Speed Demos Archive

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Speed Demos Archive
SDA Logo.png
Type of site
Gaming website
Available in English
Website speeddemosarchive.com
Alexa rank 79,678 (March 2015)[1]
Registration Optional
Launched April 1998; 18 years ago (1998-04)
Current status Active

Speed Demos Archive (commonly known as simply SDA) is a website dedicated to video game speedruns. SDA's primary focus is hosting downloadable, high-quality speedrun videos, and currently has runs of over eleven hundred games, with more being added on a regular basis. SDA also hosts two annual speedrunning charity marathons, Awesome Games Done Quick and Summer Games Done Quick. It has so far hosted thirteen marathons, and has raised over $8 million for various charities, with the most successful so far being Awesome Games Done Quick 2015, which raised over $1.5 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.


The site originally began as a demo archive of Quake playthroughs. SDA was formed initially by Nolan "Radix" Pflug of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by merging with a site created by Gunnar and Jesse in April 1998. In 2004 after the success of his own 100% Metroid Prime run, Radix expanded SDA to include demos of other games. Mike Uyama took over in 2006 as the site's administrator. In January 2010, SDA ran its first charity marathon, Classic Games Done Quick, raising over $10,000 for CARE.[citation needed]


As of January 2015, SDA hosts speedrun videos of almost eleven hundred games. All of these runs are available for download, and almost all are available in multiple video qualities. The site includes videos of popular games as Mega Man, Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog. The site has been featured numerous times in publications such as Electronic Gaming Monthly and G4tv's Attack of the Show!. Some of the runs also appeared in an episode of Pure Pwnage.

Submissions to SDA undergo a verification process, where community members who are familiar with a game watch a run and verify the run's quality, both in terms of video quality and gameplay quality, and make sure it follows SDA's rules. Each run is reviewed by multiple verifiers, who report back to the site's staff; the staff then makes the final decision on whether or not to accept the run, and the verdict is posted along with the verifiers' responses publicly in the forum. Following an accept, a run is encoded in multiple qualities and added to the update queue; eventually, it gets posted on the site alongside the runner's comments. Some runs also contain a second audio track with commentary.


SDA accepts speedruns in three categories:

  • Segmented, where the run is done in multiple parts using the in-game save system. These runs typically receive higher scrutiny compared to runs in other categories, as they are expected to be of higher quality since the player is able to retry each section of the game individually as many times as they want.
  • Single-segment, where the entire game is beaten from start to finish in a single sitting. Single-segment runs are not allowed to reset the game, except in cases where a reset is required to continue the game.
  • Single-segment with resets; as the name implies, this category is similar to single-segment runs, but resets are allowed. Not every game is eligible for this category; the staff approves or disapproves the category for specific games in cases where the resets save enough time over a normal single-segment run.

SDA accepts runs following three different completion requirements: any%, the "pure-speed" run, where the game is beaten as fast as possible; the 100% run, where the player gets everything and finishes the game; and the low% run, where the player beats the game with the lowest completion percentage possible. Other categories, like different versions of the same game, are allowed on a game-by-game basis. Some games include a category that involves a major skip glitch which may include skipping an entire portion of the game using multiple glitches to skip levels which do not occur in a standard any% speedrun without the use of major skip glitches. An example of this would be Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee on which the large-skip run allows the runner to beat the game in 11 minutes.[2]

Runs must be performed on their native consoles, or for PC games, on certain PC configurations; runs on emulators are not allowed for a multitude of reasons, chief among them the difficulty in confirming that the run is not tool-assisted. In-game glitches and exploits are allowed; in some cases in games with heavy glitches, a separate no-major-skips category is created. Non-cosmetic modifications to the game and modifications to the console or controller are not allowed. Glitches that are triggered by interfering with the normal operation of the console or game media while the game is running, such as the N64's "crooked cartridge" trick, are not allowed.

