Zelda Runners – This Article Rules

It’s that time of the month again! That’s right, dust off your Pegasus Boots, stick the kettle on, and get ready for another round of Zelda speedrunning. This week, we’re discussing the various rule changes and votes going on across multiple communities, and breaking down some more movement options available to Majora’s Mask runners.


Now Playing

It’s been another busy 2 weeks in the Zelda speedrunning communities. In particular, there are a few community votes which we now have the results for. First up, Ocarina of Time runners have been discussing and voting on the use of a variety of new glitches discovered recently. This week, Arbitrary Code Execution was banned in all main categories except Any%, and Stale Reference Manipulation was allowed in all but GSR, MST, and Glitchless. With that, there remains just one rule to vote on – controller manipulation. This has allowed runs to be cut down to almost 8 minutes, and this final vote will decide whether or not they can be included on the leaderboard.

In a similar vein, the A Link to the Past community have voted to ban both the Ice Breaker and Diver Down glitches from the game’s No Major Glitches categories.

And finally, the Link’s Awakening Switch community are currently voting on whether or not to allow pre-made files. This was previously banned, as it allowed runners to access late-game information, which would alter the route through the game. Since this decision, however, a method of RNG Manipulation has been discovered which presents the same information without the need for a file. As such, the community are voting in order to skip this mundane manipulation, and simply use a pre-made file to obtain the information.

Also this week:

  • ZeldaSpeedRuns held their first ever 3D 100% Relay, which featured a 100% run from each of the original 3D games, from The Wind Waker to Breath of the Wild. The whole event, which took over 51 hours to complete, featured runners Glitchymon, dopezera, Gymnast86, Takarikka, SpecsNStats, and Extodasher. You can watch the whole thing back on the ZSR Twitch Channel.
  • To celebrate the anniversary of the Oracle games, their communities are planning a race of each game. Oracle of Ages Any% will air on February 29th, and Oracle of Seasons All Essence on March 1st. Both will be streamed on ZeldaSpeedRuns.
  • The Wind Waker Randomizer has received a new update. V1.7.0 includes new features such as randomising enemy colours, and being able to alter how many Heart Containers and Pieces you start with, as well as quality of life changes, such as an additional Ballad of Gales warp near Forsaken Fortress. You can check out all of the changes here.


Glitch Exhibition

A few weeks ago, we took a deep dive into the movement mechanics that make Ocarina of Time tick. Now that all of those mechanics have been taken to the trash pile thanks to the continuing use of Arbitrary Code Execution (don’t need movement techniques when 75% of your run is cutscene), it’s time to shift our attention onto the next game in the series – Majora’s Mask.

As you might imagine, as both games run on the same engine, they both feature very similar techniques. Of course, I’m not going to drag you through everything I covered in the Ocarina of Time article (although if you need a recap, the article is here), so I’ll instead take the opportunity to explain some that I didn’t cover last time, and some others which are specific to this game.

Link’s base walking speed in this game is 5.5. When traveling short distances, runners will usually backwalk, as this travels at a speed of 8.25. The Bunny Hood also moves at this rate, however requires an equip slot, so isn’t normally used. Every other form of Link (Deku, Zora, and Goron) travel slightly faster than this, at 6. Supersliding remains the fastest mode of travel at 18, but is now joined by a full speed Goron Roll.

A simple technique known as Recoil Flip is used by runners to traverse large gaps between platforms. This uses damage hitting Link’s shield (usually from a Bomb explosion) to propel him through a backflip. To do this, pull out a bomb, then shield drop it in front of you. Just as the bomb explodes, backflip, and release the stick to neutral quickly. This trick gives such a great velocity that it can be used to clip Link through small angles.

By giving Link a large amount of backwards velocity, his model begins to distort slightly. Going into 1st person view in this state takes the position of his head, regardless of if his body is attached. Doing so while trying to fire arrows or the hookshot gives a fairly weird shot. So much so, that the community named this technique Weirdshot. This can be used to latch on to targets which otherwise are out of reach or sight. (Yes, that image is from Ocarina of Time, but the trick works in a similar fashion in both games)

The setup for this trick can be quite complicated, and can easily crash your game if you’re not careful. To perform the glitch, pull out a bomb and drop it. Hold Z and pull out the item you want to use in the distorted angle, and press R to shield. On the 2nd frame of the 7th black flash, or the 1st frame of the 7th red flash, roll towards the bomb while holding left. Pause buffer another few frames, then buffer the item input. Buffer 1 frame to move the camera directly below you, or 2 frames to move it below and to the right (or 3 frames if you really want to crash the game).

Once in this position, you can fire the weapon multiple times without exiting the weirdshot. Should you want to cancel the glitch, pressing any button other than the one which your item is equipped to will return you to normal. Like I said, this is a fairly complicated and tricky setup, so if you want to, you can watch a clip of it here.

Finally, let’s take a look at one of Majora’s Mask‘s exclusive glitches. While it isn’t seen particularly often in runs, the Flying Zora Glitch is a perfect example of how the transformation masks can be used to our advantage. In Zora form, position Link very close to a shore – as close as possible while still having “Swim” on your A Button. From here, press A to swim into the shore. If done correctly, Link should bounce off the ground and into the air, while still in his swimming animation. Quickly turn away from the shore, and keep pressing A, and you should now be swimming in midair.

Finally, a few general tips to help optimise your movement. Chaining your rolls is an important part of any game, but in Majora’s Mask, rolling late is slightly better than rolling early. This is because performing a roll immediately after the previous one finishes means Link has less acceleration, and therefore moves more slowly.

And finally, bear in mind that Link’s action is based off of the camera’s direction in relation to him at the time of input. This means that some inputs will require you to swap direction after the initial input. Master these techniques, and you’ll be flying (maybe literally) in no time.

Round Up

Adventure of Link

Any%. Lite – 18:02.267


A Link to the Past

Restricted Major Glitches, All Dungeons. Xelna – 1:09:49
NMG, Any%. RealAlphaGamer – 1:23:07


Ocarina of Time

Any%. dannyb21892 – 8:24.000
No Wrong Warp. Timato – 39:02
100%. Glitchymon – 3:45:58
All Dungeons. dannyb21892 – 1:08:05
Ganonless. Lozoots – 31:42


Majora’s Mask

Any%. raggen – 25:28
All Masks. raggen – 1:47:44


The Minish Cap

firerod%. Semirare – 38:50


The Wind Waker

Any%. Demon – 59:43


Spirit Tracks

Any%. as-as – 4:14:17


The Wind Waker HD

Any%. mralberto – 53:57


Breath of the Wild

100%, Original. SpecsNStats – 20:45:08
All Main Quests, Original, Restricted. keikou_yellow – 2:58:52.060
All Shrines, Extended. aka12 – 10:10:04.580


Cadence of Hyrule

100%. Herreteman – 1:11:00


The Final Split

Pixels for Peace – 28th February ~ 2nd March – Been missing out on your A Link to the Past fill? This marathon’s Restricted Major Glitches, All Dungeons run should keep you occupied, alongside other runs like Earthbound Pajama%, and Pokemon Gold/Silver Glitchless.


Midwinter Speedsprinter – 6th March ~ 8th March – Even more A Link to the Past action, this marathon has plenty of additional donation incentives for their runs, all raising funds for Carbon Fund.


And finally, here’s your bi-weekly taste of what happens when even speedrunners lose control. See you next time!


Euan is the host of Zelda Dungeon’s Speedrunning series, Zelda Runners. He can be found on Twitter and Discord, and he’s only just stopped crying at the Animal Crossing Direct.

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