×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Game Stunts That Took Years To Perfect

Why walk to a tower when you can launch yourself half a mile through the air and land on top of it? Whether the result of speedrunners finding new ways to shave a few seconds off their runs, streamers showing off, or players pushing their favorite titles to the absolute limit, stunts are a major part of the gaming scene. There are entire teams dedicated to coming up with crazy tricks and then pulling them off, just because they can.

Some are quick, flashy displays of speed and timing, while others take hours to set up and execute. Either way, the most impressive stunts require major time investments to figure out and even longer to refine. That would discourage some people, but if there's one thing gamers are good at, it's pouring endless hours into mastering minute aspects of their beloved games.

Here are some stunts that took players years to discover, polish, and perfect.

Halo: Reach - Tower Jump

In the Exodus level of Halo: Reach, there's a tower. There's nothing in or on the tower: no items, no enemies, no reason to go there at all. It's just an out-of-bounds background piece that, short of flying, you can't reach.

Back in 2011, YouTuber Duelies did just that, posting a video in which they used a jetpack to fly out of bounds and up to the top of the tower. That was impressive enough, but once players knew this area was reachable, it gave rise to a new "launch" challenge. Could someone catch enough air to reach the top and survive without using a jetpack? Aaron Sekela of the stunting team Termacious Trickocity decided he'd be the one to accomplish it.

In 2019, a whopping eight years later, Sekela finally pulled it off. Though it requires a ludicrously complicated and precise setup that takes about eight hours (assuming nothing goes wrong), Sekela managed to launch himself through the air, bounce off a Warthog, and, at long last, land safely on top of the tower.

Mega Man X - Iceless Jump

X leaps off a wall, grabs a ledge, and jumps up to get an item. Big whoop, right? Well, this particular jump in Mega Man X took twenty years to refine. In the Boomer Kuwanger stage, there's a heart tank that sits, tauntingly, just out of reach. You're supposed to beat the boss, go through almost the entire level again, and use his special boomerang weapon to grab it.

Speedrunners said, "okay, Boomer Kuwanger," and started using a charged shot from another boss's weapon — Shotgun Ice — to cheat the jump and get the item. For a long time that was how the 100% run was done. It wasn't until 2013 that the so-called "Iceless Jump" was perfected. CalebHart42 posted a speedrun to YouTube involving the new stunt, along with a separate video explaining how he did it.

Though the Iceless Jump shaves about 10 seconds off a speedrun, the amount of precision required to pull it off is certain to leave your fingers aching. 

Grand Theft Auto 5 - Wall ride to chimney

You know that part of The Simpsons Movie when Homer rides a motorcycle up the inside of the dome? It's obviously impossible, but this stunter never got the memo.

EvolveStunting's eleventh "teamtage" (team montage) shows one of the members pulling off a stunt to rival the yellow man himself. They manage to drive a car up the side of a fence, along some hedges and another fence, before finally ramping off and landing on the roof of a nearby house. They're not done yet, though, as they use this momentum and the slope of the roof to jump and land perfectly on the house's chimney. Let's hope they've got good homeowner's insurance.

The stunt required careful setup, a lot of speed, and a ton of practice to pull off. Over a year, in fact, according to EvolveStunting's video. Many of the other tricks in the teamtage are equally impressive, so watch the whole thing if you've got the time.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Bomb Impact Jump

Bomb jumping has come a long way since Super Metroid.

Gamers have known since the 2017 release that the physics in Breath of the Wild are a bit odd. You can clip through walls, ride trees and boulders through the air, and (for some reason) soar through the sky by bouncing off an enemy's head. In short, it's a perfect playground for speedrunners.

It wasn't until 2019 that satougashi020 posted a Tweet showing off a stunt they'd perfected: a way to use two bombs to launch Link over incredible distances. Unlike many other tricks, this one doesn't need much help from the environment. 

Entire speedruns planned around being in the right spot to use glitches could be rerouted and optimized. Previously unreachable areas could now be explored. The possibilities seemed almost endless. The current any% world record speedrun by Wolhaiksong uses Satougashi's trick to great effect, skipping through shrines and launching around the overworld for quick travel.

Fortnite - Magnet Flight

There are plenty of wacky ways to get around the Fortnite map: shopping carts, impossible bridges that you build as you run, even riding other players' rockets. Then there's LazarBeam's method.

In 2020, LazarBeam showed off a new trick he's developed to ride a magnet outside of the area where that's supposed to be possible. By then jumping off the top of a hill, he's able to keep going high up into the sky to rain gunfire down on his opponents.

It sounds like a useful trick, but it's actually pretty limited. Once LazarBeam is off the ground, he's only able to move in a straight line across the map, so if the storm covers that area he's doomed. Also, he claims there's only a 50% chance the stunt will even work, and sometimes he just gets teleported back to where he stole the magnet from.

Still, there's no denying that it makes for a fun video.

