The Ultimate Low Score on Super Mario Bros., Finally Unlocked

By Luke Y. Thompson in Nerdery, Video Games
Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:00 am

mariohammer.jpg

Longtime readers may remember the case of Not Entirely Sure, who beat Super Mario Bros. with a final score of 600, due in part to the squashing of a necessary Goomba. It has taken three years, but he finally beat that record with the minimum possible score of 500. Here's how (full walkthrough below):

Well, I did it. This is THE lowest possible score you can finish the game with (without continuing). And surprisingly, it didn't take very long at all. Sadly, it's not deathless, as I miss my first attempt at the 8-1 wall jump. Getting 500 points without dying would have been nice, but that jump is so brutally precise I'd rather not restart every time I missed it (though I would have to restart anyway if I accidentally picked up a coin).


How tough is that jump in 8-1? Well, the timing of the liftoff, the duration of holding the jump button, and the timing of the wall jump are all frame perfect. NES games run at 60 frames per second, which means all the necessary inputs need to be timed within 1/60 of a second. In addition, the starting position before running I used not only has to be on the right pixel, but also the x sub-pixel has to fall within a certain range (technical stuff blah blah blah). In short, it's a pretty annoying jump.

Amazingly enough, I managed to accomplish my objective after my first successful 8-1 wall jump in a run. I was extremely cautious for the remainder of the run, not risking jumping over any of the hammer bros. I also had a few panicky moments since I was fairly jittery, but luckily nothing that cost me the run. By the end I felt like my heart was going to explode.

The other couple tricks I used I explain in the 600 point video. I leave in the death to evidence my humanity, and to showcase how precise you need to be to pull off that wall jump. There is literally no room for error.

No save states or slowdown was used. I did however fast-forward at flagpoles for obvious reasons. (also, I didn't look at the RAM during the run to make sure the sub-pixel was within the right range)

That's all I care to say. Now... TO A MILLION!

Oh, one more thing! Thank you to all the new subscribers and viewers of my videos. I promise I have some other good stuff. :)


The only people who've scored lower with Mario were the makers of the live-action movie.

As before, h/t Fernin320


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