, one for each class and an extra one for the thief class where a pre-buffed character was imported back into the same game:

Fighter - 0:33:45
Wizard ("magic user") - 0:33:24
Thief - 0:32:40
New Game Plus Thief - 0:29:42

I can't leave this topic before quoting how Mr. P.R. answered my request to get a glance in on his notes: "I've speedrun QfG4 since 1997, so all the notes are in my head".

Something I would never have imagined is that "Eliminator" is an actual brand of motor boats that the game Eliminator Boat Duel (1991, NES) is advertising. Here's what someone says about it on the Amazon page:

"This is the equivalent of finding a diamond in a pile of slugs. Ugly slimy slugs."

I had something of a blast watching the run back in verification, but I did reckon the runner, Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios, had made away with a different interpretation of the title... something like "I'm the 'Eliminator' and I'm the one who's actually going to finish this race", which would explain all the brutally smashing into your progressively more challenging A.I. opponents until their prissy little boats would no longer be seaworthy ON MARS. Aside from this, there's ongoing strategizing related to your upgrades and the usage of nitros and other subtle stuff. Each race runs through multiple legs in a swamp or on a river with 3-4 different kinds of presentations of the action: sometimes a side view, sometimes from directly behind the racers etc. so I can really confirm this is a game to look into, especially since Elipsis has laid down a great portion of the groundwork (even having done some TASing!).

Any% Expert - 0:30:26
100% Easy - 0:37:34

Note that the runs have audio commentary.

Okay, final run. Ready?

Half-Minute Hero
Jim 'Dowolf' Dobler
Any% Single Segment (Hero 30) (PC) 0:18:54

...aaaaaand time!

That's the essential experience of watching this flash-through of Half-Minute Hero. I think every one of the verifiers suspected the video had been sped up at least 3-5 times. Along with the most recent segmented Half-Life run, this is the only speedrun making me sweat at night thinking what it'd be like if someone submitted another improvement.

It's no surprise though, seeing as there couldn't even have been a game conceived of more speedrunning-oriented. It's a JRPG parody where you have the liberal 30 seconds to up your stats and muster the equipment for charging into the act boss's lair. Well apparently that's just one of its game modes but in my defense it's the relevant one. The runner is attempting to keep up a streak of perfect RNG manipulations from the beginning of each of the 31 stages to the end and often pulls it off. Need I say more?

Meanwhile I've perfectly RNG manipulated this update to come up at a time when SGDQ still has some 1½ days left. That means you're still not supposed to be reading these sneaky during-marathon updates. Tsk, tsk!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 by wickedcodeferret

Rocky Splatter Toady Show!

Goblins get a bad wrap in most games, always being all evil and attacking, and occasionally stealing babies while singing really awesome David Bowie songs. But when the Nopino Goblins go crazy and start attacking a local shrine, Pocky & Rocky head out to just stop the Black Hoodie-caused Goblin insanity. This time Rocky goes solo, guided by 'Akisto', and saves the goblins in 0:21:29 on Normal difficulty. Dance, Tanuki, Dance!

Some nights are just the worst. Having your mansion invaded by evil spirits, getting your family kidnapped for dark rituals and an ancient Terror Mask stuck to your face. Not to mention a late game betrayal you never see coming (maybe)! Time to beef up and start smacking the stuffing out of everything that moves! Helping Rick lay the smack down to a horde of Splatterhouse 3 monstrosities, 'Slaughterhouserock' clears the mansion once again and saves Rick's family 19 seconds faster in 0:22:00 on Game Master difficulty. Come for the all the gore and plenty of hardcore "breadsticks" action!

People getting kidnapped/stolen in video games is the trope that keeps on giving for plot setup. Battletoads is no different, with Rash and Zitz tracking down the Dark Queen through 13 levels of brutal difficulty to rescue their friends Pimple and Princess Angelica. Unlike previous SDA runs however, runners Piotr 'TheMexicanRunner' Delgado Kusielczuk & 'jc583' take control of both toads and clear the game in a wicked fast 0:16:15 using Warps. This includes avoiding the infamous Stage 11 second player freeze bug and tons of nifty Co-op only tricks to check out. Recommended!

Saturday, July 25, 2015 by Judgy

Half-Of My-Life Playing Borderlands waiting for SGDQ

First up this time round is a game everyone is familiar with Half-Life or more accurately the Hazard Course from that same game. Over the years many have stepped forward to challenge the course and take thier place as the fastest and today we place 'Maxam' at the top of the podium who bunnyhops, grenade boosts and ...interacts impossibly with elevator buttons in 0:02:48 a 1 second improvement over the old time. which, to be honest, is a pretty big ask. Amazing run watch out for that elevator lag!

Next up is a segmented run of Borderlands the first of a (currently) 3 part series, a series in which I have spent far, FAR! too much of my own time (7000 hours+ in borderlands 2 alone). During which time I met and became friends with our runner Alexandre 'penta'. Who while playing as Lilith on the PC version throws his weapon away countless amounts of times in order to complete the game, This is due to the PC version allowing you to bind a Key to "Throw Weapon" something not possible on console versions he abuses the fact that weapons are picked up with full ammo and he skillfully pummels everything in sight with Sledges shotgun. New routing to gain EXP early from various in game achievements and obligatory farming so well known in all borderlands games results in finishing the game in a time of 1:26:14 across 77 Segments. which is over an hour quicker than the Xbox 360 version using Brick.

In other news The Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ) marathon begins tommorow! (the 26th) helping to raise money for the Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders charity, Speedrunners from both Speed Demos Archive and Speedruns Live will be displaying their talents on over 150 titles across the span of the week long event. you can find the schedule HERE! we hope to see you there! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 by LotBlind

Strikingly, in Japan, Silence is Normal

All the runs in this update are by one big man. He's from Japan. He does it 'cause he can, and that's how the rhyme ran. Actually I don't think he's FROM Japan so much as he's big IN Japan, which is another way of saying you've failed to attain any real significance amidst your home crowd (there are no rules as to what the Japanese can take a liking to and therefore it doesn't count). However, because of legal reasons I am also obliged to mention there was apparently a movie by the same name. Maybe he's going to start a thread titled "Explain Your Name". If his explanation is any more interesting than "Yeah it's from the movie", I'll respond to him and show tell him mine. If you haven't guessed it yet it's Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko.

Normality (PC, 1996) comes from an old long-time UK gaming company called Gremlin Interactive. If anyone reading this recognizes the name off-hand, you're probably being thrown into a spell of nostalgy from hearing that I'd imagine. Amongst their varied achievements we had a few 2.5D adventure games and Normality, then, is one of them. It takes place in a loopy, somewhat futuristic dystopia where strict social conformity, or "normality", is the presiding regime's agendum. Cap'n Japan's agendum, on the other hand, is to liberate the people in a swift 0:23:00 blow-out that exploits the game's mechanics and alternative solutions heavily. The main thing besides frantic clickety-clicking is the game most often doesn't require you to be anywhere near the objects and NPCs you want to interact with in order to be able to use them. If and as you watch this run you'll see what I mean and appreciate you're being treated to something quite unusual. Seeing as cutscenes are unskippable you'll even get a good glimpse into the writers' distraught minds.

Toonstruck (PC, Virgin Interactive, also 1996) was a game I immediately fell in love with after seeing a short retro review somewhere on YouTube. Mobygames' summary refers to Monkey Island and Roger Rabbit when outlining what it's like, while the screenshots personally bring me back to Day of the Tentacle. It is, you'll have gathered, another point'n'clicker, but I shouldn't neglect to mention it stars the full-motion captured Christopher Lloyd. He, one must recall, played "Doc" Brown in Back to the Future. I will not tell you anything more of the game or about Mr. Japan's run, a 0:33:25, because I WILL HAVE NO SPOILERS. No I'm not here to provide a service.

The last big and manly BigMan runs one lowly update even has room for are going to be for much acclaimed Silent Hill 2, or "Sairentu Hiru Tsuu" in Japanese. Trivia of the day: its scenario is based on Crime and Punishment, a 19th-century literary classic by Dostoyevsky. What started out as a hardware limitation, the fog and darkness were reused as an atmospheric device when the development team under Konami shifted over from the PS1 to the PS2. Amongst other influences, Tomb Raider was used as a point of reference when creating the 3D-environments. [/trivia] So without further ado:

18 Segments Normal/Normal - 0:43:19 (1:01 off previous 13-segment run)

Single Segment Normal/Normal - 0:44:18 (1:26 off previous record)

Maria Hard - 0:05:57 (0:07 off previous record)

Tune in next week, same Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko time, same Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko channel! Bada-bada-bada-bada BIGMAAAAN...

Sunday, July 19, 2015 by LotBlind

Bound for Kyrandia, Sherwood and Earth

The Kyrandia series is comprised of three first-half-of-the-'90s point-and-click adventure games from Westwood Studios, who were constantly setting new standards for how pretty hand-drawn art in games should be. The games were vibrant, had brilliant soundtracks and a peculiar inventory puzzle system where you drew from a generic pool of items available to you that you could normally always replace when having run out. For this reason the game would allow you to waste them on random interactions that produce a similar kind of ephemeral glee you could get from slapping quarters into a coin-op. It's a combination of these factors that make me think back to the games mostly with warmth and enthusiasm.

