Do you want to get started in speedrunning? Do you already run a game but you’re looking for something new to try? Now’s as good a time as any!
This coming weekend, Feb. 10-12, is the 4th 12 Hour Challenge, a speedrunning event by GoldenSRL. The idea is that you pick a game, and you have 12 hours to learn to speedrun it and get the best time you can. You can do all 12 hours in one shot, or spread it out over three days. You’re encouraged to stream the learning process, but that’s up to you.
This time around, there’s an optional theme: “Remake, Remaster, Reset.” Instead of learning the original version of a game, try to learn a re-release, remake, or port that changes things up. For example, Bionic Commando: Reloaded or the GBA version of Final Fantasy 1. This theme is totally optional, so if you already have an idea for a game that doesn’t fit the theme, go hog wild.
Last year I learned a relatively basic any% route for Symphony of the Night and had a blast, and this time around I’m going with Elevator Action Returns, the gritty reboot of the old arcade game.
Here’s a few tips I learned from my experiences and other people that have done this:
- Pick a short game! You only have 12 hours, picking a game that takes less than an hour to complete is probably a good plan.
- Pick a game you know! I’ve seen people go in blind, which can be a fun challenge by itself, but if you’re already familiar with your game you can focus more on saving time than on learning the basics.
- Pick something that can be emulated, or something with good save/load support! You might need to practice a tricky section or technique a lot, so anything that cuts down on downtime is a blessing.
- Prep work is allowed! Last year I had to make sure I had a finished save file for SotN in order to skip cutscenes, and I took notes and looked up some tutorial videos while finishing the game normally. If there’s already some documentation for the game you want to play, feel free to use it.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff! You have a time limit, so don’t spend a lot of time on high-risk/low-reward strategies if you don’t have to. When you’re attempting a full run, don’t reset because of small mistakes. Learning to improvise when things go wrong is a valuable skill.
- Most importantly, pick a game you like! You’re about to spend a bunch of time on a single game in one or two sittings, so make sure it’s something you won’t want to give up on midway through.
I hope people give this a shot this weekend. I had a really fun time last year, and enjoyed learning the SotN run enough to keep going for a few weeks afterward. Good luck!