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668 - Neighbor of the Beast

Alright, so I'm too addicted to Tool-Assisted Speedruns.

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There's something incredibly satisfying about someone taking an old game, that us older farts would consider classic (and you young'uns never got to play in their prime because you weren't around then) and just completely, utterly, totally raping and destroying any appearance of challenge or skill necessary to play it.

I'll put up eleven here that are all games I've played, and I think are marvelous and worth watching. If you've never seen a TAS before, you're in for a treat.

1) Batman (NES, 1989)

Completed without taking a single hit of damage. Completes the whole game in about 9 minutes, 20 seconds. Also, that fourth stage music is still SO cash, 22 years later.

2) Skyblazer (SNES, 1993)

Surprisingly good music, and a pretty unknown game. Here we see examples of staples of TAS videos - the "warp," where the player abuses controls to get the game to essentially behave in a predictable manner to save time. This one's trounced in just under 25 minutes.

3) Pulseman (Genesis/Megadrive, 1994)

Here we are, absolutely one of the best-looking games on the Genesis, the (pun not intended) genesis of my nickname, and a bunch of other things. This game is gorgeous. It's a shame it never made it here. Though, the company that made it would strike gold four years later...

The game is completed in 33 minutes. There is a faster run that does it in about 25 minutes, but it abuses warping glitches and stuff heavily to the point that you don't get to see much of some levels.

(Please note that this video has some glitches on Youtube; namely, the video and audio progressively desync. If you want to watch this video at full speed and/or video/audio sync issues bug you, watch it on Viddler instead.)

4) Gunstar Heroes (Genesis/Megadrive, 1993)

Three words: Michael Bay Approves. Here, the Speedrunner is controlling both players at once, playing on the hardest difficulty, is doing some RNG/luck abuse in Stage 4 (Black's Base) by manipulating the number that comes up on the die, and is making the run entertaining as well as fast. And Seven Force is still one of the baddest motherfuckers on the block. Game completed in 35 1/2 minutes.

(Please note that while the encode above is fine, it does stick to a framerate of 30, which means that sometimes Blue looks like he's simply spazzing out, when in reality, he is shooting and that is being rendered on frames being dropped by the encode. To rectify this, again, watch the speedrun on Viddler.)

5) Gunstar Super Heroes (Game Boy Advance, 2005)

Part sequel, part reboot to the above. More Michael Bay Approved carnage - and more Seven Force. This run's strictly more about speed than entertainment, though, and it's faster than its predecessor; sometimes bosses are defeated before they even get off a single attack! As a result, the run is completed in about 18 1/2 minutes.

6) Einhänder (PlayStation, 1997)

Did you know Squaresoft once made a shmup? No? Shame, because this one kicked ass in lots of ways. Big bosses, great music, and a pretty damn tough challenge. Game is completed in just about 31 1/2 minutes. Heavily abuses a glitch that allows him to do massive damage even if he's not shooting. And no, your ship can *NOT* fly into stuff like he does here lots on this video - one hit destroys it. A weapon can save you from instant death (if the bullet/enemy hits the gun), but the weapon is destroyed in the process.

7) Megaman X6 (PlayStation, 2001)

Widely considered one of the hardest games in the Megaman X series. All sorts of cheapness; one stage (Metal Shark Player) is actually literally impossible if it generates a certain way. This run abuses game programming to do dash cancelling and tricks to gain invincibility, as well as does a neat amount of luck manipulation. Total run time: 41 minutes, 18 seconds.

8) Tomba! (PlayStation, 1998)

Grossly underrated game. You'll probably wonder why you never heard of this once you see it - and I'm sure a few of you will go ISO hunting. Run takes 52 1/2 minutes, and is worth every second.

9) X-Men vs. Street Fighter (Arcade, 1996)

Simply put, this player makes these matches look like a game of Melty Blood. Another entry where the speedrunner occasionally controls both characters; in other words, he's fighting matches against himself.

10 & 11: Brain Age (Nintendo DS, 2006)

And for my last entry, the "other kind" of TAS videos... which is to break the game in amusing, interesting ways. As those videos show, this player has an absolute field day with this game's handwriting recognition system and abuses the living shit out of it, making an absolutely hilarious "play" that has to be seen to be believed. Please note that the videos have an identical intro; the player does the second part of the run (Calculations x 100) differently in each run.

If these videos interested you, definitely check out TASVideos. Lots more games there than the ones I've listed - for example, there's a full run of Final Fantasy 7 in EIGHT HOURS.


  1. Shoku_warrior's Avatar
    Have you watched a speedrun of Mario 64? It's quite the feat.
  2. Dark Pulse's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shoku_warrior
    Have you watched a speedrun of Mario 64? It's quite the feat.
    Yeah, and the ones that abuse glitches can do the game ridiculously fast. The current world record is a 0-star run that takes a mere five minutes - and the first minute of this is the game forcing you to sit through the introductory cutscene! He doesn't enter a single course (Except for a single time entering Dire, Dire Docks to immediately quit and reset himself back to the main foyer) and abuses the hell out of the game programming to warp himself straight to Bowser.

  3. Shoku_warrior's Avatar
    Whoa. The one I saw lasted for about 16 mins., but this one is pure, unadultered rape. Ahhh, the wonders of game hacking! Reminds me of my days making ridiculously high jumps in Zelda: OoT.
  4. Dark Pulse's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shoku_warrior
    Whoa. The one I saw lasted for about 16 mins., but this one is pure, unadultered rape. Ahhh, the wonders of game hacking! Reminds me of my days making ridiculously high jumps in Zelda: OoT.
    As they like to say, "Here at TASVideos we make perfect movies... and then we beat them again."

    They're constantly finding new glitches, tricks, and things to use. In some movies, the improvement on a previous run is not measured in seconds, or even tenths of seconds, but in frames.
  5. Dark Pulse's Avatar
    To add on another amazing one, here's a player beating Pokemon Yellow (GBC) in 1 minute, 9 seconds. Ash Ketchum mysteriously walks through his TV, and by doing so, violates the laws of space-time and becomes the Grand Champion - LITERALLY SKIPPING THE ENTIRE GAME.

    To use the schema that uses:

    • Uses warps
    • Uses a game restart sequence
    • Heavy glitch abuse
    • Corrupts save data
    • Corrupts memory
    • Heavy luck manipulation

    Needless to say, the way he does this (as described in the author's notes) is nothing short of fascinating.