Awesome Games Done Quick: one week, approximately a gazillion speedruns, an ambitious goal to raise millions for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. This ended up being the first year I managed to catch AGDQ live, and what a trip we had. For those who had work or obligations, or, I dunno, the need to sleep, here are some of my favorite moments from the week.
— Matt Cummings (@EiffelArt) January 6, 2019
Speaking of records, PJ’s run of Mohawk and Headphone Jack can lay claim to a few records of its own—the most consecutive rejections from GDQ (14) and probably the highest number of people puking during it. (Seriously, if you have motion sickness, be warned before you watch this run!)
Having just watched a friend play through this massive game recently, one of the most surprising runs to me was the Symphony of the Night run by Satoryu. One skip ends up cutting out close to 3/4 of the game!
Jabs at QA during the NieR: Automata run drew some annoyance from gave dev Twitter, who felt the snark showed a lack of respect to the game and its devs. I found it a sharp contrast to the runners of the Awful Games Block, where most of the runners professed their unironic, wholesome love for the, uh, not-NieR-quality games they ran. (You would’ve thought they were playing Fallout 76…)
— Tia RAGEFACE MCAVOY (@tiakall) January 7, 2019
During his Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion run, TonesBalones set his price high: donate a hundred dollars, and he would floss, which I understand from the kids is a Fortnite dance move and not the thing you do with your teeth. His dare opened some wallets to the tune of around a thousand dollars. True to his word, he flossed during the six-minute pre-ending cutscene, and even recited facts about physics. Congrats on your recent graduation, and may your teaching career give you much joy.
Corporate sponsor Arby’s and their amazing papercraft team showed off their skills with several appropriately-themed papercrafts, which were then donated as prizes. I’m still in awe of the Symphony of the Night piece!
— Arby's (@Arbys) January 7, 2019
Always nice to see games I haven’t seen or played, even if I haven’t played them because they’re, well, not great. Shoutouts to a few of my favorites from the Awful block:
- Megaman (DOS) run by Lizstar
- Urban Yeti run by PeteDorr
- Dragon’s Lair: The Legend, which has jack-all to do with Dragon’s Lair, run by sharif.
AGDQ also had some great rep in the indie department, with well-known things like Cuphead, run by TheMexicanRunner. A couple more that really stood out to me were the beautiful pixel Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, run by SNeaky and Crypt of the NecroDancer, run by SpootyBiscuit, a rhythm roguelike which is going straight onto my wishlist.
Fangames also got a good showing. I enjoyed the hell out of Gyoo’s run of Sanic Ball. It’s not a typo and I know it sounds ridiculous, but it actually looks like a solid marble racer. BBF’s run of I Wanna Kill the Kamilia 2 was also a great watch, though I wish we could’ve had a final death count, because wow. (Note: the second boss on that one is really flashy/blinky, so heads up if you’re sensitive to flashing lights.)
— 🏠Golden🏠 (@GoldenSRL) January 8, 2019
There were a number of great races during the week, but the one that blew my mind was the two-controller-per-player race of Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers 2 between swordsmankirby and garadas21. Even if the controllers are strapped back to back, that’s a level of coordination I do not have.
To the “dance dad” in the front row who spent the entire week rocking out to the music between runs: you are a blessing and I hope you’re proud of the donations you inspired.
Oh my god, I tuned in just in time to hear this from #agdq2019:
"I'll double this donation if Linkus [the runner] says plethora."
"Thanks, Linkus. It means… *a lot.*"
"I don't know what that word means, but okay."
— Radical Eddie (@DanteReborn) January 11, 2019
Tool-assisted speedruns are often so unbelievable people think they must be cheated. To counter that, the TASBot block has a hardware setup that allows it to run its inputs directly into an actual console, proving that it can be done—if, y’know, you’re R.O.B. This year saw a new breakthrough, as TASBot’s rig allowed it to play, with Twitch chatters, on a new console: the Nintendo DS. In an example of how things can hilariously go wrong, DwangoAC remarked that the run kept desyncing during tests because the stylus kept getting ground down.
During his Super Mario Odyssey run, Bayleef challenged the Twitch chat to break the two million mark before he hit his 500 moons, and boy howdy, did they ever respond. I watched the numbers roll upward in real time by over a hundred thousand dollars in the space of about ten minutes. And that didn’t even include the activity in the Twitch chat, which was nothing but a solid wall of Twitch Prime subs and gift subs. Spoiler alert: Twitch subs and bits raised over $200,000!
In fact, despite some hugely ambitious donation incentives ($100,000 for Super Scribblenauts! $250,000 for Bloodborne!) not a single one was missed!
If you don’t have time to watch a full run, here are a few of my favorite clips:
- Per a donation incentive, Luzbelheim does a complex menuing section while blindfolded during the FFIX run
- Linkus gets a… um… cozy battleship arrangement during Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
- Hobz presents some compelling arguments for Kill the Animals, and also it is revealed that Sent does not know how to glove. I checked earlier vids, and yes, he is wearing them backwards the entire week. Well done, Sent.
- It wouldn’t be AGDQ without a “that’s never happened before”: Spootybiscuit crashes Crypt of the NecroDancer
- The Megaman X 1-3 relay race has an amazing synced boss battle between two of the teams
- KirbyMastah takes some time for a selfie with the audience mid-run
- During their Timesplitters 2 co-op run, Copitz and Swoodeasu walk away from the game for a few minutes, because they can, I guess
- The music Edward plays during the Final Fantasy 4 randomizer is also randomized… mostly. A donation incentive set it to something from the Legend of Zelda series, but the actual song was a mystery until it played
- Speaking of donation incentives, this one is amazing: xem does an operatic aria a cappella after his Ratchet and Clank run!
ADGQ ended with a reverse boss order run of Super Metroid by ShinyZeni, and while it had a strong showing, Save the Animals did not win. I would make a joke about gamers being cruel and heartless, but on the other hand, did you see how much you all raised? Over $250,000 just for that battle!
The grand total for #AGDQ2019: $2,394,668.
Thank you to everyone for supporting this event. We honestly couldn't have done it without you.
— Games Done Quick (@GamesDoneQuick) January 13, 2019
Longtime writer, temporary office minion, and nerd of all trades, tiakall is a fan of lengthy subordinate clauses and the Oxford comma. She enjoys plants, cats, puns of varying quality, and making cannibal jokes before it was cool.