Video Game Feats

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Once upon a time in college I got into speed runs. Back then most of us would record ourselves playing on VHS and then send the tapes to some dude at Speed Demos Archive who would digitize them and then put them on the website if they were good enough. Nowadays things like YouTube and Twitch exist and it's a little easier to record. This may have led to a very surprising result (to me, at least), which is that speedrunning became a lot more mainstream. To the extent that a select few actually make a living by just doing speedruns on Twitch or YouTube.

But for a while it was a smallish group of people geeking out on SDA (and a few other sites, like the precursor to TASVideos) over playing video games really fast.

Anyway, enough nostalgia.


Game System Date Time Category Comments
Super Mario Bros. 2 NES any %

This was the inaugural run for this game, so it's not very good.

Super Mario Bros. 2 NES warpless

This record lasted for a long time (about 10 years). The video quality is very bad.

Kid Icarus NES any %

The best part of the game isn't featured in the run, which is being turned into a terrible half-man/half-eggplant abomination.

Contra NES any %

This is the only game I ran out of spite. Everybody wanted to see Contra beat quickly, but no one would do it. Then some guy said he was running it, and it seemed promising. And then a year went by. Then he posted again that he was working on it. But he didn't. So I did instead. The fastest time on video before that was an emulated run that clocked in at around 13 minutes.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link NES deathless

A very difficult way to play this game. This goes through the entire game without dying on purpose. Dying is a very good strategy in speedrunning in general, because it usually restores your health/magic/whatnot. I end up dying by accident near the end of the run, after I got screwed by a red potion not spawning, but it doesn't count as "abuse". This run was so difficult and time consuming that I thought it would last forever. It's turned out to be one of more hotly-contested variations. I'm proud of this run; it took a lot of effort to devise the experience strategy, and I was the first one to to attempt this category.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link NES New Game+

This run starts from a "New Game+" file, which means you start with all your powerups from when you beat the game. This beat the world record (at the time) by one second, although that record had no video proof, so I had to devise my own strategies.

Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure Genesis any % (hard)

A fun game that extends the story of Pitfall Harry from the famous Atari 2600 game Pitfall! You play as his son, who is trying to rescue the original Pitfall Harry from WARRIOR SPIRIT, which is, by far, the best name for a final boss ever.

Ninja Gaiden NES any %

A notoriously difficult game. This was faster than the only other run that I could find at the time by ~2 minutes.

Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday Genesis any %

I never submitted this anywhere because the VHS quality was so bad. Years later I converted it to digital myself and uploaded it to YouTube. The music in this game is terrible but it's one of my favorite RPGs.

Tool-assisted speedruns

I also made some tool-assisted speedruns. Even by the standards of the day, these weren't that good. But they did actually get published on the site.

Game System Date Time Category Comments
Crystalis NES No wild warp

The only other TAS of this game used the Wild Warp, which was a cheat/debug code to warp to about a dozen different places in the game instantly. I didn't like that, so I made this one which didn't do that.

Spiritual Warfare NES any %

A strangely fun Legend of Zelda clone made by Wisdom Tree, a company that made a bunch of generally poor Christian-themed video games in the 90s. The music is truly terrible, however.