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

Submission #880: Fabian & JXQ's SNES Super Demo World "120-exit" in 2:13:17.9

Console: Super NES
Game name: Super Demo World
Game version: 1.1
ROM filename: Super Demo World.smc
Branch: 120-exit
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 2:13:17.9
FrameCount: 479874
Re-record count: 138271
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: Fabian & JXQ
Submitter: JXQ
Submitted at: 2005-11-13 03:13:59
Text last edited at: 2010-07-19 15:09:13
Text last edited by: Kyman
Download: Download (31981 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Super Demo World 120-exit TAS - by Fabian & JXQ

Many Rom sites have this ROM specifically, but if you can't find it, you can apply the patch found at the Official Super Demo World website to the "Super Mario World (U).smc" ROM.

Emulator used: SNES9X-1.43 Improvement 7

  • Completes game as fast as possible
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Manipulates Luck
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Does not use warps
  • 100% levels

Basic Information

As the run is over two hours long, it can be inconvenient to watch all at once, so here are some savegame files staggered along the run to ease in segmented watching. To use them, rename the files to match the name of the ROM you are using. Then, open the ROM in SNES9x and play the SMV file with "Read-Only" checked. Now, loading any of the savestates will advance the run to that spot. The file is hosted on a geocities account, so if it is unavailable because of bandwidth exceeded errors, just try again later. (Thanks to Spacecow for hosting the save game files)

Length: 479874 frames (2 hours, 13 minutes, 17 seconds, and 54 frames)

The last hit on Bowser is on frame 479902 (2 hours, 13 minutes, 18 seconds, and 22 frames)

Rerecord count: 138271

This count was manually edited at times, in order to add in rerecords done on seperate files, since the run was done in many segments by both Fabian & JXQ. This was done in an effort to try and make the count as accurate as possible - if anything, it may be a slight underestimation.

Techniques & Strategies Used

Many of the strategies used throughout the run can be found on the Super Mario World Tricks page, including:

  • Fast flying
  • Fast diving
  • Changing flight direction
  • Spinjump flying
  • Regrabbing an item during flight to change flight physics
  • Release an item during flight and remain flying
  • Grab a live shell while flying
  • Sticking to the ceiling
  • Flying invincibility
  • P-switch jumping
  • Wall-jumping
  • Flying through stairs
  • Hit a question box while moving downwards

However, there are some new tricks:

Jumping to keep running / flying speed
When running full speed at mid-air, releasing "forward" will not slow you down until you touch the ground. Similar to flying, the frame which you release will determine your actual speed, which can sometimes be faster than running. By jumping on the first frame possible, this speed can be kept up, and the process can be continued as long as the level layout allows. Similarly, when flying, let go of "Y" and you will keep flying speed, which can be maintained by jumping in the same fashion.
Fast air-catching
When flying, pressing "back" for one frame, releasing it for one frame, and pressing it again on the third frame will catch air faster than the normal 11 frames required when holding "back".
Fast climbing
Pressing Up and B together every other frame will climb vines and chains at the same speed as the initial ascent of flight. The drawback is that the screen does not begin following you, so depending on the length to climb, waiting for the screen to scroll upward may be necessary.
Floating through upward slopes
Similar to jumping or flying through stairs. By holding an item and floating up at an angle shallower than the angle of the slope, it can be passed through.
Keeping flight after exiting a pipe
When entering a pipe into the ceiling while initially flying, jump immediately after exiting the pipe, and flight will be retained after the peak of the jump.
Keeping flight after climbing
When flying by a vine, chain, or fence, press "up" to grab it. When jumping off the climbing object, continue holding Y to remain flying.
Keyjumping
The key is a unique object ― it can be stood on, and it cannot be destroyed. In this way, it can be jumped off of, and also carried with in the same jump. When near a wall, this process can be repeated, and the wall can be scaled.
Entering pipes without ground
A sideways pipe requires Mario to be standing on the ground when pressing towards the pipe. Some pipes do not have this ground immediately available, and the key can be used as a temporary platform to allow access. It's also possible to bring the key with you through the pipe by holding X or Y a frame before heading in the direction of the pipe.
Passing invisible coin blocks
By standing on the key as it bounces, the height can lift Mario up far enough to jump above invisible coin blocks that would otherwise appear when jumped from the ground. There are other tactics that can get around these invisible coin blocks, such as a well-placed message box.

Note: If anyone wants to add any of these new tricks to the Super Mario World Tricks page, feel free to quote/paraphrase what is written here.

A Quick Note About Lag

Fadeout lag was not optimized in this run. It's not noticeable to a casual watcher, and it does not lower the entertainment value of the run.

Standard lag resulting from an overloaded SNES processor was generally optimized within the scope of each level. Exceptions were made when something looked really cool, in order to make a long run like this more interesting. It's possible that lag could be further reduced by playing previous levels differently, as the level lag in this game seems to be as random as the fadeout lag.

For example, a stage in Water World was improved by 50 frames. By the time the run was re-played (hex-editing didn't work due to different lag patterns within the levels) and caught back up to Sky World, it was actually 100 frames behind the previous run that included the Water World error, because many levels in Crystal Cavern had more lag, although they were played with the exact same strategy.

In this way, the goal was to optimize each level based on its "starting state". It's possible that entering the level with a different starting state (based on the entire play of the game up to that point) may allow that particular level to be completed faster due to less lag, but that's a ridiculous goal to try and aim for in a run of this magnitude. This also means that while some strategies may be technically faster, the lag they would cause makes them slower overall.

This also means that small improvements may or may not actually improve the length of the run as a whole, as far as the frame count goes. A better method of measurement in this case would be the individual level timers.

Level-By-Level

Answers to common specific questions on the run can be found here. The time remaining and total time is shown for each level, along with additional comments for those who like detail. Levels larger headings are recommended by the authors as the most interesting levels to watch.

