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Watch a speedrunner take on The Legend of Zelda (mostly) swordless

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

How do you beat The Legend of Zelda without a sword, in just an hour? Use bombs wisely, take advantage of the game's screen-scrolling teleportation glitches and have a friend helping out on a second NES gamepad. Oh, and also be really, really, really good at the game.

During this week's charity speedrun event Summer Games Done Quick, speedrunner "jkoper" and friends worked their way through the classic Nintendo adventure mostly swordless. For the first 40 minutes of the speedrun, jkoper does it without swinging a sword once, defeating the game's bosses and collecting every piece of the Triforce using Link's other tools: the candle, bombs, magical rod and bow and arrow.

But for all their effort, it's actually impossible — as far as we know at this point — to defeat Ganon himself without using a sword. And without spoiling the ending of jkoper's impressive Zelda run, it's extremely difficult to do so using the basic wooden sword.

The next level of puzzles.

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