Awesome Games Done Quick begins today, and for the next seven days you'll be able to head to their Twitch channel and watch speedrun after speedrun. Organized by Games Done Quick, the purpose of this event is to not only showcase games and speedrunners' talents, but also raise money for organizations such as Doctors without Borders and the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
With a week's worth of 24-hour speedruns at Awesome Games Done Quick though, it can be a bit overwhelming looking through the schedule and picking out games that might be interesting to watch. We've taken a few from the schedule to recommend that you catch either live or on VOD after the event. All of the times listed below for the event will be in EST.
The Outer Worlds any% by Sharo
Monday, Jan. 6 at 7:35 p.m.
Estimated Time: 0:20
One of the more recent releases to be on the list, speedrunners have managed to already get this game down to under 20 minutes. Open-world games, while playing them normally, can take 20+ hours to complete, but when speedrunners are able to explore at their own free will, break the sequence of events, and abuse in-game mechanics it will be over in the blink of an eye. Even if you don't know The Outer Worlds itself, a run like this can give you an idea of what the rest of the week may have in store.
If you want a bit of a sneak peek, you can check out this great video from IGN where they sat down some of the developers and had them watch the then-current world record and give their commentary.
Zelda NES/SNES Relay by Pro_JN, BluntBunny, Cantaloupeme, TGH, Rezovayix, rcdrone, JoshRTA, Greenmario, justinman114
Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 8:26 p.m.
Estimated Time: 3:30
Don't just get ready to watch one Zelda game. In this relay, you'll be watching runners play through every Zelda game on the NES and SNES in order, tagging out between games. It's this kind of competition that's only possible at these live events. Some highlights of this will be the RNG manipulation of Zelda II, and the optimization of Link to the Past.
Final Fantasy VIII any% Co-op Relay by Tojju, Muttski, Luzbelheim
Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 12:06 a.m.
Estimated Time: 8:55
In every GDQ event, there's at least one long-haul JRPG thrown in, and this year it's Final Fantasy VIII. Steps will be counted to avoid unwanted encounters, boss AI will be manipulated, and certain encounters will even be skipped. Starting at midnight and then continuing for almost nine hours, this is certainly the long-haul run to watch. After this much exposure to the game though, you'll come out of it knowing things you never knew before. This game is a true testament to speedrunning endurance.
Super Monkey Ball All Difficulties by Helix
Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 2:18 p.m.
Estimated Time: 0:30
Super Monkey Ball is a slow, methodical physics-based game where you rotate the world to have a monkey in a gatcha-ball make its way through the goal. When played by a speedrunner though, balls will roll at high speeds and go bouncing, sometimes even leaving the starting platform and not touching ground again until they've hit the goal.
Cadence of Hyrule Story Mode by SpootyBiscuit, Goof
Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 9:25 p.m.
Estimated Time: 0:28
By the developers of Crypt of the Necrodancer, this spin-off is a Hyrule-themed rhythm-based roguelite adventure. Roguelites add a certain type of challenge to speedrunning that isn't present in other games. Yes, you can have mastery of all of the mechanics, but there's no way to truly know what challenge you'll face. Cadence of Hyrule is no different. Runner SpootyBiscuit has actually spoken to TechRaptor in the past about speedrunning and the kinds of challenges you can face in different situations.
Devil May Cry 5 New Game Human by DECosmic
Thursday, Jan. 9 at 4:42 p.m.
Estimated Time: 2:18
Sometimes what you're looking for in a speedrun isn't the main character breaking out of bounds or causing the game to glitch and get you to the credits, but instead you want to watch someone who has complete understanding of the game. Through the speedrun of Devil May Cry 5, you'll get to see the perfect combos for every situation and consistent S ranks. This is the kind of gameplay that you always aspire to achieve.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses by Claris
Thursday, Jan. 9 at 9:30 p.m.
Estimated Time: 1:45
Strategy fans will have likely already played Fire Emblem: Three Houses last year, but in this speedrun, every move, training, and off day has been planned to perfection. At the time of writing the house that will be picked for the main story hasn't been decided, but whatever path it takes, Claris will have to change up their strategies accordingly. To complete the story in this time requires every button press to be planned well in advance.
Celeste Farewell DLC by flarebear
Friday, Jan. 10 at 10:13 a.m.
Estimated Time: 0:20
The recently released DLC for Celeste takes place after completing the Heart of the Mountain. This is one of the hardest challenges for the precision platformer. With each screen acting as its own puzzle, players normally will be able to spend as long as they want trying to solve the puzzle and pull off the technical feat of navigating it. In speedruns of Celeste though, the intended route isn't always what you'll see. Runners are able to use mechanics to gain extra momentum and height to reach the end faster.
In speedrunning a TAS is a Tool Assisted Speedrun. Unlike the other runs having a human behind the controller, TASBot is a robot (program) that plays back precise inputs directly into the game, or into an emulation. This means that for a speedrun, frame-perfect tricks are guaranteed, and other things not possible by a human can be achieved. There's all kinds of amazing things that can be done with TASBot, and every year dwangoAC and other TASsers have always amazed the audience. Some great examples from the past are TASBot programming Super Mario into Super Mario World, or completing Super Mario 64 in under five minutes.
Saturday Afternoon Block by Various Runners
Saturday, Jan. 11 at 2:09 p.m.
Estimated Time: Settle in, it's going to be a long one
For each of the runs above they've been really strong picks in-amongst other strong games. Having some variety with strategy, action, platforming but to round out this AGDQ some of the biggest and best games have been put together back to back. Starting Saturday afternoon there will be a Link to the Past Randomizer Race by Andy and Warp World, Untitled Goose Game by Tasslefoot, a 4v4 Blind Relay Race in Super Mario Maker 2, a mystery game, and then Super Metroid Impossible, a super-hard romhack of Super Metroid played by Oatsngoats.
These are some of the biggest titles of the marathon. They will not only be entertaining to watch, but you can bet the commentary and crowd will be riled up watching them.
If you're wanting to see if your favorite games made the list, then be sure to check out the Awesome Games Done Quick schedule yourself. The schedule on their site will also change their times to reflect your timezone, so if you're not sure based on the information above, this might be your best bet.