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SS run with Warps/Deaths
SS run without Warps/Deaths
SS 100% run

Verifier Responses


Death mountain
*  Very nice work.  The dark-fighting strats here are aggressive and fast.  Definitely the strongest part of the run.

Palace 1
*  Places a drop on the first skeleton.  This is a good move, since you'll get to refill magic either way (a red potion, or a 200 bag that gives you enough to take a magic level).
*  The horsehead fight could have been better.  It's faster to use the Fessenden strat, or to begin with the Fessenden strat and then down-sword him when he gets against the wall.

Palace 2
* Delaying the magic levelup until after the glove room was smart.  Good boss fight.

Palace 3
* The runner has awful luck with the statue, but that can't be helped.
* In the raft room, it's faster to kill the blue ironknuckle with down-sword (mashing the down button to do the "jackhammer" technique that the TAS uses) than it is to sneak past him with fairy.  Even if you don't need the XP.
* The runner uses the palace 3 bonus to take Attack 7 rather than taking Magic 5 (which allows for 2 casts of fairy).  See the note at the end.

Palace 4
* Killing the eye at the start of palace 5 to manipulte the six-count is clever.
* Blue iron knuckle in flute room - same as above:  kill him with down-sword rather than sneaking past with fairy.

Palace 5
*  Picks up an extra heart by palace 5.  This is unnecessary but understandable.  The heart by palace 2 might be faster (if you can skip the goryia or otherwise adjust the six-count), but as the runner says, future runs will just skip the extra heart altogether.
*  The boss fight could been better.  There is a technique for getting 2 hits per cycle if you cast jump (recommended), and a technique for getting 4 hits per cycle if you don't cast jump (not recommended unless you are a risk taker).

Palace 6
*  This palace could have been done without the magic key.  See the note at the end.
*  Fighting the boss with jump would be faster.  With attack 8 it would guarantee a 2-round kill even if you don't guess the spawn location, or a 1-round kill if you do guess correctly.  That being said, the runner did a great job with the no-jump strat, guessed correctly twice, and nearly got a 2-round kill.

Palace 7
*  Valley of Death went very cleanly.
*  The runner takes the traditional path through the palace, instead of using the out-of-bounds shortcut that the 100% run and the TAS use.  This is understandable since it is a risky strat that doesn't save a lot of time.
*  Using jump to skip the fire-birds is a good strategy, as is skipping the first blue fokker.

I have just two suggestions for improving the route:

The first suggestion is skipping the magic key in the hidden town.  This saves 36 seconds, minus the time it takes to get a potion from the statue in the blue-iron-knuckle room of palace 6.  Getting the potion from the statue costs approximately 6 seconds if you get it on the first try, and about 8-10 seconds more for each try after that.  So at best this will save 30 seconds, and unless it takes more than 4 tries it won't lose any time.  Once you get a potion, you just make sure your magic is at 3.5 bars or less, hit the potion, fall down two floors, and cast fairy before your magic is finished refilling.  You can then cast fairy 3 more times to get thru the rest of the palace.

The second suggestion is taking Magic 5 after palace 3, rather than taking Attack 7.  In this run Magic 5 (which allows you to cast fairy twice) isn't obtained until after palace 5.  As a result, the runner must [1] get an extra key in palace 4 (50 sec), [2] backtrack before the palace 4 boss to earn extra XP (15 sec), and [3] backtrack for the first key in palace 5 (12 sec).  Having Attack 7 (and eventually Attack 8) makes the boss fights go faster, but not by the amount of time that is lost from the things mentioned above.

I like this run, and I think it was sorely needed.  It's great to see a run with execution approaching that of Fessenden's run plus a death-mountain-first route.  The video quality is fine and the run appears legitimate.  This one is an easy ACCEPT.   


All the "up-a" locations make sense:
* trophy, jump, DM magic container, medicine, fairy, first magic container, palace 2, palace 1, palace 3, reflect, boots, palace 7

The intentional deaths made sense as well, for backtracking (hammer, glove, raft), and refilling magic (palaces 4 and 6 to skip doors, and valley of death so he can cast fairy instead of "spell").  He has to get 2 out-of-the-way keys in palace 5 as well as backtrack out of the flute room; but death-abuse here isn't possible here because he needs to spend the two lives in palace 6 and valley of death before getting lives refilled again at the start of palace 7.  One could possibly grab the 1-up near palace 4 as you're entering palace 5, but i think this just barely costs too much time to be worth it.

There were two accidental deaths.  One in death mountain is pretty hard to avoid since you're doing it in the dark without life spell.  The one in the octoroc encounter outside reflect-town was just unfortunate.  There was also what seemed like an intentional but unnecessary death to a blue fokker in palace 7 (not strictly needed since he'd get a magic refill in the crumbling bridge room before thunderbird).  Probably done for the health refill, but either way it's a spot where some time could be saved.

Seems like the runner is taking a gamble on the red potion drop at the red iron knuckle in palace 4.  I'm wondering what the backup plan was (you can cast jump and get the key but then you'd still have to refill magic in the next room; not sure you can afford to take a death here for that purpose).

