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New GTA: San Andreas trick slashes speedrun from four hours to 25 minutes

"You know sum'n?"

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas once took almost four hours to speedrun, even in the anything-goes Any% category. But that time’s been slashed down to a blink-and-you'll-miss-it 25 minutes thanks to a new trick discovered this week. It’s a breezy 40-step thing which includes instructions like “reset if no cop bike before 7:46,” “Avoid Vending Machines,” and “just get lucky loool.” Speedrunning is good. You can see the new record-setting run below.

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The explanation was posted to Reddit by a user called Powdinet last week. “The short story is that starting [side mission] Vigilante during a certain part of the [main] mission Ryder makes the game jump to an arbitrary line of script…depending on a variable that is linked to the time since the game started. With the ability to execute any line of script code, we can warp to any mission we want.”

The mission speedrunners want, obviously, is the last one, so that they can finish it and wrap the game as quickly as possible. In order to get the game to access the right bit of script, they have to access the mission Vigilante and then cancel it between 82070ms and 82093ms after beginning the game. They do this by basing it on the in-game time of 7:46pm, but there’s no way to tell if it worked for 20 or so minutes afterwards.

There’s a lot that needs to be done – and therefore that can go wrong – during that time. Players have to complete certain missions, kill NPCs for cash, and get specific haircuts. But don’t worry too much about the specific steps. Powdinet writes that this isn’t necessarily the “optimal” way to pull off the glitch, and it will likely be improved “at some point” anyway.

“I've been searching for this kind of glitch for over 3 years on and off now,” they write. It’s currently only available on the Windows edition of the game.

The previous world record for the run only dropped below four hours five months ago, at three hours 52 minutes. Powdinet currently holds the new, 25 minute record, but with the lid so cleanly blown off there’s bound to be a rush of new attempts, and it’s only a matter of time before more refinements are made.

Thanks, Kotaku.

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