News Article

Super Mario 64 is a 5-Minute Adventure With the Right Tools

Posted by Trevor Chan

The rotund plumber is faster than he looks thanks to an emulator-assisted speedrun

Video games are a wonderful way to show off best times and high scores after spending countless hours in attempting to achieve them, but when orthodox methods aren't enough to impress, gamers (and obsessives) must think outside of the box.

A group of speedrunners have completed Super Mario 64 in a little over five minutes, utilising an emulator to break down the run into numerous sections, glitches, time-saving jump combinations, and missing out large chunks of the game altogether. The task of obtaining the golden stars has been skipped but when you watch the video of the speedrun below, you too might wonder why the developers included them in the first place.

At times, the footage looks like a bizarre exercise in free running gone wrong, but a plumber's got to do what a plumber's got to do!

[via tasvideos.org]

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User Comments (78)

Buster13

#3

Buster13 said:

"Oh, Mario! The Power of the Stars is restored to the castle!"

What Stars?

HeroOfTime007

#4

HeroOfTime007 said:

Well 5 minutes of campagin isnt that bad, I mean theres online multiplayer to back it up right?

Cipher

#5

Cipher said:

Well, I've never seen anything quite like that. I'm too gobsmacked to even think of something witty to say.

Stuffgamer1

#8

Stuffgamer1 said:

Ooh, look at all those cool places in the credits that Mario never actually went to!:D

Also: Zero stars, my butt! We all saw him collect the one Bowser dropped.;)

Greenalink

#13

Greenalink said:

@ zss_shadow

That one is nearly 3 years old and is nearly 40 seconds slower than the current run.

For those people saying:
"Get a life"

“Why would you waste your time on a glitched speedrun/speedrunning in general?” –
Why would you waste your time on anything in your life? In many ways, speedrunning is similar to playing the piano: you keep practicing and practicing until you can finally produce something enjoyable (a quick video or music). With piano playing, however, it is very unlikely that you will ever be the best. But it is very possible, with enough practice and determination, to be the best at (tool assisted) speedrunning a certain game. Part of getting the fastest time is glitching, route planning and optimisation. Furthermore, judging by ratings, people who watch speedrun videos will on average prefer glitching to standard routes. Perhaps starting a charity to cure AIDS in Africa would be a more productive use of your time. But as far as personal hobbies go, (tool assisted) speedrunning is a great way to set goals and accomplish them and get a fair amount of Internet prominence for your activities. It is not for everyone, but it is not a waste of time any more than playing an instrument without extreme levels of talent.

Mizore

#15

Mizore said:

Great...internet is screwed up and I can't load the video...go figure. I think I've seen this before anyways.

Ark

#17

Ark said:

@Greenalink

This current run also uses...more tools (checking TaS). It even lists the new tools used on the site. Obviously it's going to be faster. The guy who uploaded the original three years ago showed the general point quite well if you ask me. What's more important in a tool-assisted run, less tools or a shorter time? Arguably, this game could probably be done in four minutes or less if someone amped up the amount of tools used. Is this really "better?"

C7_

#18

C7_ said:

Koopa the Quick aint got nothin on him

/hopeful someone gets it

Link-Hero

#20

Link-Hero said:

While the video is impressive, it's not a true speed run. A true speed run shouldn't use glitches, cheats, tool assistance, hacks, or whatever. You should play the game the way it's meant to be played.

Have you ever seen any world records with people who used any of the methods above to reach that goal? No, you don't.

MasterGraveheart

#21

MasterGraveheart said:

I oppose tool and glitch speed runs. If you wanna show off your speedy prowess, beat the developers at their own intended game.

...I will take the Bowser boss battle tips though, lol.

Kid_A

#23

Kid_A said:

Is this a new one? Because I'm quite sure I saw this a very long time ago

timp29

#24

timp29 said:

Yeah I feel sorry for Bowser after watching that. I mean the guy never got a chance :( Also funky butt slide boss warp.

Greenalink

#25

Greenalink said:

@zss_shadow
"It even lists the new tools used on the site..... less tools or a shorter time?"

