June 13, 2021

Grand Theft Auto Speedrunner Has Terrible Luck

Illustration for article titled Grand Theft Auto Speedrunner Has Terrible Luck

Screenshot: Rockstar Games

Speedrunning takes a tremendous amount of skill, but there are still many moments in even the most well-understood games that boil down to luck. A hapless Grand Theft Auto player known as English Ben was recently reminded of the fickle whims of the universe firsthand.

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Early into an attempt at completing the Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas trilogy as quickly as possible, English Ben ran into a spot of trouble acquiring a vital mode of transportation I’ve come to call Schrödinger’s ambulance. This vehicle has only a 30% chance of being locked, but as you can see in the video below, it took English Ben nine loops of trying the door, taking an intentional death to respawn the ambulance, and trying again to finally steal the damn thing.

“There’s no way,” Ben said after eight attempts at stealing the ambulance. “Like, my game has to be fucked, right?”

So why not just grab another car? Well, Ben was apparently attempting a specific glitch that necessitated the use of a vehicle with a toggleable side job, like the ambulance’s paramedic missions, and couldn’t use the nearby cop car because of the side effect of another glitch.

“Technically a taxi would have worked, but the fixed spawn is a lot further away, so trying for the ambulance is the most logical choice,” Ben explained on Reddit.

Ben eventually decided the run was over but kept trying to see how long it would take. Afterwards, he calculated that the odds of getting eight locked ambulances in a row amount to a 1/15242 chance, or liable to happen just 0.0066% of the time. Lucky him!

I’m not sure what Ben did to incur the wrath of lady luck—my money is on crossing paths with a black cat—but maybe he can parlay this newfound curse into a new kind of Grand Theft Auto record. How many locked ambulances can you get in a row? The new reigning champ’s not going to go down easily.