Until a few weeks ago, Bastion, the award-winning game Supergiant Games released in 2011, only had four speedrunning categories available for console. These categories were All Story Levels, All Interactive Collectibles, and All Dreams and Challenges. All of which were categories that could only be played for entertainment purposes, and would not allow console players to reach high in the leaderboards. The one category that was missing from this list, and the only that would provide console players with the chance of seeing their name in the top ten, was Any%, but it used a glitch that the speedrunning community never tried to do on console.
When I entered the Discord chat and told the Bastion runners I planned on running Any% on console, they told me to run ASL instead, due to them never attempting the Forge Stacking glitch. I was the first console speedrunner to enter the community, so most glitches were not tested on console at all. PC players had faster movement speed and were allowed to take advantage of being able to designate the interact action to the mouse wheel, allowing them to interact with objects more than once. Due to these differences, the console’s ability to do any of the mandatory glitches was unknown.
Then I learned about the Forge Stacking glitch, and was told to try it. It would be a discovery that would open up Bastion’s Any% run to console players, and with Any% being the easiest and fastest run, using a minimal amount of glitches as well as only taking six minutes or less, this discovery would lead console players to the Any% leaderboards and would possibly convince them to try the other categories that were previously available to them.
After I discovered Forge Stacking was possible, I was able to complete Bastion in 6:42:600 with major flaws hindering my run. Now that I know these flaws, how to properly execute the Forge Stacking glitch, Dialogue Glitch, clip through gates, and know the differences between the console and PC versions of the Any% Run, I can now write the first and only comprehensive guide to the Bastion Any% Run on consoles.
What You Need To Know Before Playing
- Timing the Run
Time starts when The Kid gets up from his bed, but only once you get control of The Kid. The time it takes for the Kid to get up and give you control is 1.1 seconds. So if you plan on having an official time for the run when submitting, start your timer at a 1.1 second delay, and start the time after you press the button to get The Kid out of the bed. The time ends once you choose an ending after talking to Rucks and Zia for the last time.
- Don’t let the Leaderboard Scare You
If you are playing on console, movement speed is slightly decreased, but the any% run is more reliant on the successful attempts at clipping and menu stacking. This means you have the chance to get high on the leaderboards even though the movement speed is decreased. Other categories, however, will be harshly nerfed for console runners. There are also separate filters on speedrun.com for each console, so do not let the thought of never reaching top 10 stop you from running.
- Join the Discord Channel
The most important thing you must do before running Bastion is to join the Discord channel! The runners there are always super helpful and if you ever have any questions, there is always someone there that is willing to answer them all. Shout out to IanSynth and Vulajin for always being there when I was having trouble with the run, and for fact-checking a portion of this guide. If you are new at speedrunning, Bastion is a great game to start with, and the Discord community will help you through the decision-making process when trying to decide if Bastion is a game that you would enjoy speedrunning.
Video of Speedrun: For those of you who like to watch speedruns before attempting them and want a video walkthrough. I have a no commentary speedrun that has minor mistakes, and does a more consistent and safe strat instead of a faster one. So this run is not perfect, but it is a good starting point. You can watch it below!
The Written Walkthrough: For those of you who want a nearly perfect walkthrough of the guide, this part is for you. Take your time learning the route and the strats, and you will be on the leaderboard really soon! Hope to see you there!
Part One: The Rippling Walls
When you see The Kid lying on his bed, this is the time you must make the decision of whether you are ready to start your run or not. Before pressing any buttons, make sure you have everything ready for your run, because any breaks you take during the run will be counted on the official time. Take this time to do whatever you find necessary before you start your run. Once you are ready for the run, press a button to start the run.
The Kid is now controllable and the run starts pretty straightforward. You are going to have to walk all of the way to the Cael Hammer, the first weapon in the game, and then immediately after the animation for obtaining the Hammer is over, start rolling. Rolling is the most important aspect when moving in Bastion. It is the quickest way to move around, and it also causes damage, which can be used to break through objects in your path instead of using your weapon which is much slower.
During your phase of rolling after obtaining the Hammer, you will want to stay in the middle of the path due to the lag frames that happen when any object breaks. If you do break objects when rolling, just continue along the path because the time lost through object destruction is not run-ending. When you reach the fork in the road, you will want to take the top path, because it forms quicker than the bottom. This is very important in the PC run, but due to consoles having 30% slower movement speed, it may not matter. The safest route is still the top path.
When you arrive at the pile of rubble blocking your path, you should attempt to roll around it. To do this, you must roll upwards and to the right. This will only destroy part of the fence surrounding the rubble, and will save you from having to adjust your direction. It saves a very minimal amount of time, but it is still suggested. When you reach the Gasfella, it is recommended that you defeat it, because defeating it will cause you to take damage, which is completely necessary to save time. The fastest way to kill the Gasfella is to roll to it, stand still, and attack it twice with the Cael Hammer. Moving while attacking will make it take longer, so make sure that you are stationary when attacking it.
