Outlast, the terrifying first-person horror from developer Red Barrels, has a new speedrun world record in the extremely tricky 100% category, beating the previous best by an incredibly close seven seconds.
Falex, a Finnish runner who has been grinding Outlast as part of a six-day Twitch marathon, set a record time of 27 minutes, 53 seconds, beating the previous record, of 28 minutes, 25 seconds, by just over half a minute. The 100% category in Outlast is especially hard as it requires players to find every in-game file, and capture every notable horror moment – which protagonist Miles Upshur adds to his journal – using the handheld camera.
There are a variety of tricks to Outlast speedrunning. Saving and quitting the game near the very start, for example, just after Miles crawls through a hole in the Mount Massive Asylum perimeter fence, means that when you reload, you will skip an invisible chapter break, be pushed forward several metres, and unlock the ability to jump and land without staggering, saving precious seconds. It’s also possible to turn Miles’ body while in mid-air, meaning that you don’t need to precisely angle every jump and ledge grab – you can just leap, turn, and move into the right position all in one fluid motion, again accumulating a substantial time save over the course of the game.
Most significant, however, is the ability to glitch outside of the level boundaries, and in doing so, skip large portions of the game entirely. Similar to Frictional’s Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Soma, opening doors in Outlast requires you to hold down left click, then draw the mouse towards you as if you were pulling on the door. If you interrupt this motion, Miles can bug out and teleport onto the top of the doorframe, and from there it is possible to exploit gaps in Outlast’s level geometry to fall through the world, and land in the next area or next chapter.
You can see all of these tricks in action in Falex’s run, which given how optimised Outlast has become since it launched in 2014, is likely going to be a tough record to beat.
Of course, it is possible to beat the game much, much quicker. In any% runs, which do not require the gathering of notes or journal entries, by using the boundary break bugs you can reach the end of Outlast in less than ten minutes – the current any% record, by Dutch player JayV, stands at a ludicrous eight minutes, six seconds, and is certainly worth watching if you want to feel like you’ll never be good at games ever again.
If you want to see more speedrunning, Summer Games Done Quick has just started its 2022 marathon, with runs of Elden Ring, Grand Theft Auto, and Final Fantasy all on the schedule for the coming week.