The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s “Dog%” speedrun category — where players try to pet all 16 BOTW canines as fast as possible — has, in short order, become the most active speedrun the game has seen over the last year. That’s all thanks to streamer Pointcrow’s February “feed the dogs” race, where he invited 20 Twitch streamers who had no prior speedrunning knowledge to compete for a chance at $1,000.
The winner would take $600, with second place at $300, third place at $100, and fourth place securing a measly $10. Each entrant had two weeks to learn speedrunning techniques, such as clipping out of bounds and Bullet Time Bouncing, as well as the map intricacies of Breath of the Wild as a whole. And, of course, to feed the final dog everyone had to build an entire locale, Tarry Town. There are technically two dogs in that area, and if runners don’t have enough apples to fully feed both animals, one dog must be distracted from the apples ... which can sometimes mean attacking that dog.
The dogs had to be fed apples in a specific order, and all participants had to play on a Nintendo Switch. Speaking to Polygon via Twitter messages, Pointcrow estimated that most folks who threw their hat in the ring practiced from four to eight hours, with the winners putting in more than 20 hours.
You can view some of the highlights of all 20 races in the video above, which was uploaded over the weekend in mid-March. As for the winners: xwater, who finished in two hours, clutched first and took home $600, Acceptable_Adam came in second, and SilverDrMario came in third.
Along the way, there were plenty of surprises and dramatic moments — one runner disconnected, and couldn’t complete the run. The fact that everyone was new to speedrunning also granted the race a dramatic air, as we got to see folks nail complicated tricks for the first time, under pressure, while thousands watched. Folks also had to grapple with bathroom breaks, and unexpectedly having horses and sheep eat their apples, all of which was funny to watch unfold.
“We NEED to be able to pet the dogs in Breath of the Wild 2,” Pointcrow added.