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Video Game / Speedrunners

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Developed by Double Dutch and published by Tiny Build Games, SpeedRunners is a four-player, fast-paced, 2D action game that integrates concepts from the platforming and racing genres. The goal is simply to outrun your competitors until they are unable to stay within the moving camera, while also avoiding the deadly borders. The objective is easier said than done, as not only are there numerous obstacles, but there are also plenty of power ups designed for hectic, competitive gameplay that can mean the difference between first and last place. The game was released on Steam on August 26th, 2013 and finally exited Early Access on April 19th, 2016.


SpeedRunners provides examples of:

  • Acrofatic: Subverted with The Falcon, he only looks heavy with his bulky costume. Played straight with Burger, who is noticeably overweight but can run with the best of them.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: The camera will automatically start following whoever is in the lead, but only to an extent. If anyone is too far away from the leader, they will be eliminated.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: SpeedRunner's grappling hook is always on the arm facing the camera, same goes for characters who run with items like the Scout or Moonraker.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: In the XP System, leveling up will sometimes unlock new skins for certain characters.
  • Angrish: Hothead speaks nothing but pure anger. It's unclear whether he's really angry, in pain from being on fire continuously or both.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • All of Cosmonaut Comrade's title cards are in accurate Russian, including his Steam trading card. Translating them reveals most of his lines are either references to drinking Vodka or dealing with depression.
    • Luc Jadore as well, but in French. He occasionally uses English instead, though.
  • Blatant Burglar: Jailbird, one of the many unlockable characters who either wears the classic black & white striped outfit with domino mask or a more modern orange jumpsuit.
  • Bookcase Passage: Part of the "Mansion" race course is a bookcase that swings aside as the runners approach to reveal the next part of the course.
  • Building Swing: Each player gets a grappling hook they can use on surfaces marked with solid white lines. Grappling tends to be faster than running.
  • Burning with Anger: Hothead, not big surprise.
  • Celebrity Endorsement: In-Universe with SpeedRunner promoting a fictitious beverage called "BoostaCoke" on a billboard in some maps. The Youtuber characters existing in the game with their own title cards reading "Let's Play Some SpeedRunners" could qualify as an out-of-universe example.
  • Chummy Commies: Cosmonaut Comrade fills this role to an extent, although he's just another competitor in the Speed Runners competition.
  • City of Adventure: Every map takes in New Rush City.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: The game includes many different characters with their own appearances and animations, but they all play identically, so that any player can use whatever character they prefer the look of and it is only player skill that determines the outcome.
  • Crate Expectations: Subverted, crates in SpeedRunners are nothing more than tripping hazards. There is an item that allows you to drop three crates of your own.
  • Deadly Walls: If you touch the borders of the screen, you're out.
  • Death Throws: Happens whenever a runner hits a laser or a spike with lethal obstacles turned on. They're back in the race by the very next round.
  • Destructive Savior: Applies to just about everyone in the SpeedRunners competition, as the "Jumping The Shark" and "Rise of the Falcon" comics reveal that while these so-called "Heroes" do good deeds, they tend to cause more destruction at crime scenes than good.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Many levels include a split between a safe route and a hard route. The hard route requires tricky use of momentum to reach, but either contains boosters and item boxes or a significant shortcut, nearly guaranteeing the elimination of other players. On the other hand, the safe route includes a lever that will close the shortcuts in the hard route, making it worth taking if you think you can reach it before the other players reach the shortcut.
  • Double Jump: All runners have this ability. Some of them have animations showing them activating a jet pack or some other device, but others appear to be just that athletic.
  • Easter Egg: Secret characters can be selected by typing special commands in the in-game chat:
    • /gangbeast gets you a... GangBeast.
    • /hoxton, /dallas, /wolf, and /cloaker give you the respective Payday2 characters.
    • Missingno from Pokémon is hidden within the game files. There's no way to unlock him without messing with game files, in which case he shortly crashes your game.
  • Energy Weapon: There are laser obstacles in the game, which will kill anyone who touches them.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Veloci-T-Rex.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Dr. Smart, who is a a gorilla dressed like a TV doctor.
