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The 10 best SGDQ 2021 runs to watch after this weekend

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The speed running community raised $2.8 million for charity over the past week

confronting a giant glowing enemy in Demon’s Souls (remake) Image: Bluepoint Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Over the last week, charity and video game fans have converged for the Summer Games Done Quick event. Speedrunners from around the world came together to run their favorite games, while organizers gave away prizes and offered incentive bonuses for donations. The organization routinely raises thousands for various charities, and this year participants raised $2.8 million for Doctors Without Borders.

If you’re unfamiliar with SGDQ or its winter iteration, Awesome Games Done Quick, speed-runners attempt to beat games as quickly as possible, often by glitching the game or using special techniques. Runners in this SGDQ played games of all kinds and ages, from classics like Kirby Super Star from 1996 to 2020’s Demon’s Souls remake. The event was mostly online for the second year in a row due to the pandemic.

If you want to check out SGDQ 2021’s full catalog of runs for this event — which ran from July 4-11 — you can check out its website. Its YouTube channel also offers recordings for each run. But we’ve also compiled a list of 10 the best runs that you shouldn’t miss.

Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix

Beginning at the end, Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix closed out SGDQ this year. Ninten ran the game in the Critical Mode any% category, a first for the event. It’s a level 1 run, meaning the character’s stats don’t grow over the course of the game.

The run is three hours, 13 minutes, and 12 seconds. This run ends with the extremely tough Sephiroth and Terra fights, both of which are not to be missed.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Most tactics-style games make for odd runs, but the different routes for each of the houses makes Fire Emblem: Three Houses unique. SGDQ ran a charity donation incentive for this run, letting donors select which house the runners would take. The runners didn’t learn the route they’d be running until minutes before they started. As a race run, Three Houses featured two runners, Kirbymastah and Claris. The run takes only one hour, 13 minutes, and 53 seconds.

This is one of those very impressive runs that shows the mastery of each runner, knowing a game backwards and forwards through Golden Deer, Blue Lion, and Black Eagle runs.

Super Mario Bros. 3 co-op

Super Mario Bros. 3 is another run that came in near the end of the event, just prior to Kingdom Hearts. This is a co-op, warp-less run by Mitchflowerpower and Thehaxor. Unlike the race for Fire Emblem, the co-op run here is all about togetherness, and it forces two runners to work together flawlessly.

The duo explains the situation during the intro, but depending on player items, they have to carefully navigate each map to ensure the specific player with the specific item gets matched up with the correct map. Co-op runs like this always show an extreme level of cooperation, and it’s a ton of fun.

It takes the team one hour, 20 minutes, and 39 seconds to clear the game.

Dancecrush Stardom

Dancerush Stardom is a rhythm game in the vein of Dance Dance Revolution. But runner Eijiken makes this run quite a bit more fun by implementing a Swiffer with his dance moves. It’s a super high energy run with an entertaining runner.

The run only lasts 58 minutes and 35 seconds, as it’s more of a dance showcase than a speedrun.

Super Mario 64 blindfolded

Super Mario 64 is an SGDQ staple, but here we get to get to see the classic game run completely blind. Bubzia is the runner here, and he grabs all 70 stars needed to beat the game without ever looking at the screen.

The Super Mario 64 speedrunning tech is always fun to watch, but witnessing an expert clear through it without even looking is even more impressive.

The run takes one hour, 49 minutes, and 59 seconds.

Celeste Custom maps

The Celeste custom map run goes through a fan-made version of the game called Glyph. It’s run by frozenflygone and offers some really interesting tech. This is a great way to showcase a very cool custom map for Celeste, which has all new music and level design.

The run takes 38 minutes and 43 seconds.

Geoguessr

Geoguessr is a bizarre game where players have to guess where in the world the game is showing them. It’s run by Havrd.

Like Dancecrush Stardom, this isn’t a traditional speedrun. Instead, it’s point-based, and Havrd’s goal is to get a perfect score. It’s a really impressive run where you get to see a smart runner use some bizarre clues to figure out where he is.

The run only takes 31 minutes and 31 seconds.

Resident Evil 7 race

Race runs are always great, but first-person races are always the best. This Resident Evil 7: Biohazard run follows KatLink and Captain Ezekiel.

It’s fun to see where the two runners diverge and their perspectives slowly shift away from one another. The whole run only takes one hour, thirty minutes, and 34 seconds, so it’s a quick jaunt through a great game.

Yoshi’s Story

Yoshi’s Story is a super quick run by LoveBot. It’s got a lot of interesting tech around Yoshi’s tongue. It’s wild to watch, the kind of run where things are happening so quickly that you’ll blink and miss an impressive trick.

The run only takes 15 minutes and one second.

Demon’s Souls

The Demon’s Souls run here was an incentive run that players donated to make happen. Not only is this one of the newest games at SGDQ, it uses some extremely bizarre tech that requires PlayStation Plus to use. It’s run by BertoPlease, and like all Soulsbourne runs, it’s a great way to watch some incredible players kick ass.

The Demon’s Souls run takes 53 minutes and 57 seconds.