There’s a new world record for beating Nintendo’s 1985 classic Super Mario Bros. Kosmic, a speedrunner, beat the game in 4 minutes, 55 seconds, and 913 microseconds.
The miraculous run, done on a real NES with a real NES controller, was Kosmic’s first of the night after beating 1-2 fast enough to compete for the record. “Am I about to go down as the most clutch gamer alive?” he jokes halfway through, only to actually set the record minutes later.
It’s unlikely any human will ever finish in 4 minutes and 54 seconds because it’s so close to the fasted hypothetically possible time, as proven by Tool Assisted Speedruns (TAS). Here’s Kellen Beck, writing for Mashable:
People can use a tool to program exact inputs in games, which can be used to figure out the best possible time that a game can be completed. Right now, the theoretical fastest time someone can beat Super Mario Bros. is 4:54 and 30 ms, according to TASVideos.
That’s right: less than a second separates this time from how fast purpose-built machines finish the game. Speedrunners are going to keep trying to shave off more milliseconds, and eventually someone might beat this record. But there’s not a lot of room left between this and perfection.