  • Excuse Plot: The Origins story deals with the titular hero SpeedRunner stopping a bomb plot set by Mad Scientist Stalnik. The current story mode mainly consists of different runners challenging SpeedRunner at his own game.
  • Expressive Mask: Any of the masked runners in general. Taken to the extreme with Hothead whose mask may or may not be their real face.
  • Expy: SpeedRunner himself looks like a combination of Batman and The Flash.
  • The Faceless: Nobody knows (or probably ever will know) what Cosmonaut Comrade looks like behind his glass dome helmet. Same applies to Fort Knight with their box helmet.
  • Flaming Hair: Hothead, naturally.
  • Funny Animal: Salem the witch cat and possibly Neko. Also Buckshot, who may or may not be an Uplifted Animal.
  • Furry Confusion: In his comic, it's revealed that one of Buckshot's rooms is full of mounted deer heads. It's a little unsettling knowing that he's a stag.
  • Gratuitous French: Most of Luc Jadores quotes and title cards are in French.
  • Gratuitous Russian: All of Cosmonaut Comrade's title cards are in Russian.
  • Great Detective: Gil is revealed to be this in the "Jumping the Shark" comic, who has taken it upon himself (with encouragement from The Falcon) to go undercover and participate in the SpeedRunners competition in secret to put a stop to SpeedRunner and his competitors.
  • Guest Fighter:
    • Two Youtuber DLC packs have been released with characters such as Linkara and Markiplier to promote the game, with each pack belonging to a different team. The sales featuring the winning team will be donated to cancer research.
    • Also, The Scout is a playable runner.
    • Dallas, Wolf, Hoxton, and the Cloaker are now playable by typing their name in as a chat command on the character select screen.
    • A Gangbeast from the game Gang Beasts is also playable by typing /gangbeast into the chat.
    • And now in an update with Suspiciously Specific Denial, the runner from QWOP is playable by typing /qwop into the chat on character select.
  • Harmless Freezing: The Freeze-Ray will temporarily slowdown/stop opponents in a solid block of ice, but will not kill anyone directly.
  • Homing Projectile: The Missile Powerup which also has Boomerang Comeback. It can be avoided either by dropping crates in the middle of its path, exploiting the terrain and even running past other players to use them as shields.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Buckshot's whole motivation for challenging SpeedRunner is this, as he's bored with being top of the food chain.
  • Instrumental Weapon: Salem uses her broom as a guitar for her taunt.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: The Invincidrill, which allows players to temporarily breeze through obstacles and plow through opponents.
  • Irony: Buckshot, a runner who looks like both a deer and a hunter.
  • It's Personal: As revealed in the Rise of the Falcon Trailer, the runner known as the Falcon was a chicken farmer who swore vengeance on SpeedRunner when said runner refused to help him put out a house fire.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns: Moonraker's taunt features this, however whether it's loaded is debatable.
  • Jump Physics: All runners can jump high, Double Jump, Wall Jump, fall any distance without taking damage, and change direction in midair, but cannot grab onto ledges to help themselves up if they fall short.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Every runner who isn't completely masked has a face like this, even Moonraker.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Even though some racers such as the TF2 Scout, Moonraker and Skullduggery carry weapons when they run, they never use them against the other racers.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Starting to become this with the ever-expanding roster of characters to select from, and that's not even including the alternate skins!
  • Mad Bomber: Stalnik, the main antagonist of the Origins story mode. There's no explained reason why he's trying to blow up New Rush City.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The Shockwave powerup, which creates a spherical Area of Effect sonic boom that can destroy missiles, slow down opponents and reflect fireballs.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Maps such as Industry, Powerplant and even the Library have spikes and other hazards. May be justified since they're retrofitted for the SpeedRunners Competition.
  • Nominal Hero: SpeedRunner in a strange sense, as he seems to care more about being able to run quickly than any actual heroic work. The in-game comics show that his running damages crime scenes, getting in the way of law enforcement, and the bombs he can use are causing panic among civilians, casting further doubt on his title of hero.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: The way Veloci-T-Rex stands and moves suggests that she's a real theropod dinosaur and not just a human in a suit; nevertheless, her profile picture shows her with distinctly human female chest development.
