Saturday, December 23, 2017 by MAS8705

Karting and Clobbering

It seems only yesterday when we last saw Mario Kart 8 Deluxe added to the site. Earlier this year, Jose 'UchihaMadao' Karica performed a fantastic run of all the courses in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with all the items on. With how chaotic it can be to be randomly attacked by blue shells or lightning, it can be tricky to get a good time while not getting obliterated in the process. He has returned having made changes to his kart set up and using Gold Pink Peach instead of Rosalina.  With these changes and some luck from the RNG Gods, he has improved on his previous run with the new time of 1:33:16, improving on his previous run by two minutes.

While it is great to see an improvement, sometimes you have to wonder to yourself, "How would it be to do all the tracks without worrying about a blue shell coming from behind you?" This was a thought expressed by 'UchihaMadao' when he decided to submit a second run for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.  When you don't have to worry about anything coming from behind, you can be much more efficient with your final time.  At a final time of 1:27:56, it definitely is impressive at how much time can be saved when items are turned off. There were still a few missteps such as missing a few shortcuts, but for the most part, this is still a well-executed run through all 48 tracks.

When it comes to River City Ransom, it can be best described, as how 'yelsraek' put it: One Big Boss Rush.  It's one thing for you to get to where you need to be to beat down some thugs, but another for everyone to be right where you want them to be when you get there. One prime example was having the brothers in the warehouse spawn at a specific point and using the crate to attack them from the other side of the wall.  It was with this and other careful planning that the run saw an improvement by over a minute at 0:06:38

Monday, November 27, 2017 by Worn_Traveler

The Roman Scroll of Chameleons

Improvement has always been a tenable object that many have striven for over the course of history. These improvements come either in the form of efficiency or qualitative thought, but rarely together. Oh wait, that was my lecture from a class I just taught. Anyways, speedruns are meant to be improved on and Antonio Peremin decided that he did not conquer Thracia and other ancient civilizations fast enough in Rome: Total War. 'AntonioPeremin' has gone back to virtual Europe and Asia and led the armies to victory in 0:02:47 on the easy difficulty. This is an improvement of 24 seconds from the previous run. The action is fast in this one so pay attention or you may miss the intricacies of battle logistics.

Rewriting the historic face of the world is not enough for Antonio though. He has returned to the world of The Elder Scrollsthis time to The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. He disembarks from the boat, gets his parole papers, and proceeds to kill a god in a blistering 0:03:15. Normally Morrowind involves beating many missions, constant travel, and waylaying people for boots of blinding speed (well, I do at least) and maybe even some tree climbing. If you haven't watched an Any% Morrowind run for a while, you will certainly want to watch this one.  Not only does this run beat the former published run here by over a minute but this run is the current WR at the time I am typing this.

Journey, Motley Crue, Kiss, and Aerosmith: Their music has been featured in video games. Now we may add Jerry Paper to the list. Paper is a philosopher/musician and you can read more about him here. Chameleon World is a surreal experience of a game and even in a normal play through things do not always make sense. Sequence breaking the game causes that “reality” to shatter even more. 'dogia900' breaks on through to the other side in 0:18:19.This game features talking frogs, a chameleon dressed as a clown, some wonky jumping physics, and a bottle bearing frog. Is this a synthesis of different mediums coming together to unify as a whole or a dream/nightmare simulator? Watch and decide.

Saturday, October 21, 2017 by MAS8705

An Update As Random as the Guy Posting Today

How's it going, everyone? I'm MAS8705 and I will be helping out with the Front Page for today. While I might not be as well known in the speedrunning community, I have submitted a few runs that have been featured on the site: These runs include Fire Man from Megaman Powered Up, Crash Tag Team Racing, and Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise. I've also assisted with SDA's verification for new runs added to the site. I've been away from Speed Demos Archive for some time and I'm excited to be back! So let's waste no time and talk about the latest additions to the site!

Starting things off, we have a game that lets you build your very own racing vehicle. It also gives you the choice between racing as an Astronaut or a Pirate. Lego Racers came out at a time when racing games were a dime a dozen. One feature in the game was the ability to use boosting power-ups to warp past courses and finish races faster. As it turns out, you can actually earn better times if you warp at specific parts of the track while power sliding in the more tighter parts of the course. A tactic used-well by 'Greycatmon' who improved the times for all 12 tracks in Time Race at a combined time of 0:16:43.87. I wonder what the chances are that Lego would want to make another racing game in the future? It feels like we are long overdue for a sequel.

When you think of a long-running RPG series, the first game that might come to mind would be Final Fantasy. But did you know that the 2nd longest running Eastern RPG is Ys? Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter had a unique system where you can "bump" your enemies until they fall over dead. The sequel expanded the game further by introducing a magic system that allowed for more options in fights and exploration. By running directly into danger and monsters,Jeff 'Korzic' David achieved a final time of 1:04:18. Of course when it comes to Ys, there's a lot more to the game than running into your foes and see who gets knocked down first. Be sure to listen in to the audio commentary provided by Korzic.

The last of our runs today is a sandbox game based on one of the most influential films of all time: The Godfather. The game itself was so big at the time, it had five different versions. The Godfather: The Don's Edition on PS3 made use of the SIXAXIS controls to help throw people against walls or off rooftops. It can be a lot of fun to recreate various scenes out of the film and to shake down local businesses for your protection. In the case of 'Soliduz Znake', he decided to take a more direct approach in helping the Corleones take over New York City. At a time of 3:02:36, this single-segmented run comes in at a couple of minutes more than the original film itself and improving on his previously submitted segmented run.

That's all the time we have for today. Be sure to watch these great runs and stay tuned with us here at Speed Demos Archive for more fantastic Speed Runs!



The arduous and longitudinal analysis is complete; the results from the grand speedrunning survey of 2017 are in. They will be announced and picked apart on the Twitch stream of tonic, the head of the team whose initiative this whole shebang was. This is happening this Sunday at 6PM EDT. Check here to see when that is for you.

Friday, October 13, 2017 by LotBlind

Don't Tell Her Your Name, Kimmy!

Contra III to common belief, I am not Alien to the meanest levels of punnery. It is, after all, a basic part of the speedrunner's parLance! I know this kinda stuff can result in Flame Wars, but that's only fitting, because this game isn't TOO far away from a frame one. Improving (by six seconds) on hotly contested runs like this is indeed living in Reset City. Sometimes you have no clearly superior strategy and runners might take risks in different parts of the run. Just don't Spread out too thin or you know who's paying the Bill! At the end of the day, you'll be able to say: "I did it Skyyyyyyywwaaayyyyyyy... or the Highway!" I know what you're thinking: "UFO real bro? You're killing it!" Of course some may be regretting the fact it's not a Suicide Kill.

Ledge Skip ahead a bit now. In most action games, the guy's motivation is to get the girl back. The hero charges into the building, carries her out in his arms, Laser down on the grass... not the case here though. So what do you get from a good orange tree? Good RNGs. Now that I've brought up food, the Nesting to mention is good table manners. Elbows off the table, empty your plate and don't Gargoyle. Besides what's demonstrated in the 0:12:11 run on easy, there's various kinds of lag management: fly overnight, avoid stimulants, pre-adjust sleep cycle... And just Rest. Someone rattling their Doritos? Don't worry, a peaceful time will come! 'TheDrifter18' is the runner here, the Star of the show. Wait, "Star"? Oh, that must have leaked over from...

Ristar! (You can leave the [self-]loathing to me BTW.) Right, so here's one we desperately need to vivisect: Rise-Star? Rising Star? An up-and-comer? I wonder if this star feature was aware of his grim prospects around the Japanese launch of February '95? His authors at the Sonic Team (presumably those who made Sonic but what do I know...) decked domestic shelves with a game by the extended title of Ristar the Shooting Star... and there verily are no parts two or three – "for various reasons" says one of the directors. That's as hilariously self-fulfillingly ironic as they get, guys, despite some re-releases and mostly flattering reviews.

In-game you control what's effectively both a "rise" and a "fall" star with Bionic Commando arms and a propensity to head-butt (a word with hardly a synonym; "pate-smack" will throw people off in a fight though). If you can see through the characteristic elements of other 16-bit platformers, the feel is of a more puzzle-oriented game that apparently doesn't faze the casuals but certainly will the ambitious lot that is us folk. Skilful maneuvers abound (the game even gives you a so-called "technical bonus"!) and again we must beseech Lady Fortune for further expedition. 'Chubbus'' is an improvement of 42 seconds over a run you saw in 2009, so you have no excuses for skipping it (and the 0:28:05 run doesn't need any!).

When it's time to show 'n' tell, some kids go for cool points with like a toy lightsaber, or their pet frog Honda. Or clever points if they were given the letter 'U' and they brought a flashlight, pointed it at themselves and smugly announced "Umbra!". That one overlaps with the easygoing-no-future points which you get for an article of clothing you'd normally be wearing anyway, or the book you just finished reading... aloud... with the whole class. Then there's sheer provocation. Flags, banners, manifestos, religious insignia, poetry and a fake Hitler moustache (or, well, a real one) would all fall into this category, slightly depending on where exactly events are taking place. Now we're talking about case Michael 'arglefumph' Gray and the sobering discussion we need to have with their parents over the Detective Barbie 2: Vacation Mystery they pulled out in front of everyone.

While today they may have just groggily (and I realize I've inadvertently made argle's family sound like they're all alcoholics, which wouldn't surprise me at all actually) picked up the wrong item off the table in a rush having overslept, if we examine his records, an alarming trend will leap out like a crouching cheetah. While it started innocuous enough with Nancy Drew, that stalwart defender of justice who's 5% sugar and spice and 95% moral fiber, we started treading dangerous waters with The Pagemaster... and now this?! Look at her! She doesn't even blink! The others blink, why does she not blink?! Why is there always a beach? Why is Ken such a surfer dude? What is everyone's substitute for food? Please somebody take action, I implore you! IsraeliRD, who was in class at the time, has this to say: "I wanted to mute it within a minute of just listening, and was really sick of it as it kept going." One of the kids pulled their cellphone out and managed to capture this 0:11:21 footage that has already been delivered to the authorities.

Friday, September 29, 2017 by Worn_Traveler

Fly, Skip, and a Hop

My brother and I have spent countless hours in the Might and Magic universe, primarily in the first three Heroes of Might and Magic games. We return to Enroth in Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer in order to figure out why there’s a giant crystal in the middle of a city. 'Snabel' gives us a quick tour through the game and the various elemental areas in 0:14:13 using segments and deaths to end the Day of the Destroyer quickly, as the previous run has done. Snabel does so almost three minutes faster than the previous run.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is probably supposed to take many hours to beat. Like its brethren in The Elder Scrolls series though, Oblivion has its share of exploits and glitches that allow for quick completion of an otherwise lengthy journey. Without a good understanding of the game's mechanics, one might wonder about the structural integrity of the prison the player starts in. Antonio Peremin utilizes large-skip glitches and a save/load or two to push the time down to 0:03:49. For those of you who are worried about missing out on hearing Patrick Stewart in the run, fear not: He is still here.

Rabi-Ribi is a fairly new game and is new to SDA. I haven’t played it yet but after watching the run of it, I’ll definitely be doing so. The game seems to be more complex than it first appears and the developers have even included a speedrun mode. 'Deleted User' hops through the speedrun/postgame mode of this 2D exploration plaformer meets bullet hell boss game in 2:46:43.76. This is a casual difficulty low% run so get comfy and enjoy going down this rabbit hole with no items. Low% runs always present greater challenges in terms of survival and this run does not fail in that regard.

Sunday, September 17, 2017 by LotBlind

Divine Divinity... Marble Marble... Rumbly Rumble... Metal Metal

I remember about the only one – the first one – of the idiosynchratic Larian Entertainment's Divinity RPG-hack-'n'-slashers I've played that it had a distinctly imbalanced skill tree. That's no wonder, since their aim was to incorporate a large smörgåsbord of options suiting the three main playstyles, with both ranged and melee combat fleshed out, all the while dealing with obnoxious publisher interference during development. All of this and seemingly a lot more carries over to what was really the third in the series after Beyond Divinity, generally considered a small dip after Divine Divinity. To 2009's Divinity II: Ego Draconis (later burnished and glazed into 2011's Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga), the critics responded in similarly lukewarm ways, especially when it came to the Xbox 360 version. This is ironic because most of the time, it's the PC port that tends to suffer from developers' attempts at branching into controller-controlled territories.

