As speedrunning becomes a more significant fixture in gaming communities across the globe, superstars are being born. Some talented speedrunners' streams regularly attract thousands of viewers nightly as they attempt to surpass world records - often ones they have set themselves - and interact with their Twitch or YouTube chat in between attempts. It's hard to explain just how immensely dedicated these communities are to the games they choose to run, but Mario 64 is a good example of how popular the practice of speedrunning has become. The 120 Stars run, which sees players tasked with collecting every star in Mario 64, often attracts millions of views on popular attempts and has the most documented completed speedruns of any game.
Now, the Mario 64 speedrunning community has witnessed the birth of a superstar. Allan "Cheese05" Alvarez achieved a 120 Stars run time of 1:39:57, a world record that has finally shattered the mythical sub-1:40:00 marker that all 120 Star speedrunners aimed for. For those interested in watching Alvarez make history, the video is right here:
Perhaps the most impressive element of Alvarez's success is just how determined he was in achieving it. Alvarez has had several runs on target for a sub-1:40:00 mark only to be met with horrific bouts of RNG or a crucial misstep with only minutes remaining. While games like Breath of the Wild have speedruns that are very forgiving of one or two mistakes due to their length, the tight window of time in Mario 64 means even one unplanned movement could cascade into a series of errors that swiftly end any hope of world record times.
Alvarez finally breaking the record on video is also a wonderful reminder of how much these speedruns mean to the runners who dedicate their time to perfecting a game. Alvarez is visibly shaking after he sets the world record, retreating from his room briefly before bringing in family to share in the moment with him. While there will likely be someone who usurps the time eventually - speedrunners are very good at mimicking and honing what someone did right once they've set a record - Alvarez will always be the one who did it first, something he'll no doubt treasure for the rest of his life.
With speedrunning so popular lately and a new game on the horizon, perhaps it would be worth Nintendo's time to reach out to Alvarez about attempting a Super Mario Odyssey run sometime after the game's launch. As fans of speedrunning wonder what's next for Alvarez and Mario 64, it's worth speculating whether or not he'll become a trendsetter for a more recent game in the near future.