The speedrunners always looking for new ways to complete games faster. Some of these methods are simple, while others involve actions that casual players would never dream of doing. Recently, the Metal Gear Solid speedrunning community was turned upside down when a streamer accidentally stumbled on a new time-saving exploit.
1998’s Metal Gear Solid is a stealth-action game released on the original PlayStation. The player controls secret agent Solid Snake as he breaks into a nuclear weapons testing facility to take down a terrorist group called FOXHOUND. The game was popular when it came out, selling over 12 million copies worldwide and turning the mostly unknown Metal Gear franchise into a gaming powerhouse.
The glitch was discovered by a Twitch streamer called Boba, who was doing a casual playthrough when she found the skip. During one sequence, Snake is chased by several guards who attempt to shoot him. While running from the guards, Boba tried to get through a door, only to find it was locked. In a panic, she turned to face the guards and started to shoot at them.
However, the guards opened fire on Solid Snake, knocking him backward and causing the screen to go black for a moment before Snake appeared on the other side of the door. Much to Boba’s confusion, she had ended up on the other side of the door, likely because the guard’s bullets were able to clip Solid Snake through the door in such a way that the game believed she had entered the next area.
This clip quickly went viral, and speedrunners booted up the game to try and recreate the error and incorporate it into their runs. Many speedrunners have proved that the glitch is repeatable, and several runners estimate that the trick can save up to two and a half minutes, an age in the speedrunning world.
The Boba Skip, as the community has christened it, is a fascinating look at how games can act in ways the devs never intended. It is also a brilliant example of how the speedrunning community uses bugs and glitches to break games wide open so that they can scrape seconds off their best times.