Speedrunners pride themselves in finding exploits both big and small that allow them to shave off seconds, minutes, and hours from a video game run-through. Whether such exploits used are glitches or unintentional side-effects of legitimate game mechanics is up to the runners to decide. Those who prefer glitched runs often painstakingly, multiple times over, go through the motions of a glitch until they have each frame down. Speedrunners of The Wind Waker, however, have had one foe that has time and time again quashed their efforts to get around it: the magical barrier around Hyrule Castle.
It’s called the Barrier Skip, and it’s a name for a glitch that until now hadn’t been accomplished. The barrier has no top or bottom and was thought to be impenetrable aside from going through the normal motions of acquiring the Master Sword, powering it up, and slicing the barrier apart. Now, Twitch streamer LinkOscuro has bypassed the barrier for the first time via a glitch. In the short clip below, you can hear his enthusiasm when he finally manages the feat.
In the long run the Barrier Skip doesn’t shave off too much time, as the Iron Boots are required for the glitch, which in turn require several dungeons to be plundered. But the fact that LinkOscuro accomplished a glitch thought impossible is something to be admired in itself. And who knows — LinkOscuro or other speedrunners could build upon this discovery and find a more efficient way of breezing through The Wind Waker.