Of all the main category runs, Low% Hell is widely considered the most difficult, with only 40 runners having ever completed a run. Few runners submit a second completion, and even fewer have a competitive speed time. Kinnijup is one of those even fewer, having just improved his world record run from 5:12, to a blazingly fast 5:07.369!
This difficulty of the category is due to several bottlenecks in the run. The first of these is the black market (which is actually 2 challenges in 1). Since the run is low%, players are not allowed to use the Udjat Eye to find the hidden entrance, but instead must rely on perception of small leaves around a block to gain access to the secret shopping mall. Then (unless the player has collected $50,000), the player must survive a level full of 7 angry men wielding shotguns without discretion, only armed with an ineffective whip and heavy feet. From that point on, the player must deal with angry shopkeepers at the exit of every level (until they achieve deaggro, which isn’t always possible). The next major bottleneck is 4-1, where Anubis must be slain - with no more than 2 bombs on average to work with. It is worth noting that Anubis might spawn in a blocked off area, necessitating the use of those bombs just to gain access! Assuming the player survives the City of Gold (and saved a bomb to access the Book of the Dead), they must then fight both Olmec and Anubis II at the same time! After succeeding at this nontrivial feat, they are rewarded with 3 levels of deadly and difficult platforming (including a small chance for blocked-off layouts, ending all runs without a bomb), and then a fight against the Lord of the Underworld. This fight requires players to have either saved 2 ropes, or perform precise whips to avoid being stunned by falling skulls. After removing King Yama’s face and pinning it so that it is repeatedly stabbed (all while fending off the other enemies in the area), the player is free to exit and claim their treasure! Doesn’t sound too hard, right?
Despite starting off as a fairly typical run (45 seconds out of the mines), Kinni began playing conservatively in 2-2, using a bat to jump a 3-tile tiki trap instead of wasting a rope. Immediately spotting a Black Market at the entrance of 2-3, Kinni made short work of the shopkeepers. Even though a tiki trap made his escape much more difficult, he safely exited in less than 30 seconds. With deft movements and an iron grip, Kinni sped past the 3-1 exit guard, before quickly killing himself on 3-2 to obtain the hedjet, the second (or third, if you count the udjat eye) item in the hell progression. Due to the moai spawning on the earlier of the two possible levels, Kinnijup was able to achieve deaggro in the minimum amount of time possible! This greatly aided him through the rest of the run. After easily zooming past the rest of the ice caves, Kinni entered the temple on pace with the previous WR.
4-1, however, was an amazing level. With the aid of a landmine, Kinni dispatched Anubis, stole his scepter, and exited - in 13 seconds. This is a 13 second improvement over the previous world record’s 4-1! A simple 4-2 allowed him to gain even more time, entering the City of Gold with 2:34, nearly 30 seconds ahead! After some precise and platforming, Kinni entered Olmec’s Lair still under 3 minutes. Using his last bomb to damage Anubis II, Kinnijup risks a fast Olmec fight - where the player basically ignores Anubis II and hopes that the combined zoo of Olmec and Anubis II has mercy. This strategy is dangerous, and is usually guaranteed damage. Kinni, however, escapes unharmed, entering Hell with full health, 2 ropes, and an insane time - over 30 seconds ahead of the previous world record!. Hell, however, does not have mercy. He is treated to grueling level after grueling level, each one more difficult than the previous. Kinni used every tool in his arsenal to clear them as fast as possible, including an arguably intentional damage boost, and even nearly jumping on a blue devil!
Yama’s Throne was not kind either. Although the lesser enemies were minimally aggressive, Yama’s first attack was to spawn magma men (the worst start for speedruns), which prevented Kinni from grabbing his foe’s face initially. After he had repositioned Yama to be stabbed repeatedly in the face, Kinni found that the exit was on the opposite side of the throne. During his traverse of the throne itself, one missed jump added another 2-3 seconds to the collective toll of Hell. Kinni’s insane early pace, however, was easily enough to guarantee a world record by over 5 seconds, with a final time of 5:07.369. Congratulations Kinnijup, and I look forward to more runs!
SPLITS (compared against previous WR):
Mines: 0:45 (+12s)
Jungle: 0:54 (-6s), running total 1:39 (+6s)
Ice Caves: 0:36 (-7s), running total 2:15 (-1s)
Temple: 1:22 (-30s), running total 3:37 (-31s)
Hell: 1:30 (+25s)
Total: 5:07.369 (-5.054s)