Awesome Games Done Quick Nets $1.5 Million For Charity

FASTER

Stop! Slow down! The time for speed is over. Now it’s time to amble, potter, and slouch it up. Charity speedrun-livestream-o-rama Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 wrapped up on Sunday after a week of folks completing games awfully quickly. They glitched, they tricked, they optimised, they skipped, they shaved, and they raised $1,545,916.03 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Lawks! The streams are saved so you can still pick up a few tips from folks zipping through everything from oldies like The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and William Shatner’s TekWar to the shiny newness of Shovel Knight and Dark Souls II.

As well as simply accepting donations, AGDQ raffled off prizes, set donation goals to unlock extra games or set special conditions for runs, and had a Humble Bundle. The money’s going to Prevent Cancer Foundation, a US charity which funds research and education to prevent cancer.

I ended up watching only a little of AGDQ live, as what was on whenever I tuned in didn’t really catch my eye. I did watch the Star Wars: Jedi Knight – Dark Forces II speedrun this morning after I saw folks cybergabbing about it, and it is quite splendid. The combination of good old rocket-jumping with Force superpowers makes for tricks pleasing to this grizzled Quake fan.

The whole Twitch stream is archived in big long chunks if you want to watch it in lumps, in which case you’ll want to consult the schedule to find specific things, or individual games are up on YouTube [thanks for pointing it out, Dr Bugalugs McScruffin!].

What about you, dear reader? Are there any runs you’d particularly like to point out? Any particularly fine displays of skills we might enjoy? Do share, won’t you?

50 Comments

  1. CmdrCrunchy says:

    I was watching on and off and there were many great sections, but the only one I’ve gone back and watched on youtube is Battleblock Theatre. It was on at silly o’clock UK time, but was recommended to me by some fellow BattleBlock players and boy am I glad I watched it.

    Nearly three hours of people simply having fun as well as completing the game in a decent time. Add to that Stamper and DanPaladin was on Skype watching the whole thing and chatting with the participants and you can see why its a highlight for so many. A real joy to watch that I’d recommend to anyone especially those who don’t usually enjoy watching speed runs.

  2. Tinotoin says:

    Witwix’s run of I Wanna Be The Boshy was amazing, both because of the insane nature of the game, and he and his mate donated money for every death.

    He seems like quite the sterling chap too.

    Also, the Uncharted glitch run displayed how broken the game seems to be.

    • pepperfez says:

      Their version of Uncharted looked like a game I might actually want to play.

    • fish99 says:

      Witwix is awesome. Not only playing amazingly well in probably the hardest game around, but being genuinely witty and entertaining while doing so.

    • pund says:

      Agreed.

  3. Tinotoin says:

    Oh, also Shovel Knight – with the devs on Skype watching it.

    • Reapy says:

      This was great with the devs continually going WTF as the speed runners did something.

      Real stand out run worth watching to hear about the devs intentions for trying stuff and how they went about developing. This is a perfect lesson in developer intent vs what happens to a game in the wild.

      • TheMopeSquad says:

        To be fair most devs watching their games being speedrun have the same reaction.

        Last year during Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam Gaiden the devs made the mistake of coming in person, the results were amazing.

  4. Dr Bugalugs McScruffin says:

    Most, if not all, speed runs have also been put on YouTube on the GDQArchive channel. I second the brilliance of the Dark Forces 2 run.

  5. Premium User Badge

    boundless08 says:

    Favourite I caught had to be Escape Goat. that shit was intense and unreal. It was a race between two speed runners. I found the group ones more fun to watch as there was a bit of tension and competition to keep things interesting.

  6. tciecka says:

    My kids are avid Mario Kart Wii / Mario Kart 8 players and they got a kick out of watching the glitch run of the Wii version.

