Speedrunners, Away! It’s Awesome Games Done Quick

There are a few levels I’d say I know like the back of my hand, but top speedrunners are the sort who can not only draw their gamehand perfectly from memory, they’ve probably also whipped out a scalpel and peeled back their gameskin to examine the workings of the underlying muscles and tendons. This metaphor is falling apart, so I’ll say: kids, don’t play with scalpels. Instead, for the next week you can marvel at dozens of speedrunners demonstrating their mastery of 150-ish games during the latest livestreamed speedrun-o-rama Awesome Games Done Quick. It starts this afternoon!

Folks from across the world will be trying to zip through games as quickly as possible, using tricks, exploits, and just plain ridiculous skill. I’m largely a potterer myself, far from a speedrunner, but still find many of these runs awfully impressive to watch.

A look at the schedule shows it’s heavy with console games from the ’80s and ’90s, same as ever, but also has an interesting and relatively modern load of games more familiar to us on PC. These include Left 4 Dead 2, Darksiders II, Transformers: Devastation, Axiom Verge, Hotline Miami, Fez, Teslagrad, Spelunky, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Kero Blaster, Half-Life 2, Portal 2, The Talos Principle, Soma, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, Grand Theft Auto III, Mirror’s Edge, Dragon Age: Origins, Age of Empires, Diablo, Diablo II: LoD, Shovel Knight, and some others I’m sure I missed – look, I’m supposed to be on holiday until Monday, I shouldn’t even be writing this.

It’s a fundraiser too, and a big one. Last year’s Summer Games Done Quick rummaged up over $1.2 million for Doctors Without Borders, and this here AGDQ will benefit the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

You can watch the whole thing livestreamed through Twitch. It’ll start this afternoon at 4:30 and run through until the wee hours of next Sunday.

14 Comments

  1. SuddenSight says:

    Wooo! This has rapidly become one of my favorite things to watch. I just love the commentary that so many of the runners give.

  2. Ishy says:

    I have fond memories of trying to get better times on New York Minute mode in the original Max Payne… Might have to tune into this.

  3. dreadmullet says:

    I’m really looking forward to watching the 1 hour, 10 minute Dragon Age: Origins run. Some of the boss battles in that game seemed like they were longer than that.

    • Thurgret says:

      I was curious and looked up Dragon Age Origins speedruns earlier, and found a 38 minute one which I skimmed through. It involves profuse use of glitches and exploits, and most of the game is bypassed using those.

      • Big Murray says:

        And thus it becomes not interesting to watch. Who wants to watch a game NOT being played?

        • SuddenSight says:

          Can you believe the Tour de France passes through beautiful fields and cities *quickly*? They skip most of the lovingly tended gardens and museums! Who wants to watch cyclists *not* take a vacation?

  4. Rizlar says:

    Yay!

  5. Jalan says:

    At least this one has audio that you can hear. I think it was 2014 or so that I last viewed one of these and despite having multiple people on microphones, it was as if they were all barely whispering when they spoke. Of course, I eventually get tired of the “jokes” and mute the sound anyway, but I try to stick with it as long as I can to see if anything actually insightful is ever said.

  6. Horg says:

    A shame they don’t have anyone running Dark Souls. That game is ideal for impressive speed running.

    • Xerophyte says:

      Well, there is Bloodborne on the final day. The regular souls games have been run frequently at past [A|S]GDQs and they try to not repeat themselves too much. The speedrunning community has a tendency to get stuck on a few popular games and the marathons are a good opportunity for some variation which is one of the best things about them.

      If anyone does want to see some Dark Souls speedruns then the previous marathons are archived, plus speedsouls.com has all the various world records gathered for the curious; they really are good speed run games.

      • Horg says:

        I keep forgetting Bloodborne is a thing that exists thanks to PS4 exclusivity. I’ll try and remember to watch that if I can find a good standard long play to give me some context for the speed run.

      • meepmeep says:

        There is, but lots of good Souls runs that were submitted by strong runners (including Demon’s Souls by the WR holder), in favour of the Any% route of Bloodborne by an almost unknown runner who isn’t even within 10 minutes of the world record, where the All Bosses run is far more interesting.

  7. Cockie says:

    I’m glad they decided to include Cloudbuilt this time – that game is made to be speedran and watching pro runs is pure excitement.

  8. Person of Interest says:

    Direct links to the Twitch stream for each speedrun will be posted here:

    link to reddit.com