News Article

Ocarina of Time Speedrunner Explains How To Beat the Game in 22 minutes

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

No mods, cheats or external tools

Speedrunning may be a fairly niche activity, the preserve of enthusiasts that exchange ideas on forums and at events, but it can be impressive for anyone to watch when talented gamers show off what they can achieve. It's especially impressive when speedruns are completed on the original software, without manipulating mods or ROMS on PCs, but rather picking through the code in-game and finding glitches and small tricks to exploit.

One talented individual in this area is Cosmo Wright, who back in January cleared The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in a little over 22 minutes as part of the Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) event. That event itself was a notable success, raising an extraordinary $448,000 for cancer research over seven days.

Wright has spoken to CVG since, and outlined just how much time and persistance — along with collaboration — is required to put these runs together, as well as highlighting the importance of a strong instinct for picking apart code and searching for gaps that provide invaluable shortcuts.

It takes 100 to 150 hours for me to truly understand a game on a speedrunning level. Then I can decide if I want to continue pushing it or if the game is not for me.

Understanding a game is from a speedrunning perspective is not obvious, it takes a while. I actually put about 150 hours into Banjo-Kazooie and then I thought 'this game is really good, but I'm not sure it's my style of game'.

I wish I could tell you how many hours I've spent playing Ocarina, I really have no idea. Any number I give would be a complete wild guess. It's a lot.

...When you start to mess with game mechanics on a deeper level and understand how a game works you can find a lot of exciting things out. Sometimes it's crazy glitches, or the physics in the game are really interesting and will allow you to do a lot of cool shortcuts. It comes from a love of the mechanics, wanting to master them and show the world what you've been able to do with the game.

As for the Ocarina of Time run itself, below is the footage from the event, in which Wright explains the whole process in detail from start to finish. It's an absolutely fascinating watch, but bear in mind that it shows the end of the game and therefore constitutes as a big spoiler.

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User Comments (67)



World said:

As much as I don't really care or believe in gaming "skill," I absolutely love to see people doing stuff like this for charity.

Also...even he isn't fast enough to beat the Running Man...);



KeeperBvK said:

@Nintenjoe64 When quoting a gag, at least quote it right, so it actually makes sense.
It's "How do you kill that which has no life?"
Defeating something that has no life doesn't have to be a big feat. Just think about defeating a stone in a race or a table in an IQ test.
Now killing something that has no life...that's some pretty philosophical stuff.



therick112 said:

I think it took me longer than 22 minutes to defeat Ganondorf/Ganon when I beat the game in 1999.



Dr_42o said:

This is so lame.. I thought I was going to see some skill.. not save warp this, navi dive that..



XCWarrior said:

Big spoiler Nintendo Life? Game came out almost 15 years ago, if you haven't beaten it by now, or can't assume you are going to beat Ganon at this point, well.... you know.

Anyway, beat the game the right way in 22 minutes, then I'll be impressed. Anything with glitches is fun to watch, but it doesn't count - in my book anyway.



Humphries90 said:

I watched his speedrun of Wind Waker, was pretty impressive.

The whole idea of speedruns is to exploit the game, finding out the glitches and techniques is half the fun it seems.



jamacanbacn said:

@Big_Gamer A glitch is something broken in the game that was overlooked and not fixed. it is part of the game itself,meaning it was practically made like that making it a game feature. how is it cheating for using a game feature .
Also a speedrun is defined as trying to beat a game as fast as possible without using external devices or hacks to speed it up. glitches are not illegal to a speedrun cause they are in the game.

the game has been beaten without glitches before and the world record is here ... it is muchmore technical to beat it with glitches.



WiiLovePeace said:

Amazing!!! I remember when I watched a speedrun of OoT that lasted near 2 hours a few years ago, now it's down to 22mins Awesome!



hypercoyote said:

That's some dedication to find out all those internal variables and codes. Pretty interesting stuff.



Big_Gamer said:

@jamacanbacn its cheating because thats not how the game was meant to be played. I do however understand that they are a part of the whole speedrun thing.



MasterWario said:

@Dr_42o Well it is 22 minutes...and I doubt you could ever finish the the game in that short of time without glitches. In fact, you probably couldn't even finish it in two hours!



