Hello! Welcome back to your regular installment of Zelda Speedrunning news, breakthroughs, and records. In the next few paragraphs, I’ll be introducing you to the latest game-breaking glitch to be discovered in Breath of the Wild, and later in the article, we’ll be taking a closer look at some techniques used in Link’s Awakening DX to shave off those all important seconds.
As mentioned, a huge discovery has been made in the latest entry to the Zelda series, Breath of the Wild. Currently known as Shield Clipping, the technique allows players to clip into terrain such as cliff faces or shrine walls, both inside and out. By activating a glitched state known as a skew, performing a shield jump will cause Link to glitch off in a certain direction during the jump. This skew allows player to clip Link through collision, although doing so weakens the effect of the skew, making the next all the more difficult.
As this is a relatively new discovery, the community are still working hard to utilize it to its full potential. One of the biggest time saves discovered so far is the ability to clip into Shrines. While this might not present itself as particularly useful to begin with, it actually has two major uses. The first is the ability to clip into one of the 4 Shrines found on the Great Plateau, before activating the Tower (Shrines are usually inaccessible before this). This allows any% runners to skip raising the Tower, and head straight for the magnesis Shrine (in longer categories, the Tower isn’t skipped, but is only raised after runners have completed the 4 Plateau Shrines and collected the Paraglider). The second use of this is skipping the Shrine Quest “The Perfect Drink” – a quest found in the Gerudo Desert, requiring a lengthy side quest to unlock. This technique allows players to skip this quest, saving roughly 5 minutes.
The trick isn’t exclusive to clipping into Shrines though, it can also be used inside Shrines themselves, allowing runners to skip the lengthy Tests of Strength in the All Shrines category.
The glitch also has various other uses, some of which are more useful than others. For example, runners have found it possible to clip out of the Shrine of Resurrection at the very beginning of the game, but doing so locks the overworld time at 6:15AM, making the trick useless in runs which have time sensitive requirements, such as the
Blood Moon Shrine quest. It can also be used to clip into the Yiga Hideout, which could save around 5 minutes. The glitch is still in its early days, so stay tuned for any further advancements!
Slightly over-shadowed by the above breakthrough, but nonetheless impressive, a new Ocarina of Time any% world record has been set! The 17:04 time was submitted by runner Torje, who takes back the record by 3 seconds, from skater82297, who held the previous record for 7 months. The infamous category never seems to lose popularity, with 9 new times submitted to the leaderboard in the last 2 weeks! You can see Torje’s run here.
This week in Glitch Exhibition, we’re taking a look at some glitches in a 2D adventure, Link’s Awakening DX. The first may be familiar to serial readers of this article…
Ever collected a bomb drop and thought “Gee, I sure wish there were double the bombs in a bomb drop”? If you have, then you’re in luck, because Link’s Awakening contains an exploit just for you. In executing a Drop Dupe, players can collect double the materials, be it Rupees, bombs, etc. from a single drop.
To collect an dropped item in this game, Link must touch the item with his own sprite, or the sprite of his sword or shield. When an enemy or a bush drops an item, this item goes through a bouncing animation, during which it cannot be collected. By positioning Link so that, at the end of this bouncing animation, the drop is touching both his sprite, and the sprite of his sword or shield, the drop is collected twice. There are two methods of pulling this off.
The first is known as the Bushes Method. This relies on a drop from destroying a bush. Slash the bush from above or below it, begin to charge your sword or hold your shield out and move towards the drop. If done correctly, the drop will be collected twice. This method is by far the easier of the two, however bush drops are less likely than enemy drops.
The second is known as the Enemy Method. After killing an enemy, charge your sword or hold your shield out, and walk towards the enemy’s death animation. While the drop is bouncing, position Link so that the drop lands around the middle of his sprite. This method is much more difficult to carry out, and is ultimately luck based as to whether or not it works, however enemies are much more likely to drop items than bushes.
Another glitch often used in Link’s Awakening DX runs is Bomb Triggers. Placing a bomb before and/or a transition will trigger certain cutscenes, which can be used to skip animations, duplicate even more items, and skip lengthy parts of sidequests.
The trick can be used to skip the animation of the Owl multiple times throughout the run, instantly triggering his textbox instead. It can also be used to destroy some of the pillars in Eagle’s Tower quickly, provided certain conditions are met. Another big time save provided by this glitch is the ability to skip large chunks of the Trade Sequence. Using a Bomb Trigger, the runner can receive both the Hibiscus and the necklace without requiring any previous items in the sequence.
Our focus this week turns to a Wind Waker Randomizer player, Wooferzfg. I had a chat to the former runner of the game about his experience, both within the speedrunning community as a whole, and the randomizer community.
EC: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Woofer: I’ve done runs of The Wind Waker, Pac-Man World 3, A Hat in Time, and some indie games. I’ve been a fairly competitive runner in all these games, but I’m most proud of the new strategies and routes that I’ve developed in them.
EC: You take part in a lot of Randomizer races and runs. Tell us a bit about Randomizers, and why you enjoy them so much.
