Image: Bandai Namco

The latest Elden Ring speedrun world record is less than 10 minutes. A player is torn apart by one of the game's final bosses in the final seconds of the run. It's silly and I love it.

The world record in Elden Ring is any% unrestricted category with a time of 8 minutes and 56 seconds. I've been paying close attention to Distortion2 and his Elden Ring speedrunner colleagues, and I'm pretty sure of what to expect in this nearly 9-minute speedrun. When Distortion2 shot out of the starting area and bypassed the scion boss, the mandatory death, and all of the limgrave area, I screamed excitedly in the first seconds of the speedrun. They were afoot.

The Elden Ring world records have changed in the last month. I picked my jaw off the floor when I ran in under an hour back in March. Runners were able to beat bosses with the Hoarfrost Stomp weapon ability in the opening minutes of the game. Runners lamented the death of the any% category when FromSoftware depowered Hoarfrost Stomp in a patch.

They found a glitch that would eliminate the need to fight bosses. A zip glitch is a way to execute a sub 10 minute fightless speedrun. Runners turn down Elden Ring's graphics to make sure the game outputs a consistent performance. They use a metronome app to beat out beats at a rate of 109 beats per minute while in a blocking stance. If the trick is executed with the correct timing, players will shoot across the map.

The key to everything is the zip glitch, which allows the player to clear massive distances that were previously covered via goat-horseback, but also despawns boss arenas with bosses still in them, causing them to fall to their deaths. This is how Distortion2 was able to beat the game without facing any enemies. One of Distortion2's previous runs involved fighting Malekith with no leveling, the minimum amount of healing flasks, and a +4 Icerind Hatchet. It's a fight where a single hit can cause instant death. It was amazing to watch Distortion2 beat him.

Runners use a zip glitch to kill the final boss at the end of the game. The zip glitch allows players to fight bosses out of order and some of them are still alive. The player will be in the room before the final boss arena if they compete the final zip glitch. There is a boss there. He is angry that he has been ignored. The final boss is dead as God Slain splashes across the screen, indicating the speedrun is over, as Distortion2 is set upon by this boss. The theme is Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Elden Ring is still in the honeymoon phase. The game is fresh and constantly evolving, pushing the limits of what is possible. Eventually, a preferred and consistent strategy will emerge and will create a plateau of times only broken by the smallest of deviations. We don't know how long this golden age of Elden Ring speedrunning will last or if FromSoftware will patch out the relevant glitches and start a new race to the bottom. The progress of speedruns with mind-melting glitch and amazing times is fun to watch. During the writing of this, Distortion2 set a new world record for the fastest speed running scene with a time of 6 minutes and 59 seconds. I love speed running.