Well well well, it has been quite a long time, hasn’t it? Not quite the 100 years some recent open world game might suggest, but certainly more than two weeks. Feeling parched for speedrunning news? Upset that you’ve lost track of your favourite game? Fear not, for I’m back to bring you right into the present day! This week, we’re looking at yet more stasis launching news from Breath of the Wild, a new way to play Ocarina of Time, and a massive 3D Zelda Relay Race. Intrigued? Of course you are, you’re only human…
A new glitch has been discovered by reddit user and Breath of the Wild runner Paradox_Guardian, which allows runners to perform up to 3 stasis launches in a row. This glitch uses a normal stasis launch, a glitch known as ??? Item Reset, and a memory. By using these at specific times during a launch, Link’s Stasis Rune cooldown will reset, allowing him to freeze the platform mid-launch, and add new momentum to it, carrying him (or catapulting him) even further. To watch this trick in its full glory, have a look here.
As the Randomizer craze sweeps the nation, the Ocarina of Time community have joined the battle. Shuffling items, Boss Keys, Bottles
and even songs, this is one of the toughest randomizer challenges the Zelda community has seen yet! More information on how it works can be found on the Randomizer Discord.
Finally this week, a huge 3D/HD Zelda relay race is taking place on August 4th, featuring 16 incredible runners of their respective games. Racing through Ocarina of Time 3D, Majora’s Mask 3D, Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD, the race is estimated to last a little over 9 hours. It’s sure to be quite the experience, for fans of any of the games involved, so head over to the ZeldaSpeedRuns website to find out more!
This week we’re taking an in-depth look at some of the movement mechanics available in the very first Legend of Zelda. You might think “Oh there’s only so much you can do with 4 directions”, and you’d be right, but boy do runners of this game get as much as they can out of these directions.
Before we get too complex, perhaps we should break down how the game handles movement in the first place. The player’s screen is broken up into a 16×14 grid (plus 3 at the top for the HUD (Head-up Display), and each of these blocks are split into a sub-grid of 32×28. Not content with this, Nintendo divided each of these sub-grids into 8×8 half grids. As you can see, 16×14 very quickly becomes much more complex.
As Link moves, his position is slowly adjusted to align with these 8×8 half grids, 1 pixel at a time. This means the player won’t snag on the very edge of blocks or rocks which, visually, Link should be able to pass.
Enemies also follow this grid system, which allows the player to damage and defeat them more easily, as Link’s sword will be aligned with enemy movement. Link’s sword itself has a 2 tile swing radius – the tile directly in front of Link, and half a tile above and below.
Now that you’re clued up a little about the game’s mechanics, time to find out how runners of this game use and abuse these mechanics to meet their needs.
The first and most obvious technique you might notice when watching a run is Screen Scrolling. This is the act of walking off one side of the screen, and reappearing on the other side of the same screen, with no transition occurring. This allows the runner to quickly traverse large distances, and even walk through walls and skip crossing rivers. While usually used horizontally, the glitch can also be used to traverse vertically, although requires much more accuracy to save time.
To carry this out, runners position Link 5 pixels away from a transition wall (the edge of any screen which would normally have Link walk through to a new scene). By tapping a direction perpendicular to the transition, Link will simply turn to face this direction without moving. After this, walking into the transition will result in Link appearing on the other side of the same screen.
The glitch can also be used to skip through blocks in dungeons, albeit with a slightly different method – a sword slash is used instead of a direction change, which allows runners to skip defeating enemies in some rooms.
Screen Scrolling is used throughout Legend of Zelda runs, from simply saving the runner from having to walk across every screen they travel through, to allowing some sequence breaks such as accessing Lost Hills and Lost Woods.
Not content with creating a wide open world (1980s style), Nintendo wanted to provide the player with a method of fast travel. It’s not quite the warp songs of today, however. Players don’t have nearly as much control over where The Legend of Zelda’s recorder takes them.
By playing the Recorder, Link will be transported to a dungeon which he has completed. Which dungeon he is warped to is determined by an internal counter, which notes which dungeons the player has completed. The direction in which Link is faced when playing the Recorder will determine whether the counter increases or decreases. If facing up or right, the counter will increase. If faced down or left, the counter will decrease. Each dungeon is labelled as its in-game name (so the first dungeon is ‘1’, the second is ‘2’ and so on). While not involved in any glitches as such, runners can still use the recorder’s fast travel to… well… travel fast. That’s what it’s all about, right?
This week, our spotlight is on self proclaimed “Meme Speedrunner Erin”. I could tell you that they’re a Breath of the Wild runner who runs less popular categories, but I think I’ll let that title speak for itself.
EC: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Boogs: My nickname is boogs, I’m a 16 year old kid and all my interests surround gaming in a way. I got into speedrunning with Super Meat Boy, a game notorious for its difficulty – so naturally to make it easier, I ran the shortest and easiest category in the game, where only a total of about 10 levels need to be played. I mostly run platforming games and I’m usually drawn to the short categories, seeing as I don’t really have much time and patience. I tend to reset my runs on small mistakes, which doesn’t go well with long categories.
EC: As a runner of Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Super Meat Boy and Shovel Knight, you must be fairly experienced in communities with a large fan-base. What’s it like being surrounded by so many people who are eager to push the game as much as you are?
Boogs: Having a large community actively caring about a single game like a speedrunning community does is special. It’s a gigantic team effort to help everyone, but with a nice coating of healthy competition between friends within the group to beat each other back and forth. Every good meal needs a bit of salt to make it actually taste like something.
EC: You’re currently holding probably the single most important record in Breath of the Wild, “Fall off a Cliff and Die”. Other than the obvious bragging rights, what draws you to running what some call “meme” categories?
