If you’re a regular viewer of Games Done Quick marathons, you’ll likely be familiar with the phrase “that’s never happened before.” Given the nature of speedrunning, moments where something unfamiliar happens do occur, often during major events. Because of this, it’s become a bit of a meme in the speedrunning community, but Awesome Games Done Quick 2021 had a truly remarkable “that’s never happened before” moment. At the beginning of the Sonic the Hedgehog block, two Sonic world records were broken back-to-back!
Since I'm sure y'all are wanting to keep score: No, back to back WRs has never happened before at a GDQ!
— Games Done Quick (@GamesDoneQuick) January 4, 2021
To kick off this block, runner flyingfox took to the skies as Tails in the 2013 Android port of Sonic 1. Just the day prior, flyingfox had gotten a personal best, tying the world record at 13 minutes, 22 seconds set by werster back in 2019. During her run, flyingfox was doing so well, she took a few seconds to show off a fun, little glitch to end Star Light Zone Act 2. The real joy of the run came moments after it was over, however. It wasn’t immediately obvious at the time, because Sonic 1 boards use a sum of in-game times to rank players, but flyingfox had just pulled off a record-setting run, coming in at 13 minutes, 19 seconds. Watching that realization dawn on her in the post-run wrap up is incredibly wholesome and easily my favorite part of that performance.
As amazing as this moment was, however, the Sonic block wasn’t done just yet. Immediately following flyingfox’s run, Zaxon96 put on an incredible performance in Sonic 3: Angel Island Revisited. This fan-made remaster of Sonic 3 & Knuckles adds widescreen support, multiple playable characters, and new modes such as a time attack. Previously, the record sat at a time of 38 minutes, 22 seconds, but when the dust settled, Zaxon96 came out on top with a time of 34 minutes, 22 seconds—a whole four minute difference!
Occasionally, records do happen at big marathons, but Games Done Quick has never had two records broken back-to-back until now. It’s hard enough to get world record as is, but to do it in front of such a large live audience is such a bigger deal. Runners at marathons such as Games Done Quick have put countless hours of effort into perfecting their craft. Even getting to the big stage is hard enough, so when it happens, it’s truly a moment for the runner to shine. I can think of no better way to cap off such an incredible moment than by going above and beyond to pull off such a record.
Congratulations to flyingfox and Zaxon96 on their back-to-back Sonic world records!