And so, with a casual “sub-four, cool,” a new world speedrunning record was broken: a 100% run of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, completed in (just barely) under four hours.
Speedrunning is a curious thing, isn’t it? For a great many gamers, it’s like an alien world. A conversation you can nod along with, but not really understand what’s going on there. Like Joey from Friends, when he bought the ‘V’ volume of the A-Z encyclopaedias.
In a lot of ways, it goes against every gamer instinct to try and rush through, rather than painstakingly collecting every little thing. Still, though, it’s a fascinating way to keep decades-old titles competitive and relevant (as the intense battle to hold on to the world Donkey Kong record will show you). Besides which, the separate challenge of the 100% speed run shows that there’s scope to dash through a game and still see everything it has to offer.
Ocarina of Time, needless to say, has a whole heckles of a lot to offer. For the average, non-superhuman gamer, it can be tough to imagine how these sorts of times can be achieved on top of grabbing the collectibles (not absolutely everything is needed, as the rules state, but still) but speedrunners of zfg’s calibre have finely honed their craft over a long, long time.
As with so many world records, it’s a slow road of gradually chipping away at your time over many attempts. In the case of Ocarina of Time, the competition has really been hotting up, with several top speedrunners attempting to outdo each other in very close runs. As Polygon reports, the previous world record from seven months ago has been outdone by twenty minutes (which is about 7000 years in speedrunning terms).
As is always the case in these situations, the big question is: how long will zfg be able to hold on to that crown? As it stands, they have quite a lead (the second-place score is 4:03:40 to zfg’s 3:58:45, at the time of writing), but all sorts of things can happen in the wild and wacky world of speedrunning.