Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl have been out for barely a week, and yet speedrunners have already gotten a cracking start. The original story, broken by TechRaptor, was of an Australian speedrunner called Werster who had beaten the game in 50:36. But as a testament to how active the speedrunning community is, that time has already been broken by another runner by the name of PulseEffects. This runner managed to shave almost a minute off that record with a time of 49:41 in a video uploaded to his YouTube channel. At time of writing, it stands as the world record for the Any% category.
Both runners described the game as “broken” due to the many bugs and glitches that helped them achieve such short runs. In this context, ‘broken’ is not exactly a criticism of Pokémon Shining Pearl, as the vast majority of the glitches speedrunners use do not affect normal play. On the contrary, ‘broken’ games tend to be the most entertaining games to run, as runners manipulate the game’s imperfect code to achieve things the developers never intended. In the commentary of his run, Werster stated, “Shoutouts to the speedrunning community around this game, the past week has been a blast and so many different people have contributed towards so much in this game in such a short space of time. It’s been fantastic. Blessed game.”
For reference, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl normally last about 20-30 hours. The fastest speedruns recorded for the original games, which came out in 2006 for the Nintendo DS, are around 57 minutes. The Pokémon speedrunning community has always been lively and dedicated, and I’m sure these records will continue to be broken over the next few months. Who knows how fast the world record will get after a few years?