Super Mario Bros är över 30 år gammalt och världsrekorden är därför så slipade att det handlar om hundradelar. För närvarande delar två speedrunners förstaplatsen, både Darbian och Kosmic har lyckats besegra Bowser på vansinniga 4:56:878, men i helgen var det när att det blev tre hundradelar kortare.

Darbian hade en perfekt runda fram till bana 4 på åttonde världen där en fisk dök upp på ett oväntat ställe och fick honom att hoppa in i ett rör, istället för på det. Han utbrister ändå ett sansat "why man, why" när man skulle kunna tänka sig att han ville använda betydligt rundare ord.

I en kommentar på Kotaku (som först skrev om Darbians försök) skriver användaren Berfince om vad som faktiskt krävs för att få en så perfekt runda att du kan skala av några hundradelar.

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THE STATE OF THE ART (for clarification)

Foreword: the game checks if a level is cleared only once every 21 frames, so the time it takes to clear a level is always a multiple 21 frames (such a unit of time is called a ‘frame rule’), so saving a couple frames here and there does nothing for you if you do not manage to reach a lower multiple of 21 (or, to us the official analogy, to catch an earlier bus). This is true for all levels but the last one.

1-1: mastered with good underground and flag pole glitch (catching the flag pole through the base block, which skips the flag going down animation).

1-2: mastered

4-1: mastered with flag pole glitch

4-2: there are a couple ways to get what is called “fast 4-2" to save a frame rule. Currently, runners only go for it to save attempts where they are a frame rule late as it is highly unreliable (also, see 8-2).

8-1: mastered through hitting a specific block containing a star at the first possible pixel. That ensures the star leaves the screen at a certain height. Since the game uses the same variable to store the sub pixel position of items such as that star and the position of the flag at the end of the level, it just slightly lowers the flag, so it takes slightly less time to bring it down at the end of the level allowing to catch the earliest bus.

8-2: mastered (at least for the time being). To catch the earliest bus in this level, a glitch called Bullet Bill Glitch is used. It involves bouncing on a bullet bill just as (just before?) you hit the block at the base of the flag pole. For this to actually help you, you need the bullet bill launcher to shoot at the right time a bullet bill that goes fast enough. Speedrunners have recently understood what to do to ensure that happens: they manipulate the fake randomness of the game by starting their attempts a specific amount of time after powering/reseting the console and by reaching 8-2 on the right bus. My understanding is that it is why people do not currently go for “fast 4-2": there is no way to currently ensure an optimal bullet bill if you arrive in 8-2 with an earlier bus.

8-3: recently mastered. The optimal strategy used to be to not go as fast as possible (usually doing a slight bump on a platform before the flag at the end of the level) to not finish the stage with a game timer ending by 3, which would result in time wasting fire works. Now, a setup has been found to end the level with a flag pole glitch and no fire works, allowing to catch an earlier bus.

8-4: more or less mastered. Since the end of the run is measured when Mario touches the axe behind Bowser, this is the only stage where every single frame counts. A super optimized play can shave maybe a couple frames here or there, but as it stands, the way to get a new World Record is to arrive in the level with an earlier bus and go through the level cleanly (and not have the misfortune to get bumped by a wild Cheep Cheep... or to crash in a low Potobo... or to have Bowser throw real hammers).

It is expected the record will be broken soonish by about a frame rule in light of the new understandings and setups. In a more distant future one can expect a record saving another frame rule by having ‘fast 4-2'. But from there my understanding is that a major breakthrough will be needed to go lower.

Ok that was longer than expected...