Misty Island

This world is played quite differently than the rest, mostly because Mario doesn't start out with a cape. Several levels use a continuous jumping glitch to acheive speed slightly faster than running - a trick discovered by Flagitious.

1. Misty Island 1 (366/400)

Pretty nice level to start things out, introducing a slightly less-forgiving level design, and also a group of Enemy-Only blocks.

2. MISTY ISLAND 2 (258/300)

The jumping glitch isn't used here until after bouncing over the pipe with the shell. Using the jumping glitch beforehand doesn't gain enough time to make up for having to run back up to top speed, because a bit of steering to the left in midair is required to make it over the pipe.

3. Misty Island 3 (267/300)

Fun stomping! Ducking allows for coasting under the flying plant. Grabbing the Flower here is more to put it in the reserve box for later - it saves a lot of time in the Desert Pyramid.

4. Misty Island 4 (Secret) (169/200)

A throwback to Super Mario 3, the secret exit is where you might expect. Getting the cape here would require getting it before falling behind the white block, as Mario cannot contact other sprites after that, and it is slower than leaving it for the next level.

5. Misty Island 4 (177/200)

Nothing really special to this level, except that it has the cape. Using the goomba is quicker than using the koopa shell.

6. #1 Misty Castle (Secret) (376/400)

It's not possible to fly regular before spin-flying up to the top passage. It's possible to gain flying speed once up there and jump to the pipe about 30 frames faster than was done here.

7. #1 Misty Castle (356/400)

Sticking to the ceiling is fun! It will be used many times throughout the run. This level is pretty standard procedure, flying over, under, around and through (!) obstacles.

Desert World

Now is when the game graphically starts to look like something you wouldn't find in Super Mario World. This world contains one of the most well thought-out levels of the game: the pyramid. The order the levels are done in seems strange, but was done to have the appropriate items in the reserve box for each level. (There is one improvement to be made that was discovered since then - details in the individual levels.)

8. Salty Isle (264/300)

This level demonstrates a common frustration with flying - the screen doesn't follow Mario up after the initial ascent. In fact, only a certain distance above the screen is available to travel off-screen as well. Navigating through bricks and flying koopas can be difficult without the help of sight!

9. Desert World 1 (369/400)

Another normal level with some fun enemy bopping. This is one of the many backgrounds used from Super Mario All-Stars.

10. DESERT WORLD 2 (SECRET) (331/400)

This level introduces a little fun with the key. First, it is thrown and regrabbed to retain faster flight physics. Later it is dropped to keep flying speed as long as possible before having to run up to speed again. Near the P-switch, it is rebounded off the wall to keyjump off of. From there it's a race back toward the beginning - note the walljump!

11. DESERT PYRAMID (SECRET) (566/700)

Here is a good level to show off what the key can do. The blue blocks in this game can only be destroyed with firepower, which was kept in the reserve box. This route is around 30 seconds faster than going to the top section of the pyramid. The end uses quite a few jumping tricks with the P-switch and key, and ended up looking pretty cool. Also above the ceiling - flying, throwing, and regrabbing the key off-screen is a huge pain, but saves a lot of time.

12. Yellow Switch Palace (189/200)

Yay, you can jump off these switches too!

13. Desert Pyramid (627/700)

This level is done out-of-order from the optimal map path, because soon afterwards, reserve firepower will be traded for a reserve feather. The run is similar to the secret exit, up until passing by the key. The P-switch is hit as late as possible without losing time - the coins to the right after diving down the shaft are normally a solid wall.

It was later discovered that there was a way around this level order, so the walking taken from completing this level early is removable at the cost of 30 frames later, saving around 90 frames in total.

14. Desert World 2 (363/400)

At the end, the shell is taken to put a feather in the reserve box, which didn't cost any time.  Getting 50 stars cost 3 frames.

15. Desert World 3 (382/400)

A few frames were saved by grabbing the ice block off the pipe while jumping to fly. Getting hit during flight doesn't slow Mario down, and makes the drop to the final pipe a bit faster.

16. Desert World 4 (358/400)

Normally, this level requires activating two cloud lifts to slowly carry you through the level. There are invisible coin blocks above this level, preventing flight over it. Not a big deal, since it can be flown under. And by taking the P-switch and jumping off of it, the first Pokey at the end of the level can be jumped, which allows flying speed to be kept.

17. #2 DESERT CASTLE (SECRET) (243/300)

By flying down through the Enemy-Only blocks at a frame-perfect angle, they can be passed through. The reserve feather is used in the second room to turn a near autoscroller into something much quicker. The flight can be improved near the final spikes by about 30 frames. Note how the ground-pound sends the koopa into the vine block, and then it is used to kick against the wall, and finally bounce off of.

It was later realized that keeping the flower and switching to it just before running on the spikes would also put a feather in reserve, which in combination with the improvement over doing Desert Pyramid in the more optimal order, was the 90 frame timesaver.

Desert Secret

A quick stop here to get a shell in the reserve box to use in Water World 1.

18. #2 DESERT CASTLE (250/300)

Keeping the shell in reserve saves more time than using a Fire Flower on the boss. The second room was replayed several times improving little parts, and the result is quite nice, as the final room is played very quickly, despite all the obstacles. Also, the shell dropped at the end would kill that Thwomp if the door wasn't entered so quickly!

Water World

Water sure is a lot slower than land. As a result, this world is less entertaining than the others. A few timesaving tricks were still found, and having a bit of underwater action does add to the variety. Optimal map paths have trips to Desert Secret inserted, because swimming with a shell is much faster than normal swimming.

19. Water World 1 (261/300)

Using the shell here saves nearly 20 seconds, easily offsetting the time it took to get. Not too much else to this level, although it's been played many times, and was a HUGE pain to optimize. Different circumstances when entering the level could cause an improvement of 10 or so frames. Also notice how when underneath the screen, the koopa escapes from his shell, but does not harm Mario.

