The five must-watch speedruns from SGDQ 2018

Last week, the folks behind the annual Summer Games Done Quick speedrunning marathon hosted SGDQ 2018, an event which featured a long list of talented speedrunners and the games they have mastered. As is usual with every SGDQ event, the speedruns kept going nonstop 24 hours each day, which meant that seeing every single run was virtually impossible due to the very late or very early-morning hours when some of the runs occurred.

If you want, you can find a YouTube playlist of the entire week-long event here, but if you’d rather skip to some of the more exciting speedruns that happened during SGDQ 2018, we’ve got you covered with five must-see runs, all of which you can watch below.

Cuphead

In comparison to some of the classic games that were featured during SGDQ 2018, the insanely difficult platformer/boss battler Cuphead is relatively new, though you wouldn’t know it by looking at the game’s unique 1930’s cartoon-style graphics. However, despite its infamously high difficulty bar, speedrunner TheMexicanRunner made Cuphead look like a breeze during a run in which he provided some wonderfully colorful commentary and character voiceover. Meanwhile, the secondary commentators on the couch also chimed in with some fascinating tidbits about both the tricks TheMexicanRunner was utilizing and about Cuphead in general. 

Celeste

Speaking of difficult platformers, the Cuphead run was followed shortly after by a head to head run of the indie platformer Celeste in which two of the game’s top runners, TGH and YoshiPro, raced to see who could finish first. Trying to navigate Celeste’s bevy of trap-laden levels in as little time as possible is hard enough when you’re doing it by yourself, so both runners had to really bring their A-game to a contest where they were racing against both the clock and each other. Fortunately, both runners rose to the challenge, providing viewers with one of the most exhilarating speedruns of the entire SGDQ 2018 event.  

Tomb Raider

The beautiful thing about speedrunning is that it’s a concept which can be applied to many games both new and old, but if you’re the sort who prefers the classics, UK runner Beckski93’s run of the original Tomb Raider was made just for you. The Tomb Raider run’s heavy reliance on glitches makes it a risky run to attempt during an event like SGDQ, and in fact before this run Tomb Raider had never been featured at a previous Games Done Quick event. However, Beckski93’s mastery of the game was on full display during her SGDQ 2018 run, and she even managed to supply some fun commentary while she was nailing all of the game’s various glitches and other tricks.

Resident Evil 4

If you can recall the first time you finished Resident Evil 4’s lengthy multi-act story campaign, chances are it took you a solid number of hours from start to finish. Therefore, seeing the entire game cleared in just under two hours by speedrunner JTB is especially impressive for those who have already played through it themselves. Interestingly enough, a Resident Evil 4 speedrun doesn’t really involve breaking the game in any major ways. Instead, JTB shows how players can manipulate enemy behaviors and environmental triggers to make otherwise challenging encounters, such as the farmhouse standoff or the Krauser fight, laughably trivial.

Super Mario Maker    

One of the final runs to be featured during SGDQ 2018 was an intense 3v3 race in which teams of Super Mario Maker runners competed to complete a series of blind-run (i.e. they had never seen nor played the levels themselves) levels in as little time as possible. If you thought the original SNES Super Mario games were tough, the levels these runners had to face will show you just how easy you had it and then some. As a special bonus, the Super Mario Maker section also featured a literal blind run in which one runner managed to complete one of the game’s most difficult custom levels while blindfolded. Words cannot do this run justice, it must be seen to be believed.