Speedrunning and Distractions From It

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Once upon a time, during the Awesome Games Done Quick January event, my husband told me he watched someone speedrun Arkham City.  First of all, I had no idea what AGDQ was.  But more importantly, I had no idea what speedrunning was.

“What?! Speedrunning?” you say.  “But, Teri Mae, speedrunning has been around forever.  How could you possibly have not heard of it until January?  And not just any January, but January of 2017?!”  And maybe, you say to yourself, she’s just an exaggerator and she knew about it but had never looked into it.  To that I respond no, I had literally never heard of speedrunning until exactly 6 months ago.  How does a serious gamer go this long without knowing about something so integral and awesome as speedrunning, you may wonder?   I’m not really a social media kind of girl.  I wasn’t interested in Twitch and I was pretty limited to my online multi-player gaming.  And by limited I mean sometimes, when my husband has to go do something, I’ll take over his Uncharted or Battlefront match.  But other than that I stuck to what I knew and loved – Legend of Zelda and Mario.

But the idea of speedrunning opened up an entirely new and exciting vista of possibilities to me!  I decided to see how fast I could play my very favorite, Ocarina of Time.  After all, I thought, I am pretty good at Zelda games.  I have every puzzle memorized and had, what I thought at the time, a pretty good algorithm for time management.  So, without knowing anything about what actual speedrunning looks like, I timed myself playing it.  Wanna know what my time was?  8 hours, 29 minutes, 57 seconds.  I thought that was decent.  With only one major mistake while beating Ganondorf I was impressed with myself and I bragged to the only person who really knew what was going on, my little brother.  So he, in true little brother fashion, decided to break my heart and crush my soul.

He sent me a YouTube video of the twitch stream in which DannyB21892 makes his world record-breaking glitchless run.  3 hours something minutes (he has since broken that record so I’m unsure of the exact minutes).  I was stunned when I saw the time.  And then I started actually watching it.  I had no idea how much effort and thought had gone into figuring out work-arounds, precise paths, and which items to skip and which were necessary.  I learned that I was WAY out of my league.  But it just made me that much more determined to learn speedrunning.  To get into the muck and be the very best.  Like no one ever was.  Despite this new enthusiasm and wanting to dive in headfirst, I hesitated.

While I think it would be the coolest thing ever to beat every single glitchless OoT world record and be a serious contender to DannyB21892’s obvious dominance in that arena, I am nervous about playing my favorite game to the point where it becomes a bit passé.  I still loved taking my time and pausing to hear the music.  But the longer I think about it the more I realize that I don’t exactly enjoy wandering and exploring anymore.  Maybe speedrunning is the next step to leveling up my game.  And I still might do it.  Just not right now…  Because right when I had decided to make that commitment and jump in Breath of the Wild was released.

Now, I still maintain that OoT is my absolute favorite Zelda, but Breath of the Wild is stunning.  I have had WAY more fun playing that game than I originally anticipated.  I’ve always been a pretty thorough person so I explore every single new tower area 100% before I move on to the next one.  And the only quests I leave undone are the ones that require me to go to an unexplored area.  I’ve only been playing for about 210+ hours so I’ve only explored about 60% of the map.  The thing that just keeps blowing me away is that I have 250 korok seeds.  What am I missing that, having explored half the map, I don’t even have half the korok seeds possible?  How does that even work?  When the DLC releases the new mask am I really going to go back and re-explore every area to find them all?  You bet I am.  I even considered using the official guide to find them all but I’m an independent woman who wants to figure things out herself… while using perfectly legitimate add-ons like masks…

But back on topic.  Where were we anyway?  Oh, right!  Breath of the Wild and why I won’t start speedrunning until much later in the year.  Or maybe starting next year.  It’s really hard to find time to do much of anything when all you want to do is bake and play Breath of the Wild.  So will I be starting a speedrunning twitch?  Definitely.  Will it be soon?  Definitely not.  Will I probably start streaming Breath of the Wild and cooking tutorials for this blog?  More than likely.  Is that something people would be interested in?  I sure hope so!  Leave your comments below and let me know what you think.

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