It’s been a few months since Dark Souls 3 came out, and speedrunners have greatly reduced their times due to a glitch that lets them cut through huge parts of the game. This run took only 36 minutes and 43 seconds!
I’ve written about Dark Souls 3 speedrunner Distortion2 in the past, one of the first people to start dismantling From Software’s sequel. He hasn’t let up in the months since, slowly bringing down his overall time. When we last checked in on Distortion2, he’d finished the game in an hour, 12 minutes, and 36 seconds. Since then, Distortion2 has halved that.
Here’s his most recent any% world record run:
(Any% means the speedrunners needs only finish the game as fast as possible. Other speedruns can require the player to beat every boss.)
One of the big reasons Distortion2 is able to pull this off is due to the teardrop glitch, in which players cast the tears of denial spell to survive an intentional death. Tears of denial allows the player to hit 0 HP and recover to 1 HP. This is used by players to exploit a gap in the world geometry, one that should kill their character, and break the game.
Here’s what that looks like in action:
Distortion2 and other speedrunners are then able to navigate their way to other parts of Dark Souls 3, skipping many so-called “required” bosses.
In a patch that went live yesterday, From Software removed this glitch:
“It will correct an issue allowing players to float in the air by using the miracle Denial.”
The patch shouldn’t stop speedrunners; they can merely refuse to update the game and play offline. But when the DLC arrives later this year and speedrunning expands beyond the base game, it’ll lead to a splintering in speedruns. This is natural and often happens with modern games, though.