As someone who was actually accepted into this upcoming Awesome Games Done Quick 2023 with an incredibly obscure as fuck game called Sutte Hakkun for Game Boy Colour, as someone who also submitted feedback request for GDQ to give me feedback as to why and how Sutte Hakkun was even accepted and as someone who received no feedback, I thought it would be a neat process to write through what it’s like to go through and make a schedule and sharing my thought process as to why I picked certain games and the reasoning I had for choosing them.
So grab a cup of hot chocolate (or a bottle of vodka, perhaps!)
A giant wall of text is incoming!
What a beautiful pair of NES games to open up the Striking Cancer Out marathon!
Home Alone 2 was accepted as a meme to be very honest. I don’t know this speedrun at all, but the runner, ScarFaceNico said while streaming one day (almost verbatim): “Dave, I should submit bad games to your upcoming marathon, like Home Alone 2.” In the submissions form, he actually did submit Home Alone 2. I thought it would be pretty comical to accept it on that merit alone; but not only that, have it headline the entire 3 day marathon. xD Has Home Alone 2 ever opened a marathon before? Probably not. Will it ever again? Probably not!
Batman: The Video Game is easily where my one major bias is. Most people who follow me on Twitch have likely either followed me for Batman, or at some point seen me speedrun Batman. In my opinion, it’s one of the best NES speedruns. I really thought about rejecting Batman this time so I can at least say: “Hey, I’m objective at scheduling”, but I accepted it as well. I feel at this point on Twitch I’m an old person compared to some newer runners and have had a lot of chances to show off Batman and other speedgames, and rejecting it would of taken that opportunity away from someone who has never had a chance to maybe showcase it in a marathon before. I think it’s equally important to pass the torch so to speak to newer runners so they can have their own chance at showing off the game, so I accepted Batman and am eager to see Nico run it, and show it off in a no reset, marathon setting. =)
Puggsy is maybe one of the coolest speedruns I’ve never never seen or known about. I first became aware of it because it was submitted to GeneralAndrew‘s Dream Race events. I helped colour commentate with the runner, drex23. Drex had amazing commentary and the game itself was routed extremely well. In my opinion, not only in Andrew’s Dream Race event that day, but every Dream Race, this might of been the strongest commentary offering (his commentary was excellent) and the game itself was super underrated and slept on. I was very happy to see it come through, and hope other people enjoy it as much as I did!
Kickle Cubicle was accepted because it doesn’t get enough love. It’s a pretty cool top-down puzzle/arcade kind of game that honestly doesn’t get streamed or speedrun almost at all within Twitch retro. At least, I’ve never seen anyone play it casually or speedrun it within the group of people I follow. I thought it was really cool to see come in, so I accepted it! I’m a pretty big sucker for the obscure and lesser-popular stuff. I feel there’s a huge amount of marathons that accept (or maybe over accept) popular games and it’s rare to see things like this on schedule.
Mr. Gimmick! is one of the best NES speedruns in my opinion, hands down. It’s absurdly technical and execution-based. To put it into a perspective – there’s a quick kill in Ninja Gaiden II for the boss Ashar, that’s very difficult to do. Out of every speedgame I’ve ever learned, Ashtar remains probably the hardest strat to pull off (for me). I asked beco a long time ago if he thought any strats were harder than Ashtar, and he actually said the waterfall skip in Gimmick! I feel, Gimmick is pretty well known, but if you haven’t seen it, I equally hope you enjoy it. It’s an amazing game.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is probably my second biggest bias on this list. I actually watch this speedrun a lot on Twitch. It’s actually one of my favourite speedruns to watch on Twitch, and I have learned the 100 jump route myself, but I’ve never completed a successful run. I feel this is low key one of the more impressive runs if people can pull off 100 jumps without failing. It’s basically 90 3 frame window inputs in a row to pull off 100. I’m also trying to include RPGs in an event, but admittedly RPGs by nature to how much time they consume are hard to fit into schedules. I feel Super Mario RPG is a nice blend of both. It’s a fast-paced, fun run, and it also doesn’t hog the schedule so to speak by being a 9 hour RPG offering.
