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What to watch on the last day of Awesome Games Done Quick 2016

Speedrunners rock the TASBot in today's finale

Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 wraps up in about 12 hours in the marathon rooms. There are the normal feelings of exhaustion and a lot of people are just plain ready to go home.

For a lot of runners though, it's not only the end of the stream, but also a farewell to the in-person gathering of their game communities. They're not likely to meet other runners that share their bond in a speedrun until the next GDQ (which will be this summer) and it can be a somewhat lonely.

Still, it's not over yet, and it's time to celebrate the end of an unforgettable week.

Polygon's livestream post for Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 is here. The full schedule for Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 is here.


Secret of Mana (1 player, 2 controllers)

This is another 1-player/2-controllers speedrun, similar to the Goof Troop run earlier in the week. What made this fun to watch was the informative couch commentary, which really got into the mechanics of the game. While a technical breakdown of the game can be a bit intimidating, it's the crazy interactions on the couch that makes the speedrun so interesting. It's a very unique way to see a game deconstructed, in both words and in the run.

Pokemon Yellow: Special Edition

There's a certain kind of gambling rush you wouldn't expect from watching a Pokemon speedrun. Even when played well, a lot of the run comes down to random luck that can shut down skilled play. This run finished, so total failure isn't an option, but the constantly tense atmosphere makes this video a great watch for fans of the series. The follow up glitch exhibition was also amazing, and confirmed that you can get Mew from using Strength on a truck (with a fair bit of setup).

Upcoming runs

Saturday, Jan. 9

There's not too much left of Awesome Games Done Quick 2016, and all of today's runs are fantastic. The majority of these runs are going to be well-practiced, well-known games with an active speedrunning community. When it comes to recommendations, the real answer is all of these games should be good runs. Watch a game you've played or heard about on the GDQ Schedule, and it should be a pretty good speedrun.

That said, there is one chunk of the marathon that might need a bit of explanation.

3:45 p.m.: TASBot

A Tool-Assisted Speedrun isn't a normal speedrun, but a sequence of inputs programmed to play a game and show the most optimal run, even if it surpasses human limits. This Mega Man TAS from AGDQ 2015 shows what it's like when a TAS performs tricks that no human possibly could. It can be mesmerizing to see the limits of a game broken in a barely comprehensible way.

Beating a game quickly is just part of the TAS Block though, and there's likely to be a very different and very crazy "total control" TAS. Total control TAS is an odd concept, and it allows the video games to be actively manipulated with out-of-game interference. Last year's Pokemon TAS used total control to pull off some mindblowing tricks, like reading chat through a Gameboy. There might also be other tricks that are similar to Total Control, like Arbitrary Code Execution, which allows runners to act more like a developer mid-game than a player.

Regardless of what pops up, the TAS community has been hard at work since Summer Games Done Quick 2015 and this should be fascinating.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.