Tool Assisted Speedruns

August 28, 2020

Greg d'Eon

Since the dawn of video games, people all around the world have sought the ultimate glory of beating games faster than their friends. This quest leads us to the perennial question: how fast could they possibly go? Enter the world of tool-assisted speedruns (TASes), where a bunch of nerds try to see how badly games can be broken with only a controller, inhuman reflexes, sewing machine-like button mashing, and perfect luck. We'll talk about how to press 0.5 of a button, ask why anybody would disassemble the source code for Super Mario World, and show how TASes blur the line between speedruns and art.