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Released in September 1996, Mario 64 launched the Nintendo 64 to awes of the new 3D game play. Mario gets new moves in the 3D world such as a wall jump and triple jump which he uses on his journey to collect 120 power stars, which Bowser has sealed away inside the castle paintings.

 

Runs on the NTSC version:

Runs on the PAL version: Runs of some mini games using the game's displayed time, which should be identical on both versions of the game:

File details: 11.3 MB total size, requires DivX codec.

FTP link to all files: U.S.

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16-star 0:19:47 by Eddie Taylor.

File details: 37.5 MB / 108 MB / 798 MB size (low / normal / high quality), requires DivX codec. Thanks to Nate for transferring from VHS.

Author's comments:

Firstly, got to hand off some thanks to some people like Ilari Pekkala, the previous holder of this run and his vid on here which showed me where all the little tricks were and also Marius Mollnhauer who wouldn't stop talking about all these great splits he had but also share some nice information and vids in his runs. Well before this record it was about two weeks where I made my first time of 56:xx those glitches were hard to pull off. With practice I made it to this. This run in my eyes was not the smoothest in the beginning. Had troubles in the Princess's Slide and no lakitu skip in the beginning which was about 7 sec right there. Also then the first missed Bowser Throw another 10 sec. But once I reached the area with the glitches is when I really made up ground. I would say I barely lost any time doing those as where most runs is where time is lost. And finally...the final bowser, couldn't have been any happier in the world all three perfect throws fast and clean. I know much Much time can be taken off even to the low 18 mins so hopefully I'll get some better runs soon.

70-star Single-Segment 1:01:32 by Jacob Cannon.

File details: 132 MB / 286 MB / 2.07 GB size (low / normal / high quality), requires DivX codec. Thanks to Nate for transferring from VHS.

Author's comments:

Welcome to my 1:01:32 70-star speedrun for Super Mario 64! I popped in the game for the first time in years in about February for a casual play-through. While doing so, I found many different shortcuts for getting to stars a lot faster than intended. I thought about doing a 16-star run, but concluded that such a short run would not be able to show off the vast array of tricks I was coming up with every minute. So I decided to do 70 stars instead, aiming for about 1:10 (or a rate of 1 star per minute). This quickly dropped to 1:05, then gradually to 1:04, 1:03, 1:02, and in a sort of madness, 1:01. I'm glad I kept chugging along, because the result is a run that beats the previous world record by over 11 minutes and is consistently awesome-looking throughout.

I started writing down times for individual stars, and set an arbitrary limit of 50 seconds as a usable time for a star. I don't think I actually succeeded in getting 70 different stars under :50, but the intense competition between close stars led me to come up with some really neat routes, and to use some stars that you might not expect to see in a 70-star run. I also tried to take into account the time spent moving through the castle, which meant that I wasn't able to get the Vanishing Cap or its star since they're so far off the beaten path. There were other stars that were extremely fast, but required a really slow star beforehand so I wasn't able to get them (like the slow "Go on a Ghost Hunt" before the fast "Big Boo's Merry-Go-Round"). All in all, these are probably pretty close to the optimum stars for a 70-star run.

Fun fact: I completed the game without backflipping a single time.

Obviously, 1:01 is extremely close to the aesthetically-pleasing "sub-hour." What are the chances this can be done? Well, by crunching the data from 4 separate runs I completed, I calculate a perfect game to be a very high 0:58. There aren't that many VISIBLE mistakes in my run, but I lose a ton of invisible time simply because a human can't play with pixel-perfection for a straight hour (much less five minutes). So yeah, there's a bit of room for error... just not really room that the player has a lot of control over. Until more shortcuts and tricks are discovered to give a wider margin of error, the sub-hour run that everyone would very much like to see doesn't seem very likely. But until then, what I've done here should serve as a great starting point for anyone who decides to be a hero and try =)

Enjoy the run.

Extended comments:

For the viewer's benefit, I'll now make some notes on each of the stars I used so you can understand what's happening and what I was thinking, that sort of thing. Maybe they'll help you if you decide to try a run for yourself. You can read them as you watch the video. It'll be fun!

Beginning: I kick things off here with the nifty "Lakitu skip" trick (this method discovered by Curtis Bright?). You have to land on the very edge of the railing to avoid the trigger for his speech, which can be frustrating to do consistently; but it's a free 7 seconds, at the very beginning of the game no less, so I restarted immediately if I didn't succeed. It's just too awesome to pass up!

