How to Beat Portal in 8½ Minutes

Jeremy Wilkinson

Behatted Physicist
Jun 14, 2012
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How to Beat Portal in 8½ Minutes

Now you're thinking with ... wait, where'd she go?

In a ridiculous feat, a team has set a new world record for a Portal speedrun. With only 8 minutes and 31.93 seconds standing between Chell's awakening and GLaDOS' destruction, the new time shaves almost a minute off the previous record set in 2010 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/106014-Portal-Player-Glitches-His-Way-to-World-Record].

The record attempt was a joint effort between Nick "Z1mb0bw4y" Roth, Josh "Inexistence" Peaker, Nick "Gocnak" Kerns, and Sebastian "Xebaz" Dressler from the SourceRuns team. Work began on the run back in April, after which the team took a couple of months' rest before completing the game in late June. To be compliant with the Speed Demos Archive's rules, the team did not use any hacks, scripts or cheats at any point during the run, though they did extensively use a host of newly-discovered glitches and sequence breaks. The end result is a video in which the levels themselves almost hardly feature, and most of the time is spent either staring at the padded walls of Aperture Laboratories' many inter-chamber elevators, or gazing upon the infinite darkness which lies outside the game's usual boundaries.

Simply tearing the game apart wasn't enough for this team, though. With all the personality cores destroyed in quick succession and GLaDOS in her death throes, the speedrunners trespass into the hidden cake chamber, allowing them to put their own little twist on the game's ending cutscene.

The team has documented the entirety of the run in excruciating detail in a completed a record-breaking run [https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HEbqZBkffrcDEU_01u6iCHHvmeencI8hiCFYtnDvYAE/edit?pli=1] in a single sitting, without the use of any out-of-bounds glitches.

Source: Eurogamer [http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-07-26-world-record-portal-speedrun-completed-in-8-minutes]

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Madmanonfire

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Jul 24, 2009
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JezWilkinson said:
Finally, for the purists among you, team member Josh "Inexistence" Peaker has also completed a record-breaking run [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg_1FP-o5rk] in a single sitting, without the use of any out-of-bounds glitches.
Now that's worthy of respect. Abusing glitches, not so much.
 

WhiteTigerShiro

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Sep 26, 2008
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Madmanonfire said:
JezWilkinson said:
Finally, for the purists among you, team member Josh "Inexistence" Peaker has also completed a record-breaking run [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg_1FP-o5rk] in a single sitting, without the use of any out-of-bounds glitches.
Now that's worthy of respect. Abusing glitches, not so much.
Elate said:
This should be disqualified, glitches are not in good sportsmanship.
That's more up to the community at large than some outside observer. Many glitches are considered fair play in a lot of speed runs, where others aren't. Take Super Metroid, for example, there are plenty of glitches used for speed running the game, but due to the complexity in performing them properly, they're considered perfectly legitimate to use for speed running.

Not being a part of the Portal community, I couldn't really tell you whether or not they consider these glitches to be "too easy" or "complex enough" when it comes to consideration for speed runs.

That said, if you really think these glitches should be disqualified for consideration, let's see you match his results. Heck, I'll even let you double his time; let's see you get to the end in 17 minutes using the same techniques, because I'd bet you couldn't (without a lot of practice).
 

Ukomba

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Oct 14, 2010
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Impossible to follow at some points, not sure how he could control it. Quite a lot of skill or luck shown.
 

Covarr

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May 29, 2009
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Elate said:
This should be disqualified, glitches are not in good sportsmanship.
Speed Demos Archive generally has separate categories for glitched and glitch-free runs of games, with separate runs and records. This means that people who play with glitches aren't even competing against people who play clean.

P.S. Thanks
 

Crimson_Dragoon

Biologist Supreme
Jul 29, 2009
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Formica Archonis said:
But what's a glitch and what's not? Quake speedruns exploit the bunny-hop like mad. Is that a glitch?
Is it an unintentional consequence of a programming error? I guess we could argue that with bunny-hopping, but I'd say probably not. But this stuff on Portal. That is definitely a glitch. There's no way in hell the programmers intended that stuff to be possible.
 

Shjade

Chaos in Jeans
Feb 2, 2010
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RE: Folks who aren't impressed by glitching - right there with you.

This is why I'm continually baffled by people who still obsess over speed-running Ocarina of Time when a speedrun of that game consists of "glitch the hell out of bombs and doors and walls as much as possible." If you ask me, that's not a speed run. That's skipping the game. Speed-running should involve, y'know, playing it.

I dunno, maybe I'm just crazy.
 

Shinsei-J

Prunus Girl is best girl!
Apr 28, 2011
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Not G. Ivingname said:
I got the biggest laugh of the whole thing with that "photo".
Good job.
 

weirdee

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Apr 11, 2011
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the parts where it looks like they're cutting across the fifth dimension are the most alarming
 

FEichinger

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Aug 7, 2011
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It is impressive, in that they made it possible to mow down the game to these 8.5 minutes with the glitching.

Hoooowever, I don't think this should qualify as a speed-run when it comes to actually speed-running the game. Play it within the bounds (quite literally) of the game for that ... :/
 

uncanny474

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Jan 20, 2011
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I've seen glitched runs. This looks hacked to me, and I just can't believe their stuff about it being "cut up into pieces for quality" or the console boxes being "artifacts from the video". I'm calling bullshit on this one. An unconvincing fake.
 

Jack Rascal

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May 16, 2011
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I have never played Portal, so this might be a stupid question. But why the name on the "gun" keeps changing? It goes between "Gocnak" and "Inexistence", don't know about the third name. Has this video been pieced from different playthroughs or is this multiplayer?

Like I said, haven't played the game so don't shoot me if I'm asking a very stupid question :)
 

th155

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Mar 4, 2011
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uncanny474 said:
I've seen glitched runs. This looks hacked to me, and I just can't believe their stuff about it being "cut up into pieces for quality" or the console boxes being "artifacts from the video". I'm calling bullshit on this one. An unconvincing fake.
Cut up into pieces for quality - It's a segmented video. At the end of each level they saved the game, and then if they fail at completing that level in the "best" time, then they reload the save. I don't think you want to watch an hours long video, made up almost entirely of their failures.

Artifacts from the video - Do you have any idea how demo recording in any source game works? Basically in the console (or by using a bind, essentially the same thing) you type in "record " and when you want to playback, you type in "playdemo ". If they recorded this speedrun using something like FRAPS or Dxtory, it doesn't seem too far fetched that the compression used by these programs left the console box in for a bit too long.

Besides, if anyone comes out with "proof" that it uses hacks, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziuj8KW_XQ0. And now you have none.