The Summer Games Done Quick 2017 charity stream is currently underway, and one player has already broken their own world record twice.
Speedrunner Dr4gonBlitz’ world record for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night comes in at 33 minutes and 11 seconds. They handily beat that in an unrecorded warmup backstage, clocking in 32 minutes and 49 seconds. Because the run wasn’t aired, it didn’t count.
When recorded live, they then clocked the game in 32 minutes and 59 seconds. While 10 seconds doesn’t sound like a large number, in the speedrunning community it makes all the difference; players commit themselves to shaving milliseconds off their runs.
As Polygon points out, speedrunning Sypmhony of the Night is incredibly difficult. The game helped usher in the Metroidvania subgenre, which tasks players with navigating a sprawling labyrinthine world, recursively unlocking new areas by gaining new skills and backtracking. For Symphony of the Night, speedrunners have to use a technique called “shield dashing,” which increases the player’s movement speed by manipulating animations.