Speedrunner Kosmic has broken the Super Mario Bros. speedrun record, managing to edge past the previous benchmark by a mere 0.017 seconds – or in other words, a single frame.
Super Mario Bros. may be over three decades old, but the pioneering title still maintains a steady gamer fanbase – some of whom are dedicated speedrunners that aim to finish the game in the quickest time possible. Just a year ago, expert speedrunner Darbian set a new speedrun world record of 4:57.627 for the Nintendo classic, only to lower the benchmark six months later when he re-broke the record by an infinitesimal 0.0007 seconds, before topping out at a time of 4:57.244 and subsequently "retiring". However, it appears that Darbian may want to cut his retirement short because his seemingly untouchable speedrun record has just been broken – again.
Having been second on the Super Mario Bros. speedrun ladder for a number of years now, fellow speedrunner Kosmic finally managed to break Darbian's previous record with a time of 4:57.227 – a microscopic difference of 0.017 seconds. A margin of 0.017 seconds effectively equates to a difference of no more than a single frame, highlighting just how fine the margins are when speedrunning the Nintendo classic. Like Darbian, Kosmic also managed to set the record using an actual Nintendo Entertainment System console and its original controller, which makes both their achievements all the more impressive.
Check out Kosmic's record-setting Super Mario Bros. speedrun right here:
After posting up a video of his run on YouTube, Kosmic also included an FAQ under the video, answering a few questions in relation to some of the tips and tricks he used. One notable handy trick involved running through Bowser's hammers and emerging unscathed, something that Kosmic explained as the game being unable to "handle having all those hammers on screen at once, so some of them don't have hitboxes." At the conclusion of his FAQ, Kosmic concluded by paying tribute to those in the community who paved the way for Super Mario Bros. speedruns, including Darbian and Andrewg1990.
Given the prevailing sense of healthy competition that's present in the community, speedruns in video games are becoming an increasingly popular pastime for gamers, and Super Mario Bros. is far from the only game that is played in this way. Popular games such as The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, The Witcher 3, and Fallout 3 have all had its share of speedruns from exceptionally competitive gamers, and all are incredibly impressive to witness.
With his old record broken and a miniature Nintendo Entertainment System – complete with 30 games pre-installed, including Super Mario Bros. – set to launch next month, perhaps this will be enough motivation for Darbian to step back into the competitive speedrun ring in attempt to beat Kosmic's new benchmark.