Evidently I'm not the only one. Our resident adventure game fanatic, Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko, after being convinced he should complete the set having done just the second game at first, took my sage advice of segmenting the runs at junctions where the lead role was reserved for Mr. Random Number Generator. This meant The Legend of Kyrandia was conquered in two segments adding up to a 0:51:56, and The Legend of Kyrandia 3: Malcolm's Revenge in 0:31:55 being split into four of them.

Do I gravitate towards games with awesome soundtracks or do games with awesome soundtracks gravitate towards me? Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (NES 1991) certainly qualifies. The runner, 'Slyse', says in the verification notes for his 0:29:28 it's "a crazy good action-rpg" but then goes on to list its various defects like soft locking and awkward movement in the same paragraph, which seems more in line with how retro reviews seem to portray the game. At least the not entirely fidelitous movie tie-in had ambition: in addition to a typical top-down view you get a side view for fencing and a zoomed-out perspective for battles where you and your merry A.I. band merrily rout large mobs like no-one's business. Finally there's horse racing. In summary it might be one of those better-watched-than-played types.

My last game for this update is one that embodies the old "If you have to ask, you'll never know". We're looking at Earthbound, which in addition to being an irreplaceable classic of JRPGs seems to have a long-lived and prospering speedrunning scene as well. These were my thoughts watching Andrew 'andyperfect' Woolston's run in 3:56:27 where most of the time there simply aren't any signs of floundering anywhere. There is one 10-second mistake with a teleport as I recall. I should mention this is a single segment run without major skips (previous SDA record for the category gets beaten by 14:40 minutes) so if you remember Ness slipping through seams or warping through debug menus, this will show you more of the game instead. One of the most recent advancements is TAS-like encounter and drop manipulation through all of Onett, which is where RPGs generally always go when people have run them for 10+ years (think Final Fantasy).

Thursday, July 16, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Age of Aliens

I'm a fan of RTS games so seeing Age of Mythology means I know what I'll be watching today. Arkantos from Atlantis attempts to regain Poseidon's favor and ends up going on a lengthy journey to stop evil (and Poseidon) from destroying the world. 'UtterNutter' shows who's the real demigod around here and tackles the entire 32 (33-ish?) levels of the campaign on the Easy difficulty, finishing in 3:10:12.

A successful remake to the 90s cult classic XCOM series comes in the form of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. While the game normally has a ton of features and plenty of quests to go through, it can be surprising just how fast it can be beaten. Kevin 'Papers' & 'Twyn' fought more than just aliens as they rolled the RNG and "completed through the observance of astrological symbols and the sacrifice of several goats", producing a run clocking in at 0:29:19 done in 64 segments. The comments are a must read to really appreciate this run.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 by Judgy

Character Select Screen!

Sometimes, (If you're a member of the Capcom roster) beating someone else into a pulp isn't enough to prove you're better and in this event you fall back to the only other possible option, what is that option I hear you cry? duh!... a puzzle battle!!!. Looking like the tainted offspring of 'Tetris' and 'Bejewelled' comes Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix where some of the Streetfighter cast attempt to outsmart each other while also throwing a few punches while they do it. 'bluebomber285' first selects Devilot for a playthough of the games X' (X-Dash) mode on expert, he deftly negotiates the puzzles before him in a time of 0:05:37.

Upon returning to the character select screen 'bluebomber285' then picks a new challenger to once again tackle Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix's X' mode on expert. This time with the profusely pink protagonist Dan, making even shorter work of the game than his Devilot run this run clocks in at 0:04:37 PERFECT!!.

Not wanting to be left behind Paul 'The Reverend' Miller fired up his copy of Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero and selected two characters also!. Beginning in a magical mana (get it?) our first character run is that of the wizard/Magic-user class, to be honest not much magic happens but if you like rock clicking your in the right place as this serves good purpose in this run in 0:10:29. The next contender is the thief, whose skills in the more dishonourable arts seem to make him quick with both his hands and his feet as he put an end to the whole sordid tale in 0:09:16 You've become a hero!...TWICE!

Saturday, July 4, 2015 by Judgy

The Name's Batman, Baseball Batman

In the world of Ninja Baseball Bat Man any amount of baseball paraphernalia can, and will!, attack you. Be it gloves, balls, bat wielding bats or whatever, it is not safe to be outside! Unless of course you happen to be Travis 'Klaige' Nible, Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman, Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy & Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare who, as a joint force not to be reckoned with take the colorful quartet through the game in 0:29:32 Single Segment.
**The price of admission also includes free Audio commentary so check that out also :)

Bat that's not all!! One of the four decided that his work was not done in Ninja Baseball Bat Man and continued to swing his way through the game once again using the twin bat wielding Ryno. This time round Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy steps up to the plate and knock the enemies out of the park in 0:21:14 Single segment. Tune in to the commentary for a play-by-play of all the action from the comfort of your own home!.

Released in 1998 on the Game Boy James Bond 007 is thought to be one of the last ever games to grace the grey brick we remember so fondly. *wipes tear away* anyway!, Martin 'J.Y' Söderhäll picked out his copy and karate chopped, shot and sneaked his way through a more "legend of Zelda" like adventure for the super spy in 0:42:02 ...  007 in Hyrule ... it a bit of an odd-job.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 by HoboWithaShotgun

Solving the mystery of the missing princess with a talking sword

Up first, we have Transistor, a game that just so happened to be developed by the same company who made one of my all-time favorite XBLA games, Bastion (BTW, it's Supergiant Games in case you were wondering). Seriously though, the reason I mention this is that when you start watching the run, you'll immediately notice just how strikingly similar the two games are. Regardless, they're completely different games apart from some gameplay mechanics. In Transistor, you play as Red, a female protagonist who must destroy an evil robot army. How will she do this? With a magical talking sword of course! Anyway, notable PC runner 'Maik 'Onin' Biekart' brings another one of his runs to SDA, with a single segment with resets run, clocking in at a final time of 0:37:01 minutes.

By now, you've probably watched AT LEAST one Mario run. That little italian guy's been all over the place, havening appeared in just about every videogame genre there is (in fact, the next Call of Duty game will have Mario as a secret playable character, though you didn't hear that from me). But let's game back to the Mario game we have today. New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a sidescrolling platform game released back in 2012 for the 3DS. Plotwise, Princess Peach yadda yadda yadda Bowser is evil yadda yadda yadda let's rescue her! But hey, at least the games are fun as hell. 'Jordan 'Greenalink' Greener' seems to agree, since this his second run of the game, improving his previous run by 21 seconds, with a single segment run using warps, with a final time of 0:26:39.

Last but not least, let's throw a monkey wrench in here and give you a completely unexpected run. Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion is your classic point and click mystery game released way back in 2000 for PC, and 2001 for the GBA. Everyone's favorite female detective must investigate an old Victorian Mansion that's under renovation, because apparently some evil spirits got bored and decided to mess with everyone. Realistically, this sounds like a job for the Ghostbusters, but I guess we'll send in an 18 year old amateur detective instead. Runner 'Michael 'arglefumph' Gray' doesn't seem to mind spooky ghosts, and instead, opts to finish the game, or should I say solve the mystery in 0:15:54 minutes, single segment fashion on Senior Detective difficulty no less.

Saturday, June 27, 2015 by wickedcodeferret

Blast From the Past!

After playing as the descendant of Erdrick in the first Dragon Warrior game, Dragon Warrior III provides all the back story of who Erdrick was, and how he/she got all the cool stuff you eventually find to defeat the Dragonlord. Plus, it added day/night cycles, an open world to explore, full party customization and a class/job changing system that paved the way for future console RPGs. I'm looking at you FF4/FF6! Completing the game in multiple segments, 'Darkwing Duck' defeats Baramos' master Zoma and becomes a true hero in a blazing 23-segment 3:36:27, which is an 1:37:33 improvement over the previous run (using 11 more segments).

Jumping into the future, humans will eventually set up planets with robot manufacturing plants to advance exploration of space. Until along come some aliens to ruin things by reprogramming our own robots to destroy us! Probably through that old OpenSSL Heartbleed thingy we never bothered patching. How did we not see that coming? Anyway, rather than try to fix things, let's send in a guy with questionable jumping skills to just destroy everything! Navigating the Low G Man: The Low Gravity Man through five levels of ridiculous robots, awkward jumping and plenty of spear-thrusting action, 'Zakky the Goatragon' defeats the alien menace 2:38 faster in a single-segment 0:12:54. Be sure to watch the credits afterwards to be taunted about hidden game secrets you may have missed. And check out the run's commentary. SUCCESS!!!

When it comes to the past repeating itself though, Mega Man V is really the Mega Man 3 of the Gameboy world. Why's that? Because all the past unique bosses from the Gameboy Mega Man I-IV games come back for one more round of action, and you get to kill them with unique Planet-based weapons! Like Salt Water! Wait... what? 'MrCab' destroys the StarDroid masters and the Unique Boss Gang (plus Wily, of course!) in a single segment 0:45:21, which is a 1:54 improvement over the previous segmented run.

