Speedrunner Niftski set a new world record for Super Mario Bros. earlier this week after shaving off a fraction of a second.
This might seem like a small triumph, but for those in the Super Mario Bros. speedrunning community every frame counts. Fans have long theorized what a “perfect” run would look like, using tools to program otherwise difficult inputs. These Tool-Assisted Speedruns (TAS) are typically seen as an inhuman ideal.
What makes Niftski’s latest run so exceptional is that he was basically performing the same as the TAS world record up until he reached 8-4, the final stage. In 8-4 he lost a few frames compared to the TAS but still performed as expected of a human speedrunner.
You can check out Niftski’s world record run below.
FIRST RUN TO EVER BE TIED WITH THE TAS GOING INTO 8-4! I truly cannot put into words how much achieving this time means to me, and it still feels unreal that I actually pulled this off. Lightning 4-2 was the final framerule left to be saved in SMB1 Any%, but thanks to the efforts of @KingOfJonnyBoy, this framerule that was once thought to be impossible has now been implemented in runs, and this is the first WR to ever feature this final framerule save! This run marks the start of a new era, there are no more framerules left to be saved, so this is now a battle of the remaining 8-4 frames! Only 22 frames, or 0.366 seconds, separate this run from absolute perfection. As much as I’ve stressed how amazing this run is to me, this is not my end goal, and I will not be stopping here! 4:54.5xx/.4xx will most likely be my next goal for whenever I return to this category, and even after that, I plan to take this category as low as possible. Also, I apologize in advance for my crazy popoff after the run was finished, this was simply pure happiness and euphoria coming out all at once!
For context, Niftski’s world record clocks in at 4:54.631 and theoretical perfection is 4:54.265. A little more than 3/10 of a second and Super Mario Bros. will be forever “solved” by humans.