Welcome to a post-Summer Games Done Quick world. This week, I’ll be re-capping all seven Zelda runs featured at the event, as well as chatting to a Skyward Sword runner and bingo player. So sit back and relax after what was likely a very stressful week of watching a single Twitch stream non-stop (what do you mean ‘that was just me’?).
This week saw possibly the biggest speedrunning event of the year: Summer Games Done Quick 2018, a collection of 155 games over seven days straight. Occurring twice annually (the sister event, Awesome Games Done Quick, taking place in January), the event has a history of raising huge amounts of money for its chosen charities: Doctors Without Borders and the Prevent Cancer Foundation. This year, the event raised $2.1 million, becoming the first event to break $2 Million. This year, the event also featured seven Zelda runs, a mixture of normal runs, races, and bingos. Miss a run? Succumbed to sleep midway through something? Fear not! I’m here to catch you up on all the Zelda content featured this year.
This section will contain the final times of each run, as well as various details from each run, so if you’d rather watch these blind, you can skip this segment (just this once) and catch all the runs from the event on the organisation’s Youtube channel.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D (any%) – gymnast86 – 1:32:35
The first Zelda run of the event was the classic remake, with gymnast talking viewers through some of the major changes between the original and this 3D remake, alongside pulling off some incredibly tricky glitches and exploits, which allow the use of the later transformation masks in the game’s first dungeons. Also used was the game’s external Wrong Warp timer, which allows runners to play havoc with the in-game time, and also facilitates some questionable fast travel.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (any%) – gymnast86 – 5:04:42
Runnning under the filename “my dude”, runner gymnast brings the longest Zelda any% back to a Games Done Quick for the first time in 4 years. The run, which began in the so-called “graveyard shift”, was largely successful, and also successfully showcased the incredibly difficult and rare Extending Blow. Having met the other donation incentive, Gym also faced the final boss blindfolded and, after an initial death, succeeded defeating the Demon Lord blind. Gym was accompanied by two other Skyward Sword runners, Venick and TestRunner.
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (any%) – Zmaster91 – 2:08:59
You might think the fastest way to complete a multi-player game would be with others, but Zmaster was here to prove us wrong. Using (and abusing) the game’s requirement to collect 2000 gems in each level, he used a GameCube controller to traverse the game’s seperate levels. This is one impressive run, with Zmaster executing some incredibly difficult tricks first try.
The Legend of Zelda (Low% Race) – LackAttack24, beeteas, Eunos – 36:20
Finding just one runner to complete a notoriously difficult category in a marathon setting is hard enough, but the Legend of Zelda community managed to find three runners willing to try their hand at the original Zelda’s Low% category. Completing every single dungeon with just three hearts, each runner took different routes, utilizing the game’s internal kill counters, RNG manipulation, and their vast knowledge of the game’s mechanics, in order to defeat Ganon. Current World Record holder Lackattack24 came first, followed shortly by Eunos and Beeteas.
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (any%) – mghtymth – 1:56:56
Mghtymth tackled this pseudo Zelda I remake in fashion, using each item’s ability to its fullest. Once again, this run proved to be incredibly successful, with the runner successfully executing very difficult tricks within the first few tries on each. Alongside this, Link was accompanied by Dimitri the Dondongo, who was the winning companion of a donation incentive.
Following on from the successful Skyward Sword run at Summer Games Done Quick by former Spotlight-ist Gymnast86, this week we’re chatting to another runner of the game, Floha258.
EC: Tell us a bit about yourself (Who you are, what games you run, any records you hold etc.)
Floha: Hi i‘m Floha258 or also just only known as Floha and i‘m a “3D Zelda Speedrunner” (I call myself so but I actually only run Skyward Sword). Sadly I‘m not all that good at it, which is because I‘m a student who doesn‘t always have the time to invest in these runs because they are so long, But I‘m getting off the point. I got interested in speedruns when I used to watch the streams of a casual streamer who then hosted the speedrunner “360Chrism”. I was very interested in that, since before I didn‘t know much about speedruns, and I had always found them boring…
Then there was an event at Gamescom (I think it was in 2015) where he and another runner called thiefbug presented some speedruns on stage. Thiefbug is the person who got me interested in Zelda speedruns. Some time after, I think it was somewhere in late 2015 to early 2016, where I tried to learn Ocarina of Time Any% on emulator (Yes I know some people are crying right now, I‘m sorry). I didn‘t really get the hang of it and didn‘t have that much fun so I quit pretty fast. Later that year (I can‘t actually remember why) I remembered Skyward Sword and a runner called indykenobi who showcased a speedrun of Skyward Sword once. I was way more interested in that so in late 2016 I started learning Skyward Sword Any%, which took me pretty long (for various reasons), so I did my first run in mid 2017.
