Super Mario Bros 3 Speedrun by MitchFlowerPower – The Ultimate Mushroom Kingdom Adventure!

games from 2010

Super Mario Bros 3 Speedrun by MitchFlowerPower – The Ultimate Mushroom Kingdom Adventure!

Key Points

  • Super Mario Bros 3 is a highly competitive game in the speedrunning community.
  • MitchFlowerPower is a renowned speedrunner with multiple records in the game.
  • Speedrunning categories have different rules and regulations, including 100%, Low %, Glitchless, and Any % Warpless.
  • P-speed, Clips, and Hammer Bros are crucial elements in Super Mario Bros 3 speedrun strategy.
  • MitchFlowerPower’s strategy involves Early Hammer Manipulation and Damage Boost.

One of the more exciting subcultures of competitive gaming that exists today is speedrunning. Super Mario Bros 3 has to be a contender for one of the best games to do a speedrun on. And one of the undisputed best at this iconic game is MitchFlowerPower. Mitch has held just about every speedrunning record the game can provide at one time or another. The video below showcases his latest record in the Any % Warpless category. Read on to watch a replay of the live stream of his world record Mario Bros 3 speedrun, as well as some great background into the historic achievement.

Super Mario Bros 3 Speedrun Overview

Speedrunners are competitive gamers who play a game (or sometimes just a section of a game), as quickly as humanly possible. Depending upon the game and the type of speedrun the player is attempting, a speedrun can take time. Some speedruns last only a few minutes but others can last several hours. Certain speedrunners commit themselves to specialize in only one game or event, but many diversify and play several games and events. World records change hands frequently which only adds to the fierceness and fun of the competition. Record-breaking runs get a lot of attention on Twitch or other streaming platforms. Fellow gamers gather online to watch and chat live with their favorite speedrunner. 

Super Mario Bros 3 Speedrun Categories

Speedrunning has several categories, meaning one game can become several competitions. Much like the Olympics can have different events within one sport, speedrunning can have different categories within one game. Olympic swimming can have the 100m backstroke, the 200m freestyle, and many other variations. Similarly, speedrunning has different categories with different rules and regulations. And these rules can dramatically change strategies. Some of the most common speedrunning categories are listed below.


The 100% category does not allow players to skip any levels in any way, shape, or form. They must complete every level in the game. For Super Mario Bros 3, a 100% speedrun involves completing all the worlds, airships, and castles, as well as defeating the infamous Hammer Bros. 

Low %

A low % is the exact opposite of 100%. Players are required to complete as little as the game’s programming allows while still completing the end objective of the game. This typically involves exploiting all glitches, warps, and other strategies that allow a player to skip ahead. Playing an extra level isn’t just a bad strategy, it’s against the rules here. 


Games like Mario Bros 3 have been played billions of times and as such many players have learned of glitches in the programming of classic games. Unlike when the game was new, savvy players can now share this information with each other. What once was relegated to schoolyard chatter or the back issues of Game Informer, is now common knowledge amongst games. In the Glitchless category of speedrunning, however, players are not allowed to utilize these programming quirks. They can skip ahead using warps or other devices built into the game, but they cannot use any method to skip ahead that wasn’t intended by the designers.

Any % Warpless

The Any category is typically all about speed and nothing else. Typically players complete the game as fast as possible with little to no restrictions. In this video, Mitch plays a variation on the Any % category by adding a “warp less” qualifier on top of it. Mitch is able to use glitches to move forward in the game, but not the time-saving warp whistles. This adds an extra challenge and makes gameplay last a bit longer. 

 Mario Bros 3 Speedrun History: MitchFlowerPower vs. Kirua

MitchFlowerPower made a name for himself in the world of Super Mario Bros 3 speedrunning back when he and a player Kirua were consistently trading world records on the 100% run. In 2013 Mitch took a year-long hiatus from the 100% run after setting the world record. He instead focused on lowering his times in the Any% and the 100% Warpless. During his absence, Kirua continued to grind on the 100%. Not only did he win the World Record, but he also lowered it an astounding seven times that year. In November of 2013, Mitch won the crown back, but not without considerable effort. Despite the similar results the two players had radically different styles. Most notable was their willingness (or lack thereof in Kirua’s case) to sustain damage when heading through a level. This is always a calculated risk and depends greatly upon the individual speedrunner’s strategy.

Super Mario Bros 3 Speedrun Strategy

NES Classic
Super Mario Bros. 3 (Renewed)
  • Save the Mushroom Kingdom from the Koopa Kids
  • New additions such as the Tanooki Suit, the Frog Suit, and the Hammer Bros Suit
  • New moves allow Mario to skid, slide, double-jump, and slow his descent
  • Even more hidden treasure and power-ups
  • Inventory allows you to store items for later
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/23/2024 04:16 pm GMT

Every Super Mario Bros 3 speedrunner uses a different strategy that is catered to their own style and strengths. Yet some of the features of the game create a commonality between the gameplay. We’ll talk about the tactics every player must master, then focus on the tactics specific to MitchFlowerPower’s strategy. The main things that tend to be the focus of every player’s game tend to be: P-speed, Clips, and the Hammer Bros. 


The ability to build up “P-speed” was a game feature that debuted in Super Mario Bros 3. When Mario runs without being stopped, the player can activate super speed. P-speed is also a critical component of the flight power of the Tanooki suit. However, more importantly, P-speed is an essential part of the strategy of any Super Mario Bros speedrun.  If a play can build it up early, they might just be able to speed through levels or avoid certain time-consuming obstacles.


