Super Gandhi-o Bros.
July 28, 2011 8:48 PM   Subscribe

These days, any old fool can beat Super Mario Bros with a record-breaking number of points, or in the shortest amount of time. This guy managed beat the game with the lowest number of points possible. He ran the clock down to zero on each level, always landed at the bottom of the flagpole, collected no coins, killed just one goomba, and somehow managed not to die once during the entire process.
posted by schmod (68 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
That guy needs to seek out sex.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:53 PM on July 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Given my wife's fondness for goombas (we have a stuffed one), this was pretty popular in our house.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:00 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


strangely compelling to watch though.
posted by milestogo at 9:00 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


That guy needs to seek out sex.

No. That would be this guy.

Oh, jeez. Why did I start clicking on the related videos?
posted by schmod at 9:08 PM on July 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


.
posted by Flashman at 9:09 PM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


That was quite entertaining - too bad about the one goomba.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:12 PM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yes too bad.

.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 9:14 PM on July 28, 2011


The goomba was a sacrifice kill, no way to make that jump without getting two coins otherwise.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:18 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]



That guy needs to seek out sex.

No. That would be this guy.


Every chick I know would be removing her panties like they were on fire when she saw the dude who made that.
posted by TheTingTangTong at 9:19 PM on July 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


This is, somehow, mesmerizing.
posted by Evernix at 9:23 PM on July 28, 2011


His handling of the hammer-throwers around the six minute mark is sensational.
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 9:25 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Every chick I know would be removing her panties like they were on fire when she saw the dude who made that.

You know... very different women... than I do.
posted by dersins at 9:25 PM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


No. That would be this this guy.

No lie, I feel better for having seen that.

I love living in a world where people do shit like that. It makes me feel better about humanity.
posted by Salieri at 9:30 PM on July 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


Overachieving videogame underachieving is my new favorite thing for the next eight and a half minutes.
posted by byanyothername at 9:30 PM on July 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


His handling of the hammer-throwers around the six minute mark is sensational.

I get sick to my stomach watching that, seriously. Almost nothing makes me as antsy and nauseated when I'm so close to those guys.
posted by King Bee at 9:32 PM on July 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Skip to 3:14 to see why he had to kill the one goomba. Brilliant.
posted by ericost at 9:34 PM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


You know, to be honest, I was getting pretty anxious watching that entire thing, well before the hammer part. My Mario Reflexes kept telling me to want to do the exact opposite of whatever he was doing...
posted by schmod at 9:34 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


His handling of the hammer-throwers around the six minute mark is sensational.

Oh my god that's the most suspenseful thing I've ever seen on YouTube.
posted by byanyothername at 9:36 PM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


That guy needs to seek out sex.

Why is sex more valuable than trying to achieve hilariously pointless goals than this?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:36 PM on July 28, 2011 [17 favorites]


Why is sex more valuable than trying to achieve hilariously pointless goals than this?

I like to think they're saying "if he's this meticulous at a video game, he must be an absolute adonis in the sack".
posted by King Bee at 9:40 PM on July 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


OMG the top related video was uploaded by the awesomest person on the Internet
posted by palidor at 9:41 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like to think he's meticulous at being BAD in the sack. Which would be hilarious.
posted by LordSludge at 9:42 PM on July 28, 2011 [42 favorites]


The one goomba kill to get that jump right was so delicious I did in fact laugh, loudly and outwardly.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:43 PM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


TO WHAT END
posted by Brocktoon at 9:43 PM on July 28, 2011


XKCD covered this
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:50 PM on July 28, 2011


THANK YOU MARIO THE DEMIPLUMBER!

YOUR QUEST IS OVER.

YOU WENT TO YOUR REWARD WITH 600 POINTS.
YOU WERE LEVEL 1 WITH A MAXIMUM OF 1 HIT POINT WHEN YOU RESCUED THE PRINCESS.

VANQUISHED:
A GOOMBA

YOU HAVE GONE WITHOUT FOOD.
YOU HAVE BEEN AN ATHEIST.
YOU HAVE NEVER HIT WITH A WIELDED FIRE FLOWER.
YOU HAVE BEEN ILLITERATE.
YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN INVINCIBLE.
YOU HAVE NEVER GAINED A 1-UP.
YOU HAVE NEVER CHANGED FORM.
YOU HAVE NEVER DETONATED A FIREWORK.
YOU HAVE USED NO WISHES.

WE PRESENT YOU A NEW QUEST.

