Welcome to Zelda Runners! It might have taken almost 8 years, but Skyward Sword finally has a breakthrough, which will surely bring the any% category under 4 hours for the first time. Want to know what I’m talking about? I cover this all in Now Playing, along with a brand new Majora’s Mask discovery too!
As mentioned above, Skyward Sword finally has a new glitch, dubbed Reverse BiT Magic. Discovered by runner gymnast86, it allows runners to apply Skyloft properties and coordinates to maps on the surface. The name stems from an existing glitch known as BiT Magic and, as you might have guessed, these tricks have opposite outcomes. This is a fairly recent discovery and, while some runners are going ahead with vastly altered routes, there’s still much potential for more timesaves to be discovered in the coming weeks. Once the dust has settled, you can be sure I’ll cover everything we know in a future Glitch Exhibition. In the mean time, you can find some showcased effects of the trick here.
Next, remember the Ocarina of Time vote to establish a new naming convention for the “No IM/WW” category? Well, the results are in. The community voted in favour of renaming the category, however, due to how close the vote was, a new category has been created which will retain the “No IM/WW” title, and will only ban these glitches. The original category will remain, however the vote for what to rename it was exactly 50/50, so the community will hold another vote after some further discussions. Results in a future article? You bet.
While it may be considered the black sheep of the Zelda series to date, the Zelda II speedunning community is fairly lively. This may be thanks to the multitude of glitches and exploits that exist within the game. I’ll give you a rundown of two of these such glitches today.
The first is known as Glitch Town. As with many other Zelda titles, sometimes the game gets mightily confused as to Link’s actual position. When this happens in Zelda II, it sends him to a backup map. When this occurs in a town, the map Link is sent to is known as Glitch Town. Here, all sorts of wacky things can happen, but the thing we’re most interested in is the first door we’re presented with.
Entering it once sends Link… right back to the entrance of Glitch Town. Pretty useless, right? It seems like it, but every time we enter this door, Link’s position is altered slightly to the left. Repeat this process enough (5 times), and you’ll activate a condition called Scroll Lock. With this condition active, a multitude of other glitches become possible, but those are for another day.
This glitch has actually been known about for a long time, thanks to appearing in an issue of Nintendo Power (An issue? What’s that?). However the method showcased here involved casting a spell in Darunia Town, which is too far into the game to be useful. Enter Healer Glitch.
Healer Glitch is a method of entering Glitch Town from any healer, medicine, or spell lady, but for the sake of convenience and optimization, it’s usually carried out on the Healer Lady in Rauru. Stand directly in front of their door, and talk to her on the first frame her nose touches the window. Talk to her again on the last frame before she opens the door, then enter the door yourself. If done properly… well, you’ll know pretty easily if you’ve activated it.
One difficulty you might face is how the game deals with frames. The lady will spend two frames on each pixel, and the glitch does require the correct frame for each time you speak (first frame for the first time, second frame for the second time). If you miss it, you can just try again. You can see what each frame looks like in the GIF to the left (yes, we tech those now).
The final glitch I’ll cover today is an easy one, known as Door Fairying. In the Japanese and US versions, you can pass through doors in fairy form if you don’t have a key. If you do have a key and try this trick, you’ll just use it. Also, you can’t pick up items in fairy form in the Japanese version, so this trick is less useful for collecting items from behind locked doors.
My spotlight this week is a notable Zelda II Randomizer runner. I had a chat with them about their experience within the community.
EC: Tell us a bit about yourself, and how you first got into randomizer!
RoseCitySaint: I’m just a guy who discovered Zelda 2 Randomizer by accident, watching old Youtube videos of vanilla Zelda 2 for nostalgia purposes. That’s when i stumbled across the Randomizer, and I fell immediately in love with the game. After saying to myself “I’d love to be a part of this,” I created a twitch account, downloaded an emulator, and the rest was history. Zelda 2 Randomizer is the only game I currently play. Randomizers don’t have “world records” but I’m currently rated the #2 player in the Z2R standings on SpeedRunsLive (SRL), and I recently won 2 different Z2R tournaments. I’m the current Z2R standard champion (2018 tourney) and Z2R Max Rando Champion (2019).
EC: Obviously Zelda 2 is one of the less popular entries in the series. Despite this, the game has a huge speedrunning and randomizer following. Why do you think this is?
RoseCitySaint: That’s a good question. People always seem to point to the fighting and combat mechanic in Zelda 2 as their favorite reason to play the game. It’s simple to learn but very challenging to put everything together in one perfect run. Reminds me of the old saying “a minute to learn, a lifetime to master”.
EC: What draws you to this game in particular over other Zelda titles?
RoseCitySaint: The thing I like best about Z2R compared to other randomizers is actually the simplicity. It has a reputation for being maybe the hardest randomizer out there, and yes, it has a high degree of difficulty. But it requires only a base knowledge of vanilla, such as the ability to recognize both ends of a cave transport etc. It also has very few tricks to master (fairy feet being the only race-legal trick in Z2R) so in that regard, its inviting to newer players. So it’s this simplicity that first drew me to Z2R compared to other randomizers, but I’ve become addicted to the game because every seed seems to have a poetic ebb and flow to its logic and puzzle solving. Its got the perfect mix of fast-paced combat, critical thinking, and of course an element of luck/gambling that all randomizers have.
