A Pokemon Red speedrunner has beaten a two year old world world record with a run so good that some members of the community think it may never be beaten again.
If you're not familiar with speedrunning terminology, the 'Pokemon Red any% glitchless (opens in new tab)' category simply requires players to reach the end credits as quickly as possible without making use of any substantial glitches to speed up that process. It's been a category of small gains for a very long time. It's had runs under two hours for the better part of a decade. It's had runs under an hour and forty-six minutes for at least four years.
Two years ago, a runner called hwangbro set a record of 1:45:05, which has stood ever since. Seven months ago, a runner called pokeguy came very close with a 1:45:06 run, but couldn't quite push that extra second past the long-standing world record.
Then, on January 25, pokeguy came back with a new record of 1:44:03. Yes, that's a full minute under the previous record.
So what new secrets or routing did pokeguy discover to shave so much time after such a long standing record? Nothing. He just did it better - cleaner movement and a bit of extra good luck with the game's random elements. pokeguy spent the few minutes after the run on his Twitch stream (opens in new tab) in quiet disbelief, before blurting out "1:44:03, like what the fuck? This is not a thing that was meant to happen. This just doesn't make sense."
Pokeguy had run Red from July through October in 2022, and "just came back to it 10 days ago" before setting the new world record. Even the former world record holder hwangbro us impressed.
Category killing run. Absolutely insane!! https://t.co/Ypj8HoNKOGJanuary 25, 2023
The sentiment that this run might just kill competition in the category is a common one. As AlanSchweitzer says on Reddit (opens in new tab), "This is without a doubt the greatest WR ever set in Pokemon speedrunning. Top level runners tried to achieve a 1:45 run, a select few tried to get a 1:44 run. All of the PSR runners thought such a time would be completely unreal without a major (and we're talking extremely-different-route-major) improvement on the route. Gg's Pokeguy, this is one for the ages."
But hey, there's a reason speedrunners have a copypastsa meme making fun of the notion of a run being dead. Who knows what we'll see out of Red runners in the future.
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