To return to those skill trees: There obviously can't be dozens of abilities each perfectly go-with-able, especially when no strict class-limiting exists. I also am yet to see a game balanced for speedrunning instead. Thrusting at enemies through the three-dimensionalized tracts of Rivellon and embracing the philosophy of the helicopter (a dual-wielding style), Marcel Kalmes makes short [, by 14:16,] single-segmented 2:03:37 work of the realm's unworthy would-be lords and masters. We might as well append Israeli's professional-grade verification to Marcel's own notes to give clues as to wherefrom the none-too-shabby improvement.

Don't lose your MARBLEs now, but... stop the MADNESS! Now that that's out of the way, we may proceed into a terse biography of Elipsis, the speedrunner and person we all know through six links max (as we all know each other, apparently). He has a couple of published runs for a boat racing game, another weird one that was timed at 0:00 (that's gotta have been a Jedi mind trick), and another two that prove his fingers are all, individually and collectively, a ninja. His YouTube channel evidences having been around since that mythical time of yore when it was actually considered okay to handicam your cool gameplay videos. The only saving grace, really, is this crab. And this 0:02:43 for the NES Marble Madness if you're into that sorta thin'. I don't see anything left to explain about these ~2 seconds off. Just like the last time, all those reactions and all of that deep deep catharsis is conveyed in a touching, yet dignified, spoken commentary accessible by switching to audio track two in a player like VLC.

If the name, in general, of PS2's Rumble Roses, is not enough to cue you in on it, the brazen initials have got to be: this game is going for "R-Risqué" and sure knows its thing. It's about fantasy wrestling exhibitions where every fighter is, in the most flagrant fashion, a she, and possesses of a side personality, an evil – or in some cases good – twin. It threw me for a loop seeing the term "professional wrestling" applied to this in the Wiki article. Isn't the default for all "professional" activities to be very much the real thing, no tricks and no gimmicks? It looks like what silly old me always knew as show wrestling has attempted some kind of facelift (which is appropriate since it sounds like one of their moves) by tacking on this possibly quite specious prefix (which is appropriate because that's what the matches themselves are, a pre-fix). To clear our, no doubt, mistaken conceptions we'd have to summon someone who gives a measurable amount of damn. That's not going to be the runner, 'Tigger77'. Forgetting they'd surely get paid more if they were to drag it out a bit, they've went ahead and stomped their sleazy opposition right in their resting bitch faces on a character called Sgt. Clements, for whom changing attires to the two kinds of swimwear (I said "knows its thing") can only barely avoid coming as an upgrade to her modesty. Let's collectively count some blessings guys, the smut exhibition itself only takes 0:01:57, but the dirty thoughts, aye, they'll linger...

Of all these anarchistic phrasal amalgamations, "Otherside" seems a relatively popular one. It's evocative for sure: it suggests, in sufficiently vague fashion, a spatial juxtaposition of some kind pointing out the more alien and mysterious half (way more so than just "the Other Side" could ever convey!), but because space is often used as an analogy for experiences or states of mind, there's hardly a limit to what the proposed dichotomy could be. You could make it "the Otherside [Entertainment] of the gaming industry" a là that company that keeps getting more limelight cause I can't stop thinking about it apparently; "the light side vs. the dark side", or some elder gods in actual Star Wars lore, would you believe it; or you could euphemize the woebegone bridge-underations of the accustomated vein-pricker as verily did Anthony Kiedis in a musical poem by this name.

Or then it's a dimension where aliens thirst for the secret of Metal Morph-osis so they can Terminator their way in to establish a competitive multinational corporation making acquisitions through bribery, blackmail and guerrilla interventions... or whatever it is they had in mind... Yeah! What's shocking is the run is by Patrick 'P "The Man" J' DiCesare, yet it doesn't have that kind of uniformly piddle-on reviews we've grown to assume. At least it has to be as unfair as an asymmetric seesaw, right? Well, the customary audio commentary hitched onto this 0:37:14 certainly gives something by way of an explanation. You're excused for thinking Origin, adulated for their Ultima series and Wing Commander, wasn't capable of making a splash with traditional action titles like the one in question, but they did come up with the perfectly decent Crusader soon after, scurrying back to those PC systems that they were definitely more at home with so... I guess not really.

Saturday, August 26, 2017 by LotBlind

That DEATH Cat's Gonna Make Me Fall Prey (2017) to Gift Falsehood Hollow!

If and only if you're a giant weeaboo, you will no doubt feel patronized for me telling you this, but Yu-Gi-Oh! is some kind of anime, probably also a manga and most certainly a video game (or a hundred billion). It's apparently more mature than Pokémon with something called Shadow Games and talk about DEATH. Yu-Gi-Oh! isn't actually something you play per se but there is a heavily featured trading card game (represented as holograms in the series itself) called Duel Monsters. What does the title mean you ask? It means "courage to lie to a bear!"... or "superior chase skills!"... or "help affair to grow!"... Yeah, we've been here before, haven't we? I created this spreadsheet to actually translate the name randomly every time you load it up. Have the blast you know you're supposed to!

I don't know who the characters are being challonged to the DEATH game in these three, but I have no trouble placing Antonio Peremin in my convoluted mental maps and charts. He's taken some of the few PC Yu-Gi-Oh! games and won at single duels like he was in a rush to the opera or something (Paul Morphy style). Here's the breakdown for y'all:

If and only if you're a collector of obscurity and curios like those 18th century men-of-the-world procuring for their "Wunderkammers" discoveries and samples from far abroad, chances are you're not all that familiar with 2010's Deadly Premonition. Despite this, it seems to enjoy the status of their best-known title amongst many mostly this-year's-edition titles Access Games have produced for mainstream publishers such as Square-Enix and Microsoft. The non-westernized name was Red Seeds Profile which points at a central motif. There's a murderer, known as the Raincoat Killer, whose idiosynchratic trail special agent York is combing for the slightest of clues in small town Greenvale and outskirts. The game's most notable feature was its dynamic representation of the town with NPCs and business establishments each operating on the clock with the day cycling and the weather shifting. York himself must take care of his corporal sustenance and sleep, often resorting to caffeine to stave it off another couple of hours. Aside from roving about the place on wheels or off, talking to the townsfolk while trying to piece it together, surreal survival-horrory sequences (not the critics' darlings I'm afraid) are interwoven along with excerpts straight from the protagonist's sprawling subconsciousness.

Due to the reality-miming mechanics, I'm sure runner 'StiWii Rage' would have, at times, had to deliberate on the minutiae of the 3:21.07 itinerary here followed through hitchlessly in one fell sitting. I wouldn't be averse to see what it looks like in 100% mode seeing as many more chores and assignments await the sleepless in this harrowed, mesmerizing microcosm. All fans, new and old, be aware! The game's main creative engine, its Hideo Kojima if you will, Hidetaka Suehiro is now pitching a new and rather appealing design called The Good Life, up for pledges and investments on Fig.

I have to be fair... 0:06:58 for an immersim, despite their abundancy of hack-prone doors (and the occasional illusory floors and ceilings) for players to pick their way through, is certainly shorter than... well any of the others isn't it, including System Shock from a few updates ago. Thus it's not entirely inane for speedrun laymen across gaming news dispensers to have elected what we shall have to call Prey (2017) out of all those recently afflicted by speedrun radiation (what causes the gameplay to mutate) as that recurring headline item from our (celerial) sphere. It does, however, make this a bit of a rehash. Between the game's ubiquity and 'seeker__''s perfectly adequate run comments, there really isn't much left to say. As my comrade ktwo pointed out in verification, it's not likely this is the last it'll feature even in our own feed.

But for any troglodytes out there, the 2017 Prey has been compared to System Shock 2 and Deus Ex more so than Arkane Studio's own past works, such memorables as their first, Arx Fatalis, and Dishonored. The least resemblance of all "related" games is borne to the 2006 First-Person Shooter with its Native American lead, provoking accusations of Bethesda having put out a money-grubbing false reboot, and further ire from those who had subscribed to the idea they were getting the Prey 2 promised by Human Head Studios' best-of-show-ing 2011 E3 presentation. Rumors circulate about the politics of Human Head's falling out with its publisher, and do those ever come comely? Regardless, Arkane's again bagged treasured above-80 metascores and, no doubt, deafened a part of the crowd to the hubbub. If you're still sitting on the fence, I think I'll just leave you with the most glowing and... umm... least glowing two reviews I could find, both for the PC version. I wish reviewers were more mindful of mentioning which difficulty setting they took as it can change the experience quite radically.

Friday, August 18, 2017 by Worn_Traveler

Modes of Transport

Cars, airplanes, rockets, hookshots, super arrows, teleportation, and good old walking are just some of the ways we get from Point A to Point B in video games. Sometimes we stay in bounds, other times we break the game’s reality and forego collision detection and other such impediments. Today’s runs all feature different means of travel; some direct and some indirect.

We start with Kid Icarus. Pit is the protagonist of Kid Icarus and like the mythical Icarus, has wings. Unlike Icarus, these wings don’t melt when getting near the sun. Also unlike Icarus, they don’t seem to work for flying. Pit’s legs and feet work great though, which is good since there’s a lot of jumping in this game. Maybe the wings help Pit get higher than the average hero? Regardless, 'Darkwing Duck' has Pit hopping and shooting through Angel Land in 0:22:22, which beats the previously published time of 25:23. The lower time comes from newer strategies and a skip or two.

Our next mode of transportation is… a beetle? No, it’s not a Volkswagen and it’s not alive. This beetle has a 200cc engine and decimates the tracks in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Jose 'UchihaMadao' Karica goes through all of the tracks in a blistering 1:35:36 on Hard mode. I’m not big on racing games but I enjoyed watching this one. Give it a shot.

Golden Axe gives you several options for travel. One can walk, run, and ride on the back of several Bizarrians (that’s what the instruction manual calls them). These creatures can swing their tails and breathe fire (but not at the same time). There is also a village on the back of a turtle and one level involves riding on a massive eagle. While we’ve had a single player run here for a while, Steve '8-Bit Steve' Lynn & Anthony 'Sync' Hawkes decided to team up using Tyris-Flare and Ax-Battler to stop Death Adder and his minions. They kick and stab their way through this arcade port in 0:08:09. The teamwork is definitely worth a watch.

Sunday, August 13, 2017 by LotBlind

Shockingly Pink, Shockingly Tasty

The times are extremely interesting for the retinue of cyberpunk masterpiece System Shock and fans of so-called immersive sims in general. If you've been buying once-lost adventure and RPG titles from GOG recently, there's a chance you've been enjoying enhancements coded in by a certain Night Dive Studios and their sub-contractors (contractees?). Modern resolutions and compatibility, bug fixes and improved UIs all spring from company founder Stephen Kick's desire to make the sequel, System Shock II, legally available again after having been limboed between two rightholders since the venerable Looking Glass Studios tapped out in 2000. Since then, Night Dive has updated a large variety of games and is even giving the first of the Shocks much more than the standard doses of electrotherapy having set out to completely rebuild the game from ground up. They're collaborating with old Looking Glass staff on it so definitely not looking like another Thi4f. Nor is the unrelated System Shock 3 in the works by Otherside Entertainment, an unbelievably qualified superteam dedicated to leapfrogging "immersims" of the past and delivering us from the dark ages of triple-A stagnation for good!

Now that you know something about Night Dive, whose handiwork System Shock: Enhanced edition, too, is, let it also be known that it's officially been given the treatment, abusing every inch of the mousepad now that mouselooking is a thing. We have 'PvtCb', the runner behind the old "classic" System Shock run as well, doing the honors. The game is on my to-play list and so I don't wish to delve into its secrets too deeply, but in a nutshell, you embody a hacker whose audacity and superior know-how incur an involuntary assignment aboard Citadel Station, where it is the station's central A.I., the unforgettable Shodan, he will struggle to outwit. The run is with deaths and resets, in single-segment mode and on the default difficulty. The mouselook makes it much smoother and enables new tricks so it's only 0:10:37 long where the classic version ran on for half an hour.

Sam 'Samtastic' Locke is one of our frequent-er frequenters when it comes to run submissions. He's been systematically chewing through the valid categories for the two main Oddworld titles in a pleasantly esthetic, necklace-like pattern: Oddysee, Oddysee, Exoddus, Oddysee, Oddysee, Exoddus, and his latest two for the remaster Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty!. If we wanted to project some into the future at conscious and malicious risk of putting him on the spot, the logical continuation would be either reeling back with Exoddus, Oddysee, Oddysee etc. OR going for the other remake, Soulstorm, then N'n'T, N'n'T, and one more for Soulstorm. Seeing as Exoddus' remake is yet to emerge from the Oddworld processing facilities, this would force the cessation of activities until given the opportunity to tick it off later down the [Monsaic] line... but it's one of those two options... or letting everyone down. Everyone.

