Fallout 3 Speed Run: It was that close

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In what’s become a tradition here at the office, the development team holds a speed run competition near the launch time. With Fallout 3 readying for release in October, the Fallout 3 Speed Run final was held on Friday, September 5th. To the winner: a pie of their choosing.

Back at E3, Todd talked some game — claiming that when it came for the speed run, he’d be the one coming out victorious. Umm…not quite. The finals came down to level designer Jeff “Live the Dream” Browne and QA Tester (and the most recent cover boy for Inside the Vault) Sam”I Am” Bernstein.

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The final showdown began at 11am with both guys starting from the exact same point. The winner would be determined by who gets to the game ending first.

Early on, Sam coasted through the character generation process — providing him a 1-2 minute cushion that lasted throughout most of the run. You would have thought he was leading by a lot more, as he casually bopped his head to music (more on that later).

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It wasn’t until about 70 minutes into the competition that Jeff made his move. After the match, he explained, “I honestly thought Sam knew of the one trick I used to catch up to him at the end, but once I starting hearing the roar of the crowd behind me, I knew he didn’t and that there was still a chance I could pull off a victory. Unfortunately, I buckled under the pressure at the end and messed up my ‘trick’ three times in a row, costing me the game.”

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In the end, Jeff’s trick became Sam’s delicious treat (a strawberry rhubarb pie to be exact). With a time of about 75 minutes — Sam bested Jeff by a matter of seconds. Coincidentally, the victory time was nearly identical to the winning time of the Oblivion champion, Chris Krietz.

If you’d like become a Fallout 3 speed run champion yourself, here’s the playlist Sam listened to during his speed run.

  1. The Rocky Theme Song – Rocky Soundtrack
  2. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
  3. Germany to Germany – Ratatat
  4. The District Sleeps Alone Tonight [DJ Downfall Remix] – The Postal Service
  5. Lex – Ratatat
  6. Piano Black – Cowboy Bebop
  7. Mushaboom [Postal Service Remix] – Feist
  8. Heat Wave – Bionic Commando Rearmed Soundtrack
  9. Tank! [Luke Vibert Remix] – Cowboy Bebop
  10. Mirando – Ratatat
  11. Still More Fighting – Final Fantasy VII Soundtrack
  12. Such Great Heights [Ben Folds Version] – The Postal Service
  13. Power Plant – Bionic Commando Rearmed Soundtrack
  14. Do You Realize?? [The Postal Service Remix] – The Flaming Lips
  15. Intermission – The Offspring
  16. Rush – Cowboy Bebop
  17. In The Tunnels – The Rock Soundtrack
  18. The Countdown Begins – Final Fantasy VII Soundtrack
  19. The Final Countdown – Europe
  20. Victory Fanfare – Final Fantasy VII Soundtrack
  21. The Throne Room/End Title – Star Wars Episode IV Soundtrack

Now you can see why he won…great playlist!

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The thrill of victory!

Reader Comments

  1. Well, I’m sure that doesn’t include side missions, massive looting, and general exploration. One can whip the main quest in Oblivion extremely quickly if you know where to go and what to do (It took my wife a couple hours to crack the main one time). Obviously this is with several play throughs racking up hundreds of hours exploring and RPing (thats not counting mods…I’ve been addicted to that game for 2 years now). But for a sheer speed run…especially when it’s done by people who make and test the game I don’t consider that a bad omen at all. It is first person and not turn based. I’ve spent far too long in turn based rpg’s just in random battles anyway.

  2. For those concerned about being able to beat the game that quickly, that time took a very, very long time to get. I’ve been the QA Speedrun guy for the past 2 and a half months or so. So if you take into account I played the entire Main Quest about 3 times a week, plus a plethora of times before I became the Speedrunner, I can confidently say I’ve played all of Main Quest somewhere around 50 times if not more. After that many playthroughs, you tend to find more and more shortcuts and different strategies that work to your advantage for what you need to do.

    As for the soundtrack, I think I may have spent more time putting it together than the time it took for me to actually play the game. And yes, I did have it timed out specifically to end on Victory Fanfare. The Throne Room/End Title was simply there in case there was spillover time.

  3. They pay you guys to speed run? wouldn’t your play testing time be better spent exploring every little corner instead of the main quest as fast as possible?

  4. wow that has to be the best play list ever! the postal service and ben folds are brilliant. not to mention starwars and ffVII… can you say epic?

  5. Man, you guys have coolest f***ing jobs in the world. Well, your professional pleasure is my recreational bliss, so thanks to everyone at BethSoft for sacrificing the small hours. Rock on guys and gals we all love ya for what you do.

  6. That was a very cool article :D

    Nobody should be worried that the game is beatable in 75 minutes. That is SOOOO long compared to other games, such as Morrowind, or the other Fallout games. Chances are, when Fallout 3 is released, people might find ways to win in 20 minutes or so, using tricks that even the developers don’t know :)

  7. Speedruns are a part of gaming. They push the game to its limits and show what really can be accomplished. Hopefully you guys have seen the videos of Morrowind and Oblivion being beaten in 10 minutes. Can’t wait to see when someone does that with Fallout 3.

  8. I don’t understand. How can you beat Fallout 3 in just 75 minutes? I mean even if you knew where to go and who to talk to – that must make Fallout 3 an insanely short game. I thought the speed run for this game would have been like 5 hours and some change. Whats happening?

    Oblivion in 10 minutes? Impossible.

  9. wow that seems like it would be really impossible. if anything, it’ll probably take me at least 4 days to finish fallout 3. i hope that the game isn’t that short.

  10. … that is insane, 75 minutes to get through the main story line. Bethesda games are not that short either, well not that relatively short, i wouldn’t be able to that, i have to explore what else is out there. Took me a whole month before i beat the main story line in Morrowind and like 2 or weeks for Oblivion.

  11. “Oblivion in 10 minutes? Impossible.”

    Here’s a video of morrowind done in 7:30 (and apparently it’s not the quickest one) http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=m1IRxTN-_kU

    And someone claims to have done Oblivion in under 12 minutes (but the video is cut off) http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=Cfmdl9-tnSU

    The difference? Sam and Jeff KNOW what to do. 75 minutes for the main quest is quite long when speedrunning, compared to many older games. (Fallout 1 in just over 9 minutes, FO2 in under 30 minutes)
    This is what happens when a game is “non-linear”. If you want the game to take even 5 hours minimum to beat, then that really just makes it very linear, doesn’t it?

    Once you know what is required in a game like this, it’s much easier to skip ahead and not do the quests that are just LEADING you there. That is what I love about them.

  12. Hi, I was just wondering what the “Trick” is that Jeff described in the article. I’m currently trying to speedrun this game and it would be really cool to see what he had came up with.

  13. it isnt possible to get fallout 2 finish under 30 min. test it, i have test it 1000 times and it wont work.

    there some tricks u can use in other ways but this video is a fake.