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Still waiting for a minimal score run on Mario Golf
February 15, 2012 1:32 PM   Subscribe

Super Mario World Minimal Score Run (half-hour SLYT, NES version previously)

On top of the low score goal, there were additional rules for extra difficulty:
Rule 1: Played on actual hardware, no emulators.
Rule 2: No level quitting or redos.
Rule 3: Must play as Luigi.
Rule 4: Must never be hit.
Rule 5: Must not pick up any coins.
Rule 6: Run the clock down to one second remaining before passing level goal.
posted by radwolf76 (26 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hit the post button too fast: neglected to mention that the long pauses at the end of each level waiting for the clock to run down were sped up during video editing.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:35 PM on February 15, 2012


Why the Luigi rule?
posted by zsazsa at 1:56 PM on February 15, 2012


Even though I never play computer games I love this sort of, er, rule-reversing performance play. Does it have a name?

I think my favourite example is the bloke who plays Modern Warfare without killing anyone.
posted by jack_mo at 2:00 PM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Question:
How is it possible to verify that this wasn't tool-assisted on an emulator?
posted by lemuring at 2:03 PM on February 15, 2012


Faith of the heart, lemuring. Nothing's gonna bend nor break it.
posted by cortex at 2:10 PM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why the Luigi rule?

Because no one pays attention to Weegee?


How is it possible to verify that this wasn't tool-assisted on an emulator?

Aside from the fact that the Tool-Assisted community generally goes to great pains to make it blatantly clear when a run is Tool-Assisted, nothing really. I got the link and the English version of the rules from Kotaku, and if it were some kind of hoax, I'd expect someone there would have called it out.
posted by radwolf76 at 2:11 PM on February 15, 2012


I intuitively don't think this was tool assisted because there doesn't look like any exploitation of bugs or moves that require anything more than just above-average ability to play Super Mario World to do.

I love listening to these kinds of playthroughs as background music while I work. The "level complete" music still tricks some part of my brain into thinking I'm accomplishing something when I hear it.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:23 PM on February 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I intuitively don't think this was tool assisted because there doesn't look like any exploitation of bugs or moves that require anything more than just above-average ability to play Super Mario World to do.

Yeah, having finished it now, that's my feeling as well. This is entirely solid and fairly precise platforming but there's nothing jawdropping about the actual play on its own merits, mechanically speaking (though there are a couple nice moments I hadn't seen before, like the mid-air trampoline jump at 19:00).

The magic is all the preparation: working out the path to take, memorizing the trickier jump sequences to avoid coins and landings, getting the timing down to the second on the boss Koopa Kids fights so they can make sure the death sequence ends and stops the clock right at 001 seconds.

Someone could sneakily use tools to comp together disparate subsections of successful runs, but as far as I can tell people who are willing to do all the rest of the work required to pull off stunt runs like this are generally pretty inclined dispositionally toward sucking it up and doing it over and over until they do it right. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, it being genuine seems like the reasonable assumption here.
posted by cortex at 2:46 PM on February 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


In the Star Road level with Lakitu, how come Mario can get into the cloud without killing him? Is that a bug?
posted by modernserf at 3:47 PM on February 15, 2012


It is worth noting here that the position of the tape at the end of the level isn't based off of the level clock. The tape is just another game element. Like the enemies, it doesn't "exist" until it has scrolled onto the screen, where it is spawned and begins travelling up and down the gate.

Because of this, the player takes pains not to scroll the gate onscreen, or enter a pipe or door that brings the gate into view, until a precise time, so that he can be sure of grabbing the tape at its lowest point just as the clock hits 1 tick, and earning the lowest end-of-level time bonus of 50 points. This is important because if you touch the gate without touching the tape it turns into a coin and awards 100 points, whereas if he touches the tape at any other point he gets more than 1 star for it. (The significance of that escapes me; it's probably just an extra challenge he gave himself.) When he stops fast-forwarding the video, it's always when the tape has a complete cycle to go before he grabs it. At the end of that cycle, it seems to touch the ground when the timer reads 007. That's his rule-of-thumb, I think, that he's done it acceptably; it seems to take the tape around six seconds to complete a cycle. Anyway, that explains why he walks into a wall at the end of a level for a few seconds, he's waiting for the timer to hit some time so that the tape will be collectable at its lowest point.

If this seems anal-retentive of me to have noticed this, well, obviously the person who made the video is even MORE anal-retentive to have discovered it.

Throughout the video (which I've seen before, I think), I keep wanting to twitch when he foregoes coins or powerups. It's like there's a part of my brain that's demanding GET THEM THEY'RE RIGHT THERE.
posted by JHarris at 3:57 PM on February 15, 2012 [10 favorites]


Oh, on Lakitu I think that it is a bug. Lakitu just vanishes at a point leaving his cloud behind. If it weren't for that, in fact, it'd be impossible to avoid killing him to get up to the keyhole, which the whole run depends on. The Japanese text that pops up onscreen sometimes probably explains it. Can anyone read it?
posted by JHarris at 4:01 PM on February 15, 2012


I can't agree more with JHarris' feeling of wanting to twitch just to the left or right of whatever move he's doing; who the hell can pass up coins or powerups?!

