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Tricks and techniques for speedrunning the game MDK. There are spoilers - don't read this if you're going to play the game yourself before.

Descriptions here obey the rules of; anything that violates them (and thus preventing a speed run from being accepted) should be marked as such.

This description also assumes that the reader has already played MDK. Thus this is not a playthrough but rather a collection of tricks for speed runners.

Game overview

The game consists of 6 levels. Each level consists of the following parts (in that order):

  • Freefall (not in level 6)
  • Traversal
  • Stream (not in level 6)


This part has a constant duration that cannot be influenced AFAIK. During this part you can collect 3 to 4 extras and should avoid radar (or missiles if you touch the radar ray). Getting hit by a missile will lower your health.


The most interesting part and the only part that's truly different between levels. General tricks:

  • Turbo: don't forget to press the turbo key which makes you run much faster.
  • Strafe running: run and strafe at the same time. Velocity vectors are added, making you run 40% faster compared to just running forward.
  • Try to end this part (except level 6 where it doesn't matter) with health as low as possible in order to end the "Stream" part quickly.
  • Glitch: Suicide in the second before the game ends to make the stream part end as soon as it starts (Videos: and TODO helps suiciding before the boss dies save a second due to SDA timing rules (as player loses control as soon as he dies)?

Level 1


Name Description Required/Time saving items (time saved) Available items (time required) Tricks / Glitches
Freefall 2*Homing bullets, 1*Super chain gun
Arena A Nuke introduction
Arena B Shooting range sniper grenade (~3 seconds), dummy decoy (~10 seconds) Jump from the doorsill over the left or right sidewall and glide OOB into the bottommost room (Video: Explosive must be shot to get sniper boom.
Arena C Casern Mortar (4 seconds)
Arena D Subway
Arena E Casern Super chain gun (~3 seconds) (for shooting the nuke container), Sniper boom (~2 seconds) Use 2 sniper boom shots to destroy the first plane (the one carrying a tank) to save some time
Arena F Monster Zoo Mortar (10 seconds)
Arena G Climbing tower
Arena H Dummy decoy does not help much here
Arena I Boss Sniper boom (~60 seconds)

Level 2

  • Caveat: You cannot take a shortcut in the "big gun room" by jumping over the trench. Although you seem to run through this room two times during this level these are two different rooms; beyond the trench there's just void.

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Level 6


This is your chance to collect health for the next level.

  • If you manage to reach the powerup you'll start the next level with health 150.
  • If you don't reach the powerup you'll start the next level with health 100.
  • If you lose too much health by touching the wall too often (or die right before this part starts) it'll end immediately and you'll start the next level with health 50. This is of course the best choice for speed runs.

Other stuff

This game can be played as individual levels. The only thing that's transferred from one level to the next is health.

This run is done on the PC version, if anyone ever tries to run this game on PSX feel free to add differences between platforms if there are any.

If levels themselves are to be segmented you might need to download "F2 save" patches which enable you to save almost anywhere within traversal. Although these patches are official they are difficult to obtain nowadays, unfortunately. Some game versions already have this "F2 save" ability and don't need to be patched.

Whether you use the "95" (software rendering) or "D3D" (hardware accelerated) version is up to you. The D3D version has smoothed textures and (if you change gfx settings) also antialiased edges. But IMHO this too clearly exposes the fact that this games uses few polygons. And the "D3D" version has some gfx glitches that aren't present in the "95" version.

Unaccepted tricks

These tricks are possible but will not be accepted by SDA. Maybe they can be appended to the speedrun as a kind of "outtakes".

  • Mapping mouse axes to movement. This allows about 2.5 times faster movement than usual but possible performance is heavily influenced by available mouse hardware (and possibly driver software); alternatively one can use an external input mapper program to map keyboard to mouse axes and thus overcome this limitation. Running too fast can also crash the game.

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