If you’re new to Games Done Quick and its events Awesome Games Done Quick, Summer Games Done Quick or one of its many special events then you may have encountered donators voting to either SAVE or KILL the animals.
It seems completely insane but it is an innocent inside joke which began with one particular game but now gets brought up during any speed run stream.
Here we give you the exact reason what kill/save the animals mean and why people aren’t banned for uttering it.
Save/Kill The Animals at GDQ origins
The origins of this famous phase started with a donation bid war on a Super Metroid run, donators could put money towards to choices that happen at the end of Super Metroid.
Towards the very end of the 1994 Super Nintendo game Super Metroid, the protagonist Samus Aran can take a detour to a chamber containing animals (Dachora and Etecoons) and save them from the lava which is quickly filling up the room.
If the player decides not to they will be killed when the planet explodes (kill the animals) but if the player takes the detour she can save the animals and herself and attain the true ending – at a cost of around 20 seconds.
We know it to be the true ending as the same animals appear in a sequel Metroid Fusion.
It is worth remembering that GDQ emphasises speedruns – completing the game as fast as possible – saving the animals goes against this but killing the animals is mean. GDQ is known at times for its dark humour so donators will often add a message along the lines of “good luck on the run, please kill all the animals!”
This is what prompts people to go on search engines to find out why on earth people would say that.
To encourage more donations, GDQ may host a donation bid-war where donators can vote to save the animals or kill the animals. GDQ has raised over $3,000,000 in an event with the save/kill the animals incentive ALONE can raise over $200,000.
World Record speedruns during a live GDQ is rare and if someone was to set a new World Record for Super Metroid then killing the animals is the optimal route, the lost 20 seconds would kill any chances of a WR, therefore the incentive can make things very tense!
To see the bid war at a GDQ event check this video out from AGDQ 2015
For a video explaining world record progression on Super Metroid here’s a great video