  1. I always said to myself, "There's no way I'm using the King Bob-omb star. No WAY." But eventually I got the time pretty low (by using the world-record "Race Koopa the Quick" strategy), and this star allowed me to use the cannon for the "Shoot to the Island in the Sky" and "Mario Wings to the Sky" stars. They're both fairly quick in their own right (and having 3 stars from this level right off the bat allowed me to go straight to Cool, Cool Mountain which saves some castle time as well), so King Bob-omb is here to stay.
  2. To be honest, I never timed the difference between aiming straight up, and just shooting straight into the "!" box. I always assumed this way is faster, but even if it's not, it's still cooler =) Shooting into the box is actually trickier than it looks; the box is slippery, in that you might skim over the top, off to its side, or even under the bottom of it without actually bouncing OFF. You can also aim lower so that you catch the edge of the island itself and roll to your feet, which is a couple seconds faster than shooting into the box but a much tougher shot.
  3. The Chain-Chomp gave me a beatdown, probably a good 10 seconds lost... but can you really expect him to NOT give you a beatdown? An alternative to pounding the pole is to grab the little bomb guy walking around and use his explosion to push you through the gate itself. I didn't know about it when I did this run, but: 1) it's not that hard, 2) it saves about 10 seconds of cinema-watching, and 3) it's very early in the run. I encourage future 70-star runners to incorporate this trick!
  4. Sort of messed up the triple jump into the chimney, 2 seconds lost. You can long jump from the very beginning of the slide all the way down to the finishing tunnel... It's really, really tricky and I never had much success with it though. The strategy I borrowed from Marshmallow is only a little bit slower, but it's easy as heck =)
  5. This was another thing I borrowed from Marshmallow that I'd never even thought to try. I used to grab the baby penguin and go down the right side of the mountain to the red coin ledge, then slide down the white and blue slope down to the bottom. That way was like 5 seconds slower, and harder too. It's very easy to mess up when grabbing the baby penguin.
  6. I didn't really want to use this star since it takes 56 or more seconds... Eventually I did end up using it as a substitute for "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" or whatever from Rainbow Ride, which is tons more difficult and just about the same length.
  7. I really like this star. Jumping from the beginning all the way to the bottom is super cool, and a few seconds faster than bouncing off the flower-dude's head as well. My success rate with the jump wasn't that good until I started to rotate the camera to the right.
  8. I usually go for this star first in Whomp's Fortress since the text box at the beginning puts the red coin Thwomp in just the right position for me to jump on his head without any trouble. There's a route for this star that is actually about 10 seconds faster, invented Curtis Bright, which is really crazy and random. My way's still pretty quick anyway.
  9. Doing the Ground Pound through the King Whomp was something I picked up from StefanvanDijke's 16-star video. Pretty nifty.
  10. Nothing too out of the ordinary here. I really like this star since it's so quick and easy =)
  11. I messed up the wall kick here a lot more than one might suspect >_>
  12. Shooting into the cage from the cannon takes almost exactly the same time as flying up with the owl, and I'm actually not very good with the owl.
  13. The very fastest way to do this star is about 5 seconds faster than what I did here. After bouncing off the wall, you triple jump up the slope with the red coin, wall kick off the left wall up to the center of the rotating walkway, and dive over to the star. I wasn't aware of this method until like two weeks after the run was done, which sucks because it's cool and I could have saved 5 seconds =(
  14. I borrowed the general idea here from the world record (12.4 seconds?) video, but I didn't do it nearly as efficiently, so I basically lost a second on this star (and the next).
  15. Yep.
  16. Note how I long jump away from the circle before I teleport to the level =)
  17. The Bowser stages are among the most technically-demanding in the entire game. You have to be precise in every single thing you do, or you're probably going to die... This particular run fortunately went very well. Note that running through the level without the coins or star can be done in 32 seconds, whereas getting the coins and star can be done in 1:06. The difference is 34 seconds, which is what I consider the time it takes to get this star since you have to go through the level anyway! I missed a Bowser throw, and I almost NEVER miss on this first one.
  18. Lining up the shot to hit all 5 coins in a row is really hard for me. Honest.
  19. I like this star, too. Quick and to the point.
  20. The wall kick up to the second floor is one of my favorite tricks. The Big Boo fight could have gone a little bit better though.
  21. I normally grab MIPS on my first dive, going left around the corner in front of Lethal Lava Land. I missed, but didn't panic and still caught him right in front of Shifting Sand Land (as I've done many times before), so no time was lost. Hurray!
  22. The triple jump to the roof of the building is a Marshmallow-ism that I used. While doing this star, the green shell likes to randomly explode while going up the pillars... If it happened on the first pillar, I would have long jumped over to the pyramid and gone for the "Shining Atop the Pyramid" star. If it exploded on the second pillar, I would have died, no questions asked. If it exploded on the third or fourth pillars, I would survive and still go for this star, albeit on foot. Luckily, none of these things happened =)
  23. This is among the top 5 toughest tricks in the whole game, and I'm really glad I succeeded on this run-through just because it's so damn cool. Instead of waiting for the vulture at the pillar, you catch him at the top of the pyramid and kick the star out of his claws! What you do really depends on the Shy-Guy, though: if he shoots fire or flies away early, you use this method; if he flies at you, you bounce off his head and smash into the vulture in mid-air then float slowly down to the star; if you mess up at any step of the way, the contingency is to go straight for the pillar and meet the vulture there for a loss of 7 seconds.
  24. Super slick. It never occurred to me to go over the hill at the beginning until I saw Stefanvandijke do it.
  25. What I always used to do was jump on top of the grey box past the volcano and long jump to the Bully's island, grabbing the edge and not touching the lava... I often died while doing so. This run was the very first that I started just long jumping into the lava and losing like 2 seconds, but at least I didn't die!
  26. The fight against the mini-bullies can be won in one shot: when you land, run to the middle to grab the attention of all three, then lead them to the side and do a single ground pound. I think I only ever succeeded once with that because they liked to knock me into the lava... I started to attack them one at a time, and had some good success with that, so I'll take the loss.
  27. Yep.
  28. The triple jump off the blue arch is pretty slick, or at least I like to think it is. I almost always undershoot the star, or hit it dead-on. I have never gone PAST it before.
  29. Hey, do you know what would have sucked? If instead of perfectly triple jumping over the "lego smasher" and continuing on without incident, I somehow glitched through it and lost several seconds via pounding. That sure would have sucked. ... Oh, wait.
  30. Pretty slick.
  31. Long jumping straight over the pit and onto the brown slope is another of StefanvanDijke's moves, very smooth. MY move, however, is getting up to the star without jumping off the monster's head =)
  32. The boulders coming down the slope are random. Whenever they came along the left wall, the only thing I could try to do was jump over them. Guess how often I succeeded? (The answer is never.)
  33. There are two routes you can take to get to this star, and I'm pretty sure this one is the faster of the two.
  34. Bam! Surprise wall kick up to the floating platform! The crowd goes wild!
  35. Talking to Toad AFTER the Hazy Maze Cave is like 2 seconds faster than doing it beforehand, or so my theory goes.
  36. Jumping off the back fin of the sub is a couple seconds faster than swimming to the walkway and climbing the blocks, by my timing. I think I only timed that way once though, so who knows? I get style points for this way though.
  37. I'm not sure HOW I always manage to hit the first ring at such a weird angle, but I do somehow!
  38. Hitting the chests on the first try is harder than it looks. Sometimes I'd putz around here and lose 20 seconds all at once =(
  39. This star gave me nightmares. There's so much potential for huge losses and even death, and it certainly ended more than one good run for me! I fumbled around when getting up to the first pole the second time, which caused me to miss the long jump over to the blue platforms that raise and lower. Fortunately I still got up there before they lowered too far, but I lost a couple of seconds because I normally wall kick off the grey railing and grab the edge instead of running up the walkway itself. In the fight, I missed a throw for about 15 seconds loss, which is embarassing because it's such a short throw and I specifically practiced it like 30 times in a row so I wouldn't miss it when the time came... The stage without coins or star can be done in 53 seconds, whereas getting the coins and star can be done in 1:33. The difference is 40 seconds, which I consider the time to get the star since you're going this way anyway! After the level, note the teleportation to the lobby, which is about 7 seconds faster than running up there manually. Then I jump up through the stairway to the second floor. Done perfectly, it's a few tenths of a second faster than running up like normal. Whether I did it perfectly here is up for debate.
  40. I go for this star first since it's just so easy to enter the painting at the top when coming up from the stairs... My route over the cage and over to the black platform is 2 or 3 seconds faster than the conventional way over the narrow bridge, but probably much harder.
  41. Nothing to say about this.
  42. The turnaround wall kick up to the spiral ramp is cool as hell and faster than any triple jump you might try. The wall kick up the elevator shaft at the end is a little bit risky, but it saves at least 7 seconds of elevator-riding and is also mega cool. Definitely one of my favorite tricks.
  43. The route I used here has potential for about 41 seconds, but I didn't do it all that well and took more like 45 I think. There's a route by Curtis Bright that can get the job done in 37 or 38, which involves wall kicking off the first "!" box to get the secret. Very neat.
  44. I dislike fighting these piranhas, but I'm not really sure why that is.
