“Uh oh, I haven’t saved yet.”
That’s what Closetowar muttered nearly five hours into a multi-day attempt to beat the world record for speedrunning Dark Cloud 2 by collecting every medal in the game. The best time so far is 42:11:37. In fact, it’s the only time. The “All Medals%” category for the game is only a few days old.
Who created it? Closetowar did, allegedly because he was bored. An experienced speedrunner of the original game, he holds a handful of records in Dark Cloud, but none of which go beyond 7 hours. In other words, a nearly fifty hour run is something new for him. And masochist that he is, after completing it for the first time earlier this week, Closetowar decided to push through the single-sitting run and try to beat it this weekend.
Unfortunately, at 4:49:37 on his subsequent attempt, a bloke in a barrel cut the run short. Closetowar was trying to save some time and took a few risks during the enemy fight, only realizing once it was too late that he should have been more cautious. He also realized that he hadn’t saved the game since beginning the run.
“Welpt that’s rip,” he said declaring the attempt dead. Then the PS2 startup screen came on, it’s synthy echoes etched into the memory of anyone who’s ever been forced to hit the reset button unvoluntarily. Some of us throw our controllers when things don’t go our way. I’ve personally quit games for which my save files were corrupted or accidentally deleted never to return. Closetowar got right back on the Dark Cloud 2 all medals% horse, however.
“This is no longer a speedrun, this is dedication in its purest form,” noted one commenter. Dark Cloud 2 is a long game. Some estimates put a “completionist” run through the game at close to 300 hours if you’re taking your time. And with procedural dungeons and a tone of esoteric weapons, gems, and crafting items to collect, as much of that time can be spent rifling through menus as it is exploring or in combat.
In particular, since getting medals in the game requires meeting certain benchmarks for completing each dungeon, a lot of that time can be spent fishing. Dark Cloud 2 has a fish-training mini game of sorts. When you catch them you can put them in an aquarium and watch them grow or breed them with other fish. You can also get medals with them by capturing the right size and type of fish in a given dungeon. Dark Cloud 2 is not just gargantuan and randomly organized, it’s also incredibly tedious, at least if you’re forcing yourself to speed through the minutia without a break.
Whether Closetotwar is simply dedicated, a hopeless insomniac, or simply bored as he says, there’s no question he’ll be competing against himself in a category of one until either a new Dark Cloud comes out, others join him in the race, his body just gives out.
You watch him try to make history in the stream below.