PUSH BUTTON B
TO SELECT A WORLD

posted by darksasami at 10:01 PM on July 28, 2011 [81 favorites]


The dude's self-control is amazing. I couldn't passively walk past all that loot and all those damn goombas and turtles.
posted by Lukenlogs at 10:16 PM on July 28, 2011


I was going to say the same thing as Lukenlogs. I want to scream every time he walks under a bunch of coins.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:17 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Skip to 3:14 to see why he had to kill the one goomba. Brilliant.

This is as good a place as any to mention one of the interesting things I've read about the Super Mario game engine. It seems that, if Mario is in the air, is traveling downwards, and collides with a stompable enemy, that collision is always interpreted as a successful stomp, regardless of Mario's position relative to the enemy. That's why he was able to make the jump; he didn't have to strike the Goomba's head to bounce off of it, just ensure that he was falling.
posted by JHarris at 10:30 PM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


XKCD covered this

Off topic, but oh, man. This led me to today's XKCD.

In case you didn't know, Randall Munroe's financee was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer last fall, which has inspired some of the most gutwrenching, poignant, inspirational stuff I've ever seen.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:36 PM on July 28, 2011 [19 favorites]


No. That would be this guy.

Also, this has shown me that I completely wasted my life.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:40 PM on July 28, 2011


Why doesn't he get any points for the goomba he killed?
posted by banished at 11:44 PM on July 28, 2011


Why doesn't he get any points for the goomba he killed?

I'm too lazy to go back and check, but I thought he got 100 points for that.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:33 AM on July 29, 2011


Scoring:
World 1-1 Flagpole: 100 points
World 4-1 Flagpole: 100 points
World 8-1 Goomba: 100 points
World 8-1 Flagpole: 100 points
World 8-2 Flagpole: 100 points
World 8-3 Flagpole: 100 points
Total score: 600 points
posted by JHarris at 1:09 AM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Quite the pacifist but with that one goomba kill I guess the ends justify the means.
posted by dibblda at 1:10 AM on July 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Every chick I know would be removing her panties like they were on fire when she saw the dude who made that.

You know... very different women... than I do.


No. I think that guy knows only 2 women and both of them are probably named Zelda.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:13 AM on July 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah pacifism, great, wait Super Chuck Norris Brothers? Amazing!
posted by Chekhovian at 1:14 AM on July 29, 2011


I want to scream every time he walks under a bunch of coins.

Respect.

When my mom would force me to play Nintendo with my brother, I would tell her I get to play until the next turn. And then I would play for as long as possible avoiding all coins...which my brother would hate.

There has been violence committed because of not getting coins.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:17 AM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah. Now I get the haters over here.

'Take the money, you fu...NO, THE TOP OF THE POLE, for fuck's sake...wait, he's waiting? HE'S JUST SITTING THERE!'
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:55 AM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I watched the entire game, cheering Mario on.
posted by francesca too at 2:59 AM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Related: "In fact, I’m going to tell you that this game is so easy that I can beat it with my feet. This is going to be a complete, skilled runthrough LP of Super Mario 64. The conditions under which I will play it are simple: only my feet may touch buttons."
posted by daniel_charms at 3:22 AM on July 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


I am no fan of Mario, but that hammer sequence was like some kind of crazy folk dance. I could imagine running across it on late night television -- The Hammer Dancers of Mariovia!
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:28 AM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, wait, wait... You can get to the 4-2 (6-7-8) warpzone without diddling around with the invisible coins and the vine?!? It's like I've been living a lie this entire time...
posted by Skwirl at 5:00 AM on July 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


Can he do it without touching the ground though?
posted by rollick at 5:04 AM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Skwirl, as far as I can tell, the trick is to get to the pipe before the game has scrolled far enough to decide that it's time to change the destination of the exit. Most walkthroughs I found searching for "world 4-2 warp zone glitch" say to use a ceiling glitch at the beginning of the level to get Mario to the right side of the screen, but in the OP video the player accomplishes it by using a few backwards-facing jumps (which tend to move Mario forward without scrolling) and then being very careful not to overstep whatever the significant pixel is.
posted by darksasami at 5:16 AM on July 29, 2011


Clearly this is a statement on the high tax rates in Peach's kingdom. The taxes are so high that Mario would rather risk his life bouncing off a goomba than earn a gold coin and have it fill the royal coffers.
posted by drezdn at 5:50 AM on July 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


Just another vote for nostalgia induced teeth clenching with the hammer throwers. Oh man. Great stuff. Pretty much edge of my seat on 8-2, even though since we know the result we know he gets through.

Also, those Nintendo sounds are embedded in a very deep part of my brain. I twitch for Metroid, and Kid Icarus now. Fucking Kid Icarus, hated how unforgivable that game was. Still addicted. I got to grow up right from playing on Atari 2600's to Colecovision to even Intellivision (uncle was a tech addict) to the original NES. It was like this linear curve that just shoots way the hell up at the end.

