Every year, there are two significant speedrunning charity events. Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ), held in January, and Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ), held anywhere between May and August. Initially, the event was founded in 2010 and organized by Speed Demos Archive and SpeedRuns Live. Then, beginning in 2015, Games Done Quick, LLC ran the event. These two week-long events raise money for Doctors Without Borders, with the last AGDQ raising $2,644,770.41. Overall, to date, between all events, they have managed to raise a whopping $46,409,677.72.
During the weeklong event, there are all sorts of games running the gamut of genres and consoles. Every year, fantastic horror games are always peppered throughout the show. So, I spoke to the horror speedrunners and what got them into their respective games. While you can find the AGDQ 2024 schedule here, I have also put their runtimes in Eastern below. Follow the runners and watch them when the event goes live on Sunday, January 14th!
Ecdycis – Speedrunning Clock Tower on January 15th at 1:16 am
DC: You have a TON of speedrunning under your belt. What brings you back to Clock Tower?
Ecdycis: Clock Tower is quite actually the first game I ever learned and is cemented into what I do.
DC: Are you excited about the Remaster being widely available for the first time?
Ecdycis: I am absolutely excited. I hope people will be able to enjoy the best of the classic horror titles of the 90s.
Carcinogen – Speedrunning Resident Evil 2 Remake on January 17th at 1:22 AM
DC: You are widely known as THE Resident Evil Speedrunner. What started your journey into speedrunning Resident Evil?
Carcinogen: I started playing Resident Evil DS a bunch after school in 2006. This was before speedrunning even made its way to YouTube.
I looked around forums at various Resident Evil fan sites to see who else had tried to clear them quickly. I met a guy named 19duke84 who had a video of a knife-only run on the PlayStation 1 in 1:09 and seemed pretty serious about it.
This was how I learned of the existence of Speed Demos Archive (where the SDA in my handle comes from). Then I started recording my own times and posted them to YouTube since none of them were good enough to be on SDA.
Eventually, I got good enough to get my own times posted there, starting with a run of Resident Evil 3 on the US PS1 version in 1:20:42. That was my first WR [world record]. It wasn’t as good as the best Japanese time, which was 6 minutes faster, but I was super stoked to get a WR at the time, and Resident Evil speedrunning didn’t have nearly as high of a bar of optimization. After that, I just kind of never stopped.
DC: Resident Evil 2 or 2 REmake: which one do you enjoy more?
Carcinogen: I enjoy both for different reasons. Both are very different games from very different times, by very different people.
I enjoy shooters, and I enjoy third-person action games. In their basest forms, if you ignore the horror aspect between the two, the only thing they have in common is the exploration, inventory management, and puzzle aspects. But mechanically, they are still too different to compare properly, although they evoke similar feelings during casual gameplay.
Yoranto – Speedrunning The Last of Us Remastered January 19th at 12:49 am
DC: What drew you to The Last Of Us as a speedrunner?
Yoranto: I was playing The Last Of Us [TLOU] daily when I found out something like Speedrunning exists. I was playing the TLOU multiplayer competitively, with tournaments and all that kind of stuff. Then randomly encountered a TLOU speedrun on YouTube (I think it was the 3:09:50 Glitchless run by AnthonyCaliber. His run is not available any more on YouTube; I believe). YouTube decided to put his run on my page, so I clicked on it, watched it, and then thought, “That looks cool.” I also want to do that, and I also think I can do better”. So I started learning the run by watching the WR, and in the beginning, I was only doing runs when my multiplayer team was offline. I feel like TLOU got me into speedrunning, not the other way around.
DC: Are there certain skips in Remastered that aren’t in the original PlayStation 3 release or the Part 1 Remake?
Yoranto: Pretty much all of the skips in Remastered work on PS3, too. But there’s one trick that doesn’t: Museum skip. For Museum skip, Joel gets launched very high and lands on top of the building next to us. That basically skips the entire Museum (saves around 1 1/2min). The PS3 version only runs at 30fps, which allows very small launches. Remastered runs on stable 60fps and allows big launches. If you switch the Remaster to 30fps (which you can since it has in-game options for that), you won’t get launched high enough. You can find the skip at 36:10 in my current PB [personal best].
I don’t know much about Part 1 Remake runs since I haven’t played the game since it came out. I’m not following the speedrunning community or any route changes, new strats, etc., for that game. But the gameplay and speedrunning-wise the game/run are so different compared to the Remaster that both games have different strats for almost everything. I don’t think any of the skips we use for the Remastered run work on Part 1 Remake.
Nyiddle – Speedrunning Ghostwire: Tokyo January 20th at 7:39 am
DC: What drew you to speedrunning Ghostwire: Tokyo?
Nyiddle: I had been anticipating Ghostwire’s release for some time and was already really drawn to the atmosphere, the Japanese spooky lore, and the visual aesthetic. I never committed to running something before playing it casually, but casually, I fell in love with the movement and combat. It’s one of those speed games where it really cranks out the dopamine when all the tricks go just right. It’s deceptively straightforward with just the right amount of RNG to make doing PB attempts high-risk/high-reward, which really helps avoid burnout.
DC: Is there something wild for viewers to look for during your run?
Nyiddle: In terms of pure flashy movement, the “tower ascent” section in Chapter 2 is probably my favorite part and also the part I’m most nervous about. The game wants us to take an elevator, and six escalators, fight some enemies, then listen to some dialogue, but we abuse the Tengu grapple mechanic to skip the majority of this section and go straight to the end goal. The worrying part is missing these Tengu grapples, which sets us back a decent way, and I have about a dozen backups to recover it that I hope I won’t have to use. In terms of pure crowd-pleasing moments, though, we will be petting both a dog AND a cat, so look out for that.
Speedrunning has always been a big interest for me, and I find it very interesting what brought these runners into these games and the stakes that some of these skips have against their overall time if they happen to miss them. With AGDQ starting Sunday, January 14th, be sure to donate to an excellent cause and some fantastic prizes.