20. Water World 2 (255/300)

The idea used here is only slightly faster than just jumping in the water all the way through the level.

Desert Secret

Another shell for Water World 1.

21. Water World 1 (secret) (261/300)

The level wouldn't hex-edit, due to different lag/randomness. Sometimes, hitting an enemy with the cape spin while holding an item ends up losing the item hitting the enemy, regardless of the frame used (unless you slow down a bit) due to randomness. The problem arises later with cape spins in general - they don't always face a certain direction on the first frame (or any subsequent frames) of the spin. It's more like this: Frame #n, if cape spun on, will have the cape animation in this certain way, regardless if it's the beginning or end of a spin. It can be a pain.

The feather trick at the end of the level cost 1 frame.

22. WATER WORLD 4 (SECRET) (310/350)

When holding an item, it isn't necessary to hold forward to have forward velocity. The game must use that as a check when floating toward an incline, because it allows for a huge shortcut in this level. Dropping the key also helps reverse the momentum quicker, a trick discovered by Stefan.

23. Water Secret (0/0)

Note that the message block is obtained here without taking extra time (waiting for Yoshi to hatch). Not much too this level, except that it's a very well hidden secret.

24. Water World 4 (307/350)

Same trick as before, now used to get the regular exit. Still quite a timesaver.

25. Water World 3 (160/350)

Gotta love these underwater autoscrollers, right? Although this level does show off how precisely you can swim with frame advance. Lag is minimized as much as possible toward the end of the level.

26. Sunken Ghost Ship (352/400)

The bobbing of the ship made for some tricky flight tactics. Otherwise this level is pretty cut-and-dry, except that it's wet. Ha.

27. #3 Water Castle (secret) (436/500)

Getting the shell doesn't save enough time here to be worth the trip. Thankfully, the second room of the castle is bypassed only having to reveal one hidden coin block, which makes the level a lot quicker.

28. #3 Water Castle (409/500)

The play is similar to the previous exit, except it includes some mad spinjumping to get to the boss's door. And since a timesaving use for the message box in the next world wasn't found, it might as well be used now for no good reason. On to more exciting less watery worlds!

Crystal Cavern

Get ready for more lag than you (or an SNES processor) can handle! The animated backgrounds cause so much lag that the strategy for completing these levels is often based on what causes lag and what doesn't. In this way, the levels are measurable by their frame count or by the timer count, depending on whether or not you think lag should "count". As mentioned earlier, for this run, lag was reduced as much as possible, based on the starting state of each level.

29. Cystal Cavern 1 (secret) (281/300)

Spinflying to the last platform is faster than flying, stomping the ground, running up to speed, and flying again. It's possible to bring the Buzzy Beetle to throw at the key box and technically save time, but extra lag caused outweighs this gain.

30. Crystal Cavern 1 (272/300)

Similarly, bringing the Buzzy Beetle while entering the second pipe would kill the Pirhana Plant (allowing earlier entry), but lag caused from just carrying another object in this world is surprisingly more than the time gained.

31. Vacant Ghost House (secret) (297/300)

Well obviously there is a lot more to this exit than meets the eye. First, you have to get the key. And THEN you have to fly up to the keyhole, while SIMULTANEOUSLY holding the key. Luckily, there's frame advance. :)

32. Vacant Ghost House (270/300)

Note that the doors near the end take you to different areas based on the time that they are entered. The door to the exit was taken on the first frame that it actually lead to the exit.

33. Crystal Cavern 2 (265/300)

And the lag continues. The general rule is to avoid enemies whenever possible, because hitting them will cause a substantial amount of additional lag, especially things like stomping a koopa, knocking him out of his shell, which produces a new sprite for the game to manage.

34. CRYSTAL CAVERN 3 (256/300)

A very interesting concept for a level - riding the moles, hitting P-switches to create platforms that allow you to race to the next piece of stable ground in time to do it all again. The pipe at the beginning prevents Yoshi from entering the level, so the only solution is to fly through the whole thing, which turned out looking very cool. At first, all five dragon coins were grabbed, but then it was discovered that the middle part with the stones could be flown under by sticking to the underside of them.

35. Crystal Cavern 4 (257/300)

You may have noticed the game lags quite a bit on these crystal levels. No excpetion here! Enemies are avoided at all costs in the first part of the level, but later, there is a section that must be traveled in a back-and-forth manner, which is why the ground pound was used to take out all the enemies. It looks like a lot of lag is caused, but sadly, most of this lag is just as bad without killing those enemies.

36. Crystal Cavern 5 (299/400)

This level has the most lag in the entire game. Several ideas with the message box were tried to avoid hidden coin blocks, but the idea used here is what ended up working the fastest. A coin is taken near the beginning, this is to leave the way open later when a P-switch turns those to blocks. There are around 200 frames of avoidable lag - a fish near the beginning wasn't killed (due to that cape-spin randomness) and ended up causing lag when backtracking to get the silver P-switch. (Although this lag also made the P-switch last longer than it should have, so it may not save as much time as thought) There are small improvements to be made when traveling near the top of the level as well. The section with the blue P-switch and beetle ended up looking pretty good.

37. #4 CRYSTAL CASTLE (SECRET) (232/300)

Ever wondered how to get through this level while dying?

38. #4 Crystal Castle (231/300)

It was possible to use the message box as a high platform to enter the boss's door much earlier - however, not having firepower at the boss was not worth the time it saved. It may seem that the last part of this level is not played to precision, but it's not important, as the door cannot be entered until it is at a certain vertical point.

Sky World

A welcome change from the crowded style of Crystal Cavern, Sky World allows for lots of free flying and enemy stomping. The levels also have a large variety themselves, making the world an interesting watch.

39. Sky World 1 (267/300)

A nice throwback to a level the style of SMB2. There isn't much to this level besides flying through the clouds and some good enemy bopping.