CrazyMetroid said:

How is this lame? Most of these glitches are hard to do and take time to learn how to do.
He's doing it so fast because he's had years of practice.
Honestly you just can't please some people in this world. =.=



ultraraichu said:

Wow, one of the baddest iconic bad guy in video game history was beaten by a kid and a stick in less then 2 minutes. Not looking so tough now



One-Winged-Pit said:

Oh come on glitches like that is not a speed run. Reminds me of this "speedrun" of Oblivion where this guy just jumped down the White-Gold Tower and the ending happened.



CrazyMetroid said:

@One-Winged-Pit A speedrun is where you finish a game as fast as possible.
This being an any% run(beat the game with any percentage of the game completed) is exactly what they did, so yes, it is a speedrun.



smashbrolink said:

@Big_Gamer It's not making use of any outside influences. Everything done is possible in-game. Hence, an exploit, not a cheat.
If this were a multiplayer game and he were using it to gain an advantage over other human players, it would be too close to being cheating to be allowed, but as that isn't the case....



TheKingOfTown said:

People don't seem to realize that glitches are necessary to get a time like this. It is physically impossible to beat OoT the normal way at around 20 minutes. The game is just too long.



marck13 said:

I guess that could be called Sport-Gaming or so;). I respect it. It's cool and it makes you a true expert of a game. But personally nothing for me.



Spliffor said:

@Dr_42o If you wanna see "some skill" watch this which is the WR for completing it in Any% by Nedeahs/Shaeden aka Pydoyks and don't expect an amazing run at a marathon were you get 1 chance to do your best because you are 99% of the time never gonna get close to the best possible time without reseting and doing it over and over He also has 3 pretty other pretty much unbeatable WR's in other categories



bezerker99 said:

@Dr_42o ain't it!!! (this was a big let down, no skill at all was shown, just glitch exploitations)

At least they raised a LOT of money for cancer research.



jamacanbacn said:

@bezerker99 i have speedrun this game myself only being able to beat it in 25 minutes, you have no idea how skilled you have to be to do these glitches, missing an angle could cost you the entire thing.
it took me 3 weeks of spending hours doing the warp to ganon and getting it consistently . it takes more skill to beat the game quickly with glitches than it does to beat it casually.
You underestimate how hard it is to do so.



Spliffor said:

@jamacanbacn The funny thing is that this so called "glitchless run" does the same B1 skip in Deku tree as a normal Any% run with glitches lol.. I'm not sure about the rules for the "glitchless" run is but it's just funny to see this so called "glitchess category"



Spliffor said:

@bezerker99 Please tell me what you expected from a 22minute run just please explain what your thoughts before watching this was.. I'm curious,

And "no skill" what the hell dude you don't know anything about zelda speedruns it seems watch this run and tell me it's no skill the tricks he does is very hard to get in a run.. Just try to learn Door of Time skip and get consistant enough to get it 95% of every run you do.. if this isn't skill I don't know what is



FriedSquid said:

Guys, if this guy has "no skill", then at least he still raised $10,000 on lack of said skill.

To those complaining about the glitch-exploitation: How did you expect to see this game beaten in 22 minutes? When you clicked this article, did you actually think that was possible by just playing the game normally?



TheRealThanos said:

@CaptainSquid That, exactly that.
There's just no debating this, all the negativity is hugely annoying to say the least.
It IS skillfull.
It ISN'T cheating.
YOU people will NEVER be able to copy it, even if you practice for the REST of your lives.
By the way, if you think you can, I dare you to try and post a clip of it here on NLife, might at least give the rest of us here a bit of a laugh...




Lol can anyone spell "lame" I thought I was gonna see hardkore speedrun no h4x and here we have a glitch exploiter u__u If this was an online game he get ban for this.



JJOR64 said:

For those of you that don't know, the Speed Running community allows glitches in speed runs. When speed running games, you have to take advantage of your game to the fullest extent. The OoT glitches is not cheating.



ajcismo said:

I'm usually pretty proud when I can get the first 3 stones in under an hour, but this makes me feel like a rookie who's never picked up a controller before.



GeminiSaint said:

Performing the tricks and glitches showcased in that video is very, VERY, VERY hard to do. I can't stress that fact enough. It's definitely much harder that beating the game normally. So, basically, accomplishing what the guy did in the video requires an absurdly high level of skill. Anyone who thinks otherwise should try and perform all these glitches themselves. they will then see just how hard to pull off consistently they really are.



