Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Submission #3434: HappyLee's NES Super Mario Bros. "warpless" in 18:38.22

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Super Mario Bros.
Game version: JPN/USA
ROM filename: Super Mario Bros. (JU) [!].nes
Branch: warpless
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 18:38.22
FrameCount: 67204
Re-record count: 85361
Author's real name: Lee
Author's nickname: HappyLee
Submitter: HappyLee
Submitted at: 2012-01-21 11:36:36
Text last edited at: 2012-01-26 10:30:08
Text last edited by: Brandon
Download: Download (11934 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Greetings, fellow TAS lovers. It takes you 2 years to finish probably the GREATEST SMB RUN EVER, which is the improvement of 209 frames (3.48 seconds) over my previous SMB warpless TAS you're seeing at the moment.

(Link to video)

Standard encode (hope it will make to the final publication), 512x480 encode, Comparison video, 4-window comparison video

(Suggested screenshot, frame 17477)

New incredible tricks

Mario found entering castles every time slow and boring, so he dredged more secret underground paths more quickly to princess's freedom.
  • Cheep-cheep glitch in 2-3 and 7-3, 84 frames were saved in each level (168 frames in total): This special glitch was found by me while TASing -2 stage of my "-3 stage" run, and made the main improvement of this movie. Manipulating the right fish was truly a disaster, and if it weren't for Mars's help, I don't know how long I could carry on for.

    Cheap Cheep-cheeps flying around the screen with barely any law to be followed through the whole level can make anyone crazy, not to mention that I had to complete the stage as entertaining as possible. Luckily the perfect fish in stage 2-3 can be got without slowing down, and I was able to manipulate the same fish using several completely different combinations of killing, which is strange because the randomness of this level was more regular than I thought. Unfortunately, the situation in 7-3 was much worse due to Koopa Troopas. Just before I was celebrating the great completion of 7-3, another improvement in 7-1 came up to me, saving 42 frames from which didn't make me happy at all.

    The only problem left is: is there any chance to save 105 frames using this glitch. After hundreds of times of self practicing, my answer is: hardly. Supposing that there really were such absolutely perfect fish, they should conform to the following properies: 1. possibilities to manipulate without slowing down; 2. max X speeds; 3. highest flying altitudes; 4. abilities for usage. Fish of those properties would be so rare like meeting aliens at daytime. Maybe we could build up some kinds of functions about movements of all Cheep-cheeps, or use powerful machines to strictly prove whether there are possibilities to save 21 more frames. But I don't consider it worthwhile to do that, for I'm more willing to believe that it's impossible, and that's it I guess.

  • New route using Buzzy Beetle shell glitch in 7-1, 42 frames were saved: It's a strange idea tested before I was making warpless TASv3, I remember clearly that it was almost as fast as using flagpole glitch and bullet glitch, so it has been discarded. During the two years I've been retesting lots of crazy ideas, and turned out this one worked like a charm.

    The Buzzy Beetle shell glitch is a lot like the shell glitch used in 3-1, except the beetle is 1 block closer to downstairs, which requires further anti-screen-scrolling. Well there's no vine in 7-1, how could you deliver yourself to the right edge of the screen? Through pipe crossing. Pipes, the best and only solution, since there's no wall and no straight cut to the ground. It takes a player two pipe crossing and one cannon crossing to successfully reach the beetle on time, and it saved 42 frames with only 2 frames ahead of the frame rule. I'm glad to see the shell glitch I invented put into use not only in 3-1 but also in 7-1. Even though it does seem kind of sad to loose the joy of continuously stomping the Buzzy Beetle while awaiting the Bullet Bill, I still expect you to accept this improvement for another big step to speed limit.

  • Going through the floor in 1-3 and 5-3, 0 frame was saved: Another highly difficult movement considered impossible was achieved by me this time, by extremely precisely jumping. Bouncing on a red Koopa Troopa is similar to using a green one in 3-2 for example, except memory watching and calculating is necessary, owing to the lack of speed. It's a pity that the new route cannot save time (usally 1 frame slower the instant time counting to 000), but it did add a lot of entertainment to the run. By the way, the glitch was well put in use in Mars's SMB warpless walkathon, having saved lots of time, but he forgot to give me credit for opening up this special route.

