Watch this Super Mario speedrunner achieve a time that is supposed to be impossible

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,922   +765
Staff member

Speed-run records come and go, especially when they start adding decimal places to the time. However, there comes the point where a game just cannot be completed any faster. Super Mario Bros is one of those — or so everybody thought.

Super Mario speed runs are very tightly optimized and are measured to the millisecond. Runners have been shaving these slivers of time off back and forth for a while. Many runners using computer assistance had determined that the absolute limit unassisted was greater than four minutes and 56 seconds.

Monday night a well-known speedrunner who goes by Kosmicd12, broke the 4:55 barrier during his stream and lost his mind. While segmented measurements, which take runners' best times from each level and combines them shows that times lower than 4:56 are theoretically possible, nobody thought it could be achieved in a single run. Kosmicd12 proved it could.

"I cannot believe it! What? How!? That was my first run ever!"

Unassisted he set a time of 4:55:913. The previous record was 4:56.245. Kosmicd12's previous best was 4:56.462.

“This isn’t real life, dude,” he said during his stream after realizing what he had done. “One and done. I don’t know what to say.”

He was able to accomplish the feat by executing a highly precise trick that let him clip through an end-of-level pipe and get to the warp quicker saving one frame rule. In Super Mario Bros, the game performs a check every 21 frames to see if the player has completed the level. This period is know as a frame rule.

Even though he said that it was his first run ever during his stream, it was the excitement that made him misspeak. What he meant was, it was his very first time attempting the maneuver and he pulled it off.

Now that it has been done you can expect to see runners trying to duplicate the move to shave off a few more milliseconds, but in the meantime, Kosmicd12 deserves a huge congratulations for being the first to pull off the impossible time.

Permalink to story.

 

J spot

Posts: 238   +158
I'm actually familiar with these runners.

About the comment that speed-run records come and go, especially when they start adding decimal places to the time. Actually that's much more true for longer games. For a 5 minute game like Super Mario Bros, the optimization level is insane, and one has to play at near perfect execution for those 5 minutes. While say GTA V that's like ten hours long, there will always be new optimizations, tricks, strategies, and no human can play a near perfect execution for ten hours straight.

So a random person getting into speed running a game will have a exponentially higher chance of obtaining a GTA V world record than Super Mario Bros.

Don't know why I wrote all of that.
 

TomSEA

Posts: 3,320   +2,068
It's been a brazillion years since I've played Mario and this is obviously a very impressive score based on the comments alone.

But is it just me or were there a couple of spots where he "over bounced" Mario and could have made up even more time?
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,296   +1,476
It's been a brazillion years since I've played Mario and this is obviously a very impressive score based on the comments alone.

But is it just me or were there a couple of spots where he "over bounced" Mario and could have made up even more time?

If you watch videos on how mario speed runners do it, you'll see every move is calculated. "over bouncing" is sometimes necessary to allow the screen to catch up to a fast running mario and load the desired "map" when going down pipes for example.
 

gamerk2

Posts: 510   +410
It's been a brazillion years since I've played Mario and this is obviously a very impressive score based on the comments alone.

But is it just me or were there a couple of spots where he "over bounced" Mario and could have made up even more time?

If you watch videos on how mario speed runners do it, you'll see every move is calculated. "over bouncing" is sometimes necessary to allow the screen to catch up to a fast running mario and load the desired "map" when going down pipes for example.

Yeah; you can learn a lot about some of the glitches used in Mario speedrunning on Youtube, especially in regards to 4-2.

It's believed the fastest possible speedrun is ~4:53, which is currently achievable via TAS, though some recent new developments might shave a few extra frames off. Point is, we're pretty much at the point where it's simply not possible to go much faster. Humans are only about 2.5 seconds behind TAS, which is pretty damn good all things considered.