40. SKY WORLD 2 (SECRET) (170/200)

This level turned out very well, from the flying, to getting the shell, to using it (and going through it) to get to the key.

41. Sky World 2 (167/200)

Who needs a cloud? ...Well, for long, anyway? Another fine use of the shell here.

42. Sky World 3 (secret) (284/300)

Another well-hidden secret exit, and with a nice keygrab. Shows how trained most game players have become, instinctively heading to the right when entering a level.

43. Sky World 3 (267/300)

Getting hit at the end causes much less lag than bopping or spinning into that last koopa. Also, note how the Bob-ombs look after being stomped.

44. Sky World 4 (346/400)

One of those levels with the moving backgrounds to make it feel like you're going a lot faster than you really are. It's possible to bring a shell to the P-switch block, but the lag caused by its bouncing afterwards doesn't save time overall. This also uses the glitch that preserves flight after entering a pipe from the bottom, which can be seen briefly just before hitting the P-switch.

45. Sky World 5 (124/300)

It autoscrolls and it has tons of flying koopas, so what do you think happens? About 46 lives, that's what happens!

46. SKY WORLD 6 (SECRET) (478/600)

At the beginning, the koopa shell is dropped and regrabbed to avoid being hit by the koopa that escapes from it, although all this happens off-screen. Entering the midair pipe is not normally possible without hitting the P-switch first, but using the key as a platform to stand on for a frame will trick the game and sometimes cause interesting graphical glitches. This trick saves about 10 seconds altogether in the level.

47. Green Switch Palace (190/200)

Mario ducking is one of the coolest looking visuals in this game.

48. Sky World 6 (567/600)

Well, compared to the secret exit, there isn't much to say about this level that hasn't been said in the previous few sky levels that have been flown through.

49. #5 Sky Castle (secret) (373/400)

In the first room, the end is reached so fast that two of the ball-n-chains are not placed into the level (there are supposed to be five of them). The secret exit is located in an invisible door below the "up" arrow in the third room. It can be revealed using a P-switch, but this isn't necessary to enter it.

50. #5 Sky Castle (362/400)

Similar play as before, this castle isn't too long. Flying earlier and using the vine to climb is not as fast as waiting for the passage to begin flight, and getting the fire flower ended up working pretty well.

Ice World

Although not as bad as Crystal Cavern, there is some lag caused by massive snow graphics. Several places in this world would require a fire flower to get through frozen blocks, as well as running around to grab springboards and P-switches. Luckily, all of that boring stuff was skipped.

51. Ice World 1 (secret) (379/400)

Lots of fun with bopping and throwing enemies all over the place!

52. Ice World 5 (382/400)

Several of the Ice World levels require you to get a P-switch and fire flower in order to melt some munchers, and get past them by turning them into coins. That is, unless you fly under them.

53. Ice Igloo (secret) (346/400)

Another interesting level. Here, fireballs turn blue and will turn coins and munchers into frozen platforms to stand on - very cool! Unfortunately, this isn't shown off, as it's much slower than flying through the level, but to try and compensate, the enemies are kicked around like it's an everyday thing.

Ice Secret

This shell will be used to save time in Pipe World.

54. Ice Igloo (362/400)

Similar to the previous play, but definitely worth a second watch. The bombs at the end are taken care of very efficiently!

55. #6 ICE CASTLE (SECRET) (366/400)

The Castle could be done now, or after completing the other half of the world, but it's good to break up levels whenever possible. By flying under the floor, this allows a huge shortcut, skipping an entire room of the castle. To get the secret exit, the pipe must be taken, because when returning, you are not in the same room as before, just one that looks identical. Flight is also kept when entering this pipe, and the entire level looks awesome.

56. Ice World 1 (367/400)

The top of the snow passage leads to the second room, but you don't have to reach it that way. The second room is handled very well with repeated spin-flying.

57. Ice World 2 (secret) (353/400)

After getting the key, it's possible to fly under the level and keyjump up to the keyhole, but it ends up being just slightly slower than the alternative. A cool little extra from this level is that the Lakitu is killed with a cape-spin, keeping his cloud intact for a few seconds. On the way back after grabbing the key, the cloud can be seen just as it is disappearing.

58. Blue Switch Palace (190/200)

See, it's blue, and so are cold things. It fits the theme. Throwing the P-switch didn't cost any time, and looked pretty cool - it took a lot of tries to get it as close as it ended up being!

59. Ice World 2 (369/400)

In case you were wondering, flying backwards does not lose any speed, it just looks hilarious.

60. Ice World 3 (367/400)

There's a nice shell throw at the beginning, which is only known by the sound effects. The inside cave to this level is skipped, which saves a lot of time climbing and using firepower (which would also lose our blue shell).

61. Ice World 4 (369/400)

Invisible coin blocks prevent flying at the beginning of the level. This is another example of flight to avoid unfreezing and coining some munchers. Completing Ice World without using a fire flower, how about that?

62. #6 Ice Castle (327/400)

The background in the second room is from Mega Man X (you can learn this by bringing a message box here). Play is similar until the second room, where the paths branch. The third room has a nice double kill. It's possible to bring a turtle shell from the second room into the third room to use to keep flight when entering the fourth room, saving 10 or 15 frames. It could save more if a way is found to get a shell without having to slow down so much.

The boss fight is fun to watch, and shows off an interesting glitch, if it can be called that. After Mario is in flight and slides into the ground, it seems he can kill just about anything - fireballs, sawblades, Blarggs, Hotheads & Lil Sparkys, Big Boo (not the boss), jumping Bowser statues, even the fireballs that the stationery Bowser statues spit. It seems like a glitch because some of these enemies don't have appropriate sprites for dying, as if they weren't supposed to be killable in the first place. Not every enemy is killable like this - Thwomps and regular Boos will not fall, for example.

Pipe World

Pipe World is full of colorful levels with beautiful backgrounds and complex design. The play here has quite a few surprising sequence breaks.

