After a week, the speedrunning charity drive of Summer Games Done Quick has come to a close. With a showcasing of some of the best of the community, it was an extremely successful event earning the most cash in SGDQ history.
SGDQ 2017 raised over $1.7 million in donations over the seven days. This makes the 2017 edition the highest earning event in the history of the Summer chapter of Games Done Quick. While this didn’t match January’s Awesome Games Done Quick which raised $2.2 million, it is still a very impressive number. All this money will be going to Doctors Without Borders.
There were some standout runs at the show however. Over the week there were likely many games that got overlooked due to timezone differences or even those pesky life obligations. Luckily the official Games Done Quick YouTube channel has uploaded a majority of the runs from SGDQ 2017.
Over the week there were many must-see runs and smaller stories. Below will be a quick recap of the runs fans should watch and maybe the stories that couldn’t fill their own post.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Any% Glitchless) by Dra4gonBlitz
The show did unfortunately start with a significant misstep. After the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night run concluded, the runner Dr4gonBlitz had seemingly broken the world record with a time of 32:59. Polygon reported that Dr4gonBlitz actually had done it twice with the practice run also achieving the WR time (which does not count due to no recording).
Unfortunately, it was revealed soon after that the GDQ timer was actually incorrect for the first day of runs. Looking back, viewers might have noticed that many of the runs were well under their estimated times to the surprise of the runners. After recalculation, it turned out Dr4gonBlitz did not hit the World Record mark with his correct time of 33:27. It is still a very impressive run and one worth watching. It is a shame the show started with a significant error but at least it was found relatively quickly.
Clustertruck (Any%) by 097Aceofspades
GDQ is often broken up into “blocks”. These are categories based on certain defining elements of games in the show; be it console, series or even genre. The Indie game block featured what was a cavalcade of off-beat smaller games that usually don’t get much exposure. Clustertruck was one of these games. On its own, Clustertruck would have been a fun run, yet it became something much more chaotic.
Clustertruck has a built in backdoor for the developer. Developer Landfall would often go into the streams of players and warp with the game to make it harder. Twitch integration is also in the game which means chat can get itself involved in madness by manipulating the game. Despite being a speedrunning event, Landfall decided to do some shenanigans by making the game even harder. In the video above, the runner and couch acknowledge what is going on and roll with the punches. Kotaku provides more detail about what was going on, but it seemed 097Aceofspades was prepared for such a thing.
Final Fantasy VII (Any% No Slots) by ajneb174
Now most likely when anyone looks at the video time, they will immediately be put off. Final Fantasy VII sits at an eight hour long speedrun which might be the longest in the history of the event. For the viewers on the western hemisphere, this was during the night but for us and the Europeans, it was the stream most of us got during the day. This run was part of the “No Slots” category of FFVII running which means that Cait Sith’s limit break cannot be used. It essentially translates to a glitchless run according to the categories list of Final Fantasy speedruns.
Despite its length, it was actually one of the best runs of the entire show. The couch might have been the best in terms of personality and information. For lovers of the game there were incredible titbits of game manipulation. From the meticulous planning that goes into the game where every element must be on point, the dedication of runner ajneb174 and the couch cannot be understated. They did not move from the couch in all those eight hours. The commentary never dipped in quality and they turned what should have been a slog into a great watch. Even if this is too big of a commitment to watch in its entirety, it still deserves a very big shoutout and acknowledgment for all involved.
If this run has drummed up some interest in the longer JRPG speedruns, check out RPG Limit Break. Another Speedrunning marathon dedicated to the speedrunning games. The focus here are games that often take dozens of hours to complete normally. They are very similar to ajned174’s run of FFVII so check them out.
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix (Any% Critical Mode) Bl00dyBizkitz
In what is tradition at this point, another Kingdom Hearts game made it to a GDQ. These runs are always a blast with the Kingdom Hearts speedrunning community being one of the most endearing. It had the usual furnishings of the Disney sing-along donation incentives, a showcase of the deeper systems in KH2 like the “revenge system” and just a friendly atmosphere. This was also done in the controller breaking difficulty of Critical Mode. This is the hardest difficulty in the game and one mess-up could lead to a quick death.
It lasts three hours but is an enjoyable watch for fans of the game. Yet this was not the only Kingdom Hearts run to feature in the show. Right after the conclusion of the KH2: Final Mix run, Bl00dyBizkitz and the couch decided to show off another insane feat.
He decided to take on the Level 1 Data Org RTA. For those unfamiliar, in Kingdom Hears II: Final Mix, the Data Org is a post-game boss mode where players are up against the souped-up members of Organisation 13. This is difficult on its own, but doing it at level 1 means there is no room for error. These are the super bosses of the game and at level 1 is a true test of strength, dexterity and determination.
Onimusha: Warlords by BOWIEtheHERO
One of those surprising hits of the show, Onimusha: Warlords was a very fun viewing experience. BOWIEtheHERO was some the best commentary of the show imitating the voices of the in-game English cast to a tee. The run also feature the main character in a Panda costume which was always funny.
Onimusha: Warlords was by no means the flashiest run. Onimusha as a franchise rarely gets a lot of love these days and the speedrunning community is no different. There are not a lot of active speedrunners so this was a fan driven showing which is always a treat.
The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past (All Dungeons/ Swordless) by ANDY
Now for one of the funniest runs of the show. I often bring up the now infamous Bonesaw577 run of Jak and Daxter from last year. This was the closest to a similar level of lunacy from the couch. The speedrun already started off the with a great twist, the runner would beat the game swordless. By exploiting bugs and tricks, Andy was able to get through every dungeon without ever swinging a blade.
The couch turned what was already a fun run into a hysterical one. Returning this year was none other than Patty who many might remember from Bonesaw‘s couch. This made the Link to the Past run a good time with many laughs. It was funny with the couch, runner and even commentator constantly riffing on one another. Patty also returned for the Super Metroid race which is always worth watching.
Those are just some of the best runs of SGDQ for very different reasons. If some players are looking for some other VODs, head on over to the Games Done Quick Youtube page and take a look around. Awesome Games Done Quick 2018 will start in January. Congratulations to Games Done Quick and all the speedrunners.