Once again, the already hyper-optimized Super Mario Bros. speedrun has been pushed even lower, from the already amazing 4:55.230 down to an even tighter 4:54.948 by Nitfski, in what is likely to be the last second barrier to ever be broken.
To state Super Mario Bros. as one of the most optimized games for speedrunning would not be far off the mark, and as a whole, there are very few places where further time could be saved. For a game that, at its core, can be simplified to holding the right button and pressing space at the correct times, even the smallest amounts of time saved is a big deal.
Nitfski’s new world record run makes use of several glitches that were once thought to be humanly impossible and TAS only, which involves a “flagpole glitch”, where the player can land in a precise position at the end flagpole to skip the animation of the flag falling and save a fraction of a second, or a trick to clip into a block.
While time saves are minor and don’t seem too impressive, every single fraction of a second is a massive deal for speedrunners of the game, and if the run progresses even lower, the question of if there will ever be a new record will turn even more debated.