Boogs: This question is what kind of defines me as a runner, and it’s influenced by both other causes- running short and simple categories within popular games, but running categories nobody else does.
This is something I enjoy because of the comedic value to it. The whole joke in my World Record on the easiest category of The End is Nigh on Switch is that I’m the only Switch runner. The whole joke of Fall off a Cliff and Die with amiibo is that you can’t use amiibos within the game, so i just physically used an amiibo to push the buttons.
And what this does is make me stand out. I’ll be straightforward about this, I love having some attention around me, and to hear from the “actual” runners that they thought my runs were funny is great. You have all these big names that get their fame from actually being good at a game, so my shtick is while I’m not very good at most games, I can still use the words “World Record” for those uncontested categories and individual levels nobody really cares about.
At times, this even motivates people to beat my unoptimized times. Eventide Island is my signature category in Breath of the Wild, I was the first to run it and was almost immediately beaten by someone else. I took the WR back for a week and out of nowhere some guy I never talked to beat me by 20 seconds. I’m still heartbroken, but this kind of attention my “meme runs” get sometimes motivates people to keep the games alive and find new things they “accidentally” got into running.
EC: Would you ever consider branching out and running a more mainstream category such as any%, which is in itself quite short?
Boogs: I don’t see myself doing it anytime soon, even if it’s short it seems much more complicated than anything I really did in the game – of course, unless I manage to route eventide in… But no, it’s still much longer and a much bigger loss – although I am looking to find myself more 10 to 15 minute long stuff.
EC: If you could only run one category of one game (it doesn’t have to be a Zelda game) for the rest of time, what would it be?
Boogs: For the obvious joke, i’d say Eventide Island… and that’s probably the answer. Eventide Island 100%, where you open all chests and kill the Miniboss is a category only I run, have an unoptimized WR and I can see myself running it until the end of time, no biggie.
Hold onto your hats, folks, 3 weeks of records coming your way!
Legend of Zelda
Second Quest. KHANanaphone – 32:50
First Quest, One Hand. kingdahl – 39:56
Second Quest, One Hand. kingdahl – 1:04:01
First Quest, Minimal B Usage. jkoper – 38:26
First Quest, Max Keys. rooslugs – 51:05
First Quest, Swordless, low%. jkoper – 41:03
Second Quest, Swordless, low%. jkoper – 1:02:11
A Link to the Past
100%, No Restrictions. SeYsEy – 33:58
100%, No WW/OoB. SeYsEy – 1:18:41
Major Glitches, Defeat Ganon. poor_little_pinkus – 11:06
Link’s Awakening DX
Meme, All Capacity Upgrades. Sagaz – 24:26
Ocarina of Time
100%. zfg – 4:05:28
No IM/WW. Bonooruu – 1:14:40
MSB. realtimeattack64 – 1:29:17
All Fairy Rewards. realtimeattack – 46:51
No Doors, All Dungeons. Tbop – 3:59:46
HESS Crash. AntiLink – 23:47
any%. EnNopp112 – 1:16:33
Four Swords Adventures
any%. zmaster91 – 2:03:23
Ocarina of Time 3D
MST. purplephoton – 34:22
Wind Waker HD
any%. Ian_Miles29 – 1:02:18
Puppet Ganon RTA – 54:58
Twilight Princess HD
any%. Jacquaid – 3:40:12
Hyrule Warriors Legends
All Levels. gamebrain1 – 4:13:09
Breath of the Wild
any%, amiibo. Wolhaiksong – 38:33
AMQ, Original, No amiibo. Twik – 3:34:44
Master Sword RTA, No amiibo. Sketodara01417 – 2:07:21
Master Sword and Dungeons, Original, amiibo. Iden – 2:53:50
Master Sword, Dungeons, and Towers, Original, amiibo. pretends2know – 4:54:09
100%, Extended, No amiibo. SpecsN_Stats – 31:22:23
Great Plateau, 100%, Original, No amiibo. Iden – 32:43
Great Plateau, 100%, Original, amiibo. Iden – 43:30
Great Plateau, 100%, Extended, amiibo. Iden – 32:54
Great Plateau, any%, No amiibo. Iden – 21:28
Die, Ice Water, amiibo. Nicolasreci – 4:27.920
Go Home and Die, amiibo. Nicolasreci – 5:30.390
Hyrule Warriors Definitive
New Game, Main Story. Rizlim – 3:36:06
New Game+, Main Story. Tororoshinpei – 2:54:32
The Final Split
Just about there! As usual, there’s a few “small” events happening over the next few weeks to wet your speedrunning appetite.
Summer Games Done Quick 2018 – 24th June ~ 1st July – I know I know I said small, but here we are – the biggest speedrunning event of the year. Running over a whole week (coincidentally a week I’m on holiday), the event features Zelda runs aplenty, with Skyward Sword, Majora’s Mask 3D, Four Swords Adventures, Oracle of Seasons, and more! Missed out on your favourite game? Fear not! The marathon uploads each run to its Youtube channel for you to watch anytime you like!
WASD (Warwick’s Awesome Speedruns and Demos) – 25th June ~ 27th June – A British speedrunning marathon held at the University of Warwick. Raising money for charity SpecialEffect, the marathon features a Triforce Heroes All Levels run, which promises to be entertaining, if not particularly efficient.
That’s all from me this week. Like I said, I’ll be absent for most of SGDQ, but when I get back, I’ll have an article out in no time, giving you the round up of the best, worst, and coolest parts of the marathon, as well as the lowdown on any Zelda games featured. Until then, have a wonderful time.
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 actually stuck inside your computer. Please let me out.