So what made this feat possible? Let’s take a dive into the details of Kanno’s most recent SM64 world record.
A True Classic
Super Mario 64 is one of those classic speedgames that’s been around forever and yet is still somehow being optimized. It really goes to show speedrunners will always find a way.
Japanese speedrunner Kanno has been optimizing all the short categories for the past three years and has gotten so incredibly skilled at the categories that he has a full sweep including the 0 Star, 1 Star, and 16 Star world records — with 0 Star being the “Any%” category in SM64.
Kanno’s execution in this run was incredible, near perfect even. Overall, his movement was impeccable but there are two things to highlight from this run that stand out above everything else; getting the fastest version of the Dire Dire Docks skip, and the KASLJ short for the Kanno Tool Assisted Speedrun Long Jump.
Dire Dire Docks Skip is the oh-so-difficult skip that separates the 0 Star category from the 1 Star category, and there are multiple setups for it. The main variation in setups is the speed required to clip through the door, and Kanno’s setup requires the least amount of speed out of all of them - making it the fastest. You can view a comparison of the setups here
KASLJ is Kanno’s newer setup for the TASLJ (Tool-Assisted Long Jump) which is about one third of a second slower than the TASLJ, but a lot more consistent, making it much more human viable to its Tool-Assisted counterpart — and faster than any other strat by over a second.
An Electric Fire Sea
Of course, with everything that went right in this run, that’s not to say it wasn’t without its hiccups. There’s a little bit of RNG with the Amp obstacles in Bowser in the Fire Sea and unfortunately, this RNG was not in Kanno’s favor this time around - losing him 2 seconds to bonking on the Amp, locking him in the zap animation.
Star Door BLJs
In the 0 Star route, runners use Backwards Long Jumps (BLJs) to clip through doors and Kanno mentioned that his BLJs were not the best, losing another 2 seconds to the optimal route. These two things were the only things Kanno mentioned as hiccups for the 6:29 speedrun, which honestly is pretty good when you consider that 2 out of the 4 seconds time loss came down to RNG. Kanno says that his next goal is a 6:25, which would've been this run if not for those 4 seconds lost to the RNG and BLJs.
Once again massive congratulations to Kanno for making SM64 history by becoming the first person in the world to beat the game in under six and a half minutes. Also a massive thank you to Kanno from me, for helping me out with the research for this article — I couldn’t have done it otherwise.