The 10 Best Speedruns of AGDQ 2018

Awesome Games Done Quick 2018 is over, and earned $2.2 million for the Prevent Cancer foundation.

The weeklong speedrunning festival had some truly amazing runs, but there were so many it was easy to miss a few. Maybe you’re new to speedrunning, or maybe you’ve been busy with CES, the Overwatch League, and the Dragon Ball FighterZ beta and just couldn’t find time to jump on Twitch.

Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with our picks for the most entertaining runs of AGDQ 2018.

Resident Evil 7

Carcinogen decided to run Resident Evil 7 in Madhouse mode without the aid of New Game Plus, which is no small feat. This was one of the most intense speedruns of the event. He was always low on ammo and items, and death was always just around the corner. Carcinogen did a great job explaining every strategy in a witty and informative way while showing off some serious running skills. This run is about as entertaining as a speedrun can be, and is a great place to start if you are just catching up on AGDQ 2018.

Sonic Mania

Every year we have to recommend at least one Sonic speedrun, and Sonic Mania by Claris is the one to watch this year. It’s astounding that runners can become so adept at a game that is still so new. Claris makes use of a number of techniques that are unique to Sonic Mania, many of them involving the drop dash. Each and every strategy is explained expertly by everyone’s favorite living afro, SpikeVegeta. In the end, Claris finishes the run under a minute off from her personal best, but still well before anyone who has claimed second place.

Mega Man X

This was the closest race of the whole marathon. I won’t spoil it for you, but first and second place finished within seconds of each other. Third place had more than a few problems, but toughed it out until the end. So many speedrun races are determined within the first few minutes, but this one was really anybody’s race right until the very end. It was a fantastic showcase of one of the best Mega Man games of all time.

Super Dram World 2

AGDQ ran a whole block of unfairly difficult games, and Super Dram World 2 was easily the most entertaining. The 30 spectacular deaths prove that. The fact that the runner, grandPOObear, had to pull out every Super Mario World glitch and trick in the book is another good reason. The surprise appearance by TASbot executing arbitrary code to code Cappy and Mario’s possession mechanic into the game was the cherry on top of an immensely entertaining run.

Trust me, just watch this one.

Titenic

The Awful Games Done Quick block this year was one of the best in AGDQ history. The broken mess that is Titenic, a Chinese bootleg based on the James Cameron movie, Titanic, is a true treasure for speedrunners. It’s a side scrolling brawler whose main attacks cancel out of any animation…. even death. Yep, you can punch your way out of dying. But the real reason to watch this run is Brossentia’s dramatic reading of the story, a true work of art in the bad video game translation world.

Arabian Nights

Speaking of the Awful Games Done Quick block, Arabian Nights is the biggest dial spinner I have ever seen. There is so much wrong with this game, between characters in bikinis with pointy triangular breasts, falling out of the map to collect items, jumping in midair, glitching out in the menu, cutting off the main character’s model so that he’s just a pair of floating legs, and so much more. The runner, Kotti, spent more time out of bounds than in-bounds during this run. Watch it, and then watch the entire Awful Games block.

All of the runs from Superman 64 to Animorphs: Shattered Reality were hilarious.

Metal Gear Solid PC

This is a game that wasn’t included in the Awful Games block, but it should have been. It’s a pale shadow of its Playstation brother. The programmers actually had to steal Konami’s own music because they didn’t have the original files while porting the game. It’s an absolutely broken mess, and the runner, Plywood, exploits it to the greatest degree to finish in only 42 minutes. If you never heard that Metal Gear Solid had a PC version, now you know why.

TASBot VS Super Monkey Ball

The TAS Block is always a ton of fun, but this was special. This was the first time we saw TASbot play a disc based game… sort of. Really these were all just recorded replays from an emulator, but the replays were being run in the game engine so it proves that it’s possible. In this Super Monkey Ball run, TASbot pulls off tricks like: clipping through the level, using momentum to bounce higher than he fell, and falling through the goal without even touching it.

Double Punch-Out

Double input runs are pretty normal in the TAS community. That’s when a single set of inputs is fed into two games, allowing a TASbot to complete both at once. However, this year we got to see a double input run completed by an actual human. Zallard1, one of the best Punch-Out runners in the game hooked up a single controller via a splitter to Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! and Super Punch-Out!! and managed to beat both of them in just 24 minutes.

It’s a pretty amazing feat, and definitely worth checking out.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Randomized, Open, Glitchless, Swordless

Finally we have the craziest run in the entire marathon. It’s a race of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, where all item locations have been randomized. Also, the sword has been hacked out of the game. Also, the runners aren’t able to use glitches to skip to the end of the game.

The skill required in this run is insane. The runners have to remember where every single item in the game is located, and keep that checklist in their head as they scour the world for enough tools to beat Ganon. It’s enough information that the commentators can barely keep up with it, and they are using a tracker! This is why randomized runs are so compelling, and I hope that AGDQ will feature more in the future.

What were some of your favorite runs of AGDQ 2018? Let us know in the comments.