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Summer Games Done Quick is a seven-day long speedrun marathon that usually takes place during the summer months (hence the name), where gamers from around the globe come together to raise money for charity. For a week straight, all assortment of speedrunners play through their favorite games at blistering speeds, all while fielding donations from viewers. Both Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ for short) and Awesome Games Done Quick (the winter season marathon) have quickly gained popularity over the past decade, with donation totals rising to over $2 million. With over 150 hours of content available, it’s hard to know where to start watching, or what the best speedruns of SGDQ 2019 could be. Luckily, I spent an unreasonable amount of time watching SGDQ 2019, so this list should give you some insight on the best speedruns from the event. If you’re interested in watching some super-fast gameplay with entertaining commentary (and all for a good cause), do yourself a favor and check out some of these ridiculously impressive speedruns. After seven days of watching gamers go fast, these are my picks for the best speedruns of SGDQ 2019.
The Best Speedruns of SGDQ 2019
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project (any%, co-op) by Mecha Richter and PJ
I remember spending hours upon hours playing this classic NES beat ’em up with my brothers and friends in my early years of gaming. With that said, it’s obvious that I have a bias for TMNT III, but this speedrun was enjoyable regardless of your nostalgia for it. Cooperative beat ’em up speedruns are a mixture of improvisation, hectic adjustments, and interesting pattern memorization. Mecha Richter and PJ provided wonderful lighthearted commentary while playing, and delivered one of the best speedruns of SGDQ 2019.
Streets of Rage (Hardest Difficulty) by CestPatou
When it comes to a Games Done Quick speedrun, there are a lot of elements that separate the good from the truly great. On a marathon stage, a speedrun’s quality is usually determined by the strength of the commentary, the skill required to execute tricks, and clear and concise explanations of said tricks. Streets of Rage may not have had any exceptionally crazy tricks or glitches, but with fantastic commentary and hilariously hyped-up moments, this speedrun easily makes it onto my list of the best speedruns of SGDQ 2019. Like TMNT III, it’s a fun speedrun to watch regardless of whether or not you have nostalgia for the game.
Titanfall 2 (any%) by Bryonato
I’ve always enjoyed first-person shooter speedruns, but Bryonato’s run of Titanfall 2 at SGDQ 2019 is something truly special. If you haven’t played Titanfall 2, you’ll be even more impressed by this run, due to its insane amount of movement and speed. In Titanfall 2 you can wall-run, double-jump, and perform a variety of other movement abilities to reach the end of the level quickly. Bryonato took advantage of all these techniques and more, performing a speedrun that is as fast as it is difficult. Throughout the entire run, Bryonato expertly performed some incredibly difficult strings of movement, combined with insanely accurate shots and enemy kills. If you like speedruns of games like Halo but wish they were a bit faster, look no further than this run of Titanfall 2.
Haven’t played Titanfall 2? Grab your copy to try and replicate one of the best speedruns of SGDQ 2019! (Paid links)
The Legend of Zelda Randomizer Race (Lite Flagset) by JamEvil and fcoughlin
Not only is The Legend of Zelda one of the best games of all time, but this randomizer run was also one of the best speedruns of SGDQ 2019. In this “randomizer” version of the game, all the enemies and item locations have been randomized, forcing the two competitors to search the map for the necessary items needed to progress. As a huge fan of the Zelda franchise, I always appreciate a classic Zelda NES speedrun, but after watching GDQ for many years, I’ve seen most of the tricks that game has to offer. By putting on a race and including the randomizer variable, JamEvil and fcoughlin performed one of the best speedruns of SGDQ 2019 and had us biting our nails in suspense the entire time.
Resident Evil 2 Remake (2019) (Claire A) by Bawkbasoup
Although the daytime speedruns of GDQ events are exceptionally clear of any potty-mouth language or mature-rated content, the nighttime runs often get a bit more adult. This was true for the Resident Evil 2 (2019) run by Bawkbasoup, which had both the crowd and myself roaring with hype. Bawkbasoup ran the “Claire A” route, seeing the female protagonist through the first loop of the game’s story. The Claire A route is known for its difficulty and random nature, and that was apparent during Bawkbasoup’s run. Despite various mistakes and bad luck, Bawkbasoup turned this into one of the best speedruns at SGDQ 2019 through fantastic commentary and excellent gameplay. Not only was this one of the most hyped up runs of the event, but it’s also the first showing of the Resident Evil 2 remake at a GDQ event. Props must be given to Bawkbasoup for his incredible Claire A run and the 4th Survivor run he did immediately afterwards.
Grab your copy of this fantastic remake today by using the links above! (Paid links)
Punch-Out!! on Wii,Blindfolded (Contender & Title Defense) by zallard1
Zallard1 has appeared at Games Done Quick events a few times in the past, and every single time this runner puts his hands on a controller, he impresses me. At SGDQ 2019, zallard1 continued his dominance of the Punch-Out!! franchise by delivering an exceptionally impressive blindfolded run of Punch-Out!! on the Wii. From the first fight to the final bell, zallard1 continuously knocked down opponent after opponent in this wacky boxing game, using nothing but audio cues and muscle memory. This, combined with blindfolded menuing with a Wii controller, makes it one of the best speedruns of SGDQ 2019.
