Submission #3534: Brandon's NES Super Mario Bros. "minimum button presses" in 05:46.33

Nintendo Entertainment System
(Submitted: Super Mario Bros)
minimum button presses
FCEUX 2.1.5
Super Mario Bros. (JU) [!].nes
Submitted by Brandon on 4/1/2012 7:01 AM
Submission Comments
I'm sure you've never heard of Super Mario Bros., but it's pretty fun. I'd check it out if I were you. In any case, for this April Fools' Day, because my Cat Planet attempt failed (Good thing too, as FuzZerd beat me to it), I decided to submit my Minimum Presses TAS of SMB that I completed on 01/19/12. This is the 7th and best attempt at this feat, this time completing the game in 05:46.33 and 145 presses. Although I've been told that this kind of run will likely never see publication, I figured this was a worthwhile attempt for today, and with FractalFusion's help, the video might be entertaining enough after all.
The encodes all say that the length is 05:46.33, but that's the number that FCEUX gave me, so it's seriously not my fault gosh.

Game Objectives

  • Emulator used: FCEUX 2.1.5
  • Attempts to complete the game with the least amount of button presses possible
  • Avoids wasting time
  • Aims to maximize score / kills without jeopardizing the above goals
  • Takes damage to save presses
  • Moderate luck manipulation
  • Becomes a dancing queen

The Run

Title: 1 press

1 press required to get past the title screen. Duh.

1-1: 14 presses

I grab a mushroom here without losing any presses. This will be helpful in future levels. In the underground section, I jump so I don't have to slow down to exit through the pipe. At the end, instead of jumping right to the flagpole, I fall down and jump later to avoid getting fireworks.

1-2: 13 presses

I wallkick to get through the ceiling in the fastest time possible. As I need to move left to do so, I continue holding left while holding right to moonwalk. Doing so allows me to simply release right at the end to walk to the warp pipe instead of having to press left again. At the platform section, I jump into a platform near the top of the screen to slow down so that the lower platform can rise up and bring me back to the ceiling.

4-1: 14 presses.

Nothing needs explaining here.

4-2: 17 presses.

I take the normal beanstalk route because it'd take a lot of presses to perform the glitch. I choose not to moonwalk to the warp pipes after exiting the beanstalk as the 1 press I'd save trades off the 1 press I save by running up the stairs (Running takes 2 jumps, (moon)walking takes 3).

8-1: 29 presses

I take damage from a Koopa in order to run through him and 3 Goombas. This saves 2 jumps and I don't need to be big Mario any longer. I dodge a pair of Paratroopas using a wall.

8-2: 17 presses

I use the top Paratroopa to ascend the beginning stairs in 2 jumps. I then jump on the spring instead of over it in order to avoid the 3 Paratroopas. I then run into the last Bullet Bill cannon in order to spawn a Bill from the second to last cannon. I use this Bill to clear a gap at the end of the level without jumping.

8-3: 13 presses.

This level manipulation of the Hammer Bros. They jump based on timers that run when they're on the screen. They don't reset when they leave the screen, and the states of the timers carry on to the next Hammer Bros. spawned. Using this, you don't have to jump to avoid any of them. This part can probably be optimized better for speed, but this seems good enough for now, and I wouldn't know a way of proving it's optimal as the timers are a little chaotic. I again avoid fireworks at the end.

8-4: 27 presses.

Holding A when exiting a pipe makes you jump, which allows me to save a press going into the third room. I continue holding down while entering the water section as it makes Mario stop running regardless of the fact that I'm still holding right, allowing me to easily dodge the firebar.

Lua Script

To make the encode more aesthetically pleasing, FractalFusion provided a Lua script that displays the press count along with the input styled like a song on Dance Dance Revolution. The result looks something like this:
Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix
Just kidding. Here's an actual screenshot:
Mario jumping on a platform near the beanstalk.
This script is used to create all the provided encodes.

Special Thanks

Of course thanks to FractalFusion for creating this amazing Lua script. I also would like to thank him, along with MUGG, for creating some of the previous MP TASes of this game; this run obsoletes their latest collaboration. Finally, thanks to LexSfX for helping out with the encodes and not making fun of me for being the most prolific completely incompetent encoder of all time.
Happy April Fools' Day!

FractalFusion: Changed the branch.

adelikat: Claimed for judging.

Last Edited by adelikat on 9/26/2023 4:50 PM
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