The World’s Best Ever Mario 64 Speedrun Is Here

Mario 64 Speedrun

The World’s Best Ever Mario 64 Speedrun Is Here

Although there have been many examples recently, Mario was never known for his 3D contributions to the video game scene for most of his lifetime. Even still, the first 3D Mario game Super Mario 64 enthralled audiences worldwide when it hit the shelves in 1996.

For the time, the colorful and captivating 3D graphics and characters captured within were fascinating. Being able to play Mario as he hops, skips, and jumps his way through a beautiful collection of worlds has been ever so memorable for many gamers since.

If there wasn’t enough to love about this classic title, its number of glitches and elements of exploration are virtually endless. This has helped to cement its popularity in the speedrunning world, as well as the whole gaming sphere. Come with us as we delve into possibly one of the most fantastic Super Mario 64 speedruns that ever has or will exist.

What Is a Speedrun and How Does It Work?

If you were wondering what speedrunning means, you won’t have to do so for much longer. Playing through a game normally can be considered a run. So, when a gamer plays through intending to complete it as fast as humanly possible, it’s considered a speedrun.

An excellent understanding of the game is vital, as well as expert levels of patience and fortitude. There are many ways to take on such an undertaking, but one thing’s for sure – every millisecond saved by the player will make the final result that bit more impressive.

What Are the Types of Speedruns?

Super Mario 64 nintendo 64
Numerous developers have cited Super Mario 64 as an influence on 3D platform games.

©Brian P Hartnett Jr/Shutterstock.com

Naturally, there are a lot of ways to define a speedrun, each with its own unique challenges and competitive leaderboards. Technically, a speedrun doesn’t necessarily have to involve completing the entire game, and, for titles where there is no definite endpoint, they can involve completing some objective set by the player instead.

Luckily, Super Mario 64 speedruns can be completed fully, or set at a specific number of stars to obtain. However, there are some very common kinds of speedruns, as well as some technical terms that most speedrunners are familiar with. The most popular are summarized in the table below.

Any%Using any method and any amount of completion while playing
Low%Obtaining as few optional upgrades, sidequests, etc. as possible
100.00%Obtaining everything optional within the game
GlitchlessNot exploiting any glitches
DeathlessCompleting the run without dying
BlindfoldedAn extremely difficult speedrun where the player is blindfolded
RTAReal-Time Attack, using an external timer in “real-time” rather than in-game time
IGTIn Game Time, using the in-game timer to measure your time
TAS/ non-TASTool-assisted or non-tool-assisted, such as using an emulator for savestates or slowing down/speeding up gameplay

Which Kind of Speedrun Is the Hardest?

The answer to this question really depends on the game in question. It may seem like the any% type of run might be the easiest, but this still requires a deep understanding of the game and its glitches to pull off successfully.

Naturally, being able to use a tool like an emulator to repeat sections of the game at your whim makes things a whole lot more manageable. A low% run would turn out to be the most difficult a lot of the time since many optional upgrades and quests give boosts that make your playthrough a lot easier.

A glitchless game could be easier or harder than this, depending on the number of glitches and how much time they shave off the gameplay. The most difficult is usually the blindfolded run, since the player can only rely on their memorization of the mechanics and not their eyesight.

None of them are to be taken lightly, however, since — with or without glitches — you’ll be competing with some hardcore gamers who know the game probably better than the back of their hand. If you want to attempt a Super Mario 64 speedrun, you’ll need to know the game inside-out.

The History of Speedruns

A little history on the development of speedruns won’t hurt at this stage. They’ve been around almost as long as video games themselves, since players have always been looking for ways to challenge themselves in new ways.

Some titles have been designed specifically with speed in mind, such as the original Drag Race title. It didn’t take long for the speedrunning community to develop, either, since competition naturally follows from testing your mettle.

Recording your runs is a crucial aspect for competitive purposes, since verification is essential for proving your skills. These days, the ubiquitous nature of video recording and streaming has helped make speedrunning more mainstream and accessible, especially for younger audiences.

The Super Mario 64 Speedrun: A Closer Look

Without further ado, let’s sink our teeth into this Super Mario 64 run completed by Suigi, and see what makes it so special.

Super Mario 64 Speedrun Highlights

  • Holds the current world record for a 16-star speedrun
  • Suigi also holds the world record for 0-star and 1-star speedruns 
  • Uses many glitches, such as the backward jump, clipping walls, and passing through gates
  • Beats the previous record by 15 seconds
  • As far as speedrunners go, the player is relatively young and wasn’t actually born when the game was released.

As mentioned before, this speedrun is an amazing achievement, not only because the player had no prior experience of the game from when it was released. Naturally, a lot of glitches are involved here, which we’ll delve into below.

