Impossible Lair: Speedrunner Special

We’re celebrating the first anniversary of Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair! If you’ve missed out on what’s been going on so far, check out this earlier article.

Back when we were working away on Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, we’d think about the type of people we expected to latch onto the game and love it like Donkey kong loves bananas. Old-school platforming fans, families, 30-somethings with Super Nintendo hearts, and of course, speedrunners!

Gotta go fast!

We wanted Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair to feel fun when played quickly. We aspired to create a real sense of rhythm and pacing when you’re rolling, jumping, bouncing and bashing your way through the 2D levels.

In fact, the Impossible Lair level itself is a love letter to the speedrunning community. It could serve as the ultimate gauntlet for the seasoned speedrunner. 



We were delighted that soon after the launch of Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, we spotted a dedicated speedrunning community forming around the game. We’d dip into streams now and then, sharing links around the office and enjoying the show, sneaky time-skipping glitches and all!

We resolved not to patch any of the innocent glitches out, because a lot of joy seemed to stem out of the players who were actively seeking ways to “break” the game. It wasn’t hurting anyone.

Getting over the world

We became aware of different types of runs for Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair too. A particularly interesting category doesn’t involve 2D play at all – it’s a speedrun based on collecting all the Tonics from the Overworld.

The game designer behind the Overworld, Hamish Lockwood, offered some thoughts:

“I’ll always remember just after Impossible Lair released, I saw a video of a player swimming out of bounds on the overworld, up into the sky so you could see the whole overworld at once. I was thinking “damn, this looks like a horrible bug” but then the thought evolved into “this will be great for speedrunning!” and they certainly didn’t disappoint. I love seeing creative uses of systems for skips, like using the bomb explosions to get over fences or throwing objects at the Overworld bees from a distance. Speedruns are entertaining, but I think especially so for the people who worked on the game.”

Yookathon 2020

We were really happy when Hedweg, a familiar face in the Playtonic speedrunning community, contacted us about Yookathon, a speedrunning event dedicated to both of our games!


We decided to take part, and chucked the lovely Chris Sutherland into the mix for some support and encouragement. The event encompassed varying types of speedruns through both Yooka-Laylee and Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair. It was a lot of fun watching the various tricks and skips that speedrunners employed on their quests to become the quickest.


Chris Sutherland is particularly fond of the speedrunning community:

“I’m constantly amazed at the dedication of the speedrunning community to exhaustively track down all manner of shortcuts and exploits! These purveyors of virtual parkour hop and leap around supposedly solid walls in the Impossible Lair overworld, creating a whole new remix of our game!”

Jogging on

We’d like to thank the speedrunning community around our games for their enthusiasm, cheeky tricks, and determination. It’s a source of joy for us as a studio, and keeps us motivated and inspired. Can you let them know we said that if you ever catch up with them?

Pick up Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair on Nintendo Switch, Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox or the Epic Games Store.