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Speedrun Records That Will Never Be Broken

What do you do once you've beaten a video game? Well, you try and figure out other ways to challenge yourself, other ways to "beat" the game and show everybody just how good you are at it. You can try and accumulate as many points as possible. Many games these days can be finished without doing every last quest, so avid gamers can go back and try and complete the game in its entirety. Then, there's the little matter of time, which has led to the phenomenon of speedruns.


Speedruns, if you aren't familiar, are when somebody tries to beat a game as quickly as possible. A successful run says to the world, "I am so good at this game, it takes me basically no time to finish it." The added bonus of speedrunning is that it can be competitive, and there is always a time to try and beat. You can always hope that you can get a little faster, even if it's just shaving a second off your last run. However, there are some speedrun records that seem destined to stand the test of time. You never want to say never, but here are ten video game speedrun records that seem unbreakable.

The controversial Dragster record

Dragster isn't the most beloved of the Atari 2600 games; it's just an old racing game that probably would have just been forgotten about. However, there was one man who made sure that Dragster would be remembered, and that's Todd Rogers. Way back in 1982, Rogers wrote into Activision's official fan newsletter and said he had beaten the game in 5.51 seconds. The record was acknowledged at the time and accepted as legitimate.


Unsurprisingly, Rogers' record wouldn't remain unscrutinized forever. Polygon ran down the whole story in detail. A thread on the website for Twin Galaxies, keepers of video game records, started digging into the story. The thread ran 300 pages, and one intrepid investigator analyzed the game's code and found that completing the game in 5.51 was fundamentally impossible.

Rogers stands by his record, but Twin Galaxies no longer does, and it has actually scrubbed all of Rogers' records from their books. Several players have recorded a time of 5.57, which is the new record. Given how much time has been spent pulling apart Dragster, it is probably safe to say that is the limit for the game.

The GoldenEye record that took 15 years to beat

If you played the Nintendo 64, you almost certainly tried your hand at GoldenEye 007. Sure, maybe you just enjoyed the multiplayer mode, which was a ton of fun, but some players tried to see how fast they could make it through the game, or through individual levels. In 2002, Brian Bosshardt set a speedrun record for the first level, "Dam." He completed the relatively simple level in a mere 53 seconds. It seemed like it would stand forever ... until it didn't.


Karl Jobst practiced the level for a whopping 250 hours before he finally managed to actually beat what had appeared impossible. Daily Dot reported that Jobst beat the record by a mere one second. Considering that it took 15 years to shave one second off the previous record, it feels like this one is going to stand the test of time. That's especially true when you realize how much luck Jobst needed to do this. It required three "boosts," which is GoldenEye lingo for being shot by an enemy in a way that propels James Bond forward. Jobst said that only happened three times in his 250 hours trying to beat the record. Knowing that, this record feels almost miraculous.

Super Mario Bros. completed at warp speed

Super Mario Bros. for the NES was one of the first games that got people into buying a console for their homes. It's one of the most iconic, perhaps the most iconic, video games ever. Having the speedrun record in Super Mario Bros. is pretty prestigious, but despite its vintage nature the record was actually set relatively recently.


A gentleman who goes by the name Darbian has the current record, Geek.com reports. He completed the game in 4:57.260. Yes, it is measured in fractions of a second, and with good reason. The previous record was 4:57.427. Darbian only broke the record by the slimmest of margins. Granted, the former record holder likely won't be too disappointed: Darbian beat his own record. Naturally, he made extensive use of warp pipes, and also took advantage of a glitch that allowed him to skip the castle walk at the end of levels. While Darbian says he won't try to beat the record again, it seems like it's safe from any other challenger, too.

The glitch that gave us the Pokemon Yellow record

As you have probably already noticed, speedruns are often assisted by weird glitches and things the game developers did not intend. Nowhere is that more relevant than with Pokemon Yellow. What's the speedrun record for completing this classic game? Zero seconds. Does that seem impossible? Well, read on.


Fortunately, Kotaku was happy to explain the situation. There are some glitches in the game that allow you to auto-complete it at the very beginning, before you catch a single Pokemon. You do have to be quick about taking advantage of these glitches to make it happen, but if you do that you can "beat" Pokemon Yellow before a single second has been recorded on the game's internal timer. That's cheap, sure, but it will allow you to share a speedrun record if that's something you want. If you want to know the record for beating the game by actually, you know, playing it, it currently stands at 16:53.

The end of Club Penguin means the end of speedruns

Let's get another technicality out of the way so we can get back to some more traditional records. Club Penguin was a Disney-owned MMO that was mostly played by kids. It was also used by the wannabe terrorists in Four Lions to communicate, but that's not really keeping with the game's kid-friendliness. However, it was technically a game you could speedrun, and some people did. According to Speedrun.com, which is dedicated to chronicling thousands upon thousands of speedrunning records, a Canadian with the screename "2KRN4U" beat it in 37.370 seconds.