Pocky and Rocky is Natsume and a great game that probably not a lot of people have played before. Natsume was a company in the 1990s that made a bunch of great SNES games that fell under the radar, so I’m very accepting when I see a Natsume game. It’s actually a very difficult game! I’m curious how the speedrun is going to be and what goes into it.
Gods was accepted, well, extremely blindly. I don’t know anything about this game. I feel it’s important to accept things you obviously aren’t familiar with or know, so this was the first one on this list accepted under that moniker.
The Amazing Spider-Man on freakin’ DOS also falls into this category. Originally Any% as a category was also submitted which is a 30 second run, and I was extremely tempted to open Day 1 with Any%! I thought it would of been really funny and set a great mood, but I feel 30s isn’t enough time for one runner to be scheduled for, so I accepted the second category: Any% No Black Thunder Skip which was approximately 10 minutes. I love the idea of DOS runs in general, just because no one really runs DOS games on Twitch. DOS seems more of a variety audience.
Mega Man 10 is probably self-explanatory because it is self-explanatory. I was actually thinking a while ago, Mega Man as a franchise might be the most consistent for speedrunning for offering good games that create good speedruns. In the platforming games, anyway, I can’t think of any(?) Mega Man games that are truly bad speedruns. I also feel 9 and 10 don’t get enough attention in marathons. They’re almost permanently overshadowed by the legacy games (1-6) or X series (X1 – X4). Seeing Mega Man 10 was a nice change, so I took it. Also criminally underrated, and barely seen in marathons is the Mega Man Zero franchise on the GBA.
Kid Klown falls into another obscure game that probably most people barely see on Twitch. It’s a platformer made by Kemco of all people – the same group of developers known for Shadowgate on NES. Most people are aware of the Kemco adventure/point-and-click trilogy of games on NES, but very few people know Kid Klown exists, much less run it. I was really happy to see it submitted. It’s again a very quirky platformer that I hope people enjoy because you just don’t see it often.
Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit! follows the same logic above as Kid Klown. This game is pretty notorious for including an instruction manual that mocked you for needing an instruction manual, and to be a “bad” game, but it’s actually not a horrible game. I’ve played it myself, and speedrunning this game is no easy task. I accepted it based on that reason alone. I’m a fan of difficult, or hard games/categories. I feel this one also doesn’t get a whole lot of marathon love. It’s very underrated as a speedrun – not probably so much as a game, though. As a casual experience, this game is still pretty awful. Speedrun though, it jumps it up several notches and is quite difficult to do everything that will be displayed.
Link’s Awakening DX is a Game Boy Colour game that has fantastic movement for a speedrun and really cool tech. I’m aware of the route/game and really think it’s a fun one that most people have again never seen from start to finish. It’s also more of an unpopular choice – most people run Link to The Past or Zelda 1/2 or other Zelda games, so it struck two notes for me: good movement and obscure, and why I accepted it!
Pokemon Trading Card Game was a solid Game Boy Colour offering way ahead of it’s time. I’ve never seen a full run of this, so I’m very curious how the run goes and what happens as the game is known for having a fair amount of RNG. I don’t know if the run runs against RNG, or if there’s various manipulations, or what. I accepted it for two reasons: It’s very overshadowed by the mainline Pokemon games on Game Boy (Red/Blue/Yellow etc) and Game Boy in general rarely gets enough love when it comes to being shown off at marathons.
Yume Penguin Monogatari is a great little game. I have a huge appreciation and interest in Japanese imports and it was cool to see it get submitted. Yume definitely doesn’t get enough love in marathon settings, but, that’s also because Yume really doesn’t get submitted to marathons very often. A lot of runners that used to run it stopped running it years ago and the game struggles to have activity.
