News Article

Can You Complete Super Mario Bros. In Under Five Minutes?

Posted by James Newton

Mamma mia

Over 25 years on from release, people are still playing Super Mario Bros. on NES. Andrew Gardikis has probably played it more than most, as he's just set a new world record for fastest completion of the NES classic.

Clocking in at 4:58.72, the time beats the previous record by ten seconds.

Last year, Gardikis attempted to break the five minute barrier in front of Shigeru Miyamoto, but was unable to finish the game.

You can see Gardikis's record-breaking speed run in the video below. Viewer discretion advised: it'll make you feel really inadequate about your Super Mario Bros. skills.

Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTube


From the web

Game Screenshots

User Comments (67)



Corbs said:

I've done it in 7, but I'd have to work on it to get it down to under 5 minutes. Yikes.



Nanoline said:

@KeeperBvK: Nope, no TAS. AndrewG also did this run at Awesome Games Done Quick 2012, a charity speedrun marathon that was streamed in early January by Speed Demos Archive that raised $150,000 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation over five days. He also did a Blindfolded run of the game, and actually made it all the way to world 4-1 before Game-Overing (albeit with warp-pipes).

If you'd like to see that run, or any of the others from the marathon, all of them were recorded and can be downloaded here:

From the main website, you can also view past marathon videos (they've had five thus far counting AGDQ2012), and also the main Speedrun listings which has the rest of AndyG's runs (he also holds the records on Super Mario Bros 2, Excitebike, Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels, Marble Madness, and a few other games), as well as excellent runs by many other speedrunners.



Deviant_Mugen said:

The guy's got mad skills. Some points look like they either can't happen or he just went so fast that the game hiccuped and let them (like Mario double jumping in the castle). Great video, though...



Hejiru said:

Wow, he jumps on the pipes while Pirahna Plants are in them. That takes balls.



NX01Trekkie1992 said:

I'm still trying to figure out how he didn't cheat... I saw at least three things that he was close enough to for it to kill him, but impressive nonetheless




This kind of thing makes me feel depressed. I can't imagine spending $30 on a game that took me 5 minutes to beat. Or rent a game and beat it in 5 minutes. I'd be so bored after that 5 minutes of gameplay.



Shugo said:

He raises a vine...
Runs past it...
Goes down a pipe...
...and then ends up at the top of the vine!? WHAT.

I always have to wonder how people figure glitches like that out. Like 'Minus World'...who the heck thought to stand there and jump backwards into that block one day? And how did everyone else find out?



New_3DaSh_XL said:

i usually cheat and do the world -1 glitch to get to world 5 fast but now... yikes. thats fast. i love mario thats really fast..... just cant stop thinking about it! oh and congrats to the person that did that, thats a true world record. too bad Miyamoto couldnt see it in real life being done.



New_3DaSh_XL said:

yes how the HECK did anyone find out -1? i could try for the 25 years its been out and 24/7 but i never would have found it. and he didnt cheat. there was no glitches involved. and who figured out some of the other glitches in other games? Maka Wuhu was inevitable, but still...



chewytapeworm said:

Brilliant. Bet that final jump over Bowser barely grazing his hammers would've had his heart in his mouth. Well played good sir!



joevox316 said:

My older brother can beat it in about five minutes. Don't know about under five minutes though.



Azaris said:

arround the 125 mark you can see he gets biten by a pirnanha plant and doesn't die and this happens a couple more times nice try but he clearly cheated



Capt_N said:

@WingedFish: #28 Yes, this is impressive. Most impressive, as Vader/Anakin would say.

@HyperBMan: #27 SMB has glitchy contact physics. Jumping over piranha plants like that is possible in-game, w/ no cheating. The glitchy contact physics help make the game (really good) speedrun material.

@3Dangerous3Dash: #23 The precedent to Nintendo Power was a newsletter called "The Nintendo Fun Club". The minus world glitch was documented in it. As for it's origins, I imagine someone who reached the L-pipe of 1-2 attempted running, &/or jumping, &/or backwards jumping to reach the top of the screen, to continue right.

There are multiple ver.s of the minus world in the Japanese ver. of the game. This was also documented in the same fun club newsletter. Btw, I don't know the full extent of it, but basically, the minus world works out like this: When the player runs across the top screen of 1-2, the game activates the "welcome to warp zone" on-screen text. When this happens, the game/program pointers for where the pipes lead to changes. By bypassing this, the player(Mario/Luigi) can access the default location for where the pipes' pointers were originally set to. In the game code/program, a blank space is actually 36. So, the "minus world" is actually world/level 36-1. This is further proven by the fact that not only does the hud show a " -1", but also the restart-after-game-over code functions as it should, if you should get a game over un the minus world.

@kyuubikid213: #7 Anyone can w/ practice. Don't doubt yourself.

@Shugo: #21 There are some glitches in the game that do this.

Again, SMB has glitchy contact physics, & also some random glitches like what Shugo pointed out.

This isn't hacked, to me. This is just a very practiced, & well-timed speed-run. This guy deserves props!



AltDotNerd said:

I don't know, the run in world 8-4 had some questionable moments. Like jumoing on an invisible block and going down a pipe that HAD A PIRANHA PLANT COMING OUT OF IT. I don't think this is on the up and up.



