Speed runs

Okay, I just gave some productivity tips, so it’s time to give some *unproductivity* tips: ways to waste time online.

One thing I really enjoy is watching “speed runs,” which are people recording themselves as they finish video games in record time. The best site I’ve run across is Speed Demos Archive. You can view their entire list of game speedruns. You can watch someone beat all the stages of NES Super Mario Bros., with no warps, in twenty minutes. Or see someone beat Half-Life in about 45 minutes. If you watch a lot of videos, drop them some moolah to help pay for bandwidth.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to suck at video games, other than perhaps Time Pilot. I made it about two minutes into Gears of War before I got snagged in a corner as monsters shot me. πŸ™‚ If you suck at video games too, speed demos can give you ideas for what to try.

Once you’re well and truly hooked on this hobby, try searching for [speed run] on Google Video or YouTube. You’ll find 10K+ videos. Good luck with that productivity. πŸ™‚

48 Responses to Speed runs (Leave a comment)

  1. hmmmmmm… Gadgets..at last πŸ™‚

    No more the good old kentuckian Gadgets, Matt?

  2. Some what spoils the fun though πŸ™‚ as someone who has done Halo on legendery (ok i was between jobs at the time)

    Tip for Halo Use the neeedler on the elites – pop your head round a corner pump a full mag at them and duck back as the needles are homing you can take out fast moving and hard to hit mobs.

    If your good you can take out a hunter with a pistol just get close and wait till they make the hrungh noise and raise their shild to hit you.

    If you want to eat up time try building a new pc I spent most of saterday eve building a new one only to find that the heat sink isn’t seated properly and ill have to redo 90% of it – that will learn me for using a stock intel heat sink.

  3. I would’nt have time to watch those Vids Matt but hey Im with you on Gears of war! I bought it for the xbox 360 for my son and have to say, it’s wicked! It gets damn scary too. If you get brave and persevere and play it in a darkened room with the speakers up high on a big screen then…woooah, very cool, aren’t those graphics just amazing? Just make sure you have a stiff brandy to steel those nerves though πŸ˜‰

  4. Hello Mutt, I’m Lino UruΓ±uela of Spain. I write here because not where to do it
    I have a domain googleoffice.org and I bought this domain to do a docs on-line (some that Google Docs) but I think I can have a problem with the name Google in the domain.
    I want transfer this domain to Google free becouse I don’t want problems, but from Google Spain only said me “go to http://www.google.es/permissions/guidelines.html
    To whom must I go?
    Google don’t want this domain? else I work it.

    Thaks and sorry my english, Lino UruΓ±uela.

  5. Quake speed runs πŸ™‚

    Never knew there was a phrase “speed run” thanks Matt.

  6. Speed runs are awesome. I love seeing them for things like “God of War” where even if you’re amazing and do everything right, it still takes several hours to beat it. πŸ™‚

    BTW Matt, I STILL have not beaten Guitar Hero 2 at Expert level. That game is crazy hard! πŸ™‚

  7. Harith, I’ll try to do some more gadget posts. πŸ™‚

    Maurice, I was amazed that Halo has a whole domain for speed runs: http://www.highspeedhalo.net/
    Me, I can’t get off the Pillar of Autumn. πŸ™‚

    rob, did you ever get the thing where you play a video game and then have trouble letting go? Things like Doom dreams, or maybe you play Crash Team Racing and then expect to be able to power-slide with your real car?

    Aaron Pratt, sometimes it’s just learning the right lingo.

    Audrey, Guitar Hero 2 at Expert is tough. That’s another one where I’m happy to just watch. I wish they’d included a Ramones song like in the original Guitar Hero though.

  8. How about a speed run throug gmail?

  9. Ahhh, speedruns! I love watching a good speedrun! I’ve been visiting SDA for almost a year now and I’m addicted to watching all of their submissions; the Devil May Cry speedruns are my favourite for some reason… πŸ˜‰

  10. The last cool speed run I watched was some dude defeating Diablo in Diablo 2 in 15 seconds using a level 70+ sorceress with crazy blizzard powers. Um.

  11. Amazing website, thanks a lot for the link!! It was so good watching at all the crazy SuperNes and Nintendo64 games….

  12. No doom dreams, but letting yes, once…I sat up on Command and Conquer for 22 hours and lost a days pay as a result! Is it that obvious?

    If um, I start thinking of powersliding and whatnot, then i’ll at least know who to come and ask for help πŸ˜€

  13. What about watching all those Rails “Make an app in 5 minutes or less” videos?

    On second thought, those seem just as productive as watching game vids. πŸ˜‰

  14. Dish network has an HD channel with xbox live video games running on it. That’s not the funny part, there are 2 commentators rating the players they are ruthless talking about the gamers.

