18. Case studies

It is essential for any speedrunner to study existing runs and understand how every trick and skip was accomplished. As is the case with any human endeavour, no one person can attain great accomplishments without building upon what came before them. This is important to realise and runs counter to human’s tendency to prefer the narrative of a lone genius or a hero.

18.1. Half Hour Half-Life (2006) by Spider-Waffle

A one-man project, though with support from the community and giants’ shoulders to stand on, this is a landmark speedrun in Half-Life history. The tricks and routes demonstrated in this run may look dated to modern viewers, and the airstrafing was not as optimised as one would expect from today’s runs, but they are nonetheless executed nearly as well as they could be.

18.2. Half-Life 21 (2014) by quadrazid et al.

Half-Life 21, or HL21, is a heavily segmented and scripted Half-Life speedrun done in 20:41 minutes. It had such heavy use of scripts, that it may be considered closer to a TAS than a human speedrun. Nevertheless, much of the “human” parts of the run are breathtaking manifestations of gaming skill and extraordinary familiarity with the game. This is also a landmark in Half-Life speedrunning, as it introduced many new tricks and routes adopted by later runs. The release of this run had sent a shockwave across the Half-Life community, and would undoubtedly continue to exert great influence today.

One area of contention with regards to the legitimacy of this run is the use of Bunnymod Pro (not to be confused with Bunnymod XT, or hlspbunny). The primary purpose of using this mod is to remove the infamous and admittedly annoying bunnyhop cap (see Bunnyhop cap) present in the Steam version of Half-Life, along with automatic jumping by holding down +jump. However, HL21 also frequently ran the game at frame rates greater than 100 to make various tricks more feasible. This combination of higher frame rates and absence of bunnyhop cap cannot be found in any official vanilla Half-Life versions.

Today, the community is willing to look past the legitimacy issues and effectively grandfathered the run in light of the new rules. This speaks volume to the entertainment provided by the run, of which its supposed illegitimacy cannot detract from. In addition, many of the tricks and routes in Half-Life 21 remain feasible even when executed in a legitimate Half-Life version. Namely, when running the Steam version, by replacing jumping with ducktapping (see Ducktapping) when the bunnyhop cap comes into play.

The run begins at the


18.3. Half-Life: Done Enormously Warped (2018) by shar et al.