Tag Archives: world record

Speedrunner Beats His Punch-Out!! World Record With New King Hippo Trick

Screenshot: Joseph Harris (YouTube)

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! for the NES hasn’t had a new speedrunning world record in over a year. The last one recorded was set in April 2018 by Summoningsalt with a time of 15 minutes and 10.5 seconds. But over the weekend, Summoningsalt returned, shaving a fraction of a second off his previous record. He was able to do that thanks to a new strategy for manipulating the fight against King Hippo in order to expose his weakness as early as possible.

King Hippo is impervious to every attack except when he opens his mouth, at which point he grabs his shorts to keep them from falling down and leaves his himself defenseless. However, there’s generally no pattern for when he’ll do so. He might open his mouth early in the round or continue to throw jabs, an outcome that can sink even the most expeditious speedrun attempts. On top of that, he needs to do it at least three times for players to KO him. But thanks to new insight into the game’s internal workings, it’s now possible to greatly increase the likelihood of King Hippo opening his mouth on all three of his first punches.

In a Google document released on July 7, Punch-Out!! speedrunner Lucandor158 and his brother, Zoxsox, detailed their research into how the game’s internal memory affects when King Hippo will open his mouth. “RNG in MTPO is based off the memory address 0018 in RAM,” they wrote, referring to how the game mathematically decides which move an opponent will use. “This value changes every frame based on 2 other memory locations: 0019 and 001E.”

The value in 0019 is determined by players’ cumulative controller inputs during a playthrough, looping every time that value surpasses 255. 001E simply keeps count of the number of frames that have occurred. As a result, it’s possible to influence the values that appear in 0018, and thus whether King Hippo opens his mouth when the fight starts.

“When hippo decides whether or not to open his mouth, he looks at the 3 rightmost bits of 0018. If these bits are 001, 011, or 110, he will open his mouth,” wrote the brothers. “Any other combination will result in no open.” While the math going on behind the scenes can get a bit complicated, the strategy itself is more straightforward in practice.

“First punch involves starting the fight in the correct 8-frame window, which isn’t too hard to do—I probably get this part correctly 90-95 percent of the time,” Summoningsalt told Kotaku in an email. “In order to get the third punch to always be an open, the frames you hit the first two punches on must add up to either 3 or 4.” He added that it’s still hard since there are no visual cues to help with counting frames, but after practicing, he’s been able to create the conditions for King Hippo to open his mouth a third time consecutively about 75 percent of the time.

That’s what happened during his attempt over the weekend, with the King Hippo fight taking almost two seconds less time to complete than normal. When combined with some other short time losses earlier in the run, he was able to secure his new world record of 15 minutes and 10.11 seconds.

Lucandor158 and Zoxsox speculate that this is only the beginning of a new era in Punch-Out!! speedrunning. In the past, world records like Summoningsalt’s have leaned heavily on skill and experience, but the brothers believe the same RNG manipulation could potentially be applied to other fights. It’s even conceivable that the entire game could be reverse engineered in this way to reveal the perfect route through it, with every bob, weave, and punch planned out ahead of time. Not bad for a 35-year-old NES game.

Source: Kotaku.com

Streets Of Rage 2 Champ Pulls Off Nigh Impossible No Death Mania Run

Speedrunner Anthopants is one of the best Streets of Rage players in the world, but even he couldn’t complete Streets of Rage 2 on Mania difficulty as the character Max without dying…until this weekend, that is, when he downed the final boss with a mere sliver of health left. His reaction upon becoming the first to ever accomplish the nigh-impossible feat is priceless.

Anthopants has been breaking Streets of Rage speedrun records for years. He’s a fixture at the top of Speedrun.com’s Streets of Rage 2 and 3 charts, and he showed off his skill during last year’s Summer Games Done Quick event. Beating Streets of Rage 2 on its highest difficulty is easy for Anthopants, but beating it without dying is another thing. He managed to pull off the feat for the first time with the character Axel in November of 2018.

Compared to Max, however, Axel is easy mode. He’s got the fastest punch in the game, as well as the best blitz super move, the “Grand Upper.” Speaking to Kotaku over email, Anthopants explains why beating the game without dying as the wrestler Max is so much more difficult.

“Max is the hardest to play the game with. You need the fastest reflexes, most knowledge of enemies timing, you have to use his entire move-set and know, in real-time on the spot, when to use what when,” said Anthopants. “You have to think ahead 10 steps, get to step 1 and instantly think ahead a whole new 10 steps when things don’t go as you planned (they never do). Once you get good with Max it pays off in big ways, he’s the fastest to speedrun the game with due to his massive damage but he’s also the easiest for enemies to hit due to his big hitbox, slow walk and punch speed.”

