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

Submission #657: TheAxeMan's GB Super Mario Land in 12:14.92

Console: Game Boy
Game name: Super Mario Land
Game version: USA 1.1
ROM filename: Super Mario Land.gb
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 12:14.92
FrameCount: 44095
Re-record count: 14777
Author's real name: Frank Amoroso
Author's nickname: TheAxeMan
Submitter: TheAxeMan
Submitted at: 2005-05-02 00:05:37
Text last edited at: 2009-07-04 23:05:49
Text last edited by: Truncated
Download: Download (3777 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Several GBA movies have already been published, but this submission aims to be the first old-school four-color Game Boy movie. And what better game than the first portable translation of the ubiquitous Mario franchise.

Super Mario Land is quite a bit different from the 8-bit and 16-bit console Marios. Bowser is on a vacation, but the Princess still isn't safe--she's been kidnapped by a space alien named Tatanga. So Mario must embark once again on a classic side-scrolling, platform-jumping adventure to save her. There are 4 "worlds" with 3 levels each, and at the end of each world Mario thinks he's rescued the princess... 2-3 and 4-3 are forced-scroll shooters, pretty strange for a Mario game. Unlike his usual bouncing fireballs, this adventure features jezzball-like fireballs that bounce off of walls. There's a bonus level that can be accessed after every level, but is only required on the last level of each world.

My primary goal is to finish the game as quickly as possible. The secondary goal is to get the highest possible score. This leads to quite a few interesting moves designed to scrape out as many points as possible by bouncing off of enemies, collecting coins, hitting bricks, all while running through as fast as possible. On the shooter levels, this goal leads me to kill every single enemy, collect every coin and break every block.

Of course, I abuse as many glitches and sneaky tricks as possible--what kind of Mario run would this be if I didn't? Probably the most interesting glitch gives me a second chance after barely missing a jump. This is used in 1-2 to up my score, but most obviously near the end of 4-2. At one point I got a higher-than-normal bounce off of an enemy, which shouldn't be possible in this game. Apparently it was specific to the situation, as I was unable to reproduce it. This would have allowed some more enemy-stomping acrobatics throughout the run.

The bonus levels at the end of each world can't be skipped, but they can be manipulated. It's no coincidence that the desired bonus was right in front of me, with no ladder in the way. For world 1 I get 1 life as it's faster than the small->fire animation, and I don't need to be big in world 2. In world 2 I pick up the fire flower since I finish the level big and the big->fire animation is fast. After world 3 I need to get fireballs for use in world 4.

On the forced-scroll levels I show quite a few glitches while still being able to shoot everything. It's possible to be forced back further than normal by staying behind a wall. When as far back as possible, enemies are unable to touch me, but I can still shoot back and collect coins. As small Mario, I'm also able to stick my head up into the ceiling pretty high. Since timeattacking is an art, I mix in some sculpture in some of the brick walls of 2-3 in tribute to another early Game Boy game.

I also pick up invincibility stars in both the forced-scroll levels, which of course I don't have time to stop for on normal levels. When invincible, there is a hidden counter that increases the score value on enemies killed within about a second of each other. Furthermore, the first enemy killed is worth the same as the last enemy killed before becoming invincible. With these rules in mind, I was able to plan out my path of destruction to maximize my score, which was particularly effective in 4-3.

When fighting the final bosses, I take a hit on the Lakitu wanna-be so that I don't have to waste a shot on his bird.

For even more info, check the forum thread: http://tasvideos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1972&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=40

Special thanks a few people:

Technical details:

Emulator: Visual Boy Advance, 1.7.2, but labelled rerecording 9. The lag reduction feature only applies to GBA games, so pretty much any VBA will play this.

Final score: 263720
Level finish times:
1-1: 361
1-2: 364
1-3: 362
2-1: 358
2-2: 364
2-3: 265
3-1: 335
3-2: 358
3-3: 358
4-1: 338
4-2: 344
4-3: 207

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