That Super Mario Bros. The speedrunning community is constantly looking for new ways to advance the state of the art, and one player has just accomplished what was previously thought impossible…at least for a human.
In 2018 speedrunner HappyLee used a computer assist to demonstrate a new method to shave a few frames from Super Mario Bros. World 4-2. It involved using precise inputs to glitch (clip) Mario through a series of blocks – the top row – near the start of the level, pushing him to the right faster than ever. Then a super-precise jump onto a warp tube was required. The speedrunning community had assumed that a full, perfect 4-2 run could never be performed by human means using this “top clip” trick due to the precision required, and luckily they’ve since had alternative, easier methods of doing so Min-maxing discovers 4-2. But on Monday, a speedrunner named Tole managed to pull off the “Top Clip” 4-2 trick without computer assistance.
Here’s what happens: With precise input, Tole got Luigi to clip through the corner of the top block, touch the ground inside the wall for one frame, and then jump out of the wall. According to HappyLee’s original discovery, this maneuver should be three frames away from running. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s especially important in World 4-2 because a Super Mario Bros. Concept called framework rules.
Framework rules are a somewhat esoteric concept. in the Super Mario Bros.the program only checks for level completion every 21 frames. So if you enter a castle at the end of the level shortly after the last check, you will have to wait up to 20 frames before the next level starts.
A speed runner helpfully explains the framework rule with a bus analogy. Imagine the lock at the end of each Super Mario Bros. Level is a bus stop. The bus only arrives every 21 frames (about 0.35 seconds) (the game keeps track of the player beating the level). So to set world records in some levels, you can’t be just a tiny bit faster; You have to be fast enough to catch the previous “bus” going to the next world.
Catching the first possible bus in Level 4-2, as first demonstrated by computer-aided driving, is sometimes referred to as “Lightning 4-2”. Hence HappyLee’s computer assisted trick, in which Mario saves a few frames by slicing through the top block in level 4-2, caused quite a stir: it was another way for runners to bypass the frame rule and theoretically catch the first bus. Currently Super Mario Bros. Speed running champion Niftski He used a similar trick for his new world record run this past week. The difference was that he jumped under the block and ran inside the wall – a completely different method that was much more practical for people in real runs.
kotaku reached out to Tole but received no comment at the time of publication.
Since there are easier Lightning 4-2 methods, the “top clip” Lightning 4-2 Tole pulled off will probably only be used to show off. But speedrunners, who understood the incredible difficulty at play here, were suitably impressed with Tole’s performance. “Holy cow, I’ve doubted the feasibility of this method for years, and you nailed it,” said one commenter. “THIS IS FUCKING MADNESS,” wrote another, with the emphasis on her side.
https://kotaku.com/super-mario-bros-speedrun-frame-rule-4-2-world-record-1849396620 Super Mario Bros. Speedrunner pulls off an “impossible” 4v2 trick