With its myriad warp pipes and glitches, piled on top of an awesome physics system (despite its age), the original Super Mario Bros. has been a target for speed runners – people who finish games as fast as possible, adhering to certain rules depending on the type of game. Speed runner “Darbian” set the newest record this weekend, shaving 66 milliseconds off the record set a year and a half ago. His end time was just 4:57.627, meaning he can finish a full run of Super Mario Bros. in the amount of time it takes most of us to make a sandwich and grab a drink.
Darbian’s record was in the Any% category, meaning his goal was simply to get from the opening screen to the ending one as quickly as possible through any non-hack means necessary. Warp pipes and glitches are fair game and Darbian did the run on a proper NES, not an emulator, so this is as real as it gets.
Despite all this, Darbian said he made a few mistakes and explained on Reddit some of his techniques, giving back to the community instead of keeping them to himself. Like a racer running his 10,000th lap on a track, runs like this are about cutting the tiniest of corners off to push the boundaries of what is possible.
The video above is the clean run, but the Twitch stream is available as well, which includes a heart rate monitor, which you can watch climb as he approaches the game’s final stages.