Brakesliding, and in turn Extended Brakesliding, is a trick that preserves Link's speed for a long period of time by having a very low deceleration. This is tricky to pull off in an RTA run however using a trick described below with unplugging the controller can make it more feasible.
Brakesliding is sliding forward which loses speed much quicker than Extended Brakesliding which is sliding backwards however, facing forwards can have its advantages if you intend to open a door or go up a ladder due to facing the right direction. In TAS, Brakesliding to a door where you’d normally be forced to walk due to spacing of rolls saves about 2-3 frames, this can also apply to ladders and other similar situation.
Extended Brakesliding works differently as it changes your speed value from positive to negative. While this may not seem like much, Link's speed is decided by the slope of the terrain Link is on and whether Link is travelling up or down the slope.
When using an Extended Brakeslide to go up slopes Link achieves speeds that normally occur when travelling down slopes only because of the negative speed value. It also follows that doing an Extended Brakeslide down a slope will make Link travel slowly as if he was travelling up the slope, which isn’t any use.
To be able to Brakeslide or Extended Brakeslide a position on the control stick known as ESS must be understood. ESS stands for Extended Superslide which originally comes from Ocarina of Time but in turn has become useful in many of the 3D Zelda games.
On the control stick there is a small circular area around the centre (neutral) position that is known as the deadzone, this means that if you slightly hold the control stick away from neutral but still within this deadzone then the game will not register the input and treat the input as if you are not touching the control stick.
Outside this deadzone there is a small band which can be referred to as the ESS position, when holding the control stick in this position the game will register the very slight input, in TP when standing still and holding ESS-Right Link should slowly turn on the spot, this means you are holding within the ESS position band.
When considering the control stick inputs as a 2D array there are 256 positions values on both the X and Y axis with the centre being (128,128) and (0,0) being top-left. The deadzone for Twilight Princess is a radius of 18 across the centre meaning that the smallest ESS-Up position is (128,110). On the other hand the maximum distance you can be from the centre while still being in ESS position is +/- 29 so the maximum ESS-Up position is (128,157) although it should be noted the further away you get from minimum ESS the worse it becomes for tricks.
To execute a regular Brakeslide one must hold L (target) and the ESS position in the opposite direction that Link is currently going on the same frame, normally the camera is behind Link and therefore this means L+ESS-Down however with different camera the ESS position will change. It is possible to do a Brakeslide as Link, as Wolf and out of an Epona Slide to maintain the high speed epona can give you. It should be noted that ESS-Down can work even if it isn’t the opposite direction of Link due to the L-target acting as a correction, furthermore you cannot Brakeslide right after a wolf dash during the animation when midna is bumped up after the dash.
In RTA it is recommended to use the item wheel to buffer the input of L+ESS because going from holding a full direction ESS in the opposite direction is hard, in the video buffering is also used on the epona slide to wait for the burst of forward momentum. It is possible to steer Link slightly left by changing from holding ESS-Down to ESS-DownRight and to steer Link slightly right by changing to ESS-DownLeft. Furthermore the closest you hold to minimum ESS the better the slide.
By executing a Brakeslide in quicksand you can maintain the speed through the quicksand, however you still sink at the same rate so need to escape fairly quickly.
It should be noted this does not work with Extended Brakeslide.
To execute an Extended Brakeslide, first execute a Brakeslide as defined above and then let go of L (target). This will make Link turn around and start to decelerate even slower than normal Brakeslide, To perform the best Extended Brakeslide you want to hold L for the least amount of time as possible, as all the time before you let go you are losing your speed at the rate of a normal Brakeslide. It is possible to steer Link slightly left by changing from holding ESS-Down to ESS-DownRight and to steer Link slightly right by changing to ESS-DownLeft. Furthermore the closest you hold to minimum ESS the better the slide.
All The videos below have been done using TAS and therefore are unlikely to be copied without item buffer, but using the trick explained below can make it easy to do unbuffered.
When Brakesliding as wolf Brakeslide will have lost too much speed to be faster after about 2-3 normal wolf dashes in distance, however this can be fixed by performing another Brakeslide after third dash roughly.
Due to Extended Brakesliding being hard to execute in RTA, it is possible to exploit the fact then when plugging the controller in during gameplay whatever position is held is from then on treated neutral until the controller is replugged or reset using the GCN combination of X+Y+Start.
If you hold ESS-Up when plugging the controller into the console the game will believe true neutral on the control stick to be ESS-Down (due to ESS-Up being the “new” neutral position). This makes it significantly easier to execute in RTA and doesn’t even require item buffering, when the controller is in this state you can have your forward momentum, then let go of the control stick and tap L at the same time, this will make it so you are inputting ESS-Down and L for a little while and then letting go of L resulting in an Extended Brakeslide.
It should be noted it is also possible with this trick to just let go of the control stick and hold L for a normal Brakeslide.