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Speedrunner uses VR to crawl under Half-Life: Alyx levels in real life

Speedrunning often involves a lot of running and jumping but that usually takes place in game, which is impressive enough. During this year’s Summer Games Done Quick marathon, Half-Life: Alyx speedrunner “Buffet Time” goes full on gaming athlete by actually crawling on the ground to glitch through floors and walls. It’s a feat you really need to see for yourself.

Apparently this is the first time that a VR game has been run during GDQ and Buffet Time absolutely kicks it off with a show. More than one glitch he uses to bypass sections of Alyx involves getting down on his hands and knees to trick the game into changing his location in the world.

During one section, Buffet crouches down on the ground, uses an accessibility option to make his character stand up, and then stands back up in real life to turn himself into a giant capable of climbing over parts of the level. In another bit, Buffet gets down on his hands and knees to glitch through the floor and then crawls back and forth to make his way across space, eventually popping up elsewhere past a locked hatch.

It’s mesmerising, truly. My eye normally wants to pay attention to the gameplay screen to understand what’s happening but I can’t look away from Buffet Time’s camera. He crouches, stands, crawls, and shuffles. It’s as much a well-choreographed dance as any other speedrun is, made twice as impressive by the fact that he’s using his body to do parts of it.

There are plenty of other fun tidbits about Alyx in the run as well. Apparently “gates in this game are a suggestion” because you can yank your way through them without actually shooting the locks off as you’re meant to.

You can catch the rest of Buffet’s run from the beginning and also hear him explain how he got into speedrunning Alyx in his interview before the run.

As ever, GDQ is a charity marathon. This summer, donations benefit Doctors Without Borders.

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