RiskyCB the Masterpiece Speedrunner - Iconoclasts and Hollow Knight

Alex McCumbers,

June 25, 2018 2:15 PM

We interviewed the phenomenal speedrunner RiskyCB, who sits at the top of many masterpiece Metroidvania games.

Summer Games Done Quick opened strong with tons of amazing runs, a super close Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse race, and even a personal best on Ninja Gaiden Black. One of the first runs at the event was Iconoclasts by RiskyCB, a runner who sits at the top of various categories in Iconoclasts, Hollow Knight, and Valdis Story: Abyssal City. We were able to chat with RiskyCB, a master of the Metroidvania, about his history with speedrunning.

Note: RiskyCB's speedruns are listed on Speedrun.com and do not reflect as official Twin Galaxies records. 

While Risky mostly runs Metroidvania style games, he became interested in speedrunning after seeing runs of Legend of Zelda games.

“Cosmowright got me interested in speedrunning with Ocarina of Time/Wind Waker speedruns. The games I played at the time didn't lend themselves to it so I just watched. I bought Valdis Story about two years ago and LOVED it so I decided to speedrun it. After destroying that game and taking Any% - my run got accepted to AGDQ 2017!”

“That was a great time and the run went well. Hollow Knight was released about a month later and looked right up my alley. Hollow Knight ended up being GOTY quality, so I knew it would be my next speedgame. It solidified what I enjoy most in speedruns - finding, breaking down, and refining glitches to destroy the Any% category.”

Hollow Knight is about overcoming great odds and trying to feel significant.
Hollow Knight is about overcoming great odds and trying to feel significant.

Being at the top though, slowly drained the fun out of running Hollow Knight for Risky, leading to new horizons.

“I briefly forayed into a less glitched category of Any% and after taking 1st place, it meant little. I had conquered Hollow Knight already, beaten it faster than anybody, I needed a new game entirely,”

“I saw Iconoclasts and knew it would be something I like. I played through casually and was kind of iffy on it - not a lot of speedtech, a good amount of boss RNG (random elements), and the speedrun at the time was over 2 hours.”

Iconoclasts is a passion project that was in development for eight years and was created solely by Joakim "Konjak" Sandberg, but was published by Bifrost Entertainment. That passion translated into quality in a lot of aspects and without that, Risky likely wouldn’t have started running it seriously.

“I stuck with it because the game was so high quality and I loved the characters and music. Konjak made a masterpiece. Soon after the first iteration of "airswim" was found, an extremely potent glitch, and I got pumped.

This air swim glitch lets the player swim through the air and easily get out of bounds. When this exploit was discovered, the Any% time started to drop rapidly. Iconoclasts became like a puzzle box, slowly being worked away to reveal the inner workings.

“The run went from 2 hours, to 1:45, 1:30, to 40 minutes within a matter of a week as we cut out one section at a time with airswims. This is my wheelhouse. I love sitting down and working through glitches, theorycrafting the destruction of a game I love.”

These days a lot of speedrunning is done live, mostly for convenience as one can just grab the video highlight and easily upload or download for submission, but also for that sense of community and excitement. This transformed speedrunning into a truly entertaining approach for a lot of runners. We asked Risky about his experience with streaming and the standout moments.

“Streaming is a good time. It lets other people in on the fun of the run, and makes it a lot more enjoyable to play. I'm as small time as they come, so getting any sort of donation or funding to go to an event feels crazy. Winning a twitter poll to get funded to go to Genesis 5, travel funds for SGDQ, my internet bill. It never feels real.”

Valdis Story was the first game RiskyCB was able to run at a marathon event.
Valdis Story was the first game RiskyCB was able to run at a marathon event.

Risky noted that his first run at a Games Done Quick event holds a lot of value as a memory.

“Running Valdis Story at AGDQ has been the most standout moment for me. The entire event was great and the run was a blast itself.”

When streaming speedruns, things don’t always go as planned and knowing how to deal with failure is a stepping stone to success. Risky shared with us some tips about running and being a streamer.

“Have fun with whatever game you're playing. Once it stops being fun it reflects in your gameplay, your stream, and your life overall. If you're a speedrunner don't be afraid to take breaks and enjoy another game.”

Aside from a few mishaps with the air swimming glitch, RiskyCB had a solid run at Summer Games Done Quick. A whole list of when those runs take place can be found on this Reddit post for quick viewing before they are archived. To find the schedule, the stream, and some runs to look out for, check out our SGDQ 2018 guide

Find RiskyCB streaming Metroidvania, the occasional meme, and some Path of Exile on Twitch.


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