Awesome Games Done Quick is a speedrunning charity marathon regularly held every January. AGDQ2019 was a big year for the MGSR community, between three runs and many community members in attendance! Below are edited reflections from some of the runners, volunteers, spectators, and commentators in the community.

Note: MiniOmegaKing declined to comment

Tyler2022:

I started speedrunning Metal Gear Solid 2 shortly after viewing JaguarKing’s AGDQ 2017 run. I felt inspired and started getting involved with the community. I took the challenge of learning European Extreme in the beginning of 2017.

Throughout 2018 I was grinding the game heavily. Getting consistent at the run, trying a number of different difficulties and categories. The time came around for AGDQ 2019 submissions….unbelievably, I got accepted into AGDQ 2019! I was kind of shocked and didn’t know how to respond. It was announced I would be performing on day 1 at Prime Time, which was huge for me.

The big day, January 6th arrived….Throughout most of the trip and especially on that day, I had really bad stomach pains. I expressed it to Plywood, who said “it’s probably just your nerves”, so I just shook it off. Initially going in I was nervous as hell, but as the run went on it felt more and more simple. You’re in front of a large audience both behind you and online, but being so far up makes it just feel like a small event. Overall the run was better than expected….I felt really good after the run. It genuinely felt like all my hard work had paid off.

For the rest of the event, I had a great time. The experience of GDQ is like no other. Meeting people I’ve talked to for years all at one central event is really nice. The current plan is to attend SGDQ 2019 but nothing is set in stone yet. Big thanks to MGSR and my community for helping me along the way. I would not be here if it weren’t for any of you.



Srgtsilent:

If you are thinking on planning to go to a GDQ I have some advice, don’t go for the runs, go for the community. I’ve been to two events now, AGDQ 2018 and AGDQ 2019, and can say without a doubt that most people there don’t go for the stream room. The real reason to go to GDQ is to meet similar minded people, to watch new games, show yours off, and so much more…I wouldn’t have known any of the people I do without showing up and meeting them at GDQ events. It helped my community grow – meeting individuals, hanging out with these communities, etc. It felt odd to stop being shy and go out with groups, but without doing that I wouldn’t have ever really met any of these Metal Gear guys and would still be a little known runner. I definitely feel you can only go so far in a community without involving yourself in it and GDQ is a great place to do that.

Aerlien:

For a first timer at a GDQ, I didn’t know what to expect outside of being able to hang out with some speedrunner buds. The event delivered on that front very well and I find it to be the main point of going to a GDQ in my opinion. The environment was welcoming and I was very happy to meet a bunch of people from online while also being able to cheer on our MGSR boy Tyler for his run. I went to the streaming room for one game, and the arcade was enjoyable although with not many games to choose from. The most time I spent at the event itself and not in a hotel room or a restaurant was in the practice room. The practice room was epic. At first I thought Plywood was joking when he suggested trying a 2 player 1 controller run of Twin Snakes together but the more I considered it the better of an idea it became. Doing those runs along with those meme Play Novel runs meant a lot to me. I could play those games whenever I want but there’s no way to replicate the same bonding as my friends gave me.

To wrap up the sappiness, the huge MGSR dinner that was orchestrated was also pretty sick. We had a big table at this (lowkey lowtier) barbecue, everyone was chatting and having a great time and they made me feel like a part of the family. If you have some amigos you know are going to GDQ and you can get there, they’re the ones that are gonna make it worthwhile 100%.

Starwin:

AGDQ 2019 was easily one of the better GDQs I’ve been to. I was able to hang out with so many people from the Silent Hill and Metal Gear communities. It’s always an amazing feeling to finally see the people you talk to online all the time. I was also privileged to be a part of both couch commentary groups for the 2D Metal Gear games. All in all I’m super proud of my fellow MG runners for having impressive runs on the big stage. I look forward to be able to see everyone again.


Eriphram:

Passion. That is what sums up my experience of a fantastic week at Awesome Games Done Quick. This is my second year ever attending the event and my first time running a game at this event. I didn’t think I would actually be up on stage, let alone 1 year after I attended my speedrunning event. Going for my second time was a different experience than the first. I had gotten past the awkward part of not knowing anyone and just wandering around by myself until the roommates arrive the first year. This year I had a base and planned my event around it.

I was nervous during the week preparing for Metal Gear NES. The run being on Thursday morning meant I had most of the week to stress out in preparation for every worst case. What if I die here, what if I choke, what if I froze the console!? Fortunately, I had an extremely good support team on the couch for this run – Thank you Starwin, Plywood, and my wife who had to put up with me playing Metal Gear nonstop for months – JenElric. You all did a great job on the couch and made the run extremely fun for me to perform with the banter back and forth. Starwin promised to learn the MG NES run (you have the cart)! It was exhilarating being on stage. When I was one minute into the run, my nerves all disappeared and I really had fun with the experience.

