Since I spend a good portion of my time watching speedruns, I figured for today’s Top Three Thursday that I would make a list of a few in particular that I like.
3. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
Of all of the games in the Kirby franchise, Kirby 64 has always interested me the most due to its mechanic of combining types, not to mention it has some awesome music, particularly in Ripple Star level 3. Although I don’t remember the gameplay too well, I have a good understanding of it by watching speedruns of it. I find 100% to be the most interesting category; while it takes slightly longer than any%, at least it has more in store than just fire spam. (Fire and double fire are the fastest types in the game.) There are these collectibles called Shards, all of which are required for 100%, some of which require particular type combinations to get (which are generally indicated by color), which is why the 100% run is more diverse in what types are used. In closing, the game and the routing (of 100%) are what make speedruns of it fun to watch.
World record (WR) run at the time of publishing – 1:10:32 by Swordsmankirby (http://www.twitch.tv/swordsmankirby/v/4916543)
2. Bravely Default: Flying Fairy
Even though I’ve only ever seen one run of the game (http://www.twitch.tv/romiplaysgames/c/4654794; WR at the time of publishing) via the SGDQ 2015 submissions page (shame that the game got rejected), it’s still an interesting speed game to me. First, I never figured that you could destroy the crystal to discover an alternate ending (the full extent of which can be viewed on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXlynyxRYFU). Second, the strategy of using Reflect and casting Black Magic on teammates to increase damage output is really creative. Third, to be honest, in all of my hours of playing the game, I never considered manipulating the encounter rate like Romi did. (Rather than random encounters, he used planned encounters (e.g., in Florem Gardens) and Barbarossa to gain experience.) I also like how the route takes into consideration a number of jobs and abilities that increase damage output and/or make things faster/safer (e.g., defeating Mephilia to obtain Girtablulu, which solves the problem that the Land Turtle (one of the mandatory bosses) can cast Reflect on itself; defeating Qada for Compounding, allowing the ability to use Font of Life (Hi-Potion+X-Potion) to grant Reraise to allies; and leveling up as an Arcanist for Black Magic Amp).
Even though Bravely Default is a turn-based RPG, speedruns of it are definitely not boring (especially due to how unforgiving RNG can be, e.g., the Behemoth’s crits in Romi’s run), and my first time watching the run has taught me things that I had either forgotten or overlooked in my 100 hours of playing the game. (Then again, the alternate ending video did as well, mainly how useful Mimic can be.)
1. Donkey Kong 64
Like Kirby 64, I don’t remember Donkey Kong 64 too well (in fact, even worse). Still, it seems to be the most enjoyable speed game I can think of. It’s one of several games that is so broken that nobody runs it “glitchless.” I mean, the closest to “glitchless” you can get in DK64 runs is No Levels Early, which merely restricts accessing level lobbies before intended and skipping B. Lockers without the required golden banana count. (I suppose you could consider it like 70 star in Super Mario 64.) Really, the game is so broken that you can swim through vertical walls (sometimes abbreviated STVW), clip through ledges at a certain pixel (buffered through first-person mode, which allows you to skip Troff and Scoff doors), perform a special kick as Donkey Kong with drastically increased height (called a moon kick), and skew your character model in order to clip through walls (demonstrated on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQKDAJVfS_k at around 14:10). On the original Nintendo 64 version, you can use oranges to lag the game and make your character fast enough to clip through certain walls. (N.B.: This does not work in the Wii U Virtual Console version because lag was removed.) It’s really fun to watch, even if it drives runners mad sometimes, especially because of Lanky Kong. Really, I’m glad that No Levels Early got accepted into SGDQ 2015, and I’m definitely looking forward to it.
WR runs at the time of publishing:
- Any% – 28:32 by Isotarge on N64 (https://youtu.be/vIt4sByxr0E)
- No Levels Early – 2:20:50 by 2dos on Wii U VC (http://www.twitch.tv/2dos/v/4765327)
- 101% – 6:17:34 by Znernicus on N64 (http://www.twitch.tv/znernicus/c/5408114)
À la prochaine! (Until next time!)