Speedrunning! It’s been around since 1994. Some consider it a form of art, some don’t. But what we do know about it is that it is damn fun to watch! I mean, come on. Whether you’re watching a Quake speedrun, a Metroid speedrun, or what have you, it’s almost as entertaining as actually playing the game in question.
There’s two main types of speedruns: single-segment speedruns and multi-segment speedruns. The latter is a speedrun in which the runner does not actually do it in one sitting – he does it in multiple sittings, in multiple segments to ensure perfection and correct any mistakes. The former is a speedrun made out of one single segment. No pausing, no saving. One single sitting. That means every time you make a mistake, you either bear with it, or call off the entire thing and start over. So a single-segment represents the ultimate test of skill and endurance.
The Valve community hasn’t shied away from speedrunning either. Last year’s astounding 9-minute Portal speedrun by DemonStrate still holds the world record for Portal speedruns. And there’s also been numerous Half-Life speedruns – single-segment, multi-segment, crowbar-only, you name it, these guys have probably done it.
The world speedrunning record for Half-Life 1 is still held by Blake “Spider-Waffle” Piepho, who completed his infamous “Half-Life in Half an Hour” speedrun (for which a series of commentary videos can be found here) in October of 2006, with a time of 29 minutes and 41 seconds. Blake’s also done a number of other Half-Life speedruns. For more information on Half-Life speed runs in particular, head over to Source Runs. You should also check out the Speed Demo Archive, and the Speed Run Wiki.
But let’s get to business, shall we?