Forums  /  Speedrunning  /  Why do Speedrunners use the Japanese version of said game?

depends on the game.
some games have japanese exclusive glitches and in some games the text goes faster in japanese. youll get the best answer by asking the community you are confused about

Oreo321Oreo321, IvoryIvory and 6 others like this. 
(edited: )

Japanese text requires fewer characters than languages using the Roman alphabet, so it requires fewer text boxes/screens. The Japanese version is often faster for that reason alone, and can be a big time save in text-heavy games. There can also be differences in how the game plays, particularly in older games, where various changes were made for the different audience according to the whims of the localizers.

That said, it's not universally the case that the Japanese version is more popular—see Faxanadu, for example. It really depends on how a particular speedrunning community develops.

IvoryIvory, Oreo321Oreo321 and 4 others like this. 

Sometimes the JP version is the first to come out and very obviously the one with the most glitches, hence why you would wanna run it.
Often it's because faster text scrolling / less text, or in a few cases shorter audio.

Oreo321Oreo321, PearPear and 2 others like this. 

The exclusivity of glitches is a relict from the past, which rarely applies to modern speedgames at this point (unless console games). However, the language is sometimes faster.

The reason for picking a specific language for a speedrun usually boils down to this:
-The text is faster, therefore, the run is faster (fewer textboxes for example)
-The version has specific glitches. Most of the time in the modern day and age, this becomes very rare due to games being released roughly at the same time. But this is very prominent in older games.
-It's funny

Oreo321Oreo321, PearPear and 3 others like this. 

Sometimes speedrunners might choose other languages than Japanese.
There are several examples from GDQ (I forgot which games) where the runners chose German or French, because they were faster than all other options.

PearPear, Merl_Merl_ and 2 others like this. 

Twilight Princess in german has 1 textboss less for the waterbombs
French is faster in Skyrim due to the unskippable parts of dialogs are based on the voice acting speed. And french just happens to be the fastest voice acting. Same goes btw for Deus Ex Human Revolution with french.

PearPear, Merl_Merl_ and 2 others like this. 

For a direct example, Rune Factory 1 on the DS has it's glitched categories run exclusively on the JP version. This is only because of a single but incredibly powerful glitch that was patched out in other releases. The game can be run without it, sure, but it cuts a third off the run's length alone. The sequel also has an exclusive glitch, but it's not as powerful.

I've grown to heavily dislike version exclusive glitches, personally. It just makes the speedgame harder to access for new players, and I'd rather have more runners than a shorter time.

Oreo321Oreo321, SeydieSeydie and 2 others like this. 

As another example, Disney Tarzan has a japanese version for PS1 that actually has less HP for certain enemies, making it a lot faster to complete the second-to-last level in the game (which forces you to kill several enemies to progress), so it's naturally the preferred version for that console.

Oreo321Oreo321 and Merl_Merl_ like this. 

Originally posted by Oreo321Sometimes speedrunners might choose other languages than Japanese.
There are several examples from GDQ (I forgot which games) where the runners chose German or French, because they were faster than all other options.

raises hand

My AGDQ run was done in Italian, because fast

IvoryIvory and Oreo321Oreo321 like this. 

Additionally, for some horror games, JP releases are faster because of less onscreen gore (and therefore, less lag).

IvoryIvory, MrMonshMrMonsh and 2 others like this. 

I play SMO, and they use Japanese for this reason.


Didn't SMO retime and determine that Chinese was faster a few months ago?


People use JP because Chinese version is not a thing lol