One of my objectives this time was to expand past my comfort zone of just staying with who I knew and shadowing them around for the week. I am extremely glad that I did so. It was because of this I got to meet random people in the practice room and connect with them over different speed games. Playing Vegas Stakes in the practice room at 3 AM got a few people to stop by and strike up a conversation as I goofed around. The best part of this experience though was meeting a lot of people from the MGSR group. There were a lot of us attending this year and it was great to meet as many of you as I could this time.

Going out to the Korean BBQ joint was my favorite moment hanging out with everyone…I certainly hope to spend more time with everyone in the MGSR community, and maybe pick up another game or two. I hope to see you all again in the future!

Pythonicus:

AGDQ 2019 was my first live event, after watching from home for six years, and I don’t think I would be exaggerating if I said it was one of the most amazing experiences in my recent years. The incredible energy from the stream room, the camaraderie between everyone at the venue, and just the pure passion for video games had me in awe for most of the time I spent there. I would be pretty remiss if I didn’t mention Tyler’s MGS2 run as being one of the top highlights of the entire thing for me. Not only was I at a GDQ event, I had the honor of being on the main stage, on camera, watching and explaining as Tyler, who proved himself a master-class speedrunner, did his thing. Of course, I also had the opportunity to watch Eriphram and Mini respectively destroy Metal Gear NES and MG2 from the back couch. Seeing the Metal Gear speedrunning community not only get some love from the event staff, but watching them flourish up on the stage, was a true treat.

Other highlights of the week include being able to meet and hang out with some of the community members I’ve known online for years, even going so far as to experience new foods with them; racing live in the practice room with Tyler, and having the opportunity to speedrun Skee-ball and playing Bishi-Bashi in the arcade room with MetalGlennSolid. Overall, I can’t even begin to explain the absolute joy I had while I was there, but I can safely say that I’ll be doing what I can to make sure it isn’t the last one I attend.

As my first event, I can’t say there’s a lot I would want to change about it (aside from maybe murder hallway and my horrific inability to sleep). Everyone I had the opportunity to meet were wonderful, between those I’d already known from online, and those I met while there. The location was pretty good in terms of variety for dining as well as all of the proximity. As a Florida resident, I’m rather excited to see the event moving down to Orlando and can’t wait to see the venue they choose.

DailyMae:

This was my second GDQ and I have to say it was awesome! It was a long drive for Plywood and I. It took about 12 hours to drive to Maryland. When we arrived at the event, it was wonderful to finally meet people in person, like Starwin, Rawderps, Katlink, Nubzombie, Smooth Operative, CyborgRachel, and Ecdycis.  All of you are amazing and I’m looking forward to meeting more people in the MGS community soon.

Most of the places we went out to eat were really good. I really liked going to Ize’s Deli and Bakery. It was basically our go to brunch. I never got tired of eating there, especially their blueberry bagel. I also liked Kuya Ja’s Lechon Belly restaurant on Tuesday night. I really enjoyed the food I got – chicken adobo. I liked how the MGS and Resident Evil community asked about Filipino food before ordering. It was heart-warming for me. My favorite was the Korean BBQ & Hot Pot. I was super excited to go there because I love Korean food. The place had light clouds up on the ceiling, and played K-pop. I’m a huge K-pop fan and I knew most of the songs they were playing. It was the perfect place for the whole MGSR community to get together. It felt like a family when we went out to eat which made it memorable.

I volunteered for the first time as a stylist, I really had fun putting on people’s makeup (even though it was mainly applying the anti-shiner powder). Being a stylist was very laid back and I was able to watch runs behind the scenes during my down time. Although it was very stressful because volunteering is pretty similar to working, it felt rewarding because I was giving back to the GDQ community. I definitely enjoyed volunteering and I hope I get to volunteer at the next GDQ. Overall, this made my GDQ experience a memorable one, because everybody in the community are friendly and awesome to hang out with.

Plywood:

AGDQ 2019 was my third Games Done Quick event I attended, and perhaps the best of them all. Not because AGDQ/SGDQ 2018 were poor, but this event upped the ante. So many of the people I regularly interact with in the speedrun community were in attendance, some new and old to the event. To top it off, three Metal Gear games on the stage! What a pleasure and a blessing to see friends perform so well.

Beyond the joy of couch commentary, big group dinners and hanging out in the practice room were memorable. Seeing Carcinogen teach SrgtSilent how to use chopsticks, running Siren and Silent Hill: Play Novel with a bunch of people, and joking around in car rides – the list of memorable events goes on. I love performing for an audience, but what happens outside of the stage is just as great.

Despite my cold at the start of the week, Tyler’s snoring, and a long car ride, the destination was worth it. The speedrun community pooling resources, effort, time, and energy into this whirlwind event is inspirational. Without the wonderful people, the charity drive wouldn’t be the same.

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