We're massive, massive fans of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night here at Time Extension. Konami's 1997 epic is effortlessly one of the best games in the Castlevania series, if not one of the greatest video games of all time; while it didn't technically create the 'Metroidvania' template, it did much to refine it and is often cited as an influence by many modern-day game developers.
We have fond memories of ploughing weeks of time into the game in order to explore all of its secrets and collect every item, so it's quite alarming to see an expert speedrunner comprehensively dismantle this 32-bit classic in just over half an hour.
The person in question is Dr4gonBlitz, who holds the world record for the SotN 'Any %' speedrun (16:29, in case you were wondering) and has recently shown off his boss-slaying talents at this year's Awesome Games Done Quick 2023, a week-long charity speedrun marathon which is seeking to raise money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
You can watch Dr4gonBlitz's 32:40 boss-blitzing run below (his personal best is actually 30:59), and he does an excellent job of explaining each glitch and exploit he uses in order to obtain that insanely low time (he also shares tutorial videos on his YouTube channel).
One of these glitches includes retaining Alucard's amazing gear at the start of the game – gear which Death is supposed to relieve you of. However, what's truly fascinating is that Dr4gonBlitz puts into use an exploit which was only discovered in December last year, 25 years after the launch of the game:
It's amazing to think that these game-busting glitches are still being discovered today, and it's equally interesting to see how they impact speedrunning attempts by skilful players like Dr4gonBlitz.
You can watch the other speedruns taking place at Awesome Games Done Quick 2023 here.