Dec 2022 “Phenomenal Feats” Moment #1: Sinister1 & Zallard1 perform a blindfolded race of “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!” at AGDQ 2016

Welcome to “Phenomenal Feats”, brought to you by the official Speedrun Hall of Fame! These moments will be forever remembered in a special gallery, designed for those moments in time where a specific runner, run, or accomplishment deserves to be forever chronicled. These are the moments in time we want all of speedrunning to remember. This month, December 2022, marks our 2nd class for this gallery, and now it’s time for YOU to pick which of these Phenomenal Feats will be immortalized in the Speedrun Hall of Fame!

Moment #1: Sinister1 & Zallard1 perform a blindfolded race of “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!” at AGDQ 2016

Blindfolded speedrunning has been around for many years. Ever since CGDQ 2010, when AndrewG attempted to beat Super Mario Bros. blindfolded live during the marathon, many people have been inspired to try their hand at this remarkable feat. And, who better to attempt something this challenging, than a speedrunner? Speedrunners play games over and over, so it’s only natural that, between muscle memory and repetition, as well as some clever strategy, speedrunners have, time and time again, proven that the challenge of doing speedruns without your eyesight is not only possible, but can be competitive and fun!

AndrewG did an attempt at a Blindfolded “Super Mario Bros” run at CGDQ 2010. This was impromptu, but led to others trying similar challenges.

I don’t want to go into the history of blindfolded speedrunning too much today, as many others have done this better than we ever could in this short video. SummoningSalt made an excellent video discussing the history of Blindfolded Speedrunning in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, which covers a lot of the inspiration and hard work that went into the lead-up to AGDQ 2016, when this Phenomenal Feat candidate took place. Sinister1 saw AndrewG’s attempt of this blindfolded speedrun at CGDQ 2010, and as Sinister began to learn and master Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, he decided to learn and work on becoming the first person to beat Punch-Out!! blindfolded. And, at AGDQ 2013, he attempted a run of the game, making it to Piston Honda 2, before he lost. He promised to attempt it again the following year.

Sinister’s first GDQ attempt of blindfolded Punch-Out!! went very well, but only opened the door for much more to come!

At Awesome Games Done Quick 2014, Sinister performed one of the most famous GDQ speedruns of all time, performing a blindfolded Punch-Out!! run all the way up to Mike Tyson. A feat that was considered impossible up to that point. Sinister got an ovation and the run went viral, and it was a huge moment in speedrun history at that time, and still remains to this day one of the biggest blindfolded runs ever. At that same AGDQ, Zallard1 attempted a blindfolded run of Super Punch-Out!! on the SNES, and was able to complete the run.

Jackimus Wedge was the first to beat Mike Tyson blindfolded on stream, in January 2015. This led to a year of hard work and dedication, which led to a blindfolded race between the two at AGDQ 2016.

The two were evenly matched, and the race was very tight. Every fight was meticulously planned out; each buffer carefully pressed at the correct time. Hundreds of hours of dedication, practice, and effort culminated into what might be the biggest GDQ race in their lives, and certainly in Punch-Out!!’s history.

The main event. This was a pivotal moment in Blindfolded Speedrunning History™. What a phenomenal show!

Years later, and thanks to their hard work, blindfolded speedrunning is a big trend. Just recently, CrystalSaver was able to get a sub-hour in blindfolded any% of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Many other gamers have taken on the challenge. Even Zallard and Sinister continue to perform these amazing Punch-Out!! blindfolded runs; just at AGDQ 2020, they were able to perform a blindfolded co-op run of Punch-Out!! which was another first. And was an absolutely incredible feat to witness. The coordination and synchronization required to execute this is mind-boggling, and just goes to show how talented these two are.

May these brave souls that take these blindfolded challenges on, continue to do so for years to come!

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