It will take most mortals about 30 hours to complete the main quest in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but speedrunners are a lot more skilled than you and I. While this open-world masterpiece is no cakewalk, the speedrun community has been able to defeat Calamity Ganon and saved Hyrule on “any%” runs (beat the main quest with any percentage) in less than an hour–in under 50 minutes, to be exact.
The current world record holder, Venick409, just recently achieved this impressive feat in 49:43. Better yet, he did it while dealing with a known texture glitch that reared its ugly face towards the end of his run, all while enjoying a few drinks during the stream. It’s a magical sight, and the amount of skill, talent, and sheer precision to pull this off is incredibly impressive. I encourage y’all to feast your eyes on the clip above. Note: avoid the video if you don’t want any spoilers and instead turn your attention to this glorious shot of Prince Sidon from the game.
For those who don’t want to watch the whole 50-minute video, I’ll give you a brief rundown on why folks are able to accomplish the feat. Because the game is so open, players can actually go directly to the final boss fight once they’ve completed the first tutorial area. Of course, this is not the recommended route, since you’ll likely be Ganon food if you attempt the final clash unprepared. You also have to keep the stamina bar in mind because you’ll need it to reach certain areas, and you’ll also need to make sure you don’t take damage because this early in the game, most enemies in Hyrule will kill you in one hit. In short, complete the game as it was intended if you’re not one of these amazing speedrunners.
As impressive as this may be, there’s zero doubt that other speedrunners are already attempting to beat the time. The first sub 60-minute run came from gymnast86 at 58:01, who set the standard. Now it’s a blazing race to the fastest time. Venick409 actually held the previous world record at 54:05, so he too will probably keep attempting to best himself and anyone who dares to beat his time.
The only controversy in all of this comes from the use of the amiibo. Nintendo’s little collectables can spawn random, mostly useful, items in the world just by tapping the figurine onto the NFC scanner on the Joy-Con. One of in particular–the Smash Bros. Link amiibo– will actually spawn Epona into the world. Why have some taken issue with this, you ask? Well, Venick409 and other speedrunners use this nifty feature to spawn the horse of legend to make their trek through Hyrule quicker. Personally, I don’t think this should even be an issue since it’s part of the game, and there’s no funny business to make this work, so it’s fair usage. I haven’t seen folk complain about changing the game’s language to German, and that also shaves an extra 10 seconds off the run. Speedrunning games is an art.
Have you completed the game yet? What does your game time look like? Do you care that this world record was accomplished using an amiibo? Which Zelda title is your favorite? Drop your thoughts into the comments section below.