Summer Games Done Quick 2021 is quickly approaching. The dates have been set, the games have been revealed, and now the schedule has been finalized. There will be a full week’s worth of speedrunning action to take in at Summer Games Done Quick 2021, and though the event will once again be all-digital thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it should still be just as big a show as any other year. Below I’ve listed eight speedruns I’m looking forward to in particular – each run is listed with the approximate time they’ll air so you know what time to tune in.
Ninja Gaiden is one of the most famous NES games of all time due to its brutal difficulty. High-level speedruns of this game – those near or in competition with the world record time – are a sight to behold on their own, but this is is no normal Ninja Gaiden run. Performed by Edo_87, SDGQ 2021’s Ninja Gaiden run will be a pacifist run, which means no killing any enemies unless it’s necessary to advance the game. That essentially means that the only enemies Edo_87 will actually be fighting are bosses, so if you thought Ninja Gaiden was difficult before, think of how hard it is when you can’t do anything to dispatch the enemies who stand in your way.
Edo_87’s Ninja Gaiden Pacifist run will be taking place on Monday, July 5th, at 8:02 AM EDT.
I don’t know a lot about high level GeoGuessr play, but I do know that the game is very difficult. How could it not be? You’re dropped in a random location on Earth through Google Street View and are tasked with figuring out where you are. I’m not sure what a perfect score speedrun entails either, but that should be easy enough to figure out from the name of the category. The implications alone make this a run to watch.
havrd’s GeoGuessr Perfect Score run will be taking place on Wednesday, July 7th at 3:23 PM EDT.
Mass Effect 2
I’ll be completely honest: I don’t think I’ve watched more than a couple minutes of any Mass Effect run. I absolutely love the series, so I will be checking out MikeWave’s New Game+ with DLC run of Mass Effect 2 when it happens. Mass Effect 2 is a game that took me probably 40 or 50 hours to complete the first time I played, while MikeWave’s run has an estimate of just one hour and 36 minutes. Given the sprawling narrative Mass Effect 2 offers, a speedrun with a sub-two hour estimate has to be worth watching.
MikeWave’s Mass Effect 2 NG+ w/DLC run will be taking place on Wednesday, July 7th at 8:38 PM EDT.
ALTF4 is one of those ridiculously difficult meme games like QWOP or Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy and it’s a delight to watch someone play it. In this game, you play as an armored knight trying to make your way through a deadly obstacle course. Someone playing through it casually for the first time can expect to die hundreds of times trying to complete it, so this speedrun should be very cool for anyone who has seen the ALTF4 struggle first hand.
ChirpingMatt’s ALTF4 Any% run will be taking place on Thursday, July 8th at 8:20 AM EDT.
X-Men 2: Clone Wars
X-Men 2: Clone Wars is on the list because I love this game and I’ve always been terrible at it. I don’t know how far I’ve made it in the past, but I do know that I never beat it without using cheat codes. Still, I think X-Men 2: Clone Wars is one of the best looking games on the Genesis, with excellent sprite work and backgrounds, and it has some fantastic music as well. All in all, this game is great, so you should watch a speedrun of it.
A-Frame’s X-Men 2: Clone Wars Any% run will be taking place on Thursday, July 8th at 10:50 AM EDT.
It isn’t a Games Done Quick event without a Pokemon game on the schedule, but this isn’t just any Pokemon speedrun. This is a race between runners PulseEffects and Swiftalu, with one person playing Pokemon Black and the other playing Pokemon White. While the differences between the two games are rather small in the grand scheme, they could be big enough to result in different routes for our two runners. This race has an estimate of three hours and thirty minutes too, so this is definitely a run to settle in for.
PulseEffects and Swiftalu’s Pokemon Black vs Pokemon White Any% race is taking place on Thursday, July 8th at 7:44 PM EDT.
Astro’s Playroom is a pack in game for the PlayStation 5 and has the distinction of being one of the few new-generation games scheduled in the marathon. Astro’s Playroom also happens to be a delightful little game – worth watching for that reason alone – that probably has some impressive speed techs to it given some of the platforming segments in the game. Along with Resogun, Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition, and Demon’s Souls, this is just one of four PS5 games on the SGDQ 2021 schedule, with the console making its GDQ debut (sadly, it seems there are no games being played on Xbox Series X this year).
Xeilius’s Astro’s Playroom Any% run will taking place on Friday, July 9th at 9:21 AM EDT.
Super Mario 64
Yes, it’s Super Mario 64, and yes, Super Mario 64 has been run many times at GDQ events in the past, but this is 70 star blindfolded speedrun of the game. Runner Bubzia is going to collect 70 stars entirely blindfolded. That’s ridiculous. It seems like it’s also impossible. I’m definitely watching because it’s going to be impressive no matter what.
Bubzia’s Super Mario 64 70 star Blindfolded run will be taking place on Saturday, July 10th at 3:39 PM EDT
Of course, this is not some kind of definitive list – there are going to be a ton of great runs on display at SGDQ 2021 and the schedule is packed with some awesome games. As always, I’m going to spend as much time watching SGDQ as I can, but I will be making a special effort to catch the eight runs I’ve listed above. Are there any SGDQ 2021 speedruns that you’re looking forward to? Head down to the comments section and let us know!