Dreamcast, GDQ, and Speedrunning

During the past three years, I've biannually destroyed my already terrible sleep cycle due to a certain event: Games Done Quick. GDQ is a fun speedrunning marathon that raises money for two main charities and a few smaller ones. In fact, they raised over $2.2 million dollars during Awesome Games Done Quick, their winter event held in aid of the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

Two runs in particular (Big's story in Sonic Adventure and Sega Bass Fishing) got me wondering about something. What about the Dreamcast speedrunning scene? To be sure, it's not as popular as the perennial favorites like the SNES, Genesis, N64, PC, etc...but surely there are at least some decent Dreamcast console runs out there?
With the games I mentioned, Big's story was played on Sonic Adventure: DX, but Sega Bass Fishing was on the Dreamcast (see above). However, most times that a Dreamcast game was run, it was inevitably played on a different console or on PC. Sonic Adventure 2 was run that year, but it was the Gamecube version (Sonic Adventure 2: Battle). However, the previous year's Crazy Taxi had the famous Sega swirl underneath the game's name.

Going like that would take ages though, since GDQ has literally hundreds of runs to look at. Instead, let's take a look at the first 10 games of this very blog's Top 200 Dreamcast games...

1. Shenmue
As a Dreamcast fan, I must admit my shame in not having played this classic game yet. A brief search indicates that the original has not yet been run at a GDQ event. However, the listings at speedrun.com are all on Dreamcast! The runs are a bit hefty, with any % over 7 hours, and glitchless well over 10.

2. Sonic Adventure
Unfortunately, there's two words that would take this game out of the running for Dreamcast runs: unskippable cutscenes. I'm sure there's other factors involved too, but it goes without saying that it appeared as "DX" in GDQ, and most of the entries on speedrun.com are PC.

3. Crazy Taxi
Despite the plethora of re-releases, it's nice to see that the entries for Crazy Taxi are Dreamcast ones. It may interest the reader that the category is a full completion of the "Crazy Box" mode of the game, rather than the main game itself.

4. Soul Calibur
The oddly parsed Soul Calibur is on the opposite side of the spectrum from Shenmue: namely, the world record run for this sword-based combat game is around 4 minutes in duration. There are only 3 entries on the speedrun.com page, but they're all Dreamcast!

5. Jet Set Radio (Jet Grind Radio)
Still another game that I want to experience, Jet Set Radio is available on a few platforms, and most of the world record runs are on PC.

6. Sonic Adventure 2
Poor Dreamcast. Yet another remade title, most of the runs are PC because of the availability of an auto splitter.

7. Skies of Arcadia
I almost got this game, but instead purchased Grandia II and have been procrastinating on it ever since. Skies is a JRPG, and as such, the runs are long. Really long. The 13+ hour long runs are listed, but are for the Gamecube port, Skies of Arcadia: Legends.

8. Shenmue 2
Unlike it's older brother Shenmue, most of the runs of the sequel are listed for the Xbox version. One could make an argument based on its release history, but speedrunners will break language barriers for the sake of using the fastest and/or best version of the game.

9. Power Stone
I'll admit, this is a game I knew nothing about until joining up with The Dreamcast Junkyard (never mind the fact that I'm terrible at all but the easiest fighting games!). The only instance of a Power Stone speed run I could find was a listing on YouTube, with a time of 14:59. The description indicated that it was the Dreamcast version, as opposed to arcade or PSP.

10. Phantasy Star Online
When I first came to this entry, I questioned whether or not a game like it could be ran. Nevertheless, there was a page for the game. That said, most runs were for the Gamecube version.
Looking at this non-random assortment, what is our conclusion? The score is 6:4, in favor of "other console/computer."

But I remain obstinate. I'll conclude this article now, for fear of doing a derivative article from the Top 200, but my curiosity is engaged. True, many game series have been remade for other consoles and PC. A lot haven't. What about oddball titles, like Toy Commander or Armada?

Stay tuned folks, I'm going to see what I can turn up.


hoogafanter said...

I always wanted to do a glitchless speedrun of Shenmue. But without proper capturing equipment, and the amount of money needed to get them just to speedrun the few games I'm interested in trying, it doesn't seem worth it...

Plus dropping 8 hours into a game only having to reset when I make a dumb mistake or RNG fucks me doesn't seem very appealing lmfao...

Tom Charnock said...

Gotta be honest, I've always been far too crap at games in general to bother attempting speedruns. Always been impressed by them though. I used to watch DOOM speedruns on YouTube...

hoogafanter said...

Some games I'm confident I could be a contender, but there are always people way more committed than I that would do it better lmfao