Running with Speed (2023)

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Running with Speed (2023)

Post by bunniefuu »

In 1985, lots of people started
playing video games on Nintendo.

It was a golden age.

So many masterpieces
were created.

The feel of the controllers...

...the sounds...

...ultimate nostalgia.


What is it?
- A Nintendo.

We've had more than 35 years of
digging for secrets in these games.

During that time,

a niche community has
formed around the idea

of executing elaborate strategies

to b*at games as fast
as humanly possible.

We're called speedrunners.

And to put it simply,
our world is complex.

Some find beauty in what we do.

Others consider it
a colossal waste of time.

Whatever it is...

...I love it.

I hold the world record for the fastest
completion of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!,

and I also hold the world record
for the fastest completion

of the last character
in that game, Mike Tyson.

I've tried to keep a low profile
on, uh, showing myself.

It's honestly just cause
that's how I've always been.

I've always tried
to stay under the radar.

My background's in business,
but somehow I translated that

into playing video games really
fast and making videos about it.

In addition to holding
the Punch-Out!! World record,

I'm also pretty well-known
for a YouTube series I create

where I talk
about the world record history

and progression
of various video games.

When my first video
came out on YouTube,

my first world record
progression video,

it was about Mike Tyson and it
got three or four thousand views

in the first couple of weeks.

And I was really excited

because just thousands of people
noticing my videos,

this is amazing.

And now I'm at the point where

if I don't get between half a million

and a million views in the video
in the first couple of weeks,

it's like a disappointing start.

It turns out there are a lot of people
interested in the world's fastest gamers.

And maybe that shouldn't be a surprise.

We've always been fascinated with speed.

There's something
about the visceral experience

of witnessing speed
that is instantly gratifying.

...he's gonna catch him.

...gone again.

He did it!
One-hundredth of a second.

To be fast, you need focus.

It comes via determination,

and only after lots of repetition.

And the human spirit keeps finding
ways to push things further.

The barrier, once thought
impossible, is now broken.

Eliud Kipchoge is the first
sub-two-hour marathoner,

It's an ongoing pursuit
of perfection.

The same, believe it or not,
holds true in speedrunning.

It's a select few
who are able to master

the mechanics and intricacies
of these games.

Who's gonna get this first?

And it's getting pushed
to a level

that even just a few years ago,

was unimaginable.

I was right, baby! Damn right!

Yes, that is right!

Speedrunning is the art
of beating a video game,

or a section of a video game
as fast as you can.


Oh, yeah.

Numerous categories
of world records are maintained

for even some
of the most obscure titles.

That is a new world record.
That is a new world record.

Let's go.

Let's go, man.

But deep-rooted franchises
like Mario, Zelda, Metroid

and Mega Man are most popular.

And time. Real nice. Beautiful.
- Time.

Thirty-three, dude.
- Thirty-three.

Wow. What a beast.

Retro games, in particular,

work well for speedrunning because
of the intriguing opportunity

to exploit their glitches.

Every frame
I press against the wall,

It'll be, uh, changing my pixels
by 50 and if I do it right,

I can sneak into the wall like that
there and save quite a bit of time.

Glitches happen
when players expose faults

in the game's programming.

This could mean finding spots

where you can slide
through walls.

Or triggering the game
to respond

in ways it's not supposed to.

Air walking, it does exactly
what the name implies.

- You walk on air...
- and you can use this

to basically skip, like,
90% of the game.

When glitches are found
in newer video games,

developers issue patches
or updates to fix the defects.

That's not the case
with older games.

Pizza power.

The classics
will always be the classics.

Their brokenness is
set in stone,

And even after two decades,

Speed runners are still
finding ways to go faster.

17:47, dude.

So much hard work,
so much hard work for this.

I can't believe it, dude. How much
time I've put ten into this?

The grind.

Oh, my God, I'm so happy.
I've finally got it.

I'm going to start by introducing you

to a legendary runner named AndrewG.

In 2010, he speed ran
Super Mario Bros.

In front of Shigeru Miyamoto,

Mario's renowned creator
from Nintendo,

- Yeah!
- Woo!

Yeah, Andrew!

Mario is the most popular
franchise in speedrunning.

And AndrewG was
a speedrunning standout

before there were standouts.

There was a point in my life
where I really wanted

to get my hand-eye coordination

and reflexes to be
as perfect as possible.

Just need to clear the gaps
and we're clear to world four.


There we go.

One day I decided to try
and combine my talents.

I figured out that I could play Super Mario
Bros. And juggle at the same time.

I have a bachelor's degree
in math and I've noticed

among the Super Mario Bros.
Speed runners,

we all kinda have similar
personalities in some ways.

You get to have a very technical
kind of mindset.

It's very mathematical.

And it's not always
so straightforward.

You've got to kind of think
outside the box, and I think

the puzzle aspect of it drew me in,
as well as the challenge aspect of it.

Uh-oh. Uh-oh.

It's like condensing
a math problem

to its simplest form
in a lot of ways.

And there always seems to be a
more improved version that exists.



I messed up the juggling.

Super Mario Bros.
Is a pretty simple game.

A lot of people are like,
"You just hold right and jump

and get to the flag."

And that's that, you know.

There's not much else to it,
but the game is like,

it's way more complex
than we ever had thought.

Super Mario Bros. Came bundled

with the Nintendo
Entertainment System

when it was released
in America in 1985.

The latest video game craze to
sweep the United States and Japan,

it's called Nintendo.
We have a report...

It's hard to overstate how much
they got right with this game.

It had a massive
cultural impact.

Super Mario Bros.
Is the all-time best selling

video game on the market
under the Nintendo label.

And it must be pretty good for someone
to want to spend five days doing nothing

but trying to rescue a princess
from hundreds of bad guys.

Who would have guessed
an Italian plumber named Mario,

racing to rescue
Princess Peach Toadstool

would catch on the way it did.

2007 was the year that

I got the five-minute Mario,
five minutes flat,

and that was a huge deal.

As speedrunning became a thing

the Any% category
of Super Mario Bros.

Was certainly a holy grail.

An Any% speed run only requires
the player to get to the end of the game.

It's not about collecting coins

or finding hidden mushrooms.

It's just about getting
to the end as fast as possible.

This is called the 1-2-G.

Uh, G being in relations...
In reference to me.

Um, and what I'm trying to do is I'm trying
to clip right through this pipe here.

Andrew is using a safe state,
which allows him

to practice a trick from
the same spot over and over.

You have to slow down
to walking speed,

right as you jump.

So it's, it's very precise.

I'm, I'm over thinking, uh...

I think I'm just...

Let me just clear my head
for a second.

There we go.


Over the years,
Super Mario Bros.

Has been optimized
down to the millisecond.

Runners from all over the world
have collaborated to uncover

- countless glitches.
- Yes!

Which can only be accomplished

by performing
intricate frame perfect tricks.

Like the flag pole glitch.

This requires runners to jump
and land on the first pixel

of the second stare
from the top.

And you can't be holding B
when you land.

At this point, you press right
and B for exactly two frames,

do a full jump, and as soon as he hit
the corner pixel of the flag pole base,

you hold left for three frames
and jump on the fourth.

The result is that tricks the game
into not dropping the flag down the pole,

which saves time on the run.

These are the milliseconds that
make all the difference in speedrunning.

Amazingly, from 2007 to 2014,

despite many people
knowing all the same secrets,

AndrewG was
the sole world record holder.

He continued the whittle
his time down to 4:58.09.

But by 2015,
a select few finally caught up

First, a runner named Blubbler,
and then the ultra-consistent Darbian.


That's it.

Eventually, it was a real race
between me and Darbian.

Every night,
we were both streaming it.

Now, this is the run.

People in my chat would go,
"Darbian is on,

Darbian is
on the last stage right now."

You know? And then, and then
he would get the same thing.

"AndrewG is on the last stage.
You better watch out."

You know? We, we both kind of
had our viewers that would,

you know, it's like a
different fan base is, you know?





That was it. That was it.
That was it.

That was it.

Did I break the camera?
I kind of broke the camera.

That was it.

And then
you had Kosmic come along,

who was also at the same level.

Oh, my gosh, guys.

The three of us,
we're all neck and neck,

going for the world record
every night.

World record for you.

Here we go.

And you never knew when a new
record was gonna pop up.

But you knew it was
going to happen

because with three guys
at that level,

it's gonna happen.

Please finish.

I cannot believe it.

Okay. What?


At this point,
4:55 is the limit,

and Kosmic was the first person
to get that.

This isn't real life, dude,

Until something new comes along,

it'd be very, very tough
to b*at that mark.

I've been speedrunning this
game for over ten years now.

It's a five-minute run.

How much more could there be?

In the early 2000s,
It wasn't realistic

to earn a living
from speedrunning.

- Oh!
- Ha-ha! Yeah!

Get outta here!

But times have changed.

Especially for the fastest
Super Mario 3 player in the world.

I was born in 1988,
so I can always remember

there being a Nintendo
in the house.

I had an older brother
who was more into sports.

But, you know, I never really
enjoyed that kind of thing.

So to me, enjoying, like,
a Saturday, not being in school

was honestly being inside

just playing Super Mario,
Super Mario 3.

I enjoyed playing it
with my parents

whenever they had
time and stuff.

To me, I thought
that was way more fun

than going out
and playing road hockey.


I'm from Canada.


I've been in the Guinness Book
of World Records for this.

I've been
on national television.

Uh, Late Night
with Stephen Colbert.

My next guest tonight
is a video game Speed runner

with the world record for
beating Super Mario Bros. 3.

Please welcome Mitch Fowler.
Mitch, thanks so much for being here.

- Thank you.
- All right.

That's the most nervous
I've ever been

in my life, because it's one
of the biggest opportunities

I could have
possibly been given.

National television
for playing Mario 3.

How? When does something
like that ever happen?

- It's over, baby. It's over.
- Incredible.

Incredible display of the...

I think that was
the exact point in time

where my family and friends
and my parents finally understood

that what I was doing
was something.

Man, this is like
my dream come true right here.

We're playing Mario 3.I know.

- Mine too.
- With you, my man. How's it going?

- Nice to meet you. Your name was?
- Okay, Spencer,

but, like, on the screen,
I'm a lurker,

so you're not even gonna
know me.

Oh, you've been to my channel?

- Many times.
- Damn. Nice

It's a dream come true
right now.

Cross that off my bucket list.

Super Mario Bros. 3
was a huge success

when Nintendo finally released
it in North America in 1990.

It had come out a year
and a half earlier in Japan.

But, since we didn't have
the Internet yet,

most people in the US
weren't aware

that Mario 3
had even been developed.

That was until it got featured
in a major Hollywood movie

called The Wizard.

Super Mario Bros. 3.

This was the first time America
got to see the new game play.

And it quickly became
one of the most

highly anticipated
video game releases ever.

Nintendo and Shigeru Miyamoto
had taken everything

that was great
about the first two Mario's

and made it even better.

There was P-speed,

and the Super Leaf
allowed Mario to fly.

It's the Mario lots of '90s kids
remember from their childhood.

And Mitch has three of the four most
prestigious world records for that game.

Can I get a picture with you really quick?
- Sure.

- One, two, three.
- Thank you so much.

Oh, I've been watching
speedrunning for a long time,

and in the community,
he's just an All-Star,

like, it's crazy to actually
to meet him in real life.


He gets so many people
that wanna come and talk, and...

It makes me happy to know that everyone
loves Mitch as much as I love Mitch.

And there's no denying.

Mario 3 is just a fun game
to play.

- Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!
- This... it's this level.

There you go. Yeah.
Hold the B button.

I know we found it before.
I know we did.

- Are you sure? I don't think we did.
- Yeah. No, we did.

We met through Twitch, actually.

