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Speed Runs: SGDQ 2014 is over! Over $750,000 raised!

ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
edited July 1 in Games and Technology
SPEEDRUNS!

I've been vaguely aware of speedruns for years now, but it wasn't until AGDQ 2013 (more on that later) that I was really turned on to it and I've been hooked ever since.

What is a speedrun?

As the name suggests, a speed run is a game being played as fast as possible, using almost any method available in order to do it, including tricks, exploits, and glitches. Cheats are usually not used. Just about every genre and era of game has or can be run, although certain games and genres lend themselves better to the concept than others. Speedrunners demonstrate a very high level of skill, dedication, and knowledge of the games they play. What was once a very small community has opened up to something of a spectator sport due to streaming and marathons, which brings us to...

Where can I watch people speedrun games?

The speedrunning community originally revolved around a site called Speed Demos Archive, which hosts recordings of world record runs for a variety of games. SDA is pretty out-of-date and isn't a comprehensive collection of records, but does feature a number of very impressive speedruns, some of which still stand as world records today. However, most speedrunners gather on Twitch.tv and Speed Runs Live. Japanese speedrunners are often found on Nico Video. The biggest draw of watching speedruns on Twitch and Speedrunslive (SRL for short) is that they are done live, with the casters streaming and interacting with viewers as they play. There is a small collection of speedrunning "celebrities" that stream regularly and pull anywhere from 100 to 5,000 viewers at any given time. There is even a webshow on Thursday and Saturday nights dedicated to speedrunning. TAS speedruns can be found at TAS Videos.

It's a very lively community, and marathons like the aforementioned AGDQ have drawn more and more attention to the hobby each year.

Marathons

AGDQ (Awesome Games Done Quick) is a yearly event that is streamed over Twitch.tv aimed at raising money for charity. Its lasts for roughly one week and features the best speedrunners from around the world playing games and giving out prizes. AGDQ 2013 raised $448,423.27 in a single week and drew 30,000+ viewers at any given time. A smaller sister marathon, Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ), is set to start in late July. There are many more marathons, some big and some small, that happen fairly regularly.

TAS vs. non-TAS

TAS stands for 'Tool Assisted Speedrun' and refers to a speedrun in which the game is advanced frame by frame and TASers enter inputs. While this is often seen as lacking any kind of skill, in reality TASers are the ones who have extensive knowledge of the games they play, often down to the code. They are usually the ones that discover glitches and tricks which are (if even humanly possible) then copied by non-TAS runners. TAS records are almost always a great deal faster than non-TAS runs, although there are quite a few outdated TAS records that have been surpassed even by people who do not use tools.

Speedrunning categories

If you spend any time at SRL or Twitch, you'll see a lot of terms thrown around, usually defining what category the game is being run in.

Any% - Any% refers to a run in which the game is completed as fast as possible, completing only what is necessary in order to finish the game. This is in contrast to 100% and low% runs.

100% - 100% is an odd category because each game defines its own rules as to what consitutes 100%. Some games have an in-game completion display, which is what is used. In games that don't, the term varies greatly. Much of the time it simply refers to all levels and collectibles.

Low% - low% is a category where the speedrunner intentionally gets the lowest completion percentage possible - Metroid games are famous for this - and is often accomplished by what is called sequence breaking, where the player plays the game out of the intended order. As previously mentioned, there are a number of tricks in Metroid games that allow for sequence breaks where entire portions of the game are skipped entirely.

Single Segment/SS - Single segment is a category where the game is run in a single, uninterrupted session, and there is no quitting and restarting the game (this is important, as many games have save & quit abuse tricks that are faster). In single segment runs, the player cannot die or reload a save file.

Segmented - Segmented is a category in which the game is played in separate segments. This is unique because each segment can be played over and over until the optimum time is reached. Segmented runs are most often used in long games such as Final Fantasy games, but many players are beginning to run longer games in single sessions.

RTA - RTA stands for Real Time Attack, another single-session category in which everything (saving, loading, dying, etc.) is taken into account for the final time. This category allows for save & quit/reload tricks that aren't available in SS.

I want to start speedrunning, where do I start?

If you've picked a game either you believe you can run or you know has been run, the best place to start is by checking out SDA, YouTube, and if all else fails Nico Video to find an existing run. It's usually the easiest way to learn the route and the tricks/glitches. There are also websites and wikis dedicated to certain games (the Zelda games have one and there is a small wiki for the Ninja Gaiden games). If you're really desperate you can go to the SDA forums and try to bring some runners out of the woodwork. Just because a game doesn't have a big community or a recorded run doesn't mean there aren't any existing speedrunners.