EC: Would you ever consider making the leap to speedrunning?
RoseCitySaint: For now, I am a full time Z2R runner, and still trying every day to perfect this craft. I have no plans to make the leap to actual speedrunning, though every once in a while, i find myself tempted to learn Zelda 2 100% All Keys. Not for world record, but maybe just a sub 80 min, just to say I did.
EC: Do you have any favourite or particularly memorable Rando moment?
RoseCitySaint: My favorite and most memorable moment as a Z2R player is hands-down winning the 2018 Standard tournament. This tourney is the main event of the Z2R calendar each year, and players run through a standard seed of the game (all 6 gems, and TBird required). In the grand finals, I had to defeat Digshake, who is the creator of the randomizer, was the defending champion, and universally accepted as the game’s greatest player. Winning that race on that stage with all the chips on the table is something I’ll never forget.
EC: If you could only run one type of Randomizer of one game for the rest of time, what would it be, and why?
RoseCitySaint: If I were limited to one type of Randomizer for the rest of time, I would happily take bracket or finals flags version of standard Z2R. I’ve run thousands of these, and it just never gets old. Z2R is the most fun I’ve ever had in gaming.
You can find RoseCitySaint on their Twitch Channel.
Legend of Zelda
Any%. Eunos – 27:47
Swordless. rooslugs – 34:14
Reverse Dungeon Order, First Quest. rooslugs – 34:48
True Reverse Boss Order, First Quest. rooslugs – 33:41
Max Keys, First Quest. rooslugs – 43:53
Open 9, Any%. MrDunlo – 20:21
Adventure of Link
NG+, 100%, No Major Glitches. Scorpion__Max – 51:08
Faces of Evil
Any%. Glutko – 23:31
All Cutscenes. Grumpmeister – 56:50
Wand of Gamelon
All Cutscenes. Grumpmeister – 56:26
A Link to the Past
Major Glitches, 100%, All Heart Pieces. Glan – 1:14:50
Link’s Awakening DX
Any% (No S+Q/WW/OoB). vlackSR – 52:20
All Capacity Upgrades. GreenTunic – 24:02
Trendy Game. GreenTunic – 3:50.970
All Fairy Rewards. Keko – 1:53:47
Bomber’s Notebook. dopezsr – 1:43.520
2 Bottles. EnNopp112 – 6:50.710
Doggy Racetrack Heart Piece. EnNopp112 – 3:31.745
Beaver Heart Piece. EnNopp112 – 17:13.332
Beaver Bottle. EnNopp112 – 14:24.330
Letter to Kafei. ProbablyButter – 5:36.403
Toilet Hand (???) Heart Piece. ProbablyButter – 6:01.678
The Minish Cap
Any%. DarkySquid – 1:44:03
Harp%. keitsu23 – 1:03:34
A Link Between Worlds
100% (Normal). TheLegendofZaheer – 3:01:11
Breath of the Wild
Any%, Original, Limit. Keikou_Yellow – 41:26.290
All Dungeons, Original, Bug Limit. Keikou_yellow – 2:13:57.230
Great Plateau, Any%. Wolhaiksong – 14:53.530
Any%, 2 Players 1 Controller, No amiibo. gurahamu1404 + kabosu_senpai – 48:00.320
Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition
NG+, All Levels. BlissyMKW – 4:58:40
The Final Split
Quite the selection to bring you this week, including a very exciting event from ZeldaSpeedRuns.
MidSpring Speedfling 2019 – 17th May ~ 20th May – This event has quite the variety of runs and races, including a 3 hour Zelda block featuring a Legend of Zelda randomizer and an Ocarina of Time race of a more obscure category…
NLSS Spring 2019 – 18th May ~ 20th May – Another wide variety of games showcased here, including a Link’s Awakening run and a Super Mario Bros. 2 Any% run.
Bingothon – 24th May ~ 28th May – So I should probably be telling you about the Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild bingo runs here, but I’m a bit stuck up on the Wii Sports Resort race? How does that even work? First one to pull a muscle? Fastest person to fall out with their family over the hidden fruits in Archery because you totally CAN hit them from here you just NEED A BIT MORE PRACTICE. Ahem.
ZeldaSpeedRuns Staff Randomizer Relay – 18th May ~ 20th May – Each member of the ZeldaSpeedRuns staff will be running every single Zelda Randomizer. This promises to be quite the event, so I’d definitely recommend tuning in!
Finally, BOY do I have a clip for you this week. In what might be the best Breath of the What just happened installment yet, I bring you this, from Twitter user KipTh3Gr8.
— KipTh3Gr8 (@KipTh3Gr8) March 1, 2019
I’ll let you figure that one out for yourself. Until next time!
Euan is the host of Zelda Dungeon’s Speedrunning series, Zelda Runners. He can be found on Twitter, and he hath been yeeteth.