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"Iji throws herself into the following in-game cutscene with great haste. No, his life was not worth the 15 seconds to prevent that from happening. This is a speedrun bro!"
Daniel Remar's Iji speedrun.

A playthrough of a game with the intent of completing it as fast as possible for the purposes of entertainment and/or competition.

There are two types of speedruns: "regular" and "tool-assisted".

  • Regular, a.k.a. Real time attack (RTA) - Consists of a player sitting down with an actual copy of the game and playing it normally, using only whatever features are available on the original hardware. The clock starts ticking at the beginning of the game and doesn't stop until the ending is achievednote .
    • Some regular runs are Segmented. Each segment consists of a level or group of levels. Instead of playing the entire game in one sitting, the player is allowed to get the best time possible for each segment, retrying each segment as much as desired.
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    • Sometimes, emulators are used, but only for the purpose of actually playing a game as opposed to using any of the available tools, aside from possibly any recording functions they may have. For segmented runs, some players may only use save states between segments as a method of saving time.
  • Tool-assisted (TAS) - Use emulation to play the game frame-by-frame to create the optimal time possible, often exploiting glitches and manipulating random events along the way. While they are technically possible, they will use methods that no one has the reflexes or timing to pull off with any consistency in real-time, and some of them will use control inputs that would not be available on a normal controller, such as left and right on the d-pad at the same time or in most extreme examples, using up to 8 controllers at the same time.
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In both versions, Sequence Breaking, route planning, and tight play are the key. The notion of completing a game as fast as possible is frequently an example of Emergent Gameplay (excluding those games where speed is the whole point, such as racing games).

Note that sometimes, games simply don't have any glitches to take advantage of, and the speedrun is simply a matter of knowing the best way(s) through every required part of the game.

There are also three popular subcategories: "100% run" (where the player tries to collect everything in the game as quickly as possible), "minimalist runs" or "low%" (where the player must skip all non essential items while still completing the game as quickly as possible), and the "pure speedrun", also known as "any%" or "fastest time" (where the player skips as much of the game as is needed to achieve the best time). Many a popular Self-Imposed Challenge are also up for grabs.

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Speedruns are usually created as an attempt to show off one's skills. They are not for people who want to enjoy the plot or explore the world. Due to the many methods used in speedruns, and overall design of different games, it is not a good judge of how long a game is for the average player at all; for instance, there could be exploitable bugs that are only possible to pull off in a Tool Assisted run, and others that can be done in realtime with only a great deal of dedication, skill, and luck. A specific example of this: some Tool Assisted runs use glitches that require hitting left and right at the same time, or up and down at the same time; those ones are basically impossible on any standard unmodified controller. The optimal path can be radically changed at every step based on whether or not these bugs are used.

According to the website speedrun.com, the top five most popular games in the speedrunning community as of this writing are (in order) Celeste, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8, and Super Metroid.

Popular "regular" speedrun archive sites include Speed Demos Archive and Speedrun.com. For tool-assisted, technically perfect runs, see TASVideos. For speedruns and speedrun races performed live for your viewing pleasure, head over to SpeedRunsLive. For rundowns of the history of some popular speedgames, see Summoning Salt's playlist.


Tropes associated with speedruns:

  • Anti-Climax Boss: Most bosses turn into this...
    • Curb-Stomp Battle: ...and pretty much everything else on a speedrunner's list of necessary kills is subjected to one of these, due to manipulating critical hits or using techniques to deal extra damage during bosses' vulnerability periods.
    • One-Hit Kill: If it is possible to kill an enemy this way, speedrunners usually will. This often even includes final bosses.
  • Bladder of Steel: Up to Eleven indeed, as some runs can require upwards of 20 hours or more of continuous play.
  • Broken Base:
    • TAS and real time. Within TAS, the divide between pro-ACE (Arbitrary Code Execution) and anti-ACE.
    • Speedrunners who want to play the game the traditional way aka "Glitchless runs", and those who love to exploit all manner of glitches. Neither side usually respects the other's viewpoint. Glitchless runners argue it's the way the game is meant to be played, and using a bug to warp straight to the end credits can feel very cheap. Those that reply upon them to achieve a faster time assert doing it legitimately is a tedious experience. In reality, both methods are usually hard and a real challenge to execute either way.
  • The Berserker: A non-combat variant. if a speedrunner can save time by taking damage or dying, they'll take it without fear, and likewise will liberally abuse Desperation Attacks.
