It's that time of year again. That time where thousands of speedrunners converge on a hotel and put on a week long marathon to raise money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. That time known as Awesome Games Done Quick.
We've gone through the schedule and picked out some of the potential highlights for this year's event.
Thanks to the magic of timezones we've already missed the first run of the marathon, Hollow Knight which was on at 4am this morning. That's totally okay because there are still some amazing games to watch this year and the nonstop nature of the event means that there's always something on.
With that in mind, we've picked out the best runs of the event with pretty hefty bias towards those that are on during hours that make sense for Aussies to watch. Keep in mind that the schedule is subject to change, so keep an eye on the official schedule to keep up to date.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Monday, January 7 at 10:52am AEDT - Any% by popesquidward in 1:25:00
When it comes to 3D Zelda speedruns, Majora's Mask consistently ranks as one of my favourites, with a whole different approach to the game that makes some rather spectacular use of the game's doomsday clock while doing almost nothing in the order they were meant to be done.
Monday, January 7 at 12:32pm AEDT - Inbounds Race between alex_sr and ConnorAce in 0:15:00
You won't see any of the mind-breaking shenanigans of out of bounds Portal speedruns here. Instead what you're in for is an exciting race between two great runners who truly understand the concept of 'speedy thing goes in, speedy thing goes out'.
Ecco: The Tides of Time
Monday, January 7 at 11:20pm AEDT - Any% by chronoon in 00:40:00
Okay, I don't know what the sequel to Ecco the Dolphin looks like as a speedrun. I'm really keen to find out though and I think it'll be a rad experience for everyone to check out.
Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion
Tuesday, January 8 at 2:02pm AEDT - Any% by TonesBalones in 1:25:00
TonesBalones has run Splatoon at earlier Games Done Quick and it was hecking entertaining. Seeing an inkling splat their way through the single-player campaign is a blast.
Silent Hill 2
Tuesday, January 8 at 4:32pm AEDT - New Game by Punchy in 0:55:00
Speaking of people who have been entertaining at past Games Done Quick events, Punchy is a highlight of any horror block with his British wit and deep knowledge. Silent Hill 2 is the perfect game to show why I've made a point to always catch Punchy's runs at GDQ.
Tuesday, January 8 at 7:40pm AEDT - [E] Ending (Normal) by Fullest in 4:35:00
With an estimate of over four and a half hours, we're in for the long haul with this speedrun that will blitz through Nier: Automata's multiple endings with style and class.
Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2
Wednesday, January 9 at 5:03pm - Normal by TrjnRabbit in 2:10:00
This is the big one for me and a run that I absolutely cannot miss. Mostly because I am the speedrunner that will be playing.
Personal bias aside, Under the Knife 2 pushes the limits of the Nintendo DS touchscreen in a ridiculously anime surgery simulator that starts with putting a dude's leg back together after he's bit by a crocodile and ends with the removal of an eye from a woman's heart. Oh, and I'm going to dress up in scrubs for this too.
Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos
Thursday, January 10 at 2:53am AEDT - Orc Campaign by CovertMuffin in 1:00:00
Alright, I had to break my Australian hours rule for this run. Muffin is a entertaining speedrunner with a distinctive laugh and a pure passion for the games that he plays. Taking strong cues from Day9, this will be an absolute joy to watch. Maybe catch the VOD after the fact if you're not keen at being up at 3am though.
Thursday, January 10 at 4:57pm AEDT - multiple games by multiple runners in 8:00:00
Awful block is a staple of Awesome Games Done Quick and a great celebration of videogames. You know that you're in for a fun ride when the first game in Awful Block is an MS DOS port of Mega Man. I've seen it, it's terrible. These will be hilarious.
Crypt of the Necrodancer: Amplified
Friday, January 11 at 9:12am AEDT - Coda Low% by SpootyBiscuit in 0:30:00
Take a music-driven roguelite game where actions must be played on beat. Strip away all items that make completing the game manageable. Make it so that stepping on gold, which is plentiful, is instant death. Oh and so is missing a beat or taking a single hit. That is Coda Low%. It should be physically impossible for someone to achieve this. Spooty will and if that doesn't impress you then I just don't know what will.
Friday, January 11 at 12:42pm AEDT - All Chapters by TGH in 1:40:00
Celeste has quickly become one of the top games on Speedrun.com and TGH has sat comfortably atop multiple leaderboards for that game for months. The all chapters run will see him jump through the gorgeous precision platformer and all of it's secret B and C sides.
Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction
Saturday, January 12 at 12:35am AEDT - Any% Normal Amazon by MrLlamaSC in 2:20:00
Diablo 2 is another personal favourite, with runners of the game using intimate knowledge of how the map is constructed to navigate their way through to Baal's throne while carefully managing their gold and experience to go as fast as possible.
Super Mario Sunshine
Saturday, January 12 at 12:44pm AEDT - 1v1 Lockout Bingo between PangaeaPanga and SniperKing in 1:30:00
A great twist on the traditional speedrun race, Lockout Bingo races are based on a randomly generated bingo grid of tasks to complete in Super Mario Sunshine. As with most bingo grids, both runners are trying to complete a row in order to win. The twist is that if either runner completes a task on the grid, the other is locked out and has to do something else. This will be a fun one.
Super Mario Odyssey
Sunday, January 13 at 10:43am AEDT - Darker Side by Bayleef in 3:22:00
One of the more in-depth categories in Super Mario Odyssey, Bayleef will have to collect a ridiculous 500 moons to unlock the secret Darker Side of the moon level. If you've ever wondered just how good people can get at Mario Odyssey this is the run to watch.
Sunday, January 13 at 2:27pm AEDT - Reverse Boss Order by ShinyZeni in 1:20:00
It's Games Done Quick, it's Super Metroid. What more needs to be said? Oh, right, the game is going to be broken in the most glorious of ways so that the bosses are defeated in reserve order which means that there is going to be some interesting routing taken to get the right unlocks.
You can watch Awesome Games Done Quick below or on Twitch.tv.