Not the typical considerations required for speedrunning
January 15, 2020 3:50 AM   Subscribe

Players Are Pushing Their Bodies to the Limit Speedrunning Nintendo's Fitness Game: "Speedrunning is a test of skill and endurance, and while tapping buttons and analog sticks is physically draining in its own right, it’s hardly on the same level as, say, having to perform a plank over and over again. It’s what makes the slowly growing world of Ring Fit Adventure speedrunning so fascinating. In its early days, it’s not one defined by glitching through in the world in weird ways because no one’s discovered anything like that yet. The only “shortcuts” are to scroll the menus faster—a staple of speedrunning JRPGs—and to manage your stamina. A workout that might be more effective at taking out a group of enemies might be more personally draining, forcing you to take a costly break while your energy returns. It’s a very different way to play."

Article by Patrick Klepek for Vice
Sakinyan's full game run

Not mentioned by the article is that there are two categories of Ring Fit Adventure speedrunning: "Intended" play, where you perform the exercises as intended, and "Not Intended" play, where you simply manipulate the controllers as efficiently as possible in order to make the game think you're doing the exercises. Sakinyan's 18-hour run in December was the first successful Intended full game run and remains the Intended world record, but the first successful Not Intended full game run was achieved by yamada_limit in November, with a time of 28:11:55, and Pizamosu claims the world record with a time of 17:31:24. In addition, last week yamada_limit successfully completed the game at Intensity Level 30 in 22:13:01; however, because he played the game in Silent Mode, where jogging in place is replaced by rapid shallow squats, it's not clear from my outsider's perspective whether that should count as Intended play or a different category altogether.
posted by J.K. Seazer (16 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 


Also, since the article was written, Liam Gallagher has increased his individual world record count from 10 to 12, by virtue of being the only person who has yet submitted a time for World 6 and World 9.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 3:59 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Ohhhhhh. Speedrunning, I get it.
posted by RolandOfEld at 4:00 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]




Not knowing that Liam Gallagher goes by the handle Liam Giiv and is a known Canadian speedrunner, I was briefly confused as to why one of the founding members of the band Oasis had retired from music to play video games
posted by Faintdreams at 5:30 AM on January 15 [20 favorites]


Man, I love this.

I wish more video game environments were available in more fitness games. I don’t give a shit about Peloton, but I would stationary bike around Hyrule or the Neir: A wastes or New Mombasa like speed running was my job. The prospect of people getting ripped to the gills just so they can shave a few frames off the end to end time of a speed run is delightful. But I guess that’s what pro cycling is anyway?
posted by mhoye at 5:47 AM on January 15 [12 favorites]


I was briefly confused as to why one of the founding members of the band Oasis had retired from music to play video games

If I was rich i would 100% retire to play video games
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:52 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]


I don’t give a shit about Peloton, but I would stationary bike around Hyrule or the Neir: A wastes or New Mombasa like speed running was my job.

When I discovered that it wasn't so much that I wanted to replay my old MMOs, so much as I wanted to jog around town listening to the soundtrack in those areas, long-distance running got so much better for me. I've set up FFXI playlists that take me on my Gustaberg -> Ronfaure route, for instance, and my nostalgia craving is satisfied AND I log an extra mile or two that day.
posted by curious nu at 5:55 AM on January 15 [9 favorites]


Just wait till someone figures out a frame-perfect plank that lets you crawl over a wall and skip half the required story content but requires you to do the remaining exercises from the plank position because the game never resets your posture.
posted by tocts at 5:56 AM on January 15 [26 favorites]


Just wait till someone figures out a frame-perfect

Feature request or bug report?
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:29 AM on January 15


My non-speedrunner take is that, in general, Silent Mode should be a different category (though still "Intended"), but also that Intensity 30 Full Game is probably too dangerous to run unless you're doing it in Silent Mode. Sakinyan lasted over 11 hours trying to do Intensity 30 Full Game without Silent Mode, and it looked like she was ready to die at the end of it, both physically and emotionally.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:31 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Geeze, I've just started doing Ring Fit and yeah, wow, props to anyone that can speedrun it. Just take care of yourself.
posted by Canageek at 8:07 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Semi-related: A friend of mine plays the Madden NFL games on his PS4. Only the Madden NFL games. He buys one game every year around Xmas, the new Madden, and plays it in a few modes, but his main focus is the RPG/team management mode. His team is the Miami Dolphins, and he grinds every player to the absolute maximum. I never played this game, but he tells me it's less of a twitch/action style of play, more RPG. And he does this while walking on a treadmill in front of a big TV. I haven't talked about it with him recently, but I know in the past he grind-ed every player to maximum, kind of like the guy in the humor article about JRPGs.

He fast walks while he does all this— hours and hours and hours of walking. He loves playing the game this way and gets decent exercise. I envy this setup of his as he has an extra bedroom with room for a treadmill which I do not have. No music or daft streaming sitcom on an iPad makes exercise time fly by like gaming while exercising. He's told me he's sometimes stayed up walk/playing until 2am when he has to work the next morning, and then he has to force himself to stop and cool down a bit just to get to sleep!
posted by SoberHighland at 8:24 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]


The first link consistently uses "they" as the pronoun for everyone it's talking about and damn that hurt a tiny part of my brain that is used to "he/she" and the occasional "they" prefaced by an explicit call-out that this is the pronoun the person under discussion prefers.

In the absence of any notes on what pronouns are preferred, I find myself guessing that this is the "they" of "I do not know what pronouns anyone here prefers and I am not gonna make any assumptions" and that is kind of fascinating.

Welcome to the 21st century where gender is opt-in!
posted by egypturnash at 7:52 AM on January 16


Like the Wii Fit board, Wii Remote and even the Power Pad before it, the Ring-Con is not particularly good at telling when the player is using it properly or just sitting on the couch and waving it around to simulate the motions one would make while exercising.

Thus, I am particularly impressed that these speedrunners are committed to actually doing the intended motions to complete the game, when they could get much faster times by faking it.
posted by subocoyne at 2:27 PM on January 17


Like the Wii Fit board, Wii Remote and even the Power Pad before it, the Ring-Con is not particularly good at telling when the player is using it properly or just sitting on the couch and waving it around to simulate the motions one would make while exercising.

It is pretty good at recording your motion however so if you're doing the exercises you can be pretty sure it'll be registered in the game which is a decent step up from the Wii Fit (the game is fun enough I guess but not worth cheating over).
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:05 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


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