The Messenger was an easy choice! It’s very easy to forget modern games exist and to make retro schedules too heavily retro or too retro-centric. I feel it’s important to have some balance there between retro/modern or to at the very least, not shoot down everything modern. I was happy to see The Messenger submitted! The speedrun is fantastic and full of excellent movement and tech.
StarTropics & StarTropics II: Zoda’s Revenge are two games that are almost never seen in marathon settings, and have an even weirder history with gamers. I’ve seen a ton of people play Star Tropics on Twitch, but as a blind playthrough. It’s just a franchise I feel most people missed out on as a kid, so seeing it get submitted was an automatic yes for me – and for its sequel, which has even bigger “missed out on” problems than the first one. This is one of those runs that also falls into two categories, I feel. If you’ve played the games, you’ll heavily appreciate everything that goes into them considering their difficulty and at times, unfairness. If you haven’t though, they’re interesting enough to watch and follow along. Hopefully you’ll enjoy them being showcased! Personally known or not to you.
Tetris Party was a very cool submission that I wasn’t expecting at all. I accepted it because I’ve never even heard of Tetris Party and I’ve never heard of Co-op Tetris. I’m a huge fan of co-op speedruns in general, but the fact Tetris is a traditionally single player game, I’m very curious how this run will be and what it’s about (I didn’t spoil it for myself.) I understand the limitations, but I wish more people did co-op speedrunning with a friend or partner. A game changes drastically when it can be run cooperatively with someone.
Zelda 2, believe it or not, was accepted just due to the fact no one has ever submitted a NES Zelda game to the marathons I’ve hosted. Zelda 2 I feel is a really cool speedrun as well for movement since it has platforming elements compared to Zelda 1. I look forward to checking out this run in its entirety. My ties to Zelda communities on Twitch are pathetically weak at best.
Nintendo Power Hour (Showcase) was accepted because it’s a great idea that’s completely unique to the runner: Apollo22237. I won’t spoil the list, or write much here, but he plans to beat 23 short NES games (or as many as he can in an hour). A lot of these games are short so they’re never seen in speedrun marathons, and I think it’s also really important in general – to showcase that kind of oddball, short stuff. Having a big collection is a great way to do that. Equally important is a lot of people don’t run games until there’s a leader board on SRC. I don’t think you need an official board on SRC to create challenges for you like this.
Captain Novalin falls into a the weird universe of educational games, specifically about diabetes. I actually used to have a sealed copy of this game that I sold a long time ago for a high price of $200, so I’m scared to see what a copy sells for now. xD I’m well aware of it regardless although most people might not be, as it falls into a very obscure genre of game that was basically only offered through doctor’s offices and stuff. I’m not sure these ever received rentals or retail releases, but, I could be wrong there. Regardless! I accepted it for that reason. Very quirky, very obscure.
Goof Troop is absolutely one of the best co-op speedruns and I was extremely happy I saw it was submitted. Not only is it one of the best co-op speedruns, it’s the best speedrun I’ve ever learned. The coordiantion between Goofy and Max lasts basically all game and I really hope a larger audience gets to experience and enjoy it, as it’s so rarely shown off in a co-op capacity in marathons. Most people just submit Max or Goofy route – usually Max.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is not a game I’m super familiar with, but I did see the speedrun a little in the last few weeks. The movement is very fast and not what you would expect, and I thought it would make a very entertaining race just due to the fact the game seems to be a cross between execution required and jank. I’m actually really looking forward to this race because it feels like the FPS is incorrect and the game plays too fast, but that’s part of the speedrun and what makes this game so quirky.
Double Dragon II will be interesting as a race. The game has huge elements of RNG, so each runner basically has an equal chance of winning. I accepted it based on that – the fact it was submitted as a race. I think Double Dragon II is both the most popular NES Double Dragon, so it’s not uncommon to see it in a marathon or often run by someone or even run on Twitch, but it is fairly uncommon to see a Double Dragon II race. I hope people enjoy the race, and, am curious to see how each runner mitigates RNG and how close the race ends up finishing.
