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Speedrun Reward

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Speedrunning is a sport; the excitement and fulfillment one gets from going through a game as quickly as possible and competing with others for fastest time, is, for speedrunners, enough to justify hours and hours spent mastering the game they play. It's almost always done Just For Fun.

Almost.

In a lot of games, you do get some kind of bonus. This is the Speedrun Reward, a type of optional Video Game Reward that encourages players to go through a game fast. Rewards come in two major flavors: Completely Cosmetic, and Actually Advantageous.

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  • Completely Cosmetic rewards are, well, Cosmetic Awards. They may be a new, cooler ending, a single achievement, or even a few extra points for your score. Like run times, they're only there for you to show off to other players.

  • Actually Advantageous rewards, on the other hand, give you actual gameplay benefits. Generally, speedruns require you to skip most if not all optional content, which means a runner is constantly at a low level. To compensate, they're given these to be able to complete a run. And yes, even Bragging Rights Rewards fall under here, even if they're not that advantageous. These kinds of rewards usually appear as a door or chest that locks itself after a period of time.

You can get both at the same time e.g. unlocking both an achievement and a new item. In this case, the example should be placed under Actually Advantageous. If a work has two separate instances of both, the examples should be split across the two categories.

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In addition to these two categories, rewards can be a single, static thing, or can vary depending on the time you took to complete a goal.

Usually given after an optional Timed Mission, though there are cases where there is no predefined time limit.

In the case of games or mini-games or alternate game modes where going fast is already the norm and going fast is already rewarding (i.e. a Racing Game, Racing Minigame or Time Trial), if there are rewards for going even faster than the established norm; or if there are different rewards for different times, they should be noted here.

See also Gameplay Grading, which may have "completion time" as part of the considerations for grading.


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Examples:

