A speed run of the NES classic Super Mario Bros. is being called “historic” and “near perfect” by the community. On April 7th, gamer Niftski broke a barrier long thought impossible with a time of 4 minutes, 54 seconds, 948 milliseconds.
For two years, the record has sat in the 4:55 range, and the amount of precision to reach this mark has spurred debate if it could even be possible to get lower.
Computer assisted speedruns, which make calculations frame-by-frame, have shown that a time of 4:54:26 is possible, but it seemed unfeasible that an actual human could perform such a task.
Niftski explains that the key move that enabled him to achieve this record is the infamous “8-1 flagpole glitch.” This trick allows Mario to phase into the block holding the end level flag and finish the stage without having the flag lower. The trick has been commonly used in speedruns, but it’s extremely hard to accomplish, relying not just on pixel perfection, but even taking subpixels—the space between pixels—into account. The speedrunner states that by successfully performing the move he was able to shave a full .35 seconds off his time.
Niftski proclaims that he isn’t finished with Super Mario Bros. yet, even after achieving the seemingly impossible. He announced at the end of his stream that his goal for 2021 is to continue going after more world records in the classic Nintendo game.
You can watch a video of Niftski’s historic run in the video below.
What are your feelings on this record? Do you think it will be broken any time soon, if at all? What other records would you like to see shattered? We’d love to hear what you have to say!
Sources: Speedrun.com, Polygon.