The Silly Games Done Quick Block
There’s a tradition at every GDQ where speedrunners play through the weirdest and most unlikely of games, forming the “Silly Games Done Quick” block. Although some of the speedruns in this block are better than others, most of them are full of energy, a hyped up audience, and quality comedy. Out of the many games that were ran during this block, our favorites include: Sonic Adventure DX (Big the Cat), the Divekick race, Shrek Extra Large, Glover, and T.R.A.G. If you’re not sure where to start, check out a few of the aforementioned runs and see if you enjoy the overall silliness.
Super Mario World ROM-Hack (Blind Relay Race) by Barbarian, LaserBelch, PangaeaPanga, Dode, grandpoobear, juzcook, GlitchCat7, and NobleTOFU
Super Mario World is easily one of the best games of all-time, and as such, has become one of the most popular games in the speedrun community. We’ve seen countless speedruns of Super Mario World at GDQ events in the past, but this blind relay race of a custom Super Mario World ROM-Hack is something special. Two teams of four racers a piece faced off in seven awesome custom levels, passing of the controller at each death. The race itself was incredibly close, with both teams completing levels within seconds of each other. Generally speaking, this is one of the best speedruns from SGDQ 2019 based on its unique quality. While you can find other speedruns of most of the games played at SGDQ 2019, this is a completely unique run that you won’t be able to see anywhere else.
Banjo-Kazooie (100% Race) by Hagginater and Duck
Banjo-Kazooie is one of my favorite N64 games ever made (I would honestly put it above Super Mario 64, at risk of blasphemy), so this 100% race between Hagginater and Duck hit all the right spots. If you haven’t played this N64 collect-a-thon yet, this speedrun race is one of the most entertaining ways to see the entirety of the game. Through a variety of tricks, glitches, and risky movement, both players absolutely decimated the game in phenomenal time. In addition, both the crowd and the couch commentary was exceptionally high-energy, providing plenty of laughs and entertainment throughout the run.
Join the bear and bird duo on their Nintendo 64 adventure by purchasing either Rare Replay or Banjo-Kazooie by using the links above! (Paid links)
Tetris Effect (Journey Mode, Expert Difficulty) by HardDrop
Anyone will tell you; mastering Tetris is no easy feat. The deceptively simple puzzle game is often regarded as one of the best games ever made, and professional Tetris player HardDrop showed off his skills in the newest iteration of the game, Tetris Effect. As both a visual experience and a speedrun, this showing of Tetris Effect by HardDrop is incredibly engaging. If you’re not stunned by the beautiful graphics and music, then the skill of HardDrop will surely put you in a state of awe.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Any%, No Amiibo) by Wolhaiksong
The “Any%, No Amiibo” speedrun of Breath of the Wild is probably the most busted, silly, and glitch-filled speedrun category there is in in the Breath of the Wild community. In less than 30 minutes, you’ll get to see runner Wolhaiksong work their way through the starting plateau, eject themselves at insane speeds off of nearby rocks, and venture straight into Ganon’s Tower with only 3 hearts. This is an incredibly tough speedrun to pull off, and the ease of which Wolhaiksong displayed the run was commendable.
Are you a new Nintendo Switch owner? Be sure to pick up this expansive and imaginative adventure by using the links above. (Paid links)
Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! (Any%) by eddaket
I usually stray away from speedruns that are over 3 hours long, and more often than not, take a break when Pokemon speedruns come up at GDQ events. It’s not that I don’t like Pokemon, but rather, I don’t find the speedruns to be exceptionally interesting or engaging. My expectations couldn’t have been proven more wrong than they were during eddaket’s “Any%” run of Pokemon: Let’s Go, Evevee!. As a Pokemon game, it contains a few key mechanics and features that make the speedrun very different than other Pokemon titles. This, combined with the excellent commentary from eddaket and his couch, led to an exceptionally engaging run that had be glued to the screen.
Chrono Trigger (Glitchless, 100%) by puwexil
A lot of the same sentiments on the Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee speedrun also apply to this run. Despite its significant length (an estimate of 6 hours), the speedrun of Chrono Trigger was pushed to top-tier heights by runner puwexil’s intricate knowledge of the game’s mechanics, expertly planned out attacks and buffs, and his overall laid back demeanor. This was also the final run of SGDQ 2019, and the run wherein the marathon hit the $3 million donation mark. The energy in the room leading up to the $3 million milestone was palpable (and very audible), as audience members and runner alike got hyped up for the donation ticker to roll over. Even if you’re not a fan of this classic Super Nintendo RPG, you should check out the last 30 minutes. It’s a great representation of why events like GDQ can be so uplifting and positive.
Overall, SGDQ 2019 raised over $3 million for the charity Doctors Without Borders, setting a record for the most money raised at a Games Done Quick event. With the upcoming Games Done Quick Express at TwitchCon, the donations will be pouring in once again.