YouTuber Summoning Salt has been running a great series on speedrunning history for the past few months. In it, he takes a game – up until now, mostly console-focused – and goes over its entire history of world record speedruns. His latest is 2004’s small indie release Half-Life 2 which, between its many versions, engines, and categories has quite the history. Summoning Salt focuses, as most of his videos do, on the single-segment, no-cheating category and explains all the ways it’s dropped over the years.
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Single-segment runs of Half-Life 2 are actually slightly less well publicised than the segmented super-fast runs. Despite following speedrunning rather heavily I didn’t know much of this, especially quite how long it took for things to get going, or how recently records were being set.
His Portal 2 inbounds video is also well worth a watch on a similar theme. To step outside our comfort zones for a moment, his Super Mario 64 any% and original Super Mario Bros. videos are both brilliant too.
Perhaps what’s best about Salt’s videos is a completely unfiltered, unapologetic, and totally honest passion for what is by far the nerdiest way to sit in a chair for 12 hours a day beating videogames. He’s documenting history, making it interesting, and keeping one of gaming’s oldest traditions alive all at once. Worth celebrating.