We’ve always enjoyed watching speedrunners at work in classic Legend of Zelda titles, finding glitches or perhaps just optimal routes through the adventures. There are so many different classifications, too, meaning that players of various types can showcase their skills while mastering a game.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has barely been out a week, of course, but early benchmarks are being set in speedruns. Due to the game’s structure Nintendo has stated that, theoretically, players can run straight to the end quite early on and ‘beat’ the game. This won’t apply to 99.9% of players, but the 0.01% are typically speedrunners happy to take up the challenge. New techniques utilising the game’s world are still being experimented with, but it seems one hour is already a realistic target.
Venick409 has a run on YouTube – spoilers, obviously – that clocks in at just over one hour and five minutes, with the humorous reality that Link runs around in his pants while conquering evil. It relies heavily on skill, of course, but also on mastering precise routes and going past vital pick ups late on – this run isn’t even perfect, either, with a few little mistakes that could certainly be ironed out in subsequent attempts.
It’s almost strange to see in action, and the ending plays out rather differently when this route is taken. You can see it below, but remember it’s a speedrun, so we’ll say again that it’s full of MASSIVE SPOILERS and the ending by default, of course. There are a few occasional bits of bad language too.
It’ll be interesting to see how speedruns of the game evolve, and just how fast they’ll become. There are some glitches that are used – in this video the dashing / whistling glitch is put to substantial use, in which pressing down while dashing somehow stops the stamina bar from dropping.
How low can the speedrun times go? We’ll see in the coming months.