Why Mario 64 speedrun record cannot be broken

Vaibhav Sharma


July 29, 2023

Why Mario 64 speedrun record cannot be broken

Speed-running is the act of playing a game to complete it as fast as possible, usually with the help of sequence breaking and glitches. Among the myriad retro games that have captured the hearts of gamers, Super Mario 64 stands as a timeless classic with a speedrun record that seems destined to remain unbroken. In this blog post, we delve into the fascinating story of how a cosmic fluke forever altered the course of Mario 64’s speed-running history.

DOTA_Teabag, a prominent figure in the speedrunning community, embarked on a quest to break Mario 64’s speedrun record. Little did he know that fate had something extraordinary in store for him. While live streaming his run on Twitch, an unimaginable glitch transported Mario to a higher part of the level. This unprecedented occurrence meant that DOTA_Teabag had inadvertently set an unbreakable speedrun record for the beloved game.

What caused this freakish glitch that altered Mario’s trajectory and bestowed him with an unattainable advantage? The answer lies in a phenomenon originating from the depths of outer space: cosmic rays. Cosmic rays are high-energy particles, primarily protons and atomic nuclei, that zoom through the universe at incredible speeds.

Mario 64, like all computer-based systems, relies on binary code, with data represented by sequences of 0s and 1s. Even the tiniest alteration to this binary data can lead to significant changes in the program’s behaviour, known as ”bit flipping”. Herein lies the crux of the matter—when a cosmic ray collides with a computer’s memory, it can cause a single-bit change, leading to unexpected results.

In DOTA_Teabag’s case, an elusive cosmic ray struck the computer at just the right moment and the perfect location, causing a single-bit change to Mario’s height value. This unforeseen alteration launched the Italian plumber skyward through the level, bypassing obstacles and achieving an unparalleled speedrun time.

The chances of such an event occurring are astronomically low, making DOTA_Teabag’s achievement nearly impossible to replicate intentionally. The alignment of celestial forces, the precise timing of the cosmic ray, and the exact location it hit the computer all converged to create the unbeatable speedrun record.

The captivating world of speedrunning is filled with tales of triumphs and failures, pushing the boundaries of what seems humanly possible. Within this realm, Mario 64’s unbreakable speedrun record stands as a testament to the unforeseeable power of cosmic rays and the intricacies of binary code. DOTA_Teabag’s journey unwittingly intertwined with celestial forces, forever solidifying his place in gaming folklore. As the speedrunning community continues to strive for perfection, the tale of Mario 64’s cosmic glitch serves as a reminder that, at times, the universe itself can intervene in the pursuit of gaming greatness.

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