Speaking of being let down, if your childhood memories are particularly photosensitive, them being exposed to the cold steely light of reality an immensurable disaster, you might have been distraught at the sight of Sam's last New 'n' Tasty into-pulp-stomping. Here's your spiritual Aloe vera: an 0:54:46 effort of a far more normal-looking (but exactly as mis-Mudokon-ic) glitchless category played on Hard.

Meanwhile, in the anthropomorphic discolored cartoon corner, pink being the color of passion (just ask Steven Tyler), more and more unseemly debris has eroded off Pink Panther Pinkadelic Pursuit level times under siege from 'wesen''s oceanic swell. The land mass of this 2002 platformer has now shrunk to a profile not unreminiscent of a well-cared-for bonsai tree. All but two levels (The Railway Line and The Stone Age) have been updated bringing the table to 0:10:58 with the pile of snipped leaves on the side amounting to well over a minute converted rather alchemically into time. The runner *thinks* they might be done with the game, or at least the PC ILs now, so who knows where the ebb and flow will continue its inexorable work at cliff-polishing, or bonsai-pruning depending on which analogy appealed to you more. Unless hydraulic shears are a thing.

Friday, August 4, 2017 by Anonymous

Was the Third Dimension Invented Before or After Color?

(this update was requested to be published anonymously)

Catapulted back to pop culture fame by Toy Story, the line of generic action figures endearingly called Army Men garnered enough attention for 3DO to license the toys for their own video game series that continues to this day. Utilizing strange tactics such as rolling through minefields and sidestepping tank rounds, 'ZEN_Ivan' combats Army Men 3D on the PlayStation in just 0:24:00. The game is actually a remake of the first title in the series released on the PC and the Game Boy Color, and follows the fate of Sarge as he seeks keys to open a portal to the unknown while saving POWs along the way. Controlling a lone veteran soldier battling against the entire beige army may seem daunting, but thankfully this soldier can take a rocket or two to the face.

Team Ninja, formed from Tecmo game developers, seemed destined to reboot the classic Ninja Gaiden series. Known for Dead or Alive, they used their expertise with 3D fighting games on home consoles to re-imagine Ninja Gaiden as a 3D hack and slash similar to Devil May Cry. It was decided early on to tie the game, simply titled Ninja Gaiden and released exclusively on Xbox, into the Dead or Alive universe while maintaining its lineage as a prequel to the NES storyline. A year later it was remade for the Xbox 360 as Ninja Gaiden Black, with improvements to the engine and additional content. It's in this definitive edition that 'JTB123' takes on the role of Ryu Hayabusa to slice and dice his way through numerous foes. The game's 16 chapters are cut up into 33 segments for a total time of 1:34:43. This being the PAL version we'd normally see it placed alongside the NTSC run already on the site, but given the drastically lower time it gets to stand alone (next to the single segment run).

Speedrunning lends itself more towards certain genres; however, rather than limit the hobby, it's encouraging to see runners engaging in games rarely explored for speed. Rome: Total War incorporates real-time tactics in a turn-based strategy game, and sports epic battles supporting thousands of individual units. Foregoing those with an auto-resolve option we're left with a display of menuing prowess, making the game look more like an entry in the Civilization series. Ignoring Rome completely for 0:03:11Antonio Peremin commands Greece in a short campaign where the goal is no longer to take the city but be first to control any 15 provinces while fending off Macedon and Thrace.

BTW: The bloopers reel for Ikari Warriors was never actually published... because this was felt to be appropriate for a bloopers reel! It's right here now.

Sunday, July 30, 2017 by LotBlind

99.99% Fail Rate Means You Did It

...and it only took you 10 000 attempts!

In that childish and annoying race to be first at all things, Jordan 'Greenalink' Greener makes a semi-continuation appearance with Blaster Master Zero, a 0:08:26 run that forced us into drastic renovations (i.e. digging out a new virtual room for Switch runs). In Zero, you're given that old supertank Sophia III of every adolescent's daydreams, playing as either Jason or one of additional DLC heroes, in what'd pass for a 16-bit version of the same game (although on the SNES it would have been called Super Blaster Master for sure). The new features feature buttons and levers, more powerful weaponry, more bosses, and Green's choice of Unlimited Mode that unlocks everything from the get-go. 'Cause race to be first. In his comments, Greenalink not only describes all the speedrun-informing gameplay adjustments made by Inti Creates (known for Shantae, Mega Man Zero, Azure Striker Gunvolt... and Mighty Number Nine), but also curses the flippancy of random boss patterns so you don't have to!

First to write about a Switch run.

The name "Knytt" suggests cognacy with Knut or Cnut, and perhaps it had that in Tove Jansson's mind. She, the famed author of The Moomins, introduced him in Vem ska trösta Knyttet? ('Who Will Comfort Toffle?') as an existentially-socially anguished antihero whose perpetual confinement is only dismantled when he overcomes his misgivings and takes matters into his own hands. Ever since, Knytt has represented anything small and fearful. Believe me, it has. Ever since Niklas Nygren's first Knytt game, he has also represented another one in a long line of similar 2D-platformer protagonists. Ever since Knytt Stories, he has no longer been that de facto protagonist having been usurped by another character from the same universe (I think), Juni whose name translates as 'June'. Stories supported and encouraged modding while launching with only the tutorial and one full story called The Machine. It is The Machine that is today raged against for 0:14:24, on a PC, by a feller called 'Gliperal'. Best ending. All's best that ends best?

First to write about the Machine story.

My cohort 'ktwo' is not entirely unknown in the three realms of slick, speedy, and swimming speedruns. Of the three, this clearly belongs to the swimming camp... which is a kind of summer camp where they specialize in teaching you all the different strokes. A stroke is what you'll have when you realize what kinda game this is and what the bastard's went and done to it: it's like watching one of those brutal heavyweight knockouts on pay-per-view. There's people proud of having completed the game PERIOD. There's those who'll place beating it ON ONE CONTINUE highest up on their ludological resumes. Then there's the speedrunner who realizes what a waste of time death really is, lose you your powerups and all, and decides to shed mortality instead of the mortal coil.

Ikari Warriors was bullet hell before bullet hell was a thing. A labyrinthine mess of enemy spawn locations and unsympathetic drop RNG. Loads of grenades and suddenly changing music tracks. It's a game that never went all-out on either [NES-grade]-realism or total abstractness either so the ef-dup helicopter sprite isn't so jarring in the end. Also not jarring is ktwo's recording which seems to have none of that static buzz that I've grown to expect of all NES videos. Clearly he's playing through an emulator! Unlike in the arcade, you can only aim in the direction you're moving, thus the imperative to minimize oblique gunfire, thus the limitless opportunities for riskier and rewardier strategies. Really what we need to take from all of this is whenever someone throws out a categorical "impossible", they probably won't be the one to do it in 0:27:26.

The run comes complete with audio commentary. AND there's hardly anything the Strategy Guide won't tell you. AND there's a bloopers reel. AND I'm the first to write about it on the SDA front page.

Do you see that below this paragraph? It's the absence of a dislike button.

Monday, July 17, 2017 by Worn_Traveler

SBD for You and Me

Hello friends. Do you need more teleportation in your life? Have you grown weary of walking in the light? Do you yearn to hide in the shadows and find your way through testing chambers, risking certain death if you are seen? Are computers and moving platforms your only friends? If any or all the above apply to you, then please sit down and watch the following instructional videos on how to optimize your clone-life experience. These training videos are from the Stealth Bastard Deluxe Clone-Life Instructional Video Series. These vital instructions have been prepared by Vincent 'Badaxis' BILLET. The preparer has updated previous training videos and created new training content as well. Even more importantly, these videos are considered top of the line and are for a large part world records too.

The first test video series is of the basic, ordinary, NG-ish type of video that can be viewed in 0:53:42.40. These brief instructional videos are updates to our training and encompass your basic existence. We have a lot of testing chambers here and it is easy to get lost so be sure to know your way around with these excellent tours of the facility.

Have you gone through these chambers already and crave something new? Try using some content that you can add to your basic form. These downloadable additions can be viewed in a fast 0:09:10.28

Still not enough? Grab your item carrying unit of choice and try out the equipment tour. Want to know more about this special package or what the equipment does? Please watch these videos in a smashing 0:25:05.13.

We hope you have enjoyed these courses on clone-life existence. Perhaps someday you will meet whomever you are a clone of... Or will that just be another clone too?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 by LotBlind

Just an announcement...

Here is an interesting survey for speedrun fans and runners created by some members of the greater speedrunning community. If you have the time, please help them out with your thoughts and opinions! Note that the deadline is this Friday, the 14th.

The second thing happening this Friday is there will be some server downtime due to shifting the physical server location. No need for panic! Any more than usual at least.

Actual updates coming soonish...

Monday, May 22, 2017 by LotBlind

The Stragglers

Daylight had broken. Almost. The last fading embers, transformed from a youthful, pale birch into gaudy, poignant shades of the upper tiers of rainbows; sizzling in the extreme, a devilish red; now softening ang graying like the twilight of man; committed their nightly act of untroubling, lay unstirred, eagerly prepared an un-ceremony for a final self-effaced donation to that which remained. Here took the nightwatch measured sips of sanguine vintage, reflecting on how much bogus philosophy was actually warranted by eighteen "cartfuls" of runs, laden three abreast and issued four times a fortnight, but deciding that like the wine, the night's accomplishments deserved to be relished a tad longer. Switching sides, the man leaned a benumbed foot against the age-rounded crenelations of a castle built on swampy grounds, and slowly swept along a merlon as swept his tongue against those in its cave. Unsure how much of the illuminating scene was allegorical, how much of it sheer bogus, eyes shifted from the open terrain down towards the moat and the drawbridge, whence emanated the familiar creaking of the windlass as one last trolley was being released on its dusty way.

Then he died or something. Look, it's not like the mood wasn't about to get trampled flat anyway by the final batch runs from 2017's Big PushTM where dreams became reality. Very select ones at least. If you squinted while rapidly flicking the lights on and off. One of the runs has a JRPG-type vaguely olden times high fantasy setting but the other two, by Jove!, could hardly be pneumatically compressed into an artefact of the pre-Renaissance.

I don't even know where to begin. I'd best get Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios's offering of The Typing of the Dead: Overkill's Bitch difficulty premier (in 1:17:27) out of the way first. Sega published the fifth House of the Dead in 2009. I hadn't even heard there'd been a fourth one at any point, but that's because the fourth never got home-ported until 2012. The year after there was Typing: Overkill, a kind of conjoined head where the mutants (don't say the Z-word!) wear nametags that you type on your portable keyboard to put them down. The dev team for this one was founded by two virtual entertainment luminaires and Fellows of the Royal Society of Arts, the Oliver Twins... except their company filed for bankruptcy before they were finished; Sega, however, granted a continuation licence and funded the new team called Headstrong Games which then rounded the second Typing game off. The art direction was defined by a new wave 2007 exploitation film called Planet Terror which itself imitated the 70's Grindhouse B-theater tradition. The grotesque, the shocking, the repugnant were the order of the day. One of the boss fights is against a semi-decayed ton-and-a-half mutated stripper still wearing, barely, her old "uniform". Bare-ly. The original rail shooter and its edumicative twin are anathema to all things right and priggish in their use of language as well: they shared with the South Park movie the Guinness record for most swearing in its medium for some time until dethroned by Mafia II. And there's a very handy link to...

The original Mafia from 2002, many a "Patsy's" favorite of the series. A taxi driver called Tommy Angelo, law-abiding shuttle for law-abiding fare between the districts of Lost Heaven – a combination of the Frisco and the Windy City of the 1930's – runs into a couple of mobsters fleeing from thugs serving a competing family. After tearing them to a safe turf, he's fed some dough and offered work on the basis of his skills at the wheel, but he's scared of the thought and declines. Not long after, Tommy finds the same goons on his tail and turns to his new-made friends for protection. Thus begins his ill-omened allegiance with the dark side of society. It's a pretty poignant story with a typical arc and familiar characters but what the game really nailed was its mimesis. Despite being pretty leisurely most of the time starting from a languid cinematic intro set to the dramatic orchestral main theme, the environment, the people roving the streets, the bootleg unlicenced copies of the authentic "boilers" of the era (a T-Ford by any other name is still a T-Ford), and the accent we've grown to expect, all make the joyride a titillating one. A joyride, in fact, is something you might not oppose to taking a few times between missions just to see what you've missed.

Even in a speedrun, a lot of that atmosphere is kept listening to the car radio and the guys "beating their gums" as they plan how they're going to send a hapless louse's mother flowers, but achtung! It's in German today. Handling many missions with more elegance, showcasing a few new discoveries, and further distilling car RNG some, 'Chris-X' puts the run to its "big sleep" 13:17 faster than the previous segmented record in 2:42:43. This, by my count, would make the fourth such SDA run, the first having been aired in 2005. That was ALSO by a German runner by some coincidence. I'll leave reading things into that to our home audience.