  • Butterfly of Doom: Some games have a Random Number God that can cause this effect in a TAS. Even the smallest changes in the early part of a run can cause many things to go different in later parts of the run, possibly requiring everything to be reworked to accommodate the change. This is less of a problem in games that don't use RNG often, or reset the RNG seed between levels.
  • Challenge Gamer: Everyone who does this. Even easy games are very likely to have at least a glitch or two that save time and are very hard to pull off.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Expect to see runners die a lot when dying is the fastest way to refill health or backtrack to the last Check Point and Video Game Lives are no object.
  • Determinator: Some games have speedruns that are hours long, up to 8 or more, and with little to no glitches to take advantage of. The speedrunner needs to persevere through these long runs knowing what to do and where to go at all times.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect:
    • Some games tabulate points at the end of each level, which can waste precious time. Part of the strategy in these games is to know which bonuses should be avoided to achieve a faster overall run.
    • Also, some boss fights it's faster to not do as much damage as you could on the first cycle, so that the second cycle beats the boss while it's still in the first phase.
  • Dungeon Bypass: If at all possible, it will be done. A famous example is The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker's Barrier Skip, which allows for two dungeons bypassed.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Is a common way for RPG runs to end. For example, in Lufia 2 Ancient Cave, you can fail to notice the stairs and end up in a monster room, where the run dies.
  • Good Bad Bugs: May come into play, particularly in tool-assisted runs, which can make a game's protagonist look like a Reality Warper. Glitches that skip large portions of the game are sometimes made a separate category.
  • House Rules: These are often a necessity, since there are rarely any "official" rules on how speedrunning should be conducted. There is a broad range of opinions, particularly with regards to bugs and exploits and to what degree they should be allowed. Some players dislike using them, since they divest a game of its intended challenges. For others, half the fun is finding creative ways to break a game. Depending on the size of the speedrunning community for a particular game, there may be several subgroups with rules catering to the preferences of each.
  • Lord British Postulate: Exploits and Sequence Breaking are common speedrunning tools, so this trope comes with that territory. While in many games it might make the game Unwinnable, in others it can produce any number of unexpectedly advantageous effects.
  • Low-Level Run: Since Level Grinding tends to be slow, a good low-level strategy can save time.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Most games don't play out the same way every time, meaning that things often have to go perfectly to get a good time. This can make some games undesirable for realtime speedrunning, if runs are too often ruined by bad luck. For TASes, setting up the run for ridiculously good luck is all part of the challenge.
  • Luck Manipulation Mechanic: Speedrunners find everything they can, intentional or not note , as long as it ultimately saves time. TASers can make their own luck, though they might have to burn a few frames putting in inputs to get the exact outcome they want (accounting for whether those few frames will pay for themselves later is an oft-complicated process that may be subject to the Butterfly Effect).
  • Instant-Win Condition: Abused mercilessly whenever both possible and quicker.
  • Mental Time Travel (for TAS players)
  • Mickey Mousing: This is sometimes done just to entertain the player and/or viewer.
  • Mind Screw: This is common in TASes with heavy glitching or data corruption (especially if it's shorter than 10 minutes or reprograms the game), although it's not unique to tool assisted speedruns.
  • Minus World: In some games it is possible to reach out-of-bounds, Dummied Out, or developer-only areas where shortcuts, unobtainable items, and other exploits can be found.
  • No-Damage Run: Often averted — luck manipulation makes not taking damage much easier, however it's rarely a category in itself, and makes less sense in action games with characters who are resilient enough to take a few hits. Also, in games with knockback, it is sometimes possible to sequence break by deliberately taking damage in such a way that the knockback knocks you somewhere that you normally can't get to yet (e.g. you need to learn a specific ability, or it's a Door to Before from somewhere else), referred to as a "damage boost".
  • No Death Run: Simply avoiding death tends to be a large factor in completing Nintendo Hard games quickly; in games where dying saves time (see Resurrection Teleportation below), "without deaths" is often treated as a separate category.
  • Not the Intended Use: Game mechanics are often used in ways the developers probably did not intend. This goes double for TAS, which can do things that playtesters during development couldn't possibly have found, due to requiring an inhumanly precise sequence of inputs and/or a combination of inputs that would be physically impossible on a standard controller (such as pressing up and down on a d-pad at the same time).
  • Pause Scumming: For TAS players; some games are still active when paused allowing for random number manipulation, or a meta example of rapidly pausing the emulator. Depending on the game, some realtime runs can also make use of this, such as frame-buffering techniques in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time or the infamous pause damage glitch in MegaMan. The dominant rule in TAS is that the real time is what counts, whereas a better in-game time is secondary; that said, there are moments where due to in-game slow-down, the player can pause for a frame or two to make the in-game time better without affecting the real time negatively.
