Few things in life are as humbling and awe-inspiring as watching speedrunners do their magic, and few games are more entertaining to watch speedrun than the Souls series. With that in mind, let's watch some people demolish Dark Souls II!
(Big spoilers ahead)
It's worth noting that there are many ways to speedrun Dark Souls II that the community has unearthed, and so there are many categories of speedruns. The fastest involves having the game unpatched at version 1.00 and using a geometry glitch to skip the Shrine of Winter, along with most of the game. Another involves repeatedly using Bonfire Ascetics to farm souls from the Old Iron King boss (having 1 million souls unlocks the Shrine of Winter, regardless of whether or not you have the Four Souls).
The fastest run all told appears to be 1 hour 14 minutes and 59 seconds comes from speedrunner Noobest, who uses the Shrine of Winter glitch to skip massive portions of the game:
The current fastest, non-glitched run on record appears to be by Twitch user Meczeoro with a runtime of 1 Hour, 26 Minutes and 12 seconds (Update: TylersGaming just beat that run by 2 minutes, you can view it here):
It's worth noting that speedrun records are constantly being broken, particularly with a game as new as Dark Souls II. If you found or have broken one of the records above, or just have some strategies for shaving off time, throw them down in the comments below.
Hail the Rat King.
H/T r/Dark Souls II