And for all those with a love of Spoony Bards, there's only a few days left to sign up for the Mysidia Mayhem - Final Fantasy 4 Paladin Race Tournament (details here). It's an individual race from the start of the game until Cecil becomes a Paladin, which covers about the first 25% of the game. With over 50 runners on board to compete so far, it's shaping up to be the NCAA tourney of Final Fantasy 4 racing. Don't forget to fill out your bracket and cheer on your favorite runners to win!

Thursday, June 25, 2015 by LotBlind

The Super Country Girls are Getting Settled III

The Settlers III is part of a long-running series of real-time strategy games where you build a town with a working infrastructure and production chains, procuring resources from the vicinity and raising an army to defeat the enemy factions. The third installment lets you play as either the Romans, the Egyptians, the Amazons or the generic "Asians". 'knoll3' commands the mighty Roman empire from victory to victory, his IL runs totalling a 2:18:27. The run is on the German version of the game, which means you can edumicate yourself while you watch.

The 1992 NES game Town & Country II: Thrilla's Surfari: Thrilla's Surfari reminds me of a mellower version of Battletoads with its varied environments and surprisingly varied gameplay. Its setpiece story stars Thrilla Gorilla tasked with saving Barbie Bikini from Wazula the Kahuna. Most of the time this means you need to surf or rollerskate your way through each level, getting any ramp boosts you can with the occasional unintended skip and boss fight thrown in. The runner's ('WhiteHat94') summary: "The run just came down to maximizing speed and avoiding the coconuts". The run, a 0:15:30, seems solid enough.

Released on the SNES in 1993, Miracle Girls is the video game adaptation of a manga by the same name. In it you guide one of two twins, Tomomi or Mikage, through garishly bright scenery akin to Rainbow Islands or Little Nemo: Dream Master. Like Little Nemo, you throw candy at the monsters and get earworms from the upbeatest of beats playing in the background. Despite auto-scrollery minigames (one of which he beats without moving at all), Wesley 'Molotov' Corron decided to grind out a polished 0:18:25 Single Segment run of this game. WARNING: watching it may make you color-blind.

The final run of this update got an excellent verifier respondage (yes that's a word from now on). We've looking at a 0:10:18 completion of Super Turrican for the NES, not to be confused with the one for the SNES. What's special about this somewhat non-linear platformer is it was developed entirely by one person, the creator of the original Turrican and Turrican II which never had NES ports. Instead this game is largely a combination of the predating two. The runner's name is Dylan 'Jorf' Beauchamp. We should all think about it !

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Zerg rush

We have lots of speedruns coming up and with them new updaters! I'll still be around though, but for now I can go back to Time submitted speedruns, which is what I normally do around here.

Risk of Rain is a game Maik 'Onin' Biekart can't get enough of, and I want to see more speedruns of it. With Providence's shields having a slight malfunction and using the Bandit for some teleportation tricks, 0:09:31, Single Segment, is insane. Downpour difficulty and artifacts were used, but you knew that by now.

Loved System Shock 2 speedruns? While not as glitchy, System Shock provides great entertainment with crappy controls and some unexpected glitches thrown in. If you followed the thread you'd know how much had 'PvtCb' improved from his first run, bringing to the table an impressive 0:32:47, played as Single Segment with Resets and Deaths.

Alien Swarm is a 4 player game, and anyone can testify that playing on the Brutal difficulty is pretty harsh. Now you're probably wondering why only Maik 'Onin' Biekart's name is up, and that is because he played all levels of this game by himself. I believe it has to do with the need to make this brutal difficulty that much more difficult. So a single player against a horde of aliens meant for 4 players done in 0:12:23? Yes please.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Preserving skips

Malkil returns in Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II and attempts to wreck havoc using the four elements. Thankfully glitches that allow you to preserve your magic between levels were found, which makes this game easier(?). 'deg222' finishes in 0:08:44, improving the 5 year old run by 2:12 minutes.

One of the more popular RPGs is Secret of Mana, which has a deep storyline that can last for many hours. At least that's what 'Overfiendvip' is being told, mainly because he skips all of that and completes the game in 0:06:47 with Uber-Large Skips glitches.

Sunday, June 7, 2015 by IsraeliRD

The Devil is in the details

The Half-Life fans will be happy to see they get a couple of runs today, both from Half-Life: Blue Shift. Paul 'PJC' Connolly provides us an 8 seconds improvement to the Easy difficulty Single Segment run, clocking in at 0:28:25. The second run is for the Hazard Course training level. Unlike the original Hazard Course from Half-Life you get a slightly modified version with much longer speeches. Passing his time on Easy difficulty Paul 'PJC' Connolly wraps this up in 0:03:40, Single Segment.

After 6.5 years we now have to depart from Siyko's legendary 100% Diablo II: Lord of Destruction run. Using 161 segments (11 more than Siyko), Pascal 'Teo-' Fischer brings us a mind-boggling 1:38 hours improvement to the 100% run as the Sorceress. RNG manipulation is extreme, item management is well thought of, execution is unreal and seeing it in 2:43:59 is, well... why aren't you watching this already?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Sackboy fantasies

I google'd it and wasn't disappointed.

It's been half a year since LittleBigPlanet featured around here. If it wasn't glitching the game or ILs there wasn't much interest in doing full-game runs, until today. Tad 'RabidJellyfish' Cordle shows off some serious skills pulling off a Single Segment run of all levels, clocking in at 0:55:20.

If the RPG Limit Break marathon left you wanting more, then you're going to get just that. The first title is Final Fantasy Tactics, where apparently knowing your arthematics and using your trusty TI-83 wreck havoc. John 'chessjerk' Kearsley IV tackles his previous run from 3.5 years ago and finishes in 3:33:15, using 30 segments. This is one segment less and 49 minutes faster.

The second one is Final Fantasy XII, which introduces better battle and customizable gambit systems, new license and camera systems and the ability to skip cutscenes. Take that Half-Life! William 'Youkai' Welch systematically improved his previous run, using 22 segments and finishing in 6:08:54. This run is 26:23 minutes faster and uses 18 less segments. Audio commentary is included.

If you remember the SDA staff have asked for volunteers to write for the front page and we received a fair amount of applications. These are now closed and we will be getting new people soon enough :) Thanks to all those who volunteered!

Thursday, May 28, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Mainly sports themed update

Normally when we receive racing games, most of us would imagine it to be a Mario Kart game. Today however we get Gran Turismo, a series popular by its own right. 'Meesbaker' firstly completes getting all the licences swiftly and then smashes through the GT League in 1:39:51, Single Segment on the European version.

Another sports game for you today comes in the form of Trials Evolution: Gold Edition, where you get to break your neck riding a motorcycle in a variety of fun ways. Because this is normally an individual-level game, seeing 'TheBlazeJp' put together a Single Segment clocking in at 0:50:10 makes this quite the achievement.

While not a sports game per-se, Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD features a lot of running and dashing, along with plenty of shooting using unconventional weaponry in the form of insects and small mammals. 'TheOddgamer' takes the HD version and gets all bounties done in 1:41:39, using 7 segments.

Saturday, May 9, 2015 by IsraeliRD

More improvements!

This time to shorter runs.

It hasn't even been two months since Half-Life last appeared here, and we already have an improvement to an already short Hazard Course run. Max 'coolkid' Lundberg shaves 8 seconds off the run to clock in at 0:02:49, Single Segment.

Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road continues where the first game left-off, where the heroes return to their homeland only to be zoomed thousands of years into the future where Zang Zip has taken over. Playing on the (better) NES version of the game, 'ktwo' beats the game in 0:07:58, a 49 seconds improvement over the last run.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Got a good run? Improve it!

FEZ is a cool indie puzzle platform game where you play in 2D on one of four sides of a 3D world. There are no enemies or bosses here but it has left you wondering whether the puzzles you meet are actually decipherable. Personally I am not sure I would be able to solve a QR code puzzle without the app on my phone. Gaétan 'Gyoo' Young improves his previous run by 1:30 minutes, down to 0:29:25, Single Segment.

If you enjoyed the Gauntlet series then you'd be happy to see a run for Gauntlet Legends. A corrupt mage summoned a demon who in turn imprisoned his soul in the underworld, and you need to banish the demon back. 'Boyo003' returns to his previous run as well, massively improving by 30:31 minutes and clocking in at 1:10:19, playing as the Archer on Expert difficulty, Single Segment. Unlike his previous run 'Boyo003' gave us author's comments, and added in audio commentary to the run.

Monday, May 4, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Welcome To Hotel Kique-Asse

If you haven't had enough of Quake then you'll be happy to hear there is a new update on the Quake section. In short the improvements are: Easy marathon run, nightmare 100% e2m2, hip2m3, ep1 Easy marathon, 2-player Easy run of ep3, and couple customs: Dude, Where's My Sewage? and For My Babies 6. The last two should be reused for a news post title for being that random.

As you might have noticed, we're a little short-staffed these days, especially on the front page. We're looking for 3-4 new team members interested in join us in producing front page news updates. In this position, your responsibilities would include writing news about runs that are ready to be posted, writing game descriptions for game pages, and/or writing about the latest speedrunning community news. Knowledge of English is important, but English does not need to be your first language (coughmecough).

