Speedrunning festival Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) is off to a great start, with more than $300,000 collected on behalf of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Over the next two days we’ll see some tremendous runs, including rarely performed games such as Fallout: New Vegas and Katamari Damacy.
What is AGDQ? It’s the biannual celebration of speedrunning, the act of moving through a game as quickly as possible. Glitching, warping and bending the rules is all part of the fun, as is watching your favorite games turned inside out in hope of shaving a few more seconds off the world record.
AGDQ 2017 runs nonstop for a full week — the last event is 11:15 p.m. on Saturday. Jan. 14, followed by the traditional finale at 1:10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 15.
Polygon will have the official livestream embedded here (and in other posts as the week goes on). You can find the official Games Done Quick Twitch page here. The Speedrun subreddit will curate a catalog of all the best runs as on-demand videos and post them as they’re made available.
Here’s our picks for the runs to watch over the next few days. All start times are listed as Eastern and subject to change. Run times are goals only, and may go longer or shorter than listed. The full schedule is posted here.
TUESDAY, JAN. 10:
- 2:31 p.m.: Fallout: New Vegas (programingwithed) Any% run estimated at 30 minutes
- 3:06 p.m.: System Shock 2 (M1_Account) Any%
- 4:28 p.m.: Daikatana (Cubeface) Any%, no sidekicks
- 6:08 p.m.: Doom (2016) (Blood_Thunder) Any%
- 7:28 p.m..: Super Mario Brothers (darbian, Kosmicd12, andrewg) Warpless run, 35 minutes
- 10:10 p.m.: Final Fantasy (feasel, Gyre) Any% in four hours
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 11:
- 10:07 a.m.: Hyper Light Drifter (MunchaKoopas) New Game+, Any%
- 1:23 p.m.: Castlevania (Cantaloupeme, Komrade) Any%
- 5:12 p.m.: Mega Man X (Domalix, Calebhart42, CrystalUnclear, Walrus_prime) 100%
- 6:02 p.m.: Mighty Number 9 (GreenZSaber) Any%, Beck, normal
- 7:12 p.m.: Halo 2 (Cryphon) Legendary in less than two hours
- 9:12 p.m..: Batman: Arkham City (BubblesDelFuego) Any%, no Catwoman
Here’s a helpful glossary of terms you might hear during the stream:
- 100%: A run with a completion requirement of collecting 100 percent of the items. In games without a percentage counter, the community decides what parts of the game are important enough to count towards 100 percent. Not all games lend themselves well towards a 100% definition.
- Any%: A run with no additional completion requirements; anything goes. The "default" category for speedrunning a game. The term comes from the old school Metroid speedrunning community. Metroid has a percentage counter, while other games may not, but the term stuck around.
- Damage Boost: Intentionally getting hit in order to gain extra speed/height or to pass through enemies/obstacles quickly.
- Death Warp: Intentionally dying to save time, usually by avoiding backtracking.
- Frame Perfect: A technique in a game that you only have a 1 frame window to successfully pull off.
- Low%: A run that completes the game with the bare minimum lowest percentage. This can take a lot longer than an any% run, depending on the game. This is not a worthy category for many games, and is definitely rarer than similar categories such as 100%.
- Sequence Break: Doing something out of order in the intended sequence of events of a game.
- Segmented: A way of minimizing game time by redoing sections of a speedrun over and over.
Awesome Games Done Quick is a production of Speed Demos Archive, whose twice-a-year events raise money for charity. Last year’s Summer Games Done Quick raised $1.3 million for Doctors Without Borders, and Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 raised $1.2 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation, the third straight year AGDQ has gone over $1 million in donations.