Speedrunning can get complicated as video games get more complex, and a Fallout game has no shortage of quirks to twist and break. Luckily, at yesterday's Awesomes Games Done Quick 2020, someone brought some visual aids for the viewers at home.
"TomatoAngus" is a speedrunner known for breaking down a number of games, most notably those in the Fallout series. On both his YouTube channel and Patreon (where he goes by his usual screenname "tomatoanus"), he gives a fairly straightforward mission statement:
Speedrunning is often incredibly esoteric, which is a bummer. It often gets brushed off by many because it's largely confusing. My goal is to change that. By working with runners of a variety of games, the purpose of this channel is mainly to provide explanations of speedruns in real-time over gameplay.
Yesterday, TomatoAngus ran the Fallout Anthology for Awesome Games Done Quick 2020, a charity speedrunning marathon benefiting the Prevent Cancer Foundation. It was a fantastic run one every main Fallout game, from the very first through to New Vegas and 4, and maybe one of the most engaging I've seen at a GDQ; not just because of how interesting it was but because of how TomatoAngus took the time to break down and explain what was happening and why.
Case-in-point: TomatoAngus reaches Fallout 4, and it comes time to get out of cryogenic slumber and venture out into the new, post-nuclear world. Usually this means taking an elevator, but elevators are slow.
While the game rolls through the usual cutscenes in the background, TomatoAngus busted out an actual prop to explain how, by falling through the floor and hitting one of two invisible map boundaries, his character would be warped back up, skipping 40 seconds of elevator ride time. It's complex, but he breaks it down, Jeff Goldblum-in-Jurassic Park style.
While this was the most visually distinct, TomatoAngus broke down a number of the Fallout series' interesting quirks. There are places where it's faster to be dumb, or you can trade explosives into someone's inventory to get away with murder. At one point, he pulls back the curtain and reveals that the Fallout: New Vegas ending slideshow is not only an actual slideshow being shown to the player, but the narrator is just off-screen, actually standing there and talking like the Wizard of Oz.
This sort of thing is fantastic for those at home who, like me, love seeing the intricacies and thought processes that runners go through. My introduction to the very concept of speedrunning was Narcissa Wright's infamous Ocarina of Time run at GDQ 2013 that slowly breaks down the mechanics at work and gradual development of a massive, game-breaking run. Speedrunning is always fascinating to watch, but it's even more engaging to understand how these players keep breaking down games over time.
Even more games, like the recent Fallout-like The Outer Worlds, have been run at this year's Games Done Quick. You can check out the full VOD of TomatoAngus' run on Twitch here, or later once it's been uploaded to Games Done Quick's YouTube channel.
Check out our quick-hit schedule for AGDQ 2020 to see what awesome runs are still left in the week-long charity event.