Zelda-Speed-RunIn light of TheLegendofZaheer regaining the World record time for completing A Link Between Worlds (1:29:42), I would like to briefly delve into the world of speed-running video games.

Learn more after the jump!

The Zelda Speed Runs community has been keeping track of the fastest routes and world record times for completing Zelda video games for a long time. The most common category for speed-runs is Any%, which generally utilizes some glitches and errors in the game’s programming to create the shortest possible route through the game, allowing players to complete it as fast as possible. Another popular category, 100%, forces the runner to collect all items and complete all dungeons and side quests while still keeping an eye on the clock.

This all sounds much easier than it actually is in practice. Many speed runners have completed hundreds of runs of their favorite Zelda games, sometimes slightly edging out their previous best times, but more often than not the game ends in terrible dissatisfaction.

The Speed runner CosmoWright caught my attention on one of my many YouTube surfing days with a speed run of Ocarina of Time, and I have been hooked ever since. It was approximately 25 minutes long, the perfect amount of time to pique my interest and capture me for the length of the video. After that I began watching Cosmo’s runs of The Wind Waker, which ended close to 5 hours long but didn’t phase me because I love The Wind Waker so much.

ALBW-Speed-RunAfter a fair amount of time watching Cosmo run Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker, I was introduced to Twitch.tv, where live speed runs seem to take place around the clock. I tuned in to TheLegendofZaheer’s Twitch Channel and saw an amazing former world record run of A Link Between Worlds and was immediately inspired to start my own speed-run of that game. Very quickly I learned that speed-running was hard to pick up while emulating someone else’s run. Fortunately for the masses of beginners, Zaheer uploaded an ALBW ANY% speedrun Tutorial.

Currently, I am working on learning A Link Between Worlds and struggling on the Tower of Hera route, which includes a lot of skips using the Tornado Rod to jump multiple floors in succession.

Knowing what you need to know to get started, what Zelda game would you like to learn to speed run? If you are a runner, what game are you learning and what part has been the most difficult to master so far?