  • Resurrection Teleportation: In some games, dying respawns the player character at some starting location without losing the key/switch/etc. that the player died for. Runners will exploit this whenever backtracking is required; this tactic is known as "death warp".
  • Rule of Fun:
    • Most games have a few house rules on what is or isn't allowed, based on this trope, as speedrunning is ultimately about the challenge and entertainment. Exploits that make a run too easy, or rules that make it too hard, are likely to be done away with (or at least put into their own competitive category).
    • In many games, there are sequences where progression is either halted or slowed down, such as unskippable cutscenes and Auto-Scrolling Levels. To make runs more entertaining, expect to see ridiculous movement patterns (such as turning left and right rapidly or spinning around) and Good Bad Bugs if players are able to move around during these scenarios, just to kill time. Players will also joke around like this when progression is normal, but only if it doesn't disrupt their clear times.
  • Script Breaking: Runners like to avoid triggering unskippable cutscenes as much as possible, which may have some weird results.
  • Sequence Breaking: Skipping parts of the game can sometimes cut down on run time dramatically.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: A speedrunner will only listen to the Big Bad's speech if the game forces them. Otherwise, they will use any way possible to bypass, fight or kill the Big Bad before they can finish.
  • Solo-Character Run: The fastest way to run many turn-based RPGs.
  • Sprint Shoes: Usually acquired as early as practical.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: This is basically how TASes are built. Each one is a list of what buttons to press at what time (somewhat like a player piano roll) and, since all of each game's randomness depends on what the player does and how much time has passed since the console was turned on (aspects the TAS effectively controls), every game is extremely predictable.
  • Time Keeps On Ticking: Most contemporary speedruns use real-life time instead of any timer built into the game, so anything that takes up time counts, including lag frames, cutscenes, pausing, menu navigation, and more. Load times are exempted for some games, particularly on PC where these times vary depending on hardware.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Characters going through a speedrun often gain a reputation of breaking the laws of physics, and sometimes, even the universe.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Everywhere. Taking any sort of damage on purpose, dying, skipping items that would normally be required to progress, and buffing your character very early on to breeze through the rest of the game are all examples of common speedrun tactics.
  • We Do the Impossible: For TAS players.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: In TAS runs, the goal is to reach the victory screen, but the clock stops once the player is finished entering input. If you can engineer the Final Boss to do themselves in for the last part of the battle, it can shave precious time off of the run.


Examples (all links external):

  • Ace Combat has various ls where you have to take your plane through an enclosed area. So, naturally, people took the fastest plane available and went in with maximum power. Like taking "Greased Lightning" from Ace Combat 2 in the X-29 or "Aces" from Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War in the MiG-31.
  • Antichamber: Using various Sequence Breaking techniques, YouTube videos eventually surfaced showing people beating the game in less than 45 seconds.
  • This speedrun of Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura uses a lot of Sequence Breaking. It involves killing Stringy Pete, who is widely considered to be the most difficult fight in the game, within 4 minutes of starting the game. This run bypasses Stringy Pete altogether.
  • Axiom Verge caters to this by having a "Speedrun" mode that shows a continuously running timer and suppresses cutscenes.
  • Awesome Games Done Quick is a twice-yearly marathon based around speedrunners worldwide gathering together to raise money for charity. Their marathons have raised over $16,000,000 for their causes (as of 2018), and have been the cause of many great moments, most of which can be found on their YouTube channel.
  • Here is a TAS run of the SNES game based on the Biker Mice from Mars show. Possibly the fastest we'll ever see Vincent go.
  • Braid features this built into the game itself - in addition to having several timed segments of the game with par time and leaderboards, getting the final achivement, "Speed Run", involves completing the entire game in under 45 minutes. (Including the ending.)
  • Castlevania games have generally been very good for speedruns that go ridiculously faster than an average playthrough, but even the series' general high level of breakage in runs was dashed to pieces with this TAS run beating Harmony of Dissonance's Maxim mode in under 23 seconds.
    • This run shows that it is possible for a very good player to complete Maxim mode in less than a minute with a different route and knowledge of the game's quirks.
    • Richter mode in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is practically designed around speedrunning. Unlike the main Alucard game, you do not need to collect any MacGuffins to unlock areas; just race to the Inverted Castle and beat Shaft, who serves as the Final Boss in place of Dracula. On top of that, Richter has several Difficult, but Awesome moves that greatly supplement his mobility. A good Richter run clocks in at around 5 1/2 to 6 minutes.