  15. Wow…apparently people are debating doing a Civilization 3 speed run.


    Isn’t that kind of like fast-forwarding a trip around the world by sailboat?

  16. I have absoluty no time for all that. But what a funtastic idea for my 11 years old son. He is doing much better than me. And thanks for reminding me about time pilot. It is a great game.

  17. I have a rare game to suggest, it’s called Mount and Blade — Guitar Hero is fun also, I just bought a DDR pad. Civ3 speed run sounds ridiculous.

  18. Dude I loved Time Pilot, not as much as Zaxxon, but scooping up the little parachute men, ah a mispent youth. And Hey what’s with you not remembering Joust on the daily search cast?

  19. I love playing Second Life, anyway I apologise now for jumping in with a different topic, but I would like Matt’s [or anyone else’s] opinion on duplicate content for blogs.

    I spend a lot of time writing daily unique content for my thousands of readers, and since my blog has become popular, I am finding tons of people stealing my content via RSS feed and publishing it on a self made blog and slapping in Adsense etc within my content.

    This annoys the hell out of me and I am worried because 1) they are earning an income out of my hard work and 2) I am worried it could cause duplicate content penalties with Google etc.

    For the time being I have removed the RSS functionality of WordPress until I have found a solution for this. Do you have any recommendations to help me combat this.

    Again I apologise for jumping in this post but I couldn’t find a blog entry which would be more on this subject to raise it.


  20. Matt;

    I got too addicted to a game once and it started to bleed into my personal life. I was in high school and couldn’t get enough of Wolfenstein on the PC. One day I was sitting in History class and my teacher pulled down a map that said “Spear of Destiny” along the top… or so I thought. It took me three glances before I realized that it actually said “Spread of Christianity”. Needless to say, I layed off of the game for a day or two after that, lol.

  21. The problem with speed runs is that many employ sneaky tactics (warps etc.)

    What I like to see it the retro games being done, like the Mario… Some of them bring back memories of ye olde games, when you could complete a game in an hour, and not feel robbed that you paid full price for it πŸ™‚

    Look at todays big-budget games, such as Final Fantasy (I’d like to see a speed run for that!!). Un-skip-able cut scenes and CGI footage..

    What happens if your a young child now and your mother tells you the dinners ready!?.. No pause, no skip.. just non-interactive scenes..

    Bring back raw gameplay, a la Space Invader [/rant!]

  22. Bah, No speed run for nethack :^)

  23. That website could see the end of all productivity in our office.
    Thanks Matt. πŸ™‚

  24. Conrad Longmore

    Have a look at Defcon – http://www.introversion.co.uk/defcon/ – it’s a real time strategy game/combat based somewhat on the WarGames movie. The games themselves are nice and short and there are lot of permutations.

  25. Another way to waste time online: try to get rid of your Google penalty πŸ™
    Expert tip to save bandwith: send your reinclusion requests to /dev/null. Same effect but you don’t need to pay for internet access.

  26. I’m with Ben A. The best games as far as actual gameplay are concerned were made in the late 80s to mid 90s.

    Anyone here remember hooking up two PCs via a null modem cable and playing multiplayer Doom? My kid sister and I used to blow each other’s heads off all the time. There was nothing like sneaking up behind someone, selecting the BFG, and blastin’ some heads off of unsuspecting bodies.

    Or did anyone here have a high school with a computer lab where all the geeks mysteriously disappeared at lunch for multiplayer whatever the game was at the time (I remember some street drag racing game but I can’t think of the name of it off the top of my head)? Come on, you nerds, admit it.

  27. Hah.. I just finished Good Omens and have to say that I hope I can get some work done in the evenings now.

    Great book – cheers for the recommendation.

  28. Matt

    Well if you want some training in halo i’m sure a deal could be worked out πŸ™‚


    When I was at BT one of my co workers was an ex phreak who had been done whist a minor for defrauding PRESTEL to play SHADES (teh Grandday of all MMORG’s

    Aparently one day a SEcId (our internal security force) guy who had busted him years ago walked pass his desk and had a fit πŸ™‚ and started demanding that we sack him.

  29. Matt,

    You aren’t alone on the those that are hopeless at video games list.

    Make up for it by watching movies, playing anything but video games ;-).

    Oh and you might want to take a look at urls containing nph-index , some more of those pesky somewhat like proxy thingies (technical term) :-).

  30. You guys and your fancy games..

    any geeks remember networking up to play tetrinet or bolo? Those were some 8-bit classics!

    I still remember having to put the bolo cd into a special holder, then put that into the computer to install it. I still play those games!

  31. I’ve got a speed run for you, Matt. And the best part about it is that it’s totally productive!

    Stick a video up where you shave your head bald, put on this shirt, drink Budweisers, flip the bird, and ban sites.