63. Pipe World 1 (235/300)

Unfortunately, much of this level must be flown over so high because of obstacles midway through that are as tall as the screen. Despite this, it was kept as entertaining as possible.

64. Pipe World 2 (508/600)

This level is different, and our shell from Ice Secret will finally come into play. Releasing the shell from the reserve box cannot be done while traveling in a pipe, and due to the constricting nature of the level, really didn't give many places to release it anyway. It's used to hit the P-switch block earlier, and then brought along the same time as the P-switch (finally, this trick in a TAS!). Finally, the shell and P-switch are thrown, and the shell is bounced off of, while the P-switch is regrabbed, and the pipe is entered in midair. (Footing is not needed to enter these kinds of pipes, as opposed to the standard pipes found in Sky World 6's secret exit.) There are invisible coin blocks in the bottom of that passage, and bouncing over them saves a lot of double-backing through the pipes. It's actually possible to do this with just the P-switch, but it runs out before making it to the end of the level.

Water Secret

This pathway was opened back when this level was first completed. Because of that completion, exiting this level can be done quickly via start-select. The other mushroom houses do not have a goal, and so that trick can only be used here.

It takes 16 seconds to get this message block, what on Earth could it be used for?

65. Pipe World 1 (secret) (230/300)

This level is definitely more interesting this time around, as the key is in a low part of the level, so the bulk of the level is shown off a bit more. After getting the key, it is faster to fly here than to run off the pipe to the right and fly, because the ground is uneven and doesn't allow for flight until much later. The vine is released but not used at the end of the level, and instead is substituted by a keyjump.

66. Pipe World 3 (545/600)

Here's how to take that P-switch exit! Unless you've already seen VIPer7's 120-exit walkthrough. Also some fun with the shell when getting the P-switch. The level starts with a "No-Yoshi" sign, which is really just a different screen put on a level like a ghost house. I'm not exactly sure why this level got that sign, while none of the others did. Yoshi can't enter the traveling pipes, but other levels have them as well. This level's background is taken from Donkey Kong Country 3.

67. PIPE WORLD 4 (521/600)

Lots of explaining to do here. First of all, it appears that the first long pipe is entered much later than possible, and it is. The screen must be horizontally scrolled in a very specific way - first, all the way to the left, then just a small amount to the right. Too far, and the screen will scroll much further to the right after entering the pipe. Too small, and the message block will eject you to the left of it instead of the right.

Secondly, as was mentioned earlier, you can't release a reserve item while traveling in a pipe. The exception to this rule is during a screen scroll (those useless L & R buttons that Nintendo had to give a function!). The pipes are set up in just the right way that it's possible to scroll the screen and drop the message box right in the spot to both block my way when exiting the pipe, and be tall enough to stand on to avoid the hidden coin blocks that make this section so long in the first place. If ejected to the left, Mario cannot jump through the block because the ceiling is lower on the right.

This trick saves at least 30 seconds of pipe traveling, and several more jumping to get the invisible coin blocks, running to different pipes, and also run-ducking across the coin-block bridge that is made on the way there and back, making the long trip to get it worth it. From there, the level is pretty straightforward. The shell is carried with the P-switch all the way to the end in order to get a reserve feather for Pipe World 5.

68. Pipe Fortress (284/300)

Another remake of a level from SMB3, appropriately put in Pipe World. Nothing much to say, really. There's a Reznor at the end. Wheeee. Also, for some reason, the world map music doesn't play after beating this level.

69. Pipe World 5 (450/500)

Flying through this level looks great. Near the ceiling munchers, by hitting X on a certain frame when catching air, the ascent will not be very much at all. This is good here, as it avoids crashing into the ceiling. The reserve feather is put to good use as well, turning this nightmare level into another near non-stop flight. The end of this level is another throwback to SMB3. The regular exit is done first because a vine is going in our reserve box for the Pipe Castle once the secret exit is completed.

70. PIPE WORLD 5 (SECRET) (443/500)

This level shows just how fun it can be to kick around an infant creature. Try it, kids! Although it looks like the pipe could be entered faster, a lot of alternatives were tried and this was the best found. Yoshi sure is useless...well, except for when he's absolutely required.

Pipe Secret

Getting the vine for the Castle secret.

71. #7 Pipe Castle (secret) (462/500)

More weird graphics when bopping a bomb. This level is pretty standard, but looks good. A shell is taken to clear the way of another koopa where the vine must be used.

Pipe Secret

Huh? Yes, there's a big timesaver down the road that justifies getting this vine again.

72. #7 Pipe Castle (453/500)

Unlike the previous exit, the top pipe is taken at the end of the first room. By saving initial flight for that pipe, the flight property is kept after exiting the pipe and jumping. This completely bypasses the need for the P-switch to release the springboard. The pipes are entered so early that Mario sometimes ends up inside the wall when exiting the pipes, although this happens above the screen. The background here looks like it's from Super Mario World 2.

Bowser's World

As the message block says, there is a lot more to this world than first meets the eye. As the levels get more and more complex, the fast play of them requires more precise techniques.

73. Bowser's World 1 (168/200)

Not much to this level, but a few 1-ups are gained from some nice enemy bops at the end.

74. Bowser's World 2 (secret) (251/300)

One of those fun lava levels with skull rafts. Luckily, they aren't needed. Near the pipes hanging from the ceiling, Mario has to slow down in order to get enough air to do a dive to get over the big lava hill immediately after. It was also tried to slow down and climb it catching smaller air, but this was faster. Once near the key passage, the screen is too low to get to it, no matter how high Mario flies. Scrolling the screen up was done by running into the wall as though it was going to be walljumped, but not actually jumping. So it's more like a wallstand. Or something. Anyway, this is enough to trick the game into scrolling up, and the flying koopa at its highest point gives just enough boost needed to reach the passage.