Woofer: Randomizers give you a very different experience every time. They give you the suspense when opening a chest that you haven’t had since your first playthrough of the game. They also make the experience much more open and streamlined since much more of the game world is accessible from the start and most cutscenes are removed. These changes work especially well for The Wind Waker because the original game seemed like it was meant to be open world – defeating certain enemies or destroying certain objects can be done with several different items, and the entire game takes place in one big sea. However, trying to do things out of order in the original game (with glitches) would usually crash or softlock the game, and there were a lot of restrictions on where you could go at some points in the game. All of these restrictions were removed in the randomizer.
Even though I’ve mostly just been playing through the game for fun rather than doing races, my favorite part of playing the randomizer is having to figure out my route on the fly, and I often challenge myself to use tricks and glitches in order to access new locations earlier or with fewer items. The Wind Waker’s Randomizer’s logic is glitchless, though, which means that anyone can play through the entire game without having to know any complex strategies, while more knowledgeable players can incorporate these strategies into their runs.
EC: You’ve also run a few non-Zelda titles, like Pac-Man World 3 and A Hat in Time. How do these games’ communities compare to the Zelda speedrunning communities?
Woofer: The most interesting thing about the Zelda speedrunning community compared to the communities of other games I’ve ran is the huge focus on the science of the game. There are some people in the community (CryZe, Dragonbane, TrogWW, SageOfMirrors, LordNed, and many more) who focus almost entirely on understanding the game through experimentation or memory hacking rather than doing runs. A lot of the work that these people did was used by LagoLunatic to make The Wind Waker Randomizer possible.
EC: Your Twitter mentions you as a developer of Livesplit, a tool used by numerous runners to time their runs. What brought you to develop such a tool, and what’s it like seeing it on almost every speedrunner’s Twitch streams?
Woofer: I started developing LiveSplit in November 2013 after using a bunch of other speedrun timers and not really liking any of them. I believe that the main reason it became successful is because CryZe started working on it with me from almost the very start. His ideas and design decisions made LiveSplit more maintainable and customizable than any other timer, and it became much better than what I had originally planned.
EC: With an almost unbreakable logic, do you think randomizer is a good way of advertising Wind Waker, and pulling in people who wouldn’t otherwise take an interest in the game?
Woofer: I think The Wind Waker Randomizer is the best way to play the game casually. There’s tons of replay value, and it also includes some improvements from The Wind Waker HD such as the Swift Sail. You might be missing out on the story, but every other aspect of it is incredibly fun. My first time playing A Link to the Past was a randomizer playthrough and my friend’s first time playing The Wind Waker was a randomizer playthrough. I’m not sure we would’ve ever finished those games otherwise!
EC: If you could only run one category of one game for the rest of time, what would it be, and why? (Rando is an option too).
This is a really tough question because as fun as speedrunning is, I’d never want to stick with one category forever. However, I’d probably have to pick Pac-Man World 3 Any% because of all the work I’ve put into the category. I’ve done two TASes of the category, found dozens of different skips, and have held the record for a while. The game also has a ridiculously high skill ceiling, so if I put in the effort, I could lower the time quite a bit further.
Link’s Awakening DX
100%, Now WW/OoB. vlackSR – 1:18:32
Ocarina of Time
any%. Torje – 17:04
All Medallions. ikswozol – 1:00:41
MST. Bonooru – 1:54:02
Deku Mask. RiceHaplin – 51:45
Bomber’s Notebook. dopezsr – 2:17.096
6 Masks. RiceHaplin – 8:50.550
Bug Limit. bann_jpn – 2:40:01
Powder Keg. ProbablyButter – 11:13.150
Oracle of Seasons
any%. zmaster91 – 1:39:14
The Minish Cap
Glitchless. Fir3Turtle – 2:18:31
Goron Mines RTA. Skyreon – 1:08:23
Ocarina of Time 3D Master Quest
Any%. LegendofzeldaLF – 34:42
Wind Waker HD
All Dungeons. Ian_Miles – 2:34:07
100%. Linkus7 – 5:55:34
Majora’s Mask 3D
All Masks. ThelegendofZaheer – 2:30:44
Twilight Princess HD
All Dungeons. Jacquaid – 4:22:27
Breath of the Wild
All Kilton Medals, amiibo. Pretends2know – 5:48:45
any%, HYlian Shield, No amiibo. Outer_Earth – 48:31
All Dungeons, Original, No amiibo. Zdi – 1:59:27
All Dungeons, Original, amiibo. Iden – 2:03:53
The Final Split
As the summer holidays end, speedrunning events start to dry up a little. Don’t worry, though! There’s always plenty going on in the Zelda community, such as races, randomizers, and other tournaments. You can keep up to date with these on my Twitter.
California Fire Relief Marathon – 28th September ~ 1st October – A speedrunning event dedicated to raising funds for the victims of wildfire. Featuring runs of Zelda, A Link to the Past, and Majora’s Mask 3D, you do not want to miss this.
That’s all from me this week. As always, stay tuned for any spontaneous speedrunning events that pop up, and if anything you’ve seen today has sparked an interest, get in touch!