Taken By the Quickness

Summer Games Done Quick 2019

This last week the annual Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ) charity marathon was held. As we noted in our coverage of the winter fest, Awesome Games Done Quick 2019 you're not familiar, Games Done Quick is a charity organization raising funds a couple (or more) times a year for various good causes. AGDQ is held every January in support of the Prevent Cancer Foundation while the summer iteration, Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ), has been supporting Doctors Without Borders since 2013. There have also been a number of smaller marathons such as Japan Relief Done Quick, Harvey Relief Done Quick, and Games Done Quick Express (GDQX).

Summer Games Done Quick 2019

The regularly held marathons stretch for just over a week each and feature many of the top speed-runners from around the world. The gamers will show up, setup their equipment, and play their hearts out for the good causes, running the games they love as fast as they can. It's always a treat to watch these marathons, and to do so while supporting solid charities makes the marathons even better.

Since we've already broken the seal on covering these kinds of events, it felt only right to come back this year and comer the Summer games. With a format in place now, we're going to look back at the true highlights of this year's AGDQ.

And remember, even if you missed out SGDQ this year, you can always catch the next one in January of 2020 over at the Games Done Quick website. The entire archive of past marathons is also available on YouTube (although note that the first couple of years' worth of videos are stored over on the Speed Demos Archive channel). Plus, of course, remember to go support Prevent Cancer Foundation and Doctors Without Borders, because that's really what this is all about.

Turtle Power: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time

It was early in the marathon when PJ and Mecha Richter blasted through this game, and dang did they help kick off this marathon properly. Although I'm not a huge fan of beat-em up games normally, I (like so many children of the 1980s) have a special place in my heart for the TMNT games. I spent countless hours on TMNT III: The Arcade Game and TMNT IV: Turtles in Time on my NES and SNES. Oddly, I didn't spend nearly as much time in the threequel, The Manhattan Project. I'd already played the hell out of the previous NES game and, despite some improvements in the third title, it just didn't have enough new stuff in it to keep my interest.

Having watched this run, though, I feel like I didn't give the game a fair shake. The way PJ and Mecha tear through it, working together to set a blistering, World Record co-op pace, is staggering. It certainly puts my own play-throughs of the classic games to shame, but unlike it most cases where I feel like the players are doing things I could never dream of, this is the kind of run I think I could pick up and, maybe with some practice, start getting into the realm of being competitive. It looks hard, but a fair kind of difficult.

This is also the kind of speed run I like. While it's not glitchless -- the guys use a "Ghost Turtle" glitch to confuse many of the enemies -- the guys never go out of bounds or skip stages. This is a full run that just so happens to use some logic flaws in the game to speed up battles. Plus, to keep the glitch going, the guys have to play carefully. It's a speed run that really shows off their skill at playing the game itself.

PJ and Mecha Richter are two runners I love watching, and this run shows why. It's fast, fun, and features great commentary from Klaige and Murphagator. It's everything you want from a speed-run marathon event.

Later in the marathon we also had a fantastic Any% Co-Op Hard run of TMNT IV: Turtles in Time. As I noted I played this game a lot, both on the SNES and in its arcade edition, TMNT IIThis is a favorite of mine, the one I would say, hands down, is the best Turtles brawling game. The game was tightly made, both with great graphics and solid controls, and it added enough new mechanics (slam throws, screen throws, extra power moves) to gives players a variety of ways to fight the foot and feel like ninja gods.

Of course, at the controls we certainly had two ninja gods. Runners GeneralAndrews and Dospostmann lead the crowd through a rip-roaring run of the SNES title, destroying waves of the Foot as if they were nothing. As with the TMNT III run, it's impressive how the runners have so much of the game memorized, able to know where the foot are coming from, what they're going to do, and be ready to kill them as soon as they can )often before the enemies have even spawned in on screen). And, yes, this run does use a bit of a glitch to make it more manageable for the players, although nothing like the "Ghost Turtle" glitch from the previous run. Here, the players are able to confuse the game so that, by the mid point, they will each have control of a Raph, the strongest turtle in the game. This isn't something you are supposed to be able to do, but via a death glitch/quick wrong warp, the players end up with their turtles and unleash the heat.

