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Update: The article has been corrected, where it falsely claimed the time to beat was a 1:59:57 from a 2017 TAS, when it was actually the community’s collective Nintendo 64 Sum Best.
Tool Assisted Speedruns are always a joy to watch. So much so that at GDQ events, they like to have a block entirely dedicated to speedruns that are made with the help of tools which can ensure inputs are optimal down to the frame and pulling off some things that would not be considered humanly possible. Often when you watch a TAS run, you are seeing a run that will never be matched by a human player naturally.
Personally, I absolutely love TAS runs of any game. However, when Ballaam announced he had completed a tool assisted run of my all time favourite video game, Donkey Kong 64, I was filled with a level of excitement I hadn’t felt since the build up to the 301% race earlier this year. I was sure we were about to see some absolute madness.
With a legendary Donkey Kong 64 commentary panel consisting of Ballaam himself, Zorulda and 2dos and a collective community sum of best of 1:59:57, this event promised to be unforgettable to anyone there to witness it. The video absolutely did not disappoint on any front.
In every category of DK64 speedruns, there’s a thing called a dance skip. It’s a basic skill used on as many of the golden banana collectible items in the game as possible. If certain conditions line up, instead of dancing and celebrating, your Kong will either take damage or just keep moving like normal, depending on the circumstances. If you want a hard mode drinking game, drink every time you see a Kong collect a banana without doing the dance. You won’t last very run.
There’s a lot of mind-blowing show-offs in the run, too, as there are points where loading zones need to be hit at a specific moment, due to a glitch called the Intro Storage Glitch. I won’t go into what this glitch is, as my knowledge of how it works is extremely limited, but it involves manipulating cutscene fade outs to help you obtain a bunch of moves and upgrades early. It ties into a glitch known as MMM, which Ballaam has done a fantastic job explaining on his YouTube channel.
You’ll see phase walks used in ways that are completely absurd, you’ll see Kongs going into all sorts of places Kongs aren’t supposed to go, and you’ll hear seasoned players exclaim in disbelief regarding what they’ve just seen. You’ll see moonkicks, you’ll see frame-perfect tricks, and you’ll see that which had never been seen before. It’s safe to say that Ballaam is correct when he labels himself as a DK64 scientist.
So do yourself a favour and watch this video. Believe me, you wont regret it. And while you’re at it, go and support Ballaam on YouTube and Twitter, and let him know how absolutely insane his DK64 stuff truly is.
Thank you for stopping by Nintendo Link! Do you follow the speedrunning community? Have you ever seen Donkey Kong 64 blazed through so quickly? Let us know in the comments below!