It’s been a good few months for speedrunning; a seemingly impossible Super Mario Bros. speedrun was achieved twice, and in February 2019, a DOOM record that had stood for two decades was finally broken.
4shockblast has claimed the world record for the Hangar level of the original DOOM on Ultra-Violence difficulty, with a time of 0:08. The previous record was done by Thomas Pilger in 1998, where he recorded a time of 0:09.
While both of these times are incredible to the average viewer, some who are more familiar with speedrunning might be surprised that it took 20 years for speedrunners to dissect the game and hone their skills enough to finally break that longstanding time. As it turns out, the requirements needed to achieve a time of 0:08 are daunting. Tight execution and a lot of good RNG means that anyone who dared to try and beat Pilger’s time needed more than frame-perfect inputs; they needed a level of patience not often found in the gaming world.
Karl Jobst, the absolute legend, has made a video about 4shockblast’s legendary run, breaking it down in great detail while also guiding the viewer through the history of DOOM’s speedrunning mechanics and the Hangar level in general. The video does a fantastic job in showcasing just how deep Doom is as a game in speedrunning circles, as well as how a simple 8-second record requires countless hours of research and practice to achieve.
Check out the video below (including Jobst’s impressive run of his own at the end.)
With more resources available than ever before, and new talent on the rise, we are sure to see even more longstanding or “impossible” records be finally broken, as speedrunners continue to push games both old and new to their limit.