LordTendoboy said:

According to Andrew's Youtube comments, some enemies have a very small hitbox in relation to their sprite, which is why he can pass through them.



NESguy94 said:

Curse you Level 8-3! I spent so many hours on it trying to get past the Hammer Bros. only to succeed a quarter of the time.



aaronsullivan said:

Fun to read the young kids calling foul on stuff that has been practiced and documented by people for 20 years. Being old is fun sometimes.



theblackdragon said:

@Mikau94: the best way to get past the hammer bros. in 8-3 is to just run, run, run. you'll be surprised how much easier the game is if you just run through it :3



JustAnotherUser said:

I still think it's kind of fake because of the questionable moments in it.
But after reading this:
"Q4: You went through the firebar in level 8-4 and did not die, why?
A4: Same as piranha plants. it just works. Poor hitbox detection.

Q5: The first pipe in 8-4 you ran into the piranha plant and did not die, why?
A5: The piranha plant for some reason disappears as you approach it. Try to kill yourself on that piranha plant in the original game, you cant. It just disappears. I know it sounds like some sort of trick or something, but really the game is just crazy."



shinesprite said:

Really great, I never even saved the princess. If I recall I beat 8-3 (on SMB Deluxe for GBC), shook the system with delight, the battery disconnected, and well I'll leave up the rest to you.

Congratulations Andrew!



Chuie said:

yea i can in less then what he did SMB is just to easy now no fun any more



Chuie said:

i beat it in 4:35 something like that i dont remeber but it was like 2 years ago



Burning_Spear said:

I watched it wondering why the heck it didn't work for me when I simply tried to dash through all those levels!



Shirma_Akayaku said:

Quote:(Viewer discretion advised: it'll make you feel really inadequate about your Super Mario Bros. skills.)
why would this make me feel inadequate?
if you ask me i feel that this person should deserve an award
it looked so awesome
also i would have re-worded what @James said.
it should be like:
Viewer discretion advised: it may/might make you feel really inadequate about your Super Mario Bros. skills.



mazz said:

The jump over bowser was incredible. Any one who thinks they can do this faster than this guy is kidding themselves.



Shock_Tart said:

that guys nuts, he was really playing a dangerous game with some of his jumps, world 8 looks like it gave him his biggest problem seeing as he had to slow down for a second or two to hit a few jumps right. this guy is crazy lol



Flowerlark said:

Haha, I couldn't make it past the first world in this game. But then I suck pretty bad at platformers. I own at Wind Waker, though.



FriedSquid said:

That's pretty awesome, but I don't think I want to hear another jumping sound effect ever again.



StarDust4Ever said:

This is a TAS speedrun played back through an Arduino powered NESbot connected to the controller port interface:

The only difference between this run and other TAS runs is he played back the run using real NES hardware and minimized the use of glitches and showoffmanship. If you observe in Castle 8-4 at roughly 4:37, he uses the wall-jump glitch to jump into the pipe. The Wall-Jump glitch is nearly humanly impossible to pull off because you have to time the jump so that Mario's foot hits the wall at an exact pixel height, and you have to hit the jump button on the exact frame that Mario's foot collides with the wall. There are 60 frames per second, which is just beyond the limits of human perception, so it is humanly impossible to perform this glitch with repeated success. Therefore, unless he made a simultaneous video recording of himself playing this exact run with himself, controller, NES, and TV screen visible (with visual proof that no Arduino bot is attached to the controller port), I am calling bluff on this so-called "live" performance.



andrewg said:

^ I am flattered by the above comment as you are knowledgeable, but incorrect.

Before NESbot was made:

I think this is pretty clear I'm not using NESbot in this video (at least, I uploaded this before you said anything, so I'm not trying to fool you or something) It was a video where I was messing around on different games:

Go to: 4:38, 9:16, 12:53 Walljumping in real-time is possible, but difficult. Hence, why this run is so impressive. It's the product of a few years, patience, dedication, and luck.

Still don't believe me?



andrewg said:

One thought about what you said though.

Since I am legitimate, even if you may not believe that I am, I am curious about the limits of human perception (visually/bodily). It has come to a point where, I'm not timing the walljump, I just KNOW when to press it. That is to say, my muscles know.

I think I have an extraordinary gift in muscle memory.



Shock_Tart said:

well andrew g seeing as your on here. i have a question to ask you then. i was running through mario and i used ur vid as a refference for shortcuts. in world 4-2 you hit the box that makes the vine grow and run past it and go into the third pipe. origonally i thought the third pipe was the shortcut to world 8 and shortly after i found out it was not. it was the vine. honestly that is the only thing that makes me question the legitimacy of this video. you have to go up the vine to get to world 8 and you completely skipped past it and yet still ended up at the warp point. my question is how you managed to pull that off.



andrewg said:

@Shock_Tart sorry for the late reply, I just saw this.

The purpose of hitting the box with the vine is to force enough sprites on screen so that when I go down the 4-2 pipe, there isn't a pirahna coming out.

To make the 4-2 glitch work, I'm doing several backward jumps into objects throughout 4-2 (3 jumps). These jumps move mario's position on the screen forward. The pipe and vine locations are close enough that, upon going down the pipe after these 3 backward jumps, it sends me to the vine location. I'm not 100% sure how it works to be honest... It is very similar to the -1 world glitch though.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...