I was a fan girl,

- and...
- Weeuu.

...just enjoyed watching Mitch.

And we ended up talking,

and getting to know each other
really well,

and decided to meet up
in real life.

I moved from Canada to Utah
to be with her,

and we pretty much
have a family.

We got our two cats,
we got our home.

Ah, no!

Oh, my God, please don't die.

It's really
like a full-on American family.

It's like the whole thing.


I love it.

Mitch's favorite category
of Super Mario 3,

the one he plays the most
is Any% Warp less.

This means that you play
through every world in the game

without using warp whistles
that skip ahead.

Mitch's world record is
50 minutes and 36 seconds.

Oh, my God. Oh, my God.

The run takes extreme focus
for almost an hour straight.

And to add
to its outrageousness,

it also requires a lot of luck.

I've been speedrunning this game
for almost nine years now,

and I still haven't pushed
the game to its fullest potential.

And the reason for that
being there is a lot of RNG.

RNG stands
for random number generator.

It's an algorithm
that produces random numbers.

In video games RNG is used to
make events in the games act random,

so the same things don't happen
every time you play.

Like the directions the Hammer
Brothers move on the over world map.

They can be different
each time you encounter them.

There's a very iconic component
of RNG and Super Mario Bros. 3.

It's called the Hands.

So there's
three levels right here.

There's one level,
two level, three level,

and when you cross
over the level,

there's a 50-50 chance

that The Hand will pull you in
and you have to do the level,

which means,
in terms of speedrunning,

you want to get lucky
and not have to do the level.

But there's three of them,
so that's three 50-50s.

So you have a 12.5% chance
to get no hands at the end.

We'll go ahead and give it a
sh*t. I'll try and cross the Hands.

Boom! Got pulled in.

So essentially,
I just lost the 50-50.

And this is
at the end of the game.

So if you play perfectly
for 45 minutes,

you get to this point and all
three of those hands pull you in,

you're losing
a minute and a half.

No, ho-ho-ho.

It's one of the most painful
run killers in all of gaming.

No, dang it

You can perform flawlessly
for 45 minutes.

But if you don't,
then essentially,

win three 50-50 coin flips
in a row,

you're denied greatness.

If I get pulled in by Hand,
I can't get the record.

It won't happen.

Yo, 360chrism
is raiding me with 213 people.

Thank you guys so much.

Welcome, Raiders.

I am Mitch, the flower power.

How are you guys doing?
Welcome to my stream.

I'm speedrunning right now.

Grand Poo World 2
just released, like, a week ago.

I've been able to make
a living off of speedrunning,

probably for about
a full year now.

Havoc, what's going on?
Alex, how you doing?

Am I trying
for the world record? I'm trying

for the world record
in this game. Yes.

Mitch is live streaming on an
internet platform called Twitch.

Amazon bought Twitch for almost
a billion dollars in 2014.

Now, millions of people broadcast
their game play here every month.

And millions more
tune in to watch.

Yo, Lambry, what's going on?
Vindem 3.

Yo, future is wild.
What's going on, guys?

How are you guys doing on
this beautiful, beautiful Sunday?

Mitch has a Nintendo hooked up
to an old-school CRT TV.

These are a must
when playing retro games.

There's no input lag on a CRT,

so when you push a button,
the game responds right away.

Everything is connected
to Mitch's computer.

A camera is pointed at his face.

Input displays show
the buttons he's pressing.

These are the splits

which can be used
to keep track of his pace

against the world record.

And there's a chat,

so viewers can interact
while he plays.


Yeah, that's not so bad.
Still, still the sub two-minute.

Yo, Winter Soldier.

Tier three sub
for 14 months in a row.

Thank you so much,
Winter Soldier.

If people like my content,
they can subscribe to me,

just like anyone would subscribe
to their local paper.

Ten bucks a month, and you get
papers every other day or something.

It's the same with my channel
on Twitch.

If you like my content,

you pay $4.99,

I get a portion of that
every month.

Oh my gosh! Move your ass,
Mario. Let's go. Come on.

Make it or break it.

Mitch streams
five to six days a week

for at least five hours
at a time.


Tonight, the game he's playing

is what's called
a Kaizo ROM Hack.

No way, dude.

Oh, my God,
I hate doors so much, dude.

Oh, my god.

It's an unofficial variation
of Mario

with completely new levels

reconstructed to be
ridiculously difficult.

Yeah, get in that door.


Yo, Star line, what's going on?


Whoa! That fish almost got me.

From the minute I go live, it almost
is like a new form of television.

Look at that juicy gold.

More of an interactive television.

You like that, Bowser? Hmm?

Mitch combines personality
and world-class precision.

It's a big part
of why his fans tune in

to watch him night after night.

What? First try
and I didn't even take damage.

What? Oh, my God, dude.

Yo, thank you guys so much. Chat
is going wild right now. Thank you.

Now, let's get another run going.

Thank you guys so much.

Right on.

But as popular
as Kaizo ROM Hacks are...

...Mitch always gets asked

about lowering
his Warp less record

in Super Mario Bros. 3.

Am I ever going back
to SMB 3 Warp less?

Yes. We have to get the 49
in SMB 3 Warp less.

I'm right on the brink of it.
I'm right there.

And that grind is gonna take
a crap ton out of me.

You guys remember
the last grind I did?

At the end,
I was just zonked, man.

Oh, my fingers can't go anymore.

I want to get lower
than 50 minutes.

The game is in control of my
full potential in that category.

I could play
for six months straight

and not even be given
the chance.

That's how crazy
something like this is.

That's what it is, man.

And it's way harder
than it sounds.

So I have to just keep grinding,
and grinding, and grinding.

And hopefully, it happens,
but I'm going for it.

I want to achieve that goal.

That's one of the biggest goals
I think in gaming.

That was it, guys.

That is it.

Uh, I am done for the night. I'm
going to, uh, sit back, relax and rest.

Get ready for tomorrow.
Tomorrow is another day.

We're gonna grind this down.
Hopefully, get the world record.

Good night, guys.

So I made probably
a little over $500 today.

Uh, something like that. So
definitely a good day at the office.

To be better than everyone in
the world at, at least something

at this point in time and where
we are, that's so hard to do.

I want to keep pushing.

Times have undoubtedly
gotten more electronic.

And human nature
is to keep going faster.

We can use computers to map
the optimal routes through games.

It's called a TAS.
Or tool-assisted speed run.

And as speedrunning
continues to advance,

it's become an integral part
of studying games

to learn just how far
they can be exploited.

But to perform the runs
in real-time is different

and means different things
to different people.

Speedrunning is
the logical endpoint

of the desire
to master video games.

Speedrunning is the philosophy

that says I can get
a little bit better.

The time, the run is almost just a
metric that you can judge yourself by.

I like to say that every world
record is just a personal best.

And sometimes you're competing.
But often times,

you're just trying to be a little bit
better than you were yesterday.

Speedrunning is
a philosophy almost.

I think, anyway.

One of the things
that I'd like to point to is

that speedrunning is just
choosing to optimize

the particular narrow problem
of a video game.

And even in daily life, people try
and do this in all sorts of different ways.

If you're going
to the grocery store

and you have
a parking lot full of cars,

you have to decide, "Okay,

am I going to try and get a spot
close to the entrance?

Do I just say, 'Skip that'
and park far away,

and have more walking time?"

For a speed runner, you have to
actually answer that question.

Is it better if I'm going to try
and look for somewhere closer?

At what point do I lose out

if I'm gonna park farther away

if the probability of me finding
somewhere close isn't great?

And then carry on from that. Other
things that you start to think about.

Well, if I'm coming out
with a cart,

it depends how close
I am to a cart return.

And it just kind of goes further
and further down the rabbit hole.

That is a speedrunning problem.

It's over. Ocarina Time is d*ad.
Any% is done.

That's it. That's it.

I think games end up

very understood, mechanically.

Speedrunning kind of
breaks them down,

and looks
at all their little pieces,

and puts it back together again,

and sees exactly
what you can do with it.

There's a difference between...
Yeah, it's big on Twitch.

You're running Fortnite.

World of w*r craft,
League of Legends.

These modern esports,
like games.

We're playing Super Mario Bros.

We're playing stuff
from '80s and '90s.

And obviously modern games
as well.

But we're very much
like our own rock over here.

Maybe a planet at this point
in the universe that is Twitch.

At the same time,
nostalgia is a powerful thing.

Mario games, Zelda games,
Mega Man games,

they ring true
for so many people that

that was their childhood.

Those are the games
they grew up with.

So to be able to go back
and watch someone

work really, really hard
at that game

and then present it
to you in a way

that you did not experience
at all when you played it,

and in this super play fashion,

I think, as gamers,
we love watching it.

I'm glad people wanna watch it.
I'm glad there are more people

than just me
and five other nerds.

We're trying to send the message that not
only is speedrunning a genuine creative craft,

but also that it's more than just
a source of entertainment or fun.

It's a passion.
It's a career choice.

It's a lifestyle.
It's a way of life.

Three, two, one, go

So this is a cooperative game, but
it's an asymmetric cooperative game.

Speedrunning is probably
as big of a thing

in my life
as anything else right now,

and that's because I currently
met my boyfriend through it.

All of my friends,
also, speed run.

Linkdead and Kakusho, I think, are
the first ones we ever saw run this,

but also friends of ours,
Tessleberry and BBQSauz,

uh, have also run this.
This is, actually,

a relatively popular game
for cooperative speed runs.

To speed run, you're gonna fail
99% of the time.

It's how you handle that
as a person that determines

what type
of speed runner you are.

Yes! Thank you.

And it really teaches you
something about yourself

that you may have
never discovered otherwise.

Oh! That's close. All right.
Just don't get hit. Don't get hit.

- Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Come on!
- Time.

Someone. Yes!

- Time.
- All right. Nice.

Nice run.

Speedrunning is
just a hobby for me.

I actually own
an advertising company.

And that's my full-time job.
I have a family.

I have a lot
of other responsibilities.

Once I found out
that speedrunning was a thing

then I started watching
more videos,

I found out Twitch existed.

Then I could watch videos
any time

and eventually I thought,

"We... Maybe, I should try it."

I really am anxious
to start giving these times,

and so we're just gonna see
how it goes.

I found out even if you
don't have the top time,

it can still be really fun.

Although the first game
that I ran,

Mickey Mania for Super Nintendo,

I ended up
getting the world record.

Phew! That's it.

This is new world record.

So I did end up
getting a top time.

But even if you don't have a
top time, it's still a lot of fun.

Appreciation of video games
runs deep.

And there are very few
who rival GlitchCat.

I have been collecting games
all my life.

I really like Atari 2600. It's
kind of the system I grew up with.

This is Chase the Chuck Wagon.
This was only available

through the Purina
Dog Food Corporation.

You had to actually mail in to
get this game. It's absurdly bad,

like, don't play it.
It's terrible.

Uh, but I have it.

It's... And it's really rare.

Even when the internet
started being a thing,

it still wasn't really feasible

that someone would watch you
play video games.

I mean, what? But then I think
about it now and, like,

if that were a thing when I was a
kid, I would have been all about it.

So I understand
why the kids are all about it,

to have your favorite player
that you can watch

and talk to them
in real-time and get tips.

I didn't know
how to b*at a level.

I had to get the strategy guide
from the library and read it.

There's an old cartoon
in the newspaper, The Far Side,

with Gary Larson,
of a kid and he's sitting there,

this little nerdy kid
playing video games.

His parents are so happy, and
they're standing behind them,

and they're thinking
about the want ads

from the future
in the newspaper.

And all the want ads
in the future say,

"Can you save the princess?

We need skilled men and women.

$10,000 a week,
plus your own Ferrari."

They're picturing that someday
their kids will grow up

to be a famous
video game player.

