Games come and go, but one thing that sticks forever is the art of speedrunning them. That’s the case with the newest version of the Metroid franchise, Metroid Dread, in which players of the several-week-old game have begun finishing it in under 90 minutes.
Metroid Dread was released on Oct. 8, making it the first mainline Metroid game in nearly 20 years. Like its predecessors, the game is a side-scrolling action-platformer that’s structured around collecting upgrades to make navigating a dense and maze-like map easier.
Metroid Dread sits at just above an eight-hour playthrough for the main story alone, according to howlongtobeat.com, a website that specializes in tracking how long the average player takes to finish a game. If players want to add to that, the main story plus extra content is 10 hours, while a full completionist run nets 12 and a half hours. And the game’s in-game clock reverts each time you die, meaning that a 10-hour playthrough could easily become longer than that.
This is certainly a time sink for any ordinary player. But if you’re a part of the Metroid Dread speedrunning community, then there are no worries at all. Eight of the top 10 fastest any-percent players time their runs at just under 90 minutes, with the No. 9 and 10 spots just over that mark by a number of seconds, according to the popular speedrunning website speedrun.com. This is on a list that, at time of writing, has over 300 participants submitting runs dating to a week ago.
Metroid Dread speedrunners have avoided a popular sequence break that allows players to kill the towering boss Kraid using the morph ball bomb. This forgoing of the sequence can be attributed to it being a net loss in the overall time for the run.
The game has been praised for its fast and fluid gameplay, which is showcased by the current world record holder, Hardpelicn from Australia. Apart from showing how smoothly the game can play, they also make it clear that the game can be taken to its absolute limits in the hands of a speedrunner after beating it in just 85 minutes.
The game has only been out for a couple of weeks. Given more time, speedrunners will certainly keep improving on posted times. Speedrunning inherently brings on a plethora of possibilities no matter the game, and especially in a newer title such as Metroid Dread.