If you're interested in helping out, are up to date with the speedrunning community, and have some history with SDA, please drop me a line by PMing me on the forums.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Games with numbers

Ever played as a goat? I'd imagine you'd graze grass all day but apparently it gets more exciting than that in Escape Goat 2! Your task is to become the first goat in history to make it through the Stronghold of Toragos. 'StingerPA' finds the fastest path through the fortress and beats the game in 0:13:39, Single Segment.

'footbigmike' returns with a new speedrun to Bomberman 64, this time around he tackles the slightly more difficult 100% category on the Japanese version, and beats it in 1:27:26, Single Segment.

Sunday, April 26, 2015 by IsraeliRD

New runs for old games

Everyone knows Myst, right? The original was probably the best but it had lots of remakes and ports and some didn't do the game justice (3DS anyone?). Andrew 'eLeveN' Buckman tackles the 100% category on the realMyst version and beats the game in 0:28:20, Single Segment.

Not everyone, however, would know about Cadash. The Balrog, a powerful demonic wizard promised his fellow demons that if they rise up against humanity they would take over the planet, and centuries afterwards they have nearly successfully done so. To complete that process, The Balrog also kidnapped a princess (couldn't guess that). 'Pasky' comes in to undo the centuries of the uprising in 0:26:10, playing as the Ninja in Single Segment.

A tad late but a few weeks ago Radix posted a new Quake update and I highly recommend you check it out. It has 28 new demos for you to watch and should quench some of your Quake speedrunning thirst. In addition to that 'ikk' is a fan of Quake speedruns and he made a topic where he records demos and uploads to YouTube for your viewing pleasure. You should ask him to make a few videos... maybe a couple thousand?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 by IsraeliRD & UraniumAnchor

Alone in the Dark

I have to disagree. Most of the game is lit up.

To prove that, here are not one but two speedruns from the series: Alone in the Dark and Alone in the Dark 2. In the first game Edward Carnby is sent to retrieve a piano which may contain a secret that explains why did its owner commit suicide, and instead finds lots of monsters and puzzles to solve. Alexis 'NHG' Gabaig skips quite a lot of the game and beats it in 0:09:27, Single Segment. In the sequel we have the mystery of why did the developers remove most of the horror theme of the first game and make a shitty sequel. Unfortunately we may not get an answer but according to Alexis 'NHG' Gabaig it's more interesting to speedrun than the first one. Go figure. The run being presented to you today clocks at 0:24:40, Single Segment.

Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare has questionable taste in a lot of things (such as music, judging by some of the stuff he wrote for this next run) but his skills at speedruns are very much unquestionable. Today we give you a mighty 0:18:22 on the PC version of Bionic Commando: Rearmed, which is even more broken than the console version because of strange physics tricks that can be done when manipulating the framerate at certain points. Why games continue to use variable-step physics is something I'll never understand, but when it means that the run can be made significantly shorter (if harder because of the lack of a certain weapon) then I suppose I can live with it.

Saturday, April 18, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Let's Get Serious

Apparently things broke with the last Serious Sam update due to archive.org and our scripts not playing nice, so we'll patch them up today. If you haven't had enough of Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter then Nikita 'Tezur0' Buriak submitted two improvements for the Individual Levels table, pushing it to 0:37:23 which is 0:02:11 faster since the last news update. We have Oasis in 0:00:46, a 0:01:20 improvement and Metropolis in 0:06:35, a 0:00:51 improvement. If you're too lazy to scroll down, then here's the previously posted Moon Mountains in 0:01:05 from Yoann 'Yoyoshi' Decamps. At this time of writing Moon Mountains flash player is buggy, but you can still download via dl and archive without problems.

It doesn't feel like 5 months since Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers last appeared on the front page. 'philosoraptor42' keeps improving the 100% category and gives us an 18 seconds improvement, bringing the time down to 0:13:13.

Adding a new ending to Clock Tower is always good to have (although most may be similar). Playing fully through the game and grabbing the elusive S Ending is Lawrence 'thk573' Palmiter, who lets Ann die instead of Laura. We're sorry Ann (and her fans), but watching you die is half a minute faster and frankly we're on a tight schedule to escape today in 0:20:57.

To continue on the horror theme I have a new game for you to watch, The Cat Lady. Susan Ashworth is chronically depressed and her only companions are stray cats that she is able to summon by playing her piano. After one night where she commits suicide, the Queen of Maggots sends her back to the living world as an immortal and gives her the task to get rid of five psychopaths. Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko plays through this interesting game in 1:45:57, Single Segment.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Laughter

They say it's the best cure. Both games below are attempting to be humoristic, so we might help a few of you today.

Years after the first game The Legend of Kyrandia 2: Hand of Fate takes place where Zanthia, a young female alchemist and wizard, finds that the Kingdom of Kyrandia is disappearing piece by piece. The Mystics hold a meeting and The Hand (a giant glove with supposedly no relation to Master Hand) gives Zanthia the task to obtain a magic anchor stone from the centre of the world. Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko helps Zanthia on her quest for a new wardrobe (and save Kyrandia, can't forget that) in 0:31:56, Single Segment.

There are quite a few metroidvania inspired games, and today we have a run for Magicians and Looters. Unlike most games in this style it differs in its very funny yet silly dialogue, having several characters with their own abilities and items, and an ability to throw fruit at enemies. 'Uraj' runs through the many enemy mobs to beat the game in 0:34:13, Single Segment.

Saturday, April 11, 2015 by UraniumAnchor

A Long Time Coming

Travis 'Klaige' Nible has long been threatening (or promising, depending on your perspective) that he'd be revisiting Castlevania Bloodlines and pushing the John Morris category (aka whip guy) under half an hour. A couple of months back I was fortunate enough to catch his 0:29:50 live, and I'm pretty sure I heard his victory yell across three states. Trust me when I say it's fantastic. And as a bonus, it's got not one, but TWO audio commentary tracks. If you haven't already seen it on his Twitch channel, what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Level Select

I got good levels for you to play on your favorite media player.

Are you a power-hungry Shaman? Are other tribes keeping you away from becoming a God? Do you like killing mercilessly using supernatural disasters? If you answered yes to all questions, then Populous: The Beginning is the game for you! You play as a female Shaman and you take your tribe to battle against three other tribes who simply wish to remove you from existence. Battling on 25 different planets is 'Grubby Hour' who dismantles everything in his path using some crazy routes and blessing from the God of RNG, in 2:39:18.

If you enjoy plain good kills with something that resembles a storyline then I have Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter, which today sees a 21 seconds improvement in its Individual Levels list, which now stands at 0:39:34. Yoann 'Yoyoshi' Decamps speedran Moon Mountains and got 0:01:05, tourist difficulty.

It is not often we see two speedruns for the same game in one update, but guess you get lucky today. The game in question is Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2. This "part sequel, part prequel" game sees the Rainbow team on the hunt after terrorists with chemical bombs, but as it turns out the mastermind is an ex-Rainbow team member who is a bit full of himself. 'Soliduz Znake' plays the game on the PS3 version, and achieves a time of 1:49:35. Tim 'Judgy' Kedge plays on the PC version, netting a time of 1:16:11. Both runs are on the Casual difficulty.

Saturday, April 4, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Detective Weekend

Take out your magnifying glass, we're going on a search for clues in this novel!

One of the best female detectives around is Nancy Drew, gaining worldwide fame for solving crimes, especially murders, thanks to her cunning ability to interrogate suspects, solve puzzles and discover clues. It is as such no surprise as to why she visits us today. Crimes have been committed in both Nancy Drew: Labyrinth of Lies and Nancy Drew: The Deadly Device. Unfortunately she is on a tight weekend (Easter and all, ya'know) so she needed some additional help. Joining forces with her is Michael 'arglefumph' Gray who seems to know what he is doing, able to solve mind-boggling puzzles and go directly to where he needs to be every time... suspicious. On The Deadly Device Niko Jovic was found fatally electrocuted and with his tech worth millions, some people could play a hand in his untimely demise. Michael 'arglefumph' Gray catches his or her murderer in 0:34:40, done in 10 segments. Paying attention to Labyrinth of Lies now, we see Greek artifacts mysteriously disappear right as the museum's most anticipated event of the year, Persephone in Winter, a play about the myth of Persephone, is being performed. Michael 'arglefumph' Gray figures out the mystery in a surprisingly fast 0:52:04, Single Segment. Both runs were done on the Amateur sleuth mode. I think the biggest mystery of the day is the fact that Nancy Drew is 18 years old in Labyrinth of Lies, released in 2014, and was also 18 in the first game about her, released in 1998.

Onto older detectives that didn't age either I have for you the World's Greatest Detective, Batman. We had seen several runs come past on the fan-favorite Batman: Arkham Asylum game page, and the community keeps breaking the game further every time, with new discoveries being found even recently. That is some good detective work, guys. Anyhow until they are all implemented I have an awesome run for you to watch by 'cojosao'. Using a brilliant skip to cut the bell in the mansion tower, we skip Scarecrow 2 and lots of other things. Not only that but rounding up with a few more small skips that save additional time and overall better gameplay, the time to beat is 1:47:23, done on GOTY version on the PC. Now please play this in your head: na na na na na na na na na... BATMAN!

