SGDQ Done Quick: Highlights from this summer's speed-running spectacle - Part 1

We recap SGDQ 2016's first four days of glitches, exploits, and shattered world records.


Another year of Summer Games Done Quick, an event that brings together some of the world's best video game speed runners to strut their stuff for charity, has come to a close. Games were played 'round the clock, and some runs were more impressive than others. Here are some of my favorites, organized by date.

All donations made during SGDQ 2016 benefitted Doctors Without Borders, an international organization providing medical treatment in 70 countries whose inhabitants suffer from epidemics, violence stemming from armed conflicts, and injury and displacement as a result of natural disasters. Hungry for more speed runs? Hit up Games Done Quick's YouTube channel.

Day 1


In Catherine, a puzzle-platformer for Xbox 360 and PS3, you play as Vince Brooks, a chill dude dating a feisty lady named Katherine-with-a-'K' only to enter into a love affair with a sex kitten named Catherine-with-a-'C.' Juggling two love interests is hard enough, but speed-runner 'Ghoul02' upped the ante by playing through the game using two controllers at once.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

DKC Tropical Freeze is widely considered one of the most difficult platformers ever made. That makes the one-on-one race between Team Canada and Team USA all the more engrossing to watch: two players, breezing through Rare's tough-as-nails platformer, smiling and laughing all the while. Show-offs.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Despite not faring well commercially, Nintendo's GameCube hosted several gems, and Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is one of the shiniest. While every Mario Kart is a blast to play solo or with friends, Double Dash is the wildest. Two characters to a kart equals twice as many banana peels and red shells flying around, and the pace is blistering, especially at 150cc. In this run, 'druvan7' gases up and blazes through the All Cup Tour.

Day 2

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

After Silent Hill was swallowed up by its own fog and Resident Evil gradually morphed into a hackneyed Call of Duty clone with awkward controls, survival horror seemed on the verge of extinction. Then Frictional Games turned heads Exorcist style with Amnesia, one of the scariest horror titles of all time. The ease with which 'SavageDreamLord' blows through creepy corridors and pitch-black cellars takes a lot of the oomph out of its scares, but his finely honed skills and the reactions from SGDQ onlookers create a different sort of atmosphere.


As much as I love exploring the dilapidated remains of Rapture, I've returned to BioShock time and again for its gameplay. I'll never grow tired of mixing and matching weapons and plasmids to take down Big Daddies and Splicers in creative ways. Seeing 'Blood_Thunder' exploit those abilities, especially telekinesis, is arguably as impressive as his swift route through Rapture.

Mega Man 3

There's an ongoing debate between Mega Man fans over which NES classic reigns supreme: 2, or 3. I'm on team MM3. It's better balanced, the levels are more intricate, you get two servings of robot masters for the price of one, and the introduction of Mega Man's slide ability cranks up the series' speed from 10 to 11, shown to good effect by 'fastatcc' in this run.

Day 3

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist

It's nice to see new(er) games crack SGDQ's lineup, one long dominated by old-school favorites. Cooperative play is available in disappointingly few Splinter Cell games, so 'Studio' and 'Shaddex' buddy up to bust some spies and steal some secrets.

Star Wars: Dark Forces

This oldie but goodie is more than just Doom wearing a Star Wars skin. It was one of the first FPS games to let you aim up and down, crouch and jump, and use items beyond health kits and armor vests. 'Psychoripper' calls on those tricks and more to plow through the game in just shy of 24 minutes.


Another newer title, Dishonored abounds with exploits made possible by its panoply of abilities and navigational tricks. Speed-runner 'DrTChops' sets an impressive time in this playthrough.

Day 4

Donkey Kong 3

Rare's Donkey Kong Country trilogy, released over three consecutive years, gave the Super Nintendo a nice boost as its lifecycle slowed down. DKC 3, released in 1996, evolved its predecessors' platforming pedigree by rolling in item-collection elements and a bigger cast of characters. This year, two players raced to winnow out extraneous exploration and highlight the game's tight platforming and fun level design.

Final Doom: The Plutonia Experiment

Doom co-creator and id Software co-creator John Romero set the par times at the end of each level of Doom by making a beeline for the exit. Speed runner 'Dime' might be even faster. He blazed through Ultimate Doom this year, and humbled Final Doom's Plutonia Experiment 32-level expansion as well. As much as I and every other old-school Doom fan loves Ultimate Doom, Final Doom is a well-designed game that didn't get nearly enough attention during its hey in 1996, when most FPS fans were drooling over Duke Nukem 3D and/or Quake.

Tetris Attack

Theoretically, anyone can set aside hundreds of hours to bend a game to their will and become the best at that game. In a race, you have to go up against, one, two, sometimes even three people just as driven—and, perhaps, better than you. Competitive Tetris is bonkers by itself, but watching four players fight and claw at each other is even more entertaining.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola