Speedrunning is, from my own outsider’s perspective, an impressive effort in constantly chasing new goals. At first, runners might try to simply finish a game as fast as possible. Then, they might try to fully finish it, or complete certain objectives, or hit credits with limiters on themselves. It’s that last bucket that CarcinogenSDA’s run of Resident Evil 2 Remake at AGDQ 2024 falls under.
I’ve been a fan of Carci’s speedrunning for a while. His AGDQ 2018 run of Resident Evil 7 is an easy recommendation for anyone who wants to see someone exemplify their mastery of a game by quickly adjusting their run on the fly. Last night at AGDQ 2024, Carcinogen took the stage with one simple, but incredibly difficult, objective: make it to the end of either Leon or Claire’s route in Resident Evil 2 Remake, without taking any damage, on Hardcore.
If you’ve ever spent some time running through the halls of Raccoon City P.D., especially on Hardcore difficulty, you know how daunting that seems. Different types of undead litter the world, all with different placements and tendencies meant to keep players on their toes. Oh, and there’s Mr. X, too.
A smooth run
As Carcinogen lays out at the top, this particular run falls a bit more under the challenge run category—”smooth run,” as he calls it—than a traditional speedrun. While there are instances where the character on-screen may flinch, or have to use defensive items like a knife, as long as they do not translate directly into damage the run is still good. While damage wouldn’t have stopped the showcase, Carci promised to donate $100 to the Prevent Cancer Foundation (the charity AGDQ benefits) for every instance of damage.
The fact that Carcinogen was ready to run either character’s route through Resident Evil 2, based on audience votes, is already impressive. What followed was an even more impressive display of that knowledge, with a few teeth-clenching moments along the way. And if you don’t want to know the result, maybe jump back up and watch the VOD quick before scrolling on.
Escaping the city
If you couldn’t tell by now, or were maybe avoiding it, Carcinogen succeeds in taking no damage throughout the run. It’s an incredible achievement to pull off in a marathon setting like Games Done Quick. While runners practice a ton, making something big like this happen on the stage, rather than in your typical set-up back home, is always an exciting moment. When someone has one shot to perfectly land a display of all their accrued knowledge, and they nail it? That’s worth watching.
Fittingly, Carcinogen pops off. After the final boss of Resident Evil 2 is down and defeated, he yanks off his headset and takes a celebratory run through the crowd gathered behind him. He’d later post on Twitter that he was “still in disbelief” he pulled it off, and thanking fellow no-damage runner MattDaRoc, who was on call for the GDQ run as well.
It was the perfect cap-off to a heavily stacked, exciting day at AGDQ 2024. Twice a year, the Games Done Quick streams occupy my second monitor for a whole week, and the Tuesday line-up was a day of bangers. From retro hits run by humans and one very good dog, to a blindfolded bout with an Octopath Traveler 2 boss, to whatever happened in that Granny run, it was an exceptional day. What a fitting way to close it out, for the stateside folks that lost some sleep today to see the run through.
What’s next for Carcinogen? Well, he teased something quite intriguing: working on a no-damage run of Final Fantasy VIII, as well maybe some Resident Evil 3 Remake. Follow the rest of GDQ’s week over on Twitch here.
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