Why are so many games speedrun in Chinese?

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Why are so many games speedrun in Chinese?

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Sometimes the length of words can make a small difference in the time the game spends displaying text. (For example, let’s just say that a conversation in English requires 7 different pages to display, but might only require 5 in the other languag3k

For games that already played almost perfectly, a few frames saved by playing in a language with shorter dialogue sections might make a difference in the full run time.

Usually text boxes go much faster in Japanese/Chinese because of the way Chinese and Japanese characters work.

I know games that are speedrun is Japanese but it’s probably the same idea. These languages take up less space than western languages, so in games where there’s a lot of text to scroll through, it’s faster.

Faster dialogs. Chinese characters usually have the meaning of complete words in English, so less characters in a text less time to spend with dialogs.

There are two reasons a game would be speedran in a certain language: Text speed, and region differences.

Others have mentioned text speed: if a game is compatible with a language that displays entire words at the same rate a different language displays single letters, the first will get through a sentence measurably faster. Sometimes the measurement is less than a second overall, but other times it adds up to minutes. And in speedrunning, 1/60 of a second (1 frame at 60fps) matters to the people that care, and since it’s their hobby I won’t say they are wrong.

Region differences are a smaller thing nowadays that we have so many online compatible games and frequent content patches, but for retro consoles (certainly as recent as the PS2) these things didn’t exist. If a developer releases a game locally (and likely with only local language options) and then releases it globally (with more language options), the global release will have any patches they added after the initial release. Sometimes these patches make a speedrun easier or faster, sometimes the opposite. So a speedrunner will try to get the version with the most beneficial glitches in it in order to run the game the fastest (this is still true today, but with things like “back patching” and version control). And if that means using a certain language, they’ll just memorize the “menuing” or the button presses they need to hit in order to go through the menus the fastest.

It’s usually Japanese, not Chinese, but both of those languages use fewer characters per sentence compared to western languages, because of how their writing works. Fewer characters means faster text and fewer text boxes, which saves time, especially in text heavy games like RPGs. The players select menu options by memory, so the language barrier isn’t a problem.