One of the best gaming events in the year ended just a couple weeks ago, and it was undoubtedly… awesome. In it’s 8th year, the charity speedrunning event brought in a record $2,261,823.19, which is just over the record amount set at last year’s AGDQ. The proceeds are once again going to the Prevent Cancer Foundation, which helps with the prevention and early detection of cancer. Thousands and thousands of donations poured in over the 7 day marathon, some with heartfelt messages about losing someone to cancer, others with upbeat stories about kicking cancers butt. Then of course, there were the fun messages that gamers can only understand, as well as the now commonplace big donations from wonderful companies like The Yetee.
There were 153 games played, with all different platforms, genres, ages and skill levels on display, so it’s rather difficult picking some of the best runs… but I’m up for the challenge. In no particular order, I give you the coolest runs of AGDQ 2018:
Battletoads Any% Warpless by TheMexicanRunner
At the start of the video there is an interview with PJ, who just ran Battletoads Arcade with some technical difficulties, but I’ve cut the video straight to the Battletoads run. A notoriously difficult game, TheMexicanRunner ALWAYS makes a Battletoads run look like a walk in the park, even after a few deaths. The glitches are really cool and the commentary is fun, giving PJ some crap for having broken… everything. An incentive was met for this run, where TMR had to run the Turbo Tunnel blindfolded, which takes place after the main run, and it’s truly a sight to behold.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island Any% Warpless Race with Calco2, Kolthor_TheBarbarian, yamayuu and Poahr
This is the first of a few races that I feel needs to be brought up. There’s something exceedingly entertaining about watching 2, 3, and in this case 4 world class racers up against each other in a battle of nerves and frame perfect moves. As per usual, at the start of the video there’s an interview with Spikevegeta and AverageTrey, who is a Super Mario Sunshine runner. Representing three different countries, the SMW2: Yoshi’s Island race is epic, with an ending separated by only a few seconds. Plus, the nostalgia is hardcore… everybody loves crying Baby Mario, right?
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard New Game Madhouse with Carcinogen
I’m not a fan of scary games, and even more so if they’re extra gore-y, but this turned into one of my favorite runs of the entire week. I didn’t intend to watch as much as I did, but the excellent commentary from the couch, as well as from Carcinogen himself kept me around for nearly the entire run. There is plenty of blood and gore and gross stuff you can’t unsee, but seeing the undeniable skill of Carcinogen is worth getting past your squeamishness. His on-the-fly routing and reaction time for a brutal and completely unforgiving game is the stuff of legends. Plus our little website got a cool shoutout during our AGDQ tweeting, seen at 37:51!
Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! + Super Punch-Out!! 2 Games 1 Controller with zallard1
I remember growing up playing Super-Punch Out and losing my freaking mind over the game, so watching zallard1 beat the ever living crap out of that game AND Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out simultaneously is truly satisfying. Leaning heavily on audio cues and pure memory of how each fight is/should be, zallard1 makes this looks like a walk in the park. It’s swift maneuvering between two controllers, with a heavy reliance on the Start button and it’ll make you look at fighting games in a whole new light.
Mega Man X Any% Race with Colonel Fatso, Tokyo90 and Walrus_Prime
You can always expect a good time during a Mega Man block and AGDQ 2018 was no exception. The couch commentary is HILARIOUS, and you can tell how tightly-knit the Mega Man community is. The three racers mash the crap out of the controllers, taking critical hits and were so neck-and-neck with eachother that there were definitely some nails bitten. The last runner to finish had everyone behind him, showing both great reception and encouragement during this charity event. It’s all positive, y’all.
Splatoon 2 with TonesBalones
Splatoon took the world by storm and seeing the latest in the inky series picked to pieces is really need. It’s happy, it’s bright, it’s random and the couch crew is fantastic. TonesBalones has more fun than he really should and will make you want to go out and buy the game immediately. The run is informal in the best way possible, making you feel like you’re sitting around with some of your bffs, watching one absolutely annihilate a game in the meantime.
Super Dram World 2 100% with grandPOObear
Prior to this run Spikevegeta and ATZ sat down to talk Zelda, as ATZ was closing out the ADGQ week with his Breath of the Wild run. Before that though, Super Dram World 2 was added in; the run wasn’t originally included in the lineup of games, but an incentive was made and grandPOObear came to the stage to take on Mario’s own personal hell. I have skipped ahead to the SDW2 run for your convenience, because I think I speak for everyone when I say that watching the hysterical grandPOObear swiftly fly through a digital torture chamber is beyond entertaining. As a bonus on top of the bonus, TASbot once again steals the show by basically laughing in the face of the Gaming Gods.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Randomizer Race with Andy and ChristosOwen
One of the most classic games of all time basically gets thrown in a blender and two crazy people try to piece it back together. Before the run starts, the commentating crew of Veetorp, WillardJBradley and Patty sit down to explain how the randomizer works. The entire run is routed on the fly, meaning Andy and ChristosOwen know LoZ: LttP better than you know the back of your hand. The commentary is hysterical, and seeing how the racers pave their own paths is incredibly fascinating.
TASBot vs Super Monkey Ball with dwangoAC
Watching TASBot beat the ever-living crap out of a game is so utterly satisfying. Yes, it’s a robot and yes, it’s almost cheating… but sometimes you just need a healthy dose of technology to destroy another piece of technology. There is a whole legion of people behind making TASBot happen, but dwangoAC took the mic for the team. The first 9 minutes of the video are ads and of course, donation announcements, if you’d like the full AGDQ experience, but I skipped ahead to the main run for you.
Dying Light any% Co-Op with TheFuncannon and Amyrlinn
It takes a special team to be able to speed run in sync with each other, avoiding deaths and hitting game skips with the greatest of ease. Amyrlinn and TheFuncannon took on Dying Light, a normally scary game with plenty of zombies, and added a level of humor I wasn’t fully prepared for. These two, along with the couch crew, made this part of the Horror Block extra awesome, snafus and all. Plus, Amyrlinn gets stuck in an elevator that that moment alone is worth the watch.
Super Mario World No Cape, No Star World Race with SilverStar6609, bjw, Calco2 and Sten
Here’s my last ode to speedrunning races… the eternally young Super Mario World. The special thing about this run though is that none of the racers can use the cape at any point during the race. Think about that… no cape. NO CAPE?! No cape. How does one even SMW without that luscious piece of fabric? Well, these four speedrunning gods platform their way through every level (minus Star World) with the greatest of technical ease. It’s a very short race, topping out at 36 minutes and it’s a very mesmerizing to watch.
We look forward to seeing what kind of crazy runs, commentary and donations fly into the pockets of Doctors Without Borders during SGDQ 2018. Feed us more runs!
Day job pays the bills, night job keeps the blood pumping. Life is made of cupcakes, naps and pixels.