The speedrunning community is a varied bunch. Some do this full time, others spend whatever hours not at work chasing the thrill of beating a world record. They’re all mostly binding by the same desire; to be the very best at a gaming accomplishment for as long as possible. Baten Kaitos and Tales of Symphonia speedrunner Baffan might hold onto his BK world record for a long time. Not because it’s impossible to improve upon his time, but because the current 100% speedrun world record of Baten Kaitos took over 345 hours of gameplay to accomplish.
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As we have detailed before on this site, the reason why the 100% Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean speedrun takes so long comes in a number of factors. The main obstacle to overcome is that you need to acquire every last Magnus card available in the game. The problem is that some of them are acquired at specific times in the game, while others require items to sit for dozens of hours at a time. The Splendid Hair magnus is the worst of them all, requiring 336 hours of waiting to transform from a Shampoo. Players must also take pictures and acquire photos of all bosses and characters, including some that require luck in just one possible boss battle.
Fortunately, Baffan persevered through all the challenges Baten Kaitos had to offer and came out with a world record of 345:03:12. This is an improvement by more than 2 hours and 49 minutes over his previous record, and there’s some light Gallow’s humor in the breaking of this record. Baffan discovered that he lost 100 minutes of optimization by using an option that hides specific items, meaning that a sub-342 hours Baten Kaitos run is possible. Whether or not it will be attempted again remains to be seen, as playing 6-10 hours a day of the same game for more than two weeks, where one simple mistake results in a reset, is a daunting task.
A list of the VODs for the run of Baten Kaitos 100% can be found here.