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Bethesda speedrunner beats Skyrim in 2 hours

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

Matt Bradford wrote news and features here at GamesRadar+ until 2016. Since then he's gone on to work with the Guinness World Records, acting as writer and researcher for the annual Gamer's Edition series of books, and has worked as an editor, technical writer, and voice actor. Matt is now a freelance journalist and editor, generating copy across a multitude of industries.