A reader is impressed by the recent Games Done Quick speedrun and is surprised how emotional he got revisiting a classic game.
The Final Fantasy speedrun was mentioned in the Inbox recently and I’m really, really glad it was because to me it was an incredible achievement and unexpectedly captivating viewing. So much so that it has remained in my thoughts many days after I first saw it. It was part of an annual Twitch event called SGDG (Summer Games Done Quick) run for charity donations.
I don’t know much about them as an organisation, and this is honestly the first speedrun I’ve ever sat through, but boy it was epic. Just under eight hours long I watched it on YouTube in the background of my household chores, first out of curiosity and then with mounting compulsion. Why was this?
It was entertaining. The format included presenters Ben ‘Ajneb174’ Szewczyk who played the game, while David ‘Davesterio’ White and James ‘J2’ Weingartner did a number of things. They provided commentary, narrating what was going on in the game plot; they gave background to the technical aspects of the speedrun, explaining in simple terms exactly how Ben was doing what he was doing to achieve his frankly astounding results; and they provided trivia about Final Fantasy VII, most of which I knew but it was still interesting to hear titbits that I’d not previously known.
Final Fantasy VII holds a special place in gaming folklore, and for a lot of people was their introduction to either Final Fantasy or the Japanese role-playing genre.
I say this, because this was the case for me. I hadn’t played anything like Final Fantasy VII before, and didn’t have a clue what I was getting into. On a personal note, I was in a low place in my life at the time, I was working a dead-end job and I didn’t have much cash. I bought the game based on the hype and hearing it was quite a lengthy experience I…