The joke at the time
in the comic strip was,

"That's not a real thing.

That's silly."
Ha-ha! Joke's on you.

It actually kind of is.

I have played Super Mario World

since December 25th, 1991,

when I got my Super Nintendo

when I was four years old
for Christmas,

that was the hot new thing
that year.

Since that time, I have been
pretty decently obsessed with being

really, really good
at Super Mario World.

I have no idea why. I'm just a
weird kid that read UFO books

and wanted to be
a great Mario player someday.

And so, for the better part
of my 31 years of life,

I have trained myself
to play this game

to absurd degrees.

And finally, the regular game
got so easy and so boring

that I had to start inventing
hard stuff like this.

I am a full-time streamer,

and I have been streaming

for about three years now.

There we go.

On the stream, I speed run

different games,
mostly Super Mario, ROM Hacks.

That's kind of my main thing
I play. We call it Kaizo.

Kaizo's a Japanese word
meaning rearranged,

but it's come to be a colloquial
term for very difficult Mario.

A ROM Hack is a modified version
of an original game.

And someone with a computer
can take all the code out of the game,

put it onto their computer

and then modify that code

to behave in any way
that you want.

We're gonna pick up the shell.

And actually jump and surf
on it like that.

And these hacks are really cool like
that because they allow you to do things

that the original game
would have never let you do.

Grabbed the red shell. Red shell
goes under Yoshi's feet in the air.

Eat the green Koopa out of the air. Eat
the second green Koopa out of the air.

Green shell off the pipe.
This green shell

goes back to the left,
green shell forward.

Bail off Yoshi
to hit the on-off switch,

slides along the bridge
down there.

Drop Yoshi in a pit.
Come back up,

grab the green shell, goes up,

red shell goes forward.

Green shell goes into the pit

and it has three hits there.

It's all d*ad.

Purple Yoshi grabs the shell

out of the nook here,
spits it up,

goes off the shell.
Yellow Yoshi eats green shell,

juggles the Galoomba because
he can stomp sand clouds.

ROM Hacking provides an avenue

for players to get
a new experience

with the same old favorite game

that they love
in the same old physics.

But with new twists
in the level,

and it also gives
really experienced players

a chance to see how good
they really are.

And now we got the purple Yoshi,
so spit the shell out.

The spring goes below his feet.
Spring... Ooh!

There are very, very
few people on Earth

that can play
to this kind of level,

um, just because of the sheer
amount of precision involved.

And the really, really, really
solid control that you need to have

over your character
just being able to jump.

For example, jump that high,
jump a little jump, a big jump.

Uh, having that kind of control
over the character

is something that takes years
and years and years to master.

I work dish at the restaurant.
I was a line cook.

I was a professional
carpet cleaner,

going to office buildings and
cleaned the carpets at night.

I worked at a Pizza Hut,

I worked at a factory
that processed hospital laundry.

My job was to stand in front
of a machine that folds laundry

and feed it laundry
to be folded all day.

That was it. That was my job.

And that was boring...

and stupid.

We had an agreement that, okay, I'm
going to try this, and if it doesn't work,

obviously, I'm gonna
go back to the factory.

I don't wanna fit
into that world

where I just have a job
and I just go in and do that.

I want to be doing exactly what
I'm doing. I can talk to people.

I can share my life with them.
I can hear their stories.

I can play my games for people
and teach them tricks and stuff.

It's honestly is everything
I could have ever wanted.

Just north of Portland,

a speed runner named GrandPooBear

recently got signed by Red Bull.

He's the first speed runner to achieve
this level of mainstream sponsorship.

Oh, buttmunch.
Okay, I get this section now.

There we go.

Every time someone ask me
how I got my name,

I try to make up
a different story.

Oh, that was it.

I'm GrandPooBear
and that's my name.

And that means...
It's just an internet name.

All right, let's do this.

I think I need to hold jump.

I started streaming because...
I was a snowboarder before this.

That's what I did for a living.
I taught people snowboarding

and tried to win competitions,
and I got hurt.

I got hit by
an out-of-control skier.

Was in the hospital
for six months.

Had a whole bunch of things.

Almost died. Yada, yada, yada,

It took like my favorite thing
from me.

My second favorite thing in the
world always was video games.

I had always played
video games growing up.

The next winter rolled around.
I was really, really, really bored.

One of my buddy was like,
"Hey, watch me play Halo

on this website called Twitch."

And it just, like, clicked.

I was like, "Holy God!"

There's this whole community
of people nerding out

all the time
that I didn't know about.

It was immediate.

Oh, spin jump. Okay.

Just more and more people who kept
watching and joining the community.

And then I sat down,
and talked to my wife,

and we decided even if it's
only for six months,

you got to give this a chance.

Now, here we are
three years later,

and it's bigger than anything
we could have ever thought.

It's bought us a house.

Video games has given me

We just bought this house like a
month ago. So we're still moving in.

We're still getting used
to all the things in it.

We can go walk.
Go walk to the park.

Yeah. Yeah.

I was never a corny dude.
And then he came along,

and I'm just
one of those corny dads,

I love it.

Red Bull surprised him
to tell him,

and I can't keep a secret
from him or really anybody.

And so,

they had me looped in for, like,

two weeks, and it was
the hardest two weeks.

I felt like
I couldn't talk to him.

- Yeah.
- They didn't want to ruin the surprise.

Right, guys.

We're outside of
GrandPooBear's house right now.

You know what this means?
He's coming to the team.

I get to give him this hat.

They flew out my favorite
snowboarder in the world.

Like somebody
I just utterly looked up to you.

Uh, and had him surprise me

in giving my Red Bull hat 'cause
that's, like, what the thing is.

They give you your, your hat. That's
like when you officially, like, squaded up.

Hey, bro,

- Whoa!
- Looks like you need a new hat.


- Dude! Holy, dude.
- Where's my controller?

- Oh, my God.
- Yeah, what's up, bro?

- Oh, my golly, due.
- Bro, yeah, welcome to the team.

Oh, my God, dude!

In walks John Jackson.

Holding a Red Bull hat,
and I knew what he was doing.

But it was just like such a
full-circle experience for me.

- Yo, look, look.
- Look at this.

- Kid's got a new hat.
- I got a new hat.

- I got a new hat right now.
- Yeah.

Yo, this is John Jackson,
by the way. Hold on, Like,

- get... this is... He's, he's like...
- Hey. of the greatest snowboarders of all time.
- What's up? Oh, man, thank you.

Oh, my God, like...

Um, I'm nerding out right now.

You guys have no idea.
This is like a lot of...

Sponsorship in speedrunning
is very new in general.

No company has ever gone all
in, the way Red Bull is going all in.

Right, I'm gonna go live.

Hey, everybody.

Chronic Quad.
Thank you for 14 months.

Hebrew Lantern, 23 months.

Almost two years.
That is a long ass time, man.

Darnzee, thank you
for 12 months.

Like GlitchCat, GrandPooBear
plays a lot of Kaizo.

Two of the most popular hacks
are even named after him.

You like my beard?
It's gotta go.

It's, it's...
You know what it is?

It's a
"I've been in Vegas for...

for two days beard and
haven't fully recovered yet."

I, I went to Vegas
clean shaven, and,

and now I'm, I'm growing, like, the
"I didn't sleep at all two days beard."

Yo, I just wanna say thank you
guys so much for coming out here.

Hold on a minute. I'll get in the
camera sh*t. Thank you, guys, so much

for coming out here to GrandPooBear's
Speed run Sessions in Charlotte.

I do a speed run tour now

called GrandPooBear
Speed run Sessions,

where we go
to different barcades

which is like
an arcade inside a bar.

And we do speed run demos and
those have been going incredibly well,

and I try to do at least
one or two of those a month now.

- Give it up for GrandPooBear.
- Woo! Yeah!

We just did it
in Las Vegas, Nevada.

We had it at the MGM Grand.

The number of people that said
this was their first time

seeing live speedrunning,
like, that's what I wanna do.

I wanna bring speedrunning
to everybody.

So you guys all
to get to see a lot.

So thank you guys again.
Give yourselves a big round

of applause for being
a dope-ass crowd.

Streaming is everything
in speedrunning.

Oh, and then, then... Okay. Okay.

This five-six hour live stream
will basically be broken down

into two or three half-hour
YouTube videos.

Oh! Come on!

My YouTube videos do anywhere

between 50,000
to 200,000 views a day,

depending on the game.

They reach people
in 79 countries

or something wild like that.

I really, really enjoyed
that level.

That was really, really great.

I have almost 8000 paying
Twitch subscribers right now.

So they pay five bucks a month. Twitch
takes a little cut, and I get the rest.

So roundabouts like the worst
month, it would probably be like

10K now for me.
And the best months are,

I think I did 40 recently.

I'm so grateful that I get to be comfortable.
I've never been comfortable in my life.

I really appreciate it. Hope
you guys have a wonderful night.

Peace. Bye.

Early game developers
could never have imagined

how far speed runners
would push their creations.

It's given many games,
an extended life,

by creating a world
that was never really intended.

I like that one.

- Are you tired? Yes, that's a good one.
- That's a good one.

- That's a good one of all three of us.
- Are you tired?

Today, Poo's agent from
Red Bull, is coming over to talk

about last weekend speedrunning
event in Las Vegas.

- Hey, bud. How's it going?
- How's it going?

So I see you got the
controller already. Ready to go.


So, dude, within 24 hours
we had a recap from MGM.

Here, I'll read you the quote
'cause she emailed it to me.

- She was like, by the way.
- Oooh!

- Oooh! I like that.
- She said,

"I spent the later part
of the night chatting

with the gentleman who's in
charge of esports for the MGM.

We had a really nice chat.
But as he was leaving,

he turned to one of his friends
and said,

'This is about ten times better
than I expected it to be.

"And I came in
with high expectations.'"

I mean, okay.

He's like, "Man,"
he's like, "whoa, what is like

the all-in budget?

What would you guys spend?"
I was like,


"and we flew in a dude
from Poland," and he's like...

"Get up, you know it."

Okay. He, like, fully went in.

- Oh, wow.
- Like they have,

how much revenue they made

- against the reach.
- Nice.

Three hundred people
is more than I ever thought

would ever come to any one
of these when we first...

Like, I always thought it would
be, like, a 50 to 150 tops event.

So I'm really pumped.
- I mean, it's kind of the average for all of them.

So far, yeah.

- It makes me happy.
- Not bad, not bad.

I kind of think like,
"Are we gonna stumble across

some gigantic speedrunning
community, like Texas, for example?"

Is there really... I mean, of like, rough
ideas of where the speed runners live

or where there's a group
of people. But, like,

what if you go to Texas
and there's like 2000 people

just cramming through. You know what I mean?
- Sure, that'd be wild. Yeah.

Like, where is the hidden
speed run community?

Is there any way to know,
other than just doing

session after session
to figure out like,

"Whoa, we got
a crazy response in, like,

Minnesota or Chicago..."

Or Germany, man.
That's where it is.

- Yeah?
- -Yeah, seriously, Germany is the spot.

Germany is obsessed
with speedrunning.

Even if you look at,
like, my YouTube numbers

it's like America,
Germany, Canada, U.K.

- Really?
- Yeah, Germany's number two, like, easy.

- Yeah, it's, it's crazy.
- We can make that happen.

What is up,
Summer Games Done Quick?

Really scary room here,
using the high frame,

- skip to the spikes.
- Really nice.

Games on Quick is the pinnacle.

It's the biggest event we have.

Who's doing All Forts? Is that...

Me, Mitch, Haxor, and Lhasa.

Games Done Quick is a biannual,

Speedrunning charity marathon.

Looking good.

- Very nice. Nice fight.
- Yeah.

Speedrunning happens
around the clock

for seven days straight.

