Mastering Ori and the Blind Forest Speedrunning with Legendary Record Holder Ikewolf

Ori and the Blind Forest captivates players with its tear-jerking tale of a forest spirit on a quest to undo the devastation of his home by retrieving the lost elements of winds, waters and warmth. Along the way, Ori unlocks mystical skills that allow him to dash, stomp and grapple through treacherous terrain.

This gorgeous 2D platformer enthralls speedrunners who have tirelessly honed precise sequence-breaking techniques for years to overcome Ori‘s challenges faster than developers ever intended. Let‘s analyze the records, top runners, categories and approach to mastering blindingly quick journeys through the forest.

The Draw of Ori Speedrunning

While emotive stories traditionally immerse players in Ori‘s world, the game has developed a passionate speedrunning community chasing after increasingly faster completion times. Top runners have now catalogued thousands of hours across countless playthroughs optimizing their routes.

The appeal stems from how wonderfully Ori‘s flowing, nimble moveset and vast map full of sequence-breaking potential synergizes with speedrunner playstyles. Dash-jumping off a precarious outcropping into a stomp cancelling into a mid-air burst feels incredibly satisfying and shaves precious seconds off at the expert level.

Ori also strikes an accessible balance – simple enough for a casual player to mildly optimize their own run after a few tries while still allowing for creative techniques that the best speedrunners in the world can push to unfathomable new limits. This blend of friendly appeal and immense skill ceiling is integral to great speed games.

Categories: Vying For Different Records

Speedrun categories dictate different objectives that change routing and times:

Any% – Beat the game‘s final boss by any means
All Skills, No OOB – Obtain all movement abilities without going out of bounds
All Cells – Collect all ability cell powerups in the game
100% – Fully complete the game map and all side objectives

The most popular category, Any%, uses major sequence breaks and exploits to dash to the end in under 30 minutes. 100% seeks to be most comprehensive in 20+ hours by clearing everything. Options in between offer runners choices in optimizing for speed or completion.

Ori 100% Map Route

Amapped route for an Ori 100% speedrun completion

These categories fundamentally change how runners navigate Ori‘s world. Any% utilizes risky jumps and teleporters to rush the final boss while 100% carefully combs areas to locate hidden passages and collectibles. This diversity keeps pushing runners to innovate new strategies.

Ikewolf: The Forest‘s Speedrunning King

One name dominates the top of Ori leaderboards – the legendary Ikewolf. He not only claims world record times in all categories, but sits years ahead of any competitors in most cases. Let‘s analyze the secrets behind his astounding performances.

Record Breaking Runs Across All Categories

Here is a breakdown of Ikewolf‘s untouchable speedrun WRs across categories compared to 2nd place times:

CategoryIkewolfNext CompetitorDifference
Any%22m 34s43m 05s20m+ ahead
All Skills, No OOB31m 33s39m 53s8m+ ahead
All Cells47m 44s47m 50s6s ahead
100%1h 08m 47s1h 25m 02s17m+ ahead

This sheer domination across all categories stems from his irreplicable abilities:

  • Frame-perfect precision across lengthy routes
  • Innate ability to identify optimal paths
  • Cool consistency through endless grinding

He also demonstrates intimate familiarity with Ori‘s terrain to leverage quirks beneficial for speed:

- Wall clipping hitboxes  
- Enemy manipulation
- Animation cancelling tricks

All of this combines to enable Ikewolf‘s untouchable times for over 5+ years now across all categories – an incredible feat in the speedrunning scene. Is this simply an unsurpassable level of greatness or does an opportunity exist for a rising star to some day dethrone him?

"I don‘t know if I just have big shoes to fill or if I‘m making shoes that no one else can wear." - Ikewolf on Ori speedrunning

Grueling Grinding on Display

When observing Ikewolf grinding out attempts on stream, his systematic precision becomes clearer. He reset 500+ times in one session, restarting 30 seconds in if a single jump falls 1 pixel too short. Such persistence compounds muscle memory and intimate knowledge of upcoming hazards.

