It’s around the Fourth of July, so that means it’s time for two things:
- my customary two-week summer vacation, and
- Summer Games Done Quick.
What is Games Done Quick?
If you have never watched Games Done Quick, it’s a grouping that happens twice a year where people from all over the place get together and “speedrun” games, which is exactly what it sounds like: they are going to try to complete a whole bunch of games as quickly as possible.
The marathon is to collect donations to support Doctors Without Borders (the summer beneficiary of donations), which IMO is a worthwhile organization, so I support and would encourage you to donate during your favorite game or an impressive run.
The whole thing lasts about a week, and there are runs around the clock, so there’s a lot to take in. If you have or haven’t watched, there are some specific runs on the schedule I wanted to point out, so if you are interested in those games or at least want to see what the whole thing is about.
Where Can I Watch It?
Games Done Quick is broadcast on Twitch, here:
The broadcast will start at 11:30 Central Daylight Time tomorrow (Sunday).
A Brief Glossary
You can find the schedule here, and there are some terms you’ll see in there that might need some explanation:
- The “per cent” of a run indicates what’s necessary to complete it. In general, there are two types of runs:
- “any%” means completing the game via any means possible
- “100%” means collecting everything possible in the game and hitting any and all milestones, such as collecting every item in a Zelda game
- Some games will run with a specific term in front of the per cent symbol; that’s unique to that game and will indicate a shortened form of the game but not as short as an any% run.
- For instance, “Low%” means trying to complete the game while collecting as little of the in-game items as possible.
- “Glitchless” means the runner is not permitted to take advantage of anything unintentional in the game to progress more quickly. (It’s open to debate per game.)
- Other games will have some stipulations, and they’ll usually be explained as the run starts.
My Picks to Watch
Keep in mind that the schedule can and will change because setups and some games may run over their predicted time, so you should consult the master schedule to make sure a game hasn’t significantly moved before you tune in.
Here’s the stuff I’m looking forward to and think you should watch (all times are Central Daylight Time):
- 19:48 Sunday – Metroid Prime any%, which is a bizarre introduction to how people beat games quickly by abusing glitches throughout the game, such as going out-of-bounds of the game map to break the sequence of the game.
- 08:31 Monday – Actraiser Professional Mode, one of my first and still favorite Super Nintendo games. I really want to see how you finish this in around 30 minutes.
- 11:48 Monday – Mega Man 3 any%, probably the best Mega Man game being run this week.
- 23:26 Tuesday – Contra III: The Alien Wars any% Hard, which will have insanely optimized strategies for defeating the bosses in each stage.
- 14:44 Wednesday – Metroid: Zero Mission any%, which is the best Metroid game on the schedule. It’s pretty neat how little runners will collect to blast through the game.
- 18:42 Wednesday – Quackshot any%, which you should watch because one of my mutual followers, YellowKillerBee, is running it.
- 07:55 Thursday – Zelda II: The Adventure of Link any% warpless, always a skillful run through the most difficult Zelda game.
- 16:20 through 19:26 Thursday – The Bethesda RPG block, where people will complete a bunch of Elder Scrolls and Fallout games, and they will do this in completely insane ways to showcase how broken these games really are.
- 11:04 Friday – Super Mario World All Castles 3-way race, which is easily the best race on the schedule – they will show all three players at the same time and the race can hinge on tiny, tiny imperfections in the runs.
- 20:02 Friday – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time any% glitchless, which will be nice because GDQ does not often do a glitchless run through this game. The glitched run is ridiculously short and skips almost the entire game, but this should be more detailed.
- 14:14 Saturday – Final Fantasy VI any% Sketch Glitch, where you’ll see someone run through a game that takes most people 40-plus hours in 10% of that time. You’ll also learn about step-counting and how it’s used to manipulate random encounters in the game.
- 18:29 Saturday – Super Metroid any% 4-way race, which is basically the capstone run of the event. There’s a huge bidding war with donations to either save the animals at the end of the game or let them die. It’s fun to watch. :)
That’s most of it. I hope you decide to give it a shot and find something to watch and enjoy. If you haven’t watched speedrunning before, it’s an interesting video games discipline and it takes pretty crazy mental focus and hand-eye execution.