How is this speedrun possible? Super Mario Bros. World Record Explained


[Music] yes oh my gosh Oh cow Super Mario Brothers was just beating in four minutes and fifty six point four six two seconds by cosmic you might have watched to run for another Super Mario Brothers speedrun before and wondered how is that speedrun possible how did he do that why did he slow down how did he not die apparently have all your questions answered this is the speedrun breakdown on Super Mario Brothers first you might be wondering why he wastes this long on the title screen this is deliberate but we will see why later how’s it going beast room so what happened here cosmic performs a trick called to flag bow glitch it involves multiple incredibly precise pixel perfect and frame perfect button presses to clip into the base of the flagpole as you can see the flagpole glitch allows you to skip the animation of the flag going down enabling Mario to walk to the castle earlier than he normally would how much time does it save well to answer that we need to talk about frame rules to better understand what a frame rule is we’re gonna use an analogy by former world record holder darbian imagine that at the end of each level there’s a bus that takes you to the next level the buses run on a very strict schedule there is one bus that leaves every 21 frames this game runs at just about 60 frames per second so 21 framed is equal to just about 0.35 seconds if you reach the end of the level just in time to catch the bus you’ll be sent to the next level without having to wait however if you get to the end just a little too late and you miss the bus you’ll have to wait until the next bus leaves 21 frames later this means that in Super Mario Brothers you can only gain or lose time in increments of 0.35 seconds note that there are two exceptions to this but talk about them later this increment of 21 frames is what we call the frame rule back to how much time this saves we know that you can only save time in increments of 21 frames by playing to level perfectly but without like bullets you were normally finished with 9 frames to spare this means you would wait 9 frames for the bus to take you to the next level and you will be 12 frames too late the katstra previous bus but black pole it saves exactly 15 frames which means you can catch the previous bus so even though the trick saves only 15 frames because the frame rules it actually makes you save 21 frames or 0.35 seconds however this means that cosmic has to play the entire level within 3 frames of perfection this is much easier said than done since the underground section is very hard to do perfectly [Music] [Music] wait how do you not die this one is pretty simple by running at full speed you have 5 frames to jump after getting past this block but before running into the koopa by doing very quick a taps mario will do these short jumps and squeeze past the enemies without having to slow down how did he manage to jump on the pipe well this is another precise jump if you land on the lip of the pipe you can actually just manage to jump again before you hit the Piranha fight cue the SVG everytime you come and get world record right hang on he jumped right through that piranha plant visually yeah he totally did however according to the game he didn’t Super Mario Brothers and nearly all videogames in fact use a concept called hitboxes a hitbox is what the game defines as an object’s collision area in the game world two objects collide if their hitbox is overlap despite the appearances this is what the hitboxes actually look like as you can see Mario’s head box and the plants hitbox never overlap here cosmic actually jumps on the back lip of the pipe so he can collect these coins he’s just showing off and it’s much easier to simply clear the whole pipe with your jump if you have access to the game somehow go ahead and try it yourself you will see that these jumps are much easier than they look every time you come I get world record right here cosmic performs another flag bullets note that this trick requires multiple frame perfect inputs it’s so hard that the best players in the world are only about 40% consistent at it so pulling it off twice in the same run is rare even for the world record holder in fact you can see that this attempt was his 182 tenth of the session it was only the 17th that reached for two thanks for 15 months ok that was a lot to process first how did that pipe think Mario did the warp zone instead of this coin cache the reason is simple the save memory the game uses only one variable to tell where Mario is going to end up when using a pipe or a dime as you go through the level his variable changes to match the correct bonus rooms to the correct pipes the value changes from the warp zone to the coin room right here however instead of using Mario’s position to change this variable the game uses the screens position if Mario is somehow ends up further to the right on the screen than he normally is he can take this pipe and end up in this warp zone this is what we call a wrong work the reason this saves time is because it allows you to skip this long animation of the vine coming up that you would normally get so this leaves the question how did mario end up this far right on the screen this is where the wall clip comes into play how did cosmic managed to get through this wall let’s look at how Mario moves when running at full speed Mario moves by either 2 or 3 pixels in one frame this means that if Mario jumps into a wall it’s possible that he ends up right next to the wall on