Overall I'm so happy with the amount of turtle love shown at the event this year. These games are all fantastic (yes, even the little loved first NES title), and as these runs show, whether you're a casual or a speed gamer, you can have fun with these awesome brawling games.

Perchance to Dream (of Bananas): Super Mario Bros. 2 All Stages and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest Any% All Stages

Last time, in our AGDQ 2019 article, we discussed Doki Doki Panic, so it seems only fitting to then cover the US NES release of that game, Super Mario Bros. 2. While the two games look similar enough, their runs are different enough that anyone familiar with one will see all the differences in the other. The key change is that while in DDP you played only as Papa (as he's the fastest there), this game uses all the heroes, but most especially Toad and Luigi. It's interesting to see the tech at play and to get to see how each character, when used, is optimal for their area.

The all stages run by cool-kid might not have been perfect, but it was still very strong. The runner put in a great time and showcased a lot of the skips and trick that make this run so much fun. Plus, the commentary by BJW helped to highlight many of the skips, what was needed to do them, and how everything worked. I learned more about this game from this run than I ever knew before.

Unlocked during the SMB2 run we got a Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest any% all stages run. The DKC games are, honestly, quite broken, and this run makes good use of that. It's evident in the early stages of the game as the runner, MikeKanis, uses developer intended tricks, along with a few wrong warp barrels, to tear through the first two worlds of the game in under nine minutes. From there it's a master class in platforming prowess as he runs, jumps, swims, and dodges his way through all the stages, using all the tricks he can to do it as fast as possible. Although not a world record (although the runner does have the record), it's still a blistering pace for a game many of us have probably enjoyed (although, of course, we all did it much slower).

And shout-outs to the commentators -- DemonSmallz, Mrzerathemant, Greenmixtape, and Count Gooby -- who kept the game light and enjoyable. They spent plenty of time explaining all the tech of this broken game but still managed to keep it fast and fun. Despite a few troubles in the third world, this run was still solid over all, a great accomplishment for the runner.

Deep Into a Planet: Blaster Master Any% (JP) & Metroid Any%

From here we delve into the land of Metroidvanias. Our journey begins with a classic of the NES... I mean, of the Famicom as the run is of the Japanese version of Blaster Master. By this point you've probably watched just enough speed-runs to know that runners will pick whatever version of a game -- Japanese, U.S., or European -- that they can, all to shave a few seconds from slightly different versions of the game. Languages can affect a run as English is, generally, slower to display than Japanese (Kanji). Some newer games, with inclusions of French or Italian, even prove to be faster still. Blaster Master doesn't actually have any text boxes in the game to display, so all the time saves come from version differences -- the Famicom version came out first and a few minor glitches were seemingly patched out of the U.S. NES edition.

If you've watched a Blaster Master NES run before (and there are a few in the Games Done Quick YouTube archives), the initial sections of the game will seem similar in this any% Famicom run. However, while resetting the game (or taking too many deaths) would set you back at square one in the NES game, the Famicom edition is much more forgiving. This allows runner davidtkii to pick up some serious time saves since he doesn't have to traverse back out of a few areas, instead taking death warps (or simply reseting back to Zone 1) as needed. It's a fast, clean run that highlight the tight controls of the game as well as the fun, expansive environs. And, of course, the commentary crew of UraniumAchor and skavenger216 keep the run informative as well as entertaining.

Meanwhile, we continue adventuring through foreign worlds with Metroid. This NES classic helped to launch an entire genre, but, as you'll see from the any% run, it's also a pretty broken game. Most players will spend hours exploring each of the zones of the game to find the items they need to take on Mother Brain and escape the planet. Runner metroidmcfly, via a series of out of bounds jumps and glitchy tricks, is able to get through the entire game in under twelve minutes; in that same time I doubt I'd have even gotten through the first zone of the game. It's a staggering accomplishment, made all the more impressive as this was a deathless run (and this game is notoriously hard to run deathless).