Completely Cosmetic

  • Games with both a level timer and a score system, like some games in the Mario franchise usually grant more points based on how much time you had left after completing a level.
  • Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown awards a medal for completing the campaign mode in under 4 hours of gameplay. You can save and play through at your own pace, but the game records how long it takes from start to finish. The clock keeps ticking if you have to restart a level or a checkpoint.
  • Axiom Verge has an achievement called Overclocked for completing the game in 4 hours or less.
  • In Cave Story, if you collect the Nikumaru Counter, it records your time to beat Sacred Grounds and displays your best time on the title screen. If you can beat it in less than 6 minutes, a different character appears on the title screen, and different music plays.
  • Cookie Clicker has three shadow achievements for reaching one million cookies, in 35, 25, and 15 minutes. Since they're shadow achievements, they don't actually give you milk and thus don't give you any benefits.
  • A gold-ranked achievement in Factorio can be earned by finishing the game within 8 hours. The average gamer will take about three times as long, if not more, so you'll need to know exactly what to do in which order, and you'll have to get lucky as far as map generation is concerned so you can find good resource patches and few enemies close by.
  • The Halo series has frequently encouraged speedrunning. Starting with Halo 3, each level has had a par time attached to it. In the beginning, all this did was grant a score multiplier in Score Attack mode if you beat it, but The Master Chief Collection features unlockable achievements and in-game nameplates for beating par times, and also features additional achievements for beating each game on Legendary within three hours.
  • Hollow Knight features a trio of achievements earned for speedrunning the game. "Speedrun 1" requires completing the game in ten hours, "Speedrun 2" requires completing the game in five hoursnote , and "Speedrun Completion" requires achieving 100% Completion note  within twenty hours.
  • In Kingdom Hearts there is a trophy unlocked in the Final Mix versions for beating the game in under 10 hours.
  • Kittens Game awards the "Jupiter Ascending" achievement for completing the first space mission within a single year.
  • Throughout the Metal Gear series, you receive a codename at the end of the game, which is based on your performance throughout the game (and, occasionally, in honor of some quirky statistic). The top codenames can only be received if you complete the game within a certain time limit.
  • The Metroid franchise, particularly the mainline games, are well known for its time and completion percentage-based endings. The faster you complete a run, the skimpier Samus gets in the endings, with the best times getting you Samus in a leotard, her Zero Suit, or casualwear. Metroid: Zero Mission and the Japanese version of Metroid Fusion award images based on a combination of time, completion, and difficulty setting. Meanwhile Metroid: Samus Returns and Metroid Dread have separate galleries for both time (with each difficulty having its own set of pictures) and item collection (completing each area in the game nets you images depicting the game's backstory); the latter also foregoes the usual fanservice to instead reward artwork of key moments in previous Metroid games as part of the franchise's 35th anniversary.
    • Averted in the Prime games, which only reward alternate scenes based on completion, with 100% item collection granting an additional post-credits scene foreshadowing the plot of the next entry.
  • Ratchet & Clank frequently awards "skill points" to players who complete select portions of the game quickly, though in most games these skill points only unlock cosmetic cheats, extra videos, and artwork. The HD ports of the original trilogy also award trophies for some of them.
    • Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando has two skill points for the Hoverbike races. "Speed Demon" (which also has an accompanying trophy) is earned by beating Barlow's race in less than 2:10, which is actually impossible until the third race ("Vukovar Circuit"), as there are crucial shortcuts opened starting with this race. "How fast was that?" is awarded for beating Joba's race within 2:27, which is more feasible on the first race.
    • Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal has the five "Set a new record for Qwark" skill points, earned by completing the Captain Qwark vid-comics in a limited time. There's also "Beat Helga's best time", which is given for completing the VR gadget training course in 50 seconds or less.
    • Several skill points in Ratchet: Deadlocked are given for beating missions quickly:
      • "Speedy" - beat the Avenger Tournament's "Manic Speed Demon" in less than a minute.
      • "Look Out Below" - finish Shaar's "Whack-A-Swarmer" in under 90 seconds.
      • "Light Speed" (and "Landstalker Talkin" trophy) - complete Orxon's "Chains of Villainy" within 90 seconds.
    • Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time has the "Outta Time" skill point, awarded for beating Great Clock: Sector 1 within 300 seconds.
    • Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus has the "Clock Blockers" series of six skill points, awarded for finishing Clank's Netherverse segments within a certain amount of time.
  • One of the Steam achievements in The Stanley Parable is actually called "Speed Run". To get the achievement, the player will need to keep progressing in the game faster and faster- by submitting the code to the office elevator before the Narrator can say it and doing the ending enough times for him to automatically open the elevator door, and jumping to the platforms instead of waiting for them, you can rush the story fast enough to complete the speedrun. This only applies to the "Freedom Ending", as it's the "real" story of the game, since all the other endings involve you disobeying the Narrator at some point.

