Styx speedrunner uses literal in-game flowcharts to clear levels


Speedrunning involves a lot of trying to understand the precise logic of a game. Finding out where it checks, how it orders operations, finding loopholes in the code. The best speedrunners may as well have a flowchart to complete a given milestone, but this chart is rarely as literal as in Styx: Shards of Darkness.

The annual Summer Games Done Quick speedrun festival is currently underway and developer Heat Signature Tom Francois spotted a really weird jump in runner Tohelot’s Styx race last night (thanks, RPS). It turns out that the game logic for the levels is built into its own geometry. Find out how to reach it and you can stomp your filthy goblin footprints all over the place.

“The database has all the level goal information and we just go over the buttons and hit ‘yes we did the trick’ and go to the next level,” explains Tohelot.

These graphics are probably a quick, dirty way to help test a level’s logic during development, but they do effectively allow the runner to tell the game that they have achieved a map’s goals without doing them. Since the game often reuses cards, the same graphic is often repeated across levels, allowing you to reuse jumping through a race.

Accessing these graphics still takes a bit of work, wit, and Tohelot’s co-commentator notes that it’s often faster to just speed up a mission as usual. You can see its full run on Twitch, with Summer Games Done Quick 2021 still live until Sunday, July 11.