Awesome Games Done Quick is back. The world series of speedrunning will, beginning Sunday at noon ET, deliver 156 hours of highly watchable sprints, stunts and trick runs involving games both currently popular and long forgotten.
There are more than 130 events in this year’s marathon, which is a lot to manage. Beginning today, Polygon will be providing viewers’ guides to highlight the key events of the coming day, and those that could deliver the most action.
Where can I watch Awesome Games Done Quick 2019?
As always, right here!
And this is Games Done Quick’s official Twitch page, with the stream.
But one of Games Done Quick’s most vital viewer resources are the videos-on-demand. Here’s how to find and use them to stay up to speed with what’s taken place during the marathon.
- The r/Speedrun subreddit usually gets a VOD thread up on the first day. This is a chronological matrix listing the game run, the runners, and then the timestamped link on the livestream. Links to individual YouTube videos are dropped in later as those become available.
- Video of individual events are best found through the Games Done Quick YouTube channel, but these take time to appear as the event’s video team has to cut and upload them.
- Want more? GDQ VODs is not only a good resource for the current Awesome Games Done Quick, it’s a great archive of past AGDQs and Summer Games Done Quick. It’s also searchable by game title and runner name.
Who should I watch?
We’ll give you a list of highlights for the first 24 hours (noon today to noon Monday) below this, and then for every day throughout the week. But in general, these players are the best at what they do. The submissions committee at Games Done Quick does factor in the performance/notoriety of a runner’s proposal after all. Most of those here are in the top 3 (or were recently) of their event’s times as maintained on Speedrun.com.
But temper your expectations for what these performers are trying to do. Getting picked to play at a Games Done Quick doesn’t imply someone is here to take on a world record. It’s rare to see one fall; GDQ VODs says only 23 world records have been set at the 18 Awesome/Summer Games Done Quick marathons since 2010.
What’s on tap for the first day?
After a pre-show from 11:30 a.m. to noon ET, the first 24 hours sees 28 events, 17 of them run by reigning world No. 1s. The full schedule is here, but here are some runs worth a look.
- Hollow Knight opens the marathon with Vysuals’ run at noon for a True Ending (No Major Glitches). They’re currently in first place for this category, and have been dueling back-and-forth with Skurry for the top slot. The record changed hands five times in November.
- At 2:42 p.m., V0oid and stew_ duel in Donkey Kong Country Any% (All Stages). They are first and fourth, respectively. V0oid retook the world No. 1 on Christmas Eve, besting the previous record by three seconds. stew_’s current personal best was set Nov. 26.
- At 4:49 p.m., mr.deagle and The Master team up for Serious Sam Classic: The First Encounter in a co-op Any% percent run. Co-ops and races are among the best events for excitement, and this pair just took over the world No. 1 on Dec. 27, bettering it on Dec. 31
- At 6:52 p.m. is The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. This game has a run history dating to 2010 (on Speedrun.com) and popesquidward is world No. 2. Majora’s Mask was last at an AGDQ in 2016.
- At 7:20 and 8:10 a.m. tomorrow, chronoon gets back-to-back events, owning records in both. First is Ecco: The Tides of Time on Genesis (Any%) and then comes Vectorman. chronoon took over first place in Vectorman on Nov. 18 but bettered it with a 13:30 run just this Thursday.
- And at 10:12 a.m. tomorrow, d4gr0n takes on Pocky & Rocky (Any%, Normal). They logged the game’s first sub-20 minute run on May 9, 2018, but haven’t touched it since.
Other world No. 1 runners in the first 24 hours:
- swordsmankirby, in Kirby & The Amazing Mirror (Any%) at 1:50 p.m.
- tyler2022, in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (European Extreme, PS3) at 9:02 p.m.
- ChurchNEOH in Shadow of the Colossus (2018, Boss Rush, NTA) at 10:47 p.m.
- MrUppercaseT in Cat Bird (Any%, all worlds) at 3:12 a.m. Monday. This will be the first Games Done Quick run on an iPad.
- MrCab in CometStriker (Arcade, Hard) at 3:50 a.m.
- snapcase in Khimera: Destroy All Monster Girls (Race Mode, PC) at 4:35 a.m.
- Brandooates in Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition (Any%, Glitchless) at 5:05 a.m.
- d4gr0n in Mega Turrican (Any%, Normal) at 6:50 a.m.
- Nubzombie in Generations Lost (Any%) at 8:37 a.m.
- RottDawg in Bloody Wolf (Any% at 9 a.m.) This is only the second TurboGrafx-16 run at a GDQ marathon.
- PJ in ActRaiser 2 (Hard, SNES) at 11:37 a.m.
Check back with Polygon each day, we will do our best to set up the coming 24 hours and point out events that have potential for viewing excitement.
What’s Any%? What’s all this jargon?
Speedrunning is as much a subculture as it is entertainment, with its own terms and descriptors. If you’re unfamiliar, here are some common ones you may see used.
- 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.
What’s all this for?
You may have heard this is a charity marathon. Awesome Games Done Quick’s philanthropy is the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Last year’s event raised $2,295,191 for the foundation, and AGDQ lifetime (dating to 2010) has raised more than $9 million.
If the spirit moves you, donations may be made through the Games Done Quick website.