It’s that time of the week again! No, not “just Tuesday”, it’s the latest edition of Zelda Runners. Missed out on the Mini Games Done Quick marathon at TwitchCon? Fear not, you can find details of that below. In Glitch Exhibition, we’re going full escapism mode, looking at the various methods used to escape early game locations. And, in Spotlight, we’re chatting to a Breath of the Wild runner about the game’s recent breakthroughs. This is a big-yun, so let’s get started!
Of course the big event of the week was GDQ Express, a mini Games Done Quick Marathon held at TwitchCon. The weekend long event featured some of the most exciting games and categories, along with 3 Zelda titles. First up was Ocarina of Time 3D, the MST category being shown off by gymnast86 who finished with a time of 2:16:36. Then, the lesser seen A Link Between Worlds run by TheLegendofZaheer. Then, of course, was the infamous Super Metroid/A Link to the Past Combo Randomizer, which was every bit entertaining and informative as it promised to be. Over just 50 hours, the event raised over $137 thousand, which was split between the TwitchCon Charity Plaza charities, including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (the full list can be found here). Did you watch the event? What was your favourite run? You can catch up on it on the organisation’s Twitch Channel.
A video detailing the history of The Minish Cap‘s any% Speedrunning World Record History was posted this week. The video, created by members of the community, features various interviews of prominent runners of the game’s history, mostly record holders. The video goes through the history of the game’s any%, from the very first 2:45:00 run (which was later proven to be spliced), all the way through to the current record, 1:44:19, held by ToadsWoot. It also documents the Tool Assisted Speedrun (TAS) history of the game, along with the various rule changes regarding emulators. If you’re a fan of The Minish Cap, want to start speedrunning it, or are just interested in the history of the game, you should definitely check this video out.
Also this week:
- You thought we’d go a week without some sort of discovery in Breath of the Wild? This new glitch, named Bullet Time Bounce has some very obvious applications, firing Link off into the sky at incredible speeds. Runners and routers are currently working this into runs, so expect to see much more of this glitch in the future. To find out more about it, you can check out my article on the discovery here.
- Ocarina of Time runner, dannyb21892, this week released a video detailing and explaining the effects of the game’s Reverse Bottle Adventure glitch. The video is very in-depth, and might be hard to follow at some points, but it’s a fantastic resource for anyone wanting to learn more about how wacky Ocarina of Time runs are.
- Also featuring at TwitchCon was a Session on Integrating Speedrunning Content as a Variety Streamer. While not strictly Zelda related, it’s still a very interesting watch for any budding speedrunners out there who want to expand their streams. You can watch it here.
Zelda games aren’t known for their fast paced starts. As with most games, a slow tutorial awaits you after the initial exposition. Obviously, the less time spent on these sections in a speedrun, the better, but sometimes runners can go one step further, by skipping them entirely. This week, we’re taking a look at three opening areas that can be skipped.
The first of these can be found in Ocarina of Time, which provides a multitude of methods to escape the opening Kokiri Forest. The “intended” method is to obtain a sword, shield, then enter and complete the Deku Tree dungeon. This takes time however, so there are various methods to excecute this so called Forest Escape.
The first of these is known as Navi Dive. This involves standing on the ledge just above the shortcut to Zora’s Domain, and waiting for Navi to offer her advice. When this happens, move back enough to fall off the ledge and towards the pool below. Before entering the pool, perform a jump slash, then call for Navi. While talking to her, Link will fall through the water as if it doesn’t exist, allowing him to swim through the shortcut at the bottom, and escape to Zora’s Domain. This technique is relatively easy to pull off, but failing it usually calls for a reset, as Navi will take another 19.5 minutes to chat to you again. The Navi Dive is also used elsewhere in some runs, including entering Bottom of the Well as child Link.
A similar method is known as Naviless Aquascape. This involves the same shortcut, but without the need for Navi’s intervention. By using a very precise set-up (shown here), the runner can clip into the stone box, and simply swim into the transition.