Little Samson falls into similar territory. It’s common enough due to the hefty price tag in real life of a cart, that people speedrun it or you see it pop up in marathons, but again, almost never as a race. I also accepted it because I still see people randomly ask on Twitch: “What’s this game?” when variety folks and stuff are streaming it. So there is a small element of obscurity, still. Maybe it’ll surprise a few people watching!
Monster Party is another game that has quite a lot of RNG and makes for an interesting race game, and it’s fairly obscure in people knowing what’s on screen. I accepted it because it was a lot of fun the last event we held, and probably one of the highlights, honestly. I’m curious again how close the race finishes between the runners, as there’s a lot of RNG that can, and probably will happen.
I have absolutely no idea what the fuck Caveman Games is. It was submitted as a race between burst_error and DrMooCowz. IF THESE TWO SUBMITTED IT THIS GAME WON’T BE WEIRD AT ALL, but honestly, I do really look forward to seeing whatever this is and I didn’t spoil it for myself. I’m a fan, as I’ve posted many times now of the obscure, especially when people want to race the obscure. So, looking forward to seeing this one!
Curse Crackers is an indie platformer that was designed to look and sound like a Game Boy Colour game and has fantastic speedrun movement. I’ve purchased the game and the controls are extremely solid. I’m absolutely happy this game was submitted. It has some of the coolest movement and routing in a new game I’ve seen in a long time. Extremely fast-paced, looks and sounds good. I really hope a lot of people can tune into this one in particular and check it out.
Battletoads & Double Dragon is a game that really doesn’t get a lot of marathon love either, so I accepted it for that reason. Battletoads is often seen at marathons, Double Dragon is often seen at marathons, so you think logically if you combined both into a real game that exists, you would see Battletoads & Double Dragon, right? Well, wrong. Additionally, this was submitted by a Japanese runner, which is most excellent! I wish more Japanese runners submitted to English events. The Japanese speedrunning community is a fantastic one.
Rollergames is a weird one. I’ve never really seen the speedrun on Twitch, but I had this game growing up, so I look forward to seeing what it’s like! I feel this is definitely a game that’s kind of obscure that not a lot of people know when you mention games.
Lion King is a very difficult game, so I’m always happy to see it submitted, though I feel this one is maybe one of the biggest things on this list that gets very good and consistent marathon representation. Regardless, it’s such a good run – from sound. controls to everything. I beat the SNES version a while back and it took nearly 4 hours. Everything the runners do in this game is nothing to roll your eyes at. So, I was happy to see this as a submission.
Donkey Kong Country 1 and Donkey Kong Country 2 also get a very strong amount of marathon representation, but I accepted them because they’re heavily skill-based speedruns. The movement tech and everything that goes on in this series is very good, and the music is fantastic as well. NO ONE EVER SUBMITS ALL 3 GAMES IN TRILOGIES IN THE MARATHONS WE HOST. WHY THE FUCK IS THAT ANYWAY? ANYWAY! I’m sure most people have seen both runs by now as they’re very popular, like, GDQ-level popular and often featured in huge marathons. Still, I have a soft spot for the series and very much enjoy watching the speedruns myself, especially Donkey Kong Country 2.
And we end Day 2 with Animaniacs and Animanics, which I think is hilarious, for both SNES and Sega Genesis. Both are apparently completely different games, and I found it hilarious two different people submitted Animanics on two different consoles, so I had to pair them back to back just because it looked so silly. I actually don’t know much about these games, so I look forward to seeing what they’re like when the runners run them!
Day 3 starts off with a game called Cool Cool Toon which is a Japanese Dreamcast import. It’s a rhythm game that’s absolutely worth playing and checking out if you have the ability to do so. It kicks off a mini Japanese block, but I’m very curious to see what the speedrun is like or if there’s any tech. I actually beat this game a while ago, and heavily enjoyed it. The music is very catchy, too. I definitely hope people enjoy this run! I was very excited to see it submitted.