Just Cause 4 - The Longest Grind

Just Cause 4 came out in 2018, and it's a game that's built for stunts. Between Rico's physics-defying grapple gun and his endless supply of parachutes, it's the perfect setup for insane, high-flying shenanigans that put anything Tom Cruise ever did to shame. In 2019, EV_Cartman ignored all that and just drove an ATV down a long cable.

Here's the thing: doing what a game is designed to do isn't really an impressive stunt, no matter how awesome it looks. Cartman's grind might not be as flashy as some other stunts, but it's an impressive display of skill and reflexes. Hitting a cable just right to ride it down is harder than it seems, and keeping your balance on it for 12 seconds takes some seriously fine adjustments. This isn't Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, and there's nothing holding the vehicle on the rail. This grind is pure skill.

In fact, EV_Cartman's trick was impressive enough it won the first round of the January 2019 Just Cause 4: Stunt Squad competition.

Super Mario: Odyssey - Snow Dram

In Super Mario: Odyssey's Snow Kingdom, there's a Moon on a high platform you're supposed to reach by warping through a painting from another kingdom. The platform is visible, but apparently not reachable, from where you enter the kingdom. So, obviously, players immediately started trying to get there.

The first couple years after Super Mario: Odyssey came out were an exciting time. Speedrunners had a standing challenge to beat the game in under an hour, and during that time countless tricks were discovered to shave off seconds. The Snow Dram was one of them.

The Snow Dram is an extremely technical and precise stunt. It involves jumping from the top of the Odyssey and performing a series of hat throws and dives to hit a very specific spot on the cliff that Mario can just barely reach. It doesn't need to be frame-perfect, but pretty close to it.

Borderlands 2 - Rocket Jump

Rocket jumping is an FPS tradition dating back to the very first Quake. However, JoltzDude139 takes it to new heights (pun absolutely intended).

In Borderlands 2, Salvador's Action skill lets him use any two guns at once. You can probably already see where this is going, but there's more to the trick than you might expect. Sal can also throw two grenades at the same time, so JoltzDude throws them up into the air with just the right timing to propel himself even higher. The full stunt ends up as a sort of a hybrid between the classic rocket jump and the Metroid bomb jump.

JoltzDude139 posted his first rocket jumping montage in 2013, before uploading his fifth and final montage a year later. While the first montage showed off the possibilities of the double rocket jump, by the fifth he'd figured out how to get the most height possible. He highlights his perfected rocket jump right at the beginning of his montage, launching himself straight to the top of a high tower.

Paper Mario - Dry Dry Ruins Jump

This one's firmly in the "just for fun" category. Although, "fun" may not be the right word for it.

Back in 2016, YouTuber mov Mario, Paper proved you could enter Dry Dry Ruins without a key item. The loading zone for the Ruins is always there, but it's up in the air where you normally can't reach it. By sequence-breaking the game to get the Ultra Boots item early, mov was able to jump high enough to get in.

Stryder7x, YouTube's leading Paper Mariologist, started trying to figure out if you could get there without the Ultra Boots. He knew of a Super Jump glitch that would work, but it required you to clip Mario through the floor using terrain, then store that momentum for a jump. The problem? There's no terrain on the Ruins screen.

Three years later, he finally figured it out. Using another glitch called NPC clipping (and spending over an hour pushing a Toad into position to do it), Stryder was able to force Mario through the floor, store up the momentum, and use the Super Jump to reach the loading zone of Dry Dry Ruins.

Rock Band - One Man Band

Rock Band allows you and up to three of your friends to play some of your favorite songs, with each of you typically taking a different instrument. Unless, of course, you're DarthGollumKong and just play all of them yourself.

In 2008, a year after Rock Band's release, DarthGollumKong posted a video of himself playing all four parts of "Blitzkrieg Bop" at once. He had the guitar and bass strapped together so he could play both at the same time, and drum sticks tied to his feet. Everything except vocals was on Easy, but it was still an impressive feat.

That could have been the end of it, but a year later DarthGollumKong came back for one more show, and it was clear he'd been practicing. This time he played "Roxanne" with guitar and bass on Expert, drums on Medium, and vocals on Hard. Unfortunately DarthGollumKong never posted another Rock Band video, and his last upload was seven years ago. So, let's remember him as he was: a man with drumsticks tied to his feet, playing two guitars at once, singing "Roxanne."

Halo: Reach - Master Chief Statue

In 2010, Halo: Reach players found a Master Chief statue sitting out of bounds in the final mission, "Lone Wolf." It was nothing spectacular, just a little Easter egg. Of course, some fans started wondering if it was possible to reach it. Aaron Sekela took on the challenge, and if you thought his tower stunt was impressive ... well, you're absolutely right, but this was even harder.

Part of the problem was the level. Your character is supposed to die. You get one life and no checkpoints, so your playing must be perfect. The other issue was the sheer distance. The statue is way out of bounds with absolutely nothing around it. For a long time the stunt was considered impossible, but Sekela and Termacious Trickocity kept chipping away at it.

In 2020, a full decade later, Sekela finally pulled it off. Termacious Trickocity posted a 9-minute highlight reel of the setup and the final, amazing landing on the elusive statue.