75. Red Switch Palace (153/200)

The first run of this level skipped the star entirely, which showed that the blocks over the munchers were actually the same kind of blocks that appeared in the bonus game (the one where hitting the blocks in the right order would make them turn into green O's and the third would give you an extra life). But it turns out the star is faster.

76. Bowser's World 2 (236/300)

Similar, though not exact, to the previous play of the level, complete with several 1-ups.

77. Bowser's World 3 (273/400)

In this part-autoscrolling level, part of the inside level is skipped by flying over it. Although this makes for a boring segment, it saves a lot of time. The part below the ship that hits the koopa after escaping looks cool. Once inside, the autoscrolling is gone, and the level is more interesting. It's possible to fly earlier with the bomb, but the flight runs out of steam before the top, and it's slower than flying later. The flame is passed through unharmed because of flight.

78. Reznor's Fortress (secret) (357/400)

All you can expect for this level is some crazy keyjumping!

79. REZNOR'S FORTRESS (314/400)

The key is exploited to its full potential in this level. After entering the pipe, the key is used to jump to areas earlier than normally possible. Although halfway up the room, there is a moving wall that blocks further movement until a certain point, it still looks much better if it is raced to as quickly as possible. Getting the P-switch is faster than skipping it and waiting for the blocks to move. The key also obsoletes the springboard at the top of the room.

Both exits of this level are minutely improvable by ducking when jumping down to the key.

80. #8 BOWSER'S CASTLE (SECRET) (824/900)

Bowser's Castle is a fun level to watch. This is a slightly improved route from VIPer7's 120-exit walkthrough. Being able to fly from the middle of the spiked room sealed the deal. There is also a nice rise-and-fall segment in the fourth room.

81. #8 BOWSER'S CASTLE (791/900)

Technically the normal exit, but often referred to as the "super-secret" exit, this is what opens up the path to Big Boo's World, and this is the way it was meant to be solved. By holding B and running to the left, Mario passes through this wall almost twice as fast as if he were to just stand there. Lots of precise flying and jumping in this level, it's a good watch.

Star World

To those who have watched the 15-exit run, some of this may be all-to familiar, but there are definitely some differences to be noticed, since there are more items ready to be used.

82. BOWSER'S STAR WORLD (331/400)

The mystery of this level has been solved! We don't need no stinking raft! Unfortunately, it can't be implemented in the 15-exit run, because there is no vine to get.

For those unfamiliar, the giant lava hills are not passable without the screen scrolling up - no amount of altitude will pass them otherwise. Using a vine has two properties that just happened to be exactly what was needed - it scrolls the screen up, and you can keep flight. It's surprising how little the screen needs to be scrolled, and this can be seen since a dragon coin is nabbed and a goomba is stomped, all without lowering the screen.

83. BackDoor Star World (260/300)

Hanging out between two spiked pillars obviously saved some time, and looked cool dodging the sawblade and fireball. The last two sets of spiked pillars movements are connected to each other, so exiting the first set as soon as possible isn't important, only the last set.

84. Secret Star World (833/900)

A dull level turned into something fast, thankfully. The stars are necessary because stomping the ground and getting flight speed again are needed to get up to the star at the end, and flight invincibility doesn't last long enough.

85. Misty Star World (326/700)

A very long autoscroller. Some will love it, some will hate it, but it's one of the exits. By bringing the shell along, switching to the feather and back several times can be avoided, saving time. There is also a message spelled out with blocks later in the level.

There is a way to save time by taking a reserve item above the screen - it can eliminate the transformation pause in some circumstances (Cheese Bridge in Super Mario World, for example). However, when it was tried here, the only thing it did was freeze the game. Examples of this can be found in the extra demos included toward the bottom of this submission text.

86. Desert Star World (339/400)

It will seem like eons quicker when compared to the last level. Really just standard fly-and-bop.

87. Water Star World (243/350)

At least this level moves faster than Misty Star World (or Water World 3). Mario's swimming speed without holding an item is just barely faster than the scrolling here, so to reach the pipe at its earliest point, Mario cannot be on the left side of the screen too far into the level.

88. Crystal Star World (271/300)

Flight speed is kept throughout this short level with frame-precise jumping. However, one of the jumps must be a frame off in order to let the screen start scrolling, otherwise the topmost columns are to tall to clear.

89. Sky Star World (343/400)

This level is exactly what it says - sky, and lots of it. Sticking to the ceiling near the middle of the level avoids the invisible coin blocks that normally require the triangle to run up the wall.

90. Ice Star World (371/400)

The extreme lag caused by all the baseball-throwing Chucks is best minimzed by keeping Mario above everything. If Mario flies below it all, the lag increases and then level ends up being 1-2 seconds longer.

91. PIPE STAR WORLD (303/400)

The key is used here to avoid the invisible row of blocks that would normally form a bridge to walk across. The trick here is that key bounces slightly after hitting the ground when it is thrown into the air. By standing on the key during this bounce, just enough height is gained to be above the blocks that would normally stop this jump from being possible.

92. ...? (570/666)

Not too much to this level, although time is saved by entering the pit from the side. It also looks neat that you don't need a star to make it through the last area. You may have noticed that on some of the levels with a lot of time left, like this one, that the end-of-level timer multiplication isn't correct. For example, here, 570 X 50 = 28500, but the game says it's 60820.

93. ...? (secret) (529/666)

This level is one of the coolest in the entire game.

It's not possible to get the P-switch without losing flight, because throwing the ice blocks requires letting go of X and Y, and flight can only be kept then immediately after catching air. This method gets back to the ground quickly to fly again. Before entering the pipe at the end of the second room, the ? is grabbed, because it is actually the key - as you'll see, the key is in Mario's hands after exiting the pipe.

Big Boo's World

Home to some of the most unique levels of the game, this world seems surprisingly short - until the tower. Make sure you watch that level!

94. Big Boo's Star Road (630/666)

The key is right there for the taking, but getting the secret exit before the normal exit will deny you access to this new map.

