A speedrunner has completed a 70-star run of Super Mario 64 using a drum kit as a controller, and he does so in only 1 hour and 28 minutes.
A speedrunner recently completed a run of Super Mario 64 using a drum set as a controller. Mario 64 has been a staple of the speedrunning community for almost as long as the community itself has existed, but naturally there need to be some tweaks to the formula when speedrunning a game that’s almost 25 years old. To that end, speedrunners have cleared the game in a myriad of different ways, such as being blindfolded, using unorthodox controllers, or collecting as few stars as possible. In fact, the number of speedrunning possibilities Mario 64 presents has made it one of the most frequently speedrun games in the world, up in the ranks with classics like Super Metroid, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and others.
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Using alternative controllers is one of the rarer forms of speedrun to come across, due to the precision needed to set them up. There is also the matter of actually playing the game using the new input method, which is naturally quite different from playing normally. In Dark Souls, for example, there are likely not many other than Benjamin Gwin who could clear the game using a Rock Band guitar controller. Similarly, a Call of Duty: Warzone streamer recently posted himself winning a Gulag encounter using only a recorder flute. Considering that the Gulag is normally players’ last chance to re-enter the game after dying, it’s safe to say that it takes an insane degree of skill to win a round using a musical instrument while one’s opponent is presumably trying his or her best.
As reported by Nintendo Life, a speedrunner named CZR managed to complete Mario 64 in roughly 1 hour and 28 minutes using a drum kit. The run in question is a 70-star run, meaning that players are free to complete the game after earning 70 stars. These types of strategies are relatively unique to Mario 64 and other “collectathon” platformers, which require a certain number of collectibles to be found before progress can be made. Mario 64 is home to several of these types of runs, with categories that range from collecting every star in the game to collecting none of them. While the current world record for the 70-star run is roughly 47 minutes, it’s extraordinarily impressive that CZR managed to complete his run in under double that time.
To clarify, CZR’s drum set was kitted out specifically to play video games. Therefore, it does not actually make any “drum” sounds when he plays it. Instead, he plays what can loosely be called a slow drumroll in order to move Mario forwards, and from there hits other drums in order to move him left and right. Considering how difficult simple movement would be while using this input method, it’s even more eye-opening when CZR pulls off long jumps, backflips, side flips, and virtually every other type of movement option Mario has available. Even on the original Nintendo 64 controller, maneuvers such as the wall jump were already notoriously difficult to pull off. However, when viewing this speedrun, it would be hard to tell that the player is not using a controller due to how effortless CZR makes it appear.
Going forward, it’s likely that speedruns of Mario 64 will remain popular for as long as video games themselves. The game is simply too beloved, popular, and well-made to fade into obscurity. This said, the ways that players choose to speedrun the game will continue to evolve in newer and more bizarre ways. Today, that means musical instruments. As for tomorrow, that much remains to be seen.
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Source: Nintendo Life, CZR/YouTube
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