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Fallout 3 speedrunner breaks the 15-minute world record

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Speedrunning is the art of finishing videogames in as short a time as possible. It's an odd type of competitive gaming but also fascinating, because truly dedicated adherents come up with amazing ways to beat games in times that, to non-followers, seem literally impossible. Last week a guy set a new record by finishing Fallout: New Vegas in a little over 20 minutes, and this week a runner named Rydou wrapped up Fallout 3 in less than 15.

Rydou's run, like Kungkobra's New Vegas record-setter, was an “any%” run, meaning that anything short of mods and console commands is permissible in the quest for a better time. Accordingly, Rydou quicksaves and loads to clip through objects and walls, and takes advantage of the “speedcripple” glitch almost immediately. He's also playing on “easy” mode, so even when he does get shot up it's not a big deal.

The video of the speedrun isn't much fun to watch if you're looking for a conventional Fallout 3 experience, but Rydou's annotations do a nice job of providing insight into what he's doing, and why he's doing it. They also suggest that his 14:54 record might not stand for long: It's only six seconds ahead of the previous record (which itself lasted for less than two months) and as he points out around the 10:10 mark, he hits a “run-killer” when he has trouble clipping through a rock.

Speaking of speedrunning, don't miss the 2016 edition of Awesome Games Done Quick, a huge speedrunning marathon featuring some of the best runners in the business working their magic for charity—specifically the Prevent Cancer Foundation. ACDQ 2016 kicked off today and runs (get it?) until January 9.

Andy Chalk
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.