Speed Run Challenge


P(n) = 1 - (1 - P(1))^n
Welcome to Smogon's Speed Run Challenge thread!

What is the Speed Run Challenge?
The Speed Run Challenge is to see how quickly you can clear the main Pokémon games, from the moment you create your character and receive your starter Pokémon to the very final "story" challenge in the game. Your speed is determined by your game's play time (according to the in-game clock) plus five minutes for each time you manually save your game file.

An example of what I'm talking about is found at Speed Demos Archive.

Here are the rules:

Rule 1: The game is considered cleared when you complete the primary story objective of said game.

For most Pokémon games this means simply beating the Elite Four for the first time to be considered "Elite Four Cleared". Some games (such as HeartGold and SoulSilver) have post-Elite Four content (ie: the Kanto Gym Leaders + Red) that must also be completed to be considered 'Post-Elite Four Main Story Cleared'. A few games allow you to rematch the Elite Four, and the rematch must be completed to be considered "100% cleared". See the specific game for details.

Rule 2:
No outside communication for any reason.

You can only catch/receive/trade Pokémon that can be found inside your game that do not require communication with the outside world. Complete list of prohibitions:

  • No link trades, wireless trades, C-Gear trades, Time Capsule, etc (all generations).
  • No linking to other games for any reason (ie: no Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon Battle Revolution, Pokemon XD, etc, when playing a portable game)
  • No Pokéwalker (HeartGold and SoulSilver)
  • No Pal Park (Gen IV)
  • No C-Gear, Extralink, Dream World, Poké Transfer, Relocator (Black and White)
  • No Mystery Gifts (all generations)
  • No Pokémon Global Link or Global Trade Station
Trading with in-game NPCs is allowed.

As a point of clarification, playing the Game Boy games on Pokémon Stadium 1 and 2 and utilizing the fast-gameplay function is allowed, so long as no trading or other interaction is done.

Rule 3: RNG Abuse for your starters and other RNG manipulations is discouraged, but not outright prevented. However if you do RNG manipulate please make mention of this, and when/where you do this.

Soft resetting to get a desirable starter is allowed, and is not considered RNG manipulation.

Rule 4: Each Save penalizes your time by 5 minutes.

The idea is to speed run through the game, not soft reset when a fight goes wrong. To that end, each time you save your game, increase your final time by 5 minutes to get your actual final time. You will of course need to keep track of the number of times you save your game.

The exception to this rule is forced saves that the game imposes, usually as a result of defeating the Elite Four.

Rule 5: Glitch abuse is allowed, but discouraged. You must mention if you abuse glitches or not.

Rule 6: Playing on an emulator is allowed as long as you don't manipulate the game; it must be as close to the actual console experience as possible.

Rule 7: No cheat devices of any kind.

Rule 8: Tool assisted speed runs are not allowed. If it can't be done on the actual carts by a human without assistance, it doesn't count.

What is considered "clearing" the game?

This varies game-to-game, and generation to generation. See the leaderboards for information.


Generation I:
All Games
Elite Four Clear: Defeat the Elite Four Champion (your Rival) at the Indigo Plateau for the first time.

  1. Mark McKenzie (via Speed Demos Archive): 2:04 (0 saves) - Blue version
  2. Jacob McMillin (via Speed Demos Archive): 2:39 (0 saves) - Red version
Generation II:
All Games
Elite Four Clear: Defeat the Elite Four Champion (Lance) at the Indigo Plateau for the first time.

  1. None yet
Post-Elite Four Clear: After receiving all 16 gym badges, defeat Red on Mt. Silver.

  1. Mike 'mike89' McKenzie (via Speed Demos Archive): 3:52 (0 saves) - Crystal version
  2. James 'Brown Bomber' Bunkley (via Speed Demos Archive): 6:15 (4:15 played + 12 saves) - Gold version

Generation III
Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald:

Elite Four Clear: Defeat the Elite Four Champion (Steven in Ruby/Sapphire, and Wallace in Emerald) at Ever Grande City for the first time.

  1. Sam 'Mouldy Cheese' Beekman (via Speed Demos Archive) - 5:41:21 (1:54:21 played + 48 saves) - Sapphire version

FireRed, LeafGreen:
Elite Four Clear: Defeat the Elite Four Champion (your Rival) at the Indigo Plateau for the first time.

  1. Darren 'Ultimate Darius' Cornell (via Speed Demos Archive) - 2:49:09 (0 saves) - FireRed version
Elite Four Rematch Clear: Defeat the Elite Four Champion (your Rival) at the Indigo Plateau a second time.

  1. Darren 'Ultimate Darius' Cornell (via Speed Demos Archive) - 5:16 (0 saves) - FireRed version

Generation IV
Diamond and Pearl:

Elite Four Clear: Defeat the Elite Four Champion (Cynthia) at the Pokemon League for the first time.

  1. None yet
Elite Four Clear: Defeat the Elite Four Champion (Cynthia) at the Pokemon League for the first time.

  1. None yet
Elite Four Rematch Clear: Defeat the Elite Four Champion a second time, after receiving the National Pokédex.

  1. None yet

HeartGold and SoulSilver:
Elite Four Clear: Defeat the Elite Four Champion (Lance) at the Indigo Plateau for the first time

  1. None yet
Post-Elite Four Clear: Receive all 16 gym badges, and defeat Red on Mt. Silver for the first time

  1. Sprocket (unofficial): 9:00 - HeartGold version
100% Clear: Receive all 16 gym badges, and then defeat Lance at the Indigo Plateau again, and defeat Red on Mt. Silver

  1. None yet

Generation V
Black and White:

Main Story Clear: Defeat Ghetsis in N's Castle

  1. None yet
Elite Four Clear: Defeat the Elite Four Champion (Alder) after receiving the National Pokédex.

  1. None yet

That's it. Have fun!


