Speedruns and role-playing games: strange bedfellows

You probably know what a role-playing game is. If you don't, you're most likely wondering how you got here, what your name is, and where you live.

Some of you might not know what a speedrun is. Those that do, skip to the next paragraph. Those that don't, here's what you need to know: dedicated/crazed gamer beats a game in the shortest time possible, records the experience on video, then uploads it to the web.

I call RPGs and speedruns strange bedfellows because, well, we all know RPGs don't lend themselves to a quick breeze-through. They tend to be plot-heavy, feature long dialogue sequences, random items, random monsters, and even randomly generated terrain. You can see how all these elements might muck up a speedrunner's hours of planning. And yet, still, they find a way.

You can watch the original Baldur's Gate completed in just over 30 minutes, or FPS/RPG hybrid Deus Ex conquered in just under an hour and a half. Someone has managed to beat Diablo in six minutes and seven seconds, while Diablo II's fastest speed-run is an hour and 53 minutes. Fallout? Just under ten minutes. Fallout 2? A little longer, at 17:51. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind? Seven-and-a-half minutes.

There are plenty of other RPG speed runs at at SpeedDemosArchive.com. You can download a DivX video of the run to see how they did it.

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digg this: | posted by Natasha, 11:34 AM |

about the author

Natasha is a political science student, a gamer, a writer, an armchair philosopher, and a geek. Her first cRPG was Castle of the Winds.

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