Wait a second. This is by a German TOO. A guy called...  Chris-X? Where have I heard that before? If I tell you this used to be the longest run (Dune 2000's run times are erroneously added together to make it longer in the per-length listing), would you be able to guess that it's a JRPG? I would. Grandia. It's Grandia. It's a large oven-heated pizza that comes in three different styles, and don't you dare just slap it in the microwave cause it leaves it soggy and anyway it's your responsibility. Seriously though, the name evokes the exact right image: it's a super-buffed traditional PS1 sample from 1997 and it goes on and on and on... There's typically a lot of fighting so if you don't like that, or if you're actually paying the writing that's adequate on the macro scale but ear-rendingly cringy on the micro (as was par for the course in earlier translations between Jap-Eng and actually also Eng-Jap) any heed, here's your exit now! Run! Run while you can, from this biblical 10:25:05 behemoth. A run like this can contain major detouring or grinding that all pays off in the end, but there was just the one really obvious one. It's pretty good if you wanted to treat it as a let's play, a massive 3:06:57 faster than before. That's what it was for me when I did the Pre-Release Check for it: I couldn't find it in me to finish the game but now I'm entitled to have opinions about it. ;)

So the Push comes to a close... Lastly, I would like to announce a new section of our Knowledge Base created by the industrious Greenalink: a comprehensive guide to getting imported, ostensibly incompatible cartridges and discs to run on Western versions of their consoles. He's put in lots of effort, and so I wanted to wait until this update so more people are likely to catch the news. You can see the link for this directly on the Knowledge Base front page with a neat picture to boot. Right next to it, there's another guide to hacking the console for better/different A/V output formats, in the works, being compiled by the same benefactor. It's like Christmas come late! (I got nothing! *futile fist-shake*)

Updates will resume their normal pace in a few weeks' time. Until now and then! Cause that's the normal pace. Every now and then. It was funny before I wrote it.

Friday, May 19, 2017 by LotBlind

Quest for Glololollololory

I've long since unofficially dubbed (and will officially, once elected Head of Enough Many Things) the less monotone version of Robin Hood from the Quest for Glories "Trollface". It's cuz of that win screen... I say less monotone because of the clothing but also for the blank sheet of a perfectly malleable RPG character. I've written on the series before so I'll just summarily summarize it as: choose class, choose skills, build skills, apply skills, win the day. The writing each time became more vivacious and deep. In Shadows of Darkness' story, a Lovecraftian summoning ritual is undergoing preparations in a remote, secluded land of Mordavia. Trollface is striving to machinate a good outcome pressed between two powerful wizards. He will meet strange fantasy creatures specifically from Slavonic myths this time. The fighting also made progressively more sense game by game. By the time we got to Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness that was meant to be the 3rd game but was ultimately deemed too arduous an ordeal for the protagonist at that phase of his character development (no joke!), we had a significantly less arcane system of sliders (like a manager sim) for marking out just the general strategy for each fight.

Not partial to one or the other, Paul 'The Reverend' Miller tackles the adherents of Chernobog as every one of the four classes. All but the Paladin have existing entries; however continuing the high-percents streak from a few updates back, we collect all the "you're doing it right" -points along the way, which are given for completing a set of side quests that is unique for each class. This extends the standard Mordavian tour to:

0:43:05 for the Thief (stealing your time),
0:38:44 for the Wiz Kid (the antwerp maze is like a pinball machine)
0:38:09 for the Paladdin (one of Aladdin's pals)
and 0:43:11 for the Fighter, whose karmic onus for being boooriiing is a kill bill encompassing the entire bestiary, including monsters only encountered at random.

Just so we're not overwhelmed by Trollface's noticeable but ultimately narcissistic chivalry, we might as well hark back to the kind of games he's remembered for in 'Gametown' (Spielburg of Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero): Bribing a bear with sweeties that are certain to induce cavities (that's why they live in "caves", which is cognate); dismissing one of his own troll kin twice (no piety!); eavesdropping like a real bitch; running around with a dagger in his pocket, roguishly; "confuse-a-catting" a minotaur; trespassing, vandalism, inflicting injuries, and being generally suspicious for allocating so many points into "stealth". And that all happens before the popcorn even has popped if your microwave is old, in 0:03:43. The 31 seconds are saved in dealing with the minotaur and in better execution. The minotaur skip was actually first discovered in the EGA version of the same game, whose major-skips time is suddenly down to 0:01:35, which is before that old microwave's done more than spin the bag three or four times. Again, we wave goodbye to another 34 seconds playing as the magic user.

Lori and Corey Cole's new title, Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption, is not long from release according to their blog. Last chances for those pre-order discounts!

Monday, May 15, 2017 by theseawolf1

Tactical Espionage Action... in plain sight.

Some believe it is a point of pride to remain anonymous while causing change, to be in the shadows unseen while molding the fate of the world. The ninja, the commando, the guy who decides every few years that eggs are good for you, then bad for you, then good again…

But there comes a level of ability in the world of subterfuge that you can literally overflow into bold and brazen action and still be successful. I think back to the first video game heroes of this concept: the White and Orange ninja of the Ninja Gaiden prologue. They simply don’t care about the sneaking portion of being a ninja because they are so good at all the other aspects of the art. I present to you four runs filled with blatant acts of “infiltration”.

First up is Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, wherein Sean Conn… I mean Big Bo… no wait, Venom Snake is trying to exact revenge on the ones responsible for his near death in the previous game. Despite the subtitle of “Tactical Espionage Operations”, it seems that the 9 year coma that held Venom Snake led to him becoming… impatient. Horses of fire, air strikes, dragging people away with balloons and running headlong into walls while riding a bipedal war machine might not be subtle, but they certainly are quick (so quick, in fact, a mission ends before Miller can detail it to you, resulting in rather funny dialogue as his intel team corrects him). 'Tigger77' navigates Kojima’s winding story in the New Game + category (rather unsportingly I might add) in 1:48:20, then he retreats to the shadows to prep for Metal Gear 1. I think. Maybe. I dunno. Kojima.

:HIDEO screen pops up, whilst I prepare the next material:

What happens in Vegas, usually stays in Vegas. In the case of our next 2 games there’s a lot of media coverage, betrayal and explosions, so word gets around about Tom Clancy’s terror-fighting regiment. Back in the original game the Rainbow Six team could not jump because, as per the manual, “once you were in midair, you no longer had control over your next actions, therefore jumping was too risky and not allowed by operatives”. Physics engines have evolved a bit in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas, and thus Tim 'Judgy' Kedge gets to lead people who jump from helicopters, jump into buildings and jump into action! All the tangos get taken down on Normal difficulty in 1:09:02, but will there be a resolution to this novel story? Speaking of novels, read Judgy’s notes. Holy Gonzo.

:Pulls a slot machine while waiting for his next flash bang to go off… and hey its 7-7-7. Guess I know what’s next…:

The Six team loved Vegas so much that the rest of the crew went back for another go in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2! The 7th installment set in the land of 777 has a few improvements from 'Tigger77'. The team’s normal loadout is mocked by the protagonist, as he skips the full body flak armor for a beret, tank top and more grenades than bullets. He’s also as subtle as a rhino: chucking flash bangs everywhere, throwing smoke grenades in all the non-smoking areas and running around manically with a pistol to accomplish the goals of the Rainbow Squadron. Tigger chops off some IL times on Casual difficulty, his gambling on not being shot to death while running to and fro bringing it down to 1:11:51.

:This slot machine has a mini game on it… wait, there’s people in there. I’d better go save them:

More than a few games had the “trapped in a video game” theme, and Kid Chameleon does it on a grand scale with 103 levels of transmogrifying madness, tiki heads of doom and stylin’ shades. A game noted for multiple paths, constant platforming and enough of a fan base that is was rereleased on several consoles, it’s a staple of the old “Genesis doing what Nintendont”. A plethora of attempts and optimization (the warp zone might have helped, too) by 'TheWinslinator' leads to a STAGGERINGLY short time of 0:01:32. Man that boss always freaks me out.

:Exits stage left, cape over face. Sneakily. (So sneaky):

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 by LotBlind

A Secret Splinter Update

For the record, the Mega Man X run from last update wasn't the WR (an error that owes to differences in timing), but the latest WR is held by the same person anyway.

We know James Earl Jones is not Lord Vader's body, just his voice, and so the rest of the cast had to keep a straight face playing off David Prowse's angry West Country farr-mer in filming. We've all seen hilarious footage of Andy Serkis loping about making faces in a costume befitting an asylum-dweller to give filmgoers a credible Gollum. It's the end result that matters, right? I feel this is a necessary preamble (you'll understand) before letting loose a slew of inductees all from the same cloak-and-dagger series by Ubisoft. At first they would pay Tom Clancy royalties for team-based tactical simulators titled Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon. After testing the waters some more with another splinter line of games called Splinter Cell, the company had by 2008 been convinced (by all the massive skrilla, perhaps) that they should just buy Clancy's name outright for use in all future entries out to eternity. And Mr. Clancy, who died five years following, agreed.

It is indeed games from the last of the three series that appealed to today's runners the most. In Splinter Cell you act out the will of a hush-hush arm of the real but probably not quite as exciting National Security Agency. It's all gadgetry and stealth, stealth and gadgetry from start to finish. The series' icon, the three-lensed visor, bestows thermal and night-time vision on Sam Fisher, the man of the hour. 2005's Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory introduced a third view mode in which players could scout around for sources of electromagnetism, along with numerous other enhancements, including lethal options which have earned it, and every one of its successors, an M-rating. Stealth-oriented games' runs have in common the dynamics of minimizing the stealth side of it – an especially salient dilemma when playing on Expert and dunking that 100% like Michael 'CotySA' is doing here. 0:58:26 makes it faster than the any% run by Tigger77, however that one's in ILs and so foregoes the benefits of segmentation. The 100% means not only avoiding all alarms, but also completing all kinds of extra objectives so it's a pretty creamy soup from Coty.

Where it's your highest imperative to stay unnoticed, doesn't seem someone called "'Deleted User'" could be of much help, but these code names are designed to deceive after all. The man's kept busy with Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent, a game with a split personality (or maybe it's a double agent itself and one of them's just a cover identity). These runs I've seen and they certainly tie in with the whole mimicry idea I opened this with: when you see Fisher lurching around, shrouded in gas from a grenade that's behind the wall, you can't help thinking every guard is having the same difficulties as the cast of Star Wars pretending they can't see him or hear him talking to his transmitter. It's like this is the behind-the-scenes footage before they've done another CGI pass on Fisher's black suit that's going to turn him completely invisible. Or give the guards blinkers that cover almost the whole face. Or fashion said face with that vacant George W. Bush expression with a goofy "huh?" every time they think they've heard something. There's two runs for the Shanghai version, both getting the good ending with the usual Hard difficulty and 100% stealth. The PC finishes a minute and nine seconds faster at 1:33:33. The Xbox 360 – a whole nine minutes and six seconds at 1:36:29.

Ubisoft's Montreal team, responsible for Chaos Theory as well, are the progenitors of the Xbox version of the same game. Except not quite the same: the plot branches out with a slightly different set and order of missions. It's not even built on the same engine actually. You're still a Princess Peach -tier professional two-timer, your pretense at ethics wearing thinner and thinner with every passing compromise to not be compromised yourself. It is not the single-segment campaign I should be talking about though: 'Deleted User' & 'Tangibility' makes two guys. SDA doesn't host "two-players-one-controller" schenanigans so we must be looking at the co-op storyline instead. In a different take on "double agent" two spies acting together, but independently of Fisher, perform covert actions in the same locations as the big chief. In one mission, for instance, they blow up the geothermal facility after Sam's just been extracted. Because we're all perfectionists (percentionists) here, the pair still scores all one hundred of 'em in 1:01:56, with stamps of approval from both Judgy and me. Trust our Judge-me-'nd.

Saturday, May 6, 2017 by LotBlind

There's a semi-clever pun in here somewhere that's not in my hand

The Teen provides versatility as a video game character: there isn't much a teenager couldn't conceivably effect in the world of material objects and their interactions – as an adventure game – yet possessing the better (worse?) half of his naivete so as to lend a subject to silly slapstick and floundering failure. You'll recall Ron Gilliam's Threepwood was one at a more-or-less canonical 17 years of age. There's typically a contradictory relationship between the teen and his environment, those ingrained into their social functions or hierarchic standings, which results in an easy conjuration of motives as the teen strives to establish himself and his rightfulness in a more or less direct mimicry of the natural scenario. Yet nothing bars a teen from pursuing romantic interests instead, as is the case with "Guy.brush". The teen is even fully capable of provocative double-entendre and plain audacious amorality (Simon the Sorcerer springs to mind), leaving a window open for this aspect of comedic writing.

