Not many video game series can handle the transition from 2D to 3D as spectacularly as Mario did. When Super Mario 64 came out in the late 90s, Mario fans weren’t the only ones to be fascinated. The title is considered one of the best video games ever created, not just as far as Mario games go. Super Mario 64 not only helped define 3D video games for a generation but continues to attract gamers. By today’s standards, the graphics are not particularly impressive, but for the time, they were something special. The limits of the N64’s hardware were well and truly pushed, as Mario makes his way through a wonderful collection of immersive levels. Being able to swim through the depths and fly through the skies in full 3D was such a memorable experience.
The abundance of glitches makes the game even more intriguing, as they’re not easily encountered during casual gameplay. However, they do make for some incredible challenges. Come with us as explore one of the most amazing Super Mario 64 speedruns, submitted by the player known simply as Cheese.
What Makes Speedruns So Exciting?
Speedruns are usually done by using the game’s mechanics to your advantage, as well as exploiting any quirky glitches to obtain record-breakingly short finish times. These are challenges invented and undertaken by the most skilled gamers, who have dedicated months or even years to perfecting the art. There are many kinds of speedruns, ranging from any% (where any amount of completion is permitted) to 100% (everything must be completed and collected), glitchless (where glitches are forbidden), and many variations in between. Speedrunning isn’t only for the player, as there are lively communities of viewers who love to watch and interact with their favorite runners as they go. As such, speedruns can be rewarding for everyone involved.
History of Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64 was definitely a departure from the typical Mario adventure, but this risk from Nintendo paid off handsomely. As one of the best games to be created, Super Mario 64 picked up steam with the popularity of speedrunning. The momentum shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Every 3D title that would be released since has been heavily inspired by this title, and with good reason.
Who Is Cheese?
Cheese has been speedrunning since 2014. Other titles he practices are Celeste, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Super Mario Odyssey. He’s held many records for Super Mario 64 over the years, and the world record several times. Since he lives in Spain, Cheese actually ends to stream his speedrunning attempts in the late hours, often after midnight. These are the peak hours for viewers in the U.S. Aside from speedrunning, Cheese is an avid volleyball player, owns a hair salon, and has his own podcast. You can check out more info about Cheese on his Twitch profile.
Cheese’s Super Mario 64 Speedrun: The Details
It’s time to look a bit closer at this particular speedrun from Cheese. First, here are the highlights.
Super Mario 64 Speedrun Highlights
- Cheese achieved the world record, which stood for just over a year
- He beat the previous record by a mere 4 seconds
- He made a significant number of mistakes but still completed a record-beating run
- The first 2 star grabs in Hazy Maze Cave were completely optimal
- He didn’t use the backward run glitch.
All things considered, this is a spectacular run by Cheese, who has been practicing this game for years and years. Getting all 120 stars and fully completing the game is no small task, even for the casual gamer. Plus, since Super Mario 64 is such a popular speedrunning game, competition is always extremely close. The record has since been beaten, but by only 2 seconds, which was then beaten by 13 seconds. All in all, it’s an extremely tight race for 1st place, and it seems like 1 hour and 37 minutes must be very close to what is humanly achievable.
There are almost too many clean movements in this run to count, but a particular highlight is the sequence where Cheese obtains the 2 stars in the Hazy Maze Cave level. The execution here is basically perfect, and no one else has managed to do this as quickly.
While there are a good handful of mistakes made here, they mainly show the potential that Cheese has to finish with an even more ridiculous score. It should be said that he’s a master of alternate strategies, since every time he missed a wall jump, a red coin, or fired the cannon in the wrong direction, he shifted gears and still made good time. Thinking on your feet and keeping your nerves in those situations is no easy thing to do.
As far as glitches go, there’s a lot of wall clipping to be seen. This is crucial for shaving seconds off your finish time. It’s notable that Cheese neglected to use the backward jump glitch, which allows Mario to run backward at insane speeds. Most speedrunners do use this glitch, but Cheese opted for a simple forward jump run through most of the game. Although he currently stands in 3rd place, he’ll likely be able to do even better in the future.
We’ll have to see if Cheese manages to claw back the top spot for the 120-star speedrun. However, he definitely shows a lot of promise and he is consistently improving. If he can manage to keep his cool and virtually eliminate the small mistakes he made, he stands a good chance at claiming victory once again.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©iStock.com/luza studios.