Summoning Salt is a youtuber with an incredible series that summarizes the progression of retro gaming speedrun records in captivating ways. It’s like watching a really high-quality miniature documentary about some of your favorite games.
My favorite one so far has been on the progression of Super Metroid, which is embedded above. An action platformer that along with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night helped create the Metroidvania genre we all know and love today.
I’ve seen summaries and write-ups of records before, but Summoning Salt is able to beautifully edit the clips of the runs together while providing an intelligent and confident commentary. By the end of the video you really feel like you’ve learned an important piece of retro gaming history.
Throughout the video, you’ll see where minor technique discoveries led to saving a few frames, but also when major advances in the run were made by runners like Behemoth and Zoast.
Probably my favorite bit in the entire video though is the story of Hotarubi’s WR.
Hotarubi destroyed the record with so much spare time that he even took a hit to his time to go out of his way and save the animals. Amazing.
Easily one of the most exciting runs in speedrunning history and I definitely recommend watching Summoning Salt’s video for that alone.
Summoning Salt has other videos that are just as good.
Here’s a quick summary of a couple other of my favorites:
Super Mario Bros.
Easily one of the most popular runs of all time, which is currently dominated by Darbian.
I had to sit and watch this because I recently learned the route and ran it on stream for the first time. It’s really fun and I definitely recommend viewing Darbian’s channel to get a feel for the game and trying it for yourself.
Especially 8-3, which has 8 hammer brothers that seem determined to ruin every run I set out to complete.
Mario Kart 64
It’s safe to say that this is the most entertaining and accessible speed run progression that Summoning Salt has made yet.
Anyone can sit down and watch Mario Kart 64 and understand how the game progresses, even without having played it. It’s a racing game and about as straightforward as it gets.
That’s why it’s so much fun to see how broken the game can get by a skilled runner.
Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!
I can’t beat this game myself, let alone run the game reliably.
Hell, I can’t even make it to Tyson reliably!
This entire video is about the final fight alone. Which seems like it might be kind of repetitive, but with Summoning Salt’s masterful editing and narration he’s able to keep even the most easily-distracted of us listening.
I’m a pretty big Sinster1 fan as well which is probably another reason I had so much fun keeping up with these.
After bingeing a bunch of his videos I can safely say I’m subscribed to Summoning Salt and will watch every video he produces. Be sure to take a peek and let me know in the comments if you have any favorites or world record progressions you’d like to see!