Recently, a man completed a game of “Super Mario Bros.” on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. This in itself is neither surprising nor exciting; thousands — nay — millions of people have completed Super Mario since the game was introduced in 1985.
What is interesting is that the man — who goes by the YouTube name NotEntirelySure — managed to complete the game and score only 500 points, the absolute minimum number of points that you can accrue. This involved ducking under hammers, using every Warp Zone, climbing gently onto flagpoles, avoiding every man-eating plant and Bullet Bill, and, of course, not jumping on a single Koopa.
Played this way, the game achieves a sort of Zen peacefulness, where the goal is non-aggression, passive resistance — Mario isn’t there to conquer, he’s just there to seek freedom for a good friend. Or maybe that’s a little too… profound. Anyway, here is the video, for your viewing enjoyment–
Not only was this rad, it was also incredibly hard to do. Here’s NotEntirelySure describing a single jump on level 8-1:
“The timing of the liftoff, the duration of holding the jump button, and the timing of the wall jump are all frame perfect. NES games run at 60 frames per second, which means all the necessary inputs need to be timed within 1/60 of a second. In addition, the starting position before running I used not only has to be on the right pixel, but also the x sub-pixel has to fall within a certain range…”
Yeah, I have no idea what he’s talking about either. All this just reminds me that I was terrible at “Super Mario Bros.,” and also that I’m terrible at math. I did, however, eventually achieve a certain level of competence at Super Mario Brothers 3. So; there’s that.
…And now, for absolutely no reason at all, here’s the full live-action movie version of Super Mario Bros., starring Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, and Dennis Hopper for some reason. It’s absolutely terrible and bizarre and makes no sense. You are welcome. And I am sorry.