During that I‘ve also run Breath of the Wild All Dungeons when it was released, but not for very long – 2 or 3 months maybe because I was way more interested in Skyward Sword and I had a goal to run this game for a German marathon in October.
Also (I know this sounds selfish), but I think i‘m one of the runners who revived Skyward Sword bingo. I‘ve seen this on Speed Runs Central and always wanted to do that, but first I wanted to do my marathon run.
While practicing for said marathon I got to know lepelog, A Breath of the Wild runner who was very interested in Skyward Sword. After he provided commentary of my run and for his, we started running Skyward Sword bingo in November 2017, when a lot of people didn‘t think of it anymore. During indykenobi‘s (one of the SS bingo developers) comeback, we once even had a 6 player bingo race going on.
I’ve also been through the whole “revival” of Skyward Sword, from when nobody cared about it, to now, where there are runners with high viewercounts who run the game.
EC: You’ve been very involved in the Skyward Sword community. What draws you to this game in particular over the other 3D Zeldas?
Floha: That is a good question… I can‘t even tell exactly but when I started learning and practicing this game there were only a handful of actual active Skyward Sword runners and we were all supporting each other, even though we all had different times – we were actually growing close as a community. Every runner tells of their game‘s community but I think in the case of Skyward Sword that it’s something special. Runners such as Kitcot, EnderJP, Keitsu23 and lepelog – if these people weren‘t around then I possibly wouldn‘t be that involved in Skyward Sword now.
EC: You’re currently routing Skyward Sword All Hearts. How difficult is it switching between running a game and routing it? Do you think having an in depth knowledge of the game gives you an edge when you run it?
Right now i would say for me it didn‘t feel that different – probably because I’ve done quite a few bingos, so I know “How to Route 101” – what you should do, what you should avoid at all costs.
But it‘s still something different. In a bingo you do something once and then move on to something else. When you‘ve made routing mistakes, you have to get over it. When you‘re routing something like all hearts, which always stays the same, you have to think “is this the fastest way possible, or would it maybe be better getting this later, when I‘m here anyway”
And then you write this down and make your notes… I think it’s really interesting.
EC: You’ve mentioned running a few Breath of the Wild categories as well, would you ever consider going back to that game, or trying your hand at any other Zelda games?
Floha: I have actually considered that for a long time, and i even made an April Fools’ that I would go back to Breath of the Wild, but whenever I see some of those runs, I see runs of other games as wel,l and then there’s still Skyward Sword where I could improve my time. But in the end I end up routing All Hearts haha. I do think about running other games, but something always holds me back. Maybe in the future (if i don’t end up with something that involves Skyward Sword again!)
EC: You’ve mentioned bingo being a large part of your experience with this game. Could you give a quick explanation of it, and why you find it so fun?
Floha: Bingo is easy to explain. You’ve got a square of 5×5 spaces (just like regular bingo) with each space containing a goal to complete in game. The object is to complete one row, column or diagonal of these goals as fast as possible What makes Bingo so fun is that you get to see some tricks which are usually not used in any runs.
For example: There is a trick that lets you get the Heartpiece in Zelda’s room in the Knight Academy without the clawshots by clipping through a wall, but you can’t clip back through the wall and Zelda’s room is still locked. You can move around free in Zelda’s room but you can’t exit it – you’re softlocked.
It’s also a lot of fun to compete with other players, as there’s no set route. You can just go through and do trick X here and trick Y there, but you have to route it yourself and consider “what goals am I going to do, how do I achieve them best, what tricks can I use?”
And so it sometimes happens that I beat someone who’s Any% time is 2h better than mine – it creates a completely level playing field.
There are various other variations of bingo, like mission bingo, hex bingo, score attack bingo, but they’re a little more complex.
We’ve also had some puzzle races, something similar to a bingo, where you have one bigger goal to complete and think about how this is done… Even our 100% WR holder keitsu took some time to find out what had to be done there, so these are pretty interesting too.
EC: Skyward Sword any% is around 5 hours long, which is the longest any% run of any mainstream Zelda game. What would you say to people who want to run the game but are perhaps put off by the large time commitment?
Floha: This is a hard one, as I’m also a busy man who mostly doesn’t have the time to do a run…
I would say start going through the route – there’s a pretty detailed guide on ZeldaSpeedRuns, to get familiar with the tricks and if you, feel like you’re getting the hang of it, try to take a day off and do a full run.
