Four minutes and 55 seconds: in two years, this was the fastest anyone could beat the original Super Mario Bros. for NES. It is such a precise world record that since 2018 there has been a debate about whether it can ever be overthrown. Within society, that only idea of a race 4:54 became legendary.
Many have tried. As of this writing, in fact Super Mario Bros. speedrun leaderboard has over 10 entries in the 4:55 series, the difference between them comes down to milliseconds. And getting there is no joke – as YouTuber Bismuth explains in the documentary below, thousands of races end before the flagpole on the first level.
Theoretically, a faster time has always been possible. At least it is the tool-assisted speed runs, which can be written frame by frame, the experts say. The question was whether one actually or not human can enhance what is already an extremely optimized race that requires perfect control of pixels. Already a time of 4:55 is almost flawless compared to what a computer can achieve (4: 54.26, for those who keep track.)
And now, in 2021, someone has done it. The new record, called Historical by Society, was achieved by Twitch streamer Niftski. When we at 4:54:97, it’s now the fastest anyone has beaten Super Mario Bros.
“This is insane,” Niftski said under the current. “It hit me, but it has not hit me completely.”
Now that the seemingly impossible has been achieved, the streamer ended his broadcast by announcing that he developed new 2021 goals for the game.