Anthopants got his first near-deathless with Max in December of last year, weeks after his Axel run. Since then he’s attempted the no death Max Mania run dozens of times. He’s documented the times he came close to his goal in a series of “No Death Fail” videos on his YouTube channel. They’re painful to watch.

Anthopants grinded for his no death Axel mania run for nearly eight months, and then jumped straight into mastering Max. “My problem was that I did it with Axel, but in my heart, I’m a Max player. Max is the reason why I love Streets of Rage 2 as much as I do. Despite all the pain that seven and a half months of grinding with Axel gave me, I jumped back into it so I could get it with Max.”

Now, after all of that pain, he’s gotten the payoff. After battling through an incredibly tense stage seven, he advanced to the eighth and final stage, Mr. X’s office. With maybe one hit’s worth of health left, the machine gun-wielding boss fell. The final battle starts at the 58:30 mark in the video below.

His reaction is intense. There’s a brief cheer, followed by two minutes or so of heavy breathing. In the YouTube description for the video, Anthopants says,“I held some very extreme focus during level 8 for a little too long so I spent the entire end credits making sure I didn’t go into shock.”

Too intense? No worries—Anthopants followed up the victory vid with a version that had commentary, giving him a chance to share the thrill of becoming the first to not let Max die in Mania mode.

What’s next for Anthopants? “If I’m really smart I won’t ever go for a no death again. For now, I’ll put in Max speedruns, which is fast and crazy just the way I like it.”

Source: Kotaku.com

Invisible Beetle Is The Key To A New Donkey Kong Country 2 World Record

One of Donkey Kong Country 2’s best speedrunners, who goes by V0oid, recently took first-place in the game’s 102 percent category, completing and collecting everything in the game in 1:26:28. He’d been working on it for months, but was able to shave a full nine seconds off the previous record thanks to a newly discovered shortcut made possible by an invisible beetle.

The shortcut takes place on Red-Hot Ride, the ninth level in the game and one that’s full of lava. It’s also home to a crate containing Rambi the Rhinoceros. As with all of the series animal buddies, Rambi makes it super easy to rush through the level, but only a portion of it. A “No Rhinoceros” sign appears before the end of the level, causing Rambi to turn into a balloon if he hits it. Using an invisible beetle, however, it’s possible to glitch the game and magically teleport the sign behind where Rambi’s standing.

“The gist of it is, you create an invisible object out of a beetle, and in this game invisible objects have very interesting properties, which include moving sprites around,” V0oid told Kotaku in an email. “So by manipulating ID values properly, I can use the invisible object to move the Rambi sign post, which enables me to use Rambi through the rest of the stage, which you can cruise through with Rambi’s charge ability.”

Making throwable objects like barrels and beetles invisible and using them to manipulate the game is one of Donkey Kong Country 2’s cornerstone glitches. It requires carrying one object in front while backing into another. Right before actually hitting it, the player needs to release the Y button to let go of the object,then immediately press it again. If they’re quick enough, the object will disappear but player characters Diddy or Dixie will still appear to be holding something. Clever speedrunners can then throw these invisible objects at different locations to corrupt the game’s memory and cause all sorts of weird stuff to happen.

Donkey Kong Country 2’s 102 percent category is interesting in that players are allowed to use glitches but still need to collect everything in the game, rather than just rushing to the final boss. As a result, there are lots of opportunities to save small amounts of times in precise locations by deploying the right glitches. Players have been running the game for years, so the best route and strategy are already extremely optimized. The most recent Rambi time save was fortunate surprise for V0oid and others.

“The biggest thing that made this [world record] possible was a new strategy in Red-Hot Ride found by Mr. Kyoro from Japan, which saves around 8 seconds,” he said. “This game is very optimized and new strategies usually save less than a second, so that discovery was a huge deal.” It’s been a year since V0oid’s last 102 percent record, and he’s spent the last three months playing nearly five hours a day to try and grind out his next one. When Kyoro’s discovery started making the rounds three weeks ago, it made V0oid’s job that much easier.

“Since I already have the Any% WR, it meant having both records at the same time again,” he said. “My goal was only to reclaim the WR, not necessarily to defend it since my main competitor is currently grinding that category as well, and it’s almost exclusively what he runs.” This speedrunner, ga_su_0416, who held the previous world record, has already started practicing to try and make that happen.