This allows him to eclipse competitors struggling with consistency across lengthy routes. One misstep from fatigue or lapse in concentration can cost half a minute. Ikewolf is a paragon of consistency under pressure after endless practice.

Ikewolf grinding attempts

Ikewolf grinding out attempts on an Ori All Skills, No OOB run

Survey of Current Competitors

While Ikewolf appears immortalized at the peak of Ori boards, emerging runners continue pushing themselves to maximize efficiency and threaten his records:

All Skills, No OOB – DrHouse, dDev inch close to 32 minute mark, trailing by only 2 minutes now. As more adopt Ike‘s optimized paths, they gain ground.

Any% – With the zips glitch removed, new blood has a chance with the route blown open again, changing the skills needed to excel.

100% – Extreme marathon category leaves most untapped time savings for new analytical approaches.

Runners studying Ikewolf‘s routes and grinding out segmented practice could likely reach top 5 or better as newer names continue emerging. This represents a chance for upstarts to leave their mark by analyzing his videos.

Ori leaderboards over time

Chart tracking top Ori runners across categories over recent years

Mastering Speedrunning Techniques

Ori‘s flowing kinetic potential cradled in a tranquil forest background creates a deceiving impression of graceful peace. In reality, expert speedrun play demands relentless precision and reflex across frame-tight tricks:

Bash – Ori zips through the air quickly enough that missing the mark by a pixel results in instant death. Chaining multiple together requires proactive angling.

Charge Flame – Bursting into flames mid-dash then cancelling with an upward Bash skip entire platforming sections.

Grenade Jump – Activating the explosive Grenade ability to launch higher also detonates Ori, so momentum and positioning is key.

Gravity Manipulation – Ori lightly floats on projectiles in water. Expert manipulation of this physics glitch lets runners sail over vast oceans.

Ori using Bash

Pixel-perfect anglingrequired for chained Bash jumps

This level of expertise opens up sequences and entire routes most players can hardly even spot, let alone successfully pull off at blazing speeds. The forest transforms into a playground for physics exploitation.

Getting Started With Ori Speedrunning

While reaching world record pace requires endless dedication, getting started speedrunning Ori is welcoming for newcomers compared to cryptic tool-assisted games:

Play The Game Normally First – Appreciate Ori‘s charm and story first before sequence breaking it! Review speedruns later to discover new areas and possibilities.

Download LiveSplit – Simple free software to track segment times. Set up splits marking key areas or track full run.

Race Against Friends – Turn Ori into a friendly competition! Compare times and trade tips with peers rather than stressing over world class times.

Watch Tutorials – Numerous channels detail how to pull off tricks like bash jumps for new runners. Studying top runs shows routing.

Join Speedrunning Discord – Ori communities share guides, strategies and milestone celebrations to encourage newcomers.

The vibrant, elegant Ori brilliantly rewards both casual gamers and fiercely competitive speedrunners meaning anyone can find satisfaction in optimizer playstyles from their own skill level.

The Spectacle of Watching Mastery

For viewers, watching top-tier Ori speedrun attempts delivers a spectacle akin to breathtaking parkour or dance. The rapid improvisational reflexes responding to each environmental detail flashes by almost faster than the eye can track.

Seeing the grace and fluidity by which masterful runners like Ikewolf dash through the vibrant forest is mesmerizing. One slight mistimed jump or overextended glide spelling instant death means tension runs high. This elicits emotional reactions from crowds during events and stream highlights.

The evolution of new tricks and routes over the years becomes akin to a competitive sport as new stars rise up training specifically to defeat the reigning champion on the boards. Their creative approach to solving difficult platforming sections by mastering Ori‘s mobility creates a marvel of emergent gameplay.

While matching the untouchable Legend Ikewolf may seem impossible, we look forward to the day a new savant of the forest rises up. For now, we cheer on athletes grinding out every possible frame savings through brute determination alone on their journey from minutes behind to perhaps some day minutes ahead of the king.

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