But I also would say that Skyward Sword isn’t only Any%. We also have 100% (which is even longer), but we also have a pretty active bingo community who loves to do races here and there, so you don’t even need to do a full run to actually be involved with the game.
EC: If you could only run one category of one game for the rest of time, what would it be, and why?
Floha: If Bingo counts as a category then that, because you always have something different there and one run isn’t even comparable to the next one.
If it doesn’t, I would say probably Skyward Sword 100%. I’ve never run this category myself but sometimes when picking up Any% I just don’t feel like it and then my practice is just trash. I don’t think this would happen when doing 100% because there’s such a variety in the run that it’s hard not to feel like it for every part of the run.
Believe it or not, speedrunning doesn’t stop while large events are ongoing! These runners have been grinding away in the background, whilst probably cheering on their friends.
Legend of Zelda
Low%. Eunos – 31:32
Any%, No Up+A. redrone – 28:36
First Quest, 200%. Redbirdgrad – 1:43:47
First Quest, TDO, Glitchless. cantaloupeme – 33:10
The Adventure of Link
100%, All Keys, 1CC. Simpoldood – 1:14:30.633
New Geam+. Antii85 – 9:30.300
A Link to the Past
NMG, any%. Xelna – 1:23:13
Co-op, All Dungeons. FuzzyGames + Myrnae – 1:26:40
Link’s Awakening DX
any%, No ACE. Sagaz – 4:41
All Songs. GreenTunic – 18:21
999 Rupees. GreenTunic – 16:43
Ocarina of Time
4 Bae RTA. doktor_m – 32:02
Child Dungeons, Glitchless. Cubex – 1:02:56
Reverse Dungeon Order. bakeneko – 1:41:11
any%. EnNopp112 – 1:16:12
any%. Demon9 – 3:48:17
Wind Waker HD
any%. Ian_Miles29 – 1:01:29
Majora’s Mask 3D
any%. Iwabi74 – 1:24:47
Den of Trials, Single Player. Koopary – 26:35
Twilight Princess HD
any%. Jacquaid – 3:38:59
Breath of the Wild
any%, No amiibo. rasenurns – 38:22
Master Sword RTA, No amiibo. sketodara – 2:02:18
Die, Guardian, amiibo. Nicolasreci – 6:00
AMQ, Original, No amiibo. Twik – 3:34:07
any%, amiibo. Wolhaiksong – 37:51
All Dungeons, Original, No amiibo. Zdi – 2:02:32
100%, Extended, amiibo. SpecsN_Stats – 29:19:18
100%, Extended, No amiibo. SpecsN_Stats – 19:08:10
Die, Guardian, No amiibo. C0LTR0CKS – 5:08.180
Best Ending, amiibo. Iden – 2:16:25.210
The Final Split
So many events for you this week folks. Really, the best events. Possibly the best events ever seen ever.
ResortFest International – 13th July ~ 15th July – What’s that? A marathon featuring 68 different runs, including Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort? What could be better in this heat?
Handheld Heroes Summer 2018 – 13th July ~ 16th July – A collection of handheld games run in order to raise awareness of the generally less popular handheld speedruns. Featured is a Reverse Dungeon Order run of Link’s Awakening, an MST run of Ocarina of Time, and a A Link Between Worlds any% run.
RPGchick-athon – 15th July ~ 21st July – A marathon of RPGs (a loose definition) organised to raise money for a friend of the organiser to cover medical costs. In terms of Zelda features, A Link to the Past sandwiches the event, with a No Major Glitches run at the beginning, and a 4-way Randomizer race in the final day.
Australian Speedrun Marathon – 18th July ~ 22nd July – The triple barreled event takes place in multiple locations, and supporting the supportblue charity. A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time both feature throughout the event.
Zelda Dungeon Marathon 2018 – 14th July ~ 20th July – I hear this will be quite entertaining. The event will be supporting Extra Life!, and will be featured heavily on the site during the next week. I’ll also have a small, fun-sized version of Zelda Runners to coincide with the start of the marathon, so stay tuned for that!
That’s all from me for now. Make sure you check out the Zelda Dungeon Marathon, starting this Saturday, and have a gander at the next Zelda Runners article to find out what runs are worth watching (spoilers: it’s all of them). See you later!
Euan Crombie is the host of Zelda Dungeon’s bi-weekly Zelda Speedrunning series, Zelda Runners. He can be found on Twitter and Discord (Euan Crombie#9657), and he’s such a hardcore speedrunner, he watch the entirety of Summer Games Done Quick on 2x speed.