Awesome Games Done Quick 2019 finished this weekend, raising $2.3 million dollars for charity. There were countless speedruns but if you missed the marathon, here are some of the best ones. Whether it’s difficult tricks or charming commentary, these speedruns stood out from the crowd.
I’ll start with a run so good that I already wrote about it. This “true ending, no major glitches” run rushes through the game world to grab the required items to fight the true final boss. It’s a mixture of great pathfinding, a few skips, and some really hardcore boss battling. But the ending is where this run shines. One hit away from dying, speedrunner Vysuals really doubles down and pulls through with an amazing finish. It’s tense, fast-paced, and a great example of acting cool under pressure.
Halfcoordinated is one of the hardest working runners out there, able to dominate tons of games using just one hand. This Semblance run has a great mood to it; the game is gorgeous, the platforming is tricky, and halfcoordinated cracks jokes throughout. It’s a relaxing run that still shows off a lot of skill.
This is a bit of a curveball. One of the best things about AGDQ is how it has room for games of all popularity and polish. Virtual Hydlide isn’t a very good game but it is fascinating to watch in action. It a Sega Saturn remake of the classic MSX/NES adventure game Hydlide. Gyre’s run is a mixture of rushing the right path and quickly beating bosses. It feels a bit like a Dark Souls speedrun, with the added benefit of being a bizarre sensory experience.
Speaking of Dark Souls, this Dark Souls 3 run is a wonderful mix of quick thinking and taking advantage of glitches. Spacey1 faces off against all the bosses, which sometimes means a fair fight and sometimes means something else entirely. For instance, why fight the Abyss Watcher normally when you can skip a trigger and have their AI disabled? This run is great at showing intense battles and some very strange programming quirks.
The Wind Waker HD speedrunning has seen tons of changes over the years, including the discovery of one of speedrunning’s biggest Holy Grail tricks. Linkus7’s 100% speedrun turns the game upside-down thanks to sequence breaks and massive “superswims” across the ocean. He’s joined on the couch by gymnast86, one of the most knowledgeable glitch hunters and speedrunners in the community. The result is a great game by a talented runner, packed with tricks and fascinating commentary.
AGDQ’s “Sonic Block” took some of the hedgehog’s games and made them go faster than ever. Dr. Fatbody’s run of the Sega Genesis classic didn’t just have tricky platforming and risky (sometimes unsuccessful) tricks, it also had incredible energy. His commentary was funny and the crowd was encouraged to get loud. It was a run that was, as Sonic would say, “happenin’.”
This race through Portal technically keeps inbounds the entire time but uses a few strange tricks to move in ways you’re not supposed to. The runners use tricks such as weighing down a button with an alarm clock and glitching their cameras to fire portals to bizarre positions in order to zip through chambers. It’s a short race that lasts under 13 minutes and shows off how games whose puzzles might slow down normal players are completely destroyed by speedrunners.
Final Fantasy speedruns are real endurance tests. This run of Final Fantasy IX is appropriately over nine hours and is the longest run ever accepted into a GDQ marathon. Three runners split the duty, offering great story summaries, boss strategies, and some blindfolded menu navigation. It’s great to see this game finally get some love at a marathon and it’s perfect to have on in the background as you do some work.