A person beginning Breath of the Wild for the first time may find themselves willingly spending hours on the Great Plateau before taking a single step into the greater world of Hyrule. I know I did despite having played through the demo at E3. It took me about five hours before I decided I was ready to start my adventure. But while players like us are content to hunt down Koroks and simmer lots of fruit before moving on, speedrunners are taking Calamity Ganon down in as little as fifty minutes from the start of the game.
The trick to getting off the Great Plateau prematurely hasn’t been perfected, but the distances between those first four Shrines are getting shorter seemingly each day as Twitch streamers and YouTubers constantly improve upon their and others’ personal bests. By using tricks such as playing on the Wii U, setting the language to German or Japanese, and “whistle sprinting” (a button combination that allows the players to maintain speed while the stamina gauge refills), the world record has already dropped below the fifty-minute mark to 47:59. Sva161620 currently holds that record. However, by the time you read this it may already be broken by either sva161620 themselves, or another runner.
These record-breaking runs are of the “Any%” variety, meaning the runner’s goal is to simply get to the end of the game as quickly as possible by any means necessary. Other runners have gone for a slower — but still quite quick — path that includes completing the four main dungeons. Even if you’ve never had an interest in speedrunning a game, feats like these are worth a look if only to learn some neat tricks that can be used in regular gameplay — tricks that Breath of the Wild has in spades, to the delight of many.
Have you beaten Breath of the Wild yet? What’s your definition of “completion” for a game this large? Share your tales of adventure with us!