There wasn't that much commentary from the couch -- metroidmcfly did the heavy lifting of explaining this game, stealing the thunder of -- apollo22237, MCAaronIce, and Cypherin -- but they were there to back him up and explain the elements he couldn't as he focused on the battle. A tense run, with good information, made for a thrilling time.

Thank You Dana: Solomon's Key Any% & Half-Minute Hero Any% Hero 30

Speaking of metroidmcfly, before his run through Metroid he took a breezy (read: blisteringly fast) jaunt through Solomon's Key. This is a Techmo NES title I hadn't even heard of before, and that's probably because this game is stupid hard. Although you wouldn't know it from this run through the puzzle platformer. A game that probably took other players months or years to beat he utterly destroys in 14 minutes flat.

What's impressive about this run isn't just the fact that he's pulling off tricks and jumps as if it's nothing, shuffling past enemies when, from the looks of it, they should have hit them (but their hit boxes are just thin enough. It's also not just the time, which, seriously, is stupidly fast. But it's also the fact that he did this deathless. A game like this, as hard as it clearly is, and he did the whole thing without dying. Quite the feat.

Plus, after this game you'll be shouting "Thank You, Dana" just like the couch commentators -- apollo22237, MCAaronIce, and RotDawg -- and the audience. It's infectious.

At the other end of the "gotta go fast" spectrum, we have an any% Hero 30 run of Half-Minute Hero. This game is really strange for first timers to watch: essentially it's a series of tiny RPGs, one after another, that the hero travels through. Each map is small, each adventure literally 30 seconds long (although sometimes time can be reset), meaning that the player has to know each tiny map and be able to plan out all their actions in quick order. It seems stressful, but runner dowolf takes the time to make it seem light and easy.

Half-Minute hero is a game that's featured pretty regularly at these events, and it's always a joy to watch. The runner and his commentator, the legendary Mike Uyama, bring this whole run together to make it fun, entertaining, and informative. And also very fast. Like, seriously, the commentary is a blur as they just keep talking. A really solid run all around.

Also, stick around to the end of the run for the bonus Three-Second Hero run as well. It's a trip.

With the Rise of the Moon: The Castlevania Block

Of course, one of my favorite times at the marathon is the Castlevania block. I do run a Castlevania website, The Inverted Dungeon, so any chance to watch some great vampire-hunting action is a chance I won't miss. The block unofficially started with an any% run of Timespinner from RiskyCB. Timespinner is a 2015 Metroidvania title that owes a lot of its design choices and overall feel to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, although it does a few things that are differnt enough that it doesn't feel like a direct clone.

The most important mechanic of the game is the ability to freeze time. With just the push of a button, the player can literally freeze time, and this works on just about any creature in the game, from the lowest enemy to the end boss. Not only can you pause attacks but you can also use these enemies (and their attacks as well) as platforms, which is part of how RiskyCB is able to traverse the game so quickly (and do a number of maneuvers to get outside the linear logic of the game and shoot quickly ahead of the intended route. It's a fast and fun run, one that does give viewers a quick view of the mechanics of the game, although likely if you play it casually on your own you'll skip some of the harder tricks and just enjoy the game for its simpler pleasures.

From timespinner we get into the proper Castlevania block with a three-way any% race of the original title in the series. This is a hard game that's absolutely destroyed by the runners as they use any little skip they can to save time and get through this NES title as fast as possible. Runner 2snek and Komrade take a back and forth early lead in the race, battling for first, while freeland1787 brings up the rear with a still respectable time. Even in third place, bear in mind, the runner still is able to beat the entire game faster than I can probably get through the first stage, so there's nothing to be ashamed of here.

