Wind Waker Speedrunners Have Finally Solved A Major Roadblock

A team of Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker speedrunners has crafted a tool to solve the game's infamous Squid Hunt minigame.

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If you're familiar with speedrunning, you're probably aware of the outsized role that random number generation (RNG) can play in the hobby. In certain games, getting "good RNG" is so important to a competitive time that runners will abandon an attempt if the random number gods aren't smiling on them. However, some intrepid The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker players have crafted a tool to deal with the game's most irritating RNG roadblock, and the results are fascinating.

The obstacle in question is Wind Waker's Squid Hunt minigame (also known as Sploosh Kaboom), where players must randomly guess the location of three squids in a Battleship-esque grid. Since this section is entirely based on luck and comes 30 minutes into a world-record pace 100% run, it's served as a major reset point for runners for years now, especially since a 100% run requires multiple completions of the minigame. In a video posted in late May, speedrunners Linkus7 and Peter Schmidt-Nielsen explain how this new tool works.

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Essentially, the runners were able to reverse-engineer Wind Waker's RNG system, and they discovered that the game always uses the same mathematical function to generate numbers, as well as the same "seed." This means that the numbers are predictable, even though they increment hundreds of times per second, and the tool uses probability curves and run-specific timing to generate a grid that shows the likely positions of each squid, updated with each hit or miss.

This tool should make 100% runs much more consistent over the long-term, which will help make the category more competitive. The tool requires the runner to manually input each hit or miss, so competitive runners must learn to manipulate the grid with one hand, as shown in the video. Linkus7 currently holds the 100% record for Wind Waker HD, at 5 hours and 34 minutes.

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