Summer Games Done Quick is the hot weather (at least in this hemisphere) spinoff of Awesome Games Done Quick, a weeklong celebration of speed runs and breaking the heck out of our favorite video games. This year’s SGDQ (supporting Doctors Without Borders) starts on Sunday, June 23, so we thought we’d break down the schedule by day so you can optimize your time if, you know, you work during the week and stuff.
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Day 1 – Sunday, June 23
The opening day of SGDQ 2019 starts at 9:30AM PST with a preshow and goes straight into Spyro Reignited with an Any% run of the original. Not a bad start, but after that is a run of games anyone would be psyched to see. Definitely catch the Super Mario Bros 2 run at 1:25PM PST. It’s an All Stages run, so you’ll get to see every Birdo, every Phanto, every Beezo. Totally worth it.
Portal 2, Single Player Inbounds, 11:10AM PST
There are speed runs of Portal 2 out there that take advantage of going out of bounds to finish the game in record time, but an “inbounds” run means there will be no leaving the intended play area of the game. That means we’ll see puzzle solutions that only take seconds but are “fair” by the rules of the game itself. In a game as bonkers as Portal 2, it could be a disorienting run, but commentary should be a treat.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project, Any% co-op, 12:35PM PST
The least-referenced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game gets its due on day one with what should be a fun beat-em-up run. I’m not familiar with the strats that could make this interesting, but I do know it’s the best TMNT game available for the Nintendo Entertainment System (don’t @ me).
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest, Any%, 2:00PM PST
Wrapping up this great early block is an Any% run of the best SNES Donkey Kong Country game, which should feature some of the most efficient ape tossing you’ll ever see. Watching other Any% runs of this game has uncovered secrets that would seem totally made up if they were described to you by say a school playground buddy known for completely making stuff up.
Day 2 – Monday, June 24
Day 2 is stacked with a Castlevania block, Marble Madness, and even a DuckTales 2 run at 4AM. A few first person games are part of a late day sequence we’re looking forward to.
Prey, All Main Quests, 12:32PM PST
Prey is a must-see on Any%, which is a masterclass on out-of-bounds shenanigans and taking advantage of the game’s impressive “have it your way” design. This year’s run is All Main Quests, which will allow us to see more of what was one of 2017’s best games. I still expect plenty of wild strategies, though.
Titanfall 2, Any%, 2:08PM PST
Before jumping head first into Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order and launching the best battle royale shooter in the world, Respawn made Titanfall and its sequel. Titanfall 2 is notable for having one of the best single player first person shooter campaigns ever, which we’ll get to see a runner completely thrash on Monday. The breakneck speed of Titanfall 2‘s traversal mechanics is fully on display in speed runs, which should make for a memorable planned hour and a half block.
Metroid Prime, Any%, 8:10PM PST
Metroid and GDQ go together like peanut butter and banana, so naturally I’m all eyes on the Metroid Prime run on Monday evening. Not only is it the best Gamecube game, but it’s the best Metroid game ever. Any% runs are usually pretty fascinating and previous Prime runs are no exception. Expect some good commentary and breaking down the evolution of different strats throughout the years.
Day 3 – Tuesday, June 25
There are three main highlights on Tuesday as far as I’m concerned but don’t sleep on the Punch-Out!! block starting just before 10AM PST. If you haven’t seen pro speed runners playing Punch-Out!!, I highly recommend it. Oh hey there’s also the GDQ debut of the Resident Evil 2 remake, which will probably rule because that game rules.
Ape Escape, Any%, 7:36AM PST
Speed runs of the original PSX Ape Escape are almost always fun, turning the unconventional collectathon into a short checklist of to-dos while doing the bare minimum to finish. It’s always over in less than an hour and would make a great breakfast companion for us West Coasters.
The Legend of Zelda Randomizer, Race (LITE Flagset), 4:28PM PST
Are you familiar with the Legend of Zelda Randomizer? It’s a mod that creates a new ROM of the original NES game that changes the overall layout and sequence of events so it’s like playing the game for the first time. Since this is a race, that means multiple players will play a new randomized game at the same time. Races are usually great at GDQs and randomizer races ensure even more chaos than usual.
Super Mario Sunshine, Any% Race, 6:35PM PST
The weird black sheep of the 3D Marios is back again. We’ve seen this a bunch at GDQ but if you’ve never seen a Super Mario Sunshine race, here’s your chance. Since it’s Any%, we’ll see plenty of bizarre strats and complete abuse of Mario’s FLUUD mechanics, which altered the design of 3D Mario more than any other gimmick they’ve thrown at the plumber before or since.
Day 4 – Wednesday, June 26
Hey, I’m not here to tell you that you shouldn’t look forward to bangers like The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds or Dark Souls II All Bosses in the afternoon, but this list has been pretty safe so far and there’s way too much beautiful trash on Wednesday not to highlight.