Runs are required to be recorded using direct-feed capture, usually using a capture card or DVD recorder. In some cases, runs can be rejected for poor video quality.

Charity work[edit]

Following an initial meetup at MAGFest, the SDA community, inspired by TheSpeedGamers, began their first charity marathon in January 2010, titled Classic Games Done Quick.[3] Both direct-feed gameplay footage and webcam footage of the runners were live-streamed on SDA's homepage. The marathon was a success, raising over $10,000 for CARE.[4][5] Starting in 2011, SDA began two annual marathons: Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) during the winter, and Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ) during the summer. Each subsequent marathon has become substantially more successful than its last iteration, with AGDQ 2011 and AGDQ 2012 raising $53,000 and $149,000 respectively for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.[6][7][8][9][10]

In April 2011, following the Great East Japan earthquake, SDA put together a marathon titled Japan Relief Done Quick. The marathon was executed by having each runner live-stream their run from their home, rather than having everyone travel to a central location. JRDQ raised $25,000 for Doctors Without Borders.[11][12]

During the marathons, a chip-in widget is placed beneath the streaming video, which visually displays how much has been donated so far, and which allows people watching the runs to donate money directly to the charity through a PayPal account. Viewers who donate are given the option to have a message sent to the marathon attendees to be read during the stream, allowing them to vote with their donation money for, among other things, which games they want played, what they want in-game characters to be named, or to request runners to perform specific feats such as difficult tricks or glitches. Prizes are available throughout the marathon; all donors are entered into a raffle to win them provided they meet the varying minimum donation sum within the time window for each prize. All donations always count towards the grand prizes, but most other prizes require donating during certain game runs or themed game blocks.

On 27 January 2013, SDA announced that AGDQ 2013 had raised $448,423.27,[13] surpassing Desert Bus for Hope 6's donation total of $443,165.29 to become the most successful single gaming charity marathon at the time.[citation needed] On 1 August 2013, SDA announced a donation total of $255,160.62 from the SGDQ 2013 marathon.[14] On 16 January 2014, SDA announced over $1,025,000 in donations raised from their AGDQ 2014 event.[14] Summer Games Done Quick 2014, was held from 22–28 June, and raised over $718,000 for Doctors Without Borders.

It was determined that AGDQ 2015 raised over $1.5 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation, after it was discovered that a problem with the tracker omitted some $400,000 in user donations.[15]

Summer Games Done Quick 2015 became the first SGDQ event to eclipse $1 million in donations on August 1, 2015, with donations accumulating more than $1.2 million, more than all previous SGDQ events combined.

List of marathons[edit]

