Dark Souls Speedrunner Breaks World Record Without Realizing It

It's fun to watch people speedrun Dark Souls. It's a game famous for its punishing difficulty, yet speedrunners show how it's possible to bend the game to your will. 19-year-old Alex (aka NaxHPL) just achieved the world record for one way to complete the game, allowing him to finish it in 25 minutes and 17 seconds. He didn't even realize he'd become a record holder!

There are three different kinds of speedruns for Dark Souls, and this one is called "Any% Kiln Skip." Here's how the website Speed Souls explains the difference between the three runs:

  • Any% Triggering the end credits (done on the current patch).
  • Any% Kiln Skip: Triggering the end credits after utilizing the Kiln Skip. Possible on the latest patch only on Xbox 360.
  • All Bosses: Triggering the end credits after defeating every boss enemy, including the DLC.
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The whole run is below, and I'll guide you through how he pulls it off afterwards:

He's moving fast, obviously, and manages to take out the first boss in a couple of strikes. Then again, that's fair game for anyone who's played Dark Souls before. What caught my eye was the great risks he takes in rolling himself off various cliffs to save time. Falling off a ledge, dying, and potentially losing all of your souls was one of my greatest fears. Here, it's no big deal.

Though Alex achieved a world record time, he actually screwed up a few times, including circling around and trying to fight a black knight for way too long...

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...and falling off a ledge in Anor Londo.

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This cost the run precious seconds, which should have doomed it, but Alex kept going. The reason he's able to complete the game so quickly—the any% run is over an hour—is thanks to a glitch removing most of the second half of the game, dumping the player at the very end.

Per the Dark Souls Wiki:

"You can skip to the Kiln when you get the Lordvessel. Rest at firelink and go to firelink altar, walk to kiln door turn right and jump off. When it gets to loading screen quit the game, when you turn back on you will be inside kiln, the door will be closed so the only way out would be homeward bone/dark sign or death."

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The glitch is only possible on certain versions of the game, except on Xbox 360.

As Alex puts the finishing touches on the game's final boss, Gwyn, he concedes the run didn't go very well. As he skips past the end credits, he prepares for the worst. Fortunately, the game reveals he pulled off the record, prompting him to immediately drop his head onto his desk.

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Congrats, Alex!

You can reach the author of this post at patrick.klepek@kotaku.com or on Twitter at @patrickklepek.

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