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‘Impossible’ Doom speedrun record finally beaten after 26 years

26 years since it was set, a Doom speedrun that was once considered impossible to best has been beaten, as history is made in the FPS game.

Doom new speedrun record: A Marine from id Software FPS game Doom

Doom speedruns resemble a kind of virtual extreme sports, seemingly impossible feats of gaming dexterity that require snap reflexes, in-depth coding and programming knowledge, and limitless patience. The defining 1993 FPS game from id Software, over its 30-year-plus lifespan, Doom has been a showcase for some of the greatest videogaming achievements in history. Speedruns, however, are telescopic – the longer a game exists, the more optimized it becomes, and the less often new records are set. The oldest Doom record in the world, dating back 26 years, seemed impossible to defeat. Nevertheless, more than a quarter of a century later, one intrepid player has set a new, all-time best.

Doom remains the ruler, the monarch, of all FPS games. Over the years, players have pushed the shooter to its limit, completing challenge runs that involve finishing the whole game on the hardest setting without harming a single monster, to glitching beyond its walls and boundaries to set seemingly impossible speedrun records. As you might expect, Doom runs, nowadays, are extremely tight – if you’re going to set a new record, the difference might be as little as a few frames of gameplay.

Doom new speedrun record: A monster is shot in id Software FPS game Doom

In 1998, a player called Thomas Pilger set the record for the first level of Doom 2, ‘Entryway.’ Pilger made it from the beginning of the level until the end in just five seconds. Considering how short the level is, and how little room there is for improvement, it was widely believed that five seconds was literally the fastest that you could possibly complete Entryway. In a typically fantastic video, speedrunner and speedrun expert Karl Jobst breaks down the evolution of the Entryway record, as well as one of the most monumental events in Doom 2’s history. You can watch it here.

For 26 years, Pilger’s record remained unbeatable. The strategy is to fire a single bullet just after you get started, which (hopefully) pulls the monsters in the second corridor over to the right, allowing you to run straight by them. After that, when you reach the exit door, there is a single Imp blocking the way. You need to get lucky and hope that it moves just enough so that you can get past. With so little variance and trickery required, improving on the five-second record seemed impossible.

Until now. ‘4ShockBlast,’ a Doom player who also holds the record for completing the first game’s first level, Hangar, in eight seconds, has just made history. You can see it for yourself in the video below, but put simply, on Saturday April 6, 4ShockBlast completed Entryway in four seconds, beating a record that has stood for 26 years.

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It may not look like much, but what you’re seeing is the culmination of more than two decades researching, retrying, optimizing, and perfecting. The oldest Doom record in existence has been beaten. It’s a huge achievement for 4ShockBlast. Is a three-second Entryway possible now? Surely not. But that’s what they said back in 1998…

Take a look at the best old games, if Doom has you feeling all nostalgic, or maybe the best zombie games if you miss blasting chain gunners in the cramped corridors of the Phobos Lab.

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