Speedrun record hard mode

Last day I was trying to reach a specific point in the story, because I didn’t have a savegame taken in that moment and I have realized that it’s quite possible to quickly reach that point if you know exactly what to do.

I was a bit intrigued by this result and I have searched for more information about Thimbleweed Park speedruns, I can’t exclude that I’ll give it a try during the summer.

But I wasn’t prepared to read the incredibly convoluted math necessary to find the way to spend less time as possible in the elevator [direct link removed by me because of the report by @Ema . You can reach the web page searching for “Thimbleweed Park” on Speedrun.com and going to the forum section]

This is crazy, have a look!

It must be interesting, but I can’t navigate that url. I’m continuously being redirected to mobile pay services pages. Since I have disabled pay services through my phone company, I just get a warning window, but I’m afraid that somebody could get unwanted charges. Be vigilant! :blush:

1 Like

Thanks for the heads up! I have removed the direct link from my post.

Apologies for the necro on this thread. Hopefully it isn’t too annoying, and there are no newer threads on this topic so I am replying to this one as I only just found the thread, and wanted to clear up some things. Also, as an update, the speedrun record is no longer 58:47. It was recently beaten and now stands at 57:49. You can watch the new world record on the speedrun site.

I made the run mentioned by OP, which is currently second on the leaderboard. I disagree with the implications that this was an easy task. It doesn’t require physical skill, but the act of planning a good route is a considerable challenge. I worked through 2 notebooks for this run and carefully studied every nook and cranny of the game, trying to understand exactly how different lines work and the different ways they can be approached. Look for the speedrun forum thread “elevator maths” for a little snapshot of this, where I give my working on just one part of the world (the elevator) for other speedrunners to use. It is frustrating to receive so many messages and comments from people saying they could do better easily. If you think you can, then do it! I put a lot of work into my run, and the current record holder followed a very similar route to mine, with a couple of improvements which he himself spent time working on.

It is also wrong that we “do not understand” the game, or are missing the point. I played through the game in full and loved it for all the same reasons you guys did. In fact, I loved it so much that I was willing to put in the time for a speedrun. There aren’t many games I would be happy to spend that much time looking at and exploring, but thimbleweed park is one of them. I made this run as a love letter to the game, not as a mockery, and the thought of the developers crying when they see it is upsetting and I hope wrong.

I know you are all fans of the game, and will enjoy spending time with it. Well, if you’ve not played it in a while, why not try and do a speedrun! It will give you a great excuse to play this game we all love again and again :smile:


The only thing that’s annoying is Discourse’s necrophobia. :wink:

Is there an equivalent in games like TWP for level-specific speedrunning like one might have in Doom or Mario?

Although I do enjoy a speedrun from time to time myself, I am generally more into finding new stuff in adventure games which are not needed to complete the game. A new commentary from the character when you try something, a glitch, alternative dialogue…
The other day, I discovered that if you complete the three trials in MI in a certain order, you miss a big romantic scene between Guybrush and Elaine, which Guybrush covers for with some different dialogue afterwards to make the two parallell lines converge again.
The time and effort put into such games by the writers and developers to create these unique experiences is just awesome.


I have a different point of view.
In an adventure game, there should be no hurry in playing and finishing it, to enjoy every tiny bit of humor, every nook and cranny hidden inside.
You will surely miss important parts in doing a speedrun.

1 Like

But you don’t do a speedrun during the first playthroughs.

If you would do a speedrun now you don’t have to be afraid to miss something important because you already know the game in and out.


Exactly. It’s a whole new way to enjoy a game. Not one that I’m into much, but as far as replaying TWP goes I’d consider it. But preferably for a small section and not for the entire game. Hence why I asked about speedrunning of smaller sections like in Doom. It’s basically a simple time investment problem. If I had a 1 000 year life expectancy, perhaps I’d be all over that TWP full game speedrun. :wink:

This works better with map or level based games but even there you have to decide what’s your starting point, what health/armour/weapons you start with.

Defining smaller sections in TWP sounds even more complicated unless it’s just the beginning…

Couldn’t it be one of the flashbacks?

1 Like

Yes, the flashbacks are a good idea!

Not the acts though because you can solve a lot of parts of puzzles and do dialogs in any of those.
You could do the beginning, or the very end (although even in Act 8 you can do some preparations, like placing Franklin at a phone).

1 Like

I want to see a game played by the TestTron3000

To see how long it takes for it to finish the game.