GuSolarFlare said:

I personally love glitches even though they are faster than normally playing the game they are also much much extremelly harder. actually the only cool and useful glitch I've ever seen that's actually so easy anyone can do is the cloning glitch in pokemon emerald. glitches are normally hard to achieve and need perfect timing and precision trying a hard to do glitch might take your mind and thumbs to the limit and still make you get frustrated when you get the hang of the hardest part of it just to forget what to do next and having to start over! I love single player glitches!!!!! but multiplayer ones are bad because you're in a competition(or cooperation) in competition paralell rules not directly present in the game are applied!
also I still like writing things with bold letters!!!
edit*that guy is awesome to use so many glitches at once and finishing OoT so fast*



Gioku said:

It's just like Mater: "You don't need to see where you're going, you just need to know where you've been!"



54noah said:

@Dr_42o Uuuuh...yeah guys! There's no skill in frame perfect jumps, super-specific slashes, and being able to defeat a boss that can kill you in one hit! Geez!



Trippinator said:

@Dr_42o Do you understand how much skill goes into this? These runs are incredibly difficult. It takes a lot of skill for speedrunning.



jamacanbacn said:

@Spliffor b1 skip is more of a trick than a are just using the physics of the game to skip basement 1. which is probably why it is used.



CzartD said:

To anyone who thinks this is cheating, lame, or doesn't require skill - you're an idiot. :3



Marioman64 said:

i like the speedrun i found where he uses small link and a chicken to get over the bridge in gerudo valley while the gate is up, and then walks backwards through the desert with perfect precision and talks to shiek as a kid, its hilarious



Erika said:

If you want a full run, there are categories for that. That doesn't mean that Any% runs "take no skill".



NightmareXIV said:

I don't think this is entirely no cheats or special equipment I tried the same trick on my game, but he's using an IQUE I did everything the way he did at the same speed, and didn't get past the Navi dive.



1upsuper said:

Amazing how many people here have no idea what they're talking about. This is not cheating, this is not hacking, and this certainly is not unskillful. As some good souls have said, speedrunning is about beating games as quickly as humanly possible (and TASes are similar but vary in some types of external manipulation, though still no hacking is present), and people pour tons of hours into learning all facets of a game to learn how to manipulate it to achieve the quickest victory possible. It's incredibly fun and rewarding, and certainly takes a ton of time to master, and it's quite an insult when people say how little skill there is, or how this is merely cheating. Doesn't listening to Cosmos' explanation give you a little taste of the levels of complexity present in such a run? Watch Siglemic run Super Mario 64 and tell me there's no skill involved, that he's merely cheating. In short, please, know what you're talking about before making such bold, untrue statements.



MeWario said:

That was amazing! So much work has gone into that. I love the people saying that he cheated. These guys spent years reverse-engineering the game, breaking it down and discovering its secrets; that's crazy! And amazing! Would have been so much fun and a lot of hard work I couldn't take my eyes off of it!



Ryoga said:

Wow, this really just changed my way of seeing the world, heck, all of life. I'm thinking of any other cases that you may find a shortcut to do it. This example goes beyond playing a game. Well, maybe I'm exagerating a little.
Maybe you guys have seen this before, but this is news for me! Who says Zelda is that linear! XD



Veloster said:

Whilst I am very impressed by this; I do have to wonder:

What's the point?

You miss out on doing all the epic things OoT is packed full of(: )

  • Dark Link
  • Volvagia
  • Koume and Kotake (Twinrova)
  • BigOcto
  • Deadhands
  • Iron Knuckles
  • Bongo Bongo
  • ...........
  • ...........
  • ...........

Does seen kinda pointless overall, but of course that's my opinion............



1upsuper said:

@Ryoga, sorry to burst your bubble, but there's quite a number of people who have been working for many years on speedrun optimization and finding all the time-savers (with OoT and other speedruns, of course), so someone completely new to the scene is not going to be making any breakthroughs. That isn't to say there is nothing more to discover, however.

@Link-XL, I don't think you quite grasp the point of a speedrun. People who run games and work on speedruns have undoubtedly poured many hours into the games, including playing them the "right" way. For most runners, they do it with games they enjoy (though I'm sure this isn't always the case, particularly with runs of bad games), and have thus already done everything the game has to offer, and are now partaking in the challenge of pushing a game (and human ability) to their respective limits, and that is what is done here, and what is done with all speedruns.



Trippinator said:

@NightmareXIV First of all, it's extremely difficult. Like, they pour tons and tons of practice into this. You aren't gonna get it first try. Plus, I think that some of the tricks are iQue only, which is a legit (Chinese-only) system.

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