There is no better time to be a speedrunning fan, arguably even a fan of gaming altogether, than during Games Done Quick’s biannual charity marathons: Awesome Games Done Quick and Summer Games Done Quick. This week, we once again dive headlong into Summer Games Done Quick which features a handful of talented Zelda speedrunners and fantastic games in the Zelda franchise. This year we will be profiling each of these speedrunners and their games.

Our SGDQ 2016 coverage begins with speedrunner Ahamplan and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. This is Ahamplan’s first time running a game at a Games Done Quick event, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t prepared to represent one of the best games on the Nintendo 3DS. We discussed his speedrunning journey, thoughts on various Zelda topics ranging from music to gameplay, and even opinions on the latest game in the Zelda franchise – Breath of the Wild. I’m personally excited for his SGDQ debut and I know you will be too after reading our interview.

Runner: Ahamplan
Game: A Link Between Worlds
Console: Nintendo 3DS
Previous GDQs Attended: None
Date & Time: Sunday, July 3rd, 2:43 PM EST
Estimated Length: 1:35:00
Run Type: Any%

First off, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today, and for the fantastic opportunity to learn more about speedrunning in the Legend of Zelda community. I understand this is your first time running a game for a Games Done Quick event, so let’s start there. What has been your speedrunning journey up to Summer Games Done Quick 2016? What inspired you to even begin speedrunning in the first place?

AHAMPLAN: Well, my first time ever speedrunning live was at Californithon, which an event held in California, and I first began speedrunning by just watching a few runners, mainly zfg, and from there I wanted to give it my try.

Did you start with speedrunning A Link Between Worlds?

No actually! My first game that I tried was Majora’s Mask any%, but that game really wasn’t for me, so I tried the newest Zelda game at the time, which was A Link Between Worlds, and fell in love with it.

Fair enough. What about A Link Between Worlds do you believe makes it unique to speedrun compared to a game like Majora’s Mask?

Well, apart from the glitches, the pace of the games themselves are much different – A Link Between Worlds is a constantly fast pace throughout the run while Majora’s Mask gets better only after the first 20 minutes.

You mentioned that you made an attempt at a Majora’s Mask any% run, and you happen to be running A Link Between Worlds any% for SGDQ 2016. Why have you decided to go any% instead of other variants and could you explain what any% entails in A Link Between Worlds?

Any% means just beating the games as fast as possible, no restrictions. 100% for A Link Between Worlds didn’t catch my interest until now because it was pretty slow, however I don’t have too much time because of college so I’m working on a smaller category for now, but after SGDQ I will work on 100%.

(Please note: The following video may contain profanity.)

No doubt you make use of various glitches for your any% runs; what are some of the glitches and tricks we can expect to see in your upcoming run for SGDQ 2016?

Some include the desert skip, which is the hardest trick in the game due to a precise control pad input being one frame; Turtle Rock big key skip, which is also one frame and very difficult quick equip mechanics; as well as trials, which is another frame perfect trick in the last four minutes of the run. As you can tell this game has very precise tricks.

To be fair, what’s a Zelda speedrun without some frame perfect glitches? Moving on, what do you find interesting and enjoy about A Link Between Worlds aside from a speedrunning standpoint?

One thing that stood out to me was the music: I enjoy the music very much even after thousands of hours playing; also the merge mechanic was very unique in itself and added really cool puzzles.

I’m sure having good music to listen to while speedrunning helps set the mood. Do you like the music from other games in the franchise, and what other games do you enjoy in the series?

Yeah, of course! I’ve enjoyed Skyward Sword‘s music a lot – very beautiful orchestra. I also enjoyed Majora’s Mask‘s music as well. Funnily enough, I’ve enjoyed playing both Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks despite receiving negative reviews.

I have to ask now: have you attended a Symphony of the Goddesses show?

Unfortunately not. I hope to one day!

I’m sure you’ll enjoy the show when you can finally attend. The Legend of Zelda has always has fantastic music, which we try to highlight here with a feature called Music Monday; what other aspects of the franchise do you find makes the series great?

I like the general basis of a hero trying to save someone, that’s always something I’ve looked up to as a kid and even now, and I cant wait for the future Zelda games like Breath of the Wild.

No doubt you’re definitely interested in the release of Breath of the Wild. As we learned during E3 2016, you can start the game and immediately go fight the final boss – the ultimate speedrun – is this something you plan to do?

Uh, maybe not, depends on how fast you can actually do it, and if its even doable for that matter. It seems like a really cool concept that I would like to try!

I can already imagine that having it’s own category name, something like crazy% run. What are you looking forward to most with Breath of the Wild?

I’m a pretty big RPG fan, so mainly the gameplay and I assume quests that the game will have, as well as the combat looks a bit different too.

While you currently are focusing on A Link Between Worlds speedruns, do you have any plans to expand to other games in the Zelda franchise in the future?

Possibly; I’m thinking of doing some glitchless categories for Majora’s Mask 3D and Ocarina of Time 3D, as well as Phantom Hourglass.

With all those games being portable, you definitely have the advantage of practicing on the go! What is your current goal for speedrunning A Link Between Worlds?

The time that I have right now is perfectly fine, but i do strive to make a speedrun look good, so currently my goal for the any% category is a 1:24:xx which a run like that would have little to no mistakes.

You definitely have an amazing time in A Link Between Worlds, so do you have any advice for fellow speedrunners who may want to achieve similar times?

Well, practice does make perfect, and I know everyone says that, but its the truth. Never rush with a speedrun so that you don’t peak too fast and never improve. I also recommend doing full runs when you first start instead of resetting.

As both a Zelda fan and a Zelda speedrunner, what do you enjoy about the Zelda speedrunning community?

I mainly enjoy the people, I have a ton of friends in the Zelda community and I have a lot of fun with them. Plus we all share a common interest, Zelda!

Finally, as you prepare for your Games Done Quick premiere, what are you looking forward to most at SGDQ 2016?

I really enjoy meeting all my friends. I’m also enjoying the atmosphere of it all, especially since its my first time at a speed running convention

Awesome! Thank you once again for having joined me for this conversation. On behalf of Zelda Universe and the entire Zelda community, we look forward to seeing you succeed at SGDQ 2016 and wish you the best! Good luck and have fun!

Thank you!

Thank you Ahamplan for taking the time to answer our questions! For more on Ahamplan, check out his:

Be sure to show your support for Ahamplan, Games Done Quick and Doctors Without Borders by checking out Summer Games Done Quick 2016! If you’re looking to start speedrunning A Link Between Worlds yourself, please check out videos Ahamplan has online. Our Zelda coverage for the event will continue all week, so check back frequently for more exclusive content from SGDQ 2016.