Another common technique is Crouch Stab Clip. Rather than wasting time trying to escape to Zora’s Domain, this goes straight for the regular exit, guarded by a Kokiri child. Cut down the sign next to the exit, then crouch almost parallel to the wall, with your shield pointing slightly to the left. By performing a crouch stab and pressing A, you should find yourself standing behind the guard, as he has a tough time following your movements. From here, you can either roll slightly to the right and underneath him, or walk slowly to the left until he falls out of bounds. Either way, you’re now free to leave the forest, and, as a bonus, this method collects an Ocarina on its way out.
There are various other methods that aren’t quite as common. These include Water ESS, Walking While Talking, and Hovering. The most common categories tend to use Naviless (All Dungeons and MST), while 100% uses the Water ESS method, and No IM/WW uses Crouch Stab Clip. Due to the wrong warp to Ganon’s Castle from inside the Deku Tree, the any% category has no need to escape the forest.
Many of the above techniques are no longer viable for the 3D remake of the game, however this didn’t stop speedrunners. In fact, Ocarina of Time 3D‘s Forest Escape Methods are quite possibly even more creative that the original’s.
The first is a rehash of the Crouch Stab Clip, known as the Triple Slash Clip. In any group of three attacks, the third will always give Link a large recoil. By lining him up between the wall and the sign and triple slashing, this recoil will send Link backwards, clipping him between the wall and the Kokiri child. From here, it’s once again just a case of rolling underneath the kid, and out to freedom!
A unique glitch exists within the game’s New Game Plus feature, which allows runners to start a new file with any chosen item equipped. Using the Bottle Adventure glitch, place the item you wish to start with on the B button of an existing save file. After this, mount a horse, save and quit, then create a new file. This new file will now have that item equipped on its B Button. To make use of this in escaping the forest, equip the Megaton Hammer on B, then use it to escape to Goron City through the Lost Woods. From here, you can access Kakriko Village – the gate seperating the town from Death Mountain Trail only has collision on one side. This can be seen in this video.
Most categories in the 3D version use the Triple Slash Clip method to escape, however the New Game Plus methods can be more useful in certain situations.
The next title to feature a skippable opening section is Wind Waker. Normally, players are herded toward the Fairy Woods in order to rescue Tetra, before being given a sword, a shield, and a lengthy forced travel section, with no free travel until after completing the Forbidden Woods dungeon. In classic speedrunnin style, we’re still going to do all of this, just in a slightly different order.
Using Wind Waker’s token exploit, Super Swimming, we can send Link flying (swimming?) off across the Great Sea to whichever destination we choose. The method behind this in each game is slightly different – the original uses a technique called Storage, whereas the HD version has a trick called Item Sliding. However, in the beginning, neither game provides us with the equipment we need to perform these. This means runners have to tackle the Manual Superswim. This tricky beast involves turning Link round 180 degrees every single frame, using some very well timed pauses. Each turn increases Link’s speed by a negative amount, which has no limit. Once a certain speed is reached, runners release this speed, and zoom off in their chosen direction.
The HD version heads off in the direction of Dragon Roost Cavern, where we obtain the Wind Waker. From here, we enter the dungeon, and work our way through to the Grapple Hook, which then allows us to perform Superswims much more conveniently. The superswim isn’t currently used in any SD categories, as they follow the normal route of taking the Pirate Ship to Forbidden Fortress.
You can watch a more detailed tutorial on superswimming here.
Finally, let’s take a look at one of the methods of escape from Twilight Princess‘ Faron Woods. This technique, known as Long Jump Attack Method (no points for imagination), involves using a Long Jump Attack over a Midna trigger, allowing the player to skip completing the Forest Temple, and escape straight to Hyrule Field. The setup for this trick is pretty precise, and can be seen in this video.
This week, I’ve been chatting to a Breath of the Wild runner, Pikastroff. I asked their opinion on the game’s community, the new breakthroughs, and their ambitions for the future.
EC: Tell us a bit about yourself!