Source: Kotaku.com

Seemingly Unbreakable Getting Over It World Record Turns Out To Be A Fake

In Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, a man in a pot tries to climb a mountain with a sledgehammer. A Chinese speedrunner named Ccfst recently seemed to help that man climb the mountain faster than anyone before him, setting a new world record that struck some as impossible. The skeptics were right. Over the weekend, Ccfst admitted he had cheated.

On March 17, Ccfst said “I will not send a false record of goi again,” according to a screenshot of a now-deleted comment on Chinese social media provided by Keronari, the chief moderator of the Getting Over It speedrunning records page. Ccfst has since deleted his Getting Over It videos hosted on the site and the moderators of the speedrunning page have removed his world record and banned him from submitting records for six months. According to a Google translation of post currently at the top of Ccfst’s Bilbili page, he plans to continue speedrunning the game and eventually earn a legit record.

Ccfst did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

At the beginning of the year, the fastest anyone had completed Getting Over It was in one minute, 19 seconds. That record was set by Norwegian speedrunner Rengj. Then on January 31, Ccfst upended everything with a video purporting to show him completing the game in 1:13. Most of the game’s records are separated by fractions of a second. Coming in several seconds ahead of the previous mark is practically unheard of.

“When he posted his 1:13 time it was pretty hard for us all to believe, because it was honestly an insane run but the run itself looked completely legit,” Keronari told Kotaku in a Facebook message. He’s not just a Getting Over It mod but a speedrunner. “It wasn’t spliced so there were no frame cuts to spot.

Getting good at Getting Over It requires no end of patience and hardwork, as any little mistake can sned the player tumbling back down the mountain. Getting good enough to speedrun it requires grinding through those challenges until playing the game becomes like muscle memory, and even then it’s an uphill battle. Ccfst’s run looked too easy to many, and indeed it was.

In a recent Reddit post on the subject, some in the Getting Over It speedrunning community said they’d suspected Ccfst of cheating from the start, but Keronari told Kotaku that it’s still not 100 percent clear what his method was. “With all of his videos deleted it’s hard to say when exactly it was that he started to cheat, and it was even hard to spot that he was cheating,” he said.

Still, there are theories. “We believe he had used cheat engine to slow the game down (this also slows down the in-game timer) which would help make his movements easier, [give him] more time to react to everything,” he said. The theory is that a cheater using this method could then speed up the video to make it look like a normal run.

There is still a copy of the 1:13 speedrun up on YouTube, which even now as an admitted fake is breathtaking to watch. Keronari said that prior to Ccfst’s confession, the Getting Over It speedrunning community was in a weird place. “Some of the community members are probably relieved more than anything else,” he said. “Ccfst had killed some of the competitiveness in the grind for world record because of how far ahead he was.”

In the days shortly after the record’s removal, a speedrunner called Stillow managed to set a new world record at 1:17. “There’s a bit of motivation now for some of the top runners to try grind that top spot again,” said Keronari.

He said he’s content to let Ccfst learn from his mistake and doesn’t want to ban him from the community forever. But when he does return, Keronari plans to review his footage more closely.

“We don’t want to go into all the details about these methods but one is that we would require a submission from the same player that has the in-game sound turned on—slowing the game down then speeding the video up would require the speed of the sound to also increase,” he said.

Source: Kotaku.com

Club Penguin Speedrunner Sets New Record In Fan Remake

In May 2016 a player who goes by supermanover00 decided to speedrun the children’s online browser game Club Penguin by seeing how fast they could complete all 11 missions in the game, which they did at 45:43. Club Penguin is no more, but nearly three years later, supermanover00 has returned and beat their previous record inside a fan recreation of the original game called Club Penguin Rewritten.

On Monday, supermanover00 took first place in the same category in Club Penguin Rewritten with a time of 22:14, 19 seconds better than the runner-up. It was the runner’s first successful stab at this category since Club Penguin ended on March 29, 2017, and they beat the seven other people who have been running it over the years.

It’s unusual that people are even still playing this long-dead game, let alone speedrunning it. Many players who grew up playing Club Penguin, which Disney released in 2005, remain fond of it. Long before Fortnite or even Nintendo’s Miiverse, Club Penguin offered a social space that was part AIM, part MMO. “It’s a magical experience and a lot of people remember those times as the best times of their childhoods as it truly has a special place during those times,” the chief admin of Rewritten, who in the community goes only by Stu, told Kotaku in an email. Speedrunning the game is one of the ways the game’s fans have found to keep that magic alive, even though the original is no more.