So why is this record unbeatable? Well, as Kotaku noted, Disney shut the game down in March of 2017. There is no more Club Penguin. It's one of the most well-known games that is no longer playable. Since nobody can play Club Penguin, nobody can beat the speedrun record. That means this mysterious Canadian's record is safe. However, Disney released a new game called Club Penguin Island that is still out there to be taken down as quickly as possible.

The impossible record that proved to be possible

Super Mario 64 has an extremely competitive speedrunning community. That makes sense, as it is a great game that helped take Mario, and Nintendo, into a whole new realm. A lot of speedruns for Mario 64 revolved around trying to collect all 120 stars as quickly as possible. It was thought that nobody could do it in under 100 minutes. Then, on May 5, 2017, a gamer who goes by cheese05 did it, getting under the 100-minute mark by a mere three seconds. The impossible accomplishment had happened.


That record stood for less than a month. On June 3, as Polygon notes, a gamer called Puncayshun got 120 stars in 1 hour, 39 minutes, and 49 seconds. Suddenly, the idea that nobody could get 120 stars in under 100 minutes had been proven wrong twice — and it doesn't end there. Cheese05 didn't sit idly by and let his record be wrested away. The very next day he tried again, and this time he did it in 1 hour, 39 minutes, and 28 seconds. Yes, he beat the record by over 20 seconds. That's incredibly impressive, and seems impossible to beat. Of course, we know what happened last time we believed that.

The evolution of the Metroid record

Metroid, and the ensuing games in the Metroid series, are sometimes overlooked, but the series is one of the most important in Nintendo history. The original Metroid for the NES is a classic, and let's not forget that it featured a female protagonist in Samus who kicked a lot of ass. Needless to say, given Metroid's iconic status, a lot of people have tried their hand at speedrunning the game.


In fact, this Polygon post features a YouTube video that dedicated 27 minutes to the evolution of the Metroid speedrun record. Even if you aren't super interested in Metroid, it's still a fascinating primer on the world of speedrunning. Each record-breaking run unlocks something that the next record holder builds off of, until we get to a point where records seem basically unbreakable. We are probably at that point with Metroid. For several years, the record stood at 15:42, and while that is still in the top ten, several people have beaten it recently. The current record is now 9:56, and at the moment nobody else has been able to get within a minute of that. Unless something changes, that is looking nigh unbreakable.


Punching with your eyes closed

What do you do when you get tired of beating a game the normal way. Evidently, for some people the answer is "play it blindfolded." That's what gamers have been doing with the classic boxing game Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!. Believe or not, multiple people have tried their hand at beating the game without being able to see what they are doing. Does that sound impossible? Apparently it isn't.


Earlier this year a guy who goes by the name mPap attempted to punch out an assorted of boxers with a blindfold on, and he did it with gusto. As Polygon reports, even though he could not see what he was doing, mPap beat Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! In 20 minutes, 36 seconds. Not only is that a record, it beat the previous record by 21 seconds. There are a couple reasons this record seems basically impossible to break. One, mPap is clearly a lot better at this than most, and playing a video game blindfolded is incredibly difficult. Two, how many people do you think are really trying to beat Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! while blindfolded? The less people trying to do something, the less likely it is to happen.


You don't have to kill to win, but in Diablo II that makes things pretty hard

When you play a video game where killing your enemies is part of the journey, you usually do that with gusto. Even Mario stomps on mushrooms and turtles. You are supposed to vanquish your foes. It's not just part of the fun: sometimes it is necessary. However, one speedrunner tried to prove otherwise, even though he was playing Diablo II.


A gentleman who goes by the name DrCliche decided to try and beat Diablo II as a "pacifist," reported Polygon. He tried to play it as quickly as possible while also not attacking a single enemy. All these villains were out there trying to do him harm, and he just turned the other cheek. Well, technically DrCliche wore thorn-covered armor which would hurt his enemies, but he didn't attack them. It made beating the game a bit tricky, but he did it. DrCliche beat Diablo II in 7 hours, 41 minutes. Given the difficult circumstances he placed himself under, that's extremely impressive, and also probably unbeatable.

A Portal 2 segment is beaten in under 30 minutes

Portal 2 is a platform game, but it is also a puzzle game. That means you have to really think things through when you are trying to beat the game, which does not help when it comes to speedrunning. Trying to explain how the teleportation works to somebody who hasn't played the game is tricky. If you want to understand Portal 2, it probably needs to be seen, and that includes speedruns.


There are different Portal 2 speed records out there, but arguably this one showcased on Reddit is the best of the bunch. It certainly seems like the one most likely to stand the test of time. The video shows a co-op attempt at completing a single segment as swiftly as possible. They managed to get it done in 29:35.400. You can see the portals being used to maximum effect. It's another example of how everything has to go perfectly to set a speedrun world record, and that's why some of them are never going to be beaten.