Welcome back to your bi-weekly summary of everything Zelda speedrunning! Don’t worry, this week we’re talking about actual speedruns (pardon my poor attempt at an April Fools last week), and we’ve got quite a bit to catch up on, including the games list for Summer Games Done Quick, and a brand new glitch in Breath of the Wild (yes, another one).
A brand new exploit has been found within Breath of the Wild. It stems from an even larger umbrella of glitches known as Apparatus Glitch, and allows runners to duplicate Heart Containers and Stamina Vessels, as well as creating some peculiar conditions across save-files. You can read our article on it here, and I’ll also be covering the glitch, and some other possible side effects in this article’s Glitch Exhibition, so be sure to check it out!
Speedrunner Toufool this week released an auto splitter which uses image comparison to make splitting simpler. Splits are tools which many runners use to check how their runs are going at certain points in comparison to another run, usually their personal best time. Usually these splits fall when acquiring particular items (such as the Master Sword or Bomb Bag), or after completing a dungeon or important area (like the City in the Sky). Usually these are manually triggered, however this program will allow for more convenient and consistent splits. You can find out more about the program here.
The schedule for Summer Games Done Quick 2019 has been announced. The event features a whopping 5 Zelda runs, from a The Minish Cap any% run by Quo, to a back to back Breath of the Wild and Majora’s Mask segment. The event runs from the 22nd to 29th June, and is raising money for charity Doctors Without Borders. You can view the full schedule in your own time zone here. I’ll also be running a featured interview with some of these runners nearer the time, so keep your eyes open for that!
There’s also been a brand new World Record Progression video created, this time focusing on Majora’s Mask‘s any% category. The video, created by runner FullGrownGaming, follows the record, from the original 8.5 hour run, all the way down to its current record, 1:15:59, by EnNopp112. You can watch the video in its entirety here.
This week we’re taking a closer look at the latest glitch to be found in Breath of the Wild, known as Apparatus Glitch. It’s given this name due to the method in which it is activated – using an apparatus shrine (well, those motion controls had to come in handy somewhere).
To activate the glitch, find a shrine which contains a motion control apparatus (you can use our handy interactive map) and enter it. Before we can activate the glitch itself, we need to break our camera slightly. Target so that the camera locks behind Link, then activate the camera rune and crouch at the same time. While still holding target, sidehop. You should still be in the camera view, but also able to move around freely.
In this state, approach the pedestal to control the apparatus. Take a picture and activate the pedestal at the same time. Delete the picture, and immediately open the pause menu. Choose an item for Link to hold, then quickly unpause, and pause again. Now scroll to the memory screen, and watch any collected memory.
Or, at least, select one. The memory won’t actually play. You’re now safe to unpause. You’ll notice You’re now in control of the apparatus, despite not activating the pedestal. This means the glitch is active, and you’re free to pursue whichever side effect you so wish.
But what exactly are the possible outcomes of this, and how do you activate them? Well, the most popular is the previously mentioned Heart and Stamina Duping. Before activating the glitch, head over to Hateno Village, the location of the Horned Goddess Statue. This guy will take your Heart and Stamina Vessels away from you, normally allowing you to swap between the two should you feel the need. Now, however, give up as many Heart Containers and Stamina vessels as you can, then save in front of the statue. Now go to the nearby Shrine (it’s an apparatus Shrine, how convenient) and activate the glitch. Load the save you made in front of the statue (watch out for any auto-saves), and take back as many Heart Containers (or Stamina Vessels. If you’re going for max of both it doesn’t matter which order you do them in). Head back to the Shrine and activate the glitch once more.
This time, upon reloading the save in front of the statue, you’ll find you still have all the Containers or Vessels you received from your previous attempt, but the statue still has the original number of offerings. Repeat this process as many times as necessary to reach the desired state. Once there (and this is important), trade everything back to the statue. In this current state, your extra hearts and stamina are all temporary and will disappear on quitting the game.
By transferring them back to the statue, they become validated. Once you’ve offered them all up, save and quit, then head back and take them all back out again. These are all now valid Hearts and Stamina Vessels for you to use to your heart’s content.
This discovery has launched discussion within the game’s community as to how to deal with this in categories, particularly the categories requiring the Master Sword. Previously this involved routing the fastest path through the Shrines required to reach 13 hearts, however with this new discovery, this Shrine routing would no longer be required. As it stands, the community is likely to split the categories into two, one which allows Apparatus Glitch and one which does not. When any final decision is made, I’ll mention it here.