one frame and 3 pixels inside the wall on the next frame to counteract this the game simply pushes Mario back out of the wall however the way the game does this has a flaw you see Mario doesn’t get pushed towards the edge of the wall but rather opposite the direction you’re currently holding in their controller so if you’re holding left the game we’ll move you to the right pulling you inside the wall on top of that while the game is moving Mario to the right it’s not moving the strain to the right this makes Mario end up further on the screening than the game normally allows him to be which is what cosmic needs to pull off the run wire however it’s not that easy balls are made up of individual blocks so even within a wall you can stand and vlog if you’re standing in a block while partially inside of a wall the game doesn’t care which direction you’re holding it will push you out no matter what this is why cosmic jumps a couple times once you’re far enough into the wall that Mario is completely inside with no parts of his sprite sticking out then the game doesn’t really know which ways the closest to push him out of the wall so it defaults to moving you to the right and you can start running inside of the wall note that your position needs to be just right for this trick to work luckily the way this specific wall is placed happens to be in the perfect position for this wall clip to be possible just by holding right from the start of the level after getting the clip there’s still many ways this can go wrong if cosmic starts running too early Mario won’t be far enough on the screen and the run work will fail if he runs too late the trick will work but he’ll be too slow to catch his bus and he will lose one frame rule if he doesn’t come to a complete stop on the pipe before he goes down the screen will keep scrolling as he’s going down and the wrong warp will fail if he stops too early he won’t be able to go down the pipe if he stops too late the screen will scroll too far and the trick will fail if he misses the vine block this happens in fact hitting divine block has no influence on the run work working or not it needs to be hit because divine coming out of the block adds one more object on the screen which forces the game to choose not to spawn the Piranha Plants in the pipe you need to take in order to avoid going over it’s sprite limit and cause a lot of lag [Music] okay probably fast enough here cosmic hits the wall instead of turning around the wall stops Mario’s momentum instantly which allows him to turn around much faster making up for the little extra distance because the ceiling is lower and longer here than it is in 1-2 turning around like this is harder yet not any faster than hitting the back wall finally the way cosmic did 4-2 was fast enough to save 1 frame roll over the previous world record in that level this means that at that point in the run he was 21 frames ahead of the world record he was trying to beat engages let’s go here cosmic jumps on the Koopas this makes the first scoop I stay on the screen a little longer and just like the vine block from earlier makes the game not spawn and third Goomba this allows him to clear this wall easily let’s go so why did cosmic hit the top of the flagpole this time first let me go back to frame rooms 8-1 is a special level it’s bus schedule happens to be so tight that if you played absolutely perfectly without slowing down a single moment you will get to the end of the level just barely fast enough to catch your bus that means one frame slower and you lose 21 frames and you could be 20 frames faster and not gain any additional time like we saw earlier black booklets only saves 15 frames since you would need 21 frames to save any time black Bo glitch is simply not enough this is why it’s not done here the reason cosmic hits the top of the flagpole and not the bottom is that it’s actually faster to do that when you do not do flagpole glitch no matter where you hit the flagpole you’ll have to wait for the flag to come down which should always take the same amount of time however Mario accelerates faster in a direction opposite of what she’s facing when he jumps off to fight bolt he’s moving to the right but facing to the left because hitting the top of the flagpole makes Mario higher up on the pole he faced his left for longer and so he reaches a castle earlier in saves time another thing you may have noticed is that cosmic hit the star block here this is actually important because doing that changes the value in the planet called the sub base hole position in Super Mario Brothers the exact position of objects is 256 times more precise than pixels when mario reaches if I pull the higher sub pixel position will make the flag reach the bottom exactly one frame faster than the low sub pixel position this means that if you played a level absolutely perfectly but you don’t hit the star block you will lose 0.35 seconds from seemingly nowhere the actual details of the trick are pretty technical but in short the star that comes out of the block shares its sub pixel value with the flag and hitting the star block makes the flag sub pixel positions just right to save this extra frame the star block also explains why cosmic hits the buzzy beetle of the started level and says C digits depending on the exact frame you entered the pipe in the 4-2 warp zone you may or may not need to be extra precise in how you hit the star block this is what’s referred to as judges as if there were judges deciding on the fate of your run by jumping on the buzzy needle the way he did