As someone who has been involved in both the StarCraft and Speedrunning communities for a while, I have seen quite a lot of overlap between the two. It makes sense that people who like to watch progamers push games to their limits would enjoy watching speedrunners do the same. Now, while there have been a few specific threads pop up from time to time, there has not been a large over-arching thread dedicated to the whole scene where people can share news, streams and other speedrunning developments which is why I have made this thread.
About the thread – the plan is to have the second post full of delicious links and info while the first is changing with news and the runs you must watch. Please check out all the links in the second post as they all deserve your attention and are the main destinations for speedruns. If you want to find out if anyone runs a certain game or what the best times are, ask in this thread and someone might be able to help you! Ask as many questions as you like so I can build the FAQ. Share runs and streams too! If someone you like is going live, talk about it! If you have any suggestions about this post, how to improve, links that we need and so on just say. I posted this while at work because I’m like that so I won’t be able to make changes until later today.
Odds are you’ll need to read the second post to understand everything in the thread.
feasel – Zelda 2, Super Mario World & bastard-hard NES Games. My favourite streamer. Duckfist – Mega Man 4, 9 & 10, Ninja Gaiden (NES) Amazing at the Mega Man Games he plays, awesome guy. PJ – Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts & terrible SNES games. PJ is funny. Coolkid – Half-Life, Mega Man X/2 & a load of other games. King of blind runs (running a game without having ever played it) Exo – See Coolkid. Can break long-standing world records with a few weeks of practice. Cosmo – The Wind Waker, Ocarina of Time. You probably know Cosmo. Runnerguy – Ocarina of Time 100%. CarlSagan – Yoshi’s Island Any% & 100%, Super Mario World TriHex – Yoshi’s Island 100%, Jet Set Radio Future Siglemic – Super Mario 64. You know siglemic. Sinister1 – Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, Ninja Gaiden (NES), Double Dragon. A really cool stream. Funkdoc – Castlevania 1-3. Another very popular streamer. Garrison – Super Metroid. Super Metroid is one of the best runs and Garrison is one of the best. Actually, watch everyone who streams Super Metroid Caleb Hart – Mega Man X, Ninja Gaiden Black Tiki – Mega Man 1-5, Mega Man X/2 Surreal – Mega Man X, Spyro, Ape Escape 2 & 3, Crash Bandicoot Dram55 – Super Mario World’s best in the west. Werster - The king of Pokémon speedrunning!
Speedrunners from TL Flicky – 3d Action games (ie. Bayonetta & Devil May Cry), Left 4 Dead (4-player co-op) CarlSagan – See above Freezard – Has current best runs for the Brood War Campaign. Also runs Left 4 Dead with me. Lee - Runs Fallout 1 & 2, Yoshi’s Island Drazerk Final Fantasy IX, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 & other JRPGS. Aylear Commander Keen 4 (battling Cosmo for WR) Raelcun Starcraft 2 Brutal & Mark of the Ninja
What is speedrunning? Speedrunning is simply completing all or part of any videogame as fast as possible. Most common is starting a new file and playing through until the credits but you can also do New Game+ runs, single level runs or 100% runs. Whatever is feasible, you can run. Even though some games don’t lend well to speedrunning it doesn’t mean you can’t run through them. Fighting games for example are usually very hard to run well and nearly all rhythm action games can’t be made any faster due to the fixed length of each section. Does this mean you can’t try and beat them as quickly as possible? Of course not, but there will be a clear limit on the rhythm-action and a limit you’ll struggle to get to in fighting games. In speedrunning though, the world is your oyster.
Got more questions? Check the FAQ below!
The Websites There are three main resources for speed runs with a few other places thrown in. Something I’d like to mention is that there is almost no bad blood between the websites and they all co-exist very well. There is a large crossover between all three websites.
Started in 2002, SDA has become famous in recent years for their charity marathons but are mainly an archive for completed runs of verified quality. It is important to note that while some runs on SDA may be World Record times, it is not a World Record website and has never claimed to be. There are some 700 runs on the website as well as a forum full of run planning, routes and so on. Linked from SDA is w00ty which is their live stream website. They also have a Twitch TV team.
SRL is much more recent and was made by a few runners who found themselves racing each other to certain goals in their games. As time went by, more and more people saw the appeal of racing and the website grew massively. There are about 1500 races a month and anyone can start them. The process is entirely run through IRC and anyone can register and join. SRL have a Twitch team and a stream section on their website where you can watch live races or non-racing streams.
TASVideos is basically the only place you should go to for Tool-Assisted Speedruns. There are a whole load of games and runs as well as a big forum. All the accepted runs have been deemed high-quality and entertaining enough for the website’s standards and is definitely worth a root around. TASVideos has never claimed to be anything other than Tool-assisted so nothing here is claimed to be human-operated gameplay, which is something you’d probably realise within two minutes of opening any run on the website.
Other Places There are a few other speedrunning related places you should know about.
The Sunday Sequence Break is a speedrunning chat show hosted on Sunday nights at 7pm EST by flicky, PJ and feasel with all the visuals handled by duckfist. It talks about the recent news in the community, new world records and features a game of the week section in which a game is covered in depth with two special guests. The show started in February 2012 and has been running once a week (which breaks for marathons) ever since. It’s not very serious. Check the archive for old episodes.