Are you refering to new tricks like Pause BLJ or actual tools like Lua Scripts, input plugins, frame advance, save states?

"Arguably, this game could probably be done in four minutes or less if someone amped up the amount of tools used,"

The problem now is that they tried and failed to get into the Basement before Bowser in the Dark World, and glitching through the upper floor doesn't load up properly (you need a key and unlock it to load up the section properly). If you ignore Peach's cutscene at the start, the gameplay itself is under 5 minutes long.

It would be a milestone if sub 4 minutes is possible.

Edit: @ Link-Hero

"Have you ever seen any world records with people who used any of the methods above to reach that goal? No, you don't."

Ever bought the Guiness Book of World Records Gamer Edition? They mention some glitched runs like Diablo in 3 minutes and Final Fantasy Tactics.

TrevorTheChan

#27

TrevorTheChan said:

According to the speedrunners, this run is 24:17 seconds faster than the previous run. In the comment section on the TASVideos page, they declare:

This submission is the biggest improvement to any previous 0 star run. The majority of the improvements are found in the Bowser in the Fire Sea and Spiral Stairs to Bowser in the Sky sections. In our opinion, this 0 Star run is different from all of the others. We strongly recommend watching the previous movie(s) before this one, to really notice all of the differences.

Pastry

#30

Pastry said:

Hey, I wish they would do that with Banjo Kazooie. It would be awesome!

BTW @ the people who said he had no life, he spent a lot less time on that game then he would have if he had collected all of the stars.

HeroOfTime007

#31

HeroOfTime007 said:

@ 31.
But TAS, with it he probably slowed the game down frame by frame and with save states he probably did this over many times to use these obscure glitches. I'm guessing it took at least a couple of hours to put it all together.

Funky_Gamer

#32

Funky_Gamer said:

This is amazing...

Now go ahead and call me clueless but what exactly does tool assisted mean?

MeloMan

#33

MeloMan said:

I find this so hilarious... I'll have to check the whole thing out when I get home.

shinesprite

#34

shinesprite said:

So the whole thing is just one long, pre-written controller script? Oh well, still pretty great! :D

1upsuper

#37

1upsuper said:

Sigh I always cringe when looking at the comments of any TAS run, because I know there are always going to be people who post without knowing anything about TAS videos. The point of a TAS video is to show the absolute, closest to "perfect" time that a game could possibly be beaten. Part of the fun is in seeing just what kind of glitches and mechanics can be abused in games. The key thing to remember is this: An authentic TAS uses no cheating whatsoever. Slowdown and such is used, but the game's coding is never modified. Basically, while in some cases nearly impossible due to having to do things at a specific frame, everything you see in a TAS is possible on the game's original console. Just wanted to clear that up for those who don't seem to understand what they just watched, and to keep others from making further baseless claims that the video is "|-|4><" just because an emulator is used. I myself appreciate speed runs on consoles more than TAS, but, as previously stated, it's fun seeing games put to their absolute limits. TASs don't claim to be played without emulation.

tl;dr: TAS =/= Hax, no matter how similar the words are to eachother.

Kid_A

#39

Kid_A said:

Thanks for clearing that up, 1upsuper, I was never really 100% clear on the details of TAS speed runs :)

1upsuper

#40

1upsuper said:

Oh sure, I just hope I didn't come off as a jerk. :)

E: And for the record, TAS is an acronym for Tool-Assisted Speedrun.

1upsuper

#43

1upsuper said:

@42 Or, you know, it could be a hobby. "Too much time on your hands" seems to be the catchall response whenever someone puts a lot of time into something impressive.

@43 I'm sure someone has, though getting 16 stars is a much easier task, and I've done it many times on my N64. Anything under 16 stars requires much more abuse, whereas 16 stars really only requires 3 glitches.

Funky_Gamer

#46

Funky_Gamer said:

Still a little confused but I am getting it. So these tools... what exactly do they do and how do they work?