P(n) = 1 - (1 - P(1))^n
So to start us off, I did a fairly sloppy "Post-Elite Four Clear" of HeartGold in about 8 hours (I'll admit I didn't keep track of my saves, but it was pretty frequent, so call it 9 hours for good measure). As my starter I picked Totodile, simply because it's the very best of the three HeartGold starters, with access to just the right coverage moves, and an excellent typing all around.

My final team ended up as:

Feraligatr, Level 80 @ NeverMeltIce
Rash Nature
-Ice Fang

Feraligatr was my bread and butter Pokemon. With his excellent type coverage and wide move pool, as well as access to the ever-important Surf and Waterfall for world navigation, there was little that Feraligatr couldn't handle, not even Red's Pikachu (with some X-Defend and X-Sp.Def support)

Kenya the Fearow, Level 30

Kenya was only on my party for Fly, to make it easy to go from city to city. She did prove useful in a couple of the double battles, as a secondary target to keep Feraligatr alive.

Sentret, level 5

Sentret was my HM Bitch, nothing more. I also caught a level 6 Furrett on Route 1, but I for the life of me don't remember why.

Machop, Level 15
-Rock Smash
-Rock Climb

My other HM Bitch. It's better to give these HMs to a Pokemon you never use, as opposed to your Feraligatr.

The two hardest parts for me were the Elite Four, and Red. The Elite Four I had to abuse the hell out of Ethers and Revives, and the occasional X-Defend, because Feraligatr just wasn't strong enough to net OHKOs reliably.

Red's Pikachu ended up being my worst enemy of all. Even with an X-Defend and X-Sp.Def, Pikachu had a strong chance of one shotting Feraligatr with either Thunderbolt or Volt Tackle. It took many, many tries, and lots and lots of X-Defends and X-Sp.Defs before Feraligatr could take a hit well enough to counter-attack. Then it was just a matter of getting past Venusaur, and Red was as good as defeated.

Chuck in Cianwood also proved to be rather annoying, as his Poliwrath resisted my Feraligatr's moveset at the time (Ice Fang, Crunch, Surf, and something else), and also healed from Surf thanks to Water Absorb.


i am alien
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Speed-runs are one of my personal favorites when it comes to VBA's emulator and the ROMs (hacks). You get to play a multitude of games in succession and enjoy the story because you didn't intend to take forever playing them.

I was wondering if we could possibly host one of these at a certain time, perhaps on IRC? I'd seriously recommend #pokemon or just another channel dedicated to this gathering willing to spend an hour to an hour and a half of their time. It's just an idea though maybe for the future.

It wouldn't be hard to gather a dozen or so more who would be interested; possibly do a recording for The Smog one time?
Attempting a solo-Empoleon single-segment speedrun of Platinum (since it's actually a bit shorter and easier than DP) tonight.

EDIT: After the tournament, of course. It'll go into tomorrow morning.


Even ghosts stray from the path of righteousness
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I'm going to attempt a Solo-Poke Emerald run this weekend. Well it won't be truly Solo since I'll have a few HM slaves, but oh well dem's the breaks.

This will not be a TAS.
Planning on having 9 saves
1. A save to make sure I catch a specific pokemon with a specific nature and a specific ability. Route 102
2-8 Saves before various bosses, gyms, etc. to make sure RNG doesn't screw me.
9. Save before e4

Also, a few rules for myself!
1. One legendary. One. And only as RNG backup against the e4 and such.
2. To be considered a post-elite four clear, i must beat all of the frontier brains with gold symbols and Steven at the Meteor Falls.
3. I must liek mudkipz.
.....well, my fastest Run was in FireRed at 13:00 + about 10-15 saves.

Better than my slowest run where it took 100+ saves and 80:00 to beat Red in heartGold >.>

I may restart a game and try for a better run though :)
My last run on Red was 2:41--no glitches and with Charmander (instead of the faster Squirtle) as my starter.

I'm interested in getting fast at speedrunning with Charmander so I'll stop by from time to time.


MS State Pokemon!!!
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I think my best time on Ruby is 3:30, but this is on a retail cart with an unknown amount of saves. Sapphire is definitely easier because of Kyogre vs Drake's Salamence, though. I've done Soul Silver with Totodile (only the first E4 challenge) with around 6 hours of playtime, too. What would be the best starter for Platinum? I'm thinking Chimchar, but has anyone done it with Empoleon or Torterra?

Oh yes, and can you skip Brawly in 3rd gen completely or will the E4 not let you in without his badge?
@Lucario: You have to defeat Brawly sooner or later in RSE, the League won't let you pass without his badge. Same with Lt. Surge in Gen I and III, you can defeat him later on, but you HAVE to beat him. I might give this a try, seems challenging. :3
Was able to beat Ghetsis in Black in about 11 hours over the course of 2 days last February, without any saves, manipulations, and going by all of the rules, with a team that was at an average level of 41.

Everyone I talk to seems astonished by this for some reason.
Why is there a penalty for saving? Saving takes time, then it takes more time to redo the section you saved for. So you are adding 5 minutes for no reason on a game that is so very based on random chance? Ridiculous.

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