Super Mario 64 fans should tip their red caps to one superfan who has broken the game's 0-star speedrun record, which had been held for two years. Since the Nintendo 64 gave us the pioneering 3D platformers back in 1996, Super Mario 64 has become one of the most popular speedrun games of all time and is up there with the likes of the console's The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time.
Taking on the notoriously hard Super Mario 64’s Any% 0-star category, a new player has climbed to the top of Princess Peach's castle to kick Bowser and the other speedrunners off their perches. Speedrunning Super Mario 64 is tough enough, but completing the game without collecting a single one of the 120 stars or meeting up with Yoshi requires some clever usage of the title's many glitches that have been exploited over the years.
According to Speedrun.com, the previous record of 6:44:23 has just been beaten by player Drozdowsky with 6:41:76. Drozdowsky, knocks Japanese player Akira off the top spot after two years sitting at No.1. Drozdowsky followed in the footsteps of most speedrunners and used the slightly faster Japanese version of the game to do his final run. Three seconds might seem like a tiny amount of time to anyone that isn't a speedrunner, but as avid gamers know, even a fraction of a second can make all the difference.
As the video shows, it is so easy to mess up a speedrun and Drozdowsky nearly did when he "bonked" a wall just before the final Bowser battle. He has been sharing his Super Mario 64 speedrun progress for the past five months and the previous attempts have all been collected on his Twitch channel if fans want to see more. As you can hear from Drozdowsky's voice - “Dude, I’m so happy, I’m so happy, dude" - at the end of the video, it has been a labor of love. The problem is that players like Akira and Drozdowsky are literally pushing the game to its upper limits as Super Mario 64 heads toward a time that will be impossible to beat.
Speedrunning Super Mario 64 has been around since the game first hit the N64 some 22 years ago, but most need to gather at least some stars to get through the various benchmark gates. As Drozdowsky's run shows, there are some seriously complicated moves at play to bypass the game's mechanics. For those remembering back to 1996 and the hours they plowed into Super Mario 64 just to get to that final battle, Drozdowsky's record-breaking run offers more than just a nostalgia factor. The question is, how much longer before someone else attempts to scale the tower and get a slice of Princess Peach's cake is a quicker time?