1 Like

I don’t think that should be too different in principle. The equivalent of only bringing a pistol is not pre-solving any parts. Although I suppose you mean that sometimes it can be hard not to accidentally solve part of a puzzle. But I think that problem is easily circumvented by having an official starting save, so that everyone’s equally (dis)advantaged.

But you can make up your own challenges without being bound by the games’ victory conditions. Get everything from the bookstore as quickly as possible, for example. Which is different from a regular speedrun, where it would be paramount to get as little from the bookstore as possible.

But that’s like bringing a rocket launcher. :wink:

PS Back in the '90s my friends and I did some “speedrunning” with Stunts, Wolfenstein and also some Doom, although we didn’t know that’s what it was called. And perhaps back then it wasn’t. We called it beating the (speed) record.

PPS Oh, I forgot. I also had a friend with whom I used to speedrun Tony Hawk 3. Not nearly as “formally” as Stunts and I never thought of it that way, but we could do the full game in 7-10 minutes without achievements and in about 30-35 minutes with 100 % achievements.

NB That’s on PS2; on PC you can do it a lot faster due to reduced loading times. On the flipside, the Dual Shock 2 has tighter partially analog controls so you never fall, which is a greater risk on binary PC keyboard controls.

Funny story, I could barely manage to finish the first level when I tried it the other week. :blush: My Xbox One controller has nothing on the Dual Shock 2… for playing THPS3, anyway. Plus obviously I lost my touch on the timings with a nearly two-decade hiatus.

PPPS I just remembered that a few years later we also used to do Burnout 2 on the GameCube. That game took a little over an hour, about 1:10 iirc. It’s weird, I’m pretty sure I was aware of people speedrunning Mario by then ('04/'05ish) but I never thought of what we were doing as speedrunning. But I guess speedruns are just the natural way to play a racing game and in some sense it isn’t until you apply it to non-racing games that it becomes a speedrun. Especially ones like TWP that don’t mention your total time (unless I forgot).

PPPPS I saw a video the other day about how GoldenEye speedrunners became rather upset when it was discovered that you could get faster framerates by looking at the floor. But actually I thought everyone knew that; my friends and I most certainly did in the late '90s. Not that I ever played GoldenEye, mind you, but the same principle applies in most 3D games on underpowered hardware.

1 Like

If I were to attempt a speedrun at that, it’d probably take me a dozen attempts to get the trampoline business down to under a minute. :rofl:

1 Like

It won’t work well with this type of game and this game in particular.

E.g. in an adventure game the first thing you do when entering a room is to pick up everything and talk to everyone there.
But now you aren’t allowed to do this? E.g. you can’t talk to someone because it gives you information about a puzzle which can only be solved later.
Or e.g. in the workshop you aren’t allowed to pick up the check when you are there the first time because it’s needed for a puzzle in a much later act?

It just doesn’t make sense if you don’t play all those interconnected stuff as one.

Internally it keeps track of your time so when you beat it in under an hour you will see Ransom taking his cloths off when the credits roll :laughing:


This is nothing but an argument for two categories: prepped and unprepped. The rest merely comes down to that you, personally, don’t see much fun in a particular type of custom challenge.

I hope you understand that “unprepped” actually means a *beeping* lot of preparation.
It takes a lot of work to get to a specific point in game (say Act XYZ) while touching nothing else than the absolute necessary items/dialog options etc. to get to this “unprepped” state.
And even then there could be arguments about placement of the characters.

I’d say only highly prepped ones or everyone using the same set of savegames would yield to proper comparable and reproducible results if you aren’t doing self-contained parts of the game like flashbacks.

Yes, he does!
Lotsa balloon animals…

1 Like

Anything goes (“unprepped”) cannot have any arguments about placement etc. by definition. Pretty much the only possible argument is all glitches, specific glitches, or no glitches. Coming up with the best preparation prior to starting the challenge is the entire point. It’s not a category that would interest me these days due to the required time investment. Clearly it doesn’t interest you either. So what?

More strictly delineated starting points (“prepped”) may be impossible without savegames, but it’s not as if anyone ever argued against them. Savegames would be a widely used de facto standard due to their convenience even if no one thought to make them a formal requirement.

By logical necessity, @kcccc and the other speedrunners already tried many iterations of the bookstore challenge, the elevator challenge, the flashback challenges, and various other more limited challenges. I don’t think it’s a radically different suggestion than the Swordmaster challenge in MI1.