Completed marathons
Marathon Dates Games Charity Donations Grand prize Comments
Classic Games Done Quick 1–3 January 2010 72 CARE $10,531.64 N/A SDA's first marathon
Awesome Games Done Quick 2011 6–11 January 2011 98 Prevent Cancer Foundation $53,379.83 N/A
Japan Relief Done Quick 7–10 April 2011 67 Doctors Without Borders $25,800.33 PC game pack Emergency marathon to support victims of the Great East Japan earthquake
Summer Games Done Quick 2011 4–6 August 2011 46 Organization for Autism Research $21,396.76 Nintendo 3DS with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Awesome Games Done Quick 2012 4–9 January 2012 107 Prevent Cancer Foundation $149,044.99 Replica Master Sword
Summer Games Done Quick 2012 24–28 May 2012 74 Organization for Autism Research $46,278.99 Wii bundle
Awesome Games Done Quick 2013 6–12 January 2013 128 Prevent Cancer Foundation $448,423.27[16] Wii U bundle, Squall's gunblade
Summer Games Done Quick 2013 25–30 July 2013 90 Doctors Without Borders $257,181.07[17] Hitbox arcade PS3/PC stick, Nintendo 3DS XL
Awesome Games Done Quick 2014 5–11 January 2014 139 Prevent Cancer Foundation $1,031,189.00[18] The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Limited Edition Adventure Set, custom-built NES/computer hybrid in NES casing ("NES PC"), golden and green stained glass Hylian crest SDA's first marathon to raise more than a million dollars
Summer Games Done Quick 2014 22–28 June 2014 156 Doctors Without Borders $718,155.07[19] Nintendo Wii U 32GB Mario & Luigi Deluxe Set and Nintendo 3DS XL $82,984.71 of the funds were raised through the SGDQ 2014 Bundle.[20]
Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 4–10 January 2015 166 Prevent Cancer Foundation $1,576,085.00[21] Pinball machine, PlayStation 4 $200,556.24 of the funds were raised through the AGDQ 2015 Bundle.
God of War Done Quick[22] 20 March 2015 6 AbleGamers Foundation $3,500+[23] PlayStation and God of War merchandise and products Special event at Sony Santa Monica Studio as part of the 10 year anniversary of the God of War franchise. All major entries in the series were either played live or shown in highlights. The games include God of War 1, 2, 3, Ascension and the PlayStation 3 versions of Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta that were originally released for PlayStation Portable.
Summer Games Done Quick 2015 July 26–August 1, 2015 159 Doctors Without Borders $1,233,844.10[24] Alienware Area-51 Gaming Desktop First SGDQ event to raise more than $1 million in donations; raised more than all previous SGDQ events combined.
Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 3–9 January 2016[25] 156 Prevent Cancer Foundation $1,213,256.99[26] No Fear Pinball Machine First AGDQ to not surpass donation total from the previous year.
Summer Games Done Quick 2016 3-9 July 2016[27] 177 Doctors Without Borders $1,296,101.44 Xbox One Elite Bundle
Awesome Games Done Quick 2017 8-15 January 2017[28] TBA Prevent Cancer Foundation TBA TBA TBD

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "speeddemosarchive.com Site Overview". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2015-03-18. 
  2. ^ "Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee". Speed Demos Archive. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "Charity marathon conclusion". Speed Demos Archive. 4 January 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Speed Demos Archive - Old News". Speed Demos Archive. 29 August 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Classic Games Done Quick -- Index". Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Wood, Jim (2 March 2011). "Speed Demos Archive Marathon Raises Over $53,000 in Cancer Prevention Funding". Prevent Cancer Foundation. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Awesome Games Done Quick 2011 -- Index". Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Jensen, Cheryssa (11 January 2012). "Gaming for Good: Charity Video Game Marathon Raises Over $145,000 for Cancer Prevention". Prevent Cancer Foundation. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "Awesome Games Done Quick 2012 -- Index". Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Awesome Games Done Quick - Done Quick". Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Past Events Showcase". Doctors Without Borders Events. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Japan Relief Done Quick -- Index". Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Speed Demos Archive - Old News". Speed Demos Archive. 6 May 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Speed Demos Archive". Speed Demos Archive. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  15. ^ AGDQ 2015 - Part 27. 11 January 2015. 
  16. ^ "Awesome Games Done Quick 2014 Donation Tracker". Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  17. ^ "Summer Games Done Quick 2013 Donation Tracker". Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  18. ^ "Awesome Games Done Quick 2014 Donation Tracker". Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  19. ^ "Summer Games Done Quick 2014 Donation Tracker". Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  20. ^ "Summer Games Done Quick 2014 Bundle". Archived from the original on 30 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  21. ^ "Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 Donation Tracker". Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  22. ^ Aaron Kaufman; Community Strategist; Santa Monica Studio (16 March 2015). "Watch God of War Done Quick, Live March 20th". Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  23. ^ Games Done Quick (20 March 2015). "Games Done Quick on Twitter about GoWDQ donations". twitter.com. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  24. ^ "Games Done Quick". Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  25. ^ https://twitter.com/romscoutSDA/status/628271864943476736
  26. ^ "Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 -- Index". gamesdonequick.com. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  27. ^ "Games Done Quick on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  28. ^ "Games Done Quick on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-08-03. 

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