They broadcast themselves
on Twitch,

and people from around
the world tune in and donate.

We had a $500 donation
for Colto,

says, "Shout out
to the Mega Man community

being such
an amazing group of people."

As big as Fortniteis,
as big as League of Legendsis,

as big as Dotais,

Games Done Quick, our
viewership numbers rival at all.

It's our Super Bowl. There's
really no other way to put it.

It's our Super Bowl.
Twice a year.

Today's a big day.
Today is a big day for me.

I didn't know how blue
it turned out.

It's supposed to be really blue,
but it's actually kind of, like,

it's got
a little turquoise-green,

lit the light on it
and it's funny.

It's fun. I like it.

You spend a lot of time
preparing for a day like this and...

I'm naturally someone
with stage fright.

I, um, I'm not good with, um,

like presentations in school. I
actually used to skip a lot of school

anytime I'd have to do, uh, a
presentation in front of the class.

And video games
are the only thing

that can get me
in front of a large crowd

and, and allows me to perform.
But every time I do it,

I get the same nerves.
The heart's pumping.

It's hard to sleep
at night before.

You go up there and Speed runners

like the reset button a lot.
But you don't get that.

You, you start it up
and you get one run.

And however it goes is...
That's, that's all you get.

That's it. You get one chance.

GlitchCat is here
for a highly anticipated

blind Kaizo relay race.

This is the first time

that a race this big

on a Kaizo Mario Hack
has been put on for people.

Eight of the best Kaizo
Mario players in the world

will race in custom made
brand new levels

that they've never seen before
and have to solve in real-time.

Do you know the mechanics
and physics well enough

to just look
at a jump and do it.

And look at some kind of bounce,
look at an angle and just do it.

So it's a lot like piano sight
reading or musical sight reading,

and the instrument
in this case is the game.

GDQ has the potential to just
bring out the absolute best in people,

and I like that a lot.

- Okay, I got it.
- There we go.

But how did we get here?

And what does
speedrunning have to do

with raising millions
of dollars for charity?

We're missing Panga
and ButchCat, so...

Hey, I'm Miss Kratic Eratic.

- I'm gonna be your donation cheerer.
- Awesome.

- So nice to meet you.
- It's really cool to meet you

in real life. You're like
one of two streamers I watch.

Oh, thanks so much.
I really appreciate it.

The truth is that
none of this would be happening

if it weren't for a gathering
that took place ten years ago

in one kid's mom's basement.

That kid was Mike Uyama.

When we first wanted
to do a charity event,

streaming was not
very commonplace,

and the place for Speed runners
to hang out online

was Speed Demos Archive.

Speed Demos Archive is a website

that originally began
as an archive

of quick playthroughs in 1998.

To go back even further,
no one can say

with absolute certainty
when speedrunning started.

Since any time someone tried
to race through a video game...

Get set...

...technically, you could say
they were speedrunning.

But many points are
in the early '90s,

when a game calledDoom came
along and changed everything.

For speedrunning, it wasn't the
game play that was so important.

It was the fact that it included a
rudimentary way to record game play

through a system
called demo files.

The way demo files work is the game
records your inputs while you're playing

and then the game's engine can
play them back after you finish.

Essentially recreating your run.

The demo files were small and could
be shared quickly over the Internet.

So now players had a
verifiable proof of their runs.

Leader board started popping up
and speedrunning was on its way.

By the mid 2000s,
Speed Demos Archive

had expanded
to include many more games.

Mike Uyama had taken over as
the site's administrator, and, in 2010,

he organized
their first live events,

called Classic Games Done Quick

to showcase Speed runners.

He planned
to live stream their runs

from a gaming convention
called MAGFest.

- Yeah!
- We're having a blast!



But when they tried
to start streaming,

it didn't work.

We have to discuss this
really badly right now.

Their Internet was very bad DSL

that had about
half a megabit of upload.

Yeah, well, this guy's working
on a Linksys router

and this guy's working
on a D-Link router.

So one would think that between
the two of them, we could have,

you know, like that... use that as an antenna
to access the hotel's wireless network.

Run a long cable in here and
then voilÃ, we have internet.

SDA, optimistic all the time.

After a lot of deliberating
and a lot of confusion

and being really unsure
what to do, to be honest,

we decided
to pack it up at MAGFest

and then go to my mom's basement
to try and stream our event.

Oh, why don't we try putting
Kung Fu in there and see?

- Yeah, can we put Kung Fu in there?
- Yeah.

- Kung Fu in there.
- Okay, you know,

I have rubbing alcohol
and Q tips.

I can get those.

Thankfully, the main organizer

of Classic Games Done Quick,
Mike Uyama,

happened to live close by.

And we were able
to transition the event to,

uh, the basement of...
of his home.

Um... Oh! It's up.

- All right, here we go.
- Let's see how, let's see how he does.

When they told me that they
were going to have this event,

I could understand wanting to
meet the people that you have been

connected with online,
but I could never figure out

why they thought people
would pay money to charity.

Because they were having
video games online.

It just didn't compute.

All the people that were there
were really into it.

There were all the people
who were really serious about it.

We decided that we wanted to
raise money for charity, you know?

We didn't want to just do it
just for the sake of doing it.

They announced
that all donations

would go towards
a humanitarian organization

fighting global poverty
called CARE.

We have a good connection,

but we don't want
too many people

- watching a stream from here.
- Yes. Yeah.

And then the best gamers

at their respective games

started speedrunning.

- That was sick.
- Good stuff, man.

It's almost like they said,

look how much time
and dedication

we've put
into understanding these games.

BrownScales gonna try to pull
the ladder glitch.

They had done it
with no hope for pay.

There was no money
in speedrunning at the time.

- Awesome. Thank you, thank you.
- Nice. You got it. Right.

It was purely passion,
and something about that

resonated with a larger,
untapped community.

That event was really
the first time

that people kind of realized, "I
think we have something here."

We raised over $10,000,

which was way beyond

what people thought
was gonna be raised.

It was a no-brainer that, you
know, this should be done again.

And that's all for now.
Uyama out.


In winter of the following year,

they organized
their second event.

They expanded
to include newer games

and called it
Awesome Games Done Quick.

This is insanely hard.


Enthusiasts from all over

gathered together to show off
intricate time saves

like the jump role
in Don key Kong Country.

What the beep was that?

To everyone's amazement,

this time,
they raised over $52,000

the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

- Oh, no!
- Oh, yes!

All right!

From here on out,

they ran the marathon
twice a year.

They called the next one
Summer Games Done Quick.

It was clear there were people
all across the world

interested in the high level
execution of these games.

Oh, you went too far.
Oh, don't do it. Yes.

- Yes.
- That was insane.

And the broader community
started taking shape.

This guy is really hard
to get in one hit.

It's like a one frame thing.

And after that 2012 event,
we're on Twitch at that time,

uh, which had been around
for a year,

and, uh, the viewership had gone

significantly higher
than ever before.

Twitch was a game-changer
for speedrunning.

One of the first to blow up was an
avid runner named Narcissa Wright,

formerly known as Cosmo.

12:03. Really, really good time.

Narcissa developed incredibly
in-depth strategies

for beating what many considered
to be the best video game ever made.

The Legend of Zelda,
Ocarina of Time.

Got it.

Another popular runner
at this time named siglemic

started routinely drawing
thousands of viewers

watching Live on Twitch.

He was one of the biggest stars
on the platform.

But he never turned
his camera on.

He would grind for hours
and spoke very little.

But his Super Mario 64 game play
was second to none.

Oh, my God. That was
really the world record.

Thank you, guys. Thank you.

When siglemic showed up
to perform live

on camera
for the first time ever,

the intrigue was palpable
as fans finally got to see

the wizard behind the curtain.


Lots of people talk about 2013

and 2014 as being the
golden years of speedrunning.

And time.

That's a new world record.

The community was big enough
to be legit.

But small enough
to still function like a family.

Then they hit a milestone.

Let's go.

- One million dollars.
- Yeah!

It was the first time
they raised a million dollars

at a single event.

Just like that, Games Done Quick
had become a fund raising juggernaut.

It's just grown, and grown,

and grown, and grown every year
in terms of how much

money is raised,
how many people are attending,

how many viewers are watching,

how many games are shown.

There's no end in sight.

We're almost there, guys.
We got it. Come on!

We did it!

Two million.

By the end of 2018,

Games Done Quick had raised

more than
sixteen million dollars

for Doctors Without Borders

and the
Prevent Cancer Foundation.

I just thank God that this is

such a boon to human kind.

Excuse me.

- Sorry.
- Okay, mom.

- Thanks, Mom.
- You're welcome. You're Welcome.

In addition of all the money
raised for charity,

GDQ events have also become
a launchpad

for runners trying to break
into the scene full-time.


That was a 48:42.

- Woo!
- Nice.


Give it up to this man here.

- The Mexican Runner.
- Thank you everybody.

Thank you so much.
Uh, I'm sorry.

GDQ is an opportunity
for the runners

to burst out of the gate
with their own personality.

We've definitely had runners

that that may not have been
known before GDQ.

But their commentary
is fantastic.

I'm gonna get behind him.

That makes him take more time
turning around before he goes phase two.

Just back out for the AOE.

Their speed runs skills
are sharp,

and they create
this amazing content

that people are
really excited to see.

That brings us to 2019.

It's the fifth day
of Summer Games Done Quick,

and they've already raised
more than $800,000.

I have a $500 donation.

It's the fastest the GDQ

- has ever raised this amount of money.
- Ho!

And in terms
of what people wanna see,

Kaizo speed runs are
at the top of many lists.

What format can we expect today
from these runners?

Um, basically, it's gonna be
just the Kaizo shenanigans all out.

There's some potential
to struggle on some bits.

Uh, there's definitely
some places

where it can play
the different racer strengths.

Y'all can be ready
for some crazy stuff.

I'll just leave it at that.

We're gonna count down
from five, four, three,

two, one, go.

Again, this is a blind race. None of
them have seen any of these levels before.


The pace of a relay format
is intense.

When runners die, they pass
the controller to their teammate.


The first team to get to the end

of the seventh level,
wins the race.

GlitchCat is the first one
to advance.

Both teams still working
on that first screen.

- As you can see, this is not...
- Oh!

All right, GlitchCat.

These levels were made by
members of the Kaizo community.

They used the physics and
mechanics of Super Mario World.

You see that hit box?

But they've coded in their
own characters and challenges.

This second screen is giving the
players a lot of trouble right now.

Yeah! Yes! Yes!

Yes! Let's go.

Such a close race.

Kaizo is a combination
of old and new.


And to watch these levels
get conquered

by the world's best
in real time...

You might be able to cycle and
respawn that, but it'd would be slow.

Oh!'s at the cutting edge
of speedrunning.

- There we go, Glitch.
- Oh, Glitch.

He's in there.

All tied up here.

Who's making some moves here?
There it is.

Poo trying to tie it up
for his team right now.

And that's the checkpoint.

All eight runners
had their moments.

Right now, basically tied up
going here into this final level.

But after almost
an hour of racing...

Oh, come on. all comes down
to which team

can knock off
four pink triceratops first,

Who can count to four?

I couldn't think of a better way
to end the race.

- Oh, Tofu!
- One more to go.

- Going to the...
- Two more down for Juz.

- Oh, and Tofu...
- The first team out.

Tofu pulls it off.

- Wow.
- Let's give it up,

ladies and gentlemen.


What a race. What a race.

- Good game. Yeah.
- That was so much fun.

Yeah. That was...
The levels were insane.

- That was awesome. That was just...
- The levels were insane.

And look at this crowd.
Look at the energy.

Look at the money that we raised
for charity.

Look at how the community
came together to do this.

This is like one of the biggest Kaizo
ROM Hack event that there ever has been.

