Just as a heads up, I lost this record about a month after this went live. I plan to get it again but will likely not update the site at all.
Today, I have a very important lesson to teach you. Be careful about the things you say, specifically what you joke about. Don’t say things that you don’t mean, even if it’s a joke. You may not be able to get out of that joke. It can become a commitment. In the words of that one Sonic fan on the internet, “your actions have consequences!”
Imagine this scenario, if you will.
One day your kid may ask if they can get that puppy they’ve always wanted.
You roll your eyes and go, “sure when the sky starts falling.”
If you aren’t careful, that very sky may well fall, and not only will you look like a horrible parent, you will also be driving to the pound to pick up a brand new pupper.
Be careful what you say. If you don’t take my advice, you’ll be stuck in my predicament. Whether that’s a good thing or not – well, that’s up to you to decide.
I’m going to read you a quote from my post three days ago.
You must have context. Or else “you’re probably wondering how I got here” – and all that if you haven’t read it yet. I promise I’m only telling you that, in part, because I want to plug it shamelessly. Context is very important. Anyway.
[in reference to Paddington Adventures in London on the Nintendo 3DS] “Honestly, I even considered trying to take the world record speedrun from the one person who has run the game for a good laugh. More on that in the future, possibly. No promises. But I am crazy enough to try, believe me.”
These words sealed my fate.
And indeed, past me, we are crazy enough. You didn’t get that part wrong.
Unlike what I said at the start, I really had no commitment to anyone else. I committed myself. Children, I want you to understand that those are some of the most important ones never to break.
So here I am, the Paddington Adventures in London for the Nintendo 3DS speedrun world record holder, to tell you how this all happened.
In the Beginning
It all started a few nights after I finished writing An Unlikely Duo. To be clear, in launching Side Of Fiction, I prepared a lot of this stuff beforehand. That way, I could get the site up and running smoothly and still have everything release when I wanted. This, for example, is being written around mid-November.
I went to Speedrun.com and checked the rules. That way, my attempts would be valid. Firstly, there are two kinds of runs you can do. Either Any% – which ends as soon as you get put into the last area of the game – or Good Manners% – where you 100% the game and make Paddington a good British citizen.
Any% had no runs, so I could take that easy, but I don’t like it easy. Good Manners% was the only one for me. The completionist inside of me demanded so. With this in mind, I had but one opponent – saltydkdan. This wonderfully named gentleman was all that stood between me and my record. I was ready for the fight of my life.
I was going to take the record; I had to. I needed to prove that I valued stupidity more than anyone else. I needed to prove that I was the only man willing to hold the world record for a children’s game about a talking bear that I know nothing about! I was going to be the one. I would not settle for anything less.
If you take anything away from this story, children, it’s that you should always follow your dreams. They can come true!
On that same night, it was around two in the morning, I think. After I understood the rules, I grabbed my 3DS, plugged it in, and got to work. The time I had to beat was 51 minutes and 50 seconds. I had only beaten the game one other time, so my confidence was low. Still, I gave it a try.
And to my amazement, I took it! My time was right around the 50-minute mark. Not a groundbreaking improvement, but enough of one. However, most speedruns require video proof. I wasn’t recording. I never expected to do it so soon.
That opened up the next and biggest can of worms. I now knew I could do it. I had the British speed demon inside of me. He just needed to be released. Next was to figure out how to record the run.
For those of you who aren’t aware, recording DS or 3DS gameplay is not easy. Not if you want the footage to come directly from the source. Capture cards are awfully expensive, and, to my knowledge, all of them need to be installed into the system themselves.
Meaning you need to open the console up and get to work—some good old-fashioned labor. I’ve made changes to other electronics I’ve had, such as changing a control stick here and there, swapping hard drives on my PS4, and other stuff. So I’m confident I could do it if I really tried, but it’s not worth it.
For as dearly as I want this record, I’m not going to blow $200 on it. I’m crazy, not stupid. I also understand that they’re especially hard to get as of late. That wasn’t going to work.
I needed something different. There just had to be another way. This denial led me down another rabbit hole where I found someone else on Speedrun.com wondering something similar to me. This was a question about what kind of videos would be accepted as speedruns. Say, if it’s recorded on a phone, for instance.
Looking down further, a very helpful user by the name of Seydie helped solve this user’s problem, solving my problem as well. In addition to some helpful tips, there was a link to a video by Mayor Mori on Youtube.
I won’t go into detail about how to do anything in it. Partly because that’s not the point here, and mostly he really deserves the views. I wouldn’t be able to make this otherwise. So huge thanks to him.