and looking at this pixel you can tell whether the judges are in a good or in a bad moment if they are in a good mood you only need to hit the star block and they will be pleased with your run and let you save the frame roll if they are in a bad mood they want to be impressed they want you to hit the block on the first possible pixel if you miss a block or hit it anywhere else you will lose 21 frames at the end of the level cosmic was fortunate enough to get good judges which means he only had to hit the star block without having to worry about trying to hit it on the first possible pixel come on man please yes I got lag frame so what happened here this is known as the Bulova glitch or BBG what happens is similar to the flagpole glitch or Mario Clips inside of the base of a fragment however the use of the Bullet Bill makes things a little different because it bounced from a bullet bill is much slower than a regular jump after touching the flagpole and triggering the end of the level Mario doesn’t reach the top of the block instead he gets pushed out of it Mario then gets placed behind the background and time starts counting right away this happens because of how the regular end of level sequence works the block right next to the front door of the castle is actually a solid block as soon as market reaches that block the game knows he’s in front of the door and so it makes him disappear and starts counting down the timer four points to simplify things it actually puts Mario behind the background layer which hides him behind the castle to simplify things even more the game does this as soon as Mario touches any block not specifically the one at the castle as a result by getting pushed out of the base of the flagpole Mario hits that luck instead and the last part of the end level sequence is triggered early doing this instead of lowering the flag saves 2.5 seconds however because you need to wait for the bullet build you actually only gain to frame rules or 0.7 seconds from performing this trick speaking of which object cosmic no the cannon would fire like that well because of the title screen by waiting exactly this long on a title screen cosmic manipulated the random pattern of the bullet Villa cannon into firing a bullet to the right as early as possible the reason why it goes all the way back to the title screen is because the pattern is based on how much time is elapsed since the game was powered on to complete the manipulation he also had to stomp on these two Koopas to get the right cannon pattern one more thing you might have heard before of the coin toss because the game only handles collisions on even frames each time you stomp an enemy you’ll either stomp on the first frame or the second frame the hitbox is overlapped to get BBG you need the stump to be on the second frame because you need Mario to be as low as possible this means that even if you perform it perfectly bullet bill glitch has a 50% chance of not working because you happen to stomp on the bullet on an even frame fun fact this is why the demo has two different outcomes the first time the demo plays mario stomps on the Goomba on the first possible frame which makes him hit this brick and throws the demo out of sync the second time around mario stomps on the Goomba on the second frame does not hit this brick and the demo plays out differently finally there is one last detail to cover black frame remember when I said there were two exceptions to a 21 frame rule this is the first one if you perform bullet move which there’s a chance that the game lags for one frame the exact reason why is very technical but you can control it by reaching this point of the specific score cosmic did not try to control his score and he got unlucky this means he lost one frame independently of the frame rules so at that point he was 20 frames ahead of the world-record down from 21 previously that splits here the splits show – 0.3 only because the time he’s comparing against is wrong this flip in the next one should have red plus zero point zero because he was exactly one frame behind his personal vest because of the title screen manipulation Kosmic knows exactly what pattern he’s going to get from the hammer brothers as a result this level is the easiest in the run with this strategy it looks like he should have died here he didn’t because he was moving downwards if you collided with a stomp a bull enemy the game will check if Mario is moving downwards if he is he stomps the enemy no matter where they are related to each other as a result you can stomp goombahs Koopas cheep cheeps bullet bills and hammer brothers from underneath as long as you’re moving downwards the moment you touch them cosmic slowdown deliberately if you finish the level without slowing down you get a 243 on the timer and three fireworks go off by slowing down just enough to get a 242 you avoid the fireworks and save time you may know that the previous world record did black with which an 8-3 cosmic deliberately lost 21 frames to the record by not going for that trick here because of lag frame in the previous level this put him behind the world record entering a dashboard by exactly one frame by quote glitch is harder in 8-3 than it is in one that’s one in 4-1 these two levels happen to be lined up just perfectly for a flagpole glitch to be possible a – 3 however is not so great on top of having to slow down to get to 42 on the timer you also need to control Mario’s position to be at the correct value including his sub pixel alley or five bullets should be possible the best known way to