Rare’s 2000 shooter Perfect Dark is a classic game, building upon Goldeneye 007’s frame to create a more robust shooting experience. Speedrunners are good at finding the cracks in even the best games, and one runner has collected some of the game’s biggest skips and breakthroughs into a video, showing how some of the trickiest records were achieved.
Karl Jobst is a Perfect Dark and Goldeneye speedrunner who has achieved some amazing records. Last year, he completed Goldeneye’s Dam level in 52 seconds. The previous record of 53 seconds had lasted for fifteen years before that. So, when Jobst sits down to tell you some speedrun history, it’s best to listen. This week, he released a new video looking the top five skips found in Perfect Dark. Some of the examples are absolutely mind-blowing.
In this game, the smallest inconsistencies can have big results. For instance, players running the dataDyne Infiltration level normally needed to take a circuitous path around one of the building’s middle floors. In 2001, a runner discovered that they could open a nearby stairwell from within an elevator, as the wall between the door was somehow thin enough to allow them to open the locked door from behind.
This discovery allowed runners to rush through the floor and get back to an open exit—provided they could get there before the door automatically closed again. In another level, runners usually had to wait for a patrolling robot to deactivate lasers blocking their path, until eventually they figured out that by landing at just the right angle, they could walk through the lower laser in their way and slip through the hazard.
Jobst’s examples are testament to the ingenuity of speedrunners and provide small insight into the shortcuts and tricks that developers use when making games. For instance, why play through a lengthy NPC defence sequence when you call pull out the through-the-wall shooting Farsight gun and destroy the necessary objective from across the level?
Why bother with an elevator at all if you can slip out of bounds and just fall right down to where you need to go, completing the level in six seconds? It’s amazing what speedrunners have accomplished, and Jobst’s history lesson is a perfect celebration of their achievements.