The last mystery of the day is why do speedrunners have this affinity to play extremely bad ports to games; they are glitchy, unstable, crash a lot, inconsistent, got bad controls and seem to have had little to no testing. I don't think 'Deleted User' has an answer for us. Today's "why was this made" game is Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent, and I should mention right now it is the Ubisoft Shanghai version (PS3/X360/PC). Sam Fisher is set up by the government as a bank robber and killer in order to infiltrate the terrorist organization, John Brown's Army (JBA). Completing missions for both the NSA and JBA, Sam is doing his usual detective work that involves lots of dead people left behind, although only three choices decide what ending the player gets. 'Deleted User' beats the game in the Best Ending and also plays through the unlocked bonus level from it in 1:42:20, done in 106 segments, Hard difficulty, with 100% Stealth score for all levels which means Sam doesn't get to kill those who aren't his objectives. While some may argue 106 segments were done for optimization, the runner says it is due to the game being crash-happy. I should also note the amount of bugs results in some hilarious results with Sam being invisible to guards even in pure daylight. In front of them.

Today's final game is O.D.T.. Now you must be asking me why this belongs here and this is a mystery that I want you to solve. The airship Nautiflyus with its Captain Lamat takes a shortcut through the Forbidden Zone (another mystery!) and crash-lands, and now its captain and a Green Pearl with healing powers are abducted, and the other four crew members set out to rescue both Captain and the Green Pearl. Runner Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll goes through the many puzzles in this game as he plays as Ike on the Easy difficulty and finishes the game in the Bad Ending in 1:03:49, using 10 segments.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 by IsraeliRD

April Fools?

Surprise! A serious update.

Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel is a Japanese Mega-Man clone that is actually pretty good. 'Vucious Creed' plays as the lovely Freudia and with several new tricks under his sleeve, he improves the previous run by 30.82 seconds, down to 0:32:19.94, Single Segment. You can alternatively download the replay file.

If you enjoy good Pikmin speedruns, then today you'll be happy to see a run from 'MrDodiou' who chose to run the game on the 100% category. Using plenty of impressive techniques and a good dash of luck the time to be awed at is 1:08:15, Single Segment.

If you enjoy horror adventure games, then The Marionette is for you. A struggling sculptor is drawn to a strange world and attempts to find out why he was brought there as well as escape. Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko chose to get Eshana's death ending because it is faster to stab someone than pay actual attention to them, so he ended up with a run time of 0:03:12, Single Segment.

An enhanced remake of a remake? Sounds like Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, a very successful milking of the Mario franchise. Added to it was the Nintendo e-Reader which allowed players to insert cards that gave special power-ups or levels. Jordan 'Greenalink' Greener got all 12 U.S. released levels and ran them to a total time of 0:09:57.

Saturday, March 28, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Evil

Now in a range of flavours your whole family will enjoy.

After regaining consciousness from a car crash, 'Zakky the Goatragon' finds himself in front of a large, old mansion, and his sibling missing. As he ventures through the house no living soul is found, but instead he finds the undead and learns that he is Uninvited. Using lots of magic and solving puzzles, 'Zakky the Goatragon' is able to save his sibling in 0:12:00, Single Segment.

The spin-off title to the Aero the Acro-Bat series is Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel. An evil lumberjack has invaded Stony Forest and is chopping trees in order to make paper, which he will use to print counterfeit money, possibly more than one million dollars. mwhahahaha. Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel takes on Zero's world and beats the game in 0:11:31, Single Segment.

If a few Touhou games did not satisfy your need to take photographs, how about Fatal Frame III: The Tormented ? Rather than take selfies with bosses, you take pictures of ghosts to ghost-bust them (I'm sorry). 'Danielle' is in love with Kei, so she sets out to save her and captures it on film (I'm not sorry) for us in 2:28:49. This is a Single Segment run done on New Game Plus, thus Best Ending, and in Nightmare difficulty.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Saving the World

One update at a time?

Have terrorists amassed a diabolical force again? Is your Free World threatened by total destruction? Sounds like you need the LX-3 Super Cobra helicopter! That is pretty much the plot of Cobra Command, which is not related to G.I. Joe at all. Piloting the 1988 version of the game which took out all the fun and instead just rescues hostages is Marko 'MASTER-88' Vanhanen, and finishing in 0:15:45 (with deaths) you too will get freedom!

If the above disaster did happen and a global war nearly decimated humankind, we would probably end up in the events of Oniken. The titular evil cybernetic organization takes control of the bad situation, but a ninja mercenary comes out of nowhere (ninja or what?) and shows them who's boss. Taking control of the ninja is 'Thaan' and he saves the world in 0:16:52, and explains how he did that in the provided audio commentary.

Saturday, March 21, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Improvements

You see none in the Title department.

A name that appears more frequently on the front page (and will keep on coming!) is Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko, and a game that he seems to frequently run is Silent Hill 2. Today we get a new run in 0:44:20, in 13 segments. This is a 1:17 minutes improvement over the previous run from 2007 which used 11 segments.

It's been a few years since Mega Man X was last posted here and it's been long overdue an update, and one we get: 'Luiz Miguel' improves the previous 100% run by Caleb by 1:47 minutes, bringing the time down to an impressive 0:35:47. The author's comments are a recommended(?) read.

Another name that is associated with a game is 'Zakky the Goatragon', and the game is Journey to Silius. After running that game for who knows how long (okay, a year), he has improved his previous run by 5 seconds, beating the game in 0:11:08.

If I said 'ktwo' you would probably think "public verification", but that's not what we're here for today. ktwo loves to play Solomon's Key and he just keeps improving it. Today we get a 23 seconds improvement to the Best Ending, beating the game in 0:28:39, Single Segment.

The last obsoletion for the day comes in Donkey Kong Country. After wrong warp was found a few years ago inquires as to whether better warps can be done, and indeed they were found. 'NewAgeRetroHippie' takes advantage of the latest tech and produced a run clocking in at 0:08:26. The previous run was 0:23, and used the in-game timer.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Loading cutscenes

Please stand by while we purposely increase your blood pressure by a few notches.

Remember the cutscene saga of Half-Life? Calm down, I don't have full game runs today. Instead I have Paul 'PJC' Connolly who did the Hazard Course option of the game in 0:02:57, Single Segment. This beats the previous run from 2004 by Spider-Waffle by 13 seconds. But wait, there's more! Paul 'PJC' Connolly apparently enjoys playing these kind of games so he also did a run on the Boot Camp mode of Half-Life: Opposing Force, finishing in 0:09:34, Single Segment. It beats the previous run from 2009 by 2 seconds. Not impressed? The last run used scripts. Yup. Now pick your jaw off the floor!

Do you LOVE loading times? Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy definitely does because there is no other reason for him not to play Cyber Sled. The game's goal is to win a tournament with hovering tanks in a futuristic themed arena where you need to eliminate your opponent. This so called "sport" came up as a way for people to escape their problems as the world is collapsing. Playing as Rexer Ironside, Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy beats the game in 0:01:07. This is an in-game timer, and it's slightly misleading as each battle is beaten much faster than the time it took the game to load that battle.

Now then please excuse me while I load the next update. It might take a few days. You can wait, right?

Sunday, March 15, 2015 by IsraeliRD

A Magical Quest

Not Harry Potter. Better.

Master of Magic follows a wizard that attempts to dominate two linked worlds, Arcanus and Myrror. The player can summon many magicial creatures while building cities and armies in order to conquer their opponents. 'TravelDemon' plays against a single opponent on the smallest map possible, but has the Impossible difficulty to counter, and does so in 0:01:18, Single Segment.

A remake of the original Castlevania game from the NES is Super Castlevania IV. Simon's whip was upgraded to attack in eight directions, or used to block enemy projectiles. Upgrades and secondary weapons that are scattered throughout the game can be picked up and used to defeat bosses quickly. Jeremy 'DK28' Doll however does not pick up anything, playing Low% and beating the game in 0:41:21, Single Segment.

Unlike most medieval or fantasy beat 'em ups, Dungeon Magic differs with an isometric viewing angle, very large stylised sprites and some platforming. An evil magician follows the standard operating procedures by kidnapping a princess in order to bring back to life an evil spirit. Tim 'iast' Treichel plays as Gren (warrior) and saves everyone in a breezy 0:17:19, Single Segment.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers takes place many years after other Crystal Chronicles games where the Yuke tribe died out after a great war with the Lilty tribe. A surprise attack however shows that peace was an illusion and the world, or at least the Lilty Kingdom, is in danger. Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe comes back to the game and improves his previous run by 5:15 minutes, clocking in at 3:56:35, using 17 segments compared to 20 in his previous run.

Chocobo gets to star in his own game, Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon. Cid and his trusty Chocobo got sucked through a vortex to the island of Memoria which disappeared from the world 50 years ago, and end up recovering its residents' lost memories. Patrick 'messenger' McElwee lost none of his as he beats the game in 5:30:43, Single Segment.

Friday, March 13, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Glory to Arstotzka!

You disagree? I can't let you enter my fabulous country then.

Probably these words are what Joel 'Bisqwit' Yliluoma utters every time someone disagrees with the titular statement. His more well known words are Papers, Please. Guessed who he is? No? Well, 'Bisqwit' plays the role of an immigration officer in the fictional, dystopian, realistic and wonderful country of Arstotzka in the year 1982. His job is to let people in while keeping out all the terrorists, smugglers and other unwanted criminals, using various techniques of investigation, from simple questions to asking for a full body scan. 'Bisqwit' completes the game in 2:47:08, finishing with the EZIC ending in Single Segment. Glory to Arstotzka!

