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      Game Culture

      From Space Invaders to Touhou: The Evolution of the SHMUP Genre

      From Space Invaders to Touhou: The Evolution of the SHMUP Genre
      Ever wondered how your favorite SHMUP game came to be? Look back at its past and see how far it's come. From its humble beginnings as a space shooter, to the dizzying heights of bullet hells, run-and-guns, and top-down games, SHMUPs have come far, and look to be staying strong.


      Interview with Speedrunner star: sinc0s

      Interview with Speedrunner star: sinc0s

      Mega Cat Studios had the chance to interview the title holder of being the fastest person to finish in Geometry Dash, Beat the Level with a total running time of 6:59.850, in the speedrunning community, sinc0s

      He shared his insights and issues with the community as well as some motivations for those who are aiming to enter this community! Here’s how our interview went!

      Geometry Dash on Steam

      How did you discover speedrunning?

      I came across speedrunning, and hard gaming accomplishments as a whole, when I was around 9 years old. I had owned a demo of a game called Marble Blast Ultra, a tough platformer which often focused upon beating levels as fast as possible. Later on, I’d also be interested in the hard speedrunning levels within Super Mario Maker, and eventually, I was interested in all the world records for most of the games I played.

      What made it interesting for you to check it out?

      Combined with being extremely bored at home, I spent a ton of time improving my skills and records on numerous levels within Marble Blast Ultra. At the time, I never even had any access to things like leaderboards and communities surrounding the game. I never knew if my records were actually good or not. My passion for improving at the game came purely from the self-gratification I received when improving myself. In a way, my interest in speedrunning formed purely on it’s own.

      What were the biggest issues you encountered in the community?

      For Geometry Dash specifically, it is common to encounter numerous people trying to put you down and treat your accomplishment as trash. The community has grown substantially, bringing in a lot of good people, but also negative ones who downplay accomplishments they don’t even understand. 

      What would be the best memory or moment you’ve experienced? 

      There’s been numerous moments in the past which I would consider the best for their time. Getting new records in Marble Blast Ultra always filled me with joy. Beating the hardest levels in Super Mario Maker, such as U-Break, was also exceptional. But if I had to choose one which I remember the most fondly, it would be my world record for The Tower any%. After zoning out for a long while when speedrunning it, the realization of how truly good the run was hit me like a truck. It not only reached my goal for the category, but went completely beyond it, and that’s a very rare feeling.

      Should other people also try to check out speedrunning? Why so?

      Anyone who has a game they enjoy, and simultaneously feel the need to improve their skills at it, should absolutely look into speedrunning. It’s a passion beyond gaming itself; it turns into a long journey of self-improvement and self-gratification.

      What makes the speedrunning communities special?

      There is almost no other place where you will find people truly testing the limits of what is possible within their respective games, and it goes beyond that as well. The process of being as fast as possible brings in opportunities like programming, glitch-hunting, routing, optimizing, and more, all coming together to work on the simple objective of beating the game as fast as possible.

      Who do you think would enjoy speedrunning as well?

      Those who are willing to spend as much time as needed to improve their skills, and are ready for the setbacks and difficulty that comes from it, will find speedrunning extremely enjoyable.

      How would you describe your experience and stay in the community?

      Before the new update, I had grown my presence in the community through attempting some of the hardest levels within the game, even if I wasn’t able to beat them. My efforts to attempt these levels pushed the limits of what I could do far more than any game previously. I knew for a long time that platformer mode would bring in a wave of speedrunning potential, so when it finally released, I quickly began testing the limits of it as well.

      Working together with others to find new strategies and ultimately learn enough to get the world record in all categories was extremely satisfying. This entire time, I have met many people who I have shared my accomplishments and setbacks with. I have had many negative experiences, but also met some of the best friends I’ve ever had. Regardless of failed achievements and hard times, it has been worth it.

      What made you stay long in this community?

      The game has almost no limit when it comes to skill, and what can be accomplished. Even if the records for The Tower are optimized to perfection, there are still hundreds of thousands of other levels waiting to be explored and speedrun. The community will never run out of things to attempt and improve upon, and they are not going to stop pushing the limits of the game anytime soon.

      What is your message to those who admire and watch you?

      There are a lot of ways you can contribute to a community even if you don’t think you can. For any game or hobby that you enjoy, the limit of what you can do is infinite. Your satisfaction does not have to rely on anyone else. In any hard task you attempt, think about how much you have improved, and how much farther you can go. No matter how you compare to others in your community, the progress you have made on yourself is worth it.

      Check out sinc0s on and follow them on Twitter and YouTube to get more updates on their Speedruns!


      Want to see more of things like this? Or maybe you like cats or the Game Boy or the NES? If you do, let's have a catjam together! Join Mega Cat Studios on Discord for more fun and excitement!