Zelda: Breath of the Wild blindfolded speedrun showed the best and worst of SGDQ 2023

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Summer Games Done Quick has come and gone for another year, capping off a week of speedrunning with a lofty $2,239,204 raised for Doctors Without Borders and Médecins Sans Frontières. One of the standout runs saw a runner tackle The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild blindfolded, though it was also the run where frustrations with the event spilt over. 

Most Games Done Quick speedruns are slotted into a schedule before the event, though some are put up as donation incentives – so, if a donation total isn’t met at a certain point in the show, then the run doesn’t go ahead. That typically isn’t an issue, but this time fans found the donation goals beyond their means. It’s a challenging situation to manage, and while stalling between runs did mean a few more bonus runs went ahead, it also led to greater frustration.

“Donation incentives were too high and too many bonus games,” one fan says. “Most of the time GDQ usually meets 90% of their incentives, but this time I think a good third of them or more were missed, and a couple were only met due to some severe stalling. 

“Most people don’t have the money to throw around these days because of how bad inflation has gotten and we’re no longer in a pandemic where people don’t have anything better to do but to sit at home and watch marathons.”

That’s the context leading to speedrunner Bubzia taking on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild while blindfolded on the final day of the near-week-long event. Despite the lack of vision and some troubles with the final boss, the streamer pushed through it all to complete the game in roughly one hour and 33 minutes, more than 10 minutes quicker than estimated.

The run is worth checking out for the skill on show, expert analysis, and passion. While plenty feel the same way, others can't help but feel mixed, given they had to wait for over an hour to see the stretch goal to make the happen met. 

"I wanna see BOTW as much as the next guy but $2m seems lofty at this point," one wrote at the time. "Not sure if they can move Baron of Shell forward or something but it would be a damned shame to miss a blindfolded BOTW due to missed incentive."

Another added, "GDQ just stalled for more than an hour because they were 200k short of the final donation. Like, you could even just move the Baron of Shell run back. When it comes to bonus games, them hyping it up as an incentive is fake, it'll happen anyways."

Other fans also queried why a $150,000 donation total from sponsors was added after the run ended, as doing it before would have saved a lot of people from waiting around late into the night to see the run. 

We've reached out to Games Done Quick for more information and will update this story if we receive an update. If you're looking for more excellent runs to check out alongside Bubzia's effort, fans have put together a thread here with plenty of neat suggestions.

Meanwhile, If you aren't using Tears of the Kingdom's icy meat shield surfing technique, you aren't living.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.