1upsuper

#47

1upsuper said:

The people who made the run most likely used a modified emulator that has certain tools to help them make the run. The major one is slowdown where they can run the game at however many fps (frames per second) they need for that part of the run. To give you a rough comparison, 60 fps nowadays is about average for a game running at its intended speed. Another tool they use that I'm sure you're familiar with are save states. They are essentially "save anywhere, anytime, under any circumstance" saves, and they most likely have them mapped to a easily accessed key, or, more likely, they have it set on some sort of timer, where it may save every couple seconds. I'm really not an expert, and all I know I've learned from watching and reading about TASs.

kevohki

#50

kevohki said:

Haven't played this game in over a decade and it still sounds like, "So long gay Bowser."

Capt_N

#54

Capt_N said:

The good news about hacks/Tas/glitches known on the net, is the programmers learn where they should have made less exploitable code. Of course, not that to begin w/ they purposely design the games w/ exploits in mind.

I've actually done the legit glitching on an actual SM64(no game cheating devices, or anything.) & I know I'm not the 1st, even of the members here, to do so, w/o any kind of hacking. It's difficult to do, but I can do it. It's really fun seeing these Tas vids, though.

Capt_N

#55

Capt_N said:

For those that want to try this on an actual N64 w/ SM64:

For me, the easy part is MIps(the rabbit) through the door. The other easy part is the endless stairs, since it's harder to make a mistake here, as the stairs keep coming. The hard part is generally getting up into the area w/ the 2 regular + 1 special final stages(Tick Tock Clock, etc.)

RedYoshi999

#57

RedYoshi999 said:

Wow who knew that a plumber could be such a ninja! :D Also I'll be really impressed when someone beats the game with 0 stars (we all know that last one counted hehe)

Noire

#58

Noire said:

Oh please, I've beaten Mario 64 faster than that... in my dreams...

James

#59

James said:

Sometimes news is just a shorter way of saying "check out this cool Nintendo-related thing we found and wanted you to see".

Lotice-Paladin

#61

Lotice-Paladin said:

They made Mario even more annoying. That's a world record for how many "Yahoo" 's he says within those 5 minutes.

Also, this is why Mario is considered the greatest jumper of all time.

DestinyMan

#62

DestinyMan said:

I cracked up at the part where he gets to the "neverending" staircase. Mario is so talented with the back of his feet!

Golgo

#64

Golgo said:

So they completed the game by breaking it and cheating? Terrific achievement, guys!

Greenalink

#65

Greenalink said:

Just glitching Golgo, cheating is when you use an AR or Gameshark which the run never uses ;)

1upSuper, your comments are great.


Useful links for those not familar to TASes.

How Mario 64 TASes (like the video on here) are made
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdDA6dnhUiQ&feature=related

TASVideos - When human skills are just not enough! (Official promo vid to the site)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBSE2QkHMeU&feature=related

DS Brain Age Stupid Math TAS by Ryuto
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p_UtfOmp9E

  • The S in TAS can also mean "Tool Assisted Superplay" where the run puts more focus on entertainment rather than just pure speed.
Machu

#67

Machu said:

Nope, don't like emulation, or haxors.

Oooh, well done for cheating, yaaaaaaaaay. :|

Chris720

#68

Chris720 said:

Why does it look like Mario is butt humping that wall and pole? :|
Wall: 2:10
Pole: 2:19

LuWiiGi

#69

LuWiiGi said:

Sorry, speedrunners, but that was a complete waste of time. Good job, but why?

KiroX777

#70

KiroX777 said:

this is madd old. i remember watching these in jr high. but its so fun to do that long jump backwards into some sort of crack. then u keep jumping to find a crack inside the graphics then it sh00ts you to the other side with madd speed! i wish i could control it like how they do in the video tho XD

Stine

#71

Stine said:

This is pure craziness! I WOULD wonder why Mario isn't out of breath after all those yahoos and hoos, but then again... if he doesn't have trouble doing all that insane jumping and running, I guess he can scream and yell all he wants.

mario300

#77

mario300 said:

amazing game iv playd super mario 64 when i was 3 or 4 now im 8 i play super mario 64 ds

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