And, like, the most people
watching a race like this at once,

I honestly think this is the
beginning of something really cool.

That was awesome.
I played all right.

I made myself happy,
and that's, that's good.

In the practice room,
Mitch is warming up

for a Super Mario
Brothers 3 race.

In a category called All Forts,

meaning runners have to complete

all the fortresses
before beating the game.


Mitch's world record
is just over 45 minutes,

and his strategy revolves around his
use of an item called the Hammer Suit.

In the All Forts, you get what's
known as the hammer suit.

And you just have to make a lot of
very precise shots with the hammers.

And if you don't, you'll either
take damage or you'll die.

And if that happens, you only get one
hammer suit. So once you get in world seven,

you have to keep it
until the end of the game.

So if you lose it,
you're, you're kind of screwed.

It's gonna be nerve racking.

One of the other racers is
not gonna use the hammer suit.

Because it, it does
take a long time to learn,

and you do have to change how
you actually play some of the levels.


As long as it goes like that

in the race,
I should be all right.

We've got the world
record holder of this category,

coming in 45:25.

And finally on my right,
the people's champ,

he's here to stomp out the competition,
both literally and figuratively.

Give it up for GrandPooBear,

GrandPooBear, is almost,
in a way, the LeBron James

of the speedrunning community

from a streaming
and a business standpoint.

He's got a massive fan base.

And, at the same time, he's a very
humble person about the whole thing.

In 2018, Poo and Mitch traded
the world record

back and forth in this category.

That is a new All Forts
world record.

Mitch is gonna get it back soon.

Like, this is going to be fun.
This is fun for me.

But in a race
with four world-class runners,

anything can happen.

All right,
Law so is going for it.

Oh, he gets it! What a save!

- Such an easy trick.
- Yeah!

GrandPooBear got out
to an early lead.

So we see Poo kind of
hanging on the left for a second

to hopefully build the speed,
does get it.

And now, let's see if these fish
cooperate, they did, very nice.

By World six, Mitch led the way.

But Haxor is right behind him.

And, at this point,
it's still anyone's race.

Haxor and Mitch both taking
some intentional damage there.

Being small is very important
for this trick.

The trick coming up
that he's referring to

was mentioned in Nintendo Power
magazine back in 1990.

As small Mario, if runners can
manage to hit a specific pixel on the wall

and jump again
at just the right time,

they're able to get to the top
of the blocks of ice.

This means they skip
having to go down the pipe

to play through the entire level

and instead can move
right to the end of the stage.

It's a trick that saves around
25 seconds in the speed run,

but can be very difficult
to pull off under pressure.

And Mitch gets there
in first try. Very nice.

- He read...
- Haxor gets there in first try as well.

These guys had the lifetime
Nintendo power subscription,

I guess. Holly molly.

- Unreal.
- Come on, Poo.

See if Pooh can match.
Oh, he hit the pixels.

Did you see that little stunner?
That means he got it.

Oh, he's getting it. He's
just gotta get that one frame.

It's a very tough job.

Yeah, very, very tough.

- There it is. Very nice.
- Yeah.

Mitch, Haxor, and Poo,

each picked up
the hammer suit in World seven,

But as is often the case
with Mario 3 runs,

it all comes down to who gets
lucky at the infamous Hands.

Mitch getting out
with just a Hand.

Haxor getting grabbed
by the second one.

And so now, all of a sudden,
Poo is was right behind Haxor.

So that's kind of exactly
how it shows

of how these Hands can really
have their say in this, in this run.

- Oh, no.
- Oh, no.

With Poo losing a life

and Haxor getting pulled in
by all three hands.

The rest of the race
is smooth sailing for Mitch.

Very nice.

Now, if you blink,
you'll miss it.

This hammer k*ll is very quick,

and he's done it.


You were doing
so freaking good, man.

I just... I don't know what
happened. Like I did this full jump,

and it was just like I forgot
what the hand was. It was...

With almost a million dollars
raised and still three days to go,

SGDQ is on pace to raise
more than ever before.

Hey, man.

- You've basically got me.
- Oh, thank you.

Yeah, I know that name, dude.
Yeah, dude.

Got him,
added to the collection.

Added to the collection.
That's right.

- I love you, man.
- Thanks, dude.

It's hard not to get caught up
in the idea

that something special
is happening here.

That a strong community
has formed

around a group of gamers
who found their people.

What an awesome day.

Way better than I anticipated.

- Thank you very much.
- Right on.


- Hi.
- How's it going?

Oh, my God,
it was so fun to watch.

- Right?
- You did so good.

Thank you. I definitely played

a lot better
than I thought I was going to.

- It was so fun to watch.
- Right?

I hope a lot of people
were watching.

I d... What was the view cap?

It was, uh, I think, 140,000.

- Wow!
- That's a lot.

- Um...
- -That was so awesome!

The past year has been a
little bit different than usual.

I've actually had to kind of cut
back a little bit on the gaming

just because I've had
some different things going on.

I've got a job recently
as a truck driver.

It doesn't leave
a whole lot of time

for the gaming
that I like to do.

Yeah, it's nice
being married, finally.

Um, I've been,
I've been with my wife.

We actually met
freshman year of high school.

Sometimes I joke with people that I
knew Andrew before he was famous,

uh, before he had
any world records,

or things of that nature,

because, clearly,
I married him for his fame.

My wife, Laura, she's
very supportive of my gaming.

I don't think it would make
sense for me to give up gaming

or give up speedrunning
by any means.

But I do think
there are times when

it needs to take
a backseat to other things.

I'm in the process
of buying a house,

and maybe when I get the house,

I'll have time to work
on Super Mario Bros.again.

My work, it has... had been
a lot of hours. It's been...

It's been tricky to find time
to do anything besides work.

I don't think this is
my career, long-term,

uh, truck driving.

I think there's probably
something else out there for me.

Another reason Andrew hasn't been
able to devote as much time to gaming

is that six months ago, his
family was struck by tragedy.

My dad was hit by a car,

and he suffered some
really extensive injuries.

He's had
a really rough recovery.

Um, he first few weeks, we still didn't
know if he was really gonna make it.

Uh, you know, we didn't know
if, for the first few months,

whether he was even gonna... if...
whether he was gonna be paralyzed,

or what, what the real outcome
was gonna be.

I took a break from speedrunning
largely due to that.

I was able to be there for him.

It's only recently
I've been in the snicker.

'Cause I started
with the wheelchair,

then went to the walker,
and then went to the cane.

This is the first week
I've been able to put my foot

on the sneaker without support.

My foot will always be screwed
up, but I'll be able to walk on it.

- So I'm happy about that. You know?
- Yeah.

I'm actually happier
since the accident

just to sit around
and kind of evaluate

- the important things in life.
- Right.

You know,
what's important to you?

Is it money? Is it a car?

Is it this? Is it that?

I find those are nice things,

but your family and your health,

and the things that you do, and how
you treat people, and how you view life

is really the most important,
you know?

And that you have a positive effect
on people, like you do, you know?

You exude, you have
that thing about you

that people wanna be around you.

They wanna know more about you.

They wanna follow you on
your gaming progress and stuff.

- That's great. That really is awesome.
- Yeah.

Definitely when I was little,
like, I was pretty...

I don't know,
a lot different than I am now,

- I guess is kind of, like...
- Oh.

- You were such an introvert. It's like...
- Yeah, I mean...

...people would say hi to you. I
mean, you'd be civil and everything,

but you'd be like "Oh, hi,", you know, and that would be it.
- Yeah.

It'd be the extent
of the conversation.

But then you, you started
coming here and talking,

like, really deep thoughts,
and I'm like...

I started being
a lot more social and...

- I don't know. I...
- 'Cause he met me.

- Yes, exactly.
- Because he met you.

- Of course, Laura. We know.
- No, I, I don't know.

I think gaming
definitely contributed to me

becoming more extroverted,
you know, a little bit.

I talked a lot on the forums,
the Twin Galaxies

and Speed Demos archive forums.

And it was nice
to meet a bunch of people

that were doing the same kind of
thing that I was doing.

You know, I was mostly at work
'cause I worked off shifts,

but still, I remember
you being up awake at late

on the nights that I was
around and I'd be like...

..."Oh, my God,

is this kid
ever gonna go to bed?"

And then you'd be fine
the next day and acting normal.

I'm like, "Okay,
he was up all day yesterday.

All night. And now he's up,
and 'Hey, how you doing?'"

And I'm like, "I don't know.
How are you doing?"

I played more than I'd like
to admit I did.

I wanted to be the best. That
was a lot of it when I first started.

I feel like I definitely
did miss a lot of the...

You know,
I did get into streaming,

but I felt like I'd already
kind of done my stuff.

By 2010, 2011, which is when
streaming really started taking off,

that was really when I felt like
I had accomplished

kind of everything I wanted
to do with speedrunning.

As far as like
what my initial goals were,

I got the fastest time
in Super Mario Bros. 1.

And then, I, I got the fastest
time in Super Mario Bros. 2.

And then I got the fastest time
in Super Mario World,

which is the Super Nintendo one.

Then Super Mario Bros. 3.

And then finally,
I got the Japanese Mario, too,

- the last levels. And...
- Wow.

And that was, that was my goal.

- To get, to someday have gotten each one.
- Yeah.

- And I'm the only person that's ever done that.

I mean, it's hard
not to be jealous

of the 16-year-old kid that
just won $3 million in Fortnite.

- I know. But you know what?
- And, and, but then I think...

And sometimes,
I think to myself,

"Well, maybe, if,
right when Fortnitestarted,

maybe if I had played it nonstop,
nonstop, nonstop, maybe I'd be that guy."

But you know,
I'm not really into, I'm not...

That's not a game
I really care about.

- Yeah.
- It's not really...

You know, I didn't have
any interest in it.

AndrewGs fastest
time at Super Mario Bros.

Is less than two seconds
off the current world record.

But even if he never
gets back to that place,

his legacy is cemented
in time forever.

You have different
stages in your life.

This stage of my life, I need
to be there for my family.

Speedrunning will
always be there.

Anybody that knows you
loves you.

That's true. I mean, really,
'cause you're a good kid.

Back in Minnesota,

it's the final night
of the week-long

Summer Games Done Quick, 2019.

And lots of money
is being raised.

Let's go!

Feels great. It's the earliest
we've ever hit $2 million.

I'm, I'm pretty much speechless.

I, you know, I was expecting
this marathon to do well,

but not this well.

It's amazing that these games
are still being improved

so long after
they've been released.

Fresh set of eyes will come
and look at a game

and, and find something
that somehow got overlooked

by hundreds and hundreds
of speed runners.

Thank you for all of those

generous donations
that keep pushing us.

I like to consider it like
multiple levels of nerd culture,

because you have, like,
people that play video games,

and then, people who watch
other people play video games,

and then people who play
video games really fast.


Come on!

Each game has its own community,

and sometimes there's even
micro communities within it,

like, people who run different
categories of a certain game.

But, overall, when we come
to an event like this,

I feel like the sense
of community comes from, like,

we all have a common interest.

Now let's get that $3 million.

- Hype!
- Three! Three! Three!

Three! Three! Three! Three!
Three! Three! Three! Three!

GDQ's record for money
raised at one event

is $2,425,000.

But tonight, they're taking it
to the next level.

Come on! Come on!

Oh, my God, guys!

You guys are so amazing.

We're going to go ahead and read
our grand total now, which is


raised for
Doctors Without Borders.

Thank you so much.



There's no doubt,

sometimes speedrunning
can feel hopeless.

There's never any guarantee that
you'll find what you're looking for.

Some people look for a while,
but move on.

Maybe you can think of speed runners
as the ones who like to just keep looking.

Gotta warm the hands, man,

It's the most important thing.

