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Speedrunning

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
While I neither have the skills or the patience to do speedrunning I know there are those Tyrants who do. I do love a good speedrunning video however, and Summoning Salt never fails to do great videos. Here's his latest, on Contra:


I'm not going to lie, when he said who'd got the original NES record I swore out loud
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
I recently joined a new discord dedicated to speedruns of a series is been neat to see how the sausage is made.

Lots of poking around through code to see how and if you can break things. All to just gain a sec or two.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
It's fascinating. For things like Mario 64 they basically break the game under their knee.

Summoning Salt did a 20 minute video on SMB level 4-2 that's just fascinating.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
Yeah, my favorite type of speedrun is when the runner or someone on the couch is explaining all the things they are doing them, why they are doing them, and how it all works in the background.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Particularly when you realise that the trick they're using needs a 1/60 of a second timing and only works a certain percentage of a time even if you do it right
 

spines

behold my godlike
(she/her, or something)
that video was really good, and sort of made me realize why i'm such a big fan of his stuff, since it kind of starts with the parts i was aware of at the time and then branches into all the super specialized stuff that came around as i was having a harder time keeping track of it all (especially as i got a little less involved in speedrunning overall, relatively, at a certain point). although i think that's context that's not necessarily obvious in these videos, that pre-srl/gdq sda was a community that wasn't exactly "competitive" in the same way; that is, there weren't a lot of people actively trying for records in the same games at the same times. granted, contra does stand out as such a demanding game that maybe it wouldn't have ever seen a big growth like some of the other nes/snes titles came to in the 2010s, but the fact that it's still presented as such an exciting narrative despite the fact that it's largely just one person at a time striving for the next height is really something.

overall i'm glad to see other documentation of that kind of history, too, since i don't know that the impressions i have are altogether accurate. i remember at first sda was a very niche thing that people thought would never be popular or garner a lot of attention, and the extent to which it's been wholeheartedly embraced in the mainstream on many levels is so cool to me.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Summoning Salt's got a load of videos, all of which are worth watching. The 4-2 one stuck out particularly to show the speed running mindset. Basically if you're running SMB and your 4-2 goes wrong you have to restart, and the level of perfection required to get a good 4-2 is almost unimaginable. Punch- Out: the quest to beat Matt Turk is another great one. Basically Matt Turk set some ridiculous times for every single boxer which everyone knew to be legit really early on and how they were all finally beaten.

Karl Jobst, a GoldenEye speed runner, is another great watch.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Not all of Turk's times were beaten: he had accomplished the best possible times for some of the fights. Man was an absolute legend.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Yeah, and he did it in the relatively early days of the internet. He was ahead of his time and clearly a phenomenal talent. He was involved with a book on Punch-Out that looks pretty nice.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
Salt's Ninja Gaiden video is also great.

Every GDC, I find myself thinking "I'm going to start learning to run Ghouls 'n' Ghosts," but I always shrink away from it, because I'm just never sure I want to spend that much time with one game.
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
I've been trying to learn the speedrun to Shivers and got into a racing community, but those guys play at another level!
 

spines

behold my godlike
(she/her, or something)
Summoning Salt's got a load of videos, all of which are worth watching. The 4-2 one stuck out particularly to show the speed running mindset. Basically if you're running SMB and your 4-2 goes wrong you have to restart, and the level of perfection required to get a good 4-2 is almost unimaginable.
ok i just watched this one today for the first time and he is truly the jon bois of frame-perfect esoterica for turbonerds. same energy and everything
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Every GDC, I find myself thinking "I'm going to start learning to run Ghouls 'n' Ghosts," but I always shrink away from it, because I'm just never sure I want to spend that much time with one game.
You should try it! Or at least spend like a solid week on it, see how much progress you can make. In the last couple of years I've found I derive more and more satisfaction from trying to improve in games that I enjoy, rather than always moving on to the next thing. I doubt I'll ever have patience or free time to speedrun a game competitively, but it might be nice to at least try learning a run to see how close I can get. One thing that's neat is that the better you get at a game, the less time it takes to complete and the less effort is "wasted" on a bad run. Nowhere near being a speedrunner of Super Metroid, but last year I got to the point where I could finish the game in a single sitting and I thought that was pretty cool. If I wanted to improve, I could feasibly play the entire game through every day for a week or two and probably see some decent results.

On a related note, I love watching speedruns of kaizo Mario games. I recently went back and rewatched the blind Kaizo race from SGDQ 2019 and it was pretty epic. They had four members on each team and the game was set up with custom sprites for each player that rotated every time they lost a life. It's not a typical speedrun, since none of them had played these levels before, but watching them figure out stuff that would take me hours to do in a few minutes is super impressive. Likewise, proper speedruns of kaizo hacks like Grand Poo World 2 are just incredible to watch if you're at all familiar with SMW. The creativity in the level design is super impressive and the players themselves are absolute monsters.

 

Kishi

Little Waves
(They/Them)
Staff member
Moderator
I started up Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels on a whim, and it occurred to me that it would be neat to record a no-miss run of it (in my favorite category, Warpless Luigi). But playing with caution doesn't look very impressive, so I thought it might as well be a no-miss speed run. This in turn led to a lot of time spent staring at other people's runs and trying to reproduce their movements in each stage. I've only practiced as far as 2-1, but it feels like it could be a thing if only I can stick with it.

(As an aside, it's kind of funny how niche it is to run this game compared to SMB1. The Luigi categories are the worst of it: Only three people are listed as having held the Warpless Luigi record, and there are only eight runs total on the board.)
 

AwkGrant

Snap, Crackle and Pop all in one physical form.
(He/Him)
ok i just watched this one today for the first time and he is truly the jon bois of frame-perfect esoterica for turbonerds. same energy and everything
Which makes sense as one of his earlier videos explicitly has a shout out to Jon Bois. It's great because I really like this format of dramatic stats based story telling.
 

Ludendorkk

(he/him)
He also inspired a variety of knock-offs usually by a specific community themselves, mostly trending towards quality
 

Destil

Red Mage
(he/him)
Staff member
Not all of Turk's times were beaten: he had accomplished the best possible times for some of the fights. Man was an absolute legend.
Yeah, and he did it in the relatively early days of the internet. He was ahead of his time and clearly a phenomenal talent. He was involved with a book on Punch-Out that looks pretty nice.
The best thing about Mat Turk’s times is that no one ever questioned them despite lack of video evidence : the amount of information he provided to the community made it perfectly clear that they were legit.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
There's a new(ish) Summoning Salt video on Mario Kart 64.


The man can tell a story incredibly well.
 

Riot.EXE

Fighting Game Enthusiast
(He/Him)

AtlasVids dropped the latest TAS for...THE IMMORTAL!

...yo, this OST is kinda fire though. Atmospheric in the right way!
 
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