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Summer Games Done Quick 2016 roundup: The biggest surprises of the week

You won't see these anywhere else

Speedrunning charity livestream Summer Games Done Quick 2016 is coming to a close, and we're rounding up some of the best and strangest runs of the week. This summer's event featured many classic speedrunning choices from franchises like Mega Man and Zelda, but it also showed off some games we never would have expected to see. Even if we had seen them coming, we've never seen them played quite like this.

SGDQ 2016 ends around 3 a.m. (Sunday July 10), so today is your last full day to catch the action live and donate to this summer's charity, Doctors Without Borders.

Tetris: The Grand Master series exhibition

Forget everything you thought you knew about Tetris. Here, five of the best Tetris players sit down to play the most difficult series of Tetris games ever made— Tetris: The Grand Master. All five have competed in GDQ events before, and one player, Kevin Birrell, AKA KevinDDR, was the sixth person ever to reach the rank of "Grand Master" in the series' third game since its release in 2005. If you thought Tetris was tough on your first Game Boy, wait until you see blocks immediately spawn on the bottom row.

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy screenshot 1024

If you love watching games where the player character looks like they're sprinting on a linoleum floor slathered in vegetable oil, this run is definitely for you. Even viewers who aren't fans of George Lucas's visionary space opera can find joy in watching this game's constant long jumping and saber swinging.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

As it turns out, one of the most hated Sonic games of all time makes for an incredible speedrun. Conveniently, many of the glitches in this notoriously slow Sonic title manage to skip a lot of the painful dialogue and hub city traversing that turned players off when it was released. Gotta go fast!

Catherine (1 player, 2 controllers)

This puzzle platformer by Persona developer Atlus has players traverse nightmares and avoid sheep-men while pulling out blocks to climb a rapidly deteriorating tower. It's a game that needs no help being absolutely bonkers, but by playing with double the necessary amount of controllers, its absurdity flies off the charts.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Even if you've spent years daydreaming about the wizarding world, the creepy, papercraft-like characters in this game will be absolutely unrecognizable to you. At least the game has a great soundtrack. Come for the brand loyalty, stay for a 12-year old Harry yelling nonsense words like "Flipendo!" and "Spongify!" over and over and over again.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Blindfolded)

Symphony of the Night

Blindfolded runs have been popular, if rare occurrences at GDQ in the past. Fans wanted to see this particular run so badly that they donated more than $15,000 just to make it possible. Not only does runner romscout play through the entire game using sound and memory alone, he does it in about an hour. It's an event you just have to see to believe.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

This year's SGDQ featured a block of all five single-player Elder Scrolls games released to date. Perhaps the most interesting run also happens to be the shortest. By utilizing some ridiculous glitches, it turns out this game, which could normally take several dozen hours, can easily be completed in less than eight minutes.

Deus Ex

We recommend this one because of its sheer density of wild glitches and hilarious commentary from German runner Heinki. With the release of the next game in the Deus Ex franchise just around the corner, it's a treat to see the original get utterly broken.

Two Worlds

For some inexplicable reason, the developers of this game decided to put the final boss unprotected in the middle of a forest, literally paces away from your character's starting point. All it takes is riling up some local villagers to dogpile on him and this game is over in less than three minutes.

Fallout 4

monster factory fallout 4 ep 1

Despite Fallout 4 being released less than a year ago, speedrunners have found some wacky exploits that make the game beatable in just over an hour. As an added bonus, several passionate viewers donated enough money to have runner BubblesDelFuego name his character after our own Griffin and Justin McElroy's beautiful abomination, The Final Pam (pictured above). Thanks for the plug!


This internet sensation is an original PlayStation release exclusive to Japan. It features a buff dude in a metallic blue and silver morphsuit sprinting through various locales while collecting cans of, you guessed it, Pepsi. Throw in absurd voice acting, FMV cutscenes and a soundtrack that won't stop repeating "Pepsimaaan!," and you've got a run that's impossible not to smile through.

Upcoming runs not to miss:

Pokémon Red Version | 1:26 p.m. ET

This one's a no-brainer. Since Pokémon Go's release in the states, Pokémania is at an all-time high. Here's your chance to catch the game that started it all played like you've never seen.

TASBot plays Super Mario Bros. 1, 2 and 3 | 5:36 p.m. ET

the first level of Super Mario Bros. Image: Nintendo

Until this point in the event, SGDQ 2016 has featured some very talented human players blazing through a litany of games. In tool-assisted speedruns, or TAS, runners instead input commands into an emulator, often to pull off moves that would be impossible for a human being to accomplish. They usually feature rare glitches you won't find anywhere else. Our pick of this block is the first three Super Mario Bros. games, which will all be played at the same time on one controller.

Super Metroid | 10:21 p.m. ET

Super Metroid Nintendo

If you've been scratching your head wondering why so many people donating to a worthy cause have voiced a bloodthirsty desire to have their money "kill the animals," this game is the reason. A pillar of GDQ for years, Super Metroid ends with an ultimatum of whether to save several creatures who have helped Samus through the course of the game, or leave them to their doom. The thing is, saving the animals takes several seconds, which makes the moral option atypical in a speedrun. Currently, "save the animals" has the lead by about $2,000. If you're itching to see one or the other, you still have time to donate for your choice.

The next level of puzzles.

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