Actually Advantageous

  • The Binding of Isaac
    • Beating Mom in under 20 minutes grants access to the special Boss Rush room, giving you two choices of multiple items, before and after the rush. Each character also has an unlockable item for beating Boss Rush.
    • The Speed! challenge requires you to beat It Lives in 16 minutes, or every 10 seconds you take a half-heart of damage. On top of that, all enemies and their bullets move twice as fast. Beating it unlocks the Get Out of Jail Free card.
    • In Afterbirth, defeating Mom's Heart/It Lives in under 30 minutes grants access to The Blue Womb and the Bonus Boss Hush. You'll get four Golden Chests, a shop, and two item rooms with a choice of two items each to improve your build before the battle, and beating him unlocks more items. As of Afterbirth+, beating Hush is also needed to unlock the True Final Boss Delirium, and subsequent fights give you the only guaranteed way to access the Void.
    • In Afterbirth+, one achievement (and a new item) can only be unlocked by beating the Lamb in under 20 minutes.
    • Daily Runs have Rush bonuses, awarded to the player for clearing the Boss Rush and/or defeating Hush, each of which still have the preconditions described above.
  • Dead Cells rewards players for getting through certain levels in a short time, though the times as the game goes on do not apply individually. For instance, the first level has a 2-minute game, the next level has a 4-minute gate, then 6, etc. If you spend longer than 4 minutes in Level 1, it will not start at 0 upon entering level 2, so the player has to move through every level quickly, not just the one they're trying to clear. A player can spend time grinding for cells within each level, or they can take the guaranteed large number of cells and upgrades for finishing a level within the time gate.
  • Final Fantasy IX: The Excalibur II, Steiner's best weapon, is unlocked by reaching "Gate to Space" (the boundary between the penultimate and final dungeons) within 12 hours from the start of the game.
  • Hades:
    • The Pact of Punishment lets you jack up the difficulty in several ways in order to get bounties, items which advance the meta-progression. One of these ways is the Tight Deadline condition, which gives you a limited time to clear each region; 9 minutes for the first level, 7 for the second, and 5 for the last one. In addition, leftover time is added to the time of the next region, granting more incentive to go fast.
    • Another example exists in the form the Lambent Plume keepsake, which grants you move speed and dodge chance every time you quickly clear a room.
  • Honkai Impact 3rd: Some stages' "medals" may require you to finish the stage under certain number of seconds. Getting a medal for the first time will reward you with a few Crystals.
  • Kingdom Hearts Re:coded has plenty of trophies available for speedrunning through every world. In total there are 8 trophies available for speedrunning from the easiest ones (in 5 minutes or less) to the giant Hollow Bastion II that takes at most 30 minutes. Getting any trophy gets you a Trophy Chip that boosts yours stats. Also to get the special video of the game, you need to get at least 20 trophies which means getting all the speedrun trophies would put you almost halfway there. This is why most people suggest going for these trophies first as the game gives you plenty of options and advantages to complete the speedruns fast (Modifying difficulty, lowering health and strength of enemies).
  • Mega Man Legends normally hides its Easy Mode behind clearing Hard Mode. However, at the end of the story, Data hints that Easy Mode can be unlocked by clearing Normal Mode under a certain amount of time (roughly three hours).
    Data: Did you know that if you start a new game without cutting the power, you can try the game again at a different difficulty setting? Here's another hint...The faster you play, or the harder it is, the easier it will become...Wonder what that means? Maybe you can figure it out...
  • Phantasy Star Online 2:
    • Your performance in several Story Missions is calculated based on how fast you go. Clearing it in under a certain time will net you an S-Rank, which can earn you free Star Gems to buy boosters, cosmetics, triggers, and weapon badges.
    • Time Attack Quests encourage players to races through an obstacle course as quickly as possible. Top-ranking players can earn Star Gems and other rewards.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault:
    • Each story stage has medals that are awarded to you for accomplishing certain feats within the levels, with these medals upgrading your characters' health and abilities on subsequent playthroughs once you collect enough of them. One of the three medals is given for finishing the level within a par time.
    • There are also three par times per level which are entirely separate from the medals, and only serve to award skill points. However, one of the unlocks for getting a certain number of skill points is a toggle for infinite ammo in both the story mode and multiplayer.
  • Resident Evil: Beat the game in under 3 hours to unlock a powerful Rocket Launcher with infinite ammo.
  • Risk of Rain and Risk of Rain 2:
    • Both games have the difficulty slowly increase over time, as well as increasing after each stage. Players are incentivized to find the teleporter as quickly as possible, while gathering enough items to keep up.
    • A more standard example is the Timed Security Chest in the sequel; you have 10 minutes to get to it before it locks. It's guaranteed to have the Preon Accumulator, a powerful equipment. This is downplayed however, by the fact that the chest only spawns in one of two main variations of the third stage, making getting it a Luck-Based Mission.
  • Slay the Spire:
    • The game's scoring system zig-zags this. There are two score bonuses for completing a run within a timeframe, one for under 60 minutes and another for 45 minutes (though the latter overrides the former). These two, along with other score bonuses, help you progress towards the next level and unlock new cards and relics. However, after unlocking everything, the points stop being useful and simply just show your score.
    • Played straight by the Secret Portal event in Act 3, which lets you skip straight to the boss and end the run if you manage to get an Act 3 ? Room in under 13 minutes. Useful if you already have a good build.
  • The procedurally generated levels in Spelunky have a chance of spawning dark levels, where you have to tread carefully as you cannot see that far in front of you. However, as to not be a nuisance to speedrunners where such a level would be antithetical, beating a level in less than 20 seconds always guarantees the next one will not utilize darkness.
  • In Super Smash Bros. 64, you'll battle against Secret Character Captain Falcon if you complete 1P Game in under twenty minutes. Winning the fight unlocks him for you to play as.

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