  • 1x2-powered fireball on Bowser, having rescued about 4 frames from turning to lag frames at Bowser fight in 6-4: I had been really unlucky, because every time I arrived at 6-4 there were always lag frames waiting for me. Bowser must be so mad for my skipping castles so often, so this time, he threw out a large quantity of hammers as a welcome gift, and I can't even avoid one lag frame in a distance. Thanks to this glitch, I'm able to reduce the number of lag frames from 7 to 3, which is the best I can do but unfortunally still 2 more than my last run. Although the mad bowser could be killed with 3 fireballs instead of 4 shown in this run technically, there's no chance for any one of the 2 fireballs fired before seeing that guy to hit him with double firepower (thousands of times proved by myself), otherwise the lag frames can be cut down to one or two.

  • Better turning movement in 8-4, 1 frame was saved: The same 1 frame that beat klmz's SMB warped run, no further explanation needed.

  • Other tricks: There are certainly other glithes shown in this run, some of which might seem very fresh to you. Such as moonwalk, ghostrun, sliding on one foot, high-frequency ducking, narrow (1-block wide) walljump, lift crossing, Koopa walking in mid-air, killing the Paranha plant inside the pipe, stomping on 2 enemies at the same moment, killing 2 enemies using 1 fireball, and so on. Please see level comments to learn more.

Level comments

What you're about to see is a 2 years' work flashing in front of your eyes within 19 minutes, therefore I suggest you to read the following level comments first so as not to miss all these shining moments. Watching the comparison video is also well encouraged.

Thanks to the 21 frame rule, in some levels speed can make way for entertainment, 5-1 for example. There are also a great quantity of small adjustments of speed in order to enhance the entertainment value you may not notice, and I even manipulate luck several times to let some enemies behave better. So in general, more enemies were killed, and more coins were gotten, especially the 3UP plan worked very successfully.