Pikastroff: Hey, I am Pikastroff, but you can call me Alexis. While I’ve been watching speedruns for a couple years through Awesome Games Done Quick, I only started doing that myself this May. My main game and category is Breath of the Wild any%, which is the category where you basically go straight to Ganon after beating the plateau, all in speedrun style! In terms of other games, I’ve also done a bit of Wind Waker HD Din’s Pearl RTA, and spent some time learning any%, but never finished (which I should!). I also really would love learning other Zelda games such as Majora’s Mask and Skyward Sword as well. And of course, I would love to learn games outside of the Zelda series, such as Pikmin, or even Amnesia: The Dark Descent! I do not hold any records, but the closest I have to that I guess is being third on the any% + Hylian Shield extension category in Breath of the Wild, ahah! Other than that, what I can say is that, though I am far from being remotely good at the category (I want to get shorter times on any%), I strive to stay motivated and disciplined throughout my speedrunner journey.
EC: You’re part of the Breath of the Wild community, the newest Zelda community. What’s it like being part of such a small group of people? Do you prefer it over the larger communities of, say, Ocarina of Time?
Pikastroff: Indeed, the Breath of the Wild speedrunning community is relatively smaller compared to let’s say Ocarina of Time or Wind Waker, but I do love it. The people over there are amazing, whether it be in always helping new players with getting into this speedgame, or the discussions we have when routing something. I am not necessarily always involved in those latter conversations, but when I am, it feels very fulfilling to talk with such people. I don’t know if it has anything to see with the size of the community, but I definitely feel very close to it. I do not have as much experience with larger ones so I cannot tell much whether I prefer having a smaller or larger community, but what I can say is that the Breath of the Wild one is amazing. And with all the recent major discoveries such as Skew Clips or Bullet Time Bounces, I do think we may have to welcome more people, which we are happy to!
EC: So far you’ve concentrated on just a few categories, do you plan on expanding out into other categories?
Pikastroff: Indeed, I do not have much of a broad portfolio when it comes to my speedrunning experience so far, ahah! And yes, I definitely want to learn new games and categories! For Breath of the Wild, I would love to learn All Main Quests (AMQ), Master Sword RTA (MSRTA) or Master Sword and Dungeons (MSD), but that would take quite some time, ahah. As I said on the previous question, I also want to learn other games. However, before any of that happens, I do have one goal in mind, which is to reach sub 40 (ie. less than 40 minutes) in Breath of the Wild any%. This is my main goal right now. Once I reach it, I do think I will then branch out into those other categories and games. Now, WHEN will that happen? I don’t know, but hopefully, I will!
EC: What’s your motivation behind speedrunning, and running Breath of the Wild in particular? A lot of people assume playing the same game over and over must get boring very quickly, but I assume that isn’t the case?
Pikastroff: I am only a speedrunner since a few months, but I gotta say it is becoming a major part of my life, for multiple reasons. Constantly trying to improve on times, no matter how hard it can be, can really help in teaching discipline and motivation, to me. I learned to always see the positive aspects of things – after all, not all runs are Personal Bests (PBs, in short), so by taking the good things from each run, learning from that, and applying that in the next run is definitely something I try to implement in my real life. I can understand why many people may not like speedrunning considering how repetitive it can become, but to me it is always fascinating because frankly, you do not play the game normally. It is not like casually playing the same game over and over again – here, you HAVE to keep learning new techniques, and seek ways to improve your runs.
Unless you are playing an extremely optimised speedgame such as Ocarina of Time any%, you know that there is always something that may be discovered and change everything, which to me makes speedrunning very exciting. And of course, add to all that the awesome speedrunning community which is always willing to help and support each other learning. Speedrunning definitely has led me to make new friends, which is really amazing. As to why I picked Breath of the Wild, it is simply because that game was the one game I played basically 24/7 back when I started (and even more so now, ahah), so I thought it appropriate to start with a game I love! Also, with this being a relatively young game, it means that there is A LOT to uncover with this game yet – just look at the recent discoveries with the Bullet Time Bounces! Such a discovery is exactly what I was talking about earlier about the repetitiveness of speedrunning.