I want to start streaming

I'm not the man to ask, as I don't do it at the moment. Streaming requires special streaming software, the two most common being XSplit and OBS. XSplit requires you to buy a license while OBS is free. Another important piece of software is a timer, one of the most common being WSplit, which along with XSplit and OBS can be found on this nifty page here.

What this thread is for

This thread is for general speedrun discussion, from the hobby itself, streamers and streaming, to running your own games. I'm hoping it can be a comprehensive thread for people to begin engaging in the hobby, even if it's just to watch.

Bobkins Flymo on
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Posts

  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    I used to speedrun Left 4 Dead.

    My teammates did not appreciate it.

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    SkutSkut wrote: »

    Hotarubi is a beast and held a lot of records (most of them broken). Super Metroid is down to 00:30 in-game time. The game has been really optimized in the last few months with the WR changing hands multiple times in the last couple of months.

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  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular


    ah. well. it is good to know that someone can complete a game that I spent my entire childhood and portions of my adult life trying to finish in just over 10 minutes. that is a nice thing to know.

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  • Dac VinDac Vin Reimu Hakurei sat in her shrine because she was on the internet. Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Kind of a bad timing for a speedrun thread: there's not much going on right now. All the big marathons are at least a month away (SGDQ and ESA in late July, the /srg/ marathon somewhere in June) so all we can do is follow streamers on Twitch and rewatch the AGDQ videos.

    Speaking of, if you haven't watched the Ocarina of Tome any% run, you missed something amazing.


    e: blueglass hate is not allowed, he supports every runner

    Dac Vin on
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  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Runnerguy (on the left there in the Link costume) is a monster at OoT. He is either finishing or has finished his run-through of the game blindfolded. It's totally nuts.

    OoT has some really ridiculous glitches in it. Wrong warping still confuses the shit out of me.

    Zombiemambo on
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  • DranythDranyth Surf ColoradoRegistered User regular
    Zelda:OoT Reverse Bottle Adventure (RBA) is another fun run to watch, CosmoWright has a well-explained video of an RBA run on his channel too. Cosmo is one of the co-founders of SpeedRunsLive and is mostly known for his World Record Wind Waker runs. For a while, he and his nearest rival, demoon9 were going back and forth beating each other's records but about a month and a half ago or so, Cosmo took it back and has improved the time either once or twice now and demoon9 hasn't been able to beat him just yet.

    Definitely a lot of interesting runners to watch on Twitch, AGDQ 2013 was my first to watch and it was quite an experience. Looking forward to SGDQ and I find it amusing that it's held in Denver.

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    Dranyth wrote: »
    Zelda:OoT Reverse Bottle Adventure (RBA) is another fun run to watch, CosmoWright has a well-explained video of an RBA run on his channel too. Cosmo is one of the co-founders of SpeedRunsLive and is mostly known for his World Record Wind Waker runs. For a while, he and his nearest rival, demoon9 were going back and forth beating each other's records but about a month and a half ago or so, Cosmo took it back and has improved the time either once or twice now and demoon9 hasn't been able to beat him just yet.

    Definitely a lot of interesting runners to watch on Twitch, AGDQ 2013 was my first to watch and it was quite an experience. Looking forward to SGDQ and I find it amusing that it's held in Denver.

    My favorite back-and-forth has been with Batman on the NES. First the WR was 11:10 and nobody thought it could be beaten. Then it was 10:52, and no one thought it could be beaten. Then it was 10:48, and nobody thought it could possibly get any lower.

    The WR time is now 10:19 by Dxtr and there is talk of it going down to as low as 10:05. It's crazy how just a few months and a handful of dedicated runners can optimize it to that level.

    JKKaAGp.png
  • DranythDranyth Surf ColoradoRegistered User regular
    Dranyth wrote: »
    Zelda:OoT Reverse Bottle Adventure (RBA) is another fun run to watch, CosmoWright has a well-explained video of an RBA run on his channel too. Cosmo is one of the co-founders of SpeedRunsLive and is mostly known for his World Record Wind Waker runs. For a while, he and his nearest rival, demoon9 were going back and forth beating each other's records but about a month and a half ago or so, Cosmo took it back and has improved the time either once or twice now and demoon9 hasn't been able to beat him just yet.

    Definitely a lot of interesting runners to watch on Twitch, AGDQ 2013 was my first to watch and it was quite an experience. Looking forward to SGDQ and I find it amusing that it's held in Denver.