...or so I have been told. With this introductory note in the limitless vacancy of our pockets, we may recognize much of the same in the voyage of Mark Hopper, the "Teenagent", through the straits and narrows of immaculate object allocation, spotless spotting of clues, and communication efficient enough to please the office 4G router. The development team, Metropolis Software, cut this 0:11:09 some 20 minutes shorter just by throwing at prospective runners, the Trilby-and-Final-Fight guy 'Soulless' for one, the succulent tibia of "make everything about five times faster". Well, evidently that's just three times so if maths are to be relied on, but when are they ever? If you wanted to be so meta as to slow it down again by a factor of one-and-a-half, you'd have the essence of a Let's Play but with a mellower soundtrack, and I think you'd appreciate the Polish humor this thing is bathed in. There's a scene where Mark cooks a hunk of meat by placing a burning piece of paper inside a refrigerator. Because it's a GAS FRIDGE! Or then I give up.

Mega Man X has often been lauded for its design. The first level I've seen brought up as the perfect tutorial, seamlessly integrating story, establishing characters, and plying its tutoring trade without fungi-post-precipitation text boxes. Like with Super Mario 64, the players had more abilities to gain mastery of, making movement a treat. There's even this Satchbag's Goods comparison between those very games despite varying dimentionality – indeed it attempts to encapsulate what went wrong with 3D Mega Man later down the line. But hey, I'm not just idly musing on the topic: we've been fired an extra-powerful dash'd bullet at and I don't know what kind of job we've done in catching it. 0:31:12 only makes this the bleedin' WR, which no-one bothered to point out in verification. Shows how jaded we've become to record-setting running apparently. Playing X1, runners like 'Akiteru' are not quite safe from the gusts and squalls of RNG... but count your blessings I suppose. That's the way I feel about having any commentary to accompany this 1:45 improvement. Speaks for itself?

The notion of the passing of memories, by one of multiple definitions, from generations past to generations future has had some wind blown in its sails in recent times. There are two forms of memory-relaying given the psychological interpretation: non-specific and subconscious, and specific memories that can under some circumstances be recalled by the conscious mind. While the former has (based on a very brief review of some Wikipedia articles) some credence seeing as e.g. traumatic events can produce a similar response in one's offspring by epigenetic means (i.e. not inherited through genes), the latter holds no broad purchase in modern science. It has been toyed with in some works of fiction though, and popularized by the Assassin's Creed series that saw daylight in 2007. In it, the main character straps themselves into the Animus: an amplifier of some sort that facilitates the review of lifelike memories (like VR really) of the occupant's direct ancestry. In a tapestry of Dan Brown -esque blown-up myths and conspiracies, along with many strains from historically accurate Renaissance Italy, Assassin's Creed II delivered a to-date unparallelled simulation of the life of a (fictional) assassin, Ezio, concerned with things like upholding family honor and vying against the power-hungry Knights Templar.

Runs for the open-worlded titles of the franchise are lengthy, even without the total synchronization of memories – the game's version of the 100%. Fran├žois 'Fed981' Federspiel, known for engrossing in these far-reaching reveries across four different AC games for the PC, finds 41:47 worth of additional short-cuts in leading the story to its incomplete completion at the 5:10:31 mark. That's using the not entirely accurate in-game timing but seeing how much of the game is cutscenes, it's a pretty healthy amount! Fed has left a 5-minute showreel of his works right at the portico-nestled front doors of his YouTube channel complete with an obnoxious Euro-trance soundtrack that probably constitutes an unacceptably major desync in in-game terms (read: he's clearly godmoding it).

Sunday, April 30, 2017 by LotBlind

One Big, Tasty Oddysee Laced with Adventure and a Side Dish of Questing (Level-Ups Not Included)

Two years after the release of the groundbreaking survival horror adventure Alone in the Dark and one year after storming out of Infogrames' stuffy offices, Frederic Raynal – here refused pesky diacriticals – went two for two having formed, with old workmates, Adeline Software, still based in the same merry city of Lyon. Their new 1994 action-adventure was called Little Big Adventure, evocative of small beginnings evolving into something epic, which is appropriate enough. Still, Activision felt Relentless: Twinsen's Adventure was better for marketing the game outside of Europe. Some frustration aside, it was a delightful experience that succeeded brilliantly in framing a grand struggle against an omnipresent, hegemonic oppressor, Dr. FunFrock, whose admittedly quite droll name could well be derived from his favored outer garment and the thing he's good at killing. It's not, though, because he wears an evil labcoat instead, and the strange capitalization notwithstanding, Funfrock is an actual Germanic name. The French mind shelters no censors, squeezing every bit of juice out of la liberté d'expression as you can tell.

Of our two LBA runs neither can stand tall next to this newcomer's fresh 0:53:40. 'FreemanQC' avails of many novelties in tricks and routing. Of the four modes of action (similar to how Alone did it), "aggressive" is probably the most descriptive of the run that was recorded on the French floppy version in a single segment but ousts our segmented record as well, by well over 20 minutes. Bon travail!

I'm wondering if the advertised novelty of Oddworld Inhabitants' to-date latest product, Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty!, is starting to wear out already. Sounds like they improved the recipe (is it being conceded it didn't USE to be tasty?) but so long as it's still slave-flavored, Sam 'Samtastic' Locke will continue putting the stuff away like an amoral suction pipe. I see it is in the Oddworld company's plan to remake the second game next, release slated for this very year. What New and Tasty did to OddyseeSoulstorm surely will to Exoddus: difficulty settings (the original was felt too trial-and-errory, checkpoints too sparse), an augmented dialog system, and threefold multiplied mudokons to prattle with to boot. To prattle with and to boot. From existence. Leaderboards are another likely addition, but they did increase AI randomness for N 'n' T to work the runners some. Hard to tell if there's an impact on the 0:21:37 being played on the "old and bland" hard difficulty, rife with both deaths and resets: Sam likes to abuse anything and everything, including mudokon compatriots if he can as we've established by now. 39 real-time seconds off with a spatter of new strategies all around.

If you think that's looking nice in your downloads queue, here's that side dish now! Having not one, nor three, but two Oddworld runs in one update means it is all too convenient to see the differences with your own eyes. Yes, Sam's second submission around the same time was for the aforementioned Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. However, you could really only side-by-side them for so long until this one, single-segment but no major skips, is the only one left rolling. 56:42 turns into 0:43:36 in Sam's able hands which have borrowed from TASes [for] this time.

For an extra $15, I'll tell you what game the last run is for. Thanks! It's DLC Quest. No, that doesn't include the run itself. Etc. etc. etc. This minute pastiche was built to mock, among other things, those bottomless corporate pockets behind all the season passes, pre-order exclusives*, and insinuated microtransactions... but perhaps we should counterweight that with a source like The Know illuminating the modern industry and why it's so prone to grinding out extra income through such villainous means. Not that you shouldn't scorn Capcom for selling a game's "true ending" as an afterthought, EA for what they did with Dungeon Keeper, or Squeenix for All the Bravest (a digital toy, not a game, so no italics). It's everyone's loss that games are chopped up in a way that makes even the narrative itself dependent on which DLC you got – this is why you have to appreciate the less cynical efforts at balancing economics with artistic intergrity. And why you shouldn't ignore the indie scene.

Aside from calculated routing, the 0:07:34 run is infused with a compulsive and exhaustive collection of coins. Reminds of the last time the TAXMAN CAME TO VISIT! Yes I live in the Middle Ages. 'StiWii Rage', the model consumer, dishes out the dough to unlock everything starting from leftwards motion, SFX, and the option to save. And do I need to mention the achievements? I want to see the low% for some game defined by getting the least count of them. Could it be yours? It could work if the game only came out on Steam or so... do bring it up first though.


*I'm not entirely sure what the difference between these and Kickstarting is except for who's doing it. Which is difference enough.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 by Worn_Traveler

PJ Wins and Loses (Part 2)

Welcome back my friends to the PJ update express! It's time to see what other games have received the PJ treatment.

First, let's take a look at Hyperzone. PJ gave us a run of this game a few years ago and his time has been improved by 'AggroSky'. The improvement in this run comes from manipulating the scoring system to skip certain ship upgrades throughout the game, which means that there are less cutscenes to watch. The time for this game has gone from 0:23:51 to 0:23:27. The PJ tradition of commentary continues as AggroSky provides a commentary track to help us better understand and enjoy the run even more.

Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare currently has the Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos page to himself. He has now added a low% run in 0:06:38 to go along with his any% and 100% runs. If you haven't seen the runs for the various categories, I suggest watching them all to get a good idea of just how much planning and execution have to go into runs for this game. Do not be fooled by the short lengths of the runs. Solstice is an isometric maze and it's easy to lose your bearings. PJ acts as a tour guide with a commentary track for this low% trek.

Sabrewulf has found his way here to SDA in his adventure Knight Lore. Like Solstice, Knight Lore is a tricky maze-like game which involves collecting specific items. PJ walks Sabrewulf through a werewolf-troubled adventure in 0:12:58 on the Rare Replay version of the game. Knight Lore contains some pretty neat features including a day/night cycle. Check this one out along with the commentary track.

Thursday, April 20, 2017 by LotBlind

Losing Track of Time and Cats Exhilarated

The most obvious of International Track and Field 2's differential characteristics is it's difficult to track it down, because it was fielded under five different names including one that's the same as the first one's, International Track and Field, but with its sponsor (network called ESPN) tacked on the front. A clever trick for when you've secured publishers for more ports than before was, until the turn of the millenium, to call it FooBar 2000, which still makes it sound like it might be the second entry without scaring away new customers either. You don't believe me? Try Dune 2000 (that was actually the 2½th entry) or SimCity 2000 (whose ports were less numerous than SimCity's)... Hey, it's just a theory! A lame theory! That's why I need your help in formulating one for why the breaststroke was an event better suited for the N64 while the charms of canoeing could only faithfully be transmitted by the PS1, the console on whose circuitry 'Chris-X''s inputs for these two games were being processed. Those inputs resulted in 0:08:21 for IT&F and 0:16:46 for IT&F2, both self-improvements on existing runs deleting 0:10 and 1:16 worth of footage respectively. I call anabolic steroids at minimum.

One of the most well-received Sonic re-leases itself received an itself well-received re-release that we can call Sonic the Hedgehog CD 2011. That sentence is too dope to change it even if it causes someone to trip up on it. Speaking of tripping, how about taking a trip through time? Most normative individuals choose to set the dials on their DeLorean, Tardis, Epoch, or umm... Chron-o-John to whenever rough shit was still manageable, weeding the Wilys and Wicked Witches of the West when they were still little and armed with nothing more imposing than a fresh Ph.D. in robotics or a small regiment of flying squirrels as each respective case. Speaking of doctors with a knack for assembling machines of evil, there's Doctor Robotnik... and if you wish him to be undone, you set those Chron-o-John dials to very much yesterday, when love was such an easy game to play. I see Nelson 'Sonikkustar' Martinez waving at me. He's asking if it should count against his final time even if he's dismantling the robo-replicators in the past, not the present. Well, dear Sonikkustar, according to SDA rules it still should! Ah, he's just handing me over an unsympathizing 0:11:46.75 screw-u% as Tails (which he still feels is "perhaps the single best speed run [he has] ever done"). Maybe that's his way of en-act-ing revenge over those score screens specially designed to punish speedrunners for being fast.

I think the way the top is the bottom in the world of Sonic – and the left side the right side – is a practical cosmological demonstration. Just imagine the size of the level canvas increasing as you abuse the idiosyncratic code so each wrap-around takes longer and longer, that's precisely how space expands into "nothing" and how it can have no bounds. Also, in the rerelease, some of the purple UFOs in the bonus stages got a fresh coat of blue on them. I'm pinning it on the Happy Happyists from Earthbound.

Speaking of Earthbound, you should know by the fact I didn't link that that the last run is not for it, sorry to say... but think about the cats in Earthbound. They only exist in a few places and none of them seem to have anything to say. This is the polar opposite of Cat Planet, and I'll be darned if I could do this game justice. I've introduced it once before (look for 2015-10-10) and so I should be able to get away without that today. 'liopoil' is playing the angel again. Obsoleting the obsoletee by 11 seconds who I presume to be a American Indian 100%'s the game page. They also rescue (?) 100% of the cats... from an eternity of mute social isolation maybe: they're just cat heads, you see, and were only granted very limited mobility in the form of stationary bouncing while gyrating. Which is a good kind of bouncing to be fair. Good bouncing seems indeed the bees knees here as collisions are perfectly elastic and walls all around. This gives the 0:04:14 run an extra dimension of precision compared to the likes of VVVVVV (which looks wrong in cursive), and gives you more than enough reason to make its acquaintance. I think we can safely say more planning went into the run than there is evidence for concerning the dadaistic game itself.

