New world record speedrun finishes Half-Life 2 in under 90 minutes

Ian Birnbaum at

If you’re in the world-record setting speedrun business, your job got a little bit harder this weekend. On Saturday, the evil geniuses at SourceRuns posted a new world record speedrun video of Half-Life 2 completed in 1:27:51.09.

Speedruns are curious cocktails of obsessive practice, devoted love of a specific game and engine-warping bugs. The SourceRuns team made use of a number of known Source bugs, the most obvious being Half-Life 2’s reverse bunnyhopping glitch. When a player in the Source engine jumps, they receive a speed boost in the air and then a reverse force of friction when they land. If they’re jumping backward, though, they speed up in the air and then get a forward force of friction when they land. For some truly impressive acceleration, check out speedrunner Gocnak’s breathtaking, and backward, navigation of the coastal highway (41:47). Dr. Freeman’s iconic car gets left behind, but Gocnak soars directly into our hearts.

Other highlights include speedrunner UnrealCanine fighting back against the Combine oppressors with some choice graffiti (52:59). Unfortunate lowlights include, well, every time a speedrunner zoomed in to stare at the rear ends or chests of Alyx and Dr. Mossman (too many instances to link).

According to the video notes, the final speedrun took 600 days of work from over a dozen players, recorded in 200 segments on Hard difficulty. If, as you watch, you see a player glitch or launch past something in a way you've never seen before, check out Sourceruns wiki for a full description of the glitches used in the video.