  7. SanguineAngel says:

    This reminds me that Jedi Knight DFII is one of my all time favourite games. I would say the most enjoyable multiplayer game I ever played too

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I was quite surprised to see the screenshot of Jedi Knight here, because I hadn’t heard that it was featured in this speedrunning session and didn’t think it was suitable/popular enough for speedrunning. Well, they had some other odd choices, like Tekwar, but I still didn’t think a game I personally like would be featured. Then I was all like “Yay, RPS chose one of my favorite games of all time as the header image for this article!”. Oh, the nostalgia is strong with this one, but I actually still have it installed and played it not too long ago.

      As for speedruns, I don’t get the hype (or rather, I disagree with the alleged qualities people claim it has) and it’s certainly not for me. Quite the contrary, since I want to explore and do absolutely everything in games I play. I’m currently playing Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition and am almost done with my second playthrough, having spent 295 hours with it. Damn, that game is big!

      • Cinek says:

        “I’m currently playing Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition and am almost done with my second playthrough, having spent 295 hours with it.” – oh my god… that’s more time than I have on any of my Steam games. I guess in that time you touched every single stone that exists in this game and seen every single line of dialog developers ever wrote for this project… lol

        • Darth Gangrel says:

          I’m a sucker for voice acting, so I often reload a game just to see the other responses from different dialogue options. Sometimes even on my first playthrough, which perhaps makes subsequent runs less enjoyable with nothing left to discover. However, Dragon Age: Origins contains so damn much dialogue and after a few hours it takes longer and longer to reload a saved game (memory leak?), so it’s almost not feasible/reasonable to discover every bit of dialogue, but there’s not much dialogue I haven’t heard. I haven’t touched any of the other campaigns yet, like Awakening or Witch Hunt, so perhaps this will be the most played game on my Steam list. It got past KotOR 1 at 264 hours and I’ve played VtM – Bloodlines for 347 hours. The other games in my library are mostly unplayed, with a few at 30 hours, and I got new games at Steam’s holiday sale :P.

      • pepperfez says:

        Weirdly, I think speedrunners are among the most dedicated completionists. You can’t know you’re playing the fastest way unless you’ve played and timed every other way as well.

        • Darth Gangrel says:

          I just don’t see the point in rushing, that’s not my definition of fun and there’s no point in doing anything in a game unless it’s fun. Challenges and doing something as quickly and efficiently as possible or finding a super strategy/weapon isn’t what makes me enjoy a game. That sounds more like work, like a to-do-list and I play games to relax, to visit other worlds and enjoy the atmosphere of a game. I can’t do that if I’m running around trying to beat the game as quickly as possible. I’ll play a game for as long as it takes, doing everything there is to do and go onto a new game when I feel like it.

          I watched the Dark Forces 2 speedrun, because I love that game and it’s fun to see how they used exploits to get around or were just taking unusual paths. I also like to play around with a game, do stuff that perhaps you were never intended to do, get creative, but that’s not to gain an advantage. It’s just for fun, there’s no other purpose behind it.

          • Reapy says:

            It is just another way to play a game. While I mostly agree with you, that I like to play a game for immersion, speed running is more about absolutely worshiping the mechanics of the game and total and thorough understanding.

            I find it best for older games to have the veil ripped back and my eyes opened to the ugly guts of a game and its programming.

      • TheMopeSquad says:

        I’m sure the average speedrunner has probably spent several thousand hours playing [insert game name here] more than you have played Dragon Age.

        • spookas says:

          The Super Monkey Ball runner said that he spends 6 hours a day on the game. He guesses he is currently at 4000 hours.

          • TheMopeSquad says:

            Granted most guys spend about that much time playing with their balls.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Yep Jedi Knight was the very first game I played when I got my first PC. I spent so long trying to make it through that game, it was fantastic seeing that dude just completely blitz it in a way you wouldn’t imagine was possible.

        Overall I watched a bunch of AGDQ, fantastic entertainment. I have no interest in putting the time in to be able to speedrun anything but watching these games mastered or broken or both in the thick and fast format that they used was very enjoyable to me. Gonna go back over the vods and watch the stuff I missed now.