  • One-Hit Point Wonder: In Origins Mode, taking any kind of damage will result in a restart.
  • Opaque Lenses: The Falcon's eyes are hidden behind rectangular spectacles that shine in his victory pose.
  • Palette Swap: Most of the runners have alternate versions that have their own names and color schemes but otherwise the same appearance and animations.
  • Punny Name:
    • Skullduggery, the skeleton with the shovel.
    • Buckshot, an anthropomorphic deer who carries around a hunting rifle.
  • Raygun Gothic: Moonraker was designed like this to deliberately invoke a sense of Zeerust. Cosmonaut Comrade may qualify as well.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: PewDiePie wears a pink princess costume.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Manekae Neko gives off this impression, although he may be a Killer Cat considering that he/she competes just as aggressively as the rest of the competitors.
  • The Rival: The Falcon to SpeedRunner. Not only was he ignored by the SpeedRunner in his time of need, he's appalled by how he uses bombs to overtake opponents in his obsession with speed. He ultimately challenges SpeedRunner to a race where the loser is exiled from New Rush City in the last level of the story mode.
  • Rocket Jump: The Bomb item can be detonated immediately after being placed, providing you with a small speed boost.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Moonraker is revealed to be the queen of the moon in the distant future in the "Race Against Time" comic, however in an odd example She is only seen competing in the speedrunning competition.
  • Say My Name: The Falcon in the Rise of the Falcon Trailer when SpeedRunner refuses to help put out a housefire, instead deciding to run away.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The in-game comic "A Race Against Time" reveals that Moonraker joined the SpeedRunners competition by using a one-way means of time travel to defeat SpeedRunner so that her future won't be plagued by the Falconeers. Thanks to the player, this plan is doomed to fail. To be fair, it's not clear whether this is a bad thing: the only thing the Falconeers are shown actually doing in the comic is preventing people from speedrunning, and subsequent comics suggest that they may have a point.
  • Sherlock Homage: Sherlock Bones, a massive pit bull in a Sherlock Holmes style suit.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Skull for a Head: Skullduggery.
  • Smug Super: Even if he doesn't have superpowers, SpeedRunner is determined to keep his title as "the fastest man alive", and won't forget to remind you about that.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: The background music changes when the borders start closing in.
  • Spikes of Doom: One of the many hazards encountered on harder maps, and they can be lethal depending on the game settings.
  • Super Speed: Downplayed, even though there are speed boosts and the SpeedRunners are naturally gifted runners, it's implied that none of them have superpowers.
  • Stylistic Suck: As part of an April Fool's Day update, players can change the settings on the graphics to render the game in a poor-man's NES, EGA or Gameboy style reminiscent of Pac-Man Fever.
  • Swiss Army Gun: Moonraker's raygun has been shown to function as a grappling hook and a freeze ray throughout the game, comics, and trailers.
  • Token Girl: Moonraker, who seems to pride herself on this proclaiming, "There's only one chick in this race!" Later averted, as several female characters have since been added, making her title card a bit of an artifact.
  • Unsound Effect: Happens whenever players use powerups on each other or accomplish something like "SUPER SPEED!"
  • Violation of Common Sense: Players can actually use the bomb powerup to propel themselves for an extra boost. They can also fire missiles at ceilings right in front of them to slow down other players, or even propel themselves forward.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: After one player is eliminated (or if a certain amount of time has passed without anyone being eliminated), a bomb goes off, causing the borders of the screen to gradually cave in. Granted, they don't close all the way in.
  • Wall Jump: Possible with specially marked walls. Most courses have at least one section that can only be navigated by wall-jumping up it.
  • With My Hands Tied: Jailbird does the entire run with her hands cuffed behind her, but is dextrous enough to still use grappling hooks and other items just as effectively as any other character.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: Subverted, while the Golden Grappling Hook powerup can be used to pull yourself ahead of any opponent in front of you while stopping them in their tracks, it can be dodged by ducking or exploiting the terrain.


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