The All Missions speedrun supermanover00 pioneered consists of completing each of the game’s 11 Penguin Secret Agency (P.S.A.) missions in order. These missions basically play out like a traditional adventure game with players clicking on different stuff on the screen to have conversations with characters, discover clues, and solve puzzles. They can be quite involved, with the last mission including over 70 individual steps.

Unlike a lot of other games, there aren’t any glitches or tricks to exploit. For the most part, speedrunning Club Penguin is simply a matter of clicking through the entire adventure in the most efficient way possible. There’s also a fair bit of luck involved because some of the adventure’s randomized sections, like a series of tunnels in mission eight, are quicker to guess through than solve by finding the corresponding clues.

Supermanover00 told Kotaku in an email that their latest record wasn’t a result of grinding but just the natural evolution of someone who loves the game returning to it every so often and retracing well worn paths. “All games are good speedrun games in their own way, some just take more time to optimize,” they said. “I don’t care how many other players there are that do it. It’s just fun.”

Source: Kotaku.com

Another Wind Waker HD Glitch Is Rewriting The Rules For The Game’s World Records 

Screenshot: Nintendo (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker)

A trick that lets players finish the third dungeon without collecting the boss key in the Wii U remaster of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, is the latest in a slew of glitch discoveries that have made the game’s speedrunning scene one of the most exciting to follow. Though a new world record was just set in the game yesterday, the discovery of this new glitch means more are likely to follow soon.

The new time-saver was discovered by speedrunner LegendofLinkk and explained in a new video on YouTube by one of the game’s top record holders, Linkus7. Wind Waker is an adventure game where you explore dungeons and the open seas as the elf-eared hero Link. It came out for the GameCube in 2002 and was remastered for the Wii U in 2013. The new version contains speedrunning tricks and exploits not in the previous one. This latest maneuver, dubbed the “Forbidden Woods Boss Key Skip,” is one of them. It requires players go to the game’s third dungeon located in the Forbidden Woods, a small island full of overgrown vines and monsters where Link must journey to save a Korok (tiny tree spirit) that got lost there.

The glitch focuses on the wall to the left in the room directly preceding the dungeon’s boss. If the player uses another glitch to hit the wall at a very high speed, they can slip through it into an out of bounds area just on the other side. From there, it’s possible to jump and use your leaf parachute to sail to a second ledge closer to the boss room door, then jump to a spot that will trigger the loading animation for actually entering the room as if the player had used the required key.

You can’t normally just phase through whatever walls you want in the game. If you could, the art and excitement of speedrunning Wind Waker HD would be greatly diminished. Instead, according to Linkus7 what makes it possible to break through this particular barrier is how the game measures collision and the way being near water affects the speed at which Link can clip through walls.

Suffice it to say the game doesn’t always calculate where Link is in the world correctly. This makes it possible to break through various barriers in the game, but usually only if Link is going very fast. Item Sliding, a separate glitch that lets Link speed up exponentially by slightly reversing direction while in item aiming mode, is one way of doing that. Normally, even if Link gets through the wall, this glitch will cause him to fly too far because of his momentum, causing him to re-load back where he originally started. In this particular location, however, Linkus7 believes the existence of the water just below the wall, which normally breaks Link’s speed when he makes contact with it, is what makes it possible to glitch through the wall directly to the other side and then immediately stopping.

“When the water is so close to the platform you are clipping through, it clips you and also considers your collision to be in the water at the same time which creates a case where link clipped through the wall and loses his speed at the same time, causing him to just stand and land right outside of the wall Out of Bounds,” Linkus7 told Kotaku in an email. That’s his working theory for now, until he and others are able to explore it further and see if there are other areas of the game this logic can be applied to.

The consequences for world record attempts are huge too since it means speedrunners no longer have to travel all the way to the dungeon’s bottom floor where the boss key chest is. On Twitter, Linkus7 estimated it would shave up to three minutes off All Dungeons runs and close to a minute and 15 seconds off 100% runs. That’s an especially big deal for the game considering Linkus7 had just set a new world record time of 5:41:49 for the 100% category just hours before the new glitch was discovered. The previous record in that category, also held by Linkus7, was 5:44:58.

Both of these developments come on the back of the 2019 Awesome Games Done Quick speedrunning marathon that wrapped up last Sunday. Linkus7’s on-air playthrough of Wind Waker HD was one of the highlights of the week, but was apparently just a warm-up for his subsequent breakthroughs (Linkus7 also came within a second of tying Ian_Miles29’s existing All Dungeons world record of 2:28:41 earlier in the week). Rather than rest after such a big week, the new boss key skip being in play means the grind for more records will continue to ramp up.

Source: Kotaku.com