  45. The triple jump up the slope is pretty neat (and quick) but leaves you open to Chuckya if you don't dive. You might also have never seen the turnaround jump up near the beginning.
  46. I didn't really want to do this star, but I got it down to 49 seconds, was in desperate need of more stars during the planning stage, and it's just so EASY. So here it is. The world record for the race is 9.9 seconds, but that involves getting the green shell before the race starts and that would waste time. I don't actually LOSE any time, since I can't get the star until Koopa the Quick finishes. I even took the time to kill a huge Goomba too, look!
  47. The turnaround jump onto the "!" box is the fastest way up to the higher level. Sometimes I fell in the water and lost big time, but I hit it on the second try this time. After the third secret, the plan is to triple jump up onto the tree-- quick, easy, and sexy. Instead, I got hit by fire and had a huge chance of dying while running around. But when you really think about it, isn't that just as good?
  48. This was perfect I think, except for the fudged-up wall kick at the very end. I love wall kicking to the wooden walkway to get in the cave.
  49. I love Toad and want to marry him.
  50. I always go for this star first in Tall, Tall Mountain due to the possibility of falling from the waterfall and needing to go for another star quickly. That usually doesn't happen actually, and it didn't this time either.
  51. This went really smoothly. What isn't apparent in this video is the possibility of a much faster route: glitching up to where Chuckya is instead of riding the wind; bouncing off the Shy-Guy's head, landing on the slope to the right of the waterfall, and continually jump kicking up to standable ground; doing a triple jump wall kick up to the walkway in front of the waterfall; and triple jumping again right up to the star. Courtesy of Curtis Bright, that route is way too crazy for me.
  52. My plan here is to bounce off the Shy-Guy and float safely to the star, just like anyone else... but the Shy-Guy FLEW AWAY. Son of a bitch. So then I made a decision, on the fly, to long jump from the end of the log directly to the mushroom. I've done it dozens of times, and it's actually quicker than floating slowly across, but I don't prefer the long jump in a speedrun because sometimes an invisible wall randomly appears in front of the mushroom and I would bounce off and die, losing nearly a minute in the process. But at this point, there was no other way! This might have been the biggest *hold-my-breath* moment of the run... Would the wall be there? Would this run be ruined? Would I have to spend MORE time on this project that had already eaten up three months of my time? ...... I landed safely on the mushroom.
  53. For the longest time, I never even knew about riding the wind over here. I always went around the mountain like normal and (just like you see here) jumped over the edge, taking around 25 seconds. Then I learned about riding the wind, and I magically saved 10 seconds on this star, 10 on the "Lonely Mushroom" star, and several combined on "Top of the Mountain" and the waterfall star. All thanks to the wind!
  54. Not much going on here. Jumping across the mushrooms scares me a little bit, but I've only died 2 or 3 times ever while doing it.
  55. Ready for some long-windedness? Here we go. Since I didn't get the Vanishing Cap, I couldn't get "Into the Igloo" and open the cannon to shoot to this star in less than 10 seconds. Still, the route I use here is capable of 19 seconds, and when you take into account the time to open the cannon during "Into the Igloo," I really don't lose any time at all! Now then, the long jump across the bridge is extremely tricky: If you start the jump too early, you won't go far enough across the bridge and you'll be blown off. If you start it too late, you'll probably slide off the other end of the bridge. If you don't manage to long jump at all, you'll start the snowman's dialogue box and will have to triple jump OVER his breath (yes, it's possible). If you bump into the penguin, you'll land smack dab in the middle of the bridge and will get blown off, guaranteed. If you do a good jump but somehow go too slowly afterwards, you'll still get blown off. Being blown off costs 30 seconds... it was IMPERATIVE that I make this jump. The camera angle I use gave me the best success, as opposed to a sideways view. Long jumping diagnally over the gap on the other side also seemed to help a lot. What you see here is only 2 seconds away from optimal because I missed the double jump at the very end. I am obviously very happy with this outcome =)
  56. By diving onto the ice and sliding into the Ice Bully, I deal continuous hits to him and push him over the edge without chance of incident.
  57. This star can be done in 4 seconds flat. I don't think I do that here (more like 5!) but this is really awesome.
  58. Triple jumping over the slope and diving onto the walkway of moving ice is a couple seconds faster than long jumping around the snowman. I'm not really sure how it compares to using the cannon, but that option wasn't available anyway, so I didn't sweat it.
  59. I missed the last coin and spent a few seconds circling around it like a fool. That has never happened before.
  60. Oh, Tick-Tock Clock, bane of my existence. Maybe I'm a fool for taking all 6 stars from it, but fact is, they're some of the fastest stars in the game. Climbing the red coin platforms at the beginning (for every star) didn't occur to me until long after I'd started recording runs, and you wouldn't think so, but it is super tough to do it perfectly. If you bump into the wall at any time, there's a really good chance you will fall all the way to the bottom, right between all of the platforms. Then if there's a bomb guy at the bottom and he explodes, there's a chance that you'll be pushed through the floor and you'll die. Sometimes you fall through the floor anyway WITHOUT the bomb guy! You don't even have to bump the wall to fall-- if you don't jump high enough to get to the next platform, you bump the side of that platform, which acts like a wall and makes you fall... So there's that. This first star went pretty much perfectly, except for the botched long jump at the end. I landed on the hexagon platform and jumped up into the cage from there, which worked really well but cost a second or two.
  61. Nothing to complain about here, surprisingly.
  62. Long jumping across the level and landing in the nook with the star is so badass it scares me.
  63. Had a bit of trouble getting on the thwomp's head, but it went pretty well otherwise. There's a method I came up with that doesn't involve the thwomp at all: long jump off the conveyor belt and wall kick up to the platform with the star. The timing of the wall kick has to be dead-on, or you won't get high enough. I wasn't in any mood to lose 10+ seconds by falling up there, so I took the slower way. A perfect run of this star is about 45 seconds... most of the time, that won't be achieved though. If I found some better stars for a 70-star run, this would probably be the first one on the chopping block.
  64. The reason I don't go directly onto the wire-mesh floor near the end is because sometimes an invisible wall appears right there. Bumping into it = falling = immediate death = whole minute lost. So, I took the safe way onto the curved platform and spared myself the grief.
  65. This went well.
  66. <3 Toad
  67. Rainbow Ride. Another bane of my existence. There are infinite possibilities for mistakes (and death!) spread out among the 4 stars I get here... This level's a real run-killer, no doubt about that. The triple jump wall kick onto the rotating platform at the beginning is several seconds faster than long jumping over to the pole and climbing up it. It is possible to kick off the side of the platform and actually land ON the spinning platform to the left, but that is fairly random due to the very nature of a platform that spins-- wall kick off the wrong angle and you're pretty much dead. I settle for this method that is 2 seconds slower but tons more consistent... The long jump straight over to the falling platforms is an amazing time-saver, but pretty tough. You have to run along the right fence at full speed, facing STRAIGHT ahead, and then push slightly to the right near the end of the long jump. This whole star went flawlessly.
  68. Flawless again. You could probably take a slower route without losing any time because of the need to wait for the swinging platform...
  69. The triple jump wall kick up to the red coin on its own ledge is an invention of mine. It is pretty easy to mess up by falling off any of the platforms; wall kicking too low and not being able to grab the edge of the ledge; or bumping into Lakitu (if he's there) and somehow falling. After the first coin is a low jump that leads into a double wall kick off a very narrow wall. The only mistake on this star is missing that low jump and having to use a sort of drop-down triple wall kick instead. Fortunately I was prepared for this!
  70. Cruiser Crossing the Rainbow. You certainly wouldn't expect this to be in a speedrun, being that riding the many carpets up and around takes like 2 whole minutes. In the planning stage of the run, I developed a method that avoids all the carpets and takes around 45 seconds. It was really tough and sort of random, but I was prepared to go for it... Fortunately, my route turned out to be worthless thanks to Curtis Bright: he had a route that gets to the star in a mere 28 seconds. Yeah, 28. Jesus. It took a TON of practice to be able to pull his route off with any consistency at all, and I even ended up having to compromise with a slightly slower trick due to the difficulty. In the real route, you double jump (or long jump) off the falling block at the top of the maze, wall kick off the falling block on the other side of the transparent green block, wall kick off the green block itself, land on the falling blocks, and do a long jump over to the falling blocks by the walkway in front of the "cruiser." This is a really tough thing to do, especially the final long jump. Doing it that way involved pulling slightly back on the control stick in mid-air-- at full speed, you bump into the wooden walkway above the far falling blocks (which caused you to die or fall way down for a big time loss). Pulling back too far means you're too low to grab the edge of the far falling block, leading to more falling. My alternative is easier and more consistent, but about 5 seconds slower. The key is to grab the edge of the very first falling block and pull yourself up onto it. Starting to run from there gives you just the right speed to long jump and grab the far block without touching the control stick at all. My consistency reached nearly 100%! The only problem was getting in position to pull myself up onto the block. The solution was long jumping to the platform below and then doing a triple jump wall kick back up... The result is a ~35 second run of "Cruiser Crossing the Rainbow" that will BLOW YOUR MIND. I even saved it for the last star of the game to further the effect =)