After you have defeated the Gasfella, you will continue rolling up the stairs and pick up the repeater. The PC version of the run picks up the repeater later, but the movement speed difference makes that strat’s effectiveness debatable on console. After the animation for picking up the repeater is over, quickly destroy the pile of rubble in your way, roll up the stairs and interact with the fountain.
If you do not drink one of the potions right after interacting with the fountain, the wait time for the enemies to spawn will be excruciatingly long, so you should definitely drink one now. After this, there is a minor waiting time, and during this time you should clear out the fence around the fountain. This is not necessary, but it gives you something to do while waiting, and will make the fight against the squirts easier. Once the squirts spawn, deal with them quickly. They are very weak enemies and only take one hammer strike to die. So try hitting multiple at once, and then make your way to the door to the Sole Regret.
Part Two: The Sole Regret
When entering the Sole Regret, kill Rondy, the man in the upper left corner of the room, as soon as possible by shooting him with a repeater, then stand approximately in the middle of the room, adjust your position when the Shield falls from the ceiling, and grab it when it hits the ground. Then there is a small waiting period before a turret forms in the left side of the room, and there are two ways to get to the zone it is in before it fully spawns. One way is to take the bottom route by destroying the boxes blocking your path, or you can just continuously roll into the barrier separating you from the small rectangle where the turret will form. Eventually rolling into it will break it, and this will be before the turret forms. Patiently wait a second, and when the turret spawns quickly destroy it using stationary attacks.
After your fight with the turret is over, boxes will fall onto the ground containing gasfellas, this part is very important to do correctly. To destroy the boxes the fastest way, you want to always be moving. Roll to the first one that falls, and while moving towards the box, swing the hammer twice. This rhythm will kill the boxes in two swings, and will stop most of the Gasfellas from being released from the boxes. During the second wave of boxes, your goal should be to only let five or less Gasfellas out of the boxes. It is impossible to stop them all, but you do not want to waste time fighting them, because each of them move around and take two hits to defeat.
Five seconds pass before Squirts rise out of the ground. Their starting positions are always the same, but movements are somewhat random. They do follow you, however, so you should manipulate them so that you can kill all but two of them, and be as close to the exit of the room on the far right side when you do so.There is also a big gasfella that comes in the middle of the fight against the squirts, just defeat him by hitting him with the Cael Hammer, and after there are only two squirts left, exit the Sole Regret and enter the Wharf District, the most strat-heavy part of the game.
Part Three: The Wharf District
NOTE: This is a very important location, so you will want to practice very hard to make sure you can consistently do the strats available here. Missing these strats will greatly increase your time, which will lead to very bad results. Take some time to practice before you attempt runs meant for submission.
Get your speedrunning skills ready, because you are going to need them. When you rise from the ground after falling out of the window of Sole Regret, roll as fast as you can to the right and slightly down. If you do not start rolling as soon as possible you will be stopped by a fence that comes down from the sky, and will have to re-adjust your rolling and roll completely down, and around the bottom of the fence. This will take two more roll actions, which will waste a second of your run.
When you pass the fence, you will need to pay close attention to where you are rolling so you do not fall off of the level. If you fall off, you waste five seconds. Roll precisely and do not take risky rolls. Go through the level by rolling until you reach the Whirl Wind. This is where there are two routes you can take. One where you grab the Whirl Wind, the other where you skip it. The safer way is taking it, and it is the one I would recommend.
Once you make your decision whether you want to pick up the Whirl Wind or not, roll to the two turrets and the gate blocking your path. Shoot the top turret with your repeater, then turn and counter the turret on the bottom. This is the most efficient way of defeating them. If you miss the counter, then shoot the bottom one with your repeater which will take a second. Roll through the now opened gate, and interact with the Distillery and Arsenal. When interacting with them, the menu will have to be up for roughly a second before you can close out of it, and when you close out of it, you must press the yes command in order for you to get out of it. Messing this up and hitting the exit command twice will lead you back into the menu for the Distillery or Arsenal. So always remember, “Close and Confirm”.
After this, roll down the path to the Ferry Barge and interact with it. Kill the Gasfella, and then yell in anger, because you are now at the auto-scroll part of the level. The ride is fairly quick, and you should stand in the upper-right section of the unbroken part of the ferry barge, this will stop one of the bottom turrets from spawning, but it really doesn’t matter much if the turret spans. When the stairs meet with the ferry’s edge, roll onto it, and this is where your decision to grab the Whirl Wind or not matters.
Gate Clipping: The gate on the right side of the battlefield needs to be clipped through, because the requirements to open it are time consuming. There are three ways to do this, one requiring the Whirl Wind, one requiring an immense amount of luck from the speedrunning Gods, and one safe strat used when all else fails.
