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The Best Of Awesome Games Done Quick 2020

by Donald Theriault - January 19, 2020, 6:00 am EST
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We'll probably come in under estimate, but we don't have 200,000 people in our Twitch chat trying to kill us.

The bi-annual speedrunning expo of Games Done Quick wrapped its first show of the year in Orlando last weekend, raising more than US$3 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation (a cause that hits a bit close to home for me) and also a land speed record for public honking.

Now that the show has wrapped up until it becomes the biggest gaming event of June, we've collected some of the best of the week's runs for your VODding pleasure. We've tried to keep these tax deductible, but there's a Non-tendo run (Thirsty Mage eligible, at least) we couldn't resist including.

Mega Man 7 - 100%

Runner: PJ

Time: 49m40s

The first big run of the week, Mega Man is a speedrunning staple - but 100% Mega Man 7 is a rare category. PJ taught me a lot about the game - like the exact spots in which Rush Search is actually worth using - to create an entertaining run for an underappreciated game.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - Any%

Runner: gymnast86

Time: 2h25m36s

In prior years, Skyward Sword would normally garner an overnight slot - but a newly discovered trick that involves playing the game on the save selection screen cut the average run time in half. Come for a Skyward Sword playthrough in which Fi actually shuts up, and stick around for the ending that features the second best blindfold run of the week.

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble - 103%

Runner: V0oid

Time: 1h55m26s

I've never actually gotten fully into DKC3 - 2 was more my jam - and yet I nearly missed a doctor's appointment watching this run on a Monday afternoon. Some of the strategies for getting the DK coins especially impressed me, as the skill needed to keep the barrel live long enough to get them is insane. And high speed Simon - what's not to love?

Fallout Anthology - Any%

Runner: tomatoangus (note: "the G is silent")

Time: 2h16m21s

The time doesn't seem all that impressive until you realize that covers five games. In exploiting the combination of 20+ year old code and Bethesda's quality assurance, the runner actually busts out real life props to explain some of the stuff needed to break possible future Switch game Fallout 4. I still have to figure out why one of the couch commentators busted out seven pairs of sweatpants, though.

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out - 2 Blindfolded Players, 1 Controller

Runners: sinister1, zallard1

Time: 23m39s

There's blindfolded Punch-Out. There's 2 player one controller Punch-Out. But what happens when two blindfolded players share one controller and try to conquer the World Circuit? Magic. And that time is 16+ minutes below their initial estimate.

Final Fantasy VIII - Any% w/Omega Weapon

Runners: tojju, muttski

Time: 9h10m18s

Thanks to some unfortunate glitching, the usual overnight long RPG run ended up starting about three hours behind schedule. But the runners blast through a 60 hour game in about nine hours - including as part of a donation incentive beating the million HP superboss. High points are blindfolded menuing, a stirring rendition of Eyes On Me, one of the fastest The End spells ever recorded, and someone explaining the end game plot in a way that actually maybe made it make sense?

Cadence of Hyrule - Any%

Runners: SpootyBiscuit, Goof

Time: 17m29s

If nine hours for a 1999 game is a bit much, maybe beating a 2019 game in 20 minutes is better. Roguelikes are a tricky thing to speedrun normally, especially when the seed for the game is subject to a bidding war, but two runners co-op the game without missing a beat.

FIre Emblem: Three Houses - Any% House Bid War

Runner: Claris

Time: 1h33m43s

When I made my donation for the week I put it toward the Black Eagles in this because I figured hey, that'd be the shorter run. It turns out that having early access to Warp in Golden Deer might have actually made it shorter DESPITE the extra chapters. We also have an attempt at an upsidedown% run, and a special appearance from the voice of God Claude himself, Joe Zieja. Unfortunately, as with most Fire Emblem speedruns, there is a significant body count.

Celeste: Farewell

Runner: flarebear

Time: 20m35s

One of my most striking memories was having someone at the apartment when I put this run on, and they were blown away by the skill flarebear showed in this run of the final Celeste stage added. Even if it came in over estimate, it's still way faster than any run I would have with the game.

Pokémon X/Y - Any%

Runner: wartab

Time: 4h4m1s

Back in the day, I did challenge runs through Pokémon X so it was fun to see it run on such a big stage. The couch carries this run, however, providing the right mix of commentary and comedy including the week's biggest dunk. (Poor Hop.) And there's even a save from the tech team preventing catastrophic battery loss.

Super Mario World - One Mind, Any%

Runners: authorblues, LackAttack24

Time: 14m48s

"One Mind" is a modified version of Super Mario World that sees two players controlling Mario - with the accepted input changing every second. A bid war sees the run upgraded to hard mode. Despite all that, the second best tag team action of the weekend sees an 11-exit clear of Super Mario World in a time that would make Shinji and Asuka blush.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past - Randomizer With Crowd Control

Runner: Andy

Time: 3h41m

Crowd Control is a program that interacts with Twitch to allow viewers to buy the ability to help or hinder the streamer. Including outright killing them. Our beleaguered runner Andy has to try and figure out what's going on in Link to the Past, while randomly losing bombs and arrows but gaining enough bees to supply all the honey in Hyrule. This is another over-estimate run, but when 200,000 people have the ability to strike you down at any time, is that really surprising? Also, another terrific couch performance.

Untitled Goose Game - All Tasks, Bonus Any%

Runner: iggyzig

TIme: 15m43s

As mentioned earlier, the Goose Game was the biggest meme of the week by a mile. So of course the donations ramped up when the horrible goose took to the stage on Saturday night. And then they pull off a 100% run of the game in just over 15 minutes. For fun, stick around after for a bid incentive for a "any%" run... in less than three minutes.

Super Mario Maker 2 - 4v4 Blind Relay

Runners: Carl Sagan, grandpoobear, PangaeaPanga, Barbarian, juzcook, ryukahr, Aurateur, Thabeast721

Time: 1h15m

Saturday night's insanity continues with proof that despite Nintendo's best efforts, Super Mario Maker 2 can be the next great eSport. Two teams of four Mario Maker specialists face off in a series of levels that utilizes every format and mode possible, including some amazing Link levels, and is close all the way to the end. Following the competition, there's two of the greatest things I ever saw: the venue crowd basically summoning a donation spirit bomb for an incentive that gets met as "Weight of the World" from Nier: Automata starts, and then the incentive being the first known successful tool-assisted speedrun of a Switch game.

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