EC: You’ve mentioned moving on to running games outside of the Zelda series. Do you think there are any skills or techniques you’ve learned from Breath of the Wild that will carry over to other games?
Pikastroff: I think one technique that will definitely carry over is the sense of precise timing, which is there in pretty much any speedgame. I have a sense a timing that is FAR from being the best when it comes to speedrunning skills, but this is definitely something that helps in learning tricks in other games, from my little experience at least. Likewise, the ohgodimustnotfailthistrickorthewholerundies kind of skills also matter, since you must remain calm throughout, which is something that definitely can carry over, surely. Well, not like I am that good at staying calm, ahah.
EC: If you could only run one category of one game for the rest of time, what would it be, and why?
Pikastroff: I would say Breath of the Wild any% for the mere reason that there is so much to uncover with this game, as I said earlier. The time keeps being shaved down and further down – as I speak right now, the world record is at around 33 minutes! I still can’t believe it can take such a short amount of time to complete the game! The same can be said about other categories of course, but any% being the one I am familiar with, I would love to be part of those constant discoveries, with this amazing community that we have here. I am sure that a year from now, there will be even more unbelievable tricks discovered that will change Breath of the Wild speedrunning, so we can only be hyped for what’s to come!
Adventure of Link
Any%, No Door Fairying. Antii85 – 1:08:15
New Game +, No Major Glitches. Lite_NING – 38:06.034
A Link to the Past
Mirror Shield. wqqqqrt – 48:03
Cane of Byrna. wqqqwrt – 48:03
Low%, All Dungeons. fsg – 1:47:02
Cucco Easter Egg. Tojso – 6:45
Max%, Rain. Glan – 1:19:49
Master Sword, No Major Glitches. wwwqwrt – 21:37
Ocarina of Time
All Dungeons. Fig02 – 1:20:23
Glitchless. realtimeattack64 – 3:41:43
Child Dungeons, Glitchless. realtimeattack64 – 1:04:18
100%. EnNopp112 – 4:38:40
Razor Sword. Jimmie1717 – 9:05.745
Light Arrows. plasma_effect – 11:25
All Fused Shadowns. caiser – 1:22:21
All Dungeons. ChaoticAce – 3:48:26
Goron Mines RTA. caiser – 1:02:05
Any%. zaf – 2:55:23
100%. benstephens56 – 5:24:45
Any%. benstephens56 – 3:16:43
Ocarina of Time 3D
Glitchless, Master Quest. Dabombster – 3:38:49
Any%. ZeldaCubed – 37:23
A Link Between Worlds
Any%. TheLegendofZaheer – 1:21:01
Twilight Princess HD
any%. Demon – 3:27:31
Breath of the Wild
Any%. Rasenurns – 33:36.500
Great Plateau, 100%, No amiibo, Original, Bug Limit. xNose_ – 41:50
Great Plateau, 100%, No amiibo, Bug Limit. harmjan – 36:31
Great Plateau, Any%, No amiibo, Bug Limit. Select – 21:25
All Dungeons, Original, No amiibo, Bug Limit. Grega – 2:35:09
All Shrines, Original, amiibo. Vark – 7:41:07
Any%, No amiibo. Wolhaiksong – 33:15.190
The Final Split
Here’s just a few oppertunities to keep you ticking over til we’re back in a couple of weeks…
Tiny Ten 8 – 10th November – A collection of mini-speedruns, all played on Game Boy! No Zelda action here, but each game has a short objective, so it’s perfect to drop in for a few minutes out of a busy schedule!
ZeldaSpeedRuns are looking for new content creators! If you’re interested in restreaming, hosting, or scheduling events, then make sure you check this out. They’re also on the lookout for people to handle their social media accounts. Check out the Google Form for more information!
That’s all from me for another fortnight. As usual, you can find me on Twitter and Discord if you have any questions about the content above. Until next time…
Euan is the host of Zelda Dungeon’s Speedrunning series, Zelda Runners. He can be found on Twitter and Discord (Euan Crombie#9657), and owns 8 solar powered Hula dancers.