The Way of the Whirl Wind: This is the best way to clip through the gate in the Wharf District leading to the core. To do this, you must pick up the Whirl Wind item before the first gate in the district. There will be an animation when you pick it up, but it saves more time than it takes. When you enter the large area above the stairs, you want to position yourself by the corner directly to the left of the gate, the one with rubble near it. Then you will need to use the Whirlwind ability and roll directly into that corner, then roll again while moving your analog stick to the right, and if everything works, you will clip through and be able to reach the core, if it did not work, you will need to complete another strat that takes time, but is more consistent.
The Way of the Risk Taker: Well, well, well, look at the position you put yourself in. You think you are the greatest speedrunner of all time if you chose this route, I told you this wasn’t safe! To do this strat, you will position yourself by the corner directly to the left of the gate, the one with rubble near it, and then roll into the corner, and then roll through the gate by rolling to the right. It worked? Well consider yourself lucky, it didn’t? Well of course it didn’t, now go to the more consistent strat still available to yo!
The Way of the Warrior: Nothing worked? Well you will have to take the easier, but time consuming strat. Interact with the Something Heavy in the middle of the area, and then wait for the big Gasfella to spawn. During this time there will be plenty of other enemies that spawn, but the most important one for the strat is the large Gasfella, so do not attack it! The Scumbag that forms to the right of you will be troublesome if not defeated, so try to kill it before the Gasfella spawns, or at least make it decrease in size.
After the Gasfella Spawns, you must position yourself five tiles in front of the gate when you get the Gasfella’s attention. The Gasfella will charge its attack and then bop you up into the air after it successfully hits you. When you are in the air, roll twice towards the gate, and you should be able to easily clip through. If it does not work, attempt it again, and keep attempting until it is successful. When you are this far into the run, you do not want to quit.
Part Four: Core Duping
When you are clipped through the gate, roll until you are at the core to the point where you can interact with it. WARNING: DO NOT INTERACT WITH THE CORE YET, OR YOU WILL HAVE TO RESTART. Instead, you will have to use the strat dubbed Forge Stacking.
Forge Stacking: A strat that is done by opening the menu, and selecting Exit Game, while simultaneously pressing the button to close the menu. This allows the game to continue running while the black confirmation screen is the only thing visible. During this time, you can interact with objects without them disappearing until after you close out the Exit Game screen. This is used to dupe cores as well as other objects and menus throughout the game. In Any% this is only used for core duping, allowing you to finish the game with only visiting the Bastion once.
Use the Forge Stacking strat to obtain as many cores as necessary, so just mash the interact button to your heart’s content, and then close out of the exit game menu. If you successfully duped the cores, the text that appears when you obtain them will be layered on top of each other. After the cores are obtained, roll off of the stage and you will go to the Bastion.
Part Five: The Bastion
Note: This stage of the run has a glitch that makes the time it takes for core placing to be halved. You must use this glitch if you want a good time, so practice this glitch until you can always get it to work.
Okay, this is the last part! Roll through the path appearing in front of you, and make sure to avoid the holes. I had a run end here once because I fell in not one, but two holes. When you see the old man, who’s named Rucks. You are going to want to talk to him for a very important Dialogue Glitch. Position yourself as close to the monument as you can before talking to him.
Dialogue Glitch: Strat used to cut the core-placement time in half. Allowing you to put two cores into Bastion’s monument at once. This is used during your first and only time in the Bastion. You complete this glitch by talking to Rucks, and choosing either the City Crest or Core, and then immediately talking to him again and choosing the other option. To do this correctly, place your thumb/fingers on both the select and interact button, and press the interact button less than a second after the select button. This has to be extremely fast. During this time, two timers are occuring. So you must roll to the monument as quickly as possible and place a core before the second cutscene timer is over. This will allow you to place one core at the end of the first cutscene timer, and immediately place another one at the end of the second cutscene timer. This saves roughly 30 seconds.
After you complete the Dialogue Glitch, continue putting cores into the monument until you are brought to the Heart of the Bastion. When you are brought there, you interact with Rucks and Zia, but do not select their dialogue option, instead close out of their menu, and once you have interacted with both of them, choose an ending using the machine at the top of the screen. This is when time stops, you have now completed the speedrun for Bastion, and if everything worked out, time should be sub-7.
Submitting Your Run: After your run is over, save the clip, and trim it in the capture gallery. When you are finished, you can use your PC to edit the video to add an official timer to the video, or you can choose to make the moderator do that for you to have an official time (sorry IanSynth). Sign up for Speedrun.com if you have not already, and click the Submit Run option on the Bastion Speedrun page. Fill out all of the necessary info, and add a description if you want. Now it is all over, keep trying to improve your time, and if you do improve, repeat the submission process.