So dystopian doesn't seem to work out, how about utopian ones? The one in Mirror's Edge is better, being made from a totalitarian, sham regime amazing and awesome government that controls the media and spies on its citizens because they, uh, care about them. Much like EA and the way they treat their customers. Harry 'Keelshing' Ogier, Robert 'Arrow' Müller, Lucas 'Req' Burns, Truls 'Floubz' Olsen & Steffan 'Zooketra' Griffiths play as Faith as she attempts to figure out who framed her sister, Kate, for murder. They beat the game in 0:30:16 using 127 segments, on the PC version using Deaths, Resets, plenty of shortcuts and add in audio commentary to boot.

For the best kind of overlords we must learn from the Glukkons in Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus. They use Mudokon slaves to exhume Mudokon bones and then electrocute them (the Mudokons, not the bones [yet]) to produce tears. Then they use both in their disgusting and horrendous New 'n' Tasty Soulstorm Brew. Sam 'Samtastic' Locke slaps all Mudokons in the face and gives us a quick run through of the game in 0:44:27, using 62 segments and reaching the Bad Ending. This is 50 seconds faster than the previous run and uses 13 segments more.

Glory to Arstotzka!

Sunday, March 8, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Variations

Everybody likes some, otherwise life would be boring, right?

Everyone likes marbles as seen by a very recent update, and if it wasn't enough for you, we have an updated run for the classic Marble Madness. Improving the previous run by 3 seconds, Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios does bolder manouvers and avoids the Magic Wands to complete the game in 0:02:47. Audio commentary included.

It has been a few months since Guardian Heroes graced our site. Today Nelson 'Sonikkustar' Martinez provides a new run for the XBLA version of the game. Playing on the Remix mode on the Golden Silver path as Ginjirou and using deaths, 'Sonikkustar' completes the game in 0:09:24, Single Segment.

Another run that sees an update to an existing one is Phantasy Star Online. 'Ckarl Bobadine' learned a few new tricks and improved his previous run by more than 5 minutes, bringing the time down to 0:48, Single Segment playing as the Ranger.

Dead Space finally makes an appearance on our site, completing the triology of the series, which now has full game runs hosted on the site. I'm pretty excited for this one as Sahail 'Jehuty' Niemeyer is the runner, and he's pretty amazing at this series. Playing on the Impossible difficulty, he provided us a run clocking at 2:24:28, Single Segment with deaths.

Thursday, March 5, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Racing champions

Meanwhile at last place is me. Again.

Building his way to the finish piece by piece is Tad 'RabidJellyfish' Cordle who returns to Lego Racers. Playing through the story mode in Single Segment and using Large Skip glitches, Tad 'RabidJellyfish' Cordle beats the game in a speedy 0:39:53 and becomes the Greatest Lego Racer of All Time. Again.

Another familiar face is Jeremy 'DK28' Doll who also comes back to a game he speedran before, Super Mario Kart. This time around he does a Single Segment run and beats the game in 0:25:40.73. Note this run uses 1 player instead of 2 which makes it harder. An audio commentary is included that covers things in detail as there are no author's comments.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 by Vulajin

Community news: healthy competition

Hello everyone, hope you've had a good week! Time for another look around the world of speedrunning. This week's theme is competition!

The last several weeks have been golden for Max 'coolkid' Lundberg, who has been tearing up the NES classic Mega Man. On February 13, he claimed the classic any% record from 'Nudua' with a time of 19:28. Fellow Swede Daniel 'Dxtr' Eriksson challenged him with a 19:24 of his own, but 'Coolkid' was not to be outdone, so he set three new records consecutively. He's now the only runner with a sub-19 time: an 18:55 that deserves a watch. And maybe a rewatch. (Shoutout to 'Slaughterhouserock' for the Mega Man tip!)

Meanwhile, 'Altabiscuit' has been working hard on Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and the results have been truly impressive. After 'Bubbles6411' recently tied his record at 1:24:17, 'Altabiscuit' came back to achieve a run that he could only describe as "insane": a 1:20:12 with extremely solid luck and execution. Still, my gut tells me some new time saves will be found in the future. After all, 'Altabiscuit' remains dedicated to this game, and we've all seen what he's capable of doing to it.

Finally, we have an update about an underrated SNES RPG, Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals. This game is impressive because of the depth of RNG manipulation possible, and the precision and consistency required to pull it off. Just this morning, 'HappySquid89' claimed the glitchless record with a time of 3:43:13, breaking the mark of 3:43:59 set 20 minutes prior by 'eLmaGus'. Both of these runs follow on the heels of 'FeralPigMan''s 3:44:00, achieved just a few weeks ago. There's still plenty of room for improvement, so expect to see these runners continuing to chip away at this time.

Now for some SDA-related news! We're currently in dire need of volunteers for "pre-release check," or PRC. PRC is a process that every run on SDA must go through before being published. It's pretty straightforward - it just involves spot checking videos of runs that are ready to publish, verifying that they have the correct aspect ratio, don't have any obvious defects, and that they actually play back properly. If you're interested in participating in this essential process, we'd love your help! Please send a PM on the SDA forums to 'Vulajin' to offer your services. Thanks a ton!

(As always, remember to submit tips for future community news updates using this form!)

Bonus: looking for some live RPG speedrun action? We've got you covered! The third edition of the SNES Final Fantasy relay race will be happening this Saturday, March 7 at 10:00 AM EST. Four teams of speedrunners will compete to complete Final Fantasy 4, 5, and 6 back-to-back-to-back, with live commentary provided by RPG community members. A bonus race of either Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, Earthbound, or Lufia 2 will take place on Sunday, with the game determined by the race winners and viewer voting. You can catch this event on the RPG Limit Break Twitch channel.

Saturday, February 28, 2015 by IsraeliRD, Vulajin & UraniumAnchor

Bias

Here at SDA, we do not give preferential treatment to any specific runs or runners, regardless of who they are. That said, today the three of us bring you a fair, neutrally-minded selection of runs.

Matan 'IsraeliRD' Weissman: My favorite game is Marble Blast Gold and I've played it for a decade now. I have enjoyed watching the community grow and even more how hardworking the speedrunners in the community are. Today I'm proud to present to you a massive 72 levels improvement over the last run from 2011 for a total time of 0:14:04.117, a 25.523 seconds improvement. There are lots of extreme path optimizations, brand new pathways, a blind edge-hit and the utilization of a new glitch that completely breaks some levels. We also have 14 runners, and they are: 'Xelna', Henry 'Sonic Warrior1' Mullhall, Trevor 'm2mm4m' Davidson, Jonathan 'Sporlo' Hynes, 'Kalle29', Mason 'Nihahhat' Langenderfer, Remy 'Dushine' Dushime, 'Regislian', Stewart 'StewMan46' Inglis, Gabriel 'Powerjohn25' Inocencio, 'BlastedMarble', Ji Hoon 'iMacmatician' Chun, Moshe & 'Asuul'. As with the previous run we have two audio commentaries (only in the All Levels videos) and a new set of bloopers which you can download here. Oh, and we are already working on the next update :)

'Vulajin': I've loved Bastion ever since it came out in summer 2011, and I've been speedrunning it since August 2013. I've invested over 1000 hours in this game, and my crowning achievement thus far is a 0:12:40 (14:10 in community timing) which I'm proud to be able to show you. Like any good speedrun, I can't take sole credit for my accomplishments. Since I picked the game up, a huge number of new runners have contributed their efforts to help shave over 2 real-time minutes off an already blazingly fast speedrun. In particular, credit for this latest run must go to 'Astifwerg' for the Ura invasion skip and 'HaosEdge' for the Lunky drop strat. I can't overstate the depth this game has for speedrunning, and we continue to discover new time saves on a regular basis.

Benjamin 'UraniumAnchor' Cutler: We now have a run for Knytt Stories which got rejected multiple times including a great contender for best rejected run. Nonetheless I just got accepted for completing the tutorial run in 0:01:11. Short runs are obviously the best because they're the kind of thing you can knock out in like one day. Anything longer than that is a waste of time. No, I don't have carpal tunnel, why do you ask?

Stay tuned for our next fair, balanced update in a few days! ...why are you looking at us like that?

Thursday, February 26, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Today is Zallard1 Day

Feel free to take a few punches to celebrate.

Zack 'Zallard1' Allard LOVES Punch-Out!!, and he had sent in quite a lot of improvements:

The Doc Louis SS and both MTPO ILs also have audio commentaries.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 by Vulajin

Community news: Races, records, and glitches, oh my!

Hello again, everyone! It's been a couple weeks, and speedrunners never rest, so we have a bunch more updates to bring you from the community today.

We'll start with some race events happening on SpeedRunsLive. This Saturday, Feburary 28th, at 1 PM EST, an NES marathon race will take place, featuring 20 classics being played back-to-back by anyone who's mad enough to do it. You'll be able to watch the progress of the race on 'InfestedRiche''s Twitch channel. Meanwhile, signups are ongoing for Mystery Tournament #6, in which competitors race mystery games unknown to them prior to race time. Past Mystery Tournaments have been extremely popular, and this edition already has 132 entrants as I'm writing this. The signup period for MT#6 ends on Friday, February 27th, and the tournament begins on Friday, March 6th. (Shoutout to 'ZenicReverie' for the heads up on these events!)

