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Speedrunner offers $700 bounty for Simpsons game solution

Coins! You need too many coins!

Homer Simpson sitting on a red couch Radical Entertainment/s Universal Games
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

You need 14,500 coins to fully complete The Simpsons: Hit and Run, all of which are necessary in buying vehicles and outfits needed to move forward in the game. Coins are collected throughout the game as players investigate an alien invasion, but for speedrunners, there’s no time to meander about Springfield. Hit and Run’s world record speedrun is just over three hours long — but one player thinks there’s still a way to get a faster time.

And to do that, he needs to find a faster way to collect coins. Hit and Run record-holder Cameron, known best online as Liquid WIFI, told Polygon that in the fastest, 100 percent completion run of the game, he grinds coins for 20 minutes, in one session. He’s spent a lot of time playing the game and figuring out its secrets, but the coins still elude him. So he’s doing something about it: giving others an incentive to try to break the game. A $700 incentive. “Anyone who discovers a way to skip the section of the run will be paid for it,” Liquid WIFI told Polygon.

“There’s no way we looked at everything,” he added. “We haven’t looked very deep into the game’s code as of right now. There are so many ways that coins are gained and lost, and it’s an old enough game that I think it can be abused in some way.”

Hit and Run was released in 2003 on GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. Later, it came to PC. Developed by Radical Entertainment and published by Vivendi Universal Games, Hit and Run sold more than three million copies — and, in general, received good reviews. Liquid WIFI, who is 19, has been playing Hit and Run since he was a kid. He said it’s more than just lowering his own speedrun times: “The whole community around Simpsons: Hit and Run is fighting to keep this game alive,” he said.

Nearly 200 speedrunners are on the leaderboards for the game, with 31 active runners plugging away at their times. LiquidWIFI holds the Hit and Run world record for 100% completion and two other categories, on PC.

“Most people don’t remember this game until it’s brought up,” Liquid WIFI said. “We are trying to keep as many people’s dreams alive and hopefully push the game to a point where it can be recognized as the gem it is by the people in charge of The Simpsons’ rights. It has, unfortunately, seemed to be pushed to the side for a long time. I believe with enough people and enough voices this game can get a remaster, or even just have modern-day accessibility instead of having to go out and buy CD copies of the game.”

Last week, Hit and Run producer Vlad Ceraldi told LADbible that it’d be “fun” to revisit the universe on “multiple different types of platforms as a remake or remaster” — but, of course, the rights holders need to be involved in that decision.

For now, Liquid WIFI and the rest of the Hit and Run community are chasing coins. And hoping you will, too.

“The idea of this bounty was to get fresh new minds, and people with experience in breaking games in the scene, hopefully giving us more knowledge and gaining a greater chance of skipping the part of the run,” he said.

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