GameTech: Legend of the speed runners

GameTech: Legend of the speed runners

Can you spare ten minutes? If so, that’s enough time to complete The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. That’s right — a game that should take 30 or 40 hours can now be completed in less time than it takes to monetise a YouTube video.

How is that possible? Despite being 25 years old, Ocarina of Time is a darling of the speed-running community — a group of dedicated players who discover the quickest way to finish a game. Over the years, this community have found increasingly bizarre ways to reach the end credits, culminating in some very strange activity in recent weeks.

Ocarina of Time has now been completed (as of writing) in 9m 56s due to the strangest speed-running tactic of all time. By using a series of seemingly disjointed, nonsensical movements and actions by Link, players have discovered how to ‘program’ the game into warping to the final credits.

The method is extremely complicated, but it turns out that every action in the game has a value that can used in sequence to create a ‘bridge’ to other values in the programming. So a series of unconnected, very strange actions by Link can be used to jump to the credits in the opening section of the game.

The speedrunning community are debating the validity of the discovery and whether it really constitutes ‘playing’ the game, but that doesn’t stop the method from being incredibly impressive — and a fitting tribute to a game with time-travelling themes.

RESIDENT EVIL

We got a glimpse of the future this week, as Netflix inadvertently let slip a summary for their upcoming Resident Evil TV series. The following description was posted on the Netflix Media Center:

Resident Evil.
Resident Evil.

“The town of Clearfield, MD, has long stood in the shadow of three seemingly unrelated behemoths — the Umbrella Corporation, the decommissioned Greenwood Asylum, and Washington, DC.

Today, 26 years after the discovery of the T-Virus, secrets held by the three will starts to be revealed at the first signs of outbreak.”

The summary certainly doesn’t give the impression that Resident Evil on Netflix will be an out-and-out action fest. Instead, it hints more at diving into the lore of the series and how the virus was created.

In addition, with this being the ‘first signs of the outbreak’, that would indicate a small number of zombies rather than an epidemic.

Our bet? The series will split itself between scenes investigating governmental cover-ups and the zombies running amuck in the Greenwood Asylum.

ANTHEM REVIVAL

Speaking of rising from the dead, BioWare’s Anthem has pushed one hand through the graveyard soil in defiance.

Anthem was proclaimed dead soon after launch just over a year ago, and while some players continue to engage with the experience, most have long since moved on.

“We have heard your feedback that Anthem needs a more satisfying loot experience, better long-term progression, and a more fulfilling end game,” BioWare general manager Casey Hudson said in a studio blog post.

Over the coming months we will be focusing on a redesign of the experience, specifically working to reinvent the core gameplay loop with clear goals, motivating challenges, and progression with meaningful rewards — while preserving the fun of flying and fighting in a vast science-fantasy setting.

We’ll be happy to see the team succeed — but they’ll be dead lucky if it happens.

WARCRAFT WOES

Warcraft III: Reforged has arrived, dead in the water. As of writing, it has the lowest user score of any big-budget game on online aggregate sites. Why?

In short, developers Blizzard didn’t do what they promised. They originally said Reforged would feature new cinematics, new graphics and new cutscenes — but failed to deliver as expected on these features.

In addition, they made the original version of Warcraft III much more difficult to play by making the old launcher redundant.

Blizzard have made some wonderful games over the years, which has led to a rabid fanbase. In many ways, this was the moment the fanbase struck back against a developer that has seemingly lost its way.

It remains to be seen if Blizzard will continue to give fans the cold shoulder, or they will go back to being cool.

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