Anyway, rambling, great video. Whew!
posted by cavalier at 5:52 AM on July 29, 2011


There has to be a name for this; winning by the lowest score possible. I do it all the time; it's even how I graduated college (though not intentionally, at least not at first).
posted by Eideteker at 5:56 AM on July 29, 2011 [2 favorites]



There has to be a name for this; winning by the lowest score possible.


Golfing?
posted by beau jackson at 6:37 AM on July 29, 2011 [13 favorites]


I want to scream every time he walks under a bunch of coins.

The most impressive thing about that video is that his instincts never kicked in to grab a coin. That's incredible mental discipline.
posted by puckupdate at 6:46 AM on July 29, 2011


My favorite Mario walkthrough ever.
posted by odinsdream at 7:26 AM on July 29, 2011


The whole office just gathered round to watch that. Great link, thanks!
posted by maryr at 7:41 AM on July 29, 2011


That's funny, I tried doing this exact thing several years ago after getting bored just doing speed runs. It is indeed hard to train yourself not to collect any coins, but not killing any enemies isn't too hard if you're used to speed runs. Actually a lot of the techniques for doing the minimal score run are the same as doing a conventional speed run, since the fastest way through a section of a level is usually not to kill anything.

Using the pipe instead of the vine in World 4-2 to get to the warp zone is a glitch in the game. It requires you to do some trickery to get Mario on the right half of the screen and then very carefully not let the position reset (basically the same idea as the famous "World -1" trick in World 1-2.) The reason he (or she?) is doing it is to avoid collecting any coins from hitting the secret blocks to get to the vine, but for this purpose it's actually unnecessary, since you can (if you time it right) hit the vine block directly by jumping off the moving platform and then use the same platform to get up to the vine without hitting the coin blocks. This was one of a couple of breakthroughs I had on the way to my low score of 900 points. The other big one was the trick to get up to the pipe in 8-4, by getting stuck in between the pipe and the edge of the screen. Glad to see we had the same idea there.

The real stunner is the one goomba he kills to get across the pit in World 8-1 while not collecting either coin. I had thought of that, too, but was never able to get it to work--not even one time--and I'm talking about probably thousands of attempts. He makes it look easy, but it's really really not. In fact, that's the one part that makes me suspect this was done with an emulator. Even so, it's impressive.
posted by albrecht at 7:58 AM on July 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


The dictionary entry for sangfroid should now be changed to a gif of that last hammer brothers scene.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 8:07 AM on July 29, 2011


Good god, yeah, those hammer bros. That needs to be a motivational gif.
posted by cortex at 8:21 AM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Great, now the slackers have decided to underachieve in video games, too.

I kid, I kid. That was awesome.
posted by smirkette at 8:22 AM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


@maryr: Where do you work? Are they hiring?
posted by word_virus at 8:42 AM on July 29, 2011


I got to grow up right from playing on Atari 2600's to Colecovision to even Intellivision (uncle was a tech addict) to the original NES

Intellivision was a contemporary of the 2600, and it predates Colecovision. Colecovision was a significant step up, but the 2600 was still going strong at that point. There was a bit of bad blood when Colecovision tried to release an expansion that made it compatible with the 2600 in 1982, and eventually they just made an Atari 2600 clone called the Gemini.
posted by Hoopo at 9:10 AM on July 29, 2011


Clearly this is a statement on the high tax rates in Peach's kingdom. The taxes are so high that Mario would rather risk his life bouncing off a goomba than earn a gold coin and have it fill the royal coffers.

GOOMBA RON PAUL!
posted by Gary at 9:55 AM on July 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


The pipe trick comes from the fact that, concerning where pipes and vines come out, Super Mario Bros. divides each level into screens, and each screen has a map target that the player is sent to when he enters a map-changing passage. In 4-2 usually the player has to collect at least one coin to be able to hit the block that makes the vine to the 6-7-8 warp zone appear, but here he manages to get to a bonus coin pipe before the game has scrolled enough beyond the warp to update the map change target. Interestingly, the game compensates beautifully; it doesn't crash because he's entering a vine zone from a pipe, but neither does it make a vine appear, and the hole the vine would have come up through in the warp zone area is missing.

There has to be a name for this; winning by the lowest score possible.

In game terminology, "score attack" is the term that's developed (thanks to the Japanese) for playing a game for the highest score the player can earn. I suppose this is reverse score attack.