  8. noisepassfilter says:

    Tetris.
    Everybody should watch Tetris.
    You might not think it, but Tetris was jaw-dropping.

    • TheMopeSquad says:

      During one part of this the blocks are INVISIBLE, nuff said!

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      I can’t second this hard enough. Those lacking time may want to start with a bit of Tetris culture trivia:
      link to youtube.com

      But at least check out what’s essentially the single-player finale:
      link to youtube.com

      Coop mode follows that, and the video in general kinda blew the Tetris affected part of my brain.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Anyone who watched the Tetris segment might be interested in this too. This guy is one of the handful of Grandmasters that the dude at AGDQ was talking about. The precision of this guys inputs is amazing. link to youtube.com

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        o_o My word. Seeing the hands along with the screen was something else…like watching a good pianist play from where you can see their hands, only a little more spastic. Thanks for the link.

    • Herbal Space Program says:

      Agreed, Tetris dwarfed everything at the event.

  9. aoanla says:

    The speedruns of “They Bleed Pixels” and “Shovel Knight” are worth watching just because the devs of each game are present via the internet and can be heard commenting on the run (expressing astonishment at how little the player dies in the case of TBP…).

    The “TASbot plays…” series are technically interesting, as they’re not speedruns per se – they’re demonstrations of how badly you can exploit a game if you have perfect control of its inputs (just using the controller ports, though).

    The Tetris: The Grandmaster speedrun section is also worth watching a bit of, if for nothing else than to experience terrified awe at how fast a master-class Tetris player can process information…

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      The thing I like about TASes is that a good one can be hilarious. Normal speedruns can be pretty amusing, too, but with all the extra weirdness to be had when playing frame-by-frame, there tend to be more in-jokes and physical humor in the tool-assisted ones. But the “total control” bits they’ve been doing with TASBot for the past couple years have been completely nuts. I can see them getting old if the creativity ever stops, but…

  10. Premium User Badge

    neffo says:

    Dark Forces 2, was a good watch. (Much nostalgia too, albeit in condensed form.) The run of Rogue Legacy was pretty great too.

  11. Anthile says:

    Sure, I watched a good chunk of it:
    Super Mario Bros 2: Lost Levels
    Just a very good and informative run.

    They Bleed Pixels
    An incredibly difficult game made look reasonable, complete with one of the devs chiming in.

    I Wanne Be The Boshy
    By far the funniest run this year. Also a very strange and insanely difficult game.

    Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
    A good chunk of the early dungeons played blindfolded. Absolutely unreal.

    Kaizo Mario
    Yes, the Kaizo Mario.

    Banjo-Kazooie
    Simply a classic game with insightful commentary from none other than Grant Kirkhope.

    Morrowind
    Well, it’s Morrowind. More watchable than most Morrowind speedruns due to all main quests category.

    Tetris
    Not a speedrun but still a ludicrous display of skill.

    Ninja Gaiden 1-3 relay race
    Incredible race, perhaps the best one seen at a GDQ event yet.

    Yoshi’s Island
    Excellent race of a great game, plus blindfolded levels and accordion afterwards.

  12. Cinek says:

    I personally don’t get this whole thing with watching other people playing games, yet alone doing the speedruns. Heck – while ago I made a right click & drag on a screenshot from Homeworld… but none the less if that makes people support cancer prevention – I’m all for it. Donated few bucks myself… but I still refuse to watch the thing. ;)

    • TheMopeSquad says:

      The allure of watching the event is more about the people than the games, and all the unexpected stuff that happens. Personally I also enjoy learning about how the games work from the inside out. I will never know as much about a game from playing it myself as watching these people play it.

    • Reapy says:

      To me this is one of the last bastions of epic single player gaming.

      I find watching a lot of these games nostalgic, more so than trying to fire them up in an emulator and bumbling through them myself, but also the degree to which the games are destroyed and completed is awesome.

