For average gamers, Half-Life 2 and it’s mini-follow-up Episode 2 were a test of wit, grit, and accuracy. For speedrunners, the latter is apparently a playground
A group of speedrunners spliced together their riskiest, most mind-bending strategies to set the world record in Half-Life 2: Episode 2. The players run the gauntlet of Half-Life 2 speed-running techniques, manipulating the game’s famous physics engine and a handful of in-game cues to cut Valve’s masterpiece to ribbons.
While an exhaustive explanation of the performance’s many tricks could take pages (and does, according to a document published by the runners themselves), it’s best to just set aside some time, grab a pillow for your falling jaw, and enjoy the magic:
From smashing boards on NPC heads, to bypassing difficult encounters, to surfing the digital terrain, the run has it all, though the parties responsible for the feat are likely far from finished. Game developers spend thousands of man hours constructing intricately planned sequences for gamers to enjoy, while speedrunners spend the same quantity of time dissecting each carefully crafted environment pixel by pixel, and scrap of wood by scrap of wood.