Related is the concept of misere, which comes from board gaming, in which the player attempts to force himself to lose, against an opponent with the same aim. It's not precisely right, but "Misere Super Mario Bros." has a certain ring to it.

Notably with Super Mario and many games like it, it's actually harder to play for low score than high score. A design flaw of these games is that the player can "mint" points in places, earning arbitrary scores if he just has the will to collect them. (Practically, any place the player can play a level, earn an extra life, die, then play again and earn the same life is like this.) Playing for low score on the other hand requires true talent, because levels are designed to award points for minor things that happen frequently, and because once earned score is usually impossible to lose.

BTW, it is possible to win Super Mario Bros. with less score; if one runs out of lives on a level he's kicked back to the title screen, but he can begin a new game at the beginning of the highest world achieved with the "continue" trick (hold A and press start). This game begins with zero score, allowing the player to discard the points earned for hitting the 1-1 and 4-1 flagpoles. That's sort of cheating, though.
posted by JHarris at 11:09 AM on July 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


In game terminology, "score attack" is the term that's developed (thanks to the Japanese) for playing a game for the highest score the player can earn. I suppose this is reverse score attack.

I hereby propose "score abdication".
posted by cortex at 11:16 AM on July 29, 2011


Intellivision was a contemporary of the 2600, and it predates Colecovision. Colecovision was a significant step up, but the 2600 was still going strong at that point. There was a bit of bad blood when Colecovision tried to release an expansion that made it compatible with the 2600 in 1982, and eventually they just made an Atari 2600 clone called the Gemini.

There was such an expansion made and sold in fact. Mattel had one too. They worked by simply including the necessary components of a 2600 in the module and rerouting input and output. They worked because the 2600 contained largely off-the-shelf components, so it wasn't a huge trick to make a work-alike. Sears sold their own stand-alone 2600 compatible (which is what we had, in fact).

Atari could not do much about these; the system was originally designed to play pong clones and Combat, they had no idea it would prove to be the huge hit it was, and third-party software for consoles was unknown before the 2600, so they had not bothered to prevent anyone else from making 2600s, or from making software for 2600s.

It is from observing the experiences of Atari with the 2600 that inspired Nintendo to include their infamous lockout chip in the NES, and its legacy persists with us to this day in the form of the "razor blade" business model of console manufacturers.
posted by JHarris at 11:40 AM on July 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


My first reaction to this was "like hell I am going to spend 8 and a half minutes watching this" and then of course I did. I remember all too vividly a summer spent working stupid rural kids jobs (picking rocks, walking beans... I wonder how many that will mean anything to?) All to save up for an NES and then (since my folks strongly discouraged me from working during the school year) being unable to afford another game for it for the better part of a year.

I think the extent of experimental play goals I got to (once speed runs got boring) was to play every level of every world without losing a single life. I never conceived of this particular challenge but, pushing 25 years later, I still totally understand every decision this person makes. Recognize the sort of casual flash moves of playing way too much SMB... the way they sail over the tops of those rampant piranha plants, man. And those level 8 Hammer Bros. tricks... I always suspected if you practiced enough you could get up in there and dance through them like that, but I never could manage it.

It's been too long, I didn't notice they exploited a glitch to get to the 4-2 warp world, but I felt a little disappointed to see the wall-stick glitch being used to get up to the pipe in 8-4. I guess a "natural" glitch is considered allowable, but it just seemed out of the spirit of the rest of it to me.

Join me next week when we'll talk about my multiple nightmares that there was one more piece of the triforce to collect.
posted by nanojath at 12:17 PM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Taking the ol' Tibetian pilgrimage approach to video gaming. Side note, I once beat NES Contra on a single life...not much has happened in my actual life since then.
posted by obscurator at 1:11 PM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Contra is about knowing the correct way to approach each situation. It's not terribly hard to finish on one life, you just gotta know what's coming and be ready for it. Getting the Spread Gun counts for a lot of that. Like many such games, they get harder when you die, so the better you do, the better you tend to do, up until you make a fatal mistake and everything goes downhill.

Arcade Contra, BTW, is easier than the NES version.
posted by JHarris at 1:30 PM on July 29, 2011



There has to be a name for this; winning by the lowest score possible.

Golfing?
posted by beau jackson at 6:37 AM on July 29 [11 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


beau, you are a god-damned diction genius.
posted by hal_c_on at 7:45 PM on July 29, 2011


He scored 100 more points, but I think this ending is more self-sacrificing.
posted by stance at 7:46 PM on July 29, 2011


Echoing the helpless frustration at watching him avoid all the coins and loot. It gave me much the same feeling at watching foxes comes so close to using a trampoline properly.
posted by speedo at 1:15 PM on July 31, 2011


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