You know Games Done Quick, don’t you? Now in their fourth year, the teams organised by speed gaming group Speed Demos Archive have raised over $300,000 for various charities.
This year’s Awesome Games Done Quick, the biggest charity gaming marathon of the year, starts tonight at 6pm GMT, for over 150 hours of gaming in aid of the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and with its biggest collection of Sonic games yet.
The schedule is a fluid one and subject to change at any time, but the estimated times for Sonic are here:
Sonic CD: 7pm Monday Sonic 2: 7:30pm Monday Sonic 3 & Knuckles: 8:10pm Monday Sonic Generations: 4:10am Thursday Sonic Colours: 5:40am Thursday Sonic ’06: 7:20am Thursday Shadow the Hedgehog: 9am Thursday
Be sure to tune in if you like quality gaming, and maybe slip in a few squid for a great cause.
It’s that time again. For the last three years, the guys at Speed Demos Archive have been doing speedrunning marathons for charities, and at 8PM GMT, their latest Awesome Games Done Quick begins in aid of the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
Awesome Games Done Quick 2012 – SDA Charity Marathon
That they’ll spend over 5 days beating who-knows-how-many games is a given. What isn’t, however, is Sonic representation. This year, though, four classics from the series are going to get ruined over the course of a 3-hour segment.
The whole schedule is here, but starting at about 9pm on Thursday, the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles (does that count as two games?) and Sonic Adventure 2 (with a 2-man race) are up.
I’m sure some of you remember when my good friends at Speed Demos Archive raised over $52k for charity at their live speedrunning marathon back in January. Not least, a beast known only as Stanski tore up Sonic 2 on the Sega Genesis in one take.
Normally, SDA isn’t one to do marathons all the time – they usually only have one a year and put everything into it – but last month some place called Japan had its east coast wiped out by a wave reaching 23 metres high, leaving over 10,000 people dead and another half a million without a home.
So, towards the end of March, and with marathoning for Japan seemingly de rigueur right now, SDA decided to join the bandwagon and plan a top marathon in two weeks. Unlike their usual efforts, this one will be done online from the gamers’ homes, and yours truly will also be joining the party.
This time Japan Relief Done Quick will be raising funds for Doctors Without Borders, the American branch of the international medical aid group Médecins Sans Frontières. A Nobel Peace Prize recipient, MSF has operations in over 60 countries, and is in Japan right now providing medical treatment to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
Now, January’s marathon was a bit disappointing from a Sonic point of view, but that’s not the case this time. Early Friday morning in the UK, there’s a solid four-hour slot where five Sonic games will be played through:
First up is the original Mega Drive title, Sonic the Hedgehog, played by MilesSMB on Genesis.
That’s followed by Sonic 3D on Saturn, played by Zyre who recently had a speedrun of another Sega classic, Skies of Arcadia Legends, published on SDA.
Next Venick will hammer his way through Amy’s story on the original Sonic Adventure on Dreamcast.
The greatest Sonic game ever made is next – Sonic 2006 on Xbox 360. Depending on donations, either Venick or Parax will go through one character’s story. If you’re planning on donating, personally I recommend Silver because some of the tricks will blow your mind.
Finally, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 will be seeing a full game run. The runner is Parax, the top single-level speedrunner for Sonic 4 in the world right now. If you’re on 360, check the leaderboards and then check your calendar.
This marathon starts at 9PM in the UK on Thursday, and is set to run into Monday. You can see the full schedule at the JRDQ site, though if you’re planning on watching a certain game, bear in mind times can change pretty easily.
Be there, if only to laugh at me when I die in-game during my slot…
Over five days playing through a hundred games, SDA smashed their donations target to raise over $52,000 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. But you’re here to see Sonic, surely?
One top guy taking part was Joe Stanski, one of – or perhaps the – top Sonic 2 player on the net. He had a simple remit – plug the game into a Sega Genesis, and get through the game as fast as possible in one attempt. On the Player 2 side providing somewhat questionable (but capsule-hitting good) assistance was MercuryZelda, who “won” a donation battle against everyone else at the marathon.
Gameplay starts at 4:35.
Here’s the level results:
Emerald Hill: 0:22, 0:39
Chemical Plant: 0:24, 0:53 +0:10
Aquatic Ruin: 0:23, 0:59
Casino Night: 0:31, 1:12
Hill Top: 0:44, 1:06
Mystic Cave: 0:38, 0:47
Oil Ocean: 0:42, 1:04
Metropolis: 1:13, 0:20, 1:40 +1:23 🙁
Sky Chase: 2:06
Wing Fortress: 2:00
Death Egg: 0:51
SDA are uploading all the game runs from AGDQ right now, at http://speeddemosarchive.com/marathon/schedule/, so check it out. There’s a number of good runs on there: Funkdoc’s demolition of the (S)NES Castlevania series; Kareshi taking on the ultra-hard Ghosts ‘n Goblins series; four people destroying four copies of Ocarina of Time; an Expert and Master mode run of Super Monkey Ball; Mike Uyama and Funkdoc one-credit clearing Streets of Rage 2 Mania with default lives…
Normally I’m not big on marathons, because, well, I kinda like to see games played well. What sets SDA apart from other groups that organise marathons though, is that, without exception, all the players are experts in speedrunning the games they play. This motley crew includes Super Mario Bros. world record holder Andrew Garkidis who will be playing said game blindfolded, a man called Joe Stanski who you can see plastered all over Sonic records portal The Sonic Center’s Sonic 2 time records, and The Speed Gamers‘ Kari Johnson, better known as the girl that speedruns Final Fantasy games without saving. This is a group you don’t want to #### with.
Unfortunately, Sonic isn’t going to be well-represented this time. In fact, it’ll only be Stanski on Sonic 2. But you guys want to see this game destroyed live on camera in less than half an hour anyway, surely? Joining Sonic from the Sega camp are classics like Moonwalker, Earthworm Jim, Rocket Knight Adventures and Streets of Rage 2, as well as not-so-classic but still awesome games like Super Monkey Ball and Bayonetta.
In addition to all this cool gaming, donations of $5 and up will get you into a raffle for small prizes related to that game, and the top donations will decide important, or not so important, aspects of the run like character and weapon choices, character names in RPGs etc. Finally, some games will be races between 2-4 top players, and there’ll be live piano accompaniment for a couple games as well.
Bound to be a fair bit of fun, so if you’re in, check out the schedule, and turn up at the SDA site starting on Thursday at 9PM GMT for a top marathon ending on Tuesday at 8AM.