    • This Aria of Sorrow run demonstrates the power of luck manipulation in tool-assisted speedrunning; by creating a speedrun frame-by-frame, it's possible to ensure that the Random Number God always gives you the correct number. As a result, this run completes the game while collecting all 120 of the souls — normally very rarely occuring random drops — in 24:56!
  • In Cave Story, the final Sacred Grounds level includes an on-screen timer (if you find a special item), which has the sole purpose of encouraging people to do speedruns. Various bonus pictures are shown if the player completes this within a certain amount of time. Despite the excessive amount of enemies and hazards and several gates that take five full seconds to open, people have been able to complete the level in mere minutes.
    • Iji also includes a timer for speedruns, and when new features are added, the author usually makes sure they won't affect speedruns. For example, skipping the fight with Krotera (possible from version 1.3 onwards) forces Iji to give Vateleika (offscreen) a ten-minute head-start, so speedrunners will fight instead.
  • This tool-assisted Chrono Trigger speedrun uses such a heavy Script Breaking, that the story of the game makes no sense, verging straight into full-on Mind Screw.
    • This tool-assisted run skips even that, reaching the ending in three and a half minutes by abusing sub-frame resets to turn save corruption into a science.
  • Parodied with Club Penguin banned% speedruns. As the game is mainly a kiddy social game with no endings, some players decided to parody the concept of speedruns by speedrunning the process of creating an account and banning that account by swearing in-game. The world record is currently 37.37 seconds, while a TAS pushes it to 29.1 seconds. The process also parodies many common topics in speedrunning, such as RNG (filling out the CAPTCHA), using tricks (copying and pasting into the speech bar), and Sequence Breaking (a glitch allows you to say the f-word during the startup tutorial).
  • A 43-minute world record run of the original Deus Ex (on Realistic difficulty) exploits a number of bugs and shortcuts (grenade jumping, skipping the entire first mission, glitching JC's weapons into a prison cell so he can retrieve them immediately afterwards, physics exploits, etc.) and the open-world nature of the game to get past situations that would stall most other players. The end result is that JC Denton skips most of the boss encounters, never deactivates his killswitch, has conversations with people he's never met before and blows himself up into Ludicrous Gibs right before hightailing it out of Area 51.
  • Doom has a large speedrunning community and a large range of different categories, from the standard affairs such as UV-Speed, NM-Speed, UV-Max and NM-100S, and then absolutely crazy challenges such as UV-Tyson, where you have to kill all monsters, but with the restriction that you can only attack with the fist, berserk fist, chainsaw and pistol (and telefrags) - seems reasonably challenging at first, until you realise it also includes levels such as Tower of Babel...
  • Roguelikes, being almost always turn-based, would seem to go straight against speedruning. Not so Doom, the Roguelike, which encourages the player with its Speedruner Badge series, which starts at winning in 30 minutes real-time for Speedrunner Bronze, all the way up to Speedrun Angelic Badge, that requires the player to win a Nightmare! game in less than four minutes real-time. With 24 levels to go, this means less than ten seconds per level on average, including two boss battles, in a game that is almost completely random-generated. Good luck.
  • This EarthBound run must be seen to be believed. In just over nine minutes, the player skips straight to the end by getting attacked by a crow. They don't call them "Skip Sandwiches" for nothing...
    • An alternate run features no actual gameplay for almost 3 minutes, but breaks the game much faster. Two renders of the video exist: one which makes EarthBound look more like a rhythm game than an RPG, and a more standard one.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind got thrashed in seven minutes thanks to ingenious (ab)use of the game's fast-travel powers.
    • There's also this speedrun, utterly demolishing the previous video's time in 4 minutes and 19 seconds.
  • Eversion switches to a time attack mode after you clear all the worlds. Additionally, the game starts doing a self-parody of the creepy messages that sometimes replace the "READY!" screen in worlds X-7 and X-8, with messages like "GO!", "HURRY UP", "GAME ON", and "READY! TO RACE".
  • A rare example of an RPG speedrun that actually deserves the word "speed": Fallout in nine minutes and nineteen seconds.
  • Thought that a game based off Family Feud would be without a TAS? Here's a (NSFW) one.
    • As it turns out the text parser in that game is pretty lax. As long as almost all the letters are there and they're kinda in the right order, you're golden.
  • Final Fantasy IX actually rewarded the player for doing a speedrun. Getting to a certain area in the final dungeon in less than 12 hours will net you an Infinity +1 Sword.
