Blessed By Hermes – A Peek Inside The Hades Speedrunning Community – Feature

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© Supergiant Games

When you think of speedrunning in games, where does your mind go? Is it Super Mario 64? Breath of the Wild? Dark Souls? Undoubtedly, the ‘classics’ are popular choices with speedrunners, but there are plenty of others which defy expectation; Ring Fit Adventure is a recent prime example that’s attracted the attention of players trying to beat it as quickly as possible. Traditionally, a roguelike — with their procedurally-generated levels that change with each run — perhaps isn’t the first type of game you’d think of, either. However, ever since December 2018 when it first arrived via Early Access, Hades has leaned into speedrunning territory quite naturally. A fast-paced action-RPG with roguelite elements, Supergiant Games showcased an intriguing side of Greek Mythology with a game centered on Zagreus, Prince of the Underworld, attempting — again and again — to escape the domain of his domineering father, Lord Hades.

Almost two years on from its Early Access debut, Version 1.0 launched last September, coming to Nintendo Switch as a console launch exclusive and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Having won numerous awards, critical acclaim and some pretty high sales, it’s reception is not lost on Amir Rao, Studio Director at Supergiant Games. “Hades has exceeded every reasonable and optimistic expectation we have had for it,” he tells us. “We are blown away by the reception to the game.”

Hades has exceeded every reasonable and optimistic expectation we have had for it. We are blown away by the reception to the game

Since the beginning, Hades offered an in-game timer for each run, allowing players to compare times. Rao’s own best is just under fifteen minutes, but some players at the top have now escaped in under six minutes; fleet-footed Hermes himself would be jealous. With a vibrant speedrunning community having formed around the game, we spoke with two of its most prominent members.

For Vorime, his Hades journey began back in January 2020. Having been a speedrunning fan since the mid-2000s, he began his own runs in 2012, starting with smaller titles like Moneyseize. Though he performs a wide range of Hades speedruns, he holds a strong interest in two specific categories. The first is “All Weapons”, which involves killing Hades using all six weapons in succession without quitting or restarting, taking real-time into account. “Fresh File” runs are a separate focus; one he holds the world record for at 21 mins 44 seconds. This concentrates on completing an escape attempt from a brand new save file. No extra skills, no choice in weapons, just the base Zagreus.




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