Speedrunner Distortion2 zips through Elden Ring in under nine minutes

Elden Ring speedrun zips

“Imagine beating a Souls game without fighting anything”

Speedrunners are relentlessly whittling down Elden Ring, and as someone who’s only been casually following the recent times they’ve been clocking, I got whiplash from this under-nine-minute Any% Unrestricted speedrun from Distortion2. With a finicky “zip” technique, it was possible to get through the Lands Between in 8 minutes and 56 seconds.

This run popped up in my feed yesterday and I couldn’t believe it.

I mean, I could believe it — things tend to get pretty wild in FromSoftware speedruns when the idea is to just reach the credits through any means possible. But after spending dozens of hours with Elden Ring, it’s hard to wrap your head around just how efficient a speedrun can become, glitches or no glitches. I spent more time on the Tree Sentinel!

“Imagine beating a Souls game without fighting anything,” Distortion2 tweeted.

In this case, the runner made full use of wild-looking (yet really meticulous) zips to clear huge distances, as well as “kill” some mandatory late-game bosses, like Maliketh.

Zipping across the Lands Between

So what are zips, exactly? A helpful pinned YouTube comment from Sketchy has our backs with a quick rundown: “A zip is performed by guarding and then walking at a specific time afterward for a specific number of frames. These are frame perfect. The zip is caused by the specific way the walking and guarding animations overlap. Zips are reliant on hardware (and are therefore only allowed in unrestricted runs) and lower resolution makes them more consistent. Macros are not allowed, these are done manually.”

If you’re looking for a more in-depth breakdown, here’s an explainer video from Daravae:

It’s the kind of technique that proficient runners can nail down to a staggering degree.

As for why many zones (and their bosses) can be bypassed but not Crumbling Farum Azula, that location “cannot be zipped to because it is not loaded in unless you get there legitimately.” The current solution is to zip to The Four Belfries, catch a teleporter to Farum Azula as FromSoftware intended, then wrong warp — an Any% staple.

This record-breaking Any% Unrestricted Elden Ring speedrun ends in a fittingly strange way — we never even see the final boss! — which is just icing on top. It’s chaotic af.

[Update: Distortion2 has since posted a 6:59 Elden Ring speedrun, adding, “This category has been quite the ride. Still some room for improvement but I am done with this for now.”]

I know Any% runs aren’t to everyone’s tastes, so if you’re curious to see more of the game’s content cleared quickly rather than outright skipped, here’s a 1:32:45 All Remembrances run of Elden Ring from Qttsix. The Sword of Night and Flame puts in work.

Keep doing your thing, Distortion2. I love it.

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.