What's impressive about runs of the classic titles in the series is that it's the little tricks that end up saving time. When you consider that a speedrun of the first game in the series takes only fifteen minutes or so, any little time save can pay of big in comparison. A single damge boost through a platform, a quick kill against a boss, can spell the difference between a personal best or just another run. The fact that these runners can pull off so many of these tricks consistently and clealy just goes to show the high level of play in this game from these runners.

Following the classic title we had a visit into the classic-inspired recently release, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon. As you may know, Curse of the Moon came as part of the Kickstarter for the main game, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (which itself only just came out). Curse of the Moon debuted last year and it already has a dedicated fanbase with multiple run times and a lot of seriously engaged players. Plus, the game is just a whole lot of fun.

In past GDQ events we had a few runs of this classic-inpsired game, although those runs used a lot of out-of-bounds tricks to traverse the game quickly. Runner strizer86 gave us something different this time around with an any% no oob ultimate (veteran) run of the game. Essentially, he played the game on the third mode (unlocked after playing through as main hero Zangetsu and killing the other heroes to steal their powers -- this is a very dark game) with harder difficulty settings enabled, and he did it with aplomb. His skill at navigating the game, using every little optimization and trick to get through it quickly while still remaining inside the game and playing it "properly", is amazing.

This run is a joy to watch, for no small reason that he, and his couch crew of GuyNextDoor717 and The Blacktastic, are having such a great time chatting and playing the game. Really a highlight of the block.

From here we, of course, get right into a run of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. I say of course because Symphony is as much a fixture of these marathons as span class="tilt">Super Metroid and Kaizo Mario. To not have this game at the marathon would leave the whole event feeling just a little less complete. The run this time is something a little different from what we've seen before, an all bosses & relics, save Richter run of the XBox 360 rerelease of the game done with style by Dr4gonBlitz, which gives us one of the more complete (yet stille very broken) plays of this game at a marathon.

The thing about Symphony of the Night is that the game itself is very broken. While it's a fantastic game, and no one is going to debate that point, it's also not the best programmed title and there are a lot of glitches, out of bounds errors, and other things the runners can do to very quickly traverse the castle. Dr4gonBlitz uses every trick he can to absolutely tear through the game, destroying both castles in under 45 minutes, a feat considering how hard many of the basic mechanics of this game can be if you're trying to do them fast and consistently.

Watching Dr4gonBlitz play this game is like watching a master at work. His skill and finesse with the game is a sight to behold. Plus, he had a fantastic crew on guard with him, with other fabulous runners of the game, VB__, romscout, and The Blacktastic, giving commentary and sharing in the join of another run through the demon castle. There's a reason this game is brought back over and over again.

And then, finally, we closed out the block with another great Metroidvania title, Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. Portrait is a game I enjoyed but never held up to the same level as some of the other games in the Castlevania series, but after watching the no oob run from VB__, I feel like I need to give the game a second chance. It's not only deep but also beautiful, like the best games in the series.

As this is an no out of bounds run, we once again get to experience the full breadth of the game properly (as, in any Metroidvania title of the series, the only proper ending is a good ending as far as speedruns are concerned). With this run, although not very much is collected, and a few big glitches are used (as explained, this game came out only seven months after its predecessor, and that doesn't leave a lot of time for QA), plenty of this game is still shown off, and what we get to see is great. This may be one of the gems of the series that many fans don't talk about, so if you have a chance, watch this run and then go experience the game for yourself.

Also, as an honorable mention: although it wasn't included in the Castlevania block, runner LoZCardsfan23 presented a fun, any% run of the DOS port of the original Castlevania. This game is awful (which is why it was in the "Awful Games" block), but it was still enjoyable to see someone fight the game as they tried to clear it quickly.

Catch a RIDE!: Borderlands 2 Co-Op All Quests

I'm an unabashed Borderlands fan, and I've always wanted to get into speedruns of the titles but, honestly, I have a hard time enjoying speedruns of shooter-type games. Most of these involve a lot of out of bounds glitches and I feel like that runs the flow of the game. I prefer experiencing more of a title so as to really enjoy everything on offer.

