Celeste is a game with phenomenal movement, especially when it comes to speedruns. You have pinpoint control of where your character will land and it’s incredibly satisfying to zip between platforms and dodge around obstacles. Every time you hit a difficult trick, or you manage to save yourself in an inventive way, it feels great. And it just so happens that this happens over and over again in speedruns of Celeste. This has caused Celeste to build a healthy speedrunning community who is still perfecting routes to this day.
The History of Celeste Speedruns
On January 26, 2018, Celeste was released. Players around the world wasted no time setting new speedrun records. The first Any% speedruns were pretty archaic compared to the speedruns we have now. They consisted of players dying over and over, leading to final times of over an hour. Something that’s pretty unique about this game’s lifespan is that the biggest time save after two years only cuts two minutes off the final time. Compared to games like Spyro the Dragon and Super Mario 64, where you can cut off about an hour of the speedruns with skips alone, a majority of Celeste’s time saves are just not dying. Even to this day, there are still deaths in the world record speedruns.
This game is rough!
A week after the game released, over 10 minutes had been shaved off the day one speedrun time of 54 minutes by a speedrunner by the name of Magolor9000, who took and held the number one place on the leaderboards for three weeks. He was constantly beating and improving his own records through optimizing his routing and reducing his death count into the single digits.
World Record Trade Offs
A Special TAS Event
Celeste gained a lot of interest from an event which took place on July 3rd, 2018, at Summer Games Done Quick 2018 (SGDQ 2018). A player by the name of DwangoAC got a chance to show off a tool assisted route which he had put weeks putting together. He created the perfect run for Celeste. He involved strategies that were almost impossible for speedrunners to consistently pull off in actual speedruns.
He involved one frame spike jumps at every opportunity, and chained together mind-blowing movement techniques.
On February 10th, 2019, Katun24 took the challenge of completing the game in the shortest amount of time with one small handicap.
He was completely blindfolded!
Blindfolded speedruns have somehow managed to become a staple of speedrunning culture. The minimum requirements for a game to be speedran blind are as follows.
- The game needs to have a route mostly avoiding rng (or random number generation, or just general randomness)
- Leeway for mistakes
- And having strong audio cues for certain events can really help
Celeste manages to fulfill all of these requirements, and can even manage to tie movement options with the soundtrack and have everything work out. Katun24 set a respectable time of 3 hours and 8 minutes. However, 6 months later, FrozenMelody showed up and blazed through the game blindfolded in over half that time at an hour and 49 minutes — a record that has still not been beaten to this day.
The Global Speedrun Association Events
Around November 25th, the Global Speedrun Association announced they were holding a speedrunning event that had never been tried before. Competitive speedrunning. The GSA was planning to hold a speedrunning event across multiple games with tournament brackets and seeding, similar to how more traditional E-sports are held. Players would play through sets of best-of-three until the grand finals, where the players would play a best-of-five.
These speedrunning events were highly competitive, and to put it in perspective how close the races could be, you would just have to watch or listen to the video.
Celeste is still one of the most popular games to speedrun to this day, with new runs being added to the leaderboard every day. But if you ask us, we think the Any% category has been optimized to a point where it is not going to be beaten for a very long time.
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