Speedrunning is the art of completing a game as fast as possible while meeting the set conditions. In recent years, Speedrunning has become a phenomenon as players demonstrate their skills at a wide variety of games with various challenges, sharing them online with passionate fans and viewers. One game that many have tried to shave precious seconds off their time is The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and most recently its HD re-release. For the Any% of Wind Waker HD the challenge is to simply finish the game as soon as possible with no additional challenges or steps added with the previous world record closing in on 3:35 to finish the game. That was until this week when a new trick found by Girtana1 took an extra 30 minutes off the world record in the Wii U remastered version of the Gamecube title. It’s important to note that this trick only works in the WiiU remastering of the classic Gamecube title.
For the longest time Speedrunners have lamented the fact that once you first reach Hyrule under the Great Sea the end game is in sight, you can look up at Ganon’s Tower but as you try to get to it you’re stopped by a barrier. The importance and struggle behind this barrier and what it means for the Wind Waker speedrunning community was summed up very well back in 2013 by Narcissa Wright, formerly Cosmo Wright in the video above. In the GameCube release, this wall was completely impenetrable not only due to the barrier pushing you away but also because of an invisible wall behind it.
Normally to pass by this barrier you must complete every dungeon in the game, get the full powered Master Sword, and break it down. Now with this new trick, it is possible to just complete the first dungeons in the game, go to Hyrule and skip all the sage temples and the Triforce fetch quest to just move onto the next section of the game. The discovery of this trick by Girtana1 is not only important because it shows that it is possible, but Girtana1 was also capturing controller input which made understanding the trick and replicating it possible.
Originally the skip occurred with the help of items that are only obtained later on in the game but it wasn’t too long before speed runners were able to perform the skip with less and less requirements making the trick speed run viable. All that was left to do was to test the skip in a real speedrun. The first of which was Gymnast86 who was able to immediately take over 30 minutes off the previous world record, and since then the current world record for Any% Wind Waker HD has been reduced to 2:59:42.
What do you think of this new trick being found? Are you a fan of these game breaking speed runs? Are you thinking of giving it a try yourself?