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Awesome Games Done Quick 2020: what to watch during speedrunning’s biggest week

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Highlights include a Myst block, the Fallout Anthology, Control, Untitled Goose Game, and more

goose on picnic blanket from untitled goose game. Image: House House

Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ), the annual charity speedrunning marathon, is back this year for its 10th anniversary livestream. Things kick off Sunday, Jan. 5 at 11:30 a.m. EST and run all week long until Saturday, Jan. 11. You can find the entire schedule at the official website, but here are our picks for what to watch over the coming week.

What is a speedrun?

For the uninitiated, speedrunning is the art of moving through a video game as quickly as possible. There’s a number of ways to make a run, from “100%” (playing through the entire game, start to finish) to “any%” (making it to the end of the game by any means possible). The scene has even more obscure terms, most of which you can find in a handy online glossary.

What is AGDQ?

AGDQ is hosted by Games Done Quick, an organization dedicated to raising money for charity. Over nine years of events, which also include the popular Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ), it’s raised more than $22.3 million. Last year’s AGDQ was its most successful ever, raising a whopping $2.39 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

Donations can be made on GamesDoneQuick.com.

You can watch this year’s marathon live on the organization’s official Twitch channel. Playlists from past events can be found on YouTube.

Highlights

Sunday, Jan. 5:

  • An early must-watch on day one is The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth+. StoneAgeMarcus will attempt the challenging title beginning at 5:09 p.m. EST and will be aiming for one hour and 20 minutes start-to-finish.
  • That run is followed at 6:49 p.m. EST with a roughly one-hour run of Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • That evening, starting at 12:28 a.m. EST, begins a massive Myst block. Beginning with realMyst: Masterpiece Edition, runners will transition to Riven: The Sequel to Myst and Myst 3: Exile by the early morning.

Monday, Jan. 6:

  • The Fallout Anthology, released inside a faux nuclear warhead in 2015, will kick off at 5:20 p.m. EST with runner tomatoangus. They’ll attempt Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition, Fallout New Vegas: Ultimate Edition, and Fallout 4 back-to-back in just over two hours.
  • The Outer Worlds, which has seen tons of speedrunning action since its release, is slotted for a 20-minute chunk of time starting at 7:35 p.m. EST. The any% run is likely to focus on being a big dummy to save time.
  • Sigil, the unofficial sequel to Doom (1993) by the original creator Jon Romero, is set for 8:05 p.m. EST. Runner KingDime will try to blast through it in under 17 minutes. It’s followed by a 100% run of Doom (2016) on Nightmare difficulty at 9:17 p.m. EST.

Tuesday, Jan. 7:

  • At 11:52 a.m. EST Manifold Garden gets its due. The mind-bending puzzle game, which was years in the making, will get cracked wide open in under 14 minutes.
  • The entire Legend of Zelda series on the NES and SNES — including The Legend of Zelda and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past — gets a three-and-a-half hour block. Played as a relay, the fun starts at 8:21 p.m. EST.
  • Then, starting at midnight, Tojju, Muttski, and Luzbelheim will embark on an epic nine-hour journey through Final Fantasy 8. The any% co-op relay will be played on the PlayStation 2.

Wednesday, Jan. 8:

  • The highlight here is the Mega Man block. A total of 14 different runners will participate in this any% relay, blasting through Mega Man 4, Mega Man 5, and Mega Man 6 in two hours.

Thursday, Jan. 9:

  • Things get weird this year with a first-of-its-kind Destiny 2 speedrun. Shockwve, The Packle, Milkman, Tokeegee, Traderkirk, and Alexy Sinclair with take a go at the Last Wish raid, all encounters, in under 45 minutes. The attempt kicks off at 8:20 p.m. EST.
  • That’s followed by the very watchable BioShock run by bloodthunder. The any% run should take less than an hour, and kick off at 11:20 p.m. EST.
  • Finally, there’s a leisurely any% co-op run of Wolfenstein: Youngblood at 12:30 a.m. PST.

Friday, Jan. 10:

  • If you’re up at 5:55 a.m. EST you can watch an any% run of Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines by Valvinraim. Expect that run to highlight many of the game’s unusual bugs and quirks.
  • There’s also a very challenging glitchless any% run of VVVVVV at 9:26 a.m. EST, followed by a run of Celeste. Altogether both runs should clock in under an hour, including set-up time.
  • Finally, there’s a 45-minute run of Dark Souls set for 12:26 a.m. EST.

Saturday, Jan. 11:

  • Later that same morning, at 1:21 a.m. EST, we’ll see Control run for the first time during a GDQ event. Runner Bryonato should clock in around one-hour and 15 minutes.
  • Remember Guitar Hero? There’s a community-made freeware version called Clone Hero, and FrostedGH will be running through 45 minutes of tunes starting at 1:09 p.m. EST. It’ll be interesting to catch up with this game, and learn a bit more about its development and hardware compatibility. LT_Humphrey will be on the microphone to help us interpret it.
  • Untitled Goose Game gets its own slot near the end. Like Control, this will be its first appearance at a GDQ event. Expect all main tasks completed in less than 25 minutes. The stream kicks off at 5:44 p.m. EST.