Super Mario Bros. now has a new speedrun record. With a new time of 4:54.798, prolific Mario speedrunner Niftski just shaved off 0.083 seconds from their previous world record run of 4:54.881–a difference of just five in-game frames.
What’s wild is that Niftski didn’t even know he’d broken his older record AND broken unto the 0.7-seconds era until after analyzing his record-setting run through video software. "I thought I didn't get it! I thought it was .82," Niftski shouts at the end of the video. "Oh my god, what?!"
The ideal path for completing Super Mario Bros. has been known for quite a while, so players are now focused on completing the theoretical "perfect" run. That’s jumping at precisely the right moment and performing the perfect "fast acceleration" maneuvers at just the right time. Even a single misstep will basically cost you the entire run, although thankfully, a competitive run is now less than five minutes long.
"This is just the beginning of how incredibly optimized speedruns of this game will be, especially very soon once lightning 4-2 gets implemented into runs," noted Niftski in the video comments. "This will POTENTIALLY BE THE LAST WR without lightning 4-2, and with that being said, let the lightning 4-2 grind in runs commence…"
As noted by Kotaku, the best tool-assisted speedrun for Super Mario Bros. currently sits at 4:53.265 and represents the best possible time a human could theoretically complete the game. That means speedrunners are just a second-and-a-half away from achieving perfection.
And once that happens, speedrunners are going to have to come up with new ways to challenge themselves. Thankfully, it seems like many speedrunners have already thought of interesting new ways to play Super Mario Bros. Most recently, speedrunner JeremyMKW beat the game with one hand tied behind his back, achieving a time of four minutes and 57 seconds. That's not too far off from Niftski's time, and he used two hands on a full-size keyboard for his record-setting run.
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