Introducing the World’s New SUPER MARIO BROS. Speedrun Record
By Charles Webb on July 1, 2014
It only took retro game speedrunner Blubbler 4:57.69 to beat the NES classic Super Mario Bros, and if the video below is to be believed – without Blubbler using cheats nor hacks, the aforementioned time is a fraction of a second faster than the previous Super Mario Bros. world record of 4:58.09.
To the untrained eye, the video looks legit, with Blubbler exploiting the preset enemy movements and character animation frames. In a detailed image, he explains how he managed some of the trickier feats seen in the video, like avoiding the Bullet Bills and seemingly passing through some of the plants coming out of their pipes in Worlds 1-2, 4-1, 4-2, 8-1:
“While the sprites of Mario and the plants do overlap, the hitboxes (indicated by the green rectangles) never do. The part in 4-1 is actually not even close.”
For those of you unfamiliar with the terms, “sprites” refers to the character as animated on the screen (Mario’s body, essentially), while “hitboxes” are what the game registers as the area that will come into contact with enemies, flags, and other elements within the game’s environment. This kind of thing becomes really important in fighting games, where sprite-based titles like Street Fighter II and King of Fighters are based on the smallest frames of animation, and scoring precise hits based on an almost superhuman knowledge of opposing player position.
Note that Blubbler’s time includes the copious use of warp zones – player andrewg was able to beat the game in 19:12 without using any warp zones or cheats.