Ghostrunner 2 $10k Challenge Highlights
We recently hosted a $10,000 Speedrun Challenge for Ghostrunner 2 lasting two weeks, let's dive into how the run progressed!
Before beginning, I should mention I already covered some important discoveries from the demo period of the game which will be referenced in this article - if you want to read up on that first you can do so here! Also, obvious spoiler warning for Ghostrunner 2.
The Ghostrunner 2 $10,000 Speedrun Challenge lasted two weeks, from October 26th to November 9th. In that time, the run time for the best runners has gone from around 1.5 hours to under an hour.
The First Night (October 24th)
GR2 was first released around 11 am Eastern on October 24th, 2023, and over the next 11 hours a whopping 34 strats were shared amongst the community, with 200+ threads in the strats channel to date - let’s go over some of the larger discoveries and highlights from day one and beyond.
Speedtech: Jump Start
Bike movement was pretty fun before with rhythmic boost management, but the addition of new levels that allow you to dismount the bike led to the discovery of the Jump Start speedtech. To Jump Start, all you need to do is dismount the bike, and grapple back to it. There is a timing to it, and it works better when leaving certain geometry/ramps which brings a new interesting skill to master.
Pillars of Creation: Pillars Skip
Pillars is the largest skip to date, bringing a 20+ minute level down to just 50 seconds. Very simple, but satisfying.
Elevator Maintenance: Initial OOB Route
First draft for an OOB route of Elevator Maintenance, routing in the Tempest Boost tech which becomes possible after collecting enough Memory Shards throughout the game and purchasing the Pressure Booster upgrade after Danse Macabre.
Too Close To The Sun: Initial OOB Route
First draft for an OOB route of Too Close To The Sun, including a flux strat that clears out half an arena in one satisfying sweep.
Winds of the Desolate: 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Gate Skips
With the room with the lever that opens Gate 2 visible from the outside, LongerWarrior figured out that if you can wallclimb (or tempest boost in NG+) up to the chainlink fence, you can use the Blink ultimate ability to “clip through” (more like teleport past) the fence using the enemy and simply open the gate.
The initial version of 3rd Gate Skip, also known as rooftop skip. In an even earlier version, we would get over the roof, lower the lift, drive the bike onto the lift, bring the lift up and keep going - but it was discovered that you could instead DSJ your way to the next checkpoint, reload, and spawn the bike right on you.
This one is as simple as they come, simply wallclimb (or tempest boost in NG+) over the gate and hit the button on the other side to open it.
By riding the bike up high and driving right off the wall at an angle, you can land right by the 5th gate and then take a small trip OOB to the right of it to hit the button.
You Shouldn’t Have Peaked: Rahu Phase Skip
The pathing has changed since this initial discovery, but the basic idea is the same - DSJ out and down to the area below you, skipping from Rahu’s phase 1 down to phase 3.
Behind The Curtain: Shadow Skill Skip
GR2 would normally require you to take a detour into the room to the left, grab the Shadow Skill, and then do an arena fight. However, instead we can do some parkour to get up and out of the room right into the next one. Following this, there are some strats/skips to get around the rooms that would otherwise require the Shadow Skill.
Setting The Stage: Pipes Skip
This ended up being slightly slower than just moving through the inbounds space - but was the first step in something bigger.
Can Anyone Hear Me?: Challenge Warp
As it turns out, by starting the challenge terminal (a sort of minigame) the game gives you a checkpoint that warps you to the END of an otherwise very dense arena fight. This is by far one of my favorite strats because it's just so silly.
Speedtech: Flow Surge Strats
In Danse Macabre, Taartin found that the Flow Surge ability allows you to immediately break through The Dismantler's green shield phases. As of the latest WR at the time of writing, Pasiflora executed the strategy flawlessly, completing the entire fight in an impressive 1m20s.
A Price To Be Paid: Won't Pay The Price
Discussion: https://discord.com/channels/707647729043636276/1166493807882276904/1166555574931034132In the level “A Price To Be Paid”, it’s possible to get out of bounds almost immediately and finish the level in under 20 seconds - skipping the boss fight.
Day 2 (October 25th)
Speedtech: Speedforce / Permanent Flow Boost
By equipping the Flow Booster upgrade, slicing some enemies, and then unequipping Flow Booster you can permanently (for the current level) keep the speed boost. By getting a 10x combo, we can keep 10% bonus speed - if we were somehow able to get an extremely high combo very quickly, we could get much higher than 10% ;)
Monolith of Inhumanity: Mitra Fast CV Phases
The Mitra bossfight is broken up into 6 phases, 3 of which are traditional sword fight phases, and 3 Cybervoid phases which involve a bit more platforming. @Blaidan discovered if you managed to get a swing in on Mitra before he moved further into the Cybervoid, you could skip the rest of the phase - and then shared how to do that on all 3 CV phases.
You Shouldn’t Have Peaked: Rahu Phase Skip 2
Probably one of the hardest skips in the game to get consistently for beginner and even intermediate speedrunners - this one requires you to do some wallclimbing up some VERY awkward geometry but skips yet another 2 phases of You Shouldn’t Have Peaked
Setting The Stage: Drain Skip/Water Basin Skip
The next evolution of the original Pipes Skip - skipping the Water Basin room entirely!
