The speedrun world record for Shadow of the Colossus is a fascinating game with only 1 hour, 1 minute, 55 seconds, but the game’s natural mechanism makes that achievement even more incredible.
Shadow of the Colossus has gained popularity this year as it is one of the free PS Plus games of March 2020. However, despite the increase in seen plays, no one has broken the current world record for speedrun set nine months ago by Madorashi. This speedrun screen has an incredible completion time of 1 hour, 1 minute, and 55 seconds, but those proficient in the speedrunning community may know that that number alone doesn’t mean much. There is something about this game’s nature that makes such a record truly impressive: it doesn’t rely on glitches at all.
For those who don’t know, the main menu used in speedrun is called Any%, meaning the goal is to go from the beginning of the game to the end as quickly as possible, ignoring the parts that were actually played, is completed or not, and will include the use of glitch. Although finding and executing glitches is an art in its own right, some people don’t like speedrun because it breaks most of the game’s content. Shadow of the Colossus, on the other hand, has a tiny glitch in the first place, meaning that the time to complete is entirely based on pure individual skill. This is Madorashi’s incredible speedrun.
Shadow of The Colossus speedrun rules (2018)
Overall, Any% is fine, but that’s not entirely the case with Shadow of the Colossus. In the PS4 remake, a photography mode can be exploited to skip scenes that are usually not to be missed, a tactic that will dramatically cut down on playing time. According to Speedrun.com, this glitch is not allowed in Any% speedrun for Shadow of the Colossus to retain playing time equal to that of the original PlayStation 2 version. Also, full video evidence must be submitted in the speedrun to count time, and the speedrun must be completed in one play.
Speedrun Shadow of The Colossus strategy
From here, the game was more than one would expect, with Madorashi doing an amazing speedrun. The first Colossus was defeated within minutes of the game, and the rest fell into a similar situation. This, like other speedrun achievements, would not have happened without using specific tactics and a deep understanding of the mechanics of each boss and Wanderer himself, both of which Madorashi gave. I am very proficient. Some of these tactics seem simple at first glance when, in reality, they will be very much practiced.
There are some simple things that most casual players may not realize during the first play of the game. For example, it’s much faster to roll than walking with your feet, and by pulling back the joycon on the left and pressing the triangle button at the same time, Wanderer’s horse, Agro, can break the maximum speed from a standing position. Things like this riding mechanism help reduce the time for the speedrun, but in the end, these are just the minimum things needed to achieve such a completion time.
Search for the Colossus
A large part of Shadow of the Colossus searches for each of the sixteen colossi, a task that proved to be quite tricky on the first or even second time. However, Madorashi and other speedrunner players with similar completion times all memorize all colossus routes without using the sacred sword to find them. This is another necessity, but still very important to achieving the speedrun goal. Of course, after seeing the colossus lair, approaching them is even more challenging.
Speedrunners like Madorashi use a combination of movements such as twisting, short, and rolling to move as quickly as possible, and tend to make some jumps that seem impossible t first glance. While those movements can undoubtedly be considered glitched by some, they don’t overlook anything in the game’s content. Instead, they cut down the time it takes to get to each colossus. For example, at the beginning of Madorashi’s speedrun, it was visible that he had jumped out of Agro and into the first platforming puzzle that led to the first colossus. It looked like some of his dance had disappeared, but instead, Wanderer seemed to cling to the ledges.
Destroy the Colossus
Ironically, many of the colossi that Madorashi encountered were killed in somewhat unorthodox ways, but nothing broke the game’s established rules. For example, most players can defeat the first giant by stabbing the weak point on its leg and then climbing up the animal’s back until they can touch its head. By applying two quick slashes to the weakness above, Madorashi was able to jump on the head of the first giant, avoiding the need to climb on the beast’s back and end the fight much faster. This is one of the many great moments of this speedrun screen.
In such manipulations, the use of colossus motions to provide additional force after the jump, and absolute precision in movement and archery, each colossus died unbelievably fast. Once again, it must be said that no glitch is used, and all this is a result of challenging work and skill. Through these tactics, the third colossus can be defeated without ever having to break his arms around its arms and other challenging moments are now just minor inconveniences.
The legitimacy of a speedrun, in general, should not be based on the use or reliance on glitches, as glitches have taken up most of the speedrun art as well as incredible accuracy and quick thinking. However, the fact that this speedrun achievement is achieved with almost anything can be considered a glitch. And in such a short amount of time, it says all about the player’s skills and the developers’ tactics. As many know, Shadow of the Colossus may take quite a while to complete in the first play, but experienced veterans can demonstrate their mastery of the game by finishing it in just over an hour.
Shadow of the Colossus is currently free this March with PS Plus.