Bethesda speedrunner beats Skyrim in 2 hours

Studio tester takes first place in internal Elder Scrolls competition

It turns out Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim can be completed in little over two hours; that is, provided you play video games for a living and have an insider's knowledge of every last short-cut and secret. As per its wrap-up tradition, Bethesda recently pit a rep from its quality assurance team against a member of its development staff for a one-on-one race through Skyrim's main campaign, resulting in a winning time of 2:16:10.

QA speedrunner Sam “I Am” Bernstein and Bethesda Game Studios developer Jeff “Live the Dream” Browne were chosen to compete in the in-house contest, reigniting a rivalry that began three years ago with Bernstein's win over Browne in a similar Fallout 3 event. As documented on Bethesda's blog, both challengers put up a heroic fight, but it was Bernstein who once again edged out Browne by a mere 20 seconds in the game's final moments to claim victory.

“If Fallout 3′s speed run was that close, the Skyrim contest was… well, I can’t think of something closer than that Michael Phelps race. But this one was crazier - crazy like the final minute of this year’s Michigan-Notre Dame game,” wrote a Bethesda rep.

Bernstein has been promised a pumpkin pie from Bethesda's Todd Howard for his efforts.

Above: Check out snapshots of this year's competition in Bethesda'sslideshow

The studio emphasized Bernstein's winning time was not indicative of the game's actual length, and that a normal playthrough will take “many hours to complete for new players”. To put the achievement in perspective, it noted the 2:16:30 speedrun for Skyrim was over an hour longer than the winning times for both its Oblivion and Fallout 3 internal competitions.

Oct 14, 2011

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