95. Big Boo World 1 (secret) (643/666)

Hey, this is familiar...kind of. This level is done out-of-order because if done on the way back around for the secret exits, it immediately follows a level that can only be finished when Mario is small.

96. Big Boo World 1 (653/666)

Here's the more traditional exit for this level. After completing it, the world map closes the path behind you. This is how Boo's World works - those paths will be reopened later in the run.

97. BIG BOO WORLD 2 (639/666)

A short but very difficult level. Flight invincibility is used to get through some of the most congested parts.

98. Big Boo World 3 (633/666)

Nothing too special about this level, just flying until the end. The background is pretty cool (does anyone remember what game it's from?). Maybe I should take a message box there and see what it says.

99. Big Boo World 4 (617/666)

The waiting at the beginning is needed to get the longest path when starting flight. This process is faster than getting hit with a reserve feather to run invincibly. Toward the end of the level, there are graphic glitches that occur from jumping on koopas that are off-screen.

100. Big Boo World 5 (639/666)

Another short level. Many of the objects in this level are disguised ghosts, which is evident from the close pass at the 3-up moon.

101. Big Boo World 6 (632/666)

Although the message box here claims you need a star, it turns out you don't even need a reserve feather - just wicked (tool-assisted) cape skills. You actually don't even need the switch blocks, if you bring a message box.

102. #9 BIG BOO'S TOWER

This level consists of four gigantic sections of the tower, totaling 100 stories. Each section has its own timer, so the times for this level are as follows:

Section Time
Beginning 651/666
Floors 1-25 919/999
Floors 26-50 875/999
Floors 51-75 904/999
Floors 76-100 879/999
End 267/300

This level heavily abuses the "fast climbing" glitch, the result of which is very similar looking to the fast climbing in SMB2. In several places, the screen has to catch up, so normal climbing must be resumed. In other places, the screen can be tricked into continually trying to catch up with Mario by standing on high ground for more than one frame.

On the first 25 floors, there is a lot of spinjump flying. This is because the exits to many of the floors are on the opposite side at the entrance, and so speed must be kept as much as possible to prepare for the next floor. Since it's not necessary to fly here, catching ground for a brief moment is not a problem, and the screen follows while zooming up the chains.

On 26-50, the story is different. There are munchers on many of these floors and flying regular from chain to chain is the fastest way (usually). This means normal climbing must be used to let the screen catch up at times, because if Mario lands, he loses his flying. Whenever there is solid ground, re-flying was tested to see if it was faster or not (since the screen will automatically catch up while running). Sometimes it was, sometimes it wasn't. Much of the action is above the screen on this section as well, which had the benefit of flying through areas with less lag, or less enemies on the screen (Thwomps were often avoided this way). For example, on the 40th floor, a walljump was used to reach the chain, and moments later, a Thwomp stomps down from where this took place. This works because the screen is frozen at a position where the Thwomp has not yet been loaded into the level.

51-75 wasn't as bad. The first 10 floors are just pipes. There are several points where spinflight is used to hit the ceiling. This isn't a mistake, it's used to affect the duration of the flight later, so that landing on the above ledge happens as early as possible. After flying a bit, the screen scrolls up for a few floors, unable to catch Mario, because the chains allow for climbing faster than the screen can scroll.

76-100 is a nightmare to play. If you want to see it better in the emulator, turn off transparency effects (the '9' key). There is much more lag in this section than the other 3, which makes frame-precise jumping up the chains much more tedious. Floors 80-87 have areas that seem improvable individually, but keeping flight until the end is the most beneficial way to do them as a whole, which requires slowing down on floors 80 and 84. The last 10 floors fly by, the screen desperately trying to catch Mario.

And finally, a fun-filled battle with Big Boo! If you watch nothing else from this run, this level is worth watching. It's very different from the rest and uses all sorts of tricks to speed through.

103. Big Boo's Secret! (0/0)

Here is the hidden treasure that Big Boo worked so hard to protect. There are blocks that give all the sub-items from the earlier mushroom houses, plus new ones that give a star, key, and cloud.

The pipe entered here can be revealed by flying above the house and hitting a silver P-switch, but it isn't necessary to enter it. The fireball powerup is avoided because it causes some massive lag and glitches once firepower is used for the second run of Misty Star World.

104. Big Boo's Star Road (secret) (665/666)

Hey, a quicker exit than the Vacant Ghost House!

Back to Star World

By now, it's obvious that the route we are taking doesn't seem like the fastest. However, a few levels can take advantage of the key that can be put in the reserve box, and this requires some revisits to Boo's World. Using those tricks, this route is optimal.

105. Pipe Star World (secret) (269/400)

The same path as before is used, since the key is needed anyway. Another fun case of regrabbing the key during flight while above the screen.

106. Ice Star World (secret) (384/400)

Not much to this level. The key is cleverly hidden, yet right in the open. At least this time, the lag created by the chucks toward the end of the level isn't involved.

107. Sky Star World (secret) (393/400)

In this exit, and a couple others, the key sub-item is used. It may be looked at as sort of "cheap", but when the goal is to go for the fastest time possible, all options must be considered. This is about 45 seconds faster than getting the key in the level.

108. Crystal Star World (secret) (252/300)

There's a good amount of avoidable lag on this level, but it was kept in favor of the entertainment factor. The game behaves strangely when trying to pick up two items at once - the key and P-switch were grabbed on the earliest frame available.

109. Water Star World (secret) (134/350)

Part of the play of this level was taken from the 15-exit run. One of those whistling lag-causing chucks is in this level - lag is reduced as much as possible.

110. Desert Star World (secret) (342/400)

Some of the slopes in this world behave like stairs in the ghost houses, meaning they can be flown through. This greatly simplifies things for the last part of the level.