Endgame: Bowser in the Sky is super tough to do perfectly. I daresay it is another bane of my existence (there are many of them). Without question, the toughest trick is the triple jump across the floating blocks to avoid using the moving "arrow" platform. Any slight miscalculation leads to a good 20-second fall and perhaps a spoiled run (and at an hour into it, that's no small thing!). After it ruined what would've been about a 1:01:50 run (assuming I beat Bowser perfectly, which, admittedly, probably wouldn't have happened), I practiced the jump like crazy-- the result being that I hit it dead-on in my final run here. The second toughest trick is the turnaround jump off the top of the triangle-shaped block to grab the pole. It's very narrow up there, and if you fall like I did, you face the wrath of the bomb dudes. I succeeded on the second try though, so no big loss. The Bowser fight is what really made me lose sleep... One of the more creative boss fights I've seen, but dammit, doing it perfectly is HARD! All of the throws are from far away and Bowser has to be spinning at full speed to go far enough. I missed only one throw this time, which is better than I usually do =) On the last throw, the platform was breaking up around me and causing the game to slow down. I lost a few seconds by waiting for it finish, but it was worth it when I nailed that throw.

So that's pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about this run-- the thought processes, the alternatives, and the parts that inspired dread in my heart. Now any would-be challengers know exactly what they're getting themselves into ;)

120-star Single-Segment 2:09:40 by Peter Branam-Lefkove.

