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 continues with speedrunner Zmaster91 and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. This is Zmaster91’s second time running a game at a Games Done Quick event, the first time being for SGDQ 2014, for which he also ran Four Sword Adventures. 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. Read on and see why we at Zelda Universe are excited for this unique Zelda speedrun!

Runner: Zmaster91
Game: Four Swords Adventures
Console: Gamecube
Previous GDQs Attended: SGDQ 2014
Date & Time: Monday, July 4th, 7:59 PM EST
Estimated Length: 2:20:00
Run Type: Any%

First off, thank you for joining me today. I want to start our conversation with the game you’re running — The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. This is actually your second time running Four Swords Adventures at a Games Done Quick event, your first event being SGDQ 2014. To begin, has anything changed in the run since your GDQ debut?

Pretty much everything has changed since my last run; almost every level in the game has some kind of sequence break and even includes one level where I play with two controllers at once! Overall the run is about 25 minutes faster than last time but certainly a lot more difficult.

Needing two controllers to speedrun a level is a unique spin on a Zelda speedrun. As many fans will know, Four Swords Adventures was designed as a multiplayer game. How much does this affect the run compared to game such as Ocarina of Time?

Unfortunately, it only affects one of the levels since some will remember that there is a kind of contest at the end comparing how many gems each player got. This makes a lot of the levels slower but runs with multiple players still have their own unique tricks. Using two different players makes it easy to clip through walls without trying very hard and makes for some interesting situations the links can get into.

I can understand how that would add a lot of extra time by the end of the run. As this is an Any% run, what are some of the tricks and glitches you’ll be doing to save time in the run?

There are definitely too many to talk about but one that will be abused frequently involves the formation menu. For some reason repeatedly canceling and bringing up this menu allows for you to go through walls and various other objects. Also, as some maybe remember the formation and reuniting mechanics to be pretty wonky in this game, you can expect that to be abused a ton during the run. Lastly, the most memorable stage for most is probably the village of the blue maiden. We actually skip the entirety of the level and the whole trading quest as well!

Many people in the Zelda community run other games such as Ocarina of Time, due to its popularity. Why have you decided to run a game like Four Swords Adventures?

When I first started speedrunning I actually did do some Ocarina of Time categories. Once I started getting more curious, I started looking at games I loved as a child, one being Four Swords Adventures. One of the reasons I liked the game as a speedrun is that I was one of the first to really route and explore the game at a deeper level than most. It was just a coincidence that it turned out to be a good speedruning game as well.

A question that is debatably as important as the game you run is the run variant. Aside from the obvious time save, why do you run Four Swords Adventures Any%?

Any% is really the only speedrunning category the game has currently. There really isn’t the usual 100% since the game doesn’t keep track of heart containers or anything like that.

Fair enough. Aside from speedrunning, what do you enjoy about Four Swords Adventures and what do you believe makes it unique compared to other Zelda games?

One thing I love about Four Sword Adventures is how many options you have given any situation. It almost reminds me of the different scenarios you can be put in when playing a fighting game, another hobby I enjoy. It makes me think a lot harder when playing versus doing the same thing over and over again.

As a Zelda speedrunner in general, what do you enjoy about the Zelda franchise?

I mostly a fan of puzzles and the different combat styles they put in each of the games. The puzzles and dungeons in the 2D games are some of my favorites. Also, the combat in Skyward Sword was the most fun I’ve had in a Zelda game in awhile.

How did you originally get into the Zelda franchise and eventually into speedrunning Zelda?

My very first game and console was Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64 when it first was released in the states and ever since then I couldn’t enough. I eventually started doing random challenge runs which led to speedruns.

As we discussed earlier, this is your second time attending SGDQ as well as running Four Swords Adventures for the event. Do you have any plans to run other Zelda games for future GDQ events?

I’ve learned quite a bit of runs over the last year, so there is good chance I will offer some other Zelda games in the future.

What are some of the Zelda games you would like to run in future GDQ events?

I would like to run one of the Oracle games at some point since I’ve put the most time into them next to Four Sword Adventures.

Speaking of the future and Zelda, what are your thoughts on Breath of the Wild?

Even though I’m trying to not spoil myself too much I am super excited for the next Zelda. The openness of the game really excites me for the different ways you can play the game.

As we learned at E3, players will be able to start the game and immediately fight the final boss. Are you interested in attempting this ultimate Zelda speedrun?

I probably won’t run it personally, but I’m definitely excited to watch them!

To come full circle on our conversation, what are you most excited about running Four Swords Adventures for SGDQ 2016? What goals do you have for your run?

I’m just excited to do a run and use my time to help others. As for a goal, I want to make it fun for everyone and hopefully get below my estimate.

To close off, is there anything you’d like to share with the community before you run Four Swords Adventures?

The speedrunning community is a very open and loving to new people. If anyone is interested in starting, pick a game you like and try to find others that like it as well! It is a good way to make new friends and maybe even find new interest in games outside your comfort zone.

Awesome. Well, good luck from the Zelda community and Zelda Universe. We’re all looking forward to an entertaining run! Thank you again for your time.

Thank you!

Thank you Zmaster91 for taking the time to answer our questions! For more on Zmaster91, check out his:

Be sure to show your support for Zmaster91, Games Done Quick and Doctors Without Borders by checking out Summer Games Done Quick 2016! If you’re looking to start speedrunning Four Swords Adventures yourself, please check out videos Zmaster91 has online. Our Zelda coverage for the event will continue all week, so check back frequently for more exclusive content from SGDQ 2016.