do this is to start the level by walking and start holding B of this exact frame because this adds another frame perfect’ input to the trick 8 – 3 is the hardest of the flagpole glitches you can do in the run and cosmic chose to go for a faster 4 – 2 instead to improve his odds of reaching 8 – 4 with a chance to meet the record 8 – 4 is the final level this is the second exception to the 21 frame rule because timing stops when Mario touches the axe at the end every frame counts from this point onwards [Music] that parent a plant disappeared in fact as long as you’re applying to level normally it’s impossible to take that miss from this plan because it will always disappear before you reach it whenever you miss one of the patterns the room gets reset and loops one part of this reset process is making all the enemies currently on screen disappear for some reason the developers put this reset trigger too early in this room so the piranha plant disappears before you even reached a pipe as a result you can safely take this pipe even though there’s a piranha plant in it to start this room off this is a frame perfect jump you have one frame to do it or else you bump into this bite this trick is called a wall jump the pipe is actually made of four blocks by touching the pipe on this exact pixel Mario stand on top of this block for one frame before he’s pushed out by jumping on that frame you perform a wall jump cosmic turns around so he can accelerate faster backwards and enter the pipe faster this means he has to turn around jump hit this pipe pixel perfectly and jump train perfectly this is called a fast acceleration by turning around and immediately jumping and holding right you can accelerate faster and save several frames similarly to the 4-2 wrong warp you can go to the water room by entering this pipe if you let the strain scroll far enough to update the value of the room the pipe will send you to the value changes right here and as you can see from the right edge of the screen Kosmic managed to stop precisely on the perfect pixel how did he stop one pixel short the entire run would have been ruined here Mario comes very close to the fire bars but thanks to forgiving hitboxes he’s actually fine however he touches the ground here and here which cost him a couple of frames come on man yes oh my gosh holy cow right at the end Mario went through the last hammer this is because the game can only assign a limited amount of hit boxes at once Mario has won Oscars fire has won and Bowser himself gets to hit boxes each hammer also gets won by the sixth hammer the game simply can’t give it its own hitbox as a result the last hammer is only for show as it is non solid and can be completely ignored note that while this is true for most of the hammer patterns some hammer patterns actually do have enough hit boxes to make it impossible to go through the exact pattern depends on the frame yellow Bowser on which depends on how you played 8-4 so it’s essentially random cosmic had no idea whether he would get a good or a bad pattern so he had to jump and pray the timer shows 450 6.54 but the actual time of the run was 450 6.46 – there’s a discrepancy because the timer cosmic uses is controlled manually and is mainly to see if he’s ahead or behind the official time is calculated using the Bowser pattern by looking at the pattern of the hammers and knowing how long the start of the run was delayed he can find exactly how long the run was down to the frame this runs hammer pattern is actually the same as a four fifty six point four four five but because one frame was lost to lag in a – to the actual time is 456 point four sixty this run had an A – four that was five frames faster than the previous record and since he entered the level one frame behind he beat the previous world record by four frames so what now is there unbeatable or is this the perfect run well if you’ve been following you know that this run was slower than the previous record in 8-3 because cosmic opted not to go for a hard trick so at least 21 frames can be saved another frame could be saved if flag frame had been avoided this means the run is beatable by at least 22 frames there’s more time to save than that though in 1-2 there is a faster method of reaching the pipe that involves clipping in this binary adding this time-saver to the run could save one more frame rule however at the time this video is being made only two people have ever managed to save this frame roll in a run and enter 4-1 ahead of their world record Andrew G and stuck in a plea finally even though cosmics 8 – forum was the best ever in a full game run it could still be improved the individual level record high between cosmic and Eddy cat gaming is 10 frames faster however it uses many fast accelerations and is executed at a level that you just can’t expect from a full game run assuming someone somehow does though they could get the time down to a four 55.58 you get this time by taking the fastest anyone has ever completed every single level and combining those times together if you want to go even further it has been theorized that the human could potentially complete they dash for in a fine that is five frames faster than the fastest have has currently ever been done if those mythical 5×4 frames were somehow saved that would bring the time down to four fifty five point four nine six as of right now this is where the human limit stands but there is one golden rule of speedrunning the limits are never where we think they are [Music]

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