  • Fire Emblem has a variant called the LTC (Low Turn Count), where the goal is to complete the game in as few turns as possible. A site with several record runs can be found here. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia encourages this by giving an achievement for completing the game in 500 turns or less.
  • Freedom Planet enjoys a healthy speedrun community in the fandom. The game is considered to be fairly challenging in its own right, mind you. Lilac is the most popular character to use, but Milla is gaining steam with her slow but very technical gameplay. In Milla's case, once players mastered the recoil with her Super Shield Burst, they realized it can be used to achieve incredibly fast speeds. The game itself has an achievement for clearing the campaign in under 90 minutes, but that has been quickly cut down to faster times. The most impressive have been Lilac at 39:17.75 and Milla in 31:58.48.
  • Here's both loops of the notorious Nintendo Hard game Ghosts 'n Goblins being completed in just under 23 minutes. And here's its Super Nintendo sequel—again, both loops—in just over 42 minutes on its hardest difficulty.
  • Grand Chase features this as part of its series of Player Versus Environment quests. It's not that hard, as you're given 15 minutes to finish a dungeon.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was dominated in a single sitting of just under two hours, skipping almost half of what would normally be considered obligatory story missions and sidequests.
  • Half-Life in Half an Hour uses the "exploiting glitches" method, and also uses such tricks as trapping a scientist in a door to stop it from closing all the way and using grenades to power jumps. It has since been obsoleted by a run that managed to shave 9 minutes off the previous time.
    • This Half-Life 2 speedrun is notable in that... well, just read the comments. It exploits glitches just like Half an Hour, including bonking people with objects to make them teleport, and jumping off items you drop and grab below you to fly. Probably the best part is flying over the entire Ravenholm minus the mine area in 30 seconds, never seeing Father Grigori. A similarly wacko bit is the "Water Hazard" chapter; Gordon ditches the speedboat halfway through and glitches his way through a few miles of radioactive goo just so he won't have to wait for NPCs to attach a gun to the boat, and when the climactic battle against the chopper begins, he leaps over a dam and runs away to the next area.
      • The current world record speedrun does the Water Hazard above one better- he only uses the boat once in the whole chapter, in order to activate a cutscene trigger that the boat is necessary for. He spends the rest of the chapter on foot, using glitches to get health back (and to spawn the boat when he needs it).
  • Pretty much every Halo game has an active speedrunning community. A no-death world record run of Halo 2 is even published in the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • Holy Diver has been beaten in real-time in under 19 minutes without dying once, which is very impressive considering that the game's difficulty approaches Platform Hell.
  • Jagged Alliance 2, a single player campaign that usually takes days to play through, in less than seven and a half minutes.
  • Kingdom of Loathing's New Game+ style of play allows it to be one of the few MMORPGs that allows for speedruns - from level 1 to defeating the Naughty Sorceress, in as few adventures as possible. Players compete, share notes, and obsess fiercely over shaving adventures off of the top time. A truly speedy speedrun usually involves skills gained from 30+ ascensions, ultra-rare or archaic items, plans mapped out well in advance, and $20 or more donated to the game.
    • Hardcore speedruns remove the advantages of items and donations, but still require permed skills from many Hardcore ascensions, as well as tighter planning. Luck doesn't hurt, either.
      • They only remove the advantage from donation equipment, you still need the familiars and skills just as much if not even more so.
    • Bad Moon speedruns do put everybody on a pretty equal footing, by temporarily stripping you of those familiars and skills. There's a guide out there for reliably doing one in 12-14 days. (To compare, a 1-day speedrun has been done in regular play, though luck was a significant factor, and there are people who consistently do 4-5 day runs in Hardcore.)
    • The level of obsession this involves can get downright frightening. Some players have managed to shave their times down to two days for a Hardcore run. These also tend to be the same players who throw royal fits if any change in the game adds a single-digit number of turns to their runs.
    • The game's creator/overlord, Jick, coined the term "dickstabbers" to describe the most speed-and-score-obsessed players—supposedly, if offered the choice between sleeping with the prom queen for 10 points and stabbing themselves in the dick for 11 points, they would always choose the latter. Not surprisingly, he deliberately added similar "dilemmas" to the game; in the hedge maze near the final boss, for example, you can follow the friendly floating skull and get free items, or ignore his advice and subject your character to painful traps and monsters just to save a few turns.
  • The ultimate in luck manipulation, King's Bounty tool-assisted in under 10 seconds, with just 0.3 seconds of actual gameplay.
