The record for the Agent difficulty Dam level in GoldenEye has stood at 53 seconds for 15 years. Bryan Bosshardt set the time on September 27, 2002, and although numerous players have matched it, none were able to surpass it until this past weekend.
An Australian speedrunner, Karl Jobst recorded a 52-second run of GoldenEye’s Dam level on Agent difficulty. The Dam on Agent is one of the easiest levels in video game history. You just have to run through the level and jump off the side of the dam. It’s meant to be a sort of tutorial for the rest of the game, and the stakes aren’t very high. This means it comes down to milliseconds when to comes to making the world record.
There are a few tricks you can see in Jobst’s video that can help give you a little burst of speed. For one, strafing while moving forward is faster in GoldenEye than walking forward alone, which is the reason you see Jobst running at a slant the whole video.
Also, because GoldenEye is an older game, it can make the N64 chug a little bit when it’s rendering objects. The best way to shave off this lag is to look at either the sky of the ground. This can shave valuable time off of a run because the game doesn’t have to load many of the assets.
A more unpredictable way to get a speed boost is by having a guard shoot you in the back. In his world record run, Jobst was able to get three speed boosts with this method. However, getting this lucky is rare. Guards have absolutely horrible aim in Agent difficulty, and Jobst said he’s only had a three boost run three times in the 250 hours he’s spent speedrun GoldenEye’s Dam on Agent difficulty.
Before Jobst’s run, 128 people tied for the 53-second world record. With the old-time holding for so long, many people thought it may not be possible to get a sub-53 second run. Jobst’s new record is quite the achievement, and it might be years before we see it broken, if ever.