File details: 193 MB / 568 MB / 1.59 GB size (low / normal / high quality), requires DivX codec or VLC player. Thanks to Nate for transferring from DVD.

Author's comments:

I think everything that follows here can be aptly summarized in one sentence: This was a helluva lot harder than it looks.

Credits


General Comments

After I finished my Banjo Tooie 100% Run back in December, I was contemplating a 120-shine Super Mario Sunshine Run for my next project. But, I decided that I wanted to try something I'd never done before: a single segment run. Since SMS 100% didn't seem like the best choice for this, I decided to go with its predecessor; for my inaugural SS run, I picked a game that I hadn't played in over 9 years. (When I started out, I didn't even know how to long jump!)

This run was a radically different experience for me; unlike my previous works, the focus here was much more on frequent practicing rather than planning. (I planned out most of my 100 coin routes myself, but most of the other strategies were taken from various sources cited above.) And having never done anything quite like this before, I can honestly say that I had no idea what I was getting into. This run, which I had originally planned to finish back in April, wound up taking more than twice as long as I'd anticipated. (My humblest apologies to anyone who was misled by my various monthly forum posts, promising that I was "almost done, really!") It also basically destroyed the analog sticks on all three of my remaining N64 controllers.

Still, I think the final product is worth it. As you'll see, this run, while certainly not perfect, nonetheless completes the game without any deaths or serious errors. It's quite solid overall.

That should cover the basics. I was originally shooting for sub-2:15 here, so sub-2:10 is even better. Overall, I'm quite satisfied with this run, and I hope you are too. Enjoy!

If you have any questions or comments about this run, you may contact me on AIM at XDragornX.


Detailed Comments

Before I get to the individual star comments, I'll discuss the overall route I took through the castle. In the beginning, I take care of some of Bomb-omb Battlefield (obviously that level has to be first), then Cool Cool Mountain (this level is loaded with run killers, so it's best to get it out of the way early), and then Bowser in the Dark World (another run killer that I want to finish early for the same reason). After that, I tackle the other half of the ground floor: Jolly Roger's Bay, the Princess's Secret Slide, and the Wing Cap. At this point, Whomp's Fortress and the Secret Slide Part II could be completed, but since they're pretty easy, I prefer to complete them much later in the run (right before heading upstairs). So I just finish off Bomb-omb Battlefield and move on.

Here, the route gets a little more interesting. One possible route (and the most obvious) is to get the vanishing cap, then backtrack to the basement, complete the 3 levels there, then Dire Dire Docks + Bowser, then Big Boo's Haunt, and finally return to the ground floor normally. The alternate method (which I picked from the TAS) is to warp back to the lobby after getting the vanishing cap, complete Big Boo's Haunt, then Dire Dire Docks + Bowser, then the basement, and finally warp back up to the ground floor. In addition to eliminating lots of tedious backtracking, this also lets me tackle Dire Dire Docks + Bowser much earlier. (Those areas are also notorious run killers that I want to complete ASAP.)

There's not really anything to say about the route for the upstairs area; that's pretty standard.

You'll notice early on that I seldom collect stars in the order in which the level presents them; this might seem random, but there's usually a method to the madness. Sometimes, it's necessary for strategic purposes; for example, in Snowman's Land, it's necessary to complete "Inside the Igloo" before "Snowman's Big Head" because I activate the cannon in the former star. Barring those restrictions, I also usually like to mix up easy stars and more difficult ones; that is, I like to use the easy stars as recovery periods between more difficult ones. And sometimes I just do weird things like collecting the Big Boo's Haunt stars in "Memento" order (last, first, second-to-last, and so on).

Finally, you'll notice in these comments that I usually have more to say about stars where things go wrong as opposed to one's that go perfectly. I guess that's just the nature of the beast.

Well, here we go.

