Some Speedrun Records Will Never Be Broken

This is what Pokemon Yellow looks like when executing a glitch that automatically takes the player to the end of the game. For certain games, like Super Mario Bros., new speedruns are constantly chiseling away at old world records, leading to friendly rivalries between players intent on retaking the title as new glitches are discovered. But a few games have speedruns that will never be improved upon.

In a recent video that dives into some of speedrunning's more arcane details, Youtuber Apollo Legend discusses three games and their respective records for completion that are here to stay.

First there's Todd Rogers' run of Activision's 1980 game, Dragster. Released on the Atari 2600, the racing game is as simple as it gets with the player driving along a straight line as a timer counts how long it takes to complete a course. Originally it was believed that the computer's fastest time of 5.54 was the theoretical quickest the game could be completed. He, however, completed it in 5.51, a time that was never been beaten, or even tied, to this day.

Then there's Pokemon Yellow, which due to some weird glitches can be exploited to auto-complete at the very beginning of the game. As a result, the best time in the any% category of speedruns, which doesn't technically require a speedrunner to complete any amount of the game before completing it, is 0:00. The exploit still requires the player to be quick about entering their actions, or else the game will record a time of 0:01, or 0:02, but when executed perfectly it remains unbeatable.

Finally, there's Club Penguin. Yes, Club Penguin, that game your younger brother or sister (or maybe even you) used to play online back before there was anything else to do online. Still, the game has had a strong on-going community ever since it was went live, creating a world both friendly and bizarre. As Disney recently announced, however, the kid-friendly MMO will soon be shut down for good. As a result, once the servers are shut down, whoever holds the world record for speedrunning the game will hold it forever.

And yes, people do speedrun Club Penguin.


Comments

    Am I the only one who completely disregards most speed runs, because so many of them use glitches etc to bypass entire areas of a game? To me, if you're completing a game, you should be completing the game, not using some cheap, hacky way of skipping 2/3rd of it and claiming you've finished the game.

      That's why there are different categories. Any%, X%, 100%... tool assisted or not... Emulated or console... no hack/cheat/glitches... no death/damage... no pickups/items...
      Heaps of categories.

      Some of the glitch completes actually do take a fair bit of skill to do and usually require precision timing. It's usually why a lot are tool assisted.

      Considering that this comes up every single time speedruns are mentioned, no. I don't think this is a unique view.

      It's also simply not the point.

      The point of a speedrun is to complete a game as fast as possible. The runners define what "complete a game" means. Some games are super glitch heavy and can be completed incredibly quickly by doing some absurd things to the game's memory and warping to the credits. Other games are just a case of being very good at the game and executing as close to perfect as the runner can. Sometimes they're the same game and simply different categories of runs (see Super Mario World which has runs that take a minute and a half and other runs that take an hour and a half).

      I personally prefer speedruns that keep within the spirit of the game. I used to run Spelunky and currently run Trauma Center: Under the Knife and Under the Knife 2. However, the super glitchfest game-breaking runs are still something that requires a lot of skill, dedication and love of the game to pull off. It's just how the runners want to play those games.

        I especially enjoy the sequence-break runs that you find in games like Metroid. The runners somehow find ways to obtain items before they should, or to skip big sections of the game by finding ways to get through the rest of the game without needing the item that was in the big section. It's then interesting to see how they manage to go on to finish the game without items that are normally required to do so.

        The point of a speedrun is to complete a game as fast as possible.

        Agreed.

        Some games are super glitch heavy and can be completed incredibly quickly by doing some absurd things to the game's memory and warping to the credits.

        That's not completing/finishing the game to me.

        Other games are just a case of being very good at the game and executing as close to perfect as the runner can.

        This is what makes someone good at a game to me. Stuff like the ridiculous Super Meat Boy runs requiring immensely precise timing and skill are impressive. Modifying the game or the systems memory in order to skip 2/3rd of the game is not.

        I personally prefer speedruns that keep within the spirit of the game.

        Me too.

        However, the super glitchfest game-breaking runs are still something that requires a lot of skill, dedication and love of the game to pull off. It's just how the runners want to play those games.

        Agree to disagree then.

          This is what makes someone good at a game to me. Stuff like the ridiculous Super Meat Boy runs requiring immensely precise timing and skill are impressive. Modifying the game or the systems memory in order to skip 2/3rd of the game is not.
          Try it yourself before dismissing how hard it is.

          Also, it really doesn't matter what you think. Speedrunners aren't doing it for your entertainment. They're doing it for theirs.

            I didn't say anything about difficulty, I said it wasn't impressive to me.

            If they weren't doing it for other people's entertainment, they wouldn't be recording and broadcasting it, and it wouldn't appear on a site like Kotaku, because there would be no value in it.

            Jesus dude, who shit in your cornflakes today?

              of course you are entitled to your opinion about the difficulty and enjoyment of completing a game with glitches BUT

              Speed running IS impressive, you seen some of those streamers complete some of those Ocarina of time glitched runs, its fucking wild, It requires precise timing and understanding of both the timings and mechanics and coding that goes into a game. You don't like when people break stuff, thats cool but as someone who constantly disassembles electronics and learns whats inside them and uses them in a way they arent intended i can see alot of simalarities. Thats where a lot of engineers and programmers get there start fiddling around with games and programs they like.

              so while you are perfectly allowed to not think it is "cool" and voice it, you are with all due respect wrong.

                Same as above, agree to disagree.

                To me, if you're breaking the game apart in order skip/glitch through chunks of it, then to me, that's not completing the game. If you're breaking it apart, finding out information on how it's built, and then using that to play through it as intended, albeit much faster than anyone else, that's impressive.

                We obviously disagree, so I guess that's the end of this conversation.

      The good news is that the speedrunning community has you covered. A lot of games have 'glitchless any%' categories that require you to beat the game as fast as possible without relying on glitches.

      There's also the 100% category for most games, which requires you to get 100% completion, something that is, generally, not possible to do if you're using glitches to skip sections of the game. Personally, this is my favourite kind of speedrun because it relies much more on skill and game knowledge than on finding glitches and skips (though a glitch that doesn't affect 100% completion is often allowable).

      Basically the speedrunning community has something for everyone!

    It reminds me of how there is a certain time that it is the fastest possible time for a human being to do say the 100m sprint.
    Wish I could remember more about it, read it a few months ago.

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