— by Dana Rudnitsky
Do you hear that? It's time once again for the internet to talk about Games Done Quick, a speedrunning marathon event for charity that's been around since 2015. With semiannual events in January and July, the gaming community comes together to have fun and raise money.
January's Awesome Games Done Quick, which runs from the 14th to the 21st, benefits the Prevent Cancer Foundation, while July's Summer Games Done Quick is all about Doctors Without Borders. The games do vary from year to year, but they're always streamed on Twitch by popular personalities. Community donations are read aloud and sometimes impact the type of speedrun.
What Does Any% Mean, Anyway?
Don't worry; we're sure nobody's just smashing keys and accidentally hitting the percent sign. An any% speedrun involves, as you may expect, any percent completion. Rather than trying to max out their level, get cool achievements, or unlock hidden content, you focus on completing the main game.
You might see variants such as "Any% No Wrong Warp" for Dark Souls, for example, or "Any% Glitchless" if the person is trying to play without sneakier exploits.
As we come up to the halfway point of the week and this January event's midpoint, the games keep on getting better -- though I personally don't think we'll be able to get more impressive than Peanut Butter the shiba inu helping with a Gyromite speedrun on Tuesday.
The runs span a variety of consoles and skill levels and, in true marathon fashion, will be on at all hours. Right now, they're in the middle of a Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga run, with Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time up next.
On Thursday, there's everything from a 3-player any% co-op run of the retro Kirby and the Amazing Mirror to The Last of Us Remastered.
Friday has a True Pacifist Glitchless Race of Undertale, but you'll have to be awake by 6:30 AM PST.
(I'm looking forward to Fire Emblem: Awakening on Saturday and, especially, Baldur's Gate 3 on Sunday. I mean, doesn't the BG3 character customization take longer for most people than the average speedrun should? How is that even going to be possible?)
Games Done Quick often features "bid wars" for specific speed runs, where players will perform additional feats if a donation threshold is met or exceeded. A few fun incentives for this year include:
Beating a boss blindfolded (Octopath Traveler II)
Spending the extra time to pet Cerberus for every $500 received (Hades) (the best one, of course)
Upgrading to the hardest difficulty, thus switching to the Japanese version of the game (Goof Troop)
The Past (and Future) of GDQ
Thanks to everyone's favorite panini-- er, pandemic, the marathons went virtual in the summer of 2020, alternating between physical and virtual in 2022, and returning to a full in-person venue in 2023. The virtual January 2022 run currently holds the event's record for the most money raised.
But you know, if the pandemic couldn't kill GDQ, probably nothing can. Through immense support and interest, it feels like the marathons are at the height of their popularity - and so, come July, we'll see even more hype.
For a complete list of the games being played this January, as well as lists of received donations and details about upcoming incentives, check out the official Games Done Quick website. Let's all watch along and have a great time this week!
Search Our Extensive Collection at Fair Game Retro
We don't just carry retro video games! We keep newer games in stock, as well as accessories and cables. (Consoles are not sold online at this time but are sometimes available in-store.)
At Fair Game Retro in Carmichael, CA, you can also embrace your inner nerd with Dungeon & Dragons books and dice, as well as anime figures and plushies. Whether you're shopping online or in person, they'll make sure nostalgia hits you right in the feels.