Google translate named it that, so that is now what it is called. This is the main Japanese wiki for game leaderboards. There isn’t that much cross-over between the Japanese and international runners (although this is improving) so this is about the best place to find out about what they’re up to. Bear in mind, most of these are Japanese only times so they won’t necessarily be World Records.
How do I start? It’s simple, just pick up any game you like and play through it with speed in mind. If you can finish it and want to play through again, just repeat. If not, try another game. Once you’ve done that, search the web for videos or routes for the game and try and copy them. Now it may take a while before you can pick out optimisations or start making routes comparable to the established runners but that’s just natural. I personally was an absolute mess when it came to planning routes, but now I can pick them out and learn quite easily. It just takes practice.
There’s a miss-comprehension that to be a speedrunner you have to be the best in the world at your game, which isn’t true. It doesn’t matter if it takes you 5 hours to beat Super Mario World (10:29.xx is current best time), everyone has to start somewhere. As long as you’re having fun, you can run a game. For most people, getting a competitive time is a bonus to the process. Think of it like competing against yourself.
A great way to build on this is to start racing the game with other people and learn more that way. It doesn’t matter if you lose by miles and other runners are usually very keen to help out. I would gladly teach anyone everything I know about the games I run. It’s very important to bear in mind that your run doesn’t have to be good. Improvements will come with time and if they don’t, who cares? The speedrun community is very relaxed and is all about enjoying games. There’s no secret to it, just join in and have fun.
What if I don’t want to/can’t play? Then go watch streams or videos! There are a lot of people in the speedrun community who don’t speedrun anything. They like to watch runs and just hang out in streams and whatnot. You don’t have to run a game to be a part of the community at all. Head to the SRL streams page or w00ty and just find someone to watch. If not, why not toy around with game and help out the runners? Just share what you know and contribute. No hard work required.
How do I pick a game? This is one question I get asked a whole lot and there’s a few answers which should cover all bases:
1. Pick your favourite game – Simple really, if you love a game you’re more likely to play through it a lot. If you already know a lot about it, it will make the process a lot easier. 2. Pick a popular game – If there’s a lot of people running the game, odds are there’s a lot of documentation out there with everything explained. This means you won’t have to mess around with route planning and you can just dive in. 3. Let the game choose you – I spent years trying to find a game I wanted to run through. I kept trying this and that until eventually, I just found myself running Bayonetta. It was something I didn’t plan, it just happened. 4. Pick a game that destroyed you as a child – Another common one. I know a lot of guys who only run these games that they barely finished as a kid. It’s a nice sort of revenge on the title I suppose. 5. Pick a game you like to watch – If you find yourself watching a game you own on streams all the time, pick it up and join in. 6. Play the odds – Play every game until you find one you like. This has a high-burnout rate.
This is a good time to remind you that you should initially run just for fun or to race. Starting off with the goal to submit to SDA will most likely result in you not finishing your run and just burning out on the whole scene or finishing a product you’re no-where near happy with. While SDA is not a super-serious community, the standards are very high now. You can set a goal to get a run up on SDA or beat an old time, but I wouldn’t suggest diving right in to it.
Where can I find the fastest times for Game X? This is actually a lot harder that it should be. Neither SRL nor SDA are world record websites. There are places dedicated to certain games that are up to date with times and runs that are most likely records (ZeldaSpeedRuns is an example) but not many. For new records, the best place for it is to watch The Sunday Sequence Break (I’m not kidding) or check out their link database for recent times. The Japanese have a Time Attack wiki which is something the international community could really do with and it is definitely something I am considering stepping in and making.
For now, if you want to know a best time, it’s probably easiest to just ask in this thread and I will try and find out for you or find a stream of the game and ask there. Bear in mind it can be very hard to validate the fastest times (there were some ridiculous claims made in the past) so usually we go with the fastest time on video or the fastest time from someone who is trustworthy.
How do I know if a run is Legit? Firstly, no TASer at the moment will claim that their run was done by a human. Secondly, a majority of runs are streamed now so that people can see it as it happened. Finally, most false runs will be nuked with dislikes and so on before they can spread. If you’re not sure about it, go ask someone from SRL/SDA/TASVideos or post it in the thread.
Terminology SRL have a really good terminology section, so if you’re not sure what something means, take a look here.
Last edit: 2012-07-15 09:12:07
"I was seriously looking for a black guy" - MrHoon
Ah nice one! Thanks for putting this together Flicky. Despite really enjoying watching all of these speedrun events, I often miss them, so having a thread that compiles all the main websites, info and communities is really helpful.
I do agree there are definitely some shared skill-sets between SC/SC2 players and speedrunners. The need for speed, efficiency, good mechanics and a solid plan are definitely present in both activities.
TL and SDA are permanently open tabs on my browser. Love watching them tear these games apart, watch TriHex a lot(unless he's playing JSR) and Cosmo as well. Also I've really been enjoying The Sunday Sequence Breaks.
Definitely tuning into the Monkey Marathon as well, should be fun.
-Dustin- United States. July 15 2012 08:24. Posts 499
Cool to see runs being posted and streams, that's exactly what I wanted =D
Monkey Marathon (http://www.twitch.tv/monkeymarathon) has been going really well and it's winding down over the next few hours. Breakdown is going to get really good on his 100% so keep checking him out. F-Zero GX is finishing up, then it's Monkey Ball time!
"I was seriously looking for a black guy" - MrHoon
Alabasern United States. July 15 2012 09:15. Posts 2815