5 Speedruns I’m Looking Forward To at AGDQ 2018

This January, there’s no slowing down

Winter’s almost on its way, and many gamers are getting into the speedrunning spirit. Awesome Games Done Quick 2018 is just around the corner, and the list of games being ran this year has recently been released. While many are bummed at the fact that Super Metroid won’t be featured –breaking a GDQ tradition — others are excited at the prospect of some amazing runs in the near future. Here are some highlights from the list that I’m particularly excited for:

Sonic Mania — Sonic & Tails Any %

Sonic the Hedgehog is, by definition, the quintessential speedrunning game. The entire gameplay design of Sonic revolves around going from one end of the level to the other as quickly as possible. The latest game in the franchise, Sonic Mania, is getting its first representation at AGDQ this year. It’s always exciting seeing a new game showcased at a GDQ event, and this hit 2D platformer is no different. Non-speedrunners are usually thrilled to see what kinds of tricks, glitches, and exploits speedrunners have found. Perhaps Sonic Mania has no tricks to show, but even in that case, we’ll instead see an hour of fantastic gameplay. Regardless, I’m definitely looking forward to the fastest thing alive getting his time in the spotlight once again.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — All Main Quests; No Amiibo

Though The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was somewhat controversially ran at SGDQ 2017, the game is getting another chance to shine this year. Now that the community has had a chance to develop runs of the game, we can expect some top-notch play from the runner. The game that was famously touted as being beatable as soon as the title begins will finally get some proper representation. The “All Main Quests” category — as the title suggests — means the runner must complete the main quests and activate the four Divine Beasts. These runs typically average just short of four hours, so we’ll hopefully in store for plenty of tricks and glitches from one of the most acclaimed games of the year.

Mega Man 1 — 3-Team Relay

Mega Man has been a staple at AGDQ since its inception. The simple run-and-gun gameplay makes it perfect for speedrunners to pick up as well as fun to watch. Likewise, some of the greatest runs at AGDQ are the fun and chaotic relays. When a band of speedrunners comes together to compete for the fastest time, it’s always enjoyable. Thus, I was excited to see the original Mega Man listed as having a 3-team relay race this year. While the original Mega Man may not be the best in the classic lineup, it’ll still be a treat to see it run by so many individuals. 19 different runners are listed on the website for this relay, so plenty of speedrunning talent will be on show during this run.

Animorphs: Shattered Reality — Any %

AGDQ has its share of what I like to call ‘meme runs’ – runs of games only there to get a laugh out of the audience. One of my favorite meme runs from the past showcases was Keizaron’s run of Animorphs for the Game Boy Color from AGDQ 2016. Animorphs on GBC is essentially Pokemon if it didn’t work whatsoever. Keizaron had such horrible RNG that he couldn’t progress past the first level and had to start over. While that screams ‘bad run’ to some, it signifies to me that this upcoming run of Animorphs: Shattered Reality for the Playstation will be filled with random hilarity. I don’t know anything about the game, but considering Wikipedia says reception to it was “considerably low”, it’s bound to be a sight to behold.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time — 100%

Seems I tend to like Zelda speedruns, huh? Well, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is not only my favorite Zelda game, but also one of my favorite games to see speedruns of, simply based on how different it is from the main game. You know: Ocarina of Time, the epic adventure that can be beaten in under 18 minutes by means of bashing Ganon’s head in with a stick. Or: Ocarina of Time, the groundbreaking game filled to the brim with bugs and glitches that add tons of new techniques to the game. And my favorite: Ocarina of Time, the game with brilliantly-designed puzzles and dungeons which are all broken in half. At AGDQ, with veteran OoT speedrunner ZFG taking command, I can guarantee this 100% run will be something for the ages.

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