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11 speedruns to watch live at this week’s Games Done Quick marathon

Kyle Orland
The Awesome Games Done Quick crowd reacts with glee as the Super Mario World "total control" exploit is demonstrated live for the first time at AGDQ 2014, the kind of moment that's best experienced live.
As my colleague Sam already highlighted, this year's Awesome Games Done Quick charity marathon is now in full swing with a full week of live video game speedruns from a ballroom in Herndon, Virginia. The correct course of action, in light of this information, is to take the entire week off from work and sit in front of a Twitch-enabled screen for hundreds of hours straight, watching a stream of players talk their way through some extremely quick video game play-throughs.
If you can't stay glued to the screen for the entire week, though, you might still want to make time to check out a few of the most interesting runs scheduled for the charity marathon. We've combed through the schedule and picked out a few highlights that we think you should watch, either live or via the AGDQ archives.
Though we could have listed practically the entire schedule in a list like this, we forced ourselves to a limit of at most two runs per day, so as not to inundate your busy schedule. We've included some example video from previous speedruns below, but the real fun of AGDQ comes from watching the games performed live, with running commentary and the excitement of not knowing what will happen.
All times listed are in Eastern time and subject to change based on technical delays; check the schedule for live updates on expected start times.

Kirby's Tilt 'n Tumble

Scheduled start time: 4:16pm Monday, January 9 (all times are EST)
Because donators have already met the target bid incentive, runner theguesst will show off a highly unusual play method for this motion-sensitive Game Boy Color cartridge. For one, he'll be playing by holding (and tilting) a Gamecube equipped with a Game Boy Player accessory to move Kirby along. For another, he'll be stomping on an attached Dance Dance Revolution pad to activate the bits of the game that require a button press. Definitely one of the more "active" speedruns to watch live.

Super Monkey Ball 2 (and Adventure)

Scheduled start time: 6:29pm Monday, January 9
Speedrunners have figured out a number of extreme and entertaining shortcuts to the goal in almost every level of these balance-based marble maze games. Marvel as the runners fly off the course repeatedly only to land perfectly on track as if that was what they intended all along. One of the more precise and harrowing speedruns to watch.

Ninja Gaiden & Ninja Gaiden II (pacifist)

Scheduled start time: 12:30am Tuesday, January 10
We're willing to bet that you were never even able to beat these ultra-tough NES games as a kid without using a Game Genie. In the middle of the night, though, runners dxtr and Gusmancini will race through as fast as possible without even killing a single enemy, increasing the difficulty to ungodly proportions. Your inner child will be amazed.

Super Mario Race Block

Scheduled start time: 9:44pm Tuesday, January 10
Watching multiple expert runners race live, sitting right next to each other, is the kind of thing that's unique to an event like AGDQ. These runs through Super Mario Bros., The Lost Levels, and Super Mario Sunshine should generate some dramatic moments as the racers try to calm their nerves for that perfect run in front of an audience. The original Super Mario Bros., especially, has been so fine-tuned and practiced that this warpless run may well come down to a split-second decision.

Bishi Bashi Special

Scheduled start time: 9:42am Wednesday, January 11
A personal favorite, this Japanese import features a collection of quick, WarioWare-style mini-games that primarily focus on bashing buttons as quickly and precisely as possible. Should lead to some entertaining straining from the runners.

Ori and the Blind Forest

Scheduled start time: 12:31pm Wednesday, January 11
There's a bid war going on right now to determine whether the runner will use sequence breaks to essentially beat the game backward or if he will run through the game collecting absolutely no power-ups. Either way, it should be an entertaining twist on one of the best platforming adventures in recent years.

Cheetahmen

Scheduled start time: 3:58am Thursday, January 12
Part of an infamous and rare unlicensed NES multicart called Action 52, Cheetahmen is not a very good or interesting game. But it's worth watching this run just to see the historical oddity in action and hear a bit about its history. See also: the utterly insane bootleg Donkey Kong 5: The Journey Of Over Time and Space at 5:54am Thursday morning.

Mystery Game Blind Races

Scheduled start time: 4:44pm Thursday, January 12
Seeing expert runners play games they've perfected over hundreds of hours is one thing. Seeing those same runners sent blind into a game they're unfamiliar with is the kind of moment that makes AGDQ special.

Titan Souls

Scheduled start time: 4:26am Friday, January 13
The tension on this excellent, challenging boss rush title should be extra high at AGDQ. That's because even a single mistake will lead to a time-consuming death. A perfect run, where the player doesn't get touched a single time by the huge, screen-filling bosses, is always a sight to see.

Donkey Kong Country Trilogy Relay

Scheduled start time: 9:54pm Friday, January 13
If you watch one race at AGDQ, this is probably the one to prioritize. Over a period of more than two hours, three teams will make their way through all three Donkey Kong Country games, handing off their controllers in between each title. Don't be surprised if the lead jumps back and forth as the attention and tension leads to live mistakes on stage.

TASBot block

Scheduled start time: 3:59pm Saturday, January 14
We've covered the AGDQ antics of the "tool-assisted speedrun robot" (or TASBot) many, many times on this site. This year, we've already gotten a sneak peek at what the team has been able to do using incredibly fast inputs on stock standard hardware. Trust us, you're going to want to see it when it happens.
11 speedruns to watch live at this week’s Games Done Quick marathon Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 8:12 PM Rating: 5

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