Tagged With speedrunning

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Yesterday, a thread full of conversations between a handful of speedrunners gained traction on Twitter. Said to be screenshotted from a private Discord, these conversations included derogatory comments about women as well as transphobia and antisemitism.

After some initial hesitation, speedrun charity organisation Games Done Quick said last night that these streamers will no longer represent them at events.

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Breath of the Wild players have always taken advantage of the game’s wonky physics, either in speedruns or for fun. It’s one thing to ride on stasis-launched trees, but it’s way more fun to shoot across Hyrule Field with a good head stomp. A new glitch allows just that, letting players gain tremendous speeds and blast off if they shield jump onto an enemy at the right angle.

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Is there anything so satisfying to watch as a well-played Mario speedrun? What makes an expert run of Super Mario Bros. so eminently watchable, and how do the players master their moves so perfectly? It turns out that the answer to both questions could be "music."

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The original Super Mario Bros. is tightly optimised, as far as speedruns go. Runners have been shaving off milliseconds using highly-skilled play and glitches, all in the hopes of someday reaching a theoretically perfect run.

Previously, this was only achievable using special programs, but yesterday, a runner did what some people thought impossible, matching those computer-assisted performances with nothing but grit and skill.

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In September of last year, Caleb Hart first streamed a completionist run of Final Fantasy VII. The PS1-era JRPG is notoriously involved, filled with hyper-difficult extra bosses and complicated sidequests. When it released in 1997 it shocked people by being too big to fit on one disc, instead requiring three. In recent weeks though, Hart has redoubled his efforts to marathon the game in all of its glory, in the process managing the herculean feat of doing everything in the game in a record-breaking sub-21 hour sitting.

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Ori and the Blind Forest is a beautiful metroidvania game where players progress through different areas and unlock new skills along the way. Each new skill gives the player new movement options that open up new areas and let them explore all the nooks and crannies of previous areas.

The Ori Randomiser mod takes that, mixes it all up in a giant bucket and spits it back out in a new way to explore.

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The last month has seen some dramatic changes to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time speedrunning, especially in the completionist category. A handful of newly-discovered glitches and shortcuts have blown open the doors on what was previously thought possible. One of the scene’s most accomplished players has managed to combine them to achieve some incredible new world records.

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Most players will take days to complete The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, but speedrunners do it much faster. Thanks to a year full of new discoveries and attempts by hard-working runners, The Wind Waker HD has been completed, for the first time ever, in under an hour.

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Old school Nintendo fans dealt with a ton of challenging games, but Battletoads was one of the toughest. The third level contains the dreaded “turbo tunnel”, a long hoverbike gauntlet that wrecked careless players and grizzled experts alike.

Yesterday, a speedrunner not only completed it without losing a single life, but while blindfolded.