If you’re a gamer, odds are you have a perfect run, high score or really impressive combo that you list among the highlights of your “career.” Personally, I TKO’d Mike Tyson in Punch-Out!! when I was 10 or 12, and I did it when everyone else was out of the room. But I swear it happened, you guys.
Unless you have enough free time and determination to play one thing until you can beat it with your monitor turned off and your keyboard flipped around, however, your greatest moments can’t hope to compete with the four amazing speedruns shown in the videos below. These players have left “good” far behind them, passing through “really good,” across “crazy good” and over “suspiciously good” to enter a realm of pure skill in which merely beating a game is considered “a start.”
These people play a bunch of difficult titles pretty well, is what I’m getting at.
Super Meat Boy
If you play ultra-tough platformer Super Meat Boy, you’re going to miss a lot of jumps and die a lot. That’s why when you finally finish a level, the game plays back all your runs simultaneously so you can see all your failed attempts at once.
You’re only see just the one Meat Boy in this run, though, because the player makes this famously frustrating game look easier than a Monday crossword puzzle.
Five Nights at Freddy’s 2
In the Five Nights at Freddy’s horror games, players control various security guards trying to protect themselves from murderous animatronic characters from a Chuck E. Cheese-style family pizza restaurant. How you stay safe changes slightly between games in the series, but you’re always anchored to the security office keeping track of the killbots through cameras mounted throughout the buildings.
If you make it through all five nights without falling victim to the malfunctioning animal pals, you unlock two additional “bonus” nights, the second of which offers customizable difficulty. You can set the 10 enemies’ difficulties individually on a scale from 1 to 20, with the most challenging setting possible being “10/20 Mode” (which is just quicker to say than “20/20/20/20/20/20/20/20/20/20 Mode”).
Developer Scott Cawthon declared the original game’s 4/20 Mode to be impossible — before people started beating it. He made no such claims about 10/20 because clearly it was only a matter of time. In the video above, one such master of Five Nights 2 spends the level’s seven minutes flipping between cameras, room scans and the protective Freddy Head so frantically that it seems random — but everything that happens is necessary.
Hotline Miami is an ultraviolent, retro-styled title that is about killing entire buildings’ worth of people as ruthlessly and efficiently as possible. And some players are so good at doing this that you forget about all the horrible murder happening in the game and begin to appreciate its odd beauty.
In this video, a player beats the entire game in 24 minutes. They’re on New Game Plus, which means they have full access to all the items and equipment. That doesn’t change the fact that this run is fun and fascinating to watch.
Super Hexagon is a twitch-fueled throwback to the ridiculously tough games that old people like me grew up playing. It’s all about moving a triangle across the walls of a geometric space in order to avoid the lines that descend inexorably toward it. The whole screen spins and pulses in time to the thumping soundtrack, which only makes it harder to focus on keeping your run alive.
And did you know that a perfect playthrough of this game only takes 12 minutes? That’s how long the video above, which includes every level and the ending, takes. It will probably hypnotize you while you watch it, but it’s a dizzying, gorgeous and impressive accomplishment.
Even if it does make me feel kinda queasy.