List of Common Yet Subtle Techniques

Mashing Text

For regular text, it is best to mash both A and B. For quick text (text that appears on the screen in one frame when you press B), you should hold B and mash A. D-pad down can also be mashed when reading letters or sign texts.

Dry Rolling

A dry roll is when Link does a roll at the slowest possible speed by not touching the control stick at all. This is done by holding L and pressing A with the control stick in the neutral position. While a dry roll goes almost nowhere, normal roll speed is 26.

Because of the dry rolling mechanic, you will always want to reach full walking speed before starting to roll in order to have fast rolls. Dry Rolls can be useful to setup precise tricks, but that is all.

Ledge Hanging

If you've watched a speedrun of TWW or TWWHD you may have noticed times when, after rolling off of a ledge, Link won't jump, but will instead hang or simply fall instead. This is achieved by letting go of the control stick before Link makes it to the ledge and is commonly used to setup Ledge Clipping in a quick manner by ledge hanging off of the ledge used to clip.

Ledge Hang Jumpslash

After hanging on a ledge it is possible to get up faster by performing a jumpslash up the ledge. To do this, first make sure you have sword in hand, and then fall off of a ledge. After he hangs on the ledge, hold a direction to get him to shift his hands and then quickly press A and then B to jumpslash up.

Wall Targeting

If Link is facing a flat wall and is right up against it, you can use L to target up against it and obtain an angle perpendicular to the plane of the wall. This will usually take at least two separate targets and may sometimes require shifting to a slightly different part of the wall.

Pulling Out Your Sword

While more of a game mechanic than a technique, it should be noted that if Link does not have an item in his hand and you are not currently targeting and press B, Link will simply draw his sword. However, if Link is passively holding an item in his hand (Leaf, Bow, Hookshot, etc.) OR if you're targeting with L (regardless of if there's an item in his hand) and you attempt to draw your sword, you will do a slash instead of just pulling your sword. Most of the time, this is the reason why Link slashes his sword after a failed dry storage, it is because you have the wind waker in hand and pressed B one time too many.

Buffering Spin Attacks

When you perform either a jumpslash or a backflip if you spin the stick while midair link will perform a spin attack upon landing on the ground (for a backflip you need to be holding sword for the spin to happen).

Crawling vs Shielding

Much like the last technique described, if Link does not have an item in his hand and you press R, he will duck down and begin to crawl if you move the control stick. However, if you are holding an item in your hand (including the sword) OR if you're targeting with L (regardless of if there's an item in his hand) and press R, then Link will put his shield in front of him if he has it.

Putting Away an Item Faster

This method only works if you do not have a shield. Whenever link crouches the item in his hand disappears. Thus it is possible to put away the item you are holding in as small as a single frame by tapping R.

Canceling Link's Animation after a Barred Door

Oftentimes in a speedrun, Link will run through doors that get barred or locked behind him, which he then turns back to look at. It is possible to cancel this animation and save a second by pulling out a bomb right before opening any door that leads into this animation.

Sail Pumping

By putting away the sail and then taking it out again immediately after, you can get a small speed boost. By doing it repeatedly, you can save a lot of time over long sailing sections.

Vulnerability Resetting

There are times when you need to damage down and can speed up the process by repetitively resetting vulnerability. To do this, go to a damage source that does not deal knockback (such as the spikes in FF2). Move while getting hit so that link bends over forwards while getting hit instead of bending backwards. Then immediately after getting hit, pull an item to reset link's vulnerability, resulting in him getting hit much earlier than he normally would if this technique was not performed. Then put the item away and repeat the previous steps until you have damaged down as much as you want. If you have sword you can get hit 3 times in a row rapidly before having to put away the item and repeat. If you have sword you can while holding forward: get hit, pull sword to get hit again, then pull another item to get hit a 3rd time.

Even better, if you don't have a shield yet then you can put back items by pressing R. So you can repeatedly pull your sword, press R, and continue until you've damaged down enough.

Accelerate Faster from a Standstill

Link accelerates slightly faster from a standstill if you're holding L when you start holding forward. This is hardly noticeable.

Quick Turnarounds

While grounded if you hold directly in the opposite direction link is facing, link will perform a 4 frame turnaround to the opposite direction. While performing a sidehop, if you hold directly in the direction link is sidehopping in, link will perform a 2 frame turn in the direction you are holding. These strategies save frames over slower turns.

It's also possible to get instant turnarounds by holding L+back for at least one frame, and then release L. If the back angle is perfect, then Link will instantly turn around. If it was not perfect he will turn around in 4 frames, but at least he will be moving in the right direction immediately so it usually doesn't lose time.

Quick Sidling

By repeatedly tapping right (or left) in a rythm, you can sidle faster than by simply holding the direction. This is called quick sidling.

The optimal inputs for quick sidling in a TAS are actually quite complex. You need to perform the following inputs :

  • Hold right (or left) for 4 frames to start moving (you should reach animation position 13 internally).
  • Then proceed with the following neutral inputs, all with one frame of left (or right) inbetween : 2f 2f 4f 3f 2f 3f 2f 2f 2f 2f 2f.
  • Repeat the previous sequence

This sequence desyncs at some point and the inputs need to be changed, but this does not happen before sidling for a long time. The following graph shows Link's speed in function of his animation position. The idea behind quick sidling is to stop holding left in order for the animation increment to decrease, thus allowing Link to stay longer in positions that give him more speed, but Link's animation increment should not drop too low otherwise Link will stop moving. This ends up being a pretty complicated problem, and optimal sidling was bruteforced through scripting.

sidle chart

Quick Sidling doesn't need to be perfect for it to be faster. In a human speedrun setting, simply mashing the direction input in a rythm will still save time over simply holding the direction.

Crawlspace Tricks

Crawlspace Quick Turning

Figured out by TrogWW

The crawl animation length is 34, incrementing by 2 every frame at full speed. When Link approaches a specific spot in the crawlspace near the corner, the game attempts to make link come to a full stop and let Link's animation proceed until either 0 or 17 (ie start of animation or halfway through). After that, the game lets Link turn.

However, if Link hits animation frame 0 within ~0.01 units of when the game normally starts to make Link come to a full stop you bypass the stop and are allowed to turn immediately.

This is considered too precise to be useful for RTA runs, but this can be used in a TAS to get quick turns inside crawlspaces.

Crawlspace Sliding

Discovered by azer67

If you get pushed into a crawlspace while you are not holding anything on the control stick, and if the animation position reaches 0 or 17 (when Link can stop moving) right as you get pushed in, you can keep that pushing speed and slide through the crawlspace. This can allow you to move accross the crawlspace at a constant higher speed than normal.

Due to the precision, this is considered TAS-only.

Last updated 06/01/2024 – azer67