  1. Oh dear God, how I grew to loathe this opening cutscene... 45 seconds of agony for every restart. (And there were many of them!) Anyway, like LeCoureur103, I employ the lakitu skip here. It took a ton of practice, but I was eventually able to achieve decent consistency with it. And since it's the beginning of the run, messing up isn't a very big deal. (Like he says, it's just too cool to pass up.) After that comes the first star in Bomb-omb Battlefield. This glitch here, along with the lakitu skip, killed the majority of my runs. It's pretty difficult, which is why I tackle it first among the Bomb-omb Battlefield stars. A dead run at this point is about 2 minutes lost altogether.
  2. This follows the strategy in LeCoureur103's run almost exactly (which I believe was a WR Strat for the Koopa the Quick Race). No problems here.
  3. This is a pretty tricky cannon shot: too low, you bounce off; too high, you sail over the island. Still, "sliding" over the top of the island just looks so damn cool that I can't resist.
  4. Cool Cool Mountain is pretty tricky. For this first star here, I'm not sure if this crazy wall kick is any faster than going around the normal way; but again, it looks cooler.
  5. This is another standard strategy. It's best to ground pound right before impact. Of course, if you hit the button too late, you crash. Kinda like this.
  6. Pretty nifty. I found changing the camera perspective when entering the slide to be quite beneficial.
  7. The first 100-coin star. Getting it along with penguin race is quite difficult, which is why this is another infamous run killer. As you can see, it got off to a rocky start. First I mistakenly dove onto the slope, and then I missed 3 coins on the way down. I had to grab the extra red coin on the bridge to make up for this. And while I normally have a 1-coin margin-of-error on the slide, I obviously couldn't afford that this time. I still managed to salvage it though.
  8. One of the nice things about getting the 100 coins on the penguin race is that, since you have to wait for him to get into position afterward, you don't lose any time collecting the star.
  9. This is a modified version of a strategy from one of Curtis Bright's videos. It went well. Sliding down the slope, over the chasm, and then jumping the tree to grab the coin is pretty damn cool.
  10. You know, this star gave me trouble way too many times for something so easy. Nothing went wrong this time though.
  11. The first Bowser World... yet another run killer! There are so many of them... anyway, this is a little rough at a couple of spots, but pretty good overall. I followed LeCoureur103's strategy for most of it. Bowser went down without a hitch.
  12. I hate swimming. (Not as much as flying, but we'll get to that later.) Nothing to see here, move along...
  13. I guess it's possible to swim lower and still activate the eel, but it's really not worth the risk.
  14. One of many stars where the metal cap is proved unnecessary. This jet stream is easier to penetrate than the one in Dire Dire Docks.
  15. The second 100-coin star. There are only 104 coins in the whole level, so your options of what coins to collect are quite limited. A couple rough spots here (damn swimming!), but not bad.
  16. Not much to do after grabbing the 100-coin star, just open the chest and get out...
  17. This is pretty standard. No mistakes here.
  18. I don't see much room for improvement of this red coin route.
  19. This is another awesome cannon shot. Sliding along the wall before grabbing the star is sweet.
  20. The Secret Slide Part I... this is basically LeCoureur103's strategy exactly. Short and simple.
  21. For the longest time, I wondered if the towers here were solid or not. Eventually I learned the answer the hard way. (They are.) Oh yeah, flying. Oh how I despise the flying in this game. It's so difficult to control... nothing went wrong here though.
  22. Pretty clean execution on this one. Another nifty cannon shot too.
  23. Another red coin route from a Curtis Bright Video. Sometimes, an invisible wall is present over the bridge and screws up the wall-kick after collecting the sixth red coin. Thankfully that didn't happen here.
  24. Collecting the 100 coins in this level is fastest with the Koopa Race, because of the empty time you'd otherwise spend just waiting for him to finish. This was definitely one of my better executions of the star. Sometimes, a coin gets lost near the beginning, usually due to the crazy directions that the coins from the throwing blocks can take. In that case, I substitute a coin from a bomb-omb somewhere along the line. Also, my race time was exactly one minute, which is kinda cool. The last part of this level is a nightmare. There's so much that can go wrong when you're flying around (did I mention I hate flying?) and collecting all these coins. You could potentially gather many more of them from the air, but the flying is just too damn difficult/random. Finally, the obsessive-compulsive in me wanted to collect exactly 100 coins on all 15 courses, but I guess it wasn't meant to be...
  25. After all that crap is finished, it's just one short cannon's shot to victory.
  26. The vanishing cap course it home to the second-most-difficult trick of this run. In theory, you triple jump off the cap switch, then wall kick, and finally dive just over the top of the nearby fence, smoothly grabbing the star and escaping the level without viewing the annoying dialogue box. Yep, it's a lot harder than it sounds. It doesn't work very often, and this time was no exception. Worth a try though.
  27. Ugh, I can't believe I actually messed up the entrance to this level twice in one run (it very rarely happens). This star went well though. Cool wall kick near the beginning.
  28. No mistakes here. Cool wall kick near the end this time.
  29. The direction that you face affects what direction Big Boo will fly off in. You can manipulate this in the battle to good effect, as seen here. Not bad.
  30. Getting 100 coins in this level without stepping outside is pretty nice. Had some bad luck with the eye monster though.
  31. Even MORE bad luck against Big Boo :(
  32. This is a nice red coin route, from the TAS Test Run I believe. I especially like the double wall kick off the stairs.
  33. Same wall kick here as on the first star, expect in the opposite direction. Pity I screwed it up the first time :/. Otherwise this is good.
  34. Oh hell. The last 30 or so minutes have just been a warmup for the dreaded Star 34. I tackle this godforsaken thing first in Dire Dire Docks, because I just want to get it over with. The beginning of this star is a little rough, with some coins missed the first time. (Did I mention I hate swimming?) However, the real test is the sub. The various jumps and wall kicks involved here ruined many a good run. I pulled them all off quite nicely though, including sliding down the side of the sub and wall kicking to grab the blue coin platform. (That's the single most difficult trick of the run.)
  35. Nothing much to see here, the hard parts are over. Although it's still quite possible to screw up the long jump back to the sub and slide off.
  36. Not much to see here either. This star and the next are really just breathers to collect my nerve before Bowser in the Fire Sea.
  37. This star isn't that hard, but once I got careless and allowed myself to get sucked into the whirlpool by the final chest. This came AFTER good execution of the red/100 coins stars. Most infuriating. Nothing went wrong this time.