111. Misty Star World (secret) (332/700)

So, how do you make a five-minute autoscrolling level interesting, especially after having seen it once? By taking strange and near-impossible routes and juggling ridiculous amounts of items for extended periods of time. This exit is completed without taking a star. (Also another block message) Last autoscroller - promise!

112. Secret Star World (secret) (830/900)

By hitting the P-switch, the box containing the key turns into a coin, allowing the key to fall through it, saving the time of going up to get it. Note that only two stars are needed instead of three, since flight invincibility will allow access to the keyhole.

Back to Big Boo's World

Seriously, this map route is optimal.

113. Big Boo's Secret! (secret) (0/0)

Several routes were tested, and this ended up being the fastest way to both get this exit, and have a key in reserve for an upcoming level.

114. BIG BOO WORLD 6 (SECRET) (632/666)

Shell antics at their best! Note how Mario's flying speed is only slightly faster than the shell's.

115. Big Boo World 5 (secret) (647/666)

The first keyhole and second key are actually Boos in disguise, like the moon from the first play of this level.

116. Big Boo World 4 (secret) (622/666)

A different approach allowed flight slightly earlier than the first play of this level.

117. Big Boo World 3 (secret) (606/666)

It's tough to not feel bad for these poor ghosts..Mario is just playing slalom with them. It's not possible to bounce the P-switch off the wall and jump off of it to keep flying speed - kicking the P-switch just doesn't give it the kind of velocity needed to clear the wall. And plus, until the switch is hit, munchers line the top of the level.

The reserve key used here saves over 15 seconds of flying time getting to the key, and more than that returning back to the keyhole, since the ground is piled with too many keys to get a running start.

118. Big Boo World 2 (secret) (630/666)

A complicated exit, and one of the best hidden in the entire game. In order to enter these pipes, Mario must be small. This is why Big Boo World 1 (secret) was done out of order.

Big Boo's Secret!

Getting the key now works well with getting back the cape.

To Bowser!

119. Bowser's Star World (secret) (393/400)

It wasn't tested, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-3 minutes of boring raft riding was saved from using the reserve key.

120. BACKDOOR STAR WORLD (SECRET) (254/300)

Lots of close calls dodging fireballs, spikes, sawblades, and lava, all while flying with the key. As before, the movement of the last few sets of spikes are connected, so exiting at the first possible moment is only important at the very end of the level, which was improved slightly over the 15-exit run. There is an invisible wall near the end of the level that is run into while flying to show its existence.

Bowser's Back Door (166/200)

The frame on which this level is entered determines how quickly the first Bowser statue spits fire. Luckily, it happened to work without having to adjust the entrance time.

The run finishes with yet another embarrassment to Bowser at the hands of Mario. As mentioned earlier, it seems anything is destructible with that cape slide!

Known Mistakes at Time of Submission

Significant errors

  • #1 Misty Castle (secret) - Can reach flying speed in top passage, saving ~30 frames.
  • Desert World's map route can be improved, saving ~70-90 frames. This also would not put the pyramid levels back-to-back. This would be used together with the next idea:
  • #2 Desert Castle (secret) - Can keep Fire Flower and switch to it before spiked part, which improves the world map route, saving ~90 frames altogether. Also, flying near the end can be improved by ~30 frames.
  • Crystal Cavern 5 - Avoidable lag and other improvements, ~200-250 frames worth.
  • #6 Ice Castle - Can take a shell from second room into third room to keep initial flying when entering pipe, allowing flight immediately in fourth room, saving ~10-15 frames.
  • Bowser's Star Road - It's possible to fly earlier from raft, saving 50~60 frames

Minor Mistakes

  • Desert Secret - Improvable by 2 frames both times.
  • Desert Pyramid - Can manipulate ball-n-chain to a better location, saving 3 frames.
  • Desert Pyramid (secret) - Can hit fire-flower block more efficiently both times, saving a couple frames.
  • Sky World 2 (secret) - Can get to keyhole 2 frames faster by sliding while ducking longer.
  • Ice Secret - Improvable by 2 frames.
  • Reznor's Fortress - Could have ducked when jumping down to key, saving 3-5 frames both times.
  • Big Boo's World 4 - The beginning of the level can be done 16 frames quicker.

Intentional "Mistakes"

  • Desert World 2 - Three frames sacrificed to get 50 stars.
  • Water World 1 (secret) - One frame sacrificed for feather trick at the end.
  • Ice World 1 (secret) - Extra lag caused by moving shells and enemy bopping.
  • Misty Star World - 5 frames sacrificed to get 25 stars.
  • Crystal Star World (secret) - Extra lag caused by the moving beetle and enemies hit.
  • Misty Star World (secret) - Switched powerups one extra time to take different route, costing ~60 frames.
  • Various levels were entered with slight delay to sync with existing work.

Total known possible time improvements: 850~950 frames

For more fun, check out these demos showing strategies that weren't used and strange glitches discovered along the way.

Other Fun Facts

  • Total lives: 138 (limited to 99)
  • Total coins: 2859
  • Final score: 2282130
  • This run was done in 78 days - from 8/29/05 to 11/13/05 - averaging 1.56 levels completed per day.

Suggested description

This is not your ordinary hack.

Super Demo World is huge, refined, well-planned, surprising, and, at times, downright beautiful. This TAS aims to capture those same qualities with maximum speed. The discovery of new techniques, along with improvements of existing ones, pushed the envelope on what could be done quickly in Super Mario's world.

Suggested screenshot: Frame 395221

Thanks To:

  • Flagitious, Gorling, GWing_02, Michael Fried, Stefan, and VIPer7 for ideas and discoveries.
  • DeHackEd, Daniayaw, DK64_MASTER, KeiOh, Kijitow, Kitsune, Krieg747, Kyrsimys, OmnipotentEntity, Schneelocke, Shark, Sketchie, Spacecow, Spoony_Bard, Truncated, and Walker Boh for positive comments in the forums.

Watch, comment, vote, enjoy!


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