Super Mario Bros. is one of the most famous video game speedrunning games in history, and a remarkable new compilation demonstrates just how far players have come in terms of mastery? Why watch all of them at the same time, in 11 minutes?
The veteran Mario speedrunner took every new record breaking run since 1999 and placed them side-by-side, timing them to ensure they all finish at the exact same time. The visual history illustrates how different speedrunners dominated the scene at various points in the timeline.
GTAce said in a conversation that he started working on this video around my 5-year anniversary from when I discovered speedrunning. The community has been a big part of my life during this time, so I wanted to give something back that I knew a lot of people would enjoy seeing.
The first two runs were completed in 1999 by a player named Casion, who set the first record of sorts with a time of 9:51. They were the sort of runs that resembled the best kid on your block growing up showing off in the basement, according to GTAce. They are the earliest known videos of Super Mario Bros. being beaten on the internet.
Scott Kessler and a speedrunner named Trevor Seguin traded records between 2007 and 2014. Niftski has been leading the pack using a keyboard rather than an NES controller since 2007, and there's the tool-assisted speedrun (TAS) by Human Theory, which currently holds the highest theoretical time at 4:54.265.
When I saw a few of these world records live, I replayed the ending reaction so many times, and it was heartwarming every single time, according to GTAce. It's interesting to watch them get excited when their hard work pays off.
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In just a few days, Super Mario Bros. speedrunners are able to execute new skills that were previously impossible for anyone other than the TAS. For example, this month, Tole managed a block glitch on world 4-2 to save another precious few frames, while Niftski set a new world record just a couple days earlier.