UPDATE 27/01/2015 11.17pm: Yet another Dark Souls speedrun record has been set, only this time it's in a different category.
Dubbed "Kiln Skip," these sorts of runs allow players to use a glitch that lets them skip almost the entire second half of the game by quitting and reloading in just such a way that it spawns you in the game's final section. This exploit has since been fixed in an update, but you can still pull it off by playing a default version of the game.
Speedrunner NaxHPL was one such person to do so and he just set a new record by completing Dark Souls in 25 minutes and seven seconds. According to Speed Souls, the previous record was only four seconds slower.
Much like Kahmul78 below, NaxHPL is fiercely critical of his record-setting run. "Really bad run though. I can still save about 30-40 seconds then another 20 seconds if I can get the old patch to work," he said in his YouTube notes.
Hilariously, he didn't even know he'd set the record until the New Game Plus file screen indicated that he did. His reaction to what he thought was a botched run is certainly amusing.
ORIGINAL STORY 19/01/2015 11.35pm: A new Dark Souls speedrunning world record has been set.
Twitch user Kahmul78 has conquered From's beloved action-RPG in 49 minutes and 55 seconds.
This is an "any per cent" run, which means that the player doesn't have to slay all the bosses, but merely get to the end.
Some of you may note that there have actually been faster speedruns of Dark Souls where the player uses a glitch to skip most of the game's second half. While those records are still valid, that exploit has been patched, so runners have separated runs that use that trick into a different category called "any per cent Kiln Skip," according to Speed Souls, a site devoted to Souls series speedruns. While still entertaining, those Kiln Skip runs omit most of the game's hardest boss fights (the Four Kings, anyone?), making them noticeably less impressive.
Despite settings a new world record, Kahmul isn't very fond of this run and expects to best his new record "very soon." You see, he made several minor mistakes in this run, whereas he thinks his 50 minute and nine second run is nearly flawless, but a new route was since discovered that should allow him to cut down "like 35 seconds." Instead, he only beat his old record by 14 seconds, so a flawless run should see him get down to somewhere around 49 minutes and 34 seconds.
"That was a really bad run. That was a really bad run. It was so bad," he lamented upon setting the world record. Clearly, Kahmul is his own worst critic.
For more on how Kahmul went about setting this record, here's some detailed notes on the route he took.