10 speedruns you don’t want to miss at this year’s SGDQ
Summer Games Done Quick, the annual summer speedrun festival, is kicking off this Sunday with a ton of runs to showcase. While the event runs 24/7 for an entire week, it’s easy to miss out on the most entertaining runs if you just tune in whenever you have some free time. So here’s our list of 10 speedruns we think you should make time in your schedule to watch.
From glitch fests, to unfair ROM hacks, to indie games, to runs that will actively let Twitch chat screw with the runner, these runs are certain to be the highlights of this year’s SGDQ.
Nier: Automata – Sunday July 2nd 1:00PM EDT
This year’s first run also promises to be one of the most interesting. Nier: Automata is a relatively recent game, meaning new routes are still being discovered. The runner, Halfcoordinated, has made a name for himself in the speedrunning community as of late. He has a disability that limits the use of one of his hands, so he will be running the entire game one handed.
Clustertruck – Tuesday July 4th 4:59AM EDT
Clustertruck is an indie platformer that tasks players with jumping from moving truck to moving truck without wiping out. It’s a decent indie title and its speedruns are enjoyable to watch, but this one makes the list because of a donation incentive. If enough donations are received, the game will be linked with the Twitch chat stream, allowing spectators at home to throw obstacles in the runner’s path with chat commands. Expect quite a bit of chaos to ensue.
Marble Madness - Wednesday July 5th 7:39AM EDT
Marble Madness makes the list for being the shortest run at this year’s SGDQ, coming in at only five minutes (and likely much, much shorter than that). Many classic NES gamers remember Marble Madness being absolutely impossible, but runner Elipsis will destroy it before you can even blink. If you are worried about SGDQ interfering with your work day, then this is the run for you. You can watch the whole thing on your morning coffee break.
The TGM Block – Thursday July 6th 9:45PM EDT
The Tetris crew is back again for a number of new runs, races, and showcases. America’s own grand master KevinDDR will be showing off TGM3’s Shirase mode, and TGM 1 will have an 8-way 100% race between aperturegrillz, Poochy.EXE, KevinDDR, EnchantressOfNumbers, JBroms, MxKai3, PARTY MAN X, and eihoppe. It’s bound to be a good time if you are a fan of stacking blocks.
Mega Man 4 – Friday July 7th 9:01AM EDT
I’ll admit it, this run made the list due to personal reasons. Usually, SGDQ has a long classic Mega Man block that shows off both classic NES play and some interesting ROM hacks. This year, however, they are only running one Mega Man game, Mega Man 4. It’s a shame considering there are so many amazing Mega Man fan games out there. Tune into this year’s Mega Man 4 run to show the speedrunning community that we haven’t forgotten about the Blue Bomber.
The Super Mario Series Relay – Friday July 7th 5:07PM EDT
Got a favorite Mario game that you want to see a speedrun for? Don’t worry. They will be doing all of them! This relay race will see teams going through all the classic 2D Mario games without using warps. An absurd amount of runners are participating in this event, simply because every single Mario run that was submitted was squashed into this relay.
Final Fantasy VII – Friday July 7th 11:22PM EDT
Final Fantasy VII has been shown at AGDQ before, however this category is a bit… harder, let’s say. It’s not particularly glitchless, in fact the run will feature quite a few sequence breaks. However, the run will explicitly forbid the use of Cait Sith’s limit break. Why? Because through RNG manipulation Cait Sith can one shot kill literally any boss in the game, even Sephiroth. This removes battles from the run completely, vastly shortening run time. Without the use of this limit break, the run clocks in at eight hours, the longest run at SGDQ.
SUPERHOT – Saturday July 8th 8:30AM EDT
SUPERHOT is well known for being a shooter that lets you stop time. “Time only moves when you move,” as its tagline goes. The whole purpose of the game is to make you feel like a MLG pro gamer by letting you slowly plan out your moves and then watch them played back in full speed. However, SUPERHOT speedruns are incredibly fun to watch because they never stop moving, so time never stops! Essentially, you get to watch a full MLG highlight real live, in speedrun form.
Super Panga World – Saturday July 8th 3:02PM EDT
Every year another Kaizo-style ultra-hard Mario game makes it into the lineup, and this year the slot is filled by Super Panga World. This is a game that tries to kill you on its title screen, its intro screen, and even in cutscenes after you finish levels. This is a game that requires strategic dying in order to navigate its levels. This is a game that can only be beaten by taking advantage of every glitch that Super Mario World has to offer… literally! Clipping through walls is actually mandatory. If you watch speedruns to see gamers perform feats of unbelievable difficulty, then this is the run for you.
Earthbound – Saturday July 8th 10:22PM EDT
We have seen Earthbound run several times at AGDQ and SGDQ over the years, usually showcasing a couple of absurd glitches to skip through most of the game and make a beeline toward Giygas. However, this year we are going to get to see our first glitchless Earthbound run. Every dungeon, all eight melodies – no skips, just skill. Of course, a lot of this skill is just an absolutely absurd amount of RNG manipulation. What better way to close out an awesome summer speedrun festival than this JRPG classic?