I won’t say this method worked perfectly for me; that simply isn’t the truth. Quicktime, besides the fact it costed money I didn’t want to spend, also didn’t run well for me. I tried various other ways to mirror my phone screen to my computer for the recording, but none got the results I was looking for.
Eventually, I had to drop that part from Mori’s tutorial and record it just from the phone itself. That comes with its own set of problems TAP TAP TAP. However, everything else TAP TAP from the video was very helpful.
Did someone hear a tap? No, of course not. Why would clicking on a 3DS screen with a stylus for long periods of time make any noise on a video recorded with a phone? I must be hearing things.
I was almost there. Victory was within my grasp. I could see it! I could taste the marmalade! Britain, wait for me! All that was left was to record the video with a setup that allowed two main things.
- Let me be comfortable.
- Allowed me to record a decent quality video.
My setup did one of those things fairly well.
I ultimately cracked out my Kid Icarus Uprising 3DS stand (who knows when I last brought that out) and used it to hold my phone up rather than the system. Still, it wasn’t high enough to record both screens when the 3DS was on the floor. I needed to improvise.
I grabbed the most useful commodity to anyone who needs to throw together a shotty raised platform in a rush – videogame cases. Specifically, PS2 cases. They were the closest thing around. Using my expert engineering, I carefully stacked seven games on top of each other.
It was done!
I waited like a week for some reason, sat down in the dark for the best possible footage, and hit record. And man, was it uncomfortable. You’re supposed to use a tripod for the phone and a separate stand for the system, not a cheap 3DS stand and a stack of 15-year-old videogames. This meant I had to awkwardly reach around the pile, giving the games an air hug the entire time I played, causing me, and I can only imagine the games, a lot of discomfort.
My legs buckled in ways that somehow made my position comfortable more than once. I appreciated that. Whether it was healthy, I do not know. The final setup involved me holding the system up slightly with my left hand and playing with my right, all the while sitting cross-legged on the floor as I reached around a stack of games, careful not to disturb the recording itself.
This was not the most fun I ever had in my life. Still, I persevered. My next run was right around 45 minutes. I had shaved 5 whole minutes off of my personal best. That’s practically years in the speedrunning world. Many world records are separated by mere seconds, let alone minutes. The problem was, I couldn’t use that video either. It had too much background noise.
Objectively, it had very little overall, I admit, but it had enough to bother me more than I’d like. And I’m not the biggest fan of things that bother me. That meant it was time to go again. My stubbornness had now forced this game onto me a fourth time. But this time – this time would be the last. It was only a matter of time.
The Redemption Arc
Our next part in this saga took place about a week later again. Why so long? I got sick. Anyway, I made some improvements to the setup. I could now stack the camera on less PS2 games, and rather than resting the 2DS I was now using on the ground, I could just lean it up a bit with just a few cases. This made it much more comfortable to play and gave a better, more reliable viewing angle for both me and my phone.
I no longer felt like a pretzel, and all around, I didn’t hate playing as much. This very well may have shown in my time. I managed to get a run in just around 42 minutes. Even faster than before. More importantly, I was happy with the recording. Was the quality bad? Of course. However, it worked. It was enough. And as I definitely for sure always say
“Enough is always good enough.”
I waited a bit longer because procrastination is real and consumes me daily, and a few days later, I uploaded it to Youtube. I waited another day or two, then made my account on Speedrun.com under the name TheSpeedWalker. How that hadn’t been taken yet, I do not know. Finally, I sent my run in. To my surprise, it was verified within just a few hours. I had gotten the record with a time of 41 minutes and 46 seconds. Even faster than my estimate. With that, I was now a world record holder. I don’t know how to feel about this new development.
So, remember, kids, be careful what you wish for – wait, that wasn’t my point earlier? Whatever, just don’t make the same mistakes I have. You may end up with the world record for an incredibly mediocre game about a fictional bear that you know nothing about.
If for, whatever reason, you want to submit yourself to some slight torture, you can watch my run right here. I warn you that it is not the most interesting thing ever. You may hear me breathe every once in a while if you’re into that sort of thing, I guess. I don’t judge. And I wave at the beginning and end. There’s a hand reveal for you.
Thank you very much for reading
What weird games do you hold the world record in? There are a lot out there to go for, you know. And yes, it still counts if you’re the only person on the leaderboard. Go out there and try some. It’s strangely fun!
I don’t expect to keep this, by the way. I have a suspicion I may need to fight for it. If so, that’s fine. This is all in good fun, of course, and I’ve had a blast. This game has given me far more joy than was ever intended. If I have to go a few more rounds, I’ll gladly head back to the UK.
If you take anything away from this, never underestimate a man and his unrivaled stupidity. It’s one of the things we excel at.