The summer edition of the biannual speedrunning charity marathon Games Done Quick concluded last Saturday night, with a record-breaking $3 million raised for Doctors Without Borders over the course of a week.
This marks a total of over $22 million raised for charity since Games Done Quick started in 2010, for charities including Doctors Without Borders, Organization for Autism Research, CARE, and Prevent Cancer Foundation. The record-breaking moment came during the final run of the marathon, Chrono Trigger, after a huge bid push to fight optional boss Spekkio. If you want to see it countdown to the three-million mark live, you can check out the vid below (go to the 5:47:00 mark):
You can head over to the Games Done Quick channel to see all the runs from the event, which have already been archived and put in a playlist. I've also got a few personal favorites I'd like to shout out below (with links, of course):
Grand Poo World 2: A stylish run through some kaizo Mario levels, this inspired some really evil ideas in me for Super Mario Maker 2 levels. In a similar vein is the Super Mario World blind relay race, which even had custom avatars for the team's runners.
Resident Evil 2 (2019): Easily my favorite run of the week. Resident Evil runs are always a thing of beauty, but these speedruns really highlight how the games have mixed modern design with that classic RE feel. The ever-looming specter of Mr. X and the excited crowd involvement just make it that much better. (Also, if you dig this, check out our profile on RE runner Carcinogen.)
Titanfall 2: Seriously, watch this run if you want to see someone push a game to its speed limits. Bryonato makes the scaffolding level look like a cakewalk.
Link to the Past + Super Metroid Combo Randomizer: This one still hurts my head a little. A mash-up of Link to the Past and Super Metroid, being run at the same time, the two runners work together and share information to beat both games on both screens. Watching them dissect routes and options based on the tools available is a blast, as well as the run's eventual lapse into a race and the couch getting in on the laughs.
Punch-Out!! (Wii): The tension of this run, combined with the novelty of the blindfolded play, is really something else. Watching him take down DK at the end was an absolute blast, and runner Zallard1 really shows off some mastery of the game and nerves of steel.
Divekick: This race of the Divekick story mode, featuring two very talented players involved in the fighting game scene playing on DK bongos, is a blast to watch. It comes right down to the wire, and you end up learning a lot about the deceptively simple two-button, one-hit fighting game Divekick.
Minecraft: If you ever wanted to learn a lot about the mechanics of Minecraft, jump in here. I was really impressed by the way runners have fine-tuned what is ostensibly a survival game into a calculated race to the finish.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: Come for Tim Curry's campy FMV acting, stay for the dissection of a co-op strategy game by runners Raelcun and CovertMuffin. The way these two pick apart the game, and even route on the fly when things go awry, is really something. At several moments, strategies fail and these two have to exchange info and figure out a way to adapt, which is one of my favorite things to see in any live run.
It was a wonderful SGDQ, and now I'm excited to see where GDQ in general could go from here. The team announced that GDQ would be headed to Orlando next January, while SGDQ will return to Bloomington next June. While you wait, GDQ Express is set for September 27-29, at TwitchCon 2019.