  • Using a save file from SaGa Frontier 2 in Legend of Mana, it's possible to get an extra weapon and break the rest of the battles wide open. This weapon can allow you to beat the final boss in 8 seconds.
  • Speedrunning is prominent in The Legend of Zelda games. Fastest 100% speedrun of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time? 3 hours, 56 minutes, 8 seconds by ZFG. Fastest speedrun, period? 17 minutes, 4 seconds.
  • In Marathon Infinity, it is quite possible to skip 4 levels in the level Electric Sheep. A speedrun video is in the making.
  • The Mega Man series is also notable for speedrunning. As seen here, assisting with tools can make 1 unrecognizable from its former self.
    • There seems to be a small trend where people try to see how fast they can beat more than one game at the same time using the same controller. Here's a TAS that features a guy beating Mega Man X 1 and X2 in about 40 minutes and another where two guys beat Mega Man 3 through 6'' in about the same amount of time.
      • The Mega Man X/X2 run has been obsoleted by this, a 100% Completion of Mega Man X, X2, AND X3 using one controller's input.
    • Time attacks on 9 are pretty impressive too as seen here. Due to weapon balancing, every weapon comes in handy even outside the boss fights, some of which are used more often and others less.
    • Mega Man 10 features time attack leaderboards and the ability to view the replays of any of the top ten times from any stage (or the whole game) from inside the game itself.
  • The Metal Gear Solid franchise also attracts a variety of speedrunners. Some examples include:
  • Metroid Prime 100% Completion in 1 hour, 37 minutes. Has since been obsoleted, but this run (which was Slashdotted) brought speedrunning into the mainstream.
    • The above is just one product of the very active Metroid speedrunning community. Among other things, every 2D game has now been beaten in less than an hour (Metroid II: Return of Samus was the last to fall). Here are a couple of the all-time classic runs:
    • Red Scarlet's 100% Super Metroid run in fifty-five minutes, a work of art that stood proudly on Speed Demos Archive for seven years, has been replaced by Christopher Hill's time of forty-eight minutes.
      • Super Metroid any% speedruns have gotten pretty ridiculous due to the discovery that several tricks thought to be TAS-only can be pulled off in real time. The current top-level runners complete the game with an item collection percentage in the low teens; that means running through Lower Norfair with a mere three energy tanks (or two, if for those feeling really ballsy), turning all battles into an intensely deadly game of chicken.
    • Biospark's 1% Metroid: Fusion run in 49 minutes with no saves. In 1% conditions, one hit is fatal for most of the game; doing this in a single-segment run is mind-bogglingly hard.
    • Metroid Prime Pinball records single board playthroughs of the bosses in this form.
    • Metroid II: Return of Samus can be glitched so severely that it starts to resemble a bad acid trip. See here for an example.
  • Mirror's Edge has this as a game mode. It even has achievements for it, and features the nigh-impossible task of completing the second level, Jacknife, in under 11 minutes. This mission takes 20 minutes on the first try. Have fun!
  • Board games are not immune: Fastest possible game of Monopoly. Thirty seconds. Seriously.
    • The fastest speedrun of all time is actually Clue, coming in at a time of 633 milliseconds. By the time you finish reading this sentence, you could've watched the run dozens of times.
    • The speedrun of the PC version is now the fastest, clocking in at a mere second!
    • Then there's this TAS of Monopoly using 4 enemies and a Gambit Roulette. Yes, the speedrunner stopped doing anything after 1 minute.
  • NASA's free game Moonbase Alpha is pretty-much a whole little multiplayer game built around the concept. The team of players has 25 minutes to repair the damaged life support systems of the lunar colony.
  • It's possible (if you know the solution to the final two puzzles) to skip just about everything in Myst. You can start a new game and be watching the ending in under a minute. Naturally this kills most of the replay value to the game, which is why the game is the only one in the Myst series to get an Updated Re-release which adds some new stuff (but it doesn't change the way to get to the ending, unfortunately). Later games in the series actually required you to do the whole game.
  • Even visual novels can get a speedrun. Here is a speedrun of trying to play though Narcissu as quickly as possible. Your TPM (tears per minute) counter will be very high.
  • Speaking of short tool-assisted speedruns, there's the entire Pokémon Yellow speedrun with 152 Pokémon caught within less than 90 seconds and with mere seconds of in-game time and by throwing away entire floors. Honored for their exploits indeed.
  • The SNES version of Prince of Persia 2 has a 11-minute tool-assisted run that shamelessly abuses glitches to the extent that the last part of the run consists mostly of the Prince running across air and through walls.
