The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom just dropped on Nintendo Switch, and speedrunner gymnast86 has already finished it in a little over an hour. I’m shook, especially since it took me longer than that just to download TotK.
Read More: It’s Good That There’s A 6/10 Zelda Review Score
The sequel to 2017's banger Breath of the Wild, TotK picks up not long after the events of the first game. Reviewers have showered the game with glowing praise, essentially saying Nintendo has yet another masterpiece on its hands. Noted 3D Zelda speedrunner and streamer gymnast86 shrugged at the game’s proposed 40-hour length, posting a YouTube video the very same day TotK came out of him blitzing through to the game’s end credits.
I’ll do my best to not spoil here, but keep in mind that because gymnast86 has beaten the game, what you’re about to see are spoilers. You’ve been warned.
Not the most optimal TotK path, but it’ll do
In a May 12 YouTube video, gymnast86 started by booting up TotK. When he reached the start menu, the cursor landed on the “Continue” text by default. But for the purposes of this speedrun, he opted to start a new game and overwrite his current progress—whatever that was, however far he got. A timer then gets going on the bottom right side of the screen. After skipping the intro cutscene and blasting through the starting section with Link and Zelda in an underground crypt, Link then came into contact with a Dehydrated Ganon, who gave our androgynous Hero of the Wild a pretty sick right arm tattoo. There’s a few more cutscenes, but after about seven minutes, gymnast86 finally got to make it through the tutorial dungeon to reach The Great Sky Island. This is where gymnast86's speedrunning adventure truly began.
10 minutes in, gymnast86 received the multi-purpose Purah Pad item, this game’s rendition of the Sheikah Slate that totally looks like a Nintendo Switch. From there, he did some exploring, using the environment to kill one soldier construct while picking up a tree branch to murk another. After a bit more exploring and picking up Link’s main rune abilities like Fuse and Ultrahand, as well as some proper equipment such as a claymore and shield, gymnast86 then rummaged through a handful of caves to collect things like elixirs, mushrooms, and rubies. It’s at this point, some 45 minutes into the game, that he descended down to Hyrule Kingdom to meet with the eccentric genius Purah.
Gymnast86 then beelined toward Hyrule Castle, where a Rehydrated Ganon has holed up. But first, he made a pitstop at the Lookout Landing Skyview Tower to snatch up three different broadswords for the battles ahead. After a few cutscenes and killing a couple of Moblins at the corrupted castle, gymnast86 slipped into the crumbling walls using the Ascend ability to beat the breaks off other enemies and a tough, corrupted-looking Lynel. A little over an hour in and a bit of exploring the castle later, gymnast86 encountered his first boss: The Demon King’s Army, composed of Bokoblins and Moblins. He then went on a boss killing spree, fighting the flying armored beetle-esque enemy Colgera, the stone monster Marbled Gohma, the small alien foe Mucktorok, the buglike jerk Queen Gibdo, a Seized Construct, and several Phantom Ganons before descending further into the castle to reach the Demon King himself. Two minutes later, Ganon was beaten, which triggered his second phase that took gymnast86 another two or so minutes to defeat. Jesus, dude, chill.
But Ganon doesn’t give up that easily and, at this point, has transformed into a demonic dragon. Link, on the back of some holy-looking sky serpent, pulled the Master Sword out of its skull and began the absolute final battle with the Great King of Evil. About four minutes later, gymnast86 sent Ganon to the grave and caught Zelda falling through the clouds, clocking his TotK speedrun in at just one hour and 34 minutes.
Breaking down how to speedrun TotK, for now
In a follow-up May 12 YouTube video, gymnast86 broke down how he accomplished his TotK any percent speedrun. According to him, many of glitches speedrunners used in BotW, including BLSS, which lets Link infinitely soar through the air and whistle sprinting, a trick that preserves Link’s stamina indefinitely, seem to have been patched out. He explained that the basic route mandated he go through the tutorial dungeon and pick up the main rune skills before descending to the castle to fight Ganon. For now, it doesn’t appear there’s a way to circumnavigate this, but gymnast86 noted that as more folks play the game, new things may be found to cut down the time it takes to get to Hyrule Kingdom. Since gymnast86 didn’t complete any of the dungeons, he had to fight all the dungeon bosses before the final fight against Ganon.
But before reaching that point, gymnast86 explained why he picked up the items and equipment he did while exploring Hyrule Castle. Stuff like the Electric Keese Eyeballs and Wings made for good Fuse parts, particularly during the Queen Gibdo encounter. He also fought the Lynel for his bow, which is “very powerful and allows him to one-cycle a lot of the dungeon boss phases.” Gymnast86 then detailed some of the other items he gathered, like bombs and horns, to Fuse them with weapons to increase their damage and durability. After all of this, gymnast86 then went through his strategies for dealing with the boss gauntlet, including using slow-motion flurry rush after perfect dodging an attack to make quick work of Colgera and the Recall ability during Marbled Gohma to blitz through both phases. He then reached the Demon Dragon fight, explaining that this battle isn’t hard and that if you die you can just retry this portion of the encounter without a hitch.
It was smooth sailing from there. Though gymnast86 acknowledged that his speedrun record will likely be beaten as more folks get their hands on TotK.
“These strategies will probably be outdated pretty quickly,” gymnast86 said as the video came to a close. “So, if it’s been a few days since this video has been published, be sure to seek out newer information.”
Kotaku reached out to gymnast86 for comment.
Read More: Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom Fixes Some Of BotW’s Fumbles
And there you have it. Not even a full day of being out in the world and gymnast86 has already set a speedrunning record in Tears of the Kingdom. It was such a quick accomplishment that Speedrun.com, a website that tracks speedrunning times around the world, hasn’t even posted his feat yet. I’m sure there will be quicker times in the days, weeks, and months ahead. But for now, this is the record to beat, and it’s certainly not something I could ever do.