Wednesday is the comfort day for Awesome Games Done Quick, when the stream has been on long enough to become commonplace, but isn't so close to the end to seem urgent. It's also the day when the speedruns start to get a little weirder, especially during tonight's Awful Games block.
This midweek chunk is perfect for some of the more niche speedruns, like today's Battletoads run showing us that the Turbo Tunnels are beatable.
Crypt of the Necrodancer can seem like an odd speedrun since the movement speed is dependent on the in-game rhythm system. However, zooming through the roguelike is still very difficult thanks to the game's forced reaction times. Not only did the normal run show off tremendous skill, but the bonus run managed to complete a playthrough with Coda. The character has limited access to upgrades, instantly dies upon touching a gold drop or missing a beat, and requires the player to move twice as fast. It's so hard to complete the game with Coda that even the developers weren't sure it was possible.
Super Metroid Any% stands on its own as a superb speedrun. It's very technical, requires precise optimization, and is constantly on the verge of failure due to the limited health runners can acquire. For a bonus run, two top Super Metroid runners gathered to perform one of the sillier Super Metroid categories by sharing a controller, and managed to nail a world record in a pretty goofy category.
Wednesday, Jan. 6
2:15 p.m.: Blaster Master 4-way race
Blaster Master is a plucky space platformer that ended up a Games Done Quick tradition, though not intentionally. It just kept showing up and grew very competitive over the past few years. During the submissions for Awesome Games Done Quick, six of the top seven racers tried to get this game into the marathon, and the result this afternoon should be a very tight race.
7:25 p.m.: Super Mario Maker blind custom level race
Super Mario Maker is one of the most unique speedruns at AGDQ 2016. None of the runners have practiced any of the levels. They'll be blind racing Super Mario Maker levels designed to bring out the absolute worst in some of the racers. Some of the GDQ mapmakers have a decade of experience with this, going back to the old Super Mario World romhack scene.
11:37 p.m.: The Awful Block
There's an annual tradition at Awesome Games Done Quick that celebrates the bad, the terrible and the awful. Played normally, all the games in The Awful Block are refund-inciting grinds. The speedruns pry enjoyment out of some of the worst gaming blunders ever released, and usually deliver a great combination of funny glitches or tricks. The awful block will include the nonsensical trials in Escape from Atlantis and the bizarre Utsurun Desu.
Thursday, Jan. 7
5:12 a.m.: Animorphs
Wrapping up the Awful Block is Animorphs, an unlicensed Pokemon knockoff that barely functions as a game. The combat is strange, the game is very easy to crash, render impossible, or just outright lose, and the objectives make no sense. The speedrun manages to hold this shell of a game together, and a finished run is beautiful to behold. This is a run that absolutely needs to be watched because no description can do it justice.