Elden Ring recently received a giant patch which, among other things, addressed some of the performance issues that plagued PC players, fixed certain NPC quests that weren’t working, added NPC quest markers – and removed certain glitches that speedrunners were using to traverse the Midlands .
Speedrunners found some great feats quite quickly that allowed players to complete the game in under an hour. This improved until we were looking at times, incredibly, of less than half an hour for one of the biggest open world games in years. The patch directly addressed some of the tricks that were being used to enable these races, so of course speedrunners thought ‘fuck you’ and continued playing in v1.02.
So for streamer Hazeblade, a speedrunning expert, and speedrun Elden Ring Any% in under 25 minutes – 24:37 to be exact (thanks Dualshockers). Hazeblade uses a route and techniques that are familiar from previous highscore runs: heading straight for the Icerind axe, which has an OP weapon art called Hoarfrost Stomp and can melt bosses. But there’s something new here too: the zipper.
The zip is an extremely specific glitch that depends on the player’s hardware and some of the game’s background math, but the result is simple: you can warp across the map, skipping giant chunks of the game entirely. Hazeblade spends a lot of time in this video discussing zip triggers and how, essentially, they got lucky and were able to cut several minutes off their previous best in this particular run.
The nature of speedrunning is that as long as you’re upfront about which version of the game you’re using, there’s always going to be a category for it: so expect speedruns v1.02 to be something of its own. There are those who will continue to run the game on patch 1.03 and beyond, however, and the current world record seems to be that of a guy who barely got noticed: l337Plummy just broke the 40-minute mark which, given the crimps introduced by FromSoftware, it’s equally amazing.
The way things are going, someone will have broken it by the end of the day.
Be wary of Elden Ring’s speedrunning fork: you’ll see some even more unbelievable moments as people delve into the game’s secrets and figure out how to exploit specific patches. Other than that, I spent like 100 hours on this thing and I’m still not done: these people are running around Elden Ring in the time it takes me to lunch.