Cyghfer was one of my earliest introductions to the speedrunning hobby. I had watched GDQ in 2014 and been thoroughly mesmerized that year. In particular, I ended up seeing cyghfer run Bucky O’Hare HARD! mode and basically lost my mind at the skill and execution required. For me, this was so much different than every other speedrun I saw that year because Bucky was one of my favourite games growing up. I knew firsthand how difficult that game is even on a casual level, and for those who don’t know, Bucky O’Hare has an anti-piracy check that would of triggered in the olden days of copiers and floppy disks. The game, once it checked to see it was illegally copied (and if the anti-piracy check failed), would trigger an anti-piracy mode that made all damage a one hit kill.
And cyghfer breezed through it with ease:
Witnessing that run live honestly resonated with me and stayed stuck somewhere in the back of my synapses.
I ended up making my Twitch account in August of 2016, but I really didn’t start streaming with any regularity until January 2017. Back then, I would stream retro variety and Mario Maker. I decided to beat a small list of ten games I had as a kid that I could never beat as a kid when I started my channel– and one of those games was Batman: The Video Game.
When I originally beat Batman on stream, it took 2 hours and 38 minutes. My original clear was full of deaths and terrible movement and Firebug deaths (hey, kind of like the road to <10 was xD), but it made me curious: If I were to beat it again, how much faster would it be? I mean, I already knew what to do, right? The next night I tried again, and this time it took me just over an hour, and I suppose that’s where those seeds starting to grow that were sown in my head from watching cyghfer‘s previous Bucky run at GDQ 2014.
There wasn’t really any elements in terms of speedrunning there yet; however. I definitely had no idea what I was doing, and I just enjoyed seeing how fast I could beat a game that gave me so much trouble when I was younger. Speedrunning ended up coming later after I met two of the first people I ever met on Twitch: Baize86 and EndySwe. As I kept casually trying Batman over and over to lower my time, eventually I ran into those two and they heavily shaped my mentality toward speedrunning as a hobby. It would be a tremendous understatement to say they didn’t influence me the most as a future speedrunner. Endy and Baize introduced me to strats, and also heavily inspired the way I kind of run things (high risk, high reward) as both are and were speedrunners who would often risk entire runs over saving an additional 0.1s. I think if I had ran into different mentors that didn’t push me or encourage me as hard as I did, I would have had a vastly different approach to the hobby. I eventually broke some pretty notable barriers in that game: 10:24 (Funkdoc’s old time) and lowered my final time to be under 10 minutes (9:57)– which the first time you get under sub 10, likely require something called the Joker glitch, which can be explained here:
Batman, as a speedrun, is honestly nothing short of phenomenal. The movement and controls are great, and there’s a certain beauty in being able to control all your weapons in advance. Until you hit the sub 10 barrier, there’s almost no RNG that can threaten a run, and even once you’re passed that point, the amount of RNG in the speedrun is extremely minimal, maybe a total of 2 seconds– so the entire run is a testament to your own perfection and skill. It ends on a one frame glitch, and I can’t tell you both as a streamer, speedrunner and a viewer how absolutely mesmerizing this is once you’re viewing it live. There had been so many times I had been watching Dxtr on PB pace, where chat had been actively talking and lively, and then– absolutely nothing as Dxtr entered act 5.
Chat just collectively shuts up. It’s amazing. Tons of people, almost afraid to write in chat, just waiting, waiting to see if Dxtr would nail the Joker glitch, or if the run would become worthless because he was one or two frames off. Being in that, living that as well, is one of my best Twitch and speedrunning memories. I’ve literally seen my chat slow to an absolute crawl on PB pace where all that’s left between me and a PB is the Joker glitch, and it is a fantastically cool feeling.
These days, I’ve largely moved on from Batman and haven’t really run or streamed it in about 2 years now with any kind of consistency, but I’ll always owe Batman a part of my soul because so many good things are centered around giving it a shot as a speedrun to me. I’ve always tried to give back to the speedrunning community. As time passes, my goal as I become an old grandpa in the speedrunning community is to actually do that.
So what is there to say about Batman: The Video Game?
Honestly, a lot. I feel I owe a majority of my Twitch channel’s growth to Batman and my original chase for sub 10. I’ve developed an insanely fun community around me based on a random game I couldn’t beat as a kid. I met two of my greatest speedrunning influences in particular, Endy and Baize who helped shape me as a future speedrunner. I ended up meeting Kat, my now girlfriend of 6 years, who was with me last year as my dad passed away in the hospital holding my hand. It’s funny how in retrospect how something so insignificant can shape you in such huge ways. It’s very arguable to say if I actually beat this game as a kid, I wouldn’t have existed on Twitch or ever met the best person in my life, Kat_Kunoichi. 🙂 My first recorded PB was 29:06. Kat and I ended up going to physical GDQ in 2018 and Batman was placed as a backup run back then, and in 2021 for SGDQ online, I was given the opportunity to run it myself, so this whole journey kind of came full circle. Being able to participate in GDQ after once thinking what I saw there was impossible.
Silly enough, almost everything that could of gone wrong, did:
I can’t promise you’ll meet your significant other learning the game, but I did make a tutorial new runners that’s good for a low 10:0X:
If you’re using the old NES Everdrive, I also uploaded my savestates for it, here.
One final story:
When I was new, there was a Japanese runner on the board named kusomushi_buxter who had a strong time of 11:06. For a really long time, this was super hard for me to come anywhere close. <11 seemed impossible, but eventually, I beat it. Years after that, I saw someone with 0 viewers was playing Batman: The Video Game on Twitch. Nearly 10 whole years after his original run, Kuso came back to speedrunning and made a Twitch account!
I messaged him telling him it was great to see him again on Twitch, even if he didn’t know me, and I had a really hard time to beat his original 11:06.
Kuso responded with this: