What can change a nature of a man… quickly?

By Kieron Gillen on April 15th, 2008 at 3:56 pm.

I was passing through RPGCodex and noticed something you can file under either “Huh?” or “Blimey!” depending on how you’re wired. It’s a Speed run. Of Planescape Torment.

That’s the first of seven parts. Total time? 1:01:06 and he didn’t even skip the final movie. If only the resolution was a little better, then you could actually pause to read the text and have a Torment-in-miniature experience. I suppose I should get around to writing something about the joys of watching other people play games – my brother and I working through Lucasart adventures, flatmates doing Resident Evil and so on.

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22 Comments »

  1. Joe Martin says:

    Brother et tu working through lucasarts adventures?! That’s exactly what got me hooked into gaming!

    Ah, me and my brother spent five years working through Monkey Island 1 and 2, Sam and Max, DOTT – it was awesome until the inevitable bitterness set in.

    And I’m not watching that video – I’m actually replay Planescape at the moment. Fuck Pathologic!

  2. Phil says:

    Watching girlfriends playing Broken Sword part 1 is generally a good fun – got it on the GBA and managed to make it a gateway drug for three successive girlfriends. When I find one who doesn’t need help finding the clown nose, that’s the girl I marry.

    RE: Planescape – a speed run? Surely a 1 level challenge would be more in keeping with the pitiless themes of the game?

  3. Xerxes says:

    Just this weekend I was looking at my Planescape discs and thinking about replaying it.
    Still can’t believe I found this for five pounds hidden in the bargain bin of a game shop, not long after it’s release.
    Easily one of the best RPGs ever made.

  4. Brother None says:

    PS:T must be one of the worst games to speed run, ever.

    Your time is better spent reading the interview I did with MCA and McComb about the game
    http://www.rpgwatch.com/show/article?articleid=55&ref=0&id=208

    /pimp

  5. Ian says:

    My flatmate at uni was playing through Resident Evil (the “REmake” for Gamecube) and I somehow ended up spending 7 or 8 hours watching him complete most of it. I went in after a lecture and sat down and never quite got around to going and doing anything else.

    Just as well for him, too, because he was useless when it came to remembering ANY information or clues the game gave him.

    “Well I don’t know what to do now…”
    “You have to take that emblem back to the room with the statue and place it in the bottom.”
    “……..how do you know that?”
    “Because that note you read a few rooms back told you to.”
    “Oh…”

  6. Kieron Gillen says:

    None: Didn’t we link to that already at some point? I swear we did.

    KG

  7. roBurky says:

    I like that he uses immortality to get through areas quicker by dying as he walks in and waking elsewhere.

  8. Brother None says:

    KG: Yeah, a quick search reveals you linked to it once or twice in passing, and did a post on the design doc I managed to pry from MCA’s crooked, greedy fingers
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/?p=334

    I never noticed that. Good stuff, cheers.

  9. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    I stalled my first Planescape run through (I bought it a year or two ago, but it only recently rose to the top of my ‘games to play’ pile) a while back and have vowed not to uninstall it until I finish it. Really like the game, but the combat makes it a bit of a grind at times. It doesn’t help that a) I maxed out Charisma, Intelligence and Wisdom leaving me with a puny pile of hit-points and the Dexterity of a wet paper bag b) the game crashes whenever I try to deploy my (numerous, and presumably awesome) higher level spells c) some piss-poor party management has left me with one party member who is any cop in a fight and four meat-shields.

  10. EmmJay says:

    When you consider writing about watching others play, don’t leave out commentated broadcasts of games like Starcraft and C&C3 alongside the whole speedrun thing and cinematic playthroughs like this one of BioShock

  11. Mike says:

    Watching is awesome, especially for some games. In fact, some of the best game-based net content revolves around that idea.

    Co-op point-and-click is a good example, but so is floating around a LAN, pausing and watching a few players here or there. Watching two screens of UT at the same time is really mind-screwing.

    I’m in a Company of Heroes league at the moment in a small online community. It’s great to watch unexpected successes, narrow defeats, that kind of thing. For some reason, though, progaming being broadcast live doesn’t work for me. I think it’s because you don’t know those people. The person is more important than the game.

  12. Homunculus says:

    If it’s someone else playing a game you’re interested in, boy have I got a link for you.

    I’d particularly recommend Nakar’s playthroughs of Ultima 6, 7 and Serpent Isle as a particularly sociopathic Avatar and by now long-jaded companions, and the Dark Id’s epic every Resident Evil self-flagellation. Also Scorchy’s sympathetic, revealing take on Knights of the Old Republic 2 and what amounts to an extended love letter to Blade Runner. Seriously, set aside an evening, grab a hot mug of something soothing and some biccies, then treat yourself to a read.

  13. Thelps says:

    Wow, there’s something inherently oxymoronic about playing an RPG through as fast as possible. What with the emphasis on plot and story, Planescape being possibly the most extreme example I can think of, outside text-based games.

  14. The Fanciest Of Pants says:

    Something in a similar vein

    http://speeddemosarchive.com/

    One of the old hand’s at websites based on finishing crap quickly. The 7 minute morrowind run is an eye-opener D:

  15. terry says:

    The best spectator game I remember was Target: Renegade for the Spectrum. I sat agog as a friend demonstrated its revolutionary features such as levels that were larger than three screens, easily brandished weaponry, no bits where you could fall off the edge and die and most importantly the two player option [only he only had one zipstik :( ]

    Other than that TF2 is very intriguing when too bladdered to play.

  16. Jimi Hendrix says:

    an hour to complete planescape! *salute*

  17. Grill says:

    I watched one Mr K. Gillen play through both KOTOR and Fable as on good / light side when we lived together. This is probably the only situation where the good/bad choice really matters, as it meant he got to see me play through both of them as the bad guy (Fable was much cooler that way, though KOTOR had a better diverging storyline.)

  18. Dexton says:

    Me and my mates “working” through Leisure Suit Larry 1+2.

    Only game I have ever really been entertained just to watch was GTA Vice City, seeing my old University housemates spend hours trying to beat each other on the car races, evade capture for as long as possible or complete some of the more entertaining missions.

  19. Iain says:

    I tend to drop into the Speed Demos Archive whenever I’m bored during my lunch hour. The one for Baldur’s Gate is especially interesting. There are some terrific exploits he uses.

    The 7 minute Morrowind run, however, is a classic. After watching that I never really felt compelled to play the game…

  20. The Fanciest Of Pants says:

    @Iain: you really had to work at loving morrowind. For me it was wandering off into places where I really wasn’t meant to be yet, and running off with uber loot before I was one-shotted by whatever was guarding it :3

    Has anyone seen the shadow of the colossus speedrun on there? Some very impressive stunts there. I could watch that game for hours(and indeed have).

  21. KingMob says:

    I have to second the link to the let’s play archive and, while I’m at it, the forum itself.

    No matter what kind of game you’re interested in, the Let’s Play archive will have a screenshotted or video version you can watch. A lot of RPGs benefit from this – bypass the grind by letting someone else do the work, and read their often humorous commentary into the bargain.
    Ever wondered about some of those 50-80 hour experiences you no longer have time for? Find out.

  22. Fumarole says:

    Speedrunning Torment is akin to chugging fine wine.