  38. This jet stream here is much more finicky than the one in Jolly Roger Bay. I had a lot of trouble swimming through the rings until I tried switching the camera angle. That also made it easier to swim to the star as well. Nothing went wrong here.
  39. I... fell off the sub. WTF!? This just goes to show you that anything, no matter mind-numbingly simple, can be royally screwed up in an instant.
  40. Welcome to Bowser Part II, where anything can go wrong, and usually does. I accidentally fell in the lava near the beginning, which, all things considered, isn't that bad. (I was still able to avoid waiting for the stairs to the final area.) And another smooth Bowser battle, w00t!
  41. I'd just like to say that this is really harder than it looks. Usually, I just miss the first ring and swim through the next 5 normally. In this case, I missed the second one, which resulted in a much more substantial delay. Bah.
  42. NOOOOOOOO, I MISSED THE RABBIT!! This star went all right though. Riding the green shell over the sand pillars is always nerve wracking. Basically, I used the M.O. that LeCoureur103 describes in this comments; if the shell breaks on the first pillar, go get a different star; the third or fourth, finish on foot; the second... you're dead. A ruined run after 40-something minutes of playing due to random chance like that is quite irritating.
  43. I must say, I'm quite proud of this. Triple jumping up the pyramid to hit the bird right as he flies over, and then sliding down the other side to collect the star... damn that's cool. Of course, the tricky part is getting the timing down. That's what the 1-up is for; I found that doing the triple jump after releasing the 1-up and allowing it to bounce a couple times set the bird up perfectly.
  44. The quickest way to get on top of that big red thing in the middle of the pyramid is to do some crazy triple jump + wall kick thing off the side... definitely not feasible here. My way is nice and consistent, and I still think it looks pretty cool. The fight went fine.
  45. Well this started out well. The long jump off the fly guy to land on top of the stone structure is nifty. But it's all downhill from there. Missing that coin in the air was pretty stupid, and then getting hit by the fire... ugh. I salvaged it as well as I could.
  46. This 100 coin route here is by no means the fastest possible... I made a lot of tradeoffs to get something consistent. (In particular, I pass over the 2 fly guys by the pyramid and the coin block in the stone structure, because their coins have a tendency to go everywhere and wind up in quicksand.) Still, I think it's well balanced. Also, this star is the SECOND instant of riding the green shell over the pillars. Usually, if it's going to break and kill me, it happens here, because that's just so much more insulting.
  47. Have to be careful here not to miss the star and fall to a horrible quicksand death below.
  48. Two reasons why I saved this for last: first, it prevents a tornado from appearing in the quicksand pool by the stone structure (the one I pass by on the green shell during the 100-coin route); second, it's a nice, easy "backup" star that can be quickly substituted if something goes wrong with big bird, the green shell, etc.
  49. I had to skip Lava Land briefly here to make up for my earlier MIPS butchery. Thankfully I got him without wasting too much time.
  50. Nothing went wrong here.
  51. Pretty close call by the spinning platform. Owned the bully though.
  52. This is such a nice star. Quick, easy, painless.
  53. Well... I'm usually pretty good with the bullies. Not this time though. Bastards nearly killed me.
  54. This went well. I'm not sure whether flying to the stone arch is faster or slower than getting there on foot, but this looks nice regardless.
  55. This is a good 100-coin route... assuming that you don't lose the shell. Which of course I did. Messed up again right outside the Volcano too :/. At least the inside went well though. I nailed the triple-jump over the lego smasher that seems to give so many other runners trouble :P.
  56. Just a quick couple of pole jumps here...
  57. Toad...
  58. This is from Spezzafer's 16-star-TAS... it's actually not the fastest way available. After you enter the pit area, you can do a wall kick off the wall to your right to grab an upper platform and then long jump to the star; of course, if you screw up the wall kick, you sail right into the pit and die, which is why I opted for this instead.
  59. Road to the Metal Cap went off without a hitch. I particularly like sliding off the platform with the star. Metal Cap also went well.
  60. Another 100 coins here. I accidentally skipped over one of the spider creatures near the beginning, and thus had to kill all 4 bats in the maze to make up for it. (Normally I only need one coin from them.) Other than that, this went well. 60 Stars, halfway there!
  61. Finishing a 100 coin route with both stars right next to each like this is neato.
  62. A small part of me dies every time I see this. It's just hard to believe that I could've made such a monumentally stupid mistake. Most cringe-worthy moment of the run, right here.
  63. Nailed the long jump off the moving platform to the very narrow arch with the fourth red coin. Got sloppy near the end, but this is still pretty good.
  64. Quick and easy.
  65. I'm aware that this star can be completed without using the metal cap. However, I could never get decent consistency with that ground pound over the switch, so I just opted for the easy method.
  66. Whoa, close call on the way out. Falling back into HMC would've sucked hard. Caught MIPS perfectly on the second time though.
  67. That little mess-up on the way to Whomp's Fortress is aggravating. This star here went fine though.
  68. Pretty nice.
  69. There's a lot of neat things in this 100 coin route. The triple jump up the slope by the cannon is particularly nice. Collecting the final red coin with 98 in hand (so that both stars appear simultaneously) is also a cool effect.
  70. Yep.
  71. Total ownage here.
  72. You can get this star without the cannon, but that's WAAAAY too random for a speedrun. This strategy is the best bet. Unfortunately I messed up this time, but oh well.
  73. Another great cannon shot.
  74. The Princess's Secret Slide Revisited. I bet you'd forgotten about this by now. No? Well, anyway, this is basically the same deal as last time.
  75. Ugh, I missed the cool little glitch for the stairs to the upper levels. As for this star, well, my execution definitely could've been better.
  76. This, on the other hand, is awesome. Perfect triple jump at the beginning, perfect ascension of those yellow block stairs, and perfect wall kicking inside the cage. (And that last part is HARD!)
  77. This is another LeCoureur103 strat. I haven't been pointing them out for a while, but if you've seen the 70-star run you probably recognize most of them anyway.
  78. Quick and easy, a nice little breather to break up the more difficult stars of this level.
  79. Screwed up the jump after collecting the Vanishing Cap. Otherwise this is good.
  80. More 100-coin fun! My strategy here borrows liberally from Curtis Bright's "Secrets in the Shallows and Sky" video, as well as the TAS Test Run. Also, that triple jump up to the area with the Chuckya is very tricky, probably the second most difficult trick in this level (behind the elevator wall kicks).