Clips are a tactic used by gamers to activate glitches. There are several glitches in Mario 3 that give players opportunities to skip ahead. These become critical in a warp-less run like the one Mitch attempts here. The 7-7 clip, for example, allows players to nearly bypass the entire level. The problem is, it is one of the most difficult tasks that can be asked of a player. They must hit the entrance pipe at the exact right angle. If they do, Mario will enter the wall that the pipe is attached to and slide to the other side of the wall.

The exit pipe and clearance box are located there, which means the player doesn’t have to complete the level. Precision is key, though as a player must hit the pipe on the exact right pixel. Speedrunners like Mitch practice making clips like the 7-7 but even with practice, there’s no guarantee they will hit the clip when it matters. Speedrunners can lose valuable seconds by missing clips and having to attempt them again and again. 

Hammer Bros

Those familiar with Mario Bros 3 will recognize that The Hammer Bros are a feature of the overworld maps found within the game. These two can actually slow down times by several seconds by pacing back and forth after every completed level or after every time a player dies. They move only one space and can only stop on an unoccupied tile. This means that anytime they stop at a level entrance or another Hammer Brother, they have to move another time.

A player is allowed to move Mario on the map once the Hammer Bros have completed their movements, but not until then. This creates scenarios where the player will lose valuable speedrun seconds waiting for the Hammer Bros to move. There is always an element of luck associated with a good speedrun and the Hammer Bros are a great example of that. Many flawlessly executed world record-pace runs have been undone by the movements of those pesky Hammer Brothers. The Hammer Bros’ movements are completely controlled by the CPU so there is no way to strategize around them… or, is there?

MitchFlowerPower’s Super Mario Bros 3 Speedrun Strategy

There are some fascinating tactics that Mitch has developed over his years as a Super Mario Bros 3 speedrunning expert. He has explained them to other speedrunners and often employs them when doing a speedrun of his own. One of the strategies that Mitch has become an expert in is known as “Early Hammer Manipulation.”

Early Hammer Manipulation

The whole process is a bit convoluted for the uninitiated. The basic idea involves a speedrunner timing their exit from levels so that they line up with a short walking pattern for the Hammer Bros. This involves downloading a program that counts the individual frames of the game. The frames that pass while a player completes a level dictate the movement of the Hammer Bros once a player exits a level. And if that sounds too complicated for you, strap yourself in because there’s more. 

Not only must a player hit the level-clearance box at the exact right frame, but they must take their score into account. Adding up the individual digits that comprise a player’s score will factor into the Hammer Bros movement. If they add up to a number lower than 29, the early Hammer manipulation will be activated. Any higher than 29, will not. If that all goes over your head, you’re not alone. Mitch and other Super Mario Bros 3 speedrunners have entire videos dedicated to the subject of Early Hammer Manipulation. You can watch one of those videos below:

Damage Boost

In Super Mario Bros 3, taking damage can give the player a temporary speed boost. Mitch used it in the past during his rivalry with Kirua. In World 2 Fort he used to intentionally hit the spikes to give him a boost heading into the boss battle. This may be faster initially but the player can lose time as the game unfolds. The sustained damage in the World 2 Fort means Mitch did not have the advantage of the fire-flower going into the boss fight. It takes a few seconds longer to defeat the Koopa Kids without the advantage of fireballs. This strategy could cost Mitch if the rest of the run doesn’t go his way. 

For example, in this particular Any% Warpless run, Mitch lost time in World 7 because of damage sustained by an enemy. And in a nailbiter moment at the very end, Mitch came within a few mere pixels of sustaining damage. As he came off a jump, a fireball was heading right toward him. It seemed as though he timed it wrong and that he would sustain damage and lose his Hammer Bros suit heading in to face Bowser. Miraculously, he missed the fireball and waltzed into Bowser’s chamber unscathed. More importantly, this stroke of good timing (or good luck) saved valuable seconds that contributed to a world-record run. Congrats on another one, Mitch!

  1. Super Mario Bros. 3 (Renewed)
    • Save the Mushroom Kingdom from the Koopa Kids
    • New additions such as the Tanooki Suit, the Frog Suit, and the Hammer Bros Suit
    • New moves allow Mario to skid, slide, double-jump, and slow his descent
    • Even more hidden treasure and power-ups
    • Inventory allows you to store items for later
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/23/2024 04:16 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Who holds the world record for Mario 3 Any % Warpless?

Currently, Mitchflowerpower’s run in this video is the time to beat and while that could change at any time, it should be noted that these records do have a ceiling. The game can only physically be played so fast.

Do speedrunners play multiple games or specialize in one?

Most gamers play multiple categories on multiple games, but every once in a while a gamer will concentrate on one game or even one category as competition tightens

Are there different kinds of speedrunning?

The number of speedrunning events is limited only by our collective imaginations. Some current popular categories include Low %, Any %, and 100%.

Do consoles matter in speedrunning?

It can make a difference. The video highlights the epic battle for the world record between Mitch and Kirua. It talks about how Mitch used an NES console and Kirua used a platform called Wii Virtual Console. The NES had a slightly higher frame rate (only a fraction of a frame per second) but it made a difference. All those fractions of a frame added up and gave Mitch a 20-second advantage by the end. You can go for the record on a virtual console, just double-check the framerate to see if you’ll be at a disadvantage.

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