Transforming “peaceful” to “frantic” with the Animal Crossing Quickplay Scene

Image: Nintendo

Over the holidays, we are re-posting some of our best articles, interviews, opinions, and talking points from the previous 12 months. from both employees and participants – Articles that we think represent our best of 2021. In them you will find our usual mixture of thoughtfulness, frivolity and retro. expertise, nostalgia for games and, of course, enthusiasm for everything related to Nintendo. Enjoy!

There are a whole generation of players who have fond memories of dipping their short toes in rough sand. Animal Crossing: New Leafbeaches. There was a calm warmth that emanated from the villagers who called your slowly developing city their home. The game was a beacon of creativity where you could let the whistling sound of the ocean waves, crickets and the chirping of wildlife take over. It was and remains a headline perfect for relaxing after a long day, and that serenity carried over to the Switch iteration as well. New Horizons

However, there are those who prefer to abandon this blissful and melodic world in favor of the adrenaline and sweat caused by speedrunning. For most games, it’s understandable that there is a group of players trying to lengthen each other’s time – cutting seconds in holiday bursts of joy – but there is usually a clear and definite end goal to strive towards; consider Mario Kartracing tracks that require precise jumps off the map to get to the right place. There is often something less demanding that any non-speedrunning player can go for to save some money. Something for both sides.

This is not the case in Animal Crossing. The game is an open sandbox game designed to do what you want, at a comfortable pace or another, while enjoying the small world that you create and nurture. Because of this, the speedrunners in New Leaf had to set their own parameters; for example, “first debt cleared,” when they are trying to raise enough money in the shortest amount of time to pay off their home loan.

“When the game came out in 2013, I entered it by accident”, Canadian streamer Nick tells us. “I love to play the game as it is. Animal Crossing is by far one of my favorite franchises, and New Leaf is probably my all-time favorite. ” However, the random play did not last long, as Nick entered the speedrunner community three years later, taking (as of the beginning of this year) first place in paying off the first debt.

No time to sit around
No time to sit around (Image: Nintendo)

Nick was able to pay off that first household debt in just seven minutes and 36 seconds, six seconds short of the world record at the time. The pain of dedication and the thrill of reaching that record is felt on his face in the final moments of his attempt, until it all slips away and genuine amusement can be seen as he raises his hands up and starts screaming with joy …

But let’s go back. The finale is explosive dizziness, but it takes a fair amount of luck to get there. However, you need to know what you are doing in order not to waste valuable time.

In a game that RNG supports so strongly, the best way to save time is to just be luckier.

“This category is completely free of glitches,” says Nick, explaining how the first Animal Crossing: New Leaf debt run actually works. “No need [to use glitches] since it’s that simple. In a game that’s so fueled by the RNG [Random Number Generation]The best way to save time is to just be luckier. “

“The run looks like this: get off the train, talk to Isabelle or Nook to locate your house, plant a city tree, buy a shovel, and then find a stone with money. try or get a map where the tree and the town square are closer together. Another notable technique, as silly as it sounds, is to hold down the “R” button while viewing text. It speeds it up a lot, and no runner actually used it until golderzoa, a former WR owner and pioneer. “

Watch the video of its record mileage (watch it below, but keep in mind that there is some rough language in it), you may notice another slight oddity regarding the text. Nick, who speaks English, plays Korean, and with so many speedruns with little tricks, glitches and exploits to cut down on fractions of a second, we assumed it was one of them. As it turns out, Korean text scrolls faster and this adds up, but playing the Korean copy of the game is one of the very few reliable tactics to speed things up.

“Pretty much everything depends on the RNG,” Nick tells us, “from the very beginning of creating a good map layout until the very end when your money is crumbling, it’s all RNG. For a really fast run, you need a map where the town hall is directly to the left or right of the train station and the tree is on the non-town hall side. From here, you need a money stone that is right next to the train station, and you need a perfect fruit tree that is close to this whole area. If you can do it right, you can get the timing right quickly, but it all comes down to this RNG. ”

For a really fast run, you need a map where the town hall is directly to the left or right of the train station and the tree is on the non-town hall side.

This reliance on randomness means that this race ultimately boils down to blind luck, and also means you’re going to restart over and over again for a perfect start. It’s tiring, no doubt – we relaunched islands in New Horizons before just because they weren’t what we wanted, and going through that arduous launch process again, even once or twice was enough to thwart our momentum, not to mention about doing it countless times. for the world record for running speed.

Nick isn’t discouraged from this transformative way of playing New Leaf, though, and that’s probably the case for many of these players. He still enjoys it as fun, but he found a fresh, fresh way of looking at it, giving it more momentum – more replay value. While he spent a lot of time in a rush to pay off his first debt quickly, it’s perhaps surprising that he doesn’t travel back in time playing casually.

This is an interesting insight into how speedrunning works. It doesn’t necessarily change what the game means to someone outside of these issues, or even changes the atmosphere it creates, it just offers a unique approach to the game that the developers probably didn’t envision. This is what makes speedrunning such an enriching experience because it ultimately adds value to the games. Even before Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Mario 64 was strong with a healthy community looking to defeat him as quickly as possible.

Speedrunning supports many of the old games even in the face of newer, younger and more fashionable models.

Balloon New Leaf Animal Crossing
Image: Nintendo

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