What just happened? Records are meant to be broken and barriers torn down, but nobody expect this Super Mario Bros speedrunner to set an “impossible” time — not even him. The record will stand as the first time a human, unassisted by a computer completed the game in less than 4:56.
Speed-run records come and go, especially when they start adding decimal places to the time. However, there comes the point where a game just cannot be completed any faster. Super Mario Bros is one of those — or so everybody thought.
Super Mario speed runs are very tightly optimized and are measured to the millisecond. Runners have been shaving these slivers of time off back and forth for a while. Many runners using computer assistance had determined that the absolute limit unassisted was greater than four minutes and 56 seconds.
Monday night a well-known speedrunner who goes by Kosmicd12, broke the 4:55 barrier during his stream and lost his mind. While segmented measurements, which take runners’ best times from each level and combines them shows that times lower than 4:56 are theoretically possible, nobody thought it could be achieved in a single run. Kosmicd12 proved it could.
“I cannot believe it! What? How!? That was my first run ever!”
Unassisted he set a time of 4:55:913. The previous record was 4:56.245. Kosmicd12’s previous best was 4:56.462.
“This isn’t real life, dude,” he said during his stream after realizing what he had done. “One and done. I don’t know what to say.”
He was able to accomplish the feat by executing a highly precise trick that let him clip through an end-of-level pipe and get to the warp quicker saving one frame rule. In Super Mario Bros, the game performs a check every 21 frames to see if the player has completed the level. This period is know as a frame rule.
Even though he said that it was his first run ever during his stream, it was the excitement that made him misspeak. What he meant was, it was his very first time attempting the maneuver and he pulled it off.
Now that it has been done you can expect to see runners trying to duplicate the move to shave off a few more milliseconds, but in the meantime, Kosmicd12 deserves a huge congratulations for being the first to pull off the impossible time.