The decisive 1 frame has still never been found. I guess it's not likely to be improved anymore.
The mushroom was actually gotten a bit faster if you look carefully, but speed was slowed down to make the stage more interesting.
Fire flower's getting was also improved. During the time waiting for the red Koopa, I performed moonwalk on the cliff.
I've came up with a crazy idea once, that is to get the mushroom in 1-3 instead of 1-2, and then get the fire flower in 1-4. What really shocked me was that the idea almost saved 21 frames. Although I've tried my best to manage to get that flower in a quickest way, there are still about 3 more frames to go in order to save time. And since this new route would be a bit less entertaining, I still kept the old route.
Pipe crossing was used for anti-screen-scrolling, but this time was more accurate, reaching the flagpole 9 frames earlier.
100% kill, good performance in the water I think. And by the way, have anyone seen Paranha plant killed in the after stages (such like the one in 4-2, 7-2)? I managed to kill it, and it doesn't take any time, making this run more entertaining.
93% kill + 100% coins, only one of the 14 fish is missing. I'm sorry but I had to let it go. I hope the only fish survived in this movie (except a few in 8-4) would live a good life.
Nothing too special, just enjoy.
Same strategy, but different pipe. As you can see, I changed to use the first pipe for anti-screen-scrolling because it's faster and a little more interesting. The stage was finished using the shell glitch same as the last run, and I got my 1UP 3 levels earlier.
100% kill (expect a Paranha plant impossible to reach), perfect show. I did manage to circle around the brick and then break it during the short time waiting for the Koopa.
It's so odd that the time of killing the red Koopa Paratroopa would actually affect the lift not far away that I used. Sometimes the balance lift's OK for entering the ground 6 frames earlier but sometimes it's not. This time I really came close to saving 21 frames, but I couldn't go any faster, besides, 2 frames earlier the time was 256, so I guess there's no way to save time. Instead, I took a roundabout way to the right side of the flagpole and grabbed it, firing 2 fireballs for demonstrating the solid brick near the entrance of the castle.
Open your eyes wide, 'cause the Bowser was killed in an instant with 5 bullets. See if you can count them all!
As soon as the music playing was over, I stopped being a musician and became a Spiny sniper. I totally sniped 3 Spinies, and believe me, that's an pretty good result, for the stage being too barren, not suitable for Spiny sniping.
The number of broken bricks was decreased because someone might not like the sound of that. And the fireballs were really shot mysteriously, more than I can imagine.
Lift crossing was successfully performed once.
Another 1 frame mystery was settled. Here in 4-4, I reached the axe 1 frame faster by better wall passing, and left me just 1 more frame to go to save 21 frames at the castle. Having tried my best, I believe there's no way I can save 1 frame anymore, but there's still no strict proof of whether the decisive 1 frame could be found.
Since 21 frame rule left me enough time to spare, I slid on one foot at the beginning of the level. I don't know if this is the first time that the sliding trick used in a TAS aiming for the fastest time, somebody please tell me that. Have you ever seen a fireball hitting 3 enemies at the same time? Well don't wink or you'll miss it! And after hundreds of times of testing, the bullet was still too shy to come out, so what can I do?
I gave up a little speed in exchange for entertainment. In my opinion, very entertaining.
During the time waiting for the red Koopa, I performed moonwalk on the lift.
Thanks to Mars, who figured out the solution of jumping over the most dangerous Fire Bar in 5-4. The key is slowing down a bit, but I don't know exactly how it works.
After being a musician at the beginning of the stage, I soon picked up the job as a Spiny sniper again, and this time I successfully sniped 6 Spinies with only 3 missing. Don't miss the 2UP moment, came 4 levels earlier.
Most entertaining as usual. If you're careful enough, you'll find the broken brick before the vine was changed to it's left one, and the new strategy allowed me to transport 4 frames earlier, helping me finish the shell glitch in the end 4 frames earlier. I spent lots of time working on that shell, so I'm sort of sure there's no possible improvement left in this stage.
The only level left where I have to wait for the time. I picked a more interesting route than last time, and I slid at the beginning, got more coins, really added some vitality to this ghastly level.
Finally we meet the mad Bowser, who cost me 3 lag frames this time, and was killed delightedly with only 4 fireballs.
I also played music at the beginning. And get a load of the new route, I hope you like it!
100% kill + 100% possible coins, and I slid into the castle. Perfect, perfect, perfect...
100% kill + 100% coins. Real perfect show I think.
Same old maze, nothing too special, just enjoy.
Finally, the legendary 3UP. When I set this special goal while TASing 6-1, I was expecting to get 3UP in 8-3 at the final coin, but what I did in 7-2 and 7-3 was truly incredible, so I changed my mind.
At first, I set my entertainment goal so high, that Mars tried to convince me of giving it up several times, but I finally achieved it! I slowed down a little to kick away the Buzzy Beetle shell and stomped a Bullet Bill manipulated before, later I got 2 Bullet Bills just as I wanted, and stomped both of them to do the Bullet glitch. The most interesting part is the time spent waiting for the Bullet Bills, this time I had fun with a Koopa Paratroopa, stomped it under the ground and kicked it away, and I used my unique skill to survive from both the narrow gap and the Bullet Bills, wasn't that amazing?
The only stage in this run that got the flag, and a score of 5000, due to fireworks issue.
In the first stage I had shown something I'd never shown before, I call it ghostrun (maybe it sounds better in Chinese, 'cause I'm not a good English namer). The posture was changed in each frames, without slowing down the speed, which maked it a wise thing to show it in 8-4. I saved 1 frame in the third stage, and killed the Paranha plant in the water stage. The final Bowser can certainly be killed, but I chose to let him die more specially compared to the seven before, and made a cool splash while getting the final axe.


Mars, one of the best TASers in our Chinese SMB community, who really helped me a lot testing 2-3 and 7-3, and solved the Fire Bar problem;

GAP, who is supporting me all the time with his wisdom, giving me lots of confidence;

w7n, also Chinese, who helped me with my submission text, pointing out several grammar error;

Henry (code name), my classmate and friend, who encouraged me during the most despaired hours of mine, caring for me with her kindness and friendship, and I'm forever grateful.

Good luck in 2012, TASVideos! And Happy Dragon's Year of China!

feos: Encode.

Mukki: Judging...

Mukki: Wonderful. I have no idea how you keep finding improvements to this game, but I certainly don't mind watching it when you do. Accepting as an improvement to the currently published run.

Brandon: Publication underway.

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