Streamer Accidentally Finds New Speedrun Skip in Metal Gear Solid
Speedrunning is one of the many subcultures in gaming, with players tasking themselves to beat a specific game as fast as possible. What sounds like a simple concept when it comes to playing games has evolved, with the concept of speedrunning changing from completing the game as fast as possible to breaking the game as much as possible to get to the end credits. Speedrunning has become so commonplace that the community has its own in-jokes and references, leaderboards are being managed, uploaded, and moderated with the community cataloging the fastest of the gamers.
From games like Super Mario 64, to even puzzle titles like Portal, a game that would normally take around 4-8 hours on a single playthrough can be beaten in under 30 minutes, all due to glitches within the game. These runs are called “Any%,” with the name symbolizing the % of the game that needs to be completed before the player can finish their run. Other runs, like 100%, require that the player fully completes the game before finishing the title. Some players prefer to use skill with their runs, and Glitchless runs became the norm in the speedrunning community, with multiple people holding world records for different runs on the game.
Sometimes, glitches that can save time, otherwise known as “skips,” are discovered in the community, mostly through rigorous playtesting of the game, and can be used to save time by breaking the game before moving forward with the rest of their run. Sometimes, though, skips can be found purely by accident, as the Metal Gear Solid speedrunning community discovered recently.
Streamer Finds Skip in MGS
Enter, Boba, a streamer who was playing Metal Gear Solid, also known as MGS, on stream. In the clip she uploaded after discovering it, Snake is making his way up Comm’s Tower A. This specific part of the game requires that Snake makes his way up 27 flights of stairs. This is more difficult than usual seeing that Snake is being constantly shot at while making his way upwards. However, during Boba’s stream, she stopped at the level 6 door, which normally cannot be opened from the other side, however, something different changed. While Snake was standing there, a guard shot Snake while he was pressed up against the door. This caused Snake to magically appear on the other side. Boba realized she hadn’t died, sang a song in celebration, and posted the video to Twitter.
What happened to Snake in the game, is that while standing in front of the level 6 door in the stairwell, being shot will force Snake’s hitbox into the loading zone on the other side. Seeing that for a split second, Snake is on the inside of the door, the loading zone activates, and Snake is thrown to the other side of the locked door.
MGS Speedrunning Community’s Response
This has caused a lot of uproar from the community. A Twitter user by the name of @preciousroy replying to Boba’s clip, telling her that since the post of her clip, 15 people gathered in Discord to find a way to reproduce the glitch reliably. Reliability is key for speedrunning as much as skill, if a skip is found, the skip itself has to be reliable, otherwise, the glitch will be useless since it’ll take more time to do the glitch rather than continue on without it. Soon after, another Twitter user by the name of @hau5test posted a clip of himself pulling off the MGS skip, now named the “Boba Skip,” showing that it can be done reliably. He also states that the skip is able to save two and a half minutes as well. For speedrunning, being able to remove two and a half minutes from the current world record is something that many players aspire to pull off.
This also removes one key item from the game, as Snake no longer needs to pick up the rope, making the run different from the current strategy for the previous world record. This means that the players are going to have to relearn the strategy while they’re playing. However, the revitalization of the MGS speedrunning community has raised hype and morale for the group tenfold. Another user by the name of @ApacheSmash also mentioned that being shot by the guard isn’t required to complete the skip, as having Snake blow up a Chaff Grenade in his hand will also work to push him through the door.
Players are already working their way through the game to get the world record. The first Sub-30 minute run has been uploaded onto speedrun.com for Metal Gear Solid’s Very Easy mode, with the first run being achieved by NickRPGreen on YouTube. For the PC version of the game, the current world record holder of the title Is Hau5test, with the record in Easy, Normal, Hard, and Extreme, while NickRPGreen remains the holder of the Very Easy record.
Name Still in the Air
The name of the skip has varied: while in technical speak, it could be referred to as “the stairwell skip,” many of the MGS speedrunning players have referred to the skip as “Boba Skip,” since Boba was the one to discover this skip. While this is the current name for the community, ApacheSmash told Boba that she was able to name the skip whatever she wanted, seeing that she was the one who found it. Boba opted to name the skip “Kevin.”
Boba is also reveling in the attention as well, with the Yogscast selling merchandise for the skip with the phrase, “Tactical Speedrun Strategy” in the Metal Gear Solid title font. Many of the speedrunners for MGS are posting their appreciation of the merchandise, and any player who want’s this shirt can pick it up on their store.
This all goes to show just how invested players are into completing titles as fast as possible, and while the runs will continue to stack up, it’s very possible that players are going to see a sub 30 minute in the other difficulties of the game. There’s also a possibility that the MGS Boba Skip could be used on other locked doors in the game, now that Snake is able to do the trick without having to be shot by AI first.