Super Mario Bros. Speedrunners Have Now Saved Every Single Frame

Now it’s just a case of utilizing them all in a single run. Easy, right?


super mario bros
via Nintendo

30 years ago, some of you will have been sat at home playing Super Mario Bros, probably thinking that since you were better than all your friends, you were the best Mario player in the world. Fast-forward three decades and sadly, that’s probably not the case. The iconic Nintendo game has one of the most dedicated speedrunning communities in gaming, and over the weekend a member of that community achieved something pretty significant.

LeKukie showcased that the final frame that can be saved by a human player during a Super Mario Bros speedrun has now been achieved, and the evidence is below. The speedrunner did it live on Twitch and as you can tell by their reaction when they manage it, the feat is an incredibly big deal. It means that every single frame that can be saved now has been, and the next step is someone saving every single one in a solitary run.

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Put simply, saving a frame is a trick that can be taken advantage of to complete the game faster. There are obviously a lot of them to exploit, and the key to breaking the world record is to hit as many of them as possible in a single run. Considering how long it has taken for one person to take advantage of this one exploit, there may never be a time when it and all the others are nailed in a single run to reach what has been dubbed by speedrunners as The Human Limit.

The current record is held Niftski and sits at 4:54.881. Niftski actually commented on the Super Mario Bros. Speedrun record approaching its limit as far as back as 2020. At the time, they predicted it would happen at some point in the next two years. The reality is it might never happen, which is kind of cool as it means current and future speedrunners will always be chasing that perfect run.

The reason speedrunners know exactly what time they’re aiming for (it’s 4:54.26, by the way) is thanks to tool-assisted speedruns. A TAS of Super Mario Bros. in 2016 showcased the savable frame and six years later, that frame has now been saved by a human performing a run. Players will likely continue to shave milliseconds off the record run over the coming months and years, and it will be fascinating to see if the perfect run is ever achieved.

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