Pillars of Eternity II is a sprawling pirate RPG that, depending on how many side quests you choose to do, can last well over 50 hours. This guy found a way to beat it in 26 minutes, using a clever mix of sequence breaks and exploits to slice through it like butter.
(Warning: this video contains a whole mess of spoilers.)
Now, to be clear, what speedrunner Onin has pulled off is not a 100 percent pure run of the game. To begin, Onin used a series of “Blessings,” which are boosts you can unlock by completing objectives in previous playthroughs of the game, to up his starting level, stats, and gear. “Blessings are mainly used because they make the run less tedious,” he explained in the video’s description. “They mainly cut down on time spent duping gold. It’d take several minutes longer to obtain 105,000 gold without the Blessings.”
You might have noticed that he also brutally slaughtered the character Eder, a charming friend to the animals (and the player’s party), right off the bat. This tragedy has a purpose: Eder turns the game’s first dungeon into kind of a pain. “Killing Eder at the start is required to stop him from joining the group,” said Onin. “If he does join, the Digsite becomes a lot more tricky to get through.” This is because Onin’s character, a rogue, could quickly stealth away from encounters—saving tremendous amounts of time—but Eder, a fighter, could not. And since Onin didn’t have a boat to store Eder on yet, well, he had to die. A cruel business, speedrunning.
Onin then relied on the rogue class’ escape abilities to dance around most combat encounters and skip past nearly every mid-game quest line en route to selling a ton of stuff, getting a bunch of gold, and buying a fully upgraded ship, which is required to reach the game’s final area.
Then he beelined to Ashen Maw — a late main story area — and skipped a bunch of cut-scenes so that he could land at the story’s final area, which is arbitrarily locked until you’ve completed Ashen Maw despite the game world’s openness.
“This run wasted a couple seconds on a few mis-clicks, pauses, and the stupid mayor refusing to talk to me, but it was pretty smooth,” Onin said of his handiwork.