    Or you could do all that stuff other than banning sites, walk into the Microsoft building in Redmond, and open up a can of whoopass on Scoble. I’ve got nothing against Scoble or Microsoft…I just want to see inter-corporation gratuitious violence.

  32. Adam..

    While I’m all for a Matt vs Scoble celebrity brawl…. Scoble doesn’t work at MS anymore.

  33. Yeah, I thought of that this morning, Ryan. I typed that just before I went to bed, though, so my mind was kind of hazy (plus I had Microsoft’s site open in another window because I was trying to figure out how to edit properties of spreadsheets that are generated on the fly using ASP for a client admin I was building. By the way, if anyone knows how to pad cells in a spreadsheet generated on the fly, I’d really like to know how to do that. Thanks.)

    That, green tea, and well…the fact that I’m out in left field to begin with…not a good combination. So kids, don’t try this combination at home.

    If I had been coherent, I would have thought of a triple threat…Cutts, Zawodny, and (insert Microsoft search geek here. Scoble could pinch-hit I suppose.) Now that’s a celebrity brawl (except I see Zawodny as about a 3:1 ‘dog in the fight.)

  34. Hi Matt

    Whats your Xbox Live Gamertag? πŸ™‚


  35. Matt:

    I had one site completely drop out of ranking for one of my keywords (100 million+ results) and it’s no where to be seen. Have there been any huge changes lately to the algo that would affect it in that manner?

  36. SΓ©an, glad you liked it. It was a pretty low-risk recommendation. πŸ™‚

    Multi-Worded Adam, I don’t think webmasters would appreciate that. Just a guess. πŸ˜‰

    Dan, I gotta get me a gamertag.

    graywolf, I was never a Joust guy. That and Defender and other “press the button to stay aloft” games were never my thing. I think during the Daily SearchCast I was thinking of Joost, the video company. πŸ™‚

    Aaron Shear, I would totally watch that channel.

    Anybody here ever play xpilot?

    Zakaria, nethack? That’s old-school. I have to admit that I did write a speed run for Adventure though. I wish I kept that script around from when I was a kid..

  37. Awww! Ya sure about that? Seems like Ryan’s on board. πŸ˜‰

  38. speed run for Adventure

    Realy thats cool my first job some one did that for the PDP11/03 version of advent using his Cromenco S100 system to drive it – and he bet me to the final bit of the game

    You hand to have the full 64k of memory to run it though

  39. I miss having a daytime job to pay me to watch things like this. I could spend a few days watching all those classic games. My favorite was always Mario Party…my friends and I would play that game until the sun came up.

  40. Thank you Matt for helping me fritter away the last 90 minutes of my life. A heady mix of nostalgia and awe right there.

    On a similar theme, Youtube has a selection of ‘combo’ videos, featuring various uber-players of Street Fighter racking up ridiculous multi-hit combos on their unsuspecting opponents.

  41. This is actually really nice. You just game me an idea to look for a Google’s videos speed run πŸ˜€
    Thanks for the useful info Matt!

  42. Matt,if you come to china,i will invite you to have a speed game with me.if you lose,i will put the game video on the “youtube”, muhahaha.

  43. xpilot, xtank, xblast (networked bomberman)… some nerd friends of mine still play netrek, too.

    What made me comment, though, was Time Pilot. There was one of those in my dorm lobby in high school. Our only arcade game. (The boys’ dorm had Time Soldier and some golf game.) So many hours staring at it in conversation.

  44. I was never particularly impressed by speed demos, because anyone (it seems) could make one — it just involves using an emulator that allows you to freeze the game and back up every time you make a mistake, until you have put together the “perfect” game…. they are cool in a way, though, the Super Mario World one was definitely fun to watch.

  45. Speed run? why not lol

  46. Whoa, if these demo’s are for real these guys are awesome. I’d love to know where they find the time to do this!

    I’d love to see how quickly someone can crack the good old β€œGolden Axe” from yesteryears. I remember when I was a kid and watched in awe at the local arcade as some older kid made it to the end of Golden Axe on just one life! I was mesmerized! And he finished it in record time, if I remember (well… I was mesmerized.) Shortly after, I popped my money into that machine and tried myself to see how far I would get… not very far.

    We did eventually get Golden Axe on PC and that was fairly easier than the original arcade game. I was a bit older, though.

    Ah… the good old days of computing. How I miss Golden Axe and Police Quest!

  47. ways to waste time online – “unproductivity” tips
    LOL well I can give you tips to waste money online..and a looot πŸ™‚

  48. Wow! Another batch of videos? I don’t think a weekend will suffice for all of the videos that I’ve scheduled to watch. But I think these ones are great simply because they’re under my favorite category – GADGETS. Yum! Yum!