The wandering monster manipulation was exceptionally good.  This is one of the high points of the run, imo.

The run skips everything that is not essential (including life, spell, magic key), except for the palace 6 heart container.  Given that this container barely costs any time, and it helps avoid wandering monsters, it's debatable whether the heart is even worth skipping.

This run is an ACCEPT.  Nice work.


I'll say up front that I think this run is an ACCEPT.  Audio and video quality look fine.  The leveling looked good, the fighting was pretty well executed, and in general the runner used good strategies, including a couple new/fast/risky ones that I hadn't seen before.

The route taken makes sense, and I have no problem with the order in which the items are collected.  The only debatable thing is whether death mountain should be done first.  The runner chose to do Palace 1 before death mountain, which meant that DM went faster (being lit up and having attack level 4).  However it also means Palace 1 went slower from not having fairy.  In any% this would be a clear mistake.  In 100% i think it's still theoretically faster to do DM first, but the difference is a lot smaller.  I hope whoever works on 100% next will choose to do DM first, but I can't really fault the runner for doing Palace 1 first.  The DM-first route is not guaranteed to pay off in a 100% run unless you have extremely good darkfighting technique.

In palace 7 the runner takes an alternative route, similar to the TAS, in which he goes out of bounds by bouncing on the unicorn heads.  In practice he did not end up saving any time over a well-executed version of the normal route, but theoretically this has the potential to be faster so it's good to see it used in a run (and quite impressive, as this is a tough trick to perform).

Boss fights:  Palace 1 boss had some misses, but the strategy looked good.  Palace 2 boss fight could have been faster if you deliver 3 quick hits to push him back against the wall and then downsword on his head to finish (but the time savings is slight).  Palace 3 boss would have been a lot faster if he'd been knocked off his horse near the left side of the screen so the runner would have had more space to fight him on the ground (though for what it's worth, the downsword-against-wall technique is the way to go, imo).  Palace 5 boss used a neat strategy to get up to 4 hits per cycle.  Very tricky; very effective.  Using downsword on Palace 6 boss was just crazy (in a good way).  Well done.  Thunderbird fight was good; I liked the way the runner manipulated him to get the triple-hit.  Dark Link fight went quickly (apparently he is more likely to advance if you face away from him?)

This run was done on virtual console.  As far as I can see there aren't any obvious version differences (other than the fact that it prints "pause" when the game is paused in the overworld).  I was a little unsure if VC had the same lag as the NES version does.  I tested this in the overworld, comparing this run to a run done on NES version.  There are some places in the overworld where the game naturally lags a little bit.  As best I can tell, both versions produce the same amount of overworld lag (i.e. the music remains in sync between the two runs, even though you can clearly hear the music slowing down).  There can also be lag produced in side-scrolling areas (with lots of enemies plus projectiles) and I was not able to test that effectively, so I think it bears further investigation if someone in the future is aiming to obsolete this VC run with a NES run.

Great job with this run.  This is a tough game to run, even with all the heart containers and higher levels.  The runner did not shy away from the risky strats, and the resulting run is a very entertaining watch.

Timing: either 1:15:25 (from start to end of character control), or 1:15:22 (from start of character control to final hit on dark link).


It's faster than the current SDA no-deaths any% run.  So, as I understand SDA precedent, the only reason I could have for rejecting this run would be if the gameplay were sloppy (that is, all the time improvement came from a better route, but it was executed poorly).  While the route is improved (no candle, etc.) and that saves some time, the gameplay is also solid and clean.  So, quite frankly, this is an easy accept.

PS: The submission notes said that the time was 1:07:45.  But, it looks to me from the verification video to be 1:07:43.  Could someone else step in to make sure we have an accurate time?  Thanks!


I was a little worried when I started watching this run.  Death Mountain was a lot more hesitant and not nearly as crisply executed as the Any% - No Deaths run.  This culminated in an unwanted death less than eight minutes into the run.  I have to admit: between the less-crisp execution and the death, I was hoping the runner would have reached for the reset button at that point.

But, with that death, it's almost like the pressure to get the "perfect" run vanished and the tension subsided.  The execution tightened up incredibly, and the runner became very aggressive.  I don't think the runner so much as blinked after that until two palaces were in the bag.  Now, sometimes this aggressiveness led to the runner being trolled by the game (I had a chuckle at the unintended death on the way to get the Reflect spell), but such is what can happen when you throw caution into the wind.

To conclude: is this run improvable?  Yes, especially the first eight minutes.  But, once the runner got into the groove and finished Death Mountain, gameplay tightened up significantly and allowed the aggressive strategy to shine through.  That's why I have to say that, overall, the gameplay in this video was very good.  And, since it beats the old SDA time while still being a solid speedrun in and of itself, I believe it should be an accept.

PS: Once again, my timing doesn't agree with the submission notes.  I got a 57:42, not a 57:45.  It's entirely possible that I'm using the wrong frame as the end frame, but someone still might want to double-check.

