Super Mario Bros. speedrunner records the first sub-4:55 completion period

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Once again, speedrunning history has been made.

One lesson I’ve noticed over the years about speedrunning is that you can never say “never.” However, in the absence of any new bugs or game-changing tactics, it seems that we are nearing the boundaries of Nintendo’s classic platformer. Is it still theoretically feasible to reduce the time by another complete second?

 

Twitch streamer Niftski has become the first person to clock a sub-4:55 completion time in Super Mario Bros., finishing the game in an astounding 4:54.948. According to the entry on speedrun.com, the run was played on Nestopia UE, an NES emulator written in C++.

Speedrun.com guidelines state that every time less than five minutes is suspect. “It is strongly advised that you stream all of your attempts and have split files in order for your run to be accepted,” the category rules say. Furthermore, runners who send attempts under five minutes are required to have “an input file whether you are playing on an emulator that can capture input files.”

In a statement supplied to Polygon, Niftski said the implementation of a flagpole glitch in level 8-1 was key to the run, helping save precious time over the previous record heading into the final stage.

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In the speedrunning world, Super Mario Bros. is one of the most successful games. Runners use highly optimised tactics that necessitate pinpoint accuracy in order to finish the game as quickly as practicable.

To put the race in perspective, the gap between the current world record and the 10th fastest run on speedrun.com is only.848 of a second. It wasn’t until 2018 that a person beat the game in under 4:56.

 

Masthead courtesy note omg

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