Speedrunning is the act of completing a video game in the fastest possible time, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that the practice has gained quite a following online. In addition to an ever-growing collections of speedrun videos each year an event called Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ) attempts to raise money for charity by hosting live speedruns.
These are without a doubt some of the nerdiest assemblies of video game enthusiasts, bringing both die-hard franchise fans together with those who simply possess lightning-fast reactions. If you have fond memories playing games in your youth, prepare to see them in a whole different light.
Today we’ll be taking a look at some of the highlights from this year’s get-together.
Super Mario Bros. 2 (10:08)
Arguably the worst Mario game, Super Mario Bros. 2 is actually a reskinned Doki Doki Panic that was developed for release outside of Japan after Nintendo of America found the planned Japanese Mario sequel too hard and similar to the original. Since then the game has grown in popularity, and has a special place in many gamers’ hearts despite its shortcomings.
This Mario speedrun uses warps in order to skip nearly half of the game, which is how Chris K (alias “CCAAKK”) defeats the game in just over ten minutes.
Fallout 3 (25:57)
Fallout 3 is a deep, rich RPG that gives you a lot of choices over how you complete the game. You can choose to run in guns blazing (provided you have the strength and skills to patch yourself up should you need it) or to use diplomacy, stealth or deceit in order to talk, steal and lie your way out of trouble.
One thing that Fallout isn’t about is speed, so it’s truly bizarre to watch speedrunner stonenot complete the entire main storyline in 26 minutes using known glitches and quicksaves to shave precious seconds off his time by skipping dialogue.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (8:55)
The third Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater game isn’t the best, but it sure is one of the fastest. That makes watching this speedrun a truly insane experience. The speed at which the various tracks are completed (and the blisteringly fast manipulation of in-game menus) simply needs to be seen to be believed.
This run was completed in just short of nine minutes, which makes it a new world record. That’s eight minutes to 100% complete the game, the same speedrunner can complete an 80% run in a mere four minutes.
Mario 64 (1:48:57)
Mario’s first foray into 3D is fondly remembered by most people who had a Nintendo 64, and remains to this day one of the most enjoyable games in the franchise. For its 3D nature, speedruns of this game look like actual bonafide races, as players attempt to find the best routes around the levels in order to collect the required goals.
Mario 64 was all about collecting stars, and this speedrun is all about the 120 star mark. That’s probably why it’s really quite hypnotic to watch, if you have a spare hour or two to rediscover a classic without having to actually beat the game yourself.
Trials Fusion (1:02:40)
One of the newest games featured in this year’s SGDQ was Trials Fusion, the latest release in the “physics dirt bike puzzler” genre that’s gained a huge following online. If you’ve played any of the Trials games, you’ll know just how incredibly difficult they can be to control, and why this run is so impressive.
Starting at the very start with the tutorial level, watch TheBlazeJp destroy the game in a mere hour using some incredible skills.
Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (5:35)
Just like the aforementioned Fallout 3 speedrun, this video of someone beating Morrowind in five and a half minutes is bizarre. Morrowind is a game that beggars exploration, barely holding your hand as you wander around a fairly large map discovering quest items and defeating enemies.
For that reason, the storyline being completed in five minutes is a rather bizarre spectacle to watch.
Final Fantasy VI (7:27:49)
Because you have a lot of spare time, how about watching the grand finale of Summer Games Done Quick in the form of a seven hour Final Fantasy VI run? No, I don’t really expect many of you to actually want to watch this, but as one of the longest runs of the events (and for the sheer determination involved) I simply couldn’t leave it out.
There are plenty of speedruns from this year’s Summer Games Done Quick on YouTube, simply search for “SGDQ 2014” and enjoy. There are also a couple of dedicated channels, like GDQArchive and the broader SpeedDemosArchive.com, which feature plenty of speedruns of all your favourite games.