They are our medium through
which we play our video games.

If you don't take care of your
hands, you can't speed run well.

My name is Allan Alvarez.
My Twitch name is Cheese.

I was born in Venezuela.

At three years old, I moved
to Trinidad in the Caribbean.

Yeah, this is what...

..."back home in Trinidad"
looks like.

It's not bad.

Grew up there all my life from
three-years old, all the way till 20.

I moved to Spain
in February of 2016.

I live over there.

That's where I live.

I speed run
Super Mario 64 mainly.

I have no clue why I started
speedrunning or why I did what I did.

And why I didn't stop doing it.

I just felt like I had to do it.

Because it was my passion.

I didn't, I didn't know
if it was gonna work out,

I didn't, I had no clue
what was gonna come.

But then... a year later,

I got world record in,
in 120-star.

It worked out.

It's me, Mario!

Of all
the different Mario games,

Super Mario 64 is the most
popular with speed runners.

Cheese's record
in the 120-star category,

which means that runners need
to collect every star in the game

before beating Bowser
at the end,

is one hour thirty nine
minutes and twenty seconds.

It's the game's
most prestigious title.

His biggest rival
is a runner named puncayshun.

And puncayshun has some
bragging rights of his own.

I b*at, uh, siglemic's
120 world record

who was dominant
for, like, years.

And all these people
were like...

It was a really big deal that I
b*at him because all these people

were like,
"Oh, sig is unstoppable.

It's been so long
since anybody b*at him."

Um, I'm siglemic.

I'm the former 120-star
world record holder

for Mario 64.

The record was recently
taken from me.

Like two days ago, maybe.

So, pretty recent.

Siglemic was
the original ambassador.

But then puncayshun was faster.

And Cheese was
even faster than that.

My whole body is...
shutting down right now.

I can't even think.

By 2016, siglemic
had disappeared from the scene.

Cheese and puncayshun traded the
record back and forth a number of times.

But Cheese has been on top
for the past two years.

Another day, another race.

And I can't wait for it.
So let's, let's go.

Cheese and punayshun
are both in Maryland

for a first-of-its-kind

It's a league being run
by a new group

called the Global
Speed run Association.

Three! Two! One! Go!

We have arrived.
The nerves are settling in.

Mario 64 players
all over the world

have been racing online
for the past six months.

The Top-4 qualified
for this first live event,

a four-day
round-robin tournament.

GDQs are amazing.

But they only happen
twice a year.

So as more and more people
get interested in speedrunning,

competitions are popping up
to meet demand.

To get to a top level, just like
anything, it's extremely difficult.

So, it'll be exciting, I think,
to see the reaction

and the response to it.


- Let's go!
- Final posted time!

Like GDQ, they're broadcasting
the event on Twitch.

But instead of raising money
for charity,

the tournament has a couple
thousand dollars in prize pools

for the most popular games.

Coming at you live,

one of the first live
competitive speedrunning events.

You can think of Super Mario 64

as a giant Easter egg hunt.

Runner's speed through
on predetermined routes,

collecting power stars,

Here we go!

These are 70-star races,

so they're shorter
than the full 120-star race.

He's got a speed towel.
Make sure that the hands are nice and dry.

You don't want any sweat
getting on those handles.

But they still require
almost an hour

of precise, clean movement.

Perfect, three for three
from Cheese

and a 48 under his belt
here at PACE.

- I was in Zen mode, dude.
- Yeah.

- I don't know. I felt like...
- In the zone.

- ...a Zen mode. I felt confident.
- Yeah. Right.

And I don't know where
it came from, but it's good.

After three days
of head-to-head races...

- Love you.
- Good work.

...Cheese and puncayshun
have reached the finals,

and will face off in a best-of-three
series to determine a winner.

A good thing to note is that
puncay always tells me himself,

that the person he's always
afraid to race most, is me.

So that means that he probably
would be feeling more pressured.

And I could use that
to my advantage.

Ladies and gentlemen,
we're back once again

for the final event.
Cheese versus puncayshun.

I definitely think I can win.

I'm just, like,
really consistent,

and that gives me
an edge in races.

Puncay has a better
average time than Cheese.

But Cheese's is peaks...

I mean, he's been just running
nonstop since my title.

Cheese doesn't normally run
this good in races.

- Yeah.
- But he's just been k*lling it. I...

- He's just on right now.
- He's really on point.

I don't know if anybody's
gonna b*at him.

Cheese is a weird specimen.
I mean, just look at that man.

He's got the hot red glasses,
looking fresh.

You got puncay with a bun.

It's finally coming to a head.
Three big days.

- And the boys are here, they've been practicing,

putting their heart into it.
It's gonna be lit.

- Good luck, babe.
- Five! Four! Three! Two! One!


Earlier in the tournament,

during the round-robin stage,

Cheese b*at puncayshun.

But then, in the first race
at these best-of-three finals,

puncayshun b*at Cheese.

Puncay takes it home.

Now one game away
from first place.

Pressure's adding on.
Both these players...

puncay doing what he does best.

Putting his head down
and just running.

They know they can win.
But they both said

that when they're racing
against each other,

the nerves are like
no other race.

- The slip from Cheese not able...
- -Oh, no. clear the gap.
Oh, that's such a weird mistake.

If Cheese loses this race,
he's done.

There's breezes on the table
for puncay. He is going for it.

This is an opportunity
to make up time over Cheese,

and he gets it. Very nice.

Despite being down for most
of the race, Cheese caught up.

Oh, Cheese just looking butter.
Looking, looking, super solid.

They're both performing so well
that it's hard to appreciate

- how well they're doing.
- Agreed.

after 48 minutes of racing,

they had both collected
the 70 stars needed.

Now, it's just a sprint to see
who can get to Bowser the fastest.

- Oh, no, Cheese falls!
- ...from Cheese.

- And that might be it!
- Oh, no!

Puncay landing it,
and now the throws

are in between him
and first place at PACE.


With a slight lead,

puncayshun just needs to be
the first to complete

three successful
Bowser throws to win it all.

I can't even begin
to imagine the nerves.

Here comes the throws.

Ooh, there's one.

Oh? And a miss from puncay!

This is the beginning
of something.

Cheese pushing the glasses up.

Full anime-mode commence.

Here we go.

That's the second one
for puncay.

Just one more,
and he's got it in the bag.

One, for Cheese.

- And winner is puncay!
- There it is.

He's your SM 6470-star League
first-place finisher.


- Oh, wow.
- -You can see it in Cheese's face.

He knows it was
a good race, but...

puncay! Puncay! Puncay!
Puncay! Puncay! Puncay!



In 1994, an exceptional
video game was released

for the Super Nintendo
Entertainment System.

It's on many lists
of top video games ever made.

Super Metroid is a masterpiece.

And one of the best
to ever play it

is a runner named Zoast.

Getting the Any% world record
in Super Metroid

is definitely one of the biggest
achievements anybody could hope

to achieve in speedrunning.

Since, like, 2008,

there's only been five people
since Hotarubi

that have gotten this record.

That's it.
And a lot of people have tried.

In the landscape
of speedrunning,

theMetroid series
has become synonymous

with something called
sequence breaking.

And to understand why sequence
breaking is so important to speedrunning,

we need to start
at the beginning.

Metroid is a Japanese franchise

that came out on
the original Nintendo in 1986.

It combined the platforming
of Super Mario Bros.

With the exploration
of The Legend of Zelda.

But it had a darker,
more isolated feel.

Developers had speed in mind
when they createdMetroid.

If players were able to b*at
the game in under an hour,

the protagonist, Sam us,

revealed what was
a surprise at the time.

Sam us was a woman,
who interestingly, was based

on the character played by actress
Sigourney Weaver in the movie Alien.

Speed was also at the forefront
when players began finding ways

to break the sequence
ofMetroid's play through.

Sequence breaking is
when you do something

that allows you to play a game

out of the order
it was meant to be played.

And to even sometimes
skip sections altogether.

The classic example
of aMetroid sequence break

let players get to the end much quicker
than was originally thought possible.

Normally, to unlock a bridge
that gets you to the final boss,

you need to have beaten both
mini bosses, Kraid and Ridley.

But instead of using the bridge,

players figured out
a creative workaround

to bypass having to take on
the mini bosses.

If you could lure an enemy
through the door,

once inside, you can use
Sam us' ice beam to freeze it,

and then use it as a platform
to get across the gap.

This little trick
completely circumvented

howMetroid was intended
to be played.

Now, players didn't need to make their
way through large portions of the map,

and instead could proceed
right to the end

to take on Mother Brain.

Sequence breaking
opened the door

to a new way
of playing games quickly.

And by the time
Super Metroid came out,

sequence breaking was considered
a discoverable feature, not a bug.

I can't tell you how many hours
I've put into this game

The gimmicky thing is you're
supposed to put 10,000 hours

into something
before you master it.

I'd say I've put
10,000 hours into this,

which is kind of crazy.

I just love video games,
you know.

I've been playing video games
my whole life.

The first system we ever got was a
ColecoVision when I was a very small kid.

One of the best things
about Super Metroidis

the ability
to sequence break the game,

and the fact that the game
is so open-ended.

If you're good enough, or you can
do some of the advanced techniques,

you're able to completely change
the way you play the game.

There is a freedom
to Super Metroidin that way

that is pretty rare
in older games.

For example,
in a casual play through,

when Sam us reaches this room,

she can't make it out of the
lava to get to the upper landing.

But in a high-level speed run,

Zoast performs
an elaborate sequence break.

As he enters the lava, he intentionally
runs into one of the skulls on the wall.

If you look closely, the skull
is actually sh**ting a fireball,

and when it hits Sam us,
it causes a damage boost

that pushes her
towards the floor.

Zoast then executes
a perfectly timed Shine Spark,

which is a special move that
skyrockets Sam us to the ceiling.

That just scratches the surface

of all the inputs that Zoast
needs to precisely control

to make this break happen.

But if you can pull it off,
Sam us can access an area

you are not supposed
to be able to get to yet.

And over the years,
as more breaks were discovered,

times got quicker.

Super Metroid was one of the first
console games with an in-game timer.

So there was added prestige
in trying to b*at it quickly.

And to do it at the highest
level takes creativity.

I'm sort of known
for changing my grip a lot.

When you try to run, and
you accidentally switch over

to X-ray, it stops you.

And that's a big problem when
you're speedrunning, obviously.

So what I do is, I do this thing
I call the piano grip,

and I go like this, so I can
use all four of these fingers

and then to hit Select.

It's obviously not easy, but...

It allows me to do these rooms
as fast as I can do them.

When Zoast first saw speed
runs himself in the mid-2000s,

no one was better
at Super Metroid

than a mysterious runner
from Japan named Hotarubi.

Very little was known about him,

but he held records
in a number of different games.

Hotarubi is a legend,
in a Super Metroidspeedrunning,

and speedrunning
in general, really.

He just crushed
everybody at the time.

When people first saw his runs,

they weren't sure
whether it was real or not.

They thought that he had cheated
to achieve those,

or spliced together the run.

Turns out, Hotarubi was a kid
growing up outside of Tokyo,

who was particularly
good at math

and patterned his play
by studying runs

created optimally by humans
and then played back by computers.

Or tool-assisted speed runs.

When Hotarubi set the Super
Metroid Any% record in 2006,

he came out of nowhere, and was almost four
minutes ahead of the next fastest time.

And to add to his lore,

towards the end
of his world record run,

Hotarubi saved the animals.

After defeating Mother Brain,

Sam us has to escape the planet
before it explodes.

But there's a quick detour that
leads to a room with trapped animals.

It's a fun side-challenge,
but you don't need to do it.

So not only was Hotarubi's run so
fast that people thought it was fake,

for good measure,
he also saved the animals.

