It snuck right up on me, but Games Done Quick is back for its annual summer fundraising marathon. It goes like this: You watch people play video games and then donate money to Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization Doctors Without Borders. These aren’t just any video gamers. These are speedrunners, who take the NES, Sega, Sony, etc. games you grew up with and manipulate the artificial worlds in these classic games so completely—solely through their dexterity with a normal controller—they often get flipped inside out. (Like tricking The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time into letting you fight Ganon with Child Link, pictured above!) They also explain the weird tricks and programming manipulation they pull off while they’re doing it, giving regular gamers and watchers some stunning insights into how they achieve the impossible, and how you can do so, as well.
It’s completely addicting and I would like to take this moment to tell my bosses at Tor.com that I
will not CAN not acknowledge the outside world during the speedruns of following games.
Monday, July 27th
1 AM to 3 AM – Resident Evil 4. This was my first zombie game, and the first First-Person-Shooter I played that included blood and realistic guns. I was traumatized and completely hooked. Even when my character’s head got chainsawed off. Watching these zombies get plowed through is going to be too satisfying for me to go to sleep. Just warning you, boss, I will still be at work but I’ll be acting a little hungover, probably.
6 AM to 8 AM – Shenmue II. Nevermind, I will be late for work. This classic detective game is so purposefully slow that I’m amazed someone is trying to break it through speed running. I have to see what happens.
10:30 AM to 11:00 AM – Chip N Dale: Rescue Rangers for NES. One time when I was 11-years old I really wanted to play this NES game so I asked my friend if I could borrow it and he said no so I asked him if I could borrow another game instead and he said yes so I went back into his room and just took this one. Later, he got mad. We’re not friends anymore. Good story. Anyway, boss, I don’t smoke so consider this all my smoking breaks rolled into one.
11:00 AM to 11:10 AM – Duck Tales for the NES. All my really long not-smoking breaks, I mean.
3:10 PM to 3:30 PM – Gauntlet for NES. I got this game as a kid for probably $0 dollars in the used bin of a video store nestled inside my local grocery store chain. I hated it a lot and I need to see someone destroy it.
8 PM to 10 PM – Tetris, Grandmaster versions. This past winter’s speedrunning marathon featured a superhuman gamer playing this game faster than the computer itself could think and when the robots awaken he will be the only person who can defend us. I owe it to him to watch. We all owe it to him.
10 PM to 1 AM – The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Dude, Zelda. Also, look, someone figured out how to get the Master Sword AS THEIR FIRST ITEM I need to figure out how to do this in LIFE.
Tuesday, July 28th
1:30 AM to 4 AM – Bioshock: Infinite. I really love how unapologetically insane this game is in terms of mixing pop culture, even though it’s story makes no sense. (You’re on a floating city in the early 20th century when, no lie, the Beach Boys show up…)
Hey boss, if you also forego sleep and watch this then you will learn why I yell “Elizabeth!” whenever I think I’m in trouble. Even when there’s no one named Elizabeth in the room.
11:45 AM to 12:15 PM – Wizards & Warriors for the NES. I will need to duck out of our meeting early to watch this. It’s important that I know what perils await Kuros after the ice cave level.
4 PM to 7 PM – Metroid Prime 2. I care deeply about what happens to the Luminoth race. And also how I can make it happen more quickly. I’ll need to leave work early to catch this, but it’s okay, I’ve given Sarah the heads up on whatever it is I do here.
7 PM to 10 PM – Mega Man X8, Mega Man X2, Mega Man X3, Mega Man X4. Little-known fact: Mega Man X8 is a worthless and needlessly hard game and that video game store on 6th Avenue won’t sell it to me for less than $80. Also there will be speedrunners racing each other to see who can complete it the quickest! This is like when wizards fight!
11 PM – Castlevania: Symphony of Night. This game taught me that a man is nothing more than a miserable pile of secrets occasionally capable of turning into a bat and I will never stop living my life by that truth.
Wednesday, July 29th
Good news, boss! All the games I want to see speedrun today are after work hours, including Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, Earthbound, Prince of Persia, and OMG The Legend of Zelda without using a sword?!?
Thursday, July 30th
7 AM to 7:30 AM – Oregon Trail. I…how does that…? Don’t worry, boss. I’ll get to the bottom of it.
10 AM to 10:20 AM – The Wheel of Time. OH MY GOD I KNEW THIS WAS WORK-RELATED. Stop filling out that termination paperwork, boss!
1:30 PM to 2:30 PM – Castlevania II and IV and I haven’t even listed the Kirby games, Mario games, Doom games, Halo, Pokemon, Elder Scrolls, Super Metroid, and…Chrono Trigger? CHRONO TRIGGER.
You know what? Probably don’t expect me to be around at all these last couple days. You’ll not see me again until all video game worlds lay broken at the feet of this worthy cause.
Check out the live stream on Twitch all this week.
Chris Lough understands that he is fired now, but appreciates you allowing him to sleep under his former desk until his replacement arrives.