Monday, April 17, 2017 by ktwo

NES part 2

As hinted in my previous update, there would be a follow-up on the NES theme!

Let's kick things off with first-time submitter Steve '8-Bit Steve' Lynn. He's been on a bit of a frenzy lately and now adds speedruns for two new games to the archives. First out is Kung Fu Heroes, which is based around a generic "save the princess captured by the bad guys" theme. Luckily, the developers focused on the gameplay instead of the story and this has resulted in a fun and action packed beat-em' up well worth the attention of more NES-gamers.  Progress through the game is made by defeating 12 enemies in each room or by using warps. By careful item planning and solid execution, the 14 rooms are navigated in 0:07:47.

The other game plown through by 8bitSteve is Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom. It's a text adventure game for the NES revolving around a political plot in the vegetable kingdom. I assume the list of vegetables ran out when naming the characters, because there are also some scattered fruits to be found in the game. By a combination of a well-memorized route and good fortune in the rock-paper-scissor boss battles, 8bitSteve unfolds the political conspiracy and saves the princess in 0:40:33.

Next up is a 4 second improvement in the any% category of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers over feasel's run from 2011. If you know your NES, this game hardly needs an introduction. For the rest of you, this is a classic 2D-platformer from the mold, but a damn good one. 'philosoraptor42' has set the new bar at 0:10:09, which also means he's now the author of both the available categories for this game.

Last out is a run done by myself, 'ktwo'. Solomon's Key is a game I started playing in 2009 and that has regularly drawn me back into it. It's a challenging puzzle-platformer with rich game mechanics that allow for many options on how to clear the rooms. In this latest iteration of the any% category (which involves warps and only achieving the normal ending), I've implemented a few new time savers and thereby managed to cut my old time by 7 seconds down to 0:12:50.

Friday, April 14, 2017 by LotBlind

Frame by Frame I'll Knock You Out!

We somehow always end up talking cinema here on Awesome Front Page Updates Written in a Moderately Timely Fashion don't we? I'm not even particularly fanatic about it, just the licence games keep packing in, or there's some obvious connection to draw between a game and its influences. The discerning may discern that "splatter" is a slightly different pigeonhole to that which most comfortably nestles the bones and sinew of the not-that-gorey* Virtual Console port of Splatterhouse, but it's difficult to tell whether we should be calling it a slasher (the mask and blade), supernatural horror (ghosts, possessed furniture), gothic horror (Baroque-style music sometimes echoing inside august, 19th century halls, including one track that tries oh-so-hard not to be the Air on the G-String) or whether we should follow the stage three boss' example of double-wielding chainsaws and tear indiscriminately through the cacophonous, grubby rack liberating the doves from their compartmentalized state altogether and having simply way more fun in the process. I'm sure bursting all those bubbles in stage six has some metaphorical overtone to it.

If you can't make out, Zack 'Zallard1' Allard isn't taking things all that seriously, seeming warming the protagonist up for a Cossack dance routine which is what the college boy, no doubt, hurries off to perform at the Homecoming halftime show after the credits are through. Although Zallard is best-known for doling out merciless coups de grâce inside whatever boxing rings he's still admitted to (audiences get jaded), on his off days he may be spotted excising a handful of not-strictly-vital tissues, roundabout 5 seconds' worth, off his other records and catgutting together a 0:13:46 that somehow still kicks and screams (signs of life!). Don't be fooled, though, because such Sunday efforts, while not completely unheard-of, really are the exceptions that prove the rule all the harder. Here's what he normally gets down to:

But wait! If you just so knew what the exact SDA Individual Levels time for the Wii game was, a bewildered cry may be about to escape your lips: "Where did another 0.94 seconds go? I want answers. goddammit!" Can you hear a mischievous chuckle from within the challengers' loge (shut up I know how boxing matches work okay?!) emanating from the exercised bellows of a defiant, lithe silhouette? "Those features... that voice... no, not a clue who it is." Well, it's someone whose name doubles as their preferred level of precision in planning and execution of fights: 'FrameByFrame'. That's who. Here's something to help you remember:

Things are heating up! How many more records are up for grabs until they're all indistinguishable from their TAS counterparts? Hmm... I should advertise our spiritually linked sister site for a change, in case someone's too gnu-bee to know about TASing yet.


*Apparently, censorship was applied when porting to home consoles.

Sunday, April 9, 2017 by LotBlind

The New World's All Razzle-Dazzle

After seeing the first game tonight seems to be about stories FROM it, or getting away FROM it, I had to suss out why stories about the trip TO the "New World" are not that pervasive in western/any culture: nothing happened! They just kinda went "Effit", hoisted a few sails and quickly found out I spy isn't a terribly enduring pastime at sea. That's whether you see "them" as Columbus et al or those good ole chip-shouldered Puritans. While the context of a fantasy JRPG leaves open the possibility of another new world altogether (the cover art suggests they've discovered either Heaven, an island beset by a billowy fog, or somewhere too avalanchey for safe downhill skiing), the mundane interpretation is ascertained soon after having sent the disc whirring into the PS2 "funcepticle". Or, more conveniently for most of us, by setting eyes on what Kenneth 'Tide' Cheung has graced us with here: Shadow Hearts: From the New World in a slightly less commonplace single-segmented 3:50:43.

Those who've felt traditional turn-based fighting in JRPGs can't comprise quite enough high-pressure execution are in for disillusionment. The "Judgment Ring", the "Stock" system, Sanity Points, Stellar Charts, and Fusioning are all part of a kaleidoscopic landscape of the routing and decision-making in this run. You'll believe Tide telling you this is a competed enough title when you watch him nailing an ungodly percentage of the narrowest margin attacks, even blind ones, and calling it a requirement! I'm not lying either to say I thought it was segmented at first... Anyway, I hope you'll appreciate this, the very first SDA run for a Shadow Hearts series game.

On the theme of discovery, here's the ostensible discovery of the joys of reading by Macaulay Culkin in a role that was one of three embarrassments that same year that somehow narrowly failed to win him a Razzle. Now if that hasn't made you skip ahead a few paragraphs, allow me to fill in some details: Do you remember a half-animated, half-live-action kids' movie from 1994 that united a cast suspiciously saturated with Star Trek, including Patrick Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Christopher Lloyd, and Leonard Nemoy, aside from the rugrat at the center of attention? Ironically enough, one of the critics perceived The Pagemaster's moral as "books can be almost as much fun as TV cartoons and video arcade games"... which is something our second runner Michael 'arglefumph' Gray must have taken to heart.

You couldn't mount flashy multimedia on humble home consoles, so they received plain platformers, whereas the PC bunch could relive Culkin's journey into three realms of juvenile interest - adventure, mythology, and horror - in a slender approximation of the "real thing". In the pointy and clicky, arglefumph's main enemy was a random quiz show and getting people to stop talking (we've been there). Viewers of the single-sitting 0:35:17 are adviced to wear professional grade pun-proof earmuffs: something like the +10 Sonic Nullifiers from Knights of the Old Republic should do.

Revolving around discovery more than ever, Starflight is a seminal epic describing the thrifty early renaissance of a secluded colony of disaster survivors (in the hip-shot year 4620) peering into a region of space rendered alien by generations of roaching underground... and by the aliens themselves, durr. As a budding starship captain, your adventures bring you across hundreds of unexplored worlds that you must visit in order to keep a supply of fuel, lifeforms for scientific study, and minerals for upgrades. Sometimes you might even run across a fully inhabitable world enabling humans to set up a boutique. If you cross ways with one of those other sentient races, you won't know what kinds of dealings they'll be open to having with you; if nothing else, a bit of a space spar can always be resorted to.

Starflight was absolutely astonishing for the time in 1986 - the technology (built on Assembly and a language called FORTH that's incidentally also been used for programming actual spacecrafts) made it as much a marvel of software engineering as it impressed as a game. It was really the boundless, procedurally generated universe and the seamless marriage of all these finely honed elements within its allotted 128KB of RAM that made even copies of Elite from two years prior start gathering some dust. You're given a tasklist that contains, but is not limited to, all the stuff I mentioned above and also just plain brazenly venturing where no peep's ventured to date, something the cast of The Pagemaster might be able to give you a little primer on. There are still those who find things Starflight did better than the equally epic and perhaps even more famous Star Control II - a game you'll mistake for a graphical overhaul at first glance.

Tony 'ZenicReverie' Foster does away with frittering time and space, going straight for the cosmic jugular - that's 0:04:29 of undermining my high anthem of a game you're supposed to get hopelessly lost in, completed on the Genesis version... from 1991! Think how popular the game must have been to warrant a five-years-later conversion like that.

Thursday, April 6, 2017 by LotBlind

moo-D Tourists Fighting For 64 Gran' Concept "Mos"

Just today I saw someone selling their Nintendo 64 (a semi-translucent "icy blue" edition) with a couple of games attached. I've got an old TV that has those yellow and white sockets and so the purchase of a good ol' console of some description - for research purposes that is! - is on the cards someday. However, I've felt that the N64 specifically has a pretty casual/for kids kind of aura. Looking at the relatively modest library, scanning names and drawing from a rather muddy pool, or puddle really, of information, I think most of the really gritty or mature titles were ports or new entries for series having established themselves on other platforms, and pressed developers to find external publishers (to do what Nintenwon't!). Just today I happened to pick up a copy of the psychological-horror-themed Shadow Man, which will serve as a counter-example having seen release on the N64 and multiple other platforms simultaneously.

In this exact bulgy pulsating vein, we kick off today's update with a heaping helping of Doom 64 guts and spillings. Try mapping the numpad to camera controls in a PC FPS: gives you an appreciation of why console FPS runs tend to have jagged edges in the area of movement. The same guy what done dem easy mode run last April now done done hard mode run in 0:48:40. Runner name is Phillip 'ZELLLOOO' Shanklin. Me and ktwo were both mighty impressed with the vastness of the runner's ken (not a muddy puddle) what regards out-of-the-way medkits and other forms of emergency munitions - you're Doom'd to need 64 of them during this run! See what I did there? No wait, I've got more runs!

Gran Turismo is insanely popular. Two releases, the first and third, finished top two in that order amongst realistic driving games on and number one with its five years in full-out hardcore heart-failure-inducing Japanese "Ganbatte kudasai!" development* has the most sales out of anything on the PS1. Maybe everyone else knew this?

Given this spectacular, roaring success of the series as a whole, despite its inferior scores, it is Gran Turismo Concept: 2001 Tokyo's unassailable birthright to be brought slippers to in the morning or early afternoon, whenever it feels like alighting off its sumptuous Hastens Lenoria king-sized bed; Slippers in which it can drift down the stately manor's elliptical foyer staircase and out the oaken double doors directly into its brand new state-of-the-art... pod car? I was expecting something like the "Castrol Tom's Supra" (who's Castrol Tom?) Toyota actually auctioned a real-life reproduction of once. This is the car speeding 'adeyblue' through most of the races and trials, barring those requiring good dirt handling, where he "slips" into something more suitable. Going about this pulls the tarp off each of the typically rather numerous extra automobiles and brings the game to 100% completion. Minimal mistakes, maximal speed, single-segment, 1:21:38. The best part is opting for the pace car so you can bump off it to optimize one turn before becoming ITS pace car instead, which might be considered swag by some...

Of the four characters selectable in Fighting Force, Mace is the most appropriately named. She doesn't wield a medieval wrecking ball though, nor does she flourish a caustic aerosol can. Furthermore, ain't no-one "shaving their face in the dark" with some either. That leaves us with only one logical conclusion: it's that she embodies either maces, the swingy kind, and/or Mace, the chemical compound, originally consisting of "CN", phenacyl chloride, in hydrocarbon solvents but more recently replaced in common usage by pepper spray, "OC", and often found in a three-part solution that also has the OC with some ultraviolet dye for easy spotting of the fended-off aggressor (LotBlind Trivia FlashTM). I'm willing to bet, seeing as the rest of the troupe bear names less inviting of dissection, that this incredibly appropriate nomination symbolizing female empowerment was fortuitous - that or taken from somewhere else.