“Duping Hearts and Stamina is all well and good, Euan, but I want more“. No worries, dear reader, I have your need for specific and mainly useless side-effects well and truly covered.
By activating the glitch, Link is automatically immune to environmental effects, leaving you free to wander around Death Mountain in the Gerudo outfit, or clamber over Mount Hylia in your pants. Whatever floats your boat. Having a food effect (such as speed or damage up) active when you warp out of the Shrine will result in this effect also carrying over to any new files.
Head for an apparatus shrine. Save, quit, then start a new game on that file. Make sure the game autosaves after the opening cutscene, but before you pick up the Sheikah Slate. Load the old file, activate the glitch, then fall into the void. Open the new Shrine of Resurrection file and let what happens happen. Once it’s happened, congratulations! You’re now free to roam around the Plateau without having picked up the Sheikah Slate, or activating the opening cutscene. As a further side effect of this, you’ll also be locked at 5:30am.
These not satisfying your itch for meaningless destruction of a video game? How about the ability to warp into a void underneath Hyrule Castle? Perhaps you’d prefer the ability to carry your champion abilities across save files, or explore Out of Bounds areas on the Divine Beasts. Not your thing? How about activating constant Death Mountain conditions, then trying to fire a bomb arrow. Come back to me after that and tell me you’re not satisfied (all of these are real glitches that come from Apparatus Glitch, and you can find out more about them here).
My spotlight this week is a notable Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask runner, with times in both games’ glitchless categories. I had a chat with him about how he first got into speedrunning, and his experience in the Zelda speedrunning community.
EC: Tell us a bit about yourself!
Zunar: My name is Zunar, I’m a speedrunner from Alabama. I mainly run Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time, but I have dabbled in other more niche games such as Trails of Cold Steel and even some obscure fanmade games like Last Legacy and Super Mario 63 (not 64, this is a different game).
EC: How did you first get into speedrunning?
Zunar: My first speedruns were of Minecraft, in a particular genre of custom maps known as “Complete the Monument”. The objective in those maps was to collect a certain amount of objectives (typically colors of wool or glass) from the specially made dungeons and areas of the map then put them down in a special area of the map called the monument. There were so many different maps it was always a really fun, unique experience. I have a couple world records for those, mostly due to how small the community is for CTM speedrunning. After a while I moved onto other games, starting with Majora’s Mask. I got my stream setup going on twitch.tv/ZunarSR, where I stream my speedruns.
EC: You’re a runner of Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time, two of the most popular speedrunning communities in the Zelda series. What’s it like being part of such busy and alive communities?
Zunar: Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time have pretty large communities, especially compared to the small Minecraft and other niche communities I was accustomed to. It was an adjustment, but not necessarily a bad one. There are lots of helpful people who answer questions and are willing to teach new runners, particularly in Ocarina of Time‘s case. Chances are if you post a question, you’ll get an answer in less than an hour. Sometimes it could take less, depending on who is online in the discord server.
EC: What draws you specifically to run these games, over others which are perhaps newer, or games with even bigger communities?
Zunar: Part of the reason why I’m most interested in Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time is due to nostalgia. When I was younger I really enjoyed messing around with the well known glitches like Infinite Sword Glitch and using Fierce Deity outside of boss battles. Ironically though my favorite categories to run are the glitchless rulesets, haha. I like seeing how much the game can be broken without using any of the major tricks. Almost like playing the game casual except fast. Two specific examples I find interesting is how glitchless any% skips slingshot, as well as completing the fire temple before entering the forest when the intended order is forest first. To me, stuff like that is so much cooler when it’s under restrictions and not just completely freeform.
On the flipside, I also like how broken the games are. It’s really cool seeing all the crazy showcase runs that are possible, like OoT 100% 3 pause and Majora’s Mask low%. Seems like every year there’s at least one new trick discovered that changes everything and keeps the games fresh. It’s hard to find games that are so broken yet are also still interesting to see when they’re played in a not broken way. That’s why I’ve stuck with them so far.
EC: Minecraft to Zelda seems like quite a jump. Do you remember how you first stumbled across the Zelda Speedrunning community?
