Doom Speedrun Breaks 20-year-old World Record by One Second

Published: Monday, April 8, 2019 - 11:00 | By: Robert N. Adams

A recent Doom speedrun has broken a world record that stood for 20 years by one second. One second might not seem like a lot of time, but it can be an eternity in the world of speedrunning. Getting caught up on a wall somewhere, an inadvertent stumble here or there, or something else — pretty much anything can trip you up. Speedrunners will spend hours trying to shave every millisecond they can off of their time, but a recent world record has been particularly spectacular.

In this particular case, the Doom speedrun was for the game's very first level. The first level of any Doom game can go pretty quickly and the previous world record for it reflected that fact: it took just nine seconds for the pros to go from start to finish. Twenty years later, and one absolute madlad managed to just barely hit the exit switch before the nine-second mark in id software's genre-defining game driving down the total time taken. Check out 4shockblast's world record for the first level of Doom:

 
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UkeFwJ-yHI

That didn't take very long, now did it? According to the video's description, 4shockblast made "tens of thousands" of attempts before he finally hit his goal of breaking the world record. That did take a good chunk of time. Just 10,000 attempts would amount to 25 hours of running in the game world — and that doesn't count the time spent resetting the attempt.

It needs to be understood just how impressive this is. Doom has been around since 1993 and this particular speedrunning record has stuck around for two decades. The speedrunning community understands the game's mechanics by now and have made some really efficient speedruns so far. Beating an existing world record is going to come down to shaving hundredths or even thousandths of a second in just the right places.

This particularly legendary Doom speedrun was brought to our attention via a video made by YouTuber Karl Jobst:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwngnOCWIZo

The previous record was, in a sense, held by a legendary player called Ocelot from all the way in 2001 with one distinction — his 8.97-second run didn't have enemies enabled. 4shockblast's run obviously did and would technically fall under another category and was a little more challenging.

Karl Jobst does a solid job of explaining the speedrun and breaking down how exactly the original run could have been improved and how 4shockblast managed to pull it off. (Yes, it takes nearly 20 minutes to explain how a speedrunner managed to beat a level just one second faster.) Go ahead and give Karl's video a look — it's a great insight into the world of speedrunning.

What do you think of this record-breaking Doom speedrun? Does speedrunning appeal to you or is it not really your thing? Let us know in the comments below!


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A photograph of Robert N Adams
Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!