The joy of Summer Games Done Quick raising $3.01 million for Doctors Without Borders has been marred with a bit of controversy. During the charity marathon, Mekarazium, a Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance runner, faked his run of the Revengeance Blade wolf DLC, playing a spliced video instead of running the game live. The fake run was discovered when Mekarazium himself confessed to cheating, prompting Games Done Quick organizers to remove the VOD of the run and ban Mekarazium from future events. Mekarazium was able to pull off the deception as, even though this was the first live GDQ since AGDQ 2020, he participated remotely, broadcasting from his home.
On Thursday, June 30th, Mekarazium ran Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance on new game plus hard difficulty, finishing with a time of 57:45 that was, as noted in his confession, “way better than what we’ve practiced.” After that run, I have completed the Blade Wolf DLC, posting a time of 6:55 that, according to the leaderboards, beat the current world record (that Mekarazium himself holds) by 25 seconds. Mekarazium ended the run with a rambling speech that seemed to focus on wanting the speedrunning community to better support the people who contribute to world records — like people who find glitches and the best routes — instead of the world record holders themselves. He concluded his speech by quoting lyrics from the heavy metal song “This Godless Endeavor” by Nevermore:
I feel empty and deranged
Denied one last epiphany and ushered from the stage
He then said “we won’t be meeting again, I think,” seemingly alluding to the fact that he would be discovered.
It is not known why Mekarazium chose to disclose his cheating, but members of the speedrunning subreddit r/speedrun posited it might be because he was possibly about to be outed for the deception. A close viewing of the Blade Wolf run reveals that there were no keyboard sounds in the audio when there were during his revenge run. There’s also a moment where he moves his right hand into his camera’s view while the character he’s controlling on screen is moving the game camera. Mekarazium explains away the discrepancy by stating he was “moving the mouse with his left hand.”
Mekarazium apologized in his confession, stating that he wanted the “world record” Blade Wolf run to “top off” his revenge run. He also stated that he hoped his actions would not impact future remote runs during live marathons. While speedrunning marathons are not exclusively US-based (in fact, the European Speedrunner Assembly will host its own marathon later this month), GDQ is the biggest and most popular. Permitting remote runs in live marathons seems to be one of the most accessible ways to let overseas runners and others, who for various reasons are unable to travel, participate.
GDQ issued a statement on the ban, saying, “This is absolutely unacceptable and attempts to undermine the integrity of the speedrunning community that we love and support.”