  81. Just a quick long jump from the last star to this one. Watching the water rise up around Mario as the end cinema plays is cool.
  82. I despise this level. That chuckya is a bastard. He got me this time, but I at least managed to avoid him later. Otherwise, this star is short and sweet.
  83. Basically LeCoureur103's strat, except for the triple jump + wall kick at the beginning. The long jump to the star at the end is probably some unnecessary daredevilism.
  84. Another quick and simple star.
  85. Draining the water without actually going to the top of the level is a cool trick. I managed to avoid that damn Chuckya on my way to Wiggler this time. His battle also went quite well. (The direction that he moves at the beginning is random, so it can be difficult to nail him as you drop down. I got him though.)
  86. As the level with the most coins, this was the hardest to map out a 100-coin route for. My strategy for this level must've gone through 3 or 4 distinct iterations. Anyway, you have to be very careful with the big goombas here; it's quite easy to accidentally jump on one and lose 4 coins. Collecting the red coins inside the mountain, however, is the real challenge. It's just so easy to fall down. Nothing went wrong this time though.
  87. Mwahahaha.
  88. I use an unorthodox Koopa the Quick strategy here, from the TAS Test Run. He's going to get to the flag in the same amount of time either way, so you might as well have something interesting to watch.
  89. Toad!
  90. This level is a much needed breather after the hellish Wet Dry World and Tiny Huge Island. All of these stars start out the same way (with the long jump onto the wind gust), and three of the four that involve going to the top of the mountain are practically identical. Anyway, this star went well. I've heard horror stories about invisible walls appearing in front of this mushroom, but I've actually never had a problem with them here. They've screwed me over everywhere else in the game, but not here. Strange.
  91. Complete LeCoureurage. Oh yes, I should also mention here that you can longjump INSIDE the mountain at the beginning of this level, and warp up to the area with the log and fly guy. This isn't that difficult, but I couldn't use it since it violates SDA "Mysterious Warping" rules. Anyway, moving on...
  92. Some people probably find it strange to take the slide here, but not collect the slide's star. Oh well, speedruns sometimes require seemingly odd strategies. Anyway, this is... awesome. I didn't even miss a single coin on the slide, which is fairly unusual. (The 3 goombas by the start point are used to make up for any lost coins as necessary.) Grabbing the last 4 red coins off the mushrooms is naturally terrifying, but I pulled it off well.
  93. Indeed.
  94. No problems here. Nothing much else to say...
  95. I occasionally have problems with this star, but nothing went wrong this time.
  96. The monkey eluded me for a second there, but otherwise no problems.
  97. This star is a nice easy intro for Snowman's Land. Nothing you haven't seen before, I'm sure...
  98. 100 coins on this level is a real pain. You have to kill a ton of different enemies without losing the shell, and those moneybag bastards spray their coins everywhere when you kill them. Randomness this late in a run is BAD news. Anyway, this went pretty well. I managed to keep the shell the whole time, and didn't get too much bad luck with the different enemies. As far as the inside of the igloo goes, it went well, except for one point. It's possible to activate the cannon, grab all the remaining coins you need, and then grab both stars, without ever needing to "recharge" your vanishing cap. However, the timing on this is very tight, and if you stupidly smash into a wall like I did, you have to waste time grabbing a second cap. Not the end of the world though.
  99. I think I forgot to complain about the utterly atrocious camera angles inside this igloo. You can't tell what's going on half the time. Anyway, moving on...
  100. This isn't a particularly difficult cannon shot, but I screw it up quite frequently. Nerves, maybe? Anyway, it's the only missed shot of the run, and not a very big deal, as you can see.
  101. Pretty slick.
  102. Even slicker.
  103. The slickest!
  104. Oh no, the homestretch. This is where my nerves typically go to pieces. As you can see, I missed the initial entrance to Tick Tock Clock and had to waste time waiting for it to cycle back up to 12. The star itself is pretty sloppy as well. Don't worry, the rest of this level is better.
  105. This is decent.
  106. Messed up a jump on the red coin platforms, and opted to collect the red coin star instead. Not that bad either.
  107. Doing a long jump across the clock to this star (like in LeCoureur103's run) is faster and cooler, but I've just had way too much bad luck with invisible walls in this level to risk it.
  108. Pretty solid.
  109. As you can see, I missed several coins near the beginning there, and had to collect 2 extra red coins (7 instead of my normal 5) to make up for it. Otherwise, this is nice. You do have to take into account that I've been playing for about two hours at this point and am a nervous wreck.
  110. Awesome triple jump up to the thwomp here.
  111. TOAD!!!
  112. The sickest level of them all. I opt not to perform the insane triple jump + wall kick at the beginning of these stars, because screwing it up is instant death. The pole method is an acceptable alternative. Otherwise, the various crazy things that LeCoureur103 used in his 70-star run are reproduced here. Unfortunately I screwed up a trick in this star, but fear not; like the last level, this will get much better.
  113. Sweetness.
  114. Oh yes, nailed the long jump to the donut blocks. Kick ass.
  115. Nothing to complain about here. Total ownage.
  116. The last 100-coin star! And I have to say, it's just freakin beautiful.
  117. The end is near.
  118. I'm sorry about leaving this star for last. I know it makes for a rather anticlimactic conclusion to the level. However, it's my backup star just in case (Heaven forbid) I screw up the wall kick in the 100-coin route and miss any blue coins. Thankfully that didn't happen. So, yeah... this is pretty damn boring. Can't be helped though, really.
  119. More flying. (Did I mention I hate flying?) Anyway, no mistakes here. I even managed to snag that last red coin without grabbing the pole above it. (It's not a big deal if that happens, but it costs a little time.)
  120. Well, this is it. The last star, and the last chance to SCREW EVERYTHING UP. For the first part of the level, there were a couple rough patches, but all things considered, it's not bad. Not bad at all. And the Bowser fight is just spectacular. Three perfect throws like that is damn rare. I couldn't have asked for a better ending.

Well, kudos if you actually read all that. I hope you enjoy(ed) the run!

16-star PAL 0:23:11 by Ilari Pekkala.

File details: 61.5 MB size, requires DivX codec.

Author's comments:

The PAL version of SM64 is obviously slower than the NTSC version, therefor it's good to have separate records for these different systems. Some things is easier to perform on PAL though, like bowser throwing and pretty much everything else too, seems almost like slow-motion after playing with NTSC. Anyway this run was nice, even thought I made some misstakes that clearly show when you watch the run, in the end those doesn't matter that much though since 90% of the run was just the way I wanted.

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