Awesome Games Done Quick 2018 has concluded. The charity speedrunning event has raised over $2.2 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. That's a new record for GDQ, capping off a week of some of the best in video game speedrunning.
There were many memorable moments from throughout the week and to help say goodbye to Games Done Quick for another six months, Shacknews is taking a look back at some of our favorite moments from the event.
Battletoads Turbo Tunnel - Blindfolded!
The Battletoads tunnel sequences are some of the most infamous stretches in early console gaming. These areas were mind-breakingly difficult, with the idea to ride across a track aboard the Battletoads speeder bikes without making contact with anything! Contact with a wall or an enemy resulted in death and would force the player to start over from scratch.
This was tough enough on its own and has helped give Battletoads its reputation as one of the most difficult games ever released on the NES. Now imagine trying this blindfolded!
That's what retro speedrunner extraordinaire The Mexican Runner (Piotr Delgado Kusielczuk) pulled off, following his Battletoads run. As part of a viewer incentive, he strapped on a blindfold and completed the tunnel sequence with little trouble. (Well... as little trouble as this area could get.)
His Battletoads run proved to be just as impressive, polishing the game off in just under a half hour. But can anyone imagine anyone doing something this tough while blindfolded?
Dark Souls 3 - Blindfolded!
Oh, come on!
Because the bar needed to be raised that much higher, here's streamer SayviTV (Erika Willis) wrecking the bosses of Dark Souls 3 while wearing a blindfold. She only uses her sight to get herself to the bosses, but once the battles begin, she goes full blindfold and uses only the game's audio cues and her familiarity with the boss' patterns to fight her way to victory.
This isn't Willis' first go-around with the Dark Souls 3 bosses. She's beaten plenty of them blindfolded before on her Twitch channel, so this has started to become second nature to her. Remember that next time you see "YOU DIED!" a hundred times on your next Dark Souls run.
2 Punch-Outs, 1 Controller
Imagine the reflexes that it takes to complete any of the Punch-Out games quickly. Now imagine beating them both simultaneously and doing so in less than half an hour? Zallard1 (Zach Allard) somehow managed to pull this off on Friday night, beating both Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! and Super Punch-Out!! at the same time on the same controller.
It takes a lot to make a run like this happen. Not only did Allard need to memorize the fighter patterns, but he also needed to take advantage of the Super Punch-Out!! pause feature (something not included in the original game) and liberally use it to not only sync himself up, but also use it to help himself focus on some of the NES game's more difficult fighters. Notice that he eventually had to stop the second game entirely to put all of his attention on Mike Tyson.
It was an incredible feat to witness, made all the better by the fact that AGDQ surpassed the $1 million milestone during this run.
The Mega Man Relay
Relay races, as a whole, are some of the most entertaining runs across all of Games Done Quick. The Mega Man 1-3 Team Relay Race continued to support that trend. The precision platforming was great to watch, but the myriad of glitches that allowed the runners to bounce around across the various stages was fascinating to witness.
There was also a lot of tension in watching the leads go back and forth, especially as the teams started hitting the Wily Stages. Mega Man 2's Wily Stages, in particular, are still as much of a trip now as they were back in the late 80s.
There was arguably no better way to help celebrate Mega Man's 30th birthday than with this loving tribute of a speedrun race.
And Now for Something Completely Different
While the Super Mario World Cape-less run was fun to watch. But it was the incentive run that came afterwards. Super Dram World 2 is a ROM hack created by Mario ROM hacking legend PangaeaPanga (Alex Tan). It's not for the faint of heart and is only for the truest of Mario experts.
David "GrandPOObear" Hunt was more than up for the challenge, taking on this masochistic effort. What made the Super Dram World 2 run stand out was that while speedrunning was still the main goal, Hunt was fully aware that he was going to die multiple times. In fact, he made a game out of it, donating $10 for every death.
The atmosphere felt less like a traditional speed run and more like an interactive Twitch stream. And honestly, that was fine. It sprinkled in a different kind of fun to the event, especially as it started winding down in the final hours of the final day. It also helped that Hunt is a naturally entertaining streamer and made the whole thing a pleasure to watch.
The Bad and the Ugly
One of the highlights of every AGDQ is the Awful Games Done Quick block. There were some true gems this year. There was a new World Record for Superman 64. There was a room filled with caffeinated audience members chanting "Eat the fish! Eat the fish!" at Enviro-Bear 2000, a game that looks like it was drawn on MS Paint.
And then there's Arabian Nights, which was the gold standard of glitchy junk for this year's event. The numerous bugs and terrible design was a blast to sit through, thanks to the entertaining commentary. And with so many issues, entertaining commentary proves to be the best part of these runs. Just look at what happens when the game launches in windowed mode for the umpteenth time.
Give the Arabian Nights run a look. You'll be glad you did and you'll be glad you didn't have to play this one yourself.
Those were some of our favorite moments. What did you like from Awesome Games Done Quick 2018? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.