Super Mario Bros. World Record Beaten With Near-Perfect Run

Super Mario Bros. World Record Beaten With Near-Perfect Run

There’s a new world record for beating Super Mario Bros. quickly — and it may be the fastest possible time that a human can achieve. That’s why Darbian, the man behind the new record, is now hanging up his hat.

Earlier this month we actually profiled Darbian and his quest to get a “perfect” run of Super Mario Bros. As you might recall, speedrunners for this game have optimised their routes so well that getting faster times for Super Mario Bros. was a difficult prospect. It took years to shave off half a second from the world record. But yesterday, Darbian managed to whittle off some more milliseconds from the record time anyway. Watch as he destroys Super Mario Bros. in 4:57.260 below. The old record was also held by Darbian, and that clocked in at 4:57.427.

The record was achieved on an actual console, which was rigged to a stream that displays Darbian’s heart rate as he plays. As you might expect, Darbian’s heart starts racing as it becomes clear that he’s on a record pace. At the end of the run, Darbian’s heart rate reaches a high of 172 beats per minute.

The run is in the “any percentage” category, which allows him to complete the run without having to go through every single portion of the game. The speedrun also makes use of a variety of different strategies, such as the bullet bill glitch, which allows Darbian to skip the castle walk at the end of the level. We go into more detail about other common Super Mario Bros. strategies here.

“I have reached my potential in this category — I’m done!” Darbian wrote on the YouTube description of the world record. “My quest is over.”

For comparison’s sake, here’s the best possible time that a tool-assisted speedrun can achieve, via WebNations. You’ll note that it’s not much faster, and that it does make ample usage of techniques most humans can’t achieve:


  • ONLY place he could shave some time off (possibly 1 – 1.5 seconds max) is world 4-2 where he over jumps a little at times. Only place I could see? Anyone else?

    Unbelievable effort though, absolutely stunning :O

    • 8-3 end before the flag. He killed his momentum right there.

      Also frack me that Hammer Bros luck!

      • The 8-3 bump is on purpose and is done to ensure he hits the flag on 252 instead of 253. If he were to hit the flag on 253, he would have gotten 3 fireworks. It’s essentially taking a small time loss to prevent a much larger one.

        • Oh right. I recall hearing that during the GDQ runs of Mario Bros they do. Completely slipped my mind. Thanks for the correction

  • Because of the game’s use of frame rules, there is no time to be saved in any level except 8-4. If a runner is going to top this, they will need to be on par going into 8-4 and then shave off a few extra, precious frames.

    At that level, however, just getting to 8-4 on that framerule can take a thousand attempts in itself.

    If interested in any of the game mechanics or some of the speedrun strategies on display here, seek out darbian’s tutorial on YouTube.

    • I disagree, you can clearly see on 4-2 there were a few areas he ever so slightly stumbled on (only ever so slightly) that could have garnered him that .5 to 1 second extra.

      • dude, they’re shaving milliseconds off the record. why would that be an achievement if there were like half a second to spare in the run. just watch the tutorial

      • And I’m saying whether he did or didn’t play levels before 8-4 perfectly is irrelevant. He just needs to play well enough to get the optimal frame rule. If that sentence leaves you scratching your head, just open up darbian’s tutorial on YouTube and jump to the frame rule section. He explains the concept very well.

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