There’s a great new site showcasing speed-runs and I can’t tear myself away from it

speedrun

“Hey! We got a world record!” is a phrase I’ve heard a lot today. I’ve been browsing Speedrun World Records, and I’m finding it hard to stop. It’s a new site dedicated to showcasing some of the more obscure world-record speedruns: you just click the ‘new run’ button to watch the fastest play through of a random game in a random category. The idea is that you’ll discover new games and runners you like, and keep track of them in the future.

I’ve spent a good number of idle hours clicking through speedruns on YouTube, but I think I prefer the random nature of this site. It’s like a Revels bag for speedruns: most of the videos are great, and then there’s the odd one where I have absolutely no idea what’s going on (or why coffee-flavoured chocolate tastes so bad).

It’s got me to enjoy watching games that I know very little about. The first video I got was a rather nonchalant run of the newly-released Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, the remake of a Sega Master System platformer from 1989. I’m amazed that anybody has learned the game’s systems so thoroughly in so little time. Here’s the video:

Then up popped a 22-second clip, and I’m still not entirely sure what happened in it. It’s the world record run for a single segment of free-to-play exploration game The Way of Life. See if you can make more sense of it than me:

The third, and the last I’ll mention, was a run of Dead Pixels, the side-scrolling zombie shoot-em-up. It’s basically 10 minutes of a man running right past hordes of enemies, but the elation at the end is incredible – the runner has been trying for the world record for over a year.

Anyway, the point is that this site is great. If you’ve got some time to kill then I’d recommend you hop on and click through for a bit. Just keep an eye on the clock, because before you know it you’ll have eaten into the time you’ve assigned to things you actually need to get done. Like write a news story, for example.

15 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    wonderingmonster says:

    I really started to enjoy watching speedruns after I discovered Games Done Quick, which does a week-long streaming charity marathon twice a year. I find it fascinating to see people get so deep into single games and completely break them to their advantage with bugs and glitches. There’s usually running commentary to explain what’s going on. I admire the practice and effort that goes into it as well as the enthusiasm, supportiveness and positivity that’s on display during the event. The next one is next week.

    • Premium User Badge

      quasiotter says:

      I also became sucked in because of these! Even did a little series of drawings based on some runs.

      I’ve done a couple of them based on tiny walking sims, and let me tell you, it’s an awful process. I don’t understand why people go through such self-torture, but I’m glad they do for entertainment purposes.

    • Doug Exeter says:

      Ive been watching em for 3 years, the organizers need to pull that stick out of their assed and let the players have fun. They have slowly but surely been sucking all the life and fun out of the event. AGDQ this year was just flat out painful to watch at lot of the time.

      It still had some high points like the Mario battle but they more or less just want the players to be robots on camera.I understand they don’t want to offend sponsors but they went too far the other way. Here’s hoping SGDQ isn’t half the snoozefest AGDQ was this year.

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      particlese says:

      A fellow commenter linked me to Let’s Play Ocarina of Time Super Wrong several weeks ago. I’m super glad I watched the whole thing, and it sounds like it’s right up your alley, so I pass it along. It’s essentially eleven 30- to 45-minute segments of Doctor Kill (no relation to Doctor Strange) and usually a chatting buddy going through the game using tons of glitches both used and not used for speed running, and the explanations rather than the run time are the main joy of it. It’s just chock full of fascinating and amusing stuff about how the game works.

      Thanks for the heads-up on the next GDQ!

      • poliovaccine says:

        This is awesome, thanks for sharing!

        Something about the whole practice of discovering glitches so they can be controlled and manipulated in predictable ways… I just feel like that’s how time travel or teleportation is gonna be accidentally discovered. And it *would* be by a guy called Doctor Kill, or Doctor Strange…

  2. noxohimoy says:

    Alien Isolation had the best speedruns, because it took years for the speedrunners to find clipping bugs, so they were forced to play the game following the rules. His speedrun community died shortly after they discovered how to cross walls and closed doors.

  3. Premium User Badge

    MajorLag says:

    If you like this sort of thing, Summoning Salt (WR: Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out) does a series on speed running record progressions: link to tinyurl.com

  4. Kitsunin says:

    It’s so mesmerizing watching someone play a game really well. AGDQ is typically the best, because active commentary takes it to another level. Of course, I can definitely appreciate that it’s really hard to have good commentary and speedrun at the same time, but I just find a silent speedrun, which most are, unwatchable.

    I wish I could like, narrow this down to just speedruns with commentary, as I’d really like to find more runners who commentate good. Even the chill chatter of SimpleFlips is enough for me, but most runners stay nearly dead silent.

  5. Premium User Badge

    fegbarr says:

    Oh, man. Anyone else click on the story based on the picture alone? I miss Freedom Force.

    • poliovaccine says:

      Oh MAN yes. My friend and I played the living shit out of that game. I never got sick of the destructible buildings, or swinging a streetlamp like a wiffle ball bat. Pretty sure I thought destructible environments would be a gaming standard after that game – actually, I’m pretty sure I’ve thought that after a few games… Populous and Red Faction: Guerilla come to mind… basically anytime a game does destructible environments of any kind at all.

    • Jazzhole says:

      Exactly! I was excited for a couple of seconds until I read the title.

    • xcopy says:

      Dammit! My heart skipped a beat, just because of this picture.
      I have hundreds of games, that I hardly play or stopped playing after a few hours.
      However, I completed Freedom Force five times! I love this game.

    • Apocsol says:

      Heartbroken. I thought it was finally happening.

  6. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    Ooo…I love watching speed runs but usually only go after a particular game that pops into my head, if the mood strikes at all. Should be a good companion for or distraction from some photo processing I need to do soon. Thanks!

  7. TekMerc says:

    Speed running is actual insanity as far as I’m concerned.

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