  • Punch-Out!! attracts many speedrunners, as the mechanics of the game (specifically, the patterns and weaknesses of the enemy boxers) allow for much probing of the system. Super Punch-Out in particular, due to the minor differences in system compared to the previous games, has had speedrunners get times on nearly every opponent down to ten seconds or less. Nick Bruiser, the final boss, in 9.98 seconds. (There is a faster one on YouTube, but its legitimacy is questionable.)
  • The nightmare difficulty for Quake, beaten in just under 20 minutes (a world record). Quake is one of the most-run games of all time, so the route and performance is extremely optimized.
    • Even better, a run a few years back smashing that to pieces with a Nightmare run in 12:23. The run is a segmented run, however, and while still talented, is far better than could be expected of a straight playthrough.
    • That version too has been updated to 11:30, but it hasn't been published yet (except in raw demo form). http://speeddemosarchive.com/quake/projects/qdqwavp2/
  • The game was barely out when someone decided to speedrun Resident Evil 7: biohazard with a time of 2 hours, 30 minutes, and 50 seconds.
  • Risk of Rain: If you want any chance of survival on higher difficulty settings, you pretty much have to use every trick in this book, as the difficulty steadily rises, handily indicated by a slowly filling bar on your screen, and you do not want to see what happens when it maxes out.
  • Non–videogame example: a popular activity among Rubik's Cube fans is "speedcubing," or solving the cube as fast as possible. The world record for a 3x3x3 cube stands at 4.59 seconds.
    • And there's yet another way to approach this puzzle.
    • There is also a tool-assisted run of Rubik's World for the Nintendo DS that beats the world records for 2x2x2, 3x3x3, and 4x4x4 cubes.
  • RuneScape has the quest Broken Home, which is the first quest in the game that can be completed multiple times. The player is given extra rewards if they can finish it in under 37 minutes.
  • The later Shantae games encourage this, with rewards for completing the game with 100% Completion under a few hours, or completing it under even less time but without needing to collect everything. Unsurprising, since the games were partly inspired by the Metroid series.
  • Shaws Nightmare has one with a time of 49 minutes and 10 seconds.
  • Shovel Knight has an achievement for completing the game in less than ninety minutes. This is generally approached with liberal Save Scumming after each successful completion of a stage.
  • This has understandably become almost a sport in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, with the record time for the entirety of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 being 18 minutes and 12 seconds, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles being almost completely broken by tool-assisted speedruns.
    • Especially interesting for the first Sonic Adventure game (and it's Updated Re-release), since the combination of three dimensions and lots of Good Bad Bugs has lead to some rather creative shortcuts.
    • Sonic 1 on the Genesis/Mega Drive can be beaten in less than 21 minutes, real time. Green Hill Zone Act 3 in particular is pretty funny. The huge time bonus for clearing an act in less than 30 seconds is a factor; for a couple acts it's faster to avoid it.
    • Starting with Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 if a game has achievements, one of those achievements will require completing a 1-minute speedrun of the game's first Act.
  • The Speed Gamers are a group of people who perform live, consecutive speedruns of all or most of the games in a given series. Their speedrun marathons occur about once a month and are usually used to raise money for charity. You can check when their next marathon will be on their website.
  • Unlocking one of the challenge rooms in Spelunky requires beating the game in 10 minutes or less. The game can be beaten much faster than that, though that takes at least as much luck as skill. The 2-minute mark has been broken by a TAS that severely abuses Teleportation Misfire.
  • Once you complete the game, you get an option for this in Spoiler Alert.
  • Non–videogame example: sport stacking is a similar activity, in which you stack cups into a specified stack as fast as possible.
  • Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! has an interesting double jump glitch. With that glitch, speedrunners can complete the game with 0 orbs or 40 orbs and only pay Moneybags thrice.
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast beaten in 42:27 on Jedi Master difficulty.
  • 49:09 in Super Mario 64.
    • Here's a run with 16 stars!
      • The description of the tool-assisted run which collects exactly zero stars covers the history quite succinctly:
        "At first there were 70 stars because Bowser demanded it. Then there were 16 stars because MIPS the rabbit demanded it. Then there was 1 star because Bowser's Sub demanded it. Now there are none because the viewers are impatient and demanded the game be quicker."
      • Someone has managed to pull off 0 stars unassisted.
    • But collecting 120 stars using tool assistance has produced some very interesting results and glitches. All that in just over 80 minutes.
    • And now behold a 120 star run with no TAS in only 99 minutes!