      While I couldn’t watch them on their normal streams, the neatly wrapped up package that is a marathon run and its commentary really just serves you up witness to YEARS of play skill and knowledge in about an hour. There is no short way to duplicate what you watch in these runs short of playing one game continuously for years, and as you said, I’d rather be playing something newer personally.

      So for me it is one week where I get to go back in time and feel like I am hanging out with my friends, enthused about these games for the first time again, to me these are really great events.

  13. pepperfez says:

    I recommend the blindfolded run of Ocarina of Time. I know, I know — console game, PC gaming site, etc. Counterpoint: Blindfolded speedrun.

  14. mineshaft says:

    The Ninja Gaiden relay race was amazing.

    Two teams played Ninja Gaidens 1, 2, and 3 in sequence. The first game went down in under 13 minutes.

    There was a proposal on air in Mischief Makers.

    ++ to Boshy and Battleblock.

  15. Moraven says:

    And marriage proposals!

    link to youtube.com

    Blind Punch Out and Super Metroid race were great last year.

  16. TheMopeSquad says:

    It’s hard to make a shortlist practically every run was great, of the runs I did watch which were mostly at night that were the most interesting…

    -Zelda OOT Blindfolded, Vanquish One-Handed, and TETRIS (specifically Grand Master 3 Terror Instinct) were all amazing displays of skill.

    -Dark Souls 2, Final Fantasy 7, and Morrowind were some impressive and entertaining glitch runs.

    -Pretty much everything in the Awful Games block was a lot of fun. Watch Trio the Punch, Town With No Name, and Sneak King at least.

    -Super Mario Bros The Lost Levels, everyone fell in love with the runner.

    -Umihara Kawase had a cute “gimmick”.

    -Everything from the TASBot is very interesting/amazing.

    -Star Wars Dark Forces 2 judging by the banner this has been covered.

    -Mega Man x and Ninja Gaiden were pretty fun and close races.

    -Super Metroid race, the saddest run of the marathon.

    The only run I really did not like and would not recommend was Kingdom Hearts 2 it was just soooooo long and boring to watch. It did have nerds singing a medley of Disney songs though.

    EDIT: I totally forgot this! Portal Co-Op! WORLD FIRST WORLD RECORD! link to youtube.com

    • spookas says:

      Thanks, this is actually really helpful! I never know what to watch, because I haven’t played most of these games, and because the games I know and like aren’t necessarily the best speedruns. I tuned in casually but only actually watched a couple of full runs live. Gonna catch up now.

    • Reapy says:

      I’d quickly tack on to this excellent list the yoshi’s island 2 blindfold run also. It is right at the end of the normal one, but was pretty epic. I mean not quite the ocarina blindfold run but, yeah, good stuff.

      • TheMopeSquad says:

        Cool, I didn’t see that one so I’ll watch it now. I didn’t really get to see the majority of the Nintendo games, for that matter.

    • limbeckd says:

      I totally agree with you on The Lost Levels. He was by far the most charismatic of the runners and it really made his run a lot of fun to watch. I was also really impressed by the ~3 minute Mario 3 run that was tagged on to the end of the regular run.

      • TheMopeSquad says:

        That was really great. i was going to mention that as well but didn’t think people would want to seek out the specific time it happened. Here’s a link to make it easy: link to youtube.com

  17. tonka_92 says:

    it was great fun to watch, and I’ll be catching up on the runs I missed for weeks

  18. HumpX says:

    so many fond memories of playing the Dark knight titles done by Raven, especially multiplayer.

  19. Nixitur says:

    By the way, I also recommend looking at the channel of Yuuki DeName.
    Not only do they have two playlists of AGDQ 2015 (one with newest first, one with oldest first), but they also uploaded the bonus stream, something that the GDQArchive channel did not do. In fact, they’re still uploading that bonus stuff.
    Then there’s also BtbN who uploaded the entire stream, not just the runs, in hours-long chunks.
    Since TwitchTV now deletes older broadcasts, it’s become even more important to have people back it up on Youtube.