All the enemy types keep to more run-of-the-mill appellations that someone hammered out on their keyboard between arriving at work and the first copy machine jam. How do we know them though when verbality is at an all-time low? Is there supposed to be a news crew behind the action cam with a reporter making sure to catch everyone's names? If you've been waiting for a chance to level accusations of "being too dog-dang clever for his own dog", here's where you'll notice getting furiously winked at. As for 'Soulless' (the Trilby guy), he likes to keep to a deft double high kicks and a low roundhouse kick most of the time (of 0:27:59) in this reportedly quite shoddy PC port, played on Easy.

*Producer Kazunori Yamauchi "I would wake up at work, go to sleep at work. It was getting cold, so I knew it must be winter. I estimate I was home only four days a year." And yes, [death by] overworking genuinely is one of Japan's social issues: this aspect of the culture is reflected in the dad in Earthbound never being at home even though they're in America.

Sunday, April 2, 2017 by ktwo

What does Lyon make you think of?

Well, if you've had the opportunity to go there or hear about the city, you might answer "many cultural highlights", "(a now defunct) silk industry", "l'OL, one of Europe's best soccer teams", "gastronomy" or "the Canut mural". Apparently it's also staked a claim in the gaming industry and that of course is what we'll focus on here.

One of the Lyon game developers was Infogrames. According to Wikipedia, one of the founders explained their choice of logo (an armadillo) like this: "This dinosaur [sic] is our symbol. The armadillo has always survived changes to its environment, from the melting of glaciers to the worst of heat waves." Little did he know that his company would suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs, instead of showing the armadillo's resilience. The history of Infogrames turned out to more resemble the logo's silhouette. After a period of growth from many acquisitions (among others, Atari), the success didn't last and Infogrames ceased to exist as a brand in 2009. In the 25 or so years it existed, it developed and published a wide range of video games for many different platforms. At least for the French-speaking audience, it has managed to earn a bit of a reputation through Joueur du Grenier for its many games based on francophone comic book characters. In short, they have been of shifting quality and for a time, Infogrames was a recurring bashing object for JdG.

Lucky Luke: On the Daltons' Trail (PC) follows in the footsteps of Infogrames' other comic book adaptations. However, this has not scared off 'wesen'. After having submitted one improvement after the other, he finally settled for this 0:44:28. Regardless of whether this is a quality game or not, the speedrun is of a high quality and at least makes the game look both good and fun.

Coincidence or not, the next game from 'wesen' also comes from a Lyon-based developer. Pink Panther Pinkadelic Pursuit (PC) was developed by Etranges Libellules. It's a neat and fast-paced platformer where you're trying to recover a hidden treasure in a mansion left behind by a deceased relative of the Pink Panther's. There was for a time period regular improvements submitted by 'wesen' in the any% category after continuously finding new routes and tricks. The end result is a tight 0:14:23 (self-improvement from 18:04), which includes a number of new shortcuts and sequence breaks. Before calling it a day, he also completed an IL table with a total time of 0:12:36. Both are well worth a watch!

Thursday, March 30, 2017 by LotBlind

I think my Hyde is just me in the mornings

Batman... no. Potter... no. MacGyver... yeah! Bond... no. Luke... no. Rambo..? very much so! Sorry? What I'm doing? I'm listing some of the best-recognized heroes of popular fiction and determining whose legacy includes a well-established phrasal construct. You can imagine one for each of them, but in TL;DR form I think only the really straightforward "one-trick ponies" (me and that expression are going to have words later on) can survive as verbal memes. Or is this just what those memes have reduced them into?

As interesting (just keep nodding) as this question is, I must now hurry to justify the tangent by revealing that which it is a tangent to. Any viewer of the attached will be able to attest that along the curve joining Rambo: The Video Game, 'GrassHopper' the runner, and the 1:31:09 run, one "goes Rambo" a lot. Now let me perhaps surprise you with a year of release: 2014. If you're from the part of Europe that for irrelevant reasons didn't air one called John Rambo (in parts just Rambo) in 2008, the last time you could have met his stony (or should I say... rocky) face in the dark of a multiplex was around when I was being touched off at the secret and awesome Master Race assembly plant a full twenty years previous.

Basically our "sounds like they're from Metal Gear Solid" companion GrassHopper makes Rambo: The Video Game look like Rambo: The Whatever You Please, playing on the lowest difficulty without making use of fancy-schmancy bonus items. Much more on the run itself in the gracefully provided second track audio commentary! It's honestly more nuanced than you'd expect of a rail shooter.

The original name for the Super Famicon game was Paneru de Pon (LotBlind BS Translations ltd. translation: 'Panel Bang'), but it had an original, generic story with mincy little fairies and wasn't selling too well, so Nintendo wanted to link the international release to an existing franchise. Hence Yoshi's Island lending a "cast" to Tetris Attack. The Tetris Company, gatekeeper of all things that resemble Alexey Pajitnov's derivative-of-existing-things-even-in-1984 concept in any shape (such as the shapes of the pieces or the play field, no kidding!), agreed to licence the name to Nintendo's new release only to ultimately regret it since it's too far-removed from Tetris as we know it.

Thus Tetris Attack isn't really the same discipline as those world-famous world championships are held in. It's still sufficiently involved to run though, as 'CardsOfTheHeart''s XXL power-fertilized comments will convey with some degree of adequacy. Your pattern-spotting faculties had better be keen! Despite the inevitable amounts of competition, 0:03:37 (42 seconds off previous SDA time) stands up high like a garish naïve art mosaic flag in Cards' back yard, still representing the only sub-4 within single-segment, very hard, versus mode runs.

Doshin, the Love Giant, and to a lesser degree his "Hyde" side Jashin, won over as many hearts amongst the younger audience at a game exhibition in Japan in 1999 as he garners in-game from the clinging populace when 'PvtCb' takes him for a spin (a tumble really). In what amounts to a slightly twisted god sim, Doshin the Giant, a player mixes and matches from one of two approaches: be very nice, or very VERY naughty, and watch the lil'uns substantialize their likes and dislikes as large monuments dedicated to whatever emotion the Giant has predominantly given rise to in them. Doshin/Jashin will also grow in size having been thumbed up or down enough, affecting the field of possibilities.

One half of a god sim is the "sim" - the tribesmen act on an untractable A.I. and the player can only try as best they can to facilitate the desired (positive) kind of monuments to be built without accidentally leveling a church with the equally untractable controls. It really is one of those games where no plans can be plotted, only high-level strategies. Throughout the single-segmented 1:34:12 on the more complicated GameCube version, PvtCb is seen terraforming, combining trees into flowers, introducing the villages to one another (to prevent inbreeding of course), and destroying finished monuments to stave off hubris. Yeah it's a bit weird but at least all that amounts, as you'd expect, to getting to launch a rocket into space.

Sunday, March 26, 2017 by Worn_Traveler

PJ Wins and Loses (Part 1)

Sometimes a runner ends up with a bunch of games on the queue. I noticed this recently as did some of the other updaters and it was decided to split the runner's runs into two updates. There are two reasons for doing this. First, the runner has fourruns ready plus one of his current runs has been beaten by someone else. Second, these game are speedruns from PJ and posting all of the runs at once could seriously cause damage to the internet and our brains due to PJ's selection of games. In order to get the "worst" out first, we've decided to go with the two longest runs in this batch of PJ runs.

I had heard of Lagoon prior to AGDQ 2011 but I had never seen the game in action before. While Lagoon made it's debut at AGDQ 2012 as part of "Awful Games Done Quick", Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare was kind enough to bring a copy of the game with him the previous year at AGDQ 2011 and I'd be very surprised if there was anyone at the event who did not see Lagoon in action at some point. I'll be honest: I liked what I saw and heard. When I returned home I sought out a copy of the game and bought a cartridge within a few days. I have yet to make it past the first boss. Thankfully, PJ is better at Lagoon than me and he has beaten his 1:28:52 deathless run and ends Lakeland's drinking problem in a Thor crushing 1:22:11. It's always bittersweet for me seeing an already improbable run improved but it has happened. PJ and friends provide commentary for this shorter edition of Lagoon. If you are interested in the AGDQ 2012 run then please go here.

ActRaiser is a hybrid game that has platforming and simulation segments interspersed throughout the game. For some reason, the simulation sequences are not in ActRaiser 2. Regardless, PJ has spent years on ActRaiser 2 and we finally get a run of this beautiful game. The gameplay may be punishing, the visuals somewhat disturbing, and the AI more than usually devious but PJ fights the good fight against the seven deadly sins and Satan in a blistering 0:41:54 on Hard Mode. Make sure to check out the commentary track on this one, even if you are familiar with the game.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 by ktwo

NES part 1

All of the runs this time involve NES-games from a certain runner going by the name Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios, so the theme and common denominators are self-explanatory.

The first game that has been blessed by Elipsis' gentle touches on the D-pad is Eliminator Boat Duel. You can win either by racing your opponents or by sinking them. Our speed guru of this game obviously chose the latter whenever possible. This led to a time of 0:29:22 on expert difficulty. The improvement over the previous 0:30:26 (also by Elipsis) was done through some tighter execution and better strategies for pulling the opponents' plugs.

The second game is Marble Madness. While Eliminator Boat Duel was a NES-only title, Marble Madness has been released on more platforms than I care to list. The NES port has a long speedrun history, which has inevitably resulted in a very high level of optimization. Today, Elipsis brings us a top notch run that is currently the fastest run out there. The time is 0:02:45, eclipsing the previous SDA-run by two seconds (also done by Elipsis).

The third and last run is a 2p-run by the current two top players of Marble Madness, Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios & 'Toad22484'. While it's a short game, I can attest to how treacherously challenging it is. A 2p-run even more so with marbles getting in each other's way and navigating parts of the levels with the marbles off-screen. The difficulty of the run combined with getting the logistics to work for a 2p-run make this category quite inaccessible. However, our two runners decided to give it their best shot during an intensive session at this year's AGDQ. In the limited time they had together, they achieved a 0:03:17.

See you soon in NES part 2!

Friday, March 17, 2017 by LotBlind

The Arcane Art of Steeling Oneself for the Tentacles

Okay, this is it! No more fun and games! Welcome, ladies and gentleladies to 2017's Big PushTM where dreams become reality. Very select ones at least. Watch the updates getting actually regular for this short, beautiful time.

One of the great Internet personalities and auteurs of our time, Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw is responsible, among other things, for a moderately colorful suite of adventure- and action-oriented games. His most famous recurring character, and perhaps the closest semblance of an alter ego, might be found in Trilby, Gentleman Thief, tracing the untraceable footsteps of such memorables as Simon Templar ("The Saint"), Sir Charles Litton (from the Pink Panther movies I brought up earlier), and - inevitably - Dennis Moore (riding through the night!). These kinds of characters tend to either respond, in earnest, to stimuli from the temporo-parietal junctions or maintain lofty self-imposed standards in their lawless pursuits. Keeps life satisfying, and, in the less sociable types, bolsters an allaying sense of superiority.

Keeping vicariously in line with this 'leet larcenist's reputation, 'Soulless' tonight makes me the proud inductor of Trilby: The Art of Theft into the underhandedly amassed trove with his masterfully planned and executed 0:20:21 that starts from a completely fresh file and leaves no [precious] stone unturned [into hard liquid cash], ending up with a 100% all Trilby-ranks completion, all in one long bated exhalation. This is probably the most harrowingly difficult category, because even one alarm or alert poisons the hat man's finicky ego, and with every near miss you can just feel the air getting more and more saturated with perspiration and stress hormones... your own, that is.

From one story-verse to another - there's wicked, cool things afoot AT the foot of one of H.P. Lovecraft's fictitious but, at the time, uncontradictable concoctions: The Antarctic Mountains of Madness. If you don't let the opening sequence, wanly suggestive of a B-grade military comedy flick, divert your mind from the utter [thitherto undebunked] horror of those austere final frontiers of mankind's earthly promulgation, you might just fall for Prisoner of Ice - a 1995 point'n'click "flick" and sequel to Shadow of the Comet from two years earlier. It was credited for graphics and story if nothing else. I'm not sure if it's part of the artistic vision, but these characters do look like Thunderbirds dolls and might just have been rotoscoped for that smooth-ass smooth feel.

So they're on a sub and they've just picked up a couple deep-frozen crates and a semi-living man from God knows where. The crates obviously have tentacle monsters in them and the crew are NOT to let them thaw. Well guess what thaws and snatches helmsman Roberts before fifteen clicks in... What clicks those were though! According to the Yours Truly from verification, the 0:23:58 has execution on the universally vaunted "blitzkrieg-level", by the saying of which I've inadvertently added to this whole warry scenery. We're talking maxed-out exemplary action by this young rating! If you're intrigued but don't like gaming on the PC like Wilson Luiz 'VonDrake' Oliveira does, there WERE ports for the PS1 and Sega Saturn but sounds like those were in Japanese, though retaining the English voice acting, and had loading times greater than a thousand of those infernal crates... Imagine all those asinine tentacles grasping at all kinds of struts and rails and bolts and things as you're trying to shove them into the massively, unbelievably Faustian cargo hold!