    My favorite back-and-forth has been with Batman on the NES. First the WR was 11:10 and nobody thought it could be beaten. Then it was 10:52, and no one thought it could be beaten. Then it was 10:48, and nobody thought it could possibly get any lower.

    The WR time is now 10:19 by Dxtr and there is talk of it going down to as low as 10:05. It's crazy how just a few months and a handful of dedicated runners can optimize it to that level.

    Ah yes, he and Josh the Funk Doc were the primary two, weren't they? Crazy stuff. I've been trying to catch the Sunday Sequence Break more often on Twitch on Sunday nights, it's a pretty good way to keep up on the records being broken each week.

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Dranyth wrote: »
    Dranyth wrote: »
    Zelda:OoT Reverse Bottle Adventure (RBA) is another fun run to watch, CosmoWright has a well-explained video of an RBA run on his channel too. Cosmo is one of the co-founders of SpeedRunsLive and is mostly known for his World Record Wind Waker runs. For a while, he and his nearest rival, demoon9 were going back and forth beating each other's records but about a month and a half ago or so, Cosmo took it back and has improved the time either once or twice now and demoon9 hasn't been able to beat him just yet.

    Definitely a lot of interesting runners to watch on Twitch, AGDQ 2013 was my first to watch and it was quite an experience. Looking forward to SGDQ and I find it amusing that it's held in Denver.

    My favorite back-and-forth has been with Batman on the NES. First the WR was 11:10 and nobody thought it could be beaten. Then it was 10:52, and no one thought it could be beaten. Then it was 10:48, and nobody thought it could possibly get any lower.

    The WR time is now 10:19 by Dxtr and there is talk of it going down to as low as 10:05. It's crazy how just a few months and a handful of dedicated runners can optimize it to that level.

    Ah yes, he and Josh the Funk Doc were the primary two, weren't they? Crazy stuff. I've been trying to catch the Sunday Sequence Break more often on Twitch on Sunday nights, it's a pretty good way to keep up on the records being broken each week.

    yeah with SDA being as out-of-date as it is (not that it was ever intended to be a record-keeping site), TSSB is one of the better ways to keep up with current records.

    Cyghfer is the one shooting for sub-10:10 Batman. He is insanely (insanely) good at Gimmick for the NES. You don't have to play the game to appreciate how good he is at it, but you'll definitely appreciate it if you've played it before.

    Here it is at AGDQ 2013:

    Zombiemambo on
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    SCREECH OF THE FARGKoopahTroopah
  • SkutSkutSkutSkut Registered User regular
    SkutSkut wrote: »

    Hotarubi is a beast and held a lot of records (most of them broken). Super Metroid is down to 00:30 in-game time. The game has been really optimized in the last few months with the WR changing hands multiple times in the last couple of months.

    Got a link for the new record?

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    SkutSkut wrote: »
    SkutSkut wrote: »

    Hotarubi is a beast and held a lot of records (most of them broken). Super Metroid is down to 00:30 in-game time. The game has been really optimized in the last few months with the WR changing hands multiple times in the last couple of months.

    Got a link for the new record?

    @SkutSkut I will try to dig one up, I believe it's by Zoasty and I wanna say the RTA is 46:08

    edit: here it is, 46:05 RTA and 00:30 IG http://www.twitch.tv/zoasty/c/2181969

    Zombiemambo on
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  • SyphyreSyphyre A Dangerous Pastime Registered User regular
    The first speedrun I ever watched all the way through was the Metroid 1:03 run. (yes I know it's been far beaten now.) What that introduced me to was just how smooth speedrunners can be. No clunky-ness in them. Those are fascinating to watch.

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  • ArteenArteen I'm gonna clean up this world yet! Stop polluting!Registered User regular
    I used to watch a bunch of speedruns, especially for Metroid games. I was lucky and caught this run live during one of the SDA marathons:


    A Metroid Prime speedrun race. No commentary on the recording, unfortunately. It was exciting to watch live. They ended up reaching the final boss at the exact same time (1:27:40). Incredible.

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  • ZephiranZephiran Registered User regular
    Runnerguy pretty much runs OoT blindfolded on routine these days.

    I highly recommend this place for those who're inclined to get an overview of some of the speedrunners currently active:

    http://speedrunslive.com/

  • DelzhandDelzhand motivated battle programmerRegistered User regular
    edited May 2013


    ah. well. it is good to know that someone can complete a game that I spent my entire childhood and portions of my adult life trying to finish in just over 10 minutes. that is a nice thing to know.

