The classic video game Super Mario Bros., as released to the American market on the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) home console in October of 1985, is among the most legendary and popular gaming titles of all time, with countless millions of gamers holding fond memories of its gameplay, and even modern culture as a whole often recognizing its signature visuals and music.
Over twenty-five years later, that gray cartridge may have finally been perfected by a young man named Andrew Gardikis, who has been working on this task for years and enduring hundreds of playthroughs to achieve the best speed run of all time for the title; a “speed run” being an attempt to complete a particular video game as quickly as possible without using a cheating device or other illicit means.
Utilizing his intimate knowledge of how to most efficiently maximize Mario’s momentum, the precise split-second moments to jump, the absolute fastest route through each stage, and even a couple jaw-drop-worthy tricks, those who watch the video on YouTube can witness an extraordinary gaming feat that is likely to never be equaled.
“I don’t think the run will ever be improved another second,” says Gardikis when asked about the world record he set with this recording that proves a time of four minutes and fifty-eight seconds. He had already conquered the five-minute mark with earlier runs but, not content to merely break the 5:00 barrier, went ahead and turned in what may very nearly be a perfect gameplay. Each of his successive improvements also become saved and somewhat officially recognized at the Speed Demos Archive website, which specifically highlights such quick-completion recordings.
His words may strike some as boastful hubris; in reality, some of those knowledgeable enough to recognize the high level of skill involved have been forced to concede that the run is a “masterpiece” of gaming. Considering the masterful quality of the gameplay and the significant legacy of the game itself, Gardikis admitted on his Facebook page that “It’s easily my best gaming feat.”
In fact, fellow video game record-holders and classic-gaming fans were quick to congratulate and praise this Mario masterpiece as soon as it was posted on Facebook, lending the occasion a momentous feel that may never be emulated or appreciated by mainstream culture. But for all those who have ever held an old Nintendo controller and fired up a round of Super Mario Bros., setting their gaze upon this remarkable record may just bring a soul-deep smile, resonating with chords of sentimental nostalgia and pure excellence alike.
Gardikis can be found on Facebook, and has previously stated his desire to continue mastering popular games on the NES console, such as Tetris. His record-setting Super Mario Bros. speed run can be watched on YouTube.