It wouldn't be a normal day in the speedrunning community if some records weren't taken down. Within hours of my last post about Super Metroid, 'Behemoth' took back the any% record with a time of 0:43:12; however, just this week, Matt 'zoast' Thorne stormed back with a 0:43:04. In Secret of Mana, 'StingerPA' tipped us off to a new record in the "1-player 2-controller" category, a 1:58:22 by 'Yagamoth', improving the previous record by 19 seconds. These two are unquestionably top runners of this game, and their skill is evident in their co-op record of 1:54:36, which they completed in the practice room at AGDQ 2015. Turning to a more recent game, the popular indie action platformer Shovel Knight saw a new any% record of 0:46:07 by 'BustahWuff', eclipsing the previous mark of 0:46:41 by 'Capndrake'. With runners like '3ngag3', 'MunchaKoopas', and 'Mystakin' also working on this game, and new content coming soon from the developers, this is a game with a bright speedrunning future.

Let's talk about Final Fantasy. As we have learned from Final Fantasy 4, stairs break everything. Recently, 'welcotar' discovered that stairs in the original Famicom Final Fantasy can be used to achieve arbitrary code execution, and 'TheAxeMan', 'Inzult', and 'Gyre' have since been making it their goal to reduce this game to a smoldering wreck. Between forcing bosses to run away, glitching themselves all four orbs of light, and warping directly to the credits, they have gone through several methods to achieve this goal. The final result (for now!) is this 0:07:20 run by 'Gyre', and even though most of it is stairs, I suggest that you just go watch it and enjoy the payoff.

Before I end this post, I want to quickly plug two things here at SDA. A big part of our mission is to spread knowledge about the process of speedrunning. To that end, we have a Knowledge Base wiki which we wholeheartedly encourage everyone to use and expand upon. Recently 'Arctice' has been working hard to build a KB page for Bastion, and I think it serves as a great example for other games. On the submission end of things, we have been using a public verification process for nearly the past two years, where submitted runs are posted in the Public Verification forum and any SDA member may verify the runs for AV quality and play quality. Currently, we are having a major influx of runs in public, and we'd love your assistance participating in this process. Going forward, we only expect the number of public verifications to increase, not decrease.

We'll have more community news again in the future. I just want to remind everyone that our ability to cover news that's relevant to you is only as good as our knowledge of what you want to see. Make sure to submit tips about newsworthy events in the speedrunning community! We'll give you a shoutout in the news if we publish your tip. Thanks again!

Saturday, February 21, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Run right for justice!

Actually you can go left as well. Shit.

Wario stars in his own side-scrolling adventure in Wario Land: Shake It!. Trouble is brewing in the Shake Dimension as the Shake King is taking over, and Wario is sent to help out. Mike 'mike89' McKenzie tackles the game and completes it in 1:26:10, Single Segment. This is a 1:08 minutes improvement over the previous run, which was segmented.

Changing the W to M, and from bold and fancy graphics to the old NES days, we have Chris 'cak' Knight sending us a big improvement to Super Mario Bros. 2. The old warpless run from 2005 gets a huge update as 'cak' improves the run by 4:37 minutes, down to an incredible 0:21:59, Single Segment.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Sequels, Reboots and PJ.

Please take safety precautions before proceeding with this update.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link features lots of side-scrolling action and brings in new features to the series, some which were dropped instantly. Link needs to find the Triforce of Courage in order to awaken the sleeping beauty, Zelda. Neil 'PresJPolk' Stevens doesn't want to go through all the different palaces in this game, so instead he uses Large Skips to beat the game in 0:18:57, Single Segment.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein began the reboot for the Wolfenstein series. In it you get to shoot Nazis, Undead, robots and more, which is essentially what the series was about beforehand, but just better looking. 'TheLDer' gives us some good action with plenty of shortcuts as he improves the previous run by 3:29 minutes, to a run time of 0:33:29, in 26 segments on the I Am Death Incarnate difficulty.

I remember talking to Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare about his 0:28:59 Single Segment Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade's Revenge and was going to use that as helpful information to encourage you to watch it, but then I realised how much of a Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare game that was: it crashes or randomly softlocks, levels cannot be beaten and bosses may be invincible assuming they spawn, enemies can regain health when you hit them, controls and hitboxes are terrible and above all else Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare managed to go to a wrong door and lose 5 minutes right at the end. No wait, that's a different game I'm thinking of on that last point.

Saturday, February 14, 2015 by IsraeliRD

You know what day it is?

Saturday. Duh.

Sam Fisher loves going in stealth, sneaking in on his targets while wearing his skintight black rubber suit, and showing them a good time... for 5 seconds while choking them to death ever so quietly. Some people like it rough. The first game in the successful Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series sees Sam Fisher travelling around the world doing secret assassina-- missions for the NSA. Michael 'CotySA' does a superb job of finishing the game in 0:56:20, using 24 segments and playing on the Hard difficulty.

Nothing says you love somebody more than punching them in the face. In Streets of Rage 2 the mysterious Mr. X kidnaps Adam and his henchmen ruin the lovely mood for everybody. 'galedog' takes the RNG to a date with some favorable(?) results, but at the end of the day he gets 0:26:35, Single Segment while playing as Max.

Digimon has been absent from our gamelist despite the series' popularity. Giving it some love is runner 'Sparsie' by bringing us a run for Digimon World, which tells the story of a human sucked into the Digimon World and is tasked to save Digimon that have gone feral. Probably from a rabies bite. Either way that did not stop 'Sparsie' from completing the game in 1:29:47, Single Segment.

You can never be alone with Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail!, a game that is *only* rated Mature on the ESRB rating. Larry just got dumped (as usual) and had joined a cruise ship with the aim of getting lots of sex and winning a competition. Everyone gets a score card with a selection of various events that are being held, from bowling all the way to a machine that tests your own sexual prowess. With the winner getting to spend an extra week on the ship and in the romantic Captain's cabin, Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko helps Larry to mostly cheat throughout the competition in a brisk 0:31:51, Single Segment. If you hold one of the original game copies, I highly recommend you grab right now your CyberSniff 2000. I also recommend watching this run while eating 'Quiche de Larry'. Just sayin'.

On an unrelated note several people keep telling me to have Dune 2000 posted again because of my undeniable love to it. Screw you too.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Bomberman

We just made the NSA watch list.

Silent Bomber sounds like a clone of Bomberman. The protagonist doesn't shoot, but instead throws bombs, stacks them to create chain reactions, has limited amount of bombs he can throw, upgrade bomb limit/range/power and so on. Long story short, Jutah has to destroy the space dreadnaught Dante by bombing anything in his path before it blows up his planet. 'burningsteel' does the job in 0:34:32, using 14 segments.

Onto other Dante-s that aren't planet-destroying spaceships, we have a run for Devil May Cry, like the original DMC, we on the same page? Good. Playing as Super Dante, 'ahuynh' produced a Single Segment run clocking at 0:39:31, a 3:42 minutes improvement over the previous run.

Lastly for everyone's favorite blue bomber is Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge. Given a grayscale makeover Mega Man confronts Dr. Wily's robot masters, which he already defeated on the NES (MM 1&2), as well as a new 'Mega Man Killer' robot. Daniel 'Tremane' Schwab colorfully beats the game in 0:18:51, Single Segment, a 2:11 minutes improvement.

Saturday, February 7, 2015 by IsraeliRD

A Wildlife Adventure

I got the tranquillizer, let's go!

Rabbits make a return to the front page with BomBun, where 'The Barrel' takes control of the titular rabbit. The building he's at is about to explode and he has 10 seconds per room to escape. 'The Barrel' Whizzes throughout the 10 rooms in 0:00:23.

Wally Bear and the NO! Gang has you playing as a bear on a skateboard, but rather than stop a giant robot you avoid wildlife enemies who want to hook you on drugs. I can really sum it up with this review article title: "Video game gives kids 'Bear'-able drug lesson". Runner 'darbian' scoots to victory in 0:06:23, a 39 seconds improvement.

Actually skateboarding is becoming old around here, so let's freshen up with (Razor) Freestyle Scooter. It's almost the same as any Tony Hawk game except with scooters and a giant robot capturing your friends. Runner Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll does all the cool moves to complete the game's many objectives and save everyone in 0:11:59. The ending cutscene is so bad it's hilarious.

Little Big Adventure 2: Twinsen's Odyssey is the successful sequel to the first game, where Twinsen has to save his planet, Twinsun (totally creative) from an alien invasion (the creativity is strong here). Runner Timo 'TimTehGamer' Räisänen tackles the problem with actual creative solutions and beats the game in 0:48:22, in 42 segments. This is 33 more segments than the previous run from 2006, but cuts the time down by an impressive 33:07 minutes thanks to new glitches, routes and luck manipulation.

Thursday, February 5, 2015 by Vulajin

Recognizing the community

Here at SDA, we're aware that speedrunning is far more than just the runs that get published in our archive. It's an ongoing process of attempts, new personal bests, competition, and cooperation. It's a community that comes together to raise money for charity, or just to have fun and show off our love for our hobby. It's the sum of a huge number of contributions from a huge number of individuals. Going forward, we'd like to recognize more of that spirit by periodically recapping what's going on in the community.