Day 3 (October 26th)
Elevator Maintenance: Pest Control Skip
In the intended route, you’re meant to clear out the elevator shaft of the Biter enemies, backtrack a bit, power up the elevator, and then go back to exit the level - however if you instead trigger the power from out of bounds and just avoid the biters you can skip all that.
New World Record: 1:31:28 by @Blaidan
After a couple days of the community finding, sharing, and learning strats, @Blaidan completes the first legitimate (no Trainer/practice tools) Any% speedrun, clocking in just over 90 minutes.
Day 4 (October 27th)
Something Lurks In The Sand: Start OOB Shortcut
Definitely the hardest skip in the game, even for the most experienced of speedrunners - this one is a big-time run killer. Thankfully, it only saves about 15-20s - so unless you’re going for world record it's not really necessary.
New World Record: 1:20:04 by @Blaidan
Day 5 (October 28th)
Speedtech: Railboosting (Input Stacking)
In Ghostrunner (and many 3D platformers) there is a system called Coyote Time. Essentially, the game gives you a 0.3s grace period after leaving a platform to input a jump. In Ghostrunner 2 specifically, there is an oversight that allows you to stack as many inputs as you can fit into that 0.3s, increasing your jump speed and distance.
Can Anyone Hear Me?: Bike OOB Shortcut (Edge Bounce)
The geometry on the side of this building is really interesting and gives you a nice bounce if you hit it right. There are a few other variants of this skip that don’t require the bounce - but where’s the fun in that?
New World Record: 1:10:03 by @BladeLMAO
Blade gets his first GR2 record, smashing the previous one by ALMOST ten minutes - just one second shy!
Day 6 (October 29th)
There was a fair bit of testing on Day 6 in particular with Can Anyone Hear Me? and You Shouldn’t Have Peaked - but nothing major was found and no records were broken.
Day 7 (October 30th)
Elevator Maintenance: OOB Route 2.0 (Zumo + Blade)
EM gets a new OOB route, shaving off another minute or so!
New World Record: 1:07:53 by @Blaidan
Blaidan strikes back, lowering the record by another 2 minutes.
Day 8 (October 31st)
Elevator Maintenance: Tube Skip (OOB Route 3.0)
The final (so far) iteration of the EM OOB route, now with minimal movement in between the required loading triggers for the level to progress properly. Surely more things will be found over time, but from the first route sitting around 5 minutes - this one is doable in just over 2!
New World Record: 1:05:32 by @Blaidan
Day 9 (November 1st)
Winds of the Desolate: 3rd Gate Bike Jump Skip
Obsoleting the Rooftop version of this skip, @JanisSG and @Blaidan discovered you can ride the bike out slightly OOB to the left of the play area, and launch jack right onto the highway where you can safely DSJ to the checkpoint, respawning the bike.
Hackers Den: OOB Shortcut
By dashing backwards after passing through a doorway with very precise timing, you can get back through before the door closes and the previous area (you’re now standing in) deloads. This lets you take a much shorter route through OOB space to the first cybervoid.
New World Record: 1:03:14 by @Blaidan
Blaidan continues lowering the record, inching closer and closer to the sub-hour mark!Day 10 (November 2nd)
Behind The Curtain: Panda Skip
PandaInTheGame who does not consider themselves a speedrunner, managed to find a very fast strat in BTC! The community decided to name the trick Panda Skip, after its founder :)
Day 11 (November 3rd)
Not many big new things were found on Day 11 - but @WiggleyWiggley posted a “backup strat” that ended up being slightly faster than the previously used strat!
Day 12 (November 4th)
Will Bushido Allow It?: Ahriman Cheese
@7rayD discovered that by maneuvering in a specific way around Ahriman, you can keep him constantly spinning and unable to attack for the entirety of his third phase.
New World Record: 1:01:08 by @Blaidan
Day 13 (November 5th)
Setting The Stage: Droneless Basin Skip
The final iteration (so far) of Basin Skip, now taking a more direct line through the OOB space just narrowly dodging a kill plane, and skipping the drone ride entirely.
Day 14 (November 6th)
New World Record: 59:41 by @Blaidan
Blaidan achieves the world's first sub-hour run, with a ridiculous sum of best sitting at 55:45!
Day 15 (November 7th)
Mindgames: Permanent Flow Booster
Finally, LonEliteNV finds a practical use for the Permanent Flow Booster glitch in runs!
New World Record: 59:19 by @BladeLMAO
New World Record: 58:48 by @Pasiflora
Blade and Pasi both get their own first sub-hour runs!
Day 16 (November 8th)
The grind for top 3 (and top 10) went on all day on Day 16, but no new records were set.
Day 17 (November 9th)
New World Record: 57:12 by @Blaidan
New World Record: 56:39 by @Pasiflora
On the final day - Pasiflora snags first place with the world's first 56!
I would like to congratulate everyone who participated and/or won a prize once again. I also want to say thank you to everyone who participated in runs, routing, glitch hunting, or just followed along. You made this challenge a truly memorable experience!
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