Awesome Games Done Quick 2019 has kicked off in earnest, with gamers blasting their way through games as fast as possible in the name of charity. As usual, Games Done Quick is putting on their winter event, giving viewers a jam-packed week of speedrunning goodness. Along the way, runners will attempt to beat their favorite games in record times, all while raising money for a good cause. There’s a full week of festivities to enjoy, and if the first day is anything to judge by, the runs this year should be incredibly enjoyable.
Day one of AGDQ 2019 brought us some absolutely killer runs across a variety of entertaining games. The speedrunners brought their A-game on titles both new and old, covering a slew of genres and platforms. Like every year, Awesome Games Done Quick 2019 is raising money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation during their marathon stream, and the donations have already started rolling in. The marathon kicked off with Hollow Knight, followed by a handful of Nintendo games. Fan favorites like Zelda: Majoras Mask, Portal, and Donkey Kong Country all had great showings from skilled runners. There’s definitely not enough time in the day to watch every speedrun, so we’ve compiled a list of our favorite runs from day one of AGDQ 2019. If you’re wondering what the best runs were, or looking for somewhere to start watching, feel free to use this list as a subjective reference guide. Every run is enjoyable and entertaining in its own right, but these select runs managed to get us hyped and excited more than the rest. Here are our picks for the best speedruns of AGDQ 2019 day one.
The Best Runs of AGDQ 2019 Day One
Hollow Knight (True Ending No Major Glitches) by Vysuals
Runner Vysuals started off the marathon with a bang, giving us a technically impressive and entertaining run of Hollow Knight. The True Ending No Major Glitches category is a good one, as the route shows off a good portion of the game and the strategies to success mainly rely on skill. Vysuals made quick work of this dreary and dark Metroidvania game, executing quick movements and precise attacks along the way. Hollow Knight is well known for its difficult bosses and challenging combat, but Vysuals made quick work of opposition with precise pattern recognition and muscle memory. The run is packed with intense boss fights, impressive sequence breaks and movement mechanics, and some quality commentary to boot. Vysuals definitely started things off right, pogo-jumping his way to victory in little over an hour.
Final Time: 1:27:57
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror (any%) by swordsmankirby
Kirby speedruns often get a bad wrap for being too easy, and while The Amazing Mirror might not seem challenging on the surface, it easily shows us why Kirby games are so pleasant. In terms of speedrunning tech, Kirby & The Amazing Mirror is similar to most other Kirby speedruns. As a presentation of Kirby, however, The Amazing Mirror speedrun is 20 minutes of cute, cuddly, and quick gameplay. This Kirby titled released shortly after Super Smash Bros. Melee, so fans of that franchise will quickly recognize signature moves and abilities that have been brought over. Watching swordsmankirby breeze through this Kirby title was a lighthearted and enjoyable experience, and a nice change of pace following the brutally tough Hollow Knight run. Generally speaking, swordsmankirby put on a solid run that put a smile on my face. If you’re looking for a charming speedrun, Kirby & The Amazing Mirror is one of day one’s best bets.
Final Time: 28:41
Donkey Kong Country (any% race) by V0oid and stew_
Donkey Kong Country is a staple speedrun in the AGDQ lineup, and each new year brings some fun new categories. Although past years have focused on newer Donkey Kong Country titles, AGDQ 2019 took it back to the roots with this any% race of the original Donkey Kong Country. Thanks to experienced runners V0oid and stew_, this race is easily one of the best runs of AGDQ 2019 day one. It’s a solid SNES game that flies by super fast, mostly due to the runners’ incredible execution of various tricks and glitches. There are a handful of glitches that still manage to astound me, even after seeing them a handful of times. If you’ve ever wanted to see someone warp around the main map of Donkey Kong Country, this race will provide great moments like that and more.
Final Time: 33:32
Serious Sam Classic: The First Encounter (any% Co-op) by mr.deagle and The Master
Serious Sam is a great franchise for mindless first person shooter action and ridiculous enemies and locations. Likewise, the cooperative run between mr.deagle and The Master provided tons of gunfire and silly content. Like Quake and DOOM, Serious Sam is a classic 3D first person shooter with a quick pace and tons of enemies. The cooperative run introduces a few tricks and glitches, including the classic rocket jump. Between the two runners, Serious Sam Classic stood no chance.
Final Time: 26:01
Shadow of the Colossus (2018) (Boss Rush) by ChurchNEOH
This Shadow of the Colossus run was an absolute treat, thanks to the pure skill of ChurchNEOH and the gorgeous graphics. Early in 2018, I had the pleasure of reviewing this Shadow of the Colossus remake. I found it satisfying and nostalgic, but still struggled with the clunky controls. My recent playthrough gave me plenty of respect for ChurchNEOH, who toppled the dozen-plus colossi in less than 40 minutes. In terms of routing and tricks, the run is similar to previous showings of Shadow of Colossus, but the new graphics and quality commentary make this run a winner.
Final Time: 37:58
Those are our picks for the best runs from AGDQ 2019! Unfortunately, I missed the Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and Portal runs, which I will definitely go back and check out. However, day one was still chock-full of fantastic runs and massive donations. Viewers, runners, and developers alike donated towards the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and at the end of day one the total sits at over $100,000 raised. If you want a comprehensive list of every game run so far, be sure to check out the official schedule.
We’ll be back tomorrow with our favorite runs from day two. In the mean time, be sure to check out our live coverage on Twitter (@official90skid) and enjoy the show!