Submission #3556: Brandon's NES Super Mario Bros. "minimum button presses" in 05:48.04

Nintendo Entertainment System
(Submitted: Super Mario Bros)
minimum button presses
FCEUX 2.1.5
Super Mario Bros. (JU) [!].nes
Submitted by Brandon on 4/6/2012 3:26 AM
Submission Comments
This is my improvement to my viral yet controversial run in which I attempted to get the Minimum Presses in Super Mario Bros. This is the 8th attempt at this feat, this time completing the game in 05:48.04 and 142 presses, a 3 press improvement.

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
  • Heavy luck manipulation

The Run

See this section of my previous submission for details on the majority of the run that went unchanged.


1-1: 13 presses (-1).

andrewg reminded me that I could have Mario stop in his tracks by holding down. As such, it became apparent that you can wait for the Goombas to move out of the way if you continue to hold down after going down the pipe. This saves one press.

8-2: 16 presses (-1).

Perfect enemy manipulation allows me to use one jump instead of two during the section before the final stairs. This requires two Bullet Bills. Room for error? There is none: after moving past the pipe, the jump must start and end at an exact frame or the trick will not work. I attempt to move past the pipe at the earliest time that allows me to both land on the second Bill and propel myself off of the final Koopa. This the one press I previously needed to jump past the second to last set of stairs.

8-3: 13 presses (0).

Because the enemies move based on a global timer, I had to do a lot of work in TASEdit to fix this stage. During this process, I realized that it's possible to make the second grounded Hammer Bros. deactivate if I pass it at the wrong time. This makes it impossible to manipulate the final grounded Hammer Bro, so this was avoided.

8-4: 26 presses (-1).

andrewg pointed out that I could hold A after exiting the pipe in the water section and avoid pressing A again to swim. In order to pull this off, I had to hold down earlier on to slow down enough to land in the pipe with a full jump. This saves one press.

Lua Script

See this section of my previous submission for details on the Lua script used to display the input in the encode.

Special Thanks

Thanks to andrewg for his improvements in 1-1 and 8-4. Again, 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. Finally, thanks to LexSfX for helping out with encoding.

adelikat: Claimed for judging

DarkKobold: Agreed with adelikat, Taking over judging.

DarkKobold: Sadly, there was cheating involved with this submission. Thus, 3 yes votes should be removed from the voting.

DarkKobold: In general, these runs would be rejected on feedback alone. However, I believe that a decision is required on the minimum presses category in general. To not belabor this any longer, these types of runs just don't fit with the publications on the site. A TAS should be able to stand on its own merits. This category requires a script to evaluate the number of presses, a DDR-style output to show the buttons, and etc.
That said, there are plenty of forums out there that have their own side competitions outside the publication of the site. BrandonE has set up a page to track these minimum press runs. I am all for that. However, I don't believe that this category merits a publication on the standard site.
Also, while a technical challenge, I don't believe it produces interesting movies. It has been compared to "No B" run of SMB. However, it is easy for the audience to identify with the concept of not hitting B. It is fundamental to the gameplay. No one playing SMB counts the number of times they press a button while playing the game, or the number of jumps they make, and etc. These super technical categories don't really fit with the aims of the site.
Last Edited by adelikat on 9/26/2023 5:07 PM
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