The Backward Jump

Strangely, the developers didn’t implement a maximum speed Mario can reach when traveling backward. Therefore, with some smart maneuvers, Mario can reach incredible speeds after a backward jump.

Clipping Walls

Similarly, by timing some awkward jump moves and occasionally using a ground pound, Mario can access areas that are supposed to be reached by longer means.

Skipping Cutscenes

By hugging the walls and avoiding specific NPCs such as Lakitu, valuable seconds can be taken off your final time. All in all, surpassing the previous record by 15 seconds is a huge feat. Holding multiple world records for one of the most recognized speedrunning titles ever is essentially unheard of.

While this is not a complete run, a 16-star run is a very common challenge for the game. There really isn’t much to suggest here that could’ve been done better, since there are virtually no detectable mistakes occurring during the run.

This is a fantastic job by an extremely promising player. We will see if he manages to take the record for other Super Mario 64 runs, such as the full 120-star run.

The History of Super Mario 64

For the iconic Super Mario series, 64 was very different from previous titles. This was because it was the first 3D rendition of the Mario world. A lot of the time, video game series don’t fare well when taking such a departure from their roots. But, this time, the risk paid off.

The game isn’t only considered one of the best N64 titles. The title is considered one of the best in the Mario series and one of the best games of all time. This is especially true concerning speedrunning capabilities.

Even the soundtrack gets frequent positive mentions. All 3D titles that would come next, including Super Mario Sunshine, Galaxy, and Odyssey, would build upon the excellent foundations laid by Super Mario 64. It’s fair to say that Mario’s legendary status owes a lot to this stellar title.

Super Mario 64 Speedrun: Wrapping Up

In the world of Super Mario 64 speedrunning, this run is one of the best that will ever be executed. It’s almost perfect, as there are basically no mistakes present, and the new world record is an amazing 15 seconds quicker.

While the run was not completed blindfolded, the achievement is still incredible. Having conquered an impressive 3 world records for the game, we’ll see if Suigi can take home the rest for this ever-popular game.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are speedruns?

A speedrun is completing a game in the shortest time possible, which can be done utilizing tricks such as glitches and emulator savestates or a lack thereof, and with varying amounts of completions. They’re often competitive, and online communities have been built around casual fun as well as experts battling it out for world records.

What was the first speedrun?

The first speedrun was arguably done for the game Marathon in the 1990s, but a more well-known example would be for Doom. This was one of the first games to introduce an in-game timer, so it was relatively simple for gamers to record their times.

What are the best speedruns to get started with?

Any title you love to play and are familiar with is a great choice, since oftentimes you’ll develop some degree of frustration due to the sheer number of hours of practice you must put in. Generally, classic and shorter titles, such as those on the NES, are good for beginners to try their hand at.

Who holds the world record for Super Mario 64?

Concerning 0-star, 1-star, and 16-star speedruns, Suigi holds the world record. Time will tell if he manages to triumph on the 120-star speedrun as well.

How do players complete a Super Mario 64 speedrun?

Using glitches and tricks such as wall jumps, wall kicks, and backward jumps is essential if you’re going for the fastest possible time. These allow Mario to skip sections of the game as well as increase his movement speed to ridiculous levels. Tools are usually not used, as most players prefer to execute their runs on original and unmodified N64 cartridges.

Why would you do a tool-assisted run?

These types of runs allow you to execute perfect timing, as well as slowdown or speedup gameplay, and return to previous savestates indefinitely. While these are a great advantage, the intensely competitive nature is still there since you’ll be expected to complete your run in even less time than normally possible.

How long is the average Super Mario 64 speedrun?

Runs can take anywhere from minutes to over 5 hours, depending on your expertise and what type of completion you’re going for. All in all, the game is appreciably long, so completing it in a matter of hours is a great feat no matter the final score.

How many copies has Super Mario 64 sold?

Super Mario 64 has sold over 11 million units worldwide.

What types of speedruns are there?

The most attempted types include the any%, 100%, low%, and glitchless runs, although any of the former can be run with glitches or glitchless. Emulators can also be used, which are known as TAS (tool-assisted) speedruns.

Players are always inventing new ways to conduct speedruns, particularly if there is no defined completion point for the game. For these titles, goals such as reaching certain points or obtaining certain items can be considered for a speedrun.

Is any game suitable for speedruns?

Most games can be speedrun, although games on timers or without endpoints are a bit more difficult. Goals can be set to be reached within a time limit, so in this way, most titles can be attempted.

Where can I learn more about speedruns?

The Speedrun website is a great resource, as are most content-sharing platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, and even TikTok. Many players are happy to help and provide tips for getting you started.

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