Shrek Extra Large, No Levels Early, 12:26AM PST
Shrek Extra Large for the Gamecube is a bad game. That’s being kind. The only way one should consume this game is by watching someone twist the very bones of its core and if you’re awake in the middle of the night you really owe it to yourself to watch this run.
T.R.A.G., Any%, 6:17AM PST
Imagine Resident Evil was sifted through a huge filter labeled ANIME SHIT a few times and you’ll get Hard Edge or T.R.A.G.: Tactical Rescue Assault Group – Mission of Mercy. Like many games released for PSX, this hasn’t aged super well! I’m looking forward to it being Any% speed-run in about an hour on Wednesday morning.
Jumper: Griffin’s Story, Any% (Wii), 10:19PM PST
Do you remember the Hayden Christensen 2008 box office smash Jumper? He could teleport! Secondary character Griffin, played by Jamie Bell, is MIA by the end of the film. If you wanted to know what he was up to after the events of the film, you’d have to play Jumper: Griffin’s Story. Having a tough time tracking down a copy of the Wii game? No worries, just watch the Any% run Wednesday night to complete the entire Jumper saga.
Day 5 – Thursday, June 27
Thursday’s got a 100% Banjo-Kazooie race, which rules. That’s very obvious. Let’s move to some other highlights of the day.
Kingdom Hearts III, Any% (Beginner) Co-op Relay, 7:39AM PST
The GDQ debut of Kingdom Hearts III might not be the best way to catch up with the story before the DLC hits, but it should showcase a bunch of interesting strats to blow through a game with, shall we say, fuzzy combat and boundaries? If you don’t watch this run you might get Norted.
Super Mario World, Blind Relay Race, 11:59AM PST
It’s tough to have a speedrun marathon without Super Mario World, but it’s being run with a blind relay race this year, which promises chaos. If you want to truly understand how deep the game mastery goes for the world’s best speedrunners, this is a good block to catch.
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, All 4 Cups Race, 7:39PM PST
Some say Double Dash!! is the best kart racer. Even if you’re not one of those people, it’s still a blast to see expert DD players do their thing on the biggest speedrunning stage.
Day 6 – Friday, June 28
Make sure you tune in Friday afternoon for the short TASBot block, which sees the game-playing robot obliterate Tetris and Mario Kart Wii in record time. It’s almost never the most entertaining block, but the technology is fascinating and the execution is so confounding it’s worth catching at least once.
Mega Man 11, Any% No OoB Race, 1:11PM PST
It’s the big stage debut of Mega Man 11, which, despite a lukewarm reception, should still be a fun race on the second to last day of SGDQ. Players can’t go out of bounds in this race, which means if you’ve never seen Mega Man 11, you’ll actually see a lot of it in action. If you need your Mega Man a little more old school, Mega Man 3 is being run right before this. It’s very good.
Dark Souls, All Bosses, 4:47PM PST
Sure, I think we’re all tired of Dark Souls being the benchmark of design and difficulty when folks can’t reach for a more apt comparison, but speed runs of the modern classic are incredible. Fighting all the bosses in Dark Souls is the hardest part, so we should be in for some fun action on Friday afternoon.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, 100%, 7:29PM PST
Don’t go out Friday night. The only friends you need are the doomed citizens of Termina as they meet a terrible fate. 100% runs are a real treat at GDQ if you want a marathon. Speed runners have gotten Majora’s Mask runs down to four cycles last I checked, which is completely out of control if you know how much stuff you have to collect to fulfill the conditions of the run.
Day 7 – Saturday, June 29
The final day of SGDQ 2019 has some classic favorites with a new twist, including the Link to the Past/Super Metroid (save the animals, please) Randomizer runs at 12:42PM PST. If randomizers aren’t your thing, you still have some great options.
Bomberman 64: The Second Attack, Any%, 2:04AM PST
This very rare Nintendo 64 game is being run in the middle of the night (at least on the West Coast), but is worth your attention no matter your sleep schedule. Bomberman 64: The Second Attack is a run punctuated by a lot of self-detonation and damage boosting. It’s such an odd little game released at the end of the N64’s life cycle so check it out!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Main Quest, 5:36AM PST
Speedrunning Skyrim exposes the haunted skeleton over which Todd stretches all of his video game skin, which is a blast to watch, usually! Take a break from playing Elder Scrolls Blades and watch the main quest of Skyrim get blown to smithereens.
Chrono Trigger, Glitchless Any%, 3:52PM PST
A frequent fixture at GDQ, Chrono Trigger is always a joy. For the final six hours of the marathon, you’ll be able to see a glitchless speedrun of the SNES classic. Don’t get too attached to good endings, of course, but you’ll be able to see some interesting strats and hear some amazing commentary about a beloved RPG.