You have not truly lived until you’ve watched speedrunner MitchFlowerPower play through Grand Poo World 2, one of the most brilliant and devious takes on Super Mario World I’ve ever seen. Mitch’s genius platforming was just one highlight of this year’s excellent Summer Games Done Quick marathon.
Summer Games Done Quick 2019, a week-long speedrunning extravaganza, ended yesterday after raising $3 million (£2.3m) for charity. As usual, it was chock full of top-notch video game playing (and breaking). Here are some of the highlights.
Grand Poo World 2 by MitchFlowerPower
This is just an astonishing speedrun, made remarkable by the precise level design, MitchFlowerPower’s incredible skill, and commentary from the game’s developer, Barb, who’s sitting on the couch the whole time. If you can watch only one speedrun from SGDQ 2019, make it this one.
Invictus by Dode
Ever think you’d see a Super Mario World ROM hack with wall-dashing and double jumps? Just like Grand Poo World 2, this run is a combination of tricky platforming, great design, and couch commentary from the developer.
Super Mario World blind ROM hack relay race - One Tile Men vs. Lunar Magicians
If you’re not sick of watching custom Kaizo Mario speedruns just yet (and how could anyone ever be?), this blind relay race is another must-watch. The only thing more precise than the platforming is the runners playing musical chairs as they go.
Chrono Trigger - puwexil
Puwexil is one of the best RPG speedrunners on the internet, and if you watch him play through all of Chrono Trigger you’ll see why.
Half-Minute Hero by dowolf
I think it’s fair to say that Half-Minute Hero was designed for speedrunners.
Super Mario Bros. 2 by coolkid
When I was a kid, I could barely even make it past the first world of Super Mario Bros. 2, so watching someone beat the entire thing in less than half an hour is pretty damn mindblowing, not going to lie.
Rockman 4 Minus Infinity by Kuumba
I’ve gone through the entirety of this Mega Man ROM hack speedrun and I still don’t fully understand what’s going on, but I do know that it was a whole lot of fun to watch.
Minecraft by illumina1337
Speedrunning Minecraft might seem like a fool’s errand given the level of randomness involved, but illumina1337 makes it look like a blast, random number generators be damned.
Link to the Past + Super Metroid Randomiser by Andy and Ivan
If you haven’t yet had the experience of watching the fiendish crossover of Link to the Past and Super Metroid, with all item locations completely randomised, give this one a watch. It can feel a little gruelling—just imagine playing it!—but runners Andy and Ivan are entertaining enough to make this a great run.
For the rest of the speedruns, check out GDQ’s YouTube channel.