The 4:55 barrier broken in Super Mario Bros.

Speedrunner Niftski broke the 4:55 barrier in Super Mario Bros. on April 7.

By Cam "Meta" Enright

Filed Under: record, news

Speedrunner Niftski just got the world’s first ever 4:54 time in Super Mario Bros. during his Twitch stream this past Wednesday (April 7th, 2021). He managed to rescue the princess in a shockingly fast 4:54.948, the fastest it has ever been done.

For comparison, the last second barrier to be broken was back in September of 2018, with Kosmic’s 4:55.913.

Niftski achieved this through dedication and incredible skill, but it’s even more astounding feat when you realize that the No L+R TAS of the game is a 4:54.265… just a fraction of a second faster than Niftski’s own run.

Subpixels and Frame Perfection

Worth noting as well, this was also the first-ever world record to contain the 8-1 Flagpole Glitch. The Flagpole Glitch (FPG) is an incredibly precise trick requiring a subpixel setup and frame perfect inputs. There are three other FPGs in the run, which have been used before, but the one in 8-1 is especially difficult because it needs to be a top step FPG, on top of a fast acceleration at the start of the level. This is a really complex glitch, so if you’d like to learn more I suggest you check out this video.

A Wholesome Ending

At the end of his run, Niftski hopped into a Discord call with some other top level SMB1 runners, including previous world record holder Miniland, who congratulated him sincerely on his new achievement. Niftski said that near the end of the run, “I told myself to stay calm, just stay calm… and it worked.”

Even for those with the skill to perform the run, it can be challenging to stay calm when on the run of a lifetime. Niftski did a fantastic job of controlling those nerves!

On top of that, Niftski also stated in his description that he’s not done yet! So we have much more SMB1 to see from him.

The race to 4:54 may have been won by Niftski, but there were a few other potential candidates who will still be continuing their own personal grinds for the sub 55. If you’re interested in catching those grinds, you should check out Miniland, LeKukie, Thelxinoe, AldynSpeedruns, and Tree_05.

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