You have to go to this
sort of alternate route

and you can blow the wall up
and they, they escape.

And that allows you
to leave the room.

When the planet explodes,
right before it explodes,

you see, like a little blip,
like one little pixel flying off.

That's the only change
it makes in the ending.

Right here,
you'll see the animals.

See that? That's it.

That's the only change
it makes in the game.

Hotarubi could have never
imagined that, years later,

deciding whether or not
to save the animals,

would become a focal point
at Games Done Quick marathons.

We have "save the animals"
at $14,939

- and "k*ll the animals" at $16,440.
- Oh.

Yes. Here we go.

GDQ uses the decision to save,

or in essence, k*ll the animals
by not helping them escape,

as a major incentive to
raise money for their charities.

I got $20 from Carrie.

"I send this money against
cancer and towards the animals.

How can you not save them?

Let's show everyone what
speed runs truly are capable of.

Let's save these animals."

Viewers donate during the run
to determine the runner's route.

And with a final total
of $128,152

to $126,711

at SGDQ 2017,

the animals will...


It's gone back and forth
over the years.

But if it were up to Hotarubi...

Every so often,
someone comes around

who is light years ahead
of the competition.

It's not always easy to put
a finger on how they do it...

...but it's fun to appreciate it
when we see it.

Hotarubi held the world record
for almost six full years,

and eventually moved on
to other games.

That's when a new wave
of runners caught up.

Zoast was part of that new wave.

Since 2013, Zoast has traded the
Super Metroid Any% world record.

Back and forth,
with just three other runners,

as the speed run
continues to evolve.

To stay on top of a game
as contested as Super Metroid

takes dedication.

On average, I usually spend about
30 to 40 hours a week on speed runs.

Streaming is my primary job
right now.

I have an electrician's license

I'm in the electricians union
as a backup.

But my primary source of income
is streaming.

I've been around for so long, and I've
accomplished so many things in Super Metroid

that I don't feel like I have to
prove anything anymore, really,

but I still very much enjoy it.

As new generations
come to watch games,

they definitely gravitate a little
bit more towards the newer games.

But there's no shortage of people
that still love the old games at all.

One thing about speedrunning
is that it's a very

"do it yourself"
sort of mentality.

There's not really many people
that are sponsored by big companies.

But I think there's
really a beauty to that.

That maybe the way
of the future.

That's the way
a lot of things are going.

I'm already older
than most speed runners,

so I'm not sure exactly how long

I'll be able to keep doing it,
at least at the top level.

But I think in ten years I'll still
be streaming and speedrunning,

at least in some sense.

You can't really judge how long people
are gonna be interested in something.

And if you see a chance... just have
to go for it sometimes.

The world of speedrunning
is filled with interesting people.

From all walks of life.

But perhaps no one has been
more influential...

...controversial and famous

than Narcissisa Wright.

I never use this thing
when it's not docked.

Some people think
of video games as an escape

from reality or something,
but I kind of feel like... games are this very
hard reality of math and numbers

that is governed by this
unchanging code that is very real.

It's not really an escape.

This is about the only speed run
I do right now.

Pokémon Shieldis
my newest thing I'm really into.

I go on this thing called
the Rotom Rally.

You ride your bike,
and it's the speed run challenge.

I'm quite sure no one's ever
done this route faster than me.

Press B right now
to get the boost,

then I immediately get
the boost when it comes back

that way, it runs out
the moment I hit the balloons,

then I get
another boost charging.

Then here's the RNG section,
I have to avoid the pokémon.

And then I found
another exploit right here.

For this balloon, it actually keeps
circling while you have this menu open

so you can wait
until it's on top of you,

and then you can get a
more direct line to the finish.

I just like ended up discovering
all these little tricks to save time.

I know I can b*at it by probably around
two frames, if I get a really clean run.

There's stuff
like the Rotom Rally

that, like, hooks me.

Even without a community
or audience or anything, just... know, grinding
this bike route or whatever.

It's just really fun.

Long beforePokémon Shield,

Narcissa was a pioneer

at playing what is
most commonly referred to

as the greatest
video game ever made...

...The Legend of Zelda,
Ocarina of Time.

Not only wasOcarina of Time
a monumental accomplishment

- in 3D gaming for Nintendo...
- Hello. was also really important
for speedrunning.

Largely because it's

a very broken game.

Meaning there are lots of places

to exploit glitches
and to perform sequence breaks.

In the early 2000s,

Internet forums were still
a new way of collaborating.

And the obsession and intensity

on theOcarina of Time threads
was unprecedented.

The community
of Ocarina of Time was huge.

It was a really popular game.
And then it was also

the most discussed game
on Speed Demos Archive.

That led to a lot of collaboration
within speedrunning

I started ZeldaSpeedRuns,

then we had
more focused discussions,

and so it really got looked at.

In a traditional play through,

the character Link
ages as the game goes along.

Link needs to become an adult
before he can save Zelda

and defeat the evil king,

But speed runners,
after years of investigation,

figured out a way to b*at Ganon
while Link is still a child.

So Ocarina of Time
is a game all about time travel.

It's kind of ironic
that the speed run

not only doesn't
go forward in time,

but ends up meeting adult Zelda
as child Link

and completely messes up
the timeline and everything.

It's kind of poetic.

Of course,
for this to happen requires

incredibly complex movements.

Figuring it out has spawned
generations of devoted experts.

I've been speedrunning this game
for basically 12 years now.

Zfg is known for speedrunning

the 100% category
ofOcarina of Time,

which takes hours to complete.

And means that he needs to get
every single item in the game.

Casual players will almost never run into a
single glitch in their entire play through,

but if you know
what you're doing,

if you know how
the game is working,

then you can start
abusing that really fast.

While I'm in the basement here,
there's a bunch of invisible water.

All the water in the game
extends downwards infinitely.

And there's supposed to be just like
shallow water around bottom of the well.

But this shallow water, you know,
extends downwards all the time.

And I can swim through this water to
get to this chest early and get b*mb.

Another notable
Zelda runner named Torje,

is a phenom and has held the Any%
world record several different times.

Start in three, two, one, go.

The first time I got the record,
I was 16.

A lot of people called me a
prodigy, which is really cool.

There's one trick in particular, sort of
near the end of the run, called Wrong Warp.

With that, we sort
of do everything before that

to build up to that trick, just to be
able to do that trick as fast as possible.

I'm from Norway, and there's
a lot of Zelda speed runners,

specifically from Sweden.

The glitches are just so deep
in the game.

Like, there's so much you can
do, there's so much variance.

Anything less than 90 degrees, with high
enough speed, you can go right through it.

It gives you a lot of freedom.

The act that Ganon
knocks your sword out

and then re-equips it

even though you're child Link
during the fight

is what makes the run possible
to complete entirely as a child.

But it was Narcissa
who very early on

had a unique ability
to both perform

and articulate
these complexities.

This angle is really strange.

Still got the ruby.
Okay, no problem.

All the work that had gone
intoOcarina of Time

was on display
in a breakthrough run

that was responsible for introducing
lots of people to speedrunning in 2013.

Uh, right there,
I did a Navi Dive to get out

of the forest early
without beating the Deku Tree.

This run depends
on me getting the bottle,

which is the reason
I'm leaving the forest.

The frame Link's feet
hit the ground,

which would trigger
Ocarina Items,

is also the same frame that triggers
the Blue Warp, carrying me up.

Got it.

It was really worthwhile.
It felt like a lot of people who saw that

ended up kind of feeling really
inspired or interested in speedrunning,

or thought it was
like a, a marvelous story.

By the end of that year,
they had driven a run

that took the best players more
than seven hours to complete,

down to almost 19 minutes.

Then, with 7000 people
watching live...

...Narcissa took the time
even lower.

Oh, f♪♪♪♪♪♪.

It's over.
Ocarina of Time is d*ad.

Any% is done.

That's it. That's it.

It's over. It's f♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪ over.

I'm never playing Any% again,

unless some crazy new s♪♪♪♪♪♪

gets found, dude. That's it.

18:10, man.
That's gonna stand for so long.

That's gonna seriously stand
for a long-ass time.

I have no intention
of improving it.

It's over.

Welcome to the Nintendo
World championships!

The following year, Narcissa
was one of just 16 gamers

to receive the Golden Ticket.

How about Cosmo, everyone?

This is about our 16 competitors
and their journey to be crowned

the Nintendo World Champion!


Nintendo is iconic,

and this was the first time they
were having their championship

in 25 years.

Live from
Universal Studios Hollywood.

Ladies and gentlemen, please
welcome your host, Terry Lee Torok.

Whoo! Yeah. You ready?

Whoo, thank you.
I don't get this at home.

Welcome to
Universal Studios Hollywood.

This is the playing field
of the future.

The unprecedented 1990
Nintendo World Championships.

After four stages
of competition...

...battling through games

Mario Kart 8, Balloon Fight

and Super Smash Bros...

You guys ready
for some Smash Bros.?

...Narcissa made it
to the finals.

This is it. This
is the final round of game play.

One of these guys
is going to be your next

Nintendo world Champion.

The finals were custom levels

of a game
that hadn't been released yet,

Super Mario Maker.

Oh, my! What? Cosmo!

You're an animal!

It started out okay.

But then, not so much.

See if Cosmo get through here.

Cosmo's still trying to make
his way past the saw blades.

I didn't know the new Super
Mario Bros. Physics at all.

And so the final round
became a bit of a meme.

Having trouble with
the first set of jumps though.

- Not quite there.
- No.

John Numbers is blazing
this right now.

What's he gonna do right now?

So I got second place.

But it was such
a magical experience

Let's hear it for Cosmo as well.

What an incredible fighter!

Man, you battled, man.
Great job.

Great job, Cosmo.
And John, congratulations.

To cap off the evening,
there was even a surprise guest.

Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto.

Hello. Hi.


Hello, everyone.

Shigeru Miyamoto,
the creator of Zelda, Mario.

Kind of this grand figure
in gaming, an absolute legend.

It was really amazing
to be able to meet him briefly,

and I'm really happy
I was a part of it.

All right!

Around this time,
Narcissa had withdrawn

from a graphics design program
at a college in Chicago

and was making a living
streaming full time.

Am I at 100K followers?

Am I at 100K followers?

Wow, Look at that.

I can't believe
I was playing this game...

and I reach 100K followers.

And I'm doing, like, nonsense.

Look at what I'm doing
in this game right now.

But she wasn't playing
Ocarina of Time anymore,

and in general, had become
disillusioned to speedrunning.

It kind of tore me apart,

but I decided I was done
at that point.

I could kind of
just see the void.

As you pour more time in,
you get diminishing returns.

Like, most runs are not good.
But then, like,

"Oh, one in 10 rounds is good.
Oh, one in 100 runs is good.

One in a 1000 runs,
one in 10,000 runs."

You start asking yourself,
"Why am I doing this?"

This enormous time sink
for no gains...

...where it becomes meaningless.

Like, the meaning
just disappears.

It wasn't so much
about discovery,

and it didn't even feel like
it was about story anymore.

It felt like it was the void.

So that's where I stopped.


...I went through some pretty big
changes in my life shortly after that.

I was pivoting away from a lot of things
that I had been deeply involved with before.

And I had also undergone the
beginnings of hormone replacement therapy,

and that whole process.

Finally, it came
to a point where...

..."This is a step
that I want to take.

I'm taking this step,
And carpe diem."

So I just posted that.

I'm gonna be moving next month.
I think it's gonna be okay.

I think once I get situated,
I'll be able to be really comfy,

and do lots of good streams,
and do lots of good stuff.

And thanks for watching
this video, YouTube.

Even though my YouTube
account is filled with tons of trolls.

Obviously, I'm gonna be
awkward at first.

