The top 7 worst speedrun fails of all time

Speedrun fails

Speedrunning is a stressful and time-consuming process, requiring hundreds of hours of dedication. And sometimes, a speedrun fail can be a learning experience for anyone involved.

When speedruns go wrong, all hell can break loose. Times become distorted, players get embarrassed, and the internet gets to have a little fun with it. These flawed runs are often left out of official uploads, and yet there are still many moments where the worst speedrun fails are displayed to thousands of viewers.

We partnered with the National Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, to show how fails are accepted in video game speedruns, but not in real life on the roads. Just as it’s important to concentrate and exercise patience on a speedrun, you must also do the same when driving.

We’ve found seven of the worst speedrun fails we could find and compiled them here for you.

7. Semanari accidentally deletes save file in Divinity: Original Sin 2

Mistakes are always bound to happen when you’re on camera, and because of this Divinity speedrunner Semanari’s run of Original Sin 2 came to an unfortunate end at AGDQ 2019. Part of the run counts on retrieving a certain quick save from earlier in the run, but a case of mistakenly making too many saves at one time caused the file he was relying on to unfortunately be erased. Flustered, Semanari starts to restart his run and catch up, before admitting defeat and ending early. While unfortunate, many within the speedrunning community came to Semanari’s support following the incident.

6. Gyre miscounts and messes up a Final Fantasy glitch, twice

At AGDQ 2016, speedrunner Gyre started a run of the original Final Fantasy for the NES. Part of this run involves manipulating something called the “staircase glitch”, which basically involves moving back and forth between two screens via a flight of stairs found in the game. By doing this repeatedly, he’s able to manipulate the game code to allow a skip to the end of the game. Unfortunately, Gyre miscounted the number of times he did this and was unable to complete the run. After restarting the game and having a second attempt, he miscounted again and gave up.

5. Drog places 11th in Mario Kart Wii

During AGDQ 2015, speedrunner Drog’s Any% run of Mario Kart Wii had already been hit with a number of problems. Drog had already failed to achieve a couple of glitches throughout the race, adding many unnecessary seconds to his total time. However, the most awkward moment came in during the Coconut Mall race, in which Drog unsuccessfully attempts an out-of-bounds glitch six times, before doing it on the 7th go. Unfortunately, the other racers have already beaten Drog to the finish line, and he places 11th at the end.

4. Pro_JN quits Zelda 2 speedrun

During ADGQ 2015, Zelda speedrunner Pro_JN was 12 minutes into a run that would take an estimated 1 hour and 20 minutes to beat, when he died to a surprise enemy attack that came from the side of the screen. When he restarted the stage, he was unable to replicate a glitch that allowed him to skip various parts of the game. Despite the fact he was still very early into the playthrough, he decided to end it there rather than continue on. We can’t help but feel for the guy, it was shaping up to be a great run.

3. Halo run goes over by 2 hours

Halo speedrunner Cody Miller attended AGDQ 2011 to run Halo: Combat Evolved. The run was supposed to be played on Legendary difficulty, with an estimated completion time of 2 hours. But not only did Miller go 2 hours over his estimated time, he also had to lower the difficulty twice, going down to Normal difficulty towards the end. After facing the embarrassment of such a botched run, it was later discovered Miller had cheated and spliced his runs at home, leaving him wholly unprepared for AGDQ. We’re quite impressed by the self-confidence Miller has here, even if it is one of the biggest speedrun fails of all time.

2. Mario run ends after 3DS battery dies

Battery woes are the biggest pain when it comes to handheld gaming. For Mario Bros. speedrunner EeveeSpirit, this couldn’t have come at a worse time 24 minutes into an estimated 31 minute run of New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the 3DS. As you can see in the clip above, EeveeSpirit’s reaction is at first confusion, only for them to realize the battery in the console has died. What’s worse is after being asked to plug in the 3DS and continue, they reply with “I don’t have a charger!”. The moral of the story is: always pack a charger, especially when you’re going to be playing in front of thousands of viewers.

1. Kythol forgets it’s a pacifist run, kills enemies

Speedrunner Kythol attended SDGQ 2016 with the intention of doing a pacifist run of Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, which was also presented as a donation incentive by viewers tuning in. Within minutes of the run starting, Kythol begins killing enemies, even optional ones that can be avoided. Within the first 15 minutes of the run, Kythol had already apologized several times for forgetting this. There’s even a part where he comments that he’s getting the hang of not killing any animals, only to do exactly that a few minutes later.

If you fancy checking out more speedrunning content, we also have the fastest speedruns of all time.

Featured Image Credit: @Spoon_Wiggle

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