Thankfully, for gamers like me, we have a great co-op all quests run of Borderlands 2 from Amyrlinn, Shockwve, and TheFunCannon. This run gives you just about all you want from a speedrun of the game, completing every main quest in the game (no download content not prepackaged in the PC release, though) so quickly you might not even realize the quests are happening as they go.

The thing about the game is that the early releases had a large amount of glitches that could be exploited, and the runners do so. Using an older version of the game (before a number of patches and fixes went into effect), the runners are able to speed up two of the characters to warp speed, create infinite shields and health, and glitch out the critical hit damage so that every enemy dies in seconds. It's not a fair run, to be sure, but it's an enjoyable one to watch.

Plus, the three runners are joined on the phone by actual developers from the Borderlands studio, Gearbox, and their commentary is informative and funny. The runners talk the whole time, constantly explaining everything as they coordinating their moves, and you lear so much as they're going. This is one of the best shooter runs I've ever seen at these marathons.

Arcade Action: Slipstream and Punch-Out!

Speeding on ahead in the week (no pun intended considering our next game), we have a fun arcade-style racing game from a single developer. The title is Slipstream, and runners Konasumi and WhatIsCalvin compete in a Cannonball max settings race (with a solid movie reference for you 1970s action-comedy fans) that's fun to watch. This game looks deceptively easy, but as the run goes on and they track further and further into the 20 stages of the game (the Cannoball run is a cross-country affair that does one lap of each of the races in one continuous race) you realize just how hard this game can be. The run, like the game, is a labor of love, a fun time through a game that ramps up the more you enjoy it.

Speaking of arcade action, we then follow up with the original version of Punch-Out!. You may not realize that the first version of the game wasn't Mike Tyson's Punch-Out! for the NES (although that is certainly the most famous edition), but an arcade-exclusive version that is much harder (the runner was playing on the Switch E-Shop edition, which is an English translation of the Japanese release of the game -- the American release had slightly different bosses in some sections). Runner zallard1 took us on a journey through all the unique fights in the arcade original. This game is exceptionally difficult since it was an arcade game (and the goal was to suck quarters out of you as frequently as possible), but zallard, being a god at the Punch-Out! series, make it look easy as he destroyed fight after fight with little effort.

You get a real sense of just how much he's obliterating this game from the reactions of his couch crew -- Klaige, Mecha Richter, and Sinister1 -- as they stand in awe of his prowess at this difficult arcade title. The commentary is informative, ut there are plenty of moments where they just have to bow before him and his arcade stick abilities.

And speaking of zallard1 destroying Punch-Out!, he then followed up the Arcade run with a blindfolded run through the Wii edition in the series. If you think doing games blinfolded sounds impossible, you really should watch this run... as well as the two the runner did before as he's also done this feat with the NES game and the SNES sequel, Super Punch-Out!. Finishing the trilogy, zallard1 gives us an exception run with absolutely no losses and barely a stumble at all. He obliterates this game so hard he actually beats his blindfolder PB by 6 minutes. If the game had a proper blindfolded World Record (I checked and it's not an official run type just yet), I'm sure this run would own it.

Seriously, if you only watch one run from the marathon, this needs to be the one you watch. It's incredible

For the Glory of the Republic: Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 Soviet Campaign Hard Mode Co-Op

I will admit that I didn't play much of the Command and Conquer series growing up. I was more of a Blizzard EntertainmentOnce an independent gaming company called "Silicon & Synapse", Blizzard Entertainment released a number of beloved cult games form various systems (including The Lost Vikings and Rock 'n Roll Racing) before going on to become one of the biggest game companies in the world thanks to a little title called Warcraft. fan, so naturally I played the Warcrafts instead. The closest I got to C&C was Dune (and, later, the remake, Dune 2000), a licesned precursor to the C&C series from Westwood Studios. That game was fun, and part of me wishes I'd gotten into all the fun games Westwood later put out.