And I'm just, like, struggling.
And you know what it really is?

Oh, my God.

It's just like reading
all the garbage.

I'm, like, addicted
to reading garbage comments.

There's a lot of places
where people talk about me.

And I read all of it. Like,
everything anyone says about me,

I just read it.

Like, I was depressed
before I started hormones...

...and then I started them,
and I felt good about that,

and I still feel good about it.

But I still feel
constrained and stuck.

I'm not free.

Everyone equates me
to speedrunning, and, like,

Speedrunning is, like,
a d*ad end. Going for records,

it's just like
this endless repetition

of this simple... It's,
like, simple. It's so stupid.

My brain was,
literally, like, addicted

to the dopamine
of the past success.

I wasn't doing anything
with speedrunning.

I was being abrasive,

and I was being kind of

So there was a, a kind of
unpleasantness kind of back and forth,

that that was going on.

I feel frustrated.

I feel frustrated.

During that process,
I kind of lost

everything that I had built up
over the last several years.

At the moment, I'm still
sort of surviving off of...

Back when I was
a Twitch superstar...

...I saved up money,

and I'm still using it.

And it's
like whittling down, but...


I hope that my stream can,
like, be rebuilt up.

I was just in a horrible mood
all the time.

So streaming wasn't very good.

Yeah, that's true, actually.

The glasses make it harder
to see the eye makeup.

I could do something like this,
but that's like a little bit...

I don't know,
isn't that kind of silly?

Those were the hardest years
of my life, actually.

I kind of feel like it may have
been better to really tone down

anything public
around that time,

but I didn't.
I had felt such, like,

unanimous love in the past.

So I, like, believed
in the kindness of strangers.

But I underestimated
the harshness.

ª I'm not here to start a f*re âª

⪠I'm here to keep you warm âª

I feel like,
over the last couple of years,

I've been able to get past
the harder parts of everything.

I kind of stopped being
interested in speedrunning

and started developing
interests and other things.

I'm not out trying to be a pro
game dev. This is a hobby for me.

But I think I could be
pretty good at this

if I'd spend more time on it.

I keep getting stuck on, like, what
is the purpose of what I'm doing?

I keep, like, asking myself these
really fundamental questions about it.

And sometimes
I get in my own way.

A lot of times,
I don't care so much,

and I just sort of,
like, start building stuff,

which is probably
healthier, honestly.

All right, so this is
my main project.

I worked on this
for, like, six months.

The eventual idea is to bring it
into the game engine,

and then be able to control it
with my pro controller.

I did write
some cool scripts to, like,

make the d*ad zone on this
feel really comfortable,

and, like make the camera
feel really smooth.

Games are not infinites.

They are specific a size.

There's so many bytes.

Part of the reason
that Ocarina Of Time

and Mario 64, for example,

had such passionate communities

is because of nostalgia
growing up with these games.

These games were
magical experiences.

The kids of today are having
different experiences.

It's Iron Man!

You have the Iron man game
in there too?

The nostalgia window is closing.

We have $25 from Red Echidna,
who says,

"Doing my part
for the donation train."

Thank you so much.

We have $25 dollars
from Turamitsu.

"Only a little over $25,000
to go, and I'm donating."

$1 million hype.


The nostalgia window for older
games may indeed be closing.

But it hasn't closed yet,

at the 10-year anniversary
for Games Done Quick.

I know this is what
you've all been waiting for.

Are you ready
for some Destiny 2?

I know I am. Take it away, guys.

Right now, we are standing at
Awesome Games Done Quick 2020.

And we're celebrating the 10th
anniversary of Games Done Quick.

It's special because it started
off as such a small event

in somebody's basement,
and it was just a few people

trying to raise money
for charity.

And now, it's turned into this.

This man is, basically, turning into like
Jimi Hendrix right here, live on stage.

But he's playing Clone Hero, the
likes of which I've never seen before.

And this hand movement...'s just insane.

This is just blowing my mind.

The best player in the world,
ladies and gentlemen.

And leave it to speed runners
to keep finding ways

to push things to the extreme.

I used to be
in this after-school program,

and they would only let us
play video games

if it was raining outside,

and the gymnasium had to be
reserved for some other use.

Then they would get out
the Nintendo.

And when they did that, I was the
only kid that could b*at Mike Tyson.

So all the other kids were, like, in awe,
of like, "Whoa! You can b*at Mike Tyson?"

For me, in terms
of world records,

I've held the record in every
Punch-Out!! Game at least once.

These two are
personal heroes of mine,

and major influences.

In Punch-Out!!, Mike Tyson,
to this day,

is notorious for being one of
the hardest end bosses to b*at

in all video games.

Matt Turk was the original world
record holder in Punch-Out!!

He was the first person
that did a speed run

from the first fight
to the last fight.

And he had all the records.

And I was the first person
that ever b*at Matt Turk.

And then, of course,
Zallard came along.

He eventually b*at me.
We had some back-and-forth,

and then,
Summoning Salt came along,

and he really was the one that
started driving the time down,

incredibly low, to places

that we never had thought
that it would go.

And his level of execution is
just extremely, extremely high

and extremely,
extremely consistent.

Which is what you need because
in this game you need a lot of luck.

So when you finally
get that luck,

you have to be able to execute
in that moment.

And that's what he did.

You're trying for these really
small percentage RNG luck things

that you need to all go right
in a row for all 14 fights.

Like, Don Flamenco II. If you get
two of these 1-in-16 star punches,

you have about nine chances to
get them, and if you get two of those,

then you're able to save, a
lot of times, about 20 seconds.

The fighters can get up with
different amounts of health refill.

Like, Piston Honda II has a 50-50
chance of getting up with more health.

Mr. Sandman has
a three quarters chance

of getting up with a smaller
amount of health for the third time,

but a quarter of the time he'll
get up with about 12 more HP,

and there's no reason they had
to program that into the game,

But they did.
And I have no idea why,

but it really makes a speed run
in this game interesting.

And it makes it really annoying

because he has to keep
grinding for luck.

But none of those fights compare

to the difficulty
of facing Mike Tyson.

He's lightning-quick,

and his uppercuts
will knock you down

in just one hit.

In a speed run, it's all about
landing frame-perfect punches.

You have 1-60th of a second

to throw a punch
that delivers maximum damage.

And in April of 2018,

luck was on my side,
and my game play was even better.


I just b*at the Mike Tyson's
Punch-Out!! World record.

I don't believe it.

- Wow. Okay, good.
- Nice.

So we're probably on five here,

so you're gonna get
your two dodges again,

and then I'll drain.
It'll be a quick drain.

Okay, cool.

Sinister and Zallard aren't
just trying to b*at the game fast.

They are trying
to do it blindfolded.

While sharing
just one controller.

Ah, dang!

All right, we'll start
from the beginning, I guess.

Yeah. That's round three
in a nutshell.

Punch-Out!! Has a rich,
blindfolded history.

Dating back to when Sinister1
was inspired

after seeing AndrewG try a blindfolded
Mario run in Mike Uyama's basement

at the first Games Done Quick,

Playing blindfolded requires
encyclopedic knowledge

of different patterns
in the game...

...mixed with lots of luck.

But no one has ever taken on
Punch-Out!! Quite like this.

Without any audio cues, we
wouldn't be able to do this. Like...

Yeah, the audio cues
are critical.

We really need them to know
where we are in the fight,

what's happening, how to react,

what pattern we got.

It's all the information
that you have

pretty much outside of our general
knowledge of what's going on.

But, ultimately, you still need
confirmation of your knowledge.

I'm going to try it.

- Nine again.
- Yeah.

Despite having never completed
a full run of blindfolded,


Without the use of passwords...

...after 14 masterful bouts,

on the biggest stage
in speedrunning...

...Sinister and Zallard
did the unthinkable.

- They didn't think they'd do it.
- They didn't...

- But they did.
- Give it up!

It took years of perseverance
to a wildest moment to happen.

It's the kind of thing
speed runners live for.

Hands up! Hands up!

- Everybody, hands up.
- Hands up!

A force of skill and charisma.

The people's champion,

It's been a crazy year, very
busy, busiest year of my life.

Guys, thank you all so much
for coming. I greatly appreciate it.

I did ten tour stops this year,

It went so good that
we're making it a lot bigger.

We're gonna go to more cities, more
speed runs, more time, more everything.

There is some serious communication.
And blind readability.

Remember, these players have never
seen this before, so they are reacting.

And you can think of these levels
much more as a lexicon of skill

than an actual thing to play.
Here we go. Oh!

Oh, that was close.

Making a five year plan
right now in this industry

is really dumb.

Every year, it's changed
and grown and evolved.

Who is gonna get this first?


That's right, baby!
That is right.

Yes! That is right!

If this is just a for-now thing,
it's gonna be the coolest story

to tell to my grandkids.
And if it's forever,

that's gonna be awesome as well.

I'm just gonna roll with
whatever the future brings me

and take advantage
of every opportunity that I can

and hope for the best,
prepare for the worst,

and just have fun
with my friends along the way.


Buzzer beater finish.

- OK, Boom-Boom...
- OK,

- Boom-Boom.
- ...has won the race.

The crowd is going

absolutely wild.

Congrats. Congrats.

We would have popped off
if we wanted.

You guys are so calm
and demure about it.

You know what I mean?

As this week-long anniversary
nears its end...

...I can't help but reflect
on how far we've come.

Over the past decade, speed
running has grown to mean so much,

to so many different people

for a variety of reasons.

And the fact that it's helped
raise millions of dollars

for doctors
and to prevent cancer?

Who doesn't love that?

I remember
I was just researching

some charities and, you know,
you were, like,

one of the three
charities they contacted,

and the other two
just never responded, and...

- They're kicking themselves now.
- I'm sure they are.

They sure are.

We have had, for just this event

82 countries, participating

and donating to GDQ.

So thank you so much.

This truly is
an international event.

That brings us to the final run
of the marathon.

This is a runner
named Oatsngoats.

He's an elite
Super Metroid player,

and one of the five
since Hotarubi

who has held
the Any% world record.

The moment I step foot
into the door

and I see the crowd,
the lights, the nerves kick in.

Always, instantly.

And now,
it's really nerve-wracking,

because of
the 10-year anniversary.

The finale. I feel like there's
a lot of expectations

that hopefully I do meet
with the run.

It is now time

for Super Metroid Impossible

by Oatsngoats!

If I die, don't be mad at me.

I'm trying my best.
This is hard.

He's playing a ROM Hack

of the original Super Metroid.

It was designed
to be so difficult

that it was thought to be
impossible to complete in real time.

But that's not the case
for one of its best runners.

Oatsngoats! Oatsngoats!
Oatsngoats! Oatsngoats!

Less than 45 minutes

into this estimated
2.5 hour run,

Games Done Quick
broke another record

for money raised
at a single event.

Ladies and gentlemen,
$3.04 million

is a new GDQ record!

There's no doubt that older
games will continue to fade

as new generations come along.

But like with
other kinds of art,

there's a certain appreciation
for the classics,

and for the players
who master them first.

The speed runners
I've introduced you to

are just some of the vanguard
who have paved the way

and set the tone
for what it takes.

But if records are
made to be broken,

then hopefully,
there will always be

a tight knit,
curiously determined group

working to get underneath games

in ways no one thought possible.

"Save the animals" is winning
by a very large margin,

$144,000, to k*ll, $107,000.

Stop, Mother Brain!

And on this night,
Hotarubi would be happy.

They voted to save the animals.

Here it is.


World record!

We can all play like crazy gods,
so that helps too.

I just got world record again.

This is not happening.

- Yeah!
- Let's go!

We're doing it!

More drinks. More drinks!

No hands. Happening right now.

Ah, yeah! I told you guys!

Oh, my God!

Oh, my God, dude.
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