For any number of reasons, you might feel (as I do) a little bit down this morning. I mean come on, it was dark out by 5 p.m. yesterday-I can already feel the seasonal affective disorder creeping up on me. One bright side to all this is that the slow and steady approach of winter means Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) is also on the way, and wouldn't you know it, there's already a list of games out for January's event.
Set to stream from Jan. 3 to Jan. 10, AGDQ 2021 will embrace an entirely online format just as August's Summer Games Done Quick event did. With social distancing still an absolute must in the states, it is a shame we'll go at least a full year without in-person crowds to cheer these speedrunners on, but there are some upsides to these digital charity marathons.
On top of opening up participation to those who can't travel, moving online helps Games Done Quick incorporate speedruns that would be difficult to set up at a centralized event. This past August's marathon included a wild and athletic speedrun of Half-Life: Alyx, and now to follow that up, AGDQ 2021 will spotlight virtual reality again with a Beat Saber Expert+ difficulty showcase by runner Kungfufruitcup.
We're also getting what's sure to be a wildly entertaining run of Celeste, one that would likely not make it into a regular event. Ridiculously hard platformers are a staple of Games Done Quick marathons, but now after getting to see player happyf333tz destroy Pump It Up! on his full two-pad arcade machine, we'll be treated to a Celeste C-Sides run played on arcade dance pads by PeekingBoo. If you want to spoil yourself on what that madness looks like, PeekingBoo also did a dance pad Celeste run for the European Speedrunner Assembly back in 2018.
Other highlights include an all-weapons run of Hades, a speedrun of Golden Sun (a first for Games Done Quick, I believe), and an all-goals, all-Gold run of the new Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 remake that'll last around 20 minutes. AGDQ 2021 will also feature solid Mega Man and Metroid blocks, a blindfolded run of Super Mario 64, and—in what's probably the most memeable entry on the list—an all-cutscenes run of Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon for the Philips CD-i.
As always, AGDQ will raise money in support of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. This year's AGDQ raised a record-breaking $3.13 million for the organization, which was then followed by $400,000 toward COVID-19 relief during a short April marathon and $2.3 million for Doctors Without Borders from summer's annual week-long event.