Home

 › 

Articles

 › 

Watch This World Record Mario Bros 3 Speedrun and Be Amazed

game boy platformers

Watch This World Record Mario Bros 3 Speedrun and Be Amazed

Super Mario Bros 3 might have been one of the most anticipated games of its time. After years, the hype around it hasn’t faded. Nostalgia for the game that many consider the best ever in the franchise is holding strong. However, more than that, Nintendo’s Super Mario 3 has been kept relevant by being a staple in the competitive world of speedrunning. There are many ways to speedrun Mario 3, but one of the most difficult is the one known as the 100%. The current record holder is a player called “Mitchflowerpower.” You can see highlights of his world record Mario Bros 3 speedrun, as well as some great background on the historic achievement below.

What is Speedrunning?

Simply put: speedrunning is playing a section of a game, or the game in its entirety, as quickly as possible. It can take a matter of minutes or several hours. There are players who commit themselves to speedrun many games and some players who specialize in only one. World records are won and lost all the time, and many of the record-breaking runs can be viewed on Twitch or other streaming platforms. There are entire communities online dedicated to watching, discussing, and practicing speedrunning.

There are several different categories of speedrunning, like events in the Olympics. There’s not just swimming, there’s the 100m freestyle, the 200m backstroke, and so on. Speedrunning also allows for creating different categories that go beyond the established ones.  A few of the most popular categories of speedrunning that are currently being played are listed below.

Any %

Speed is the name of the game in Any. This is the category where players complete the game as fast as possible and there are little to no restrictions and qualifiers.

Low %

This is where the player must play as little of the game as the programming allows. That means exploiting all glitches, warps, or items that allow a player to skip ahead. If you accidentally play a skippable level, you are automatically eliminated.

100 %

This requires the player to complete every level in the game, skipping none of them. In the case of Super Mario Bros 3, that includes all the worlds, castles, airships, and the treacherous Hammer Bros.

Glitchless

Many games have glitches in the programming that don’t allow players to ski[ ahead. In this category of speedrunning, however, players are not allowed to utilize these glitches. They must complete the game as intended by the designers.

History of Speedrunning

In 1977 a game called “Drag Race” was released by Kee Games. The purpose of it was to complete a drag race as quickly as possible. In 1980 Activision released a similar game called “Dragster” with a promotion that encouraged players to take pictures of their screens if they finished a race in under 6 seconds. These two games were the spiritual forebearers of modern speedrunning. But it was the 1990s when the culture really took off. 

“Doom” and “Quake” had a recording feature that allowed gamers to document their speed runs. Add the internet’s ability to share these videos with other gamers, and a brand new hobby, and eventually a new culture was born. Recording and sharing gameplay doesn’t seem that revolutionary in the age of Twitch, but back in the 90s, it was an absolute game changer.

History and Legacy of Super Mario Bros 3

When you consider the hype brought by television commercials, Happy Meal toys, and oddly being featured as a key plot element in the 1989 film “The Wizard,” it’s surprising to think that Super Mario Bros 3 was developed by a team of only 11 people.  That small team managed to strike the perfect balance between fresh and familiar. After the creative direction of Super Mario Bros 2, the third installment was a return to form. The gameplay was similar to the first Super Mario Bros but the game also included new features. Mario’s moves became much more sophisticated. He still jumped, grabbed coins, and shot fireballs. However, now he could skid, slide, double-jump, and slow his descent.  

Beyond the movements, there were also new and interesting items (a fan-favorite element of the second Mario Bros). An inventory that allowed you to store items for later added a level of strategy to the game absent from the original two. Also, new additions like the Tanooki suit, the frog suit, and the Hammer Bros suit allowed Mario and Luigi to have complex powers beyond jumping or shooting fireballs. Elements like the maps gave players a sense of control over the narrative, and side games like the card-matching added a needed respite from the usually frantic pace of a Mario game (not to mention a bit of fun).

A Nostalgic Look at 1980s Gaming Culture
The Wizard [DVD]
$9.11
  • Two brothers (Fred Savage and Luke Edwards) join forces with a gamer friend (Jenny Lewis) to make it to the video game championships in California
  • Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Features Nintendo classics the Power Glove and Super Mario Bros 3
  • Rated PG
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/06/2024 03:41 am GMT

Mario Bros 3 Speedrun

There are many strategies when it comes to the NES classic and many techniques to master. For pros who have already mastered the techniques, the main things they focus on tend to fall into three major categories: P-speed, Clips, and the Hammer Bros.

P-Speed

One of the features of Super Mario Bros 3 is the ability to build up “P-speed.” If Mario runs without being stopped, he can tap into super speed. P-speed is also the way you build up power to utilize the flight power when Mario has the Tanooki suit. In speedrunning, P-speed is a powerful tool. If a gamer can build it up early, it can allow them to speed through the level and even bypass some obstacles. There are certain levels where it works better than others, but generally speaking, P-speed is a critical tool when strategizing a Mario Bros 3 speedrun.

Clips

Clips are another term for glitches. There are several opportunities to take advantage of clips in Mario 3. One of the most difficult, the 7-7 clip, allows players to almost entirely bypass the level. If you hit the entrance pipe at the exact right angle, then Mario will enter the wall that the pipe is attached to and slide to the other side of the wall where the exit pipe and clearance flag are located. It’s a very difficult move to make because you have to hit the pipe at the exact right spot, down to the singular pixel. Many speedrunners practice making clips like the 7-7 but even with practice, these difficult clips usually take a few attempts.

Hammer Bros

The Hammer Bros are more than just another adversary in a Mario Bros 3 speedrun. These two can actually slow down times by several seconds. In the overworld maps found within the game, the Hammer Bros will pace back and forth after every level that is completed or every time a player dies. They move only one space but they can only stop on an unoccupied tile, so anytime their path leads them to stop at a level entrance, or a fellow Hammer Brother, they have to move yet again.

 A player is not allowed to move Mario on the map until the Hammer Bros have completed their movements. This means there are scenarios where the Hammer Bros will take a long time to move and the player will lose valuable seconds. There is no way to strategize for the Hammer Bros because their movements are completely controlled by the CPU. Basically, there is an element of luck associated with a speedrun. The cold, hard truth is that a flawlessly executed world record-pace run could be undone by the movements of those pesky Hammer Brothers.

NES Classic
Super Mario Bros. 3 (Renewed)
$39.72
  • 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.
02/04/2024 09:25 pm GMT

Mario Bros 3 Speedrun: Conclusion

The interesting thing about a 100% speedrun in Mario 3, is that there is a limit. At some point, the game can’t physically be finished any faster. Mitchflowerpower’s current record of 1:09:38 seems to be about the best humans can do. However, there are speedrunners practicing every day. Is it possible that he will be dethroned in the near future? Just like being on the map with a couple of Hammer Bros, we’re just going to have to wait.

  1. The Wizard [DVD]
    $9.11
    • Two brothers (Fred Savage and Luke Edwards) join forces with a gamer friend (Jenny Lewis) to make it to the video game championships in California
    • Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
    • Features Nintendo classics the Power Glove and Super Mario Bros 3
    • Rated PG
    Buy Now

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

    02/06/2024 03:41 am GMT
  2. Super Mario Bros. 3 (Renewed)
    $39.72
    • 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.

    02/04/2024 09:25 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you speedrun any game?

Sure! Well, any game that has a goal of completion, anyway. However, even those that don’t can be made competitive. Speedrunning goals have been invented by gamers since the sport’s inception. Any goals can be created so long as they are supported by the gameplay.

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.

Who holds the world record for Mario 3 100%?

Currently, Mitchflowerpower’s 1:09:38 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.

To top