Super Mario 64 zero-star speed run breaks all the rules

Tool assisted speed-runs may get the snub from gaming purists, but sometimes they are infinitely more entertaining to watch. Case in point: this recently released zero star speed-run for Super Mario 64 that uses a number of glitches, exploits and gameplay tricks to help Mario get a taste of Princess Peach's sweet, sweet cake in little over 5 minutes:

Created by a cabal of speed runners for TASvideos, this is the latest attempt by the group to whittle down Super Mario 64's completion time to its absolute minimum, and is a 24.17 second improvement over theirprevious attemptuploaded in 2008.

The run was conducted using the Mupen64 0.5 Re-Recording v8 emulator and a bevy of game-altering 'tools' to manipulate Super Mario 64's gameplay down to its individual frames. This allowed the team to pull off exacting moves that would not be possible during actual console play such as the '0-input Backwards Long Jump', which is described as: “When you have no input on the analog in between the 'A' button presses for a BLJ, your speed will not decrease, thus exponentially increasing the speed at the end result of the BLJs. This saves time in a few places.”

A rundown of all the moves and tricks used can be read at TASvideos. In the meantime, we'll leave you to debate whether this is an example of hardcore gaming skill or technical wizardry.

Jan 3, 2011


Matt Bradford wrote news and features here at GamesRadar+ until 2016. Since then he's gone on to work with the Guinness World Records, acting as writer and researcher for the annual Gamer's Edition series of books, and has worked as an editor, technical writer, and voice actor. Matt is now a freelance journalist and editor, generating copy across a multitude of industries.