The Speedrunners Trying to Break 'The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom'

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For the average player, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will take upwards of 50 hours to beat—that is, complete the game’s main storyline and save Hyrule. In the speedrunning community? Slightly more than 60 minutes. For regular players, conquering Tears of the Kingdom is all about diligence, patience, and creative crafting. For speedrunners, it’s about using every tool at their disposal to push the limits of what the latest Zelda will allow. Theirs is a game of strategy, where each player is competing against themselves to work faster and smarter. 

The first to claim victory, Carl Wernicke, who goes by Gymnast86 online, hails from the US and set the record for his community with a time of 1:34:33. He’s got a decade-long history of trying to beat Zelda games as fast as he can. “It's a completely different experience than playing the game casually, and it is possible to do both,” Wernicke says. “I enjoyed my casual exploration of the game very much and will likely continue to enjoy it when I get around to [completely] finishing it.”

In a video posted May 12, which he (correctly) surmises will quickly be outdated, Wernicke gave players a brief explanation of how he pulled off his record. He explains what weapons he sought out, parts he needed to join using the game’s Fuse tool, and how he defeated each boss; the tried and true glitches of the last game, Breath of the Wild, aren’t present here, meaning Wernicke whips through his run without playing off any glitches or the use of Amiibo (which unlock helpful rewards like weapons or trusty steed Epona). Instead, the time he spent re...

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