Slow timer at SGDQ means Castlevania world record wasn't a record after all
As the bi-annual Games Done Quick event gets into full swing, it appeared that Summer Games Done Quick 2017 had seen its first world record—until a timer error ripped the record away.
On Sunday night runner Dr4gonBlitz was attempting the game he currently holds the glitchless any-percent world record for: the 1997 side scroller Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
According to Polygon the player was confident of setting a new world record on speedrunning's biggest stage— he cleared his existing 33 minute 11 second record by a full 22 seconds in a backstage practice session.
While on stage, with commentary to do and the pressure of a large audience, Dr4gonBlitz didn't quite get there. But he still clocked a time of 32 minutes 59 seconds on the screen as he brought the game to an end. That would have been a significant reduction of his world record time that had stood since November 2015.
Except it wasn't. After Polygon reported on the new world record and Dr4gonBlitz's impressive performance, GDQ reached out to them to clarify the real time. Although the time on the stream showed 32 minutes and 59 seconds, that wasn't exactly accurate. The real time, which was timed by hand, was 33 minutes and 27 seconds—short of the world record by 16 seconds and, if the timer backstage was accurate, 38 seconds slower than that practice run.
The discrepancy was due to an issue with the timer itself. The speedrunning subreddit noticed it was running slow, causing the times shown on screen to be surprisingly quick for marathon runs.
With some crying foul or conspiracy, Games Done Quick responded quickly and addressed the issue for future runs.
So if you were celebrating your favorite runner's impressive time, perhaps it wasn't quite as good as it appeared—but that doesn't make the runs any less awesome.