Nov 2022 “Phenomenal Feats” Moment #4: TGH and Glan showdown for over an hour in a nail-biter at SGDQ 2022.

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, November 2022, marks our first nominees, and now, it’s time for YOU to pick which of these Phenomenal Feats will be immortalized in the Speedrun Hall of Fame!

Moment number 4: TGH and Glan showdown for over an hour in a nail-biter at SGDQ 2022.

The original Link’s Awakening was a brilliant game made by Nintendo for the original Game Boy, way back in 1993. Eventually ported to the Game Boy Color in 1998, it continues to be a remarkably wonderful game for the tiny portable console. After the success of A Link Between Worlds on the 3DS, Nintendo wanted to remake the game for a more modern console. Grezzo was tasked with transferring the classic Game Boy title to the Nintendo Switch in 2019, and did they ever accomplish this task. Link’s Awakening on the Switch is a lovely game, with a beautiful art style, haunting music, and loveable characters in memorable settings. This port was met with critical acclaim… and that isn’t just from casual players. Speedrunners around the globe immediately began tackling the new Zelda game, finding all sorts of glitches and skips like Hinox Warp, Hookshot Rocket, Villa Skip, and more.

A screenshot from “Link’s Awakening” on the Nintendo Switch, showcasing Link and Maron (photo: IGN India)

Over time, the game was becoming faster and faster. TGH_sr, the first runner to record a sub-hour in the Switch version of the game, was among the pioneers of this run. He is no stranger to being an elite Zelda runner; in 2020, TGH was able to dethrone another Zelda record that had been long-standing, when he bopped JSR_’s trilogy times both as a single-segment RTA, as well as the PB leaderboard. In both cases, JSR had held those records for years before Teej not only overtook them, but he annihilated them. But he has much more under his belt than just classic Zelda trilogy runs; he has been a long-standing member of the “A Link to the Past” speedrunning elite, consistently being in the top 20 for years, and was top 5 for a very long time.

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In the 2 major categories, he has a sub-29 in The Legend of Zelda, as well as the 5th-place time (as of 2022) in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. He has held a number of significant world records, including leading the Celeste community for years, as well as the Undertale community. Eventually he moved on, and also took down many other records: TUNIC, Sonic 3D Blast, and many others. But Teej also ran other Zelda games, obtaining the records in the most competitive categories of BOTH Oracle games (Ages and Seasons), as well as both the original Game Boy Link’s Awakening as well as Link’s Awakening DX.

TGH talking with chat about his run after setting the world record in the “Classic Zelda Trilogy” category (Photo: TGH’s YouTube)

In other words, TGH is really really really good at video games!

But Glan is no slouch. He is also one of the top runners in “A Link to the Past” as well as a number of other games, such as Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the Donkey Kong Country trilogy, Aggelos, and of course, Link’s Awakening on the Switch. He is also a very accomplished runner, well on the path to matching TGH’s resume, and was perfectly matched with TGH going into their head-to-head showdown at SGDQ 2022. His time was sitting 3rd place on the leaderboards the day of the run (Teej was holding the record) and he was just as capable as Teej was heading into SGDQ 2022.

Glan performing a Donkey Kong Trilogy run (screen cap from his Twitch streams)

The stage was set: an SGDQ race between 2 of the top 3 runners in the world, both at the top of their game, and at the first GDQ in-person since the COVID-19 Pandemic began in 2020. This was already being hyped up as one of the must-see runs on the schedule… the pressure to perform must have been palpable. At the very least, the fans were pumped to see it!

The race was insanely close. The two runners were practically step-in-step for the final hour of the race, including a significant portion where they were no more than than 15 seconds apart… for more than 30 minutes. Around the 30-minute mark, Glan had a slim lead of about 15 seconds, and that was the final time they were more than a few seconds apart for the remainder of the race.

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“I wasn’t actually watching the stream at all,” Glan told Speedrun Hall of Fame in 2022, “but I did have the commentators’ audio audible, because I had to hear them. So that made it a little bit weird. I was obviously really nervous, because TGH is really good. And, even if he hadn’t put in as much practice as (I had), he was still absolutely smashing my time within a couple days of starting to practice again. So yeah (laughs) I was really nervous. But (even though) I didn’t have the stream up, even without that, I could hear the commentators talking, and that had a similar effect sometimes. Because I often hear them talking about (things like), ‘TGH is going through this room now or whatever, and it’s a couple rooms ahead of where I am… or they mentioned me being somewhere before they mentioned him. So it was a bit nerve-wracking, because I didn’t know exactly where I was, but I had a general idea that it was close, just based on the commentary.”

In a game with this much parity, this was a remarkable sight to see! One of the greatest races of all time, Link’s Awakening is simply not a game where you can have two racers this close… but they did it. On the biggest stage there is.

TGH and Glan begin the final fight; TGH had about a 6 second lead at the start of the fight. (Photo: Games Done Quick)

And what a stage it was; a jam-packed SGDQ crowd, the first crowd gathered after the pandemic, witnessed this phenomenal showdown, which Teej finally took the win in when a stroke of bad luck at the final boss cost Glan just enough time to give Teej the victory. This race is absolutely a must-watch and if you’re a fan of Glan, TGH, or the Switch Link’s Awakening, you owe it to yourself to watch this epic showdown. But don’t take MY word for it: check out the entire race here and judge it for yourself!

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Will this moment be forever enshrined into the hall of fame? Go to our Phenomenal Feats menu (under the Hall of Fame tab at the top of our page) and click “Vote Now!” Results will be announced at the start of December; join our Discord or follow our Twitter to get all the updates!

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