Zunar: I don’t remember exactly how I first stumbled upon Zelda speedruns. I think it came about due to how much I liked breaking Majora’s Mask and messing around with it, then ended up finding zeldaspeedruns.com which explained the big tricks like weirdshots and hovering. At some point I ended up watching an EnNopp stream and I distinctly remember him fighting Goht and how completely floored I was that you could fight the boss that way. That naturally got me curious about how the other bosses and by extension the rest of the game. Soon after that was when I started seriously learning the game and eventually started doing runs myself.
EC: The uniqueness of “Capture the Monument” reminds me a bit of randomizers. Have you ever played a Zelda randomizer?
Zunar: I have indeed played the Majora’s Mask randomizer a few times. I’ve participated in a couple of the weekly bingo races where a group of speedrunners play the randomizer mod on a randomly generated seed and attempt to get a “bingo” by fulfilling certain goals based on the seed. Those are always really fun, though sadly I haven’t had the opportunity to do many of them due to personal reasons. I do want to do more of those however, they’re always a ton of fun.
EC: What are your plans for the future? Would you ever consider moving on to run another Zelda title?
Zunar: Plans for the future… right now I’m currently focusing on Ocarina of Time Any% Glitchless, with the intent of expanding into 100% Glitchless. After that, I’m not completely sure. I have a couple games in mind that I’m potentially interested in learning, but I haven’t solidified them yet. Super Mario Sunshine is one notable candidate, as well as Momodora and Rosenkreuzstilette. As for other Zelda games, really the only game I could see myself running in the future is Wind Waker. The 2D Zelda games just aren’t really appealing to me from a speedrunning standpoint, and the other 3D games don’t have the same kind of charm for me. I’ll fully admit that part of that charm stems from nostalgia, as I loved playing Wind Waker as a kid and played it a ton, just like with Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Wind Waker holds an extra special place in my heart though because it was one of the few games my mom liked to play as well. She loved doing the big sliding puzzles on the oasis island, and also liked to sail around the ocean and find the fish to fill in the map squares on the sea chart. If I had the hardware and such, I might consider running A Link Between Worlds in the future. Its a bit low on the list and 3DS capture hardware is kinda difficult to find, but its possible. Certainly more so than any of the other 2D Zeldas.
EC: If you could only run one category of one game for the rest of time, what would it be, and why?
Zunar: Only one category of one game for the rest of time… I’d probably quit speedrunning if I were locked into that, haha. Seriously though, I would likely pick Ocarina of Time 100% Glitchless. It’s quite a long and technical run so it would last me quite a while before I got tired of it. Getting a really good time that I’m happy with would be a long and difficult journey but would also really fun I think. I’m honestly tempted to pick regular 100% though, mainly due to how much more potential it has change. New tricks are constantly being found that change how the game is played, so it’s very unlikely the category will stagnate. Next year it may very well be a completely different run than this year. The Glitchless ruleset has much less potential comparatively, limited mainly to only some scattered timesaves like the fairly recent block skip method in Shadow Temple.
Legend of Zelda
Any%, FDS. RickyBoy_EA96 – 49:27
Traditional Dungeon Order, Glitchless, FQ. Redbirdgrad – 32:59
Traditional Dungeon Order, Glitchless, SQ. Schicksal – 38:22
Swordless. rooslugs – 35:30
One Hand, FQ. Overswarm – 37:32
Any%. No Up+A. lackattack24 – 28:17
Adventure of Link
Hammer Grab, NMG. Rovhol – 7:51
Faces of Evil
100% (Emulator). EinfachRikku – 35:39
A Link to the Past
Any%, No OoB. daotmb – 1:15:06
Helmasaur RTA. Tojso – 6:09
