Super Mario 3D All-Stars has been unveiled at last, but Mario speedrunners might have to do some experimenting when they get their hands on it.
Nintendo’s reveal of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, a collection pack for the Switch that includes Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy, was entirely expected after an avalanche of leaks rumored its existence, but these new versions might change how the games are played during a speedrun. Remakes and ports of classic titles have frequently changed what routes are the most optimal in the speedrunning community, and considering how Mario games are some of the most popular games to speedrun, it might make for a huge change.
It’s extremely common for even the most well-made games to have glitches or exploits that allow players to move at unintentionally brisk speeds or skip sections of a game entirely. For example, Breath of the Wild speedrunners have completed the game in less than 30 minutes by using glitches to quickly enter the Great Plateau shrines and by manipulating the physics engine to soar through the air at hyper speed towards Hyrule Castle. The 3D Mario games have similar exploits that allow players to skip large segments and move quickly, but there’s a chance that Nintendo may end up patching these glitches.
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In Super Mario 64, players can perform a backward long jump that allows Mario to build far more momentum and speed than the developers intended, which allows him to clip through cracks in the walls and doors to skip every star in the game. The current zero-star world record for the game is held by a Japanese player known as KANNO who completed Mario’s quest in a staggering 6 minutes, 36 seconds, and 430 milliseconds. KANNO uses this backward long jump exploit many times throughout his route, so if Nintendo patches this technique, his route would no longer be possible and the community would have to find a new way to play through the game.
Nintendo Speedruns Are Always Changing
Patches like these have happened in previous Nintendo ports and remakes, so it makes sense that they might be seen in Super Mario 3D All-Stars. For example, speedrunners of The Wind Waker use a technique called zombie hovering in which Link can infinitely use his jump attack to gain height as soon as he dies. The only meaningful way to use this glitch is to have Link heal before he touches the ground, because a game over will trigger the moment his feet land on the earth with zero health. In the GameCube version of the game, players could heal Link with ease using the Tingle Tuner item, but since that item was removed in the Wii U version of the game, performing this glitch is significantly more difficult and less versatile than it was in the original.
On the contrary, The Wind Waker HD saves its players hours of time by allowing them to clip through the Hyrule Castle barrier. By using an extremely precise item slide at the perfect angle, players can clip through a barrier that is currently impossible to skip in the original version of the game, because the new version allows players to move at a slightly higher maximum speed. While it is possible that these new versions of the 3D Mario games will have some of their exploits patched, it’s just as much of a possibility that players may discover brand new options that were completely unavailable in their original versions. Regardless of how Nintendo chooses to address the various glitches in the titles included in Super Mario 3D All-Stars, speedrunners are going to sift through every nook and cranny of these ports, and will assuredly discover fun and entertaining routes to race through.
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