From the icy sea to 'igh fantasy. 'Daegon' today jolts the magicko-mechanical world of Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura into fleeting but lively animation, like casting a coin into the open trunk of a mime doing the statue act. "Jolt" is also one of the spells, but apparently it's even better to go with "Agility of Fire" which I like to picture as lighting two unsnuffable flames under you soles to bring out the cheetah in all of us. "Cheetah" is what is sometimes cried when one does the Sisyphean start-rewind shuffle, i.e. splits it up (into sixteen, say) to streamline it (by 1:04 into a 0:05:50, say), but not here on SDA it ain't! If you're not sure what to think of segmented runs, dear Reader, just consider Glenn Gould, one of the most singular classical musicians of modern times, whose celebrated joy and pride was to mix takes after a whole day of recording into one flawless routine to demonstrate what was meant, not what was mustered.

Look at the HQ encode of the run from a medium distance, at 00:07 when the runner shows his settings: it kinda looks like the difficulty is set to "Low" not "Easy". This gave me palpitations because it would have meant that the run's stat screen was WRONG.

Friday, February 24, 2017 by theseawolf1

Love is in the Air~~

It’s the Valentine’s Day season (just pretend this update made it out in time!), and love is in the air. All the sweet trimmings of the season are upon us: chalky hearts with semi-correctly spelled sweet nothings, cards with googly-eyed otters cuddling with puns amid a rosy pink color scheme, Cadbury eggs with cute bunnies telling you to… HEY WAIT!!!! Stupid, impatient megamarts…

Anyhoo, love means not saying, “You know what? Screw-a you princess! Go and-a save yourself this-a time!” Our boy Mario is a man of infinite patience, and thus proves his love again in New Super Mario Bros Wii by charging headlong through the land to save his beloved Kamek… I mean princess. And so he runs. Full bore leaning forward, head-down and arms-back Naruto ninja running across the land to face Bowser once again in the name of love. Lava? Doesn’t care. No platforms? Got a fancy hat for that. Under the steady hand of 'Auchgard', our perennially purloined princess and our stocky Sicilian are hand in hand at the 0:25:14 mark, 17 seconds faster than last time. (Be strong, Luigi. You’re still my favorite.)

:this broomstick is pretty handy, maybe if I sprinkle some Kamek dust on this Sonic 06 file, something good will happen… YES!!! This’ll do nicely:

There’s lots of love for the Sonic series, and despite his love for chuckles, Knuckles is no joke. His penchant for collecting large shiny objects is undeniable, even without a Valentine guilt trip from Tikal walking past a Swarovski store in the mall. In Sonic Adventure DX he proves that he will go as far as to punch Sonic, Eggman and even water to satiate his desire for emeralds. To his surprise the water punches back this time, but even in spite of its hydr-hate-tion Nelson 'Sonikkustar' Martinez properly restores the Master Emerald in 0:14:15.

:reaches over to find his document full of love puns… and it’s missing. Huh, I’d better send someone to find my document...:

I love knowing where things are, and Cat and Frog Industries are like me in that regard. As such, I see no issue in sending a cute office worker into a deathtrap-laden sewer to find an important document. Pink Hour, a standalone demo to Kero Blaster, places 'makermatic21' in this odd predicament and he receives the bad ending in 0:01:33. Will he find the document? Will there be puns in the future? I really REALLY kero-bout this outcome!

Advice from this old codger: if you have love, then be sure to show it every day, not just on February 14th. And now, I wait for my preferred holiday. February 15th… Cheap Candy Day!!!

See you all next time!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 by Worn_Traveler

Grime and Punishment

     Sometimes beating a game is not enough. Sometimes beating a game quickly is not enough. Sometimes the runner wants to do more with the game than just sitting down and making a crisp any% run on the default difficulty. I tend to 100% games when I play them, and I've always preferred watching 100% and low% runs. Before we get to three runs where the runner goes for more, I'd like to direct you to a more traditional run.

      Vectorman 2 is, in my opinion, a more challenging game than its predecessor. The atmosphere is more tense, the enemies seem more aggressive (it took me a long time to beat the Dream Snakes), and the world is a darker place. That doesn't stop 'TheWinslinator' from blasting, skating, dirt breaking, bug exterminating, and tanking through this game in 0:10:52 on the Cool difficulty. This run is done on the Sega Smash Pack collection for the PC so if you hear sound effects that don't sound exactly like what was coming through your TV speakers in 1996, that's why. The Vectorman games are fun to play and watch so give this one a shot if you haven't.

     When people talk about Rare, the conversation usually doesn't include Killer Instinct, or at least not the conversations I've had. I'm not good at fighting games though I do enjoy watching them being played well. Killer Instinct now has a run here. 'Reverv' doesn't just pick a character and fight his way through the other combatants. He does so on the highest difficulty level. This six star run (stars=difficulty) in 0:10:10 uses TJ Combo to use a variety of combos to punch his way to victory. Be prepared for some combo breakers too!

    While being chased around in a horror game by some monstrosity is pretty standard now, this next runner tries to do something about it in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Instead of running away whenever Nemesis appears, 'JulianManuelR' decides to stick it to Nemesis literally in this All Bosses, Low% run played on the hardest difficulty in 1:06:47. Low% means knife only so there's not a lot of killing going on here. Thankfully Nemesis is kind enough to leave briefcases after practically every encounter so our intrepid runner can keep the characters healed throughout this run. I'm not too familiar with the series so I won't say much more on this game, though I do want to play it now after watching the run.

    I am a bit more familiar with the Wario games though. I've always enjoyed the series, or at least the platformer ones with their emphasis on exploration, item collection, and in some cases having to backtrack to the start of the area. Wario Land: Shake It! allows for all of this and in this 100% run from Alex 'kirbymastah', we get to see just how complicated and convoluted achieving 100% can be. Contradictory objectives abound here, meaning multiple visits to some levels but fear not! This segmented run in 3:58:35 is worth the watch, not only to see a good game done quickly but for the strategic routing that getting 100% includes.



The SDA staff would like to call for any and all old PRC people to help with clearing a large batch of runs entering this stage of the process. New people also welcome! PRC is the final QA pass before runs are deemed ready to publish in which anything like audio desyncs or missing footage are caught insuring we never have to pull back already published runs. It doesn't require any special skills, just some time for watching the runs. Send LotBlind a private message to receive instructions.

Once these runs have passed PRC, the only thing left is to write the updates themselves! We'd like to invite anyone who's written updates in the past to see if they have the opportunity to write even just one update for the upcoming Big PushTM. All this will directly impact how long the delay from submitting to publication is for runs coming along after.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 by LotBlind

Real Men Ride Tanks to Boxing Rings

There's a kind of inverted uncanny valley-esque slot right between "this fan game shows too little effort" and "this fan game is trying too hard to be the game it was inspired by" where it becomes impossible to criticize stuff like Mega Man: Square Root of Negative One. We're not straying from the basic guiding principle when making any form of sequel though: old foundations, new house. In this case, it's either a crazy house or a haunted mansion, I can't tell. The story: The city gets attacked and "Obviously Wily is behind this". The assets: stolen (as they should be). The "Men": very very scary all of them really. I gave it a spin and fought through the only slightly campy Plant Man's stage on about 3 non-laggy frames-per-second (and my compy can run The Lemmings on Full). The boss itself would have required hopping on moving 1-block-wide platforms at peril of getting bubble transformed by those trademark Hanoi tower spikes below. I don't feel too-too bad.

'peter afro' seems to have dallied in this dale of discerning derivation (how DOES i derive actually? It's something boring like 0 isn't it?) for no longer than 0:02:31, abusing some kind of Easter egg warp teleport. Slick run all in all. Skip only doable in v. 1.2 though so don't miss your exit!

From the realm of "Men", as e.g. Metal Man, to the realm of Metal Max, the Returnage. As in Metal Max Returns. As in Metal Max Returns Returns... urr... returns to the front page today, in the same quality. Well, higher quality. More fast. Dammit, can a Man really not watch The Barber of Siberia at 2.30-o'-clock the same time maintaining flowing verbal expression at the dead-on angle? Who invented this?

The sacrifices made in order to let you know Marcus 'crazedlink00' Duchow got bored of the numbers 4 and 11 and done did improved by exactly blackjack seconds to 0:03:50. In this curveball JRPG-meets-heavy-track-vehicles, the less ambitious of us can conclude their shooting star careers (in whatever the tank was for) earlier than the Beatles were to innovations in the studio, presumably heading off to Liberty City for a bit of a rampage instead.

In a game series cool enough not to be ridiculing itself in including two, no more, no less, exclamation marks in every title's name, there was fierce competition at one point, in both Individual Levels and Single-Segment runs. Today, that's only true for one of the two. Along came 'Summoningsalt' to demonstrate to these old-time has-beens they really just needed to be paying attention. Finishing only about 43 in-game seconds ahead of any human being ever, continuing today, the living daylights are being knocked out of not just all the mangy rope-groping amateurs in the game itself, not just the has-beens, but factually every single person ever having touched an NES controller within a ten-mile radius of a copy of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, including moms wiping the dust. Not that the controller should have had any on it. This 0:15:12.14 recorded in one glorious go will wipe off any self-complacency about whatever you count as your proudest achievement faster than the spring clean at the Incredibles.

I cannot over-emphasize the blasphemous amounts of stupid the run really is. I'm actually going to directly quote sinister1's verification comment to try to get it across:

"This runner has contributed to many new and exciting strategies in this game which made an insanely low time like this a reality. After a steady progression of runs after first beating Matt Turk's original 16:59, this runner developed the highest level of consistency ever seen in this game. He has ended more runs with sub 2:30 Tysons than is conceivable. Those are big parts of the reason he has this time. This game is extremely punishing and when you get a rare opportunity when the stars align and luck like this occurs you have to be mentally strong enough to be unfazed and have the technical skills to execute at the highest level. This runner did that like a true MTPO champion.

No run is unbeatable, but this one is about as close as it gets due to the extreme luck required (I would estimate 1 in 50,000) and need for 20 or more frame perfect inputs at the very end knowing what is riding on it."

A run like this could really fill an update all by itself...

Finally, let me explain why the "ey" in "odyssey" had to be changed to the "ee" in Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. It's rather a long story. It all started when... and that's why! What? Oh sorry, this is with large skips! It skips all opportunities at fraternal solidarity too, stomping hapless mudokon slaves into the muck AND BEYOND. (Bad ending? How dare they?! I was going to come right back for you guys!). The heavily glitchy 0:13:15 by the famtastic Sam 'Samtastic' Locke still complements rather than supercedes existing runs by virtue of being on the unwieldier PlayStation version. Read the betrayer's comments for a break-down of techniques used and for his shameless shout-outs to fellow conspirators.

I'm always happy and grateful to see people, doubly so new ones, crossing the threshold into the chamber of verifications! This is, as always, something you can do after e.g. having had a run accepted yourself. Takes some effort (in some cases not really) but remember that the runs in public verification really are for anyone to take a look at.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 by Worn_Traveler

Party at Count Dracula's

     Simon and Julius Belmont were standing around the throne room of Dracula's castle, waiting for the vampire of vampires to ressurect again for the umpteenth time. "It will be a new year soon and it is time to fight again" said Simon. "You are right. It is a good thing that we can now join forces with disregard to the centuries between us to stop this maniacal demon." The clock chimed thirteen times. Julius and Simon found themselves transorted to various parts of the castle. Here beigns their adventures, in this update at least. Simon Belmont has been around since Vampire Killer/Castlevania and he gets to fight again in Castlevania: Harmony of Despair. 'Wizdaddy' plows through the DLC portions of the castle in 0:13:45.07.

     Julius Belmont theoretically has a better chance to survive in Castlevania: Harmony of Despair as he may have run into many of these enemies and bosses in Aria and Dawn of Sorrow'Wizdaddy' gives us a double shot of whiplashing Julius action, utilizing New Game+ to power through the original part of the castle in 0:07:16.00 and the DLC portion in 0:13:41.24

     Meanwhile in another world, another character is rolling through another maze like world. Remember Kula World? There's more to the game after you beat it and 'adeyblue' has rolled through these extra levels in 0:09:29 using the PAL version of the game. 

    Awesome Games Done Quick starts this Sunday, with the first game starting at 12:00 PM EDST. Make sure to catch some of this week long event if you can. You can watch live at the AGDQ wesbsite


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