Mystery Dungeon 2: Shiren the Wanderer is going to be an interesting one. I’m unfamiliar with the category (“Table Mountain RTA“) but I am familiar with the game. Shiren is, as the title explains – a mystery dungeon game, where everything once you enter a dungeon is randomized, akin to the Ancient Cave in Lufia 2. I’m going to be very curious in watching this run and seeing what goes into it, and I understand why from an event point-of-view ancient cave or mystery dungeon runs are a nightmare. If you die 30 minutes in, for example, you generally can’t restart and the schedule is shifted 30 minutes ahead, which sometimes means people can’t accommodate. Shiren is known as being very difficult, so I’m very curious as to everything this entails!
Holy Umbrella: Dondera no Mubou! is a Japanese platformer, and I don’t know much about this one or what the route exactly entails, so again I look forward to seeing it and learning more about it.
Yokai Buster Ruka no Daibouken is another Japanese platformer that has great movement. It’s a reskin of the game “The Jetsons: Invasion of the Planet Pirates“, but with annoying autoscroller levels removed which make it a better platforming experience. Yokai Buster Ruka no Daibouken is almost never seen in marathons, as the community of people who run it is something like only 5 runners, so again it was a big reason why I accepted it.
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is not a game I’m also familiar with. Looking forward to learning more about this one, too!
Super Mario Bros. 2 is pretty popular, but that doesn’t change the fact it’s a highly technical run, especially the category “All Levels” where you’re using all the different characters. I’ve always been a really big fan of this run! It doesn’t get as much marathon representation I feel compared to 1 and 3 which generally overshadows 2, so I was happy to see 2 submitted.
Super Mario Bros. 3 is probably the most represented NES Mario game. It’s always a fan favourite as a lot of people hold 3 dear to their heart. I’ve always really enjoyed watching the 3 speedrun. Optimized 3 is very difficult and full of hard clips and tricks, so I’m curious what tricks will be attempted here considering it’s again a marathon showing.
Wacky Races: Mad Motors, Faxanadu and BatBoy I don’t know much about again. I’m looking forward to seeing these and learning more about them, too! Especially BatBoy as the demo version was submitted. Is the game not even out yet?
The Flintstones: Big Trouble in Bedrock is a game I’m not familiar with either, but the runner Prince_Leaf is extremely good at routing and I’m looking forward at seeing what he routed. The Flintstones: Big Trouble in Bedrock is the only Game Boy Advance game that was accepted this marathon, which is another reason I accepted it. There’s tons of cool (and uncool) Game Boy Advance games that basically never get submitted to marathons.
Fushigi no yume no Alice & The Legend of Hero Tonma are Turbografix-16 platformer games. I accepted them because they’re very obscure, and again even more obscure in a race setting. Both games are pretty unforgiving in a race, especially The Legend of Hero Tonma which features one hit death and some pretty precision tech. I also accepted this because the runners have an ongoing history of versing each other in races in our events. It’s fun to see them back.
Bucky O’Hare was accepted for a few reasons. First of all, the category that was submitted was Warpless. Bucky O’Hare doesn’t have strong marathon representation, but in the past when it was accepted it’s often HARD! mode or Normal mode – which includes death warping. The other more important reason is the person who submitted it, is again a brand new speedrunner and this will be their first marathon. Similar to Batman, I want to metaphorically pass the torch off to them instead of just reject Bucky so they can have a chance to showcase the game and their skill. I really think it’s important to help new runners and give them that spotlight and platform and opportunity.
Kirby Super Star Ultra is the DS version of Kirby Super Star on SNES. I’m familiar with the category “Beat RotK” and I accepted Kirby Super Star Ultra because it’s a highly underrated game that requires a lot of skill and execution. The DS version (and Super Star in general) also is overshadowed slightly by other Kirby offerings when it comes to marathon representation, so I was happy to see this submitted.
Lastly, Cybernator, I don’t know a huge about either! So we’ll learn together on that one, too!
If you read this far, you have my thanks. 🙂
See everyone in January!