Link’s Awakening DX
Any% (No S+Q/WW/OoB). Sagaz – 52:24
Ocarina of Time
Any%. Torje – 17:01.566
All Songs RBA. xwillmarktheplace – 1:03:21
Phantom Ganon RTA (Child). Ciscobrown – 18:38
Glitchless, Any%. dannyb21892 – 3:40:49
All Night Mask. Avijobat – 10:34.437
Deku Mask. Saria_100 – 20:23.827
Goron Mask. ProbablyButter – 6:09.469
Gibdo Mask. EnNopp112 – 6:00.827
Garo’s Mask. Saria_100 – 11:09.610
6 Masks. dopezsr – 7:16.390
Woodfall Chest Heart Piece. williamwallace88 – 2:52.100
Grandma, 4 Giants Heart Piece. Avijobat – 13:08.530
Grandma, Carnival of Time Heart Piece. Avijobat – 12:54.037
Mountain Title Deed Heart Piece. Saria_100 – 4:03.073
Bank Heart Piece. ProbablyButter – 16:35.812
Room Key. v0lt_ – 1:23.560
3 Seal Notebook. SmashEBrada – 2:06.593
Graveyard Iron Knuckle Heart Piece. EnNopp112 – 3:49.529
Peahat Grotto Heart Piece. EnNopp112 – 1:11.939
Moon Crash. EnNopp112 – 1:15.842
Any%, Blindfolded. HyrulianKnight – 13:09:11
Milk Road Owl Statue. EnNopp112 – 52.219
Gorman Bros. Race. RicoDexter – 48.190
Mountain Title Deed. Saria_100 – 12:28.470
Notebook, 6 Seals. Avijobat – 10:35.330
Hookshot. EnNopp112 – 8:11.992
Bomb Bag. EnNopp112 – 41.241
Bomber’s Notebook. dopzsr – 1:46.913
Oracle of Ages
Any%. Sagaz – 1:32:28
Any%. Demon – 2:54:11
Ocarina of Time 3D
All Dungeons. gymnast86 – 1:32:04
Wind Waker HD
All Dungeons. Ian_Miles29 – 2:26:53
Twilight Princess HD
All Dungeons. Jaxquaid – 4:15:54
All Stamps. Jacquaid – 7:36:36
Breath of the Wild
Any%, No amiibo. sketodara1417 – 29:16.600
Any%, amiibo. Wolhaiksong – 29:10.600
AMQ, Original. keiku_yellow – 2:59:25.490
AMQ, Original, amiibo. Hotpot – 3:43:17
Master Sword, Original. Zdi – 52:05.560
Great Plateau, Any%, Bug Limit. CMFP – 24:10
Great Plateau, 100%, DLC. Midreeca – 30:13.310
2 Player 1 Controller, Any%, No amiibo. gurahamu1404 + kabosu_senpai – 55:50.700
Lots to catch up on this week, as the speedrunning calendar really starts to fill up for Spring.
RandoMania Mega Marathon 2019 – 19th ~ 21st April – Randomizers have been a staple part of the Zelda speedrunning community for a while now, so it’s no surprise that this event features a whopping 5 of them. From the original Legend of Zelda to Wind Waker, this event is sure to have something for you!
6ª Maratona Online Speedruns Brasil – 18th ~ 22nd April – Truly a worldwide endevour, the Brasilian speedrunning marathon features quite the number of Zelda runs (including Ocarina of Time twice!), plus a host of other popular titles.
Really Really Long A Thon 2.8 – 19th ~ 22nd April – The RRLaT returns with its schedule of exclusively long runs. No Zelda this time round, but runs including Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Mother 3 are sure to provide hours of entertainment.
Blast the Process 3 – 19th ~ 22nd April – Unsurprisingly, no Zelda titles feature in this Sega games marathon, however plenty of high quality games and runs are assured.
Springo Bingo – 25th ~ 29th April – Just like Randomiser, Bingo is an essential part of the Zelda community. While it does focus on this gimmick (with runs such as Super Mario 64 Bingo and, rather bizarrely, Wii Sports Resort Bingo), there are also regular runs, as well as a Adventure of Link randomiser.
Game Over Cancer 2019 – 27th ~ 29th April – This Canadian marathon raises money for cancer research, and features a whole host of different runs, including a Castlevania block, and the ever popular A Link to the Past – Super Metroid Combo Randomiser.
And finally, here’s your latest installment in Breath of the What Just Happened. This week features a brand new Monk attack strategy, which we’re calling the frozen roly-poly. Take a look
— たっちょ (@tuissu) April 15, 2019
And with that, I’ll sign off for another fortnight. In the mean time, leave any questions you have in the comments below and I’ll get back to you as quick as I can!
Euan is the host of Zelda Dungeon’s Speedrunning series, Zelda Runners. He can be found on Twitter, and he’s currently seriously considering writing a 10,000 word dissertation on Video Game Music just so he can dunk on Ocarina of Time academically.