100% - NO DEATHS:

Let me start by saying that I'm not very familiar with how a 100% route would look, so take my first comments here with a grain of salt.  I was a little surprised to see this run start with Palace 1 instead of Death Mountain, but I think having to get the candle means that doing Death Mountain first wouldn't save any time, so it makes more sense to start with the candle and extra heart container.  I was curious if getting the 50 XP P-bag near the start was worth it: would the XP or a P-bag drop from the ironknuckle right before Horsehead have accomplished the same thing (getting attack-4 from the first palace) more quickly?

This run does have its hiccups.  The cave with the medicine was perhaps the worst part -- I laughed at the skeleton-fish hitting him right before he got out of the cave, as though the game was just rubbing it in.  But, aside from those moments, the play quality was excellent (I did a real double take on the demise of the blue ironknuckle guarding the boots -- blink and you'll miss it).

While the hiccups are improvable, I think the overall high-calibre of play means that this run is going to stand for a long time before someone manages to improve it.  Definite accept.  By my timing, this run is 1:15:22.

Zelda 2 - any% w/ Up+A warping and deaths

No cheating detected.
Decision - Accept.

It's an improvement, and takes a risky route by going no candle death mountain first.

10 seconds at the beginning
1 minute at the end

Final Time Estimate: 57:46

Zelda 2 - any%

No cheating detected.
Decision - Accept.

It's an improvement, and takes a risky route by going no candle death mountain first.

10 seconds at the beginning
50 seconds at the end

Final Time Estimate: 1:07:46

Zelda 2 - w/o Deaths and Warps

No cheating detected.
Decision - Accept.

I was kind of turned off in the beginning with Parapa Palace first, but in the grand scheme it doesn't take too much away. There's a lot of little rough spots, hang ups, and pauses that one would hop to be ironed out; however, the runner really pulled the run together during the last 3 1/2 dungeons. I hope to see it improved in the future, but this is a great start for this category.

Final Time Estimate: 1:15:25

I'm estimating the time using VLC, so it could be off by a couple of seconds. I used end of character control, which I estimated based off the 100% video (took the time he stopped moving 'til the time the game started moving link into position as a way to estimate the time for the other two videos; using something like last hit on dark link might be easier).

Decision: Accept all 3 runs

Congratulations to Kristian 'Arctic_Eagle' Emanuelsen! (SS with and without warps/deaths)
Congratulations to Travis ‘Solairflaire’ Hofman! (SS 100%)
Congratulations Arctic_Eagle and Solairflaire!
Willing to teach you the impossible
WOOT!!!! My favorite run has been improved!!! (SS No up+A) I can not wait...
Don't know what to speedrun :(
Definitely looking froward to this hitting the front page.
Oh man.  What a thread.  Congrats, Solairflaire and Arctic_Eagle!  This is a great game and these are pretty awesome runs (assuming feasel wasn't lying).  Can't wait to see.  ^_^
Not a walrus
Quote from Flip:
Verifier Responses (name redacted?)

Was this supposed to be here?

Oh, and nice to see a set of improvements on a rather fiercely contested game. Feasel must be so proud.
No it wasn't, but he offered to verify a bunch of runs and then disappeared on me so I'm not that sorry Wink

edit: good catch anyway lol. Thanks.
Thanks!! Congrats on the 100 % Solairflaire, can't wait to see you executing the boost jump and alternate route in the great palace, and a risky four hit cycle strategy on Gooma without casting jump? Sounds like I have a few things to learn right there.

Best verifier comments I've ever received, all makes sense to me. I'll just comment shortly on the first verifiers two suggestions on my no up-a run:
1. Yes, I tend to agree with this, it would save time on average, I should have skipped the magic key. The fastest way to respawn if ironknuckle is spawned might be falling through the pit screens though, but it should probably save time if you get a magic potion on your first, second or third attempt . I haven't experimented enough with this strat yet.

2. I still believe my choice of levelling is faster/better. Fessenden had the best alternative levelling I've seen on this, exiting the 6th palace with 8-6-6. I don't consider that a high enough stat in magic to consistently survive the valley of death and the the great palace, before the magic refill there, without the candle and crucifix (and even the upward thrust perhaps), (the spell named spell costs double 6 vs 8 in magic stat). My choice of levelling after the 3rd palace must be seen in the context of ending up with 8 in magic after the 6th palace, while at the same time skipping the candle and crucifix (and the upward thrust), as well as the time lost in the 4th and 5th palace you listed. Fessenden used the candle, crucifix and up-stabbing to conserve magic and take less damage in the valley of death. I rely on the spell named spell in death valley which is heavily dependent on your magic stat 6, 7 or 8.

It might all boil down to how much time is actually saved going without the candle in this Zelda II variation, which isn't really much, but hopefully enough Wink
Congrats to the runners !

I'm going to watch this a bit later, but that's runs that  i've been waiting !
Are they up yet? I cannot find the 100% run for Solairflaire.
Why must we wait any longer!!!! :-)
We need this, so I can see what feasel is trying to beat!^^
The people demand Zelda 2!
Is the 100% going to be posted anytime soon?