Skyrim and The Witcher 3 might be some of the biggest games in history, but epic quests of their stature owe much of their success to the original The Legend of Zelda for laying down the bricks for how to make a truly large video game. True. it’s a pixie by comparison these days, but it’s genuinely difficult to put into words how huge this adventure was back when there were only arcade games to really compare it to.
An average playthrough takes about 10 hours or so if you know what you are doing, so it’s got a pretty average length for a mainstream game by today’s standards. 10 hours was gargantuan in 1986, but when I see a gamer beating it in just over 30 minutes, it kind of destroys the sense of scale I’ve always felt for it.
Twitch user Darkwing_Duck_sda employs a legal and well known glitch in the speed-run world called “wall clipping” which allows Link to skip large chunks of maps. His predetermined path takes him through the game’s dungeons in an order not usually employed by longtime fans, and I find it especially impressive that he knows which store he must buy the Blue Candle at to keep his time to a minimum.
With intimate knowledge of the game and a bit of luck with monster placement and rupee drops, he scores a final time of 30 minutes 29 seconds, beating the previous record of 30 minutes 37 seconds, also held by Darkwing_Duck_sda. This run is also far from his best as he claims he can “improve his time on levels 4, 5, and 2.”
His closest competition comes in at 30 minutes and 41 seconds.
I’ve never been one built for speed-runs. I hate leaving dungeons incomplete, treasures un-gathered, and secrets un-turned. The irony is that despite pouring over so much information to know where everything is and pushing to complete the game 100 percent, Darkwing_Duck_sda knows this game far better than I ever could because he doesn’t aim for those completionist goals.