We'll start with an update about an extremely popular speedrunning game, Super Metroid. Those of you who follow this game closely should be pretty familiar with Matt 'zoast' Thorne, who is generally regarded as one of the top runners of this game. Recently, he reclaimed the any% record with a time of 43:31, surpassing the previous mark of 43:46 set by 'Behemoth' in October. These runs use a risky Phantoon-first route which used to only see use in tool-assisted runs. If you have only watched our published SM run, you should definitely watch these. Don't hold your breath that this record will last, though, as both of these runners remain dedicated to this game, along with other top runners like 'Kottpower'.

Another popular SNES game to have gotten a lot of attention recently is Super Mario World. Through the combined efforts of a large number of individuals, notably 'Masterjun' and 'Nathanisbored', a method to warp into the credits by utilizing arbitrary code execution was discovered. For some time this was only thought to be possible in a TAS, until 'Jeffw356' created a real time-viable setup and performed it on emulator. 'SethBling' subsequently managed to verify it on console, and then further runners (including 'Nathanisbored', 'Dram55', Andy 'Carl Sagan' Diamos, 'Dotsarecool', and 'p4plus2') contributed more optimizations. The current record for completing the game using this warp is a shocking 1:52.5 by 'Dotsarecool'. This run has represented a significant effort by an entire community of runners - you can read more about how it evolved in this Pastebin.

If you watched Awesome Games Done Quick this past month, then you're probably hankering for more live speedrun marathon action. Don't worry, we've got you covered. Coming up next weekend (Feb 12-16), the good folks at SpeedRunsCentral will be having their second charity marathon, benefiting the Children's Miracle Network. If that's not enough for you, we also have RPG Limit Break, an RPG marathon taking place May 12-16 and benefiting the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Our friends across the pond will be holding their annual European Speedster Assembly from June 28 through July 5. And of course, Summer Games Done Quick will take place July 26 through August 1, benefitting Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). Obviously it can be hard to keep track of these dates, and there are also a ton more small events going on all the time, so here's a handy calendar of events that you can bookmark.

Hopefully this will just be the first of many updates in this style in the future. We want to make sure to cover the news that's relevant to you, the community. As such, if you'd like to tell us about something newsworthy, just use this form! If we publish a tip you send us, we'll make sure to shout you out in the news post. Note that you'll need to be logged in on your SDA forum account to submit a tip, and we may not be able to publish every tip sent to us.

Saturday, January 31, 2015 by IsraeliRD

So I herd you liek speedruns

That was terrible. I will never do that again.

Beginning this massive update is Metro 2033. Set in post apocalyptic Russia you play as Artyom as he tries to save his home from monsters and the 'Dark Ones'. While you can read the book that this game is based off, it will be faster to watch Zach 'Duane Jones' R beat the game on the DLC's hardest difficulty, Ranger Hardcore, in 2:30:44, 38 segments.

Square Enix's Nier is a spin-off from the Drakengard series, following the fifth ending from the first game, where Earth is left in a state of decay. In it you play as the titular character in an attempt to save his daughter's life from a terminal disease, and understand the creatures that stalk the world. Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel runs through the game in 3:15:11, Single Segment on Easy difficulty, achieving the A Ending.

Assassin's Creed is a great series with a minor slip up recently, which heavily focuses on stealth, reconnaissance, assassinations and figuring out some conspiracies that may involve the Uyamanati. Francois 'Fed981' Federspiel continues running the series and produced yet another fantastic speedrun. Coming back to Assassin's Creed II he sent us a run for 100% (memory synchronization) in New Game Plus, with DLC, using 157 segments in 7:09:51. For those wondering, the run is in English instead of French this time around.

I've long awaited for a RTS from Westwood Studios to appear on the front page, and today Dune 2000 makes it through. Emperor Frederick Corrino IV challenged the three Houses to harvest spice from the desert planet Dune, with the house that harvests the most will become the planet's sole controller. Runner 'Shaokhan' is super dedicated to this game as not only does he speedrun the campaign of every House on both Easy and Hard modes, he also plays both map choices that most levels offer. These choices make the level easier or harder as each one has a completely different map layout! All together, the total time is 13:33:08. The breakdown is as follows:

As today's runs altogether are more than 26:30 hours, having an update this coming Wednesday feels wrong. As such the next one will happen next Saturday. Have a nice week everybody!

... but you might see an update from someone else ;)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 by IsraeliRD

I have no regrets (part 2)

Mr. President! You have a game about you called Metal Wolf Chaos. Mr President, it's very patriotic. Mr. President, in it you play as yourself inside a giant robot. Mr. President, people LOVE robots. Mr. President, you need to save the United States from a coup d'état started by your Vice President, Richard Hawk. Mr. President, why was this game only released in Japan? Mr. President, you also fight in space! Mr. President, can I call you Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy? Mr. President, you liberated the wonderful United States in 0:40:12. Mr. President, that was in Single Segment as well. Mr. President, this update stopped being funny with all these bad Mr. President jokes. Oh Mr. President, you're so Presidential.

Saturday, January 24, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Valkyrie Wright, Attorney at Law

Coming to an accursed flame gem near you.

I won't linger any longer, and head straight into Valkyrie Profile. The game is based on Norse mythology, lots of different ways to see people die (not just on YouTube) and a plot I cannot claim to comprehend. Nonetheless we have today two runs from Josh 'funkdoc' Ballard, the first is a Single Segment B Ending on Easy difficulty, clocking at 0:52:20, a 3:33 minutes improvement. The second one is the A Ending done in 2:27:47, also in Single Segment, and is an 8:17 minutes improvement.

Mega Man X2 has a much easier to understand plot; blow up X-Hunters, collect Zero's body parts, fight off Sigma and save the world until the next money-milking sequel which any lawyer will be happy to represent. Tyler 'Trogdor' Sykes improves his previous run from just half a year ago by 27 seconds, clocking in at 0:33:23, Single Segment.

Even easier plots you say? How about Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, where you punch your way to become the next world boxing champion. Can't be easier. Actually such easy plots are boring in attorney-speak so I will have to spice things up. 'sinister1' carelessly pummels unsuspecting fellow contestants with inferior hairdos and chic to become the supreme serial-basher in 0:16:27.54, Single Segment, a 6.32 tick amelioration over his previous reign of terror from last March.

On a side note a recent discussion had sparked in the forums with regards to SDA's future, in particular many people have suggested ideas that can help SDA moving forwards and discussions are under way. The staff are checking the thread and taking on board ideas, and you too can suggest! Visit the topic here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 by IsraeliRD

Magical Bloodbath

Oh hi! How was your New Year's? I was at the hospital. You remember? After my accident? No? Hangover you say? Guess you're in no better shape than I am.

Nonetheless we are in better shape than those in Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. Drugs, guns and more depressed people than those in your local bar are what you'll find in this noir-styled game. Daniel 'gtaaa175PL' Strumpf resurfaces to beat another level from the NYM mode, this time the finale of the game, Woden's Manor cont'd (3-8), 18.52 seconds faster: 0:00:50.03.

It's hard not to be excited when 'gammadragon' pops in with a new speedrun, and today is no different. Might and Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen is the first of a two-part series that sees a new set of adventurers travel to the land of Xeen and defeat Lord Xeen who is wrecking havoc. 'gammadragon' does a very quick job (look at his typing speed!) to dispose of Lord Xeen in 0:08:32, Single Segment on the Warrior difficulty.

After the long gruesome battle between you and the enemy, lots of dead bodies, pools of blood and empty guns are left behind. In Viscera Cleanup Detail you are the janitor who has to clean up said mess because nobody else is going to do this. The actual game is still in Early Access, but we do have runs for two additional spin-off titles that came from it. VCD: Santa's Rampage sees you cleaning up after Santa got more guns than in any Max Payne games, and went ballistic in his workshop. Christian 'ShadowDraft' Moll doesn't clean up anything except what the in-game monitor checks for and finishes this game in a mere 0:00:54. In VCD: Shadow Warrior we see the aftermath of Lo Wang's katana battle in the Collector's Temple, and 'ShadowDraft' again ignores his ACTUAL JOB he was PAID to do and instead picks up the scattered 2 million dollars in 0:01:59.

Sunday, January 18, 2015 by ShadowWraith

Awesome Games Done Quick Done. Quick.

As the curtain closes on this chapter of AGDQ, I find myself wondering just how much bigger these events will get. I'm pretty sure we're going to hit a critical mass of awesome sometime in the next year or two if things keep up. I was amazed last year when we broke the big 1 mill, but crushing that by over 50% and raising over 1.5 million dollars for charity? Damn. Mad props to Games Done Quick, SpeedrunsLive, the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and every speedrunner, organiser, sponsor, volunteer, donator and viewer that made this incredible event happen. You guys are every bit as awesome as AGDQ's name implies.

But that's enough sentimentality outta me. If you were unlucky, unfortunate or busy enough to miss out on some of the amazing speedruns from the event, High Quality run videos from the marathon are making their way on to the Games Done Quick youtube channel, so now's chance to get caught up! So do it.

Until next time.

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