That opinion holds true for the EA-managed threequel to spin-off C&C series, Red Alert. These games take place in an alternate universe where the Cold War not only never ended (and, thus, the Soviet Union never fell), but the war is very hot indeed. Runners Raelcun and Covert_Muffin took us through the whole Soviet campaign in hard mode co-op and they did it with style. Co-op mode, as they note, really wasn't meant for co-op, instead traditionally pairing the human with a computer-controlled back-up player. They means with two actual humans playing the campaign via LAN, they could really break the enemy AI and do things much faster, and more easily, than the game expected.

And yes, that means they absolutely rip apart their foes faster than most of us could probably clear a single map of the campaign. Since they know what each move of the computer will be on every map, they know when enemies will show up, what the forces will look like, and the best way to counter any attack while they work to destroy their foes at every turn. And they do it while laughing and cracking jokes the whole time. The run is absolutely infectious from start to finish and, most importantly, it really makes me want to track down the game and try it for myself.

Also, due to the donation incentive being met, the players watch every cut scene in the game. If you ever wanted to see an absolutely hammy Tim Curry give his best Russian Chancelor performance, this is the run for you. Watch it and enjoy every delightfully stupid minute.

Don't Shoot the Food: Gauntlet (NES) Any% Race

I love Gauntlet. The original arcade game was such a daunting, awesome beast, the first game I ever saw that had four-player controls. I spent hours at the game, running through dungeons, dying over and over again, and laughing the whole time. It's not an easy game, but the bar for play was low enough that even if you died over and over again (as waves of enemies beat against you) you were never angry about it. Naturally, then, I grabbed the NES version when it came out and sunk countless hours into that game as well.

The thing about the NES game, though, was that it was never really meant to be beaten by casual players. There's a nasty password system in the game that you hardly notice and, once you get to the end of the game you have to input said password (which you did find after collecting a bunch of random clues across the stages, right?) or you insta die, game over. I don't know of any casual player who ever figure out the passwords (which changed on each playthrough) and managed to get to the last dragon and win the game.

We're watching a speedrun tournament, though, so naturally the runners, digshake and Eunos (speedrunners who both run a variety of classic NES tiitles) were going to beat this game. Their any% race took out the whole game in under sixteen minutes, and yes, they both had the passwords they needed (although they used lookup sites online to find them as this was any%, not 100%). It's a fast-paced run that points out all the weird quirks of the NES title. It's also easy to see even from their speedy play, just how mean and evil this NES title was. Seriously, did any causal play ever beat this game.

It's great seeing two runners take this malicious title down. Now to get them to blast through the other three titles in the series.

Do the Mario: The Super Mario Block

Super Mario World: Kaizo Blind Relay Race

Super Mario runners are insane. NintendoSince 1983 (with the release of the Famicom gaming system in Japan), Nintendo has proven to be a gaming company dedicated to finding what gamers want, even when the gamers don't know it themselves. From dual-screen systems, to motion controls, to convertible home console/portable consoles, Nintendo regularly proves that the weirdest innovation is exactly what the gaming community needs. has made a series of games with super tight, responsive controls and the gamers that played these titles decided that what Nintendo created wasn't nearly hard enough. Thus the "kaizo" community was born, a collection of people making super-hard (like near impossibly hard) levels for other players to then blast through. Previous GDQ events hightlighted many of the kaizo levels, usually via Super Mario Maker but this time we had a collection of three different Super Mario World kaizo games.

The first run, and probably the most energetic as well, was the blind kaizo race between two teams of racers, One Title Men (Barbarian, Laserbelch, PangeaPanga, and Dode) vs Lunar Magicians (grandpoobear, juzcook, GlitchCat7, and NobleTOFU). This race was a real barn-burner, with the teams neck-and-neck in every single level (including the last one). It was hard to know who was gonna win at any given moment, that's the quality of player from these racers. Plus, the stages were all super creative, featuring all kinds of menchanics never meant for SMW that the level designers managed to hack in. It's awesome.