  • This run of Super Mario Bros. 3 is one of the most famous tool-assisted speedruns of all time. When it first started making the rounds the mention that it was tool-assisted was often lost in translation/reposting, which led many gamers to decry it as "fake". It has since been obsoleted by more than 35 seconds (and further obsoleted by glitch speedruns), but is still a good example of its type.
    • Speaking of Super Mario Bros. 3, it's not only possible, but very easy for a moderately skilled player to finish the game in approximately twenty minutes if they know what they're doing. It requires the player to beat the first three levels of the game, the first mini-castle, and six more levels (in World 8). Not dying helps, but twenty minutes is if you take your time.
    • Then there's the quad-run TAS of all four Super Mario Bros. NES games (original, Lost Levels, 2 and 3) with a single controller input (similar to the Mega Man example below), and it's still faster than the above-mentioned SMB3 run by Morimoto. Pressing left and right together makes Mario move to the right in some of the games but not others, a "feature" that makes such a slick quad-run at all possible.
  • Reaching Scenario 28 in Super Robot Wars Compact under 250 turns unlocks Shin Getter Robo. Also, if you clear a scenario in less than 11 turns, you can give a skill to one of your pilots.
  • System Shock 2 is a challenging sci-fi first-person shooter where resources often run scarce, especially on the Impossible difficulty. Surviving to the end requires careful inventory and skills management and a typical playthrough will run over ten hours. Or you can memorize the game layout, take advantage of speed-boosting buffs and blaze through it in less than fifteen minutes.
    • Its predecessor has been done in under ''twelve'' minutes thanks to a door/wall bypassing glitch discovered very recently.
  • There's a TAS for maxing the score in A-Type mode of NES Tetris.
  • A Touhou speedrun (or a speedrun of any fixed-pace Shoot 'em Up for that matter) is hard to find due to a. the games having fixed scrolling, meaning that only boss performance have any effect on your time and that the non-boss portions of stages are effectively Fake Longevity, and b. more popular challenges such as not dying or using bombs to escape death (a.k.a. Perfect run), pacifist runs and highscoring (where one expects the game to be finished as slow as possible in order to graze more projectiles). However, segmented speedruns of the series’ spinoff games Shoot the Bullet and Double Spoiler have been done, mainly because additional time taken grazing projectiles does not reward more points, and speedrunning more attractive as a result.
  • Warhammer Online often has fast respawn timers on Player Versus Environment enemies, good if there's competition for said monsters, but you'd better hurry up and grab/kill what you need before they're back if you're 1) alone and 2) squishy. A respawned monster can easily take out a Bright Wizard or Sorcerer who's already in a fight.
  • After beating The World Ends with You, the game allows you to record your best times for any boss you fight on Hard or Ultimate difficulty. In addition, if you return to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon during the Playable Epilogue, the Composer will challenge you to beat up 11 straight bosses as fast as possible.
  • Instances in World of Warcraft sometimes have quests requiring you to finish them or reach a certain point within a time limit, meaning that Speedruns are an actual programmed part of gameplay.
    • Not just the quests: in some of the earlier instances, most notably the Scarlet Monastery, respawns are a problem for groups that take their time, especially in the Cathedral wing, where patrols can pop up at inconvenient times. And the deity of your choice help you if you all die on the final boss, chances are all the mooks you killed on the way got better.
    • The first raid instance of vanilla World of Warcraft saw a bit of a speedrun war break out. A Norwegian guild posted a speedrun of Molten Core being cleared in 1 hour and 35 minutes. Another guild saw that and decided to do it one faster, clearing it in 1 hour and 22 minutes. Cue the Norwegians to up the ante, reducing it to 1 hour and 10 minutes. And this when 1 hour was considered reasonable for clearing the first two bosses (1 hour being respawn time of the trash leading up to it).
    • More recently, several achievements exist for completing all or a certain part of a dungeon within a time limit, such as getting from the first boss of Heroic Oculus to the end within 20 minutes.
    • Challenge Mode is entirely based around this. Completing the dungeons within the time limit will unlock special rewards, such as mounts and armor that can be transmogrified.
  • Some TAS runs get a bit ridiculous thanks to the ability to manipulate the game's memory directly to take the player right to the ending note . Demonstrated to great effect in the current standing runs of Pokémon Yellow version (1:09.63), Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (0:41.55), Super Mario World (0:41.81), Kirby's Adventure (0:35.91) and Super Metroid (7:14.75).

Alternative Title(s): Tool Assisted Speedrun, Speedrunning

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