Ghostrunner Community Tackles New Demo
The first Ghostrunner game (GR1) was a big hit with the speedrunning community when it launched in 2020, especially with movement enthusiasts.
Ghostrunner speedrunners came together to form the community now known as GRSR (simply just Ghostrunner Speedrunning). Since 2020 GRSR has submitted a whopping 4500+ runs between the demo and the full game. Even today, Ghostrunner has around 45 active runners - a respectable number for a game coming up on 4 years old.
So when One More Level released a demo on September 14th for the upcoming sequel Ghostrunner 2 (GR2), dozens of hungry runners hopped in to start running and hunting for strats and new tech (including myself.)
GR1 had a decent range of movement tech to choose from, including Slidehops, Dash Slide Jumps (DSJ’s), Ledgeboosts, Super DSJ’s, Wavedashes, Updog (yes, it's actually called that), and more. Thankfully, GR2 managed to keep all of the mentioned techniques intact, if with some small changes in timing in particular with the DSJ. Since the movement felt quite similar, demo speedrun times were able to drop fast.
After the demo was released around 6pm EDT, most people did a casual playthrough and then immediately hopped into testing all known techniques from GR1, and searching for optimal routes and new strats. The first attempted speedrun was completed and posted by Ekorn, around 7 pm - coming in with a time of 8:05.370. This was already a decent bit shorter than the average 20-minute completion time for the demo, but with lots of room for optimization - especially with strats left to be discovered.
Around the same time as Ekorn posted his run, runner EzBaek found new tech specific to GR2 which has since been dubbed Wall Launching/Wallboosting/WEC (pronounced “weak”, standing for Wall E. Coyote) At the end of a wallrun, the game will force you off. After the game forces you off, you have a little less than half a second to stack jump inputs which will send you away from the wall at an angle with increased speed based on the number of jump inputs you were able to get off. So far, wallboosting has no concrete uses in the route, but it does provide an opportunity for some alternate strategies in certain places.
Sometime within the next hour, three new skips would be discovered.It was discovered by multiple people that you could skip the introduction to the Slammer enemy type by simply going around the arena with a couple simple DSJ’s. Conveniently, this same skip also skips a decent amount of platforming - overall saving about 10-15s.
Ekorn also found two new puzzle skips, which added up to an additional ~20s timesave
By 10 pm, top GR1 runner (and well-versed movement speedrunner) Blaidan had lowered the record down to 5:50.110, and then even further down to 5:27.930 by 10:30 pm. This would stand as the final WR at the end of Day 1.
While Day 1 had technically ended, there was absolutely no slowdown of activity in the GRSR Discord server. There was still constant iteration on optimal routes through every area, as well as working on faster and more efficient combat routes for the arenas.
Around 1 am EDT, runner BladeLMAO managed to squeak in the first sub 5 minute run with a 4:58.970. Runners Taartin and Pasiflora would both follow up with their own sub 5 minute runs just a few hours later.
Around lunchtime, runner Leoninrus discovered the first shortcut in the motorbike section (IWBBT) of the demo. There are a few possible shortcuts in IWBBT, but even the current WR at the time of writing only uses one, presumably due to difficulty/inconsistency.
By the time dinnertime hit the East Coast, runner JanisSG had discovered that spacing out boosts increases your average speed by around 20 kph, shaving off some additional seconds in IWBBT.At this point, the run was getting quite optimized for the known route - so much so that by the end of September 15th (Day 2) the WR still stood at 4:57.590 by Taartin
Catching Up To Today
Between Days 3 - 6, just about 20 seconds was taken off the world record. This is in part due to multiple factors, including faster arena strats, the discovery that the motorbike goes faster at 60FPS compared to higher framerates, as well as general movement optimizations. At the moment, the world record sits at a shocking 4:37.440 by runner E1uM4y.
Theoretically, a very low 4:3X should be possible within the next few days - or perhaps even a sub 4:30 with a new strat or two. Here are the current known fastest times for each level
GRSR is by far one of the most passionate speedrunning communities out there, and I certainly am not biased as a member of it ;) I would like to thank Ekorn, Blaidan, Taartin, EzBaek, probablyToph, and the rest of the GRSR community for helping me out with this article - you guys are the best!
With the amount of activity, we’ve seen in just the first week of the GR2 demo, between just two levels - I can’t understate my excitement for the full release of Ghostrunner 2. The dopamine I get from the early routing days of a fresh speedgame is nearly unmatched.
If you’re interested in trying out the speedrun for the Ghostrunner 2 demo, you can learn the majority of what you need from the world record video - but I also recommend you check out Blaidan’s Ghostrunner Basic Movement Tutorial. This tutorial was made for GR1, but all of the advice applies to GR2 as well :) Just keep in mind that some of the timings may be slightly different, and for that, you can reference the GR2 demo world record run.
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