Do you remember the first speedrun you ever watched?
Mine was Quake Done 100% Quick, a delightful and bloody romp through Quake on it's hardest difficulty setting, with every kill and every secret found, in a faster time than I could get through most levels on normal mode. In my eyes, it stood as a testament to how good one could be at gaming, this was before those "tool-assisted" runs (which I am not against, but that will be discussed later), where the mettle of the player was shown in such a wonderful fragfest.
It was by watching the entirety of this speed run (in third person at that!), I was able to understand the nuances I found so hard to figure out on my own run through, and thus, was able to be that much better at the game.
That was when I discovered what speedruns are, but curiously enough, it reminds me of the movie, "The Wizard". Those who are older than myself may be able to recall this movie in greater detail, as I am attempting to pull it from my childhood memory at the theater, but from what I remember, it was a challenge to see who could be Super Mario 3 the fastest. While this constituted as something amazing to me at the time, I think said contestants in the movie did not have the experience that one making a speedrun would require today.
That's right, everyone, in merely watching speedruns, I have figured out the idea behind what really brings one out from another.
Like all good students, if we wish to do well, we must study what lies in front of us. Not just practicing the problems, but reading up on all the small nuances within the chapter, so that one off-the-wall question on an exam won't be the one that makes or breaks you.
So the greatest speedruns out there are made by those who have studied everything that allows them to gain the greatest edge on a game, all the shortcuts required to cut down time, this can be something as simple as bunny-hopping to preserve momentum, or something as mind-blowing as using some crazy glitch to propel yourself through a door that you may not have the requirements to go through yet (watch a low-star Mario 64 run, and if you don't know what I'm talking about yet, prepare to be amazed).
There are also those who will slow the game down when they play, maybe even go frame by frame, in order to get the perfect rate of play. Not a movement wasted, in some cases, no damage is taken. While this may remove from the value of a true speedrun, it shows the perfection that we all strive for when trying to play a game at it's best. I will not discount "tool-assisted" runs, as they provide much for my watching entertainment. In fact, I have discovered some rather interesting things that can be done in a game as a result.
is one such site that shows "tool-assisted" runs, and for those who have not seen such a thing (what rock of the internet did you crawl out from under?), I highly recommend it.
For the "tool-assisted", I understand what kind of nitpicking and study you must go through, but I do not envy any of it, for the rest of us, let us use the examples of what others have been driven to perfect in order to help in our own quests for completion. read