Following that we had the only traditional run of the Mario block, with an all forts race of Super Mario Bros. 3. Featuring four top names in SMB3 -- mitchflowerpower, grandpoobear, Lawso42, and TheHaxor, this race was close from start to finish. As you want with any good race, it all came down to the last world, last handful of stages, to decide the winner.

Also, credit to many of the runners as they were able to gran a hammer shell in World 5 and carry it (without getting hit once) all the way to the end of the game so they could insta-kill Bowser with the over-powered power-up, the first time anyone has managed to do that at a GDQ event. Congratulations to all the runners for that feat.

After that it was back to the SMW kaizo runs with a 100% dive from Dode through Invictus. This game is interesting in part because it only used to have an 100% category. That was right up until Dode started running it and, so far, is the only runner to be able to perform the skip necessary to ditch most of the game and get right to the end. Because of that they also had to make an any% category, but it's the 100% run that won out here at the marathon.

Invictus is a fun romhack, another of these games that adds in a bunch of new machanics for the players to use. Whjat's really neat about it, though, is that those mechanics will then come back later in the game, controls the player will have to use in more than just a single level (unlike a lot of kaizo hacks) if they want to clear the whole game. It's a layered romhack with a lot of interesting ideas, and it's taken down with relative ease by the mater, Dode.

Finally, mitchflowerpower jumped back in the hot seat for an any% good ending run of Grand Poo World 2. Honestly, before he started up this game for this event I didn't even realize mitch ran kaizo games, but considering he's the world record holder for SMB3, among otehr accolades, it makes sense that he'd have the skill to play these supepr tough levels. And, yes, this romhack is exceptionally tough. The designer was on the couch for the run and he noted that many of the levels often took players eight hours or more to clear. It's that kind of hard.

But, of course, mitch destroyed the game. In fact, for a while he was on PB pace until the console started having issues and they had to swap out carts. Despite that, he still put in an incredible time, almost twenty minutes under estimate. He saw the challenge of this super-hard sequel hack and said, "I've got this." Well done.

I Can't Shake 'Em: Star Fox 64 Red Line All Medals (Expert Mode)

Getting back into normal games, we move into another Nintendo franchise, Star Fox with the Nintendo 64 sequel. Honestly, this wasn't a game that hooked me when it came out. No doubt, the SNES original was revolutionary when it was published, but then the years went past and once the Nintendo 64 came out, what we got was a sequel that looked and played exactly like the SNES original. Oh, sure, there were probably more enemies on screen, more things to do, but the game didn't look that different from the SNES title that started it. It was a ho-hum sequel to an amazing original, and I tuned out.

That opinion in general isn't changed by the red line all medals (expert mode) speedrun of Star Fox 64 from LylatR. Don't get me wrong, his run is amazing and the couch commentary from DoctorSwellman, Zallard1, and Lennon Free is hilarious and informative. But the fact is that this game still seems ho-hum. By and large you're doing the exact same stuff in this game you did in the SNES original. You fly on-rails, you shoot, you kill, and then you proceed to the next star system, wrapping up your mission in seven stages. The specifics may be different here, but the basics of the games are the same.

It's sad, really, because the SNES almost got a very different sequel, one that was much more of an RTS-style game, with the cancelled Star Fox 2 (which was later released, finally, on the SNES Mini). THen, later, Nintendo tried to broaded the games with weird titles like Star Fox Adventures and Star Fox Zero, but nothing could ever have that revolutionary impact of the original title, cranking out chunky 3D graphics on the little SNES.

Watch this run because the run itself is great, but maybe don't go out and get the game afterwards.

Coverage Continues Onwards

As we did with the winter event, we'll update this article as we go through the SGDQ 2019 archive and get caught up on all the great runs and runners. Keep an eye on this article to see all the highlights, and remember to go watch the stream live to see all the great runs as they happen.