    That video only goes partway through stage 3 if it's any consolation.

    Edit: Not that seeing it done in 25 really soothes the burn.



    Edit x2 combo: 18:20 is what I could never get past.

    Delzhand on
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    DasUberEdward
  • DranythDranyth Surf ColoradoRegistered User regular
    Delzhand wrote: »


    ah. well. it is good to know that someone can complete a game that I spent my entire childhood and portions of my adult life trying to finish in just over 10 minutes. that is a nice thing to know.

    That video only goes partway through stage 3 if it's any consolation.

    Edit: Not that seeing it done in 25 really soothes the burn.


    Interesting thing about this, apparently Feasel just recently got the WR on TMNT on his stream, 19:12? He's usually known for Zelda 2 runs, but lately he's been doing some other games, then he settled into TMNT and apparently got the record. Madness.

  • LanrutconLanrutcon Registered User regular
    There are some incredible Dark Souls speedruns on youtube.



    The confidence and skill these guys have is mindblowing.

    Capture.jpg~original
    Currently playing: FFXIV: ARR and Sharepoint.
  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    @Zombiemambo this OP lacks a link to the TAS Videos website. It's an archive site that provides many means of watching the content (be it video download, YouTube, Vimeo, etc).

    http://tasvideos.org/

    TAS videos are one of my favorite things ever. I know people usually go, "ugh who cares it's not actual skill," but that's not the point of watching them. The point is really to see the crazy shit that can happen to a game when it's essentially deconstructed and/or glitches / errors are taken advantage of. The most impressive TAS videos are pretty much always going to be NES / Sega / SNES era stuff, though on occasion newer generation games happen to have some coding gaps or another that will allow for the same style of craziness. TAS Videos actually has an icon that labels the best stuff for people new to TAS' and it's pretty accurate - just click the Movies tab and then the console you want, all those tagged videos will appear (though be sure to also check out the "All" button next to a console, there's WAY more games / videos).

    Anyway, as for speedruns and me, my claim to 'fame' is beating Super Metroid with a 100% run in 38 minutes. Sadly, not recorded, and not the fastest non-TAS run ever, but I'm proud of it.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    Here's a very brief TAS I enjoy.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog (6/15/14)
    SCREECH OF THE FARG
  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Feasel just got the new WR for Ninja Turtles on the NES, 19:12.

    @Henroid yes I did, I'll add it to the OP.

    Zombiemambo on
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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    Another two favorite TAS videos. Gradius (max speed upgrades and full of dancing the ship around dangerously):



    International Super Star Soccer Deluxe - This one is hysterical. It'll start off fairly slow but it quickly picks up pace. Four words - "OH NO, OWN GOAL?"

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog (6/15/14)
  • DelzhandDelzhand motivated battle programmerRegistered User regular
    edited May 2013
    ha ha ha what the fuck

    edit: oh my god the score actually decreases

    I won't spoil the ending, but that's definitely worth watching. More of a bug exposition than a speedrun but still amazing.

    Delzhand on
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    Henroid
  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    My favorite TAS is Super Mario World in 1m39s:


    This is not an altered copy of Super Mario World. It requires 8 controllers to perform.

    Zombiemambo on
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  • ZephiranZephiran Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Super Mario World has a number of delightful glitches, and these days they even use some of the really exotic ones in actual runs if I remember correctly.

    Like the one where you trick Yoshi into spawning yourself a magic ball and end the level early.

    This is one of my personal favourite Super Metroid TAS tricks: overwriting the memory of the console by phasing through the roof and floor in a loop with the X-Ray scope until you can glitch through scenery. The TAS doesn't even fight Mother Brain!

    Zephiran on
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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    My favorite TAS is Super Mario World in 1m39s:


    This is not an altered copy of Super Mario World. It requires 8 controllers to perform.

    Hahaha what the hell.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog (6/15/14)
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  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Henroid wrote: »
    My favorite TAS is Super Mario World in 1m39s:
    http://www.yout ube.com/watch?v=HHErkex2tXg

    This is not an altered copy of Super Mario World. It requires 8 controllers to perform.

    Hahaha what the hell.

    There's an item in the game that triggers the end credits, but it never actually spawns anywhere. Certain actions cause changes in the hexcode responsible for what items spawn where, so basically what he's doing is manipulating the hexcode so that the object that triggers the credits pops out in a specific location.

    Zombiemambo on
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  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    What the FUCK. Ninja Turtles beaten in 25 mins?