And without translation I definitely agree with the analysis that he's most likely pausing at certain points to allow certain events to trigger at precise points. Kind of wish there was a translation available for these moments but somehow.. intuition about gaming logic trumps that need :-J
posted by pyrex at 4:15 PM on February 15, 2012


(The significance of that escapes me; it's probably just an extra challenge he gave himself.)

Crossing the 100-star threshold is an extra life, if I remember right; there may be a point award associated with that as well.

Assuming that's so, then his key goal would be to keep it under 100 total stars collected throughout the run. At that point, he needs to get single-digit or very low two-digit totals from all the tapes he does have to cross (I didn't count, it felt like maybe 8-10 levels that he completed via actual gate finishes rather than gateless key-outs at secret exits).

So if he's not crossing right at the one-star moment, he'd have to be crossing with a carefully timed jump at a pretty low greater-than-1 tickertape position each time, something that's a little more fiddly than just walking across and which doesn't get him anything other than maybe an extra one-second buffer on when he advances the tape into play anyway. He'd still have to be cautious about the timing or he'd get screwed at enough gates in any plausible run that he'd be screwed anyway.

So, aesthetically the 1-star finishes are a conceit, but they're a conceit that hasn't got much arguing against it in practical terms.

I can't agree more with JHarris' feeling of wanting to twitch just to the left or right of whatever move he's doing; who the hell can pass up coins or powerups?!

Try sitting through Freeman's Mind sometime. Aside from being a funny if often deeply uneven comedy schtick (running internal monologue from the nominally silent Half-Life protagonist Gordon Freeman), it also sees the player studiously but usually blithely ignoring every damn pickup in the game. Similarly maddening.
posted by cortex at 4:21 PM on February 15, 2012


Actually getting 100 stars triggers and end-of-level bonus game for extra lives. There is no score award for it that I remember, but it's random and fiddly, and harder to be sure that you earn no lives.

Two of the "rules" mentioned in the FPP (no coins and lowest time) are actually necessary to get a minimum score.
posted by JHarris at 4:42 PM on February 15, 2012


Oh ho, dim memory crawls back. Yeah, so I guess I'll modify my argument to be entirely about fiddliness and aesthetics rather than any hard failure issue with rolling over the stardometer; the bonus game run as a random gauntlet seems like another chance to louse up an otherwise good run, and besides it seems to go a bit against the spirit (however implicit in this case) of an efficient run (if not really a speedrun) to extend the path like that for no reason other than allowing a bit of laziness about gate timing.

So it comes back around to "why not" on the 1-star tapes, though without as much strict necessity justifying it.
posted by cortex at 4:47 PM on February 15, 2012


Watching this video is causing hell for my Mario instincts.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:11 PM on February 15, 2012


Re: Luigi rule, isn't Luigi a taller hit-box than Mario, so it's harder to avoid some coins?
posted by persona at 5:20 PM on February 15, 2012


I think that's only in Mario 2.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:31 PM on February 15, 2012


Throughout the video (which I've seen before, I think), I keep wanting to twitch when he foregoes coins or powerups. It's like there's a part of my brain that's demanding GET THEM THEY'RE RIGHT THERE.

I can't agree more with JHarris' feeling of wanting to twitch just to the left or right of whatever move he's doing; who the hell can pass up coins or powerups?!

Watching this video is causing hell for my Mario instincts.


The worst part is when the Princess, under her awful predicament, nevertheless manages to assist Luigi in her rescue by supplying him with a mushroom. What does Luigi do with it?

Nothing.
posted by Anything at 5:52 PM on February 15, 2012


LPer raocow did a similar "acetic run" recently.
posted by nanovivid at 6:39 PM on February 15, 2012


I still think inverse score attack runs should be called "score abdication", but I suppose ascetic is a pretty good catchall label.
posted by cortex at 7:08 PM on February 15, 2012


How about "score defend?"
posted by JHarris at 9:28 PM on February 15, 2012


That makes me want to march right on to "defensive driving".
posted by cortex at 12:22 AM on February 16, 2012


His deliberate proximity to the gate each time is giving me anxiety issues.
posted by SomaSoda at 7:55 AM on February 16, 2012


jack_mo, a coworker was coding up a reverse tic-tac-toe game (you win if you force your opponent to get three-in-a-row) lately which lead me to find out that playing to lose is called "misère".
posted by Xoder at 10:03 AM on February 16, 2012


I think misere came up the last time we had this discussion. It's not exactly accurate because you are playing to win, just without honor.

Maybe "score bastard" is what we're looking for.
posted by JHarris at 2:07 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


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