The gaming community takes a lot of crap for a tiny group of awful people, but 90% of the gamers out there in the world are loving, happy, supportive heroes and heroines with deep pockets and generous hearts. The perfect example of the community coming together to do some good is during Games Done Quick marathons, a week long love affair with all things speedrunning.
What’s speedrunning, you say? Well, speedrunning is when a really, really good video game player finds a particular game they love and figures out the hundreds of different ways to destroy it in an ungodly time. Long gone are the days of spending hours and hours trying to beat a game. With the internet being the vast treasure trove that it is, you can now connect with other video game enthusiasts to discuss glitches in games that make it possible to beat them in mere hours, and sometimes minutes. If you’re interested in learning about speedrunning, you can head on over to Speed Runs Live or SpeedRun.com to catch the latest runs and connect with your favorite streamers… or even become one!
The younger of the two GDQ marathons, SGDQ (Summer Games Done Quick) just wrapped up it’s 7th year, taking over a hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Running from July 2nd to July 9th, 2017, the charity marathon demolished their previous year’s record donation amount, bringing in $1,760,862 for Doctors Without Borders. That’s right, $1.7 Million dollars was raised in a 7.5 day period! As per usual, there were a ton of cool prizes that donors entered in for, as well as donation incentives that gave certain games either an extra showcase (glitch runs and so on) or entry into the event altogether. One of those lucky games to be incentivized to be put on the schedule was Portal 2, run by Azorae. Viewers donated $200,000 in just a couple of hours to see the game put on display, which is an incredibly impressive amount of money in that short period of time. The game was added onto the schedule list as the 2nd to last game of the event, showcasing Azorae’s ridiculously insane skill of playing Portal 2 co-op…. by himself (the run starts around 11:30):
Another amazing display of skill that I can only dream about, and watch in absolute awe, is that of ThorW. He cut through Dark Souls 3 like hot butter and it was satisfying as hell to watch the game from Hell be destroyed in no time at all:
One of the cool things about any GDQ is the extra little bits that runners and commenters add to the event. Sometimes you get Disney song singalongs during a Disney block of games, other times you get Xem singing opera like an angel. At the end of a really cool Ratchet & Clank run, Xem did just that, melting hearts everywhere. His singing begins at the 1:24:20 mark:
As per usual, fan favorite and annual mind-melter Cheese05 showed up to the show and dissected Mario64 120 Star run like a digital surgeon. This was honestly a really, really good run for a marathon, so I highly recommend checking it out. Watch him jump, fly, kick, flip and glitch his way through the game like he made it with his bare hands back in 1996. Prepare for a jaw-drop… (gameplay starts around 12:50):
Before starting VVVVVV, protomagicalgirl sat down with ZorlaxSeven and TheGuesst to discuss the Kirby block that was featured in this year’s SGDQ. Don’t get me wrong, I love that air-sucking pink puffball with all my heart, and it was super cool to hear about their takes on Kirby, but the main attraction in the next video (for me, at least) is the batshit crazy race between FieryBlizzard and Chadwelli in VVVVVV. There are a lot of really cool runs, this one is especially cool, as the game is so very minimal and requires an accuracy I can’t even dream about (the run starts at 13:00):
If you’re a lover of platformers, or thought watching VVVVVV was cool, you’re bound to love Super Meat Boy… until you play it. Almost nothing sends me racing for a shot of Tequila and a nap than the insanity of Super Meat Boy. In another race, warm_ham and Fimbz fling that meaty little square all over the place, avoiding those pesky little saws like it’s nobody’s business. At the start of this video is another interview, with FieryBlizzard and Chadwelli before their race, displayed in the video above, which is interesting to hear what they have to say after watching their race. If you want to skip ahead to the SMB race, it starts at 14:48:
On the 4th of July, viewers woke up extra early to see I Am Bread, the breaker of sanity, be burnt to a crisp. One of, if not THE funniest run of SGDQ 2017, both BloodThunder (who ran the game) and SpikeVegeta enjoy themselves a little too much with the wonky, jacked-up physics of the game, as well as a few bread-related jokes (gameplay starts at 7:22):
At the end of a very cool Mega Man block, Tokyo90, ColonelFatso, Trogdor and CalebHart42 all raced Mega Man X2. As can be expected the race was intense among the 4 competitors, all of whom are world-class runners. As someone who nearly cried tears of happiness after beating a couple Mega Man games as a child, I can appreciate the speed and skill of this race. Plus, they sing Happy Birthday to Tokyo90, which is just delightfully sweet (race starts at 15:33):
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was added in as a bonus game this year, after a donation incentive was met. For being a game only a few months old (and obviously making it’s GDQ debut), it was astounding watching Orcastraw kill Calamity Gannon in a mere 46 minutes. I’ve got over 130 hours in the game and I’m still obsessed with finding parts of the map I’ve yet to see. While there is a bit of controversy surrounding a run like this, as Orcastraw used amiibos to enhance the run, just seeing this gorgeous game defeated in under an hour is so damn cool (the run starts at 13:51):
Last, but absolutely not least, is the NieR: Automata run by Halfcoordinated, which was the opening game for SGDQ 2017. If you don’t know who Halfcoordinated is, you need to. Not only is he one of the kindest, coolest runners out there, he’s exceptionally skilled. Halfcoordinated has a disability called hemiparesis and he explains on his Twitch channel that it “lowers coordination and feeling in my right side”. During his runs he always has a handcam going, so you can see how he plays with his left hand. Long story short, Halfcoordinated is a badass and you should watch every single run he does. Check out the opening of SGDQ 2017 with an introduction from Jeremy Wells from Doctors Without Borders as well as the fantastic NieR: Automata run:
There are so many more runs that I could list, but that may make your browser explode, and we can’t have that. Be sure to head over to the official Games Done Quick YouTube channel to check out the runs, as well as the previous SGDQ and AGDQ events. Bask in the beautiful light of speedruns! The next GDQ event will be Awesome Games Done Quick, taking place January 7th -14th, 2018 in Herndon, Virginia. Ready your wallets and work vacation days, gamers, we have a donation record to beat!
Day job pays the bills, night job keeps the blood pumping. Life is made of cupcakes, naps and pixels.