    I am in the business of saving lives.

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    DasUberEdward
  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    Henroid wrote: »
    My favorite TAS is Super Mario World in 1m39s:
    http://www.yout ube.com/watch?v=HHErkex2tXg

    This is not an altered copy of Super Mario World. It requires 8 controllers to perform.

    Hahaha what the hell.

    There's an item in the game that triggers the end credits, but it never actually spawns anywhere. Certain actions cause changes in the hexcode responsible for what items spawn where, so basically what he's doing is manipulating the hexcode so that the object that triggers the credits pops out in a specific location.

    No I understand what it is that's being done, it just always looks silly when it's being executed. :P

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog (6/15/14)
  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote: »
    Henroid wrote: »
    My favorite TAS is Super Mario World in 1m39s:
    http://www.yout ube.com/watch?v=HHErkex2tXg

    This is not an altered copy of Super Mario World. It requires 8 controllers to perform.

    Hahaha what the hell.

    There's an item in the game that triggers the end credits, but it never actually spawns anywhere. Certain actions cause changes in the hexcode responsible for what items spawn where, so basically what he's doing is manipulating the hexcode so that the object that triggers the credits pops out in a specific location.

    No I understand what it is that's being done, it just always looks silly when it's being executed. :P

    I think it's worth explaining just to show how much effort actually goes into a good TAS run.

    JKKaAGp.png
    Turkey
  • Dac VinDac Vin Reimu Hakurei sat in her shrine because she was on the internet. Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    In the same vein, here's the Mega Man TAS, currently my favourite one:



    Same tricks as in the Super Mario World TAS. At one point you can hear the game itself screaming for mercy.

    Dac Vin on
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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    That TMNT speed run blew my mind. Someone practiced a lot because that game is the devil. Though I was pleased to see that one point in stage 3 where he jumps up to a high platform instead of climbing around to it - I used to do the same thing as a kid.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog (6/15/14)
  • DelzhandDelzhand motivated battle programmerRegistered User regular
    That blew my mind. I know I tried that several times as a kid and couldn't make it...

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  • SkutSkutSkutSkut Registered User regular
    I used to mess around with the idea of speed running Resident Evil 2, had Leon A down to 1:20:xx.

    and I know it's not legit because severe bug abuse but isn't it possible to beat Super Metroid in like, 10 minutes game clock with time beam abuse? Probably even lower.

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    SkutSkut wrote: »
    I used to mess around with the idea of speed running Resident Evil 2, had Leon A down to 1:20:xx.

    and I know it's not legit because severe bug abuse but isn't it possible to beat Super Metroid in like, 10 minutes game clock with time beam abuse? Probably even lower.

    If you can pull off executing bugs at will when playing normally, it's legit.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog (6/15/14)
    Zombiemambo
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote: »
    SkutSkut wrote: »
    I used to mess around with the idea of speed running Resident Evil 2, had Leon A down to 1:20:xx.

    and I know it's not legit because severe bug abuse but isn't it possible to beat Super Metroid in like, 10 minutes game clock with time beam abuse? Probably even lower.

    If you can pull off executing bugs at will when playing normally, it's legit.

    I don't think the game clock is what counts though

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  • RonaldoTheGypsyRonaldoTheGypsy Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    I think my favorite TAS runs are a boy and his blob (which is really just breaking the game, super hard)

    And the non-warp link's awakening one just to show how easily glitched out the whole game is.

    EDIT: Also, in the interest of GOTTA GO FAST

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  • SkutSkutSkutSkut Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Henroid wrote: »
    SkutSkut wrote: »
    I used to mess around with the idea of speed running Resident Evil 2, had Leon A down to 1:20:xx.

    and I know it's not legit because severe bug abuse but isn't it possible to beat Super Metroid in like, 10 minutes game clock with time beam abuse? Probably even lower.

    If you can pull off executing bugs at will when playing normally, it's legit.

    I don't think the game clock is what counts though

    I think, in Super Metroids case at the very least, they use both. SDA is if there's an ingame clock that can't be messed with (say making the time 00:00) use that, if not use real time, the speed run for Super Metroid linked uses both it looks like.

  • VeritasVRVeritasVR Registered User regular
    Dac Vin wrote: »
    In the same vein, here's the Mega Man TAS, currently my favourite one:



    Same tricks as in the Super Mario World TAS. At one point you can hear the game itself screaming for mercy.

    ahhhhAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!

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    Let 'em eat fucking pineapples!
    Reynolds
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